Meeting opened at 7pm

Attendance: Doug Rawlings, Don Kimball, Eric Herter, Seth Berner, Peter Morgan, Lynn Ellis, Peggy Akers, Dave Larsen, Dan Ellis, Martha Spiess, Sally Chappell, Larry Gilbert, John Morris

Don read the Wabanaki Land Acknowledgement statement

Inspiration: Peggy reported on her plunge into the Atlantic Ocean to celebrate International Women’s Day

Don reported that he will be part of a request to the Maine Turnpike Authority to increase the signage on the Turnpike denoting Samantha Smith Way

Don thanked the Chapter for its generous donation to WMPG

Don reported that VFP member Matt Hoh was his guest on Don’s Friendly Fire show on WMPG and that Matt recently testified before the U N Security Council on the genocide in Gaza, the futility of the war in Ukraine, the increased threat of nuclear war, and the lack of diplomatic will on the part of powerful nations to achieve a meaningful world peace. Matt’s address can be viewed on Youtube

Don reported on the unhoused situation in Portland. He thanked the Chapter for its contributions for food and clothing, reported that people are being evicted from encampments in the city,and that although efforts to house one veteran were unsuccessful he is attempting to secure housing for another Army vet who is also a USM studentric reported that he has been working with Maine Voices for Palestine and that they sponsored a children’s parade in Brunswick and are planning another for Portland. He will provide details for the Portland parade for anyone interested in helping out
Doug reported that Dud Hendrick suggested that the Chapter formally support Maine Voices for Palestine. It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to do so.

Peggy reported that a march for Palestine will be held in Portland on Saturday, March 30th at 1pm beginning at Monument Square

Secretary’s Report: Minutes of February meeting accepted as written

Treasurer’s Report: Current bank balance is $63,447.57. Lynn provided a list of contributions and expenses Discussion was held on the subject of contributions in general and specifically on the proposed $500 donation to Dr. Jehad, who is distributing aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Peggy proposed but then withdrew a motion to provide this amount but after further discussion it was decided to go through with the donation Peter suggested that the Chapter business card should be updated to include the QR Code. Discussion was held and Dan agreed to come up with a new design which would incorporate the Code

Doug reported on an art project which would provide Maine high schools with portraits of Rob Shetterly’s Truth Tellers on a temporary basis and that the organizers would like the support of our Chapter. Discussion was held and Doug will keep in touch with the organizers to get more specific information.We would probably be willing to assist schools with their expenses involved with the project

Peter reported that a Shetterly portrait of Dr. Bernard Lown will be unveiled in Lewiston sometime this Spring.

Lynn reported on a red flag bill that will come before the State Legislature and urged all of us to contact our legislators to support the bill. She will provide more details as they become available.

Lynn reported that our application for a table at the next Common Ground Fair has been submitted

Peter reported that the State of Maine Air Show is scheduled for August 3 and 4.

Larry reported that the event featuring the Shetterly portrait of Dr. Lown would probably be in one of the mill buildings in Lewiston on June 7th, Dr. Lown’s birthday.

Discussion was held on the date of the next meeting. It will be on the last Thursday in April. IMAGINE THAT!!!

Discussion was held on the Peace Walk. Present plans are for it to begin in Ogunquit on May 8th but much is still up in the air as many organizations have withdrawn their support due to the Walk’s possible connection to the theme of  “No To NATO”. Little appears to be definite at this time.

Eric pointed out that no vote was taken on the $500 contribution to Dr. Jehad.  It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to provide the money.

Larry reported that one of his twin granddaughters presented him with a paper peace crane inscribed with “Veterans for Peace” and the other twin gave him a paper heart. Future peaceniks for sure.

More discussion was held on the Shetterly portrait project. It was essentially a repeat of the earlier discussion.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.

Next meeting on Thursday, April 25th which is not May 2nd