Chebucto Community Net
Board Minutes
June 29, 1999


Start 6:30 P.M., Adjourned 8:30 P.M.

  • Michael Colborne
  • Leo Deveau
  • Bernie Hart
  • Joyline Makani
  • Doug McCann
  • David Murdoch
  • Krista Olmstead
  • Sharon Parker
  • Andrew D. Wright

          Absent: Sue Newhook, Richard Rudnicki

          Guest: Jeff Warnica CCN Member


          Meeting called to order at 6.40


          Minutes of last meeting were approved as circulated.

Executive Director's Report

          Leo spoke to his report. (attached)

Charitable Status

          Revenue Canada has workshop planned for the fall.
Doug: We need to set fees;
Krista: need to meet to discuss fees to present to the next Board meeting;
Bernie: Asked for clarification on the $50,000 limit;
Action: Doug, Krista and Leo will meet to bring a proposal to the next meeting.

Membership and Volunteers

          Leo indicated that the whole Board need not be involved.

Office Space

  • David suggested that our relationship with Dalhousie be considered in any move.
  • Ann Jenega is now new Public Relations Director at Dalhousie.
  • Bernie has a contact with Cable company.


  • Deadline met Wed 30 June 1999
  • 1-2 persons will be hired to do assessment in Sept/Oct
  • CCN could provide connectivity
  • Volunteers from CCN could generate as much as $14/hr of training for CCN
  • Could pay honorariums
  • Volunteers would do training on-site and in classroom
  • 1500 VolNet clients in Canada (100%)
  • 350 approx in Nova Scotia (%3)
  • 100 in HRM

Urban CAP

  • Focus session held 28 June 1999; middle managers from HRM
  • Contract with Joanne is finished
  • Decision needed on how to proceed with future focus groups
  • Steering committee has to be formed
  • CCN well positioned to be accepted as provider of information
  • We are leading Canada and all eyes are upon us
  • Information from first focus group to be shared in next focus groups
  • Smart Communities on web at http://
  • Need webmaster and mail list

          Action: Andrew, David, Doug to ID possible webmaster.


          Leo suggested 21 August for party.
Party committee is Leo, Sue, Joyline, Krista.

Office Staffing

          Moved by Bernie and seconded by Joyline that meeting go in camera.

          Moved by Sharon and seconded by Bernie to end in camera portion of meeting.

IP Meeting Update

          (Minutes attached fyi)

Web Site

          Andrew requested that the website be revamped. Andrew sent email outlining problems. See attached letter.

          Discussion included suggestions to involve Elaine Thoms from library School; web site is a communication and PR tool and needs to connect with IPs; links need to be read by lowest common denominator; need to include all volunteers even where animosity exists; Sync new website with party

          Action: Small committee Sue, David and Doug to initiate actions

          Meeting adjourned at 8.30pm

Back to the Board minutes page








Executive Director's Report

Completing the fourth week, the following efforts and tasks are in motion:

*TO trip - met with people and heard about various projects unfolding
                *Urban / Rural CAP
                *IRDC - international developments
                *Fundraising and Sponsorship ideas

*Charity Status - met with Stephanie Roberts CA, to clarify requirements
re. receipts and proper book-keeping. Andrew and I will be setting up a
process for issuing weekly receipts and keeping a audit schedule of
receipts. I'm presently in discussions with David Murdoch about how to
out the new memberships and renewals for the past six months to determine
receipt issuance. We will set up a weekly plan to get caught up before
yearend. She suggests we keep a 'membership fee' excatly that, outlining
specific services attached (as we do) and to keep 'a donation a donation'
separate. If we want to combine percentages, ie; 50/50, we need to be very
specific as to what entails 50% service and why. Donations of product or
services needs to be invoiced as to the 'market value' for CCN to issue a
receipt. No direct benefit or 'profit' can be seen to return to the donor
as a result of the donation. Online receipts may soon be permissable, but
verification requirements are not worked out yet so we will go with print
for the time-being.

*CCN needs to collect and pay HST as we are over $30,000. revenue. We can
file it annually. We need to set up a tracking of HST paid and that which
is collected. At yearend, we subtract the difference and pay the Feds. I
suggest, that HST be included in our fees up to June 30th and we charge it
above the fee structure as of July 1st (?)

*Membership and Volunteers - I've suggested to the Sue in Communications
that we draw up an 'orientation' package for volunteers and we look at
doing an 'intake' at the end or beginning of each month ? I haven't
discussed this yet with Krista, Joyline or Andrew. We still need to assign
a committed volunteer to the task of coordinating such an orientation and
volunteer placement. I suspect Andrew and I could attempt it on the
short-term. Re. Membership, we need to break down the reports that Krista
is attempting to distribute to simplify where we are in membership totals,

*I would like to ask each Committee to begin drawing up a 'dream/need'
concering their plans and activities for the next 12months - this will
include the office operations. Once we have some sense of these committee
priorities and begin to match the required financial resources needed to
fulfil them, we'll be able to design a fundraising strategy that I think
will attract membership and corporate interest. With this as well, we will
begin to get a better handle on specific 'costs/benefit' ratios concerning
the CCN operations.

*Sue and others are beginning to pull together a 'corporate' donor
information sheet to present who we are and what we're about to potential

*Office space tight with summer project and other CCN activities happening
- raises the thought of finding a visible member/client service office
near downtown core - technical support would remain at the Chase Building.

*With regard to the CCN activities, I would like to suggest we contract to
add another 10hrs a week to Andrew's work schedule in the office and up
hourly rate to $8./hr. This would make for a weekly fee of $200. The
service he provides is invaluable (2/3rds tech and 1/3 service queries).
With my recent research grant of $16,000. I'm confident that CCN can cover
this cost for alteast the next couple of months. Come the fall there will
also be further projects developing which will require his time in the
office and there will be an administrative fee to CCN to cover the needed

*Joining the Chamber of Commerce as a non-profit member - July 6th event
for new members.

*VolNet proposal is in - requesting $150,000. - partnering with Metro
United Way and NovaKnowledge. If approved, it will begin in early fall and
carry into the next year. Will add a considerable profile to CCN's
services, put more administrative duties on the table and it will also add
considerable funds to CCN's operations to be paid out in terms of
honariums, administrative support and related overheads.

*Urban CAP focus groups is now started (HRM, and site specific visits),
further plans with an eye to application submission in early to mid fall.

*Exploring OLT initiatives - learning online activities - short and

*Other ideas simmering:
        -webcam support/promotion
        -anniversary party dates ?
        -Math Dept. barbeque date ?
        -co-op programs in the fall (HRDC support ?)
        -accessing cable for possible partnership (CRTC ruling for Cable
allow ISP access).
        -IRDC funds for possible support of international marketing of
CSuite support.
        -The following Domains have recently been registered: /
        and in preparations for portal design and
SmartCommunities application later     this summer.



IP Committee Minutes
June 9, 1999

From Fri Jul  2 16:07:39 1999
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 23:52:01 -0400
From: Mark Rushton 
Subject: IP Cttee Minutes (09 June 99)

Hi everyone,

Here are the minutes of today's meeting.  Any errors are entirely my own
(except for that one sentence where I went to the can and Dave took over).

Please post any corrections, clarifications, or additions.

Agenda (provided by Doug McCann)

1/ Introductions
2/ Administrative Matters (minutes, meeting frequency)

3/ Team Leader Reports
4/ Chair Reports (Board news)
5/ Virtual Domain Names and fee structure
6/ Forms archive
7/ Prospects database
8/ Other business
9/ Adjourn

Present: Doug McCann, Mark Rushton, Mike Cormier, Andrew Wright, Dave
Potter, Tony Cianfaglione, Sue Newhook, Leo Deveau, Ed Dyer.

IP Cttee meeting frequency: monthly through the summer, adjusted as needed
to deal with business.  Doug suggested the forum could be modified to be
more social in character & setting.

We now have an Executive Director (Leo), and with that position, via the
Cttee, an opportunity to bring forth concerns and issues as they relate to

Area Editors (term "Team Leaders" misleading in the IP Cttee context -
we're straightening out terminology.  These minutes user "Area Editors" to
refer to Editors in charge of sections of CCN like "Community Support",
"Health", "Science & Technology", "Religion", etc.) need to get a handle
the IPs under their jurisdiction (i.e. new IPs added / lost, abandoned,
which may be suitable for P.R. purposes, etc.).

Leo described fall projects -- (i) VOLNET - Federal programme to get
volunteer organizations online.  CCN will coordinate with NovaKnowledge to
assist orgs. in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).  Visited the
Educators organization -- interested in going online.  Had someone awhile
ago create a website, but hasn't been placed online yet.  No-one internal
with org. to deal with it.  Who should I (i.e., Leo) get hooked into this
to assist them through the process.  How do we as an organization deal
this scenario in general?

This would seem to fall in line with the position (filled yet?) of a
Volunteer Coordinator for CCN.

Leo: That's in the works.

Doug: Feedback from Area Editors (on items noted above) important for me
bring to the Board.  Reporting outcomes / occurances with respect to IPs.
[How many IPs do we have?]  Ans: 185 in database.

Mark: what are we doing vis-a-vis internal "stock taking", tracking of
processes, etc.?
Ed: that requires the database be up-to-date  [it pretty much is, good
attention on part of Chris Majka].

Sue: How do we identify and bring to full IP status users who have
useful/valuable information worthy of "upgrading".
Tony: In the "old days", that was discouraged -- having an organization
rather than an individual as an IP was preferred.
Doug: There are 4000 accounts out there -- our first prospects for IP
cultivation, better option at this point than doing a mass mailout.

Leo: Re: P.R.  --I want to work toward a fall strategy to do public
profiles of IPs.
Sue; Communications Cttee's idea of having a "Speaker's Corner" -- a list
of "experts" or commentators on a particular subject area for
media/whomever out of our IP list.
Mark: Communications can't do its job without feedback, information flow
from IP cttee and other related sub-groups of CCN.
Leo: Once we know the strengths of IPs, maybe we can get
partnerships/sponsorships (mentions as eg. Health Canada dropping a few
bucks for a logo-link on a health-related page on CCN).
Mark: part of that process, once we I.D. IPs for P.R purposes is to bring
them up to speed if needed (i.e. spruce them up).  "Raging Grannies" is a
good example - a media-friendly social justice singing group, with a

relatively inactive website on CCN.
Other issues: Gender-representation on IP and other Cttees, and
for me in the Community Support area (I'm going overseas from Oct-Feb :
Mike Cormier may be interested).
Michael: Not much activity in the gov't area -- Transit 2000 being built
now, also Solid Waste site (looking for someone to take it over).

Leo:  I may be able to plug in the Dalhousie Library Science students as

Ed: Religion area pretty quiet.  Gaining a few / losing a few.  Not clear
why groups are leaving ... interested in setting up a heirarchical system
United church sites for each church.

Sue: one problem: people who work at an organization don't know CCN
[Classic problem - often discussed at IP cttee; there exists a CCN-IP
editor relationship, but not much of a CCN-Organization(IP) relationship].
Re: example of church, if individual parishoners know the church's website
is on CCN, potential for future members / IPs.

Chair Report:
Doug - Glad to be aboard.  Meeting of board was held last night (8 June).
- Two major items: VOLNET and URBAN CAP.
(discussion turns to European ISPs, services and fee charges, differences
to CCN model, comparison, etc.)
Ed: there are a number of "free" sites (eg. Geocities) for IPs.
Dave: We should be thinking about _content_
Andrew: Why couldn't we institute a model for fees based on feature-set

Doug: the Halifax guide to clubs and organizations is on our site

Doug: CCN's status as a charitable organization (we are) has a role to
in calculation of fee structure (how much is payment for service, how much
is donation, and therefore receiptable)
- This is CCN's fifth year -- Party!?
- 26th September "Word on the Street" fair - CCN will be represented.

Doug: We've had a large donation ($500-thou) from a CCN member - will
respect privacy of that member unless they agree to be identified in the
future.  Funds were specifically donated for equipment purchase.  Still
discussion on Board as to specific use of the $$.

Leo: We need to assess what IPs are using for space/services  vs.  what
they're paying.
        - Plan out how we approach donors, corporate, etc., fee structure,
promo material.

Doug: Forms archive (see URL in Agenda at top): I'd appreciate feedback
changes, any omissions, etc.  It's simply a catalogue - I have no
responsibility for the forms themselves.  Will eventually be moved from
personal directory to appropriate area in CCN directory structure.
[lots of discussion re: forms availability, use of .pdf files, obtaining a
Unix-->PDF converter application, etc.]

Mark: issue of multilingual support and documentation (since CSuite is put
out there with language support as a selling point).  Already in French,
some work being done on Spanish version.

Dave: There needs to be a general announcement about IP-FTP service.  It's

been working fine, time to let everyone know it's available.
- Just starting to test IP-CGI.  (may setup an independent machine to
CGI scripts).  Looking for Beta-testers of CGI scripts.
Mark: is this leading toward use of secure transactions? (eg. some IP orgs
would like to be able to accept donations online)
Dave: yes, working toward that ability.
        : new provincial server: letting IPs in local dialing area around
the province be directed specifically to Chebucto
        : Need to provide same editor services to those new IPs
        : Hope is that we'll attract editors from the local areas as well.
Mark: where will those IPs go?  Under the CCN directory structure? Would
Provincial server "page" subsume CCN as an entry point/portal?
Dave(?): An option is to put a link to "other Nova Scotia IPs" or
Leo: still working on it.  step at a time.  It will evolve... benefits for
: I'm wondering about the orientation for new editors...
Dave: This new server will never be connected to a phone line -- service
for those who already have connectivity (will need to access 'Net in some
way before connecting to it),  primarly graphical.

Dave: We're very close to providing a low-end PPP dialup capability to our

Doug: VDNs -> fee structure issue
        - Board is revisiting the issue, can get one easily at other
what's the rationale for paying $400 up front?
        - VDN hosting initially set up as revenue for Chebucto
        - Dialogue to generate what the fee structure is about (logicality
of it all)
        - We have to define these in terms of our charitable status
Leo: we're still trying to establish a fee structure that's acceptable
        : in next 2 weeks, we'll have a better handle on that.

Dave: One thing not clear - there was a communication breakdown between
board and IP Cttee.  Never clear at Cttee level what necessity was, etc.
Nobody explained there was a requirement / component of charitable status
in equation.  Message was: "we have to charge IPs for VDNs".  IP Cttee was
treated shabbily, not consultative by Board.
Leo: We'r trying to articulate what is this costing us, we get $$ from
different sources, fee structure in line with our mandate, are rates
reasonable?  How much of fees are a service, how much are a donation (and

Leo: We could be working with 100s of organizations, and not all will want
VDNs immediately, but we need to be prepared.

Mark: VDNs are very desireable for all IPs, it eliminates difficulty in
handing out these long, case-sensitive URLs (eg.  is a pain; better to
obtain: ).  One simple change that we could do,
might eliminate the desire for a VDN without costing IPs anything: provide
virtual redirection that drops the sub-directory component:  eg.   (case-insenstive)  would serve needs of
many, make distribution of URLs less of a pain.
   Other aspect of VDNs, as mentioned, is the loss of CCN identity: no
"chebucto" in root of URL.  Perhaps, with VDNs, the Geocities-style
transparent icon over all pages is an option; also option is a 2-second
"splash screen" with a message "hosting provided by Chebucto Community
Network" before loading IPs homepage?.

Dave: mechanics are in place to track time online by people, volunteers -
can set it to deliver a pop-up "We appreciate your volunteer work, Tony!"
that kind of feedback.

Andrew: Has anyone done any comparison shopping with other ISPs?
Sue: I do think this needs to be done - revisiting VDNs, fee structure,e

Dave: Our cost schedule for services should be seen in context with other
charitable community nets (B.C., Toronto, etc.) [note that Calgary, a very
agressive 'net, has struggled (folded?)].
Sue: Sometimes that comparison, though, is apples and oranges...
Mark: dialin lines -- are we okay? (since we have $$ donation) - but
realized I haven't gotten a busy signal in a loooooong time.
Dave: At the end of the university year, approx. a 500/day drop when
students leave town.

Mark: Gotta bring it up: the age-old issue of CCN's interface redesign....
(sorry, folks!)
Sue: there has been a suggestion that a contest be held for the redesign
(with the caveat that we reserve the right not to pick any of the

Mark: with consideration given to the "ownership" many of us feel toward
the design.. might be difficult to take one from "outside" our

Leo: looking (far) forward... preliminary discussions with CKDU (Dalhousie
radio) to build a site with streaming audio programming!


1/ next IP-Cttee meeting: Area Editors please come with (or submit via
email if unable to be present) a report on activity in your area.  Assess
IPs, who might be good for P.R., inactive / dead wood, etc.
2/ re: above: don't worry about page hit stats: Dave Potter will compile
this for all IPs.
3/ Look at forms archive and deliver feedback to Doug (can be done prior
next meeting)
4/ Identify and post complete list of who's responsible for what (i.e.
Editors) to the CCN-IP list.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, July 7th, 5:00pm.  Location Lester Pearson
Institute (Dalhousie) unless other arrangements announced (possible social
event combination?)

Mark Rushton, Editor, Community Support & Development, Chebucto Community
Network     or via WWW:



Andrew Wright's Website Letter

Subject: Tuesday's agenda
    Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 15:27:42 -0300 (ADT)
    From: "Andrew D. Wright" 

        Well, I'd like us to once and for all determine who is in charge
of the CCN website and lay down a timetable for what changes are to be
wrought. This gets postponed month after month after month and it is time
we as a Board showed some leadership and grasped the nettle. 

        The web is a dynamic place and an organization's website is
expected to put that organization's best foot forward. Our website is our
lobby, our front porch, the billboard by which others can learn about us.
It is currently a mess, both in simple layout and in basic organization.
The simplest facts about CCN - how to join us, what we offer, what are our
membership options, _WE HAVE PPP!_ - are buried down so many levels that
no one can be expected to find it on their own. I have since updated what
I can find so at least now accurate information is there when you finally 
get down to the file, but more work needs to be done. Our entire web
organization needs revision from how the page itself is presented to the
structure of the group in charge of it. I tell you this three times: the
current structure isn't working, the current structure isn't working, the
current structure isn't working.

        Our front page gets accessed about 2500 times a day and
on average between 50 - 60% of these hits are from graphic browsers.
Without changing how the page is displayed in Lynx at all I have produced
an identical version of it that looks good in graphical browsers. Compare
the original:

with this one:

Is there any reason why this page can't be put up while the rest of the
debate continues?

        Recent conversations in CCN-Tech about the web-mail interface
underscore the need for action here. Ideally, we should have a new
web site in place by September when the students come back and
everyone buckles down to work and there is no reason why we cannot do this
other than inertia and a lack of will. 

        Our new front page should:

        1. Look good, sharp, and focussed. We're in the information
business here.

        2. Advertise our services. We have PPP, web-based email, web
hosting, access to the Internet for everyone, user support, community
group support, and even some budding commercial services, plus we're a
registered charity to boot. NO OTHER PROVIDER IN TOWN CAN COME NEAR THIS.

        3. Provide easy access to our content, both in-house and IP. 

        4. Provide an easy way to join up. What tells you where to go
more: 'Chebucto Suite Services' or 'What we can do for you'?

        I really really want us to do something here. The problem does not
get any nicer to deal with by postponing action yet again. 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 14:31:34 -0300 (ADT)
From: "David L. Potter" 
Subject: Re: athena: imp appearence changes (more)

The lack of technical group consensus probablly has it's roots in two
fields (so to speak)...

1) I for one consider myself to be graphically challenged... and note with
great interest how otherwise normal people can get into a heat over their
personal (and particular) sense of 'ugly' (especially people with no
particular training in this area... ;-)

2) the interface including logos, information layout, colors, button bars,
etc, etc.. are the responsibility of the 'editors' collectively and led by
Chris Majka...

Putting forward options/suggestions, or working up temporary solutions is
something we can and often need to do but in the end I always expect to
hand it over to the people who are responsibile for it... and go back to
doing whatever it is that we do best... you seem to be of like mind in
this contentious area... ;-)

We make all gifs executable to confuse people who know nothing about unix.

david potter

On Sun, 27 Jun 1999, Chris Watt wrote:

> ********* NOTIFICATION ONLY **********
> All replies to
> Following the remarkable lack of anything resembling a consensus in
> ccn-tech regarding the logo to be used on imp, I have hashed a totally
> un-inspired CCN webmail logo (this term used advisedly) for imp, and
> it as horde/imp/graphics/ccnwebmail.gif (their were several contending
> viewpoints on the location as well. . . btb, does anyone know why all
> other gif files in that dir are executable?). The color scheme of the
> was chosen specifically to blend in with IMP's default color scheme
> has been restored), thereby making the IMP logo look a little less
> I have also hard-coded a (admittedly not obvious) link to the CCN
> into the frames-mode template (a similar link using text should
> be added at an appropriate position in the lynx interface, but not
> tonight). Anyone who dislikes this graphic enough to be willing to
> something better is more than welcome to do so.
> The IMP message composition window (file
> horde/imp/templates/compose/
> Has been altered in the following ways:
> - The send and cancel buttons have been moved from the bottom of the
> to a location above the main text area (just to the right of Contacts on
> browser) as requested.
> - A small ccn graphic was added to the bottom-left of the page, this is
> identical to the graphic and link appearing in the ccn navbar on several
> other pages, except that the paths are absolute rather than relative
> (necessary given that the graphic and link destination are on a
> server). The graphic used is
> If desired this could be replaced by the entire navbar, links translated
> appropriately.
> --
> Who is this General Failure, and why is he reading my hard disk?