Friday, May 25, 2007


Come To The June 5th Town Board Meeting; Be Proactive In Demanding The Closure And Sale Of The Courtesy

From the West Hempstead Civic Association --

Town of Hempstead - Town Board Meeting: Courtesy Hotel Closure & Sale
Date: Tuesday June 5, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Bennett Pavillion, 1 Washington St., Hempstead

When you sign in, indicate you are there to have the Courtesy closed and sold this year. The WHCA will bring all the letters and petitions gathered to date, and present them to Supervisor Murray and the Town Board. We ask that everyone attend and bring your neighbors and friends. We need to concentrate and focus our efforts on getting the Town to make necessary zoning changes to allow the sale of the Courtesy to take place this year. Only with a huge turnout of residents will be able to demonstrate the extent of our support for the sale of the Courtesy. Please contact to RSVP and to get additional information, or call 516-485-5132.

Friday, May 18, 2007

More On The Mothers Day Rally

From The Three Village Times:

Moms Rally to Close the Courtesy
Mother's Day Rally Held to Close Hotel
By Joe Rizza

It seems that the members of the West Hempstead Civic Association have tried everything to close the Courtesy Hotel. This past Sunday, members tried a rally on Mother's Day to close the hotel that is seen by many as a blight on the community.

One of the moms who was rallying against the Courtesy Hotel was Rosalie Norton, the West Hempstead Civic Association president, who organized the rally. Norton, a mother of three and grandmother of seven, contacted a number of groups for the rally, which, she estimates, attracted over 100 people.

As far back as the fall of 1995, the West Hempstead Civic Association formed a Committee to Close the Courtesy Hotel. The (then) executive vice president, Seth Bykofsky, who is also the former president of the West Hempstead Civic Association, is still waiting for the hotel to close.

"I'm at a loss for words," said Bykofsky. "Everyone wants the Courtesy closed, even those with the authority to shut it down today, and yet, the infamous no-tell hotel is open and thriving."

The Town of Hempstead has been unsuccessful in closing the Courtesy Hotel under its public nuisance law. However, the town is proceeding with an urban renewal plan, which calls for a partnership with a developer for the redevelopment of the area the hotel is located in.

One of those developers is Trammell Crow Residential, which, according to Gary Lewi of Rubenstein Associates, a public relations firm that is representing Trammell Crow, the company is under contract with the hotel owners to purchase the property.

Trammell Crow is proposing to put, according to information found on the West Hempstead Civic Association website, 220 apartment units over five floors on the 2.79 acre parcel of land. The front of the development will face Hempstead Avenue across the street from the parking lot of National Wholesale Liquidators and the back of the development will run along the train tracks of the West Hempstead Long Island Railroad station.

Norton is in favor of the Trammell Crow plan and she hopes the town will grant the zoning changes necessary for the company to purchase the hotel and build its residential complex.

Trammell Crow is one of four developers the town is looking at to develop the property through the town's urban renewal plan. "Why would you want to go with any other than Trammell Crow when you know they're in a private deal to purchase the property? They are in contract with [Courtesy owner Bruce] Zwelsky to purchase that property. Zwelsky hopes to sell it and we, as a community, want it sold," said Norton.

Members of the West Hempstead Civic Association seem to have tried every thing from submitting over 1,400 letters and petitions to the town board urging the closing of the hotel and its sale to Trammell Crow to the Mother's Day rally, which was attended by Legislator Vincent Muscarella and Assemblyman Tom Alfano.

"The bottom line is the Courtesy has to close and we have to begin the process of redeveloping the area. The community has waited long enough and it has to get done. The days of residents reading about assault, rape, drug dealing and sex offenders must come to an end. The community has spoken strongly today," said Alfano.

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray is preaching patience and promised that the hotel would be closed by year's end. Also joining Murray from the town was Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino, who is also all for the closure of the hotel.

Murray takes exception to the notion that the town hasn't tried to close the Courtesy Hotel.

Murray said the town tried to close the hotel under its public nuisance law, but was not successful in court. "That was a setback but I haven't stopped," the supervisor said. "I'm the first supervisor in the town who has gone out this far to get this thing closed and I won't stop until it is closed."

Murray also said there is a notion that the town is standing in the way of the sale between Trammell Crow and the owner of the hotel, which is not true. According to Murray, if Trammell Crow intended to build under the current zoning, the hotel would have been gone by now. But since the developer needs a zoning change for their proposal, a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review must be conducted, which is something the developer hasn't done.

However, attorney Al D'Agostino, who is handling the change in zoning application for Trammell Crow, said he is waiting for the consultant the town selected to provide direction for the review.
According to D'Agostino, a petition was filed in December to change to town's zoning to allow for the construction of 220 residential apartments.

D'Agostino said he is now waiting for the consultant, Frederick P. Clark Associates, which the town selected at a cost of $10,000 to Trammell Crow, to provide direction for the review but the consultant hasn't started the process.

"We just have not been able to get any direction from them as to what they want," D'Agostino said. "We're not just sitting. We've made several inquiries and just have not been able to get a response."

Email the Three Village TimesCopyright ©2007 Anton Community Newspapers, Inc.

The Courtesy Hotel Will Be Closed When. . .

1. An F-5 tornado touches down at the hotel's apex, a waterbed on the 4th floor serving as "ground zero";

2. A terrorist plot hatched at the hotel -- over Continental breakfast -- is uncovered by the Town of Hempstead Public Safety Patrol, the Courtesy thereafter leveled by a bevy of B-52s;

3. A Tsunami, generated when Hall's Pond overflows its banks, the inadequate drainage along the length and across the breadth of Hempstead Avenue unable to contain the tide, washes the hotel into Oceanside;

4. The voters return Town Supervisor Kate Murray -- TO LEVITTOWN!

How would you close the Courtesy Hotel?


Monday, May 14, 2007

Promises, Promises. . .

"The Courtesy will be closed by the end of the year."
--Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray

Hmmm. Now where, when, and from whom have we heard that before?

Let's see.

From Joe Ra (then Town Councilman, now Town Attorney) in the 1990s.

From Town Councilman Joe Kearney (now retired out of state) in the early 2000s.

And what do you know, from Town Supervisor Kate Murray herself, in 2003 (shortly after her appointment), and in 2005 (in the midst of a hotly contested election), at a press confrence held right behind the infamous Courtesy Hotel.

Say it loud enough. Tell it long enough. And some folks will begin to believe it as the truth.

Actions speak louder than words, Madam Supervisor. Padlock the Courtesy NOW. Keep your promise to the West Hempstead community.

E-mail Supervisor Murray at

Monday, May 7, 2007

'Close The Courtesy' Rally May 13th

From The West Hempstead Civic Association:

SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2007
10:45 AM-11:15 AM

Location: Hempstead Avenue parking field across from the Courtesy Hotel

All mothers, grandmothers, moms to be, bring your children and show the TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD we are united in insisting the Hotel must be closed and sold this year. The “Reign of Terror” must end NOW.