Although your articles about local hotels were not particularly flattering, I can quibble only with a few things ("Fading Stars: When will Toledo's hotels measure up?", May 27-28).
Attempting to contact a hotel general manager on Sunday night of a holiday weekend, by an admittedly apologetic reporter a few hours before deadline, seemed a bit of a challenge. However, I cannot say the coverage wasn't fair.
Less than a month ago, I was hired and relocated from Charlotte, N.C, because of the very challenges you reported.
Park Inn has hired a design firm whose first submission occurred a few weeks ago. We are going forward.
As a newcomer to the Toledo area, I sense the skepticism and understand the lowered expectations of the public. But I also studied the area before I accepted my position here. I am quite optimistic and know that by this time next year, we will be well on the way to bringing a once-proud hotel back.
Though your story may seem harsh to some, I am very excited by the coming turnaround.
General Manager Park Inn by Radisson North Summit Street
Editor's note: The Blade unsuccessfully sought comment from the letter writer twice last Saturday, at about 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., as well as on Sunday. On the first occasion, a hotel employee said he was in his office but unavailable. The second time, an employee said he lived at the hotel but was not available.
Catholics' suit on mandate troubling
The Michigan Catholic Conference, among other groups, has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's mandate requiring coverage for women for pregnancy preventive services ("Mich. Catholics sue over health-care mandate," May 22).
The election-year timing of the lawsuit is troubling. There is plenty of time between now and Aug. 12, 2013, the effective date of the act, to work out a compromise that the Obama Administration is willing to consider.
The timing also is curious because the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on the constitutionality of the health-care law before it goes into its summer recess in June.
Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair has scheduled a protest of the mandate on the grounds of the Lucas County Courthouse on June 8. I was saddened last March at the sight of Bishop Blair proselytizing for big health insurance companies and ultraconservative politicians on the courthouse grounds.
The bishop and his flock have every right to express themselves and condemn conduct they deem a violation of conscience. The bishop, however, does not have the right to ignore the separation of church and state at our expense.
A church is not permitted to intervene in political campaigns. It appears that Catholic bishops are attempting to do exactly that -- to influence our next presidential election and affect legislation governing the rights of individuals to have access to birth control.
We're not designed for gay marriage
There are plenty of secular reasons not to encourage homosexuality ("Marriage by gays not condoned," Readers' Forum, May 22).
We aren't physiologically designed for same-sex coupling. That's why there hasn't been same-sex marriage in any surviving culture.
Our design dictates what marriage is. Only a mother and father can procreate. Only the mother and father can show their children how a man should treat a wife and vice versa.
Only a father can show his son how to be a man and affirm his masculinity. Only a mother can model femininity for her daughter.
The clamor for gay marriage is misplaced compassion. Our compassion should be for the children who often deserve better than being raised by single mothers.
Doubling the mothers or having two fathers doesn't equal the value of both a mother and father in the home.
Prehiring event fails to be inclusive
After reading your May 15 article "Prehiring event set for North Toledoans; Community group cites new jobs at Jeep," I realize I will not be able to apply for a job because of my social conditions.
I have been unemployed for more than two years. I do not receive any funding from Ohio, nor am I eligible to do so. I am a disabled veteran with a master's degree in business.
It appears I will be denied preference for a possible employment opportunity because I live in Perrysburg Township.
If United North had its way, North Toledo residents would be the only ones to receive preference when Chrysler Group LLC adds workers to its expanded Toledo Assembly complex.
United North had an event to prepare North Toledoans for getting jobs there. The event included help with getting a high school equivalency degree, repairing credit reports, and learning basic computer skills to fill out the online application. The event organizers went so far as to have a representative of the Toledo Bar Association present to discuss expunging felony convictions.
Does United North think it is OK to put convicted felons and uneducated individuals ahead of honest, hard-working people? As long as we continue to let organizations and individuals play that card, we will never end discrimination in any form.
Cross a sign of joy, not failure
Evangelical Lutheran Bishop Marcus Lohrmann says that he feels the cross he wears is a sign of how the church has failed some people ("ELCA grapples with financial crunch; Donations to synod in NW Ohio fall 56%," May 19).
The cross should never be looked on as a sign of failure. To Christians, the cross symbolizes the love of Christ as He sacrificed for us. That is joy and freedom.
Read for Literacy needs volunteers for kids
Your May 14 editorial "Best schools" identified Read for Literacy's Creating Young Readers program as one of several new initiatives that Toledo Public Schools has undertaken to improve student achievement. We appreciate that our program was recognized for addressing, as you wrote, "math and reading proficiency where it counts -- in elementary school."
Each year, 1,200 kindergartners in Lucas County begin school with such low preliteracy skills that their future as students is in jeopardy. The best solution to this challenge would be for all parents to read to their children regularly.
Unfortunately, 30,000 adults in Lucas County read at a below-basic level. They find reading so difficult that they are unlikely to read to their children.
If the children of these parents are to enter school with fully developed preliteracy skills, someone other than their parents will have to read to them, ideally beginning at age 3 and continuing at least through the first grade.
Read for Literacy seeks to expand the Creating Young Readers program from the current 287 children to at least 1,000 children by 2018 -- a process that will require about 700 additional volunteers.
As a first major step toward our goal of reading to 1,000 children, several hundred additional volunteers will be needed this fall to read to children in area schools, preschools, and Head Start sites.
Executive Director Read for Literacy Toledo Lucas County Public Library North Michigan Street