Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
July 30, 2015
UMA Holocaust Center
Augusta, Maine

Present: Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Robin Spencer, Russell Christiensen, Vicki Saint Amand, Michael King, Dovey Balsam, and Doug Rawlings

Monthly Reading: Doug read Peggy Akers’ poem “Dear America” that appears in the summer issue of Peace In Our Times.

Richard pointed out that perhaps we should, in the future, skip July for meetings as he read through a list of eight names of people who contacted him with messages about not attending the meeting for family reasons, etc.

Once again, the Klahr Center at UMA was locked even though Robin had reserved the space. Eventually a security guard did show up but by then we had already secured a classroom. Robin will call UMA to see what’s going on.

The Secretary’s Report was accepted as presented on line. Secretary Gagnon was in Japan, so he couldn’t present it. Nor, for that matter, could he take the minutes you are reading. Come back, Bruce…..

As Dovey’s last act as our chapter treasurer, she reported on the budget (no typed copy available). We have a balance at the end of this month of $7,482.55. The treasurer’s duties were officially passed on to Robin Spencer. Dovey was thanked for her past service. The chapter account has been moved to cPort Credit Union in Augusta. Robin, Richard, and Doug are all signatories on the account. Robin is the only person with a chapter debit card. Dovey will send Robin a check for the entire amount of our treasury to be deposited in the account.

Richard reported on MaineShare: Rita, Peggy, Suzanne, and Mary will meet on August 17th to plan a VFP fundraiser to support MaineShare.

In Dan’s absence, Richard provided us with the membership report: we have 131 members– 87 veteran members and 22 associate members; 11 donor members; 10 honorary members; and 1 lifetime member. Ninety-eight members are currently paid up in their dues.

Doug reported that Dud Hendrick and Rob Shetterly will be presenting an account of their trip to Gaza (hence, our Education Committee stays alive).

Bruce, Dan, and Rosalie met with representatives from the Brunswick Air Station to discuss the upcoming Blue Angels event (September 5th and 6th). Richard reported that he was unaware of any specific plans for a VFP demonstration, but we agreed that we should have a presence there. We will finalize our plans at the August 27th chapter meeting — there are two possibilities: to enter the base and demonstrate inside the show or set up a demonstration at the gates. Both strategies have been employed in the past. We agreed that if members elect to enter the airshow, we will reimburse the cost of their tickets. Richard was contacted by the Peace and Justice Center requesting information about any VFP action to enter on their events calendar — we agreed to tell them that we will have a presence at the gate.

Richard reported that the upcoming fall Peace Walk is progressing nicely. The schedule is out on the chapter list-serve. Doug mentioned that he will see if he can get acupuncturists signed up for evening sessions during the walk (they provided this service at our first walk).

Richard reported that our MOFGA application for the Common Ground Fair has been accepted. Our present plans are to have a tax dollar pie chart on display, the infamous button machine up and working, Shetterly postcards for sale, and information focusing on the militarization of Africa and Latin America available. We still need someone to step up and take responsibility for organizing the information displays. Smitty has agreed to be the staffing coordinator (contact him if you’re interested in helping us staff the table — 18 vendor passes are available).

Russ and Doug are going to the VFP National Convention in San Diego next week thanks to the chapter’s generous financial support. Doug will be staffing the Full Disclosure table as well as reading poetry. He has been asked to give a few remarks at the Banquet dinner.

Richard has been given the honor of opening the Brunswick Peace Fair on August 1st (10:00am). VFP will have a table set up featuring the peace button machine as well as Peace in Our Times newspapers. VFP members are encouraged to attend.

Dud will be staffing the VFP table at the Belfast Peace Festival on August 29th. The fair runs from 11:00am to 6:00pm. VFP members are encouraged to attend.

Robin will be representing VFP at the Auburn Public Library’s program featuring Iraq War veteran Luis Montalvan (our chapter has provided funding to support the event) — August 3rd 4:00pm to 7:00pm. She will be providing remarks emphasizing that VFP was founded in Auburn thirty years ago. Please contact Robin if you want to attend.

Doug moved (Russ seconded) that our chapter provide $150 to help support a VFP ad in the upcoming National Lawyers Guild magazine. Doug reminded folks that two lawyers from the Guild provided pro bono support at the Bangor Six trial. Ken Mayers from the VFP Santa Fe chapter is organizing fundraising for the ad. Dovey will send the Santa Fe chapter a check.

Richard reported that the Waterville Bridges for Peace and Justice has stopped functioning; their last act was to send our chapter a check, clearing out their account, in recognition of our good work. Karen Heck ( the ex-mayor of Waterville and Treasurer of the group) sent us a nice note praising our group. Richard sent Chris Ruznov a note of thanks.

Richard announced that we need a new Board Member (a by-laws requirement). Since Robin has become treasurer, she automatically becomes a board member. However, since she already is a member, she is now, in a sense, vacating her position. Currently, Robin, Bud, and Smitty are our board members. Three of the board members present at this meeting (Richard, Dovey, and Doug) signed an official statement formalizing the process of appointing Robin as the treasurer/board member. Now we need someone to step up and become a board member — please send a nomination (or better yet, self-nominate) before our August meeting. We have to have a full board membership to comply with our by-laws. The commitment is for three years.

Richard has agreed to purchase the book BASE NATION by David Vine that outlines how U.S. Military is impacting the world. It will become the chapter copy of the book.

Richard will secure the World Beyond War publication “A Global Strategy, An Alternative to War” for our chapter. Leah Bolger is distributing copies to chapters.

Richard reminded us that Nicole George from Regents University is seeking participants in her survey of “peacemakers.” You can participate on-line.

Richard mentioned three “thank you” notes that our chapter has received this month (they will be passed on to Smitty for our archives): from Military Families Speak Out, from the Auburn Public Library, and from MOFGA (for our sponsorship of the Russell Libby scholarship).

VFP participated in the July Fourth parade in Bath (Bruce has provided pictures).

VFP participated in the Old Hallowell Days Parade on July 18th. Nay! More than participated — we won the “Spirit of Hallowell” award, mainly because of the good work of Dud Hendrick and Rob Shetterly. They carried a banner dedicated to Tom Sturtevant and Rachel Craig (Rachel was the first woman Marine who served in WWII and was an active member of Women in Black and a Hallowell resident)

OUR NEXT MEETING WILL BE IN PORTLAND ON AUGUST 27th. PROBABLY AT USM. Please be there– lots of important up coming events to discuss…

The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.