Meeting opened at 7:30 pm, December 1,2022
Attendance: Doug Rawlings, Dan Ellis, Larry Gilbert, Don Kimball, Peter Morgan, Peggy Akers, Lynn Ellis, Suzanne Hedrick, Dave Larsen, Martha Spiess, Sally Chappell, Tom Whitney, John Morris, and guest Kathy Coughlan.
Inspiration: Two songs (with video), one by VFP member Pat Scanlon and one by Pink Floyd (Roger Waters).
Secretary’s Report: October minutes accepted as read.
Treasurer’s Report: Current bank balance is $7000.26. Lynn reminded everyone that yearly dues may be paid via the VFP website or by sending a check made out to Maine VFP to her at 50 Baribeau Drive, Apt. 112, Brunswick ME 04011.
Shetterly Project: Doug reported on the November 5th workshop at Thomas College. It was attended by 125 elementary, middle school, and high school teachers who are interested in showing the Truth Tellers film at their respective schools. We have budgeted $4300 for the project but have only been requested to provide $1000 at the moment for expenses for the workshop speakers.
Discussion was held on the possible use of the Portland Media Center for future VFP events. Dan will pursue this with the Center. Peggy reported that their membership fee is $250.
Sally reported on Paul Chappell’s Peace Literacy Institute and that she will try to get him to visit Maine and possibly speak at one of our meetings.
Don reported on the campaign to name an I-95 access road in South Portland after Samantha Smith. A bill to do this will come before the Maine Legislature in January and is expected to be received favorably. It is hoped that a dedication can be scheduled on her birthday, June 5th. Please send letters of support to Sam Baker, c/o State Senator Anne Carney, Maine State Senate, 3 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333-0003 ASAP.
Lynn displayed an image of the plaque that she and Dan have designed to present to Peter Woodruff’s widow in recognition of Peter’s many years of activism as a member of our VFP chapter. Don and Peggy will contact Maggie Woodruff to set a date for the presentation which could be at one of our meetings or possibly in person at the Brunswick Public Library. Dan will be in touch with the library to reserve a space and a time for the presentation.
Peter reported that the Golden Rule will not sail down the Mississippi River as previously scheduled but is still on track to visit Maine in June of next year. He has been doing much advance work in preparation for the Maine portion of the voyage and requests assistance from chapter members since there are considerable logistical challenges which need to be addressed and for which we will be responsible. He will continue to post updates on the voyage on the listserv.
Don, Martha, and Peter represented the chapter at the November 16th protest in Boston against Chase Bank’s financing of the military-industrial complex and the fossil fuel industry, organized by Massachusetts Peace Action and the Smedley Butler Chapter of VFP. A video of the protest can be accessed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc4h8uipSHw.
Armistice Day: Eleven of us gathered with flags and banners at Monument Square in Portland to watch the parade pass by. Our presence was acknowledged favorably by many of the onlookers and marchers.
Doug reported that he had a very positive experience at Gould Academy in Bethel for a poetry session to honor Armistice Day.
T-shirts: Contact Doug if you ordered one but have not yet received it. Cost is $20.
BIW Advent Vigils: Will be held on the following Saturdays from 11:30am to 12:30pm in front of the administration building on Washington Street in Bath. November 26, December 3, December 10, and Decdmber 17. All are welcome.
Don reported on the food program which takes place every Saturday at Deering Oaks Park in Portland. He has been supplying and helping to distribute food to those in need and would welcome volunteers to assist in this vital humanitarian effort. Contact him for particulars at email@example.com.
Guest Kathy Coughlan spoke about the planned action in support of the homeless at the State House in Augusta on December 7. If interested, contact her at Irishlass@roadrunner.com.
Lynn reported that a ten year commemoration of the Sandy Hook school shooting will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Brunswick from 6-7:30pm on December 14. The event is being sponsored by three Maine groups against gun violence. Doug will be one of the speakers and would be happy to receive any thoughts that members might have on the topic.His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan reported that he would appreciate any ideas from the membership for the improvement of our website, which thanks to him, is already a very good one. His email is email@example.com.
Don reported that his radio show Friendly Fire on WMPG will be celebrating its five year anniversary. Listen every Wednesday from 1-1:30pm at FM 90.9. Past episodes are archived at WMPG.org. for your listening pleasure.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm. Next meeting (ZOOM) on January 26, 2023.