Readers Write: July 7

New secretary should set VA on course

Leadership. As a former military officer, leadership was the one characteristic trait deemed necessary for the successful completion of any mission. And that holds true at the problem-plagued Department of Veteran Affairs. Granted, the VA is a massive organization charged with a formidable task. However, with competent leadership that task is achievable. Unfortunately, the VA has consistently demonstrated through various heads that it lacks the talent to follow its mandate of serving the veteran in an efficient manner. The recent half-billion-dollar IT boondoggle (“VA project could face ‘catastrophic failure,” News, July 3), is yet another example of VA failure. While Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin is newly appointed, hopefully he will have the insight and leadership to finally set the VA on course. It is obvious to all that he has a multitude of opportunities in dire need of improvement.


Streetcar an absurd leap backward

My vote, energy and all the influence I can muster will go to electing a mayor who will call the trolley what it is — an absurd leap backward in transportation for Atlanta. At a time when bus routes have been reduced, resulting in more difficult access to the Marta rails, our city chose to put in a streetcar that takes longer to make a loop than a pedestrian can walk. Unlike a bus that can easily be rerouted, the streetcar is inflexible. The overhead wires are unsightly, the rails are very dangerous for people on bicycles, and the entire trolley system — often referred to as “light rail” — is the biggest transportation boondoggle in Atlanta’s history. More buses, more subways, more bike trails, more lanes for cars, but never, never more streetcars. Leave them in past where they belong.