Sunday, 4 April 2010

Window Cleaning News & Pictures

Above a window washer cleans the windows above the front door of the New York Times building in New York. The Vatican attacked The New York Times for its coverage of the sexual abuse of children by priests, rejecting accusations that Pope Benedict had mishandled a series of abuse cases before he was elected.

Patriotic cleaner: Above a United States flag hangs from a window cleaning basket on Lake Point Tower on Chicago’s waterfront.

Day In Pictures - Underwater window washer: A diver scrubs the glass of the giant, cylindrical AquaDom aquarium in Berlin.

Spring Thaw: Wipe away the grime of winter - Windows have no doubt seen their share of blowing snow, ice and rain in the last few months, so now is the perfect time to wash away the grime. Amber Miller, operations manager for Des Moines’ Squeegee Squad franchise said her company will come to your house and do an estimate based on the number and size of your windows. The price varies depending on whether you want them cleaned inside and out or just outside, but it starts at an $85 minimum and averages $180-$200 for a two-story walkout. If you want to tackle interior window cleaning yourself, Jeri Kemple of EcoMaids of Des Moines recommends using a streak-free cleanser with a microfiber cloth. Believe it or not, newspaper also works well in place of the cloth. Clean on a cloudy day or when windows are in shade. Screens also should be cleaned. And consider choosing one of the newer screening materials that might give a clearer view and let more light indoors.

A window cleaner from Wakefield suffered fatal head injuries after falling, an inquest heard. Roland Jungbauer, 43, was admitted to Pinderfields Hospital after he fell while working on a house on Grey Street, Outwood, on March 9. The opening of the inquest at Wakefield heard Mr Jungbauer, self-employed, of Church Street, Ossett, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where a scan revealed a severe brain injury. He was admitted to intensive care but died on March 19. The inquest was adjourned for police and health and safety investigations. Coroner David Hinchliff said it was likely the inquest would have to resume before a jury.

Schedule window washing: April's usually a good time to wash windows, but this year it's probably better to just schedule a window cleaning and have the work done in May. "You want to wait until most of the pollen is gone," suggests Ryan McPheters, manager at Virginia Window Cleaners in McLean. "Because of all the weather we had, the trees are a little behind schedule." If you wait until May to schedule, though, window washers are likely to be backed up for several weeks. Is it worth having a pro do the job? Prices range from $100 for humble digs to $2,000 for estates. McPheters's company typically charges $6.50 per double-hung window, plus $2.50 if it has a storm window. His top tip for DIYers: Use a squeegee, not rags. Overlap passes, and wipe off the blade after each one.

When to hire: Sometimes the best approach to spring cleaning is knowing what to do yourself and what to hire out. If you’re short on time and helpers, it might be worth the expense to turn some of the big jobs over to professionals. They have the know-how and equipment to tackle the jobs faster and more efficiently than most homeowners can, notes Better Homes and Gardens’ “Making a Home: Housekeeping for Real Life.” Specifically, the book recommends that you consider hiring out window cleaning, especially if you have a two-story house or storm windows; gutter and/or roof cleaning; and carpet cleaning. Don’t overlook neighborhood kids or college students as cheap sources of labor, either. You might hire them to do simple yet labor-intensive tasks, such as helping you move seasonal clothes in or out of storage.

Suspected murderer of local arrested almost four years after crime: After nearly four years, an investigation spanning across state lines and countless hours of following false sightings, homicide suspect Edwin Lee Norton, known locally as Lee Allen Michaels, was apprehended last week in Houston, Texas, said Uinta County Sheriff Lou Napoli on Wednesday. Norton, 52, is suspected in the 2006 murder of local resident Shannon Bohannon, whose body was found by a hiker in the Whitney Canyon area north of Evanston in June 2006. The case was profiled on America’s Most Wanted, which assisted in the investigation. “Although it’s taken some time, hard work has been rewarded, as Norton/Michaels has been apprehended in Houston,” Napoli said. Uinta County Sheriff’s investigators are currently in Houston tying up loose ends and putting a history together for Norton/Michaels to fill in the blanks from the last two years. Napoli said it’s believed that Norton/Michaels has been in the Houston area for some time, working odd jobs and as a window washer while using a variety of aliases.

Yes, it’s almost the season for student summer jobs – not just their economic necessity, but their power to transform, to inspire, to teach kids things about work that they won’t learn from their parents because parents just don't have that kind of sway. Summer jobs not only keep kids in college and university; they are the universal portal to a lifetime of work habits, introducing even the most affluent kids to long, confusing days, workplace politics, psycho bosses and the skills needed to survive all three – enthusiasm, punctuality and resilience being primary among them. A charismatic student I hired lost his way spectacularly last summer. Not only did his window-washing crew leave many of our windows unwashed, but he “forgot” to invoice me for six months. The searing talk about professionalism we had on the phone will, I am hopeful, stay with him.

Pinnacle PSG has won a major contract to provide cleaning and grounds maintenance services to Metropolitan Housing Trust (MHT) London, part of the Metropolitan Housing Partnership (MHP), one of the larger housing associations in London and the south-east of England. The contract also includes the provision of a cleaning and grounds maintenance service to Clapham Park Homes, also part of MHP. The contract, worth around £15 million over the next five years, will see Pinnacle PSG provide MHT London with grounds maintenance, cleaning, bulk removal, specialist cleaning and window cleaning to 18,000 homes, across 32 London Boroughs and a range of council districts outside of London where it operates.

Across the country, states are modernizing their sales tax to reflect changes in the economy, but not Wisconsin. This state’s sales tax is far less inclusive in what it taxes, meaning less revenue is collected – which might surprise the many observers who’ve long complained about Wisconsin’s tax burden. A recent study found a total of 168 services that at least some states tax. Wisconsin taxed only 76 of them. A total of 19 states tax window cleaning, but this state doesn’t, according to The New York Times. Neither does Wisconsin tax massage services, taxed by 11 others, interior design, taxed by ten others, dating services, taxed by eight others, or haircuts, taxed by seven others.
Wisconsin pays more income and property taxes than the national average but less in sales tax, according to Dale Knapp, research director of the Wisconsin’s Taxpayer Alliance, a non-partisan tax watch group. Like Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey and Texas, a study by the Federation of Tax Administrators says, Wisconsin taxes utilities and labor and repair services but doesn’t tax most professional services.
And there’s little motivation to change that, Knapp says. “There have been proposals to tax more services, but they haven’t gotten very far.” He adds, “States are going to have to rethink the sales tax. The sales tax was created when we were a manufactured-good oriented economy. Now we’ve become much more services-oriented. Those aren’t getting taxed.” The transition to a service-based economy began happening about 50 years ago, according to Jim Eads, FTA’s executive director, but antiquated state sales tax codes have lagged far behind. Most were written in the late 1920s and 1930s, he says. States that are busy updating their sales tax, particularly Michigan and Pennsylvania, are adding a host of new services to their codes.

This afternoon, a banged up white truck drove slowly up our street spewing disheveled twenty-somethings. “They’re coming,” I said to myself. And because I was out in the front yard working at the time, and had surely been seen, I knew it was too late to hide myself. So I hid the tools instead, closed up the garage, and waited. Last year a man who had moved here from Africa came to our door selling a nameless window cleaner in bulk. When he realized that we were trying to get rid of him, he became desperate. “It’s safe!” he cried, squirting the window cleaner into his eyes until my wife shouted, “Stop! Stop! You must never do that again!” The only endearing quality of these door-to-door hawkers is that they are consistently, tragically amusing. That pretty much sums up how we all feel about unwanted solicitations. Oh yes, and your cute little girl harassing me with her cookies outside the grocery store? I’ll buy her cookies when she is dedicated enough to squirt window cleaner in her eyes.

New company offers one-stop shopping for home products, services: Billing itself as a "Year Round Home Show," the Home Resource Outlet will open today, featuring a one-stop shop for home building, remodeling, updating, furnishing, decorating and maintenance. Located on Ogeechee Road across from Walmart, the 17,000-square-foot showroom brings together more than 50 established Savannah businesses. The idea of putting multiple resources under one roof was the brainchild of three local businessmen: Jason Anderson, Jeff Schofield and Steve Hall.
"It's basically like a permanent home show," Schofield said. "It's a joint venture involving a lot of 'installed services' contractors, giving them more exposure to the buying public and offering shoppers the opportunity to take a look at a lot of different services in one place." Products offered run the gamut from central heat and air, closets, decks and swimming pools to home security, grills and appliances. Services range from window washing, painting, landscaping and framing to home inspections, mortgages and duct cleaning.
"Every vendor we have represented here has been hand-picked," Anderson said. "They are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and come highly recommended. "Some - like Jenkins Brick - have their own offices and showroom, but also want to be in another part of town," he said. "Other companies may be more contractor-based and not as well-known to the consumer. For them, the advantage is obvious."
From the street, the Home Resource Outlet, with its many logos, looks like a number of different businesses. In actuality, each flows into the other, designed to create a seamless shopping experience. There is even a small restaurant for the shopping weary. J.D. Garletts, a registered arborist and vice president of DLG Land Management, sees it as a win-win for the businesses and the consumer. "What better way to promote your company than to be part of a professional, trade-based conglomerate?" said Garletts, whose firm offers both residential and commercial land management and landscape design.
Another advantage of their setup, Schofield said, is the accountability factor. "If one of our vendors doesn't follow up or takes on too many jobs and falls behind, we will step in to help facilitate the customers' needs," he said. "We're on top of every job from beginning to end," Anderson said. "That's why we only want top-notch, highly reputable companies here." Although they are starting out with more than 50 vendors and service providers, the partners say they still have room to grow. "Hopefully that number will be closer to 100 before the year is out," Schofield said.

An LCC member has told how a new website could have contributed to a dangerous driver being sacked from his work. James Hoggarth was cycling in traffic on Pall Mall when the car behind came very close and sounded its horn repeatedly, even though there was a bus in the left lane and nowhere else to ride. The car overtook in a dangerous manner, almost knocking the cyclist over. The cyclist caught up with the driver in the stream of traffic, and a verbal altercation took place. "At this point the car driver swore and swerved his car at me," Hoggarth said.
Reporting the incident to the employer: Shocked and frightened by this attempted assault, Hoggarth noted the registration number and name of the company from the side of the car. He complained to the company,, which styles itself as “the most environmentally friendly London window cleaner”. Hoggarth also reported the crime to the new Metropolitan Police 'Roadsafe London' website, which allows road users to report incidents. The police also contacted the company to discuss the incident. Fortunately, this company takes road safety seriously, and has installed videocameras in all its cars and vans. They told Hoggarth that when the recording from the car showed the driver swerving at him, the driver was suspended, and has since been dismissed.

County commission awards window-cleaning bid, makes bond payment: At their meeting Wednesday morning, March 31, Saline County Commissioners approved a bid for window cleaning on the courthouse. Presiding Commissioner Becky Plattner said the cleaning will be done soon, to benefit from the scaffolding erected as part of the restoration work. AmeriGlass Cleaning Inc. was awarded the job, with a bid of $1,800 for inside and out window cleaning. Brighter Days Corp. of Columbia also submitted a bid, $2,021.

Glass walls add space and value: By opening up the bottom floor of their house to merge the outside with the inside, a family in London have revitalised their lives. Victorian, Georgian, Thirties, the all-glass wall fits every period and is spreading through the English suburbs. Is it because advances in glass technology have made it possible? “My husband was doing amazing things with glass 20 years ago – think of Eva Jiricna’s work and Joseph glass staircases,” Carolyn says. “But now we can all do it and we all feel comfortable with it.”
“Glass is now a wonderful material to work with,” Francesco says. “It can be heat-resistant and self-maintaining. And the outside space is so important because it affects our mood. Modernity is opening up these old Victorian houses. It is good for our souls.” Jonathan Bordell, a boutique developer, now inserts vast glass walls in every project he works on. At Burlington House in Chiswick, a classic Edwardian suburban villa with a big garden, he added an extension which looks like a trendy boathouse, connected to the main house by huge amounts of glass. “Whatever the time of year, or wherever you are in the house, you feel as if you are in the garden. We have huge sheets of glass with very little visible support so that you get a marvellous sense of space and light,” he says.

Flag Pole Climb: Jim Maitland makes his way back down the 48 foot flag pole on top of the 18 story Jackson County Towers Building after restringing it with new rope Tuesday morning in Jackson. Maitland, who is professional high rise exterior window washer, has been scaling flag poles to replace broken ropes for about 20 years now. "It's exhilarating." Maitland said. "People ask me if I mountain climb. I don't. I do that every day and I get paid for doing it. I don't need anything else."

Isn't it funny how the nicest authors can pen a story that leaves us crying for our mommies at night out of pure, bone-chilling fright? Horror author Joe Hill fills that strange bill oh-so-nicely. With his big, brown eyes and easy-going laughter, Hill looks out of the window of a downtown Toronto high-rise and spies a window washer at his job on a dark, windy, rainy day. "Now there's a job full of real horror for you," he chuckles. "Imagine the nerve it would take to do that? Imagine what goes on in that guy's mind out there clinging to that rope and board for dear life. "I ought to write something about a window washer one day," Hill grins, penning a note to himself with his fidgety hands.

Conman steals Jarrow OAP's purse: An elderly woman had her purse stolen by a bogus caller who tricked his way into her home. Police are appealing for witnesses to the crime, which happened 2.30pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday. A man claiming to be a window cleaner knocked on the door of a property in Stirling Avenue, Jarrow. When the 85-year-old householder declined his services, the man offered to leave his contact details and followed her into the house. The woman later discovered her purse, containing cash, was missing.

Activeion Cleaning Solutions LLC, Rogers, MN USA is proud to announce its new European subsidiary, Activeion (Europe) GmbH. Activeion (Europe) GmbH will distribute and market the ionator EXP™ throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Activeion's ionator EXP™ is a handheld, on-demand, completely chemical-free cleaning tool that activates and converts tap water into ionised water, a powerful dirt-removing and bacteria-killing product. The ionator EXP™, slightly larger than a spray bottle, can be used on most surfaces including glass, stainless steel, wood, carpet, natural stone, marble and clothing. In fact, it can replace many general-purpose chemical cleaners commonly used for these types of surfaces. More info' here & here.

Colchester, Conn. — From fewer transfer station hours to fewer new library books, Colchester is seeing the effects of budget constraints in the current fiscal year. And there’s more to come. In December, Colchester froze discretionary spending. The freeze affects all departments, but critical needs like fuel are funded. “The cuts we are making are not trimming the fat, we are reducing services,” Schuster said. The town will face fewer services in the next fiscal year, beginning July 1. Items being considered for reduction or elimination include library books, overtime for a resident state trooper, window cleaning, a pay phone in Town Hall and overtime for roadside grass maintenance.

While no official decision has been made, Boston Public Library (BPL) President Amy Ryan made clear in an April 1 interview that closing some branch libraries is key to financial stability and a “transformation” into a modern system. Ryan did not specifically say that branch closures are the only option. But she confirmed that “transformation” involves closures. “The status quo is not working,” Ryan said repeatedly in the 90-minute roundtable interview with the Gazette and other community newspapers, held at the Central Library in Copley Square. “We didn’t jump out of bed and say, ‘We want to close branches,’” Ryan said. She explained that BPL has been “streamlining” the entire budget, from Central Library layoffs to cutting back on window-washing.

Curb Appeal for your clients: Curb appeal is about the all important first impression. Curb appeal can be the difference between a prosperous business and an ailing business. As a first impression, a business with a well tended storefront identifies it as a business where the operators are invested in both its success and relationship with the surrounding community.
Conversely, a business frontage that is littered with debris, flaunts dirty or cracked windows, outdated signage, or generally exudes an air of neglect will deter prospective customers. Even current customers may wonder about your ability to pay attention to those details. As spring has arrived with gusto, many businesses realize it’s time to give their office or store a fresh face that will appeal to potential new customers. While budget constraints may preclude a major renovation, a few inexpensive changes can make a big and positive impact on customer. New signage, planters or a fresh coat of paint on window and door trims can transform a business’ first impression. Adding a bright new awning can distinguish your business from others. Even cleaning the windows and a fresh spring window display can entice customers to come in for a closer look.

Petersburg residents to pose nude for Olde Towne photo show. People are doing what they naturally do -- only in the buff -- for Old Towne Exposed, an artful gallery of carefully shot photos to highlight the people who live and work in the Historic Old Towne Petersburg area. The roster includes a window washer, upholsterer, painter, bartender, writer, preservationist, gallery owner, doll repairer, hair stylist, spa owner, waiter, cyclist, drummer, guitarist, gardener, sheep owner, dressmaker and shop keeper. The photo show will open for viewing May 14 to coincide with Petersburg's Friday for the Arts!


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