Week of Oct. 5 – Oct. 11, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 42

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - “ It takes two to speak the truth -- one to speak and another to hear.”

- Henry David Thoreau www.transcendentalists.com/1thorea.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


·           The Pictou County Co-op Food Bank Drive, aptly named “Athletes’ Food” helped collect almost four (4) tons of food for the New Glasgow and Town of Pictou food banks recently. In addition, a barbecue during the drive raised $585 for the food banks and the Pictou County Co-op store’s monthly 50/50 raised $1,400. From start to finish the whole process took five weeks say local advisory council members Art Jenkins and Cheryl Didsbury. All  Pictou County minor sports participants were notified and hockey teams  and Special Olympics responded with more than 100 young athletes going door to door wearing their uniforms and sporting a 3" pin-on button made at Summer Street Industries, a local sheltered workshop. All were carrying Co-op reusable grocery bags.  Council chair Jenkins says it was a community effort and surpassed everyone’s wildest dreams. “This wouldn’t have worked without our council and members, minor sports, food bank, local media, generosity of our store and other merchants, good kids and etc., etc. In a word –‘Community’. Our next major project will be IWK TV Marathon. We raised over $3,000 in our store last year. The IWK coordinator was so impressed with what we did in a month she invited us to be part of the show next year.”

·           ACA Co-operative, Nova Scotia’s only poultry processor, is getting a $3.5-million loan from the province for working capital. The loan will help the co-op maintain its 650 jobs and annual payroll of more than $25 million. ACA has annual sales of more than $110 million. Its Eden Valley products can be found in stores throughout Atlantic Canada.


Trends - There’s an old joke I’ve been reminded of in the past couple of weeks. It goes like this: “If I owe the bank $500 and I can’t pay them back, I have a problem; if I owe the bank $500,000 and can’t pay them back, they have a problem”. Boy, do they have a problem. I’ve never been a big fan of easy credit and the past weeks’ financial sector meltdown in the U.S. again reinforced why. Easy credit is simply bad for consumers. Very easy credit is bad for banks. While you have to do quite a bit of reading to even begin to understand what happened in the U.S., the simple version is this: Some mortgages in the U.S. are ‘sold’ to investment banks who assume the debt and sell investments in them in return for fees and commissions, going with the premise that the value of properties is always increasing. Add to that an artificially high market caused by the introductory subprime mortgage rates that were used to attract less-than-credit-worthy homeowners and you create a bubble that has no choice but to burst when the sub-prime rate clicks into regular gear after a couple of years. Millions of people got hooked defaulted and lost their homes. Investments whittled down to nothing. Investment banks went bankrupt. All because of the cycle of greed (living the American Dream of owning a home even if you couldn’t afford it, fees and commissions for the mortgage companies, and potential investment returns for the investments banks). And that doesn’t even begin to address the domino effect this is having on other sectors of the economy, even in other parts of the world.  - Ron Levesque


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: -


Out of the Ordinary Project 10 to the 100th: Do you have an idea to promote? Something to change the world and make it a better place through co-operation? www.project10tothe100.com. Through its Project 10 to the 100th initiative, Google is calling for ideas to change the world. The purpose of the project is to identify great ideas and bring them to life, and Google is committing $10 million to fund up to five ideas selected by an advisory board. Only individuals can submit ideas, which will be evaluated based on five criteria:

Reach: How many people would this idea affect?
Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need?
Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two?
Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea?
Longevity: How long will the idea's impact last?

The submission deadline is October 20th, 2008. For more information, visit: www.project10tothe100.com.


Co-op Ed 101 -Be sure to Vote on OCTOBER 14.  With only one week before the federal election, I would like to suggest that all our Canadian readers follow this link to the web site of the Canadian Co-operative Association and read the RECOMMENDATIONS for the Federal government on community economic development and social economy:


Only once in approximately every four years do we have the chance to at least have the ear of the members of parliament from our local areas who will be making decisions on our behalf.  This is the time to ask them if they know about co-ops and ask how they plan to support co ops and community economic development.  Even if you do not feel comfortable having this discussion, you can at least print off the RECOMMENDATIONS and give them to the candidates in your riding.  According to the media this election may be close, and so is a good time to make sure your voice is heard.  VOTE!!!! – Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Nov. 7-9 - The North American Students of Co-operation annual institute (learning gathering) is being held from in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Grassroots Run Deep” is conference title. Visit www.nasco.coop/institute/

§      Nov 13-15 – Canadian Worker Co-op Federation AGM and Conference, Winnipeg, MB www.coopzone.coop/CWCF_Conf08  

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

§      Feb 2 – 5, 2009 Institute for Co-operative Studies, Banff, AB. Presented by the Canadian Co-operative Association, the Institute of Co-operative Studies is the only national co-operative event that contributes to the development of leadership across organizations and sectors within a co-operative and credit union context. Details, as they become available, will be posted to www.CoopsCanada.coop/meetings/instituteofcoopstudies.


Contest of the Week – Last week’s contest winner was Marty Frost, BC. Congratulations, Marty! Last week’s contest:  I have provided you with some simple sentences that contain words with the letter 'K' in them. Your job is to figure out what the missing word is.  1. Some employees have a K --- K for K -------- to their bosses. 2. It's not good business sense to sell a - K --- of wool for a --- K -- . 3. The snowmobile crossed the K ----- K - at ---- K --- K speed. 4. The student was expelled for carrying a K ---- in his --- K --- K. Answer: 1. Some employees have a knack for kowtowing to their bosses. 2. It's not good business sense to sell a skein of wool for a nickel. 3. The snowmobile crossed the Klondike at breakneck speed. 4. The student was expelled for carrying a knife in his backpack. This week’s contest:  Can you write down this number using digits? Twelve thousand twelve hundred twelve Contest entries are due each week by 12 Noon on Tuesday.


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Since 2004, Saskatoon-based Concentra Financial has offered the Dennis Lyster Leadership Bursary for a student pursuing studies and research in co-operatives. There is still time to prepare your application, as the deadline is October 17. Find the application form at http://www.concentrafinancial.ca/forms/701-025.pdf Questions can be directed to Shauna MacNeil at macneil@concentrafinancial.ca  - Erin Hancock


Co-op Cooking – Carrots, potatoes and lots of other root veggies are now coming into the kitchen and the flavour of fresh veggies from the garden is not to be equalled. Here's an easy method for preparing these vegetables, especially for a crowd. The recipe will easily give 6 to 8 servings, but may be adjusted to whatever size you desire.   
Roasted Fall Root Vegetables
4 lbs of mixed root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, yams and parsnips to name a few), in any combination.
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and cut vegetables into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Toss to mix well. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375F for 40 to 45 minutes (until vegetables are slightly browned and can be easily pierced with a 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, Oct. 15, 2008