Week of Mar. 21– Mar. 27, 2010, Vol. 5, No. 5

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. There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” – Aldous Huxley en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley 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

·        Sharon Duguay, branch manager, Mountain Road location of OMISTA Credit Union, Moncton, NB, died this past week. She was 55 and had 35 years of service with the credit union movement. http://www.inmemoriam.ca/announcement_view.php?noEvent=157701&lang=en

·        You can now register on line for the Canadian Co-operative Association Congress 2010. The Canadian Co-operative Association and the British Columbia Co-operative Association invite co-operators to Vancouver from June 14-16, 2010 for learning and networking events for the Canadian co-operative sector.  Go to: http://tinyurl.com/CCACongress2010.

·        The PEI Certified Organic Co-operative’s Annual General Meeting is being held tonight (Wed, Mar 22) in Charlottetown at the Farm Centre, 420 University Ave, beginning at 7 pm. Stephen Cousins, President COPC will highlight plans for 2010. Two guest speakers Dr. James Kemp re: Sustainable Pollination and Ian Petrie re:  Organic Industry and Consumers, the positive spin on farming organically today, Networking and Communication, will address the meeting. Student Bursary, Farmer of the Year, Farm Tours and a special report from the co-op’s Planning Committee on scheduled Workshops, Marketing & Promotions and Projects & Research planned for 2010 will be available. http://www.organicpei.com/content/page/front_news/id/23

·        Carrot Cache http://www.carrotcache.com/ has launched its first ever Innovation Prize for organic farmers.  The $500 Innovation Prize will be awarded for best, innovative, low cost solution to planting, managing, harvesting, post harvest handling, or processing of food grown on small Canadian organic urban or rural farms. The first year’s prize will encourage organic farmers to share creative ways to build their farms’ balance sheet as well as the soil. It is open to anyone in Canada. To apply, submit photos, videos (not to exceed 5 minutes) and a brief description including cost of the project to: marylou.morgan@sympatico.ca Please type in e-mail subject field: Innovation Prize.

·        The Tignish Co-operative Association will soon be extending its reach to Alberton and O’Leary. Membership voted 102 to 28 at a meeting recently to purchase the shares of Lewmac Company. Lewmac Limited operates the Home Hardware stores in Alberton and O’Leary. Co-op president Emmerson McMillan is thrilled with the way the vote went. “I think it’s great that a West Prince co-op thought it was good to keep the stores local,” he commented. He said the Co-operative had been in negotiations with Lewmac owners Arthur Lewis and Wayne MacNeill on and off for about two years. http://www.journalpioneer.com/index.cfm?sid=333471&sc=118

·        The first year of a new three-year contract awarded to New Brunswick Power of Fredericton, NB, will lower the cost of electricity supply for Eastern Maine Electric Co-operative members from the existing rate of 9.15 cents per kilowatt-hour to 7.354 cents per kilowatt-hour. The decrease will bring a savings of 1.796 cents per kilowatt-hour on electricity used beginning April 1. Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, consumer-owned utility serving approximately 12,600 members in a 3,000-square-mile area in Penobscot, Aroostook and northern Washington counties. According to the cooperative’s Charlie McAlpine, the move drops the supply rate at the cooperative below the company’s closest competitor, Bangor Hydro Electric Co. The new rate will decrease the total residential electric bill by approximately 10 percent and the standard offer supply portion of the bill by 19 percent. After the deregulation of Maine’s electricity market, utilities such as Eastern Maine Electric provided delivery service for the electricity sold to its customers by another company. The delivery utilities are responsible for the power lines and perform the metering and billing for both delivery service and electricity supply. The electricity supply billing is forwarded to the standard offer supplier.  http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/136125.html

·        Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op is hiring someone to do Coffee Quality Assurance. See the posting: http://www.goodworkcanada.ca/greenjobs.php?id=10392  It closes March 26.

·        NANY (Neighbours' Alliance of North York) is a community organization serving northern York County, including the areas of Keswick, Mactaquac, Nackawic, Taymouth and Stanley. This largely rural region has a high percentage of seniors who face challenges finding home care services and NANY is responding to this need by establishing a multi-stakeholder home care cooperative that will be jointly owned by the service’s consumers, workers, and the community. The home care co-op will offer personal care, housekeeping, cooking, transportation and some home maintenance services. NANY has received $15,000 from the Co-operative Development Initiative to conduct a feasibility study and prepare a business plan. Contact Sue Rickards selbyinc@nb.sympatico.ca for further information.

·        The Co-operative Enterprise Council has been working closely with its Francophone partner, Coopérative de développement régional-Acadie (CDR-A) to develop strategies aimed at bringing about new co-operative legislation for New Brunswick. A Co-op Ambassador Committee has been struck with a mandate to: bring NB co-operatives together to speak with one voice in defining the issues, challenges and tools necessary for optimal development and a diversified co-operative movement and to develop a collaborative strategy to inform and engage the provincial government in supporting current and future co-operative development in New Brunswick. The Committee is currently gathering feedback from their member co-ops and finalizing a study on the economic and social impacts of the NB co-operative sector.  The Committee will be consulting with the NB co-operative community over the coming months and making plans for a presentation to government. Contact info@cecnb.ca or (506) 227-9607 if you would like any further information.

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The New Trends - Do you know what customers you do not want? If so, you’re heading in the right direction. I’ve heard many people in business say “we want everyone” or “we cater to everybody” and then blame the economy for their less than sterling sales figures. Many savvy business women and men are now seeing the light. They know the people they want and are now tailoring not only their product but their service and communication to fit that slice of the pie. And they are getting it. The others, who are trying to be everything to everyone, keep missing the mark. I often felt that a co-operative market was a very special market to be in, to focus on and develop. In a book I read recently the PI tells the owner that his sign is too small; no one will see it. But the shop owner replies, “The kind of people who don’t know where we are, why would I want to tell them?”- Steve MacDowall, Publisher of The Thursday File Subscribe. It’s FREE http://www.thursdayfile.ca   

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Co-op Ed 101 – While in Florida this winter I decided to set up a local Credit Union account to facilitate getting a  debit and credit card.  I just wanted to share with Circles readers, especially those in the Credit Union system, what an enjoyable experience it was to join  MIDFLORIDA Credit Union http://www.midflorida.com/

 The in-branch application process was friendly and the branch manager Kimberly gave me excellent advice regarding what account would serve me best. The pamphlets and information were clear and attractive. The CU does extensive fundraising for local charities and all this was also explained. My personalized debit card and start up cheques were ready in branch later that day. My new carbon cheques were mailed to me at home in a week and were very inexpensive compared to what I am currently paying. She provided me with clear instructions on setting up eStatment and told me to call should I have any trouble. She offered to show me how to use the debit card if I needed assistance. Two weeks later I received a nice card with a handwritten note from Kimberly thanking me for joining and encouraging me to use the enclosed business card if I have any questions. It includes a toll free number. By visiting  MIDFLORIDA’s Website, which is updated weekly, I can see how they are  working in the community http://www.midflorida.com/community/default.asp and helping schools http://www.midflorida.com/community/2009ExtraCredit.asp I am glad to be a new Credit Union Member at MIDFORIDA Credit Union - Maureen MacLean

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Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada whose mission is “to ignite a national movement of young social entrepreneurs who align people, planet & profit” are hosting a 2 day event March 27-28 to bring together 100 young changemakers in Ontario. The event costs $150 and promises a number of guest speakers and workshops focusing on social change. Learn more at http://revision.ysec.org/ - Erin Hancock

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Contest of the Week – Last week’s winner: We didn’t get any entries.

This week’s contest:  You are in a basement. In front of you are three light switches, all in their OFF state. These switches are connected to three light bulbs that are on a wall in the attic, so there is no chance you can see them unless you climb the stairs all the way up. There is a 1-to-1 mapping between the switches and the bulbs. You are given plenty of time to play around with the switches in the basement, where you can put each individual switch in either its ON or OFF state. However, you can only go upstairs once to check on the state of the bulbs! Once you have gone upstairs and checked on the bulbs, you must be able to tell with 100% certainty which bulb is connected to which switch, without having to go down again. How can you tell which switch is connected to each bulb? 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 Congratulations!

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Today’s Smile - The newest Bumper Sticker “Honk if you love Jesus - Text if you want to see him today”.

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Co-op Cooking - There is a saying to the effect that “everything old is new again”. That sometimes happens in my kitchen when the cooks are looking for a change of pace. This week the old that became new was Impossible Pie, a recipe I used to prepare quite often which had been shuffled out of the mix. It is a great tasting dessert which magically separates into a crust, custard centre and browned coconut top while baking. If you want a more impressive dessert simply garnish with whipped cream and some fresh fruit. 

Impossible Pie

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 tsp baking powder

4 eggs, beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups milk

Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Pour into a buttered 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350F for about 1 hour (a toothpick inserted near middle should come out clean).

This pie also comes in a Pumpkin version.

1 tin evaporated milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

16 oz tin or 2 cups pumpkin

1/2 cup biscuit mix

2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into lightly buttered 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 325F for 50 to 55 minutes (a toothpick inserted near centre should come out clean). – 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

§      April 15-18, 2010 – Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership Camp Canoe Cove, Prince Edward Island. Go to http://www.acyl.coop/english/newsletter.htm to apply.

§      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

§      Mar 24-25, 2010 - Social Enterprise in Rural and Urban Development: A Learning Event Waterfront Campus – Nova Scotia Community College
Dartmouth, NS If you are involved in community development in Atlantic Canada or if your work involves non profit organizations or co-ops that serve marginalized communities, then these workshops and presentations will be informative and useful. Registration fee- $145 (includes ticket to Thursday evening’s gala event). Please note:  Financial assistance for travel and accommodations may be available to community groups who wish to send members.  Please apply soon as funds are limited. Write to patricia.beaton@cbdc.ca for more information.  Find out more information about the event at http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=343773985927&ref=mf

§      May 13-16, 2010 - Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership Camp Wildwood, Bouctouche, NB. Go to http://www.acyl.coop/english/newsletter.htm to apply.

§      May 28, 2010 Co-operative Enterprise Council of NB’s AGM, Moncton, 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

·        I couldn’t agree more that companies must change and show ‘an attitude, an approach: to people’ as noted in the Trends article.  I want to be acknowledged where I choose to shop and treated as if they care about ‘me’ - not just my money.  I realize that every business is there to make money but if they want to have me as a return customer they must offer more than a product to buy. I can purchase my products in many places but I will only return to places that show me respect and a little friendliness.” – E.L, ON

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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, Mar 31, 2010

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