Columbia has won the eminent domain battle in Manhattanville (lower west Harlem). But the problem with Columbia versus the conduct of Yale and Harvard is that it is short of cash and greedy. It is the profit-making bully wherever it moves in. We have seen this in our Morningside Heights community and nearby former low income areas. Particularly there is a huge housing complex just the the north of where Columbia is moving. It was until recently rent protected until a 25 year subsidized lease program ran out. Columbia is already moving its students in as the owners drive out residents by raising rents.

I happen to have degrees from both Yale and Columbia and so am conscious of the differences in attitudes towards their communities of each.

It is sad to see a major academic institution driven by its corporate board rather than its faculty and students.

Caring for people versus grabbing what one can no matter what seems to be the new battlefront of the modern world. Obama has been trying to do something  (his medical reforms),   but he and the Democrats are up against it with the naked appeals to greed both to the greedy and the scared. ‘G-d’ will reward me if I pray right and vote for the Republicans (Tea Party). One need not look far to see this unholy alliance which, needless to say, despises the best traditions of the three major Western religions.

“New York’s highest court handed Columbia University a major victory on Thursday for its $6.3 billion plan to build a satellite campus in Harlem, ruling that the state could seize private property for the project.”

Columbia has a $6.3 billion plan for a campus in Harlem.
Raymond McCrea Jones/The New York Times

“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 [blind copies]

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