Kwanzaa and Cooperation: Celebrating a Commonality of Interest

Monday, 01 December 2014 01:21

By Joe Romano,
Marketing Manager


Sticks in a bundle 
are unbreakable.

— Kenyan proverb

When you look up commonality in the Oxford Dictionary, it provides a simple and sole definition: "1. The state of sharing features or attributes." The definition is followed by this use in a sentence: "A commonality of interest ensures cooperation."

Finding the word cooperation in this brief thirteen-word entry seemed odd, because the purpose for my seeking the definition in the first place was to support the idea that there exists a commonality between Kwanzaa and cooperation.

Kwanzaa's Nguzo Saba, or seven principles of African Heritage, and the seven principles of cooperation that guide us at GreenStar certainly seem to share features and attributes. Do Kwanzaa and cooperation have a commonality of interest that would ensure cooperation between them? That they each hold seven principles as the foundation of their philosophy is a promising start.

Read more: Kwanzaa and Cooperation: Celebrating a Commonality of Interest


Rethinking Thanksgiving

Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:12

By Joe Romano,

Marketing Manager

Rethinking Thanksgiving 300Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.

— Henry Van Dyke

We're rolling into that part of the year when Thanksgiving arrives, with its festive overtones and deeply misunderstood history. Most of us know that there are problems with the holiday as it's currently celebrated, so why not update the festivities?

Everyone enjoys a good meal and getting together with friends, neighbors, and family. And most of us have much to be thankful for. Since Americans have already built a perfectly good holiday season, and because this is one of the better events in it — you can, after all, eat and fall asleep without buying a single present — maybe we should keep it around ... with a few updates.

The name, Thanksgiving, is fine. A day to actually celebrate gratitude would be a great holiday, even for those among us who suffer trying circumstances in their lives. As a youth, for example, Alice Walker had less to be thankful for than many others did. The daughter of sharecroppers, her mother worked as a maid to help support the eight children in her family. She had what most Americans would call an underprivileged upbringing. When she was 8, she was shot in the eye with a BB pellet. The serious injury left her quite self-conscious of the scar on her face. She wanted nothing more than to be able to hide from the world, which, in her mind, was that of a young, disfigured black girl in the racially divided South of the 1950s. After all, what could she have to be thankful for? Instead of building hate or resentment, she managed to write words of gratitude: "'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding."

Read more: Rethinking Thanksgiving

Get Out and Stay Out: 
Breaking Down the Barriers to Outdoor Activity Through Education

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:37

By Kath Tibbetts

primative-pursuitsI saw an article headline the other day stating that one in three children has never climbed a tree ... in fact, 60 percent of them would rather do just about anything but go outside. It got me thinking.

I was the kid who never climbed the trees at the local park. Afraid of hurting myself, I'd watch the rest of my cohort scramble up, dangle from, and jump off trees fearlessly, while I'd shuffle off to the swings. It's not that I didn't want to climb, I was simply petrified.

In the sixth grade, my folks started sending me to nature camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. For one week a summer, I would camp out on mountain ledges and swim in gorges. By the end of my first week, I had scaled and rappelled down a 100-foot rock wall. And I felt like a champion. At that camp, I learned how to build fires, maintain a compost pile, and simply be comfortable in the wilderness.

Unfortunately, today's average child is not exposed to the type of experience I had in the White Mountains. In fact, children are spending half as much time outside as their parents did when they were children. Richard Louv, journalist and author of Last Child in the Woods, says, "The child in nature is an endangered species."

In the Ithaca area, we're fortunate to have several groups working to combat this issue. I reached out to Tim Drake and Jed Jordan of Primitive Pursuits, a local nature-based education organization ("Get Out and Stay Out" is one of their tongue-in-cheek taglines), to get their take. They told me that they see their work as a sort of "cultural intervention" aimed at bringing a necessary and healthy relationship with the natural world back into our modern society.

Read more: Get Out and Stay Out: 
Breaking Down the Barriers to Outdoor Activity Through Education


Page 2 of 25

  • 04.10.15

    By Dan Hoffman,
Council Member

    2013 Dan Hoffman12th Moon, Kristen Kaplan, Eric Banford, Susan Beckley, Jessica Rossi and Mark Darling finished the counting in just under four hours.

    412 Total valid envelopes

    21 total invalid = 19- no ID, 1- first of two ballots, 1- no ballot in envelope

    Also = 1- name tag, 5- 2 cent slips, 1- Member Labor Request and two wooden nickles.

    Two thirds vote required to pass.

    Q#1 = PASS

    361 YES

    12 NO

    Q#2 = FAIL

    222 YES

    147 NO

    Q#3 = PASS

    311 Yes

    61 No

    Q#4 = PASS

    331 Yes

    22 NO

    Q#5 = PASS

    340 YES

    30 NO

    Q#6 = PASS

    366 YES

    7 NO

    member-owners are the only ones who have the power to change the Co-op's bylaws, the organization's most basic and important document. There is an opportunity to do so (or not) during this month — at the Fall Member Meeting, at the stores, or by mail.

    GreenStar's Council has established an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee, which started meeting again earlier this year, after being inactive for at least two years. Council had referred a couple of issues to the committee, which identified several more on its own. In August, Council voted (unanimously, except in the case of #2, below) to send the committee's six recommended bylaws amendments to the membership for a YES or NO vote on each of the following questions:

    1. Should the Co-op be allowed to use a withdrawing member's refundable equity contribution [which could be up to $90] to pay off any outstanding debt the member has to the Co-op (such as for bad checks)?

    2. Should all Council candidates and members be required to satisfy any requirements associated with operational licenses maintained or sought by the Co-op (such as to sell or serve alcohol)?

    3. Should Council be allowed to conduct closed executive sessions for two additional topics — possible litigation or contract negotiations?

    4. Should the composition of Council's Immediacies Committee be changed to match that described in Council policy, and that of the Executive Planning Committee?

    5. Should the use of gender-specific pronouns (such as "he" or "she") be eliminated in the bylaws?

    6. Should three "clerical errors" made when the bylaws were amended in 2010 be officially corrected?

    Much more information on the proposed amendments, including detailed explanations, pro and con statements and voting instructions, are available in the Fall Member Mailing, which all current members should receive in the mail by October 6. Members can vote up until close of business on Oct. 31 at either store, by mailing in the ballot from the Mailing, or in person at the Fall Member Meeting, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Space.



Current Job Postings

  • By Alexis Alexander,
Membership Manager

    I have woken to a new day, a day when GreenStar's annual Member Meetings and pancakes are defined as pure elegance and inspiration. Surprised?

    The morning after our Fall Member Meeting, I'm entranced by the experience of last night. I realize how far GreenStar has come over the years, and how integral and essential a partner we are in the wider regional food movement before us. Our roots as a buying club and grain store have matured into a multimillion-dollar community-ba...



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