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January 20, 2012


Present: Lew Patrie, Stan Dienst, Don Richardson, Steve Gilman, Bob Howarth,
Phil Bisesi
Emeritus Chairman Lew Patrie presided in the absence of the infirm Terry Clark
and opened the meeting at 12:35 PM.

The NRC meeting at Gaffney, S.C. of yesterday was discussed. There were 47 speakers of which some 40 were opposed to the proposed 2 new nuclear plants in the Gaffney area. The others had a vested interest in nukes and should have recused themselves due to conflicts of interest, but did not. These included two S.C. congressmen, both named Moss but unrelated, who made comments which were wrong in every particular.

Minutes of the December meeting, by Lew, were accepted as written.

Stan circulated copies of his CDs on fracking.

Sasha Hussey (in absentia) was thanked for his petitions in opposition to the transport of nuclear waste submitted to BRC with 251 signatures. Sasha is leaving WNC in search of greener pastures, if there are any, and we wish him well. (Note: Can there be greener pastures than WNC?)

Terry's proposal to invite Ali Thiebert of PNHP to come to Asheville to present the case for single payer health care was postponed to the next meeting due to Terry's absence. (Note: Overhead for single payer is 3%, for insurance company coverage, 25%). We endorse this effort.

Lew updated us on Move to Amend and announced the rally at Pritchard Park slated for 4:30 this afternoon. There will be a walk to the Federal Building with some dressed as members of the Extreme Court. The City Council will vote on Move to Amend in February.

Treasurer's Report in absence of John Joyner: Same as last month with exception of $10.00 added contribution. We agreed to send $240.00 to Totsie Marine, our annual cost of website maintenance.

Bob reported that the Mountain Protectors initiatives are presently stalled. Some 125 people have signed on to help with the work and petitions. Bob is working on a draft proposal, with input from Mary Olson. There have not been regular meetings and the group is very loosely organized. The WNC Alliance contact has left. Bob will continue the effort.

Bob also reported on fracking. The Chapel Hill newspaper announced a Jan 9 program on fracking. NC has 1400 square miles of potential fracking sites! Bob and Stan will send a letter to the NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources expressing our concerns. Phil will review the letter for content. Lew suggested we present a program to Green Drinks using Stan's power point. Phil will approach G.D. re a possible date for the program, probably at Posana. Their meetings are regularly at 5:30 on Wednesdays.

Lew also suggested we set up a meeting at Green Drinks on Move to Amend.

Phil discussed his suggestion that the Skyland coal plant can and should be converted to alternate energy, specifically through the use of photovoltaics and other alternate energies to replace the present very dirty combustion process. Lew noted that Skyland HAS made some improvements, but scrubbers do not remove CO2. Phil noted that the coal ash ponds are a threat to the French Broad River nearby, and to groundwater throughout the area. It was felt that maybe we should not name this specific site for criticism. Also noted was that NC and GA are the #1 & 2 coal burning states. Lew suggested that we should draft a proposal at our next or future meeting. Phil will take 15 minutes for additional discussion in February.

Lew reminded us of the follow-up meeting re the Lee/Gaffney NRC proposal to be held at the West Asheville Library community room January 26 at 6:30. Laura Sorensen is the contact at, 545-4443 for more information. All welcome!

Steve reported on his new National Board experience, including board orientation coming up in April. He is on the Audit Committee and may also join the Social Justice and Fundraising Committees if not too overcommitted!

Phil suggested an Environment/Health party here in Asheville as a fundraiser. To be discussed at a subsequent meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 PM.

Next meeting: February 17 at Steve's (and then March 16).

Don Richardson, Secretary and Cruise Ship Survivor