Monday, April 30, 2007

Courtesy Is Contagious!

Sex Offenders Found In Residence At Neighboring Capri Motel

Sex offenders to the left of us, predators to the right, and West Hempsteaders stuck in the middle with little relief in sight!

Aside from the two Level 3 Sex Offenders in residence at the Courtesy hotel, the West Hempstead Civiv Association now informs that there are two Sex Offenders (Level 3 and Level 2 – but they try harder) at the Capri Motel on Hempstead Turnpike.

Upon information and belief, there are families with children housed at the Capri!

The Fifth Precinct reported in February that the Courtesy was the number one hotspot in the Precinct in 2006, followed closely by the Capri.

Why wasn’t the Capri Condemned prior to the sale of the adjacent property to Stop & Shop?
And why isn’t the Capri even on the radar at Hempstead Town Hall?

How many indignities must one community suffer? How much should homeowners, taxpayers, and decent, law-abiding citizens be made to endure?
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Level 2 Sex Offender at the Capri

Level 3 Sex Offender at the Capri

Sex Offenders in residence in West Hempstead

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ambrosino Calls For Immediate Closure Of Courtesy

From the Three Village Times:

The members of the West Hempstead Civic Association have been clamoring for the Town of Hempstead to close the Courtesy Hotel for years. The town, having failed to close the hotel under its public nuisance law, is now trying to facilitate the development of the area around the hotel through an urban renewal plan. However, at least one member of the town board joins the civic association's philosophy that the town should close the Courtesy now and ask questions later.

Councilman Ed Ambrosino, who is one of six members of the Hempstead Town Board, said the town should do whatever it can to close the hotel immediately.

Ambrosino, a Republican, said he supports Town Supervisor Kate Murray, also a Republican, in trying to develop the area around the hotel. "I know the supervisor wants to take it down immediately, but I think we need to take aggressive action to pursue a remedy, craft legislation, do whatever we need to do to take it down immediately," he said.

The thought was that the town had legislation to close premises that were deemed to be public nuisances through a public nuisance law that the town board adopted in 2000.

According to a letter sent to concerned residents by Murray and Ambrosino, the town had sought a restraining order and injunction against hotel owners in 2004 to shut the hotel but the town was ruled against by the Supreme Court.

While Ambrosino believes the re-development of the site is important, he said he would prefer the town close the hotel immediately and then proceed with the development of the site.

Ambrosino suggested that if the public nuisance law isn't working as it's written perhaps the town board and the supervisor should look at rewriting the law to make it work. "The most important thing for me right now is to have the hotel stop functioning. After that, let's see what happens," he said. "If we don't meet the requirements, let's redraft the law to make us meet the requirements. The community has had enough and I stand with the community."

- Joe Rizza

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fast Track To Nowhere!

From The New York Times: Town Takes Different Tack to Shut Down a Hotel

And still, the answer to that time-worn question – WHY IS THE COURTESY STILL OPEN? -- eludes us.

The Nuisance Law was “technically” inadequate in 2004, 2005, 2006 [as it was when it was adopted in 2000.] So why not amend that law (assuming the Town couldn’t get it right in the first instance) – in 2004, 2005, 2006 -- so as to withstand the scrutiny of the courts?

“We’re looking at it now,” they’ll tell you at Town Hall.

Sure. Look at it. Hold it up to the light. Pass it through. Put it to the test. And see which comes first – a condemnation, the padlocking of the hotel, or the Messiah. [My money is on the Messiah!]

Blight studies. Environmental studies. Studies of the studies. And we are no closer today to ridding our community of the horrors of this hotel then when Kate Murray stood before us in 2005, “buoyed”, and said that she would not rest until the Courtesy was closed. [Note the black circles under her eyes. . .]

The only “fast track” here is for Town Supervisor Kate Murray to lead instead of wallow. Make believe you give a damn. Test the law today as it has never been tested. PADLOCK THE COURTESY HOTEL!
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The Supervisor's e-mail address is [Just how Kate Murray can be reached, is anybody's guess!]

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Sign of the Times

"Padlock" Replaces "Police Booth" As Courtesy Signage

In fact, signs are popping up all over town!

E-mail Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray at and tell her that the "sign" she's been waiting for has arrived. PADLOCK THE COURTESY NOW!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yet Another Sex Offender At The Courtesy

Convicted of "Deviate Sexual Intercourse," and Sentenced to "150 Month(s) to 25 Year(s) State Prison," Predator takes up Residence at Courtesy Hotel

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...

Forget that second gunman on the grassy knoll. We now have a second sexual predator in residence at the Courtesy hotel.

Check out Current Reported Offender Details at the New York Sex Offender Registry.
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From Newsday's 'Spin Cycle'. . .
W. Hempstead: Alfano In The Fray

Join the fight to padlock the Courtesy NOW!

Send an e-mail to Assemblyman Tom Alfano at and let him know that you want the pressure on Hempstead Town Hall kept up.

Send an e-mail to Town Supervisor Kate Murray at and demand that the Courtesy be padlocked immediately!

Send an e-mail to Town Attorney Joe Ra at and ask him why he hasn’t put the owners of the Courtesy on notice of the hotel’s continuing violation of the Town’s Nuisance Law.

Send an e-mail to Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino at telling him its time to break ranks with Supervisor Murray, to take his fellow councilmembers to task, and to move forward with the four easy steps necessary to close the Courtesy.

Send an e-mail to County Legislator Vincent Muscarella at and ask him to publicly condemn the continued operation of the Courtesy and to act accordingly.

Send an e-mail to State Senator Dean Skelos at asking him about that Police Booth that’s been “coming soon” since October of 2005.

Send an e-mail to Dana Williams of the Malverne/West Hempstead Herald at, to Joe Rizza of the Three Village Times at, and to Barbara Yohe of the Beacon at, asking them to keep the Courtesy on the front pages.



Together, we will win the fight to close the Courtesy, to return civility to our town, and to revitalize this gateway to our community!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Civic Leaders Continue To Urge Town To Close Courtesy

The Courtesy Hotel. Photo by Andrew Vardakis

The West Hempstead Civic Association has been urging Town of Hempstead officials to get moving on closing the Courtesy Hotel, which is thought by many to be a blight on the community. But the town says that they are doing what they can to close the hotel.

"The only thing standing between the closure of the Courtesy and the revitalization of the southeast gateway to West Hempstead is the will of the Town Supervisor to get the job done, " said former civic association president and longtime community activist Seth Bykofsky.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has taken criticism for not being able to close the Courtesy, but, according to a letter recently sent out to residents who expressed concerns over the hotel, the town has tried in the past to close the hotel.

A town spokesperson said the town is exploring all options and the Courtesy Hotel is not being ignored. The recent letter, signed by Murray and Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino, stated "we will not rest until this blight on West Hempstead is shut down forever."

Civic leaders want to close the Courtesy through a public nuisance law enacted by the town in 2000. According to the letter, the town sought to utilize its public nuisance law to close the hotel.

In 2004, the town sought a restraining order and an injunction against the hotel owners. However, the Supreme Court ruled against the town.

Civic leaders then hoped the town would use the power of eminent domain to take ownership of the hotel to close it. However, condemnation proceedings weren't commenced. "In the absence of an urban renewal plan and the absence of the idea of developing the property, the town would have had to have been prepared to pay for the acquisition so they did not go forward with that. Then it was decided let's utilize the urban renewal process," said Charles Theofan, commissioner of the town's Department of Planning and Economic Development.

The town board adopted a blight study for the area around the hotel, which includes a delicatessen, gasoline station, municipal parking fields, vacant structures, a Long Island Rail Road station and the hotel. The town also has asked for developers to submit their qualifications to develop the area. The town board hopes to adopt the urban renewal plan, which will act as the plan for the redevelopment of the area this summer.

"Upon adoption by the town board, we will direct that the properties be acquired through condemnation for redevelopment by the private sector," stated the letter.

Four developers have been notified that they have been selected to produce competing proposals to redevelop the area. Among the selected developers is the Trammell Crow Company, which has entered into contract to purchase the Courtesy Hotel, according to the hotel. The town's urban renewal project will not interfere with the ability of Trammell Crow to seek zoning changes for its proposed development of the hotel, according to the town.

As if pressure from the civic association isn't enough, Assemblyman Tom Alfano has also gotten into the act of pressuring the town to close the Courtesy. Alfano, who was a candidate to become town supervisor when former supervisor Rich Guardino stepped down and was ultimately succeeded by Murray, has put out a flier urging the town to close the hotel. "After six years of discussion, the Courtesy needs to be shut down immediately," stated Alfano in a letter to Murray that was printed on the flier.

Although it's been over six years since the hotel has been in the civic association's radar, civic leaders may have to show more patience while the town's urban renewal plan is followed.

- Joe Rizza

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Latest Word From Town Hall

A Message From Supervisor Murray And Councilman Ambrosino

Publisher's Note: Oddly, the Town references the commencement of a court action under the so-called Nuisance Law. Interestingly, no court action is required in order to invoke the padlock provision of said law. The Town's most recent missive does not so much as mention the word "padlock."

READ Four Easy Steps To Close The Courtesy

Are we missing something here, or are they?
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(516) 489-5000
April 4, 2007
Dear Resident,
Thank you for contacting the town with regard to the Courtesy Hotel. We share your frustration over the fact that the hotel is still standing, and we will not rest until this blight on West Hempstead is shut down forever. We have taken several steps to shutter the facility and redevelop it along with several other properties surrounding the site.
Many residents have called upon the town to commence a “nuisance action” against the hotel’s owners based on the illegal and dangerous activities that have occurred on the premises. In fact, we have utilized our public nuisance law to close down the hotel once and for all! In 2004, we sought a restraining order and an injunction against the hotel owners. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled against us.
More recently, we have called upon the town attorney to explore commencing a new public nuisance action, based on new facts, to shutter the Courtesy. Simultaneously, we have demanded that Nassau County cease placing social service clients at the hotel.

Increased police surveillance has been requested and we have sought required county cooperation to place a police booth at the location.

We know you will be interested in an update on the town’s other efforts related to edevelopment of several parcels of property surrounding Hempstead Avenue and Westminster Road/Woodfield Road.
Several months ago, the Hempstead Town Board adopted a blight study determining that the Courtesy Hotel and the area surrounding the aforementioned intersection was blighted. This area includes a delicatessen, a gasoline station, municipal parking fields, vacant structures, a Long Island Rail Road station as well as the hotel. This study established the foundation for an Urban Renewal Plan, which is being developed by the town’s Department of Planning and Economic Development. The Plan will set forth a blueprint to redevelop and revitalize the entire area. Upon adoption by the town board, we will direct that the properties be acquired through condemnation for redevelopment by the private sector.
In anticipation of the proposed Urban Renewal Plan, we have overseen an effort by the Department of Planning and Economic Development to gauge interest by the private sector to redevelop the subject area. In fact, nine developers responded to town solicitations in this regard. Furthermore, four of the aforementioned developers have been notified that they have been selected to produce competing proposals to redevelop the blighted zone.
One of the selected developers, the Tramwell Crow Company, has entered into a contract to purchase the Courtesy Hotel. You should be aware that the Planning Department’s Urban Renewal Project will not interfere with or inhibit the ability of Tramwell Crow to seek zoning changes for its proposed development.

Our goals concerning the Courtesy Hotel are simple and straightforward…let’s shut the doors to this eyesore forever! Further, let’s redevelop the hotel and the surrounding area for the benefit of West Hempstead neighbors.
We hope that this update is helpful and provides insight regarding our efforts to make West Hempstead an even greater place in which to live.
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Nice letter.
Unfortunately, it adds absolutely nothing new to the mix, and begs the question (or avoids it, entirely) as to why the Courtesy has not been closed utilizing the padlock provision of the Town's Nuisance Law.
That's the question that West Hempstead residents should be asking of Town of Hempstead officials?
E-mail Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino and tell them you want the Courtesy padlocked NOW!