Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
June 27, 2013
Buker Community Center
Augusta, Maine

PRESENT: Richard Clement, Dovey Balsam, Bud, Smitty, Dan Ellis, Tim Blanchette, and Doug Rawlings

> The meeting began at 7:10pm.

> Doug Rawlings agreed to take minutes in Bruce Gagnon’s absence. Caveat emptor.

> On Peggy Akers’s request, Dan Ellis showed a brief video about the Seeds of Peace camp to open the meeting. It was an inspirational accounting of young Israelis and Palestinians joining together in song. Tim remarked that he’d like to find someone from the camp to speak at his church.

> Richard sent around a card to sign for Herb Hoffman, wishing him well as he ventures out to New Mexico.

> The past meeting’s secretary’s report was accepted after a slight change — the meeting date for this meeting is June 27th, not August 25th as the inept interim secretary had noted. Caveat emptor.

> Membership Report: Dan reported that things have not changed much. We still have 162 members, with 84 currently paid up in dues. Dan will contact Smitty and Doug to help design a letter encouraging non-dues paying members to either pay their dues or be dropped from membership in the chapter.

> Richard and Dan discussed the upcoming Peace Fair in Brunswick, which will take place on August 3rd from 10:00am to 3:00pm. They and Bruce attended the last planning meeting. Our chapter did purchase a table spot and will feature our button making machine. The fair’s focus will be on interaction.

> The July 4th parade in Bath will include Bruce’s Drone message and the Bring Our War Dollars Home banner. Participants are to gather at 10:30am with the parade beginning at 11:30am. Potluck picnic at the Adams-Mellon house afterwards.

> Smitty reported that we last wrote a check to the Community Television Network in August 2012. Dovey will send a check out to them within the week.

> Dan showed us the ad that will be going into the VFP National Convention’s program booklet. After some discussion, we decided to go with the ad designed by Dan and Bruce built around Regis’s film on JeJu Island. Smitty moved that we do so, with Dovey seconding. Dovey will send a $125 check to national to, pay for the ad.

> Smitty reminded us of the upcoming November 2nd meeting to discuss and finalize our chapter’s by-laws. No place has been determined for the meeting.

> Richard reminded us of the upcoming peace walk for October 10th through the 19th. No further developments.

> Dovey announced that her planned workshop for the September 21st PTSD conference at UMF had been dropped because she hadn’t submitted her proposal in time. We also decided not to have a table at the conference. We will, however, provide scholarship funds to help veterans defray their travel expenses.

> Tim updated us on his dialogue with Taylor Stenger, the young veteran drone operator whom he met at our War Trauma Symposium. Tim says that he wants to talk about his experiences if anyone is interested. We asked Tim to see if he would be willing to talk to us around the peace/drone walk planned for October.

> Richard reminded us that the Rachel Craig- Tom Sturtevant Brigade will be marching again this year in the July 20th Hallowell Days Parade. Having won second prizes in the past, the Brigade is going after the big one this year by featuring minstrels singing peace songs. If you want to join in, contact Roger Leisner at 242-0643.

> Richard announced that our chapter has once again signed up for a double table at the Common Ground Fair ( September 20, 21, and 22). More details will follow, but Richard is already looking for chapter members to help out staffing the tables. He has 18 free passes available for those who want to help out. Right now Richard has committed to setting up the tables on Thursday night and will probably be at the table most of Friday. We will have the button machine there again this year, but we are looking for possible themes– drones? NSA? Guantanamo? So please contact Richard with your ideas AND TO VOLUNTEER TO STAFF THE TABLE. We are looking for people for all three days — please let him know if you can take a shift.

> Doug promised to send Dan a version of our national strategic plan for chapter members to comment on prior to the national convention in August, when the plan will be discussed at a special plenary session.

> Bud commented on the good turn out in Portland in support of Bradley Manning.

> Dovey wants us to keep her son in our thoughts as he deploys to Qatar. He has been in the Air Guard for six years and prepared to get out, but has been stop-gapped for this deployment.

> Doug prattled on about the upcoming national convention and urged members to check out the national website for more details. Once again Dan Ellis has done yeoman’s duty in preparing the program booklet for this year.

> Richard announced that MaineShare is launching its annual Hike and Bike fundraiser this week. There are many ways we can contribute to our “mother organization” by raising funds through our own hikes and bikes, both actual and virtual. Our chapter is still planning a fundraiser bike ride around the Tom Sturtevant Peace Pole event coming up this fall. For more information about how to support MaineShare, contact Richard.

> We agreed to not schedule a meeting for the month of July. NEXT MEETING WILL BE AUGUST 29th IN BRUNSWICK at the McLellan Multipurpose Room, 85 Union Street.

> The meeting adjourned at 8:10pm.

Doug Rawlings