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Change can come

September 04, 2008

Re "Weathering the storm," editorial, Aug. 31

I was glad The Times recognized New Orleans' unique opportunity to rebuild itself post-Katrina, and now, post-Gustav. Success is never the fruit of cynicism.

I am reminded of another hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast 108 years ago this month. The deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, the Great Galveston Hurricane, obliterated the city of Galveston, Texas.

But afterward, rather than reassembling the city as it had been, using aldermen to govern, city leaders took a more utilitarian approach and convened committees, specialists and reform organizations to create a better city. Seeing Galveston's success, cities across the country also restructured their governing bodies to solve their urban issues more intelligently.

In the soggy ruins of Galveston, the 1900s Progressive era thrived. I hope our leaders today can be equally opportunistic.

Daniel Tkach

Los Angeles

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