Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 1
Minutes from Business Meeting
May 19, 2011
Waterfall Arts Building, Belfast

Time begun: 7:00 P.M.

Time ended: 8:42 P.M.

Present: Dan Ellis, Bruce Gagnon, Bob McElwain, Tom Sturtevant, Dud Hendrick, Rita Clement,, Richard Clement and Bob Lezer.

Inspirational opening: Tom Sturtevant shared a reading from an article by James Carroll entitled “A Declaration of Empire” from the May 16, 2011 edition of the Boston Globe. The group discussed the reading which focused on a proposed law that would essentially create an open ended war.

Minutes of the April meeting were accepted as distributed with the motion by Bob and the second by Dan. Approved with no dissent.

Finance report: No report.

MaineShare: Tom reported that there will be a meeting at the Arboretum in Augusta on June 2nd. from 1-2:30 P.M.Tom will represent VFP. There will be a preview of the 2011 Hike and Bike fund raiser. Tom will talk about this year’s Symposium and our participation in the Bring Our War $$ Home initiative.

Chapter leadership succession was discussed in light of Dud’s desire to leave the Presidency in August. The nominating group has made a few suggestions and Dud and Tom will endeavor to meet with these individuals prior to the next meeting.

Bruce initiated a brief discussion about the possible merging of Chapter 1 & 3. It appears that geographical distance is an issue. To be further discussed at a later date.

Membership: Dan sent out 80 letters to persons whose payment of dues had lapsed. Ten (10) bounced for wrong addresses and he had ten (10) renewals. Good job Dan. Dan reports that we have 186 members (10 Honorary, 32 Associate members, 3 donors (not members) and 141 Veteran members).

Bob McElwain asked if Chapter 1 had a “Life Time Membership” membership option. Bob would like to be a life time member of the Chapter. After discussion Bruce Gagnon moved that Life Time membership in Chapter 1 would be $1,000. Seconded by Richard. Approved by all.

A special certificate will be developed for “Life Time Members” of Chapter 1.

Much thanks to Bob McElwain for his commitment to VFP and our Chapter.

Welcome Home Project: Dan has suggested that the Chapter purchase the DVD “Welcome Home” when it becomes available. Now the trailer is available for viewing on the internet. Dan will place on our web site.

Dud suggests that when we purchase we can show it at various sites in the State and use it as a discussion point.

Bruce suggests that the Chapter bring the facilitator of the “Welcome Home Project” to Maine for a weekend conference at a local retreat center. It certainly would be a good outreach tool to Vet centers. This would be at less cost than a Symposium and perhaps have a more profound effect.

Hope Festival: Richard, Rita and Bruce were present and reported that the turnout seemed smaller both for tablers and attendees. David Mallet provided the entertainment and Jim Merkle was the keynote speaker.

Symposium Day at UMF: Dud, Richard and Bob went to this event to support Dovey, Nicole and Jade. These three women have been an integral part of our Chapter. The Chapter presented each with a bouquet of flowers and a VFP 25th Anniversary pin.

BIW Launch: Bruce reported that this launch had the largest crowd ever perhaps in response to the Navy Seal attack on Osama bin Laden a few days before the launch as the ship was named after a Maine Navy Seal. Dud gave a great speech. Dan was thanked for providing the sound system which was so effective. Mary Beth Sullivan gave an inspiring presentation. The BIW Security staff and Bath Police were very professional.

Jeju Island report: Bruce reported on the situation at Jeju island in Sout Korea and read a statement from the protesters at Jeju Island. Bruce shared what could be done for people if the military funding was redirected to meeting human needs. Bruce reported that 8 people have been arrested at Jeju Island and that professor Yang is on his 45th day of fasting. Bruce and Dud are both fasting in support of the Jeju Islanders.

Bruce’s blog contains much more information. Bruce encourages all to e-mail the South Korean embassy in Washington to speak in solidarity with the Jeju Islanders. The South Korean embassy says it is a U.S. issue. Interesting, as it is on South Korean land.

Peace Action Maine dinner: This event was well attended and was exciting as Loukie Lofchie as well as Bill and Urusala Slavick were honored. Loukie’s speech was wonderful and she was thrilled by the honor.

Bring Our War $$ Home: This weekend in Boston there is an exciting meeting of Code Pink. The mayor of Los Angeles has agreed to introduce a “Bring Our War $$ Home” resolution at the Mayor’s Conference in Baltimore.

The next “Bring Our War $$ Home” meeting is scheduled for Saturday 4 June at the Arboretum in Augusta.

Bruce provided a handout on the “Bring Our War $$ Home” resolution and the New Priorities network.

Dud assisted in the passage of a resolution to Bring Our Wr $$ Home in Deer Isle and said that you need a petition of 10% of the # of voters in the last gubernatorial election to get on the ballot.

VFP 1 website: Dan said he will be working on the changes suggested at a meeting of Doug, Bob and himself.

Crosby and Nash concert: Saturday 21 May Richard, Rita, Katiya and Bob will table at the concert in Portland. We will give Crosby and Nash a VFP ball cap and a 25 year anniversary pin. We hope to give out much literature and pins.

Blue Angels: Tom has put together two sample handouts. The protest is planned for Saturday the 27th of August beginning at 11:00 A.M. by the front gates to the former BNAS. Will have speakers. Perhaps a representative from the War Resistors League. Bruce suggests we invite Stan Gerzofsky to speak as he is the State Senator representing Brunswick.

Tom has sent letters to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy about the Blue Angels regarding the cost in dollars and the environmental costs of the Blue Angel flights. He sent copies of the letter to Snow, Collins, Michaud and Pingree.

Tom noted that the Commission that will soon be running the former BNAS property is a quasi state agency similar to the Turnpike Authority. The issue of accountability needs to be on peoples minds in view of the issues in the Turnpike Authority Organization.

We will meet after the Brunswick Memorial Day Parade.

Dud will send out a reminder.

At the July meeting in Lewiston it would be good to have Art Whitman attend.

October 6 is the 10th Anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. At the last meeting Doug suggested we rent a van to go to the event in D.C. Peace Works wants to have an event in Maine and is hopeful that VFP will help with the planning. Those interested in helping should contact Selma Sternlieb.

Global Network Convention will be taking place in Andover, Massachusetts June 17th, 18th. On the 17th there will be a vigil at Raytheon. On the 18th events will take place at Merrimack College and 19th will feature a business meeting.

Students will speak including Nicole from our chapter.

Vets for peace – National has asked for nominations for members who ought to be recognized for service.

WILPF was formed 20 years ago and this Sunday the 22nd from 3-5 P.M. there will be a celebration at the Brunswick library. Mary Beth will be speaking at the event.

Maine Fair Trade: Dan spoke for Victor Skorapa, Jr. asking for people to sign cards to stop NAFTA. The cards will be sent to Senators Collins and Snow.

Hallowell Day: July 16th has a Parade it would be good if we can have a substantial presence there.

Next meeting in Portland at 7:00 P.M. on June 30th at CTN5.

Move to adjourn by Tom, Second by Rita. Adjourned at 8:42 P.M.