Food eating contests

Thank you, Steve Morse, (letter from Wed., July 17) for sparking the conversation. Food eating contests — what a sad commentary on our personal joys in life. Rural America's festivals apparently seem to thrive on the enthusiasm elicited by such events.

This entertainment continues in the country with an astounding obesity rate. I am not hopeful for change.

However, if we raise our voices….?

Ann Thomson

Glen Lake

Equine therapy

Ten years ago, when Peace Ranch began offering equine-assisted psychotherapy to the community, it was that “crazy horse thing.” With increasing awareness and expansion of equine assisted activities, we often hear confusion about the different equine programs.

There are three general categories of equine programs: medical, recreational and mental health. All are beneficial, but have very different goals and professional oversight.

Medical equine programs are directed by medical professionals (OT, PT, speech therapy) toward the patient’s medical goals (strength, stability, balance). Recreational equine programs are directed by an equine instructor toward the student’s goal of learning the care, handling or riding of horses. Mental Health equine programs are directed by a team: a master’s level clinician (social work, psychology) and an equine specialist who works with the client toward the resolution of mental health issues — trauma, depression, anxiety — relationships and/or personal growth. Peace Ranch falls into the latter category with EAGALA-certified teams bound by ethical and continuing education requirements.

If you’re seeking an equine program for yourself or a loved one, identify your goals (medical, recreational or mental health), ask about the program’s goals and who provides the services.

Janice Stump

Traverse City

Go independent 

Anyone who considered themselves a Republican is evil. If you do, change to an Independent at least. Otherwise you will end up in the last stage of Dante’s "Inferno." Good luck.

Don Dierkes

Interlochen

Bungling immigration 

What our government is doing at the border is inhumane. Ninety-nine percent or more of refugees trying to enter the U.S. are honest, hard-working and willing to learn English if we give them the tools. We in the U.S. urgently need immigrants for farming, hospitality, construction trades, disaster cleanup and more.

Instead of separations and caging, let’s provide humane family housing during the three or four month vetting process and teach entire families English and computer literacy five or six hours a day — days that are otherwise idle.

Vetted refugees and immigrants can then be matched to areas needing workers. Newly settled families now have the skills to immediately start work, shop, drive and integrate into the environment. This is a recipe for success.

Our government has reduced aid to Central American governments, claiming corruption. OK, then bypass these governments and work with Central American churches. Catholic churches in Guatemala, for example, have been building medical/dental clinics, schools, women’s sewing centers and distributing small parcels of land to individual families for coffee and corn production for years. I saw this firsthand in 2013. They are making a difference.

Everyone can help. 

Kate Dahlstrom

Traverse City

R-E headlines

Case of hangnail confirmed in Long Lake Township

Hurry, Big Pharma!

Ken Petersen

Traverse City

Traffic thoughts

There is a relatively new four-way stop at Madison and Front Street that is causing, at times, long backups for people coming into town on Front. It also causes difficulty at times for people coming in/out of businesses on Front, west of Madison. If there is no north-south traffic at the intersection, east-west traffic often does rolling stops, violating the signs.

There is a need for traffic control at that intersection; perhaps there can be a solution which better allows east-west traffic to flow while still allowing for north-south traffic.

I wonder what the backups will be when school starts and then with winter snow and ice.

A Slabtown resident myself, I understand some in Slabtown like this current solution as it allows them to make a left on Front easily. I have found other routes to get to Front that work well.

I emailed the city manager and commissioners at citycommissioners@traversecitymi.gov. Brian McGillivary responded: "...the reaction to this intersection has been mixed. Some love it, some hate it. Does not appear to be any in between. This was a staff decision, and they are monitoring the situation."

Help staff monitor the situation; please email your thoughts to citycommissioners@traversecitymi.gov.

Kris Elliott

Traverse City