Veterans for PeacePRESENT: Bob Lezer, Rita Clement, Bill Laidley, Gerry Kamke, Robin Spencer, Peter Morgan, Peter Woodruff, Regis Tremblay, Richard Clement, Dan Ellis, Bud Buzzell, Clarence Smith, Martha Morrison, and Doug Rawlings
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
December 17, 2015
Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick
* Our first order of business was a deeply sad one. We passed around a card to be sent to Tim Blanchette's widow, Dottie. Tim died on the 15th. We did take a moment to remember Tim:
* The Secretary's report from the November meeting was accepted as written.
* The Treasurer's report was presented by our new treasurer with assistance from Robin. We have a balance of $5,116.94.
* Richard reported that MaineShare was very pleased with the donation we provided after our fundraising event.
* Dan, putting on his membership guru hat, reported that there was no change in our membership profile -- we have 132 members of which 87 are veterans, 23 are associates, 11 are donors, 10 are honorary, and 1 is a lifetime member. Dan will send out December renewal notices on December 17th.
* For our Media report, Regis shared with us his latest profile in his "Warriors For Peace" series. Peter Hind is a 92 year old Catholic priest (Carmelite Order) whom Regis knew as his teacher in the distant past. Peter was a WWII fighter pilot in the Pacific theater, flying over Nagasaki two days after the bomb leveled the city. Peter recognized that he was a mere "cog in the war machine." He did as he was told for awhile but was eventually courtmartialed for insubordinate behavior. After leaving the Air Force, he became a priest and worked closely with Stokley Carmichael and SNCC, as well as working with campesinos in the Andes Mountains. Part of his mission is to bring back to us, in the USA, word of how people suffer under our imperialist foreign policy. He currently works in Juarez, Mexico to help those workers in the sweat shops on the border of Mexico and the US. Peter is a member of VFP. Regis's film of his life can be found on our Vietnamfulldisclosure.org website.
* Doug reported that Fred Brancato' of the USM Elders Group will be leading a contingent of peace activists to Senator Angus King's office. Along with representatives of the Elders Group and the Moms Against Gun Violence group, five VFP members will be accompanying Fred -- Richard, Peter Morgan, Gerry, Doug, and Bud. We will meet at King's Augusta office on January 7th at 11:00am. We will discuss the eight point recommendations for gun safety legislation drawn up by the Elders Group.
* Dan filled us in on the rather complicated process of switching credit unions from Robin's credit union to his in Brunswick. He thought we might have to contact our lawyer, John Branson, for legal information about our chapter. We have decided to open a business account rather than a personal account. Dan, as our treasurer, would be the lead signor on the account with Richard and Doug acting as alternate signers. Bill Laidley, who has had experience with this type of situation, asked some good questions and offered some advice. Presently, Dan has opened the account as a personal one but wants to switch it to a business account as soon as possible. Our first order of business is to get approval of the switch to the Brunswick Credit Union from our chapter's Board of Directors. Dan will use Quicken to keep the account and will have checks made up as soon as possible. He will also acquire a debit card from the Credit
* Richard reminded the chapter that your humble servant writing these minutes is only serving in an interim capacity and that we are currently seeking a more permanent secretary. Any takers?
* Richard shared with us a recent mailing from Chapter 003's Dan Avener concerning "Waging Peace/Maine," a group that has brought Paul Chappell to Maine (Paul is a member of VFP's national Advisory Board. The group is working on a full-length documentary and is seeking financial donations. We decided to table the consideration until we could do further research into the matter.
* Richard mentioned that he has been contacted by Maureen Topa, who hosts a show entitled "Animal Sounds" on the Portland radio station WMPG. She wants to explore the topic of violence via an on-air discussion. She would love to have our veterans' perspective on the show. The show would be aired in January, so Richard asked if any Portland residents might be interested in going on to represent VFP. Bud volunteered and agreed to contact Peggy Akers also. Regis has been on her show before and praised it.
* Richard announced that Bud's three year term on the chapter's Board of Directors is ending at the first of the year. Gerry Kamke volunteered to replace him and, after a lengthy discussion of about three seconds, we unanimously voted Gerry on board, so to speak. Thank you Bud for your service and thank you Gerry for stepping up to the plate.
* Martha asked about an on-line Peace Studies course that she had heard about that may have come from USM. No one knew about it. Any help out there?
* Bill had the following letter published in the Portland Press Herald. He reported that he received some very good feedback.
NEXT MEETING: JANUARY 28, 2016 at the UMA HOLOCAUST CENTER .
* The meeting adjourned at 8:41pm.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!
Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it. -- Bertolt Brecht
I refuse to live in a country like this, and I'm not leaving. -- Michael Moore
American politics is the entertainment wing of the military industrial complex -- Frank Zappa