by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Asheville’s quirky, funky area of GenX crafts and stuff is going downhill. Nobody blamed the looming Business Improvement District, schedued to go online July 1 with a new 5-7% tax. Prices are rising for some reason downtown, and that is forcing merchants out. Another problem is the increase in homelessness. Since homelessness has been a problem downtown, the experts have always claimed the number of women and families is on the rise. That appears non-sequitur in light of complaints of knife and gun fights. One merchant interviewed complained about blood on the sidewalk. Women are now more frequently the victims of aggressive panhandling.
Worry not. There is a solution. If we just ignore the crime, tourists will continue to come and displace it.