Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 1
Minutes from Business Meeting
October 28, 2010
Lewiston-Auburn College
Lewiston, Maine

PRESENT: Bob Lezer, Richard Clement, Herb Hoffman, Ed McCarthy, Tom Sturtevant, Tom Whitney, Bruce Gagnon, Dan Ellis, Dave Crowley, Peggy Akers, Nicole Moreau, Kristina Wolff, Doug Rawlings, and Helene Fellen (guest).

The meeting began at 7:12 pm and was presided over by the honorable Herbert Hoffman, chapter vice-president, in our esteemed president’s absence. Secretary’s duties were taken over by Bob Lezer until the tardy secretary arrived at 7:23pm.

  • Tom Sturtevant began the meeting by passing out copies of the Peace and Justice newsletter honoring Dud Hendrick for his amazing work as a peace activist.
  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: Last month’s secretary’s report was accepted as written.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: On September 30, 2010, our balance stood at $12,300.10. As of this report (October 28, 2010), our balance stands at $12,037.77. Financial activity for the past month includes:

    *$805.38 generated in income ($75 in dues; $185 in donations; $246 from calendar sales; $239.50 from Common Ground Fair sales; and $59.88 from Common Ground Fair donations).

    *$1092.71 incurred as expenses (($11.92 in mailing and supplies; $50 to Rob Shetterly for his postcards; $15 to Roger Leisner for media assistance; $25 to the Curtis memorial Library for the September chapter meeting; $289.49 for jackets for Michael, Dud, and Doug in recognition of their convention work; $551.25 for Peace Walk fliers; $75.05 for VFP brochures; and $75.00 for the Peace Walk banner).

    Kristina noted that $100 has been set aside as the remaining funds for Peggy Akers donation; $373.75 has been set aside to cover Peace walk costs; and a change bag is maintained for tabling purposes ($25).

    Kristina also announced that we have put $1,000 into an interest-bearing account and that she has “earmarked” $1,000 for our Legal defense Fund and $4,000 for our upcoming PTSD Symposium. She will set up line items for these accounts. Then a discussion ensued about the Legal Defense Fund and finally a motion was made (Lezer) and seconded (Gagnon) that the Legal Defense Fund be dissolved. The motion passed. There is no longer a Legal defense Fund. After further discussion about the PTSD $4,000 set aside, we decided (Rawlings motion; Lezer second) to set aside funds of $4,000 for the April 23rd PTSD Symposium. The motion passed.

  • MAINESHARE REPORT: Tom announced that the BikeAThon raised $11,000 for MaineShare. Tom, himself, generated $150.00. The chapter thanked Tom for his continuing efforts to maintain a close working relationship with MaineShare. Tom reminded us that there are 38 organizations in MaineShare to date.
  • MEMBERSHIP REPORT: Dan announced that we currently have 182 members in our chapter – five honorary members, thirty-two associate members, and one hundred and forty-five veteran members. Of that number, 106 are current in their dues payments. Dan reminded us that November is a big month for dues revenue (30 members’ dues are collected this month). Herb suggested that with each dues reminder sent out that we ask the member to try and recruit a new member. Kristina reminded us that the National has now raised its annual dues rate to $40/year. Dan thinks that we should have a comprehensive discussion of our chapter’s relationship to the national as we discuss their new dues rate. We agreed that this topic should have a high priority at the next meeting.
  • NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Tom announced that Dave Crowley is our new board member. Art, Jack, and Stan have all stepped down from the board earlier this year. Ed McCarthy might consider joining the board after a bit more time with VFP. Peggy nominated Rita for the board. Kristina officially moved that we accept Stan Lofchie’s resignation from the board with regrets (Bruce seconded). Motion passed. We asked Kristina to send Stan a note thanking him for his past service. Tom will contact Art Whitman. As of this date, then, Jack and Stan are officially removed from the board; Dave is officially added to the board. We anticipate that Art will resign from the board shortly.
    • Peace Walk: Hosts for all towns have been set up. Gary Higginbottom created a wonderful list of all 43 towns we’ll be walking through with the financial costs of the war listed for each town. Acupuncturists and masseuses will be available at most evening events. Dan reported that at least 40 people have registered for the walk in Bangor. After much discussion about what to do on Veterans Day (at this time we were working under the assumption that we would not be allowed in the parade), Bruce made the following motion: we stand in front of the Portland City Steps during the ceremony with our “Out of Afghanistan” banner and our Peace Walk banner. Crowley seconded. Approved. We’ll send this announcement out to our list-serve. Two vans (thanks to Peggy Akers) and a pick-up truck (thanks to Tom Whitney) will accompany walkers to provide for medical assistance and shuttling services. Artists from around the state will be putting on a supporting event at the Space gallery on Congress Street on Veterans day. Walkers are encouraged to join them after the parade. A potluck lunch will be provided. Everything is set to go. The walk will commence in Farmington with a potluck supper on November 2nd. Walkers will begin the trek at 8:30am on Wednesday, November 3rd. See the VFP Maine website for more information.
    • CTN Community Network sends out weekly announcements about events like the Peace Walk. Bob Lezer is our contact person. Send material to him.
    • BRING THE GUARD HOME CAMPAIGN: Herb announced that we still need a legislator who would be willing to file the bill. According to Herb, the three gubernatorial candidates would probably say this – LePage: it’s a states’ rights issue; Cutler: since Afghanistan is the “right war,” there’s no problem with the guard being there; and Mitchell: would probably consider not sending the guard to an illegal war.
    • PTSD SYMPOSIUM: The symposium will take place on Saturday, April 23rd at the USM AbramsonCenter in Portland. So far we have locked in Charlie Clemons as a speaker. Kristina will be attending a major PTSD conference in Washington early next month. We asked her to explore possible speakers and even make a tentative commitment to some. She is particularly interested in recruiting Kate Blaestrup from Maine (she’s worked with the Maine Humanities Council). Bob moved that the chapter provide $300 to Kristina to help cover her costs. Peggy seconded. Approved.
    • WHOLE FOODS AND PTSD SYMPOSIUM: Bob is working on an application for their 5% of net sales day – if accepted, the store will give us 5% of their take on a given day to help us pay for the symposium. He’ll have it done by mid-November for review by chapter officers.
    • MAINE STATE EMPLOYEE MEETING: Tom Sturtevant and Bob staffed a table at the meeting. No calendars were sold. Although the meeting was lightly attended, we did receive two points from MaineShare for being there and Bob and Tom were able to hone their skills at Oreo cookie tower construction (ala Ben Cohen).
    • PORTSMOUTH RECRUITING CENTER PROTEST: Nicole Moreau reported that about 25 people were involved in the demonstration with at least 6 members from the UMF PAinT organization attending. Will Hopkins from New Hampshire’s P&J Center was a chief organizer. Will is a member of IVAW and VFP and will be speaking at UMF on November 18th, along with Lisa savage from CodePink. The protest will continue each month.
    • WEBSITE QUOTE: With Dan’s urging, members are considering replacing our lead quote on the web page with something more current. Rob Shetterly’s suggestions were considered. We agreed that Dan should put the invitation to contribute a saying out to the list-serve one more time since very few suggestions were elicited. Richard Clement suggested that we keep the original statement and add another comment to it. Richard will submit this recommendation to the list-serve.
    • SOA WATCH: Tom Whitney reminded us that the School of Americas (now renamed WHIT) has trained between 60,000 and 70,000 Latin American military from 1946 to date. Many of the trainees have been involved in heinous crimes and torture throughout the Americas. The annual vigil will take place before Thanksgiving (Tom will be there). Since Father Roy Bourgeois’s attempt to ordain a woman priest has resulted in a cut in SOA Watch funding from the Maryknoll fathers, Tom and others are asking for financial support to continue the vigil. Doug moved that our chapter donate $300 to the SOA Watch fund in Susan Hedrick’s name (Bob second). Approved. Kristina will Suzanne a note informing her of our decision. Kristina will send a check directly to the SOA Watch fund.
    • CHAPTER ANNUAL JANUARY RETREAT: Michael had suggested that we hold the retreat for two days. Bruce suggested that we hold the retreat at the Chewonki site. Doug suggested that we return to the Point Lookout site where we were last year. After much discussion, we decided to hold the retreat for one day (and one night) only; in a 6 to 4 vote, we decided to return to the Point Lookout Site. The chapter asks that Dud reserve a time at the site.
    • ED MCCARTHY COMMENTS: Ed, who had worked at the Pentagon in a civilian capacity for years, suggests that we look closely at the Israel/Palestine issue to look for new ideas on how to resolve the conflict. He also pointed out an op-ed piece he wrote for the Portland Press Herald as the Maine coordinator of Churches for Middle East Peace. In this piece he urges readers to consider the wastefulness of the military budget as we support over 700 bases overseas while short-changing domestic needs.
    • PEACE WALK BUTTONS AND BUMPER STICKERS: Bob announced that Peace Walk buttons and stickers are now available.
  • NEXT MEETING: Herb announced that the next meeting will take place on Thursday, November 18th in Augusta. The agenda will include discussion of our chapter’s relationship to the national.