Thursday, October 25, 2007

How Many More Photo Ops. . .

. . .Before The Courtesy Is Closed?
This one was taken in 2005.

Any questions?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why Is This Woman Smiling?

Certainly, The Good People Of West Hempstead Are Not!

Kate Murray, back in 2005, told the West Hempstead community that she would not rest until the Courtesy Hotel was closed.

Just last week, at a prayer rally in the wake of the rash of noose sightings, Kate Murray told the gathered that she would not sleep until the perpetrators had been apprehended and brought to justice.

For someone who would not rest and would not sleep, Kate Murray looks pretty darn good, doesn't she? We guess sleep deprivation agrees with her!

Anyway, its back to the drawing board -- or at least to the Town Board -- on Tuesday, November 13th (10:30 AM), when the Town once again takes up the proposed Urban Renewal Plan.

They say that the Town Board will "hear testimony" (which part of "close the Courtesy" don't they understand?) from the community on November 13th. Sure they'll hear, but will they listen?

Here's something Kate Murray and the members of the Hempstead Town Board WILL listen to: The sound of the lever being pulled in the voting booth on Tuesday, November 6th.

On Election Day, tell Kate Murray you've had enough; that we, as a community concerned about our future, will not rest until the Courtesy is closed and the property redeveloped.
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By the way -- the photo appearing in this post was said to have appeared on a now defunct website of Murray supporters, Apparently, even the vagrants have given up on Kate.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Storm the Bastille and demand that the Courtesy be sold now!"

Fighting Words From Town Councilman Edward Ambrosino

To my neighbors and friends in West Hempstead:

I am disappointed and disgusted at the lack of progress regarding the elimination of the Courtesy hotel. Never has a community so united been met with so much delay and obfuscation.

I have stood with you and by your side since my election in 2003. I have asked the Supervisor and my fellow town board members to condemn the hotel. I have submitted legislation to expand the town’s nuisance law to shut the doors of the Courtesy hotel. Finally, I introduced the concept of a private sale.

My efforts have not been embraced. Instead the town is trying a global urban renewal plan.

While I support long term planning and a global approach, I want the elimination of the Courtesy to serve as the cornerstone of the revitalization of West Hempstead.

Our vision of community renewal cannot begin while the Courtesy stands. Let's eliminate the Courtesy now, once and forever.

I will not rest until the Courtesy is torn down.

I stand with the community.

Once the Courtesy is torn down renewal will begin. We can then join together with the town and plan for the redevelopment of the region.

Let us come up with a plan that works. Not a plan that delays.

I share your disappointment, but I will not stop fighting.

Keep up the efforts. Don't give up.

Storm the Bastille and demand that the Courtesy be sold now!

I will help lead your charge.

Thank you.

Councilman Ed Ambrosino

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Murray Makes Mockery Of West Hempstead

Mock support by W. Hempstead hotel a slap at supervisor

Here's an endorsement no politician wants.

For the second time in a month, management at a seedy West Hempstead hotel unfurled a banner outside the building telling voters to support the Hempstead town supervisor - since she keeps the sleazy inn open.

"Reelect Kate Murray. We're Still Here Because She's Still There," read the red-white-and-blue sign that reappeared last week on the Courtesy Hotel, allegedly a hotbed of drug use and prostitution.

Richard Zwelsky, who co-owns the Hempstead Ave. hotel with his brother Bruce, said the siblings had no comment on why the banner returned just weeks after it was first hung on the Courtesy, then removed.

Murray also remained mum. "The supervisor isn't going to dignify the folks who put the sign up at the hotel, whoever did it, with any sort of response," said town spokesman Mike Deery.

The banner, while outwardly supportive of Murray, is backhanded praise for the town supervisor, who has been a thorn in the side of the Zwelsky brothers.

The brothers agreed to sell the hotel to an apartment complex developer last year - setting themselves up for a big payday - but the Hempstead town government, led by Murray, intervened and pursued an urban renewal plan for the area.

Murray, a Republican, is widely expected to defeat Democratic challenger Kevin Gorman in the Nov. 6 election, but her role in the Courtesy saga has added a twist to the campaign.

"Any criticism of the current Republican administration helps me out," Gorman said.

Residents argue the urban renewal process delays the hotel's closing. But even Murray's harshest critics feel the entire town board, not just its supervisor, should share in the blame.

"She's just one vote," said Rosalie Norton, president of the West Hempstead Civic Association. "Since she's only one of seven votes, I'd like to say it really comes down to a question of, 'Do all the others agree with her?'"

Councilman Ed Ambrosino of West Hempstead said he hadn't spoken to Murray about the banner, but he doubted the sarcastic sign would affect the race.

"Kate Murray's very popular and she's going to win," he said. "I support the supervisor. I want the supervisor to win."

The town board is expected to discuss the renewal plan on Nov. 13. The developer who entered into a contract with the hotel owners remains in the running for the land.

"We really wish that banners weren't necessary, that we could just move ahead positively with the application," said Joseph Torg, a senior managing director with Trammell Crow Residential.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Former Civic President Blasts Murray On Failure To Close Courtesy Hotel

For a brief time in September, a banner hung from the tower of West Hempstead's notorious Courtesy Hotel. It read: "Re-Elect Kate Murray. We're Still Here Because She's Still There."

How true.

In 2003, an election year, Town Supervisor Kate Murray assured the community that the Courtesy would be closed. It wasn't.

In 2005, an election year, Town Supervisor Kate Murray again proclaimed that the Courtesy would be shuttered, and the property redeveloped. Nothing.

And here we are in October 2007, just weeks away from an election, with Town Supervisor Kate

Murray the only thing standing between the closure of the Courtesy and the revitalization of West Hempstead's eastern gateway.

Will there be an "October Surprise?" It is, after all, an election year.

As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Fool us three times? Well, you figure it out.

Give the people what they want - high-end rental apartments in close proximity to the railroad, and what would become a re-energized "downtown" business district?

No. That would mean we have representative government at Hempstead Town Hall.

I can only surmise, given the temerity with which the supervisor has resisted the will and disregarded the well-being of this community, as to the ultimate fate of this part of our town.

I will say, with well-founded reason and history as a guide, the Courtesy won't close until Kate Murray goes!

Who are you voting for on November 6?

Seth D. Bykofsky

(The writer is a former president of the West Hempstead Civic Association.)
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We hear tell that the "re-Elect Kate Murray..." banner has once again risen over West Hempstead's Courtesy.
On Tuesday, November 6th, tell Kate Murray you've had enough!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Town Plods On With Pitiful Plans

Town Sets November 13 for Hearing on Urban Renewal Plan

The Town of Hempstead has set Tuesday, November 13 as the date for a hearing on the adoption of the town's urban renewal plan for West Hempstead.

The town's proceedings will begin at 10:30 AM in the Nathan L. H. Bennett Pavilion at Hempstead Town Hall.

The West Hempstead Civic Association and, it would appear, the majority of West Hempstead residents, oppose the Town's Urban Renewal Plan, favoring the Trammell-Crow proposal.

All West Hempstead residents are encouraged to attend the Town's Hearing.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

"X" Marks The Spot In West Hempstead

The Courtesy As "Business 'X'" In The "X" Zone

Planners back move to X out sleaze hotel

Thursday, October 4th 2007, 4:00 AM

For all the triple-X behavior that allegedly takes place in a seedy West Hempstead hotel, only one X made it into Nassau County documents that outline new ways to condemn and redevelop the area.

In commentary sent in August to Hempstead officials, the Nassau County Planning Department refers to the Courtesy Hotel on Hempstead Avenue as "Business X," and only briefly mentions that the "deteriorating" site has a hotel.

Executive Planning Commissioner Patricia Bourne, whose staff compiled the notes after reviewing the town board's proposed urban renewal plan, said county employees used "X" to stay consistent with Hempstead documents.

"It was a zoning code 'X' for a business category," Bourne said. "Every municipality has its own way of categorizing its codes."

The report marks the latest development in the long-running Courtesy saga.

The hotel's owner agreed to sell to developer Trammell Crow Residential last year, but the Hempstead government intervened and proposed an urban renewal plan for the area.

In its comments, the county Planning Department expressed support for the town's plan to replace the hotel and nearby parking lots - which it deemed "entirely inefficient uses of land" - with a row of townhouses and apartments above retail space.

The 11-page report also offers "refinement" of the town plan, such as creating a Broad St. greenway with wider sidewalks and tree plantings.

The Hempstead town board will discuss the urban renewal plan next month, but may delay a vote so it can better consider the county report and community concerns, said Hempstead Planning Commissioner Charles Theofan.

"We're considering everything, all of their suggestions, very seriously," Theofan said.

Locals are siding with Trammell Crow's proposal to demolish the hotel and put up an apartment complex. But they wonder whether the town is even listening to their plea.

"We feel almost like second-class citizens," said Rosalie Norton, president of the West Hempstead Civic Association, which opposes plans for a two-level parking garage and more retail in an area already struggling economically.
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The Town of Hempstead not listening? Kate Murray couldn't care less? Nah. Must be our imaginations.

How about some letters to the editors of the local papers from the good people of West Hempstead expressing their concerns about the the Town's tactics?

Remember, the Courtesy is still here, because Kate Murray's still there!