Archive for October, 2013

Comments Requested on Issue of Office Space

We are requesting our Friends and Supporters to Weigh in on the Importance of Maintaining a Physical Office

This is a long post, but please read it through. We really need insight from our members on the importance of having an office. The Alaska Peace Center was founded late in 2004 with a collective vision that it should be a place for meetings, non-partisan and inter-faith and should welcome all who wished to come. It should be a “large umbrella” – especially for those individuals and groups struggling with issues related to peace and justice. Emphasis is on developing an extended plan for Peace instead of the military plan for endless war, and an acknowledgment of the importance of local efforts.

Keeping this vision in mind, the Board of the Alaska Peace Center needs input from our supporters on a key issue.  We are trying to decide if we can afford our office space.  As many of you know, we are currently sharing a 2-room office in the College Mall with Fairbanks Open Radio. They have one room, we have the other.  Our share of the rent is $200/month.  This is a substantial burden upon our supporters and we need to make sure that this expense is warranted. We are also seeking input on the kinds of activities we should be pursuing this year. Please reply to info@alaskapeace.org before the end of October with your thoughts on whether we should continue to rent office space:  Yes,  No,  or ….?  Following are pros and cons about maintaining our office as we have so far been able to identify them.

Pros:
1) A central location to store our stuff:
–a Peace Library of books and dvd’s (two 3 x 6 bookshelves)
–a very nice color laser printer, a TV and dvd player
–a large coffee maker, an ancient microwave oven
–a 2-drawer filing cabinet, several boxes of informational materials, posters
–all the material for our annual Tanana Valley Fair booth.
All this material would have to find some other home if we give up the office.

2) A central location to meet and to work on projects.  A place for potlucks with movies and/or speakers.  Projects can be left in progress instead of having to be packed into someone’s briefcase. It has been very useful as an easily accessible center for coordinating volunteer booth-sitters at the Tanana Valley Fair. It is also a very useful spot for individuals to come and work on things, as it is away from distractions and all our files are there.

3) A place to have open hours and a place for the public to be able to find us. Is having a physical space integral to our vision of being an umbrella group supporting a number of peace-seeking entities?

4) We have the privilege of cooperating with and associating with Fairbanks Open Radio, with whom we share the office.

Cons:
1) The office costs $2400 per year.  Other fixed expenses include our Post Office box at almost $400 per year and the Tanana Valley Fair booth (the primary place where we get to interact with the average Fairbanksan) at approximately $200-$400 per year. We no longer have a telephone or internet access at the office.  Our website is essentially free. Other expenses include renting venues for invited speakers or for meetings and projects, publicity (even a small ad in the newspaper is expensive!) and lodging and travel when we invite speakers from out of town. An extra $2400 per year could go a long way toward meeting some of these expenses that are more directly related to peace activities.

2) The office is small.  We have in the past had as many as 14 people in there for potlucks, but that is jam packed and only one person can move at a time.

3) The office isn’t used very much.  We have meetings there once a month.  We have tried to have office hours one or two nights a week in previous winters, but rarely had people dropping by.  Meetings could easily be accommodated in other venues. To effectively put on a movie/potluck night, we really need a larger space anyway, but we would probably have to pay (perhaps $35 to $50 per evening if we are lucky). .

4) Access depends on two conventional locks with keys (one for the building and one for the office itself).  For anyone to use the office, someone with a key must come and open it up.

Activities: We would also appreciate input on the sorts of activities you would like to see the Peace Center pursue.  We just had a meeting calling attention to the drone training that is happening on our doorstep and discussing alternate uses that could be made of our military lands and technology, and we have a Nonviolent Communication practice group session coming up (see website for details).  Are there particular speakers you would like to see brought to Fairbanks? Do you have suggestions for other issues locally or nationally that we could make an effective contribution to (there is no shortage of issues)? How can we be more effective in getting our message out and making information on peace, justice and sustainability issues available to each other and to the public at large?  Perhaps we could make better use of our website (http://www.alaskapeace.org/) and use it and our listserv more effectively to get information out to people?  Maybe we should start a Facebook page?

We would really like to hear from all our supporters about how you feel about our office space and your suggestions about our activities.  Please send your comments to info@alaskapeace.org before the end of October, or comment directly to this post.  We will summarize comments and get back to you via the listserv.

For reference, here is the Alaska Peace Center mission statement:

Vision: The Alaska Peace Center works for peace, justice and sustainability – individually, in our community and globally – with a commitment to nonviolent conflict resolution.

Values/Strategies: 1) We facilitate fellowship, community and mutual support for those working for peace, justice and sustainability by providing a welcoming common ground for meetings.

2) We contribute to the understanding of the basis for peace, justice and sustainability through shared inquiry and exploration, and by networking with other organizations.

3) We increase public awareness and appreciation of peace, justice and sustainability through presentations, performances, exhibits and discussion on local, national and global issues.

4) We serve individuals and families seeking more peaceful, just and sustainable ways of living by providing sound information and training.

5) We teach and promote a culture of peace by drawing from examples of the work and thought of past and present peacemakers.

Thanks in advance for your input!

In Peace,

Alan Batten
Carrie Farr
Heather Koponen
Rob Mulford
Dick Farris

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Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication practice group to begin!!

Amythe Strobel and I are organizing a beginner/intermediate practice group to get better at using  Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC). We are looking to do one or two groups depending on interest and time availability.  Contact Carrie Farr for more information, or go to the NVC website.

We would love to hear from people interested in a support/practice group so we can begin!!! Let us know  when (days of the week and times) you would be able to meet.  We are hoping to get everyone’s needs met!!!

Carrie Farr

750-1049, chugny@yahoo.com

No Winged Robot Assassins North

No Winged Robot Assassins North

Noel Wien Public Library Auditorium, Thursday, October 10, 2013, 7 pm

In conjunction with actions around the earth for Keep Space for Peace Week, the Alaska Peace Center and North Star Veterans for Peace will be holding a presentation titled No Winged Robot Assassins North. The presentation, led by local activist Rob Mulford, will portray drone warfare, the Pentagons plans to implement a large drone corridor in the Alaskan interior, the associated dangers to world peace and civil liberties, and the need to divest our economy from war and its implements. The presentation will start sharply at 7:00 p.m. at the Noel Wien Public Library Auditorium on Thursday, October 10, 2013. For more information contact Rob Mulford at 687-6606 or mulford.rob@gmail.com.

Drone Meeting flier, 10 Oct 2013

Flier for drone meeting on Oct 10, 2013

Download flier.