[I listened to the Bollinger interview the other day on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC interview program — with two strong critical responses to him from Anne Whitman (who operates one of the Manhattanville storage businesses which Bollinger wants to eradicate) and Michael Henry Adams (author of Harlem Lost and Found whose most recent exhibit appeared in the Museum of the City of New York).

As a Columbia Ph.D., I was embarrassed by Bollinger. He was rude in his false “outsider” characterizations of Anne and her business (See below). Anne employs only women and minorities; she is a Community Board member and area resident doing wide service here. Her firm also provides working space for artists and artisans. One could not ask for more in the way of responsible public service and a model for how businesses should be run.

Bollinger proposes removing all such from the area for his biotech things and a few others. Let’s be honest here. Columbia’s real estate oriented endowment is in poor shape compared with its major competitors. It boasted making some $200+ million in biotech profits this past year — presumably its primary aim with this new center. As a Columbia alum I suspect that the institution is yet once again unwisely putting all its eggs in the wrong basket. I will not comment on monies made through medical copyrights — enough is in the air to make us all aware of the shoddiness involving drug companies and university researchers profiting hugely from others’ illnesses.

Biotech competition by the time Columbia had uprooted its proposed 17+ acres would be far ahead globally. The 6,000 jobs (up from 2,000 projected a year or two ago) would presumably be high tech, not neighborhood, unless one compares the minimal pay scales and benefits that Columbia leases have provided for service workers in Morningside Heights (I did a comparative study when the new Columbia leased University market moved in and found that all the others in our neighborhood offered better terms to their workers). What follows are the critical comments of Tom DeMott who is one of the small group designated by Jordi Reyesmont, board chair, to negotiate with Columbia. CB#9 has a community oriented 197A plan for Manhattanville which should take precedence over or at least hold in check Columbia’s proposed eminent domain grab. Ed Kent]


Fwd: Re: These are Great Times to be a Woman Entrepreneur!!
“J Reyes-Montblanc”
Sat, 17 Mar 2007 20:37:15 -0400
bfrappy24@aol.com wrote:
To: reysmont@yahoo.com, NYC-CB9M@juno.com
Subject: Re: These are Great Times to be a Woman Entrepreneur!!
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 19:45:14 -0400
From: bfrappy24@aol.com
CC: BFrappy24@aol.com

Dear Jordi,
In regard to what you sent out: These are Great Times to be a Woman Entrepreneur!!

Well the Chamber of Commerce (and those on your list) need to know that it might be “great times” for women entrepreneurs but that depends on where your business is located. Here in West Harlem, we have the president of an Ivy League institution, Mr. Bollinger of Columbia, a man who has been designated as an affirmative action advocate by the press and others, who decided to attack local business women who have been in the neighborhood for 35 years – calling them “outsiders” on the Brian Lehrer show on 3/8/07 – because he wants to push them out and because they are not folding to his eminent domain pressure. His decision to escalate to this type of attack is a calculated one, no doubt developed by his coterie of advisers from near and far, and it is yet another indication of the desperation Columbia is feeling as they attempt to pretend they are working with the community, all the while adopting an “all or nothing” position that flies in the face of the compromises already arrived at in the community to open the way for Columbia to share it with us in the 197A plan. The contradictions in Bollinger’s affirmative action ideas, and his non-affirmative action deeds, are more and more evident. It would be great if the CU Board of Trustees made these times “great times” for the women entrepreneurs who want to stay, and whose businesses support other women (and other “minority” members) in terms of employment and careers, and overuled their frustrated leader.

Please pass on this observation to others on your list. Thanks, Tom DeMott

“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 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

Be Sociable, Share!