Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 001
Minutes from Business Meeting
July 30, 2009
Augusta, Maine

Time begun: 7:08 PM
Time adjourned: 9:17 PM

Present: Dud Hendrick, Doug Rawlings, Rita Clement, Richard Clement, Dan Ellis, Jack Bussell, Dave Crowley, Tom Whitney, Victor Skorapa, Michael Uhl, and Tom Sturtevant.

Dud began the meeting with a reading of the poem “Left Behind in Sorrow” by Will LaPage from his collection VOICES FROM THE PARK.

The minutes from the business meeting of June 2009 were accepted as written (Rawlings motion, Bussell second).

TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer’s report was accepted (Ellis motion, Rawlings second). It was presented by Dud in Tim’s absence. As of July 24th, we have $7035.19 in our general account, $4350 in our 2010 Convention Account, and $1330 in our Legal Defense Fund. Total Current Treasury = $12,715.19. From June 25th to July 24th, the following financial activities took place: Income of $245 (donations = $140 and dues = $105); Expenses of $878.95 (Branson plaque and gift = $130; National Convention added cost = $22.80; National convention (Uhl) = $200; MaineShare Ad = $200; and MOFGA Ad = $325). Dud announced that Tim will soon be turning the treasurer’s responsibilities over to Kristina Wolff.

MEMBERSHIP REPORT: The chapter currently has 184 members (152 veterans and 29 associate members, and 3 Honorary members). 112 members are paid up in their dues. Jack, Tom, Dave, Victor, Dud, and Doug agreed to call members whose dues payments are in arrears. Dan will send them the names and numbers to call.

MAINESHARE REPORT: Tom reminded us that the Hike and Bike is coming up and that MaineShare will be celebrating its anniversary in September at the Frontier café in Brunswick in September. He encourages all VFP Board members to attend. Tom also paid for the VFP sponsorship out of his own pocket and refuses to be reimbursed.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Tom and Stan are the standing members of the committee. They should begin work finding a vice-president after Kristina Wolff’s resignation (she’s becoming the treasurer).

Dud announced that we as a chapter should put together a formal recognition of Art Whitman’s contributions to the chapter over the years. He’s been in touch with Art’s daughter and is looking at Sunday, September 13th at 3:00pm in Auburn as a possible time and place.

Jack announced that the demonstration against the christening of another frigate at BIW will begin at 9:00am in front of the administration building.

Dud passed out postcards designed by Lisa Savage for Code Pink to distribute to our senators and representatives in opposition to the Afghanistan War.

PTSD SYMPOSIUM: Dud and Michael remarked that Rob Pfeiffer is still continuing his work with veterans and has received a favorable response from General Libby of the Maine National Guard. However it looks like VFP’s involvement in this is to be somewhat “muted.” There is still talk about doing something this fall in lieu of the cancelled PTSD conference in June – perhaps a series of workshops from Rob and his volunteers? Perhaps a reading of the Coleman play? The PTSD committee should meet sometime to discuss these options (committee members include Doug, Kristina, Rob, Jack, Dud, Michael, Rita, and Dan).

It was agreed that we should donate $150 to the USM Sociology department for their support of our past PTSD Symposia (Bussell motion, Uhl second). Once we get our past June application fee back from USM, we’ll proceed with this process.

2010 CONVENTION: Jack announced that we have 8 rooms reserved at the Eastport (at $149 each) for the October 16th, 17th, and 18th visit of the National Board to review the 2010 convention site. Jack suggested that we hold a Saturday luncheon buffet at the Eastland ($350) for the visiting board. Michael informed us that the Board visit can be a bit “unpredictable”: most members arrive on Friday; there will probably be an all-day training session on Saturday; and Sunday is pretty open. Michael will have a better idea of the Board’s intentions at our next meeting.

As far as the 2010 convention goes, Jack informed us that we can get a lobster/clam bake on House Island for $60/person (includes ferry costs and meal costs and tent rental). We may be able to arrange a less expensive venture, but we need to get going on that. Michael reiterated the need for fundraising activities to help us defray the costs of the convention. Doug agreed to print up a spreadsheet of 2010 Convention ideas, activities to date. Dan is working on t-shirt designs for the convention. We agreed that the convention committee has to meet before the next business meeting in September.

BRUNSWICK PEACE FAIR: Dan announced that Bob Lezer has the table material ready. Dan, Bob, Tom, and Richard will staff the VFP table.

CROSBY, STILLS, AND NASH CONCERT: Richard and Rita set up a VFP table next to the merchandise table. They donated VFP buttons to concert-goers with the stipulation that they wear the buttons immediately. Richard reported an enthusiastic response to VFP. We received $20 in donations.

COMMON GROUND FAIR: Tom asked if we have a theme for the booth yet. We have a double space again this year (without electricity). Tom suggested that we have a large map with pins marking all of the U.S. bases around the world with brochures about bases available and a banner questioning the U.S. Empire. Dud, Bruce, and Michael could provide the literature needed. We’d also have our usual brochures: VFP membership brochure, True Cost of War brochure in addition to a No Bases brochure, and a postcard announcing our 2010 convention that Dan will design. We’d also have our usual collection of buttons, etc etc. We’ll finalize plans for staffing the table at our next meeting. We encourage members to find time to staff the table one of the three days the fair is going on (staffing the table will get you free admission to the fair on that day!).


Tom Whitney emphasized the need to organize for the “long haul” as we face a bill that won’t include single payer health care for all. Tom is looking for members to join a steering committee to keep this struggle alive in Maine. He emphasized that this perfectly within VFP’s mission (“HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE”). Jack pointed out that our chapter did endorse Herb’s broadside in favor of the single payer plan. Doug pointed out that we should have a press release prepared when the new bill is unveiled pointing out our disappointment and re-emphasizing the need for a single payer plan. Perhaps Peggy Akers would be an ideal person to act as liaison between VFP and a Health Plan Committee.

Tom Sturtevant is still working on a plan to enter a bill into the next legislature that would get the national guard out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Tom reminded us that we should have something ready to go by December and that all of us should be looking for a representative who’d be willing to enter the bill.

After Dan made his case for a second microphone for our AV system, Doug moved and Jack seconded that we provide $250 for such an endeavor.

Doug requested a donation of $300 to help defray the costs of Father Roy Bourgeois’s visit to Maine under the auspices of Pax Christi. Rawlings motion/ Sturtevant second.

Tom Whitney reminded us of the march on the SOA on November 20th and our commitment to have representatives from VFP be there.

Dud announced that the next meeting will be September 17th.