Week of July 27 – August 2, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 34

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations.” - Jean Paul Richter www.alcott.net/alcott/home/champions/Richter.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

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This Week in Co-op Circles

§      Herbert Yuill, Director of Sustainability Solutions Group Workers Cooperative says the co-op’s 2007 Sustainability Assessment is available at http://www.sustainabilitysolutions.ca/downloads/SSGsustainability2007.pdf. The assessment takes stock of where the co-op is as an organization, both to hold the members accountable and to guide future efforts. Illustrations by Sylvia Nickerson hint at the challenges of sustainability. Here are some tidbits from the assessment: Collaboration with other companies and organizations increased from one quarter of projects in 2006 to one third in 2007;  SSG worker members traveled more but greenhouse gas emissions declined due to increased use of train and bus; Community Support Fund donations reached over $28,000, a portion of which were matched by Tides Canada Foundation; in 2007, five out of 23 clients, or 22%, rehired or engaged SSG on another project and SSG worker members' overall happiness fell. SSG is interested to support and/or work with other cooperatives. For more information, please contact yuill@sustainabilitysolutions.ca

§      The Credit Union Atlantic Lung Run 5K will be held in Halifax, NS, on Sunday, Aug. 10. To register go to www.lungrun.ca. Funds raised will go to support Camp Treasure Chest, the Lung Association of Nova Scotia’s summer camp for children with moderate to severe asthma.

§      The Canadian Co-operative Association is seeking qualified technical co-operants to work with the Social and Economic Recovery in Aceh program. These assignments are of critical importance to the social and economic sustainability of the livelihoods of those affected by 30 years of conflict that were ended by the tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia. For more information go to http://www.coopscanada.coop/pdf/whatsnew/CCA_Sustainable_Agriculture_TOR_CAD.pdf or e-mail Rodd Myers, rodd.myers@coopscanada.coop The assignment will take place between September 1 and September 30, 2008.

§      Rural Cooperation in the 21st Century will take place on the campus of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot, Israel, during June 15-17, 2009. Organized by Professor Ayal Kimhi (The Hebrew University) and Professor Richard J. Sexton (University of California, Davis), the international workshop program will include both invited and selected presentations. Organizers are soliciting papers related to all aspects of rural co-operation, particularly under the themes: traditional and non-traditional organizational forms of rural co-operatives; changes in the rural environment and the co-operative response; the role of co-operatives in rural community development; structural changes in agricultural marketing co-operatives; co-operative relationships, partnerships and networks; social and economic performance of co-operatives. Those interested in presenting a paper at this workshop are asked to submit electronically an extended abstract or a complete paper, before December 31, 2008, to jrc@agri.huji.ac.il. Preference will be given to those submitting complete papers. Organizers expect to be able to offer a modest travel subsidy to young participants. Those wishing to be considered for a travel subsidy should enclose a short CV and a list of publications with their submission. Graduate students and post-docs should also enclose a letter of support from their supervisor. Selected papers from the workshop will be included in a special issue of the Journal of Rural Cooperation. If you wish your paper to be considered for publication in JRC, please indicate that in your submission message. Further information will be posted as it becomes available at the workshop’s web site at departments.agri.huji.ac.il/economics/coop-workshop.html.

§      Acadia General Insurance, an affiliate of the Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes, has inaugurated its first office destined to better meet the insurance needs of the residents of the Acadian Peninsula, in Tracadie-Sheila. http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=186 The new office has been open to the public since April 16. However, the official opening took place in July, in presence of dignitaries for a ribbon cutting ceremony, following a meeting with the media of the region. Acadia General Insurance employs three full-time brokers in Tracadie-Sheila, adding to the six existing positions at its administrative unit, at the Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes.

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Trends - “And now for something completely different.” The advent of user-created content on the web has spawned creativity on a scale we haven’t completely understood or experienced. I came across this particular website after researching new trends in storytelling (perhaps more on that next week), but I felt compelled to write about this site today.  “We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale” it proclaims, adding that the site has been ‘harvesting’ human feelings from a number of published sources on the web – mostly blogs – searching for the phrase ‘I feel’ and ‘I am feeling’. Think of it as a search engine for feelings. When it finds such an instance, it records the full sentence, and identifies the ‘feeling’ that is expressed in the sentence (sad, happy, depressed, etc). It then scours the blog for evidence of age of the blogger, the gender, the geographical location, even local weather conditions. What results is a three-year old database of several million human feelings which can be searched and sorted across a number of qualifying variables mentioned above. Using different interfaces, you can easily find who feels ‘cooperative’ in ‘Moncton’ ‘this year’ or ‘last year’. Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on. Poke around at www.wefeelfine.org and when you’re ready to experiment, click on the ‘Open We Feel Fine’ menu item, select your interface and search variables and explore. It’s entertaining and frankly, a little bit scary. – Ron Levesque

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree – Amanda Hachey, a young person from New Brunswick with an interest in business development has recently embarked upon an internship in Vietnam where she is working as a Co-operative Development Advisor. Amanda most recently worked in business development with Enterprise Fredericton and now is being steeped in learning about the co-op model. She’s working with CECI- Centre d’etude et de cooperation internationale. Visit Amanda’s blog to learn more and stay updated on her journey: www.vistanam.blogspot.com  – Erin Hancock

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Trading Fairly – Is tobacco the next fair trade frontier? http://peopleandplanet.org/navid5986 and http://peopleandplanet.org/navid6039

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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. This week: “I learned we have worse problems than having good air when we remove all the trees from the ground because of mud slides. I also hear that other countries are very grateful for Canada trying to make peace.”   – Sarah, Marshview Middle School

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      August 10, 2008 – Credit Union Atlantic Lung Run, Pier 21, Halifax, NS. To register or fundraise and to learn more about the NS Lung Association and the Credit Union Atlantic Lung Run visit www.ns.lung.ca or call 1-888-566-8864.

§      Nov 13-15 – Canadian Worker Co-op Federation AGM and Conference, Winnipeg, MB

§      Nov 15, 2008 – CUSO’s Dance for the World event, Halifax, NS

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Contest of the Week – Last week, Cathy Darland from NB was our winner.  Good luck this week!!! Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end draw. The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca Last week’s contest answer:  (7 + 5) ÷ 4 × 7 - 6 = 15

If the first sign is +, there are only 6 possible combinations. You can get the answer by trying each one of them out. There is only one correct answer. This week’s contest:  A catering company sells large containers of iced tea and large containers of fruit juice. Right now the company has six containers, each holding the following amounts: Container A: 30 quarts
Container B: 32 quarts
Container C: 36 quarts
Container D: 38 quarts
Container E: 40 quarts
Container F: 62 quarts Five of the containers hold iced tea, and one container holds fruit juice.
Two customers come into the shop. The first customer buys two containers of iced tea. The second customer buys twice as much tea as the first customer. Which container is holding the fruit juice?

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Co-op Cooking – My first experience with fish grilled on a plank was at a local community supper and I was delighted with the wonderful flavour. Since then I've enjoyed plank grilling at home, using a variety of foods.  To try your hand at plank grilling: Start by buying untreated wood planks at specialty food stores or Websites. The following recipe uses a cedar plank, but you will find apple, cherry, maple and oak, as well. Each wood gives a unique flavour to foods cooked on it. Soak the planks for four hours or overnight to create moisture while cooking and to keep them from burning as you cook. Check often during cooking to make sure the planks are not on fire. Keep a spray bottle of water handy to put out hot spots if necessary.
Grilled Cedar-Planked Salmon

1 untreated cedar plank (14x7x1 inch)

1/2 cup Sundried Tomato and Oregano Dressing

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup  oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained, finely chopped

1 salmon fillet (2 lb./900 g), 1 inch thick

Immerse plank in water, placing a weight on top of plank to keep it submerged. Soak at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat barbecue to medium heat. Mix dressing, parsley and tomatoes; set aside. Brush top of cedar plank with 1 Tbsp. oil; top with fish. Place on barbecue; cover barbecue with lid. Grill 10 min. Brush with dressing mixture; continue grilling 10 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork.  - Glenna Weagle

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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 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, August 6, 2008