Editorial: Your vote really does count this time

Town & Village has opined before about the uselessness of certain city elected positions, like borough presidents and the public advocate, the latter of which has an office that’s currently up for grabs.

On Tuesday, February 26, there is an open special election for the office of public advocate, which was vacated by Letitia James when she became attorney general. Now, 17 people are vying for her position, which despite having no real power, has proven to be very powerful in another way, by boosting one’s profile for the next big race. Mayor Bill de Blasio is a good example of this.

We can understand, however, if people aren’t motivated to do these candidates  any favors. It’s hard to think of any important things accomplished by the public advocate other than the maintenance of the worst landlord watchdog list. But even this is not enough of a reason to keep the office open at the taxpayers’ expense in our view. That said, our view on this matter doesn’t actually matter at all because despite an ongoing City Council effort to eliminate the position, of public advocate, it’s still there. So New Yorkers may as well make the best of their (many) options.

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MTA announces open houses on revised L train plan

L train at First Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

The MTA has announced it will hold a series of open houses starting in March to address any concerns related to the revised L train plan. Representatives from the Department of Transportation and NYC Transit will also be available to discuss planned street treatments and M14 Select Bus Service.

The four open houses, two in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, are scheduled for:

Thursday, March 7: Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Bernard, 328 West 14th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Wednesday, March 13: Williamsburg Northside School, 299 N. 7th Street (at Meeker Avenue)
Tuesday, March 19: Grand Street Campus High School, 850 Grand Street (between Bushwick Avenue and Waterbury Street)
Monday, April 8: 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

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Police suspect bodegas re-selling stolen goods

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have been surveilling local bodegas where stolen goods are suspected to be sold.

Responding to a question about a spike in the number of thefts from neighborhood pharmacies, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said at the 13th Precinct Community Council’s January meeting that shoplifting in pharmacy chains like Duane Reade and CVS is problematic throughout Manhattan. So is the reselling of those items to other stores, and Hellman said undercover officers have been on it.

“It’s a slow process because they start to recognize our undercover guys but we’re still watching them,” he said of one local bodega suspected of selling stolen merchandise. “We think there are other bodegas where they’re fencing things so we’re trying to track those, too.”

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