Meeting opened at 7pm

Attendance: Larry Gilbert, Lynn Ellis, Doug Rawlings, Peter Morgan, Suzanne Hedrick, Martha Spiess, Seth Berner, Dan Ellis, Dave Larsen, Sally Chappell, Adam Toothaker, Joanne Marian, John Morris

Inspirational Moment: Lynn read a short essay “Women Who Run With Wolves”

Secretary’s Report: December minutes accepted as read

Treasurer’s Report: Balance as of 2/1: $2087.63, not including MaineShare check for $3104.56.

Lynn reported on a $60,700 gift to the Chapter from Peter Shaw, a former VFP member. Discussion on the disposition of this money will be held at a later date

Peter reported that he and other Chapter members attended the opening of the current session of the Maine Legislature on 1/3 in support of proposed gun legislation

Peter reported on the tentative Maine veterans trip to Washington DC on 3/4 to speak to members of the Maine Congressional delegation to urge their support for gun regulation bills

Lynn reported that representatives who have sponsored three  gun safety bills before the State Legislature are optimistic for their passage.

Suzanne asked about VFP participation in rallies to support gun legislation

Peter reported on a 3/13 Moms Demand Action rally for gun legislation in Lewiston

Doug reported on rallies in Farmington by 3rd Act in opposition to the Israeli attack on Gaza.

Larry reported on a 6/7 event in Lewiston honoring Dr. Bernard Lown for his work on the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Larry reported on a possible resolution by  the Lewiston city government in support of the rights of Palestinians in Gaza.

Doug reported on a bill in the State Legislature that would prohibit persons from involvement in firearm activities that could result in civil disorder. Lynn expressed support for the bill but Seth expressed reservations due to complications that might arise if passed. A work session on the bill is scheduled for 2/7 in the Legislature

Doug suggested a $700 donation to Don Kimball for food and related assistance to unhoused people in Portland. This was approved by those present at the meeting

Sally reported on a book by Tracy Kidder, “Rough Sleepers”, a chronicle of Dr. Jim O’Connell’s mission to bring healing to the homeless.

Doug reported on the need to update and expand the Chapter website and the listserv. Discussion followed.

Doug reported on the upcoming Peace Walk scheduled to begin in Augusta on 4/27. Planning is underway and it was agreed that considerable effort will be necessary to actually implement the walk. The Maine portion of the walk will comprise a total of eleven days to finally arrive in Portsmouth NH.

Doug reported that he received a request from a teacher at the Waynflete School in Portland to have a VFP veteran speak on Vietnam

Lenten vigils At Bath Iron Works beginning 2/14 and every Saturday until Easter. 11:30-12:30 in front of BIW Administration Building, Washington St.,Bath For the conversion of BIW to peaceful purposes.

Discussion was held on war issues. Adam reported that he has been contacting the offices of the Maine Senators and Representatives to express his sentiments and urges all others to do the same.

Peter again mentioned the Women in Black vigils every Friday at 5pm at Congress Square in Portland.

Sally reported on the 1/27 Pax Christi webinar on nuclear disarmament.

“Breaking Waves”, a 24 minute video on the rebirth of the Golden Rule may be accessed on Youtube.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.

Next meeting (Zoom) on Thursday, February 29