Week of Feb. 24– Mar. 1, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 15

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “To learn through listening, practice it naively and actively. Naively means that you listen openly, ready to learn something, as opposed to listening defensively, ready to rebut. Listening actively means you acknowledge what you heard and act accordingly.” - Betsy Sanders www.betsysanders.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


This Week in Co-op Circles

§      The Co-operative Enterprise Council (New Brunswick) Steering Committee will hold an information session and Inaugural Annual General Meeting on April 25, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza in Moncton. The Co-operative Enterprise Council exists to cultivate healthy co-operative economic development within New Brunswick. The council aims to link co-operatives across the province, support co-op development, advocate for better government support for co-ops, create training opportunities and more. The Steering Committee consisting of Wayne Dempsey, Ken Elliott, Jim Hale, Erin Hancock (Secretary), Wendy Keats, Brian McCullum (Chair) and Bob Taylor (Treasurer) have been working towards establishing the council since spring 2007. If you would like to get more information, pursue membership or offer any thoughts, please contact the Co-operative Enterprise Council at Co-opEnterpriseCouncil@gmail.com


Trends – I’m sure I’ve called readers to ‘check the fine print’ in Trends submissions in the past. Here’s a good example why. I came across a company last week called NVOHK (sounds like ‘invoke’). They promote themselves as ‘an eco-clothing company managed by the people who wear it’. Sounded like a co-op to me, so I kept reading further: “NVOHK is about people…who believe that together we can make a difference. a difference (sic) in the way that businesses are developed and managed, and what businesses stand for.” They further want to “build a responsible clothing company that truly puts consumers and the environment in the forefront” and even more niceties that closely relate to co-operatives. Members pay $50 a year for the privilege of managing the company using the internet for decision making and discussion. Sounds really, really good. But it’s when you read the “Terms and conditions” that the truth appears. The site – projectnvohk.com  – is ‘an entertainment service that provides its members with an entertainment platform’ for getting involved in the development and management of the NVOHK brand. Furthermore, YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION AND MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE ONLY COLLECTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES DESCRIBED UNDER OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND PRIVACY POLICY. Save your $50 – if you want to design and sell eco-T-shirts, form a worker co-op.  - Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Child Care Co-operatives:  This type of child care is formed to provide quality child care and/or education in which parents are strongly involved.  Programs are generally led by Early Childhood Educators but parents volunteer their time and assist the educators.  Parents contribute varying amounts of time throughout a week, which is sometimes dependant on the organization, and can also serve on Boards of Directors and committees.  Parents help with activities like preparing snacks, maintaining equipment, making playdough, etc.  Co-ops will often host workshops, discussion groups and seminars by experts on parenting issues.  Child care co-ops are a great way to stay involved with a child’s early childhood education and day to day activities while the parents are working. Bronwyn MacKinnon


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree The Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership program is currently seeking staff for their upcoming May 15-18 youth seminar in Bridgewater, NS. If you are involved in a co-op (either as a member or staff) or are co-operatively minded, visit the website today to learn more www.acyl.coop. “The entire ACYL program is structured around self-awareness, communication, leadership, teambuilding and co-operation. Participants discover their abilities and have a great deal of fun while they experience the co-operative way of doing things.”  Staff members are provided training and are able to guide youth through a variety of learning activities. If you already know about the program and would like to apply to serve as a volunteer staff member to help youth learn about co-ops and community, go directly to the form at http://www.acyl.coop/english/formStaff.aspx. – Erin Hancock


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. This week from Bobby, NS, Grade 6: “I learned that kids don’t have as much as we have in developing countries and that it’s very beautiful there and that the Philippines have 7000 islands. That’s a lot.”


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

·     February 25 - Clarenville Area Consumers Co-op was presented with the 2007 Business of the Year Award by the Clarenville & Area Chamber of Commerce

·     Feb 26-28 – Advanced Co-op Developer training, Moncton, NB -  A detailed outline is posted at http://www.coopzone.coop/en/node/2070

·     March 5 -  Clarenville Area Consumers Co-op will hold its 40th Annual General Membership meeting

·     March 14-16 - The 1st Annual General Meeting of the New University Cooperative near Toronto, Ontario. At this AGM the Cooperative will be bringing together individuals from across Canada to discuss the current state of universities in Canada, elect a board and decide on future directions. More information at: www.newuniversity.ca

·     April 25 – Inaugural annual general meeting, Co-operative Enterprise Council, Crowne Plaza, Moncton, NB

·     April 26 – Co-op Atlantic Annual General Meeting

·     June 23-28, 2008 - What’s Working in Community Development conference, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia The pre-conference announcement can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/PreConfLo.pdf  If you are submitting an abstract or presentation outline, it must be received by December 31st, 2007.  The call for abstracts/presentations can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/AbstractsLo.pdf


Contest of the Week – There were no correct entries last week.  The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be placed in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw. Last week’s contest: A motor car is three times as old as its tires were when it was as old as the tires are now. When its tires are as old as the car is now, the car will be a year older than the tires are now. What are the present ages of car and tires? Answer: The car is 18 months old; the tires are a year old. This week’s contest: Thirteen children dance in a ring holding hands. How many rings may they form without a child ever taking another child by the hand twice?


Co-op Cooking – Looking for a great tasting appetizer. Perhaps these tarts may fill the bill.
Creamy Mushroom Tarts
Pastry for 18 tart shells or 18 frozen shells
2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cups thinly sliced exotic mushrooms, any combination 
      (for example: shitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2/3 cup 2% evaporated milk
grainy mustard
1 cup shredded asiago, fontina or mozzarella cheese
If making your own shells, cut pastry with 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter and fit into large muffin tins. Prick bottoms with a fork. Bake in center of preheated 425F oven for 10 minutes (until golden). If using frozen shells, prepare according to package directions.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes (until golden brown and excess moisture has evaporated). Stir in lemon rind. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Pour in evaporated milk; bring to boil. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened. Brush bottoms of tart shells with mustard and fill with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1 to 2 minutes (or just until cheese has melted); serve immediately. - Glenna Weagle


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 

§      Hi,  We’re regular readers of Co-op Circles and have this news to share. I assume most of your readers are in Canada, and so would not have as much direct interest in this, but they, too, might like to know about our efforts to promote some co-op education down here south of the border (which otherwise generally lags WAY behind the level of co-op ed in Canada.) Sincerely, Rodney North, Equal Exchange, West Bridgewater, MA See www.equalexchange.coop/educationaltools

§      Hello everyone. Here I am on the other side of the co-op circle in Accra, Ghana’s capital city.  It is sure nice to have Co-op Circles appear in my inbox, a breath of Atlantic Canada here where we are averaging heat with a humidex reading of 39 degrees.  This coming week I will visit about six credit unions and see many sights. I will have lots to write about back home. Cheers, Maureen


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 world. We 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, Mar. 2, 2008