CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Keiro Still the News Despite Dr. Terasaki & ‘O’

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

(Published Feb. 3, 2016)

I am faced with the usual weekly dilemma: I can’t sing and dance so all that remains are words with which to entertain.

At the top of news was the passing of Dr. Paul Terasaki. A sad way to remind us once again of what an incredible individual he was as a medical pioneer and philanthropist. There are others, to be sure, but one would be hard pressed to match Dr. Paul’s accomplishments and contributions. A towering figure who pioneered transplantation research, he was always a proud but self-effacing Nisei. We lost one of our finest.

Of much less importance, CR2S has been remiss by not bringing the legion of “Oh-bah-keh” followers up to date on her antics. There was but a single visitation of “O” in the entire month of January! After four exciting years of mysterious adventure, I fear it may be time to prepare for the unthinkable.

But alas, even though we’d all like to take a break, disregarding the Keiro brouhaha is impossible. Although we might be in a stage of Keiro fatigue, the topic is too grave and important to disregard. The din is a weekly reminder of our current unrest and discontent. So here we go again …

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I have a(nother) confession to make: Last week’s column suggesting Keiro Senior HealthCare return to its roots and continue operating until its financial demise began as a tongue-in-cheek effort to make light of the serious matter. Of course no sane person would give up $41 million and purposely head into liquidation. My intention was to make jest with the Keiro/Pacifica/Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro impasse.

Voila, the deeper I got into the farcical idea, the more sense it started to make: To stop the internecine warfare, give up the money (we don’t have) to prevent further animosity and return to the original mission. Keeping the iconic institution intact started to look doable. So like a Clayton Kershaw changeup, the CR2S column transitioned into a life-saving proposal.

Guess what happened? Supporters in agreement literally came out of the woodwork! If I had a social media account, it would have “gone viral.” The wacky idea was a home run to readers, it tweaked heart strings, rang the victory bell! An unseen and unheard-from segment of our community raised its voice in unison on behalf of Keiro – but pointedly not in support of Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro.

The direction of the movement is being questioned. A growing number of informed readers is finding fault with the personal attacks and questionable charges. Whether by design or sheer luck, the Keiro/Pacifica silence and refusal to be drawn into a public debate appears to be paying dividends. Even though “the community” continues to be up in arms over the sale, the seller/buyer combination, while not unscathed, is not being thought of as scalawags.

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The current state of affairs [with CR2S commentary in italics]: AHCSK got a huge boost with the announcement of two major law firms joining forces to provide pro bono guidance. [But strangely nothing has evolved in terms of much-needed guidance and legal strategy.]

An enthusiastic audience attended the Jan. 21 Waters/Chu Gardena press conference. [It turned out to be nothing more than an uneven pep rally and photo-op for egoists.]

The Jan. 23 Speak Out night at Centenary United Methodist Church lured about 200 onlookers and featured a dozen Jap/Eng speakers, with Norm Mineta declaring his support. [But thrice making the misleading statement about “the closing of Keiro.”]

A hush-hush meeting of AHCSK and Keiro representatives was convened at the Attorney General’s Office after the open mic night. [And from the silence that has followed, one can surmise the protagonists agreed to make no public statements regarding the very, very lengthy give and take.]

A ballyhooed protest march was staged last Thursday, ironically convening at Judge John Aiso Plaza in preparation for the walk to the AG’s office. [A crowd of eighteen hardy souls made the short trek; which proves once again that JAs aren’t very good as marchers and vocal protestors.]

On the other side of town, Keiro Senior HealthCare CEO Shawn Miyake and his embattled board of directors continue un-blinkered to consummate the Pacifica agreement. Outwardly unfazed by the varied protestations, “meet-and-greet” gatherings are being held; one last week where employees were welcomed, congratulated and (re)assured. [I’m informed a reference was made regarding a certain Rafu Shimpo columnist. Maybe I should inquire about room rates at Hollenbeck?]

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The outpouring from so many unaffiliated sources was unexpected but certainly heartwarming. Also surprising were individuals who still profess a willingness to support Keiro with donations in the future.

None of the principals deem it wise to speak to me nowadays. So I’m left with nothing but a firm belief that Carolina will win the Super Bowl (-6).

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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