CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Will Dissidents Succeed in Their Keiro Quest?



(Published Oct. 14, 2015)

Since Crossroads to Somewhere (CR2S) vowed to become a non-monkutare (stop complaining), life has been simple and uncomplicated. According to a revised Mission in Life, time on Earth is limited and much too precious to waste lamenting. If truth be told, and it is requisite, I can think of only two recent occasions when I forgot the vow.

Number One was moaning over a curse called Burnt Tongue Syndrome; a wacky condition inside the mouth that makes it feel like being, ah, burnt. Tongue and oral cavity feel like it’s being singed; like drinking coffee or tea that’s too hot. Nobody, I mean nobody (including doctors, dentists and Google), has a clue as to what causes it or how to get rid of it. So I continue to (bravely) suffer.

The second oddball malady is a neck that perspires (after showering). No need or wish to further dissect this mortifying disorder.

Today a third problem surfaces. Not a complaint, so let’s call it a concern that has nothing to do with physiological well-being. Tomorrow (Thursday) the long-awaited meeting of community dissidents and Keiro/Pacifica representatives is scheduled to be held at Nishi Hongwanji, 6:00 p.m. At long last the Seller/Buyer partnership has succumbed to the pressure and will host a clear-the-air session. Since attempts to explain in print and pseudo-public meetings fell on deaf ears, they finally agreed to a public forum, with hopes it will quell an unexpected and vehement mass protest movement.

Having devoted so much time and effort writing thousands of words on the matter, CR2S gets limited satisfaction from the meeting. How come an assembly so long advocated doesn’t elicit celebration?

= * =

Ever a gambler, let’s peer into a crystal ball and venture a guess or two or three on what neophyte protestors should be prepared for tomorrow:

Keep in mind, folks, no matter the overwhelming majority being anti-Keiro sale, the proceedings will be guided by the panel in charge of proceedings. [Announced panelists are Keiro CEO Shawn Miyake, Board President Gary Kawaguchi and a Pacifica representative.] They will be outnumbered, but public forum is not controlled by the majority. Which means random (emotional) floor speakers will be countered by well-prepared responses.

As shown at the first ad hoc gathering, the determined and dedicated will voice objections, but fall short of being raucous. For the life of me, I can’t imagine the audience being disruptive. [Yeah, but what does an aging Nisei know about dissent and protestation?]

I think what I’m trying to convey is a feeling that the Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro had better be well prepared to challenge the dealmakers. And above all, have a well-planned and comprehensive strategy. I hope to be pleasantly surprised. And yet.

Going out further on the proverbial limb, I’m afraid spirited charges of lack of transparency and not communicating honestly with the community will be pointless. CR2S perused innumerable board meeting minutes and internal reports. A task force was formed to confront every conceivable question, challenge and doubt pertaining to the proposed sale. This body, made up of board members with access to outside professionals, was responsible for the compilation of reports, charts, legal and professional advice regarding every aspect of Keiro Senior HealthCare’s operation and holdings. Its sole aim was to make certain the Attorney General would not veto the quest, not to quiet a slumbering community.

Examples of some report findings: Year-to-year financial comparisons and projections. The telling numbers and percentages of Medicare/Medi-Cal patients as opposed to private care beds; current real estate holdings, market value and versatility; what is South Bay worth? Its potential value if used for other purposes; even the stability of Keiro Retirement Home was brought into focus, indisputable numbers showing a lengthy waiting list turning into apartments available within a five-year period.

So yeah, I sit here hoping that the session will explain and mollify. That emotional outbursts will be held to a minimum, as well as boring PowerPoints. Yup, I sit here with hope and fear.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I hold little hope the sale can be stopped. It was/is a long shot. Despite a growing army of naysayers, it appears to be too little, too late. A beleaguered Keiro CEO, his board and an unknown buyer became easy targets, but the only ruling that counted was the Attorney General’s.

I guess maybe it’s good for the spirit and bile to occasionally vent. As far as I’m concerned, this simple Jappo isn’t going to spend precious time worrying about what might happen five years from now. Let’s be real, friends, nobody knows. So gaman/shimbo and all that good stuff we’re famous for. The last I heard the sky is not falling, so take heart. [But the Dodgers, Trojans, Bruins and Lakers are, so you’re doomed to suffer some more.]

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.



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