I have not met Lee Bollinger. But I have met a number of those under attack by him or witnessed in some amazement one of his attacks on my TV screen!

Of those attacked by Bollinger is one of the finest contributors to our community — Anne Whitman, the owner of the Hudson Moving and Storage, which is a model for businesses both in the way an inherited property has been put to use in the interest of its surrounding community and in how it treats both its employees and community residents. Hudson Moving and Storage is more than simply a storage space. It also houses craftsmen’s and artists’ work spaces as well as providing jobs for community residents. It is a well maintained building suitable for landmark status.

Bollinger has called Anne an “outside business interest” which is both false and a cruel characterization of a caring person who gives strong service to our community — as a CB#9 member as well until she was not reappointed this past year along with the two most recent chairs of the board by our Manhattan boro president, Scott Stringer, who has just announced his support for Bollinger — one day after shutting down prematurely a meeting called to assess the community’s views (overwhelmingly negative) towards the Columbia takeover.

OK. Columbia is the monster in our forest. It contributes funds behind the scenes to this or that campaign or neighborhood operation with resulting support from those so benefited with its monies. As a Columbia degree holder, I am appalled. Many a university works WITH its community and does it right!

Here is Anne’s own statement today which I post again:

More Background: Here is another item not to be overlooked from 2004. Mr. Bollinger has repeatedly stated that Columbia University wants to be a “good neighbor.” His staff planner sent me a letter on Columbia University letterhead (2004) stating he realized I wished to remain in my family property that we have owner occupied for the past 35 years. He also wrote that it was just not possible for me to do so because of CU’s development plan. Good neighbor? Columbia University continues to bully and use intimidation tactics in 2007. I have every intention of participating in any improvement in the CB9 and participating in the well being of the West Harlem community. My company is 100% woman owned, I employ 100% minorities and women, we have union affiliation and many employees walk or bicycle to work. My building is listed on the NYS and National historic registers. I believe in freedom of speech, affirmative action, the right to own property, equal opportunity, historic preservation and Columbia University needs to practice what it preaches. Columbia University has an infill plan already developed that affords respect and human dignity and any forced eviction of a single resident or business owner is wrong. The community welcomes Columbia to expand but the present forced eviction plan is unacceptable. Please see cb9m.blog for the list of conditions demanded by CB9 for Columbia to proceed with their expansion. Respectfully, Anne Z. Whitman, WBE: NYS amd NYS Certified

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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