Big Stories: October, 2015   
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Arta Potties... An American Tale

Verena Wessel, Rebbeca Courtney,
Janet Parker, Pamela Watson,
Emily Goodnow

A free public documentary premiere shows the story of 5 women taking on the need for public toilets. Together, women from the Faith, Services, Business and Art Community take on the daunting task of dealing with politics, proceeding independently to addressing both human and environmental dangers and human dignity, while creating a uniquely artistic way to inspire others into affordable options in the dilemma of horrific homelessness and a lack of toilet facilities in downtown Salem. The five Salem women joined forces to establish art-decorated porta potties in Salem's downtown and the first of these startlingly beautiful 'Arta Potties' appeared just days ago in the alley behind the historic Reed Opera House. Two Portland TV stations already covered this unique story and attention has been drawn from Oregon cities like Eugene and Newberg, and as far away as Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. The images and stories are circulating in social media, and the GoFundMe page for the Arta Potties has already received a few donations. Those who wish to support this unique project can make a donation and receive $150 in free advertising from the Salem Business Journal. The Arta Potties is a community funded project to give people the dignity of having somewhere to relieve themselves in a safe and sanitary way. Please see the links below to learn more. This is a humble project inspired by a raw human need. The women leading the project hail from the art and business, faith and homeless services communities. Come see what the buzz is about at the upcoming theater release of the half-hour documentary produced by local journalist Tim King: Arta Potties...An American Tale 1611922675748154/timeline/

Upcoming 2016 Green Awards Serve As Inspiration

Elizabeth Miller,
Minto Island Growers

    It’s time for individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Mid-Willamette Valley to inspire.
    The Straub Environmental Center, Marion County Public Works, and Capitol Subaru, want to hear your tales of waste reduction, energy savings, and innovative practices. Speak up about the mounds of paper no longer used at your business; the energy efficient lighting that saves thousands of dollars a year; or a teacher who motivated dozens of students this year to bike to school. These stories will make up the nominations for the sixth annual Mid-Valley Green Awards, which will be held at the Elsinore Theater at 7 pm, on Saturday, March 12th. Amy Estrin did not nominate her mother for a 2015 Green Award to heap praise on her mother.
    Millie Estrin, 91, doesn’t work hard to teach people how to recycle, reduce and reuse so that she can earn rewards. She does “the right thing for the right reasons, not to receive accolades,” Amy said.
    But nominating Millie for the Green Award served a much greater purpose—encouragement for others in the community.
    “When you know someone who is so productive in their community and does so much for others, you want those people recognized so that others will be inspired by them,” Amy said. “I went to the awards and I was inspired. There are a lot of different ways you can contribute and work in your community. I think sometimes people think you have to do things in a grand way, but you don’t.”
    Millie took home a special award—the Green Bookend Award for her education work, including more than 250 hours as a Master Recycler in Marion County.
    It was the perfect way to celebrate her inspiration. The Green Bookend Award paired Millie with 8-year-old Logan Blanco, who initiated his own bottle cap recycling program. “She wants the next generation to be inspired,” Amy said. “She wants someone to take her place.”
    Marion County receives about 40 nominations for the nine categories of Green Awards each year. Nominators are friends, co-workers, business owners and relatives of the nominees. Even nominees who don’t win are inspirations to the community—their stories are told at the Green Awards ceremony attended by more than 400 people.
    Nominators also hope to make sure credit is given where it is deserved. Jim Green, a Straub Environmental Center board member, nominated CB2 Architects for Sustainable Business of the Year. The firm built a LEED Platinum green building, WaterPlace, as their business’ office. CB2 Architects’ focus for all of its projects is on efficiency and sustainability.
    “Part of the beauty of the Green Awards is to get the word out about the great work green businesses are doing,” Green said. “Hopefully, it connects people to work with those businesses.”
    Green Award categories include: Recycler of The Year: With separate awards for an individual and a business Sustainable Organization of the Year: Small and large business categories EarthWISE Certified Business of the Year Green Product/Service of the Year: Organizations that offer products/services with social, environmental, and economic benefits over traditional alternatives Green Apple Award: An educator who leads in teaching environmental/sustainable curricula Sustainable Brewery/Wine or Cider Producer of the Year To nominate a person or business for the Green Awards, visit
    “Tales of green do-gooders are ubiquitous in the mid-Willamette Valley,” said Bailey Payne, waste reduction coordinator for Marion County. “Now we just need folks to tell us more.” Through the steps to earn certification. A business with any level of green practices is welcome to apply. EarthWISE staff will focus on recycling, waste reduction and prevention, environmentally preferable purchasing, energy efficiency and conservation, water pollution prevention, and outreach and education.
    For more information about the Earth- WISE program, go to www.mcEarthWISE. net or call 503-365-3188.

Sperry Van Ness Announces Two Additions

Andrea Harris, Andy Ottolia.

    Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisors, LLC is pleased to announce the additions of Andrea Harris and Andy Ottolia to their company.
    Andrea Harris is the listing and transaction coordinator. She is a 2013 graduate of Willamette University and went to Central Linn High School in Halsey, OR. A student athlete, Andrea played varsity basketball while at Willamette and is a volunteer coach on the high school level.
    Andy Ottolia joins the company as an Associate Advisor specializing in multi-family properties. He was previously with Marcus & Millichap in Portland. Andy, a native of Silverton, is a graduate of the University of Portland and of Blanchet Catholic High School in Salem where he won six state titles for the schools swim team.