June 2016

June Newsletter

Welcome to our June newsletter. Summer weather has (finally) arrived, heralding the beginning of vacation season for many of us. This month is the perfect time to stock up on your summer vacation reading!

We have a great selection of local interest books, very appropriate with 250th celebrations of the arrival of the Pennsylvania settlers and the Steeves family reunion.

We also have some great new paperback releases from your favourite authors, some great new books from local authors, and as always, the largest selection of used books in the Moncton area.

The Settlers Of Monckton Township

Les Bowser wrote "The Search for Heinrich Stief" several years ago, and brings the same thorough research to his latest book, "The Settlers Of Monckton Township".

Subtitled "Further investigations into the lives of Heinrich Stief, Michael Lutz, Jacob Treitz, Charles Jones, Matthias Sommer, Georg Wortman, Jacob Richter, John Copple and other, plus Anthony Wayne, John Hughes and Benjamin Franklin", this book summarizes Les' findings over the past several years. Written in an easy-to-read style, this book is an invaluable addition to the library of any genealogist, local history buff, or anyone wanting to know a little more about the first settlers after the Acadian period.

Coffee News

We've added yet another local coffee product to our selection!

East Coast Coffee pods are organic, fair trade, and are 90% bio-degradable. They also taste great! These are truly a premium product - because they are new to us, we are offering them at a special introductory price of $8.49 for a box of 12, and they are all open, so you can add them to your assorted tray.

Coffee is available in mild, medium, dark and french roasts, as well as a dark-roast decaf. We also have English Breakfast and Green teas, and really nice East Coast Coffee mugs!

New From Local Authors

Every months, we add great new books from very talented local authors. In the past few weeks, we've added the following books:

George Mercer released "Dyed In The Green" a couple of years ago, to great reviews. "Wood Buffalo" is his second book, continuing in the same vein as his first. From George's website (at http://georgemercer.com): "Set in Canada’s largest national park and the second largest national park in the world, Wood Buffalo is a compelling story about a fight to save the park’s bison and address some of the many conflicting forces threatening our special places."

Riverview's own publisher, Chocolate River Publishing, has released their first children's book, "Follow The Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart!". From Nimbus' website: "Follow the Goose Butt is an early chapter book designed to appeal to grade 2 and up. Camelia Airheart is a loveable Canada Goose with a faulty GPS or Goose Positioning System. She also has trouble paying attention and quickly gets separated from her flock. When she gets lost, she starts on a journey around New Brunswick that will take her to meet a humpback whale in the Bay of Fundy, a herring gull on Grand Manan, a sandpiper/sanderling flock at the Hopewell Rocks, a lobster on the Acadian Pennisula, a moose and a chickadee on Mount Carleton, a deer near the Hartland Covered Bridge, and a beaver near Mactaquac. The language is rich; the situations are comical; and the illustrations are enchanting."

Moncton author Maika Branch wrote her first book at the age of 10. Now an accomplished author, at 13 she has released her second book "Sisters Of Serenah". From Maika's website (www.maikabranch.com): "Skye and Larah live alone. Alone in the forest of Serenah, where huge sprawling trees grow for miles around in the untamed wilderness. The two sisters live together, surviving off the land, their wits, and their powers to morph. Skye can turn into any animal that takes to the air, and Larah into those on land. They live their life in solitude. That is, until, they celebrate the most important night of the year (and their birth). But their festivities are cut short when Skye finds a boy in the snow. After a few days unconscious he reveals himself as Tai, who comes from a different world. He learns to hunt, build, and survive in the forest, and perhaps he would soon go his own way, but suddenly that is impossible. A hurricane wreaks havoc on the forest, and the three are suddenly forced to find a new home far away from Serenah. To do it they will need all their wits and courage, which will take them on the adventure of a lifetime."

Visa Fees

With Wal-Mart's announcement last weekend that they will no longer accept Visa at their stores, the topic of credit card interchange fees has been prominent in the news this past week. We have heard from Wal-Mart, a mega-retailer, and from Visa Canada, so I thought it might be interesting to throw our experiences in, as a tiny retailer in Riverview.

First, in the interest of transparency, let me state up front that I, too, both use credit cards, and have rewards cards that give us points towards specific programs. I'll talk about that further in a bit.

Visa Canada has indicated they would prefer the discussion between them and Wal-Mart be done business-to-business, rather than publicly, and while I understand their position (and generally-speaking, I agree with it), the publicity has been good in that it is bringing the issue to the attention of the buying public. I am, generally speaking, in favour of as much transparency as possible in most parts of life, and I think that retailers and consumers, both, should have a clear and accurate understanding of the issues around credit card fees. It has been my experience that many consumers are not aware that it is the merchants who pay for the benefits associated with credit cards, especially the premium rewards cards, and not the banks. The banks are raising revenue first through the annual fees associated with many of these cards, and then again through higher fees from merchants.

Each merchant pays a percentage of each sale to the credit card company. These fees vary depending on the type of card, from a base rate (in our case) of about 1.5% to a little over 3% for a few cards. In our case, the average rate is about 1.82%. (Master Card runs around the same percentage). Compared to Interac debit, which is a flat $0.053 per transaction, both credit cards incur heavier fees on the merchant. (For example, on a $50 sale, debit costs us $0.053, while Visa would cost us an average of $0.91). While many people consider these fees to be part of the cost of doing business (and they are, of course), the extra 1.82% ends up being borne by the purchaser, in the form of slightly higher prices than if merchants didn't have to absorb those fees. Indeed, this is the reason that we get Canadian Tire money as a rebate on cash/debit sales, and some gas stations offer discounts of roughly 2% on cash sales. Many merchants, however, including us, have clauses in our contracts with the payment providers which prevent us from selling for a lower price for cash (or debit) sales.

So, I mentioned earlier that I have credit cards, including rewards cards. I do use them, and I appreciate the perks associated with the rewards points, but I've made the personal decision to try not to use them at locally-owned businesses. I use my PC card at Superstore; my Canadian Tire Mastercard at Canadian Tire, and we do use credit cards for some of our store purchases, but as a rule, when purchasing goods from locally owned, smaller, merchants, including restaurants, we try to use debit when possible.