May 5, 2005
Holocaust Remembrance Day
Maine VFP Chapter 001 Meeting
Augusta City Hall in Augusta, Maine
President Doug Rawlings called the meeting to order at 7:11 with 21 members present. Minutes were accepted and seconded with the addition of the discussion of the September 10th Blue Angel Action in Brunswick.
Treasurer’s Report: Outstanding bills were paid and available balance was 4561.34. Major expenditures included $500 to Perry O’Brien for counter recruiting for which we received a $500 donation from Maine Peace Fund, $250 to Tom Sturtevant for mailing and copying, $250 for a Maine Principal’s Association mailing, $250 to Doug Rawlings for web site upkeep and advertising and $250 for Cost of War displays. It was unanimously voted to give $200 to Arthur Whitman to assist with costs of computer repair. Also a consensus was reached to give Doug Rawlings $600 to defray cost of going to National VFP Convention in Dallas, Texas this summer.
Announcement of new VFP National Executive Director: Doug reported that Michael McPherson, a Gulf War veteran is now the new VFP National Executive Director. Doug will send an e-mail welcoming him from the Maine Veterans for Peace
Maine Principals’ Association: All tables were spoken for at the conference at the Samoset. We will try again next year.
Counter-Recruitment Activities: Jack Bussell initiated a proposal to the school board of Portland Public Schools to limit recruiters to 3 days. Portland will not be using ASVAB tests. At Morris High School a proposal to limit recruiters to meeting with students only in the guidance office and only when agreed upon by the student. We are waiting for the acceptance by the school.
10/15/05 -Mt. Blue HS, on Career Day, will have a table to work on Peace issues.
Bike and Hike Event: Takes place on Sunday, September 18, 2005. The proceeds are for a developmental fund for MaineShare. Signups are for a minimum of $70 in pledges. Tom Sturtevant is planning to attend. For more info: www.maineshare.org.
Brunswick Library “Cost of War” Display: Reply to Stan’s and Doug’s letter to the library questioning policy that wouldn’t allow display, gave reversal and it will be allowed to be displayed for a period of time in June or August. The decision to decide the timing will be postponed until Stan returns. We now have 3 displays, which can be shown in Maine at schools, libraries or even theater lobbies. One display is currently in Boothbay Harbor. It will also be displayed at Farmington Library. Contact Doug or Jack if interested in displaying.
Brunswick Peace Fair: Fair to be held on Saturday, August 6th in Brunswick. VFP will tentatively sponsor once more details are received. It will offer food, musical performances and plays.
May 12th Speakers’ Training: Training was held at the Bath Library from 7-9pm.
National Convention: Convention will be held in Dallas this year from August 3rd thru August 7th. Saturday will be the VFP 20th Anniversary Festival. There will be recognition of Maine 001 chapter and the charter members from 1985 of which our president Doug Rawlings is a member. Doug asked for $600 to help him defray the costs of attending to represent the chapter at the festivities. This was approved. The chapter will wait to see what funding the national office will give Michael Uhl who also needs assistance to represent the chapter in Dallas. It was agreed that he would send a letter to the Treasurer with specific funding request.
Memorial Day Parade in Brunswick: Theme of this year’s fair is the Korean War but floats will not have to use the theme. Discussion about using similar theme as last year representing the costs of war in Iraq. Richard’s trailer of crosses will be used with specialized poster stands. Jack and Faye Bussell agreed to work on posters for display. VFP will be meeting at Mt. Ararat High School at 9 am. It is requested that members dress in black or dark colors. Call Doug for t-shirts that run about $12.
Common Ground Fair: Chapter is committed to CCF running from September 23rd -Sept 25th. It will be the same setup as last year with Doug as speaker on Voices of War.
Doug will also contact the MOFGA office about getting a second booth space. The corner will be $85. Will need volunteers to staff the booth from 9am to 6pm daily for the weekend.
Bath Event in July: There will be an action in Bath, on July 16th- Saturday, to coordinate the launch of the USS Farragut with the launch of the USS Dave Dellinger. Members will be meeting at 8-9:30 at Riverside Park. Contact Jack Bussell for more information.
Summary of February Retreat: Summaries of the retreat were handed out to members to ponder and discuss in future. Copies can be received from Doug Rawlings.
Thanks to Richard and Dan: Doug expressed thanks to Richard and Dan for responding quickly to the request for aid to the Iraq war veteran who was in need of assistance.
April 28th Presentation: Perry, Jack, and Doug spoke on the draft and CO status to approximately 50 parents and high school students. They received a positive response from the area HS students and parents. Tom Sturtevant, who was in the audience, spoke in praise of the talk.
Who are We?: Dan Hamilton, Dan Ellis, and Andrea Gardner began a conversation about what services we should be involved in concerning veterans who are in need of help because of their service. The discussion touched off a deeper conversation about who we are and what “service” should mean vis-à-vis Veterans for Peace. It was agreed that this is a topic worth further review. Doug thinks it’s worth another retreat to carry on the conversation.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.
Next Meeting: June 2, 2005 in Lewiston.
Respectively submitted by Dan Hamilton Secretary