Veterans for Peace
Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1
March 28, 2013
McClellan Multipurpose Room
Brunswick, Maine

Attending: Bud Buzzell, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Dan Ellis, Clarence Smith, Peggy Akers, Peter Woodruff, Bruce Gagnon, Doug Rawlings, Diane Messer, Bob Dale, Tom Whitney, Ray Sohl, Bob Lezer

Discussion of Respect & Consideration: Richard reported that he had heard from a member that Bruce’s words to Diane were harsh at our recent retreat when he asked her to stop talking. Richard checked with others, some of which said that they felt Diane had been “going on too long but many others felt Bruce was too harsh”. Diane said, “We didn’t have any time restriction and I wasn’t the only one to go on long.” There was much discussion about the need for a process in the future to handle similar situations. Some suggested time limits, others felt that would not be best. Bruce apologized to Diane and the group for causing conflict and said he intended just to look out for the group and move things along but obviously had not done a good job of it.

Richard’s Father: Richard thanked the group for their kind support after his father recently passed away.

Treasurer Report: The donation toward support for a Richard Wolff speaking honorarium was returned when Selma Sternlieb was unable to schedule his talk.

Maine Share: Kate Cronin was hired as new director of Maine Share. She previously worked at the Maine Farmland Trust.

Membership: Dan reported that we have 162 members with 88 currently paid up.

Education Committee: Due to pressing family matters the planned meeting with Rosalie Tyler Paul had to be postponed.

Media Committee: Dud has been helping to publicize our two up-coming events – War Trauma symposium and Non-Violence training. He did good work on both promo flyers.

Outreach Committee: Blue Angels air show in Brunswick cancelled due to budget crisis. VFP included in recent news release and Op-Eds declaring opposition to possible “missile defense” base in Caribou. A study will be done to pick either a site at Ft. Drum, New York or in Maine for the missile deployments. Drone surveillance bill set to come up again in Augusta at the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary work session on April 11 at 9:00 am (4th floor).

War Trauma Symposium: Doug reported the May 18 event at USM’s Hannaford Hall in Portland was moving along well. Dan has put all the information on the web site and you can register on-line or print and mail. Registration is $25 for public and $50 for health care professionals. Lunch buffet is included in the fee. Won’t be formal charge for tabling but will suggest a donation be made to VFP. Dr. Paula Kaplan will be keynote speaker and her play on the subject will be read on Friday night (May 17) at Payson Smith Hall at USM at 7:00 pm. Need everyone to help spread word, pass on the email announcement to your lists. Also requesting good materials for the packets. Let Doug know if you have something.

Non-Violence Training: The chapter will sponsor a Non-Violence Training Workshop called “Training for Change” on Saturday, May 11, 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday, May 12, 10 am – 2:30 pm. The event will be held in our regular meeting room at the McClellan Building in Brunswick. Going to cost us about $2,000 and national will back us financially if we come up short. The cost is $100 per person but chapter members only pay $50. Lunches included both days. Can register on our web site. Some folks from New York and Boston will join us. Please help spread word.

By-Laws: Smitty reported that he could not find a copy of our own chapter By-Laws so he got a copy of National’s. At our next meeting he will make proposals for new By-Laws. National has a staffer that works with local chapters and might be helpful. Smitty will check with her.

Retreat Reflections: Meditation was great; Like the doughnuts; Regis’s Jeju Island film amazing; Vigil on the bridge was great; Miss the evening pot luck suppers and bowling; Maybe do it in a warmer time of year. Dud to Jeju: Dud Hendrick has arrived in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island for his three-week solidarity visit on behalf of the chapter. He is going by the name Howard. It’s a very tense time for him to be there and we will all be thinking of him.

HOPE Festival: Held each year at UMO on April 27. We need tablers.

Common Ground Fair: Richard will get our two-table reservation in to MOFGA before deadline.

Haiti Walk: Will be the 4th annual Walk with Haiti in Portland around the Back Cove on May 11 at 9:00 am.

Tomas Young: Injured soldier in Iraq, who was featured in Phil Donahue documentary called Body of War, has decided to stop eating and pass away. He was a remarkable anti-war activist who was paralyzed but eloquent in his opposition to the war. There is now a massive back-log at the VA with waiting times up to two years in some places. Diane suggested we do something in response, Doug suggested an all-night vigil at Togus.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The Boston-area VFP chapters held their post-parade parade on March 17. It was cold, great turnout, great to support that community and a very diverse parade that included five bands. Peggy, Diane, Buzz, Bruce and Mary Beth attended and our chapter banner was carried in the parade.

Nat’l Confab: The VFP national convention will be held in Madison, WI on August 8-11. Keynotes by Kathy Kelly, Diane Wilson, Daniel Ellsberg and Nick Turse. Doug is coordinating workshops.

Next Meeting: Our next monthly meeting will be in Augusta on Thursday, April 25 at 7:00 pm