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January 18, 2013

Western North Carolina (WNC) Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
Minutes of monthly chapter meeting on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013

Present: Kent Barnes, Phil Bisesi, Brita Clark, Dr. Terry Clark, Dr. Stan Dienst, Steve Gilman, Bob Howarth, Dr. Lew Patrie

The meeting began at 12:30 PM, and the minutes of the Nov. 9, 2012 WNC PSR meeting were discussed and approved. (There was no WNC PSR chapter meeting in Dec. 2012).


1. We welcomed guest Kent Barnes, an inventor.

2. Treasurer’s report: Terry reported a WNC PSR chapter balance of $1,089.06. At our last chapter meeting (Nov. 2012), our balance was $1,861.58. There was discussion regarding the expenses incurred since the Nov. 2012 meeting, and Terry offered to provide details at our next (Feb. 2013) chapter meeting.

3. We discussed whether or not to continue WNC PSR chapter membership in the NC Conservation Network; we approved a motion to pay $25 to continue WNC PSR chapter membership for 2013, and Terry will pay this fee.

4. Steve proposed that we formalize annual WNC PSR chapter elections for Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Steering Committee. As part of this proposal, the Steering Committee would authorize chapter expenditures; further, the Steering Committee would consider the appropriateness of having each committee member make a minimum (to be determined) annual contribution to this chapter. There was consensus to table this discussion until after Terry and Brita return from the PSR Chapter Leaders meeting to be held in Tampa, FL on Feb. 8-9, 2013.

5. There was discussion regarding our WNC PSR brochure. There was consensus on the brochure’s format, and there is interest in revising the brochure and keeping the content current. We pledged to discuss next steps after Terry and Brita return from the PSR Chapter Leaders meeting in Feb. 2013. Terry will do a first draft of a revised brochure.

6. Mary Olson has communicated plans to respond to both the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future and the Department of Energy regarding consolidated (off-site) storage of highly radioactive "spent" nuclear fuel. Each of us can connect with Mary to be involved with this effort.

7. The Citizens United case affects all of our work. Phil requested our help in formulating communications to the Black Mountain, NC City Council. Further discussion resulted in Lew offering to provide Phil with information he thought may be helpful. Bob offered to draft a position paper on Citizens United in consultation with Lew and Terry.

8. Terry provided feedback regarding a recent Green Drinks CTS presentation. Terry offered to get additional details, contacting one or more key individuals and determining the availability of scientific numbers with associated numerator(s) and denominator(s).

9. Poune Saberi is coming to Asheville, NC for a coal ash event. Terry offered to follow up on this.

10.  Our newly elected NC governor, Pat McCrory, has plans to appoint commissioners to the NC Utilities Commission even though much of his professional career has been in the NC utilities industry. There was consensus that Mr. McCrory should recuse himself from these appointments.  Both Bob and Terry are looking at possible draft letters to the governor and others, and will keep us informed of their progress.

11.  Stan has a 20 minute video he would like to show at our next meeting, and we agreed to start that meeting at 11:45 am.

Next meeting:


11:45 am, Feb. 15, 2013 at the home of Steve and Beth Gilman (18 Birchwood Lane, Asheville).

Submitted by Steve Gilman, WNC PSR chapter secretary

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