Monday, 21 January 2013

Window Cleaners News + GiveAway

Livid: Window cleaner Andrew Wilson was given a £70 parking fine because his van was overhanging yellow lines by one inch.
'Milking it': The van was parked near the end of the driveway because of building work going on at a neighbour's property.
Jobsworth traffic warden hands out ticket because window cleaner's van was overhanging yellow lines by one inch. Andrew Wilson, 50, was parked on his own driveway at home in Lincoln - Double yellows are intended to stop motorists blocking him in - Warden wouldn't listen to reason and handed out £70 fine. A window cleaner has accused parking bosses of trying to 'milk people of every penny' after a traffic warden gave him a fine because his van was hanging one inch over yellow lines. Andrew Wilson, 50, has been left livid after the jobsworth official slapped a £70 ticket on his van which he parked on his driveway at his home in Lincoln. Ironically, the double yellow lines are intended to stop other motorists blocking his way out.

Reason: Andrew Wilson said he tried to explain to the female warden that he couldn't move his van any further down the drive because of building work but his words fell on deaf ears.
Mr Wilson has been unable to pull any further onto his drive because of building work being carried out on a neighbour's property. But he said the female traffic warden would not listen to reason when he explained. 'I went out ranting and raving and saying 'what are you doing?' he said. 'There was about three or four people in our street shouting at her. She said there was nothing she could do about it. 'I said 'you can see the driveway, I can't use it' and she just walked off. The wheels are on my drive but the tiniest part of the vehicle is overhanging the lines. 'I would say it was hanging maybe half way over the first yellow line, probably only two centimetres. 'The warden must have got a ruler out and measured just how far over the line I was. 'The galling thing is the lines are there to stop my and other people's cars being blocked in by other people.'

Angry: Andrew Wilson of Derwent Street takes a look at the position of his vehicle after a warden issued a ticket because his van was parked slightly hanging over double yellow lines.
Andrew, who lives with his wife Keely, 39, and daughter Shania, 13, slammed Lincolnshire County Council for 'milking people of every penny' and vowed to appeal the fine. 'It's a £70 fine but if you pay it in 14 days then it's £35. I'm not going to pay it. I've appealed against it and sent the photos I took. 'I have been living here for three and a half years and the yellow lines have always been there but I've never had a problem. 'After 6pm you don't need a permit so the traffic wardens are always down there at like 5.30pm trying to catch people out. 'I've seen them scraping the ice off trying to look for permits. 'It is just stupid. It is milking us for every penny we have. It is disgusting.'
Mick Phoenix, parking services manager for Lincolnshire County Council, said: 'Mr Wilson has appealed against his ticket, so we will be investigating this. This will involve comparing any notes or photos taken by the parking officer with the evidence supplied by Mr Wilson. 'We usually have a decision in around 14 working days.The parking officers are asked to take a common sense approach when issuing a ticket. If we find Mr Wilson has been penalised in error, we will, of course cancel his ticket. However, if the ticket is upheld, there is option to reappeal.' News story also here & here.

Maid falls 30 storeys while cleaning window: An Indonesian domestic worker fell 30 storeys to her death while cleaning the master bedroom window in Telok Blangah Heights, a coroner's court heard on Friday (Jan 18). Ms Eci Eriyani, 23, had been working for six months when she fell on March 29 last year. At an inquiry into her death, the court heard that the maid was alone with her employer's mother-in-law, Madam Chiow Gek Inn, at the time. About half an hour after lunch, Madam Chiow, 79, was in the living room when she heard Ms Eriyani shouting. Madam Chiow looked for the maid and later heard a loud thud. She went to the void deck and found Ms Eriyani lying on the grass patch and called the police.
Maid fell 30 storeys while cleaning window: Coroner -  An Indonesian domestic worker fell 30 storeys to her death while cleaning the master bedroom window in Telok Blangah Heights, a coroner's court heard on Friday. Ms Eci Eriyani, 23, had been working for the employer for six months when she fell on March 29 last year. At an inquiry into her death, the court heard that the maid was alone with her employer's mother-in-law, Madam Chiow Gek Inn, at the time. About half an hour after they had lunch, Madam Chiow, 79, was in the living room when she heard Ms Eriyani shout "Grandma''.
She went round looking for the maid and found a pail of water in the master bedroom. The window and grilles were open. She heard a loud thud and suspected something was amiss. She went to the void deck and found Ms Eriyani lying on the grass patch and called the police. Ms Eriyani was pronounced dead at 1.15pm. State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid said in his findings that the facts showed that the deceased was cleaning the windows of her employer's unit on the 30th floor when she accidentally fell out of the bedroom window and to the ground.

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    Neighbours’ shock at tragic deaths: The man and woman whose bodies were found inside their South Tyneside home have been named locally as mother and son Elizabeth and Robert Douthwaite. The pair were discovered inside their house in Heron Drive, South Shields, at about 12.20pm on Thursday. A window cleaner is said to have raised the alarm after becoming concerned that a light had been on for two weeks and there were flies at the window. Neighbours said Robert, 44, was a keen photographer, and in the 1990s was commissioned by South Shields Library to take pictures for a book comparing the town’s past and present. Residents in the estate off Mile End Road where they lived have paid tribute to 73-year-old Elizabeth and her son. Robin Johnson, 71, of nearby Wellington Drive, said: “A window cleaner spotted something was wrong. “He said a light had been on for a couple of weeks and he noticed flies up at the window. “It is such a shame. The pair were lovely. But we all keep ourselves to ourselves, and they did the same. “We knew them, but hadn’t seen them for a while and then we heard the news.

    Man gets eight months in jail for slapping woman on bum ‘for the thrill of it’ - A man who followed a woman and slapped her on her bottom "to get a thrill" and because "she had a nice bum" has been sentenced to eight months in jail. Sean Cullen (23) followed the woman who was out walking on a summer's evening last July and when he caught up with her, he slapped her bottom. He told gardai he was under the influence of drugs at the time and is deeply apologetic. Cullen, of Ashton Avenue, Ashton Brock in Swords, pleaded guilty at Balbriggan District Court to sexual assault on July 26, 2011 at Drynam Road in Swords. 
    Garda Colum Donohoe gave evidence that the 27-year-old woman was out walking between 9pm and 9.30pm when she became aware of a male following her. She described him as putting his head down each time she turned around. “She began to walk faster and he sped up and when she slowed down, he slowed down,” said Gda Donohoe. “She rang her boyfriend and while she was on the phone, the defendant came up behind her and slapped her on the bum. He then ran onto the road. The woman's boyfriend arrived quickly and confronted the man and called gardai,” added Gda Donohoe. Cullen was arrested by gardai on December 12, 2011 and told gardai he “slapped her on the ass to get a thrill” and “she had a nice bum”.
    Gda Donohoe told the court that Cullen, who has one previous conviction for theft, had spent ten to 15 minutes following the woman, who was in a terrified state. Gda Donohoe agreed with defence solicitor Fiona Darcy that Cullen was co-operative and apologetic when he was arrested. Cullen, who is a currently unemployed window cleaner following an accident, was under the influence of drugs at the time which, said Ms Darcy, was the reason he committed the offence. “He says it won't happen again,” said Ms Darcy. “He has learnt his lesson to stay away from drugs and he is worried sick as he did not think of the repercussions. He was so out of it and is deeply ashamed and apologetic.” 
    A letter of apology was handed into the court but Judge Dermot Dempsey remarked that Cullen “seems to have made very little effort as the letter is dated January 2013”.  Judge Dempsey said he could not see his way around a custodial sentence despite Ms Darcy asking for community service for Cullen, as it was a “terrifying ordeal for the young lady”. He imposed an eight-month prison sentence but released him on his own recognisance of €400 and independent surety of €200 after Cullen immediately lodged an appeal to the sentencing.

    Window cleaner Nick Glover with little Molly.
    Window cleaner rescued kitten: A window cleaner became a hero for a day when he came to the rescue of a stranded kitten that was stuck on a roof in Bourne. The RSPCA has said a special thank you to cleaner Nick Glover who managed to rescue little Molly after she crept out of her home in Essex Way and climbed up onto a roof top. The 12-week-old kitten was spotted by a concerned member of the public who said Molly was being “dive-bombed” by some magpies and crows. RSPCA animal welfare officer Becky Harper was called to attend the incident but the cat was too far up for her to reach. But instead of calling out the fire service to rescue Molly, it was suggested a call be made to local window cleaner Nick Glover.
    Becky said: “Nick immediately offered to help and arrived within 10 minutes. “He then climbed up his ladder and gently picked up little Molly and carried her back down to safety where she was reunited with her owner. “She was a little cold and hungry but apart from that fine. “I just hope this experience puts her off climbing on to roofs in the future although it’s still a bit of a mystery how she managed to get up there considering how tiny she is. “I would really like to say thank you to Nick for helping Molly so quickly and he gave his time free of charge. “He saved calling the fire brigade out and it is great that this had a happy ending.”

    Burglary in Crystyl Ranch – Front Door was Kicked-In by Unknown Suspect(s): On Saturday, a home in Concord’s Crystyl Ranch neighborhood was burglarized. Here’s the information from an anonymous Claycordian…. Wanted to pass this information along about a burglary that occurred on Saturday in Crystyl Ranch. Got this from the HOA. Please help spread the word and remind people to be smart about opening doors for solicitors. “Please be aware that we had an early morning burglary on the 5300 Block of Crystyl Ranch on Saturday at around 8am or so.  The front door was kicked in–homeowners were away on vacation.  Fortunately they had an alarm which may have scared away the intruders. Two days ago, there were several men in the neighborhood offering window cleaning and gutter cleaning services–driving white vans.  The offering of services could have been a ruse to case homes for future burglaries.” Thanks for the heads-up!

    Gatwick boss: 'Heathrow can't cope so send flights to us instead' - Heathrow is damaging London’s reputation with its inability to cope with snowy weather and should run far fewer flights in winter, bosses at rival airport Gatwick said today. “The way in which Heathrow chooses to respond to forecasted relatively minor snowfall is to cancel, with only 24 hours’ notice, hundreds of flights,” Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick, told Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in a letter. “This causes a significant number of passengers to suffer days of misery, as well as damaging the reputation of London as a world city.” Mr Wingate’s attack came after hundreds of passengers were forced to camp out overnight at Heathrow, which had cancelled 187 flights by lunchtime today. Window cleaner Howard Allenby, 36, from Leeds, and his girlfriend Natasha were among 20 passengers who slept on the floor of the Aurora International hotel near Heathrow after their flight to Zambia was cancelled for a second day.

    I killed Gemma after she threatened me with a knife, brother tells court: The brother of ex-EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie claims she threatened him with a knife on the day he killed her and cut up her body, the Old Bailey heard today. Window cleaner Tony McCluskie (pictured), 35, says he lost control and attacked the 29-year-old barmaid after weeks of humiliating abuse and criticism, jurors were told. He claims his last memory is of her picking up a knife during a blazing row about him flooding the bathroom by leaving the sink taps running. McCluskie is said to have battered Gemma — Kerry Skinner in the BBC1 soap — with a blunt object and then cut her body into six pieces with a meat cleaver at the family home in Shoreditch, east London. He was caught on CCTV taking the remains in a suitcase to dump in the Regent’s Canal in Hackney. Four days later the torso was discovered by a barge owner floating in the water. McCluskie, who admits killing his sister but denies murder on the grounds of lack of intent and loss of control, is due to give evidence this afternoon.

    McCluskie murder trial: Brother told cabbie ‘I have my sister in suitcase’ - Window cleaner Tony McCluskie, 35, is accused of murdering 29-year-old Gemma (pictured) last March, dismembering her body and taking it in the minicab to be dumped in the Regent’s Canal. He booked the cab to take him to the canal from the flat they shared in Pelter Street, Bethnal Green, and was seen on CCTV pulling the luggage along the towpath at around 10.35pm on March 2—before dumping it into the water. Gemma’s torso was recovered four days later. The head was found six months after that. “I asked him what was in the bag,” minicab driver Jilul Haque told the Old Bailey. “He replied it is his ‘system’—I assumed it was a stereo or something. “He lifted it—it looked very heavy.” But McCluskie’s barrister Jeremy Dein suggested Mr Haque misheard the word “sister” and thought he said “system.”

    Temperatures in Skegness drop even lower: Plunging temperatures continue to grip the region in an icy embrace, with the mercury dipping to its lowest level all winter, for the second day running. Skegness weatherman Brian Porter recorded a temperature of minus six last night and said it had remained below zero for the past two days. Despite beating this winter’s record once again, the icy blast has yet to reach the extremes of last year, when Brian took readings of minus seven on a number of occasions. And in all his 25 years as the town’s Met observer, minus eight has been the lowest temperature he has ever recorded. Although his detailed weather reports continue to be a talking point in Skegness - for Brian, who is a window cleaner when he’s not recording meteorological data, the freezing conditions have made it impossible to work. He said: “The water has been freezing on the glass as soon as I try to clean it so I’ve not been able to work at all today.” The Met Office has forecasted low temperatures, icy conditions and strong winds to last until next week, with snow expected to return to the East Midlands on Friday and Saturday.

    Gwent battles on as more extreme weather forecast: An extreme cold temperature alert has been issued for Gwent over the next couple of days, with warnings of frost and ice. This is the first time Vantage Weather Services, an independent weather forecaster for Wales, based in Ebbw Vale, has issued such a warning since it was formed in 2006. Daytime and overnight temperatures will remain below freezing with –3C to –5C by day, and –4C to –7C overnight for the next few days. Temperatures will feel even colder in the windchill overnight with ‘real feel’ temperatures as low as –11C. Severe overnight frosts are expected along with icy conditions. Despite the sub-zero temperatures at the weekend, that didn’t stop people in Gwent getting out and making the most of the snow. Window cleaner Greg Williams, 30, built a snowman 20-feet high around a lamppost on Lime Crescent, Somerton, with Ben Prichard, 28. Children from the street helped the two collect the snow, spending all Friday building it. “We went out there at 7.45am and finished at 3.30pm,” he said. Pictured, some of the youngsters who helped build this snow sculpture in Lime Crescent, Newport.

    Facebook adds free calls for US iPhone users: Facebook's search tool announcement may not have thrilled investors or many of its users, with both groups hoping for the release of a Facebook phone, but the social networking firm has added a new tool that allows users to make free calls. The service, which according to the Telegraph, is being tested in Canada, will allow users of the Facebook app on the iPhone to make phone calls to friends over Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection instead of traditional voice services.
    This will enable heavy users of voice minutes to avoid hefty call charges, as they can potentially use connections that they already pay for or are available to them for no extra charge. "We started testing this in Canada the first week of the year and today we're extending that test to the US," Facebook said in an email sent to the Telegraph. "We were able to expand the test so quickly because it went well in Canada and we wanted to expand the audience". Facebook is expected to roll out the new feature overseas - and possibly the UK - and on other operating systems including Android and BlackBerry.
    The calls can only be made to Facebook users that have Messenger installed on their iPhone - meaning that people using Facebook in a browser will not have the new feature available to them. A Facebook spokesman told the BBC that the tool was different to the software used in Skype, which is already integrated into the Facebook website. Earlier this week, Facebook launched its social graph feature dubbed Graph Search, which allows people to use the network as a search engine to find people, photos, places and interests.

    POS will become truly mobile: New entrants into the payment market, such as Square, iZettle and mPowa, are giving retailers a whole new way to accept payment transactions via mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. This is just as applicable to the large multinational retailers as it is to the local UK tradesmen. There will be less scrambling around for cash to pay the window cleaner in 2013, as mobile becomes an even more integral part of a transactional process for the digital and physical world. The launch of 4G will only accelerate this.

    Student entrepreneur joins the next 36: A summer running her own window cleaning service convinced University of Windsor business student Alyssa Atkins to ditch plans to study law. It has also earned her recognition as one of the top undergraduate entrepreneurs in Canada. "I knew right then I wanted to run my own business because I got up every morning so excited about going to work," said Atkins, who is due to graduate from the Odette School of Business in the spring. "It wasn't so much the window-cleaning as the chance to be my own boss, make my own decisions and be responsible for my own success."
    Her business instincts have led to her being selected to join The Next 36, a program which offers promising entrepreneurs seed money, nine months of mentoring and technical support in setting up a new company. Atkins will be teamed with two other students from across Canada in developing a mobile technology business. "It's an amazing opportunity because it not only connects you with other students with similar interests but also provides you with access to entrepreneurs across the country," she said.
    More than 1,000 students applied for this year's class with 72 making the initial cut for an intensive interview weekend before the final three dozen were selected. Atkins, who applied to the program last year but wasn't accepted, started preparing for her new interest in business studies by spending the fall of 2010 in Jonkoping, Sweden as part of an entrepreneurial exchange program. "They made us start a business almost right away with people we'd never met and it opened up my eyes to the whole idea of co-operation, travel and working with people from different countries and cultures," said Atkins. "When people from different backgrounds can laugh at the same jokes you know you have much more in common than you initially think." 

    Toddler falls eight storeys, survives due to snow: Kiev: A three-year-old boy from the Ukrainian city of Kharkov fell eight storeys but survived because a huge heap of snow broke his fall, the interior ministry said. The child apparently opened a window of his room, leaned out and fell when his mother left him unattended. "The child fell into a huge snowdrift under the window. He survived and was rushed to the medical emergency hospital. Doctors said his condition is grave, but stable," the ministry said.
    Several cases of lucky survivors have been reported in the past years. In 2008, a window cleaner plummeted 47 storeys from the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper and survived. In 2009, a 29-year-old Chinese woman miraculously escaped death after she jumped off the 27th floor. In 2010, a 10-year-old Chinese boy who fell 20 storeys from an apartment window survived after landing on a parked car. Last year, a 22-year-old Australian woman survived an unsuccessful bungee jump from a 111-metre bridge. She suffered only bruises and a broken collar bone when her safety cord snapped, sending her into the crocodile-infested waters of the Zambezi river.

    The chemicals used in most household cleaners can have an irritating effect on the skin and body especially those found in all- purpose cleaners, dish and laundry detergents, window cleaners, furniture polish, drain cleaners and toilet disinfectants. One ought to wear protective gloves when handling substances such as ammonia, butoxyethanol, monoethanalamine, diathenolamine, triethanolamine, nonylphenolethoxylates, phosphates, silica powder and sodium hydroxide, commonly known as 'lye', which can all be found in household cleaners such as oven, window, bathroom, surface cleaners, deodorisers, disinfectants, abrasive cleaning powders, fabric softeners and degreasers. A good practice when using these products is to cover your skin, leaving openings for your eyes, mouth and nose, with plastic wrap. This actually helps hydrate the skin too as it forces the pores to sweat bringing moisture to the skin's surface.

    A city vacated lets its dullards do the work: In the 1970s, in an attempt to take his country back to Year Zero, a prehistory from which he could refashion it, Pol Pot and his henchmen drained Phnom Penh of its intellectuals and elite. When he and his Khmer Rouge had finished their societal reconfiguration, only a drone proletariat of ditch-diggers and factory hands were left in that town. Anyone with a spark of intelligence or drive was gone. There was a rumour at the time that the dictator had once spent summers working at the Cambodian Consulate in Melbourne. The story goes he was agog at our Christmas diaspora, and determined to emulate it in his own capital once he had one. ''Everyone from area manager to dental hygienist and upward goes to the beach,'' he apparently told his politburo. ''Melbourne becomes a ghost town of nightwatchmen and window-washers. A place of pliable dullards.''

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