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April 11, 2014 Meeting

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

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

1. The agenda for this meeting was circulated. There was consensus to support the March 2014 meeting minutes as-is.   

2. Treasury report: Our chapter has a balance of $1,543.92 minus a $240 Webonobo check that has not yet cleared. This $240 is the yearly host fee for our chapter website.      

3. Laura Sorenson encouraged us to have our voices heard regarding Duke’s energy plan at their stockholder meeting in Charlotte on May 1st. Specifically, she encouraged us to participate in a rally that day from 9am to noon at Duke Energy corporate headquarters, 526 S Church St Charlotte, NC 28203. A broad alliance of visionary organizations from across the state are expected, calling for environmental, social, racial, labor and economic justice. The alliance advocates political transparency, clean energy and a bright future for all!

4. Laura shared a petition written by MATRR (Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation). It is addressed to the  Nuclear Regulatory Commission, EPA Office of Air and Radiation. A key message in the petition: “protect Americans from radioactive pollutants by releasing visible dye-markers with emergency radioactive plume releases, issuing public health alerts for routine and accidental radiation releases, and providing real-time radiation monitoring.” This is especially relevant to those residing within a 50 mile radius of commercial U.S. nuclear plants. Additional details:
5. Laura distributed an Earth Day poster handout and encouraged our participation.
6. At our last meeting (March 2014) there was discussion about the recent draft from the NC Department of the Environment and Natural Resources regarding their 10 year plan for solid waste management. Brita read a proposed response and there was consensus that we were not yet ready to determine if this represents WNC PSR. Subsequent to  the meeting, an opportunity has been provided for comments.
7. Terry confirmed the proposal he made on behalf of WNC PSR to the Veterans for Peace 2014 Conference. This proposal highlights four presentations and is the product of our WNC PSR Veterans for Peace committee. This national conference will be held in late July in Asheville, NC on the UNCA campus. We expect to hear back from Veterans for Peace by May 1. One of the four presentations was developed by Stan, and he provided us a recently revised presentation of it. There will be an opportunity for WNC PSR to have a table at this conference, and we decided to have further discussions on this item once we are contacted by Veterans for Peace.

8. Steve reported a setback on our Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons campaign. (This campaign is based on Ira Helfand’s recent 2 billion at risk paper). Last year there was a consensus developed between the American Red Cross leaders and PSR leaders to have this message communicated to local Red Cross chapters. In fact WNC PSR has a committee working to communicate this message to groups including the local Red Cross chapter. Unfortunately, the head of the American Red Cross was recently replaced by someone nominated by president Obama, and the new policy on this subject makes it clear that Red Cross is no longer participating in this campaign. Many in PSR-National are networking on approaches to have this reconsidered.

9. Phil provided an update representing the committee for coalition coordination with Green Drinks and other groups. Phil indicated there are multiple levels at which WNC/PSR can participate with Green Drinks (e.g., as a presenter, as a Green Drinks co-sponsor, as a steering committee member). There was consensus that this committee should provide our chapter with information about the labor, financial and other requirements, as well as any recommended actions.  

10. Terry indicated he had a conflict and will not be going to the annual PSR Leadership conference in May.

11. There have been communications between the WNC PSR OREPA committee and Ralph Huchison regarding his visiting Asheville in May. The committee is also working on a Citizens Times op-ed. During Ralph’s visit to Asheville, we plan to have him meet with a Citizens-Times editor.

Next meeting: 12:00 pm Friday, May 9, 2014 at the home of Steve and Beth Gilman (18 Birchwood Lane, Asheville). Note: we usually meet the 3rd Friday of every month, however, since the Gilman’s have a conflict on the 3rd Friday in May, there was consensus to have our next meeting on May 9.

Submitted by Steve Gilman, WNC/PSR chapter secretary
Western North Carolina (WNC) Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
Chapter meeting minutes -- Friday, April 11, 2014