Author Archives: Stacy Ayiers

Stacy Ayiers

About Stacy Ayiers

Stacy Ayiers is a graduate student at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism Arizona State University. She has written articles for Arizona Republic and West Valley View. A published Author of The Elevator Ride and working on her second book, Married Women, Stacy started writing in a journalism course as a freshman at Mountain Pointe High School. Her goal is to continue to learn how to provide real news efficiently.

Arizona Centennial Series: 10 Historic Buildings Still Standing

Arizona Centennial Series: 10 Historic Buildings Still Standing

Historic Buildings – Arizona has a history that ranges from historic wonders, such as the Grand Canyon, to remarkable buildings. Each year the Arizona Preservation Foundation releases their Arizona Most Endangered Historic Places List which informs the public and increases awareness.

The following includes 10 historic buildings still standing, significant from Arizona’s past:

10.

Strawberry Schoolhouse – Built in 1884

Located on Fossil Creek Road, Strawberry Schoolhouse was built in 1884 in Strawberry Valley, Ariz. Families that lived in the Yavapai County wanted a school and petitioned for one to be built. After the petition, District #33 was established, as was the school.

A change in the county boundary in 1889 moved the school from Yavapai county to Gila County making it District #11, were it stayed until 1916 when it closed. The school furniture was removed and the building became a temporary residence for newcomers to the Valley.

By 1961, the remains of the structure included just a log frame.

Fred Eldean, an official in the Page Land and Cattle Company, purchased the building and donated it to Payson-Pine Chamber of Commerce.

In 1967, local residents restored the old structure and now it belongs to the Arizona Historical Society. On August 15, 1981, the building was dedicated as a historical monument.

9.

Pyle House - Built in 1938

The Pyle House was built around 1938 for J. Howard Pyle, governor of Arizona from 1950 to 1954, and his wife, Lucile Hanna Pyle. They lived in the home for 27 years.

This building is one of the larger ranch houses in the neighborhood. Special features include steel casement windows and a low-pitch roof. The landscape obscures much of the front view of the home.

On November 29, 1987, Governor Pyle died at the age of 81.

After his death the house, located just minutes away from the Arizona State University Tempe campus, was abandoned and those living around it for years wanted it to be bulldozed and build a new structure.

The house was going to be torn down, but property owner Ronald A. Davidoff, through his representative Emilio LoCascio of Gemini Development Corporation, put in a petition to keep the house and refurbish it.

Today, it is deemed as a Tempe historic property.

8.

Empire Ranch – Built in 1860

Empire Ranch is a 22-room adobe, built in 1860, located southeast of Tucson and 10 miles north of Sonoita. The ranch sits at the heart of the 42,000-acre Las Cienegas National Consercation Area, public land acquired in 1988 by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The building was owned by Edward Nye Fish, a Tucson businessman, then acquired by Walter L. Vail, a native of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and Herbert Hislop, an Englishman, in 1876.

Empire Ranch, Arizona's Historic Buildings Still Standing

The family received many historic expansions by Vail and his family until 1928, when the ranch was purchased by Boice Gates and Johnson partnership, cattlemen known for their promotion of the Hereford breed of cattle in the Southwest. In 1951, Frank Boice and his family became the sole owners of the property. They hosted Hollywood production company parties and allowed for the filming of western movies on their land.

In 1969, the land was sold to the Gulf American Corporation for real estate development then resold to Anamax Mining Company for mining and water potential.

In 1988, a series of land exchanges put the property in public ownership under the administration of the Bureau of Land Management and considered it a historic building and land space.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress officially designated these 42,000 acres to be the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.

7.

Nicholas Saloon – Built in 1889

Nicholas Saloon was built in 1889 for John Nicholas, a French rancher, farmer and saloonkeeper, who came to the town in 1880. This building has been registered as a national historic place. He moved into this building in 1889 and used it as a beer hall and saloon.

This is one of the few buildings in the historic district that includes a basement, steam-powered fan and wood floor.

Originally, there were three entrances, two on 11th Street and one on Bailey Street. The building has been used variously as a residential dwelling and rental and currently as an office.

Designed by prominent Arizona Architect James M. Creighton, this is the oldest standing fired-brick building in Florence.

The current owners of the building are Paul and Diane Marchand and John and Laura Bolognino.

6.

Florence Woman’s Club – Built in 1929

The Florence Woman’s Club was constructed of adobe in Spanish Colonial Revival Style by architects Lescher and Mahoney, who had prison inmates doing the work.

T.F. Weedin, who wanted to improve and beautify the town of Florence, established the club in 1897. Members paid 25 cents to her each month to come to the meetings held under her porch. They were one of five original groups to form an alliance for a cause.

In 1914, the club bought the land where the building stands. They raised $9,420 through fund-raisers to build the club, and the building was completed in 1929, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

During World War II, the building was rented to USO for $75 per month. Soldiers were able to enjoy a reading center, phonograph records and Saturday night dances.

5.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – Built in 1882

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was built 1882, under direction of Endicott Peabody. Located in Tombstone, Arizona this is first Episcopal Church in Arizona.St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Arizona's Oldest Building

The building is hand formed by adobe brick that was stuccoed in 1970 to protect the adobe. The ceilings and roof were made of timber that was hauled in by ox carts from the Chiricahua Mountains.

According to the website, “the stained glass windows, the pews, altar rail are all the originals unchanged over the years. The light fixtures, although now electrified, are the originals that came off a chipper ship anchored in San Francisco. The piano dates from 1891, and the altar cross was donated in 1905.”

The building was made a historic landmark, although it has never closed, and continues to serve people today.

4.

Niels Petersen House – Built in 1892

The Niels Petersen House, a Queen Anne style brick building, was built in 1892. Owned by Niels Petersen, a Danish immigrant, prominent local farmer and entrepreneur, and his wife Susanna, this is the oldest Queen Anne building in the Valley.

James Creighton, a well-known Arizona architect, built the home.

When Peterson died in 1923, he was buried in the Double Butte Cemetery, a site he had donated to Tempe. He was later reburied on the Petersen House property. When Susanna died in 1927, her nephew, Rev. Edwin Decker, inherited the house and property. He made modifications to the house in 1930 and lived there until his death in 1948.

In 1968, the house was turned over to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, who cared for it until it was donated to the City of Tempe in 1979. The Niel’s Petersen House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

The building has a steep multi-gabled roof, decorative shingles, balconies, dormers and chimneys. The asymmetrical structure has a one-story kitchen wing on the west and a bungalow-style porch on the south and east, which replaced a wood Victorian porch in 1930.

The interior has 13 rooms, with a foyer, study, parlor, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, enclosed breezeway and kitchen downstairs; and three bedrooms, a bathroom and sitting room upstairs. Original features included three stained glass windows, brass door hardware, doors, windows, moldings, balustrade posts and some wallpaper.

3.

Mystery Castle – Built in 1930

Mystery Castle, built in 1930 by Boyce Luther Gulley, is located in SoArizona's History: Old Buildings That Are Still Standing, 2011uth Phoenix, Arizona. The Arizona landmark that has moldings donated by famous people, such as John Wayne, is still lived in by the builder’s daughter, Mary Lou.

The story is Gulley lived in Seattle with his wife and daughter and was diagnosed of Tuberculosis. When he found out he refused to allow his wife and daughter see him suffer and decided to leave, taking off to Phoenix, AZ in the night. He decided he would build a castle for his “little princess” so she could have a place to inherit from him.

After 15 years of building the castle was done. He used adobe, mortar calcium, and even goats milk to build the home. After he passed away from cancer his wife and daughter came to Arizona to live in the home.

Today, Mary Lou gives tours of the castle, when she is up to it. The 8000 square foot home is has 13 fireplaces, eighteen distinct rooms, and a myriad of interesting features. A wide variety of southwest antiques also round out the interesting decorative style of the castle.

Mary Lou, Gulley’s daughter, did not see her dream home until 1945; the construction and her father’s whereabouts had remained a secret up until that point, hence the name Mystery Castle.

2.

Rosson House – Built in 1895

The Rosson House was built in 1895 and is the last remaining residential house of the block. The 28,00-square-foot Eastlake architectural style Victorian home has 10 rooms and five fireplaces.

The house was built for Dr. and Mrs. Roland Lee Rosson at a cost of $7,525 and stands in its original location. The home was one of the most famous homes in Phoenix. Purchased by the city in 1974, it has been authentically restored.

1.

A E English Building - Built in 1926

Clinton Cambell, an employee of A.E. England Motors, Inc. /Electrical Equipment Co, built the A E English Building in 1926. Located in Phoenix’s Civic Space, the Spanish Renaissance Revival style building features three large storefront windows, decorative molding and six original bow-string trusses.

In 2006, the Historic Preservation Bond Committee, Phoenix residents who voted for the 2006 Bond Program, local preservation advocates, the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office and Commission, Mayor Gordon and City Council voted against the building being demolished.

The building was an automotive dealership in the midst of “auto row,” located on Central and Van Buren, where Cadillac, Ford, Studebaker and DeSoto dealerships were until the end of the 1960s.

Now the building is used to have classes, orientations, meets and art shows for Arizona State University. The building was listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register in 2006 and rehabilitated by the City of Phoenix in 2008-2009 as part of the downtown Phoenix Civic Space.

Roosevelt Row: vintage, recycling and growth, 2011 Photo: Stacy Ayiers

Roosevelt Row: Vintage, Recycling And Growth

One area — or street, to be specific — in downtown Phoenix has businesses teaming up to benefit, cater to and converge the community via consignment goods, community gardening and recycling.

It’s called Roosevelt Row, home of the GROWop Collective, the Greenhouse and Butter Toast.

GROWop features items you wouldn’t find in your local retail store, including home décor, handmade lights and candles. The vintage collection includes shoes, purses, jewelry and more. Open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, the snug, inviting boutique has something new and innovative each visit.

Ashley Eaton, one of three owners of the GROWop, established it as a collective where artists could showcase their work. Roosevelt Row: Vintage, Recycling And Growth, 2011 Photo: Stacy Ayiers

“My two partners, Kenny and Josh, came up with the name GROWop; it stands for growing opportunity,” Eaton says. “The whole idea of the place is to be somewhere small businesses can start and grow.”

During First Fridays, the boutique offers courtyard space to vendors with no permit required and just 25 percent of their earnings go the boutique. This new idea is called arts markets; vendors will be able to sell their goods and services on empty lots around the neighborhood. This also promotes cleaning of the lots.

“We are all separate, but we work together a lot to see what our street needs and what we need for our community,” Eaton says.

Members are typically the vendors that come out on First Fridays, but anyone can email the collective to get involved.

The collective started with a simple garden in the front yard, and lead to a store in the living room of the house. Although a resident currently lives in the home, the owners are hoping as they acquire more items to sell, the rooms will be cleared and made available for more shelf space.

Roosevelt Row: Vintage, Recycling And Growth, 2011 Photo: Stacy Ayiers

The vegetables — greens, spinach, and others — that are planted in the garden are sold at the farmers markets in the local area, helping to bring in natural, local produce and create revenue for the area.

Aside from the garden, the clothing sold is considered one-of-a-kind, provided by local designers.

“We bring on designers that share our viewpoint and style,” Eaton says. “We are all into recycling, the planet and handmade stuff. Our concept is community oriented.”

If you journey across the street, you will find the Growhouse, a garden and gallery with a collective garden. They invite community members to join the garden and local artists to present ideas for the gallery on a rolling basis. They hold diverse workshops and events throughout the year, host gallery shows, provide live music and host garden tours on First Fridays.

The goal of the Growhouse is to become self-sustainable with collective, shared grow lots. Members are able to come in and grow their own fruits and vegetables and learn how to grow them at home.

A door away from GROWop is Butter Toast, a small boutique that made its way into the row November 2008. Owners Traci Nelson and Jasmine Jarrett do more than make crafty clothes and soaps; they recycle items into vintage clothes and organic personal items.

They bring in consignment clothing and make them new again. Butter Toast uses recycled plastic bags and reuses items from buildings to promote a cleaner healthier environment.Roosevelt Row: Vintage, Recycling And Growth, 2011 Photo: Stacy Ayiers

“Our floors are from an old high school gym,” Nelson says. “They were going to throw them away, but we took them.”

With a unique variety of hand-picked clothes, housewares and locally-made, natural soaps, the shop creates an unusual atmosphere that promotes health, well-being and a cleaner environment.

GROWop and Butter Toast have vintage clothing in common, but the two stores are different in many ways.

For instance, Butter Toast is more of a retail clothing store specializing in vintage clothing.

“We changed locations from around the corner because we have grown,” Nelson says. “We have one local fashion designer based in New York that sends us her pieces.”

The owners say they were concerned customers would think it was a breakfast cafe, but the name has caught on.

Roosevelt Row has style, grace and dozens of boutiques from which to choose. With a vital mix of residential and commercial properties, the area has continued to grow since 1948.

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Roosevelt Row

www.rooseveltrow.org

GROWop

View their Facebook page

Growhouse

www.thegrowhouse.blogspot.com

Butter Toast

602 258 3458 | BUTTERTOASTBOUTIQUE.COM

 

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SRP and Banner Strive for Energy Efficiency, 2011

SRP and Banner Strive for Energy Efficiency

Banner Estrella Medical Center and Salt River Project (SRP) are teaming up to save money, conserve energy and promote sustainability. Banner was the first recipient of the SRP PowerWise Retrocommissioning Solutions Program.

Instead of purchasing new equipment, Banner has received a tune-up on its existing systems, includes heating, ventilation, air conditioning, central plants, lighting systems and (HVAC) components. It expects a payback in less than six months, estimating energy savings of more than $100,000 in the first year.

So far, Banner has lowered its natural gas usage and improved its water consumption in the cooling tower due to the tune-up it received.

Being able to save money and energy is a big step for companies in this economic day and age. Some smaller companies are not able to purchase new equipment to be “green” or sustainable; Banner has opened the door for them. Retrocommissioning is an option being provided by SRP to use what you have to gain what you need.

The not-for-profit medical center opened six years ago and has been consistently looking for ways to reduce cost, reduce waste streams and energy. In 2009, Banner saved nearly $1 million by installing reverse osmosis water systems and eliminating bottled water, according to its website.

Salt River Project is the third-largest public power utility in the country and serves more than 945,000 electric customers. It is the largest supplier of water in the Phoenix, providing resources for consumers and businesses.

Working together, the two companies are a guiding force for sustainability.

iPic Theatre, The Luxury Experience On A Budget, 2011

iPic Theaters, The Luxury Experience On A Budget

Since its recent opening, iPic Theaters — located in Scottsdale Quarter — has been creating a local escape with a luxurious atmosphere for its guests on a budget.

While the movie selection is similar to other theaters, the service is on a new level: to provide guests with selection, choice and comfort.

Here, you’ll enjoy fine dining and the comforts of home while you watch a movie. There are two choices of seating, including gold class seating and premium seating, for non-members and members. Gold class for members and non-members includes reserved seating, valet parking, reclining seats, complimentary popcorn and in-theatre service. Premium seating includes reserved seating and leather seats.

“Why should anyone choose iPic?” asks Mark Mulcahy, VP marketing of iPic Theaters. “Movies are about escape, and this movie experience takes you there.”

On Tuesdays, members receive all-day happy hour, discounted menu and drinks, and membership is free.

What else sets iPic apart?

  • The seating is always reserved. Once you purchase your tickets, you know exactly where you will be sitting.
  • Guests are able to sample wine prior to purchasing.
  • iPic provides a fine dining experience, serving Caesar salads, fresh short bread pizza, grilled calamari, and more.
  • When guests purchase candy, it’s brought to you in a martini glass.

Guests also have the opportunity to order food from Tanzy, the restaurant located in the theater, and they can expect to receive this service 20 minutes into the start of the movie.

Salt Ultra Lounge, on site, is Scottsdale’s newest gathering place for evening cocktails and music. Reverse happy hour takes place from 9 p.m. to midnight on weekdays, and every one of the drinks are organic and made fresh.

“Guests say this is the ultimate escape, and they keep coming back,” says Jacqi Richardson, GolinHarris.

The Scottsdale Quarter location, one of eight locations nationwide, houses eight intimate auditoriums, wall-to-wall movie screens and state-of-the-art digital technology.

 

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If You Go:

iPic Theaters
Scottsdale Quarter
15257 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite F-230
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 483-3232
www.ipictheaters.com

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Macy's Announces New Sustainablility Practices, 2011

Macy’s Announces New Sustainability Practices

The department store giant plans to enforce new sustainable practices by the end of 2011.

Macy’s, a United States department store chain of mid-to-high range, has announced the store will perform a new series of steps in its ongoing drive to operate with more sustainability and to improve the environment. 

The company noted that in fall 2011, they will begin using environmentally friendly matte black hangers for most apparel sold in the stores, replacing the clear hangers that have been in the industry for several decades.

They will eliminate the foam packaging (cups, bowls, plates and to-go containers) and in-store restaurants nationwide by the end of 2011. The number has decreased by about 50 percent and will further be reduced to zero by the end of 2011.

They are increasing the use of solar power systems they use in the stores and other facilities. In May, a new 3.5-megawatt, high-efficiency solar power system will go on the roof of its online fulfillment center in Goodyear. Developed in partnership with SunPower, it will be one of the largest rooftop solar power systems in the United States. By the end of 2011 they expect to have 49 solar power systems on the roofs of its stores, fulfillment and distribution centers.

Macy’s went into partnership with ECOtality, a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies that address the world’s global energy challenges. The plan is to become the first major department store to pilot the use of self-serve electric vehicle charging stations, through The EV Project.

The company has become a Recyclebank Rewards Partner, allowing customers across America to earn special discounts at Macy’s when they increase household recycling, reduce energy and practice green lifestyles. They have increased the company’s energy saving by installing energy-saving LED light bulbs in stores nationwide.  By doing this the company reduces energy consumption by up to 73 percent. 

Macy’s continue to encourage their credit account customers to receive their monthly billing statements online. At the end of March 2011, more than 4.1 million customer accounts are receiving billing statements online, an increase of 23 percent from a year earlier. This has reduced paper use by 520,000 pounds annually.

About Macy’s:

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2010 sales of $25 billion. The company operates about 850 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com websites. The company produces the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has been held in New York City annually since 1924.

sedona-az

Road Trip to Sedona

In 2009, my eight brothers and sisters wanted to do something fun for my father who was turning 63 years old that year. We chose to spend the weekend in Sedona because we always did things that were active, like going to Magic Mountain.

The day we were to leave, we loaded up six Tahoe’s of luggage and people, jumped on the highway and headed to our destination. The wind blew through my hair as the sound of a whistle crept in from the window.

As we drove, the beautiful, deep canyons and high mountains surrounded us. Once we reached our final location we pulled into the parking area only to see a huge, two-story log cabin with greenery surrounding it. No one wanted to unpack until they saw the inside.

As we opened the door and walked in it felt like we were transformed to another world. The furniture was rustic, western and outdated, but there was a homey feeling to it. The rooms were large; the patio had leaves on it from the large trees that were wrapped around the house, and the smell of whicker filled the air.

Everyone loved it. As the men got the bags out of the trucks, the ladies got down to business making dinner, lighting the fireplace, getting games out for the kids to play and talking about how excited we were to finally take a peaceful family trip.

My sisters Terri and Dina wanted to explore, so we went outside and walked around the wooded area. It was about 8 p.m., and we have all seen the movies where someone was taken from the woods, but we were excited and ready for whatever lurked in the darkness. We walked down a dirt pathway and found a small area with hammocks in a grassy area. We ran and jumped on them, laying out looking at the glowing pearl in the sky. It seemed like only a minute went by when we heard our oldest sister Sakina yelling, “Come eat you guys.” We raced each other back to the cabin.

Everyone stayed up talking, drinking hot chocolate or drinking strawberry daiquiris and enjoying the family moment that we never had a chance to do before.

The next morning all the girls got up, made breakfast and took the kids to Slide Rock. The water was cold, the sun was shining, and we spent the whole morning enjoying time as a family. The guys stayed behind playing cards, listening to music and talking about sports.

Once we all got back together, we wanted to do something fun for our last night there so we stayed up until 3 a.m. playing games that the younger generation didn’t know about like charades — a game in which somebody provides a visual or acted clue for a word or phrase, often the title of a book, play or movie, for others to guess. We also played hangman, a game in which one player has to guess the letters of a word before the other player has drawn a person being hanged, with one line being added to the figure for every wrong guess.

The next morning we ate our last breakfast together in the cabin, packed our things, loaded the trucks and headed back to the busy, hustle-and-bustle lives we all had in Phoenix.

Phoenix Orchestra Does More Than Deliver Music, 2011

Pangean Orchestra Does More Than Deliver Music

The Pangean Orchestra, based in Phoenix, opened just a year ago and has established an orchestra with people, instruments and sounds from all over the world. In fact,this is the first orchestra of its kind.

The unique thing about this group of 29 performers is they don’t play the typical instruments. Their music comes from different sounds of the bass guitar, sarode, woodwinds, horn, kaval, oud, doumbek, ukulele and more.

“I knew I needed a certain amount of winds, plucked strings, percussion and bowed strings,” says Colin O’Donohoe, director of the Pangean Orchestra. “My idea is that with a world orchestra, the actual instrument is interchangeable as long as we have enough of each type to create the sound we need.”

The plan of this group is to tie cultures together through music. Creating a new genre that will impact those that listen to it by adding bits and pieces of new and old to craft a completely unique sound.

“The idea came from me; I’ve spent the last 10-plus years working with ethnic groups of different types,” says O’Donohoe. “I founded and lead the New Moon Orchestra in Pittsburgh which was a Chinese ensemble. I’ve worked with African, Brazilian, Latin, Turkish, Arabic and other groups. After a while I thought, ‘What if…’ and that’s where the Pangean Orchestra was born.”

The orchestra opened on April 11, 2010 at Symphony Hall with an inaugural concert.

“The musicians were recruited by me,” says O’Donohoe. “Through diligent searching over the past two years I’ve been able to find several highly talented musicians in Phoenix. I asked them to join the group and most of them jumped at the chance to work with other talented professionals from all different backgrounds.”

O’Donohoe says the Pangean Orchestra explores the different cultures through music, expanding the learning of sound, native instruments and unity. As they travel around the country performing, the significance isn’t only the music but the ties of the people of different backgrounds.

“The main idea is a platform where people from all over the world are welcome,” says O’Donohoe. “I want to create an orchestra that shows the harmony of what is possible when the world shares one stage performs together.”

Visit the Pangean Orchestra’s website to listen to a few of their tracks or to purchase its mp3 track — 100 percent of the proceeds go to The Red Cross Japan.

Eco-Friendly Clothing Raising The Organic Cotton Production, 2011

Eco-Friendly Clothing Raising The Organic Cotton Production

Fashion to some is matching the right top with the perfect pants or skirt. To others it’s creating a style about them that tells the type of person they are. Businessmen and women wear suits to express their professionalism. Athletes wear their sporty gear to reflect their enthusiasm for the sport in which they play. Why not wear eco-friendly clothing to show your passion for the environment?

Sustainable clothing is the new craze in saving the atmosphere. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has aimed to establish a worldwide index for measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability.

Organic cotton blog 2011, Picture:Flickr, Salty_Soul

The marriage between saving the earth and producing reliable clothing is done by using organic cotton. This cotton is grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals.

According to the 2009 Organic Cotton Market Report, released in May 2010, an estimated $4.3 billion in global sales have been reached, rising 35 percent from the $ 3.2 billion in 2008.

Out of the 22 countries that produce organic cotton the top 10 are India, United States, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Egypt, Peru,  China, Syria, Turkey and Tanzania.

Programs developed by apparel companies are using 100 percent organically grown cotton or combine small percentages of organic cotton with conventional cotton in their products.

Organic Cotton blog 2011;Picture:Flickr, ninette_luz

This has increased the need for domestic and international organic cotton.

Some of the companies that have joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to improve their clothing line and environmental impact are: Adidas, Gap Inc., H&M, JC Penney, Kohl’s Department Stores, Levi Strauss & Co., New Balance, Nike, Nordstrom, Target and Wal-Mart.

A new demand in fashion has consumed the philosophy of fashion. Being stylish is no longer about whom you are wearing but what you are wearing. Eco-friendly clothing is the next step in life changes right after recycling. Going green brings a new meaning for what color is in your closet.

Photo: Flickr, lululemon althletica

Workout Plan For The Busy, On-The-Go Person

In today’s society there is little time to have dinner at the table, let alone a full, effective work-out plan. Many people work full-time, go to school, have kids, volunteer with an organization or all of the above. It is important to stay fit and keep your metabolism working even when you don’t think you have any time throughout the day.

For the busy, on-the-go person, here is a workout plan that is effective and made for you. After time, you will see a change in your eating habits, energy level and activity intensity.

Having a stop watch or clock around will help with keeping track of time. You will also need a set of weights that you are comfortable doing reps with.

  • Get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do. Spend five minutes warming up and stretching. This allows your body to get ready to do strenuous movements and exercise. It also helps not to pull a muscle and wakes you up quicker than coffee.
  • For the next five minutes, do jumping jacks. Remember to keep your arms straight as your bring them up to your ears during each jump. This gets your heart pumping and starts your metabolism going. When you get your metabolism working in the morning it helps with breaking down what you eat during the day.
  • For the following two minutes, do lunges with bicep curls. While holding two full bottles of water (or your weights) stand with your left foot forward, lower into a lunge and do a bicep curl, then lower. Straighten your knees to stand and repeat for two minutes, switching legs after each curl.
  • Now, spend four minutes getting your stomach warmed up. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your right ankle on your left knee and grasp the back of your left thigh with both hands. Pull your leg gently toward your torso and hold for one minute. Then switch sides. Repeat each side twice for a total of four minutes.
  • For the next five minutes you will do sit-ups. There are two ways to do them. The first way is to lay on your back extending your arms forward toward your toes. Pushing your arms toward your feet lift your body off the ground to touch your toes (some may not be able to reach their toes). The second way is to lay on the floor with your hands behind your head. Using your stomach muscles, not your hands behind your head, lift your upper body either half way (crunch) or all the way up.
  • For the last five minutes of the workout choose one of the following:
    • Seated Tricep Dips — Using a chair or bench, grip the edge and extend your legs in front of you (if to hard you can bend your knees). Keep your feet flat on the floor. Then extend your arms straight and move your buttocks up and off the chair. Bend your elbows directly behind you, lower your hips toward the floor. Keep your buttocks close to the chair, shoulders back and push until elbows are almost straight. Repeat this in reps until you feel a burn. By doing these you are working your back arms and triceps.
    • Back Arm Stretch — although this is called a stretch it is really a back arm work out. With a comfortable size weight, grasp it with both hands, put it over your head, and then slowly lower it as far as you can behind your head. Lift it back above your head then lower it again. Do these as many times as you can with out stopping. You may want to do three sets of 10 to begin. As you get comfortable, do four sets of 15 or 20.
    • Squats — You can do these with or without weights. With your legs shoulder length apart lower your buttocks half way to the floor (or as low as you can go) and raise it back to a standing position. By doing this you’re working your buttocks, hips, thighs and hamstrings.
Walmart aquiressocial media, 2011

Wal-Mart Agrees To Acquire Social Media Site Kosmix

Wal-Mart announced they have an agreement to acquire a social network site called Kosmix.

Kosmix, based in Mountain View, Calif., developed a social media technology website that filters and organizes context from other social media networks. It is designed to connect people with real-time events and information that they want to see.

Founded by Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman who started Junglee — which was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998 — the focus of the social media strategy is to search and analyze connections in real-time then stream it to personal users to view specific interest.

For example, if you are a Jessica Simpson fan and want to get all the media that revolves around her, simply type her name in the search box and information comes up about albums, movies, relationships and more.

If you are looking for a topic in a specific category you can search by recent topics, movies, books, jobs, education, sports, and more. The website is designed to be easy and readable. There are no pop-up advertisements, no log-in required, and the clean look of the website creates a authentic feel to the information.

The trending events part of the website lets readers who are interested in celebrity news also see what is going on in trending topics or local news stories.

Wal-Mart plans to expand the team and come up with creative technologies and business ideas for the social and mobile commerce. With retail business and e-commerce in 15 countries, Wal-Mart can become an innovative front for Kosmix.

One of the exciting new features on Kosmix’s website is the social media streamline of TweetBeat, a real-time social media filter for live events with more than five million visits last month. When you pull up TweetBeat, it brings up Facebook information, Twitter tweets posted on the subject, photos and video footage.

TweetBeat is considered a social genome platform that captures the connections between people, places, topics, products and events as expressed through social media — be it a feed, a tweet or a post — according to the press release posted on the Wal-Mart website.

Wal-Mart serves customers more than 200 million times per week at over 9,000 retail locations. With sales soaring to $419 billion, they can afford to take a chance on an investment that might bring them more money. They have ventured out with Sam’s Club, a wholesale merchandise distributor, and have done well.

Wal-mart will close the deal to take over Kosmix during the first half of 2012, if customary conditions by the company have been meet.

Photo:Flickr, NatalieMaynor

Local Harvest: Where To Get Organic In Arizona

We hear people tell us to be “green” and shop “green;” however, no one tells us were to get our products to eat green. I am not talking about eating your green beans; I am talking about purchasing things that are locally grown and harvested.

In Arizona there are farms, stands and local orchards that grow organic food. Depending on the season and what you are looking for you can support local farmers and keep your family eating healthy and hearty.

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Date Creek Ranch
Northwest of Wickenburg
An environmentally healthy and diverse cattle ranch. You can pick your own beef, pork and apples. During July, peaches and summer apples are available. The cattle are grass fed with no fertilizer.

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Desert Oasis
A natural growing farm located in Buckeye
Where customers can find free-range chicken and turkeys. The animals are not hormone fed. They value good, nutritious, local food so their animals roam free and eat off the land.

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Dow family residence
A private family residence located in Mesa that provides organic fruit.
Here you can get grapefruit, lemons and oranges. Because it is a private residence they ask that you call in advance at 480-807-3386 or email cathydowiv@gmail.com. For a plastic grocery store bag of fruit, the price is $2.

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Fenway Park Orchards
A natural producer of apples and peaches located in Morristown
Provides white peaches, Anna apples, blackberries and yellow cling peaches.

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Mother Nature’s Farm
Located in Gilbert — has peaches, apples and pumpkins you can pick yourself.
This family-owned business was established in 1968 and has been focusing on healthy fruits and vegetables ever since.

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RSI Growers
Located in Glendale
Provides apricots, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, plums, strawberries, nectarines and other fruits and vegetables.

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Schnepf Farms
Located in Queen Creek
Provides peaches, apricots, sweet corn, plums and other vegetables. This 300-acre farm is the perfect place for getting garden taste with a cheap budget.

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Tolmachoff Farms
Located in Glendale
Provides peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, eggplant, pumpkins and other vegetables. The produce is pre-picked. During the November and December months, collard greens, mustard and turnip greens are also available.

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No matter where you live there are places to go in your area to support your urge to be an organic “green” shopper. Local grocery stores provide organic produce, but it is not always from local farmers creating a cost of oil and fuels that affect the price of local gas and grocery prices. By attempting to support local businesses and doing what is better for the health of your family and local economy you are doubling your purchasing power.

Photo by Flickr, okalkavan

Mobile Applications Can Help Business Sustainability

Smartphones have become a communication necessity in business. They can do just about anything, from tracking packages to depositing a check into the bank. Business owners and entrepreneurs are embracing smart phones because they are better, faster and have applications that focus to specific business needs.

Now these phones are helping companies go green. With applications such as Greenpeace Tissue Guide, which allows a consumer to make better green-buying decisions on toilet paper, paper towels, tissue and paper napkins is available on the iPhone and Android. Greenpeace Tissue Guide is an organization that focuses on the use of recycled paper products.

The smartphone application features 100 brands of paper products to choose from, ability to search for brands or browse by product category, ratings based on expert analysis and brand recommendations.

If business owners are worried about gas prices they can download an app called Avego. This application is a real-time, ridesharing app. It allows drivers to be matched in real time as they travel, so ridesharing can be done whenever and wherever you are. It also helps to operate and manage fleet operations with web-based instructions with no additional IT help.

This app helps business save on route issues and gas. Allowing employees to sign up for ridesharing also helps the economy to focus on working together for a greener environment.

Mobile Applications Can Help Business Sustainabliltiy

If your company requires employees to be on the road, try an app called GreenDrive, that helps heavy-footed drivers put their driving in perspective by suggesting the most economical driving method. When you are going too slow or fast it will let you know how much more speed to increase or decrease in order to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. This app is said to save you an average of 15 – 25 percent on fuel costs.

No matter what type of business you have, smartphones are advancing the way you service your customer base, invest your time and money. Communicate with employees on a new level. Mobile applications will continue to be a driving force in everyday business ventures, including green initiatives.

By 2014, green mobile applications could exceed 400 million according to a report issued by Juniper Research.

Mobile technology can help business sustainability initiatives and create a reliable form of green standards for employees, owners and consumers to follow. Don’t loose money when you don’t have to. Make sure your company is allowing your smart phone to work for you.

Top Inexpensive At-Home Career Ideas For 2011

Top Inexpensive At-Home Career Ideas For 2011

As unemployment rates continues to rise people have turned to doing things themselves, including working for themselves. There are numerous opportunities to being your own boss and working from home.

Below is a list of inexpensive at-home businesses that can be started up with minimal cost. Whether you will depend on this income or just want a part-time job, these are the best opportunities to explore.

Personal Trainer/NutritionistTop Inexpensive At Home Career Ideas For 2011

As people become more health conscious and chose to loose weight they turn to a professional to help them make eating and health decisions. A two-month course can be completed to receive a fitness and nutrition degree from Penn Foster College. Creating a Facebook page to advertise can bring in clientele for no price at all.

Tax Professional

Learning how to prepare and file taxes can seem like a semi-annual job. In actuality, tax professionals are needed all year long, especially for small businesses and professionals with a lot of assets. Creating a free website, with companies like WordPress, can help advertise your skills and save you money.

Photographer

Although the economy is down, there are those that still need quality pictures taken at a decent price. All you need is a good camera, such as a Nikon, a class or two on photography, and you can create your own business.

Online Retail

If you have good organization, can afford to buy or make things in bulk and have a computer at home, you can create your own online store. Purchase things that people can’t get at their local store but would like to have or need and create a website with a paypal so the items can be purch

ased. Keep track of how much inventory you have so you don’t get behind on orders. This is an at-home job that requires more time than others so be sure this is something you can spend time doing.

Childcare

If you have a house, no felonies and love children, you can have an in-home childcare. Minimal money is required to start this career path. All you have to do is purchase toys for children in the age range you choose to watch. Sign up with your local childcare office to get licensed and start accepting children. You will be surprised how many parents would rather have their children in an in-home childcare than a center. Be sure to check with your local childcare or DES agencies; each state has its own requirements.

Social Network for MomsTop Inexpensive At Home Career Ideas For 2011

As moms decide to stay home and raise their children they are getting hooked on social media. Creating a website, such as Social Media Mom were mothers can communicate about their everyday issues, can create you money. Give tips, tell about deals and charge for a monthly membership. A site that is engaging and helpful will attract moms, dads and business professionals.

Event Planning

If you have a talent or passion for organizing weddings or parties, then event planning could be for you. Some people want a great social function or get-together but don’t have the time to plan it. Being able to multi-task, budget and have people skills is a must. This is a home based position, but it requires interacting with other people. Create a free website, advertise with Facebook or other social media and pay nothing out of pocket. Get a deposit prior to starting work on any function. Showcase past events by asking permission to post pictures on your website. Others will want to see your work.


As you journey through your decision on what type of career will work for you, keep in mind that there is a special talent in everyone and if yours was not listed here, find it. Be an entrepreneur, and be your own boss.

Estrella Mountain Presents: Fashion Wars II, 2011, Scottsdale, Ariz.

EMCC’s Fashion Wars II Spotlights Local Talent, Entreprenuers

Estrella Mountain Community College’s (EMCC) Fashion Club is holding their second annual Fashion Wars Fashion Show. The up-and-coming club is designed to bring a trend-based audience to the West Valley.

“I expect a big turn out for Fashion Wars II; the first show had 250 people in attendance,” says Jennifer Complot, registration coordinator and backstage manager. “Now that we have a larger venue, I expect a bigger turn out.”

Among many local designers, Bri Bridge and Noctis Thread will participate in the show. Both designers have been featured in the Phoenix Fashion Week designers competition. The focus for this show is to bring local entrepreneurs recognition while tying in creative new line ideas for vendors to take interest in.

“Most fashion shows are in Scottsdale, and some people can’t or don’t want to travel that far to see a good show,” Complot says. “Fashion Wars II is offering a great show at a great venue for a great price.”

Not only will fashion students, vendors and models be present, but local talent as well. Candice Chavez, an award winning gospel singer, will be the headlining performance for the evening. Her inspirational talent has been broadcast in the 2011 Black History Month Gospel Celebration.

The EMCC Fashion Club consists of 300 Estrella Mountain students who are interested in all aspects of the fashion industry, from design, hair and makeup, to choreography and public relations.

“The community college doesn’t have a program for fashion it only has classes,” says Christina Moreno, public relations for Fashion Wars II. “Because of the budget and a growing number of students interested in fashion in the West Valley we want to get exposure.”

During the show, a runway walk for the best dressed will be awarded to competitors who put the best outfit together. They don’t have to make their own outfit; they just need to show they are capable of putting together an outfit that looks great.

Raffle tickets will be sold to benefit the EMCC Estrella Cares program, which will help provide EMCC students with food, shelter and clothing products as well as job placements. Blu Sol, a local spa massage company, has donated a spa package that includes hair, skin and body treatments for the winning raffle winner.

“This is a place for young entrepreneurs to show their skills, advertise themselves and network,” said Complot. “This show will impact the community because it will help the fashion-interested  people in the West Valley have a place to associate.”

For more information about Fashion Wars II contact Fashion Wars Director, Patrick Thomas; Co-director, Gina Torres; or Public Relations, Christina Moreno.

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Participants will be judged on:

  • Hair/Make-up
  • Construction
  • Continuity (only for collections)
  • Overall presence and execution

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    If You Go:

    Fashion Wars II
    April 15, 2011
    Doors @ 6:30 p.m., Show @ 7 p.m.

    The Wigwam
    300 Wigwam Blvd
    Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
    (623) 935-3811

Desert Star Construction's First LEED Home, Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley Gets The First Ever LEED Certified Home

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Desert Star Construction, Inc. (DSC) has placed the first ever LEED home in Paradise Valley. DSC specializes in luxury commercial properties and luxury homes in the Paradise Valley and  Scottsdale areas. They stand out by doing complex projects that offer the leading green standards.

“Our clients range from local leaders to presidents of Fortune 500 companies,” says Jeremy Meek, sustainability programs manager at DSC. “They recognize that green building is the future, and they welcome opportunities to consider new technologies as they build.”

LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certifications are determined by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and are the leading, nationally-accepted, third-party verification program for green buildings.

This will be one of four custom LEED homes located in the greater Phoenix area.

“We’ve been building ‘green’ for over 30 years, but this is the first official LEED home we have done,” Meek says. “We do niche commercial projects and audits for the luxury market.”

In order for a home to be “green” and have the LEED tag, they must meet high design standards, rigorous construction practices and scrupulous third-party verification of all measures. The USGBC then ranks the homes as (from lowest to highest) Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

The three-structure Paradise Valley LEED home includes a main house, guesthouse and casita. The guest home has been ranked “Gold” while the casita is “Platinum” Certification.

Because of the different certifications and building style, DSC has also completed houses five and six.

“We build better, implement new things on the next home and always favor the next project,” Meek says.

All three buildings apply essential green-build and sustainable strategies to meet LEED requirements. In the Paradise Valley home, these include:

  • Solar hot water and solar electric systems
  • Reduced water use through low-flow faucets and toilets, as well as an “intelligent” landscaping irrigation system
  • High-efficiency LED lighting and mechanical equipment
  • Enhanced home occupant health measures, such as hard surface floors in lieu of carpet that can emit chemicals from production
  • Materials that reduce the local heat island effect, such as light-colored driveways, sidewalks and patios (particularly those within 50 feet of the home) that reflect rather than absorb heat from the sun
  • Recycled and salvaged materials
  • An advanced home automation system that includes motion detectors that will shut off lights when spaces are not in use and gives homeowners the ability to control light intensity. At the Paradise Valley home, all lights are set to 90 percent brightness, which can double the life of bulbs.


About Desert Star Construction

For 34 years, Desert Star Construction has advanced a tradition of excellence and integrity through its commercial and luxury custom home construction and renovation projects. The company has gained honors including a Gold Nugget Best in the West award, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Custom Home of the Year, Valley Forward 2010 Environmental Excellence Award of Merit, and the 2010 Heart of Business Award.

top 10 places 2011

Top 10 Places To Work In Arizona For Women

Arizona has an increasing number of employers that women have seen as a beneficial place to work. The following are companies that have been selected as the best places for women to work . No matter what your background there is a company that is dynamic enough to fit your needs.

10.

Bryan Cave LLPLaw firm

Bryan Cave professionals practice in client service groups and industry practice teams that offer legal counsel and advice in virtually every area of interest to business and entrepreneurial clients. Services range from insurance, commercial litigation, government contracts to non-profit organizations. This is a great place for women to work because of the diversity and the women’s groups the company supports such as:

St. Louis Women’s History Month Symposium

New York Women’s Forum Holds ‘Women of Inspiration’ Luncheon

New York Women’s Forum Holds Trunk Show

top 10 places 2011

9.

Express Scripts Inc. – Pharmacy benefits manager

Founded in 1986 and never owned by a drug manufacturer, Express Scripts aligns its interests with those of plan sponsors and their members. Express Scripts handles millions of prescriptions each year through home delivery and at retail pharmacies. A nice place for women to work because of the diversity and the wide-range of departments from which to choose.

8.

Arizona Women’s Education and Employment Inc. - Workforce development

AWEE has been transforming the lives of Arizonans into “faces of success” for nearly 30 years. Since their inception, they have helped create successful beginnings and renewed hope for more than 90,000 women, men and young adults. They assist in getting people off welfare. Today, AWEE is Arizona’s preeminent workforce development organization, offering a diverse range of evidence-based training and support services throughout Maricopa and Yavapai counties. This is a great place for women because it allows women to inspire other women and educate one another on business and employment. The name speaks for itself.

7.

WestGroup ResearchMarket-research services

WestGroup Research is a full service market research company based in Phoenix. As Arizona’s original and largest research firm, they have a history of working with most key government and corporate entities in the state since 1959. They are now the Southwest’s largest full-service market research firm, serving clients across the nation. This company has been selected as a great place for women to work because of they dynamic client base that connects with positions that typically are male based, such as banking and government.

top 10 workplaces 2011

6.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of ArizonaHealth insurance

BlueNet offers online tools, resources and services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona members, brokers, providers and group benefit administrators. Women have advanced with this company quickly and possess skills for all health insurance offices.

5.

Arizona Department of Corrections

Women have been raising the bar with the Dept. of Corrections positions they obtain. Forty-seven percent of the officers are women.

4.

Intel Corp

Intel corporation are sponsors of tomorrow not only through their technical innovation, but through the endless efforts in education, environmental sustainability, healthcare, and much more — with the belief that technology makes life more exciting and can help improve the lives of people around the world. This is a great place for women to work because of the growth and transfer opportunities.

top 10 workplaces 2011

3.

Cox Media

As the third-largest cable entertainment and broadband services provider in the country, Cox Communications Inc. is best known for pioneering the bundle of television, Internet and telephone services together, offering consumers the ability to consolidate their services with one provider. This company made the list because they provide training that encourages women to be committed to ongoing learning, entrepreneurship, and Cox offers great benefits.

2.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital - Children’s hospital

Phoenix Children’s is one of the 10 largest children’s hospitals in the country and provides specialty and sub-specialty inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. This is a great place for women to work because as it expands the need for positions will grow giving women a wide variety of areas to transfer and explore higher educational options.

top 10 workplaces 2011

1.

USAA - Insurance, banking and financial services

USAA provides a full range of highly competitive financial products and services to the military and their families. Their  world-class employees are personally committed to delivering excellent service and great advice. Women have been able to gain great skills that will promote growth. This company encourages women to succeed and do better.

EcoAvenues Earth Day Celebration, Green Scene

EcoAvenues Earth Day Celebration

As Earth Day approaches, companies are celebrating with events — both active and educational — that get residents into the “green” spirit. One such celebration is the EcoAvenues 2011 2nd annual collaboration of the Southwest Valley event.Green Ecoavenues blog 2011

On Saturday March 26, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Estrella Mountain Community College, families can enjoy a FREE day of activities that promote ways to see the latest in environmental products and services.

Hosts of the event include EcoAvenues, Buckeye Valley Chambers of Commerce, EMCC and the cities of Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Tolleson.

EcoAvenues is a collection of cities and chambers that work together to help communities strive toward a sustainable community.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about energy sources, hybrid emission transportation, recyclable building materials, innovative “green” technologies, locally-grown organic foods, and much more.

Kids will be able enter a kid-friendly zone full of fun-filled youth activities such as bike rodeo, face painting, eco-crafts, science project competition and live animals from the World Wildlife Zoo.

Bringing together businesses, organizations and volunteers help the Southwest Valley be an independent, more sustainable and healthier environment — guiding the lives of those in it to be better protected.

If you have e-waste — electronic equipment nearing end of use such as fax machines, computers and cell phones, Goodwill Industries will collect them and accept donations.

New and innovative technology exhibitors will display unique and organic products to enhance our everyday living and increase public awareness.

Showcase your company or city by contributing to being green.

MiniCo Employees Go Bald For Cause

Be Brave And Shave: MiniCo Employees Go Bald

MiniCo Insurance Agency has four employees, Dan Sommer, Keith McConnell, Jerry Sollom and Ron Zbiegien, ready to shave their heads March 12, 2011 at 6 p.m. in the Be Brave and Shave event hosted by St. Baldrick’s Foundation at the Skeptical Chymist Irish Restaurant and Pub in Scottsdale. The event will raise money for cancer patients and medical treatment.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

MiniCo employees were informed about the event from Tim Kenny.

“Tim Kenny is one of the three co-founders of St. Baldrick’s Foundation and he owns MiniCo,” says Christa Van Zant, Marketing Manager at MiniCo.

clippers MiniCo 2011;Picture:Flickr, Steve SnodgrassThe event is expected to have 30 volunteers — called shavee’s — come in with a head full of hair and leave with none.

“People in the crowd will offer to be a shavee near the end of the event,” Van Zant says. “We will stay as long as it takes.”

According to the St. Baldrick’s fiscal financial report listed October 5, 2010, they raised $21,593,683 in 2010 — their fiscal year from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

“There is no selling,” Van Zant says. “There are 10K walks, donations from personal networks such as friends, family and co-workers.”

The source of funds is not done by any mass mailings or telemarketing ventures. Funds are raised by St. Baldrick’s volunteer event organizers, shavees, barbers, sponsors, donors, staff, board members and other volunteers generate 100 percent of revenues.

“There is a location on the website to have funds donated for a specific shave,” Van Zant says. “You will also be able to view their goals, how close they are to those goals, and submit your donation with a click.”

This is the first time MiniCo will participate in the Be Brave and Shave event.

A silent auction will take place during the event with proceeds being donated to St. Baldrick’s.

Top events as of October 5, 2010, according to St. Baldrick’s website, are:

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Sustainable Banks, Green Banking

“Green” Banking, New Resource Bank, Helps Empower Sustainable Businesses

Sustainable Banking

More than ever companies are taking the steps to creating a sustainable business; however, changing your business from “regular” to “green” can be costly and take time.

But there are banks that can help: green banks – specific banks designed to aid environmentally-conscious businesses and consumers with better incentives and loan rates. Despite the changes in our economic system in business caused by the housing market, these banks are willing to work with companies who want to empower sustainability.

New Resource Bank is a small commercial bank established with the sole mission of serving the particular needs of green entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses. The model “rethink, rebuild, renew” has a vast appeal to the bank because they want to educate with programs, reduce consumption and challenge other companies to do the same.

Not only is this bank lending funds to help other companies go green, they are walking the walk themselves. The bank is reducing their environmental footprint by using renewable energy and buying re-manufactured toner cartridges and chlorine-free paper products. The Values in Action Committee monitors the bank’s performance and pledge to promoting a global well-being for future generations.

Sustainability Certifications and Awards

Certified B Corporation

Green Banking 2011: Picture:Flickr, ithread

San Francisco–certified Green Business

LEED Gold headquarters

Green-e certified offsets

Outstanding Achievement 2009, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Southwest region

New Resource Bank accepts applications from businesses in every state as long as you are a green business or committed to turning their business green.

green jobs 2011

What Are “Green” Jobs?

The term “green collar” is springing up in corporate America every day. It is now considered to be an effective way to produce and reproduce products and services while trying to reserve the earth’s precious resources. In order to say you have a “green job,” the business must be considered environmentally conscious. Cleaning up the environment, restoring our planet to healthy standards and controlling climate change are considered environmentally conscious jobs.

The focus on going green in companies has been known as the “green collar” industry. This new job trade is not only rewarding for the company and employees but to consumers as well. Having a sustainable career with innovative techniques that help make the world a better place doubles as a career and way of life.

Companies, such as jobing.com, now offer green job categories to feature such positions.

What exactly is a green job?

A green job is a profession that directly works with materials, technology or policies that contribute to making sure the environmental impact of products and services are minimal. Some may require special training or knowledge.

Why choose green jobs?Green Jobs, Lumber Work

This industry will provide better and longer lasting future for the earth. Jobs have gained importance when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act announced they would provide $750 million for programs to train and help workers grow in the emerging industry.

It allows new and innovative research to be accomplished, opening the door to job training and special projects in the renewable energy industries. Of the funding given, $500 million will go into this training.

The demand for new employees is opening doors for jobs daily. The growth in the business can create nearly 5,000 new jobs within five occupations during the next year.

Where can you find a green job?

Green jobs can be found within environmental jobs such as plants, sciences, earth or agriculture. They are also found in fishing, forestry, fuel, solar industries, engineering and energy.

Sustainable planning and waste management positions link local jobs to the Valley. They help to create green buildings, energy saving techniques, environmental compliance and waste management corrections.

Other industries to think about when researching green jobs are:

  • Bicycle repair and bike delivery services
  • Car and truck mechanic jobs, production jobs, and gas-station jobs related to biodiesel
  • Hauling and reuse of construction materials and debris (C&D)
  • Hazardous materials clean-up
  • Landscaping
  • Materials reuse
  • Non-toxic household cleaning in residential and commercial buildings
  • Parks and open space expansion and maintenance
  • Printing with non-toxic inks and dyes
  • Public transit jobs related to driving, maintenance, and repair
  • Recycling and reuse
  • Small businesses producing products from recycled materials
  • Solar installation
  • Tree cutting and pruning
  • Whole home performance, including attic insulation, weatherization
Otis Elevator 2011

Otis Elevator Company Shows The Way To Green

Otis Elevator Company, a unit of United Technologies Corporation, launched a major global environmental program Feb. 8th called The Way to Green. The program is designed to extend to every aspect of their business — from design and manufacturing to products and end-of-life recycling.

The Way to Green is designed to significantly boost the companies’ commitment to environmental protection and sustainability while reducing energy consumption and offering the finest performance.

By introducing this program, the company will encourage environmental awareness to 60,000 of its employees, customers, suppliers and business partners making them aware of environmentally sensitive practices.

Eiffel Tower Otis blog 2011, Flickr, Moonlightbulb

They are the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products — including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. More than 200 countries use Otis Elevator Company and over 1.7 million elevators and escalators are being maintained worldwide.

If you have never heard of them, think about the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building; the Eiffel Tower; the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Los Angeles International Airport. All of these places have elevators installed by this company.

Products:

The line of Gen2 elevator systems feature regenerative drives that reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent compared to conventional systems.

The Gen2-coated steel belts and machines require no additional lubrication, and LED illumination is standard, lasting up to 10 times longer than conventional fluorescent lamps. An automatic switch-off mode saves up to 80 percent wasted energy.

Otis escalators and moving walkways reduce energy consumption by up to 60 percent, an efficient, automatic lubrication system reduces annual oil usage by up to 98 percent versus conventional systems, and LED lighting options are up to 30 percent more energy efficient.

Manufacturing:

Otis implements processes that recycle 97 percent of industrial waste produced by Otis facilities.

water otis blog 2011, Flickr, Snap

The manufacturing facility in Madrid uses solar panels to generate about 60 percent of the site’s energy needs.

The TEDA Manufacturing Center in China has achieved Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Advanced technologies in use at this location reduce energy usage by at least 25 percent compared to conventional design and manufacturing methods.

Otis facilities have reduced water consumption by 12 percent by optimizing conservations through rainfall collection, recycling and the use of water-efficient fixtures.

More than 200,000 Gen2 elevator systems — covering a wide range of applications — have been sold to date, making it the fastest selling product in Otis company history. The Way to Green has taken “going green” to a whole new level.

happy hour hotspots feature

Happy Hour Hotspots In The Valley

Enjoy Valley happy hours with culture and style.  There are places to go in the Valley that have edgy appeal, cozy atmosphere and cheap prices. Our six valley locations will intrigue your taste buds, lift your spirits and cultivate your thirst for culture.

Nakama Sushi Restaurant

Nakama Sushi Restaurant opened in October 2010 in the Goodyear dining scene. Located at Dysart Road and McDowell Road, the new non-chain restaurant offers a lounge area, full bar and the red-and-black décor invite people to relax as the service is exceptionally welcoming. Happy hour is every day between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and all day Sunday. On Wednesdays, get 10 percent off the entire food bill, and on Thursdays, ladies get half-priced martinis and margaritas.

Rula Bula

Rula Bula, a Tempe Irish pub located on Mill Avenue and Third Street — whose name translates to uproar and commotion — is at the heart of the social life. The historic, Victorian-style building was a place to buy saddlery and harnesses in 1888.  Walk into wooden antique flooring, dim lighting and designs that reflect Ireland more than 100 years ago. Happy hour specials are Monday through Saturday 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to close (2 a.m.).

“The food is great,” says Lauren Hillhouse, an ASU student. “Lots of people in my classes go.”

Upcoming events take place daily, including Industry night, where CEOs and other professionals get two-for-one drinks from 9 p.m. to close every Sunday; and there’s ASU night, where students get drink specials 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays.

FEZ

Want to enjoy a meal downtown and not worry about parking? FEZ is conveniently located on Central Avenue in Phoenix just two blocks south of Clarendon. FEZ, with seating for 150, offers a full menu, lounge, bar, and outdoor patio with great views of downtown Phoenix and plenty of free parking. The unique, contemporary, urban atmosphere features American cuisine infused with Mediterranean spices and ingredients. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight daily. Want to call yourself a FEZ foodie? Join them the second and fourth Sunday of every month.

Game Time Sports

Looking for a sports bar that can indulge your taste buds and not hurt your wallet? Travel to Game Time Sports on the northeast corner of McDowell and Dysart in Avondale. Nothing is over $10 and you can get a beer, taco and watch sports. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.

“Anywhere I can take my kids and enjoy great food is a plus,” says Shree Washington, guest of Game Time. “I love the atmosphere.”

Come dressed to impress or in jeans and a t-shirt. This neighborhood favorite, with food fresh to order, offers casual dining, daily chef specials and pleasant service that is family friendly. This hotspot can be a great place to unwind after a long day.

Four Peaks Brewery

Housed in a warehouse rich in history, Four Peaks Brewery, having been home to an ice plant and creamery, has updated their brewing equipment as of March 2009. The restoration leaves the brewery finished with red brick, glass clerestory and wooden ceilings. Guests can enjoy two locations — Tempe on Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard or in Scottsdale southeast corner of Hayden and Frank Lloyd Wright. Nearly 20,000 barrels of beer are produced each year at Four Peaks. Tours are available.

Liz Doon Varna Irish Pub and Restaurant

The newest addition to the Arrowhead Fountain Center, Lis Doon Varna Irish Pub and Restaurant, located just down the way from the sports complex in Peoria, offers a piece of Ireland with its meals. All the furniture is unique to or shipped from Ireland.

“The bar in the restaurant is 200 years old,” says Kristen Lomuscio, a waiter at the pub. “Disney designers designed the rebar (hay) on the roof.”

The pub is famous for matchmaking and music festivals. Lisdoonvarna, a city in Ireland, hosts an annual Matchmakers Festival and draws singles from all over the world and this is integrated into the pub.  Wine Down Wednesdays presents a complimentary bottle of wine with a party of four or more. The bread pudding is a signature dish.

“My friend and I would go somewhere else to have a meal then go to the pub for the bread pudding,” says Denise Vines, a guest of the pub. “The food here is hearty, and I enjoy it.”

No matter what side of town you are on, you can enjoy a meal with a deal at these happy hour hot spots.

Fennemore Craig has implemented a new way to communicate with its clients

Local Law Firm Enhances Attorney-Client Communication With Red Phone

Fennemore Craig, the oldest and one of the largest law firms in Arizona, has implemented a new way to communicate with its clients. The “Red Phone” is an iPod Touch in a red case that has pre-programmed information linked to a specific case and group of lawyers that translates case-related information between client and attorney.

Fennemore Craig Red PhoneHow does this increase communication? Clients are provided with the iPad or iPod Touches to send delicate attorney/client information through email, camera functions and Skype — a system that allows face-to-face interaction via video and voice communication. When a client needs to talk, a special number programmed into the phone calls all the attorneys linked to the case and one must answer at all times.

The Red Phone has already been assisting families incapacitated with seriously-injured loved ones who may be in a place with no Internet access or office setting with equipment such as a phone, fax machine or computer.

James Goodnow, an associate for Fennemore Craig, believes this new program will impact the practices’ relationship with its clients in a tremendous way.

“We want our clients to always have human communication,” says Goodnow. “The immediate response time has gotten positive reviews from the clients.”

The camera function allows clients to take case-relevant photos and send them immediately to their attorney.

Documents that pertain to the case can be sent with preloaded email addresses directly to the attorneys involved, and clients can review papers sent from the office.

Videos conferences are used to inform parties involved of the evidence retained.

“Instead of reading about our clients, the other lawyers will see them,” says Goodnow. “We can also show them how a case will be presented to a jury.”

It also allows attorneys to update the patient’s condition.

Fennemore Craig 2011

The phone costs nothing to clients. After the case has been resolved and there is no need for communication, the phones are returned to Fennemore.

Everyone with a case at Fennemore is eligible for the phone. iPads are given to those who are less tech savvy and don’t have internet access. Everyone else receives an iPod Touch.

The Fennemore Craig Law Firm was founded more than 110 years ago in Phoenix. The firm has over 120 attorneys with offices in Phoenix and Tucson. They are looking out for the best interest of their clients and know the Red Phone will enhance their abilities to do so.

Unisource teaches kids sustainability

Green News Roundup – UniSource Teaches Sustainability To Kids, Commercial Energy Solutions

The next generation of “green” collaborators is being influenced to conserve our resources for their future through fun and games. UniSource Energy Services (UES), which operates natural gas and electric systems for more than 230,000 customers in northern and southern Arizona, provides educational programs and services to kids.

Sustainability For Kids

Energy Efficient World is a game that allows kids to learn to conserve energy and save on electric bills — teaching them energy efficiency, how to help the environment and home energy inspection. It also provides links for parents.

Sunsite Funsite teaches children about solar energy, chemical energy, solar thermal and resources. The game is interactive, and children are able to see how their actions at home affect the universe.

Electrical and Natural Gas Safety World explains the hidden dangers at home and in the community. With two separate worlds the fun never ends. They are exposed to learning how to protect themselves by enjoying an eye-catching game.

HogBusters Training Camp, an interactive lecture, allows kids — through a series of five levels — to work together and learn new ways to save the environment for the future. After completing the stages, a certificate is available for printing.

Commercial Energy Solutions

Getting rid of old equipment can be costly for a business. UniSource has a rebate system designed to make the change to “green” easier. Energy-efficient upgrades on lighting, controls, refrigeration & HVAC, heating, ventilation and air conditioning are available. The rebates are intended to help offset a portion of the cost associated with installing new energy-efficient equipment.

An incentive program for commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems, used to turn sunlight into energy, is being offered to encourage the installation of solar power. Systems greater than 50 kilowatts AC (kWac) can qualify.

UniSource is focusing on the present and future by getting kids excited about the environment and helping companies turn “green.”