Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 1
Minutes from Business Meeting
September 15, 2011
McLellan Building, Brunswick

PRESENT: Krisitina Wolff, Dovey Balsam, Dave Crowley, Bruce Gagnon, Tom Whitney, Ted Kehm, Herb Hoffman, Tim Blanchette, Richard Clement, Dud Hendrick, Bob Lezer, Dan Ellis, Clarence Smith and Peggy Akers

This was the first meeting for the two new co-presidents who were nervous about taking over the reins from our amazing past presidents. Please understand that the person doing these minutes is a nurse ( a good one I think) and not good at secretary work. I apologize in advance for not only the lateness of these minutes but also anything that has been left out. (peggy)

Secretary’s report: The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted (Hoffman motion/Gagnon second)

Treasurer’s Report was given by Kristina and can be seen at the end of this report.

Committee Reports:
Maineshare: Tom sadly was not at the meeting but it was recognized that he and Dud Hendrick and Tim Blanchette were our representatives in the bike to raise money for Maineshare. Veterans for Peace members recognized the good work of these gentleman.

Membership: Dan gave a report on the number of members. There are 139 paid members with 101 regular and 22 associate. There are 5 donors and one life member. There was some discussion about how we can increase our membership and it was decided to make this an important part of our yearly retreat.

COMMON GROUND FAIR: Final arrangements were made for the Common Ground Fair. (September 23-25) Tom will generously bring the tables and chairs on Thursday and Peggy will be there at 7 Friday to set up. The tables will be shared with Bring our War Dollars Home.)

OCTOBER 6th in Washington D.C. Veterans and activists from around the country will meet to protest current US policies .and bring our war dollars home. Herb is co-coordinating transportation and folks and calls him to help with arrangements. Peace Action Maine will also be participating.

VFP National Convention. Smitty gave a report on his experience at the national convention. He felt that it was an excellent convention with many good workshops. He distributed a list of available workshops and speeches that were available online. There was some discussion about the Women’s caucus at the convention and Kristine shared some of what discussion is going on in cyberspace. Kristina brought up some important issues regarding gender and sexual harassment that we all felt needed to be addressed in our retreat this winter.

DOUG RAWLINGS is running for the National Board. We are very very proud of Him for having the courage to take on this task and we wish him the best.

BRING OUR WAR DOLLARS HOME. Bruce gave a report about the 30 day CARE-A-VAN that will visit 14 communities with 19 events planned. This will end October 9th with an event in Augusta.

Karen Wainberg asked for a donation of 50 dollars for a peace event regarding atonement for war. This was passed with one opposed.

Seeds of Peace: Peggy asked for permission to work with the Seeds of Peace Camp in Otisfield to allow Veterans for Peace to come to the camp next summer and plan a meal for staff and campers. Everyone liked this idea.

OUR OWN DUD HENDRICK: Dud was a speaker at the international Tecolog de Monterey security congress along with Noam Chomsky. Dud tried hard to play this down but we were so proud of him for doing this.

MEETINGS: Discussion around meetings and where to have them. It was decided that we would not go to Belfast and rather do double meetings in Augusta. Folks felt that it would be fair to make the meetings more accessible but turn the Belfast one into another Augusta meeting spot. There were 2 voting against this idea.

WEBSITE: Dan talked about the website and of course we are all so grateful to Dan for the hard work he puts into the site and how easy it is to navigate.

VFP VISIBILITY: We talked of many ideas on how to get our name and work out to the public. The question of how do we make ourselves more visible??? There was discussion about facebook, more announcements of meetings in forecaster etc. It was suggested that we could get veteran license plates (35 dollars) and have our veterans for peace stickers nearby…More to follow

SENATOR COLLINS: Herb has been invited to come to Senator Collins’ office with other Veterans for Peace members. Herb will talk with members and a list of who will attend will be sent ahead to her office. Thank you to Herb for making this happen.

PTSD SYMPOSIUM: Early conversation about our next symposium was brought forward and will continue at our next meeting. If we used the movie Welcome Home would Michael Mead come to present it.

TRI-COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH. Doug has asked that Veterans for Peace support a table at this event on October 18th where Charlie Clements will be the guest speaker. There are six tickets available. It was unanimously decided to support this event . Please call Smitty or Peggy if you would like to go.

JACKSON BROWNE: Jackson Browne will be at Merrill auditorium on October 5th and Bob Lezer has arranged through Brownes Guacamole foundation to have us there with a table. We cannot sell anything but we can share buttons leaflets etc.

NEXT MEETING: Thursday October 20th at the Bucher Community Center Room A 22 Armory Street Augusta Maine.

We will have pizza and drinks at 5:30 with the showing of the movie Welcome Home. Please come and join with all of us to watch this touching and poignant movie.

Respectfully submitted by Peggy Akers