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As a director of TBIS, I have appreciated seeing the comments of several 
people relating to TBIS/AIS, and will share them with other TBISers.

Can only speak for myself about the recent letter in the AIS Bulletin.  I am, 
of course, disheartened to see that space in the bulletin is being used not 
to talk about irises, but to fan flames that I assure you have long gone out 
at TBIS.  Likely, TBIS will simply be content to do what it is doing, and not 
bother responding to the piece or correcting its errors.

TBIS, first and foremost, is a magazine for its members.  It is now in an 
all-color format, integrating pictures and articles.  (I personally have 
raised in excess of $10,000 to help achieve this goal.)  A brainstorming 
session in Salem with about 100 individuals contributing has led to 
suggestions that will provide years of interesting material to the 
membership.  The quality of the publication has resulted in membership of 
approximately 1150 households.  Ron Mullin (who has held every position in 
the AIS world, including President, AIS Editor, Convention Chair (3 times) 
was the first editor.  Bryce Williamson (Jesse's Song, etc.), with over 40 
years of iris experience, is the current editor.  We typically have no 
non-renewals, and most of the members, having tried a $10.00 annual 
membership, convert to a triennial ($27.00).

I won't use this space to discuss the AIS article -- it would take several 
pages, and there are rules for e-list chatting.  If anyone has specific 
questions regarding conventions, etc., I'd be happy to set the record 
straight.  (on conventions, to answer a point made by my iris buddy Walter 
Moores, there is no policy that TBIS has on garden walk-throughs -- the idea 
was simply to find places to gather, ie, tagging along on a pre-convention, 
going to gardens where the newest iris are grown, hybridized, that would be 
inexpensive -- it may be that in the future we will visit areas not conducise 
to AIS-sized conventions (i.e, 4-5 modest sized gardens only such as in Las 
Vegas/Henderson or Albuquerque), or tag along with region meetings.  With 
respect to Salem, the TBIS people did not focus on the effect that might have 
on a regional tour held in another area of the region, although I believe it 
should have done so.  I do not believe that the TBIS out-of-region people 
(many of whom make the annual trip to Salem to view irises and visit friends) 
would not have attended the Regional, but arguably one or two people from 
Salem might have opted to attend the Regional had TBIS not been visiting the 
local gardens.  As a result, whenever we will hold such an event, TBIS is 
going to learn about any conflicting events and review with appropriate 
people the impact of the TBIS gathering on the event).

Sorry, I was going on without knowing when to get off.  As I was saying, at 
this time, the TBIS sentiment is that politics and flowers don't mix -- the 
ugliness of politics should not be allowed to intrude on the beauty of our 
flowers.  Many in the TBIS, me included, believe that likely in a couple of 
years issues, if any, that divide people can be worked out among iris 
friends.  For now, we simply don't won't to get worked up anymore and divert 
our energy and enthusiasm responding to people accusing TBIS of "subverting" 
the AIS, especially when these individuals have worked so hard for AIS over 
the years, given that TBIS's primary goal is to strive for continued 
excellence in our publication, and make our hobby fun for people interested 
in TB irises. 

Regards, Abe (still trying to get off)

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