Week of Jan. 25 – Jan. 31, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 4

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.” - Maureen Killoran  ezinearticles.com/?expert=Maureen_Killoran  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

·      ACA Co-operative Limited (ACA) has announced major changes at two of its Kings County (Nova Scotia) facilities, including filing for creditor protection of its Eastern Protein Foods subsidiary.  The changes will result in the layoff of 75 union employees at ACA and the permanent loss of 40 non-union ACA and Eastern Protein Foods employees and 187 union positions at Eastern Protein Foods.  “This is a very sad day for many of our staff and their families,” said Ian Blenkharn, chief executive officer and chair of the board of directors of ACA Co-operative. “However, the past few years have been very challenging ones for us and we arrived at a point where we either had to make major changes to the way we do business or risk losing our entire operation.” ACA’s primary processing plant in New Minas lost approximately $6 million in 2008 and without major changes is expected to incur significant losses in 2009. Eastern Protein Foods, a subsidiary of ACA Co-operative that produces further processed poultry products at a plant in Kentville, has lost millions of dollars over the last several years, with losses of $1.8 million for 2008. The New Minas facility is changing its sales mix, ending tray pack operations. Eastern Protein Foods will close permanently, due to longstanding losses and a lack of market opportunities http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=214255&sc=593

·      The board of Co-op Atlantic has closed the Mid-Valley Co-op Food Market in Woodstock. The closure took effect on Saturday, January 24th. The board indicated there had been many efforts in recent years to improve sales and member support at Mid-Valley, but these had not been successful.

·       Four people employed with credit unions in the Atlantic region will be traveling to Uganda and Malawi at the end of February as part of the Canadian Co-operative Association Credit Union Coaching Program. They are Paul Innes, branch manager, OMISTA Credit Union, Moncton, NB, Jeannette Holmden, Chief Executive Officer, PSE Credit Union, Moncton, NB, Tammy Christopher, Chief Financial Officer, OMISTA Credit Union, and Gary Forsey, general manager, Steel Centre Credit Union in Sydney, NS. For more information about the coaching program go to www.coopsCanada.coop

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Trends - Part of the my duties during my day job are serving on an environmental awareness committee that is currently in the midst of looking at current business operations and find ways to turn them into more sustainable business operations. This is enterprise level stuff that really has the potential to make sustainable changes to how we do business. But what about homeowners? How do homeowners embark on the sustainable journey for their homes without getting fleeced in the process? Enter Green Irene. From their brochure: “The amount of information about going green is overwhelming and often conflicting. Who do you trust to provide the best information about greening your home? Your local Green Irene Eco-Consultant…” For $99 US, the Green Irene eco-consultant will spend 60 to 90 minutes going through your home or apartment with their Green Home Makeover Checklist and point out immediate changes you can make at no cost while customizing a set of recommendations on how you can save money, save energy, save water and live a healthier life. Think of it as a home inspection service that focuses on the environmental impact of your house or apartment, and gives you recommendations on reducing it. The service is only available in the U.S. right now, but look for it to grow around the world. See more at www.greenirene.com .– 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: “Today I learned how unique different cultures are as well as the problems many cultures face. A big problem that really opened my eyes was the extent of the pollution in some of these areas and the fact that I can do something about it by being more environmentally aware and more environmentally friendly.” – Katie L, Riverview, NB

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Co-op Ed 101For years, I have used the public library for pleasure and research. I have never given a thought to the fact that for some people still in 2009 library services are not free. I met someone recently who told me that it was only October, 2008, that Okaloosa Library Co-op in Florida http://www.readokaloosa.org/ changed to make service free for the entire county.  The Okaloosa County Public Library Cooperative proposed in October to drop the $20 fee charged to each family who checks out items at one of the city libraries. The change had to be approved by the Okaloosa County Commissioners. Until then nearly 1,700 residents in Cinco Bayou, Laurel Hill and Shalimar paid the $20 fee to and use the library last year, http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/county_11723___article.html/library_okaloosa.html - 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

§      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.

§      Feb 20, 2009 Human Resource Management in Non-Profit and Other Community Organizations with Kunle Akingbola, University of Toronto To register:  http://sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/workshops.php or contact Lisa White at secworkshops@oise.utoronto.ca , 416-978-0022. Register soon, as space is limited.

§      Mar 20-21, 2009 Credit Union Central of Prince Edward Island Annual Meeting, Delta Prince Edward, Charlottetown, PEI

§      April 17-18, 2009 Credit Union Central of New Brunswick Annual Meeting, Delta Fredericton, Fredericton, NB

§      April 22 -23, 2009 Blueprints of the Brand Forum, Westin Hotel, Halifax, NS – designed specifically for Credit Union CEOs and General Managers, this forum offers the tools to further enhance the brand for Credit Unions.

§      April 24, 2009 League Savings and Mortgage Annual Meeting, Westin Hotel, Halifax, NS

§      April 24-25, 2009 Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia Annual Meeting, Westin Hotel, Halifax, NS

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Contest of the WeekLast week’s contest:  We had a bit of a mix up in last week’s contest. Information needed to solve puzzle was missing. Sorry about that! Just a little extra work to keep those neurons working in this cold January weather! 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 entry to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca. This week’s contest: Using all of the letters A to Z, each once only, complete these words:

*e*er
**eue
**o
ma*
*p*a*e*
*erso*
***k*am*on
*ouse
*a*
*ur*
***igent

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The New University Co-operative is holding a symposium this week (Jan 30-Feb1) titled “Reclaiming Higher Education”. The event will take place at the Tatamagouche Centre in Nova Scotia and include discussions/speakers addressing such topics as inclusive education, progressive models of higher education, a critique of the role that university education plays in society and others. Guest speakers include Elizabeth May and Greg MacLeod and this conference will help feed into the planning of the curriculum for the unique New University Co-operative (which strives toward being an accessible, green institution with a focus on social justice). To learn more, visit www.newuniversity.ca- Erin Hancock

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Co-op Cooking – From a friend I received news of the following website: http://www.whfoods.com/ Well worth a visit. The “wh” stands for “World’s Healthiest”. Among the items are a list of healthy choice foods, recipes and cooking tips, and much more. Here is a sample from the recipe section:   

15 Minute Rosemary Lamb Chops
12 lamb chops
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Press garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out its hidden health benefits. Mix with lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub lamb chops with mixture. Set aside on plate. Preheat broiler on high heat and place a stainless steel or cast iron skillet large enough to hold the lamb chops under the heat for about 10 minutes to get very hot (about 5 to 7 inches from the heat source). Be sure that the skillet handle is also metal.
Once skillet is hot, place lamb chops in skillet and return to broiler for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of chops. Lamb is cooked quickly as it is cooking on both sides at the same time (Quick-Broil cooking method).
Healthy Cooking Tips: Make sure your pan has had a chance to get very hot for best results. This seals in the juices and makes the lamb moist. This recipe is created for a quick and easy meal. If you can plan ahead, the lamb is even more tender and flavorful if given a chance to marinate for a few hours. A good rule of thumb when testing lamb for doneness is try not to cut into it while cooking as it releases its juices. The more done the lamb is, the firmer to the touch it will be when pressed. This takes a little practice at first to know just how firm medium is. Also, it will continue to cook after removing from the heat, so remove while it is still a little less done than your personal preference. You can also use an instant reading thermometer. It doesn't release as much juice as cutting when used. Medium rare is about 145 degrees. - 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, Feb. 4, 2009