Thursday 30 June 2011

Breaking News: Car Breaks NZ Window Cleaner's Fall

EMERGENCY SCENE: The scene of the fall, from approximately five storeys up.

Abseiling window cleaner hurt in fall: A parked car broke the fall of an abseiling window cleaner who fell several stories from a building on the Terrace in Central Wellington today. The man, in his 30s, fell from approximately the 5th floor of a high rise office building from the rope where he was working at 12.18pm. He landed in Bolton St, adjacent to The Terrace. He received emergency treatment at the scene and was transferred to Wellington Hospital with leg and lower back injuries. Wellington Free Ambulance Team Manager Kate Worthington said the incident could have been much more serious if the man's fall was not broken by the parked car. "He is very lucky indeed." A police cordon around the area has now been lifted. Another workman was at the scene but was not injured.

FALL: Emergency services attending an incident on Bolton St in central Wellington, where it appears an abseiling workman has been injured.
An absailing window cleaner in Wellington hit a parked car after a five-storey plunge earlier today.
Car breaks Wellington window cleaner's fall: An abseiling window cleaner was seriously injured today after a falling at least five stories in central Wellington. The man fell from Mayfair House on The Terrace about midday. He was taken to Wellington Hospital in a serious but stable condition, Wellington Free Ambulance team manager Kate Worthington told NZPA. The man, in his 20s or 30s, had been harnessed onto the back of a 10-12 storey building. "At some point during his way down the building, around the sixth floor from the ground level, the harness has failed and he has subsequently fallen approximately five to six stories from there." He hit a parked car, which slowed him down before he hit the concrete, Mrs Worthington said.
He had lower leg and lower back injuries, which appeared to be from where he struck the car, she said. The man remained fully conscious and was talking after the fall. He was "quite upset, as was his colleague who was with him at the time", she said. The car sustained minor damage to its bonnet. The Department of Labour was investigating what happened and why, a spokesman said.

An abseiling window cleaner in New Zealand has been seriously injured falling at least five storeys onto a parked car that has helped brake his descent. The man, aged in his 20s or 30s, was harnessed onto a 10-12 storey building in central Wellington about midday (10am AEST). "At some point during his way down the building, around the sixth floor from the ground level, the harness has failed and he has subsequently fallen approximately five to six storeys from there," an ambulance spokeswoman said. She said he hit a parked car, which slowed him down before hitting the concrete. He suffered leg and back injuries, which appeared to be from where he struck the car, but remained fully conscious and was talking after the fall, she said. He was "quite upset, as was his colleague who was with him at the time", she said. He was taken to Wellington Hospital in a serious but stable condition. The car sustained minor damage to its bonnet.

A window cleaner is in serious condition after falling off a high rise office building on The Terrace in Wellington. Wellington Free Ambulance team manager Kate Worthington says the man was lucky to have had his fall broken by a parked car. She says he fell approximately five storeys onto a car and concrete below when his safety rope gave way. Ms Worthington says the man is now at Wellington Hospital.

Wellington window cleaner survives five-storey fall: An abseiling window cleaner was seriously injured today after a falling at least five stories in central Wellington. The man fell from a building on The Terrace about midday and was taken to Wellington Hospital in a serious but stable condition, Wellington Free Ambulance team manager Kate Worthington said. The man, in his 20s or 30s, had been harnessed onto the back of a 10-12 story building. "At some point during his way down the building, around the sixth floor from the ground level, the harness has failed and he has subsequently fallen approximately five to six stories from there." He hit a parked car, which slowed him down before he hit the concrete, Mrs Worthington said. He had lower leg and lower back injuries, which appeared to be from where he struck the car, Mrs Worthington said. The man remained fully conscious and was talking after the fall. He was "quite upset, as was his colleague who was with him at the time", she said. The car sustained minor damage to its bonnet. 

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Window Cleaning T.V.

The worlds largest repository of Window Cleaning videos has a new home. Quicker loading, faster & the most window cleaning videos you'll ever find in one spot. Check it out, click the picture above! Brought to you by Window Cleaning Resource.

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Tuesday 28 June 2011

Window Cleaner Busted For Leaving Tap On

On the sidewalk Monday by the post office on Federal Street on the North Side, water gushes from a window washer's unattended hose.
Think about waste involved in runoff of valuable water (Diana Nelson Jones): This is just plain wrong. Look at this hose. I passed it in front of the post office on Federal Street and South Commons on the North Side/North Shore Monday morning. A man was washing the post office windows with a squeegee, and water from this hose was flowing down the sidewalk and into the street. This is water that Alcosan treated that's right back into its system for treatment. This water was completely wasted. The cost of treating it was wasted. We keep paying that cost and we keep wasting. People complain about being nickel-and-dimed but blithely go about wasting and witnessing waste without even thinking, much less thinking about the incredible amounts of money this heedlessness costs us. The costs become exponential over time.

I was going to ask the window washer why the hose didn't have a shut-off valve, but at that moment, a man greeted him and they started talking. I didn't want to embarrass him in front of someone. Over the years, as I have passed that post office and its huge sweeping curve of sloping sidewalk, I have thought: This would be a great place for a rain garden. Storm water washes around that curve right into the street. A rain garden on a patch of that sidewalk could intercept a lot of it.

Later that morning, I received an email announcement from the county about the Allegheny Green initiative that county Executive Dan Onorato started in 2009, when the four planters in the courthouse courtyard were turned into rain gardens. The downspouts that had drained into the city's sewer system now divert rain water into the planting beds, and the planters are filled with drainage material and drought-tolerant native plants.

The county has placed signs that identify and tell you something about the 30 native plants. The signs have QR barcodes that, if you have a smart phone, you can scan for more information. The news release tells that a rain garden should be composed of native plants that tolerate the pooling of water as well as periods of drought, and goes on: "The cost to develop a rain garden is normally $6-$8 per square foot and provides increased value to homes and businesses." Two inches of rain on a roof can result in more than 600 gallons of water rushing through downspouts and into sewer systems. As little as a tenth of an inch of rain can cause combined sewers to overflow.

Then there's pavement. There is permeable surface material out there, but we continue to pave things with the old asphalt, so the oil under your car and the soap that cleaned it and everything else that is lying on the streets contaminates storm water that flows into storm and sanitary sewers and local streams. The county executive affirmed that "green infrastructure is a key component of storm water management" and that "we must come together as a community to address the issue."

Yes, DanO, we must. So I address this directly to you: Would you call the post office and ask them to get a hose valve for their window washer? As the guy who committed the Allegheny County Office Building to being the county's first green-roofed public building, you have more clout than I.

As for the rest of us: If you are one of those people who let the water run when you aren't using it -- washing the car, brushing your teeth or squeegeeing a window -- think of how you would feel if, say, a $10 bill blew from your hand off the bridge and into the river. If I am not speaking to the choir as you read this, just think about it. Just give it a little thought. In the end, no matter who is paying the bill -- the post office this time, your employer next time, or you -- it's all the same. We all lose when we waste.

The last flood on Federal Street, March 1904

Monday 27 June 2011

Window Cleaning Van Set-Ups

Water fed system set-up video: Hose reels, how to hold poles, tools and more from Troy Liposec of "Pacificlear" who does pressure washing, exterior house washing, solar panel cleaning & of course - window cleaning.

Seth Fenster from Washington D.C. with "Windows Only" shows us his van set-up in two videos.

Adders Rinse And Clean is a family run window cleaning business from Tamworth in the UK.

Van set-up from "GoldOak" from Swansea in Wales, UK.

Tony Evans of "A New View Window Cleaning" aka "Mr. Squeegee" in Iowa gives us a tour.

John Edward Lee in Tennessee with his van.

Curt Kempton from 5star window cleaning is featured in issue #1 of Window Cleaning Business Owner Magazine. Curt gives us a nice tour of his set up from Arizona.

Sunday 26 June 2011

Cleaning Windows For 1 Day Or A Hundred Years?

Post-Tribune columnist Jerry Davich, right, cleans a first-floor window at the Valparaiso campus of Ivy Tech Community College May 25, 2011. Josh Reberg, left and Jacob Hernandez used ladders to get to the second-floor windows. Davich spent the day learning the ropes of window cleaning with the help of employees of Bren-Mark Window Cleaning Service.
Jerry Davich: Five jobs in five days, starting with cleaning windows - Today’s column is the initial installment of my “five jobs in five days” series where I work a few hours at five different occupations to experience the challenges of, ahem, a real job. First up, I join the streak-less ranks of Bren-Mark Window Cleaning service in Valparaiso during a “monster job” at Ivy Tech Community College on the city’s east side.

Jerry Davich
Candy Smith chuckled at my amateur attempts to properly clean a large office “practice window” using a professional mop and squeegee. No matter which technique I used — the horizontal swipe, the vertical swipe or the tricky swirl swipe — I left a streak or two somewhere on the window pane. It was very frustrating. Although I sported an official Bren-Mark T-shirt and tool belt, to hold my sopping-wet mop and bucket, two squeegees and clean-up towels (a white one to clean the sill, a blue one for the pane), washing windows was tougher than it looks from inside an office building. “Sometimes a window just doesn’t like you,” Smith told me sympathetically after I left yet another streak of soapy water on the window near the firm’s Valparaiso office.

Smith, the firm’s operations manager, has been here 11 years after starting as a window cleaner. She knows windows inside and out, and she made it look easy to clean them. Despite popular belief, it doesn’t matter which brand of soap is used, Smith told me. (On this day, we used Palmolive dish soap.) The secret is how to squeegee. “OK, now I’ll show you how we really clean windows” she told me as she swept her squeegee from corner to corner and back around in a swirl motion. “It’s all in the wrist.”

Within five seconds, without lifting her squeegee from the window, she removed every trace of soapy water. Amazing, I told her. “You’ll get the hang of it eventually,” she replied. (I never really did, though.) Some new employees get scared off after the first day, complaining it’s either too hard, too strenuous, too repetitive or too confusing. Others simply don’t return the next day. Still, after a half hour of practice, we headed to the day’s work site, Ivy Tech Community College, on the city’s east side for a “monster job.”

How hard can it be? At Ivy Tech, which is seemingly made from various shapes and sizes of eye-catching glass, I met with Bren-Mark’s owner, Don Markovich. “When an architect draws huge buildings like these, with so much glass, the drawing never has dirty windows,” joked Markovich, a stocky man with thick arms and a no-nonsense attitude. “But it’s our job to make them look like they did in the drawing.” Bren-Mark has experienced a 10 percent growth spurt each of the last two years, an impressive statistic these days for any business. The firm is known for charging top dollar for a high quality job. There are no contracts, per se, just a lot of repeat customers, from both residential and commercial accounts.

“Just about every piece of glass you see will be cleaned at some point by somebody,” Markovich said during a tour of the work site. “Most people think of window cleaners as hanging off high rise buildings or maids on ladders with Windex and paper towels. We are somewhere in the middle.” Some of the firm’s customers get their windows cleaned once a month or even weekly, while others only once a year. But if windows remain dirty for too long, it only makes the job that much harder, especially if the business is located near grimy steel mills.

Josh Reberg cleans windows at the Valparaiso campus of Ivy Tech Community College May 25, 2011. Reberg works for Bren-Mark Window Cleaning Service based in Valparaiso.
 Bren-Mark’s niche is “low-rise” buildings, three stories or below, simply because there aren’t many high-rise buildings in Northwest Indiana. “Once you go over three stories, equipment requirements and cost of insurance jumps dramatically,” he added. Standing outside Ivy Tech’s main building, Markovich handed me a towering “Tucker pole,” a long, heavy extension tool which uses filtered water to clean high-rise windows with a spot-free rinse. Unfiltered water has minerals that leave stains on windows, and steel wool is often used for such stubborn windows, I learned.

He explained that his job takes a certain mix of intelligence, friendliness, persistence, professionalism and good old-fashioned elbow grease. “Cleaning windows is a simple business — it’s not called Bren-Mark Rocket Science — but it is not easy,” Markovich said as I slowly guided the long (and did I say heavy?) pole back and forth across each window. “We have to provide service, without any mistakes or problems, on schedule to hundreds of commercial customers and dozens of residential customers each week. This can total up to thousands of individual windows, even in the extreme cold.”

Not rocket science, but… In addition to using the Tucker pole, I also climbed to the roof of the building to clean outdoor windows overlooking a lobby. With the sun beating down, I worked alongside Josh Reberg, Scott Sliger, and Jacob Hernandez, who showed me the ropes of the job as well as how to use extension ladders to clean second story windows. Bren-Mark workers say they’re often asked, “How hard can it be to clean windows?” “We don’t just spray Windex on a window and wipe it off,” Hernandez told me. “We make it look easier than it is. It took me a few months to get it down.”

Inside the school building, I worked alongside veterans Mary Martin and Marlon Sayles, an older man who’s taught many other professional window cleaners through the years. Together, we stood on a high-lift machine to clean second and third story windows. Sayles didn’t say much so neither did I. My only goal was to not slow him down. Bren-Mark workers routinely begin their work day at 8:30 a.m. and they go home when their list of jobs for the day is done. Some days end earlier than others.

 Post-Tribune columnist Jerry Davich uses a squeegee to clean a window at the Valparaiso campus of Ivy Tech Community College May 25, 2011. Davich spent the day learning the techniques of window cleaning.
They are paid per job, based on a percentage, with new hires earning 31 percent of the total price and more experienced workers earning 35 percent, Reberg said. This averages between $15 to $20 an hour, depending on their speed, experience and quality of work. An agreed perk of their job is the freedom to work at different locations without having a boss always looking over their shoulder in a (windowless) office. The toughest part of the job is often gaining access to clean windows, and I can vouch for that after straddling a tipsy ladder planted in mushy grass.

Another downside of the job is cleaning off more than merely dirt from windows. For instance, bird droppings, rotten eggs and paintball remnants. “You name it, we’ve seen it all on windows,” Markovich told me. As I cleaned yet another dirty window while wondering how much longer until my lunch hour, I had a minor epiphany: I don’t want to be a professional window cleaner. Or, as they say in the trenches, the job is a pane in the glass.

Springfield janitorial service achieves rare century mark: Springfield janitorial service achieves rare century mark. Witenko Enterprises Inc. began a century ago this year when a man who fled the Ukraine in the late 1800s began washing downtown Springfield windows to make money. Dmitri “Jim” Witenko began in 1911 what became a 100-employee company by going door-to-door offering the service. It was a time when dozens of manufacturing facilities, stores and office buildings populated the city center and beyond; the demand for window cleaning was high, according to current and third-generation president Mike Witenko.

Early on, Dmitri Witenko’s window cleaning service weathered such significant events in human history as the Great Depression and World War I before incorporating formally in the 1930s as the Springfield Window Cleaning Company. Few companies can claim such longevity as Witenko Enterprises, and even fewer can claim a fourth-generation family company. Kristina Witenko, Mike Witenko’s daughter, joined the company in 2005 and currently serves as operations manager. She plans to be the family’s fourth-generation president in the future, she said.

A search by the Clark County Historical Society of 1911 business directories resulted in only a handful of companies known to be operating locally in some fashion today. Companies with recognizable names like Littleton & Rue Funeral Home, International Harvester, Chakeres Theatres, James Leffel Co. and Woeber Mustard join a few others in that select club. As demands declined, Witenko Enterprises found it necessary to fold together some operations and cease others. Employment is down significantly from its peak of nearly 100 workers in the 1970s. “As need disappears, you back off,” said Mike Witenko, who joined the company in 1968. “When need goes down, we have to make a decision (to stop operations).” “Business has always been up and down, but this might be the worst,” Mike Witenko said of the current economic climate.

Staffing now is down to 10, but Mike Witenko said things appear to be turning around. “We’re seeing see good signs coming, but it’s going to take a while to build back up,” he said. Tom Kaplan, Ness Chair in Entrepreneurship and associate professor of business at Wittenberg University, said a long-running family business has a different approach than others. “It’s the stewardship mind-set,” Kaplan said. “It’s the way that you run a business. You’re not looking at meeting the next quarter’s goals. You’re thinking ‘I’ve got grandkids and what do I need to do’ ” to get them and the business ready for the company’s future.

As economic times evolved, so did Witenko Enterprises, launching a host of other service businesses and a venetian blind sales and service division. In 1945 it added window blind sales and service to their list of companies. That chance paid off when Levolor blind company named Springfield Venetian Blind Sales & Service a national distributor. Then, in the 1950s, the window cleaning service added an inside and outside wall cleaning service under the leadership of Dmitri Witenko’s son, George Joe Witenko. That same decade, the company took another chance and added Springfield General Maintenance to their list of services. The division tackled jobs like cleaning the facade of the Clark County Courthouse and cleaning ink from the walls and ceiling of the Springfield News and Springfield Sun’s press room.

The next decade George Joe’s son and Mike Witenko’s brother, then president George Louis Witenko, saw more room for expansion and opened Springfield Janitorial Services. In 1960, the company brought its many divisions together under the umbrella Witenko Enterprises Inc., which exists today mainly as a janitorial service. It reached peak staffing levels of close to 100 in the late 1970s. Said Wittenberg’s Kaplan: “A fourth-generation company is unbelievably rare, and it’s not an accident.”

Saturday 25 June 2011

Golf, Cheques, Wind & A Library For Window Cleaners In The News

Ever Wonder How Much It Costs to Clean All Those Library Windows? The Fountaindale Public Library has tons of window space. In fact, nearly the entire second and third floors are nothing but windows. Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to clean them?The library's board of trustees found out last week when they approved a measure to hire a window cleaning company to do the dirty work for them. The board will pay the Smudge Free Window and Cleaning Service, a Bolingbrook-based company, $3,460 annually to clean the hundreds of window in the new library. The company will clean the lower windows four times per year and clean the higher windows once per year. The measure was approved at last week's board meeting.

Wicked Winds Whip Through Borderland Sunday (EL PASO, Texas) - Winds whipped through El Paso Sunday afternoon and into the early evening. Construction crews working on the Coronado Tower in west El Paso left a window cleaning cart suspended about 4 feet off the ground. When the winds kicked up the cart began swinging and crashed into the building, breaking two of the windows. KFOX-14 spoke to the leasing company, who sent someone to secure the cart and board up the broken windows.

Pulex boab's at dawn: (l-r) Neville Hunter, Paul Lee, Club Pro Jason Laszkowicz, Rebecca Staley, Stuart Staley and Jason Kendrick are taking part in a charity golf day to raise money for Retts Syndrome in aid of Demi Turner, 2, who is Stuart's grand daughter. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Tot’s family want to raise ‘hole’ lot of cash: The family of a tot struck with a brain disorder are gearing up to get a charity challenge in full swing. Demi-Leigh Turner, aged two, has Rett Syndrome which has caused her to suffer from epilepsy and left her unable to walk. A group of keen golfers and window cleaners, including Demi-Leigh’s uncle Neville Hunter, of Poplar Road, Skellow, and her grandad Stuart Staley, of Charles Street, Skellow, have decided to do a sporting challenge which will see them play five rounds of golf on an 18-hole course in a day.
The dusk ‘til dawn challenge will take place on Tuesday at Owston Hall’s golf course and there will also be a raffle. The group want to raise around £1,000 which will be donated to the Rett Syndrome’s registered charity RettUK. Organiser and Demi-Leigh’s auntie, Becky Staley, 28, of Poplar Road, Skellow, said: “My niece is one of the youngest sufferers who was diagnosed before she was three-years-old but she’s still a happy, loving child. We are hoping to make that little bit of difference by providing money that could help to maybe one day find a cure.”

Cheque guarantee cards check out: It is the final weekend for the cheque card. Forty-one years after they were first introduced, they finally become defunct on Thursday, 30 June. No longer will you have to ask a tradesman to write your card number on the back of a cheque. No longer will there be a guarantee from the bank that the payment will be honoured. Many people are unhappy about the change, but the banks say such payments have almost died out anyway. They point out that the number of people using cheque cards has been falling for years. "In the last five years, the numbers have dropped off by 65%," says Jemma Smith, of UK Payments.
Cheques themselves will continue for at least another seven years, but without the backing of a guarantee. Last year, at least 95 million were written with a guarantee number on the back, although that was only about 7% of the total. Many people still rely on them for paying tradesmen, such as plumbers, carpenters, window-cleaners and electricians. For many of those tradesmen, the guarantee card is important for preventing fraud and making sure that they get paid. "Many people will write out a cheque, whether or not they've got money in the bank," says Charlie Mullins of Pimlico Plumbers. As a result, he fears his business will lose out when the guarantee system comes to an end. "No cheque card means cheques may not clear. It's going to be absolute chaos to do away with it," he says. 
The alternatives - Those people who need to use cheques are being advised to continue doing so. They will not disappear until 2018 at the earliest and that date may be changed in 2016. That means the banks have five years to come up with alternative payment methods. In the meantime, consumers can consider using debit or credit cards, paying on the internet, via mobile phones or using new contactless cards. In any case, cheques are falling in popularity. Whether that is because fewer places are accepting them, or because consumers prefer to use other payment methods, is hard to determine. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) insists it is the latter. They say that only one in 1,000 retail transactions now involves a cheque.

Friday 24 June 2011

Window Cleaner Recalls Alien Abduction

CLOSE ENCOUNTER: Researcher and broadcaster Richard Hall with 76-year-old Robert Hall in the back lane where the pensioners says he was grabbed by an alien in 1940 before his uncle killed it with a shovel.
The alien ‘killed with a coal shovel’: Stories of alien abductions peaked in the Sixties and Seventies, but one case that predates them is said to have taken place in the North-East. Gavin Havery reports.

It is a sunny spring day in 1940. Soldiers are marching south along Saltwell Road, in Gateshead, towards Low Fell. Nearby, five-year-old Robert Hall is playing with his friends in the maze of red brick Tyneside terraces, not far from the train tracks. Earlier in the day, he had seen something whizzing about in the sky and, after he tired of playing with his friends, he decided to go to his Hedley Street home around the corner.

Robert, a retired window cleaner, says he was confronted by an aircraft the like of which he had never seen before. He described it as “a big egg-shaped thing surround by bright light”. Robert says it was then that he spotted strange-looking creatures standing in the back lane. He says three of them were built like men, but ranged from 2ft to 4ft in height, one looked like Big Foot while another had long flowing hair and a coat that partially covered a skeletal body and bat wings. “Other children were petrified and in shock. They were trying to get over the railway, but there was barbed wire and they were getting cut and were screaming,” he says.

The story sounds like something from a low budget sci-fi film but the man telling it is no attention-seeking youngster. Robert Hall is 76 and he has been telling the same story all his life. And now he is telling it in a television programme that has brought his story to a worldwide audience.

Recalling what happened, Robert says the creatures spoke to him in perfect English, with no accent, and asked if they could examine him. “I told them it was 1940 and we were at war with Germany,” he says. “They took blood out of the back of my neck and put some jelly on. I kept my eyes shut. I was so frightened I was shaking.” After 20 terrifying minutes, he was allowed to go. “I was up that street like a shot,” he says. “My parents thought I was kidding and so did the soldiers.”

The next day, Robert says, two men with black suits came to the house and warned him that if he said anything, he would disappear. One close encounter would be fascinating enough, but the pensioner says things took an even more sinister turn a few days later when an alien tried to snatch him off the street.

He says a grey alien, fitting the common description of an extra terrestrial with big eyes and a large head, grabbed him. “He was on me in a couple of seconds,” he says. “I fell over the kerb and bashed my toe. My Uncle Ernie saw what was happening and bashed its head in with a coal shovel.” The alien’s body was allegedly put in a coal sack and Robert was sent to find a local policeman, Sergeant Brookes. He says the Army was called and took the body to a church.

Robert says strange small triangular marks appeared on his left cheek, which remained until he was about 12 or 13, before disappearing, leaving no trace. Seventy years after his alleged close encounter, Robert’s story has become the subject of a television documentary.

Researcher and broadcaster Richard Hall, who is not related to Robert, studies all things out of the ordinary for his digital television programme, The Rich Planet Starship, and In 2008, he was giving a lecture on UFOs at the Caedmon Hall, in Gateshead, when he was contacted by Robert, who lives nearby. Richard, who is 43 and lives in Sunniside, but is based in Consett, says: “It is a fascinating story and it is a very, very early case in terms of modern day grey alien abductions.”

Richard says other abduction cases were reported in Brazil in 1957, and in the US in 1961, increasing throughout the Sixties and Seventies. “There is a case of a recovered UFO in Missouri where small alien creatures were allegedly recovered and, obviously, we have got Roswell in 1947 (an alien spacecraft allegedly crashed at Roswell, in New Mexico). “But this predates all of that, which makes it a very interesting case.” Richard carried out a three-month investigation into Robert’s claims. He verified that street and shop names checked out. He also managed to confirm there was a Sgt Brookes working the area at the time.

Richard says Robert’s description of the creatures – the small stature, the grey skin, the large eyes, the craft itself, elliptical shape and the metallic surface with the bright light – are common features of alien abduction stories “There’s also the fact that they tried to interfere with Robert’s neck. “I don’t believe that they took blood, as Robert claims,” he says. “They were possibly trying to put something in. “Interestingly, Robert says the creatures had a short, white hand-held device which could subdue or immobilise somebody and there’s the triangular marks that were left on his face. “These are all things that we find in abductee cases, again and again.”

Richard’s investigations are ongoing and he is keen for anyone who can back up Robert’s claims to get in touch with him. Robert, who has four children and three grandchildren, is sincere and earnest about his alien encounter all those years ago. Richard, who has met Robert’s sister, says it is a story he has stuck to since he was a little lad. Robert says: “I got the p**s taken out of me for years, and at school the teacher would say ‘there’s the boy who believes in little green men’. “They weren’t bloody green, they were grey. I will take it to my grave.”

Thursday 23 June 2011

Water Fed Pole Class With John Kieser

Click on the picture above to take you to all Johns WFP videos.

WFP Class With John Kieser - Testing Water Quality

WFP Class With John Kieser - Basic Residential Technique

WFP Class With John Kieser - Commercial Windows Basic Technique

WFP Class With John Kieser - Brushes

WFP Class With John Kieser - Cut Ups

WFP Class With John Kieser - Curtain Of Glass

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Window Washing Scaffold Collapse

"They were saying if you call OSHA you stand the chance of getting arrested or going to jail!"
Work to resume today at Hendrick as investigators continue to probe scaffold collapse (ABILENE, Texas): Work is expected to resume today at the site of Hendrick Medical Center’s Project 2010 construction project, where two workers were injured after scaffolding collapsed Monday afternoon. As work continues on the $86 million project after being suspended immediately after the collapse, investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration continue to look into the accident.

Witnesses said Monday the scaffold that collapsed appeared to reach the roofline of an adjacent building, about three stories up. One man, a glass subcontractor, was working on a swing stage — an aerial platform commonly used by window washers — when the collapse occurred. A second man, a framing contractor, was the only person working on the scaffold when it collapsed. He was freed from the rubble after about 90 minutes.

Joe Guillaume, a vice president with Hoar Construction, which is managing the site, said one of the injured workers has been released from Hendrick, while the second man remained in the hospital Tuesday afternoon with minor injuries. He did not identify the two employees. Guillaume said his company’s safety engineer and insurance company officials are working with the OSHA investigator. A structural engineer from OSHA is scheduled to arrive at the site Friday to lend his expertise to the investigation into how the scaffolding came crashing to the ground.

Guillaume said OSHA officials told him that the investigation is expected to continue at the site for at least a week. Elizabeth Todd, spokeswoman for OSHA, confirmed Tuesday that agency investigators were on the scene, but she said she wouldn’t release any information about the inquiry until the report becomes public record. She told the Reporter-News on Monday that such investigations typically can take as long as six months. Contrary to reports from some media outlets, Guillaume said Hoar employees have not been told not to report safety issues at the construction site to OSHA. That was a misunderstanding, he said.

After the scaffolding collapsed, Bill Myers, an electrical subcontractor working at the site, said he had attended a regular safety meeting Monday morning at which Joey Mathews, the Hoar project manager, indicated a worker had filed a complaint with OSHA. “He (Mathews) made it perfectly clear that OSHA did not need to be involved on this site. He said they run a very safe operation, and that you stand a good chance of going to jail for making a false report,” Myers said Monday afternoon. Myers said the nature of the alleged complaint was not disclosed at the meeting, and he could not say whether or not it was safety related. Todd confirmed Tuesday afternoon that OSHA had received a complaint but it was not related to scaffolding.

Guillaume said Hoar officials value safety and want to know of unsafe practices at any construction site. According to Hoar Construction’s website, “OSHA requires companies to maintain ‘recordable incident rates’ which measure the number of accidents in which a worker injured today cannot return to work tomorrow. The national average is 6.4 accidents for each 100 employees working 40-hour weeks for a full calendar year. Hoar’s rate of 2.33 is almost one third of the national average for the construction industry.” Duane Martin, Hendrick’s director of engineering services, said that he believes Hoar operates a safe construction site and that he only knows of minor accidents while the construction company has worked on Project 2010. Martin called it “a complex project,” saying he was pleased with how Hoar has worked without any problems until the scaffolding fell.

Workers KTXS spoke to said during a safety meeting the morning of the collapse HOAR supervisors urged them not to contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with their concerns but instead go straight to their supervisors. Shortly before Monday's scaffolding collapse, on-site construction workers tell KTXS they were told something that stood out, especially now that an accident happened. "The general contractor made a blanket statement not to call OSHA about anything," said Bill Myers an electrical subcontractor with Long Electric. OSHA is the federal agency that enforces safe working conditions. Workers at the Hendrick site said OSHA had been contacted when they felt they weren't getting adequate drinking water. "They were saying if you call OSHA you stand the chance of getting arrested or going to jail," said Myers, "For making a false report."

Rain Man - Window Cleaner

I've been using this app' for my iphone lately, just thought I'd give you the heads up. It notifies you when rain is near & viewable screens to see when it gets to you. For iphone & android.

Description: RainAlarm is the easiest and fastest way to know whether rain or snow is on the way. It has been developed to provide a fast, reliable and lightweight application. It also has it's own webpage.

  • World map displaying radar images from various weather services.
  • Zooming with three levels of detail using the standard touch capabilities.
  • Configurable animation covering from 1 hour to 12 hours in the past. See where the precipitation is heading to.
  • Push notifications alerting about precipitations approaching your location. The alerts are based on actual conditions and include information about distance, size and strength.
  • Set alarm parameters such as sensitivity, time frame within which the alarm is enabled, covered radius around your position that will be checked for precipitations and the interval of the checking (how often should RainAlarm check for precipitation).
  • Automatic refresh of images and location every 5 minutes when running in foreground.
  • Automatic or manual determination of location. Select your manual location from a list of predefined locations or let the device figure out where you are.
  • Save your actual location to be used as manual location.
  • Share last image via E-Mail.

The radar images cover locations within (or close to) the borders of the following countries:

- Norway
- Slovenia
- Australia
- Germany
- Spain (including Balearic and Canary Islands)
- Canada
- United Kingdom
- Ireland
- US (including Alaska and Hawaii)
- Netherlands
- Puerto Rico
- Guam
(And are constantly working to enhance the list of countries.)

This weather app and widget are able to warn you against precipitation (like rain or snow) by a silent alarm. You can watch what is coming by the up-to-date radar animation. Even more convenient, the supplied widgets can help you monitor the precipitation situation without any alarms.

The data used originates from governmental weather services. Works in the USA (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam), Canada, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain (including the Balearic and the Canary Islands), Slovenia.

There are two versions of the app available: Rain Alarm uses Google Maps as background map whereas Rain Alarm OSM uses OpenStreetMap. In most cases the OSM version loads faster, whereas Google Maps seems more clearly arranged. All other functionality as well as the precipitation data shown on top of both maps is exactly the same.

RainAlarm Extended is the paid version of RainAlarm. It provides the following extra features:
- Pinch zoom with 3 levels of detail.
- No ads.
- Larger visible map area.


Rain Alert Lite- Global Forecast with Push Notification:

Description/Details: Never forget to take your umbrella with you! Has it ever occurred to you when it was nice and sunny in the morning but by the time you're ready to return home it suddenly started raining and you're left without an umbrella? How many dollars have you wasted buying unnecessary umbrellas?

Rain Alert sends you out push notifications on the day it's supposed to rain in the next 12 hours from the user-specified alarm time. You'll never have to get soaked in the rain again!

- Simple one-time setup for alarm time, location, and probability of rain (Make sure to hit "SAVE" button after you have adjusted the settings).
- Patent pending technology that aggregates the most up-to-date weather information from thousands of locations worldwide.
- Ability to upgrade to ad-free version (coming soon).

- Internet connection is mandatory to receive push notifications.
- By downloading this app, you agree to receive occasional news and updates from Vanilla Breeze and its affiliated partners.
- Vanilla Breeze retains its rights to terminate or modify the service without notice.

Monday 20 June 2011

Two Window Cleaners - Two Interviews

Janai Carlson, owner of A Better Outlook, says she enjoys bringing the outdoors in by cleaning windows for her clients.
Get ‘A Brighter Outlook': Janai Carlson is the owner of A Better Outlook, a window-washing service. (530) 798-8575

What is your job? I am your friendly window washing lady.

What is your typical day like? I come to your home or business and assess the position of the sun to determine the best place to start. I pull all the screens and brush the debris and cobwebs from around the windows and in the tracks. Using a highly concentrated, professional product, I apply the solution and squeegee it off. I then go around each window with a micro fiber cloth to catch any remaining water or smudges. I repeat the process for both sides. After the windows are perfect, I clean the screens and replace them. I also do on-site screen repair.

What would surprise most people about the job if they only knew? It's not as easy as it looks. It is essential to have the right tools, product and technique. With anything, practice makes perfect, and I have been “practicing” for many years and have hundreds of happy customers.

What do you love about you work? I love that I get immediate results and great customer satisfaction. I help people bring the outdoors in and really make their homes sparkle. One lady was so impressed, she said the clean windows helped lift her out of her depression.

What do you find most challenging? Three-story houses. I have a pole that goes about 25 feet and can reach most windows.

What special education or preparation is required to do this? My dad, Eric Carlson, owned a successful window washing business in this community. I worked with him and he taught me all the tricks of the trade.

What is your background? I came here about three years ago from Lake County where I was a Realtor and window washer. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer so I relocated in order to spend as much time with him as I could before he passed. I took over his remaining commercial accounts and started to grow my business from there.

What's new? Tools and products are always improving and I have become more efficient. A water-fed pole system filters the water as it goes through a brush and leaves the window spotless.

Dirty job: O'Fallon man has the house-cleaning solution.

Name: Mike Manno

Job: Owner, MJM Window Cleaning and Power Washing, 302 Joy Drive, O'Fallon (632-0527 or 558-5388)

Outlook: "There new so many homes around here with vinyl siding. Every three, four years, those houses need to be cleaned." Mike Manno likes being his own boss. He is also the lone employee of the house-washing business. He washes siding, decks, fences and more for metro-east home owners. He recently talked to business reporter Will Buss about his service:

What can you tell me about your business? "I clean mold off siding of houses. House washing is what I specialize in. I do window washing and clean decks and wood fencing. I can power wash concrete and also wash sidewalks and driveways. I try to focus on house washing."

What do you use for cleaning? "Basically what I use is a chemical mix that is recommended by vinyl manufacturers. It's really bleach water and detergent, but it's something they approve. If you dilute it enough, it becomes biodegradable."

How long have you been at it? "I am in my sixth year. I started in 2006."

How much competition do you have? "I would say there are others, but there are only a handful compared to landscapers who do it. I've been doing it longer than most anybody. I've been around a while."

And you do it all on your own? "Just myself. Only when I need help with a deck of a fence do I get someone else to help, but 95 percent of the time I do it all by myself."

What does your service cost? "It's really hard to say. I am small and local but have low overhead and am pretty competitive with my pricing."

How did you get into this line of work? "There so many homes around here with vinyl siding. Every three, four years, those houses need to be cleaned. It needs to be done. You need to clean vinyl siding as well as the gutters, the soffit and fascia. Before, I was working for a food company. I was a driver and salesman. But I wanted to have more flexibility that goes with self-employment."

Are you looking to expand your business? "That's a good question. This business usually goes pretty well for about eight to nine months of the year. December, January and February are the main months when I have kind of tried a few ideas. One business idea I tried last winter was grocery delivery. I didn't really promote it a lot or put too much effort into it. I also tried garage cleaning and organizing. Sometimes, you see these two-car garages and there are no cars in there because there is no room because there is so much stuff stored in there. I advertised it and got a few calls. I also work for IDOT plowing snow. That's not something to count on, and I wanted some regular income during those three months, so I've tried other little businesses."

What have you enjoyed most about your house-washing enterprise? "I would say the satisfaction of satisfying the customer. Another thing is obviously the flexibility of schedule and to be able to work when you want and how much you want to work."

Sunday 19 June 2011

Window Cleaner Wins Top Dad Award

Sheriden Baillie and his 12-year-old daughter Chloe.
Window cleaner Sheriden Baillie is Sunderland’s top dad and has scooped a treat just hours before Father’s Day. Sheriden’s 12-year-old daughter, Chloe, nominated him in the Echo’s I Love my Dad competition for overcoming illness – and being a fantastic taxi service. Chloe, a pupil at The Venerable Bede CE School, said Sheriden is always on hand to ferry her and her friends around, as well as taking her brother, also Sheriden, 15, to football and motorbiking events.

Chloe said: “My dad is diabetic and has to have four injections a day of insulin, which must be a pain for him sometimes. “Recently, he has been told he has coeliac disease which means he has to eat a gluten-free diet, so we can’t eat out at many places as a family any more because they don’t always cater for people with coeliac like my dad.” Chloe’s mum, Lesley-Ann, 33, said her husband was diagnosed with diabetes 14 years ago. She said Sheriden, 37, just gets on with things and is at the beck and call of the children. 

Lesley-Ann, of Wynyard Street, Silksworth, said: “Chloe decided to enter her dad in the competition and when we told him about it he was chuffed. It is lovely that he won. “We are just getting to grips with what he can and can’t eat because of coeliacs and if we want to eat out we have to ring ahead to the restaurant to ask if they cater for him.” As the winner of the Echo’s I Love My Dad competition Sheriden has won a family meal at any North East Frankie and Benny’s restaurant.
Also see here.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Window Cleaner Relives Impaling With Latest Accident

Norman Johnson of Greenwood Road in Sunderland shows how he has recovered after being seriously impaled by a pole ten years ago. Hospital pictures from the time of the accident.
Girl’s harrowing ordeal revives memories for window cleaner impaled through his neck: Miracle man Norman Johnson is amazed that the horrific accident which nearly killed him has been repeated – just yards from his home. It is 10 years this month since window cleaner Norman cheated death, when he fell from his ladder and was impaled on a 4ft metal bar hidden inside a bush.

The bar went in under one arm, through his chest and neck and came out through his jaw – missing his vital organs by millimetres. Firefighters took more than an hour to release the 45-year-old, with two of his friends taking the weight as rescue crews worked to cut him free. He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital with the bar still in place – but within a couple of days was sitting up and looking forward to getting home.

The horror of his ordeal was brought vividly back at the weekend, when he heard how 10-year-old schoolgirl Caitlyn Brown had fallen on to a seven-inch metal spike, while climbing over a fence near Norman’s home in Gravesend Road, Grindon. The Broadway Junior School pupil is recovering at home after receiving treatment in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, following her terrifying ordeal on Saturday night. “I’m really pleased she survived and just hope she doesn’t have nightmares about it later on,” said Norman. “I know the pain I went through and how she must have felt, and I’m a lot older.”

The bar went in under one arm, through his chest and neck and came out through his jaw – missing his vital organs by millimetres.
The park where the young girl fell is less than 500 yards from Norman’s home. “I’d forgotten about my accident until I read about Caitlyn,” he said. “I know I’m lucky to still be here and it could have been a lot worse, but I’m not dwelling on something that happened in the past.” Norman was out of hospital in time to go ahead with his planned wedding to fiancee Joan Lay, in September 2001.

The couple have two children – Peter, 15, and Joseph, five. Norman is still cleaning windows – though he admits he takes it a bit more steady these days. He said: “It is a job that I love and I’m happy to do it. I’m a lot more careful than I used to be – you never really think its going to happen to you. “And, of course, I’m still eating kebabs for fun.” Caitlyn’s mum, Jan Brown, said her daughter is now planning to write a thank you letter to those involved in her rescue.

Friday 17 June 2011

Window Cleaning News

The twice-yearly cleaning will take three weeks, weather permitting.
Williams Tower Window Washers View Tulsa from Above, Oklahoma - It's a very big job to wash the over 5,500 windows on the Williams tower. The tallest building in Oklahoma contracts Budget Glass to do the job. 'It takes an experienced crew like the one we have here today right around three weeks to clean it,' said Williams Company's Jeff Pounds. The two-man team descends in a gondola 32 different times to cover the building, each 'drop' taking over an hour to complete. Although busy, window washer Stephen Hulsey admits to taking an occasional break the appreciate the view. 'The best view is at 5:30 in the morning,' he said, 'right before daybreak and the lights are on downtown, it's just gorgeous.'

Congratulations to Chris Lambrinides & Kate of Window Cleaning Resource who decided to tie the knot after a brief meeting among the squeegee channels in the WCR store room. The happy couple will take their honeymoon in Jamaica whilst Alex Lambrinides runs the show from New Jersey.

Gecko-inspired water-powered robot scales glass, washes windows (sort of): We've seen some pretty impressive Spidey-like robots in our time, but honestly, crawling walls isn't always enough to pique or interest. A robot that can scale buildings and wash windows -- now that's something to get excited about. Like this little wall climber, the gecko-inspired machine enlists the Bernoulli principle, using the flow of water through fluidic vacuum generators that allow the reptilian robot to get a grip on smooth surfaces. Next, the water is directed through a solenoid valve to a piston in the robot's spine, and finally, the excess liquid is expelled and used to get glass gleaming. Currently, the little machine is capable of carrying twice its weight, and uses a small battery to power a "wireless communication system" and the servos used to control its direction. We're definitely intrigued, but judging from the video (after the break), we're pretty sure it's no match for flesh and blood window washers.

PVCWizard will clean-up: Specialist conservatory cleaning company PVCWizard will launch a UK-wide roll-out of its franchise network at the exhibition. Headed by founder John Feeney, it will be the first specialist conservatory and PVC cleaners to exhibit there. John said: “There is a gap in the market  and our eye-catching brand offers a unique window of opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to join us. Based on the excellent trading figures of our existing franchise operations, we’ve developed a very attractive package with strong support.” John, who previously designed and built conservatories, set up his business eight years ago in Bartle, near Preston. It now has two franchises. He said: “I was seeing conservatories installed every day, but there was no thought given to how they might be cleaned. “I realised the potential of setting up a professional conservatory cleaning company in a field that traditionally has attracted ‘here-today gone-tomorrow’ operators. It’s a service rarely offered by window cleaners and can be a dangerous and messy job for home owners.” Initially run under the name of Specialised Conservatory Cleaning, the company has re-branded as PVC Wizard as part of its franchise roll out.

Window washer says he is once again touched by an angel: When I wrote recently about Sean Welby’s encounter with “an angel,” I hardly expected a Chapter Two. Welby is the Clairemont window washer who was at a check cashing agency paying his overdue water bill when a woman simply handed him two $100 bills, and said: “I’m your angel today,” and “Pay it forward.” That act of kindness transformed his life. He brought his truck payments up to date and handed out money to strangers. Well, he recently received a touching letter from his anonymous benefactor, to whom he’d given his business card. Having read about him in my column, she wrote, in part: “Angel acts don’t need to be recognized, and it’s not expected, but it sure felt good.” Her only signature was an angel figure. His spirits buoyed, on a whim he bought three $5 lottery scratch tickets and won $500. Two days later, he bought five scratch tickets and won $10,000. “I thought he was going to have a heart attack right there,” said Tom Romaya, owner of Del Mesa Foods & Liquor off Friars Road. “I’ve never seen him in here before.” “I’m guessing she sent me some more luck,” concluded Welby, who will invest his windfall in his business and his church and help a few more strangers. “I’d sure like to know who she is.”

Images of dead bees are being used in a campaign encouraging Londoners to help save urban bees by behaving in a "bee-friendly" way. Seven million Londoners are being urged to buy and grow bee friendly food and do bee-friendly gardening. Pledges of support for London's bees can be made on the Capital Growth website. The visuals and video clips will be used on billboards across the Tube, from Friday. They are based on work by cult artist Magnus Muhr's "dead fly" images. A 'bee-movies' show depicts bees taking part in everyday London-based adventures such as cleaning a window or travelling on the Tube.

Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia: You've seen them still happily going about their daily labours in bone-chilling Goulburn winter winds, rain and sleet and seemingly impervious to the elements. Men and women who make you shiver just to see them at work, and positively shudder when you realise they look dressed for summer even when the June wind chill says it feels like -6 c outside. So how do they do it? Rum fortification, perhaps? Some form of masochism, or example of where there’s no sense there’s no feeling? None of these, apparently. They just don’t feel the cold like most other people. What about cleaning windows outside Auburn Street shops that have their interior central heating set on high? Husband and wife, Christian and Julie Leupin, have been Goulburn’s champion winter tag team at this game for nearly 20 years and laugh off suggestions they might ever cry “foul” in a wintry blast. They, too, say they don’t notice how cold it is out on the street side of shop windows - although Christian does admit to using warm water. Boiling, even. The Leupins have four kids, with the oldest now living in Christian’s native Basel. They bought a couple of Goulburn window cleaning runs after Christian gave up working in Australia as a mainframe computer technician for one of the Swiss pharmaceutical giants. He says the secret to staying warm is always to wear thick warm socks below a flouro jacket and warm shirt. And also coming from a warm house to start work at 7.30am. Coming from Switzerland has nothing do with it.

A watch recovered from the Lockerbie plane bombing is at the center of a legal battle set to play out in Lucas County Common Pleas Court this summer. Cherry Peirce, the widow of Perrysburg architect Peter Peirce, is suing two employees of Estate Jewelry Buyers in Sylvania, alleging that they bought and sold more than $150,000 worth of jewelry that was stolen in 2008 from her Catawba Island home in Ottawa County. One of the pieces was a wristwatch worn by Mr. Peirce, who was one of 270 killed when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December, 1988. Mr. Kerger said two window washers who had entry to Mrs. Peirce's home stole several pieces of jewelry that were hidden in the back of a dresser drawer. The items included her wedding rings, a 3.5-karat diamond ring, an emerald ring given to her by her late husband, and a watch that was retrieved from the plane wreckage after Mr. Peirce died in the Lockerbie crash.

The New Employment Relationship: Workers Bear All the Risks while Employers Keep the Profits: Luis (pseudonym) worked for a suburban window and gutter washing company for 8 years. Though the company had forced him to sign a contract stating that he was a contractor, and had forced him to incorporate, he was indeed an employee of the company: he reported to the same manager and same office day-in and day-out, he could not set his own hours or take on his own clients, and he could not bid out his own jobs. One day, he fell off of a roof two stories high. Luis was injured badly, but thankfully survived the fall. Though the company had forced him to sign contracts saying he was not an employee, the company knew that these contracts may not hold up throughout the workers compensation process. Thus, the company settled out of court. The settlement was not large, but at least covered the cost of his medical bills. Another worker had a very similar experience at this company, falling off a roof and then winning a settlement out of court.
Upon Luis’ return to work after an extended recuperation period, rather than providing workers fall prevention training and safety equipment, instead the company forced workers to sign even tighter contracts, and to purchase their own workers’ compensation insurance (conveniently deducted from their paychecks). Workers get to keep 50% of the cut, but must also provide their own transportation, pay for their own gas, cover any damages to homes, pay twice as much in tax as employees, and pay out their assistants (the company insists that all workers hire assistants, again violating the autonomy of a truly independent contractor). At the end of the day, sometimes workers barely make enough money to cover their expenses. Luis reports that oftentimes he shows up to a job, only to find out that the company has improperly bid out the job. For example, clients have more windows than reported, or different types of windows that take many hours to clean. However, Luis is forbidden from charging clients more for this extra work. Additionally, the company provides clients with coupon promotions–promotions that come out of workers’ paychecks, even though they have no say in how and when these promotions are given. Finally, since Luis is classified as an independent contractor, he is not entitled to breaks or overtime wages even though he regularly works 12 hour days.
But perhaps most disturbingly, workers are not provided with fall protection gear and safety training by the company. In fact, Luis reports that when a worker on Luis’ team fell off a ladder and grabbed onto a gutter to hang on for dear life, the company’s response was to charge Luis for the damage done to the gutter. And, while workers have received settlements in the past for their injuries, now that they are forced to buy their own workers’ compensation insurance, it’s unclear that the company would pay for the cost of these injuries. More importantly, these injuries are preventable, but workers are not trained properly, nor can they necessarily afford the cost of the protective gear, given their meager wages.
Classical economic theory presumes that if these contracts were really such raw deals, workers would seek work elsewhere. However, classical economic theory does not take into account the power differential between workers and employers. Workers are told that they will not be given any more jobs if they do not sign these contracts, incorporate, and purchase their own workers compensation insurance. They are also forbidden from taking independent clients. In today’s economy, workers who are often recently-arrived immigrants, often lacking knowledge of English and US labor law, feel that they have no other choice but to continue in an abusive employment relationship, especially as more and more employers catch on to this new trend of passing market and health safety risks on to the worker, while they collect all the profits.
Recently the company has fired Luis, ostensibly due to client complaints, though the company refused to give him the names of said clients. Luis believes that the company is actually retaliating against him for pursuing his workers compensation claim. To whom can Luis turn? As an “independent contractor”, he does not even have a right to unemployment insurance–yet another way that his employer has passed precarity on to those most vulnerable, the workers. The Illinois Department of Labor has recognized the severity of the problem of misclassifcation, however, the Employee Classification Act only covers workers employed on construction sites. Here at Arise Chicago, we are attempting to pursue other strategies; but without stronger laws regarding the misclassification of all types of workers, workers are left unprotected and even more vulnerable.

READING, Pa. -- It could take more than a year to find all of the problems plaguing the Berks County Services Center, county officials said Tuesday. With the addition of the new facilities director, Ryan Hunter, last year, the county started a comprehensive survey of the services building. But it could take another year before they get a complete to-do list. "There definitely is going to be a big bill," said Leinbach. "How big? We don't know." The county is currently bidding out contracts for much-needed repairs to the parking garage under the services building. "Water has gotten behind the concrete, in some places has popped concrete off," Leinbach said of the garage. Leinbach pointed to the building's window washing system as another example of lagging maintenance. "The anchor system that was used for window washing has not been maintained and hasn't been used, I think, for maybe 10 years or more," Leinbach said. "We weren't even aware of that."

Mexia stage 2 water rationing: The city of Mexia is under a stage 2 water rationing plan effective immediately. City officials insist that no nonessential water usage be done.  Examples being street washing, water hydrant flushing, filling pools, and athletic field watering should be done at this time. The rationing plan limits residential car washing, window washing, and pavement washing unless a bucket is used.

When a company is struggling, the last thing it wants to do is admit it to its suppliers. Everyone from your stock supplier to the window cleaner will want his money upfront. Who’s going to give you nice credit terms if there’s any chance they might not get paid? Large scale suppliers normally insure themselves against a big customer going bust. But in January this year, many of HMV’s suppliers were told that they wouldn’t be insured against HMV not settling its bills. “Right, say the suppliers. “It’s cash upfront for this job.” And if you’re already struggling, that’s the last thing you need. The second reason bad news is held off is to do with sales. When you buy your groceries, you probably aren’t too bothered about the financial position of the store. But large corporations certainly do mind. Usually there’s a dedicated purchasing department, staffed with hard-nosed dealers that extract the best terms with suppliers. If you’re the buyer and you want to renegotiate terms with your supplier, you’ll be in a much stronger position if he’s on the ropes.
The first profit warning probably won’t even look like one. In fact, to the uninitiated, the phrasing of the news release will probably look like a jolly good little story. But there’ll be a sneaky little sentence tucked away somewhere – a phrase laying the foundation for the second profit warning further down the road. I’m talking about a small suggestion that a cost is going up, or a particular market is ‘tough’ or ‘challenging’. It may be a technical issue that’s causing some difficulties and delays. ‘Not to worry’ is the message – ‘we’re on top of things. Look at all this other good news!’ The point is that, in the release, there’ll often be more good news than bad. It’s the same strategy that got two of Downing Street’s spin-doctors sacked; ‘a good day to bury bad news’ and all that. That’s why you need to read company announcements at source and not via newspapers – you may miss the ‘real’ story.

Another new business promotion involves the city's service industries, including those without a store front. "We want to help them establish a connection to the community," Morris said, explaining that the idea stemmed from a request for Chamber window decals by Sunshine Cleaning Service. Through the new program, special window decals will be provided to service-related Chamber members to show they are part of the community. Morris said the chamber is happy to provide information to residents about companies doing business in Plainview regarding chamber membership status. "We're not intended to be the Better Business Bureau, but we can let residents know there is a connection to the community," she said, adding that the chamber gained three new members as a result of an initial contact letter explaining the program.

Judgement Day: As the curtain opens on today’s drama, three men are standing at the pearly gates seeking admission to heaven. The first to plea his case is dressed in a three-piece suit and he tells St. Peter that he lived a good life and treated his wife like a queen. “We lived in a penthouse flat, I took her out almost every night and bought her whatever she wanted, so when I realised she had been with another man I kind of went crazy.  You see I forgot my wallet one morning and had to come home for it at about 10 o’clock but when I got there my wife was naked in bed and there were two burning cigarettes in the ashtray.
“I saw two hands on the windowsill so I smashed the window down and the bastard fell to the ground. When I looked out, though, I saw he had landed in a dumpster and was still alive so I picked up the refrigerator, carried it to the window and pushed it out.  Unfortunately, it was a lot heavier than I expected and the effort gave me a heart attack, so here I am.” “In you go,” says St. Peter.
The next man is dressed in overalls and he tells the gatekeeper he was washing windows on the 20th floor of an apartment building when his scaffolding broke. “I just managed to grab onto a windowsill and I was starting to pull myself up when some bugger slammed the window on my fingers and I figured that was it; but no, I made a soft landing in a load of rubbish and I was okay, but then this fridge comes out of the sky… and here I am.” “Right, you’re in.  Next,” says the saint.
“Yeah, Pete, those were pretty good stories,” says the third man, “but compared with what happened to me they’re nothing. “There I was sitting in a refrigerator, minding my own business…”

Apple's proposed new "spaceship" building in Cupertino features curved glass and an engineering challenge that makes solving the antennagate and white iPhone problems look cinchy. Apple's proposed new "spaceship" building in Cupertino may be made largely of huge sheets of curved glass. It's an aesthetic choice, and a very expensive one. But not too tricky for one of the world's experts in huge glass architecture. But Jobs is insistent on the curved glass model--despite the expense--and it's probably for two reasons. A large curved sheet of glass doesn't flex as much as a flat one, and has added structural strength compared to a flat one--meaning you could clad more frontage with a curved glass sheet than a flat one. And it's an aesthetic choice, since a flat, segmented window facade would need more joins and supporting substructure, each element of which would interrupt the otherwise sleek look. With a curved glass "face," Apple's new building would thus ascribe to the smooth, sleek design aesthetic of Apple's products.

Steve Wilson, President of The Service Companies (TSC), was promoted to Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. The Service Companies' portfolio consists of JRS International (JRS), Southern Service Corporation (SSC) and Full Service Systems (FSS), three of the most well-known outsourcing providers exclusively dedicated to the hospitality, casino and vacation ownership industries. The Service Companies operate in 38 states, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The Company provides services ranging from turn-key housekeeping and stewarding services to public areas, kitchen, window and chandelier cleaning services. Led by an executive team with more than 200 years of combined experience at AAA Four Diamond hotels and casinos, The Service Companies have an impressive track record, serving a variety of exclusive clients such as Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Caesar's, MGM, Loews Hotels, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Wyndham Resorts.

The former chairman of a residents’ association this week warned that lives may be put at risk if sliding windows on his estate are not switched for a hinged model. Residents of Bayswater’s Wessex Gardens estate are to be balloted on what type of window they want to see installed in their homes when refurbishment works take place later this year. CityWest Homes, the arm’s-length management organisation responsible for maintaining the borough’s housing stock, said it wanted to give residents a choice of window. But former Wessex Gardens Residents’ Association chairman John Brett branded the current windows “unsafe” and said they had been responsible for a death 16 years ago on the neighbouring Brunel estate. Mr Brett, a pensioner who formerly worked in the housing sector, said he was unable to clean the outside of his windows and that a health and safety expert had concluded they were a risk as residents needed to lean out of them or balance on a ledge when washing them. He said: “Two weeks ago I learnt that in 1995 a resident cleaning the same window in Keyham House on the 11th floor fell to her death. “I told CityWest Homes about the incident and requested that the said windows be removed. Our residents’ association also got in touch with an independent health and safety officer who deals with industrial window cleaning, whose view was these windows above ground level are a risk. “Leaning out, one could drop whatever is being used to clean, thereby injuring someone passing underneath, and there is always the risk of a person falling out of the window.”

Pushed Her Husband out a Window: Amber Hilberling, a young 19-year old wife, is charged with the murder of her 23-year old husband, Joshua Hilberling. It seems this girl has one helluva temper and it isn't safe to be around her and an open window. Some might blame it on pregnancy hormones, but it's obvious that isn't the case with what investigators have found. Amber Hilberling shoved her young husband out the closed window of their 25th floor apartment. The glass shattered as the Joshua Hilberling plunged several feet to his death. Joshua Hilberling was apparently visiting the pregnant Mrs. Hilberling during a leave from his Military airman gig. He was happy to be soon welcoming his new child into the world. It's unclear what happened, but an argument ensued before Amber Hilberling shoved him with her hands out the 25th story window. Witnesses claimed to have heard a loud banging noise, which was Joshua landing on top of a parking garage belonging to the apartment complex.

Shaker Heights Police Blotter: BURGLARY, CLAREMONT ROAD: On May 27 a woman claimed window washers at her home stole jewelry. She reported $2,400 in jewelry wasstolen, including two gold necklaces and a 3-inch pendent.

DIY homeowners look for a fix: Dear Reena: We have a huge mirror in one of the washrooms in our new home, and I've tried cleaning it with Windex and other window cleaners but after it dries, there is a white haze on the mirror. I was thinking maybe the previous owners had sprayed something on it but I can't seem to get it clean. Any suggestions or ideas as to what it is? -Thank you, Maria A:  -
This may be the result of cigarette smoke or furniture polish or some other chemical settling on the glass. Begin by scrubbing the mirror with rubbing alcohol. Or try non-gel shaving cream or vinegar and wipe with crumpledup newspaper. If this is not effective, look for a product in your dollar store called Amaze. It does wonders on mirrors. But if the back of the mirror is damaged, nothing can be done to fix the haze.

Three Chelsea Pensioners visited a Hyde Heath pub to celebrate the 90th birthday of a former Chesham window cleaner, George Bayliss. One of the Pensioners, chose The Plough pub as the location for marking the milestone. The former Chesham resident, who now resides at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, was joined by two other Pensioners, Fred Walker and Arthur Barrow, and more than 40 friends and family on Saturday for the big occasion. Pub landlord Chris Herring said: “We at the Plough were amazed to see George and two of his colleagues from the Royal Hospital turn up in full dress with all their medals on.” Pictured: Chelsea pensioners (from left) Fred Walker, George Bayliss and Arthur Barrow at The Plough in Hyde Heath with landlord Chris Herring.

A man who shot his pal in a booze-fuelled row at a north Dublin apartment is unlikely to face a murder charge, sources have revealed. The 51-year-old suspect, who lived in the apartment at Larch Hill in Santry, has admitted shooting Ned Flanagan (50) on Wednesday night and was still being questioned at Ballymun Garda Station today. The Herald understands that he has told detectives that the shooting was a tragic accident and that he panicked and fled the scene shortly after shooting his friend twice in the head with a handgun. Despite having a heavy drinking problem, Mr Flanagan had never been in trouble with gardai and has been described as a doting father to his son Conor -- who he had planned to go on a camping trip with him. "They were very close -- Ned lived for Conor and absolutely loved every second he spent with him," said Grace, who added that Mr Flanagan worked odd jobs, such as window cleaning. At one stage, he lived in a caravan behind Belcamp College. The suspect handed himself into Coolock Garda Station before midday yesterday after consulting with a local priest.

A bit of window cleaning: Or is it, er, a spot of therapy?

The education of Bobby Prier, Jr. As an Ottawa high school student in the '90s, he didn't care much for the classroom. Now, he's Princeton's hockey coach. His mother, Debbie, remembers her only son struggling with his schooling in Grade 11 and, being the caring mom she is, threatening to take away what was most important to him at the time: hockey. He holds a master's degree in education obtained in 2004 at St. Lawrence University, where he starred as an undergraduate hockey player for four years, from 1995 to 1999, before signing with the Ottawa Senators.
It's a remarkable career path that also included a short stint as a window washer and co-owner and operator - with now Ottawa 67's coach Chris Byrne - of Squeegee Clean Windows. (To hear both tell it, the other just held the ladder while they did all the work.) "It's cool to be intelligent now," says Prier. "But I've got to be honest, I wasn't a great student. We were moving around and I went to three different high schools. "But I certainly understand the value of education now. And Princeton is the most difficult school to be admitted into. It's rated No. 1 ... with Harvard and Yale right there."

Egyptians aren’t early risers, A curfew empties the streets for five hours each night. London brings quite a bit more early bustle to its day. In a downhill mile to the river, still padding in my Egyptian slipper-sandals, I passed four window cleaners. Goza and his helper had barely a moment to chat as they prepared to shuttle from an upscale restaurant to their last client near Piccadilly. His job each day is to be done before others have begun.

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