Monthly Meeting - 2008-05-13

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Public meeting minutes for 2008-05-13 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2008-04-08 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2008-06-10


  1. Introductions
  2. Old business
  3. New business


Mark N., Paul W., Daniel, Mike, Pete, David, Scott, Bernie, Adam, Len, Ifny, Darcy, Graham (Fugu), Jason (Fugu), Marcel


  • Facilitator: Mark N.
  • Scribe: Pete
  • Regulator: Mike
  • Minutes Checker: Ifny
  • Consensus briefer: Mike?
  • Whiteboard Operator: Marcel

Facilitator for next month: Luke

Scribe for next month: Pete


Past events

- had a press conference to talk about our new e-Steward certification, reasonably well attended. Timed to coincide with the arrival of Jim Puckett, founder of BAN. CTV, CBC, 24hours present. Good coverage all around.

- Exhibition on the history of waste at the Historic Farm in Surrey goes until June. They made a display about Free Geek too. Free Geek also went out there for a day to talk to the public.

- Ubuntu Vancouver has been meeting at the space. The Ubuntu release party for Hardy Heron happened as well.

- Went to Jericho Beach on Earth Day

- 3rd annual Youth Resource Fair at Frog Hollow organized by the Youth Employment Centre down the street. They are rad and we'd like to work with them again.

First Aid certification update

- no news to report, Ryan hasn't had a chance to look into it yet. If anyone would like to send details on a place to take first aid, send it to the mailing list.

Directors insurance

- no news to report yet, Ifny asks that the directors take that off of her plate as she doesn't have time. Pete will help get the directors on it.

Debit Card service update

- Bernard came in & did a presentation a while back. He needed to send some follow-up links, but he wasn't aware that we were waiting on him. Also, Budget looked into this and we can't do it at the moment. Otherwise this is non-controversial for doing debit this way in future.

Budget meeting update

- no news to report, there still needs to be a budget meeting

Staff meeting

- Nothing significant, it was the first staff meeting (now that we have staff!) - trying to have staff meetings the first tuesday of the month, and possibly another thursday morning during the month.


  • upcoming events
  • visitation from Fuguphone
  • removable media incineration
  • recycling outreach policy
  • RCBC board vote
  • pick facilitator and scribe for next meeting.
  • mailing list hygiene
  • Intergalactic & Freegeek T.O.

Upcoming Events

Presented by Ifny

  • party on the 30th, fundraiser at the Anza club

- stage with bands, this is the Critical Mass after-party called "Velofusion" - ifny need volunteers to help with bar, door, etc. - if people want to perform, then let us know. - there will be beer. - there will be a Spoke-POV display (LEDs on spinning wheels that make pictures). can volunteer for help with that. Commit: Marcel

  • Ifny going to Portland may 18th to 22nd
  • Tues May 20th, Free Geek is closed. Monday is the statutory holiday but we need to make up the stat day and we want to have a long weekend like everyone else.
  • June 14th - country fair
  • June 25-27 Recycling Council of BC Annual General Meeting: Ifny will be a speaker, David is running for the board
  • August - Under The Volcano


Presented by Graham and Jason

Fuguphone provides us with free VOIP service. They used to be a web programming company, but one day Telus pulled their service, so they decided to play with Asterisk and change their business to do VOIP. The market really needed someone who knew the open-source way. Wherever and whenever they can, they use open source.

They make a priority of volunteering with nonprofits (such as Check Your Head), and they also get approached by festivals and arts things to do sponsorships.

Event coming up: at a previous festival (the Push festival), they set up a "Hot Spot" with computers and wifi plus phones, etc. There are a bunch of writers who show up to write about the conference, so the Fugu guys set up Linux boxes for them to do their work. Perhaps for an upcoming festival, Free Geek could take over a lot of the computer stuff because the Fugu guys don't have time or the computers anymore to do this. They donated their old ones to Free Geek because they didn't have space anymore.

It would take about 4 computers, at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, happening at Granville Island. The festival happens in approximately the second week of June (4th to the 14th). It's a fairly big festival so the coverage will be good.

FuguPhone has typically created a sponsorship agreement with the festivals, to have an exchange of services and gear. What the festivals give in exchange is advertising (which they put in the Georgia Straight, etc. like half of the back page or something)

<discussion> We have to be selective about which events we're doing, depending on people-power available. We also have to be selective about who we work alongside, as these appear as partnerships to the public. This is especially true when it comes to for-profits. We have a lot in common with Fugu, but Fugu is for-profit, while the theatre festival is non-profit. The collaboration would essentially be with the theatre festivals.

We could have a meeting together with Fugu, and with interested FreeGeekers, to talk about the possibility of doing this. We need more information about the level of commitment. We probably wouldn't need to be on-site for the entire festival, probably just setting it up and taking off. There isn't much time to decide about this.

Concerns: find out the details, of time involved in setup, and what kind of support is expected. Also this should be a volunteer effort so that it doesn't add on to the workload for the staff, who are at capacity.

  • DECISION: Depending on volunteer availability, we will go forward with this festival as an experiment. Mark N. and Ifny will coordinate details with Fugu. Contact Mark N. if you'd like to volunteer.

Removeable media incineration

Presented by David

David proposes we use Monteney, a company in Burnaby that operates an incinerator. They do two things with the energy produced: production of steam for the cardboard plant next door to them (100% recycled cardboard) and they also sell the energy to BC Hydro. This will cost us $68 per tonne, and we would have to pay for shipping.

There's no good recycling method available to us here in Canada. Portland dismantles the floppies for metal content, and takes screws out of things, but this has no learning value. David believes that the environmental impact would be negligible. A greater impact might be through shipping around the country.

We're wasting some space in the warehouse by storing these media. We could set up with BFI to make a shipping agreement and just ship it all out the door to the incinerator.

This would mean sending floppies, zip drives, magnetic media. We wouldn't send them CDs and DVDs, which we send elsewhere and get paid for.

<discussion & Q&A>

- Adam asks if they have filters on their stacks and such. David says that they follow provincical guidelines.

- Mark N. says that this place is one of the best incinerator places and is trying to get LEAD certification.

- Ifny does not think that green building initiatives like LEAD are relevant to how environmental a company's recycling practices are.

- David says that Total Reclaim in Seattle just throw it straight into the landfill because there's no good options or money in it.

- Ifny asks: are there BFRs (brominated flame-retardants) in floppies, or are they an item restricted by the Basel Convention? We're not sure. E-waste cannot be sent for regular municipal incineration. This is part of our agreement with BAN. Things that actually have BFRs in them should go to a special smelter that has appropriate filters and deals with byproducts appropriately. These type of smelters do not take floppies that we know of.

- Are we locked into a contract with this incinerator? No, we just call them up and arrange it, we can change anytime. The only thing we have to do is find a proper shipper.

David proposes that we send removable media to Montenay. If these floppies contain BFRs, then we would dumpster the media. This is controversial and there is no consensus.

Ifny proposes that we ask BAN if incineration is alright for floppies. If it is ok, we can go ahead. If not, we need to discuss the matter again, and may have to stockpile.

CONSENSUS: Barring any BAN objection, we will incinerate floppies, zip drives & magnetic media. If they object we will revisit the matter.

Recycling outreach policy

Presented by David

David says: Are there organisations or people from whom we would not accept equipment for recycling? Do we need to articulate this? e.g., if we were recycling stuff for some "bad" organisation, or organisation we didn't like, would that be a problem?

Ifny points out the difference between being an "official" recycler for someone, which can indicate a closer relationship, as opposed to just recycling someone's stuff, which we should do for everyone.

    • Decision: we agree to take gear from anybody at all, because we are the bestest recyclers around. Being official can be handled on a case by case basis.

RCBC Board Vote (Recycling Council of BC)

Presented by David

David hopes to be elected as a "member at-large" of the board, and really wants to get the board to be more open and democratic. Right now basically everyone else gets appointed by the president, and people stay on the board indefinitely until they choose to step down.

David is running under the "non-profit" sector, which has 5 people running total.

We can vote for 1 person in "business", 2 in "individual", and 2 in "non-profit". Ifny and David have attended RCBC events and are familiar with some of the people running. They'll do some more research and would like to vote on behalf of Free Geek if that's ok with the group.

  • Decision: The membership says it's ok if Ifny & David vote on behalf of Free Geek in the RCBC election.

FG Franchise process and FG Toronto

Presented by Ifny

Background - Recently, there was a bit of a breakdown in the approval process for franchise applications, resulting in some applications getting delayed and some bad feelings. This was partly due to more applications coming in, as well as a need for a more efficient and clear franchise process.

- The way the franchise process works: someone/group makes an application, it gets sent to the franchise mailing list which is composed of current franchises. They discuss it, along with any red flags. This list is closed to join and has a closed archive.

- Someone from the franchise group becomes the steward of the application and communicates with the applicants, and then reports to the franchise group.

- If there is consensus amongst the franchises then the application is accepted.

What happened: - Two recent applications came out of Ontario. One of these applications was from Toronto (they applied under the name "Free Geek Ontario")

- The steward for the Toronto application accidently forwarded Ifny's email (that was written to franchise@) directly to the applicant. In it she discussed her concerns with their application. Subsequently, they thought that she/FGVancouver was an obstacle to their acceptance; they started trying to contact us directly (which is not how the process is meant to work). In the process they talked to David, Ryan and finally Ifny. Toronto's representative said he would add Ifny to their mailing list, but that didn't happen.

- Vagrant, from FGPortland went to Toronto to visit the applicants. Some things were clarified and straightened out, and the Toronto group agreed to wait while franchise@ made a decision within a couple weeks. He also suggested that they use another name (e.g. Foo Technology, a Project of Free Geek) while they waited, so they could get on with organising.

- Franchise@ accepted their application about a week later, on the condition that they use the name Free Geek Toronto, not Free Geek Ontario. Ifny asked Toronto to add her to their mailing list, so that she could send them Intergalactic's official response. Instead of, all the mailing lists had recently been changed to Also the website has become only a redirect to

- This has created some confusion.

- It is unclear what name they will go under, or why the changes were made.

- Further discussion and information is needed.