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March 15, 2013

Western North Carolina (WNC) Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
Minutes of monthly chapter meeting on Friday, Mar. 15, 2013

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

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



1. Terry reported that John Joyner is retiring as our PSR chapter treasurer. Terry, Don and others interested will meet to develop recommendations for next steps.

2. Treasurer’s report was provided by Terry. Our current balance is $1,089.06.  

3. Beth Gilman reported on an open hearing she attended in Charlotte, NC sponsored and facilitated by the NC Utilities Commission. As part of this IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) hearing, information was provided regarding our  current NC sources of energy and what the power companies are projecting forward to 2027. Some key projections from Progress Energy are to phase down coal fuel from 28% to 9%, and increase gas fuel from 20% to 42%. Also, our state’s highest source of fuel, nuclear, remains at the top at 45%. It is most interesting to note that other states, notably Indiana and Ohio, have begun implementing plans to  provide incentives to those with low energy use; lower energy use households will benefit with lower utility rates. The utility commissions in these state believe this will promote conservation and enable a plan to require fewer power plants. There was significant encouragement from this hearing’s participants that the NC Utilities Commission determine the feasibility of NC following a similar conservation energy strategy. 

4. Our WNC PSR chapter co-sponsored a conference on Mar. 2 with the title: Nuclear Appalachia, Uranium and Nuclear Weapons in Our Back Yard – What You Should Know. The originating sponsor is New South Network of War Resisters. Email for more information.

5. Protecting our Water and Environmental Resources (POWER)., held a meeting on Feb. 18, 2013 addressing chemical contamination of soil and ground water, e.g. trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogen at former CTS site in Arden. This group is applying for an EPA grant. Monthly meeting dates and times are posted on their website. Terry plans to follow up with documentation including stats for cancer.

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

7. Bob provided a final position paper draft regarding corporate funding of elections. The paper was approved as our WNC PSR chapter’s position on this subject. Steve raised the question regarding whether this is a PSR priority, and as a result determined that PSR National has no position on this subject. When Steve attends the PSR board meeting in April, he will look into this further. 

8. Don will look into possible meetings with our congressional representatives and let us know what options we have.

9. Our chapter approved to continue the $240 per year fee to maintain the WNC PSR web site.

10.  PSR.ORG now has a 14 minute video featuring Ira Helfand’s nuclear famine message with the hope of widespread distribution of this video.

11.  Steve plans to participate in the next PSR board of directors meeting to be held in Washington, DC, April 11-13.

12.  There was consensus to form a committee of Terry, Phil, and Bob to address the subject Recruitment & Fundraising for WNCPSR. We look forward to their progress report at our next meeting.

Next meeting: 12:00 pm Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 at the home of Steve and Beth Gilman (18 Birchwood Lane, Asheville).

Submitted by Steve Gilman, WNC PSR chapter secretary