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August 16, 2013

Present: Phil Bisesi, Brita Clark, Dr. Terry Clark, Brad Dienst, Dr. Stan Dienst, Beth Gilman, Steve Gilman, Bob Howarth, Dr. Lew Patrie, Dr. Don Richardson, Laura Sorenson

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


1. The minutes for the WNC/PSR May 2013 meeting were posted on our website before this meeting. There was consensus to move forward to other business without further comment.

2. Terry reported that our chapter balance is $1,358.63.

3. There are no substantial updates to report regarding planning a WNC/PSR event  at MAHEC (Mountain Area Health and Education Center). Both Stan and Terry are looking into this. This event would aim to recruit medical professionals in the area, and the theme would be along the lines of Dr. Ira Helfand’s nuclear weapons threat message.  

4. Terry will follow up with NC physician William Blackely regarding biomass burning and release of toxins.

5. Don distributed an article by Michael T. Klare called The Third Carbon Age which provides some background and a commentary of the US energy policy.  
6. Laura distributed preliminary information regarding the NRC public hearings of their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing short and long term nuclear waste storage. We can expect additional details at our Sept. meeting.

7. Terry circulated an email received from Mary Olson providing an update regarding how the US nuclear power industry is collapsing.  

8. Lew received support to have our chapter co-sponsor the Keep Space for Peace event at UNCA on Oct. 1. Lew and Terry will provide an update at our next meeting.

9. In regard to the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21, Phil proposed that our chapter consider an op-ed for local publications. Phil plans to follow up with Terry.

10. In regard to the Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons class that was offered at UNCA to The College for Seniors, we plan to invite Dot Sulock to our next meeting. We hope to develop consensus on recommended next steps from a PSR national perspective.   

11. The WNC/PSR steering sub-committee (Stan, Terry, Bob, Steve) has discussed many items regarding the roles, responsibilities and composition of a potential chapter steering committee and discovered we may be making this effort more complicated than it needs to be. So, we took a different approach by listing what issues or problems to address, and this is what we came up with:

  • Conduct chapter business when there is a time-sensitive matter that can't wait until the next monthly WNC/PSR meeting.
  • Formalize the criteria for voting on chapter business.

As a result, we decided to "table" the concept of a WNC/PSR chapter steering committee and instead develop the necessary criteria for becoming a WNC/PSR chapter member.

Here it is:
Western North Carolina (WNC) PSR chapter membership is open to all. Membership dues are $35 per calendar year. WNC PSR chapter members can vote on any chapter business.

Special meetings to address urgent business can be called by the chapter chair (Terry), chapter treasurer (Terry is acting treasurer) or chapter secretary (Steve). As a reminder, earlier this year we agreed that the chapter chair, secretary and treasurer are elected for one calendar year terms.

Any of the elected chapter officers may call a special meeting to address time-sensitive business that can't wait until the next chapter monthly meeting.

At least 3 WNC/PSR members must be present at meetings to conduct chapter business, and at least one of the members must be an elected chapter officer.

In addition, our chair has authority to spend up to $50 without getting prior approval from the chapter membership on time-sensitive matters.

The above was reviewed and discussed. There was consensus to approve the above (bold font).

Next meeting: 12:00 pm Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 at the home of Steve and Beth Gilman (18 Birchwood Lane, Asheville).

Submitted by Steve Gilman, WNC/PSR chapter secretary