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RE: Robin Cancellation

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

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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