May 2009

Many thanks to Michael Rainger who volunteered to be our recording secretary for the May meeting for providing us with these minutes.  For those of you who were at the meeting you’ll be reminded of all we learned, and for those of you who were unable to attend, this is the next best thing!

Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club May 17th 2009

Moderator David Roos convened the meeting by thanking Ike and Julie Broaddus and their family for generously holding so many meetings at their lovely home.  We’ll miss “Tranquility Post” but look forward to our new venue at Poplar Springs.
Five-Minute Flash Reports:

Lisa Richard-Treasurer’s Report- Our current balance is $196.77 with an expected future expense of $200 for web-site maintenance. SSC coffee pot was briefly discussed.

Lynn Chinnis thanked Michael Rainger for arranging a more permanent meeting place at Poplar Springs for the rest of 2009. Here are the details of our new digs where immigration Lawyer Donna Lipinski will be our inaugural speaker on June 14th. The Carriage House is the specific building and directions to Poplar Springs are noted at the end of these minutes located at 9245 Rogues Road, Casanova VA 20139.

Growing the SSC –
Ike Broaddus led a discussion on how to broaden the reach of the SSC by giving feedback from a recent meeting with Deb Williamson (present) and Dennis Taylor concerning the possibility of quarterly meetings where one group invites another to an event. It was agreed that the a meeting of Green Drinks with a planned 30-minute presentation by Dennis Taylor would be open to Sunday Supper Club “members” to be hosted at Poplar Springs (July 22nd). Deb Williamson is the Warrenton Green Drinks Coordinator, Director of the new Casanova Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, and a local lavender farm business owner. Dennis Taylor is the President of Paradigm Solutions located in Catlett, a business consulting company, and President of the newly formed Balanced Growth Alliance (BGA) for Fauquier County.
Brian Hedges (present) is also working to reach a more diverse group of local people for his new Unitarian Universalist Group and agreed to publicize Sunday Supper Club meetings in his own internal communications to his members. Ike suggested that we reach out to friends by inviting them to future SSC meetings and forwarding these minutes to those who might be interested in attending and / or have an interest in learning about our diverse “educational” agendas.
Linda Swanson noted that the time and day of the meetings is conducive to high school young adults attending future meetings where they can learn more about important subject matter, local personalities, events and links to other organizations.
David Roos reminded attendees that bumper stickers, business cards and other useful information is always available on a display table at SSC meetings. David added that the SSC is listed in the phone book as a political organization!

Democratic Primary for Governor-
Ike Broaddus reported on his recent “up close and personal” meetings with the three Democratic candidates for governor:  Creigh Deeds (www.deedsforvirginia.com), Brian Moran (www.brianmoran.com) and Terry McAuliffe (www.terrymcauliffe.com).
Ike started by saying that all are excellent candidates and the November Governor’s race will have heavy national media attention on one of only 2 state races. All 3 candidates agreed that Alternative Energy jobs and High-Speed rail are important.
Brian: No drilling off coast – No Surry coal power plant for SE Virginia, aggressive towards Dominion

Terry: Great salesman / visionary – focused on $ and Energy

Creigh: Low key, less passion, more political – very interested in 2010 redistricting

Ike – Creigh is at the bottom of my list
Lisa – Creigh has a good track record and other two are not from around here
David – Governors have more power in 2010 and commented that Creigh was more laid back as is more typical of folks from SW Virginia. Vote in June 9th Primary and remember geographic interests (NOVA and ROVA). Expect lots of nastiness and many robo calls from these campaigns.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Seminar-
Julie Turner gave a detailed update and handout on the seminar / individuals involved, invited us all to attend and talked about SAFE / Harmony Place and that many services are borrowed from other counties / organizations / locations.

Saturday, May 30, 2009 at Warrenton United Methodist Church in Warrenton from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Please RSVP to jturnerdcc@verizon.net by May 23 as seating is limited.

This is a two-panel format. Kristi Van Audenhove, Director of The Virginia Alliance on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence will moderate the first panel that includes shelter directors, Fauquier Faith Partners, a physician, and law enforcement personnel.

The second panel will be moderated by Donna Lipinski. Donna is an attorney in private practice in Warrenton. She will direct panelists in a conversation addressing legal services and sexual assault. The panelists include a volunteer attorney with Fauquier Faith Partners, a sexual assault advocate, and a representative from the Fauquier County’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office. The seminar is open to the public.

Afro-American Historical Association-
Julie Turner advised that this organization is shutting down but will re-open July 31st due to receiving new grants. A handout explained “Footprints to Change” objectives, goals, strategy, methods, and funding.

Tango and Salsa Dance Club in Fauquier County-
Gerry Eitner (for Bill Day) announced that the Group is Communities of Peace – Bill Day, Danielle Wyman are point people for the Dance Club.  Next meeting is Sunday evening, May 24, 7:00.  RSVP’s requested to communitiesofpeace@gmail.com Danielle Wyman is also point person for Community Garden volunteers and that the Peace garden needs ostrich ferns. Christine Plank attended meeting to represent Communities of Peace with Sunday Supper Club, Green Drinks, etc. (see Growing the SSC). Web site is www.communitiesofpeace.org

Community Announcements

We opened up the floor and gave our members the chance to share items of interest: upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, recommendations of books and/or videos…  These announcements are then included on the “Community Bulletin Board” section of the SSC website.
Lisa Richard – The 23rd Annual International Vesak Celebration -

Saturday, May 23, 2009 8:30 AM-4:00 PM This is an excellent opportunity to sample the diversity of Dharma offerings in the Wash DC area. Many different groups will be represented- a gold mine for Ri-me philosophy! You are invited to join Buddhists from temples representing many different countries and traditions as we celebrate the Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha. The 23rd International Vesak Day’s activities include: Offerings and circumambulations, prayers and homages to Lord Buddha, Dharma teachings, cultural presentations and more. The event will be held at: Wat Lao Buddhavong Buddhist Temple 3043 Catlett Road Catlett, Virginia 20119 No charge- Free Parking – donations welcome.

Donna Lipinski –
Holistic Entrepreneur’s Alliance Meets in Warrenton May 27th at 7pm:  Please join us for the second meeting of the Warrenton Gainesville Chapter of the HEA started by Dianne Eppler-Adams in Northern Virginia as a support group for entrepreneurs who work “holistically.”   What makes a business holistic?  According to Dianne, “If you operate your business in a holistic manner – using a win/win approach that seeks the good of all while opening to abundance, you are welcome. While the group was originally formed to provide support to solo entrepreneurs, anyone who uses a holistic approach in their business and career is invited to attend. The group will be meeting the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Blue Ridge Immigration Law Center in Warrenton.  The meeting features individual networking time, a short silent meditation, sharing of business tips, a member showcase and member announcements. Fairfax Building 9 N. Third Street Warrenton, Virginia Meet in the lobby on the lower floor; meeting is in the Blue Ridge Immigration Law Center.

Linda Swanson thanked Patty Knight and Michael Rainger for subbing as scribe for the April and May meetings respectively while Andrea Martens was out of town.  Thanks to them we can distribute minutes of these important meetings to everyone on our email list.

Deb Williamson announced that the recent “Green” article on Warrenton was well worth the read (page 64) in the Virginia Living magazine www.virginialiving.com (beautiful picture of the Eastern Shore on the cover) – on sale at Borders and similar establishments for $4.95

Ike Broaddus brought everyone up-to-date with the proposed retail center as you enter Warrenton on Rt.29 (Raymond Farm) and how he thinks the Board of Supervisors might vote on this project (see Fauquier Times Democrat cover page May 13 edition). He also noted the lack of agri-business tax revenues as it is handled as residential revenues by the county. Another person (add name here please) present noted that the County Extension Office has the data. Ike noted the proposal / vote on reducing the PDR amount per acre from $30K to $25K.

David Roos – Chair of the Fauquier County Democrat Party reminded us that the Sunday Supper Club is non-partisan and welcomes speakers on all subject matter. He noted the great success of the Fauquier County 250th Celebration Parade and profusely thanked Calvin Hicks (present) for the T-Shirts (www.calvinhicks.com) which generated loud cheers from the parade spectators – David noted (with glee) that this paradox in a formerly republican stronghold was a pleasant surprise. He also mentioned that a well-known public figure might be going “blue” (attendees heard the name) and that on July 4th SSC “members” should come out to the Historic Farm next to Great Meadows for a barbecue and free fireworks (you know from where).

Michael Rainger commented on the 4th Annual Alternative Energy EXPO at Brumfield School – Close to 50 exhibitors are expected along with support from local schools. Judy Olsen is helping to coordinate school related activities (recipient of County WOW award for her chairing the School Support Council (the “other “SSC”), Dr. Lewis – District Superintendant for Fauquier County Public Schools and Mayor George Fitch of Warrenton plan to open the event. More emphasis on the family this year with activities and booths tailored to their educational needs, and having a day of FUN! Many electrical vehicles expected to be on display EXPO on Saturday June 20 from 10am to 4:30pm (Note: last day of school is Thursday June 18) see www.rlep.org

Guest Speaker

From Amanda following the meeting: “It was a pleasure meeting you all. I am joining SSC’s email list and will stay posted on your events – perhaps I can join you all again.  I think it’s great what you all are doing. I hope you continue to broaden Virginia’s political landscape and promote progressive ideas.”

Amanda presented 34 PowerPoint overheads and it you want a e-copy of the presentation please email MichaelJ@IntraGroups.com

This fascinating subject matter started promptly at 7pm thanks to our moderator David Roos who introduced Amanda.

Tonight’s guest speaker, Amanda Hitt, works as a Public Health and Safety Associate for the Government Accountability Project (GAP).  GAP promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists.   Ms. Hitt graduated Cum Laude from the University Of Baltimore School Of Law and received her Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health.  She has a legal background in employment and civil rights law as well as extensive experience in both health research and policy.

GAP attorneys have helped over 5000 people through a horrible process which normally has a negative impact on both individuals and their families.

Mission: The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is a 32-year-old nonprofit public interest group that promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. We pursue this mission through our Nuclear Safety, International Reform, Corporate Accountability, Food & Drug Safety, and Federal Employee / National Security programs. GAP is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization.

The majority of the presentation centered on food quality, processes, controls, recalls, litigation, pending legislation, cost, impact and the role of multiple government agencies. Bottom line – agriculture in the US is in a mess.

76 million Americans – one in every four – are sickened by contaminated food
325,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000 people die every year
Those with weaker immune systems – including young children and the elderly – are especially at risk for serious complications and even death.
Major food borne – illness outbreaks over the past year linked to peppers, peanut products, pistachios, and sprouts
Many previous outbreaks from spinach and other foods
Thirteen agencies – including USDA, FDA, CDC, EPA – oversee our country’s food production and regulation, often operating under differing rules with differing objectives.
Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that there is not even one single federal agency with authority at the farm level responsible for oversight of farm animals that go into food production.
The lack of coordination between government agencies makes it increasingly difficult to protect the public from national outbreaks of food borne diseases.
The Salmonella outbreak related to peanut butter products highlighted a number of areas in our food safety system that must be fixed:
the need for more frequent inspection
the need from companies to test their products for pathogens and report to the FDA any sample showing harmful contamination
the need for every company to have a preventive control system in place
and the need for the FDA to have mandatory recall authority
Note: Mandatory recalls do not currently exist, all current recalls are voluntary (food, animal products, etc.) Civil liability is a driver of needed change.

Amanda noted that the FDA must be given sufficient resources to better ensure the safety of the food supply: President’s (FY) 2010 budget, the US Food and Drug Administration requested a budget of $3.2 billion, which is 19% more than the agency’s current budget.

Principle of Risk-Based Prevention: FDA holds all segments of industry accountable for ensuring that their products meet U.S. safety standards
Focuses on foreign and domestic sources of ingredients, components, and finished products at all points in the supply chain, including their eventual use by the American public
This part of Amanda’s presentation generated many comments, questions and at one point – some minor confusion. Amanda re-iterated that protecting whistle-blowers is the primary function of GAP. However, that obviously leads to the need for change in the area / subject matter being investigated so GAP can be pulled into any item happening anywhere if there is anything wrong such as public safety, health and welfare.

Amanda then moved into specific GAP items surrounding the support of whistle-blowers. Some examples include:

Corporate Whistleblower Protection Rights
Sarbanes-Oxley law for some 40 millions workers in publicly-traded corporations
9/11 law for ground transportation employees
Defense authorization act for defense contractors
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act for some 20 million workers connected with retail sales
Energy Policy Act for the nuclear power and weapons industries
AIR 21 for airlines employees
FISA
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
1978 FISA Court (10 judges on the court) reviews FISA warrant applications (probable cause)
Federal crime punishable for up to 5 years for unauthorized surveillance
“A.G.-only” Wiretap (The Program)
Designed post 9-11
Bush authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails between the United States and a foreign country without any court review. Sign off by Attorney General
Directly to Chief Judge
No sign-off authority by Deputy AG
OIPR
Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR),
probably the most sensitive unit within the Justice Department.
OIPR lawyers request permission for national-security wiretaps.
Case Study – Amanda highlighted the discrepancies in the application of law and resources to “big business” versus individuals.

Presentation ended at 8pm with a thunderous round of applause and Amanda remained to answer more questions from those present at the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,
Michael Rainger
Save the Dates

You won’t want to miss the interesting meetings we have planned!

June 14th- Donna Lipinski will talk with us about her work in immigration law.  Donna would love to hear from you as to what specific issues you would like her to cover.  Please contact Linda at linda@baldwinridge.com with suggestions.

July 12th- This month the SSC experiments with a new form at; we’ll be welcoming three guest speakers, all addressing environmental concerns.  First, Michael Rainger will speak with us about his environmental work+ and then Supervisor Terry Nyhous and Tim Mize of the Fauquier Extension Office will educate us on caring for our lawns in an ecologically friendly way.

+Michael Rainger presentation: Based on detailed advance reviews by Ike Broaddus and Neil Swanson this session will engage attendees in many forms of energy conservation and sustainable living best practices. Michael will also update us on the RLEP EXPO, The Radii Foundation 501c(3) and the continuing approved grid-based energy program in Fauquier County Government Buildings and Schools – estimated savings of up to $25K per month for tax payers!

August 9th and Sept. 13th- Stay tuned.

Oct. 11th-  Karen White of the Afro-American Historical Association joins us to speak about the great work of the AAHA and their newly (as of October) published book.

Directions to Poplar Springs – The INN Spa

1) Check out web site: www.poplarspringsinn.com or

2) Address for MapQuest: 9245 Rogues Road, Casanova VA 20139 or

3) Call 540 788 4600 for directions if you get lost!

4) Drive there ahead of time (5:15pm) and checkout the 200 acre property – 10 minutes east of Warrenton off Meetze Road – after 4.1 miles from Rt.29 turn left towards Casanova or north on Meetze Road from Rt.28 and turn right towards Casanova or south on Rogues Road from Vint Hill and the new schools Greenville and Kettle Run (most scenic)

5) When you get there: Enter property from Casanova Road (NOT Rogues Road) via the regular 2-lane entrance with the sign and landscaping. Proceed round the right-hand curve up the hill and past the original (old) outbuildings – Turn right towards the  Spa and park your vehicle past the hotel in the parking lot on the right before the Manor House. If full, park at 90 degrees to the road under the trees on the left. Just past the end of the one-story building turn right and enter The Carriage House under the blue canvas awning.