JARS v61n3 - From The President

From The President
Fred Whitney
Kent, Washington

Fred Whitney
Fred Whitney

Greetings! As I look out on the profusion of blooms (from the third story of the house) this elevation provides all of the beauty of the plants without the ability to have the companion plants (weeds, blackberries) gain my attention. Ah, the joy of springtime here in the Northwest USA!
Have just returned from Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of the 2008 convention (16-20 April) and have to say "I am totally surprised at what I saw/what the area has to offer." I had only the historical perception of what Oklahoma was - dust bowl with wide-open spaces. That can be true of the south and western parts of the state, but the site of the convention, in the northeastern part, is "not your father's Oklahoma"! Green, water and established landscaping await you as venues for the me eting. The combination of museums and gardens (both public and private) should be pleasing and eye-openers for all who attend. The organization is moving forward and promises to be both educational as well as entertaining and the HQ hotel is first class.
Now we're off to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Rhododendron Festival in Florence, Oregon. The Siuslaw Chapter holds its truss show in conjunction and is billing it to be "the largest one in the world." Those of you who know Mike Bones and the chapter won't question that they will make it happen!
The Eastern Regional Conference and board meeting is in Cleveland-Eastlake, Ohio, October 12-14. One of the great arboretums of the US is joining the Great Lakes ARS Chapter to, again, expose you to an area of horticulture which is not pre-eminent in the minds of us rhodoholics. Registration is in this issue of the Journal or on the web at rhododendron.org.
At the board meeting in San Francisco, a budget for 2007-2008 was not adopted due to a variety of unanswered questions in the minds of the attendees. The questions are to be answered and the board will vote on the revised budget before start of our fiscal year 1 September 2007. Even though a budget is a guideline and not inviolate, I firmly believe it is our obligation to make it a responsible document to which we hold ourselves accountable. Lack of FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY gets many groups in trouble and "not for the ARS on my watch."
For the 240 who attended the San Francisco convention, a hearty THANK YOU to District 5 and all the capable members who worked on our behalf to host the activities. The variety of tours and programs was varied and, to most the absence of daily programs was not a missed element. The awarding of Gold and Silver medals was a great way to recognize five of our outstanding members who have made significant contributions to the ARS - CONGRATULATIONS Steve Hootman, Peter Schick, Wing Fong, George McLellan and Mitch Mitchell!