Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 1
Minutes from Business Meeting
November 18, 2011
CTN5, Portland

Present: Peggy Akers, Tim Blanchette, Dave Crowley, Dan Ellis, Stan Lofchie, Ed McCarthy, Victor Skorapa, Diane Messer, Peter Woodruff, Bruce Gagnon, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Clarence Smith, Bob Lezer.

Palma Ryan reported on the Occupy Boston movement and the sponsorship by the Smedley Butler Brigade. Following the arrests at the Occupation the Smedley legal defense fund increased significantly.

Dan read a card from Nicole Moreau saying that she is surviving Rome. Having a great time and appreciates VFP.

Secretaries report: Posted on line. Approval of minutes moved by Bob, seconded by Tim. Approved with no dissent.

Doug, our current Secretary, has been elected to the VFP National Board of Directors (CONGRATULATIONS to Doug) and will no longer be able to serve as our Secretary. Bruce Gagnon volunteered to be the Chapters new Secretary. Approved by all. Thank you Bruce.

Bruce requests $100 to help the Global Network send people to JeJu Island in South Korea. Stan suggests $500. Smitty suggests taking up this monetary request with others later in the meeting.

Finance Report: The Treasurers report was distributed. In the past month we had expenses of $567.20 and Income of $1,426.21. On 10/19/11 our balance is $10,992.26. Report approved.

MaineShare: No report.

Nominations: Tom is chairing this effort.

Membership: Dan states we have 143 members of which 101 are regular, 10 honorary, 6 donors, 25 associate and 1 life time member. 106 are current with dues.

Ongoing Business:

October 6 D.C. event. No further comments made.

Brian Wilson visit. Peggy reports that there is a disappointment regarding the press coverage Brian Wilson received. Stan suggests a letter to the editor regarding the lack of media response. Peggy will do this.

Veterans Day Parade: Many members of VFP were present at Monument Square supported by Occupy Maine protestors. Many expressed concern about the individual, dressed in Drill Sergeant attire, counting cadence for a group of youngsters in the Parade. Dan took lots of pictures. Check our web site to view pics. Peter also took photos and Bruce will send to Dan for posting on the web site.

Belatedly had introductions to acknowledge our guest.

Bruce: reports that the next BOW$$H will be in Augusta on December 3.
Diane asks about the next action. Bruce responds that that will be discussed in Augusta.
Peace Action Maine requesting funds to support BOW$$H.

“Welcome Home Project”: the discussion continues following a viewing of this film prior to the last meeting. A suggestion was made last meeting to show this film at the PTSD Symposium in 2012 to other Veterans. Stan suggests the Waterville Film Festival. Smity states that VFP#1 has permission to show the film in public.
Dan reminds us that a committee was formed to work on this project and that the members are Dan, Debbie Balsalm and Doug, Peggy joins this group. Important to keep in mind the audience as the film is very powerful and emotionally charged. Tim suggests that perhaps the trailer or an edited version might be shown to the general public. The discussion will continue in the committee.

PTSD Symposium 2012: No date set. Not the Easter weekend. Doug may not be the coordinator due to his responsibilities at national. We may need a new coordinator.

Veterans Housing Project: Smitty reports that the process has started to build housing for homeless Veterans and disabled Veterans. Sen. Collins is involved in a bill that provides for 75 Million $ for this housing project.
There is currently housing in Saco and two sites in Massachusetts. The project needs 500,000 and will involve HUD and the VA providing monies. Smitty has made initial contact and will continue to follow up and report back to the membership. The idea is to partner with other non profits, i.e. Catholic Charities, Prebble Street. Peggy reports that Prebble Street just received a large grant for such a purpose. Smitty would like to see this as a Veterans Project by and for Veterans. Perhaps the American Legion could be a partner?
We need to sit down with other Veterans Organizations to discuss this and other areas of common interest.
Smitty will gather more info and report back to the membership.

Donations: Bruce requests $100 to assist people traveling to JeJu island in South Korea. Stan amends to $500, seconded by Ed. Following discussion motion withdrawn. Richard moves $250 and seconded by Dan. Approved by all.

A request of $100 for Jesse Trentalium SP? to assist with a presentation at UMF was delayed till Spring.

Peggy requests $300 to reimburse her for expenses for Brain Wilsons” visit. Bob moves Richard seconds. All approve.

Bruce moves that we donate $250 each to the Portland and Augusta Occupy Maine sites.Seconded by Ed McCarthy. After discussion the motion was approved without dissent. Peggy will purchase a Propane oven for the Portland group with any balance to the Portland group. Diane Messer of the Augusta Occupy camp said they are in this for the long haul. “As long as it takes”

Retreat: No information on the retreat.

Will we meet in December on the 15th in Augusta. Peggy suggests we try to set the meeting for 6:00. Bruce asks that we discuss spending a day at an Occupy Maine encampment. Bob moves we meet on the 15th in Augusta, Peggy seconds. All approve.

Peggy asks Bob to order a VFP flag to be used at encampments.

Peggy reports that city officials (Police, Fire, Health) toured the Occupy Maine encampment and were amazingly supportive. Finding few problems.

Vagrants are an issue at the Portland encampment. Some think the Police are sending them to the encampment.

Motion to adjourn by Bruce. Seconded by Richard. All approved.