I take exception to the claim in your Aug. 5 editorial "Smart care" that a new law requiring health insurance companies to pay for birth control pills and other contraceptive services is good for all Americans.
If insurance companies have to pay for these extra services, they will find a way to increase premiums. What about the legions of Christian women who would never consider using contraceptives?
You admit that the law falls short in that it does not help women who are without health insurance. The law also has no medical benefit for men.
Ideas blossom for city landscape
In response to Toledo's landscaping problem, I offer these suggestions ("Flowers vanishing from city because of wilted economy," Aug. 8):
Gather ideas from the community. Turn it into a fund-raiser by having residents submit a $2 fee for each idea.
Establish a program similar to Adopt-A-Highway, where individuals and organizations adopt and care for a piece of Toledo. Recognize the adopters with plaques.
Plant more native greenery and wildflowers, which are generally inexpensive and climate appropriate. They can also be used for educational purposes and to help maintain native and migrating wildlife.
Sponsor an annual challenge where residents compete to create colorful, interesting container arrangements downtown. Charge a modest entry fee.
Lend Toledo Public Schools a plot for ecological study. Partner with a University of Toledo or Owens Community College class to apply for a city beautification grant.
Lend spaces to sustainable landscaping technology firms and startups.
Have middle and high school students arrange colorful native plants for businesses as part of an urban landscape youth corps. The corps would help fulfill volunteer service hours.
Thanks, gardeners, for your efforts
I am grateful to the gardeners throughout Toledo and its suburbs who have spent their free time planting and maintaining flowers and vegetables on city properties.
Neighbors of Walbridge Park became overwhelmed by the workload. They hired a landscaper from their parks advisory board funds for $1,000 to weed and trim in anticipation of the July 4 celebration, but unionized city workers took note and filed a labor grievance.
The volunteers cannot keep up with plant maintenance and the city hasn't the money to pay for it. What happens now? Will the plants die because of the union grievance?
Unions are important to fight for workers' rights because not all management is fair and honorable, but picking this fight against volunteers is absurd. This grievance is so petty, it makes me angry.
Valentine grateful for flower power
The Valentine Theatre extends its appreciation to local businesses, including Mark Sullivan and Black Diamond Inc., thanks to which the Valentine is surrounded by beautifully maintained, donated, potted flowers.
The Valentine is indebted to many area residents and businesses that support our historic downtown theater year-round, year after year, helping us maintain not only our programs, façade, and interior, but also our exterior aesthetics.
Director Marketing and Public Relations Valentine Theatre Toledo
Raising a toast to OU is tasteless
At a time when students and parents are having serious difficulty meeting the ever-increasing cost of higher education, it is grossly inappropriate, discouraging, and purposeless for Blade op-ed columnist Marilou Johanek to extol her alma mater, Ohio University, for its dubious distinction as the nation's top party school ("Alumni should raise a toast to OU's top-party-school title," Aug. 4).
Her tedious efforts to justify and rationalize the excesses of party behavior are unsuited to a mature journalist.
Copter crash placement lacking
I saw on television Saturday night the devastating news that 30 of our brave troops died when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan ("Copter shot down; 30 U.S. troops die," Aug. 7).
I awoke early Sunday morning expecting to see the headline spread across your front page, but what did I see? A nice circus story. The tragic war story had a few paragraphs on the front page and continued on page 9.
Life under the Big Top took precedence over life lost under the big sky. God bless those fallen men and their suffering families.
Signs could have averted accident
The terrible fatal accident on I-475 could have been averted ("3 killed, 1 hurt in severe wrecks on I-475/U.S. 23 near Maumee," Aug. 5).
Signs at such access lanes, or no signs at all, as at that location, rely upon strict awareness, courtesy, and appropriate lane changes by drivers to help a blend into faster traffic.
Those areas should have "yield" signs, reminding drivers that they must give way, instead of relying on through traffic to do so.
Would yield signs prevent crashes?
Yield signs, which seem to be lacking on the on ramps, would have been helpful.
Mess at Libbey sickens alumna
It sickened me to see the picture of the mess left after the contents auction at Libbey High School ("Libbey devotees hang on to hope buyer will step forward this week," Aug. 7).
Weren't the people in attendance adults? In my years at Libbey, those halls were never in any condition even close to the way they were portrayed in the photo.
The public image of Libbey is not good, except to those of us who were part of it. That photo added fuel to the fire for those who think it should be brought down.
We Libbey alumni forever will be proud of the great school we had the privilege of attending.
Anna Rista Miller
A tutor speaks out on behalf of kids
The writer of the July 29 Readers' Forum letter "Need for tutors points to problem" raised a question about teachers paid to teach reading. But that's not the only subject they teach.
In 2002, after my husband died, I decided to become a reading tutor at Coy Elementary School in Oregon. I tutored mostly third-graders one on one. I was never a teacher.
During these eight years, I could say that I was the student because I learned so much from these young people. Their eyes would light up when they learned something they didn't know. They are full of questions and that is fine with me, because that shows they do want to learn.
I hope Toledo Public Schools and the United Way reach their goal of recruiting 5,000 tutors. But if they don't, whatever part of that goal they meet is far better than nothing. Think of the number of students who will benefit from the experience.
The tutors' lives will be much better too.
Some of us tutors questioned whether we were doing any good. The teachers assured us that we were doing much more than we realized. That's our reward.