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Direct Action Mass Picnic on April 26th! Shut It Down! Way Down! Yeah- we didn't post anything on this earlier- because of well, you know the situation in Arizona.

This is from a letter from Don Hyatt a member of the Azalea Society of America:

I wanted to alert people that Hearst Television has prepared a news story on the pending destruction of the Glenn Dale Azaleas at the National Arboretum. They interviewed me and also Dr. Ramon Jordan, the Interim Director. Dr. Jordan and Scott Aker are the two people at the Arboretum who seem to be pushing for the destruction of the original Glenn Dale Azaleas on Mount Hamilton. They say that it will be only about 25% of the azaleas in the collection, but it includes all of the oldest and most majestic plants, the original azaleas set out by Ben Morrison in 1947. They also plan to destroy the National Boxwood Collection, an equally irreplaceable collection of rare germplasm, as well as the perennial collections in the Boxwood Garden which includes the Daffodil, Daylily, and Peony Collections. Members of their respective societies are angry, too.

If you are in an area where you have a Hearst affiliate, be sure to watch and become informed about the situation. Even if they get it wrong- it's more than you'll hear from other sources.

The Hearst reporter, Sally Kidd, just told me that they are sending the finished piece to their affiliate stations nationwide today. Hearst Media is one of the largest organizations of its kind including newspapers, magazines, and TV stations that reach about 18% of all households in the US. Where or when those stations choose to air the story is up to them, of course, but she expected most of them to air it by Monday. Ms. Kidd indicated that we can probably expect additional media interest of all kinds after their story airs.

Again this is more coverage than we have gotten otherwise. Call or write your local newspaper or TV station to ask what their coverage on this is. Ask your Congress person as well.

Hearst will post the story online this Tuesday, and she will provide me a link at that time so others can see it via the Internet. I am sure I made a fool of myself, but I have done that many times before. I just hope that the story will help our cause. I did give them some video of the azaleas that are scheduled to be cut down this year. It was not HD, but I invited them to come back in April to get some footage of their own. Ms. Kidd indicated that they might do that.

Your response to this story will help get us more coverage. Be sure to write (email) your local affiliate, and visit the online story and post a comment. That way we can be sure that more attention is paid to this situation, and it doesn't land on the compost heap!

For those of you who might be passing through the Washington DC are this April, I wanted to let you know that the local DC chapters of the Azalea Society of America and the American Rhododendron Society are planning a joint field trip to the Arboretum on Tuesday, April 26. It will be in the middle of the day, about 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM, so we avoid rush hour traffic. That is the week when the early Glenn Dales are usually coming into peak bloom. Come join us if you can or see them on your own. If we are not successful in our cause, this could be the last chance to do so.

Wish the azaleas luck!

Don Hyatt
McLean, VA

If you are in DC on the 26th or close by- come see the azaleas for the LAST time.

Originally posted to cliffenz on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 02:25 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is a disgusting bureaucratic habit to (5+ / 0-)

    threaten the termination of things and programs the public treasures in order to get more funding for their organization.  That's why it's really important to insure that policy setters and funders share our social values.  Electing antagonistic people whose outlook is mainly punitive is a really bad idea.  Electing people whose main objective is to enrich their cronies from the public purse is a really bad idea.

    You'll notice that Don Hyatt isn't asking that we contact our congressional representatives.  That's because the majority we have elected to Congress is generally opposed to public anything

    public works
    public gardens
    public libraries
    public schools
    public parks
    public health
    etc.

    So, there's not much point wasting time on them.  The Arboretum is located in a part of D.C. that's not densely populated.  If it's popularity is reduced (by removing what many people come to see), then the real estate is more likely to be made available for private development.  And, even if it lays fallow, the transfer of public assets into private hands is always good.  snark

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 03:19:52 AM PST

    •  but we gotta do something! (0+ / 0-)

      we have to confront and make apparent, our wishes to our representatives!

      Otherwise we become another Tunisia. Obama is a threat to the oligarchy just because he doesn't LOOK like them. Even his mildest defenses of our freedoms and public institutions is a threat. That's why he is subject to incessant insane attacks.

      If you don't stand up for public spaces, gardens, parks, schools, libraries, then you subscribe to the thug agenda.

      If you hear somebody say; 'The government is going to default on Social Security, can't protect you, can't help you find a job, etc...' Your inaction is giving them the permission they need to do just that.

      Your best advice is- Don't even do the mildest of interaction with your government because they aren't going to do anything?

      •  That's not what I wrote. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep

        My intent was to elaborate and provide more context for what needs to be done.  
        Certainly, on the ground efforts are necessary.  But people also need to realize that continuing to elect representatives because they look good, have good hair, or pretend to some moral values that you think they share is a bad idea.
        Our representatives are supposed to be stewards of the public wealth.  That means insuring the general welfare and preserving our assets and resources for future use.  It also means not designating people intent on feathering their own nests or those of their cronies.

        The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

        by hannah on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 04:32:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I stand on my last comment (0+ / 0-)

          We must have public spaces- other than country clubs- where people can enjoy the outside.

          And whether you have a Tea-party person as a congress person or not, You must let your concerns be known to that person.

          If you have a Tea Party or Republican Congress person- let them know that your deep seated Christian values impel your actions. That THEIR deep seated Christian values should impel THEIR actions. And remind them of their values. Even if you don't have any.

          Michael Moore does some outrageous stuff- like bringing a coffin to an insurance company HQ- sometimes only that level of confrontation brings results. I saw Moore confront Hannity directly on 'Christian faith' and Hannity LOST.

          The health care debate would have gone differently if Obama had said 'My deep seated Christian values require me to provide health care for all...'

          This minor confrontation will go differently- if the spirit to confront and discuss is encouraged. NO discouraging words!

  •  The way I see this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, marykk

    it's already a done deal. Of course you can write letters, make phone calls etc to your congress critter, but I'm afraid Azaleas are not high on their priority list.

    There might be another way to save the Azaleas and Boxwood: Write or call other Gardens in the area or even nation wide and tell them what is about to happen and maybe they can save those beautiful old plants. If  a lot of people make those calls then you might get some traction.

    Have you put your plea to the 'garden web' or any of the many garden websites? They are passionate people!

  •  Your diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mint julep, BachFan

    would be helped if you up-date it with the Arboretum's reasons for destroying these plantings.

    I may have missed an earlier diary about this, so please do not take this as a major criticism, but for those who do not know what is behind this, it is difficult to respond and there is no link to previous information.

    Is Hannah correct in stating that their motivation is to try to get more funding through this bizarre action?

    Thanks for posting this.

    Just waitin' around for the new Amy Winehouse album

    by jarbyus on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 06:03:13 AM PST

  •  It would help the diary to clarify (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mint julep, Leo in NJ

    WHY they want to do this. What is the rationale? One assumes money.
    Where does the $$ come from currently? Was there a recent cut?

  •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, mint julep

    My mom's interested in this subject & I'm printing out this diary for her.

  •  Everyone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, mint julep

    should read the link posted by Hannah above.  Great info about the collection's history and the bizarre reasons the director wants to destroy not only the azaleas, but other collections as well.

    Just waitin' around for the new Amy Winehouse album

    by jarbyus on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 07:02:02 AM PST

  •  Having read the link (0+ / 0-)

    posted by Hannah above, this does indeed seem to be a Director on crack. His reasons for getting rid of a splendid display seems to be

    1. too many visitors
    1. loss of private funds
    1. imperfect provenance for each plant

    The writer of the aforementioned link has rebutted all of these points quite effectively. We had a head gardener at our local National Trust property who was a similar kind of idiot. Luckily he left before the property was well and truly destroyed.

    If nothing is very different from you, what is a little different from you is very different from you. Ursula K. Le Guin

    by northsylvania on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 08:54:24 AM PST

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