Friday 30 September 2011

New Indoor Window Cleaning System from Unger

New HiFlo™ Indoor Window Cleaning System from Unger.

The team behind the number one Window Cleaning brand utilised its world class expertise to produce an easy-to-use, one step System for indoor window cleaning. The System is perfect for any user without window cleaning experience and does not require extensive training – just a few practice runs. It also offers safe and quick access for cleaning high level windows, skylights and glass balustrades, with Unger’s best selling telescopic pole.

So, how does it work? The essential component of the Indoor System is a 20cm wide Padholder with a swivel head, featuring Velcro backing. Depending on the level of soiling a user can choose between 2 microfibre pads, attachable to the Padholder with Velcro. The pad with ultrafine, short fibre is ideal for every day cleaning, as well as polishing of glass and mirrors. For periodic washing or heavy soil, Unger provides a more absorbent 15mm microfibre pad. Fit the Padholder with the right pad onto a pole, spray the pad with deionised water and you are ready to go!

Why deionised water? Purified of minerals, deionised water provides a streak free finish, without the need to squeegee or dry the windows, resulting in sparkly clean finish and improved time and labour efficiency. All you need to do is simply wipe the glass or mirror surface until clean and leave to dry on its own.

There are 2 System kits available within the new HiFlo™ Indoor Window Cleaning System. The Starter Kit (RRP £48.70 excl. VAT) is designed for those already in possession of the basic cleaning equipment and consists of the Padholder, 5 Polish Pads and a thread Adapter - which means that the Padholder fits onto any existing Unger pole.

A complete Master Kit (RRP £98.42 excl. VAT) also includes the Unger 2.5m TelePlus™ pole, a Sprayer on the Belt as well as the practical ErgoTec® Belt and Pouch for storing clean Pads.

The System, covered by Unger’s 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, simplifies the cleaning process for indoor windows and other fixtures.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Cheapening Window Cleaning One Deal At A Time

Click to enlarge.

  • $95 for Two Stories of Full-Service Window Cleaning!
  • 1 story covers 17 windows and 2 story covers 25 windows. Sliding doors count as 2 windows.
  • Promotional value expires on 12/31/2011 afterwards voucher is valid for amount paid
  • New Clients Only
  • No Cash Value
  • Gratuity not Included
  • Limit 1 per household, may purchase additional as gifts
  • All services performed during 1 visit, same customer
  • Appointments are required and are subject to availability
  • Merchant cancellation-rescheduling policy of 24 hours applies
  • Voucher subject to forfeit
  • Service area includes all of Orange County and up to 5 miles outside of Orange County
  • Additional windows each cost $5 extra; Bay Windows, French Doors, and Sun Rooms are extra ($15-$55, call for details)
  • Voucher available for redemption 24 hours from purchase
  • Valid at specific location only
They call themselves "Analog Analytics BBD" & are a groupon alternative.

Discuss here.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

San Francisco New Bird Saving Ordinance Means Cloudy Windows

At Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, a science building has patterned plate glass that is both visually attractive and visible to birds, to deter them from crashing into it. Now, San Francisco is following suit.
San Francisco is for the birds — at least its new buildings will be. An ordinance approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors requires that new buildings in parts of the city use "bird-safe" standards that reduce the risk of winged creatures hitting panes of glass. Advocates say that hundreds of millions of birds die each year after flying into glass windows or walls in the USA, and that San Francisco's action will boost efforts to encourage bird-safe buildings nationally.

"It's a global problem," says Christine Sheppard, bird collisions campaign manager for the American Bird Conservancy. "Everywhere you find glass, you will find dead birds. One of the reasons that people don't recognize it is a problem is that it is so widely distributed. There are some buildings that kill thousands of birds a year."

Transparent and reflective glass both pose a threat to migratory and local birds, Sheppard says. Birds don't see glass or recognize it as a barrier and think they are flying to vegetation they see through the window or in a reflection, she says. Marking windows with dots or other designs, or shielding the glass with screens or other architectural devices, can reduce fatal accidents, Sheppard says.

Margie O'Driscoll, executive director of the American Institute of Architects' San Francisco chapter, says her group supports the idea of protecting birds but believes the ordinance "doesn't seem like the best way to go about it." She says the action was taken without a study of bird deaths due to buildings in San Francisco. "I walk to work every day down Market Street," O'Driscoll says. "I've never seen a dead bird."

She says glass with partially opaque material inside can double the cost and create "murky" viewing, and may reduce energy efficiency. "For people who want a great view and pay a premium for a great view, there's going to be some serious frustration," O'Driscoll says. AnMarie Rodgers, manager of legislative affairs in the San Francisco Planning Department, and Erika Lovejoy, senior environmental planner in the department, reviewed 30 years of research and local experience with birds in drafting the proposal.

Rodgers says the California Academy of Sciences building inside Golden Gate Park, built with expansive glass panes, has been retrofitted with screens during parts of the year to deter bird accidents. Rodgers says they did not believe the ordinance would increase building costs. It will apply to new construction in certain areas considered near bird habitats, including within 300 feet of a 2-acre or larger green space or open water.

Also see here.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Window Cleaning News

I’m fascinated by window washers. Every time I see them setting up at building downtown, I just want to stop and watch them work. I think it’s the combination of being gusty enough to trust your life to a rather thin piece of rope while also having a unique “office” view. The suction cups they use also remind me of 1960s Batman. So imagine how I feel about Phil’s photo above. Take one part unique perspective, add the mystique of window washers, and then throw in the blown out highlights of the sky; you get one great shot.

Window cleaner steals literary greats' letters from Booker judge: A treasure trove of gossip-laden letters written by some of the greatest literary figures of the past 100 years were stolen from a Man Booker Prize judge by his window cleaner. Tyrone Somers, 41, of Clapham, South London, worked for Dr Rick Gekoski, a member of the judging panel for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and this year's Man Booker International Prize. Yesterday he was jailed for 30 months after pleading guilty to theft. The stolen documents included private correspondences by Kingsley Amis, TS Eliot, Cecil Beaton, Ted Hughes, Henry Moore, Gore Vidal and Virginia Woolf. Dr Gekoski, a US-born academic and rare bookseller, had given Mr Somers the keys to his north-west London home. The handyman told police he entered the house on 23 July this year at around 5am intending to carry out maintenance work. However, once inside, he stole a binder full of historic papers, a laptop and £100 in cash. Dr Gekoski admitted he was initially devastated by the theft, but he has since forgiven his former employee because after a few weeks Somers had a change of heart and returned the manuscripts to the police. "He thought better of what he'd done," said Dr Gekoski. "I was very sorry to lose all of them and of course I was relieved to have them back."

The future is bright: New smart windows lighten instantly when it's cold - to save on heating bills. A new 'smart' window system will turn dark when the sun comes out - and then instantly become crystal clear when it's colder, so that you can save on heating bills by soaking up heat from the sun. The new material - unveiled by scientists - allows a cheap and automatic system to keep houses cool in summer, and warm in winter.
Other 'dimmer' glasses rely on manual control using expensive equipment such as Crestron home-automation panels. Ho Sun Lim, Jeong Ho Cho, Jooyong Kim and Chang Hwan Lee, writing in the journal ACS Nano, point out there is a huge appetite for 'smart' glass for skylights, windows - and even in car windows. Hitachi recently unveiled SPD 'smart glass' which will be used in homes - and future models of Mercedes-Benz. The company can manufacture 4.3 million square feet of SPD-Smart film per year from its new production facility.
The researchers, however, claim their 'smart glass' is faster - and will save users more money than any rival. Previous 'smart windows' tended to be costly, and deteriorate rapidly - as well as using various toxic products in their production. The researchers set out to develop a smart window that overcomes these drawbacks. They discovered that using a polymer, a layer of ions, and a solvent such as methanol was an inexpensive and less harsh way to make a stable, robust smart window.
It has the added advantage of being extremely tunable — quickly and easily switching from 100% opaque to almost completely clear in seconds. 'To our knowledge, such extreme optical switching behavior is unprecedented among established smart windows,' the authors state. 'This type of light control system may provide a new option for saving on heating, cooling and lighting costs through managing the light transmitted into the interior of a house.'

Take gardeners and window cleaners, as an example: they love to bunch their work together and not drag everything between jobs. Each week they may have a day where they finish earlier and if they know you’re only a couple of streets away and in need of their help, why would they not help for a special deal? What if the pilot light has just gone out on your boiler? Post it on BuzNow and there could be a plumber who will be happy to pop by on their way home. Maybe you have some shelves that need putting up? There could be just the person you need within metres! This is what Buzwon is about, making sure everyone is able to get what they want in a convenient way. Buzwon is making life for consumers and suppliers easier.

Netherlands based Boels Verhuur has ordered 310 Niftylift aerial lifts, following last year’s order for 100 units, the delivery of which has recently been completed. The new lifts, which have been ordered through Niftylift’s Dutch distributor Eurosupply, include both trailer lifts and self-propelled Height Rider models. “The HR12 self-propelled articulated boom lift along with the 120 T and 170 trailer mounted platforms are not only popular with maintenance companies, municipalities, painters and window cleaners, but also with private people who are looking for a safe working place at height. The 21 metre 210 trailer lift is also a nice extension to our current rental fleet.”

Flint pensioner stabbed himself to death: A Flint pensioner stabbed himself to death through the heart, an inquest heard. Retired window cleaner Terrence Jones was found dead in his cottage on April 4, but his brother-in-law Richard Johnson said he had given no indication he intended to take his own life. Mr Johnson, of Chester Road, Flint, told the hearing in Prestatyn yesterday (Monday) that Mr Jones had had his 73rd birthday just a couple of weeks earlier. His brother had been 73 when he died, which had upset him greatly. Mr Johnson told John Gittins, the acting coroner for North East Wales, that his brother-in-law first had a breakdown when his father died and then again after his brother’s death in 2001. “I knew he was depressed for a long time, but he was a very private person and would not open up,” he said. Consultant pathologist Dr Mark Atkinson said there was only a single stab wound under the ribs which had punctured his heart. He said Mr Jones would have died within minutes. Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Gittins said the fact that he had left a note and money for his sister made it clear Mr Jones had intended to take his own life. Mr Gittins added: “The reality is that he had been suffering from a mental illness for a long period of time and maybe felt, wrongly, that he didn’t have a lot to live for.”

Thug jailed for 10 years after nearly killing a window cleaner with a tin of custard: A violent thug has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after hitting a man over the head with a tin of custard and almost killing him. Sam Harrison, 23, confronted Stuart Newton at his home after mistakenly thinking he had assaulted his girlfriend and he hit the father-of-two around the head with an "improvised cosh" – a large tin of custard in a sock. He appeared at Cambridge Crown Court for sentencing after a jury had found him guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent after a trial at Huntingdon Crown Court in June.
Stuart Newton, 35, was left feeling "sick" when he was told Sam Harrison was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking him with a tin of custard in a sock. He said: "It’s surreal. These things you read about, you don’t expect to live it. You see it in films and stuff. "The attack has left me with a nine-inch scar round the back of my head. "It has really hit home how bad it was as it was a really serious sentence. "I realise how lucky I am and it could have been a lot worse." He said although he did not have any expectations of the sentence Harrison might get, he is satisfied that 10 years is long enough. The window cleaner said it was lucky that his flat mate was there at the time of the attack to get Harrison off him after he had collapsed from the force of the blow.

It’s great that the maintenance man keeps the library so clean and everything. But then the poor guy almost gets hit by a car one day because he’s doing his job cleaning the windows. Is it really necessary to have a maintenance man cleaning the road in front of the library on Meadow Drive? Does he have the cones, safety vest and safety equipment so that people can see him? What happens if he gets hit? Is it really that important to have a parking lot that clean?

Tonya Callebaut a former stockbroker had a burst of kiwi ingenuity during her first renovation experience in New Zealand. Tonya realised chances were that people all over the country were probably having similar issues in terms of finding tradesmen to quote. The number of tradesmen using Logajob is growing daily. Every type of job imaginable is covered – from building a garden shed to pest control, air-conditioning to window cleaning. According to Tonya “Logajob will take the work out of your search and the search out of your work”.

Portland Opera’s gala with giant screen: Big Night involves a lot of new stuff like figuring out how to hang a 40 foot screen from the front of Keller Auditorium. That has been an engineering challenge. What did you decide to do? Hassell: My technical director Scot Burkhardt has been working on this for months, and he decided to call some window-washing companies. They have parapet clamps that they use on the tops of buildings. So we’ve met with them and representatives from the PCPA and a structural engineer who knows the building. Everyone now knows how to do this.

Lost in 1972 snowball fight, Allderdice ring returns to grad: For nearly 40 years, William Delaney never knew what happened to his class ring from Allderdice High School. In 1972, he lost it in a yard on Tilbury Street during a snowball fight with some friends. He'd had it less than a week. He finally got it back two weeks ago, thanks to a family who decided to do the right thing. Mike Yoffee, 47, and his 15-year-old son, Max Zack, who goes to Allderdice, showed up at Mr. Delaney's doorstep on Hastings Street in Point Breeze, asked if he'd gone to Allderdice and presented him with the ring. "He said, 'Oh, my God, I lost that ring 40 years ago. I drive by there all the time and wonder what happened to it,' " recalled Mr. Yoffee, who lives a few blocks away on Beechwood Boulevard. "I couldn't believe it," said Mr. Delaney, 57, who lives in the same house he did in 1972 and works as a window cleaner. "They put a lot of effort into this."
The Yoffees fired up Google and found Delaney Window Cleaning on nearby Hastings Street. Mr. Yoffee called for a few weeks but didn't get a response, so on Sept. 4 he and his son were out driving around. Max Zack had the ring in his pocket, so they decided to drop in at 511 Hastings.
Mr. Delaney said he and some friends were fooling around in the snow that day when he reached into the hedges on Tilbury, made a snowball and flung it. The ring, which was a little too big, slipped off his finger at some point. "I looked for it for months until school let out in the spring," he said. He's gratified that someone would take the time to track him down. "I'm surprised," he said. "They could have sold it."

In pole position to take the initiative: Another potential risk to PFI is value for money. These types of contract are coming under growing scrutiny as austerity tops the agenda for many governments. One aspect of efficiency investigated in the review was window cleaning. Questions were asked whether windows need cleaning every week, or if could they be cleaned less frequently to save money.

Divided Palm Beach County Commission finds compromise increasingly tough on budget cuts - As the Palm Beach County budget heads toward resolution, a look at some of the topics: (Clockwise, from top left) The Santaluces and Aquacrest county pools ($566,000) have been spared; window washing at county buildings has been cut to 'as needed’ basis ($486,000); aerial spraying for mosquitos has been cut by 9 percent ($43,000); and the sheriff's budget has been spared so far ($464 million).

Crawley's retained firefighters saving lives in their spare time: They may spend their days cleaning windows or working in an office, but many residents also have jobs as part-time life savers. An opportunity has risen for more locals to add this skill to their CV – as a retained firefighter based in Crawley. Retained firefighters combine their day jobs and duties with being "on call" as a firefighter, ready to respond to emergencies when they are alerted. Crawley Fire Station on Ifield Avenue is a busy station crewed by full-time and retained firefighters. The crews are called out to respond to a wide range of emergencies including fires, floods, car crashes and animal rescues. There are currently 12 active retained firefighters in Crawley who have a wide range of full-time jobs including paramedics, a window cleaner and a fleet manager at British Airways. The station is looking for at least two or three new retained firefighters to join immediately and more are needed to help in the near future.

Fraudster confesses: A Callous Leigh man is awaiting sentence after he admitted fraud involving a cheque stolen from a 90-year-old woman. Window cleaner Stephen Anthony Langley pleaded guilty to false representation involving a £5,650 cheque in the name of his Beech Hill victim on October 17. However, the 25-year-old, of Sandringham Drive, Leigh, denied stealing the cheque and the hearing was told that that charge is to be dropped. The cheque was made out in the name of pensioner Elizabeth Winstanley. Langley was further remanded on bail by a Liverpool Crown Court judge to await sentence on Monday October 17.

Author Kevin Brockmeier allows his imagination to wander. He examines and develops fleeting ideas to fill the pages of a novel or a chapter in a short story collection. One character in a short story works as a window washer and writes messages on the windows he cleans. Another is a mute who gives people singing parakeets. "Every story is different, of course," Brockmeier said in an email interview. In the case of the window washer and the mute, "they each began with an image that seemed to arrive with a shiver of meaning and that I believed carried some symbolic and emotional freight: a man whose name was spelled across his chest in light and a speechless man whose birds sang the story of his life."

A Dudley based cleaning company is celebrating its 30th anniversary by holding an auction to raise money towards a Peruvian aid mission. The fundraising event, at ServiceMaster in Thornleigh Trading Estate, will include boxing gloves signed by legends Joe Frazier and Joe Calzaghe, Cliff Richard tickets, a signed golf flag by Sir Nick Faldo, a house clean and a window clean.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Clipless Channels For Window Cleaners

Channel Guard: Channel Guard was developed by Innoclear for professional window cleaners to be able to use a squeegee channel without all the draw backs and liabilities which come with it. Available from your window cleaning supply company. Channel guard available here.

No more tension clips. No more bunching.
This guard is made of plastic, is 23" long, and are sold in 3 packs. The Channel Guard can be cut to fit any size squeegee channel.
An even blade for even better performance.
Channel Guard:
  • Eliminates the need for tension clips
  • Creates an even blade for better performance
  • Secures the entire blade, not just the ends
  • Prevents liabilities like scratches on window film and plexiglass
  • Makes changing your blade fast and easy, especially while on the side of a building
  • Lasts for months
  • Comes pre-sized for a 24" channel
  • Can easily be cut to fit any channel length with a sharp scraper blade

Saturday 24 September 2011

Window Cleaning Employers/Employees Despair

Red Rock Window Cleaning was founded in 1998 by Coby Powell (center) starting out as a one man operation.
ICE Going After Businesses Who May Have Illegal Workers, LAS VEGAS: The federal government is paying much more attention these days to illegal workers, and if an employer makes a simple paperwork error, it can really cost them. Over the past four years the number of businesses in the U.S. being audited by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has more than quadrupled. ICE is cracking down on Las Vegas businesses who hire illegal workers, but also some just failed to accurately fill out forms. Across the country, ICE has fined businesses roughly $9 million just this fiscal year. Some of the companies that are in trouble are knowingly breaking the law, but others who work hard to stay in compliance say something as simple as missing a signature is costing them big.

"We were scared at first. Some authority with a badge came in, so we were scared at first but we thought we were in compliance and had all our documents in place," said Coby Powell (pictured) with Red Rock Window Cleaning. It was a costly visit Powell never expected. Without notice, an officer from ICE just walked into his office and said his window washing business was being investigated. "They didn't give any reason as to why they came, they just came in. She was very polite, they talked to us and said get the information for this investigation," he said. Immediately Powell turned over all the I-9 forms requested by ICE. Every employer, like Red Rock Window Washing, is required by law to fill out I-9's when hiring workers to verify their identity and employment eligibility. Powell thought he had everything in order.

"Though we had all the information, almost all the information needed to fill out the I-9's, we didn't transfer that information on the I-9 and sign it and sign the dotted line at the bottom that we verified everything and everything was in compliance with the form," he said. Powell was fined $25,000 -- $1,000 for each form, for each employee. "The employers are always shocked. They have no idea why this is happening, they don't understand what's going on," said immigration attorney Gus Fountas.

Fountas says he's seen the number of U.S. businesses being investigated and fined by ICE rise dramatically over the last two years. "They are taking it more seriously that employers should not be violating the law at all and that employers will be held accountable," he said. "Go through your HR files, ensure your I-9's are filled out, verify employees with cards and expiration dates that you re-verify those," said Powell. The president of Red Rock Window Cleaning shared his story because he wants to let other businesses know that ICE means business, and even if you think you're in compliance, go over your records with a fine-tooth comb. The enforcement is all part of President Barack Obama's policy to crack down on immigration issues.

Employer: ‘We can’t hire 99 percent of the people who apply’ - Today, we explore the other side of the unemployment issue and how hard it is for employers to find qualified, competent and, as you will see, reasonably intelligent employees to join the workforce.

‘This is what we’re up against’ Another company’s owner allowed me to go behind the scenes in his hiring process. I viewed application after application and came away shaking my head in disbelief. Mistakes. Misspellings. Misdemeanors. I couldn’t believe they were genuine applications, but they were. “We can’t hire 99 percent of the people who apply. I’d be out of business in a heartbeat,” said Don Markovich, owner of Bren-Mark Window Cleaning Service in Valparaiso. “The applications we receive on a daily basis are a sight to behold.”

His company uses an online hiring system for applications, including about 20 minutes of questions, explained to me by office manager Candy Smith, who has the daunting task of interviewing some of the knuckleheads who apply — if they even show up for the interview. “We can always upgrade our staff, and we’re interviewing every week, but this is what we’re up against,” she said while guiding me through the website’s application system.

The incredibly detailed system shows red boxes for “warning” or “weak” and green boxes for “clear” or “interested.” I saw many more red boxes than green ones on most people’s application. I literally laughed out loud at some of the applicants’ responses and they had to be rejected even though the company could receive a sizeable tax break if they were hired. For instance, under the question, “What SKILLS do you bring to this job?” one woman responded, “My smile.” In the comment section of her (rejected) application, Markovich wrote, “Smiles don’t clean windows.”

“I’m tired of hearing about how nobody’s hiring,” he told me. “It’s important that the general public understand there ARE businesses hiring and willing to pay good wages.” “We, like many other businesses, are limited not by our skills or motivation, but by the number of quality employees we can find,” he added. “Every time the president and Congress extend the unemployment benefits, our labor market keeps sitting on their collective ass. Why should they start a job that starts them out at what they are collecting on unemployment? Even though they can make two to three times that within three to four months, they don’t care. They will wait until the benefits run out before looking for a job.”

The downside to today’s column is obvious: “There is an incredible amount of people who are, for all intents and purposes, not employable,” Markovich said flatly. (On Monday, between noon and 1 p.m., Markovich will offer first-hand tips and insights for job-seekers on my weekly radio show on WVLP, 98.3-FM,

The upside of all this incompetance? This should inspire all those other job-seekers who are honest, credible, qualified, competent, intelligent and professional. And, if anything, the Darwinian culling of the job-applicant herd should eventually work in your favor if you learned anything today from Markovich and Pearman. “Sorry, America. I was never in favor of the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mentality,” Markovich said. “Just because you helped clean up a work site for $12 an hour doesn’t qualify you as a carpenter. And if your education and skills say you are only able to stock shelves, then you are a stocker.” My suggestion to job seekers: For starters, review your resume, personalize your application approach and provide intelligent responses, spelled correctly. And save your smile for the interview, not the application.

Friday 23 September 2011

High Rise Window Cleaners Get A Rush + A Parachute

Amadore Pacheco and Chris LaPrelle, both of Boise, hang off the side of the new hotel at Wildhorse Resort & Casino washing windows Wednesday in Mission.
Chris LaPrelle and Amadore Pacheco, both of Boise, set a main line while washing windows at the new hotel at Wildhorse Resort & Casino on Wednesday in Mission.
Chris LaPrelle of Boise cleans a window on the 10th floor of the new hotel building at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino on Wednesday in Mission.
High-rise window cleaners get rush at 10-story hotel: fter 26 years of washing high-rise windows, Chris LaPrelle’s adrenaline still surges when he drops down from a rooftop onto the side of a skyscraper. LaPrelle and his fellow window washer, Amadore Pacheco, are spending several days this week cleaning outside glass on Wildhorse Resort & Casino’s new 10-story hotel. The two wear form-fitting harnesses clipped onto a mainline with D-rings. They perch on padded wooden boatswain’s chairs as they swish each window, remove construction grime with razor blades and squeegee the glass clean.

Bird's eye view ... John Dickinson at work.
John Dickinson has had a bird's-eye view of Sydney for 30 years. His workplace soars 309m over Pitt Street Mall, giving him uninterrupted views across the Harbour and all the way to the Blue Mountains. The maintenance engineer has worked on Sydney Tower, now known as Sydney Tower Eye, since 1982 - the building's longest-serving employee. And being in the one place for so long has given him encyclopedic knowledge of the Skywalk's 4376 nuts and bolts, the tower's 1504 steps, three double-decker lifts, 420 windows, eight floors, two restaurants and 56 stabilising cables which, if laid out end to end, would stretch from Sydney to New Zealand. "If there is some part of the tower I don't know about, it can't be much," the 64-year-old said yesterday. "There's a few hiding places. In days gone by some of my crew would go missing for a few hours at a time but we always knew where to find them." Mr Dickinson has lost count of the number of times he's been "over the side" working on Charlie - the tower's semi-automatic window cleaner - and admits an emotional attachment to the Sydney icon, which just celebrated its 30th birthday. "You never get tired of the place; they'll have to carry me out in a box," he said.
Mr Dickinson has watched the city "grow up from the ground" around him. "I've seen a few changes," he said. "Darling Harbour has been one of the biggest: watching them demolish the old railway sheds and then all of a sudden voil agr - Darling Harbour. "Then there's been the different skyscrapers." With views stretching to the Blue Mountains on a clear day, Mr Dickinson said even in bad weather the tower never failed to disappoint. "I've seen many sunrises after doing a night shift and I've also been there when the fog comes in and all you can see is the tops of cranes - especially leading up to the Olympics, when there were a lot of sky cranes around, it was an unusual sight."
In his "office" suspended 268m above the ground in a man cradle, how does he refer to the tower he's devoted almost his entire working life to? "It's a cotton bobbin on a stick, isn't it? That's what it was known as years ago." Known in the past as AMP Tower, Westfield Centrepoint or simply Centrepoint, Sydney Tower underwent a multi-million-dollar facelift before its anniversary. Beginning in the 1970s, construction of the $36 million tower finished in August 1981. Its 360-degree Observation Deck opened to the public the next month. The tower is now owned by Merlin Entertainments Group, the British company synonymous with the Eye brand of tourism attractions including the London Eye. It is fitting, then, that the golden turret, long offering a bird's-eye view over the city, is now dubbed Sydney Tower Eye. The tower now includes the newly renovated Observation Deck, Skywalk and the CBD's latest must-see tourist attraction: 4D cinema.

Warren Burg will tackle his fear of heights by plunging 10,000ft through the air
Warren has a clear view of sponsored skydive: Wantage window cleaner Warren Burg is to conquer his fear of heights and jump out a plane to raise cash for the hospice treating his daughter. Mr Burg’s 44-year-old daughter Michelle Zielinski, who went to King Alfred’s School, is battling breast cancer for the second time. Mr Burg, of Church Street, Ardington, has lived in the area for 45 years and cleaned the windows of Wantage town businesses since 1997. And on October 14 the 69-year-old will jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet and fall through the air at 120 mph in a bid to raise more than £1,000 for the Thames Hospice in Windsor. Mrs Zielinski, a mother-of-two from Chavey Down near Ascot, fought off cancer two years ago but it has come back and spread.

Mr Burg said: “The hospice has been an oasis for her. The hospital is the place where she has needles and horrible stuff and the hospice is the place she has been happiest in so I am raising some money to pay them back a bit. “The nurses and staff are so caring, hospitable and kind and nothing is ever too much trouble for them. “All monies raised will be much appreciated and put to good use to relieve some of the pain, worry and pressure this horrible disease can inflict on my daughter and others like her.” Mr Burg, who is originally from New York, said he had feared jumping from a plane since signing up to the US Air Force. He added: “I joined the US Air Force when I was 20 and I thought I would have to jump out of a plane. When I found out I would not have to I was quite relieved. “I am now facing my fears after 49 years.” To donate money, visit windowcleaner

Thursday 22 September 2011

Slashers & Window Cleaners Falls

If you wear different hats - you're a slasher.
'Slashers' Find Challenges, Satisfaction in Multiple Jobs - You're a "slasher" if: People ask what your job is and you can't come up with a simple, one- or two-word explanation. You work at one thing in the morning and something else in the afternoon, evening or weekend. A portion of your workday is devoted to balancing equally pressing but often conflicting demands on your time.

"Slashers" are self-employed people who juggle multiple jobs, sometimes related, sometimes not. According to career experts, during a tight job market it's common to see people of all ages, including those over 40, taking on extra work for the extra cash. SecondAct asked people who've adopted the "slasher" life to talk about what they do, how they got started and what they've learned about juggling multiple gigs. Last week we published Part I in this occasional series.

Bill "Stretch" Coleman, 58, residential window and blind cleaner/stilt walker/entertainment company owner in Denver.

How I got started: I started the window-cleaning business 28 years ago. My partner Jerry and I were on our way to a dinner party and the sun was shining on some very dirty windows. Jerry ran off some fliers on his boss's copier, I hung them on about 100 doors, and our business was off and running. We made about $11 an hour that first day. Years later I embarked on a second childhood as a stilt performer with the Colorado Clowns. My first parade was as a 9-foot-tall Uncle Sam. I have a variety entertainment company with stilt walkers, dancing Christmas trees, giant parade puppets, a bubble tower and group play activities. We (go to) fairs, festivals and special events within 1,000 miles of Denver.

My typical day: I start my day with coffee and the computer, responding to email, researching festivals and events, and designing clown props. Monday is usually administration day. Tuesday through Friday is window and blind cleaning. On weekends, I entertain at festivals, parades and special events. Both businesses are seasonal, with February being the slowest month of the year; June through September is very busy.

Best part: The best part of being self-employed is the continuous challenge to create.
Biggest challenge: Self-discipline. Being creative and simultaneously exercising self-discipline is like mixing oil and water.

Best tip: Be self-aware. Know what you don't want to do, and be willing to explore the things you might want to do.

Updated: Window cleaner injured in fall: A window cleaner has been injured after falling while working on a house in Southend. The man fell from a ladder while cleaning first-floor windows at a house in Parkstone Drive at about 9.05am. He was taken to Southend Hospital where he is being treated for a head wound and injuries to his ribs and wrist. His condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

Dauphin County judge praises victim, sends child molester to state prison: After praising the victim for her fortitude, Dauphin County President Judge Todd A. Hoover this morning imposed an 11-to-22-year state prison sentence on convicted child molester Gary Brown. Brown, 67, of Dauphin, pleaded guilty in May to charges that he had molested the victim almost daily between 2001 and 2003, when she was ages 13 to 15. The victim, who is now in her 20s, told Hoover that Brown told her the abuse was "OK with God." Hoover applauded the woman, who asked that Brown be sent to prison, for not allowing the abuse to overwhelm her life. She excelled in school, earned college scholarships and has begun a career in the medical field.
Brown said he has "rededicated my life to Jesus Christ. I am doing all I can to atone for what I have done." Defense attorney Herschel Lock said the molestation might have stemmed from injuries Brown suffered decades ago when he fell several stories from Strawberry Square in Harrisburg while working as a window washer. Hoover didn't buy that as an excuse for what he termed Brown's "persistent deviant behavior." "To me, it's a great loss that you were in her life at all," the judge told Brown.

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