June 2, 2005
Maine VFP Chapter 001
Meeting Lewiston/Auburn College, Lewiston, Maine

President Doug Rawlings called the meeting to order at 7:05 with 22 members present.

An April 8th letter from Marina Whitehouse, a teacher at the Kennebunk High School, was read, reflecting her positive response to the presentation by VFP members on Alternatives to Military Service. A question that suggested that Perry O’Brien was being paid by VFP was answered in the negative, although VFP has assisted in establishing a web site for his program.

Minutes were accepted and seconded with a correction of the date of the Bath Iron Works launch July 23, not July 16.

Treasurer’s Report: We have $4,008 in the bank to meet expected expenditures of approximately $3000 for a new printing of book covers. Income in July of the second half of the MaineShare grant is anticipated. Dues of $15 for the local chapter and $25 for National for 2005-6 may be paid after September 1st. The President is planning a letter to that effect. In addition donations are always much appreciated.

The Memorial Day Parade/Brunswick: About 30 VFP members participated in the memorial. Vice President Peggy Akers led the group, reading the names of those who had died in Iraq. The display of crosses representing the 1,657 US military killed in the Iraq war was followed by banners expressing opposition to war as a means of resolving conflict and the huge costs in terms of lives lost. Jack and Fay Bussell designed banners that specifically pointed out the costs of the Korean War and that compared the losses in American soldiers’ lives from last Memorial Day to this one. As always, the work of Jack and Fay, as well as Richard and Rita Clement, is much appreciated. It was recommended that an amplifier be used in future reading of names of the fallen.

PTSD Workshops: We agreed to start planning for a PTSD workshop day centered on the work of Glenn Schiraldi, whose book (THE POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER SOURCEBOOK) has just been published Doug will ask Tim Blanchette to see if he can arrange a time and date for Dr. Schiraldi to present in Maine sometime this fall. VFP agreed to purchase three of Dr. Schiraldi’s books for use prior to the workshop. Perhaps we could feature his books at the Common Ground Fair

Bath Iron Works Launch, July 23: Members should meet at Riverfront Park about 8:30, bringing signs. The theme is “Economic Conversion.” The group will move out at 9:30AM. Next meeting we’ll discuss signs and banners.

Common Ground Fair:
$155 was authorized for a corner booth at the Fair, September 23, 24, 25. John Howe of Waterville, author of The End of Fossil Energy and a Plan for Sustainability, will be the featured speaker at the Fair. VFP will display the new edition of his book expected out this summer. Tentative arrangements have been made to Howe to speak at our next VFP meeting in Brunswick June 30.

Air Show – September 10 & 11: An all night vigil and speakers are in the planning stage. A final meeting of planners is scheduled for June 25: send suggestions to Bruce See the VFP Maine web site for further details.

Counter Recruiting: A Work Shop on “Working with Teens” is being planned. Elizabeth Sprague (She is seeking funding.) would like to work in the northern and eastern counties of Maine, devoting half time to the poverty draft and half time to counseling. Sessions would be with a minimum of 15 participants paying $30 for the manual. It was suggested that VFP might provide scholarships to underwrite the cost for individuals needing help. A new manual is planned. Voted to purchase three copies for use and display at the Common Ground Fair booth. It was also suggested that VFP contribute up to 50% of the cost of the manual for those VFP members engaged in Counter Recruiting.

American Friends Service Committee is also planning a Counter Recruiting session in Damariscotta June 28 (time 3-5PM). Each person attending is encouraged to bring a teacher, a student and a parent.

Hiroshima Day in Brunswick, August 6th: The 60th Anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Japanese cities will be celebrated with a Peace Fair on the Mall. Peace flags will be designed. There will be crafts and an open mike. Details will be posted on the VFP Maine website when they are provided. Donations are welcomed to defray costs. Voted: $100 to off-set costs.

National VFP Convention, Dallas, August, 3-7: The draft of a Resolution to form VFP Youth Chapters was presented by Doug rawlings for review and comments by members (see attached with a copy of the By-Laws governing Resolutions). Final copy is due at least 10 days before the Convention. General support of the draft resolution was noted. There was commentary to the effect that College students should be included. President Rawlings is planning to represent Chapter 001.

A Bangor to Augusta Walk for Peace: Russell Christianson, a lawyer and Peace Activist from Bangor, presented a proposal that VFP join him in a 30-mile walk from Bangor to Augusta while the Legislature was in session. Individual members indicated an interest in joining, but felt the time was too short to commit time for the event; possibly in the fall. NOTE: Since the legislature will end on June 15th and won’t be meeting until January, Russ has decided to go forward with his walk, starting in Jay and ending in Augusta, the week of June 6th to the 10th. He plans on arriving in Augusta on June 10th. Anyone willing to join him during the walk or at the statehouse in Augusta should contact Doug Rawlings at 293-2580.

Other Business

VFP members who picked up t-shirts and hats at the Memorial Day Parade should send checks to Art Whitman, Treasurer, if they haven’t paid either Dour or Art to date.

Victor Skorapa spoke on the NAFTA Fair Trade issue, noting that Senator Olympia Snowe may vote for it, and asking VFP members to write of their opposition to NAFTA.

After the meeting broke up, Roger York urged that serious consideration be given to the rising Energy Crisis with the End of Cheap Oil. A documentary (DVD) on Energy, by Gerald Ungerman and Audry Brody. Narration was by Ed. Asner; it was considered too long (93 minutes) for a meeting and discussion. Note: plans at Common Ground Fair may consider stressing the Energy Crisis as a significant element in VFP Peace issues.

Next meeting: June 30, Senior Center, 55 Plus in Brunswick – 7:00 PM.

John Howe, engineer and author from Waterville, is expected to be speaking on the Energy Crisis. Bring a new member or a friend.

Respectfully submitted by Arthur Whitman, Secretary pro tem