05HitsandMissHIT (Festival) – Fayetteville’s Dogwood Fall Festival was certainly a “hit.” Culinary offerings were aplenty: 39 food trucks.

A popular children’s zone was a first this year. Local bands entertained from the stage. A haunted house was popular given the time of year. And the weather couldn’t have been better.

MISS (Mediocrity) – Many of us suspect we know one of the reasons that Greater Fayetteville hasn’t grown in recent years. The buzzword is “mediocrity.” Not all business and civic leaders may agree, but many locals, past and present, who’ve been successful know exactly what we’re talking about. Some are so frustrated they’re talking about moving, and Southern Pines and the Triangle are popular potential destinations.

HIT (Gratitude) – The Cumberland County Disaster Recovery Coalition was founded by Steve Rogers in the aftermath of the tornado that ripped through much of Cumberland County in 2011. Last month, the coalition held a “Heart of Matthew” luncheon to honor community heroes who helped others recover from Hurricane Matthew a year ago. “This is what we do when we love our neighbor as ourselves,” said Chip Grammar.

MISS (Roadway Sign Clutter) – The median in the newly-paved section of Bragg Boulevard between Filter Plant Drive and Pearl Street has two dozen little signs to distract drivers’ attention. They are unnecessary instruction signs that only add clutter to the streetscape. Some of them tell motorists not to make U-turns – despite the fact the medians have made U-turns necessary and completely legal. 

MISS (Sidewalks) – Forty years ago, the developers of Montclair off Raeford Road built houses and sidewalks, but to this day, sidewalks are few and far between in new Fayetteville neighborhoods. When businesses are built in commercial areas, they’re required to put in sidewalks or pay a fine. A section of Sycamore Dairy Road between Morganton and McPherson Church Roads is missing a sidewalk between the State Employees Credit Union and a hotel a hundred yards away. Why? It’s a vacant lot, and the city hasn’t seen fit to fill in the gap. Progressive thinking? Hardly! 

HIT (Tallywood Shopping Center) – The developers of the new Publix Mega Market on Raeford Road had the good sense to retain the Tallywood name. The iconic Tallywood Tower remains, too, as does Mi Casita. It was the only existing store to survive the otherwise total makeover of the center. Tallywood, whose name was derived from the family that developed one of Fayetteville’s first strip malls, has a dozen or so storefronts for businesses.

MISS (Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce’s choice for a Candidate Forum moderator) – Tim White

White is The Fayetteville Observer’s only remaining editorial page editor. Understanding that The Fayetteville Observer’s new owner, Gatehouse Media, has cut its local professional journalistic talent down to the bone helps us understand the void this community is experiencing in balanced, comprehensive and informed local news coverage.

After all, it’s one thing for a resident invested in Fayetteville and Cumberland County to be vocal and critical of issues concerning our community, leadership, quality of life and economic development initiatives. However, when you don’t live here, you lose the right to pass judgment on the people, policies and processes that affect our local citizens and community.

Tim White not only doesn’t live in Fayetteville, he lives in a different county 50 miles from here – Chatham County – on the western edge of the affluent Triangle. So, for White to be passing his judgments, critiques and criticisms on our residents, policies and politics is insulting. Posing questions and drilling community political candidates who have stepped up to serve as potential governmental leaders of this community and who care about the future of Fayetteville and Cumberland County is beyond ironic. It’s disrespectful to our community.

HIT (Comic Con Convention)

Congratulations to event organizer Michael Chauduri, Crown Coliseum general manager Jim Grafstrom, Crown staff and Linda McAlister of Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper for making the two-day Comic Con such a wonderful, pleasant and memorable experience for the thousands of whimsical, fun and fantasy fans who attended. Not only was it a great event and huge success, but the local outreach of friendliness and hospitality toward the attendees is just what this community needs more of to reflect positively on the Fayetteville community and help us develop our brand. They sent thousands of visitors home saying great things about the Fayetteville community.


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