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Letter: Prostate checkoff not being spent

New Yorkers have generously donated $1.8 million to support prostate cancer research through tax return deductions since 2005; news reports suggest that these funds are not being distributed. This is particularly worrisome as one in six American men develops prostate cancer in his lifetime, including 17,090 in New York State each year.

With early detection, prostate cancer is usually curable. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms specific to early-stage prostate cancer. The only way to find the disease is to proactively look for it. Complicating detection efforts are men's historical reticence to see physicians, along with recent confusing and misleading guidelines released by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of primary care providers.

Men must understand that prostate cancer screening provides information that assists in making sound health care decisions. It is not an obligation to undergo further diagnostic testing, nor is it a commitment to undergo treatment.

The resources donated by New Yorkers could save thousands of lives. Education and screenings would help men detect cancer in its early, most curable stages. New Yorkers have risen to the challenge to help those stricken with prostate cancer. It is time that these funds are put to their intended use -- saving lives.

Dr. Deepak A. Kapoor, Melville

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Advanced Urology Centers of New York, a trade organization.

Firing of SBU coach seems incompetent

I read with interest Newsday's article "Harassment complaint led to firing" [News, Nov. 28]. Once again, Stony Brook University does what is "in the best interest of the university" by ending its relationship with athletic director Jim Fiore "as quickly as possible."

In its typically self-serving way, the Stony Brook administration pats itself on the back for taking "all claims of discrimination and sexual harassment seriously and [reviewing] them in a timely manner."

One must ask: How timely is a year later? Now Stony Brook has agreed to pay Fiore's contract through the end of its term, or $800,000.

Similar to the university's mea culpa a few years back when it prematurely pulled the rug from under its enrolled student population at its Southampton campus. The Stony Brook University administration is at it again, a day late and $800,000 short.

Mary Roulette, West Islip

Residents should learn English

I agree with all of the recommendations that the U.S. Justice Department made with regard to the Suffolk County Police Department except one ["New rules for Suffolk cops," Editorial, Dec. 5]. Why does any government agency have to provide bilingual assistance? English should be the official language of this country. If you want to live here, learn the language.

My ancestors had to learn English. Maybe immigrants would seem less foreign if they spoke our language. They shouldn't be discriminated against, but they should learn the language.

Joe DiBenedetto, Massapequa

Do we need more rental housing?

Columnist Joye Brown did not do her homework ["11 years later, Huntington needs rentals," News, Dec. 10]. The Town of Huntington website lists accessory apartments for Huntington Station, Dix Hills, Northport, Melville, Centerport, etc. Those are just the legal ones.

If Newsday wants a tour of illegal apartments, local residents know where they are and you can find a tour guide in any neighborhood. There are also entire houses owned by absentee landlords being rented as apartments.

There's an abundance of rentals in the Town of Huntington.

Jeanette Marinese, Huntington Station

All over the Island, there are apartment complexes going up that are out of reach financially to seniors who do not have a house to sell and live on Social Security. We are barely making do on less than $1,700 a month.

How about complexes for us, with a rent that is affordable to an individual with Social Security income?

Marie Scalafani, Ronkonkoma

Obama enforces law selectively

Columnist Lane Filler made an excellent point and raised an interesting question that requires a bit more analysis ["U.S. president, or king of all media?" Opinion, Dec. 4].

Does a U.S. president, by executive action, have the constitutional authority to amend, delay or inhibit the enforcement of a duly enacted law?

The answer is generally no. The president is essentially an executive who through a ratifying signature creates a law, authored by the legislature, and is duty bound to enforce it.

In this case, the president has elected to delay the enforcement of the Affordable Care Act for large employers, while employees are still required to insure themselves. The ironic, profound and dispositive reality is that the president won his argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, which generously found that the government's "penalty" for not getting insurance was not a fee, but rather a "tax."

If the penalties under the Affordable Care Act are indeed taxes, then the president has a ministerial duty to impose the taxes. He has no discretion to decide who will pay a tax or when.

As Filler so aptly said, the president "is not emperor, or king."

Michael J. Butler, Greenport

Editor's note: The writer is a lawyer.