Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 001
November 29, 2007
Business Meeting Minutes
USM Lewiston
Westminster Street, Lewiston, Maine

PRESENT: Bob Lezer (President), Kristina Wolff (Vice-President), Tim Blanchette (Treasurer), Dud Hendrick, Peggy Akers, Jack Bussell, George Goodwin, Alan Wicken, Art Whitman, Marianne Whitman, Tom Sturdevant, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Robin Spencer, Brownee Cleeson (correct ?) [sorry if I spelled your name incorrectly or forgot you – kbw!].

The movie “Vietnam Long Journey Home” featuring Dud and Al was shown from 5:30 to 6:30 with a discussion following the movie led by Dud.

The meeting began at 7:00 pm

We thanked Tom S. for setting up this space.

Secretary’s Report: minutes from the October meeting were accepted as written (Bussell motion; Hendrick second).

Treasurer’s Report:

  • As of 11/29/2007 we have $7,535.59
  • Art Whitman added $1,674.00 in funds from the previous VFP account (which was transferred to the new Treasurer in May).
  • Jack is sending a $106.00 invoice for Stan for materials for a VFP banner.
  • The Legal Defense fund had an increase of $20 and no expenditures. Current balance as of 11/29/2007 is $1,730.00

Membership Report: Dan was unable to attend the meeting.

Archivist Report: Smitty was unable to attend the meeting.

Calendar Project: Kristina is currently putting the report together for RESIST (to account for the $3,000 grant we received for the project). The report is due Dec. 15th, 2007. Currently 620 calendars have been sold, 26 have been given as gifts or samples to people helping us with distribution and 364 have been donated to schools. The rest are either out on consignment or at Kristina’s house (about 555). We are asking members to purchase calendars and help with donations. It was decided to decrease the calendar price to $10 each and to ship two calendars to all high schools that have not received any yet. Jack, Peggy and George took calendars to distribute around Portland, Booth Bay and Casco Bay.

2008 Symposium: Michael is still out of the country. Bob reported that Smitty talked to Maxine Hong Kingston and she expressed interest in speaking at the Symposium.

2010 National Convention: Jack provided information on two hotels in Portland (the Eastland and the Holiday Inn). Doug suggested we fly in Jerry Genesio and Judy Genesio for the event.

11/12/2007 Veteran’s Day Parade, Portland: Jack reported that approximately 50 people were in attendance. Currently turning in paperwork for next year and requesting VFP be allowed to have a speaker at the event. Discussed having a press conference if we are denied having a speaker, and that we do not attend the event or possibly we hold an alternative parade/demonstration at the same time.

Gift in Dave Cline’s name: at a previous meeting we discussed making a donation to IVAW in Dave Cline’s name. The Maine chapter is still not organized so we are waiting to make the donation (until after the chapter is formed).

Retreat at Chewonki: Bob agreed to make the reservation and send a deposit to Chewonki for the retreat on January 25th and 26th. The yurts will be available but not the ‘bunk house’. People will be allowed to sleep in the great hall, by the fireplace if they do not want to stay in the yurts. We discussed what would happen at the retreat. A few still wanted to have a business meeting, some suggested a discussion / workshop on PTSD, on women’s issues, to watch a film, to have a workshop on activism (how to be a better activist) or alternatives to violent confrontation / non-violent communication and/or to do something fun. The night before will most likely be a dinner and social event (ideally with Dan playing guitar). Contact Bob at for more information (or suggestions for what to do at the retreat).

IVAW Cost of War tour: The tour is on hold for now.

Resumption of “Children of War” project: Doug has been in touch with Jerry Genesio about the project. Jerry is still working on getting materials together and will be sending information to us as soon as things are more solidified.

New Business:

  • Jack reminded us of the BIW Advent Vigils on 12/1, 12/8, 12/15 & 12/22 11:30-12:30 am)
  • Dec. 8th there will be a reading of the names at the UU Church on Pleasant St., Brunswick from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (approx).
  • Someone from the Androscoggin Valley Education Cooperative (consisting of 40 high school students from six high schools) contacted Jack about having speakers but has yet to follow-up.
  • Jack talked about the article from Truth Out about “Wounded Vets Asked to Pay Up”. We talked about using this as a means to work with the folks from the VFW and the American Legion (Andrews Post). This tied into Stan’s idea about also working with them on issues related to homeless Vets. This also tied into the article Stan had circulated/discussed from “The Nation” (10/15/2007) on the denial of benefits to “Iraq War” veterans. We discussed various ways to work with the VFW & AL.
  • Art introduced a discussion about an Op Ed piece by VFP, working with Brownie’s organization, on energy issues. He felt that this went beyond the scope of our mission. After much discussion, it was decided that this was appropriate and that if more work was to be done on this issue, Art would like to have more involvement. This piece has still not been published.
  • University of Maine Farmington is bringing Judith Herman to speak in April. Doug asked that we support this effort. We approved $500 to help cover the costs. Doug will let Tim know who to send the check to and will supply more information as things are solidified (as well as ways in which we can help with this event).
  • George discussed a brochure he would like to have published on counter-recruiting, to distribute to high school students he’s been working with in Casco Bay & Bar Harbor. We approved $100 to help cover his costs. He also discussed a new PTSD men’s group in Edgecomb that he is involved in running.
  • We discussed ways in which we could help the IVAW and Perry O’Brien in their Winter Soldier Campaign. A number of IVAW members will be testifying before Congress. The dates are March 13-15 in Washington DC.

Next meeting: February 28th in Brunswick.

REMEMBER the RETREAT! Jan. 25 & 26th.