An article in the local daily asks why buildings remain vacant in Asheville despite the current construction boom.

According to a database maintained by the Fire Marshal’s Office of the Asheville Fire Department, 701 of the city’s 8,212 commercial spaces are considered vacant — some of them occupying prime spots, such as the former site of Hannah Flanagan’s Pub on Biltmore Avenue. Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Payne said the department does not know whether this is an increase or decrease from previous years.

Now, I am certainly not going to say that zoning ordinances and strict building codes, or even high taxes have anything to do with the picture. I will, however, share my puzzlement over the vacancy of the old Planned Parenthood building. It has been up for rent since the state shut it down for unrighteously subjecting it to the same standards of other health clinics, citing un-mopped floors, duct-taped distribution lines on medical equipment, and stuff like that. I suppose potential buyers may be sickened at the thought of mammograms having been conducted on-site. At least now, as I mentioned before, the non-abortion women’s staple (Planned Parenthood) is conveniently located, for anti-baby-choice advocacy, across the corner from the election services building. As William Forstchen mentioned yesterday on Pete Kaliner’s show, statistically half aborted fetuses are female.

What were we talking about?