Week of Jan 24 – Jan 30, 2010, Vol. 4, No. 49

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective*

To subscribe or unsubscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Since I do not believe that there should be different recommendations for people living in the Bronx and people living in Manhattan, I am uncomfortable making different recommendations for my patients in Boston and in Haiti.” - Dr. Paul Farmer www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1472188  Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to circles1@nbnet.nb.ca  

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This Week in Co-op Circles

§      A surge in fire insurance claims in northern New Brunswick over the last five years is causing The Co-operators General Insurance Co. to enforce new rules that will limit the number of clients it will insure. The company’s decision to cut back clients and increase premiums in northern New Brunswick is drawing parallels to the 2003 auto insurance controversy in the province. The Co-operators is sending out letters to its clients in northern New Brunswick, between Bathurst and Edmundston, instructing them to reapply for their home insurance. The insurance company said it has been losing money for the last five years because of an increase in fire claims. Since 2005, 67 per cent of house insurance claims in northern New Brunswick have been due to fire, compared with 37 per cent for the rest of the province. For more, go to http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2010/01/25/nb-insurance-home-915.html

§      The Masters in Management Co-operatives and Credit Unions Program, St Mary’s University, Halifax, NS, has published its first newsletter of 2010.  This issue includes an article on re-earning member loyalty plus profiles and news bits from the program and its personnel. It is now receiving applications for Masters candidates who would begin the program in the fall. For further information, go to http://www.mmccu.coop/news_letter.html

§      For the past two years, the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA)’s Leadership in Co-operative Governance Award has recognized the best in co-operative board governance across the country.  CCA and Brown Governance Inc. have now added a second award -- the Brown Governance Co-operative Award for Boardroom Culture -- which recognizes that the unwritten norms underlying governance power structures are crucial in ensuring organizational success. Individual personalities, personal relationships, decision-making processes, and the use of benchmarks and performance measurements are all factors in boardroom culture. The 2010 awards will be presented at CCA’s National Congress in Vancouver on June 16.  Entries will be accepted until February 26, 2010. Go to http://tinyurl.com/GovernanceAwards for more information and to download the Call for Entries. 

§      To date, more than $51,000 has been collected at credit unions through Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Monies will be going to the Canadian Red Cross, and the citizens of Haiti for disaster relief. http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn=1.21.42.131&sfield=content.id&search=582

§      The Mouvement des caisses populaires acadiennes is working together with the Canadian Red Cross to collect funds to help the victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. The Caisses populaires acadiennes and the Fédération have donated $50,000 for immediate disaster relief efforts http://www.acadie.com/en/communique_affiche.cfm?id=1036 Nearly two weeks after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, the members of the Caisses populaires acadiennes have answered the call for help for the people of Haiti. Nearly $110,000 in donations have been made to the Aide humanitaire Haïti - Caisses populaires acadiennes account so far, with $60,000 in contributions by members, as well as the $50,000 donation announced earlier by the Mouvement and its 25 caisses. As of January 21, members of the Caisses populaires acadiennes alone had in fact donated over $58,858, which will be sent to the Canadian Red Cross. The Association des employés de la Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes has solicited the staff at Édifice MARTIN-J.-LÉGÈRE, who raised a total of $1,111. Therefore, along with contributions from members of the Caisses populaires acadiennes and employees of the Fédération, the Red Cross will receive nearly $110,000 through the Mouvement, in donations for Haiti.

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The New Trends - “Urbany”, yes Urban culture is the culture. Extreme urbanization, in 2010, 2011, 2012 and far beyond will lead to more sophisticated and demanding consumers around the world. The numbers speak for themselves: “Less than 5 per cent of the world’s population lived in cities a century ago. In 2008, for the first time in humanity, that figure exceeded 50 per cent. In the last two decades alone, the urban population of the developing world has grown by an average of 3 million people per week.  By 2050, it will have reached 70 per cent, representing 6.4 billion people. Most of this growth will be taking place in developing regions; Asia will host 63 percent of the global urban population, or 3.3 billion people in 2050.” (Source: the Global Report on Human Settlements 2009, October 2009.) Where will this take us? What trends will emerge because of this change? Alex Steffen, editor of World Changing sums it up quite well. “I’m certainly not saying that all innovation is urban, or that the suburbs are brain dead or anything. I am saying that compact, wired and wealthy urban communities seem to me to be becoming the epicenters of innovation these days, and that is going to change what innovations emerge.” Your thoughts? Email us at: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca    - Steve MacDowall, Publisher of The Thursday File Subscribe. It’s FREE http://www.thursdayfile.ca   

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Co-op Ed 101 – With all the talk in the news these days about NB Power, I was wishing we had co-op power so the people would have true ownership and control.  I went looking on the Web for co-op power companies. Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association (FKEC) was founded in 1940 by local member-consumers and has been recognized as one of the most progressive electric systems in the U.S. FKEC serves the upper portion of a narrow string of tropical islands that extend southwestward into the Atlantic from mainland Florida. http://www.fkec.com/  A power outage occurred in November when an osprey dropped a 3-foot-long barracuda across lines. In 2008, FKEC’s overall system reliability was 99.99% with an average of only 45 minutes out per customer for the year. This is four times more reliable than the national average of 202 minutes. - Maureen MacLean

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This Week’s Smile - How to have a bit of fun at the Credit Union – When the money comes out of the ATM, scream “I won! I won!”

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree  - The Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships offered the Emerging Leaders Scholarships in 2009 to students involved in social economy research. Some recipients included Melissa Fong who is studying Canadian settlement houses in relation to anti-poverty work, Josina Vink looking into rural social enterprise development, David Thompson exploring labour movement in Sault Ste. Marie, ON and others. Learn about these emerging leaders in the recipient profiles, at  http://voluntarygateway.ca/communities/files/active/1/EmergingLeadersWinners.pdf

-  Erin Hancock

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Contest of the Week - Winner: Several people suggested different versions. The closest to the correct version was Glenna Weagle, NS. Answer: 12 minutes -First mom and dad – 2 minutes. Dad comes back – 3 minutes, both children go to Mom – 8 minutes. Mom comes to Dad – 10 minutes and they both get to their children – 12 minutes

This week’s contest: Help Johnny find his new home. Johnny the Jock is a journalist who has landed a job somewhere in Canada. But he doesn’t know where. All he knows is that it is in one of six cities lined up in a row in northern Canada: Eh Land, Hockeyville, Pond Hockey Village, Icecastle, Mont Jolie, and Canada City. However his employer has left clues.
1. Pond Hockey Village is 2 cities away from the job’s location.
2. Hockeyville is 3 cities away from Icecastle.
3. Icecastle is on the right end.
4. Mont Jolie is not the location.
5. Eh Land is 3 cities from Pond Hockey Village.
6. Pond Hockey Village is 4 cities away from Icecastle.
7. Eh Land is next to the location and another place that isn’t the location.
Johnny is lazy, so he is paying you to find out where he is working.

Please keep those entries coming! 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

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Co-op Cooking - Although we grow all the potatoes that are eaten in my house each year, sweet potatoes from the market are replacing them in my meal plans ever more often. Here is a truly different lasagna recipe I recently found where sweet potatoes replace the meat we are used to using.

Sweet Potato Lasagna

3 lb sweet potatoes, sliced

5 tbsp vegetable or olive oil, divided

1 tsp salt

8 lasagna noodles, cooked according to directions

1/4 cup flour

4 cups hot milk

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

pinch of ground nutmeg

pinch of Cajun spice

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Slice sweet potato; place on parchment-covered pan and roast at 400F for 30 minutes. Melt butter; whisk in flour and cook without browning for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in milk; cook 2 to 3 minutes without boiling (until thickened). Add spices. Layer the sauce, noodles, potatoes and cheese in 9-inch square pan, using half of each. Repeat layers. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. – Glenna Weagle

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Co-op Community Bulletin Board

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to circles1@nbnet.nb.ca.

§      Apr 15-17, 2010 – Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting

§      Apr 23-24, 2010 - Credit Union Central of New Brunswick holds its 2010 Tradeshow, being held in conjunction with it Annual General Meeting on April 23/24 in Saint John, NB

§      May 28-29, 2010 – Co-op Atlantic’s Annual General Meeting

§      June 9 – 12 – Co-op Housing Federation Annual General Meeting, London, ON

§      June 14-16, 2010 – Canadian Co-operative Association Congress 2010: Co-operation and sustainability: the way forward, The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC

§      June 23, 2010 – Nova Scotia Co-operative Council Annual General Meeting, Halifax, NS

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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 circles1@nbnet.nb.ca

Thanks to the Marie Michael Library, Coady International Institute, for archiving Co-op Circles. http://www.mystfx.ca/coady-library/coop_circles/index.htm Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010

Rising Tide Collective* - Erin Hancock, Brenda MacKinnon, Maureen MacLean, Glenna Weagle, Steve MacDowall