Week of Aug. 12– Aug. 18, 2007, Vol. 2, No. 43

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” - Eugene V. Debs www.eugenevdebs.com  Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

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This Week in Co-op Circles

·     The 11th edition of the Défi Golf Acadie was held on July 20 at the Bouctouche Golf Club in Bouctouche, NB. Despite the rain, more than 34 sponsors and 250 participants joined in this event. The $30,000 raised was donated to the ArtsSmarts program for a third and final year, bringing the total amount donated to the program by the tournament over the past three years to $92,000. ArtsSmarts has been selected as a literacy program to support by the Caisses populaires acadiennes http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=144

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Trends – There was news this past April about a ‘revolutionary’ plan to get 50,000 people to invest 35£ each (about $75 CDN) to literally buy a football club (soccer) in the English soccer league. The plan started slowly, but then the story appeared on the BBC and they had reached the halfway point within four weeks. Two weeks ago, the ‘club’ announced it had commitments from over 53,000 fans and was looking at purchasing one of four teams reportedly up for sale. Beyond voting for which team to purchase, there is the fact that each of the 53,000 or so fans will be able to vote weekly on starting lineups for the next week’s game...organizers want to see if fans know as much about the game as they claim they do. See www.myfootballclub.co.uk  for additional info. It is not a co-op, but close. Now lest you think this is truly revolutionary, well it is not quite. American football purists will undoubtedly know that the Green Bay Packers have had a similar ownership structure since 1923 (though they let the coaches pick the starting lineups). In fact, the Packers have 112,015 shareholders (fans) each of which cannot own more than 200,000 of the 4.7 million shares, guaranteeing a wide range of ownership and control for the team – and it appears, fan support. Season tickets for the Packers’ Lambeau Field have been sold out for every game since 1960. Shares in the team do not pay dividends and can only be sold back to the team for a fraction of the original price, guaranteeing the team will stay in Green Bay. The Packers is where Vince Lombardi first made his mark, while Lambeau Field celebrates 50 years this year, and I would venture a guess that community ownership has a lot to do with that. See http://www.packers.com/history/fast_facts/stock_history/ for more info. – Ron Levesque

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Circle of Life - Shopping Bags:  This week a retailer in Halifax, NS is leading the way in trying to encourage consumers to reduce the amount of plastic bags they use.  Pete’s Frootique, an independent specialty grocery store, will be charging customers five cents per bag.  The idea is to get people to bring their own bags and the retailer will provide people with boxes if they don’t want to pay the five cents.  It’s not about making money but developing a way to change people’s habits when it comes to shopping.  Using cloth bags when you shop is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic going into the waste stream.  You can find cloth bags to purchase at most grocery retailers now and you can even make your own.  Follow these links for a pattern: 

http://www.fashion-incubator.com/mt/archives/reusable_bag_contest_1.html  http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/lb_no_sew_projects/article/0,2025,DIY_13994_2275889,00.htmlBronwyn MacKinnon

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What is Your Vision Statement?  –This week, a vision statement from Food Roots Distributors Co-operative, in British Columbia http://www.foodroots.ca/index.htm Its vision is: to promote a local sustainable food system by creating the infrastructure link between the eaters/consumers and the growers and processors in its region, to promote sustainable food grown and processed in the region, (sustainable food is grown naturally as close to home as possible. Certified organic is its first choice) and to educate eaters/consumers about local agriculture and food security issues.  Send your co-operative or credit union vision statement to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Former MYDAS Worker Co-operative Ltd. member, Stuart Neatby is still quite active in the co-op movement. He has been involved with the Ovo Housing Co-operative (of about 25 members) in Halifax since 2005. He has recently taken on the role of External Liaison within the co-op and he attended the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada conference on behalf of the co-op in June in WinnipegStu is committed to exploring options for his housing co-operative that promote environmental sustainability. He states: “I'll be hopefully working with some other Ovo members in the fall to form a small committee to look at how our maintenance can work in the long term to reduce energy usage within our units, and generally work to substantially reduce our carbon footprint.” If you have any ideas to pass along to Stu, you may contact him at flatulentelm@hotmail.com – Erin Hancock

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You CAN Do That the ‘Co-op’ Way - Each week, we feature a co-operative or collective formed to meet a particular need in communities around the world. Valley Bakers Cooperative Association is a bakery and foodservice wholesale distribution company headquartered in Greenville, Wisconsin. It serves approximately 1200 locations throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Its customer base includes retail, wholesale and supermarket bakeries, donut shops, pizza restaurants, candy stores and institutional food service companies. http://www.valleybakers.com/

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·     August 23-26 - Frame X Week, Halifax, NS. There will be a series of public screenings, visiting artists’ talks and workshops. For more information, contact the Atlantic Filmmakers Coop at 420-4572, or visit www.afcoop.ca or e-mail production@afcoop.ca

·     September 27-30 – Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership camp,  Camp Gencheff, PEI http://www.acyl.coop/english/index.htm

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

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Contest of the week – Last week, our first correct answer was from Cathy Darland, Moncton, NB.  Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be place in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw. Last week’s contest and answer: In which sport do winners move backwards and losers move forwards? Answer:  Tug of War This week’s contest: Summertime in the Maritimes means many communities hold high school reunions. During a recent school reunion of the Class of 1955, four men were discussing their starting salaries back in 1962. The salaries in question were, 8, 10, 12 and 14 thousand dollars per year. The MP earned the most. Alan earned more than Brian and the doctor earned more than Derek, the vet. Charles could not remember what he started at. Brian, the lawyer, did not start at $10,000 nor did Derek. Can you determine who has which job and their starting salaries?

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Today I Learned Something New: International Development Through the Eyes of Students - During the year, as part of my work with the Canadian Co-operative Association, I visit schools and talk about co-operatives and communities in developing countries. I always appreciate the insights of the students, shared through comment sheets.  From Julie, Grade 8, NS: “I really liked the stories because they really teach you stuff… like to listen to everybody’s opinion and that every country is different. I also liked how you showed us all the different items.”

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Co-op Ed 101 - The Coastal Communities Network (CCN)  Nova Scotia http://www.coastalcommunities.ns.ca/aboutus/index.php is a community network comprised of over 240 organizations ranging from community economic development agencies, fishing industry representatives (harvesters and processors), agricultural groups, First Nations, African Nova Scotians, municipal leaders, church and community organizations, unions, universities and local community groups. Individual membership is also available. It has an excellent web site and links to various events and organizations. The primary concerns of the Network are the social and economic well-being and sustainability of rural Nova Scotia. The Network emphasizes communication, education, dialogue and exchange, and focuses on the identification and development of specific strategies that can be undertaken by local community organizations to address and respond to these concerns.

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Co-op CookingPlanning a day at the beach with your children and looking for an easily transported lunch. Purchase a round, unsliced loaf of your favourite bread, cut off the top and remove the inside, (your children might enjoy helping with this step), leaving a 1-inch thick bowl. Spread the inside of the bowl with mayonnaise. Line with lettuce if desired. Mix your favourite sandwich filling and fill bowl. Some of the bread chunks can be mixed into the filling if desired. Replace lid; wrap in foil and place in cooler with ice-pack, cold or frozen juice or other drinks and a knife for cutting the sandwich loaf. Add some fruit for dessert and the picnic is complete. If the lunch is to be shared by only two, replace the loaf with thick, round rolls which can be scooped out. Leftover bread can be refrigerated or frozen for your next dressing or for a bread pudding. -  Glenna Weagle

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Our Readers Write - Tell us what you think. Send news, events and information for the Co-op Community Bulletin Board. Suggest features you think might be beneficial to people reading Co-op Circles. We want this electronic newsletter to serve you (be sure to include your e-mail and phone number). Send your item(s), comments and suggestions to News1@nbnet.nb.ca 

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Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Collective’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the worldWe will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca or to unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca  Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Thanks to the Marie Michael Library, Coady International Institute, for archiving Co-op Circles. http://www.coady.stfx.ca/library/coop_circles/index.htm 

 

Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, August 22, 2007