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January 17, 2014

Present: Phil Bisesi, Annie Butzner, Brita Clark, Dr. Terry Clark, Brad Dienst, Dr. Stan Dienst, Steve Gilman, Bob Howarth, Mary Olson, Barbara Scott, Tom Palumbo, Dr. Lew Patrie, Dot Sulock

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


1. The minutes drafted by Steve for our December 2013 meeting were approved.  

2. Treasurer's report: Terry reported that our chapter has a balance of $2,475.33. Donations were $805   resulting from OREPA, $50 to WNC/PSR, and $105 from 2014 membership dues ($35 each for 3 members). There was a $50 annual dues expense for NC Conservation Network. There is a pending reimbursement of expenses for the OREPA related mailing.   

3. Bob has emailed a proposed reimbursement policy update to our chapter's steering committee and requested feedback. With that feedback, Bob may develop a final draft for discussion at our Feb. 2014 chapter meeting.

4. Dot Sulock provided a presentation of a course she created called “Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Terrorism.” This course was offered in 2013 by the College for Seniors. In addition, a subcommittee composed of Terry, Dot and Steve will collaborate on  recommended actions that may result in having this course available to the larger PSR community. More information is available here.

5. A summary of the “Weapons in Space” campaign was presented by Stan. Stan is offering to provide hard copy of the key elements of this campaign to others. Further, Stan is requesting each of us consider sending his recommended hard copy to three others. Additional information is available here.

6. The WNC/PSR subcommittee supporting OREPA provided an update. Details are available on page 2 of these minutes.    

7. Barbara led the discussion regarding the planned holiday party at her residence earlier this month. Regrettably, both the planned date and backup date for this event were canceled due to weather issues. Barbara recommended we reschedule this for July, and there was consensus supporting her recommendation.

Page 2 of these minutes is an update from the OREPA Support subcommittee.

Page 3 of these minutes provides a first pass list of WNC/PSR subcommittees planned for 2014.

Page 1 of 3

OREPA Support subcommittee update submitted by Terry, (as of 1/17/14):

1. The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance issued a request, in September 2013, for financial support to facilitate their work in opposing funding and addressing concerns about the planned Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge, TN. The UPF is the current principal focus of their group. It is also the #1 priority of
the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.

2. WNC/PSR formed a committee (Howarth, Clark, Patrie and Richardson) which met November and December 2014 and formulated a plan, “The OREPA Project.”

3. We formulated a response to OREPA’s request for financial support. The funds would facilitate their work on the UPF. We established a fund-raising plan.

4. We established the goal of raising $500 or more to contribute to OREPA.

5. We established a plan to testify at a hearing of The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, DNFSB.

6. Bob Howarth and Terry Clark testified at the DNSB hearing on Dec. 10, 2013 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Focus of hearing: safety and security concerns regarding the ageing Y 12 Complex and the planned Uranium Processing Facility. They also submitted written comments.

7. Sent fund-raising letter, mid- December. Received $805.00 of contributions for project.

8. Next steps:
Plan: send $500 contribution to OREPA, hold residual ($305) for expenses for project including postage, stationery, etc. We can contact legislators regarding continued funding of the UPF and other cold war type projects. Letters to editor.

Ralph Hutchison, (who heads up OREPA), is willing to give a presentation in Asheville. We need to decide on a choice of dates for Ralph’s visit to Asheville. Plan to arrange for Ralph to meet with ACT editorial board. Peace national conference to be held the third week of July 2014, in Asheville, NC. Much of what we do is also supported by many in Veterans for Peace. Barbara offered to get back to us as soon as she has details for proposing a workshop.

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This is a first pass of planned 2014 WNC/PSR subcommittees. It is recommended that each subcommittee has at least two people, and that a brief written update from each subcommittee is provided at our monthly WNC/PSR meetings. Current staffing for each subcommittee is in parentheses; please let Steve know if you would like to see changes. It is the responsibility of each subcommittee to determine how often and where  to meet.

1. PSR National has requested that each PSR chapter consider presenting the “Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear War” message to a local Rotary Club and/or local Red Cross chapter. (Steve, Terry)

2. WNC/PSR representation at “Veterans for Peace” national conference to be held in Asheville in July 2014. (Bob, Lew, Barbara)                                                    

3. OREPA Support (Bob, Terry, Lew, Don)

4. Coalition Coordination with organizations like Green Drinks (Phil, Mary, Terry, Brita)

5. Plan and implement teaching, to the national level, Dot Sulock's “Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Terrorism” College for Seniors course. (Dot, Steve, Terry)

6. Communication with legislators on issues that are important to our chapter (Terry, Brita, Bob)

We did not have time to explore whether or not there is interest for the following, which will be added to next month's meeting agenda:

a) WNC/PSR-sponsored MAHEC event to recruit physicians into WNC/PSR     
b) Booth at Green Living Expo to communicate what we (WNC/PSR) are
c) Membership committee
d) Other possible sub-committees

Next meeting: 12:00 pm Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at the home of Steve and Beth Gilman (18 Birchwood Lane, Asheville).

Submitted by Steve Gilman, WNC/PSR chapter secretary

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Western North Carolina (WNC) Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
Chapter meeting minutes -- Friday, Jan. 17, 2013