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Policy Conflict


As you have read on the several listserves, there is a onesided debate
underway about policy differences which have developed within the last
year in the AHS. Serious dichotomy has developed and will continue to
hurt the Society if the differences are not resolved. I have become
involved in this conflict and have expressed opposition to the Policies
which have been developed, explained, promoted, pushed and  protected by
officials of the current administration. Much opposition to these
policies has been expressed by growers, concerned individuals, active
participants on the internet and others. No one in the AHS has
adequately justified the policies proposed although many have made a
call for justification.

I am speaking up as a concerned individual. I do not consider myself
just an old  Don Quixote fighting windmills. I am in this conflict for
one purpose...to make information known so that rank and file members
will understand what is happening in their Hosta Society.Others have
done the same to some extent and may have then left the scene
temporarily. I hope they will come back real soon.. I don't intend to
leave the scene until this conflict runs its proper course. I have been
involved in this conflict from the beginning and am familiar with many
details of events which have occurred. I want to describe some of  these
events. It may take a long time, but I will try to make it as
interesting and informative as I can..

I am a personal friend of dear old Alex Summers, Co- founding Father of
the American Hosta Society. We talk several times a week about hostas in
general,  sports, new acquistions, current hosta events and AHS news in
general. This last item on our talk agenda has become a matter of
serious concern to Alex in recent months. Although Alex is not actually
"on-line", his friends, particulary Dan Nelson, keeps him informed with
copies of important electronic mail, thus he is always up-to-date about
current hosta affairs. He is also in frequent telephone contact with
friends and has a constant stream of visiting hosta friends.

Alex has expressed concern about what is happening at the policy level
in the AHS and is dismayed at the deterioration that is occurring within
and outside the AHS. As a wholesale grower for many year now, he shares
the almost unanimously held view that the IAC Policy/Program is
seriously damaging to the operations, financing, morale, membership,
and  spirit of cooperation between the AHS and scores of wholesale

While Alex has not able to be very active because of serious health
problems during the last two years, he has tried to remain informed. He
is seriously concerned about the conflict . It is for  this reason,
principally,  that I am becoming more involved in this matter...to see
that Alex's concerns get expressed. Other friends are doing the same. We
are representing interests of Alex Summers who has spent a lifetime
building up and strengthening  the Society. We will not let others
destroy what Alex has spent a lifetime building.

Therefore, I find myself embroiled in a bitter conflict. Who in his
right mind would step into a dogfight like the one in progress? And
anyone can see, it can become real mean. You might get your character
assassinated, you might get persecuted with falsehoods, maybe get kicked
off the AHS Robin for opposing policies openly and all sorts of ugly
things may happen. Am I going to fight back??????????You bet I am!!!!!!!

I have been involved intellectually from the beginning as a spectator.
Now I become an active participant. I am going to turn on a few lights
to let everyone see some truth in the light of day. I am now going to
turn on a few light switches and let the rats scurry as they may.

In the fall of 1998, I read in "Notes from the Editor" in Journal 28.2
that this edition contained an article by President JimWilkins on page
99. Editor Walek explained that the purpose of the article was to
describe the new Policy passed by the AHS Board on hosta cultivars in
the trade which have not been registered...some 1000 or so,   in Kevin's
estimation. The Policy's purpose is to "bring about registration" of
these cultivars. They have been named "Interim Accetped Cultivars".
Kevin's Notes from the Editor was intended to  encourage all readers to
read the article describing the new Policy and Program. So I read it
with an analytic eye, just as I have done for the last 30 years as a
Policy, Progam and Project Analyst in the Department of State,
specifically at the  policymaking level  in the agricultural development
area. So Old Jim started to focus in because this is my area of

But before I review the Wilkins article, let me give a broad brush view
of where I am going. I will analyze the article; I will explain what
happened at the Panel Discussion of AHS officials which oocurred at the
Winter Scientific Meeting in late January 1999 while being in the
audience asking questions about the Policy: I will summarize my six page
report on this Panel Discussion on the  AHS Robin prepared January
26-28, 1999, I will try to summarize the discussion on the internet
which occurred in early summer, 1999 principally by concerned growers,
and I will discuss collateral events, not necessarily related directly
to policy, but rather events which occurred because of the current
efforts by the Administration to "protect" their interests, many of
which are related to policy.

That's a big task I have taken on. It will take much time and effort but
I will gladly do it because it will  shed some light on the truth of the
matter. And that's what there is not a lot of around here.

This first post is just the "Introduction". You can imagine what the
body of this discussion will entail.  I encourage readers to read
carefully a series of posts which will follow and learn about some
serious problem we face and must solve. Until the next
chapter........Hosta La Vista


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