The idea that Republicans in Congress will not agree to anything the president wants to get done for the country should be taken very seriously ["Budget deal stalls," News, Oct. 14].
If that's true, these legislators should be tried for treason. They have the power to bring down our democracy as we know it. If true, they do not care about America, they do not care about their constituents, they only care about themselves and their own agenda.
The current events make us seem like a banana republic, not like the great United States. President Barack Obama ought to pass a law against obstructionism. It's a great idea; it'll never get through Congress.
Aileen Kirshoff, Melville
There are two organizations willing to cause havoc on Wall Street and stop our government from functioning. Both dislike our president and seem to have no respect for the democratic process. One is al-Qaida and the other is the Republican Party.
Vin Novak, Shelter Island
Nonprofit work can be very challenging
I am writing about the New York City mayoral race, in response to candidate Joe Lhota's comment that Bill de Blasio's experience is limited. Lhota said that de Blasio has never had a job in his life that wasn't with the government or a not-for-profit.
Lhota was attempting to belittle de Blasio, but this statement only shows how little Lhota knows about nonprofits. The reality is, running or working for a nonprofit organization can be far more difficult than working for or running a for-profit business.
Nonprofits typically have to raise funds simply to survive, with employees accepting far smaller salaries than they would for a similar position in the private sector. Most nonprofits need their employees to work around the clock, year-round, with very few resources, often relying on volunteers to fulfill their mission.
Nonprofits provide services to society that for-profit companies simply do not or would not, because there is no profit in doing so. Further, there are some very large nonprofits, so for Lhota to suggest that working for a not-for-profit equals working for an insignificant, low-budget organization is preposterous.
Holly Koenig, Westbury
Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New York City Chapter.
Adirondack action will save wilderness
This fall, the New York State Adirondack Park Agency will make one of the most important decisions it has ever faced ["Upstate land swaps on ballot," News, Oct. 14]. The agency will recommend to the governor a classification and management plan for more than 40,000 acres of wild lands and waters -- land the state recently purchased that includes some of the tallest mountains and wildest rivers within the Adirondacks.
The Adirondack Park might seem far away, but Long Islanders use these beautiful upstate public lands, too. And all New York residents have a say in what happens. The classification decision will affect the Essex Chain of Lakes in Minerva and Newcom, OK Slip Falls in Indian Lake, and parts of the upper Hudson, Cedar and Indian rivers. These largely pristine areas will be combined with the adjacent Hudson Gorge Primitive Area to create a single new block of "forever wild" forest preserve.
This rugged landscape in the center of the Adirondack Park sits on the border of Essex and Hamilton counties. It is one of the few places where a new wilderness area is still possible. Its interior doesn't contain year-round homes. Its dirt roads revert to foot trails.
These lands are biologically rich and environmentally sensitive. They should be protected as a wilderness, allowing automobile access only up to the edge. This is a rare opportunity to keep this area in its natural state.
Sarah J. Meyland, Huntington
Editor's note: The writer is a board member of the Adirondack Council, a conservation group.
Fortunate rescue of two clammers
I am sure many people are grateful and relieved that the two clammers were rescued after their boat capsized ["Stranded for 12 hours," News, Oct. 8]. It is a tragedy to lose one's life performing any job or occupation, but it's especially so in clamming, where one can no longer make a viable living.
Wholesalers have banded together to set the price of clams at a ridiculously low level and have kept it there for many years. Everything else continues to rise, except the price of clams, and one by one, the diggers have left the bay. To me, this sounds like restraint of trade.
Peter Andrews, Sayville
Editor's note: The writer has been clamming for 40 years.