Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 001
Minutes from Business Meeting
June 25, 2009
Eastland Hotel
Portland, Maine

Time begun: 7:00 PM
Time adjourned: 9:06 PM

Present: Sarah Bigney (guest), Peter Senzamici (guest), Tim Blanchette, John Branson, Jack Bussell, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Dave Crowley, Dan Ellis, Bruce Gagnon, Dud Hendrick, Herb Hoffman, Bob Lezer, Stan Lofchie, Victor Skorapa, Clarence Smith, Tom Sturtevant.

Introductions were made. Guests were Peter Senzamici of Bates College and Sarah Bigney of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign.

Peter Senzamici, a Bates College senior and a Peace Action Maine intern, spoke about work he is doing around a project he hopes will lead up to an oral history of the Veterans’ Peace Movements. This project will be his senior thesis. Interested attendees gave Peter their contact info. It was suggested that this project be posted on our web site. Feel free to contact Peter at his e-mail —

Victor Skorapa, Senior, introduced Sarah Bigney of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign. Sarah spoke about the activities of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign which includes some 53 organizations. Sarah (a former student of Dud’s at UMO) spoke about the need to have Senator Olympia Snow sign on as a sponsor of the Fair Trade bill. Sarah can be contacted at

Minutes of prior meeting: Move to accept as distributed by Jack Bussell, seconded by Stan Lofchie. Approved.

Treasurers report: Tim blanchette, Treasurer, presented the treasurers report indicating that the balance was $4,614.27 on May 27th, 2009 and that we had income of $3,072.66 ($2712.66 from MaineShare and $360.00 from dues and donations) with expenses of $17.79 for postage creating a balance of $7,669.14. When including our 2010 VFP Convention Fund $4,500.00 and our Legal Defense Fund, $1,330, we have a total of $13,499.14 in our treasury.

Motion to approve by Jack Bussell, seconded by Stan Lofchie. Approved.

Membership Report: Dan Ellis reported that the Chapter currently has 182 members. 152 are regular members and 30 are Associate members. 114 are current with their Chapter dues.

MaineShare report: Tom Sturtevant reported that this is the 20th Anniversary of MaineShare and reminded us that Maine Veterans For Peace is an inaugural member.

There will be a celebration on September 10th at the Frontier Café in Brunswick. Details will be forthcoming. There will be a program for this event. It was moved by Jack Bussell that we purchase a 1/2 page ad for $250.00. Seconded by Stan Lofchie. Approved by all. Bruce Gagnon and Dan Ellis agreed to create the ad and submit to MaineShare. Thank you.

Jack spoke about how ably Tom Sturtevant has represented Maine Veterans for Peace on the MaineShare Board and how much we appreciate his work with MaineShare.

Nominating Committee: Tom Sturtevant noted that Arthur Whitman is no longer able to serve, for health reasons, on the nominating committee. Stan Lofchie and Tom are now the nominating committee. Tom reported that they are looking for a person to replace Tim as Treasurer as he has indicated the desire to step down.

Dud noted that Tim has asked to step down from the Treasurers position since he has served two years in that capacity. Tom Sturtevant noted that the nominating committee (Tom and Stan) is looking for a person to fill that role.

Dud noted that Kristina is wishing to step down as Vice-President and has indicated she may be willing to serve as Treasurer.

Honorary member induction: President Dud Hendrick inducted John Branson, Esquire into the Chapter as a lifetime honorary member. Dud spoke about John’s service to the Chapter, a statement from Doug Rawlings, a founding member and past president, was read, and Treasurer Tim Blanchette spoke of John’s value to the Chapter. Tim Blanchette and Bob Lezer presented John with a plaque, a VFP ball cap and a gift certificate to a Portland eatery.

Chapter name change and EIN # issues: John Branson explained that since Veterans for Peace was founded in Maine that the original EIN# was associated with that Chapter later called the Sam Shaw Chapter. The national VFP organization assumed the EIN# of the founding chapter, us. So, when we changed our name in 2007 we actually changed the name of the national organization. John explained that national allows chapters to be linked to them using the National EIN# and we can use any chapter name approved by National. To resolve the issues the following two steps are recommended:

  1. That we register with the Secretary of state as Maine Veterans For Peace William Ladd Chapter. This will cost $25.00. We will gain the approval of National Veterans For Peace.
  2. That we change our EIN# from the one linked to the Sam Shaw Chapter (us a long time ago) to a new one registered to Maine Veterans For Peace William Ladd Chapter. Moved by Jack Bussell and seconded by Bob Lezer.

Following some discussion and with John Branson indicating he would shepherd these changes through the process this was approved.

Event insurance: John Branson reported that in discussions with National regarding event insurance that we can obtain liability insurance for specific events for a cost of about $300.00. John is willing to assist as needed. Thank you.

PTSD Symposium: The 2009 PTSD scheduled for June 6th was cancelled due to the sudden unavailability of the primary speaker. Jack Bussell will follow up with USM to see if we are due a refund of all or part of our deposit for the meeting site.

Rob Pfieffer and Michael Uhl will co-chair the planning of a practitioner based PTSD Symposium for this fall.

2010 National VFP Convention – August 18 –22 , Portland, Maine: Jack Bussell reported that the planning committee had met prior to this meeting and that more volunteers to assist in the various aspects of organizing are needed, particularly in the area of promotion and publicity. A request will be sent out over the list serve. All are welcome to join committees.

Committed speakers to date are: Chris Hedges, Martin Sheen and the following individuals have been contacted, James Carrol, Amy Goodman, with Seymore Hirsch asked.

Jack will be going to the 2009 VFP Convention in Baltimore.

Michael Uhl has requested $200.00 from the Chapter to attend the 2009 VFP Convention.

So moved by Jack Bussell and seconded by Richard Clement. Approved.

Herb Hoffman told us that he will no longer be going to the national convention as the panel he was to be on is full.

Report on June 13 meeting in Augusta organized by Lisa Savage of Code Pink. The purpose of the meeting was to form a coalition of organizations to express opposition to the U.S. actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the U.S. military involvement is escalating dramatically. The Peace movement has not shown strength around this issue. The two Representatives from Maine voted against funding for the expansion. Members urged to write letters to the editor giving their reasons why expansion of the military in this arena is not a good idea.

Lisa is interested in expanding her efforts and the groups in the area of conversion. Our Senators may stonewall so Lisa has suggested a post card campaign.

There will be a follow up meeting after the August 1 demonstration at BIW. Watch the Website for details.

Discussion ensued about the role of Pingree and Michaud in the votes for military funding.

Bruce Gagnon said that we do not know enough about the true role of the Aegis destroyer in the role of protecting the U.S. after a first strike. The U.S. has surrounded China and the Aegis destroyer is playing a significant role. We need to EDUCATE the public and the politicians about the importance of conversion. BIW can build solar and wind generation systems as well as peaceful maritime vessels i.e. Hospital ships. We need to help our legislators develop the courage to create change.

MOFGA ad for Common Ground Fair: Dan Ellis, Bruce Gagnon and Tom Sturtevant will develop an ad for the Common Ground fair program. It was decided that the ad will be based on the Conversion theme. Moved by Bruce Gagnon that we spend $325 for an ad. Seconded by Jack Bussell. Approved.

August 1, 2009 AEGIS Launch at BIW: Jack reported that the DDG 109 (the 58th built) will be launched on the morning of August 1 at BIW. We will gather at the administration building between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM and walk to the South gate at 9:30 AM for a demonstration. Speeches by Lisa Savage, Mary Beth Sullivan and perhaps Peter Woodruff. Dan and Jack will bring the sound system. The event will end by noon.

Stan spoke about the emphasis that the U.S. media has placed on the Iranian elections being fraudulent. Stan suggested that we look at the writing of Flynt Leveritt from Penn. State who is an expert on the Middle East and has concluded that the elections in Iran were fair. Why are we fomenting war in the region. Stan suggests we Google Petras, James.

Dud said that Doug has endorsed the concept of our chapter sending representatives to the School of the America’s demonstration in November

Richard asked about the Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert on the 25th of July. Apparently we have NOT signed up to table at the event. Richard will contact Michael Uhl.

Next meeting: July 30th in Lewiston at the L.A. U.S.M. campus. Tom will arrange the meeting site. Starting time 7:00 PM.