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October 21, 2008 Meeting

Dear WNCPSR supporter: Here are minutes of yesterday's meeting.
Minutes of WNCPSR meeting, Oct. 21, 2008 at Asheville UU Church
Present: Leah Karpen, Susan Oehler, Lew Patrie, Don Richardson, Stan Dienst

1. WNCPSR Meeting Minutes of 9/16/08 -Corrections: in Don’s LTE: replace “cocaine” with “heroin” and Leah reported the minutes didn’t accurately reflect the meeting.

2. Treasurers Report: Deposit of $102.5 on 10/10 (from National PSR's new ‘recruitment fund sharing’) brings new balance to $950.68.($260 is CSNC's) (In agreement with this, Lew is to submit WNCPSR’s member list to NPSR)

3. Recent & Future events:
• Oct. 13, Leah hosted Friends of the Earth presentation attended by Don R. & Kitty Boniske; Kitty agreed to contact Mary O. trying to promote awareness of global warming, nuke power & weapons issues. Leah will followup with Kitty.

• WNCPSR cosponsors Center for Diversity Education’s Hiroshima-Nagasaki Poster Exhibit in Karpen Hall, UNCA, open Mon. - Fri., 8 - 5., during Oct. - Scenes of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki are on 30 large posters, advocating peaceful disarmament of all nuclear weapons nations by increasing citizen awareness. This is part of 101 similar exhibits nationwide. Included is “Dr. Strangelove”, 10/31, 9 PM, Highsmith Student Union, UNCA.

• No More Victims: Rusul has rejoined Salee & family in Iraq & is attending school.

• After 11/4 Election, the real work will begin (This item was not discussed during the mtg)

• Proposed Asheville City Ordinance from CC@NC’s mtg on 10/13 - We agreed to support this, signed the petition, and will promote attendance on 11/25 See Addendum I

• “Attempts to Reduce & Eliminate Nuke Wpns through NP Treaty & Creation of Nuke-Wpn-Free Zones” by Paul Magnarella. Upon review of this and Paul’s offer of a pwr. pt. program, we proposed it as a special program for PSR Dec. holiday “party”, tentatively to be Tues. PM, Dec 16 at Leah’s home. Lew is to follow thru with Paul.

5. Program: Stan projected “Keep Space for Peace Week", Global Network’s new 30 minute DVD. We were favorably impressed by the little publicized US Space Command’s plan for full spectrum planetary dominance which would expand US militarization to weaponization of space. This would usher in a new global arms race with even greater expenditure of earth’s resources and further endangerment of earth’s people. We concluded that this calls for major effort to increase citizen awareness to oppose this plan. This fits in with the 1st item # 3 above. We wish to obtain Dot Sulock's thinking re this.

6. Other Item: “Beyond War”, Lew has a copy, given by Laura Sorensen. We thank her.

7. November Meeting: Change to 2nd Tues., Nov. 11 at Noon, Room 4, UUCA
Program: Don is to review his film cache & make recommendations.

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In Asheville, Tues., Nov. 25, please join representatives of the local campaign, Common Sense at the Nuclear Crossroads, as they present a simple ordinance to the Asheville City Council, which would make it a misdemeanor to transport the most concentrated and deadly radioactive materials and wastes through the jurisdiction of the city. Unlike a resolution, or a “nuclear free zone” the criminal code is not as vulnerable to “interstate commerce” challenge. This ordinance is modeled on one passed by the City of Las Vegas in the year 2000, which still stands today to protect that jurisdiction from the transport of this same waste.
Why would high-level radioactive waste come through Asheville?
Right now this type of waste is NOT commonly on the road or rails. It resides at the nuclear power plants that made it. The nuclear industry is in a hurry for the federal government to move this waste, since when it does, the title (ownership) transfers to the Department of Energy. Nevada (Yucca Mountain) remains a likely place for this waste to travel, however taking it to South Carolina has become a new plan that features so-called “recycling.” This is not really accurate since only 1% of the waste is reusable, and that is the plutonium, so very dangerous to put into commerce since all plutonium can be used for nuclear weapons. The only place in the Eastern US (where 85% of the waste is located) that has done large-scale plutonium extraction is in South Carolina, at the big bomb factory called the Savannah River Site, which is the front-runner for a return to this dangerous, messy, costly and ultimately futile activity – but hey, it makes it look like they have a waste “solution.”
Why should folks in Asheville care?

This waste is so toxic that even a small percentage of one shipment, if released and spread in a plume of smoke from a burning accident scene, would force evacuation (which could well be permanent) and could impact all the things that we love: our wild mountains, our water, our organic farms, our tourist / arts base of commerce … and of course, our health & our children. This is not an “acceptable” risk.

What can I do?
If you like the idea of an ordinance to protect Asheville, work for it. We have a few weeks. Talk to folks you know in the business community and others who might like to know this is happening, talk to Council members, write letters to the editor, watch for it on Council agendas (sometime in November) and come out to support it. We don’t need to beat up Council members – many have expressed support – so thank them, and let them know folks care!

More information: Mary Olson, Nuclear Information & Resource Service 828-675-1792

October 13, 2008

Click to view the proposed ordinance.