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July 15, 2011

MINUTES OF WNCPSR MEETING, August 19, 2011, noon, at Gilmans' Residence

PRESENT: Host Steve Gilman, Brita and Terry Clark, Stan Dienst, Bob Howarth,
Sasha Hussey, Lew Patrie and Don Richardson

JULY MINUTES were approved as written with one typo correction.

TREASURER'S REPORT
: Balance $1620.31, no change from July balance. John
Joyner sent $50 to V4P 099 as our contribution to the September 21 event.

Stan presented Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA with a one page handout
summarizing his vision of the end of linear consumption, grassroots
ownership of emerging clean energies like wind, the end of corporate
exploitation of fossil/nuclear fuels, the rise of ocean aquaculture, and more.
(This is New Business but was presented out of order).

OLD BUSINESS:
Website discussion. Steve: for Facebook access we will need either a personal
or group password; however, anyone can access wncpsr.org. Possible
"contamination" if password gets outside our group. Steve will email all of
us re how to get Facebook access.

NEW BUSINESS:

Sasha Hussey refreshed us on his participation in the Nuclear Abolition Initiative,
citing Helen Caldicott's book Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer. The initiative
is led by Soka Gakkai International. Sasha handed out copies of the 19 Aug
2011Buddhist publication World Tribune, which details efforts to eliminate
nuclear weapons. Sasha is preparing a letter and petition to the Blue Ribbon
Commission which he plans to have ready for the Sept 21 event, the
International Day of Peace. Final wording of the letter will be done at the Sept 16
WNCPSR meeting.

Bob discussed his study of "fracking" and presented a draft letter to state senator
Tom Apodaca, which was approved with minor changes. Fracking poses serious
threats to health, water supplies and property values (see the DVD "Gasland"
for details, go to www.gaslandthemovie.com and www.psr.org.) Don has a copy
of the film. Bob's letter appeals to Senator Apodaca to keep us apprised of any
related actions in the state legislature. PSR National is involved in this issue.

Chairman Terry Clark reviewed the Coal Ash Project referred to us by Barb Gottlieb at
National. Earth Justice is leading the effort on this health issue. Terry recalled the
Kingston, TN, spill of 2008, which brought the issue to prominence with the spectre
of radiation and heavy metals exposure. Coal ash has not been regulated as
hazardous waste, and the coal industry is engaged in a full court press to keep it
that way, with support of HR 2273, an effort to prevent EPA from regulating coal ash.
We are asked to sign on to an Earth Justice letter to let EPA do its job. The House
Energy and Commerce Committee is actually backing the coal industry's position!
(This meets my definition of treason). We may participate in a grant to do this work.
Steve wondered whether there would be any strings attached to the potential grant,
and its source. See summary on National PSR website for more details.
Stan raised question of whether we are diluting our mission; Brita pointed out that
this is a public health issue (and in our neighborhood, possible good PR for WNCPSR).
EPA has proposed two options:
1- Classify coal ash as a hazardous substance and subject impoundments to
federal hazardous waste management requirements.
2- Give states directive to safeguard the wastes but not classify then as hazardous.
Forty four Senators have asked Obama not to classify wastes as hazardous!

Lew showed a copy of the Oregon chapter newsletter, a possible future project for us. Lew
also announced showing of the film "Peace One Day" at the UU church, Sept 9, 7PM.

The agenda includes mention of the Aug 21--Sept 3 D.C. action against the proposed 1700
mile Keystone XL pipeline to bring the incredibly dirty heavy crude tar sands oil from
Alberta to Houston, an environmental holocaust. Final day action will be at Lafayette
Park, and caravans from all over are expected.

Terry reminded us of the Week-end Action Camp in Zirconia, NC, Aug 18-22: "Reclaim Power."
See www.reclaimpowersoutheast.org.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 PM. Next meeting is at Gilmans' residence on September 16.

Don Richardson, curator of alpha particles, Secretary Emeritus but not Post-mortem

Mission Statement

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.