Week of Nov. 23 – Nov. 29, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 48

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles.

“In this cold commodity culture

Where you lay your money down

It's hard to even notice

That all this earth is hallowed ground...

The gift keeps moving

Never know where it's going to land

You must stand back and let it

Keep on changing hands.” - Bruce Cockburn www.brucecockburn.com

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

·      A proposed amalgamation of Moncton-based Advance Savings Credit Union http://www.tricocreditunion.com/  and the Rexton Credit Union http://www.rextoncreditunion.ca/ was approved by members at special meetings recently http://nbbusinessjournal.canadaeast.com/transcript/article/472396 Advance Savings, created in 2006 as a result of the amalgamation of Royal Credit Union and Trico Credit Union, has branches in Moncton, Petitcodiac, Port Elgin, Riverview and Salisbury. The merger will improve efficiency while providing enhanced services to owners and the communities the credit unions serve, said a spokesman. All branches and staff would be maintained with the new entity. The amalgamation will take place Jan 1, 2009.

·      The Northern Star promotion http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=364 was launched in the Chaleur and Acadian Peninsula regions recently. Staff members from the caisses populaires and service centers are inviting the population to participate in obtaining better health care services for their communities. The financial goal of the promotion is $ 50,000. The money raised will be shared by the Chaleur Regional Hospital Foundation, the, the Fondation de l'Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus Inc. 1988, the Fondation de l'Hôpital de Lamèque Inc. and the Fondation Les Amis de l'Hôpital de Tracadie Inc. and go toward their respective annual campaigns. The Caisses populaires acadiennes have always supported local development and the Northern Star promotion is an opportunity to cooperate with the Foundations from the four establishments.

·      The partnership between the Bay St George Sick Children’s Foundation and the Indian Head Co-op 50/50 Draw in Stephenville, NL, is a story of co-operation and participation. It began in 2005 and has since raised more than $100,000 for the Foundation, says store manager Tony White. It is appreciated by members and families in the Bay St George area. “It is only through the support of businesses such as Indian Head Co-op and the residents in the Bay St George area that our Foundation can continue to support these needy families,” says Foundation president William Dunne. More than 33 members of the Stephenville co-op have been lucky winners in the draw designed to help sick children in the region.

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Trends - This week’s column has nothing remotely to do with co-ops, community development, even locality. It may be about a trend. It stems from an article I read in the New York Times shortly after Barack Obama had been elected president of the United States. You see, Mr. Obama is the first president of the U.S. who is a citizen of the internet age, or ‘netizen’. What does that mean? He has been seen throughout the campaign, thumbing his Blackberry, reading and responding to emails. Nothing wrong with that, you may think, unless you’re the president of the United States, where you would likely be asked to give up the device, for several reasons. One, apparently, is that the wireless messages could be intercepted, posing a security risk, though one wonders about personal messages to his wife and children. Another is that ‘email is a time burner…’ and that ‘...the nature of the president’s job is that others can use email for him’. In my mind, that opinion is based on the job description of previous presidents, and seems to really go against the flow of a portion of the current generation of netizens who simply live life ‘connected’ practically 24 hours a day. Perhaps we will see a trend developing where a president of the United States will be able to use current technology in order to connect with a large part of his or her constituency. Here’s a hint: In his first Democratic radio address, Mr. Obama had it videotaped and archived on YouTube. The transition has indeed begun. - Ron Levesque

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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: “During today’s presentation I realized that we are lucky to have all of the things we have. I also learned that they don’t have any snow and that the temperatures are near 30 Celsius all the time.” Ally M, 9,  Fogo Island, NL

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Out of the Ordinary – The growth and development of the Sandy Hill Pet Food Co-op in Ottawa, ON, over the past five years paved the way for a similar store catering to food aimed at human beings – the Sandy Hill People Food Co-op.  The two stores are located directly across the street from one another and are operated by the same staff.  While membership is not required for purchases at either the Pet Food Co-op or the People Food Co-op, staff does encourage customers to purchase one in order to receive discounted pricing. More information can be found at http://www.sandyhillpetfood.ca.

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Co-op Ed 101 –Thinking about Christmas shopping?  Why not consider a fair trade gift for family or friends? http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/en/blog/sweatshop-free-christmas-shopping-fair-trade-way  - Maureen MacLean

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Nov. 29 – Christmas Tea at Island Traditions Store (Home of the Basket Weavers), 17 Sunnyside Road, Richmond, PEI, 2-4 PM

§      Dec. 3 - LUNCHBOX SPEAKERS' SERIES, The Social Economy Centre – University of Toronto Presents Social Purchasing with Dave Robinson, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Peter Frampton, Social Purchasing Portal and Don Wells, McMaster University. This event will also be webcast live on the Internet.  Please see our website for detailed instructions: HTTP://SOCIALECONOMY.UTORONTO.CA

§      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.

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Contest of the Week – Last week, Glenna Weagle was the winner. Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end drawing. The contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon. Send your entry to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.

 Last week’s contest: Which word does not belong? Bailiff, Anoint, Asinine, Logorithm, Gaiety  Answer: The word that does not belong is Logorithm it is the only word that does not contain the letter “A”, although it should have. It is spelled incorrectly. “Logarithm” is the correct spelling.  This week’s contest: There is an animal hiding in each sentence below. Can you find the animals? Example: There is a “bee” in “I’ll be eleven next month.” Hint: You will have to look in three words to find some of the animals.

We can go at six o’clock.

It’s nice to do good deeds.

Take soap and a towel.

Most rich people wear fancy clothes.

You can keep the watch or sell it.

Use a ladder.

It will be a rainy day.

I came late.

Tell me if I should start now.

Will a map help you?

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Young Co-operatives, a youth initiative operating out of the UK is teaching youth about business through co-operation. This school-based co-op program helps youth develop their skills through engaging in business selling fairly traded goods. The projects pairs youth entrepreneurship with education. Learn more at www.youngcooperatives.org.uk  or watch a video about the project at www.youngcooperatives.org.uk/index2.php?pageId=47  - Erin Hancock

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Co-op Cooking – There is a lot of snow piled on my lawn and a real chill in the air these days which announces that winter has truly arrived. Perfect weather for a pot of chili. Here's a new twist on an old dish that you might enjoy trying.
Chicken and Mushroom Chili
2 tbsp oil
1 lb ground chicken (or turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional
light sour cream (optional)
grated cheddar cheese (optional)
chopped cilantro (optional) 
Heat oil in large saucepan; add chicken and cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes if using; lower heat and cover. Simmer 10 minutes or longer. If desired, garnish with sour cream, grated cheese and cilantro. Variation: Substitute diced jalapeno pepper for chili flakes, adjusting the amount to taste. - 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 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, Dec. 3, 2008