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Skelos Responds to Sex Offender Concerns in West Hempstead

Sen. Dean Skelos responds to letter from West Hempstead parent regarding registered sex offenders staying at the Capri Motor Inn.

The concerns of one West Hempstead mother regarding registered sex offenders living just blocks away from her daughter's elementary school have not fallen on deaf ears.

Andrea Shinsato, a mother of two, recently sent to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), alerting him to the fact that the on Hempstead Turnpike, which is located near the , has become a haven for registered sex offenders.

Sen. Skelos responded this week, sending the attached letter to Shinsato. 

In it, he told Shinsato that as both an elected official and a parent, "I share your concern about the safety of our children and appreciate your efforts as a dilligent and engaged mother."

Skelos said he has "spent much of [his] politicial career fighting for the protection of children, especially from the dangers posed by sexual predators." He sponsored and fought for improvements to Megan's Law, which requires convicted sex offenders to register. For instance, in 2006, he said the law was "further strengthened for sex offenders most likely to reoffend and pose the greatest dangers ... by preventing them from coming off the registry in their lifetimes."

The Senate also passed legislation to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the sex offenders registry and increase penalties for non-compliant offenders, Skelos explained.

Additionally, he said he has successfully advocated in the Senate for the passage of other bills that would reduce convicted sex offenders' access to "vulnerable populations" by limiting the places where they can live and work

"We also need to look beyond legislative action, as nothing can replace the vigilance of parents, children, law enforcement, teachers and others in being observant and reporting suspicious behavior shown by sex offenders -- or anyone potentially posing a risk to a child -- before something terrible occurs," he stated.

Skelos instructed his office to contact the Nassau County Police's Fifth Precinct and asked them to provide additional patrols around the Capri.

In closing he told Shinsato that "the George Washington Elementary School community is fortunate to have an advocate like you working to increase awareness and raising visibility about this important issue." He promised to continue to work to strengthen laws pertaining to this issue and "advocate for any action that will help protect those students and the community as a whole from sexual predators." 

What do you think of this situation and Skelos's response? Tell us in the comments section below.

Seth Bykofsky July 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Sharing concern is good. Taking action is better. The Capri, much like the infamous -- and, thankfully, now gone -- Courtesy, has been a bane in the side of this residential community for decades. Unlike the Courtesy, it should not take 15 years of community strife and struggle to shutter the Capri. Senator Skelos has indeed been a stalwart for our children and a valiant fighter for our community. Now is the time to take the next crucial step: Marshal the support of State, County and Town (yes, I said Town, the ultimate arbiter of the Capri's fate), and take all necessary measures to close the Capri -- sooner rather than later. Our community deserves no less!
Tony DiLorenzo July 27, 2012 at 01:34 PM
The fact that Nassau County has the gaul to house these criminals at the Capri disgusts me. Our tax dollars are being spent on these perverted creatures. Why are we paying for them to have a comfortable bed, TV (probably with cable), a phone and probably some type of SSI card so they can buy better food than most can afford. Their families should foot the bill, not the taxpayers. They, the perverts should all be housed on Plum Island, given a tent and sleeping bag. They should get army rations, bread and water for the month. They deserve to be treated like the animals they are. I do not care to be politically correct with this situation. To have them near George Washington shows how Nassau County government has failed.
WHMomOfFour July 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I have to agree with all of the above, it definitely was a NON-answer !! Maybe, if EVERYONE let him know how important an issue this is for everyone in WH he might actually TRY to do something. I love Andrea's letter, but she was the only one who actually sent it. Power in numbers ?? Maybe ? ALL WH residents who have issue with the Capri should send letters to all politicians and see maybe something will begin to happen. One letter isn't going to do it.
ellen July 27, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I agree this is not an answer. we need a solution. west hempstead is a forgotten town. look at the condition of Hempstead tpk. West Hempstead looks awful. what business would want to start here. landlords here rent to anyone. we have to have action not words. this is outrageous! Government for the people by the people. we all have to vote for the person not the party. its an insult to read this response.
Alex Smith July 27, 2012 at 02:57 PM
["A sex offender is not an ordinary criminal. They have a deep and sick fascination with young children."] Gary Port is a fine example of how politicians (even wanna be's) like to spin information to boost their careers. Not all registered sex offenders are on the list because they abused children. Skelos is another fine example of how a politician will use fear to enhance laws to strengthen their careers while doing nothing to actually protect children.
Gary Port July 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Alex, I think you misunderstand what I and other people here are saying. First, Skelos did not provide a real answer. Second, talk without action is meaningless. Rose Norton did not just talk. Rose combined talk with action and forced the town's hand to get rid of the Courtesy. We as individuals need to do more than talk. You need to match words with action. I did that as President of the West Hempstead Chamber of Commerce working with Rose on the Courtesy. I do that as a scout master. I am doing it right now. I am finishing up an extended military duty. If we are to get rid of the Capri we have to act. There is not anyone with children at GW who is comfortable with sex offenders living at the Capri. I have prosecuted sex offenders. They are sick. Clients of mine who have performed therapy on them have told me most of them do not wish to be well. They do not see any reason to change. This is the fundamental problem, how do we deal with these people and protect the vulnerable. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but allowing them to live a couple of blocks from an elementary school is clearly the wrong answer. This shouldn't be about politics. This is about my son, my scouts and the children of my neighbors.
Gary Port July 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Alex, I think you misunderstand what I and other people here are saying. First, Skelos did not provide a real answer. Second, talk without action is meaningless. Rose Norton did not just talk. Rose combined talk with action and forced the town's hand to get rid of the Courtesy. We as individuals need to do more than talk. You need to match words with action. I did that as President of the West Hempstead Chamber of Commerce working with Rose on the Courtesy. I do that as a scout master. I am doing it right now. I am finishing up an extended military duty. If we are to get rid of the Capri we have to act. There is not anyone with children at GW who is comfortable with sex offenders living at the Capri. I have prosecuted sex offenders. They are sick. Clients of mine who have performed therapy on them have told me most of them do not wish to be well. They do not see any reason to change. This is the fundamental problem, how do we deal with these people and protect the vulnerable. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but allowing them to live a couple of blocks from an elementary school is clearly the wrong answer. This shouldn't be about politics. This is about my son, my scouts and the children of my neighbors.
Savti7 July 27, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Thanks for a great reply Gary. You are spot on. Dean Skelos' platitudes are not helpful or comforting on this issue. This is pretty close to a form letter. Mr. Skelos is very helpful on many issues and it has been my pleasure to contact him on several occasions. The Capri must go! There is no reason to have a "motel" in our community as we have learned from our experience with The (lack of) Courtesy. It is time to work towards cleaning up Hempstead Turnpike and it blighted stores and institutions. If we are tosuccessfully market "luxury" rentals in WH, then we need to attract better quality businesses fast. Otherwise in a year or two Capri will look like Disneyland compared to what's to come. Finally, if the redevelopment of the Nassau Colliseum (sic) goes down our community is likely to suffer greatly. It is time to fight NIMBY! We need to face the changing picture of suburban life. I hope it is not too late.
Seth Bykofsky July 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM
If we want to improve the very essence of our community, let alone the aesthetics of the Turnpike, we need to overcome what has become the sword of Damocles hanging heavily over our Long Island -- Complacency. For too long we have accepted "what is" instead of striving to achieve "what could be." Apathy, indifference and a tolerance for, not to mention acceptance of, mediocrity, has become the norm, and our hometown has the blight of the Turnpike and the disintegration of "downtown" to show for it. It is time for Long Islanders to stand up, speak out, and take action. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, doing the same thing, the same way, over and over again and hoping for a different result is the very definition of insanity.
Alex Smith July 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM
now would be a good time to teach your son, scouts and the children of your neighbors that there are very bad men in this world, and that this world is a very bad place to let your guard down. teach them to be alert and attentive at all times. teach them about stranger danger but more importantly teaching them that if anyone they already know such as a teacher, coach or an uncle should ever make them feel uncomfortable that it is not their fault and even more importantly they should not feel any embarrassment or shame in telling someone about it. that is the message we need to send home. you should not attempt or expect any senator to enact 'unconstitutional laws' based on fear and misinformation. in fact, because you are getting into public affairs it would be wise to educate yourself on this very topic instead of sounding like the echoes of a thousand misinformed overweight soccer moms whose only concern is revenge.
Rosalie Norton July 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I would love nothing better than to exile every sex offender to outer space. Unfortunately, that cannot be done. If there was a law that could be written to resolve the problem, every elected official both democratic and republican would have already written and/or sponsored such legislation. To bash our existing legislators as being remiss or negligent is in my opinion is unfair. It has only been through the efforts of responsible legislators like Senator Skelos and all New York State Legislators that we are now notified where these sex offenders live. Efforts are now under way, by Social Services to stop using Hotels and Motels, like the Capri, as temporary housing for individuals and families. This change in policy by Social Services coupled with increased police presence around these motels, and community vigilance, will cause the owners of the hotel to reconsider if they should remain in business. Unfortunately sex offenders have constitutional rights and there are restrictions on how far legislation can go to rid every community of these individuals.
Julia Richmond July 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM
The problem Sen Skelos and everyone has in dealing with these type of peope is that you have to place them somewhere. There are very limited locations that can accept them. No-matter where you stick them they are close to soemthing. There is no real easy answer to this problem.
Rosalie Norton July 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
The problems that are created by the Capri have made it a goal of the WH Community Support Association to keep pressure on the County and Town to do all they can to "dry" up their source of income. Our local State Legislators know full well our problem with the Capri and will do everything they can through legislation to remedy the situation. They are also open to any viable ideas and suggestions. If someone has found a solution or ideas on how tackle the problem of housing sex offenders, that can stand the muster of the courts, they need to share it with everyone so that together we can make it become a reality.
WHMomOfFour July 27, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Why do they get placed in motels near schools? Why not in a motel away from residential areas?? How about in Garden City ?? God Forbid they should go there! It is ridiculous that the town ALLOWS these sex offenders to be placed here. They get away with it because "WE" as a group just sit back and let it happen. Put them in the red roof in out by Lowe's, no schools, no houses, nothing open at night. Seriously is it that hard to figure out ????? Too many "rights" for these people. What about my rights to live ???? They should be put in exile, I agree with the Plum Island idea.
john richards July 29, 2012 at 07:16 PM
skelos answer to the question was pathetic. It was a non answer. Some people just can't stop being politicians. Having sex offenders at the Capri (near a school) is unacceptable to the public but acceptable to our senator. Maybe its time for a change ?
Lorraine DeVita August 01, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Just a thought- Why is it the TAXPAYERS responibility to house any of the people living in these motels? Welfare? Sex offenders? illegal immigrants, criminals ? why is it We have to pay thru subsidized social services for the roof over their head. The owners of these places are also making a killing and are probably another group that should be looked into for providing what looks like glorified hell holes. personally buy them all tents and bus them upstate and place them in densley wooded area unpopulated area FAAARRRRRRRRRRR away from humans .Or better yet boat them all over to PLUM ISLAND!
Latrell Spreewell August 01, 2012 at 02:18 PM
there is little Skelos or any representative can do as the courts have restricted their ability to kick these people out of hotels. In fact all those laws about distance from schools and the like have been rejected by the courts.
Andrea Shinsato August 01, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Mrs. Norton, I can respect your passionate defense for Senator Skelos but you have to admit his 'response' to my letter is...... well... lacking of any real substance. While I understand and agree that everyone has constitutional rights, it doesn't detract from my original point - there MUST be a better placement for those individuals than 0.34 miles from the front door of GW Elementary School.
Andrea Shinsato August 01, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Mrs. Norton, I would LOVE to hear what the WH Community Support Association is doing about the Capri. I haven't heard anything about it. I heard about the Courtesy loud and clear, but nothing about this seedy motel that is more in most of our backyards than the Courtesy was. Can you elaborate on what the Support Assoc. has done/planning to do regarding the Capri? And as for your request for ideas on how to tackle this problem, that's why I reached out to Sen. Skelos in the first place.............
Andrea Shinsato August 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Thank you for all your feedback and all the verbal support I've received regarding this matter. Needless to say, I am disappointed in the reply I was sent. I wasn't looking for a resume, I was looking for someone with some experience in this matter as a viable teammate. I am not letting this go, nor will I be placated by a standard issue form letter. I hope you all who agree with me that something PROACTIVELY needs to be done instead of reactively, join me in writing to Sen. Skelos (skelos@nysenate.gov), Assemblyman Ed Ra (rae@assembly.state.ny.us), Councilman Ed Ambrosino (eambrosino@tohmail.org), Supervisor Kate Murray (http://www.toh.li/helpline) and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano (http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/CountyExecutive/index.html) Thank you again my fellow West Hempstead Residents.
Andrea Shinsato August 01, 2012 at 08:39 PM
And instead of just complaining about this issue, I thought I'd throw this idea on the table which might satisfy all the concerned parties: Can Senator Skelos look into enacting a rider, or amendment to the current law that states for locations like motels (in our case, the Capri) that there is a limit on the percentage of offenders being placed in regards to the total overall occupancy? For example, can 2% of the total occupancy be held for the placement of sex offenders? This would still offer them housing, while preventing an overabundance of offenders housed in one location.
Lisa Meyers August 03, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I really need to say something here. Dean Skelos is a fraud. Dean Skelos, author of Megan's Law in New York, knows absolutely NOTHING about the issues of sexual abuse, former sex offenders, child abuse of any kind. Nor does he care. How do I know this? I took five (5) random quotes from his pandering speeches wherein he quotes official sounding statistics about recidivism rates of former sex offenders. I then called his office and asked why the ACTUAL statistics taken from the NYS department of corrections (AND more than a dozen other studies) is so far different from those he quoted. His office is not only unable to cite their sources, they are unable to explain why Senator Skelos or any of his staff have attended any of the State wide symposiums on Child abuse and sex offender legislation reform. Don't believe me? Call his office yourself. Ask the same questions. Bottom line here? all this talk about what to do with sex offenders is moot. Skelos has no facts to back up what he himself legislates, so anything he says or legislates is useless. He doesn't know, doesn't care, and is only concerned with keeping you all scared witless of the boogey man to stay in office and to distract from real issues. He sickens me.
john August 05, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Gary, you don't have a clue about sex offenders. You and so many others believe in the myth that all offenders are attracted to children and that a offenders should not live near schools. I'm a former probation officer who supervised them for 8 years and now counsel them in private practice. Their is absolutely no evidence done through hundreds of studies and statistics that show offenders are more likely to commit a crime because they live close to a school, PERIOD. As far as having them live in clusters in certain communities, that is also increases risk to the community. States around the country have now been shown that the only way to lower the risk is NOT to have restrictions where to live. This lowers the risk because it eliminates concentrated pockets of offenders. This is the reason why states who have residency restrictions are looking to eliminate them or make them not as strict. Educate yourself on the subject.
john August 05, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Gary, you don't have a clue about sex offenders. You and so many others believe in the myth that all offenders are attracted to children and that a offenders should not live near schools. I'm a former probation officer who supervised them for 8 years and now counsel them in private practice. Their is absolutely no evidence done through hundreds of studies and statistics that show offenders are more likely to commit a crime because they live close to a school, PERIOD. As far as having them live in clusters in certain communities, that is also increases risk to the community. States around the country have now been shown that the only way to lower the risk is NOT to have restrictions where to live. This lowers the risk because it eliminates concentrated pockets of offenders. This is the reason why states who have residency restrictions are looking to eliminate them or make them not as strict. Educate yourself on the subject.
Andrea Shinsato August 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM
another day, another new resident at the Capri http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/SomsSUBDirectory/offenderDetails.jsp?offenderid=25995 I'm wondering, how many does that make in ONE location?
Linda Joyce August 09, 2012 at 08:48 PM
The person you listed is not at the Capri
Linda Joyce August 09, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Andrea to answer your question the state website lists one person at the Capri
Andrea Shinsato August 09, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I've been trying to keep close count of this and there are many more than one.
Andrea Shinsato August 09, 2012 at 09:50 PM
my link lists the address as 434 Hempstead Trpk. That IS the Capri.
Lorraine DeVita August 13, 2012 at 04:00 PM
@ john, i would hopefully assume people know the difference between a pedophile a sexual offender and sexual predator and a plain ol pervert. on the OFF chance that they ALL end up in the same location next to a school or dispersed throughout the communites the out come REGARDLESS of their classfication unless they are indeed BEHIND bars (where they should all be for life) is not going to be good. What statisitcs do you have to provide that these poeple are NOT REPEAT offenders and why should the public at large even give them a second chance when their crimes were against children & women. These are sick twisted individuals who DONT deserve the light of day never mid a place near a school where both WOMEN and CHILDREN are within their grasp. My education rests solely on the premises that acording to the statistics i have read THEY DONT CHANGE - There is NO therapy no couseling that WORKS long term or even short term. YOU are kidding yourself if you think it does.. THEY SHOULD BE SHIPPED TO SIBERIA NAKED .... in the dead of winter ....

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