Sheila Vaswani, veteran world traveler and popular local lecturer, will address the Waynepeace organization on “Hiroshima’s Rise from Ruin: 1945–2012.” The event is set for 5:00 p.m., August 7, in the Wayne County Public Library, Honesdale. The public is invited.

Ms. Vaswani’s lecture coincides with the sixty-seventh anniversary of the August 1945 atomic bombing. She will discuss conditions in Hiroshima before, during and after the bombing, up to the present-day modern city.

The social and political treatment of the A-bomb survivors will be examined, as well as the sensitive ethical questions and the reasons behind the atomic attack, an action that has tangled America in a web of controversy unmatched by any other in the twentieth century.

Visual aids will complement her talk. Of special interest will be a photographic account of her visit to the famous Hiroshima Peace Museum.

A resident of Honesdale for two years, Ms. Vaswani is a native of Long Island, N.Y. She received a bachelor’s degree in Eurasian History from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in China Studies from St. John’s University.

After teaching social studies in Babylon Junior-Senior High School for twenty-five years, she retired in 2010. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards on the local, regional, national and international levels.

Having visited sixty-six countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania, her passion for travel remains undiminished. In the spring of this year, she spent two weeks exploring Peru, its cities and remote areas. Her next destination is Portugal in October.

Recently, she gave a series of four lectures at the library in Honesdale. Her subject was China, its history, geography, culture and politics. Large and appreciative audiences attended all four lectures.

Since her arrival in Honesdale, Ms. Vaswani has been an active member of Honesdale Women’s Club; Wayne Memorial Hospsital Auxiliary; Questers; Wayne County Arts Alliance, executive board; Friends of the Wayne County Public Library, executive council; Wayne County Historical Society.

An aficionado of foreign films, Ms. Vaswani favors Chinese and Indian art, and books of political significance.


A few short months ago, coming seemingly out of nowhere, the “Occupy” movement seized not only headlines but also the imaginations of progressive activists around the world. Demonstrations and encampments sprang up in cities and towns around the world, demanding fundamental structural changes in economic and political institutions. Predictably, many governments responded with harsh and repressive measures, shutting down most urban camps and passing strict laws restricting future protests.  Some commentators have been eager to write Occupy’s obituary – but is the movement really finished, or is it actually just beginning?  Waynepeace co-founder Skip Mendler will discuss the status and future of the Occupy movement on Tuesday, April 3, at the Wayne County Public Library on North Main Street in Honesdale, beginning at 5 PM, in a presentation called “Occupy: Round Two.”


Following the presentation will be a planning session for a follow-up to last fall’s successful “Occupy Honesdale” action.  All interested area residents, including private investigators and government officials, are invited to attend.  Refreshments will be served.  The use of Wayne County Public Library facilities by Waynepeace does not represent an endorsement by WCPL of Waynepeace’s policies or activities.  For more information, call 570-251-3637.


On Tuesday, September 6, Waynepeace will host an open discussion entitled “From 9/11 to 11/6,” beginning at 5 PM at the Wayne County Public Library, 1406 N. Main St., Honesdale.  The discussion will look back at events over the ten years since the attacks of 9/11/2001, and forward to the elections due to take place on November 6, 2012, from the perspective of the movements for peace and social justice.  What have we learned? How have we – and the nation, and the world – changed? What have we become?  Most importantly, what do we do next?

Refreshments will be served.  The discussion will be followed by a public reading of the names of American soldiers killed in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan during the preceding month.

Note: Use of Wayne County Public Library facilities by Waynepeace does not
imply endorsement by WCPL of Waynepeace’s policies or positions.

Many thanks to the folks who attended last Tuesday’s discussion re the national debt. Here are some of the resources that got mentioned in the course of the discussion…

If you have other resources to share, please list them in the comments!

(This event, previously scheduled for Feb.1, was rescheduled due to inclement weather.)

On Tuesday, March 1, Waynepeace will host a presentation about a locally founded, global charitable organization called “OneBigBoost.” The presentation will begin at 5 PM, at the Wayne County Public Library on North Main Street in Honesdale.

OneBigBoost started just over a year ago, when two friends, retired art teacher Beth Burkhauser of Scranton and music teacher Marianne Milks of Honesdale, were invited to visit an impoverished public school in south-central Nepal. Friends pitched in to help purchase two laptop computers, a video projector, software and many books, which the women brought with them.

While they were finishing up their visit to Nepal, the quake struck in Haiti. it was an automatic response for all who know Beth and Marianne to contribute assistance for those affected by the quake, and since then other projects have emerged.

Marianne Kuiper Milks has been active in aid programs of many types and in many places. A life-long musician and private music teacher, she has a deep interest in global equality. She and her husband Carl, an allergist in Honesdale, have been deeply involved with relief efforts in Haiti since 2000. Haiti, says Marianne, “manages to steal volunteers’ hearts, in spite of all the pain and suffering.”

Beth Burkhauser currently teaches art education curriculum at Keystone College. She is Founder and Chair of The Hexagon Project, which guides students through a process of social comprehension and subsequent expression through art.

Over the past year, OneBigBoost has been inundated by gifts and support from people around the world, including a grant from the NE PA chapter of the United Nations Association, and has been able to accomplish far more than initially anticipated. Marianne and Beth believe that this is in part because they tend to all deliveries themselves, and 99.9% of gifts go directly to the intended causes.

For more information about OneBigBoost, visit their website at www.onebigboost.org, or contact Marianne Milks, (570) 226-6888, sunnyday.mkm@gmail.com.

Note: Use of Wayne County Public Library facilities by Waynepeace does not represent an endorsement By WCPL of Waynepeace’s policies or positions.

Local activist group Waynepeace brings its series of public discussions into the New Year with a presentation entitled “Just Lie Back and Enjoy It: The Wonderful Benefits of American Plutocracy” featuring fictional CEO T. Bigglesworth Bellows, at 5 PM on Tuesday January 4, 2011, at the Wayne County Public Library on Main Street in Honesdale.

Mr. Bellows (a creation of actor, writer, and Waynepeace co-founder Skip Mendler of Honesdale) is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Bellows Industries Worldwide International, the planet’s largest manufacturer of hot-air hand dryers, blast furnaces, car cigarette lighters, and flame throwers. (As the company slogan goes, “Where there’s hot air, you’ll find a Bellows.”) A proud member of the Billionaires for Wealthcare, he is an unapologetic advocate for plutocracy (government by the wealthy).  In fact, Bellows maintains, the US has been a plutocracy for years, and “it’s high time we quit pretending otherwise.”

In his presentation, Mr. Bellows will discuss the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s recent “Citizens United” decision, which led to an unprecedented amount of anonymous campaign donations being raised during the 2010 election cycle.  He will cavalierly dismiss as “pish-posh” the silly objections raised by democracy activists that such levels of spending skew the political process, and lead to policies that favor the wealthy at the expense of ordinary citizens.  He will also gleefully recount recent events, such as the unsuccessful struggle to rescind the so-called “Bush tax breaks,” and make the case for Reaganesque “trickle-down economics” – which he describes as “the perfectly common-sense proposition that when your feet stink, the thing to do is wash your hair.”

The public is invited to attend this surprisingly free presentation.    Refreshments will even be served, but seating will be limited.

Please note: Use of Wayne County Public Library facilities by Waynepeace does not constitute an endorsement of Waynepeace policies or positions by WCPL.



On Tuesday, December 7, 2010 Waynepeace will be holding a roundtable discussion about gas drilling and fracking  pro and con. The discussion is part of a monthly  event taking place at 5 PM at the Wayne County Public Library in Honesdale , PA sponsored by Waynepeace to offer education and reflection about current events and common concerns.

Drilling for natural gas is in full swing in Damascus Township and nearby areas of Pennsylvania . Some of us have leased our land to the gas companies and some of us , while opposed to this development, will nevertheless be strongly affected by it. Knowledge about the dangers of drilling is constantly growing, as is the animosity among people. We can witness this daily in local news, the numerous lawn signs, in township meetings, hearings, and environmental group meetings.

Periodically Waynepeace joins in the discussion of this very local concern, either for the purpose of learning more or, as in December’s meeting, to open up to each other of where we stand and what we hope and fear. Everyone is invited to come and participate. Refreshments will be served

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