Egress onto Jenifer Street

Obviously this idea has brought forth a great deal of conversation and community involvement in the last few months. On one hand that is good to see. On the other I am interested in recognizing that this is just one idea to address the larger traffic flow challenge. To date I have still not received the traffic study, however I am collecting the various responses I have received regarding your opinions and will consider all of these as we move ahead in conversations with the Alder.

Yahara River Grocery Cooperative (YRGC)

Cooperative partnering—the news that YRGC owners need to raise $30,000 to satisfy (one of two) loan requirements from the Dane County Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) committee was heard by administrative staff at Cooperative Network (formally Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives). CN has offered to support one-third of the fundraising efforts by reaching out to their membership base seeking pledges to enable the yearling cooperative to remain open in Stoughton.

YRGC owners are being asked to pledge the remaining monies needed as required by the RLF committee in the amount of $20,000. These pledges, plus the CN contributions, must be committed before RLF will reconsider the loan on February 13th, 2009. The fate of YRGC now rests solely on the owners’ resources to raise this capital. Should they not be able to secure their owner contributions, YRGC Board will be back to square one in deciding next steps for their cooperative.

By the time this has been published, the YRGC Annual Membership Meeting will have taken place, and the timeline for our staffing commitment will have expired. The second part of the RFL requirement was that YRGC have a plan in place for hiring a qualified GM to assume operations. The events of this month will be reported in the March Reader.

Second store possibilities

An Owner committee has been assigned the task of location review from a list of real estate options past, present, and possible futures. We have been presented with 21 retail site options since last autumn and 11 are viable and being further researched based on criteria established to bring the best option to the top of the pile. The committee’s process will then be to analyze and refine the list of potential locations before presenting their recommendation to the Board. Given the current economic climate, we have the luxury of time in some of these cases, and time may also allow for more options to surface.

At the risk of sounding redundant

In the January Newsbites section we ran a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest entitled “Longer tests on lab animals urged for potential carcinogens.” Due to some questions from Owners, we must clarify that Willy Street Co-op is not pro-animal testing. In fact, we have a standing policy of not contributing to organizations that condone it. We ran this article, like all in this section, as a point of information about food, agriculture, the environment and/or cooperatives, and not as an endorsement of the practice.