Tuesday’s Headlines: Count the Votes Edition

Exciting news out of southern Brooklyn: The Board of Elections will start counting absentee ballots to figure out if Democrat Andrew Gounardes actually beat eight-term incumbent and street safety pariah Marty Golden. Election Day ended with Gounardes up by 1,100-plus votes, but there are about 1,400 absentee ballots to be counted. We’ll be on hand to make sure all those signatures collected from old people at senior centers match up to the buff cards on file. (Update: This will be Thursday, we are told.)

And here’s the rest of the news:

  • Politico revealed that there’s talk of getting rid of the city Public Advocate, and from our perspective, it’s a debate worth having. On the one hand, the position seems to do nothing for the biggest group of suffering New Yorkers: commuters. On the other hand, the main critics of the office —Kalman Yeger, Ritchie Torres, Bob Holden, Ruben Diaz Sr., and Mark Gjonaj — are mostly atrocious on Streetsblog issues. Supporters defended the office, with would-be advocate, Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell, pointing out that its “potential … in promoting progressive legislation and uncovering corruption is massive” and that a strong advocate is “many politicians’ nightmare.” Meanwhile, Council Member Brad Lander says the office should remain as a counter-weight to the mayor — but voter interest could be spurred with ranked choice balloting. The Daily News and amNY also had coverage.
  • Got any smoke for that back-room deal? Crain’s broke a big story that Gov. Cuomo will do an end-around the City Council in making sure Amazon’s HQ2 gets all the strawberries on its Long Island City shortcake. Local State Senator Michael Gianaris spoke for us all when he told Gothamist that no one is providing any information on the potential blockbuster deal (that’s blockbuster in the literal, not figurative, sense). More info is expected today as the deal is officially announced, the Wall Street Journal reports. The neighborhood is not ready, the paper’s Paul Berger reported.
  • Then again, the subway system might just be getting better. (NY1)
  • The Daily News and the Post offered more details about the too-short life of Niklas Ahern, the 29-year-old man killed by a hit-and-run driver in Queens on Sunday.
  • Should Uber and Lyft be forced to identify drivers accused of crimes? Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez and others think so (doesn’t everyone?). (NY Post)
  • Several outlets covered the TransitCenter’s presser on Monday about subway elevators. (NYDN, amNY, NY1)
  • And, finally, of course people are going to have sex in self-driving cars. Here’s hoping both the cars and the sex are safe. (NY Post)