Tuesday 31 May 2011

Window Cleaning News - 10 Storey Fatal Fall

This photograph, taken years ago, demonstrates a three-step technique that helps me capture interesting photographs. I saw the cardboard cutout in a window and I was aware of a window cleaner at a different window. I positioned myself to frame on the window and then waited, anticipating the man to clean this window. I timed my shutter to catch the hand in a position that appears to cause the musician to lean out of the way.

Man dies after 10-story fall: SARANAC LAKE - A resident of the Dechantel Apartments on Church Street died Monday after falling from a 10th-story window. The man appears to have been cleaning windows when he fell around 2:11 p.m., said village police Chief Bruce Nason. He landed on the ground between the building and Helen Street. "Preliminary, it appears to be an accident, but we're continuing the investigation," Nason said. Police aren't releasing the man's name yet, pending notification of family members who don't live in the area. 

Chorley former truant cleans up his act: A Chorley charity’s ‘soft soap’ approach to schooling has helped a timid truant turn into an award-winning would-be welder and part-time window cleaner. Alex Benyon, 16, terrified his mother by missing six months of his education by bunking off. Unsure about speaking up in class, Alex, of Pall Mall, became so reserved he pretended to go to school, doubled back and spent days on end in his bedroom. But the threat of legal action against his mum, Yvonne, plus being referred to George Street charity Rathbone, has put Alex, who subsidises his education by completing a window cleaning round, on the ladder to a successful career.
Alex is one of 19 students, who swapped possible exc-lusion from high school for a place on the LEAP (Lanc-ashire Education Alternative Provision) programme, being honoured at a special ceremony today. He said: “I’ve always been a quiet person and the classes were really big and it put me off. “The school started send-ing letters home and it made my mum really upset and stressed. When I found out she could get punished for me being off, I got really worried.” Teachers at Parklands High School sent him to the LEAP scheme at Rathbone.
Although he didn’t know anybody else on the course, Alex soon became confident enough to speak up. “The groups are much smaller and the tutors really care,” he said. Alex now wants to stay with the charity and begin an apprenticeship in welding and body work, and also squeezes in cleaning windows in the Chorley area between his studies. He will be honoured today as one of Rathbone Chorley’s ‘achievers of the year’ at an end-of-term celebration.

Window washers see gold at Virtua: Natural light is "restorative, healing, healthy," says Virtua CEO Richard Miller, about walls of glass in the new Voorhees hospital that frame a scenic, 125-acre campus. To Marty Tuzman -- the region's most in-demand window washer -- glass walls are the gift that keeps on giving. Looking up at eight stories, or 3,000 panes of glass at the new hospital, Tuzman sees years of opportunity. Two of his employees are suspended from skyhooks built into the roof specifically to anchor window washers. Like Spider-Man, the men make graceful arcs around a crescent-shaped exterior, sudsing and scraping and swiping clean one pane at a time. When the outside of the Route 73 building is done, they will drag their buckets into the lobby, hop an elevator and begin the same routine inside.
Initially, newly installed windows are smeared with putty, construction grit and labels from the manufacturer. The first cleaning, which is still in progress, will take about 2,000 man hours stretched over five weeks. The cost? $50,000. "More and more hospitals are going with a lot of glass these days," said Tuzman, CEO of Jenkintown Building Services, Pennsylvania company with 100 employees that has washed windows for Cooper University Hospital in Camden, Children's Hospital and the Cira Center in Philadelphia, Atlantic Care Medical Center in Vineland and the Revel casino in Atlantic City.
Payment for the first, heavy-duty cleaning is a bonus compared with the steady income that will come from the annual maintenance contract with Virtua, which has yet to be awarded. How much that's worth depends on the scope and frequency of the work, which has not yet been determined at Virtua. "Architects and health care people are finding light-filled rooms to be very therapeutic," Tuzman explained. "Seeing the outside makes patients feel less insolated. Glass is also anti-microbial, therefore more sanitary than wood or sheetrock." Improvements in glass fabrication have eliminated some of the old objections to it as a building material.
Factory-ordered glass at Virtua is all double-paned and treated to reduce noise, glare, energy loss and harmful ultra-violet light. Berkowitz Glass Co. of Pedricktown manufactured, labeled, crated and delivered all 3,000 panes. Fabricators hire glazers to install. The general contractor -- in this case the global company Turner Construction -- hires the window washers. Safety is a major concern for Tuzman. So is finding responsible people willing to scale tall buildings with a bucket and brush. "We do a lot of consulting with architects," he said. "If a client wants a curtain of glass, the design must support safe cleaning that can be done at a reasonable cost. "Nothing worse than a whole lot of dirty glass and no plan."

Cintas growth tied to its success beyond uniforms: Years after Cintas ditched its tag line “The Uniform People,” it’s still best known as a supplier of rented uniforms. But more and more of its business is coming from other services. Its latest major push is carpet and tile cleaning services, which it launched nationally last year and is now in 76 markets. Also last year, the company acquired New York-based Cleanway, which provides disaster-response cleaning services, window washing, and other services for business facilities.

How white and Asian residents have moved on ten years after riots destroyed their community - People living on Roundthorn Road in Glodwick where the riot began a decade ago today explain how they feel about their neighbourhood. "It was hard not to get involved, which is why the groups got so large. "This was the big bang. It needed to happen to bring everything which was boiling underneath to the surface. "Now things are lot more harmonious. You will always have racism, but it doesn’t have the impact any more. We all have too many other things to worry about. "The minority spoilt it for the majority. It was down to immaturity and ignorance." Window cleaner Charlie Briggs, 31, said: "I get a real sense of community here. There’s no aggro or problems, but I accept that there are some underlying issues. "What you need to do is bring children together from an early age."

Six hour ordeal of Clitheroe woman locked in house: A 19 year old Clitheroe man kept his estranged partner locked in her house for nearly six hours as he repeatedly quizzed her about a new relationship. His victim’s ordeal came to an end when he threw a cold cup of coffee over her and her baby and then left the house – locking the door.  And she had to call to a passing window cleaner for help because O’Neill had taken her mobile phone. Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said as soon as he threw the coffee and the baby started to cry O’Neill realised what he was doing and that he was wrong. “Miss Townsend didn’t call the police when she borrowed the window cleaner’s phone, she called her grandmother It was my client who got the police involved.”

Scientists have released photographs of what they believe are volcanic glass particles from Iceland which fell on Scotland this week. The samples were taken from a car windscreen in Aberdeen and analysed at the city's James Hutton Institute. The images of the tiny particles were taken using a scanning electron microscope. Scientists said it was ‘highly likely’ the glass particles, which are part of the ash constituents, came from the Grimsvotn volcano which started erupting on Saturday. Commercial glass is created by heating silica, or sand, to an extremely high temperature. Sand scorched by lava could do the same. The largest of the particles found is 0.03mm across, with the smallest measuring just 0.002mm wide. The ash cloud left hundreds of passengers facing travel misery earlier this week when flights were cancelled as it drifted into Scottish airspace. Now however, the eruption has subsided and the volcano is producing mostly steam rather than ash and should calm down within a few days, experts say.

All-Bermudian Cleaning Co takes on bigger rivals: The recession has taken its toll on businesses across Bermuda in recent months, but for one new cleaning company it has provided the perfect opportunity to find a niche in the market. The Cleaning Company Ltd, which was started by chief operations officer Pandora Moore and is 100 percent Bermudian, has been going from strength to strength since its was launched three months ago. As the company expands it plans to bid for larger contracts and go head-to-head with the bigger and more established competitors. The company covers every job from residential, commercial/industrial and office cleaning and facilities management and pre-sale property presentation and staging and special event presentation and clean-up to tenant turnover cleaning, floor re-finishing, steam cleaning and property management/maintenance/concierge services. The ten-strong cleaning crew will also provide appliance, window, carpet and steam cleaning, tile and grout scrubbing and hard floor cleaning/waxing services.

When Antonio Ribeiro found himself with two restless children in a Portuguese beach town, he did what any desperate parent would do: He went for the leaflet rack in the hotel lobby. There he found a brochure advertising something called KidZania - a sprawling indoor theme park, attached to a Lisbon mall, where children could pretend to be nurses, dentists, runway models, photographers, radio announcers, window cleaners and countless other professions. And so Ribeiro ventured to KidZania with his 4-year-old twin girls. They burped fake babies in a pretend maternity ward. At a miniature dentist's office, they examined a dummy's teeth. They had a rollicking good time. "The whole concept - to play being an adult - seemed so attractive," Ribeiro says. This role-playing Xanadu is the brainchild of a childless 47-year-old former private equity guru. An unlikely pioneer of the "edutainment" business, Xavier López Ancona launched KidZania after managing bottling companies and airport suppliers for GE Capital. When a friend asked him to invest in a small chain of day care centers - where kids would play in make-believe supermarkets, banks, and hospitals - he had an epiphany. "That's where the spark started," López recalls. "Nobody owns role-playing." At least until now. In 1999, López opened the first KidZania in the Santa Fe neighborhood of his native Mexico City.

Cheryl Stulpin figured that if her grandfather, Julius Vitale, could spend more than 40 years as a Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, the least she could do was give 10 minutes to support Scouting by playing Spiderman on Friday. OK, it wasn't really some superhero gig. But rappelling some 300 feet down the side of the First Federal Plaza had that look. Not to mention a feeling of terror. "Going over the edge was very, very scary," she admitted. Stulpin, 49, and nearly four dozen other thrill-seekers took part in 21 Stories for Scouts, the second annual rappelling fundraiser in downtown Rochester. Except the adventure really wasn't all that dangerous. "As crazy as it sounds, it's tame," said Chris Hill, co-owner of the building and a two-time participant in the event. "It's kind of freaky, it's kind of crazy, but it's beyond safe. The eyehooks (that hold the rappelling apparatus) are weighted for 5,000 pounds. They're the same eyehooks we use for our window-washers."

Warning after two distraction burglaries in Cardiff: Police in Cardiff are investigating burglars, who tricked two elderly people in distraction thefts only minutes apart. It is thought the same offenders are responsible for the incidents in the Whitchurch and Birchgrove areas. The first was at Pantbach Road at about 1900 BST Saturday at the home of a 93-year-old woman, the second shortly after in Clas Illtyd. The men posed firstly as water workers, then as window cleaners.
In the first incident, a slim, clean-shaven man wearing a white shirt called at the home of the 93 year old woman claiming to be working at a nearby house and asked to check her water supply. She was asked to flush her toilet several times, but the man left with jewellery, cutlery and her purse. He is described as being in his mid 20s, about 5ft 6ins tall, and had an accent described as not Welsh. In the second incident, two men claimed to be collecting money for window cleaning and followed the 83-year-old male occupier into his house, stealing his wallet. They left in a dark car described as "expensive-looking and low". Both men were white, in their 20s and wearing dark clothing. One was around 6ft tall, the other about 5ft 6-8ins. Also here.

Window Cleaner Banned From Glasgow: A judge has proved that the law can be an ass after he was forced to ban a criminal from Glasgow knowing it was 'not a real punishment'. Sitting at Gloucester crown court - 500 miles away from the Scottish city - Judge Jamie Tabor QC (pictured) sentenced Ricky Priday insisting 'I have nothing against Glasgow. It is a fine town'. Even though Judge Tabor accepted that Priday genuinely forgot a drug treatment appointment, a bizarre quirk of the law means as he breached a court order the criminal had to be banned from somewhere in the UK. It is not the first British town or city that the defendant has been banned from, as at a previous sentencing he was barred from Blackburn, Lancashire, which was also picked at random. At the time Priday asked the judge to be tougher on him by banning him from somewhere he was more likely to go to, but the plea was refused. Priday told the judge he had forgotten about the supervision appointment and had been working as a window cleaner in Cardiff on the day of the IDAP session. Judge Tabor said he did not want to set Priday up to fail again as he was making good progress so he would prohibit him from going somewhere he did not intend to visit anyway - hence the Glasgow prohibition order. He ordered him to pay £50 in costs.

Roland Grimard, suspected of trying to murder his wife in their Candia home on March 1st, was denied bail by a Rockingham County Judge after it was revealed Grimard "coached" his wife on what to say during a phone call. After the phone call two weeks ago Sherry Grimard submitted a letter to Judge John Lewis implicating herself as the aggressor in the attack saying her husband never tried to drown her in their kitchen sink on March 1st, and instead claimed she sprayed Roland with window cleaner and he defended himself. The Judge chastised Grimard in his ruling last week and issued the no bail ruling as part of a preventative detention measure in Rockingham Superior Court. Judge Lewis went on to say he believes Grimard poses a serious threat to his wife Sherry, and may attack her again if freed on bail.

Now those in the Hendricks County, Indiana and surrounding area have another option to doing it themselves. Window Genie®, a national franchisor of window cleaning and other home services, has granted a new franchise territory to Karen and Mike Angle, who run their franchise from their Guilford, Indiana home. Karen and Mike’s franchise services Avon, Brownsburg, Danville, Plainfield, Mooresville, Camby, and all of Hendricks County, Indiana.
Mike Angle left the stress of his position as a facilities manager for an aviation repair company to start their Window Genie franchise in February. Karen and Mike felt a Window Genie franchise was something they could do together. “The best thing about Window Genie has been their professionalism, integrity, commitment to service and commitment to the community,” explained Karen Angle. For Mike, said Karen, “being his own boss and being able to really service the clients has been great. He’s his old self again.”
“The Angles are a great addition to the Window Genie franchise,” said Richard Nonelle, President of Window Genie®. “Their dedication to providing the best service possible and learning the Window Genie system, as well as their positive attitude, has given them a solid start in their business.” Residents should keep their eyes out for the big, purple GENIEMOBILE™ the Angles and their crew drive around the area. Wrapped in purple with lighting, featuring the giant “Window Genie,” they are definitely an attention-grabbing way to advertise their business.

CEO Tony Valle, who was a student painter himself and became College Pro franchise owner, understands how important it is to be safe while on the job. While trying to find ways to address the company's concern for its franchise managers, he came up with the idea of texting safety tips every Monday morning all through summer. The program is a continuation of the extensive College Pro Painters Safety training which the students are taught before they go on a job site.
In a release, Tony Valle said, "To me, it's a natural evolution in the company's constant push to communicate the importance of safety on the job. Given the demographics of the young people we work with, texting seems the most effective way to get our message across and stress the importance of adhering to job-site safety measures. Along with our student managers and painters doing a great job for our customers, safety is the company's number one concern."
Texting provides an instant form of communication which is popular among young people. Valle further stated, "And since we are a company centered around youth, we feel that promoting our message through texting is a good way to stay in touch and keep these young people safe."
College Pro is a North American student painting and window cleaning company which has been in business for 40 years.

The Water-Powered Window-Climbing robot: Scientists at Zhejiang University in China have developed a similar Bernoulli-effect system, this one using pressurized water to drive the more conventional sucker feet on a gecko-inspired climbing robot. Because of its design, it's slightly more suited to climbing up glass, but that's good enough for implementations like a spy bot, firefighter, or a window-washer bot. Plus this machine is entirely powered by water, with clever hydraulics diverting the high-pressure flow into hydraulic rams that help it "walk".

This robot does windows, and runs on water: There’s nothing I like more than reporting on robots on this blog, and this one has is certainly has something unusual on two fronts. First, it is can climb up walls, provided they are made of glass. It has suction cups, and they could take away all window washing jobs permanently. No more of those guys hanging off the sides of tall buildings. Unfortunately, the suction cups won’t keep the robot affixed to the side of a glass building, not by themselves anyway. Here’s where it gets interesting. This robot has a vacuum suction that is generated by water. Yes, this robot can run on water. Not only that, the excess water is squirted out, which will help wash the windows.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Another thing that makes this robot nifty is that it is modeled after a gecko. Too bad it does require a flexible pipe in order to work, but the water tank is only so large, really. Well, this water-powered robo gecko is under development from researchers at Zhejiang University in China, and there is no word if this will ever go past the experimental stage. So if you work on the top of a tall building, and you see a robotic gecko washing your window, do not be alarmed. Video here.

Monday 30 May 2011

Net Closes On UK Benefit Window Cleaners Home & Abroad

An “unemployed” benefit cheat caught carrying a ladder and bucket for his window cleaning round claimed it was therapy for his bad back. His silly excuse tops a list of ridiculous fabrications used by fraudsters as they were caught red handed. Investigators are lifting the lid on a litany of hopeless claims today after Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud warned the net is closing on Britain’s benefits cheats.

A common excuse tried by con artists is the old “not me guv” defence. One man who was caught working while claiming disability benefit insisted investigators had seen his “identical twin”. Another man said his wallet had been stolen and someone else was using his identity. Lord Freud said that while investigators could see the funny side, they were deadly serious about catching benefit cheats who cost the taxpayer £1.6billion every year.

Sweeping reforms being introduced by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will replace the current complex system with a single Universal Credit. Lord Freud said: “Benefit fraud is no joke and yet our investigators are routinely dealing with ridiculous excuses for stealing money from the taxpayer. “Universal Credit will simplify and automate the benefits system. This will make it much easier to catch people who make false claims.” Cheats can now be reported anonymously online.

With summer fast approaching, Spain is again bracing itself for an onslaught of Brits looking for their annual fix of sun, sea and sangria. The Costas traditionally attract a significant amount of holidaymakers from the UK and across Europe, while a sizeable and largely law-abiding expat community now call the region home. But beneath the sun-soaked exterior of the Costas lies an unwanted element that continues to tarnish a stretch of coastline keen to shake off its ‘Costa del Crime’ tag.

The issue of benefit fraud is one that authorities are particularly keen to stamp out, as demonstrated by the establishment of a dedicated fraud hotline for expats in Spain. But so called ‘abroad fraud’, where Britons claim benefits back home while living in Spain, is a problem that refuses to go away. Such a big problem, in fact – estimated at 80 million euros a year – that the UK authorities are launching a fresh purge on the problem, joining forces with their counterparts overseas to find new ways of addressing benefit fraud. 

Fraud investigators at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are working alongside the land registries, the Foreign Office and UK banks to identify offenders. “We are determined to clamp down on benefit fraud abroad,” a DWP spokesman told the Olive Press. “This money should be going to the people who need it most and not lining the pockets of criminals sunning themselves on taxpayers’ money,” she added. The problem, of course, is not just confined to Spain, with other European countries including Greece and long-haul destinations, such as America and Thailand, also housing numerous fraudsters looking to go unnoticed. But it is in Spain, and particular the Costas, that has the unwelcome distinction of having the highest number of offenders.

Benefit thieves going abroad, It’s not if we catch you, it’s when. The British Government takes benefit theft seriously.  There is no hiding place for anyone who thinks they can get away with stealing taxpayers’ money because they are abroad. It’s not if we catch you, it’s when

We are:
  • Tracking down benefit thieves wherever they are
  • Working closely with authorities abroad to identify benefit fraudsters
  • Following up calls to our UK Benefit Fraud Hotline in Spain
It’s estimated that between April 2010 and March 2011, £79m was lost as a result of benefit fraud overpayments to British claimants who have not told us they are living or travelling abroad – that means British taxpayers are financing the fraudsters’ overseas lifestyle. If you know anyone who is stealing benefits, we want to hear about them. The UK Benefit Fraud Hotline in Spain now makes it easier to report benefit thieves on 900 554 440. Lines are open 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Your call is free and confidential. Remember – if you are in receipt of benefits, it’s an offence not to tell us if your circumstances change, for example:
  • you are going or living abroad
  • you get married, or if you separate, divorce or are widowed
  • you start work, increase your earnings or your savings?
If you don’t tell us it could mean prosecution, imprisonment and even the confiscation of your home and possessions. For more details visit the benefit theft website.

Sunday 29 May 2011

High Flying Window Cleaners In Liverpool

High-flying window cleaners scrub Liverpool’s 450ft foot Radio City Tower: A pair of high-flying window cleaners will spend the week 450ft in the air as they clean one of Liverpool’s tallest buildings.

Adam Corlett and Ian Warmsley began their death-defying mission to spruce-up the Radio City Tower at 8am yesterday and will be there until Friday.

The climbers, who work at From Great Heights, an industrial abseiling specialists based in Formby, were called in to give St John’s Beacon its annual clean.

Station director Richard Maddock said: “We have to wait for this time of year for longer daylight hours and generally better weather conditions. Wind speed has to be taken into account and can’t be gusting over 15mph.”

The 453ft Radio City Tower was the tallest building in Liverpool until it was overtaken by the 459ft West Tower.

Saturday 28 May 2011

Dangerous Dave's Educational Window Cleaning Show

He is known as Dangerous Dave on the Window Cleaning Resource forum & what a great character to listen to! Meet David Gutierrez aka Dangerous Dave & he works in Seattle & & owns "Advanced Window Cleaning Service." Dave has recently bowled many window cleaners over with his Youtube videos with an edge of humor & his recognizable accent. Watch the videos below.

Dangerous Dave: His story...

I started 32 years ago as a bucket hound but realized I wasn't skilled as a regular window cleaner so I stopped and I went back to work into construction, I was 23 at the time. One day I saw a window cleaner in downtown Seattle, and his style was like an artist in production. So I stopped to to talk to him to ask a few questions about cleaning and told him I really wanted to be a cleaner. I asked him to show me a few tricks, he said "did you see that one?" I said no and then he said "did you see that one" yet again and I said no! I told him if I started up again, could I ever advance to his status. He asked, "do you want the truth"...I said yes! He said, "You won't be worth a dam".

I just felt completely down and then asked "what do I do?" He said, "get a job with a company that is a true service company and then you'll advance!" I asked him if he'd hire me and he said "no, I work alone, but there is a guy right over on the next street that is hiring guys all the time, over in Post alley!"

So I went down and applied, and 2 weeks later Chuck Anderson of Universal Window Cleaning hired me. Chuck's Dad started Universal in 1940. His father passed away and Chuck took over around 1960. Well it turned out that Universal train almost all the cleaners in town at one time or another. Chuck and his dad were highly trained cleaners and I see them as "Sons of Ettore" cleaners who knew every aspect of cleaning! It was because of Chuck Anderson that I learnt to be the "Son of Ettore" cleaner I am today. Because of the help I got from the cleaner on the street and Universal Window Cleaning I began my walk as a Window Cleaner. I love to share the knowledge I have about Cleaning Windows... Ergo I'm on WCR to put forth the things I know and to learn the things that others know.

"This building is my flagship job, the Washington Athletic Club which I've been doing for 31 years, the building is 80 years old and I do it all from the inside except for 8 palladium windows on the outside."
I've been injured a few times and I really like to encourage SAFETY to others cleaners as Mr. Robinson does on his blog! We all need to be thinking safe all the time in everything we do, working on a 4' step ladder to working a 40 story high rise! Anything can happen to anyone,  anytime, anyplace ...even to the most experienced cleaner. I've personally known cleaners killed or injured in our industry!

A few other points about my walk as a window cleaner are... I've done just about every kind of window cleaning under the sun, from high rise to low rise to store fronts and then large commercial accounts. Residential, commercial, boatswains chair work to swing stage work! Hand work with the traditional hand tools to WFP & DI. I've cleaned the home of Paul Allen with Microsoft, to a small studio apartment! 

My Desire as a window cleaner is to be able to go to the White House, the home of the President of the USA, and clean the windows there ... to me that would be the ultimate cleaning job as a Window Cleaner! Today I consider myself as an advanced window cleaner from all the cleaners I've worked for and with. Without the knowledge laid out by others who came before me I wouldn't have advanced to the level I'm at today. I, to this day am still gathering techniques and ideas from other cleaners and forums and blogs like Robinsons Solutions and Window Cleaning Resource, and just the average lone window cleaner on the street ! My bag of tricks is loaded for bear!

This is why I named my business in Seattle Washington, 'Advanced Window Cleaning Service!' One last point is a customer gave me the nickname 'Dangerous' because of his realization of the danger in our industry! 

Friday 27 May 2011

Missing Window Cleaner Found

Missing Newport man found safe and well: The four week search for a missing Newport man concluded this afternoon, when he was found safe and well. John Barrington, a part-time window cleaner of St Julians, Newport, was reported missing after he failed to meet a friend on April 30. Friends and family of 42-year-old John Barrington held a fundraising event on Saturday to subsidise the cost of their search. Previous blog on this story here.

Help find John Barrington event 22 May 2011.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Window Cleaning News from Around The World

Look Up..Look Down: The view must be nice up there. We have several highrise buildings in the Sault, some require window cleaning from the outside. For sure, you can't be afraid of heights in this job.

Just don't look down: Thrill-seeking photography craze brings stunning results from the top of the world: Anyone scared of heights need not apply. It is one of the most gut-wrenching experiences imaginable, but 'Rooftopping', a new heart-stopping photography craze is sweeping across the globe. Those brave enough to give it a try must go to the tops of the world's tallest buildings, shimmy to the side and then hang off the edge in a bid to capture the perfect picture. Travel photographer Tom Ryaboi has spent his life dangling from buildings trying to achieve what he calls the ultimate rush. He said: 'When you climb to the top of a skyscraper and open its hatch for the first time, a pure rush of adrenaline hits you as you overlook the city from above.

Worker dies in fall as roof fails: A 27-year-old Garrett man fell to his death Tuesday after the roof he was working on collapsed and his safety cable snapped. David W. Gingery was cleaning the roof of a building in the Iron Dynamics building at Steel Dynamics in Butler at the time of the accident. He was working for the contract company Power Clean. About 9 a.m., Gingery walked onto a portion of the roof and the roof structure failed, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department Detective Adam Friedel said. Gingery was wearing a harness and lanyard that was attached to a safety cable, but the safety cable snapped under his weight and he fell 100 feet to his death, Friedel said. Other people were working in the vicinity, but no one else was injured in the accident, Friedel said. Company spokesman Fred Warner said SDI is investigating the death. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it was informed of the death and sent an investigator to the plant. The investigation is ongoing, an official with the agency said.

UK-wide search for missing Newport man: The family of a missing Newport man have vowed to travel the length and breadth of the UK, putting up posters and not resting until he is found. It is nearly a month since John 'Baz' Barrington, 42, of Worcester Crescent, St Julians, disappeared and while there have been no concrete sightings, family and friends have already travelled around Wales, London, Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare putting up posters. They will continue their search and are prepared to go as far north as Scotland, to Cornwall in the south and even abroad if any leads come up. Mr Barrington's sister Andrea said "we're not giving up", her resolve strengthened by an awareness event at the Glebelands on Saturday, which attracted hundreds of people and raised £1,500 for the search.
She said: "It shows the support for John that an event we arranged in six days attracted so many people. We sold hundreds of yellow wristbands and the money will help the search and be kept in a special fund for us to react if there is a sighting. "We've already put thousands of posters around the country on buses, taxis, cars and shops. Friends have been to Cheltenham this weekend and are planning to go to Northampton next week, we'll go all over the UK and even abroad." Mr Barrington was last seen on April 30 when he was supposed to meet up with a friend for a day trip to Weston-Super-Mare. But, the part-time window cleaner didn't didn't show up at the meeting point on Morden Road- something totally out of character- and there's been no news from him since. Previous blog here.

The maniac who beheaded a British gran once picked up a knife and warned his girlfriend either her or their baby was about to die. Deyan Deyanov, who is in prison for murdering Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, in Tenerife, also threatened to throw Nadia Milanova off a balcony. Nadia, who has a six-year-old child with him, has been living in fear ever since. Her mother, 64, who helps look after the youngster in Deyanov's home town of Ruse in Bulgaria, revealed he thrust the knife at her daughter and snarled: "You choose who dies - you or the baby." She added: "He took the drugs then the drugs took him."
Cruise ship worker Nadia, 28, said: "The drugs turned him into a different person to the one I met. I pity the poor woman who died but it could have been me or my mother."
Deyanov, 28, stabbed and decapitated Mrs Mills-Westley, 60, in the Los Cristianos resort n May 13. His brother Elin, 34, said the killer had left his family in ruins years ago after stealing everything they had to pay for drugs. Elin, a window cleaner from Ruse, said: "Our dad couldn't pay his bills and was declared bankrupt. He just got up and left one day and I never heard from him again. "After that my mother became so crazy she had to be sent to a mental hospital, and while she was there everything else we had was sold off by Deyan - who wasted the cash on drugs and gambling. "I last saw my mother begging on the streets. "There isn't a day when I don't curse my brother's name. It's a terrible thing this woman is dead but I can't help feeling glad that he will be locked up for the rest of his life."

No point in getting shirty: I’m not against it in principle and were I a man of means I’d be all in favour of it in practice. However kind as my employers are, their kindness does not let me stretch to liveried staff or staff of any kind, come to that. In fact we occasionally have to lock the side gate to stop the window cleaner from getting round the whole house, thus reducing the bill.

Controversial Tesco Express Has Re-Opened In Bristol: The shop was initially closed less than a week after it first opened when there were riots on the Thursday night before Good Friday. Some people were upset that the company had decided to open the shop because they say it didn't fit into the ethos of the Stoke's Croft area. Exactly a week later there was a second riot.
It had been a controversial idea ever since Tesco announced their plans in February 2010. Despite protests that closed the street, sit-ins and various community meetings, because the shop unit had previously been a grocery store, it was allowed to open mid April 2011. Today, the staff at the Tesco Express store we've spoken to say it's business as usual since the shop opened at 7am. The shop certainly looks smart with the smell of fresh paint greeting you as you walk in and window cleaners were still working first thing this morning. The staff say they're happy to be at the shop but the company have employed 2 security staff there just in case.

‘I’ll never buy a condo again’: Apathy leads to condo in crisis. Nothing seems to function as it should at 40 Panorama Court. Not the concrete, which has been falling off balconies and threatening to break loose in the underground garage. Not the elevators, which are prone to breaking down and trapping residents inside. And certainly not the roof anchors, which have been unable to support the weight of window washers for three years now. But perhaps the most dysfunctional element is the community inside the 32-year-old building’s dirty windows. The relationship between residents and building management is broken as well, with residents making accusations of corruption, whisper campaigns circulating the hallways and condo meetings so heated that the police have gotten involved.
York Condominium Corporation 506, located near Finch and Kipling Aves., is in crisis. The 202-unit condo building needs millions of dollars in urgent repairs — but at the same time, it has an operating deficit of $670,000, a depleted reserve fund and a community that can’t agree on a fix. In August, a desperate board of directors took drastic action and hauled the building’s unit owners to court.

A woman is furious at being left in darkness for nearly a year – after her window fell out and was not replaced. Georgina Bell was cleaning the lounge window of her second-floor flat in Bulwell when the glass fell out because damp had rotted the frame. Nottingham City Homes, which is responsible for maintaining council houses, boarded up the window and told Ms Bell a replacement would take about a month. Despite a number of telephone calls, the 54-year-old is still waiting for a window 11 months later. After being contacted by the Nottingham Post, City Homes has promised it will be fitted today. "It's been really upsetting because we've been living in darkness while we've been waiting," said Ms Bell.

Job is a window into threats to urban birds: The job title alone made me want to shadow Renate Witt. She's a bird collision monitor. Renate is among a dozen volunteers who walk downtown streets early in the morning to look for birds that have flown into glassy buildings during the spring and fall migration seasons. Think bird watchers who look down instead of up. It's a situation when you'd rather not find what you're looking for. This duty makes her sad. But here's the way she looks at it. These birds find themselves in a tricky man-made environment, "and I'm doing my little part as a member of the human race to try to counteract the negative impact on their lives."
She volunteers for the Wisconsin Humane Society's WINGS program, which stands for Wisconsin Night Guardians for Songbirds. The carcasses she collects are carefully cataloged. This is from the program's website: "Our efforts include inviting corporate building managers to make their tall buildings bird-safe and encouraging everyone to do their part at work and at home to help protect birds from the hazards of window collisions." It's best if the lights in these buildings are turned off at night during migrations. And putting decals on home windows helps steer birds away. That's the ideal, of course.
"The Milwaukee business community has not responded as we had hoped to our WINGS program," said Scott Diehl, manager of the Humane Society's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. That's where Renate and other monitors drop off the birds they find. Some of them are found alive but injured. Renate carries a net in her backpack to help ease them into a paper bag for the trip. Some can be saved; many cannot. A 25-gram bird doesn't have much of a chance when hitting a solid object at high speed.

The ads say you either love Marmite or you hate it - and now it seems dastardly Denmark has taken a dislike to our favourite savoury spread. Danish officials say Marmite's recipe breaks food safety laws restricting foods fortified with extra vitamins or minerals. So yesterday The Sun hit back by holding a proMarmite protest outside the Danish embassy in London. But when we spoke to ambassador Birger Riis-Jørgensen it was clear he is unlikely to spread the word. He said: "I have tried Marmite - but I'm more of a fine-cut English marmalade man." Fortunately there were plenty of Brits toasting the breakfast favourite at the protest. Businesswoman Sarah Palmer, 34, from Desborough, Northants, said: "How could anyone restrict sales of Marmite? It's ludicrous." And window cleaner Melvin Hennessy, 55, of Rotherhithe, south London, said: "Marmite's a staple part of the UK diet. Pity help us if they try to do the same thing here."

So much am I in the grip of Twitter, that I was tempted to write this piece in one hundred and forty characters or fewer. And it’s not all trivia. As someone who occasionally performs stand-up, I’ve watched as people write gags that would grace any stage, a whole new generation of comedians are on the rise learning a craft while sitting in work, for instance: @dullardcostner wrote the other day: “My window cleaner knocked on my door the other day effing and blinding. I thought, 'fuck me he's lost his rag!'” Bang, pure and simple a belting one liner that any comic would be proud of, and as far as I can tell, the writer sells insurance for a living.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  The "living wage" could be a killer for the Staten Island economy, and has split the borough's City Council delegation. A pending Council bill would require developers who get taxpayer subsidies to pay workers $11.50 per hour, or $10 if health benefits are included. Advocates say the bill would provide economic justice and would spur economic activity by boosting wages for the working class. Opponents say the legislation would cut jobs, discourage employers from expanding or moving into the city, and damage the city's manufacturing sector and affordable housing industry. "Simply put, this bill is bad for the Staten Island economy," said Linda Baran, chair and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. The proposal would affect most firms that receive public dollars for job creation and economic development, as well as their tenants, condo owners, contractors or subcontractors. Those covered would include building service workers, landscapers, doormen and window washers, whether they be full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, independent contractors or contingent or contracted workers.

The California Chamber of Commerce today released its annual list of proposed legislation that threatens to hurt California's job climate and hamper economic recovery. "The first step in an economic recovery program is to do no more harm to the economy," said Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. "Proponents of anti-business legislation who think California's economy can withstand additional pressure from new regulatory and legislative burdens are simply unwilling to accept the unfortunate reality that California has the second highest unemployment rate in the country."
This year's list of "job killers" includes 28 proposed laws which threaten California employers with new costly workplace and employee benefit mandates, economic development barriers, regulatory burdens and inflated liability costs.
Economic Development Barriers - AB 350 (Solorio; D-Anaheim) Costly Employee Retention Mandate: Inappropriately alters the employment relationship by requiring any successor contractor for "property services," defined as licensed security, landscape, window cleaning or food cafeteria services, to retain employees of the former contractor for 90 days and thereafter offer continued employment unless the employees' performance during the 90-day period was unsatisfactory.

COOL NEWS: Window-washing mogul/civic leader/founder of Corporate Cleaning Services, Neal Zucker, received the global leadership award presented by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan at the BuildOn breakfast at the Hilton on Wednesday. The co-host for the event was Channel 5’s Rob Elgas and Zoraida Sambolin.

Business Profile: Inside-Out Windows offers home, commercial cleaning - Name of business: Inside-Out Window Cleaning. Location: Anderson; 610-7787
Owners: Jeremy and Bridget Simmons. Opened: March
Hours: by appointment, Monday through Saturday. Employees: Two owners
Services: Inside-Out Window Cleaning does residential and commercial full-service window cleaning services throughout Madison County. The window cleaning service includes inside and outside window cleaning, screen and storm window cleaning, casings and sill cleaning and specialty window cleaning.Inside-Out does free estimates.
Jeremy Simmons said they also offer other services like storing and changing screen and storm windows, preparing windows to be installed and cleaning new windows after home construction. Inside-Out also does graffiti removal. Jeremy Simmons has created his own window cleaning formula after struggling to find something that worked well but left no streaks. The owners stressed the importance of supporting local business. The couple is local and said investing in other Madison County businesses ensures local dollars stay local.
In the owner’s words: The business started as a part-time job for Jeremy Simmons in 2010 after a few of his wife’s customers at the salon she worked. After researching the business, he decided to invest in starting his own business. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business,” Simmons said. “I think it would be nice to build this business up and have a successful business I can pass along to my son.” He detailed cars before and enjoys the reward of seeing something being transformed through a good cleaning. “I really appreciate taking something that is dirty and make it nice,” he said. “I take a lot of pride in my work. I’m very thorough and detail oriented.”
Bridget Simmons said the couple prides themselves on giving customers something extra and have even received thank you cards for the business’ professionalism and quality work. “I still drive by places that I cleaned three weeks ago and look at the windows gleaming,” Jeremy Simmons said. “It is so gratifying."

It happens every spring. As sunlight reawakens tiny buds and fresh breezes dust the fields with lilacs, a strange compulsion kicks us out of our winter stupor. We actually want to clean. Floors suddenly seem grimy and corners cobwebby. The cluttered basement starts to really bug us. Even that previously insurmountable task — window washing — sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday. Our annual spring cleaning frenzy is more than mere tradition: It’s the manifestation of a primal urge for renewal on a deeper level. We have a deep need to mimic the earth’s own rebirthing cycle by cleaning floors, decluttering closets, and airing out rooms. And while a pristine, life-affirming home is a nice by-product of this urge, you shouldn’t stop there. No matter how organized and spotless your physical world may be, it won’t matter if your soul is cluttered with emotional debris. In other words, it’s time to embrace “spring cleaning” for your spirit. Spiritual cleansing and healing can and should be done all year long. But when you’re in a “decluttering” sort of mood already, it just feels easier and more natural to focus on trashing those spiritual bad habits and on making room for new ones that will lead to healing and joy on every level.

The Smog-Cleaning Building: Air pollution in urban environments is becoming a serious problem everywhere from Los Angeles to Beijing, but new materials technology may provide a solution to clearing smog from the world's cityscapes. Industrial materials firm Alcoa recently unveiled the world's first self-cleaning architectural panel, a product with the potential to reduce building maintenance and enable structures to decompose smog and other air pollutants. Known as Reynobond with EcoClean, the technology relies on a titanium dioxide coating that interacts with sunlight to break down organic matter on and floating around the surface of a building panel. Rainwater then washes the particles down to the surface.
"You can imagine the applications of this green building technology: Times Square would glimmer a little brighter," SmartPlanet notes. "Ultra-high skyscrapers wouldn't need to hire daring window cleaners to keep floor-to-ceiling windows transparent. And, at scale, a smog-choked Los Angeles could breathe a bit easier." Alcoa claims that approximately 10,000 square feet of surface using the coated panels has the same air-cleaning capability as 80 trees. The coating is designed solely for aluminum materials, and with 14 billion square feet of aluminum paneling in North America and Europe, replacing a fraction of the total with smog-cleaning panels would equate to planting millions of trees. The new panels will cost 4 percent to 5 percent more than standard materials, but the expense may be offset by maintenance reductions. In addition, many companies may be interested in boosting their brand by adopting the high-tech breakthrough. The technology is currently being tested in pilot programs in North America and Europe.

HAMILTON — Window-washing artists and friends recently took squeegees, buckets, and artwork to some Hamilton business windows along Broad Street, to create a trail of “Art-full Windows!” Area residents can also challenge their knowledge of Hamilton’s art history with the quiz placed in the Town of Hamilton Office window.

With no end to the current Texas drought in sight, the Nassau Bay City Council has updated its Drought Contingency Plan to promote the responsible use of water and conserve the city’s available water supply. Second and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled at the June 13 council meeting. When passed, the ordinance leaves it up to the mayor to monitor the water supply and conditions and determine when conditions warrant initiation or termination of each stage of the plan. It also carries penalties for those who violate the law – both termination of water service and fines up to $5,000 for each violation. Depending on the severity of the drought conditions, residents will be asked to cut back on water usage, limiting usage to mornings and/or evenings with further cutbacks as the drought progresses. Should the drought reach the severe stage, all outdoor use of water, such as lawn and garden watering, car washing and window washing, will be prohibited and a surcharge equal to 200 percent of the applicable rate in excess of 10,000 gallons/month will be imposed on all customers.

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