Friday, 13 December 2013

Window Cleaning News

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The Most Breathtaking Photos From Around The World This Week: Window washers descend the 36-story Centennial Tower downtown skyscraper, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, in Atlanta. Click to enlarge.

Family’s emotional thank you to Norfolk search teams: The family of a man who committed suicide in a Norfolk wood sent an emotional thank you to search and rescue teams that spent days looking for him in freezing temperatures. Andrew Simpson was found hanging from a tree in a wooded area in Common Road, Snettisham after going missing a week earlier.
The 48-year-old window cleaner, of Brow of the Hill, Leziate, had been suffering from severe depression for three years when he was reported missing on January 27 this year. He had last been seen by his family three days earlier, when he hugged his brother David and his father before driving away.  Mr Simpson, who was part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, had previously gone missing for nine months in 2010. His disappearance sparked a huge search operation by Norfolk Police and Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue teams, until volunteer Guy Farnbank discovered Mr Simpson’s body on February 3.
In an email to police officers and the Lowland Search and Rescue organisation a couple of weeks after the discovery, Mr Simpson’s brother Tim said: “On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to pass on my thanks and appreciation for the enormous effort in looking for my brother. “We were very grateful the police sustained such a big effort to find him and keep the family fully informed in such a careful way.” The family, who helped with the search, added that it meant: “We could at least say we had all done our very best to help Andrew.”
At an inquest into Mr Simpson’s death held at King’s Lynn County Court yesterday, Sgt Andrew Hughes praised Lowland Search and Rescue volunteers, saying it was “harrowing” search that took place in freezing weather. Coroner Jacqueline Lake said she and the Simpson family were grateful for the efforts of the search teams. She concluded that Mr Simpson took his own life. “Due to his history of depression, I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to take his own life,” she said.
New in Toronto Real Estate: 1 Yorkville Condos: 1 Yorkville Condos and its towering height shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the current state of development in the area. This former village and home to Toronto's bohemian community in the 1960s has long since gone the way of big money, and now finds itself home to some of the city's priciest homes, retail, and dining. This 610 ft addition is getting all dressed up to join in on the truckload of other skyscraping projects underway in this upscale enclave.
This massive building clad in distinctive metal fins will rise 58 storeys at the corner of Yonge and Yorkville just above and next to the soon to be fully restored Yorkville village buildings, which were first built in the 1860s. According to the architect, the metal fins and cladding will change in appearance depending on the time of day and weather patterns or even what position you gaze at the building from.
1 Yorkville or its future nickname "the bane of window washers" is an undeniably good looking tower from the outside. On the other hand, the interiors views we have seen so far have been less than revealing. What the metal fins will look like from the inside is anybody's guess. The possibility that you might feel like you've been snared in a net above the city seems high. Or at the very least, the sheer number of high-rise proposals on this block will make for some crowded views.

8th and Main building one step closer to opening: BOISE -- Saturday, Clear View Window Cleaning took one of the final steps in preparing the Eighth and Main building for opening day. They started cleaning the windows, getting one step closer to opening the building that closed the "Boise Hole." They've cleaned the windows on most of the big buildings in downtown Boise. "We do US Bank, Aspen Lofts, Wells Fargo, Idaho Power, Boise Plaza, CW Moore, University Plaza, the Zions Bank here, definitely most of them," said Christopher LaPrelle, owner of Clear View Window Cleaning.
LaPrelle said weather can be an issue, but each building has its own challenges. "Until you cycle through all the buildings, every building has its own challenges, it's own set of fatigue and wear factor," he said. LaPrelle said one of the challenges with the Eight and Main building is the falcon at the One Capitol Center. "A falcon's been clocked at dive speeds of up to 260 miles an hour, and so with their talons if they were to get a hold of you, you'd probably have a serious situation on your hands," LaPrelle said. "You probably wouldn't even make it down to the ground."
Despite the challenges, LaPrelle said it's peaceful up there. "Nobody's going to come up and tap you on the shoulder, nobody can talk to you, so you're pretty much just left alone to do the work, and the view is awesome all day long, you really can't beat it," LaPrelle said. Video at link.

Nelson Mandela disguised as a window cleaner - Late last week, sandwiched between the pre-prepared retrospectives across the world's media, there was no shortage of politicians, pundits and pop stars paying effusive tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, even when some of those selfsame politicians, pundits and pop stars had previously been on a jolly to South Africa paid for by an anti-sanctions lobby group; or voted against resolutions calling for Mandela's release; or broken the boycott of an apartheid regime for their own financial gain. In the process, I have some learned some charming facts such as the one relayed by the BBC's former South Africa correspondent Allan Little in Radio 4's Out of the Darkness about Mandela being born Rolihlahla, which translates from Xhosa as "pulling a branch from a tree" but also, more colloquially, means "troublemaker". And the fact that, while on the run, he became known as "the black pimpernel", and would disguise himself as a window cleaner, a car mechanic and, for meetings with white co-conspirators, a chauffeur. Umkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, translated as "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville Massacre.

Housecleaning startup Homejoy raises $38 million: Homejoy, a housecleaning startup launched last year in San Francisco, is set to announce Thursday it has raised $38 million in venture funding from Google (GOOG) Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and angel investor Max Levchin. The company was founded by Adora and Aaron Cheung, siblings who created an online platform that connects house cleaners who need steady work to clients eager for an easy way to get their houses and apartments cleaned. The company, which operates in San Jose, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and more than two dozen other cities, is poised for further expansion. And cleaning is just the beginning: Homejoy wants to become the go-to brand for all kinds of household needs, from plumbing to mowing the lawn. "We're in 31 cities, and most are dense, metro areas," Adora Cheung said in an interview. "We want to get into suburbia. We're looking at geographic expansion as well as global expansion in Europe and Australia."
Homejoy is one of several startups in the increasingly crowded "sharing economy," in which scores of startups, many of them based in San Francisco, are building platforms to connect people with goods and services. The Cheungs realized early on that house cleaning, which hasn't changed much since the 1960s, was a service ripe for innovation. Homejoy has a stringent application process for hiring cleaners; consumers can then book a cleaning appointment online, pay with a credit card and manage the cleaning schedule via a computer. Homejoy typically charges clients $20 an hour; the cleaners get paid per job, up to $15 an hour. Cheung, 30, became a housecleaner for a month to learn about the industry. She said that several investors in Silicon Valley have used Homejoy and began to approach the company about raising capital. "We need to hire more people, more engineers, and we need to bring on more cleaners faster," Cheung said.
Joe Kraus of Google Ventures and Geoff Yang of Redpoint Ventures have joined Homejoy's board of directors. "Homejoy already has a head start on making the most of the significant market opportunity in front of them," Kraus said in a statement. "They are well positioned as the scale player in this space, and they now have the capital to get much bigger from here."
Broken Window Repaired At Downtown Lexington High-Rise - A glass window threatened to fly out onto Main Street in Lexington Monday afternoon. It happened at the Chase Bank high rise. It took a rappelling window repairman to save the day. The window was 12 stories up. "The guy whose office it is was in the office when it went down," said Chris Baker of Perfect Touch Window Cleaning. "And he just says he heard a big boom. Didn't see a bird or anything like that and it just shattered." The glass cracked, but hadn't yet fallen to pieces. So up went Baker. "Just called me and said they had an emergency downtown," he said. "There was a broken window and they were worried about it kind of falling down on to Main Street they had it blocked off." Lexington police set up a barricade to prevent people from walking underneath as Baker went up, and moments later, he was duct taping the window from the outside. "Normally we don't duct tape it," said Baker. Normally we just cut and caulk. But when they got one busted like that and they're worried about it busting into pieces we go out and duct tape it and cut it and pull it in just to cut down on what drops.
Baker admits there does seem to be something different about the Chase building. For instance, he doesn't have this problem at some of the other downtown high rises. He's at this one a lot more frequently. In fact, he was up here just earlier this year. Back in January -- a window was broken by strong winds. Baker successfully fixed that window, and this one as well. "Did the same thing duct taped it and got it out and got a new one in," he said. Baker said that they'll be looking into why the Chase building seems to have more window problems than other buildings in downtown Lexington. Video at link.
Men in Kilts Founder: Window Washing in Kilts a Great Marketing Strategy - Small Business Spotlight: Men in Kilts. Who: Nicholas Brand, @MenInKilts. What: Window cleaning franchisor. When: 2002 Where: Vancouver, BC.
How: “We’re a window cleaning company, but we also do gutter cleaning, pressure washing and general exterior cleaning services,” says founder Nicholas Brand. “We decided on window cleaning as a business first, and me, my wife and my best friend were sitting around and said, ‘You should wear your kilt because you’re Scottish!’ We had a laugh and thought, ‘That’s not a bad idea! No one will forget us,’” says Brand.
Today, all technicians at the nine franchises wear kilts. Four of the franchises are in the U.S., and five are in Canada. Biggest challenge: “For me it was learning. I was 24 and didn’t have a business degree, so the biggest challenge for me was learning how to run a business,” says Brand. “The biggest challenge now is getting the message out there.” One moment in time: “I’m proudest of our customer service record,” says Brand. Best business advice: “Don’t give up. There will be dark days, days when you’re not sure if you can do this or whether you’ll make it. For me, it’s pushing through those,” says Brand.
What a Scot wears under his kilt may be a mystery for the ages, but surely a man wearing a skirt while up a ladder cleaning your windows would aim for discretion. And warmth. Vancouver company Men In Kilts Window Cleaning knows all about that. They are men who clean your windows. In kilts. They may have been around for 11 years with nine outposts across North America, but we couldn't resist phoning them up to get the background on this hilarious—and rather genius—business venture. Launched in 2002, Men In Kilts sprang from a punchline. After founder Nicholas Brand and his wife decided they wanted to start a window cleaning company, they began brainstorming ways to stand out. It was a friend who jokingly suggested Brand should wear a kilt because he's Scottish. "We all had a laugh and thought, 'You know what, that's not a bad idea. Nobody will forget us,'" Brand told The Huffington Post B.C. "And we ran with it from there."
One might think that company specializing in men who wear kilts has a predominantly female clientele, but Brand says this actually isn't the case. "The reality is, we really pride ourselves on delivering a service experience that is unheard of in the window cleaning industry," he said. "People are just looking for a reputable, professional company they can trust. Two of our biggest clients are male. I think it's the service we provide that keeps them coming back."
Brand cites the fact that all calls across North America are connected to a central call centre with an average wait time of less than 30 seconds, and the fact that the company is open for business six days a week, as reasons people keep choosing them. Beyond that, he says, it's about his company's genuine care for its customers—and, of course, a charismatic staff. "I think we naturally attract a certain outgoing, extroverted personality," said Brand. "One of our franchisees hired a guy, and on his first day he came back to the office and said, 'I'm finally getting the attention I've deserved!'" And the underwear question? A very tasteful option of shorts or leggings, and on colder days, probably both.

Jennifer Pollard is Looking for a Chance: This Sandpoint Woman Battling A Rare Disease Can Use Your Help. Snow falling, temperature dropping, people shopping... Christmas is in the air. Most families are squirreling away presents in the backs of closets or disguising them in brightly colored holiday wrapping, hoping to create surprise and joy on a loved one’s face come Christmas morning. One Sandpoint family, however, is approaching the holiday season—and the new year just beyond it—hoping beyond hope for a different surprise: the chance for Jennifer Pollard, wife and mother, to have a chance to live and love into the new year and beyond.
Jennifer, you see, has MonoMAC, an extraordinarily rare (less than 30 patients worldwide) immunodeficiency resulting from a genetic defect, and her health is deteriorating. The family is pinning their hopes on an experimental bone marrow transplant in late January at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, to stop the progress of the disease in its tracks. But first, they have to figure out how to come up with close to $200,000.
The disease first showed its face when Jennifer was nine but it would take over three decades to find out what it was, and during most of that time, Jennifer did her best to live a normal life, despite being hospitalized 5 to 9 times a year for infections, not knowing the defect that lurked in her genes. She married Ray Pollard, a love match that’s obvious to anyone who hears him talk about her, a quarter century ago, and the pair adopted two girls, Lauren and Makenna. Jen was on the professional fast track with a pharmaceutical company, while Ray worked for Coldwater Creek, and owned a window washing business. The $185,000 Ray is trying to raise is only a portion of the cost of the procedure, because National Institutes of Health will pay for the actual transplant operation. You can donate online here using PayPal or a major credit card.

A father and son escaped from their burning house when it went up in flames on Friday morning. Window cleaner Robert Stewart and his 15-year-old son Callum watched in horror as fire fighters tackled the blaze at Dumfries’ Alloway Road. The fire is believed to have started in the first floor of the house at around 8.40am. An investigation into the cause is still ongoing. Mr Stewart and his son were comforted by family and friends as they stood in the street watching the blaze take hold. The devastated dad said: “I’ve lived here since 1986. We’ve no idea what caused it yet. I don’t know what we’re going to do now. “Everything we have is in that house.”
After the alarm was raised, emergency services, including three fire appliances, raced to the scene. Police closed off Dalswinton Avenue and Alloway Road. One nearby resident said she heard the windows of the house “explode” and ran round the corner to see smoke and fire billowing from the collapsed roof. Around 25 other people in surrounding homes were evacuated and taken to temporary accommodation at North West Church in Lochside organised by the council. All have since returned to their homes. A fire service spokesman said nobody was injured in the blaze but the house had severe fire damage and the property is uninhabitable. to look at Gator, new curtains, window cleaning bids: Three bids for the window cleaning of the Moberly High School are being brought before the school board. Fish Window Cleaning, from Columbia, Mo., supplied the lowest bid, at $2,517. Other bids included Clean-Tech, also from Columbia, for $3,465, and Sherperd’s Company, from Fulton, for $6,170. The job includes the high school and the press box.
WINDOW CLEANING. The court reviewed and signed a Contract for Goods and Services Less Than $5,000.00 with Hoffman’s Yes We Do Cleaning to provide window cleaning services. The sole bid was awarded last week. Myers/Britton to circulate for signature the Contract for Goods and Services Less Than $5,000.00 with Hoffman’s Yes We Do Cleaning.

Guilt over wild sex with mum I met on round: Dear Deidre, I’m having great sex with a hot single mum – but she says she’s falling for me. It makes me feel bad as I know I’ll be dumping her soon. I’m 21 and a window cleaner. I’ve been with my girlfriend for a year. She’s 19. I was working my round when this gorgeous woman stopped me and said she’d moved into a nearby flat and the windows were so dirty she could hardly see out. I told her that I’d fit in her flat at the end of the day. I finished my round just as fast as I could in order to get over to her house.

Archerdale Ltd supplies and produces a range of fasteners, turned parts, Purlin clips, brackets, pressings and castings. Growing demand has led to expansion. Glyn Brown is planning to invest another £100,000 on two new machines to boost manufacturing, which accounts for about 15 per cent of the business, and expand Archerdale’s offices. Archerdale also makes Peco Purlin clips which are used in the construction industry for fitting out steel-framed buildings – including roof supports for Morrisons supermarkets. The company has also developed a Peco safety clip which its has patented. The product, a ‘fall arrest mechanism’, is aimed at the facilities management sector to provide a safe support for window cleaners and other people working on the outside of high buildings. Although every bedroom at Claridges hotel in London has been fitted with the clips, the new product is yet to take off.
Deep freeze to last all week: Winnipeg and southern Manitoba have been in a deep freeze for days and there are at least a few more days to go with temperatures forecast to stay below -20 until Monday. You know it’s cold when it’s a struggle to keep water from freezing, something window washers were dealing with Monday. “Layer up,” said Zach Stimpson. “It takes me five minutes just to get dressed.” If you think it feels like January — it does.
The world's most dangerous jobs - Skyscraper window cleaning - When a window cleaner in Dubai notices a mark on the glass, he just leans out to give it a quick squeegee. Easy, except for the fact that the apartment is 123 metres up on the 34th floor of an apartment tower. His hold on life is tenuous – fingertips gripping the window frame as he goes about his task. Suffice to say, the safety record of high-rise window cleaning in Dubai is not fantastic. However, even in the OH&S savvy Western world, with its safety harnesses, cradles and helmets, the inherent dangers of abseiling down 30-storey buildings claim several lives each year and cause many injuries. In Britain, skyscraper window cleaning is the most dangerous job, recommended only for those with nerves of steel and an appetite for adrenaline.

Luton policeman Jon Henry posthumously awarded The Queen's Commendation for Bravery: A Luton policeman who died after being stabbed twice in the chest has been posthumously awarded The Queen’s Commendation for Bravery. P.C. Jon Henry, from Bedfordshire Police, died in 2007 whilst trying to detain Ikechukwu Tennyson Obih, who had stabbed a window cleaner in the town centre. It was announced today (December 12) in the Civilian Gallantry List for 2013 that PC Henry had been given the award. The list, released online on a government website, said: “On 11 June 2007 PC Henry and a colleague were deployed to a report of a stabbing in Luton town centre. 2 other police officers were the first to arrive and the suspect was quickly located.

Residents hanker after eastern suburbs: He may live in Rolleston but the east will always be the spiritual home for Paul Stokes and his family. Forced out of their Avonside property after the September 2010 earthquake badly damaged their 120-year-old home, the Stokes now live in a new house in a modern subdivision in one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. He may have a comfortable setting in an undamaged house, but Stokes said he would move back to the east in a heartbeat if he could. He was one of the more than 10,000 people estimated by census officials to have fled the city's east after the quakes.
The family had lived in that part of the city for 27 years, but their Keller St house was hit hard in the first quake and sustained even more damage in the subsequent shakes. While the family "finally won our battle with EQC" and received a payout from their insurer, they hated having to leave a part of the city they loved. It was May 25 this year when the family formally farewelled the east to move into their new home. Stokes even has T-shirts emblazoned with "Eastside for Life" to reinforce to others where his heart lies. "It was very hard to leave. I still miss it,'' he said. "I would rather be in a 1920s house in the east than in a new house in a new subdivision, to be honest."
Stokes, who runs a window-cleaning business, often passes through the eastern suburbs and admits he hates knowing he is not returning there for good. "I guess you just have to get on with life." The east-west shift is not entirely a one-way street. Former St Albans resident Reg Ayers and his wife moved to eastern Christchurch after buying a house in New Brighton in June last year. "There's a really nice community feel, and I guess it's just really close to the beach. Plenty of people didn't think it was a good idea, but we love it, to be honest," he said. Ayers said he knew at least six other young couples who had bought New Brighton houses since the quakes.
Cutline Contest: Window washers descend the 36-story Centennial Tower downtown skyscraper this morning in Atlanta. You write the cutline.

Filipina expatriate cleans up in Dubai: Working two jobs is a reality for many expatriates who move to the UAE to support their families back home. That was the case for Leny Day when she arrived in Abu Dhabi in 1985, aged 21, from rural Tarlac province in the northern Philippines. She made Dh900 a month, working as a receptionist from 4pm until midnight at the Khalidiya Palace Hotel, then from 8am until 1pm as a secretary at a travel agency. With her free time taken up, she had little energy to consider launching her own enterprise.
Twenty-eight years later, Mrs Day’s life has changed dramatically. Her company – Smashing! Cleaning Services, which she owns – generates millions of dirhams in revenues. And this month, the company won the MasterCard Small Business of the Year and the Sustainable Initiative of the Year awards at the Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards, while Mrs Day herself won recognition as the Regus Business Leader of the Year.
As with many other heads of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Mrs Day’s entrepreneurial success story is built on perseverance and family support – in this case, including her Welsh husband, James Day. While Mrs Day acknowledges that she has come a long way and hopes to expand her business from Dubai to other emirates, she insists it has to be at her own pace. “I am not a businessperson, but there’s no harm in trying,” says the 49-year-old. “When you achieve something, it’s the fulfilment that I enjoy.”
Mrs Day slowly worked her way up the career ladder as she moved from one secretarial job to another in Abu Dhabi. She met Mr Day in 1994 and they married two years later. In 2000, the couple and their two children moved to Dubai, where Mrs Day launched her first enterprise. The cleaning services company, which will celebrate a decade in business in January, arose from a family need. Mrs Day, who used to send money home to support her family, thought that setting up her own company would help her employ some of her relatives. A cleaning services company was the first idea that came to her. And after she had the windows of her Jumeirah villa cleaned for Dh600 in 2003, she realised that she could do the same job better and cheaper.
With Dh100,000 in money she had saved up, Mrs Day founded Smashing! Cleaning Services in 2004 by employing her brother, cousin and a neighbour from her native village in the Philippines. They all lived with her initially. The venture, which began as a window cleaning company, secured its first customer, Bookworm on Al Wasl Road. The company received Dh80 to clean five windows and the signboards per visit.
Within six months, the company’s services expanded to cleaning billboards, and it made Dh20,000 a month. Shortly afterwards, the firm took on contracts to clean water tanks and kitchen chimneys for schools, hotels and hospitals, as well as pipeline disinfection, beach and lagoon cleaning and post-construction work. By 2009, Mrs Day employed 12 people and had more than 200 clients.
During her days driving around local neighbourhoods dropping flyers, she took along her daughter and son – now 16 and 19 respectively – for their company and assistance. “Even now, my son works as a storekeeper downstairs when he comes home during college breaks in England, and my daughter answers the telephone,” Mrs Day says. “It’s so that they understand that life is not easy and what we are doing here.”
In the early days of the business Mrs Day did not pay herself; today she makes Dh25,000 a month. “And 100 per cent of the profits,” quips her husband, 49. “Like any marriage, one person has to give up a little bit, which is why I left the business to Leny and I give technical support,” Mr Day says. “Day-to-day management and shouting is her problem.”
Last year, the company made a profit of Dh3 million on revenues of Dh8m. It employs 65 people and is recruiting 10 more by February. This year, the company has already achieved revenues of Dh6m. Mrs Day’s business success looks set to continue, as commercial customers including Emirates Airline, Dubai Municipality, Mubadala and Brookfield Multiplex make up 60 per of her clientele, while residents in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah make up the balance. “Now, I am choosy with the clients,” says Mrs Day, who reckons there are more than 500 cleaning services companies in Dubai. “But I don’t compete in pricing, not to the point of losing money.”
A window-washer works at Rogers Arena. Rogers Arena, home to the Vancouver Canucks, expects to switch to LED lighting soon as part of a larger strategy to reduce the venue’s environmental footprint and reduce waste. “We’re looking at upgrading our lighting system in the very near future,” said Michael Doyle, general manager of Rogers Arena and executive vice-president of Canucks Sports & Entertainment. “LED lights are one of the biggest impacts we’ll have.”

Chicago tech startup signs 5-year deal with Family Dollar: SMS Assist, a Chicago startup whose technology helps companies keep their floors clean and their plumbing systems running, said Tuesday it has signed a "significant" five-year deal with Family Dollar Stores. Financial terms of the contract with Matthews, N.C.-based Family Dollar were not disclosed.The retailer has been a client of SMS Assist since 2004, but the new agreement greatly expands the scope of the startup’s work from cleaning floors to daily facilities maintenance services across more than 7,800 stores in 45 states. SMS Assist makes a Web-based platform that helps clients manage their local subcontractors who handle everything from window washing to snow removal.
Trams – overhead wires now live along whole route: Overhead power lines between the Bankhead Tram Stop and York Place have been switched on meaning the whole airport to city centre route is now live. The 750 volt dc power lines are over five metres (around 18 feet) above the tracks and do not pose a danger to pedestrians and motorists at ground level or to those living and working in the vicinity of the tramway. The power lines, which were switched on just yesterday, will not be on constantly at all points along the route at this stage but should be considered live at all times.
Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said:-“This is another significant milestone as we push towards completion of the project and as we prepare for testing. At ground level the live wires will go unnoticed but anyone who needs to carry out works within a ten metre vicinity needs to be aware of important safety measures. We’re urging residents and businesses along the route to read the guidance and approach us to agree a safe way of working.” Authorisation is needed for any of the following works either on or near the tramway: Any work where part of the site such as tools, materials, machines, suspended loads or where people could enter the Edinburgh Tram Hazard Zone. For example, window cleaning or other work involving the use of ladders.

Nigella Lawson in court this week (London): The jury was also told that Mr Saatchi was obsessed with having everything in his luxury homes cleaned, right down to pointing out individual marks on walls, and spending an alleged £35,000 on household cleaning bills. The barrister claimed window cleaners at Eaton Square cost £500 a time and came twice a month, totalling £12,000 a year. The special flooring around the swimming pool at the Chelsea house had to be cleaned once a month at a cost of up to £700, totalling £8,400, it was claimed.
Terrence Malick’s film To The Wonder: The plot is simple. Ben Affleck is an American living in France, where he falls in love with Olga Kurylenko, a French-Russian single mom. They make a trip to the “Wonder,” which is what the French call Mont-St-Michel abbey. The film is about Love, and God. The other dyad in the film is Bardem’s priest, and God. God has withdrawn from his perception. There’s a great short scene in which a wild-haired old black man who is cleaning church windows for Father Quintana asks him if he can perceive the Holy Spirit. The old man is a charismatic, filled with joy. He puts his hand to the window and says something like, “Feel that?” Father Quintana can’t; he remains shrouded in dignified gloom. But he pushes dutifully forward, and continues to visit the poor and the sick, even though he doesn’t know why he does it, except that he teaches that for Christians, love is not something you feel, but something you do, whether you feel it or not.

Fenland firefighter is rewarded for 30 years service: Whittlesey resident Mark Nicholas, who is an on-call firefighter at his village station, was recognised for his commitment to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service at a small presentation. The 48-year-old window cleaner started his firefighting career in Suffolk, where he spent 15 months on the frontline before moving to Whittlesey.
He explained that it was the influence of his brother, who was also an on-call firefighter, who inspired him to join the profession. Mark said: “The best thing about the job is never knowing when or where the next call is and what it could be. I really enjoy the camaraderie between the crew at the station and most importantly, I get a sense of pride from helping members of the community. “I fit my work as an on-call firefighter around my window cleaning, so I can pick and choose my area of work according to the cover required at the fire station.”
Mark also said the biggest changes he’s seen in the service has been the kit and equipment worn and used over the years, with cork helmets and plastic leggings being a far cry from the kit worn by firefighters on the frontline now. Group Commander Dave Richardson added: “Mark is a dependable and valued member of the on-call firefighter team at Whittlesey Fire Station. “I have a great deal of respect for Mark and the dedication and professionalism he has shown to his station and CFRS. I look forward to Mark working as a firefighter for many years to come.”

Craig Morgan: Ahead of the by-election for the Ross East Ward, Gazette reporter Robert Powell spoke to Conservative candidate Craig Morgan. Craig is born and bred in Ross and grew up in Tudorville before moving to Overross Farm two years ago. He is married to Cath, with a two year old child, Ella. He has been involved with various groups including the Sea Cadets for 11 years, St John’s Ambulance, Ross Lions, and is a retained fire fighter at Ross fire station. Craig also helps out at his parents’ shop, he DJs and works for Councillor Andrew Atkinson’s window cleaning business.
Once-In-A-Lifetime Photos From 2013: A 37-year-old Indonesian man is known as the "Spider-Man window cleaner" and is seen here wiping the windows of the 18-story Alana Hotel in Surabaya, Indonesia. He can earn hundreds of dollars for his work, depending on the difficulty. Click to enlarge picture.

Captain America, aka Ryan Welch of Aslan's Maintenance, cheers up children in the pediatric unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.
Superheroes brighten windows and kids' spirits (Lebanon) — Superman and Captain America made an appearance five stories high outside of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center's pediatric unit Thursday morning. Superman, also known as mild-mannered Ben Stebbins, and Captain America, aka Ryan Welch, are actually employees of Aslan's Maintenance, which has been washing the windows at the hospital for many years. It's an intensive job that starts in the spring and carries over into the fall, said Aslan's Maintenance general manger Amy Stebbins.
The window washers are unassuming, quiet, mild-manner men who usually try to go unnoticed. However, when a pediatric patient at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock was recently frightened by a window washer, hospital staff asked Stebbins and Welch if they would take on superhero alter egos while cleaning the windows outside the pediatric units. "We're very fortunate CHaD provided the costumes. And as long as they provide the costumes we're happy to wear them," Amy Stebbins said. "We're going to wash the window regardless, so it's nice to be able to have a little bit of fun with the kids and make it a little bit more fun for them than having someone unexpectedly hanging outside their window."
Jessica Laperle, manager of ChaD's Child Life Program, said she had heard of other children's hospitals doing the same thing and thought it would relieve some fears for children while in the hospital. "It's pretty scary here and you know if you are having some medicine, things seem a little foggy for you, and then you look and someone's hanging from outside your window," Laperle said. "It gets to be a scary thing. This allows it to be more magical and super-power focused instead of being scary and one more unknown person. When kids are in the hospital they see so many people, so many faces are introduced and the average kid is pretty shy."

Spiderman Caught Window Cleaning (MILWAUKEE) - 8 year old Robert Davis Junior has been in and out of the hospital in recent months, thanks to an auto-immune disease that meant he hadn't gained weight in about four years.   "Because of the lack of weight gain in the last four years he has a feeding tube to kind of get him caught up a little bit," said his mom Crystal Miller. Robert's favorite superhero is Spiderman.    He's so proud of his spidey slippers.  He shows them off from his room at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. Doctors are hoping Robert can go home soon.   He says he misses school-and his mom says it gets tough having to always be in a hospital room. But  Robert--and the hospital's other young patients—were in for a real treat this week.  Three workers from Al's window cleaning service came to rescue them from the stress of their daily routines.
Vincent Torres  dressed up as spidey. "I had a little kid come jump on the window like he was Spiderman on the inside as I came down to his," Torres said. And just like the fictional peter parker, he's motivated in part by personal tragedy. "I actually lost a niece here a couple years back to leukemia so anything I can do to make the kids smile is fine,." Torres told us. Even though their meeting lasted only a few minutes, Robert brightened up quite a bit. Go Spidey! Go Robert!

Window Washers Dress As Superheroes, Cheer Up Kids At Children’s Hospital - PITTSBURGH - A lot of people are celebrating Halloween today. But how to you celebrate if you are in a hospital bed? For kids at Children’s Hospital, it often means trick-or-treating in the halls. So, a Pittsburgh company decided to bring a Halloween party to the kids. Did you know America’s favorite wall crawler does windows? Four crew members from Allegheny Window Cleaning, Inc. worked in costume to brighten the day of sick kids and their families. “Do it for the kids. They enjoy it. We enjoy it. It’s a good time for everybody,” said Mark Errico, who dressed up as Captain America.
Well, most everybody. “I thought it was very cool. My husband was more of a big kid than he cared,” said Andrea King, of Economy, Pa. Don’t think for a minute it was just the kids who cared that superheroes were hanging out in Lawrenceville on Halloween. “The lady over here said the kids are loving it. I’m like, I’m loving it. It was really cool,” said Greg King, the father of a patient. “It was really nice that they did that and everybody was excited to see it.”
One crew member says it’s a small way to give back because Children’s gave so much to him. “I had a young daughter that had an incident when she was about 3,” said Ed Matuizek, of Allegheny Window Cleaning, Inc. “I followed an ambulance to Children’s Hospital. Everything’s okay today, but I know what a lot of these people are going through.” So, for a day, these superheroes aren’t worried about wiping out crime as much as they are concerned with wiping dirt and grunge from the windows of the 12-story hospital. “A lot of kids will hit the streets tonight in their neighborhoods with their families, and unfortunately, these kids won’t; so, we are just trying to bring a little joy and a little love to the day,” said Matuizek.
And while these superheroes rely on ropes and harnesses, this day is really all about their super-sized hearts. “When you think you are having a bad day, look in the window. You know what I mean? It’s tough for those kids,” said Errico. “We know it. They know it. Their parents know it and anything to bring a little smile to their face and help them out.”

Superhero Window Washers Wow Sick Kids: Window washers wear special gear to help celebrate Brazil's Children's Day. - It's a bird! It's a plane! It's.... well, it's a window washer dressed as Superman. A pair of window washers in Sao Paulo Brazil donned Superman and Captain America outfits as they worked on the windows of a children's hospital—much to the delight of the patients inside. Five year old Luiz Ricardo couldn't believe his eyes. So cool, cool, cool, he said. The special guests were brought in to help celebrate Brazil's National Children's Day. The director of the hospital said it's important to help children forget their troubles, if only for a little while. [Jose Luiz Setubal, Director of Sabara Childrens' Hospital]: "These moments that refer to the humanization of hospitalization makes things much easier for the children. They instantly forget their pains and injections. It's so important for us." And for the superheroes? Well, it's all in a day's work. Seeing the children smile really makes your day, they said.

‘Super heroes’ clean windows, bring smiles (MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) – Patients at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis got a surprise when they looked out the window. Batman, Superman and Spiderman took a break from their normal super hero duties to wash the hospital windows. The super heroes actually comes from a local window cleaning company. The event was arranged by the hospital’s art and healing coordinator.

Superhero Window Washers Drop In on Sick Kids: A window washer in a costume shows that anybody can be a super hero. Being at a hospital is no fun for anyone, and it can be especially trying for kids. But on Tuesday at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford,  sick children stuck in their hospital beds got the unexpected treat outside their windows thanks to a group of window washers who dressed up like super heroes. A heroic trio of Spiderman, Batman and Superman joined forces to scale down walls, scrub down windows and bring a lot of smiles along the way. “This time, the enemy is grime, not crime,” said Patrick Connor, administrative director of support services, “and we know these legends will brighten everyone’s day.” Lucile Packard said the workers brightened both "the day and the windows." The window washers work for Delta Window Cleaning in Santa Clara. They have dressed up in the past, but on Tuesday they expanded their grime fighting unit to include a bigger variety of characters. “It was a big hit with the kids and staff,” said Efrain Guerra, director of the hospital’s housekeeping services. “So, this time, we talked to Delta about letting some other superheroes get in on the action.”
Children at Hasbro Children's Hospital get a "super" surprise: It was a "super" surprise for the children at Hasbro Children's Hospital this morning as they looked out their windows and saw their favorite super heroes. A group of workers from Fish Window Cleaning donned the costumes of the kid's favorite super heroes including Superman, Spider Man, and Captain America and scaled the walls of the hospital. As the children looked outside their windows, they were greeted to the superheroes washing the windows.
Superheros visit sick children in ALBUQUERQUE - Children who have to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital got a special visit Wednesday from their favorite super heroes. Spiderman and the Hulk scaled down the windows of the UNM Children's Hospital. Many of the kids are too sick to have visitors or are unable to go outside. So this was a way to bring them joy this Thanksgiving and the super heroes drew quite a crowd outside. "Spiderman gave me knuckles and two high fives and two thumbs up," Zachary said. "I think it's a real blessing for the kids that they get to see Spiderman and Hulk cleaning the windows for them while they're in the hospital,” Jacob said. The super heroes are from Tux Window Cleaning and they volunteered to dress up for the kids. The event is also a toy drive for the sick children. You can donate toys on the sixth floor of the UNM Children’s Hospital.
Cleaners repelled down the side of Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The 'superheroes' from Modern Window Cleaning didn't let the rain stop them from returning to bring some happiness to patients at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital on Halloween. Thursday afternoon, the window cleaners dressed up in Superman, Spiderman, Wolverine and other superhero costumes as they repelled down the side of the hospital. The kids and their families were able to watch them from the Halloween party in the lobby of the hospital.

A couple of ‘superheroes’ took a break from their busy, crime-stopping schedules to wash windows and say hello to those in the pediatric unit at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital (SJCH) in Paterson, New Jersey, on Monday, September 17th. Michael Lamacchia, MD, Chairman, Pediatrics, SJCH, was pleased with how the event unfolded, "The window washer superheroes really did a great job. They really got involved with the kids." "Patients at the Children’s Hospital expect to see doctors, nurses and everyone else, but never superheroes. This is something really special for them,” Dr. Lamacchia added.
St. Joseph's window washing vendor, Premier Building Services of Butler, New Jersey, sent Enrique Naranjo (Batman), Juan Elizondo (Spider-Man) and Fabio Elizondo (Superman) to make this window washing visit a special treat. Naranjo and Juan Elizondo repelled down from the roof to wave, blow kisses, and high-five the surprised children, parents and St. Joseph's staff, while Fabio Elizondo, standing on the rooftop, entertained those passing by. Bryan Deleon (age 6, Bergenfield) coincidently sported a Spider-Man t-shirt. His eyes lit up as he interacted with the Spidey and remained glued to the window until Spidey and Batman swung to the next rooms.
Super Hero Surprise leads to smiles at Sanford's Children Hospital: If your child is sick in the hospital, you try your best to make them happy and take their mind of the fact that they are there. Doing that was made a lot easier today, thanks to some special people who decided to do something "super". Their little faces were nearly pressed to the window, their eyes wide with amazement....these kids were seeing something, they weren't expecting to see... "His face was right on them and he just dropped his jaw and went 'ohhhh' " Christie Bowar and her son Rigley were simply amazed....when they looked out the window....and saw Spider-Man, Batman, Captain America and Wonder Woman...on the other side of the glass. "I think he was a little shy at first and then when he left he said "more, please" he definitely enjoyed it."
What Christie, Rigley and every one else was seeing....were window washers with Rapid City-based "Black Hills Window Cleaning", who decided they were going to do their jobs a little differently this time. "We've always kind of talked about ideas but never done anything." Spider-Man told us it was OK to tell you his secret identity.....John Galiczewski....who says washing the windows then being able to spend some one on one time with the kids...was amazing. "It was definitely cool...for the kids and seeing their response." This is more than just people dressing up as super heroes. This was an intentional act of put smiles on faces that otherwise might not be there. And that is more "super" than just about anything. "More? You want more? You might see them later." This is the first time these window washers have donned their costumes; the folks at Sanford Children's hope it will not be the last.
Super Clean (SIOUX FALLS, SD) - It looks like something straight out of a comic book. Batman and Spiderman tangled up in a web of windows at Sanford Children's Hospital. Employees of Black Hills Window Cleaning dressed up as Super Heroes to put on a show for the patients on Wednesday. Maegan Schroeder and her four-year-old child Keaton got a front row seat of all the high flying action. "Batman cleaned all the windows clean and another one missed a spot," Keaton said. But even though these kids don't feel well, they made sure they didn't miss this rare window of opportunity to watch super hero stunt men suspended several stories high, dangle by a rope.
All the action was enough to make anyone say, "holy cow." And for any parent of a sick child, you could call this stunt, comic relief. "Sanford does a really great job of taking care of the kids, making it kid oriented," Maegan said. Because of their high flying performance, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America and Wonder Woman have done justice to the windows and brought smiles to the sick kids' faces, who would rather not be in the hospital. "It hasn't been very fun, but the super heroes was a good distraction," Maegan said. The crew cleaned all the windows on the Sanford campus, but cleaned 12 on the castle while in costume.

Funerals for two victims of police helicopter Clutha pub crash held: Father Ness said: "Mark in his life's journey met many other people. On that journey he impressed people. One of the stories that I have heard stands out because it was told to me by two people. "In his job as a window cleaner one family told me he used to make circles in the window for the kids to come and look through so that the young children could come and be amazed at the mystery of how the windows were cleaned. That is one example of his concern for and interest in other people." Father Ness said Mr O'Prey had died in a place where people went to be together and to be happy. He added: "That was the place where Mark was happy and that was the place where his life ended so unexpectedly." "This journey that Mark O'Prey had, it ended so unexpectedly," Father Ness said. He told the congregation that he had spoken to Mr O'Prey's father, Ian, about his fears and hopes for his son in the hours following the Clutha crash.

Ruth A. Cron, 83, of Paducah, passed away Friday at 3:50 p.m. at Baptist Health Care of Paducah. Mrs. Cron was a native of Evansville, Ind. She was the owner and operator of Paducah Window Cleaning Service and was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church. She was very active, serving as a room mother, den mother for scouts and loved her volunteer work at the Superior Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  She leaves behind her daughter, Rebecca Cron Hyde of Paducah; two sons, Michael Cron and Kevin Cron, both of Paducah; one sister, Mary Ann Martin of Evansville; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Earl Cron; her parents, Harry Steinhauser and Cecelia Koressel Steinhauser; one brother; and three sisters. There will be no services.

CORTLAND - Paul "Lubianetzky" Lubiak, 94, passed away Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, at Gillette Nursing Home. He was born Feb. 14, 1919 in New York, N.Y., the son of Peter and Pauline Pashesnick Lubianetzky. He married Lena Bud Lubiak on March 2, 1946. A graduate of Warren G. Harding High School, he owned and operated Trumbull Window Cleaning for 50 years. He was a veteran of the United States Army 82nd Airborne Division, having served during WWII. Paul was a member of the American Legion Post 540 and enjoyed fishing and golf.
He is survived by his wife, Lena Lubiak, son, Paul P. (Diane) Lubianetzky, and daughter, Margaret (Chris) Gilger, all of Cortland; nine grandchildren, Sara Lightner, Lauren (Mike) Shaffer, Caitlin (Matthew) Kuhn, Brian and Amy Lubianetzky, Adam, Nick, Noah and Aaron Gilger; and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.

WWII vet of Cortland laid to rest - His jacket resurfaced recently after 70 years: A local World War II veteran laid to rest on Wednesday was reminded earlier this year of the time he spent in the military when he was contacted by an 18-year-old man living in France who had in his possession the jacket that served as part of the veteran's dress uniform. Family members said that despite never receiving his jacket, Paul "Lubianetzky" Lubiak was pleasantly surprised to receive a handwritten note in the mail from Robert Dimitri of Haute-Saone in eastern France.
Lubiak's original name, Lubianetzky, and serial number were still inside the jacket collar. His son-in-law, Chris Gilger, said after the funeral he doesn't think Lubiak was disappointed that Dimitri kept the jacket instead of returning it. "He had a good life and a lot of good memories. He was a good man and left us with a lot of wonderful memories as well," Gilger said. Lubiak was born Feb. 14, 1919, in New York, N.Y., the son of Peter and Pauline Pashesnick Lubianetzky. A graduate of Warren G. Harding High School, he owned and operated Trumbull Window Cleaning for 50 years.
Unwanted Window Washer: A woman at La Grange Art League, 122 W. Calendar St., reported a man was washing the windows about 1 p.m. She had assumed he was hired to wash the windows, but realized he wasn’t when he asked for $5 when he finished. She gave him the money so he would go away, then called police.
Warning over 'window cleaning' scam - Residents in North Tyneside are being warned to be on their guard against bogus window cleaners. Police received reports over the weekend that two men were knocking on doors in Whitley Bay, claiming to have cleaned the windows and asking to be paid. Enquiries established the claims were false and windows had not been cleaned. The men reportedly visited addresses in and around Hawthorn Gardens, Kingsley Avenue and Kensington Gardens on Saturday and Sunday.
One of the men is described as white and in his late 20s, with a North East accent. He is around 5ft 8in tall with dark hair shaved at the back and sides. He was wearing a black hoodie, dark three-quarter length bottoms and dark trainers with luminous patches on the heels. The second man is believed to be in his early 20s, around 5ft 8in and of slim build. He was wearing a blue hooded top.
Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Inspector Jim Gray said: "We've received a number of reports of men claiming to have cleaned windows in the Whitley Bay area and would urge residents to be extra vigilant. "We would advise people to be on their guard to anyone who calls at the door unannounced, especially if they are offering to carry out work or claiming that they have already done so. If the visit is genuine then the caller won't mind waiting while their credentials are checked out.
"Most people who employ a window cleaner will know when they are likely to come and clean the windows and know who they are. If someone cleans your windows without a prior agreement then they should not expect payment." Anyone who knows the identity of the men described is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 923 071213. Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
South Union man charged with theft by deception: A Union town area handyman is accused of bilking a 90-year-old South Union woman out of nearly $4,000 recently on the pretense of cleaning gutters on her house, repairing the roof, replacing a basement window and painting part of a basement wall, state police at Uniontown said. The suspect, Charles Carter Price, 43, of South Union, allegedly took almost $4,000 from the woman for the unnecessary work between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, police said. Police said the victim's daughter, who lives in Pittsburgh, became suspicious when she learned her mother had made numerous cash withdrawals from her bank account for the home improvements. The roof was determined to be in good condition and the gutters are protected by gutter guards. Price was charged before Uniontown District Judge Joseph George with theft by deception. He surrendered at George's office on Nov. 21 and was released on $5,000 unsecured bond.
A man was not insured to drive his father’s car when he smashed into the back of another vehicle which slowed for police going to an emergency. Jonathon Robinson, 51, of Grange Road, Fleetwood, admitted driving without insurance. He was given a six-month conditional discharge, ordered to pay £15 victims’ surcharge and had six motoring penalty points put on his licence by Blackpool magistrates. Pam Smith, prosecuting, said a police vehicle, with blue lights flashing, was on Dock Road, Fleetwood, going to an emergency on May 10 at about 8pm. Robinson crashed into the rear of a Suzuki Swift which gave way for the police car. At the time Robinson was over the drink-drive limit with 83 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit. He was dealt with for this offence at a previous court appearance and banned from the road until November next year. Robinson said he had believed his fully comprehensive insurance had covered him to drive his father’s Kia Picanto. After being banned he could not continue his window cleaning work and added that he was emigrating to Sweden.
A serial flasher has been warned he could lose his truck if he is caught again. On Friday a courtroom at Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Richard Davis was seen sitting in his vehicle in Braintree committing a sex act when he was seen by a woman. She told the court how she was "disgusted" when she saw Davis parked up in the town centre. Davis denied it was him but was convicted on charges of exposure and outraging public decency. Judge Christopher Ball QC told the 65-year old he had been given plenty of chances in the past but had continued to offend. On this occasion, he had put a womam through the ordeal of giving evidence about what she saw, the judge said. Davis, from Shimbrook, Great Leighs, was jailed for six months and put on the sex offenders' register for seven years when he appeared in court for sentence. Judge Ball told him he had considered confiscating the truck Davis was in at the time but had decided not to. But the judge warned window cleaner Davis this could happen if he offends in the same way again. "Your card is marked," Judge Ball told Davis.

A convicted criminal robbed a pensioner while on licence after being released from prison for stealing children’s Christmas presents. A judge told 27-year-old Mark Proudfoot his criminal record was the worst he had ever seen for someone of his age and jailed him for two years and eight months. Carlisle Crown Court heard that Proudfoot had 47 convictions, most for offences of dishonesty. Proudfoot, of Grey Street, off London Road, Carlisle, earlier admitted stealing cash, a mobile phone and tobacco from 66-year-old John Taylor’s home in August.
Mr Taylor, who was retired but worked as a window cleaner to make ends meet and was described as “vulnerable”, had been saving the money to pay his milkman, the court heard. Proudfoot was on licence at the time after serving a 16-month prison sentence for stealing children’s Christmas presents from a communal area of a block of flats. He committed that crime just a day after being released from a previous sentence.
The court heard how MrTaylor had been left feeling uneasy and violated that someone had been in his home and was “very angry” about what had happened. When he was arrested, Proudfoot twice faked a seizure and told police officers he would “play the mental health card”. In his defence, the court heard Proudfoot had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and the burglary had happened during the day when the owner was not home. Judge Paul Batty QC told him: “Yours is the worst criminal record I have seen for one of your age. “You cannot keep your hands off other people’s property. “I find your behaviour utterly contemptible.”
When Proudfoot was in court to be sentenced for taking the Christmas presents, prosecutor Gerard Richardson said his actions had “effectively ruined” Christmas for the elderly woman victim and her family. He took cash and gifts worth more than £700 from a communal cupboard at the flats where the woman lived, off Warwick Road. The court heard he had been released from a burglary and shoplifting sentence the day before. He had drunk alcohol and taken Diazepam and told police he was “off [his] head”.

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