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August 18, 2023

Minutes WNCPSR Chapter Meeting, August 18, 2023

Attendees: Scott Baker, Leslie Poplawski, Phillip Bisesi, Sallee Detomaso, Scott Mahan, Charles Mahan, Bert Crain, Dot Sulock, Robert Howarth, Irma Howarth, Brita Clark, Terry Clark, Rachel Bliss

12:00- 12:30, Discussion regarding movie, “Oppenheimer”, group members in favor of more discussion, perhaps with a facilitator. Brita will learn if Jill Boniske might be interested in facilitating a discussion, perhaps at Asheville Library

I.) Welcome, Scott Baker

III.) Agenda approved

IV.) Approval of Minutes of last chapter meeting on 5/19/23

V.) Treasurers report, Bert Crain, balance in May, $2711, plus $100 donation at Day of Remembrance

VI.) Noted that an editorial published in more than 150 medical and scientific journals.

Excerpt: “The danger is great and growing. The nuclear armed states must eliminate their nuclear arsenals before they eliminate us. The health community played a decisive part during the Cold War and more recently in the development of The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We must take up this challenge again as an urgent priority, working with renewed energy to reduce the risks of nuclear war and to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

VI.) Review of Day of Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 8/6/23, at Pack Square Park, Sponsored by WNCPSR. Veterans for Peace, Reject Raytheon; 25 attendees, distributed 60 small potted plants combined with information on nuclear weapons. and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Displayed art work by Leslie. Thank you to Brita and Leslie for their work. Event was well received by the public.

VII.) Rachel Bliss reports schedule of events for International Day of Peace and Day of Nonviolence

Thursday, Sept. 21-Walk for Peace, 5:30 PM, Corner of Haywood Rd and Louisiana, West Asheville, walk 2 blocks, bring signs

Saturday, September 23, 2:00-4:00 PM, Program and Peacemakers of the Year Awards Presentation, Gather at Land of Sky United Church of Christ, 15 Overbrook Place, Asheville, 2:00-4:00 PM.

Rachel announces that Brita and Terry will be recognized as Asheville Peace Makers of the year

-Chapter votes to donate $50 towards Rachel’s organizing expenses

VII.) Newsletter, Scott Mahan reports progress. Requests articles promptly, deadline for submission is 8/31/23. Action needed: Send articles to Scott Mahan

VIII.) Follow-up regarding Erwin Tennessee, Scott Baker provides a digital copy of the speech he delivered at the Erwin demonstration. Terry will send it to for publishing on our website.

IX.) Climate Change Group Report, Scott Mahan. Chapter will reserve a booth at the 5 K run (Octoberfest Run, on 9/30/23) (Event starting site and booths at High Wire Brewing) We need volunteers to staff the booth between 7:00 AM til 11:00 AM to provide information on Climate Change, single use of plastic bags and nuc weapons issues. Expenditures for booth and stickers approved. Action needed : contact Scott Mahan to sign up to staff booth. 

X.) Business cards: new business cards distributed by Scott Baker, thank you to Scott for design and preparation of the cards.

XI.) Wind challenge with banners, Bob Howarth noted he has assessed ways of making porous banners for use out of doors, for example at demonstrations or parades. We may look further at this issue

- Bob and Irma Howarth note that the small blue handout about nuclear weapons and the treaty (TPNW) is very effective and they suggest we utilize it more and perhaps distribute with a fundraising letter.

XII.) Position statement by chapter concerning Nuclear Power. Dot and Leslie presented a proposed statement on nuclear power. The statement notes that WNCPSR is Opposed to Nuclear Power. It notes that nuclear power is connected to nuclear weapons. That nuc plants produce long-lived radioactive waste, with no safe disposal, contributing to the toxic degradation of the environment. That the whole nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to radioactive waste, harms human health. The statement will be accompanied by 12 specific points that will elaborate on characteristics of the nuclear fuel cycle that support our position. Group members expressed support for the position statement. Plan: Further develop the Narratives that accompany the 12 specific characteristics. Plan: Finalize the proposed position at next chapter meeting.

XIII.) Report by Bert Crain on the recent meeting of the PSR Committee on Abolition of Nuclear Weapons: Committee members are deeply concerned abou the risk of nuclear weapons. A recent positive step is the pending publication in over 150 Medical/Scientific Journals warning of the dire risk of nuc weapons. The document urges alerting medical professionals and other organizations to speak out on the issue. Plan: review the document and do what we can to inform health care professionals to speak out and alert the world of the dire medical consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.

Urge support of HR 77 by our congressional representatives. This resolution supports the recommendations of The Back from the Brink Campaign.

XIV.) -Letters, Bert Crain circulates a letter which attendees sign and it will be sent to all the NC Representatives and senators. Urges legislators to support HR 77

XV.) -Noted that Bert Crain had a guest opinion published in the Asheville Citizen Times on August 1st, “Opinion: What Would George Washington Do? He Would Have Audacity to End Nuclear Weapons” Plan: publish on out website

Next meeting: 9/15/23