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May 25, 2012

MINUTES OF WNCPSR MEETING, MAY 25, 2012, AT HOWARTHS' HOME

Present: Lew Patrie, Stan Dienst, Phil Bisesi, Don Richardson, Brita and Terry Clark, Bob Howarth, Mary Olson

Terry opened the meeting at 12:30 PM.

MINUTES of the last meeting were accepted as read with the addition of Terry among those recently meeting with Chad Eaton of Rep. Shuler's office and Freddie Harrill of Sen. Hagan's office; and Brita requested removal of the word "woman" from the reference to the Florida physician. (Sex not relevant).

TREASURER'S REPORT:

In the absence of John Joyner he called in a balance of $1747.81. This includes $600.00 from the National grant and some funds from National to our cachement area.

OLD BUSINESS:

Terry reported on his trip to Washington April 26/27 for the purpose of lobbying on the health effects of coal ash, expenses paid by Sierra Club and Earth Justice.
The Transportation Bill includes Amendment 9 which prevents EPA from monitoring/setting rules for coal ash disposal. Both Hagan's and Burr's offices were contacted and both claimed ignorance of the health effects of coal ash.
Terry also met with an Obama aide and with Henry Waxman, and did a ten minute presentation on coal ash health effects.
Terry reported on a science project by a 12 year old, Ashley Phykitt, who place fairy shrimp at different distances from a coal ash pond outflow into the adjacent lake, showing that those closest to the outflow died first. Ashley accompanied Terry to several meetings.
Terry asked that we make phone calls to Hagan's and Burr's offices to ask for removal of Amendment 9 from the Transportation Bill, and that Senate phone numbers be sent out to the entire WNCPSR email list. Lew will send numbers. Terry also reported that a Black community in Alabama is suing EPA for a coal ash dump put in their neighborhood.

Mary said that it is likely, though ironic, that nuclear weapons will go away faster if placed under the Pentagon, which "knows we can't use them."

Stan discussed fracking wastes and noted that wastes injected into wells below the water table have been a disaster for groundwater in Ohio. Bob said injecting into wells in N.C. is illegal. The freaking fracking industry, of course, wants an exemption! There was much discussion on the social/technical issues.
Stan reported that there will be a meeting on fracking led by a Mr. Scott at the old City Council Building on Williams Street in Hendersonville at 7 PM on Thursday, May 31st, supported by Sierra Club.

NEW BUSINESS:

Dot Sulock has done a minibook for the College of Seniors on Nuclear
Terrorism for Seniors. This is an opportunity for us to address senior groups on the nuclear issues. Dot will be invited to our June meeting.
Note: Ira Helfand, Andrew Kanter, Mike McCalley, Kimberley Roberts and Jaya Tiwari have written a PSR monograph on  "The U.S. and Nuclear Terrorism: Still Dangerously Unprepared,"  August, 2006. Don has a copy.

The EXPO was discussed. Lew announced that there will be a new form of Expo, the Southern Living Green Expo, September 14-16 at the downtown Asheville Cellular Center, with good exposure because people will have to     pass the issues tables before getting into the commercial exhibits. Cost is $245 plus utilities ($75 electric and $45 wireless internet). Unanimously endorsed.
Planners will be Brita, Mary, Phil and Stan.

Mary announced that President Obama has picked Allison MacFarlane to replace retiring Gregory Jaczko at NRC. She is a George Mason University Geology Professor. Mary says she is an overall good choice, with the caveat that she tends to favor waste repositories of the geological type of Sandy Mush.

Bob proposes that we show the film THRIVE with a potluck at his and Irma's home, date TBA by email. Agreed unanimously. Directions: On 191 at Biltmore Square Mall, go south two lights past Discount Shoes, turn right on Bent Creek Ranch Road, 2/10 mile uphill, take right fork, go 2/10 to South Oaks Drive which morphs into South Oaks Circle, #14 on right.  Bob and Irma can accommodate 16 people. Oatmeal will not be served, but the potluck will be delicious.

Mary and Lew discussed the Nuclear Summit to be held in Chattanooga June 28-30. The Davids Lochbaum and Freeman will attend, also Robert Alvarez and Kevin Kamps. Thursday night session, then Friday and Saturday programs with the above nuclear stars, a Saturday night party and leave on Sunday. Cost is $20 per day, and $22 for college rooms. Cutoff is June 7 to register.

Lew announced a 52 minute film, How To Start A Revolution, at the UU church on Charlotte Street, June 8 at 7 PM. He also noted that our website may need updating.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 PM. Leah Karpen has warned us         repeatedly about going overtime!

Next meeting is June 15, 2012, noon at the Gilmans' home.

Don Richardson, 9/11 Secretary

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