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Re: Robin Cancellation

Congratulations, Jim.  I think you have had the last word in this obviously
unfair matter.


Jim Hawes wrote:

> Dear Hosta Friends,
> The purpose of this post is to go on record regarding some truthful
> statements about the recent conflicts concerning the former AHS
> sponsored Robin.. I have been out of touch with what has happened in
> recent weeks because I have been in Florida attending to some emergency
> personal health problems within my  family. Upon return to my home in
> Maryland on Saturday Nov. 27th, I learned that sponsorship of the AHS
> Robin had been terminated. I had not seen Jim Wilkins' post ( Subject:
> Robin Cancellation)  to AHS members until about 15 minutes ago when it
> was forwarded to me by a friend.(My 30 suspension has lasted almost 3
> months.) The decision for cancellation was reported to be to avoid risk
> of assets of individuals or of the society by continuing to sponsor the
> AHS Robin. My first impression was..." how clever...to blame someone
> else for the decision to close down the Robin.Just like Olson".
> Before my departure to Florida to attend to personal affairs, I had been
> unilaterally removed from the AHS Robin by the Secret Committee..without
> cause, in my opinion. I asked for an explanation...six times... for what
> I had done, said and to whom, which was considered a violation of
> guidelines. Please remember that I was discussing policies, not
> individuals which I have explained in detail on several occasions.I
> received no answers...only insults and lies.. Being kicked off without
> reason had happened to several other people,  so I did not consider it a
> very serious matter. Nevertheless, I was curious. I contacted a lawyer
> to ask his opinion regarding my rights as a member of the AHS, whose
> priviledges had been removed without cause. I provided him with all
> pertinent documents. After reviewing all facts, he informed me that in
> his opinion, I had substantial reasons for a complaint, that indeed I
> had been defamed and improperly denied certain rights. He said he would
> write an amicable letter to Jim Wilkins requesting an apology of
> responsible parties and reinstatement on the Robin...with the
> stipulation that a response was expected in a reasonable time, otherwize
> failure to do so will force pursuit of  civil action.. My lawyer sent
> this letter on October 18, 1999, when I was in the process of travel to
> Florida.
> In an undated letter to my Attorney, Craig Ingram, Jim Wilkins informed
> him that he did not know of the conditions of my suspension, had not
> personally defamed me and did not know of anything to apologize about
> to me. I read this letter for the first time on Saturday Nov. 27, 1999.
> By that time, several events had overcome circumstances which had
> existed in early October.
> I did not take the option of a civil suit against the possible six
> people involved in my expulsion from the AHS Robin. Other matters were
> of much more importance to me at that time...that of getting  medical
> teatment for my wife. During this time period I was completely out of
> touch with people in the hosta community and  had no interest whatsoever
> in a lawsuit, especially with the AHS per se. My conflict had been with
> certain individuals who had unfairly excommunicated me from others
> within the AHS. But this was not a problem which required litigation on
> my part.I decided they were not worth the effort nor the expense.  I
> shared such views via telephone  with certain close  friends at the time
> all of this happened.
> Upon my return to Maryland in late November I found that the AHS had
> disassociated itself from the Schaffner managed Robin. From reading a
> few posts, it seemed to have now only one person as final authority, and
> with new rules which were more restrictive than those of the former
> Robin. It was obvious to me that it would never survive because members
> would never accept such restrictive conditions of membership. I
> thought," How typical of Schaffner's personality".
> I want to make clear that I have no intention of asking to rejoin this
> restructured Robin. And also to state that  I have not  threatened the
> AHS itself in any way with a lawsuit. Anything I have said or done was
> to try to make the AHS more civil, more fair, more democratic and more
> rational. If the former AHS sponsored Robin possessed these
> characteristics, there would be no fear of any lawsuits by
> anyone...ever, whether there were rules or no rules. The other
> listserves do not seem to have any trouble dealing with its
> members...Only the Dictatorial Former AHS Sponsored Robin has had such
> problems. What is the common reason? Because its management insists on
> treating members like children...telling them to go sit in the corner
> for thirty days because Bad Mother says so.
> So I congradulate you, Jim and the Executive Committee for seeing the
> light. The AHS does not need a Robin like the one we had. You are wize
> to divest yourself and the AHS of it.
> I also congradulate you on your 180 degree turnaround, not to implement
> the Preferred Growers program. It would have been a disaster. But you
> should be honest and admit the decision was made because it lacked
> support by the Growers, NOT because of your success in policies, as you
> have stated.
> Congradulations also for reconsidering accepting unregistered hostas for
> Convention auctions.
> And finally, I suggest you don't stop there. Continue to make similar
> improvements in policy decisions within AHS. ....They are still needed.
> Jim Hawes
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