Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
January 30, 2014
Buker Community Center
Augusta, Maine

Present: Rita Clement, Bud Buzzell, Clarence Smith, Richard Clement, Bruce Gagnon, Doug Rawlings, Robin Spencer, Dan Ellis, Peter Woodruff, Regis Tremblay, Peggy Akers, Dovey Balsam, Nicole Moreau

Secretary Report: Minutes of previous meeting (available online) were approved.

Treasurer Report: We will send $500 to the Bangor VFP chapter. Maine Share has distributed $4 million to groups across the state since their founding.

Membership: We currently have 160 members with 93 of them being paid up with their dues.

Outreach & Media Committees: Are jointly working on an April 11-12 Asia-Pacific panel discussion that will be held at UMO (April 11) and in Brunswick (April 12). Speakers will include Joseph Gerson (AFSC from Cambridge) as well as representatives from Korea, Japan, and India. Dan, Doug, Dud and Bruce are on this joint committee effort.

By-Laws: New version of By-Laws have been posted for membership review on our web site. We can amend them again any time that we need to do so. It was suggested that we add lingo to say that our chapter’s four officers are ex-officio members of the board. We should also change wording to allow Associate members to serve on the board of directors. Board membership should be up to five members. Once we get the By-Laws approved at our next meeting Richard requests that we should form a new nominating committee. Much discussion about the need to clarify local/national dues policies. One may belong to the local and not the national if they wish but everyone is urged to support national VFP as well.

Feb 1 Palestine Event: The chapter is hosting VFP members Tarak Kauff and Ellen Davidson from New York who recently spent a couple weeks in Palestine. We will give them a $300 honorarium and pass the hat for their travel expenses.

Re-Writing Vietnam: The DoD is undertaking a multi-year program to rewrite the Vietnam war history. It is VFP’s goal to broaden the focus to include what happened to the Vietnamese people as well as to US troops. This will be a 10 year project. We are calling it “Full Disclosure”.

Ann Jones in March: Jones has written an excellent wounded warriors book. She is an investigative reporter who CodePink Maine is bringing to the state to speak. VFP will co-sponsor the event. No more details are now available.

David Swanson Feb 15: Author/activist David Swanson will be speaking at the Brunswick library and at USM Lee Hall on Feb 15. The chapter gave $50. He is a very good speaker.

Whitman Memorial: A memorial service for Marianne Whitman (wife of long-time member Arthur) will be held on Feb 2 at the South Parrish Congregational Church in Augusta. VFP will give $100 to the Chamber Music Society in her memory.

Chapter Logo: National wants each chapter to have a logo they can put on their web site. Dan will send them our existing logo and add our chapter number to it.

Waging Peace & Justice 2014: National VFP priorities are: 1) Closing Guantanamo 2) GI resistance support 3) Opposing drones 4) Military budget cuts 5) Iran, Iraq, Syria, Korea Ghosts of Jeju: It was agreed that the chapter should give Regis Tremblay $1,000 so he can keep touring the country showing his film The Ghosts of Jeju. He has been getting good support from local VFP chapters around the nation. Richard said that when we take something on we stay with it.

New Stamp: The post office has a new stamp featuring a Shirley Chisholm portrait by our member Robert Shetterly. This reminded us to order more Shetterly painting cards for Common Ground Fair.

Peace Walk 2014: Bruce requested chapter approval to pursue organizing another peace walk with Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist nun Jun-san Yasuda next fall (October-ish). Chapter agreed he could proceed. He’d like to take the walk down to North Berwick where the Pratt-Whitney F-35 engine plant is in operation. This facility has been neglected by the peace movement in Maine. More details as they develop.

National Gossip: National is still talking about moving the office from St Louis but no decisions have yet been made. They must also start search for new Executive Director as Michael McPherson does not want to hold that position permanently. He agreed to come back and fill in while group figures out next steps.

Happy Birthday Victor: Peggy sent Victor Skorapa a letter on our behalf congratulating him on his 90th birthday and thanking him for his long time membership in VFP.

Next Meeting: Will be held in Brunswick at 7:00 pm. Exact location to be determined

BIW Protest Announcement: Since our meeting it has been announced by BIW that they will “christen” their first stealth destroyer (DDG 1000) on April 12. A protest will be held from 10:00 am to noon on Saturday, April 12 on the corner of Washington St & Hinckley St. This location is just across from where thousands will line up to enter BIW for the ceremony. Protest will be sponsored by VFP, Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm, PeaceWorks, and the Global Network.