You’re not in Oz anymore, West Asheville

I wonder what local media feels is important enough to be deemed newsworthy any more?

Wednesday night, Jan. 23, shortly after 10 o’clock, four black youths walked into the store at 495 Haywood Road on the corner of Burton Street. They were wearing ski masks, and two of them had handguns. They demanded the money and ran out of the store. They did get quite a bit of cash.

There is a lot of bad stuff out here, folks. Don’t let your peaceful co-ops and pubs and cafés hinder the true view here. It is dangerous out there. You are ill-informed about gangs and crime rates here [in order] to keep these property values inflated around this area. Believe me, your peaceful mecca is anything but peaceful. I know all—and should: I’ve been here for 38 years.

I spent my teenage years watching this drug-infested area get worse, from pot to cocaine to meth to crack. Now I’m 48 [and] I’ve seen it all—the thieving, the murder, the families ruined. So if you think you can move here and turn a blind eye to it all: This is not Oz—never was and will never be.

— Glenda Turner


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12 thoughts on “You’re not in Oz anymore, West Asheville

  1. Rob Close

    i don’t think anyone who lived at my old house in montford made it out of there without being jacked by some young hoods at some point. twice on hill street. and viva europa got held up repeatedly while it was open there. the better your neighborhood is, the better the chances poor people will come rob you – especially when the poor neighborhoods are within walking distance.

  2. Maybe we could make some kind of wall between our neighborhoods and the projects? Like Israel and Gaza? This is our only option for true security:-)

  3. Glenda, I’m sorry about the robbery, especially if you were a victim. However, don’t think that we are all skipping through the fields with utopian bliss. It’s the real world out there. My office got burgled twice last week amounting to about a thousand dollars in losses. No one got hurt, so I’m thankful there, and I’ve moved on. We cannot forget the poor guys killed at the pool hall as well.

    I guess what you don’t see about West Asheville is the amazing community that has sprung up over the past 10 years. That’s why people are moving here and that will West Asheville going through rough times.

    Just a footnote, I do believe that Montford is worse.


  4. quotequeen

    If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them; but the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
    ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  5. straight up

    I own a business beside that gas station. Recently they change owners and extended their hours until midnight. Before they closed at 10pm. i have often wondered if that may bring back the problems that the area has been plagued with for years and only recently has risen above. It wasn’t until last year or so that I stopped seeing drug deals and prostition in plain view. Or the guy who likes to sit on my stoop, drink his 22, then throw the can in the road and leave. I am saddened that W. Asheville is encoutering some setbacks. Graffitti on almost every building up and down Haywood Rd. Suspected gang activlty. It’s terrible. These are things that affect our quality of life. let’s hope and do everything we can as West Ashevillians to change these situations.

  6. Fallstaff

    Asheville does not have a bad crime problem. Period. And the few crimes committed here are done by northern transplants.

  7. bluegrass_brad

    Actually you couldn’t be more wrong Falstaff. In 2006 in almost all areas of crime (violent, property, etc) Asheville is worse than the national average.
    Here is one link, but there are several different sites that give statistics to back this up.

  8. nam veteran

    Bluegrass, you are wrong. Asheville is a clean town, even West Trashville…compared to LA, NYC, Chitown. Statistics lie. But I must say, the influx of yankee transplants has added a bit to our crime situation…but is still not a big problem. If you were older and had more travel under your belt, you’d know better.

  9. bluegrass_brad

    Actually you are wrong as well nam veteran. The studies are done on a comparative basis in increments of 100,000, so they are very accurate in measuring and comparing cities like New York vs. Asheville, and as a matter of fact lets you do so right there on the link I posted. Asheville is far worse per 100,000 people in areas like rape, burglery, theft and assaults. Also the fact that you assume (remember what your grandma said about assuming?) I’m young and untraveled is far from the truth. I would guess I am much more traveled than you. 47 states in our great country and 27 countries around the world. I have done business and spent considerable amounts of time in each of the cities you have named, and would venture my familiarity with those cities is at least as good as your own. And such a broad sweeping statement like “Statistics Lie”…tsk, tsk. The mantra of those who love rose colored glasses and half truths. And before you go to play your “what do transplants know” card know this. I was born and raised in these mountains, actually I am 5th generation.

  10. nam veteran

    Bluegrass, statistics do not always tell the truth. It always depends on the parameters used. I have lived for a time in high crime areas. I know what that is like. Where you lock your doors even during the daytime when you are home. When you are very careful where you go at night. Asheville has none of this. The violent crime, the really intolerable crime, is low here. My credentials? 6 years as an LAPD volunteer with the CRASH unit…gang suppression.

    All crime is unacceptable, but Asheville should be proud it is more like a sleepy 1950s small city than many of our other cities in the USA. And I am glad you are local. My roots go back over 200 years here as well.

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