Friday, 4 April 2014

Window Cleaning News

High-rise window washer David Schmidt, from Outlook Exterior Maintenance, listens to a podcast on how to speak French as he bounces along the exterior of the 20-story Millennium Tower, near the Smith Tower in Seattle.
High-rise window washer David Schmidt, who's learning to speak French on a podcast, rappels along the exterior of the 20-story Millennium Tower in downtown Seattle.
Bonjour, Seattle! Learning French from 20 stories up: It takes almost two weeks for window washer David Schmidt and another person to clean the windows of the 20-story Millennium Tower in downtown Seattle. But Schmidt has found a way to multi-task. He listens to instructional podcasts on how to speak French and other topics as he bounces along the building's exterior, cleaning mineral stains off the glass. "It's a lot of glass," says Schmidt, who works for Outlook Exterior Maintenance. Schmidt has a bike store in Seattle's Ballard district, the Dutch Bike Co., and washes windows during the off season. “It's good exercise and it keeps your mind clear,” he says. Are there tricks to it? “You have to be stealthy,” says Schmidt, because rigging rooftops can be tricky. And he's learning French on one of the podcasts he uses as he rappels along. "People think I'm talking to myself," he says, but he's really learning the language to communicate with his daughter, who is going to France.

Palm House, Kew Gardens
Window cleaners have a right pane of a job at Kew Gardens: Palm House at Kew Gardens. With more than 16,000 panes, it will take the team up to six weeks to clean the iconic glasshouse inside and out. The Grade I listed building, engineered by iron-founder Richard Turner and built between 1844 and 1848, is home to Kew’s marine plants and tropical palms.
Unger Golden Tickets.
5 Unger golden tickets for - $150 worth of Unger supplies have been placed in 5 random boxes.  To celebrate Unger's 50 years in business they have released a small number of hand tools in a different color featuring the 50th anniversary logo. Limited edition 50th anniversary Unger ErgoTec Kit includes the following: - 14" or 18" Grey ErgoTec Complete Squeegee With Green Rubber - Grey Bucket On A Belt - 14" Grey ErgoTec T-Bar - 14" Grey Ninja Strip Washer Sleeve. See the video here. Get the deal here.
Thief given 'a good pasting' by angry window cleaner in Exeter: A thief was chased down the street and given ‘a good pasting’ by an angry window cleaner after he was caught breaking into his van in the middle of the night. Barry Frost was knocked to the ground and suffered bruising after being followed through the streets of Exeter in the middle of the night as he was out looking for cars to steal from.
Window cleaner Adrian Cowell was woken by his car alarm and saw Frost fleeing down the street. He made a citizen’s arrest after seeing him smashing the side window of another car nearby. Frost, aged 43, of Smythen Street, Exeter, admitted two offences of attempted theft from motor vehicles and was jailed for four months, suspended for a year and ordered to receive drug rehabilitation as part of 12 months supervision. Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said Mr Cowell was awoken at his home when Frost broke into his van in Buddle Lane and the alarm went off.
He looked out of his window and saw Frost leaving and got up and followed him to Barley Mount where he detained him as he broke into a Kia. Miss Eagles said:”Mr Cowell accused the defendant of breaking the window of his van and Frost lunged at him. Mr Cowell struck him twice and the police were called.” The van cost £200 to repair and the Kia £72 and Miss Eagles said Frost has 26 convictions for tampering with cars. Mr Adrian Chaplin, defending, said Frost had not offended for some time before these thefts but had slipped back into crime and is now keen to address the underlying problems in his life. He said:”During this incident my client received what some might say was an entirely justified pasting.”
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Washing your windows is never any fun. Imagine washing thousands of windows at a structure like the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Just blocks from the Atlantic ocean, those windows can get real dirty fast. So they need to be cleaned twice a year and this year that job falls to Valcourt Building Services . Find out more on this week’s video edition of Reck on the Road.

Cleaning Electronic Devices (SIOUX FALLS, SD) - During cold and flu season, you might find yourself disinfecting almost everything around you to stay healthy. But how do you properly clean electronic devices without damaging them? As the general manager of Next2New Wireless, Brad Hatle has seen all sorts of cell phones in all kinds of conditions. "I've seen food caked up in the microphones. I've seen ear wax at the ear piece. I've seen all kinds of disgusting things with cell phones," Hatle said.
The unclean devices have made Hatle more aware of cleaning his cell phones and tablets. "Every time I go to use a phone I make sure I wipe it off before I put it up to my face," Hatle said. But cleaning your devices can be tricky because some products can damage electronics. "Most important thing is don't douse the device in anything - hand sanitizer included, water, window cleaner, anything like that. Moisture and electronics don't mix," Hatle said.
Hatle recommends using a small amount of hand sanitizer or a sanitizing wipe. "You can either use the wipes or just use a soft cloth and put a little hand sanitizer on it and wipe the phone off with that," Hatle said. By a soft cloth, Hatle means a Kleenex or a soft microfiber cloth. “Just don't grab a rugged paper towel and start grinding on the phone," Hatle said.
Along with cleaning your devices, Dr. Wendell Hoffmann says you should practice good hand hygiene. "Every time I pick up my cell phone to use it I should wash my hands. Any time I touch another surface, like a computer board, I should be washing my hands," Hoffman said. You also might want to consider how many people touch your phone or tablet. "You just have to be aware that the bacteria are there even though we can't see them," Hoffman said.
That is why Hatle is calling on others to clean their electronic devices. "Even though it's my phone and it's probably my goo, I still don't want to put it up against my face," Hatle said. If you're not thinking about cleaning your cell phone yet, this might have you searching for hand sanitizer. Several studies show that the average cell phone has more bacteria than a toilet seat or the bottom of your shoe.

Fish Window Cleaning to expand   Fish Window Cleaning has identified Naples and Fort Myers as a successful place to grow its franchise.  “We are focusing on Naples and Fort Myers because of the area’s growing commercial and residential communities,” vice president of franchise development Nathan Merrick said in a statement.  The franchise hopes to open 40 new locations nationwide this year. It currently has locations in 42 states.
Fish Window Cleaning to expand: Fish Window Cleaning has identified Naples and Fort Myers as a successful place to grow its franchise. “We are focusing on Naples and Fort Myers because of the area’s growing commercial and residential communities,” vice president of franchise development Nathan Merrick said in a statement. The franchise hopes to open 40 new locations nationwide this year. It currently has locations in 42 states.

Workers at Fenway Park are busy getting it ready for opening day Friday. Crews from Fish Window Cleaning, of Woburn, Mass., wash the press box windows under the past three championship banners.

Forget your jumper, this thermoelectric wristband can heat or cool your entire body: Heating and cooling buildings is an expensive business. Recent rises in energy prices in the UK mean that the average cost of keeping our homes warm is around £610 annually (up from £360 in 2008) whilst in the US they have the opposite problem with air conditioning accounting for a massive 16.5 per cent of the country’s entire energy bill. A team of scientists and engineers from MIT have attempted to tackle this problem by asking one simple and radical question: what if we focus on the temperature of the individual instead of the temperature of the building?
On the face of it this looks awfully similar to Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s recent advice to ‘put on a jumper’ but unsurprisingly the scientists from MIT are taking a slightly more sophisticated approach to the problem than our government is. They’ve created a “thermoelectric bracelet” that monitors the body’s temperature and ambient conditions before sending “tailored pulses of hot or cold waveforms to the wrist to help maintain thermal comfort.”
The invention, called Wristify, is based on the fact that heating or cooling parts of the skin can help influence how hot or cold we feel over our entire body. As human beings we are not entirely accurate thermometers and spend a lot of our time simply adapting to our surroundings. This is why a cool flannel applied to forehead of a flu sufferer can help them feel more comfortable - or why a pair of pocket handwarmers can heat up a cold hiker by themselves. How hot or cold we feel is based as much on our perception as it is on our temperature.
Wristify takes advantage of this, with the technology working via custom copper-alloy heat sink that delivers thermal pulses to the skin, powered for eight hours at a time by a lithium polymer battery. “What we developed is a wearable, wrist-based technology that leverages human sensitivity, can detect and perfect rates of change, and can maintain overall thermal comfort while reducing the need to heat and cool buildings,” said Sam Shames, a materials science and engineering student and one of Wristify’s inventors.
Last month, in recognition of their invention, the Wristify team took home the first prize at MIT’s annual material-sciences design competition, receiving funding to take the device beyond its current prototype stage. The team are currently exploring the idea of a commercial product for Wristify, so perhaps we can look forward to a future where instead of cranking up the thermostat on the wall, we just just dial up the heater on our wrist.
Picture Window Perfect: Employee Wayne Keough takes advantage of a quiet afternoon to wash the windows at Carquest Auto Parts in Windsor Friday. Unsettled weather this week could mean more cleaning soon.

School officials, mayor at odds over school security film project: The school superintendent calls it “a no-brainer,” but Mayor Mark Lauretti isn’t so sure it makes sense to put security film on glass windows and doors at five of the city’s public schools. School Supt. Freeman Burr recently told Board of Education (BOE) members the plan to install the security ballistic film on window surfaces is “on hold” due to Lauretti’s reluctance to provide the needed funds on the city side. “I can’t say he’s receptive,” Burr said of Lauretti while speaking at the most recent BOE meeting. “He didn’t say no … My feeling is it’s a no=brainer.” It would cost about $65,000 to install the security film — a thin layer placed over glass surfaces — at Booth Hill, Sunnyside, Perry Hill, Shelton Intermediate and Shelton High schools. Bids from private firms have been received for the project.
The security film, combined with stainless steel wire mesh that also would be used, is designed to slow down an intruder by making it much harder to gain access inside by smashing windows with everything from bullets to a pick axe. “The goal is to introduce a time delay for an intruder,” said BOE Finance Director Allan Cameron, who has been helping to oversee school security projects. Burr said the BOE security director and Shelton police have recommended using the security film, noting they conducted tests on how windows with the film would hold up to various weapons. Cameron said the state recommends use of the film as an option for upgrading security at schools. The security film and wire mesh would only be used at five schools because the city’s other three schools — Long Hill, Mohegan and Elizabeth Shelton — are expected to undergo more substantial security upgrades in the next year or so.

Getting a skyscraper to look shiny and new: There's a group of workers whose workplace is high above the ground. People call them spidermen, and perhaps rightly so. CCTV's Shi Wenjing spent some time with these spider men in the Shanghai World Financial Center, which is the tallest building in the country so far. 39-year-old Chu Jinhua and his partner are working on the last step before they reach out into the sky. Their work today starts on the seventy eighth floor. By clicking the button on this operation panel, Chu can control the platform he works on to get the best angle to clean the glass. Just imagine this is your work place, and most of your work day you spend on this platform and that too at a height, that you can hardly recognize anything down there. It takes a lot of courage.
The skyscraper Chu is working on has about 50-thousand windows. To ensure that each window is cleaned properly, the building is equipped with different types of window cleaning machines. "There are 19 machines in this building. Some of the machines are designed for different areas. Like this one, it is the biggest among them which is designed for tilted surface outside. The sponges at four corners are there to prevent conflict between the platform and the windows when the wind blows.” Wang Zhixiang, head of Cleaning Dept., COXGOMYL, said.
Chu says there are few people these days who choose to do this kind of job because of the safety concerns. It wasn’t easy for him when he first started. "I’ve worked as a window cleaner for six years now. It took me some time to overcome the fear of heights when cleaning the window. With years of work experience I can clean windows higher and higher." Chu said. Chu said his family still worries about his job but he’s quite sure about the big machine he works on everyday. And he feels proud of the shiny windows the building can boast of at the end of the day. Video at link.

Glass surfaces are also getting more attention. RoboSnail, for instance, is a rectangular bot from AquaGenesis International that wipes slime off aquarium walls. The device costs about $250 at pet and aquarium stores. RoboSnail can be programmed to stop short of the gravel at the bottom of an aquarium so it doesn’t pick up anything that can scratch the glass. But it will not turn corners. That means you have to physically move it from side to side.
Similar bots have been created to clean windows. WinBot and Windoro use sensors, detergent sprays and microfiber pads to move around window surfaces. While both can be used on most windows, they’re aimed at consumers with large expanses of glass that are hard to reach. Windoro retails for around $585 while WinBot’s two models run from $350 to $400. The cheaper of the two is for use only on windows with frames. Both bots, as well as replacement pads and other supplies, can be found online through Amazon and eBay.
Roger Bootle: When the revolution is digitised, will there be enough work for us all? Here is the conclusion of this interesting article, published by The Daily Telegraph: But now there is a second problem. Admittedly, as long as there are unsatisfied human wants then there must be jobs available to satisfy them. But suppose that the superiority and cheapness of machines over humans is so great that the demand for human labour is very low in relation to the supply. Then the price of that labour, wages and salaries, will have to be very low. It could be so low as to be below the socially acceptable norm in a civilised society, or even below the level of subsistence. This would then imply a large number of people permanently out of work and living on some sort of state support. This has huge implications, not just for the distribution of income but also for social solidarity and possibly even for democracy. The issue turns on who owns the machines and enjoys the fruits of their “labour”.
In practice, I think that the future may be rather less stark. For a start, although machines have become more capable they still cannot be relied upon to perform simple menial tasks. So, paradoxically, for some time yet, such jobs as gardening, window cleaning and plumbing will be secure from replacement by robots. Indeed, the incomes of people performing such tasks may rise relative to some more “middle class” repetitive jobs which rely on brain power.
Moreover, the logic of machines replacing humans in so many spheres of mental activity is that humans are left free to concentrate on particularly human things. I suspect that we may be amazed at the increase in jobs that involve the human side – caring for the old and sick, relationship counselling, human development, catering and hospitality, as well as a resurgence of domestic service.

Germinator or Bonnie & Clyde? By any name UV device is a strong weapon against hospital infections (Cincinnati) - If you’re driving on I-75 past Tylersville Road, and you happen to see an eerie glow from a window at West Chester Hospital, rest assured: It's latest in infection control at work. “There are all kinds of nooks and crannies in a hospital that you just can’t get to by doing a good job cleaning,” says hospital infection preventionist Linda Jamison. “So we’re just delighted to have these on board now.” Inside an empty fourth-floor room at the four-year-old hospital, Jamison gestures to a matched pair of light machines. Each is just shy of five feet tall, about 15 inches around, and 54 pounds mounted on industrial casters. Ryan Holman, the hospital’s environmental services manager, pokes a stylus on a remote control to send a command, turn on the lights, and clean the room.
In 2011, Mercy Health-Anderson Hospital was the first facility in the area to start using a device called IRiS, manufactured by Infection Prevention Technologies LLC in Auburn Hills, Mich. Mark Statham, one of the company's founders, got his bachelor’s degree from Miami University and started out as a microbiologist. In the lab, he saw the effectiveness of UV light in disinfecting spaces. Light from a certain portion of the UV spectrum disrupts DNA in bacteria and viruses so they can’t reproduce. “It cooks the organism from the inside out,” Statham said, “like a hard-boiled egg.” Other companies make UV lights large enough to disinfect hospital rooms. Statham says his machines have sensors that measure and register how much UV light to discharge in a cleaning session. The machines also remember, through bar coding, when a room was last cleaned and for how long, and who ran the lights.
Statham found that the machines work better in pairs, spreading more disinfecting light into a room over more exposed surfaces. People cannot be in the room while the machines are running, but they can watch through a window, since glass reflects that spectrum of UV light. While the units operate, a monitor hangs from the outside door handle; if it moves, the units automatically shut down. The room can be used right after treatment. "The Germinator" gets results. Mercy Health was among Statham’s first customers for the unit that his company trademarked, The Syndicate. The UV lights at Anderson Hospital achieved impressive results: the rate of C. diff infection dropped 32 percent in the first year. The hospital staff calls the UV light system “the Germinator.”
Mercy then acquired lights for its Clermont Hospital and The Jewish Hospital. Over five months in 2012, Clermont had a 49 percent decrease in patient days and costs connected to infection, and a 37 percent drop in readmissions for patients with C. diff infections, said Nanette Bentley, Mercy Health's director of public relations. Tri-Health followed suit with units for Bethesda North and Good Samaritan hospitals. Last year, UC Health bought units for UC Medical Center, Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care and West Chester Hospital, which got its units in late January. Jamison, the infection preventionist, calls them Bonnie and Clyde (pictured below). The system is expensive, considering the government estimates that treating one person with a healthcare-associated infection can cost up to $25,000, hospitals see it as a worthwhile expense.
Statham’s company offers three systems that run in price from $45,000 to $85,000 to $127,800. He said deals with the Cincinnati hospitals, which were among his first customers, took into account the fact that they provided valuable technical feedback. At Tri-Health, infection preventionist Carolyn Fiutem said she had “been looking at this technology for about five years,” and was eager to try UV lights. Eighteen months into regular use, Fiutem said Tri-Health has seen a 57 percent drop in C. diff infections. “It’s one of the best patient safety investments you can use, from the aspect of having the room prepared to receive someone,” she said. Around Tri-Health, the UV lights go by a simple nickname: “the bug zapper.”

Window washing is a very feast or famine business in Crested Butte. Sometimes I will have a five-person crew; sometimes it’s just me. I operate for six months from May-October, enabling me to find freelance work in Japan or go to AK for the winter. It keeps me in great physical shape and keeps my mind sharp because monkeying around on ladders is dangerous.
Blue Collar Pro: Susan Mol - Every scene in snowboarding has people who stand outside the fold. People who don’t care about what other people think. People who ride the rowdiest shit. People who cheer for you even if you aren’t able to ride the same gnarly lines that they can. People who travel where they want to, pay for their trips themselves, and don’t care if anyone is filming. They do it because they want the challenge and want to push themselves as far as they can go. Podiums, money, and photographers are an after thought. Susan Mol pretty much won every major big mountain snowboarding title, including the North Face Masters and Freeride World Tour, while she was a ski patroller at Crested Butte. Known for fearlessly riding exposed, technical lines, Mol is a legend in the freeride community. We caught up with Susan in the midst of a busy winter of riding and traveling. She shared her insights on why she competed, living with an athlete’s mentality, and how she paid for her powder search with a seasonal window-washing business.
Washing Windows to Stay on the Snow: I have a window cleaning business. It was actually a joke with a photographer friend of mine, Ralph Kristopher. We were brainstorming, “How are we ever going to just work in the summer and ski in the winter?” The second year in business we contracted a few mega-mansions. We were using his Jeep and my Honda Civic, which looked really funny with a 32-foot ladder on it. The third year, I bought a truck and made the business legit. I took over the business the fourth year when my partner wanted to pursue his passion for photography. Window washing is a very feast or famine business in Crested Butte. Sometimes I will have a five-person crew; sometimes it’s just me. I operate for six months from May-October, enabling me to find freelance work in Japan or go to AK for the winter. It keeps me in great physical shape and keeps my mind sharp because monkeying around on ladders is dangerous. I do the risk-reward game even at work. It helps me judge things. If I am looking at window, I think, if that were a cliff, how high would it be? It conveniently ends at the end of October and I can’t really start up again until the snow melts.
Jet Water Fed Pole Systems official launch in the UK: A unique, high-quality and reliable water-fed pole (WFP) system has recently launched in the UK with outstanding results for professional window cleaners. Jet Systems is an exciting new company that aims to provide premium and innovative WFP systems to the industry that provide greater value for money than the leading competitors. Both its founders – Richard Everingham and Mark Atkinson – have a wealth of experience in the cleaning industry, and have teamed up to create a formidable partnership that will take their business venture from strength to strength. 
Jet Systems is aiming for innovation in the WFP market, and uses rigorous manufacturing processes to provide high-quality and reliability in all of their products. Jet Water-fed pole systems allow window cleaners – on a residential and industrial scale – to clean windows safely, easily, and to a high standard. Using purified water and a soft-bristled brush, the system leaves windows with a gleaming streak-free shine. Many more window cleaners are changing their ways and investing in the future of window cleaning, so what are you waiting for? Jet Systems are to have launched three new products – that will lead to a revolution in the water-fed pole system industry – by June of this year. 
Company founders Richard and Mark will be touring the industry roadshows across the UK this year, giving help and advice on their products, and free demonstrations to potential customers. With a loyal customer following already, Jet Systems is aiming to be the business to beat. This exciting new company is at the forefront of the window cleaning industry, so get involved now! Sign up to the free Jet Systems newsletter to get valuable information on roadshow dates, products launches and advice from Richard and Mark.

"There are groups of criminals who hire people to go in as cleaners and plant bugs in buildings. People don't look at the cleaners, they don't even notice them, they're just part and parcel of the business, so the amount of information a cleaner would have is scary if they put their mind to it."
Window Surfing: the weak link in banking security? Financial institutions invest huge amounts of money in cyber security to protect customers' critical data, but Sophie Curtis discovers that many are overlooking the most obvious threat of all. The streets of East London may not seem like an obvious place for cyber criminals to hang out, but a stroll down Cheapside at dusk offers a fantastic opportunity for anyone so inclined to peer into offices and extract confidential data from unsuspecting workers' computer screens.
Every year, companies invest large amounts of money in cyber security products that are designed to protect their critical computer systems from hackers. However, with so much effort focused on securing their 'virtual' windows, many of these companies forget that their physical windows are left wide open. In London's Square Mile, it is possible to walk around and look through the windows of many high-profile organisations (including banks) and read information straight off workers' screens.
One corner, flanked by two different high profile banking institutions, has over 150 screens between them on the ground floor, facing the street and just a few metres from the window – half of which include the users’ nameplate above the workstation.
One might assume that the information visible on the screens is of no use to anyone, but these organisations are vulnerable to ‘walk-by’ data theft. Security experts claim that this data can be extremely useful to criminals carrying out so-called 'socially engineered' attacks, which target people rather than machines. During a short stroll through the City, I was able to see ‘log in’ boxes, emails, corporate database entry screens and numerous documents, all visible to the naked eye. While I did not attempt to capture detailed information, someone with malicious intentions, time and a zoom lens could potentially piece together the information needed to launch an attack against any of these organisations.
For example, after observing an employee for a period of time, a scammer could glean enough details about the individual’s life to strike up a conversation in a bar or a coffee shop, tricking the person into believing there is a relationship and fooling them into disclosing additional information. Alternatively, a criminal could monitor, and then replicate, the typical emails received and read by the employee. They could then create and deploy a targeted phishing campaign to dupe the individual into treating the malicious message as benign and following the instructions. If successful, the impact on the organisation involved could be catastrophic. The infamous RSA breach in 2011, which resulted in tens of millions of SecurID hardware tokens being compromised, is testament to the power of this type of attack method.
“Organisations exposing corporate information through an open window are perhaps more vulnerable than if they had a key logger installed at the back of the device," said David Liberatore, senior director of technical product management at security firm AppRiver. "Just think of your own financial information on a screen when you're talking to a teller or a financial advisor – they know everything there is to know, from your PIN number to your address." Liberatore said that, although it is human nature to want to sit at a window and look outside, an employee's window seat can quickly become a cyber criminal's window seat, and organisations that deal with sensitive information need to factor this risk into their office planning. "Many organisations have become so focused on their virtual security, that physical practices are being ignored and that means the very information they’re trying to protect could be stolen by passers-by," he said.
Mike McLaughlin, senior penetration tester and technical team lead for First Base Technologies, added that the chances of a cyber criminal finding all the information they need to carry out an attack simply by looking at someone's screen are slim. However, this process could allow them to pick up little pieces of information that will ultimately contribute to a bigger picture. "If someone is entering a password for a networked device, you can look at their keyboard and you don't even need to see which keys they press, you just need to know which areas their fingers have been in, and with a bit of practice it's quite easy to figure out what passwords they use," he said.
"There are groups of criminals who hire people to go in as cleaners and plant bugs in buildings. People don't look at the cleaners, they don't even notice them, they're just part and parcel of the business, so the amount of information a cleaner would have is scary if they put their mind to it."
There are precautions that companies can take to protect themselves against these types of attacks. For example, there are shields that employees can put over their screens so that they are not visible from more than a few feet away, or from different angles. What the study shows, however, is that many organisations – even those that have been trusted with our most sensitive data – are failing to take a holistic approach to security.

Superheroes scale the walls of Lakeridge Health: Three superheroes landed at Lakeridge Health Oshawa recently to show their super window cleaning powers. Spiderman, Superman and Wolverine scaled the walls of the hospital, as families, and patients looked on. Spiderman, Superman and Wolverine don’t usually clean windows but they showed up at Lakeridge Health Oshawa to show their superhero strength. Patients, families and staff looked out the windows of the Oshawa site and watched as the heroes scaled the walls all the way up to the paediatric unit where children looked on smiling. “We’re thrilled to have these three Superheroes helping us clean today. It was pretty neat to see them scaling our walls,” says Lisa Shiozaki, executive vice president and chief nursing executive at Lakeridge Health.
Shiozaki noted in a release that patients in hospital can find it jarring when a window washer appears in their window, no matter how much notice is given. So a call went out to the three superheroes to help as a way of making the experience more interactive and fun. “In our hospital we have real-life superheroes walking the halls every day. But these guys can fly, so that makes them pretty cool,” adds Shiozaki. Superman enjoyed seeing the kids and other patients, and was especially grateful for one thing. “I’m always nervous about kryptonite build-up, but this hospital is spic and span clean,” he says.

Jobs and life satisfaction - The happiest people are clergy, even though they earn a modest £20,000 a year. In second place are chief executives and senior officials but, on an average salary of £117,000 per year, you would expect them to be. This is according to a Cabinet Office survey that looked at the relationship between jobs and life satisfaction. Others in the top 10 include medical practitioners, farmers and company secretaries. Here are a few more from the happiness list: lollipop ladies (145), paramedics (162), gardeners (173), social workers (175), postal workers (176), sales assistants (186), artists (192), cooks (200), driving instructors (204), undertakers (215), brickies (225), till check out operators (235), bakers( 247), roofers (253), taxi drivers (254), van drivers (255) and window cleaners (260).
TRUMPED-UP jobs titles are getting “outrageous” as more companies give staff freedom to cook up their own fancy labels. Window cleaners are calling themselves transparent wall maintenance engineers and trolley collectors have gone hoity toity as logistic shopping cart technicians. Here are some other outrageous titles:
Trolley pushers ... logistic shopping cart technicians
Charity worker ... community change architect
Window cleaner......transparent wall maintenance engineer
Receptionist ... director of first impressions
Nightclub bouncer ... eviction technician
Recruiter ... talent delivery specialist
“A job title’s primary purpose is to communicate what the employee does and who they do it for. It needs to make sense and accurately reflect the job’s responsibilities. It needs to be functional first and foremost before you think about injecting fun, humour or more impressive language,” Employment Office managing director Tudor Marsden-Huggins said. The recruitment boss says there is a growing trend towards workers over-inflating their importance.

Borough honors Jenkintown Building Services Inc. for 80 years of service in the community - For 80 years, Jenkintown Building Services Inc., a high-rise window cleaning business located on Greenwood Avenue in Jenkintown Borough, has serviced the community. And now those services are being recognized. Jenkintown Borough Council honored Jenkintown Building Services at the March 24 council meeting as part of its efforts to highlight businesses that have contributed to the revitalization of the borough. Established in 1933 by businessman Tom Carpenter, the Jenkintown Business Services was purchased by the Tuzman family in 1960, said Business Services CEO Marty Tuzman.
The company has several notable clients such as the Kimmel Center, the Comcast Center and the Philadelphia Convention Center, Tuzman said. In addition, they are the official window cleaning service for Habitat for Humanity homes in Philadelphia, and they’ve cleaned several art and cultural institutions throughout the area as part of their Hearts for the Arts program, according to a news release. “What we hope to do is inspire other businesses […] to get on board with in-kind giving,” he said. “I always wanted to find something I could build, grow and be proud of. I’ve been proud of this.”

The team from Access North Structures at work on the weather-proof "hub" at Butlins.
Huddersfield company Access North Structures scaling new heights: The sky’s the limit for one Huddersfield company. Access North Structures, which specialises in working at height, has raised its sights even further having secured guidance and funding to take the business to its next level. Despite launching the business at the height of the recession, the firm hasgrown significantly with a string of contracts – whether it’s cleaning windows on some of Britain’s tallest buildings or maintaining the weatherproof “hubs” that tower above Butlins holiday resorts.
The company, based at Armitage Bridge, secured a £20,000 grant from Kirklees Council to pay for new asset management reporting software – putting Access North Structures head and shoulders above some of its rivals. The firm landed the funding through Thongsbridge-based Innovate Now, which provides business support for high growth and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and government departments. Access North Structures has also received support to attend seminars on the subjects of growth acceleration, management, marketing and strategy. The company has also just recruited its first apprentice with Innovate Now’s support.
Access North, led by founder and general manager Daniel Northcott, carries out work such as installing bird wires, canopies and safety netting, cleaning windows and maintaining gutters and roofing for structures including the Skyline Pavilions at Butlins in Bognor Regis and Skegness and high-rise residential buildings. It also works on wind turbines. Mike Kilroy, director of Innovate Now, said: “We mentor and support a whole range of companies across the region – and none more so diverse and exceptional than the highly skilled and dedicated team at Access North Structures. “By providing rope access for those hard-to-reach places - from window cleaning to stadium maintenance – Access North Structures is a truly remarkable company and we are thrilled to be a part of their continued success. “By working with Access North Structures we have introduced the company to a number of invaluable contacts, one of which being Barnsley council. This contact has proved very useful, such as designing an atrium for a proposed sports auditorium, the ETFE Eye.” Daniel Northcott, Founder of Access North Structures, added: “Mike has been an angel to the company. Innovate Now has helped us in so many ways and we certainly would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for their help and guidance.”

100 new jobs for Leeds as national cleaning company opens in Yorkshire - multi-million pound commercial cleaning business plans to create around 100 new jobs in the Leeds area with the launch of a new Yorkshire office. Edwards Commercial Cleaning provides a range of cleaning services to companies all over the north east and already employs around 200 staff at its HQ in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Thanks to faster than anticipated development in 2013, the company is opening a new office near Leeds city centre to allow it to enter not only a new region, but also new markets. Edwards Commercial Cleaning is investing around half a million pounds in its new operation by opening an office with storage facilities in Beeston, as well as buying a number of new commercial vehicles and creating 100 jobs by the end of 2015. The company has already appointed a business development manager in Leeds alongside an initial three-strong marketing team.
Jennings Shinn, 68, of Livermore, washes a window inside Handles Gastropub in Pleasanton, Calif., on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Shinn, owner of C&S Window Washing, will be retiring this week after 20 years. The former Marine sergeant, who had his left leg below the knee amputated after he was injured in combat in Vietnam, plans on taking vacation trips across the country in his RV. As well as being a member of Pleasanton VFW Post 6298, he also plans on volunteering his time to different local organizations.

Lifeboatmen reinstated after Commission defeat at Northern Irish Tribunal: Five crew members suspended from a lifeboat charity last year have been reinstated following an appeal hearing before the Northern Irish Charity Tribunal last week. The five men had volunteered at Lough Neagh Rescue, which provides lifeboat services from two stations on Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland’s largest lake. But the CCNI used its powers to remove them as members of the charity in October, as part of an ongoing investigation into the charity. The men appealed to the tribunal in December, and a hearing took place over five days last week, concluding on Friday. The CCNI said at the hearing that it did not intend to oppose the appeal. As a result the five men have been reinstated as members with immediate effect.
The CCNI investigated Lough Neagh Rescue after receiving complaints from several individuals, including the suspended members, that the charity was not being properly run. The complaints followed a long-running dispute between members of the charity over its administration. The CCNI said it had decided that the members who had raised initial concerns were posing a “serious risk to the charity, its reputation and beneficiaries” and decided to remove them as a result. Greg Burke, one of the men who was reinstated, said the CCNI had used excessive resources prosecuting ordinary individuals. “There was a lack of investigation here from start to finish,” he said. “They never once interviewed us in person to get our side of the story. They have put us through hell for a year and a half and the consequence to us has been our reputations destroyed, our families humiliated in the towns where they live and the homes that they sleep. “But in the end there was no case to answer. “They turned up to prosecute us with a barrister and a solicitor and three top officials. We were defended by William Dugan a local window cleaner.”

FARGO – A former Cass County commissioner has thrown his hat into the City Commission race here, setting up a challenge against a former foe in a high-profile lawsuit. Former Cass County Commissioner Scott Wagner, 44, officially filed for the race Tuesday. “I’ve got a passion for local government, and I’d like the opportunity to serve the people of Fargo now in a new capacity,” Wagner said. He joins City Commissioner Tim Mahoney, School Board member John Strand and Anthony Gehrig in the race. Wagner and Strand have battled publicly before. Wagner said he wants to focus on delivering “top-notch public services” to the Fargo residents, as well as keeping the city fiscally responsible. “There’s a lot of unique challenges and opportunities with a city that’s growing like Fargo,” he said, “and I look forward to the opportunity to work on those issues for the citizens of Fargo.” Wagner is a North Dakota State University alumnus and is the owner and operator of Wagner Window Cleaning.
Blues owner Carson Yeung does the impossible - “EEEEH”, growled the oversized individual in a loud, zoot suit, “they call me Luca Graziano.” He pulled the peak of his homburg and placed his shovel-sized hands on the polished mahogany table. “Some of you,” he announced, fixing the uncomfortable businessmen with a steely gaze, “will know me as Fat Tony, Diamond Shoes Solly, Lewy the Fence, Machine Gun Graziano, Razor Eddie and the Palermo Tall Man.”Graziano, aka Fat Tony, placed a briefcase on the table and opened it to reveal tiers of tightly wedged, blue £100 banknotes. “You want to buy our club?” gasped a board member. “As a club, we appreciate your interest, but we’ve rather had our fingers burned...” The mobster flexed his shoulders and scowled: “Hey, if ‘Vito the Hit’ can run every burger van outside six premiership clubs, I figured...” “It’s just,” offered a perspiring accountant, “that we find it hard to square your personal wealth of £250 million with your alleged income as a window cleaner.”
Collector hit with £11.5k tax bill after selling collection and failing to inform HMRC: A collector who failed to tell the taxman when he sold off his stash of American comic books, videos and DVDs has been hit with a £14,500 bill. Wayne Green, of Warwick Road, Cleethorpes, was handed the fine for underpaid tax because he had no evidence to show the items came from his own collection. The First-Tier Tribunal heard he had worked as a self-employed window cleaner, but turned to selling comics, videos and DVDs when he realised how much money he could make. After selling off his own collection, making an estimated £38,000, he started buying and selling, making his living entirely through the trade. However, he initially failed to tell HM Revenue and Customs that he was no longer a window cleaner and did not keep detailed records of his income and outgoings. When tax inspectors looked into his affairs, they did not believe his stated figure for profit. Bank statements showed deposits totalling almost £160,000 and payments out of more than £112,000 in 2007-08.
Chell Heath window cleaner Dean Simpkin broke man's jaw in street assault: Window cleaner Dean Simpkin broke a man’s jaw who he wrongly believed had assaulted a friend. The 24-year-old left Thomas Curwen needing an operations after the unprovoked attack outside the victim’s home. Simpkin was yesterday spared jail at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court but was ordered to pay Mr Curwen £1,500 compensation. Prosecutor Kevin Jones said Mr Curwen returned home in his van late on December 13. As he drove past Norton Working Men’s Club he saw a group of people in the road. Mr Jones said: “One man was in the road. Mr Curwen formed the opinion he had been assaulted. He parked his van and was making his way to his house when all of a sudden a man went towards him and said, ‘Give me your keys’. “He tried to reason with him and said he would not hand them over. “The defendant hit him square in the face.” The police were called and Simpkin was arrested.
He admitted hitting Mr Curwen once and signed the officer’s pocket notebook saying he was guilty. In his police interview Simpkin said he had seen or heard somebody had been assaulted and he had gone to their aid. He said he believed the complainant was the assailant and he wanted to take the van from him to stop him getting away. Mr Curwen was taken to hospital and an X-ray confirmed he suffered a fracture to the left side of his jaw. A plate was fitted in an operation. In a victim statement he said the assault was ‘unprovoked’ and ‘cowardly’ and added he lost income due to having to have time off work. Simpkin, of Ball Hayes Road, Chell Heath, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Thieves who posed as window cleaners have left a partially-sighted pensioner fearful in his own home after they ransacked a bedroom and stole valuables. Stan Bellis, 94, said he now cannot sleep and is living in fear after three men stole £300 and a pearl necklace belonging to his wife, who is 81, when they entered his house at St Mark’s Avenue, Connah’s Quay. Mr Bellis, who has been registered partially sighted, told the Leader that three men called at his home on Friday just after 9pm posing as local window cleaners who said they had come to claim their ladders from his back garden. “It was unusual because the window cleaner always arrives a lot earlier,” Mr Bellis said. “They said they’d take the ladders as long as I signed something. “One of them stood talking to me in the kitchen when another one came in quickly and then they left. “My wife, Margaret, said later that £300 had been taken from her purse, then when I went upstairs, everything in our three bedrooms had been trashed and left on the floor.”
The ladders had been taken from the garden of Mr Bellis’ neighbour, Jackie Lyon, who said she hadn’t noticed anything until she was informed by police. “I had no idea my ladders had gone until police came round, then I saw them propped up against Stan’s wall.” Mr Bellis, a former RAF serviceman who has lived at his address on St Mark’s Avenue for over 51 years, said the men had been in and out of his home very quickly. “It was frightening. They trashed our rooms in such a short time and just cleared off,” he added. “They seemed like normal window cleaners. I’m not sleeping any more. I don’t feel right at all.”
A North Wales Police spokesman confirmed officers had received a call at 10.10pm on Friday with reports of a ‘distraction’ burglary involving money taken from a purse. Officers are looking for three men in their 20s. The force issued descriptions of the men. One is said to have been wearing a black T-shirt with the others in green and navy shirts respectively. One of the men wore a black hat. Mr Bellis added: “I nearly fell down the stairs when I saw what had happened, it’s devastating. “It was a hell of an ordeal to go through, a horrible shock. “The last few days have been awful – it’s like living in fear.” North Wales Police has urged residents to remain vigilant and be wary of cold callers.
Man accused of scamming elderly women in Gulfport - Police believe more victims may come forward: Theresa Drouin thought he looked like an honest young man. The 85-year-old was sitting in her chair by the window when she saw a man approach her Gulfport house and offer to pressure wash the outside of her house. "He said, 'I would appreciate if I can get the job only for $40, and that will help me,'" Drouin remembers. Drouin is a woman of faith. When she saw a cross similar to hers hanging from the neck of 28-year old David Ryals, she gave him $30 to get gas for his pressure washer. But Ryals never came back. "I felt bad,” she said. “But I asked God, 'I give him $30, can you do something with it?’”
Unfortunately for Ryals, he had gladly left his name and phone number with Drouin. Not long after, he was arrested by Gulfport Police Department, which said Drouin was his fourth and latest victim targeting elderly women. "He uses various techniques and tactics.  It's not just one particular theme of pressure-washing a house for example.  He uses tree work, paving work, various aspects of it to do it," said Sgt. Tom Woodman with Gulfport Police. Police said Ryals also burglarized a home he had solicited for a tree-trimming job. They also believe there may be more victims that have yet to come forward and warn against letting your guard down.

Death Became Her: Molly Lefebure’s Wartime Years of Murder and Suicide - Bodies in mortuaries, bodies in ponds, bodies under houses, and in dank boarding houses. As the bombs fell on London in World War II, Molly Lefebure saw death up close and very personally, as her stunning memoir reveals. If there is something very English about Murder On The Home Front, it is not just the setting—the topsy-turvy, dank, chaotic London-in-flux of World War II—but also the phlegmatic voice of the author, Molly Lefebure. In the war years, Lefebure was secretary to forensic pathologist Dr. Keith Simpson, and wrote of her experiences of the deaths they investigated—suicides, murders, accidents—in her 1955 book, Evidence For The Crown. When her boss needs a hand taken from the body of a window cleaner who has committed suicide, but with no means of transporting it across town, he asks Miss Lefebure if they may use the pretty candy-striped bag she has in her possession after buying some gloves. She pops the gloves on, and pops the hand in the bag. The horror and misery of the death scenes are as precisely conveyed as the dark humor.

Couple died in suicide pact because they 'didn't want to be a burden', friend says: Reginald Williams, 72, and his wife Sue, 66, had told a friend 30 years earlier that they planned to take their own lives if they could no longer care for themselves. The couple made sure their Norfolk home was clean and put their affairs in order by paying their bills and leaving cash out for the window cleaner. They also wrote and posted handwritten letters to friends before their deaths. The inquest heard how they then took an overdose of prescription drugs and died as they lay next to each other on a bed at their home in Saxlingham, Nethergate.

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