Week of Mar. 2– Mar. 8, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 16

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “I don't believe that the solutions in society will come from the left or the right or the north or the south. They will come from islands within those organizations, islands of people with integrity who want to do something.” - Karl-Henrik Robert home.mira.net/~mpitcher/natstep.html  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

§      Peter Couchman of Mid-Counties Co-operative in the United Kingdom, will be at the Nova Scotia Community College in Truro, NS, on March 13, at 1:30 pm to present a workshop on “Unlocking the Value of Membership within Your Co-operative”. This workshop is being sponsored by the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council and the Sobey School of Business Master of Management-Co-operatives and Credit Unions Program. Peter has been involved with the co-operative sector for over 25 years.  He was the architect of a member relations initiative and the Marketing Our Co-operative Advantage program at Midcounties Co-operative that led to 22% of the membership voting for the board and the design of a store that has been called the global leading edge of co-op retailing.  The Co-operative has more than 300,000 members and over 7,000 employees working across 6 trading groups.   To register: 893-8966 or nscoopcouncil@eastlink.ca

§      The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Richard Brown, PEI’s Minister of Development and Technology, recently announced funding for the Basket Weavers of PEI Co-operative Ltd. to build a new facility which will preserve both Acadian and Mi’kmaq basket-making cultures. ACOA will invest $50,000 in the project through its Innovative Communities Fund and the provincial government will contribute $30,000 to the project through the Community Development Fund.   Construction on the new facility in Richmond, just west of Summerside, for the Basket Weavers of PEI Co-operative Ltd. began in mid-December and is expected to be finished this spring.  The new operation will feature expanded retail and manufacturing space and will have an area for demonstration purposes, including an interpretive centre.   “This new facility will allow local basket makers to produce and sell items in a year-round location leading to bigger incomes,” said Ann McIsaac, board member with the Basket Weavers of PEI Co-operative Ltd. “Also, the interpretive centre will provide a terrific destination to attract visitors to western PEI.”

§      The PEI Co-operative Council is a newly developed council that aims to bring all types of co-operatives together to form a strong co-operative movement on PEI. The council will develop, promote and support all co-operatives across all sectors and industries in PEI. Members will encourage the development of a "co-operative identity" among the public in PEI and encourage innovation within the co-operative sector and in partnership with credit unions, develop alternative finance programs and instruments. Together with the support of members and community it will work toward a stronger co-operative future on Prince Edward Island. The PEI Co-operative Council can be reached by e-mail at peicoopcouncil@gmail.com, by phone at (902) 628-6628 and by mail at PO Box 1882, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N5.

§      Hazel Corcoran, Executive Director, Canadian Worker Co-op Federation, is encouraging members to fill out its member survey. Final deadline: Monday, March 10th. Here is the link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oKf6LKWBEX_2bxNaj3DKr0Sw_3d_3d.  Remember, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete, and it will help CWCF serve you better.  


Trends – This week I’d like to talk about some more internet ‘free stuff’. There is a lot of ‘free stuff’ on the internet that is worthless, sometimes even nefarious. This week, I’d like to talk about Project Gutenberg. Those in the writing or publishing field will recognize Johannes Gutenberg as the man who invented the first printing press with movable type, liberating great quantities of written works to the masses. The 21st century version of the Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org) is a little similar, except that the printed works are released on the internet. Chief among the collection are works whose copyrights have expired as well as works in the Public Domain. The selection of works isn’t limited to electronic versions – you can also download spoken versions (audio books) of some of the titles. Project Gutenberg also uses a distributed model for finalizing and publishing much of its content, calling on volunteers to type or proofread the works that end up in the collection. The site itself boasts over 20,000 titles, with an additional 100,000 titles available through associated partners. - Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - The Xtending Hope Partnership aims to mobilize the extended St Francis Xavier University community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and local community to assist and support the people, governments and non-governmental organizations of Botswana and Rwanda to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. On March 5 (today), the Xtending Hope Society will be hosting a drama production, to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa, at the MacKay Room, Bloomfield Centre on StFXU Campus, Antigonish, NS at 7:30pm.   For more information about this initiative: http://www.mystfx.ca/xtendinghope/ Bronwyn MacKinnon


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree If you are a student pursuing studies relating to co-operatives or are planning to do so, there are scholarships available to do just that. The Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation is currently accepting applications for the Alexander Fraser Laidlaw Fellowship, Amy and Tim Dauphinee Scholarship, and Lemaire Co-operative Studies Award (March 15th deadline). Find the application forms at http://www.usaskstudies.coop/teaching/scholarships/CASC.php#application

 – 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 Tim, NB, Grade 5: “I though the beaches were weird; all rock and polluted. I am glad they are learning about recycling and not putting plastic in the water.”


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

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

·     March 5 - Xtending Hope Society will be hosting a drama production, to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa, at the MacKay Room, Bloomfield Centre on StFXU Campus, Antigonish, NS, at 7:30pm.

·     March 6-8 -"Growing More Organic" 7th Annual ACORN Organic Conference -  Memramcook, NB  ACORN Conference and Trade Show, at the Memramcook Resort (15 minutes past Sackville, NB. Starting off will be the Organic Grain and Oilseed Forum, followed by workshops on Friday and Saturday on a wide range of organic topics. http://www.acornorganic.org/events.html for more information.

·     March 7-9 – Truro Real Food, Farming and Flowers Weekend, St Andrew’s United Church, Truro, NS, presented by Truro Living Earth Council, USC Canada and St Andrew’s United Church with support from Colchester Co-op and Wacky Wheatleys. For more information go to www.smartsmarket.com/event.html

·     March 13 – Workshop with Peter Couchman, Mid-Counties Co-operative, United Kingdom at Nova Scotia Community College, Truro, NS, beginning at 1:30 pm

·     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: http://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: 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? Answer: Six. This week’s contest:  Tanya wants to go on a date and prefers her date to be tall, dark and handsome. Of the preferred traits - tall, dark and handsome - no two of Adam, Bond, Cruz and Dumbo have the same number.  Only Adam or Dumbo is tall and fair.  Only Bond or Cruz is short and handsome.  Adam and Cruz are either both tall or both short. Bond and Dumbo are either both dark or both fair. Who is Tanya’s date?


Co-op Cooking – Here's another offering from the slow-cooker. Serve with rice and a barely-steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrot medley and you have a great meal.

Plum-Glazed Pork Loin
3 ripe red plums, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 boneless pork loin roast, trimmed (about 2 1/4 lbs)
3/4 lb green beans, trimmed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
 In 5 or 6-quart slow-cooker, combine plums, raisins, ginger, onion, sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, curry powder and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed.
Sprinkle pork with remaining 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and place into the plum mixture, Cook for 4 hours on High or 6 hours on Low. Stir in green beans for last 25 minutes of cook time on High or last hour of cook time on Low. Remove pork and green beans from slow cooker. Pour sauce into a saucepan; stir in mustard. Over high heat, on stovetop, whisk in cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring until thickened (about 1 minute). Slice pork and drizzle with plum sauce. - 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 

§      Still enjoy reading your Co-op Circles ... not sure how far your circles extend, but Ontario Co-operative Association will be launching a new website this Monday that will be a searchable database of the 1300 Co-op in Ontario,  the site is currently live, but will not be officially announced until this coming Monday at http://coopsontario.com .  It is an amazing initiative and provides a comprehensive listing of Co-ops in Ontario.- P.B., ON


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. 12, 2008