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April 19, 2013

Present: Brita Clark, Dr. Terry Clark, Dr. Stan Dienst, Beth Gilman, Steve Gilman, Bob Howarth, Dr. Lew Patrie, Mary Olson, Ryan Halas

Lunch and refreshments began at 12 noon, and the business meeting began at 12:30 PM.


1. The minutes were drafted, feedback solicited to make a final draft, and then posted on our site. Going forward, once minutes are reviewed, and a final draft is posted on our site, we shall consider them approved. If anyone would like to continue discussing items posted on our website, including meeting minutes, please consider bringing this up at a subsequent monthly meeting.

2. Terry reported that our chapter balance is $824.06.  

3. Ryan Halas of Rainforest Action Network (RAN) presented reasons why we should all be concerned about banks providing funding to remove mountain tops to extract coal. His presentation was quite riveting and more details are available at RAN’s website, The bank making the most of these loans is Bank of America, and we were encouraged to attend, and if possible, provide a comment at the Bank of America shareholder meeting in Charlotte on May 8. Ryan indicated that having a physician speak at the shareholder meeting would be extremely helpful. After our chapter meeting Terry offered to review the possibility of attending.

4. Due to time constraints, Steve’s report regarding his PSR board meeting in April was taken off the agenda.   

5. Brita provided an update regarding a recognition luncheon, and our chapter empowered her to pencil in a date during the last week of June, and empowered her to recommend option(s) for this event at our May meeting. There was discussion regarding whether or not this can or should be a fundraising event, and there was consensus that fundraising need not be a major part of this event. There was consensus that we should consider a different event to play a major role in our PSR chapter fundraising. 

6. There was discussion regarding contacting both our state and federal legislators to discuss matters important to us. It was decided that we need to continue this discussion at a future meeting. Bob offered to draft a contact list for contacting legislators.

7. Mary provided some alarming information regarding weakened radiation exposure standards proposed by the Obama administration. has a plethora of information on this and related nuclear risk issues.

8. Terry submitted a chapter grant proposal to PSR National. On behalf of our WNC PSR chapter, Terry requested a $2,000 grant for 2013.

9. Our chapter authorized up to $50 to Mary for sponsoring people in the area to register in the I-26 Summit  ( ).

10. Lew and Bob participated in an Oak Ridge, TN, protest highlighting the upcoming trial of 82 year old Megan Rice and 2 others for trespassing on the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons facility last summer. Before his trip to PSR national in DC, Steve was in touch with both Megan and one of her lawyers. Steve arranged a meeting with both the PSR nuclear weapons committee chair and Dr. Ira Helfand and got their support to involve PSR national in this trial. Steve followed up with a biographical sketch of Dr. Helfand, a YouTube presentation, and additional reasons why Dr. Helfand would be a competent choice from PSR as an expert witness on Megan’s behalf. Steve got Dr. Helfand and the lead lawyer together, and all parties agreed that having Dr. Helfand testify as a key expert is exactly what the defense team was looking for. Additional details will be forthcoming at the May chapter meeting.    

11. If our chapter wants to reserve a booth in the Southern Green Living Expo starting Oct 4, we need to do so by June 30 to get a discount.

12. A sub-committee of Terry, Steve, Stan and Bob was formed to explore the possibility of formalizing the WNC/PSR Steering Committee. We met and each of us has provided Terry with documentation. Terry will consolidate and present an update at the chapter meeting in May.

13. It was agreed by consensus to post our Chapter's position paper Corporate Funding of Elections on our website.  Bob will email this to Stan for posting.

There will not be a meeting in May.  The next chapter meeting will be Friday July 19, 2013.

Submitted by Steve Gilman, WNC PSR chapter secretary