Veterans for PeaceIn attendance: Clarence Smith, Bruce Gagnon, Dan Ellis, Doug Rawlings, Regis Tremblay, David Larsen, Tom Whitney, Robin Spencer, Connie Canney, Tarak Kauff, Jason Rawn
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
April 30, 2015
UMA Holocaust Center
Reading/Inspiration: Tarak (national VFP board member from New York) congratulated Chapter 1 for having three members with articles in the latest edition of VFP’s newspaper ‘Peace in Our Times’.
Secretary Report: Minutes from last meeting accepted and are on the web site
Treasurer Report: We now have $7,777.60 in our account. Our Treasurer Dovey Balsam has given her resignation as treasurer as of June. Robin offered to consider taking the post and will contact Dovey to explore it further. We will discuss it more next month. The membership thanks Dovey for her excellent work as our treasurer.
Membership: Now have 125 members, 99 are currently paid-up with dues. Dan sent a letter to those who have been delinquent for more than one year to find out if they wish to remain members of Maine VFP. Got a few renewals.
MaineShare: Richard will attend the annual meeting in Augusta on May 13. Robin will join him.
Education/Outreach: Doug spoke recently to a couple high school and college classes. Ghosts of Jeju still playing (Bath library showing it on their own initiative on May 5) and he has taped 12 veterans stories. Now working on new film called ‘3 Minutes to Midnight’. It was agreed that the chapter would give Regis $500 toward travel to produce his new film which will focus on the wider US ‘pivot’ into Asia-Pacific. Also agreed that Regis would show a 29-minute film he made called “US of War” at the start of our next monthly meeting in Portland. Russ Christianson has donated 200 books for outreach to schools and libraries. Doug & Tom are helping him distribute them.
Blue Angels Airshow September 5-6: We need someone to coordinate what we do at the airshow. Will decide at next meeting. Should we protest Saturday or Sunday? Outside or inside? Consider joining a planning committee.
Next Peace Walk: Jason Rawn and Bruce reported on early efforts to promote the next peace walk. Tentative dates October 9-22 from Ellsworth to Portsmouth under theme of ‘Militarization of the Seas: Pentagon’s Impact on Oceans’. Two volunteers made a preliminary flyer and tabled at the recent Hope Festival at UMO. They signed up a dozen interested people. Jason was just on a six-week peace walk from west coast to New York and spread word. Several Buddhist monks and nuns expressing interest. Boston-area VFP and various New Hampshire activists expressing interest as well. Next planning meeting on May 23 at noon in Bath.
Veteran Song: Workshop originally scheduled for May has been postponed for now. The person who was doing the arranging had to back out for personal reasons.
Full Disclosure: About 100 letters have been collected so far for the Memorial Day (May 25) letters at the foot of the Wall in Washington, DC remembrance action. If you wish to submit a letter that will be delivered to the Wall on Memorial Day, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject line: Memorial Day 2015).
Memorial Day Parade Brunswick: May 25 we will join PeaceWorks for the annual parade. Wear black and bring our white VFP flags. Dan will send out details of time and place to meet in Topsham for the walk to downtown Brunswick.
CGFair: We will focus our tabling at the September fair around the October peace walk and the pie chart showing how our tax dollars go disproportionately to the Pentagon. Button machine and also Latin America & Africa US militarization information will also be added to table.
National Confab: Doug will attend and Bruce suggested we send new member David Larsen so he gets a chance to have the full VFP experience. (David said he’d consider and let us know.) $1,000 was approved to be divided between both men. Dan and Bruce will design an advert for the program around our October peace walk theme.
Sound System: Richard and Dan will work on getting it to work for outside use. Bruce is willing to store it but only if it is in working order for use on battery since that is how we most frequently have need for it. Gerry Genesio letter: Genesio sent a letter to VFP resigning. Doug will send the letter, and VFP director Michael McPherson’s reply, around to list serve.
Libby Scholarship: We approved a $100 donation from the chapter to the Russell Libby scholarship fund.
MFSO Donation: We also approved a $100 donation to the national MFSO organization.
Next Meeting: Will meet on May 28 in Portland at 7pm and will show the 29 minute film by Regis at the start of the meeting. Smitty will arrange location (likely at USM) and let us know.