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February 20, 2009

WNCPSR  Minutes from 2/20/09  Meeting at Asheville’s  UU Church

PRESENT: Richard Fireman, John Joyner, Leah Karpen, Lew Patrie, Don Richardson, Laura Sorensen,& Tim Takaro.   Following introductions, we talked of our concern about Stan Dienst’s recent cardiac surgery.

PROGRAM: Laura projected WLOS coverage of Student activists advocating for our City Council to restrict nuke waste transport through Asheville.

Treasurer's Report:  Previously $429.32 + $80 (WNC Peace Coalition gift), leaves $509.32.  We also subsidized Laura for educational items.

Minutes of the Jan. 23, 2008 meeting were accepted.


  • “Scarred Lands; the Environmental Footprint of War”, tonight, 7 PM in UU Church.  This is important for PSR advocates, as it describes these neglected, but immense effects of war.
  • Re meetings with congressional representatives, Don  still seeking appt. with Sen. Hagan
  • “Scarred Lands; the Environmental Footprint of War”, Toth at 7 PM in UU Church.  This is important for PSR advocates describing underreported effects of war.
  • 2/28 - 3/1 - Busloads of AVL Youth activists to DC to lobby Congress, part of  “Power Shift”
  • Bonnie Raitt’s Mar. tour off, due to family illness, rescheduled  (Info rec’d after meeting)
  • 3/13 to 19 - events noting 6th anniversary of Iraq War, more info next month



  • Dr. Richard Fireman, representing NC Council of Church’s Interfaith Power & Light, solicited support for stopping coal & moving US toward responsible energy policy to avert the worst of climate change. He invited others to join him in a massive public climate change/no coal demonstration in DC on 3/2 (call 631-3447). Due to urgency of acting vs. global warming he advocated civil disobedience re coal fired power plants (including Duke’s Cliffside Plant under construction).   After discussing question of identifying himself as a member of WNCPSR while engaged in such action, we decided to get National PSR’s input & deferred till next mtg.   WNCPSR supports efforts to Stop Duke’s Cliffside construction & in 11/08 had endorsed the Alliance for NC SAVE$  which works for a Green Energy Economy in NC
  • World Affairs Council program, arranged by Leah, to be 7 PM, April 6 in Owen Hall, UNCA.  WNCPSR is cosponsor, as well as League of Women Voters. Discussion to follow the 20 min. video, "Beyond War".  Then 30 min. video, "Nuclear Weapons & Human Future", followed by audience participation.  Don & Lew to be available.
  • AVL Nuke Transport Meeting on transport of  nuclear materials, to be cosponsored by NIRS, WNCPSR, others, relating to City Council's inaction re Common Sense @ Nuclear Crossroads, to be arranged for May  (info from Mary Olson who wasn’t present).
  • Meeting re school education (nuclear) will not be pursued.
  • PSR Conference Call 1/28 report plus info re training opportunity in 3 phases:

March 11:  2:00-3:30 pm EST – 1st Conference Call
April 1: 2 hour in-person training at regular chapter meeting, which is combined with NIRS National Nuclear Lobby Day, Apr. 2, to which WNCPSR is invited.
April 15:  2:00 - 3:30 PM EST – 2nd Conference Call     See Addendum I

  • Fundraising letter, awaiting statements on upcoming events, may now proceed (John, Mary, Pete & Lew had agreed to work on this last month)  - Lew
  • We agreed to a booth at Bele Chere 7/24 - 26 in lieu of SEEEXPO - Laura & Lew  to act.

Next meeting: March 20 - 3rd Friday - Noon - UU Church of Asheville

Addendum 1 - PSR Conf. Call 1/28 - 18 chapters took part -  Highlights:

  • Re Code Black Campaign:  pwr pt presentations; new PSR reports, sample opeds are available for chapters to educate re health & coal’s global warming effects & promote healthy energy alternatives:  For more:
  • Steps to Zero Nuclear Weapons: Chapters encouraged to arrange community presentations on nuke wpns via local World Affairs Councils & universities. Power points; speaker training; media material to be available for education and advocacy work on nuclear weapons, similar to above . For info on speakers ct Ira (
  • NY Times “Rules of the Game” Editorial: if US is going to be credible, it must restrain its own nuclear ambitions.  <>.
  • April 1st Chapter meeting in DC:  Tell Ira if WNCPSR will be represented.
  • Chapter Calls: Chapter conference calls to be 2nd Weds. of odd numbered months at 2 pm EST - Ira

PSR Membership Recruiting & Engaging Local Health Care Professionals:

  • Addressing challenges you face in recruiting & engaging members, particularly health care professionals?
  • How do you feel the PSR national/PSR chapter relationship could be more helpful in this at the local level?

Chapters are asked to reply to Amy O’Connor <> with cc to Ira. 

  • Explore the relationship between program development and membership development
  • Determine methods PSR chapters can use to increase engagement with members
  • Determine methods PSR chapters can use to increase recruitment of new members
  • Identify what can get in the way of membership development and how to overcome hurdles
  • Determine how relationship between Nat’l PSR & chapters can be mutually beneficial regarding membership dev’t.
  • Identify specific, reasonable steps chapters can take to increase recruitment & engagement in the next 6 mos.

Agendas: March 11:  1:00-2:30 PM EST – 1st Conf. Call - Membership basics:  membership cycle of engagement & giving & and what moves members up the pyramid, benefits to members/benefits to PSR and the movement; importance of incremental engagement of prospects & members (including e.g. of gaining activists.
April 1: In-person training at regular chapter meeting.  Action reports:  What worked?  What needs improvement?
April 15: 1-2 PM EST – 2nd Conf. Call, Check-in/Progress reports:  Successes?  Challenges?  Opportunities?
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Related items: NIRS National Nuclear Lobby Day - 2/27 - Ridding the stimulus bill’s $50 billion nuke & coal loan guarantees was just a 1st step; those industries are coming back again & will be seeking more taxpayer handouts throughout the coming year. So we need to keep pressure on Congress. We'll sponsor various opportunities for you to interact with legislators. First, a National Nuclear Lobby Day on Fri., Feb. 27 in DC, mainly for those coming for Carbon Free, Nuclear Free conference & the Power Shift events. So, if you can come & are willing for us to set up congressional meetings,  e-mail us at Michael Mariotte, Exec. Dir., NIRS

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Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space expands on this year’s glorified 60th anniversary celebration of NATO in Germany at which massive dissenting protests will occur.  US activists, might be reassured to see so much effort being organized to shut down the US empire. “But we have to do our part as well,  starting by calling for closing US bases & major cuts in the Pentagon's bloated budget”.  Working together as a globalized movement we can really begin to make progress.

Such issues will be featured at the upcoming Security Without Empire: National Organizing Conference on Foreign Military Bases that will be held at American University in DC, 2/27- 3/2. The Global Network will be one of 20 sponsoring peace groups.  Key peace movement activists from around US & globally will be present.  A protest vigil at the Pentagon will kick off the weekend at 4 PM, 2/27.  For more info:

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Following the meeting, Lew had a reassuring phone conversation with Stan Dienst who went home the day of our meeting.  He is doing well and also offered helpful suggestions for WNCPSR.

Lew Patrie - (828) 299-1242