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Eco-Terrorism in Asheville (Or, Sunflower Moonblossom Goes Commando)

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It has happened again, or so it seems. A clutch of unattractive houses on stilts, under construction in West Asheville, is missing one of its brethren due to arson. It's only the latest incident, and we can only hope that it's not related to what appears to be an attempt to burn down the town of Spruce Pine, which due to two deliberately-set fires yesterday has lost ten businesses, two offices, and a church.

Here in Asheville, it would appear that people have finally reached their limit of tolerance for the sprawl mushrooming around the city and they're getting militant about it. Most recently of course, we have this fire set on Riverview Drive. Not long ago, someone heaved bricks through a developer's office at the Grove Arcade and a realtor's office on College Street, glued their door locks, and painted "'Fudge' Sprawl" on the sidewalk outside the realtor's office. Before that, a suspicious fire was set at the site in Swannanoa where Jim Anthony wants to build The Cliffs at Some Place Name Jim Anthony Just Pulled Out of His Ass. Around that same time, at the Rose Hill Plantation construction site in Leicester, someone dumped sand into the bulldozers' gas tanks, and decorated the fence around the site with helpful spraypainted suggestions such as "Don't Buy Here." That one set the developer back by about a month, not to mention several tens of thousands of dollars.

It's been going on for a while. When the Wal-Mart was under construction in East Asheville, someone ran a bulldozer through a wall, causing nearly $900,000 in damage, and it's practically a rite of passage for activists in Asheville to vandalize the Starbucks in Biltmore Village.

What's going on here?

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