Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Town Supervisor Has Friends In High Places

Tower Of No-Tell Hotel Boasts Banner Mocking Kate Murray

Let no one say Kate Murray isn't the apple of the eye in the West Hempstead community. [Don't worry, folks. No one will be saying it!]

If nobody takes credit -- not even Al Queada (or was that, Al D'Amato?) for placing that hilarious -- yet altogether true -- banner atop West Hempstead's Courtesy Hotel, we will.

Yes, late Sunday night, as a full moon shown over the LIRR Right-of-Way -- eclipsed only by the forlorn shadows of National Wholesale Liqiudators -- The Community Alliance tapped operatives of the Kevin Gorman for Town Supervisor campaign to scale the walls of the Courtesy, placing the Murray Banner 4-stories above the ground.

Indeed, it was Kevin Gorman himself, reaching for new heights, who donned a Spiderman costume and, with the assistance of five homeless street people and a dozen belly bombers from White Castle, climbed vertically up the side of the hotel, hoisting the banner. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Alas, the banner came down as quickly as it went up. We suppose the Town of Hempstead threatened to fine the hotel for an illegal sign, or worse, threatened to keep the hotel open, indefinitely, lest the banner come down. [Or perhaps -- and this is just a guess here -- the Nassau County/Town of Hempstead GOP Sign Stealing Committee has started its work early this year.]

As for the September 20 hearing before the Nassau County Planning Commission on the Town's must maligned Urban Renewal Plan, same has been postponed, without date, according to West Hempstead Civic Association President, Rosalie Norton.

And so, the saga of West Hempstead's "faulty tower" continues.
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Banner on side of W. Hempstead hotel blasts Murray
By Eden Laikin

With Election Day just weeks away, a large sign was hung on the side of the Courtesy Hotel in West Hempstead, indirectly blaming the Hempstead town supervisor for not closing the crime- and drug-ridden hotel sooner.The banner, which was first spotted by residents on Thursday and has since been removed, read: "RE-ELECT Kate Murray. We're still here, because she's still there."

Neither the civic groups that have complained about the hotel for more than 10 years nor the hotel's out-of-state owners have claimed responsibility for the sign. The owners entered into a contract with a developer to purchase the property before the town intervened.

Murray, who is not contested in today's Republican primary, declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the Nassau County Planning Commission is scheduled to meet Thursday to vote on the town's plan to redevelop the entire 10-acre blighted area, which includes the hotel. The nine-member commission has the final say on zoning actions by local governments and was supposed to decide on the town's urban renewal plan last month. It postponed the decision in order to review all the public comment. West Hempstead Civic Association members hope the commission rejects the plan and honors a contract signed last year by Courtesy's owners with developer Trammell Crow, which wants to demolish the hotel and build an apartment complex.

If the commission rejects the plan, the town board could adopt it only with a super majority of votes - five of seven board members.

Copyright © 2007, Newsday Inc.

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