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Letters
Visit Compadres before the closing

Compadres has been a fixture and fun watering hole in our community for 32 years, consistently saying "yes" every time they were asked to support fund-raisers and charity events.

Compadres will serve its last margarita and meal on Monday, Feb. 18. They are open for lunch, dinner, cocktails every day till then, as well as breakfast on the weekend at 8 a.m.. Please say 'thank you' for their exceptional involvement in our community by stopping by, having a meal/appetizer, and tipping your waiters/waitresses/bartenders like rock stars.

The extra cash will mean a great deal. Compadres has margarita and drink specials nearly every day. See you at the Bar. Thanks, Rick, for always being there for us.

Joe Fischer

Napa


Editorial
Commentary
Commentary: California has a broken system of long-term care. Here’s what’s needed

In his inauguration speech, Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged that “every senior should be able to retire with security.” That’s a significant commitment to address challenges facing older adults, families and caregivers who struggle in a dysfunctional system.

California has an insufficient system of long-term services and supports for older people and people with disabilities, as detailed in a 2015 report by the California Senate’s Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care.

The report painted an alarming picture of the shortcomings of the current system, but offered real solutions: California can build a better system to serve all who have long-term care needs.

Since the Senate issued its report, the problem is only becoming more critical. By 2030, the California Department of Finance projects 24 percent of the population will be at least 65. And, in the next 20 years, the number of adults with disabilities could grow by 20 percent.

This added pressure on the system is creating a crisis for the middle class and generational poverty as each generation spends more of its savings caring for family members.

According to an AARP study, the annual cost of nursing homes is more than double the $50,000 median income of older households in California. Although Medi-Cal is a major public payer for the system of long-term services and supports, the high cost of nursing homes and long-term services is causing an increase in the number of unpaid family caregivers. The study also showed that in 2013, 4.5 million family caregivers provided care valued at roughly $58 billion.

Fortunately, there are innovative ways to address the long-term care crisis to achieve the intended results without putting additional pressure on the state’s general fund.

While some people can afford private long-term care insurance, the market for those policies is disappearing. As premiums rise, insurance companies are dropping coverage for long-term care.

And, as most people find out when it is too late, Medicare does not adequately cover long-term care services, which are far too expensive for most to pay out of pocket.

What is desperately needed is a solution that fits the diverse long-term care needs of the Golden State. We need an affordable and accessible system of long-term care for all Californians, regardless of their income or ZIP code.

To come up with that solution 20 organizations representing long-term care stakeholders have come together to form the California Aging and Disability Alliance. This alliance is working on an innovative and cost-effective approach to the long-term services and supports challenges we face.

We believe the public would embrace funding a limited, but meaningful, range of services for those with long-term services and supports needs. This would have many positive effects, including providing some relief to the state in its Medi-Cal long-term services and supports costs.

In the next few months, California Aging and Disability Alliance will develop our proposal based on that principle and seek the active involvement of the Legislature. At the same time, we look forward to working closely with Gov. Newsom to support his ideas and plans on this issue.

As Newsom said: “I have never been a fan of pretense or procrastination. After all, our state is defined by its independent, outspoken spirit.”

We agree. California can do this, but only if we work together.


Columnists
Commentary
Thomas D. Elias: California campuses take lead against boycott

For most of the last decade, California campuses have been at the center of a rise in anti-Semitism in academe, where tactics ostensibly designed to target the nation Israel inevitably have led to mistreatment of Jewish students, even those who have never set foot in that country.

These moves are led by a nationwide group called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), with chapters on dozens, maybe hundreds of campuses. They have caused Jewish students to be harassed while walking to class, seen their right to serve in student government questioned and often led to their feeling physically threatened.

In California, speeches by Israelis of many stripes are regularly disrupted or shut down. Jewish students have been stopped at mock military checkpoints set up by Palestinian students and their “progressive” allies. And student government representatives have been subjected to intimidation.

This has been so serious that some university officials, notably the president of San Francisco State University, apologized for it to their Jewish students.

Studies also show that the more ostensible anti-Israel activity there is on any particular campus, the more openly anti-Jewish activity will follow. Similarly, those reports indicate that the more actively anti-Israel faculty members a college has, the more outright anti-Semitic activity that campus will see, swastika daubings and all.

But backlash is coming. Just as the SJP’s campaign encouraging universities to boycott, sanction and divest investments from Israel first achieved real prominence in California, now a new drive to resist that campaign is getting its first big exposure here.

The most significant move came when the chancellors of all 10 campuses of the University of California signed a statement very close to one suggested by the AMCHA Initiative, a privately-funded national group dedicated to fighting on-campus anti-Semitism.

It represents a repudiation of the SJP aim of singling out Israel among all other nations as retribution for supposed sins. “We write to affirm our longstanding opposition to an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions and/or individual scholars,” the chancellors said. “Our commitment to continued engagement and partnership with Israeli, as well as Palestinian colleagues, colleges and universities is unwavering. We believe a boycott of this sort poses a direct and serious threat to the academic freedom of our students and faculty … including debate and discourse regarding conflicts in the Middle East.”

The statement wasn’t nearly as strong, nor as specific, as the one made by the president of tiny, but prestigious, Pitzer College in Claremont as he vetoed a faculty vote to end a study-abroad exchange program with Haifa University, located in Israel’s most pluralistic city.

Sharply criticizing Pitzer’s faculty, President Melvin Oliver said it is plain wrong, discriminatory and inconsistent to boycott Israel so long as Pitzer, along with many other American colleges, “promotes exchanges and study abroad in countries with significant human rights abuses.” He added that “China, for example, has killed, tortured and imprisoned up to 1 million people in Tibet and utterly obliterated the Tibetan nation. China currently has 1 million Muslims imprisoned in ‘re-education’ camps. Why would we not suspend our program with China? Or take our longest-standing program in Nepal … they have had a bloody civil war that killed 10,000 people. Why Israel?”

As Oliver implied, Israel is singled out among all nations for student and faculty protests because it is primarily a Jewish state. And one definition of anti-Semitism is singling out Jews or Israel to be punished for supposed, but unproven, actions that have been documented on a much larger or much more brutal scale in many other countries.

No college faculty, for example, has even considered voting to boycott Saudi Arabia for its state-sanctioned assassination and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But Israel is excoriated for defensive acts.

Oliver’s statement is the most articulate argument yet made by an academic against the decade-long boycott, sanction and divest campaign. Its logic is unassailable. The real question is why no distinguished, high-ranking officials said anything similar before.

The fact that all UC’s chancellors soon followed with their own statement, even if it wasn’t quite as strong, is a sign of real movement against the anti-Jewish discrimination that has insidiously become a significant force on many campuses here and elsewhere.


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