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"Forget the Rest" blog

July 25, 2011

Bulletin #122: Work session tomorrow evening in Santa Fe (Tuesday, July 26th) re the proposed plutonium warhead factory at Los Alamos

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Dear friends and colleagues --

1. Tomorrow our discussion series will turn to the very practical as regards the proposal to build a large warhead factory at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  Come if you want to help and to act.  We will help you. 

For some months now we have been holding weekly talks and discussions each Tuesday evening in Santa Fe, open to all.  Last week that discussion took place in Los Alamos, where we had a lovely panel discussion involving Willem Malten, Carol Miller, Gilbert Sanchez, and myself.  (Sooner or later we may clean up and post the Powerpoint presentation I (Greg) made last week.)   

To date our emphasis in these meetings has been primarily on mutual education and secondarily on effective citizen action.  We are about to reverse that. 

Tomorrow evening's meeting, from 7 - 9 pm at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe, Room 116, will be a workshop on effective democratic engagement regarding the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF). 

This is not a workshop about effective engagement in the abstract.  It's an opportunity to get specific questions answered in the context of work you are doing, or want to do.  Those of us who are already actively engaged, or who want to be, will vet ideas and share information.  We started this process in greater earnest than before two weeks ago and will continue it tomorrow. 

If you have not attended before, do not be discouraged -- newcomers are very welcome!  If you are new to the subject we recommend however that you peruse some of the background material available on our CMRR-NF web page

If you have a draft op ed written, and want to check facts, bring it. 

If you have a draft letter to your friends asking them to a house meeting, or a letter to an interfaith group or your church, or any idea whether partially realized or just imagined, an idea that seems right for you, bring it. 

If you want to volunteer with us, just come, get in the swim.  We have work to do. 

Many of our past bulletins have included suggestions in response to the perennial question, "What can I do?"  The times are changing very quickly, and we must change too.  

Most (but not all) of our regular meetings henceforth will be work meetings.  If there is insufficient interest we will meet less frequently.  Your time is precious; so is ours. 

2. Two new legal filings are posted in our appeal to the Tenth Circuit.

Thanks much to our legal team: Thomas Hnasko, Dulcinea Hanuschak, and Lindsay Lovejoy! 

3. Want some quick and easy "bullet points" for your own CMRR-NF writings?  (It's a common question.)

Use the headings in this: Reasons Not to Build, or to Delay CMRR-NF, May 22, 2011.  The links and references provided will take you deeper into most aspects of the CMRR-NF, if you wish.

4. Obama Administration proposes national park for Manhattan Project sites.

For U.S. nuclear weapons propaganda there is no shortage of funds, apparently, no fiscal crisis.   We have written on this subject in past years to no avail, but the issue is now a live one. 
We strongly urge you to contact your senators and congresspeople, in whatever state and district you live and ask them to spike this project, for the reasons mentioned in the above articles and others you will readily think of. 

We have been joined in opposition by our colleagues at the Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) -- a fine organization that works mostly on nuclear power issues whose group letters we frequently join.  Get on their mailing list and get informed! 
We hope to provide more background on this topic in the coming days.  We have been very busy! 

Please understand that funds to administer these parks would go to the Department of Energy (DOE) and from thence to the management contractors.  At LANL, these funds would be yet another income stream to the Bechtel-led consortium that manages LANL. 

5.  Now is the time to speak to your friends about helping the Study Group financially.

To all of you who have made our work possible, thank you.  It is a privilege to be sitting here, even if it is at the end of yet another very long day, contemplating another week-long trip to meet with decisionmakers in Washington, planning yet another public meeting (we have held hundreds of public meetings over the past 21 years), and telling you about our legal appeal, part of a multifaceted process of engagement that has helped keep DOE at least partly honest regarding CMRR-NF and its predecessor projects. 

It is too early to even speculate how the current budget negotiations -- so terrible for U.S. democracy -- will affect CMRR-NF.  

If you aren't helping support our work, please do so.  It's easy, and it's important.  We work for peanuts, but without peanuts we cannot work. 

So many people ask, "What can I do?"  Most of us have few resources, but we all have friends who do.  Think about it.  We want you to talk to those friends.  It's one of the most powerful things you could do.  I can sit down for hours with dozens of government officials in Washington, DC, briefing them.  It doesn't cost much but it costs something.  Litigation costs money too, a surprisingly lot of money even with generous lawyers.  We really need you -- and your friends. 


Greg Mello and Trish Williams-Mello, for the Los Alamos Study Group

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