Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 1
Minutes from Business Meeting
July 22, 2010
Holiday Inn By The Bay
Portland, Maine

PRESENT: Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Tim Blanchette, Stan Lofchie, Dan Ellis, Dave Crowley, Michael Uhl, Bob Lezer, Tom Sturtevant, Peggy Akers, Dud Hendrick, Bruce Gagnon, Herb Hoffman, Dovey Balsam, Nicole Moreau, Kristina Wolff, Tom Whitney, Robin Welch, and Doug Rawlings

The meeting began at 7:02 pm

  • The meeting began with President Hendrick acknowledging the hard work of many around the table as we move toward the convention.
  • Last month’s Secretary’s Report was accepted as written (Doug motion/Tim second). Thanks to Bob Lezer for taking those minutes in the secretary’s absence.
  • A group picture was taken to be used as a welcome in the convention program. Thanks to Nicole for taking the picture.
  • Membership: Dan reported no changes in membership status from the last meeting.
  • Treasurer’s Report: Approved.
  • Convention Reports (secretary’s note: this is kind of neat. I’m just now writing this up AFTER the convention took place – okay, okay, I’m late, late, late—but it does offer us an interesting narrative. I’ll not amend these minutes to reflect actual convention results):

    Michael reported that the convention program will probably run 70 pages (40 for ads and 30 for text and editorial comment). Michael and Dan are putting the program together and request a deadline schedule. Franklin Printing in Farmington has worked with us in the past, are reasonable and dependable, so we decided to go with them. Doug mentioned that the workshop scheduling is still in flux (people negotiating times; some dropping out; some joining in), so he requests a deadline as late as possible.

    Nothing new to report on the Poetry Night.

    Opening Ceremony: Peggy has contacted the mayor and it’s possible he might be there.

    Public Meeting: Bruce will make up a flyer for the event to be posted across the state and in town. Chellie Pingree will introduce Congressman Bob Filner. We will request a $10.00 donation at the door. Dud and Bruce will be in charge of promoting the event. Bruce will send out word to his New England Regional list-serve.

    Rally: Bruce will make up and distribute a flyer. He will also finalize arrangements with Portland police and set up volunteers. Puppets will be provided by Bob Dale. Peter Armstrong will be there with his kettle drum.

    Fundraising: Bob Lezer has finalized arrangements with Flatbread Company for an August 3rd fundraiser (we’ll have a table staffed from 4:30pm to 9:00pm; raffle tickets will be sold for the calendar; Flatbread will donate $3.75 for each large pizza sold and $1.75 for each small pizza sold; we could raise as much as $1,000 at this event; Dud and others will publicize the event in Portland, and Tom will design two posters to be put up at the restaurant. Bruce will send out a press release about the event. The following people agreed to staff the table: Bob, Kristina, Doug, Nichole, and Tom.

    Rob Shetterly Portraits: Bob Lezer and Tom Sturtevant and Peggy Akers will arrange for the transportation and construction of the display in the vendor area. Rob is somewhat concerned about the safety of his work, so the area will be locked after 5:00pm. We’ll need a van to transport the portraits.

    Banners: Tom Sturtevant will create and print a 20 foot long welcoming banner through the Graphic Design Company in Dresden. It won’t be made of vinyl but, perhaps, will be made from recycled soda bottles. Bob Lezer will inventory what we have available for banners and will decide where the banner should be placed throughout Holiday Inn.

    Commemorative Pins: Pins will be designed to give to charter members and other honorees. A company in Colorado will make them. Bob suggested that we use the Maine logo and mention 25 years on it. We figure it’ll cost about $1.35 per pin, and we’ll order 300 of them.

    T-Shirts: Doug will contact Liberty Graphics to finalize the deal – i.e., number to be printed, design, type of shirt, and cost.

    Tabling: To date, six tables have been reserved through the national Office. We need to get more groups to table (cost will range from $35 to $50). We’ll probably need tables for separate chapters to put out stuff; we’ll probably need 5 or 6 tables for literature to be displayed; our chapter will need three tables to display Shetterly’s material and calendars; Herb suggested that we have a table set aside for books written by presenters. Doug will contact presenters encouraging them to display their books.

    Volunteers: We will set up a staffing table in the tabling area for volunteers to report to throughout the convention. We need to gather a list of tasks. Smitty has been corresponding with Betsy from the national office. She’ll need five volunteers (some of whom will come from the national office). Since Smitty has personal family concerns, Bruce has agreed to step in and help him out. Dud suggested that we all ask our friends to volunteer. Bruce said that we should have a volunteer policy set up and clear assignments made. We agreed that volunteers could attend workshops free of charge. We’ll need volunteers to help Betsy at the registration table; volunteers to run errands; volunteers to be posted on the streets during off-site events.

    Audio-Visual: Dan asked two other companies to bid on our convention other than Headlight Company. He discovered that Headlight is giving us a good deal and that they’re good people to work with. Our needs are changing and we need to keep contacting the Headlight Company and modifying our contract with them. We’ll need video for the New Hampshire Room. Right now our contract reads $7,228 for AV assistance. We had submitted a $6500 AV budget to national.

    Movies: Betsy is arranging to have movies shown.

    Workshops: Doug announced that we have 28 workshops lined up. We’ll need volunteers to help check in on workshops and provide AV assistance. Doug will set up a workshop presenters check-in list to verify their attendance.

    VIP Reservations: Michael wanted to verify who has promised a room to any of the speakers. He and Dud will work on this and then correspond with the national office.

    Serenity Room: Peggy has verified that the room will be set up in the Holiday Inn York Room. Kat Lezer will help Peggy to set up a comfortable space.

    Housing: Tim announced that Betsy is referring people who can’t afford rooms at the Holiday Inn to him. Tim is placing them in alternative housing. So far nine people have been set up with housing, and he’s working on two more; he estimates that he’ll have room for about seven or eight more. So far, so good.

    Lobster Bake: Special needs van needed for transport to the ferry (especially for those in wheel chairs). Dud will finalize this. Dud will work on finalizing other needs: bartenders, set-ups, etc. Peggy has worked with Casco Bay Lines to order tickets ahead of time (also need to determine senior citizens’ rates).

    Plenaries: Bruce is all set for the first plenary. Dan announced that he’ll have a singer to start off the session. Bruce said that he might need some money to help meet their travel expenses. Mike Ferner (National President) has lined up David Cobb as the keynote speaker for the second plenary. A folksinger will introduce the session.

    Banquet: Michael has nothing new to report.

    Promotion: Dud asked us to consider any other means of promoting the convention. Public Access channels? Herb and Peggy will contact them. Channel Six will be contacted. Bill Green’s Maine show may feature VFP on August 21st. He needs visuals.

OTHER BUSINESS (What? You mean we’re doing something else besides prepare for the convention?):

  • Someone mentioned (I apologize) that there are plans afoot to open up a new recruiting center on the Maine/New Hampshire border.
  • Common Ground Fair: Dud requested two tables. Dud volunteered that someone from our group will speak on Saturday at the Social Rights event. Since last year’s CGF fell almost entirely on Bob Lezer’s and Tom Sturtevant’s shoulders, Dud asked others to step up to help out this year. Volunteers: Bob Lezer, Richard Clement. Doug Rawlings, Herb Hoffman, Kristina Wolff. We’ll need folks to staff the tables on Friday, Saturday and Sunday ( Sept. 24th, 25th, and 26th). Contact Bob Lezer if you can help out.
  • Peace Walk: Bruce announced that the walk will take place between November 3rd and the 11th. It will begin in Farmington and end in Portland. It will be led by Buddhist monks from Vermont. It will focus on stopping the war, bringing home war dollars, PTSD issues, and perhaps environmental issues connected to the military. As with previous peace walks, we’ll be looking for volunteers to host walkers, to arrange potluck suppers at various sites and entertainment/speakers to address walkers and community folks. Please contact Bruce or Doug if you want to help out.