Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 1
March 29, 2012
USM Lewiston/Auburn College

Begins: 7:10 P.M.
Ends: 9:15 P.M.

Present: Clarence Smith, Peggy Akers, Bruce Gagnon,Eric Herter, Dan Ellis, Doug Rawlings, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Diane Messer, Kristina Wolff, Dovey Balsam, Nicole Moreau, Bob Lezer.

Reading/ Inspiration: A candle was lit and Nicole read a passage from the Lorax. Kristina added that Audrey Rich a noted feminist and Earl Scruggs had died.

Secretaries report: Accepted as distributed.

Treasurers report: Kristina reports that Al Larsen speaking on behalf of VFP 3 thanks us for the donation.

MaineShare: Richard reports that two people donated to VFP 1 after the MaineShare fundraising campaign was completed. VFP 1 submitted info for the MaineShare Annual report.

Nominating Committee: Needs to meet as Peggy and Smitty are planning on retiring from the Presidency this August. If you wish to serve on the nominating committee contact Peggy or Smitty.

Smitty read a letter from Dud about his pending trip to Vietnam which commences tomorrow. Dud will set up a blog on his trip. Check it out.

Membership report: Dan reports that the Chapter has 151 members, 10 honorary members, 26 Associate members, 9 donors and 1 lifetime member.

Education Committee: The Education Committee has met twice and is developing a plan. The committee suggests that Friday, school day, at the Common Ground Fair is a good time to connect with young people by providing fun activities that raise awareness of Peace. The Committee is investigating the purchase of a button maker $217 plus supplies ($48 for 500 2 1/4 buttons) and the option of a circle cutter for $100. It was moved and seconded that the Education committee make these purchases.

Lisa Savage and Rosalie Tyler Paul will provide training for successfully contacting and meeting with students in schools.

Media Committee: The Media committee has met and has divided up the State into regions with a member of the Committee responsible for a contacting the Media in their area. The Committee will place notices of meetings in print, radio, tv, public service announcements and encourage letters to the editors. In addition news items or announcements with the VFP Presidents prior approval will be placed in Media outlets.

Outreach Committee: The outreach Committee is working on a new brochure to have a new more appealing design, content and reflect the proposed new chapter name of the Tom Sturtevant Chapter.

The Committee suggests that we are active in protesting the 25 August Air Force Thunderbirds show at Brunswick Landing (old Brunswick Naval Air station) It was moved and seconded that the Chapter support the demonstration against the Thunderbirds. Approved.

The Media committee will distribute approved materials to media outlets, the Education committee will determine their role and the Outreach committee will coordinate.

*Tri-County Mental Health and the VA. Peggy suggests we be involved in the 15 September PTSD Conference at U. Maine Farmington. Doug suggests we could table and/or present a workshop (45 min.). The event could serve as a defacto symposium.
Some wonder if our presence would affect attendance.

Perhaps we could use the Crowley Scholarship Fund to assist attendees with transportation costs.

Suggested workshop title The Moral Dilemma of Serving in War. Doug will develop a workshop proposal. Doug has done work in this area. Dovey and Doug will work on.

VFP Symposium: Dan reports there has been no progress in this area. Bruce volunteers to get the video Welcome Home Projectshown.

Homeless Veterans project: Smitty has encountered resistance to this idea from politicians and their staff. He is going to tour and talk with existing Homeless Veterans facilities that are up and running. He will need help later on. Doug says that National VFP is setting up a homeless veterans Membership category and to contact Gene Marx at National.

Tom Sturtevant Chapter: Peggy will contact Gene Marx at National regarding changing our Chapter name to the Tom Sturtevant Chapter.

Doug Rawlings VFP national report: Doug is the VP of National VFP.

The budget is in the black, many new members and things are looking very favorable.

Veterans Peace teams are forming. Membership in these requires special training in non-violent tactics and behaviors. These teams would be used by request of other organizations (ie. Occupy groups) to maintain peace at events. Peggy feels strongly as does the group present that the VFP logo be the logo of these teams. There is a discussion at national about logo for these groups.
Peggy will send a letter to National presenting Chapter 1 to maintain peace at events.

Leah Bolger is the new president and she is doing a wonderful job. The new Executive Director is Mike Reed.

Planning for the 2012 Convention is under way and workshop proposals are welcome. Bruce has submitted one.

International Chapters are forming and a Bylaw change to allow this will be at the Convention.

A small group decides on the resolutions before the convention. This year will use webinars to reach more people.

National Board meets in D.C. in April.
National doing well.

Jeju Island: Bruce thanks VFP 1 for the $250 donation for travel delegates to South Korea. Three VFP delegates went and were turned away. Another was sent from Bellingham, Washington and there are two others to go – a Mainer, Ian McGrath, and another person from Washington. Bruce spoke about the situation at Jeju Island and his experience there.

Chapter Donation Policy: Peggy and Smitty will develop a formal written policy on funding of projects by the Chapter and present at the April meeting.

Barbara Lubin endorsement: WILPF has asked that we endorse the Middle East Childrens’ Alliance for Gaza children presentation by Barbara Lubin. Agreed.

National Resolution to Impeach Obama: A member of a Florida chapter asked that we support the impeachment of Obama. A letter from national VFP has been sent to each Federal legislator. Smitty voted NO on this at the National Convention.

VFP Speaker for Diversity Day: May 15 Wiscasset High School has asked us to provide a speaker. Rita spoke a few years ago about having a son in a war zone. Peggy has a compelling story and is also an excellent speaker. Richard will consider as well.

Occupy D.C. request for support: We are asked to support Money Out of Politics, Support the People. Abolish corporate personhood. 2/3 of the States can call for an amendment of the Constitution.

Bruce asks if we need to respond to everything that comes along. We have committees set up to respond to long term plans. Need to be focused. We cannot do everything.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Conversion: We have been asked to send a representative to Portsmouth in support of the conversion of the ship yard to a peaceful off shore wind project. Peggy will contact Peter.

Diane Activity report: Diane says she was hammered (used as an example) by the system and that the other 8 trial dates would be known by April 3. !0 people showed up for the hearing and trial dates are changed quickly to keep people off balance.

An agreement for a continuance was reached and granted but the Judge held to the original date so arrest warrants were issued although no papers were served. No community service allowed so it is pay the fine or go to jail.

Veterans Peace Teams being formed: Doug has joined a team as an individual. We can request nonviolence training. Many of us went through this many years ago. A repeat would be good. A memo will be sent out asking people if they wish to participate in the training and/or join a team.

Loukie Lofchie is most thankful for the beautiful bouquet of flowers the Chapter sent her for her 90th Birthday.

The Chapter is thanked for the contribution to the Welcome Home dinner in Farmington.

David Uma has asked that we donate $250 towards the purchase of a plot of land in Falmouth for Veterans to raise food. No action at this time.

Bruce suggests that we sponsor one or more young person at the Common Ground Fair. A good idea. No vote taken.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 P.M.

Next meeting: Thursday April 26th at the Meg Perry Center in Portland form 7-9 P.M.