Week of Nov. 30 – Dec. 6, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 49

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Every single moment has a particular rhythm to it, and we have the capacity to expand or contract an individual moment as appropriate. One way to shift what's going on in our world is not to try to rush to do more, but to allow ourselves to go deeper into that moment of being present. Our ability to shift gears, to shift our rhythm to meet that moment and be present in it, is what allows us to experience the fullness of life.” - Stephan Rechtschaffen  www.eomega.org/omega/faculty/viewProfile/4f342a2448f5f26e22f00e5eaea165f5/ 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

·       The Canadian Co-operative Association is seeking 12 credit union professionals for a group technical assistance assignment in Uganda and Malawi.  The groups will travel to Africa together and be briefed together.  Then they will be divided into teams of two to provide on-site coaching and assistance to primary credit unions.  The assignment involves two missions to Africa approximately one year apart.  The first mission involves a commitment of three weeks (two in country) from approximately February 17 to March 8, 2009.  Some time will be required prior to the trip for vaccinations and other preparations.  Some of the credit unions most in need of assistance are located in remote communities. Travel is more difficult in those areas, and accommodations are rudimentary. CCA is hoping to specifically recruit some individuals to work in those areas. (Canadian coaches will not be expected to travel in areas of active conflict which might be the case in Northern Uganda.) Candidates should be in excellent health. Previous experience with travel in the developing world would be an asset for the more remote locations. Please indicate on your application form if you are willing to take on an assignment in the north. To learn more about the Uganda/Malawi Coaching Program 2009 please contact: Heather Staffa, (613) 238-6711, ext 246, Heather.staffa@coopscanada.coop or John Julian, (613) 238-6711, ext 233, john.julian@coopscanada.coop

·       At the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation’s AGM on November 14th in Winnipeg, the membership passed changes to the by-laws enabling expansion of the Board from 5 to 7 members, and also passed a resolution on Board diversity. Marty Frost (BC) and Alain Bridault (Quebec) were acclaimed, being the only candidates in their respective region.  Then in a very close election (with 6 candidates for 3 seats) that went to a second ballot, the following directors were elected:  Eric Tusz-King (Atlantic Director), Ms. Tigist Dafla (Director-at-large) and Yuill Herbert (Director-at-large).  The full Board of Directors is: April Bourgeois (Prairies Director), of Coop Ventures Worker Co-op in Regina is President; Alain Bridault (Quebec Director) of Co-op Orion in Quebec City is Vice-President;  Colin MacDougall (Ontario Director) of La Siembra Co-op in Ottawa is Treasurer;  Marty Frost (BC Director) is with Devco of Vancouver/ Galiano Island; Eric Tusz-King (Atlantic Director) is with EnerGreen Builders of Sackville, NB; Tigist Dafla (Director-at-large) is with Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, Edmonton; and Yuill Herbert (Director-at-large) is with Sustainability Solutions Group WC, Tatamagouche, NS. Mark Goldblatt, who is the past president, has been re-appointed as a Board Advisor.

·      Advance Savings Credit Union http://www.advancesavings.ca/about_us_home.htm staff members Christina Fayle and Arlene Steeves, recently received their Member Service Representative Accreditation through CUSource. This unique accreditation is a nationally recognized designation and involves a very intensive program that covers all aspects of the Credit Union and in particular the Customer Service Representatives position.

·      New Brunswick Credit Unions have partnered with the New Brunswick Capital Commission to promote awareness of green house gas emissions through the “Lights Across the Province” event. “Lights Across the Province” is intended to promote a “green” option. Communities were provided the opportunity to replace their old tree lights by purchasing strings of new LED lights at a reduced cost. To date there have been 50 communities signed up to partake in the event and a total of 1,989 strings of LEDs (69,615 individual lights) have been distributed to each of these communities to replace their old tree lights.  The calculated green house gas emission savings is about 19 tonnes (the weight of 12 cars) and the total energy cost will be approximately $49.60 instead of $5,300 for lighting the original incandescent lights. http://www.omista.com/news_detail.aspx?news_id=73

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Trends - Umair Haque, not exactly a household name, wrote recently in a Harvard Business Publishing website post that Detroit automakers had made six mistakes along the way to near bankruptcy, and then posted ‘new’ rules for business in the future. Some of his observations were quite pertinent, for example: One old rule was ‘seek differentiation’ and he asks the question: when is a Jaguar really just a Ford? When it’s an S-type (built by Ford, similar to a Ford). Haque argues that differentiation is really the same lemons with different branding (perception), and that “difference is about reality...True difference is built by making different choices from the ground up – different in the very essence of the value activities that make the wheels of production and consumption spin.” Haque concludes by saying that competitive advantage needs to happen ‘for’, rather than ‘against’: “In the 21st century, what's far more radical, potent, and disruptive is corporations who can use market power to create an authentic advantage for buyers, suppliers, customers, consumers, and society, not against them – one where everyone is made durably better off.” Read the whole column at: http://discussionleader.hbsp.com/haque/2008/11/detroits_6_mistakes_and_how_no.html  Do co-operatives fit in this ‘new’ mould?  - 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: “It was nice of you to visit us and talk about far away places and see my friend try on that Indian dress. My dad works at the fish co-op. Some day I would like to work for Canada in Africa.” -  Margret, Grade 6, Fogo Island,  NL

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Co-op Ed 101 – This week I was looking for a connection between Christmas and co-ops and I found this interesting site. I wish I lived near Rochester, NY, so I could visit Dickens Christmas Festival, the 15th annual Dickens Christmas Festival at the Craft Antique Co-op.  http://www.craftantiqueco-op.com/ CRAFT ANTIQUE CO-OP 3200 Ridge Rd. W, Rochester, NY, 14626. Live choral groups singing traditional carols, The Olde London Town Street complete with Scrooge and Marley’s office and of course all your favorite Christmas Carol characters - Tiny Tim, The Ghosts of past, present, and future, Father Christmas, and of course Scrooge himself.

The festival is all indoors. All the staff is dressed in turn of the century attire and the entire co-op is decorated with greens, lights and color.  The Craft Antique Co-Op began in Hilton, New York, in 1990. The little craft show drew about 16 crafters. Over the years the Co-op grew to over 150 vendors. The ambiance of the old applesauce warehouse, and the unique antiques and crafts made for a delightful shopping experience. In 1993, the co-op members added the Dickens Christmas Festival to the calendar of special events. Now, almost 15 years later, the festival has grown into a Rochester shopping tradition during the holiday season. http://www.craftantiqueco-op.com/dickens-christmas-festival/ - 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

§      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 – This week’s winners are Marsha A. Long, Bayview Credit Union, Saint John, NB, and Dennis Williams, York Credit Union, Fredericton, NB, who had entries arrive within 5 minutes of each other. There were also 5 other correct entries. Well done!! 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. Good luck!!! Last 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.” We can go at six o’clock. – goat It’s nice to do good deeds. – dog Take soap and a towel. – panda Most rich people wear fancy clothes. – ostrich You can keep the watch or sell it. – horse Use a ladder. – seal It will be a rainy day. – bear I came late. – camel Tell me if I should start now. – fish Will a map help you? - llama This week’s contest: Five words that contain AK as a letter-pair have had all of their other letters removed and placed into a pool. Put those letters back in their proper places. What are the words? ***AK, **AK**, ***AK*, ****AK, ****AK* Pool: C, C, C, E, E, E, E, E, I, L, N, N, O, P, R, S, T, T, U, W

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Through the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships, there is a forum available for students who study or are interested in co-ops, non-profits and other social economy organizations. The Social Economy Student Network (http://socialeconomy.info/en/english) allows students to share information about their interests in the social economy, engage in discussions, network and meet up at conferences such as the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation annual conference (www.coopresearch.coop/).  Consider participating! Rose Cole out of the University of New Brunswick is the Atlantic Representative and she is available at Rose.Cole@UNB.ca - Erin Hancock

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Co-op Cooking – It’s the time of year when I start thinking about Christmas gatherings, potlucks, etc. And about the foods I will use for some of these affairs. Here is a very pretty dessert suitable for any Christmas party or dinner. It’s a bit fussy but is meant to be made a day or two in advance.
Cranberry Cheesecake 
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla, divided
1 1/4 + 2 tbsp cups flour, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
2 cups sugar, divided
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup + 1 tbsp orange juice, divided
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
8-oz sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel
Cream butter and brown sugar. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add 1 1/4 cups flour and pecans. Beat just until combined (do not overbeat). Using floured fingers, press into the bottom and 1 1/2-inches up side of springform pan. Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes (until lightly browned). Cool in pan on wire rack. In medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in cranberries and 1 cup orange juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove half of sauce (about 1 cup), cool slightly. Cover and chill remaining sauce until ready to serve. Pour reserved cup of sauce into food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, sour cream and 2 tbsp flour. Beat on low speed to combine. Add eggs, beating just until combined (do not overbeat). Using a wooden spoon, stir in whipping cream, orange peel, 1 tbsp orange juice and 1 tsp vanilla (mixture will be slightly thin. Pour half of cream cheese mixture into crust lined pan. Drizzle with pureed mixture. Carefully pour remaining cream cheese mixture into pan, covering pureed mixture as much as possible. Place pan in shallow baking pan. Bake about 1 hour at 350F (center should appear nearly set when pan is shaken). Remove from oven. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a thin, narrow spatula, loosen crust from side of pan. Cool for additional 30 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool cheesecake for 1 hour more. Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours. Just before serving, spoon some of the chilled cranberry sauce on top of cheesecake. Cut into wedges and serve with remaining cranberry sauce. - 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, Dec. 10, 2008