12/11 Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

‘Ordinary’ candidate couldn’t compete with ‘saint’

It’s difficult for an ordinary man to compete with a saint, especially when the media has nothing but praise for the saint and disdain for the ordinary man.

None of the saint’s skeletons were dragged out of the closet, but everybody knew the ordinary man was not a candidate for sainthood: He never claimed to be a saint, just a man who believed our country was going to hell in a hurry even though he sometimes may use a plural verb incorrectly. He’s likely better educated than his detractors.

Those who supported the saint will prolong our descent into a welfare state with the number of claimants growing daily.

JACK FRANKLIN, CONYERS

Senate outcome should be litmus test for democracy

It is an open secret that GOP doesn’t even try to hide. Their lawmakers are scared of women, love guns, are drunken in fake piety and are hell-bent that climate change is a hoax. They attack with impunity when it comes to these excesses that are debilitating the very foundations of our democracy. The GOP is blatantly disenfranchising vital constituents and emboldening those creating schisms in society.

Grassroots activism exposed their hypocrisy in Georgia. Sellout Herschel Walker pandered to the extreme fringe and was shown the exit door.

Let Georgia be the litmus test for democracy. Let this runoff election serve as a precursor to oust those who divide our nation.

MANSURA BASHIR MINHAS, SYLVANIA

Prevalence of guns will hinder Atlanta’s tourism

I read with interest Bill Torpys’ column, “Underground Might Get a Chance to Resurface.”

It is heartening to read that an optimistic and energetic young entrepreneur such as Shaneel Lalani, who, like me, came to the U.S. as an immigrant at the age of 9, has plans to resurrect Underground Atlanta.

It is also exciting to read of other renovations in that part of downtown Atlanta.

But I seriously wonder how these initiatives will ever motivate people to come to these venues and events as long as guns (often illegally acquired) are everywhere in Atlanta. These guns are most often in the hands of disenfranchised youth, who are manipulated by gangs and see no future for themselves.

SALPI ADROUNY, JOHNS CREEK

Trails are not a replacement for up-to-date sewer infrastructure

A recent guest column advocated building recreational trails atop the sewer system in south DeKalb County to prevent sewage spills into the South River.

While I appreciate the recreational value of trails and the commitment of vigilant patrons, a reliable, up-to-date sewer system is the first line of defense against sanitary sewer spills that pollute the South River and surrounding neighborhoods. Trails built on top of old sewer pipes, many of them long past their lifespan, are not a substitute for the benefits of a long-overdue sewer system overhaul.

The South Fork of Peachtree Creek and the Chattahoochee River in the city of Atlanta and DeKalb County benefit from almost three decades of federally mandated wastewater infrastructure triage and repair.

Both the 1997 Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper consent decree and the 2010 DeKalb County consent decree will expire in 2027. The result will be a modern, 21st-century sanitary sewer infrastructure.

The absence of a requirement in the 2010 DeKalb County consent decree to fix the sewer system in “non-priority” areas, mainly south DeKalb County, increases the likelihood that spills will continue. Stormwater erosion that eventually led to the collapsed bank and broken sewer main near Bouldercrest Road could likely have been avoided altogether -- if the attention that comes with upgrading sewer infrastructure had been a priority over the last 12 years.

JACQUELINE ECHOLS, PH.D., BOARD PRESIDENT, SOUTH RIVER WATERSHED ALLIANCE