Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fiskars Grant e-mail discussion

Brad, how did you happen to intercept the deliver of the tools sent by the Fiskars Corporation? I know they had my address correct, since it is in the letter Peace with Justice Gardeners sent them, and since they did make some of their first deliveries to my house.


Love Life, Earth, Neighbor

The tools from Fiskar arrived on a day when you
apparently weren’t available. I understand the
delivery men knocked on your door. They tried to find
you and when unable, called Paul Wichmann whose name
was on the garden shed as the contact person. Paul was
out of town and they reached him on his cell phone. I
think he may have tried to contact Andy, who was also
unable to help with the delivery. He then called me
and said the men wanted to get going and would I
please help with this delivery. I interrupted my day
and went over to the garden, unloaded 16 bundles of
tools, in the hot sun I might add, and put them in the
shed. Neither Paul nor I knew anything nor had been
told anything about the Fiskars Grant at this time,
though we are both on the Garden Steering Committee.
We only knew someone was trying to deliver tools,
which the guy claimed belonged at the garden address,
however, they did not have the name of the garden,
East Phillips Community 17th Ave. garden right either.
There was nothing mentioning East Phillips Community
at all, though that was on the garden shed and this
confused them. The garden was only called Organic 17th
Ave, sort of generic and could be anywhere. Our
actions, contrary to your suggestive remarks, were
entirely innocent.

Our simply helping out some delivery truck guys is not
worth your getting “depressed, sad, and angry about
[our] recent actions”. Or your getting “a stomach ache
or crying”. (quotes from your emails). Nor should this
cause you to create elaborate conspiracy theories
about some of us and send them all over town, creating
the impression that some great evil is going on here.
Why didn’t you just ask these questions weeks ago
instead of stewing about this?

Most of us do not have time for “listening groups” of
people who have no involvement here and do not know
anything about the history of the garden and the
effort of many to create open and democratic rules,
which the steering committee has followed without
fail. Unless these people were committed to real
democracy and not just your personal friends, as
appears to be the primary target of your email list,
there would be no point anyway. Many of these people
have never come to the people (me and others) whom you
spread stories about, to hear our point of view. Why,
then, should we value their integrity? Point is: the
gardeners have done nothing that you have not been a
witness to or signed on to yourself.

Also no one would ever think of “yelling at” the
proprietor of Mother Earth Garden Store. I have no
idea what you are talking about and why you would ever
suggest that. I think those of us who know you have
suggested this to a large number of people have a
right to be both amazed and angry that you would imply
that is what is going on here.

Lynne, no one else is emailing people all over town
and there is no one spreading rumors, except you. You
need to stop spreading these suggestive
misrepresentations and innuendoes about others. All
the garden meetings have been democratic and open to
view. Nothing has been done by the steering committee
that has not been done openly. While you have not been
willing to include the rest of the gardeners who are
not your renters in the writing of this grant and have
refused to offer copies to the steering committee, we
have been entirely open with you. You have come to all
our meetings. We were not notified nor invited to any
of your meetings over the winter, when this grant was
written, committing the gardeners to things without
our knowledge.

If there is a problem here, it would seem to be your
extreme distrust of your neighbors and fellow
gardeners. All I did was unload a truck at Paul’s
request. He is, after all, the chair of the steering
committee. If this was a problem for you, you could
have just asked a few weeks ago instead of going into
orbit over this and involving all sorts of people in a
series of veiled accusations against your fellow

I think much would be helped if you could just
honestly inquire and share information and stop
attributing the worst to some of your neighbors. Next
time I’ll tell the trucks to go away. I want no
apologies or lengthy commentaries on community and
democracy in response to these remarks. I am into
doing democracy and community, not just talking about

PS: Lynne, you write in one of these letters: "I am
happy to answer any questions you have about this
letter." Yet the Garden Steering Committee has
repeatedly asked for a copy of the grant, once we
realized its existence. We also do not know who the
Peace and Justice Gardeners are. We need to know these
things and have asked them repeatedly, but you have
refused to answer them. Yet in this letter from some
time ago you claim to be willing to do so and seem to
be accusing others of hiding things. What things these
are I have no idea, but you need to honor your remark
that you will answer questions.

The Peace and Justice group does not have jurisdiction
over the garden and must come through the recognized
garden group, those who signed the garden use
agreement (you also signed this agreement) and their
elected steering committee. If there is a grant
connected with the garden and having any requirements
of the gardeners or relationship to the garden, the
least you should do is inform them (us), but it is not
appropriate or even legal that the gardeners have had
no involvement in the creation of this grant and its
implementation, whatever its obligations are. But the
least we can do is know what they are and try to meet
them. You appear to have committed us to things
without our knowledge, though we don't even know. And
since we know nothing about this, we can't even say a
relevant thank you. You need to live up to your words
and your signing of the garden use agreement, namely
commitments to openness, notification, democratic
process and accountability. No amount of
"mediation/conflict resolution" can take the place of
living up to one’s agreements.

June 22, 2006

Dear Brad Pass (and 2006 Gardeners and supporters),

I glanced over, but have not yet found time to read your email, Brad.

In the meantime, you may want to know:

When I was doing magazine recycling at home (1), I found one pair of Fiskars hand pruners in my recycling basket. As you know, I had been upset because some of the tools were lost and broken, and felt you were, to some extent, responsible for not following through with a means for checking tools in and out from the shed. Afraid I may not be making myself clear, I will spell this out further. This means that I was upset with lost tools AND that I, myself, was responsible for at least one of those lost tools.

I did also find my looseleaf notebook. It was in one of my portable file cabinets, not the blue basket I had taken to the meeting. (I had implied that you might have taken it from the garden.)

Inside of the looseleaf I found:

* The lists of Fiskar¹s grant award "packages". With these lists, Paul W. and I updated the inventory. (There is only one lost tool at this point; a little hand trowel with numbers marking inches etched into the metal.) I gave Paul a copy of the inventory, and will put one copy in the blue notebook in the shed.
* The garden application and $20 bill from a gardener.

In addition, in one of my emails I indicated that the Fiskars grant is worth $3100. Actually, looking at the Fiskar¹s tool price list, it is more like $2100

Well, so there all that is.

My apologies. Especially for voicing suspicions and implied accusations that were, to large extent, my own fault. Sort of the worse kind of thing a person can do, actually. May as well be honest about that. To lose stuff and then publicly imply someone else took it as further justification for distrusting that person is pretty danged destructive. Not as bad as murder. But bad. I think all the great spiritual teachers say to falsely accuse one¹s neighbor is a kind of murder, since it can kill off reputations and community cohesion. I know I am getting preachy here. So I will leave it at that.

I hope a person gets to apologize several times in the same week, since I need to do just that. I dread to think that I¹ll have to make more apologies in the future, but it wouldn¹t surprise me.

Regarding your upset about my spreading ³conspiracy theories² ³all over town²: the people who are getting these letters are: some of the 17th Ave. gardeners (those whose emails I have), EPIC community elders (Wenji and Vanhalla), and funders with some civic responsibility for the gardens (Corrie Zoll from Green Institute, and Robert Thompson from Neighborhood Revitalization).

In any case, I think you have won two rounds of emails. So the score is 2-0 in your favor. Well, unless we score according to another system. Such as for each point won within an email. In which case the score, unfortunately for me, is more like 5-0 your favor.

I hope "all over town" doesn't find out how poorly I am faring in the debate so far. Please don't spread it beyond town into the neighboring states and countries. I would really rather only a limited number of people find out. Until my score improves significantly.

I will read and respond to your letter as soon as time allows. I am committed to working through these misunderstandings.

Also, I plan to pull ahead on the scoreboard.



25 June 06

Dear Paul:

Rebekah Teague: 721-2753
Sheryle Batcher: 724-4089
Brandy Kyllonen: 597-3559
Mark: 651-341-2278

Danny & Caroline: I don't have a number. They live across from the garden
Other residents have expressed interest in "cooperative plot" wherein we all
work together and share the food.

May all gardeners have access to the contact numbers for all gardeners?
This would facilitate communication and democracy.

Fiskars Grant:
Paul, I think it needs to be clear that the 17th Ave. Gardeners Steering
Committee did not write, and are not responsible for the grant. Regarding
your request for more information, may I suggest a conversation with the
Peace with Justice Gardeners to answer questions and fulfill obligations.
We have the grant proposal. I would like ground rules for implementation as
well as contacts with Fiskars. I am available for a meeting with you and
anyone else regarding the grant at a time convenient to you. The people who
helped with the grant should be there. Megan, Andy, & Matt B., if possible.
Mondays and Tuesdays are best, I believe. (megan & andy are out of town the
rest of the week)

My note:
Lynne and the 17th Avenue Gardeners DID have a meeting. Lynne was voted to be excluded from any leadership at the garden for no less than TWO YEARS, because she applied for a grant without EPC/17th Avenue Gardeners permission. Lynne contends there was no Steering Committee in existence when she applied for the grant. EPC believes that the previous years steering committee would still be in charge until the next election.

Lynne is working to mediate with the garden group. Regardless of other goals within Peace and Justic Organic Gardeners, this seems to be of primary concern. If Lynne has no authority in the garden, she may lose significant garden space and a say in whether it remains Organic. ( or any say at all for that matter )

I feel she will work to create her own garden plots on available land resources she has available. Therefore, I predict a plot will be established next to her 2408 17th Avenue duplex. ( as I live in 2406)
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