Objective Is To Close Mother Of All No-Tell Hotels
Word from our neighbors at the West Hempstead Civic Association -- its time to shutter the Courtesy Hotel -- a haven for sex offenders, prostitution, drug deals, and sordid violent crime -- and redevelop the area through private sale.
Civic Association President, Rosalie Norton, has clearly had enough of the Town of Hempstead's foot-dragging and lollygagging.
Calling for an end to the Courtesy's "reign of terror," Norton is asking "all mothers, grandmothers, moms to be, (to) bring your children and show the Town of Hempstead we are united in insisting the Hotel must be closed and sold this year."
Civic leaders have scheduled a Mother's Day Rally, to take place in the parking field opposite the Courtesy Hotel on Hempstead Avenue in West Hempstead, this Sunday, May 13th, between 10:45 AM and 11:15 AM.
You don't have to be a West Hempstead resident -- or, for that matter, a mother -- to attend the Rally, just someone who is concerned about the safety, welfare and quality of life in the community, and who recognizes a blight upon the entire township in this sorry excuse for a hotel.
Community leaders, including Ms. Norton, Cathedral Gardens Civic Association President, Scott Jablow, and longtime community advocate Seth Bykofsky, a former president of West Hempstead Civic and one of the original proponents of the Courtesy's closure way back when (circa 1995), have been proding the Town Supervisor to palock the hotel pursuant to the Town of Hempstead Nuisance Law. Pleas toward that end have, thus far, apparently fallen upon deaf ears in the office of Town Supervisor Kate Murray.
The last time Kate Murray visited the Courtesy site -- back in 2005, in the midst of a heated campaign to retain her position as Hempstead Town Supervisor -- she told residents, "Shutting down this hotel and turning it over to the private sector for redevelopment is in the best interests of everyone in West Hempstead. . . Our plan will force this bad neighbor to 'pack its bags' without adding to the local property tax burden."
Since that time, the only ones packing their bags are neighbors of the hotel, who fear for their well-being and the safety of their children. Local residents continue to bear the burden of the Courtesy in their backyard.
Elected officials, from State Assemblyman Tom Alfano to Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino, have checked in, commiserating with war-weary residents over the protracted battle being waged to close the Courtesy, and echoing sentiments that the hotel be shut down immediately.
Assemblyman Alfano, who calls the hotel's continued operation "...a source of violence, danger and embarrassment to the residents of West Hempstead," has said his office has been inundated with e-mails and telephone calls demanding the hotel's closure, and Councilman Ambrosino, with no less fervor, has told the local press, "...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."
To date, the West Hempstead Civic Association has filed more than 1400 letters with Town Hall, demanding the immediate closure by way of padlock, and approval of the private sale of the Courtesy. The organization continues to direct e-mails to the Supervisor and Councilman.
Ms. Norton is hopeful that mothers and others will make a good showing at Sunday's Rally, sending a message to Hempstead Town officials that enough is enough. Norton has asked those who plan on attending the Rally, and those who would like more information, to e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, Town of Hempstead residents, and other good deed doers wherever you may be, are urged to e-mail Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray, telling her to close the Courtesy hotel without further delay. Then, on Sunday, May 13, join your neighbors in West Hempstead for the mother of all battles to close the Courtesy hotel!