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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Aspen Heights needs to be held accountable for its actions

Students and parents can make change if they demand it

Feb. 18, 2014

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Over the last seven months, the parents, students and residents of Aspen Heights-Columbia has formed a Facebook social media community page, called Aspen Heights-Columbia Parents and Tenants’ Forum.

We have not been lacking for content!

Since its inception, Aspen Heights has failed to deliver on promises they pitched to the city of Columbia, students and parents. These failures have been well documented in all Columbia media so no need to rehash them here, but suffice to say, the parents and residents of Aspen Heights will stand silent no more and will use every resource available to make Aspen Heights accountable for its actions.

But as much as we look at Aspen Heights, we must also turn our attention to the City of Columbia. How in your quest to be “big time,” did you let our students down by approving this development? We ask you to evaluate the development and determine if it is so fatally flawed that it need state or local intervention and action.

Now, we must give credit to Aspen Heights on things they do well. They do a fabulous job of marketing California living, which does not work so well the Columbia climate. They do a fabulous job of raising money for future developments, just recently penning a $230 million dollar round of financing with Morgan Stanley for retiring debt and for future construction projects this year. They do a great job of deflecting blame, as seen by the “hosting” of a city wide crime meeting which took place on the 18th — appropriate since over 200 police calls have been directed to Aspen Heights since it’s opening. They do a fabulous job of helping the poor in Africa, using revenues from their developments, your rent, to do so. The bottom line, they are PR magicians.

You know what else they do a good job on: moving on.

Aspen Heights will be developing and opening five new complexes this year. You know what that means? Columbia, and our problems will be in their rear view mirror but only if we let them

Unified parents and residents can cause change. Social media is a great medium to promote change just ask the some repressed citizens of foreign countries who have overthrown governments in part by social media. Change can occur at Aspen Heights but only if the parents, the students, the residents, the city and state officials demand change. I will leave you with one lasting image, for those of you old enough to remember the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, there is a scene where the aliens are described as locusts, looking for planets to consume all their natural resources, then moving on. The 2014 version of this movie is being cast as we speak. Columbia you play the role of planet earth. Anybody know who would be good to play the role of the aliens?

Please join our Facebook page and cause. Thank you.

Aspen Heights Columbia Parents and Tenants’ Forum

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