Friday, May 02, 2003

This is a pretty scathing op-ed about the Derderians by James Medoff who is a labor economist at Harvard University. He couches it as a critique on SMALL businesses (as opposed to the much maligned BIG business). There are a few things I didn't know. A couple quotes pulled below:

"The neighbor suggested the Derderians go one step further and insulate the walls. At a company in Johnston, the Derderians bought $575 worth of black packing foam and tacked it up on the ceilings and walls. They didn't buy the fire-retardant kind of foam -- that would have cost another $500.

About eight months later, Jeffrey Derderian did one of those breathless TV investigations on a deadly product he and others have described as 'solid gas.'

He interviewed a Lowell man who had pulled a smoldering mattress to his back porch, only to see it flare up again, injuring eight family members and killing two others. The killer, Derderian told his audience, was what was inside the mattress: polyurethane foam. The same cheap black stuff he and his brother had put up all over The Station."

then he wraps it up with:

"The Station didn't worry about such details and neither did the regulators. These were good guys, local guys, small-business guys. And their employees seemed to be loyal to them right to the end.

Bartender Julie Mellini didn't just run out of the club after the fire started. She says she took time to find the cash drawer and the tips.

She met Jeffery Derderian in the parking lot. According to a chilling story by Journal Staff Writer Lynn Arditi, Derderian told Julie to go back and help people get out of the club.

Mellini says her boss grabbed the cash register drawer from her and ran behind the burning building.

That's a small-business man for you."

That's pretty tough. And pretty maddening.

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