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April 15, 2008 Meeting

Draft Minutes of the WNCPSR Meeting April 15, 2008 at UU Church
Present:  Stan Dienst, Will Hamilton, Leah Karpen, Lew Patrie, Don Richardson.  (We missed Tim & John who were at medical appointments)  We introduced ourselves and told of our recent & not so recent activities & others of our WNCPSR family         See: *
In reviewing 3/18/08 WNCPSR minutes we made corrections
Treasurers Report Balance =$2093; $565 being held for CS@NC; $800 from Grace Lee Peace Award - discussion                             See: ** 

Events & Announcements:
•    We noted last month events marking 5th anniv. of Iraq war, Mary Olson’s Florida presentations accompanied by Don R, Don’s decision vs. attending  NPSR’s Network Leadership Meeting - 4/9th in DC, but instead to concntrate on more local actions.
•   We noted Joe Cirincione events have been postponed at least until fall
•    Upcoming events
WNC Peace Coalition, mtg tonight 7 PM
4/17, 7 PM - Jim Hightower -  " WNCPSR agreed to promote     See ***
4/21, 6:30 Common Sense @ Nuclear Crossroads mtg, Classroom 4, UU Church
4/21, 6 PM UNCA Peace Class, “Building Peace, Where Do We Go from Here?”  Lew 
4/24, 7 PM, UNA’s Fobes’ Lecture, Climate Change; Negotiating a Post Kyoto Agreement,         Owens Conf. Ctr. @ UNCA; Will we promote        (flyer to circulate)
5/1 NRC holds public comments mtg, Gaffney, SC, seeking new Nuke plant     See ****
•   5/30-6/1 - Nat’l Activist Summit on Radioactive Waste, Columbia, SC.     See*****
•   Requests from NPSR -  items about which we may all take action    See****** & *******

Next Meeting: We decided upon Noon, Tue.,  5/13, Classroom 4, UUCA

Program:  Upon watching the DVD, “America’s Dialogue”, we felt it worthwhile for out reach & dicussed how we might best inform community about messages from such programs.
*            *            *

* Brita Clark's 73 year old sister, Audrey, died suddenly 4/6.  Brita flew to Grand Junction, CO and plans to be there about 3 weeks. Brita's Colo. address: 767 Glen Court #10, Grand Junction, CO 81506

**  3/27, Dr. Lew Patrie was one of the recipients of a Grace Lee Memorial Peace award preceding Davidson Roundtable Lecture at Warren Wilson College. It was preceded by: “Dr. Lew Patrie, a long time supporter of Warren Wilson’s Peace & Justice Studies Program, Dr. Patrie is an inspiring example of what can happen when a creative & dedicated activist teams up with an effective and well-respected organization.  Dr. P has served for 15 years as Chair of the Western North Carolina Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a national organization of doctors and public health officials working to stop environmental destruction and weapons of mass destruction.  Dr. P brought PSR’s anti-violence campaign to high schools in Buncombe County through essay contests on two topics: ‘What Should the Country do about Nuclear Weapons’ & ‘Violence in our Community: Causes and Prevention.’  In order to encourage participation and promote awareness, Dr. Patrie made several visits to schools & presented awards to the winners. In as much as WNCPSR has received enthusiastic response regarding using the $800 as a matching fund to help Iraq war victim Rusul, please see home page to participate.

*** 4/17 JIM HIGHTOWER - How do Progressives create a better democracy? Come  hear Jim Hightower, self-described modern-day Johnny Appleseed spreading message of progressive populism across the American grassroots, provide the answer.  This NY Times best-selling author & NPR commentator visits Asheville, Thurs., 4/17, 7:00 pm - 1st Cong. United Church of Christ for an evening of fun & inspiration.  His latest book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow gives “lowdown on how to put up-not shut up-in the fight for our future.”  NC’s own reform community is highlighted in it as a success story in fighting big money politics.  Tickets at: www.commoncause.org/nc/hightowerinasheville.  Event will benefit Common Cause NC & help support continuing reforms here in our state.  Hightower’s 7 PM event: $10 (students $5) or event + private reception/book signing immediately following: $50.

**** Thurs. 5/1, 7-10 PM NRC holds public comments mtg,  Gaffney High School Auditorium, 149 Twin Lake Rd., Gaffney, SC, to prepare EIS re new application from Duke Energy for Nuke Energy plant (with 2 reactors) in Gaffney, SC, 60 mi. south of Asheville. (NRC staff will hold informal discussions from 5-7 PM)  -  Duke wants NC Public Utility Comm. & SC Public Service Comm’s OK to charge customers "pre-construction costs.  It’s our chance to speak out. We can make a difference! But even without comment, your presence is a strong statement  and appreciated by those who speak. Contact Mary O., 675-1792 or nirs@main.nc.us for carpooling details; more at CS@NC mtg 4/21 6:30 PM at UU Church.
***** May 30 - Fri. Eve. thru Sun., June 1 - Nat’l Activist Summit on Radioactive Waste, Columbia, SC.  *We as a community say "stop making more" radioactive waste since we know the failure to find a real solution to this problem is the failure of the technologies that produce it.  We demand responsible management of radioactive waste & are responding to the nuclear industry’s attempt to revive both  nuclear generating infrastructure and the move to expand the Bombplex. The military/civilian distinction is diminishing. Tis time for us to reaffirm the "We", in the sense of The People, in the sense of impacted communities--and essentially as activists.
Event is moving forward by planning group including: David Kraft, Nuclear Energy Info. Service, Debbie Grinnell - C-10, Diane D'Arrigo & Mary Olson; NIRS, Glenn Carroll, Nuclear Watch South;  Janet Marsh, BREDL; Judy Treichel, Nev Nuclear Waste Task Force; Kevin Kamps,Beyond Nuclear, Leslie Minerd , Rochelle Becker, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility; Sara Barczak  -- Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Susan Corbett -- Sierra Club, SC Chapter, Tom Clements -- Friends of the Earth. Contact Mary O. to be part or learn more

****** 5/15 - PSR Chapter and Board Contacts, President Bush's warning to Iran today sounded disturbingly similar to warnings given to Iraq leading up to the US attack.  While it is impossible to know if the current drumbeat means an attack on Iran is any more likely, it does affirm the need for us to continue to get our message out.
In that light--please mark Thursday, May 15th on your calendar for alerting your network to call Senator and House offices as part of a National Call-in Day on Iran organized by the Campaign for New American Policy on Iran --the coalition PSR is working with to promote real diplomacy with Iran: http://www.newiranpolicy.org/452/473.html
On the Iran issue--copied below are two news articles showing how the Bush team is ratcheting up the rhetoric against Iran.  Following that is an article from  Salon dispelling the administration's propaganda (with bolded highlights).
Also--I am resending the Iran sign-on ad that Boston PSR ran.  At our chapter meeting yesterday (more on that soon) Boston PSR's Maria Valenti talked about how successful their chapter was in garnering support for the the ad.  If you are interested in doing something similar in your community please contact me.            Ira
*******    Also from NPSR: Our friends at United for Peace & Justice, the largest antiwar coalition, want us to call our House Representative Thursday, April 17 with a simple message:
1. Just Say No to Bush's request for $102 billion more for Iraq
2. Cosponsor Lynn Woolsey's HR 5507 and safely bring all the troops home.
Rep. Shuler at 252-1651, Senator Dole at 202-224-6342 and Senator Burr at 202-224-3154.

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PREVENTING WHAT WE CANNOT CURE: Physicians for Social Responsibility is the medical and public health voice working to prevent the use or spread of nuclear weapons and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and the toxic degradation of the environment.

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