Monday 31 October 2011

The Halloween Window Cleaner

Neo-Gotham: A window washer—J.R. Elkins of G&M Window Service—dressed as Batman works on the 8th floor of the Wells Fargo Building in Lincoln, Neb. Elkins began the Halloween tradition of window washing in costume in 2002. Hoffman is a freelance photojournalist based in Portland, Ore.

Former Fergus Falls State Hospital source of many legends: The story is one Chris Schuelke tells while giving tours of the Gothic-looking edifice that for decades dominated both the Fergus Falls skyline and the region’s economy. The hospital’s long-vacant buildings and lonely, sprawling grounds appear at once imposing and more than a little spooky, even with a late-autumn sun still high in the sky. The vibe is a valid one, said Schuelke, executive director of the Otter Tail County Historical Society. He tells visitors the hospital’s past contains both light and shadow. “They did good work here,” he said. “But there are definitely dark instances at the state hospital.” His tours, which recently ended for the seasons, lean heavily toward the latter.
He called the former state hospital “a castle of questions” and says the institution’s mystique is something people find endlessly fascinating. Schuelke’s stories are taken directly from newspaper accounts and oral histories. “I’m not making stuff up,” he said, referring to tales of murder, escaped patients, suicides, lobotomies and shock treatments. The fact that disturbing things happened at the State Hospital shouldn’t be surprising, given it once housed 2,000 patients watched over by 500 employees, he said. “It was a tremendously large community,” Schuelke said. “Of course you’re going to have instances that aren’t pleasant.” And in another cleaning-related incident: A hospital attendant was washing a fourth-floor window when a patient was seized by a sudden desire to go through it. The attendant tried to stop him, but the patient succeeded in making the leap. The nurse was almost pulled through the window trying to stop him.

Shop forced to take down gory window display.
A window display too far: A Commercial Drive store owner was forced to take down his Halloween mock-up after it was plastered last week with photos of missing women, apparently because the bloody bed behind the display was too lifelike. Mintage Vintage’s year-round vintage displays have never been a problem before, said co-owner Skylar Stock. But last week, the vintage shop was bombarded with complaints, with some saying the storefront — which featured a bedroom splattered with fake blood — conjures negative images to victims of violence. “They plastered glue all over my window and then they plastered photographs all over my window,” Stock said, shocked after discovering the damage Friday. He’s since taken down the display for fear of further vandalism.
“As I was cleaning it off, there were people yelling at me calling me a typical f---ing male,” he said, adding there were many negative comments also scrawled on walls and the sidewalk. “I didn’t know whether or not they wanted to smash my window or firebomb my store, either way I don’t want to find out.” Protestors held signs calling for the display’s removal last week, citing missing and murdered women in the DTES, just hours before the window was vandalized. Stock said displays during previous Halloweens were equally grotesque. “Every year I do a window display, and every year people tell me what they think of it. … (This) gets beyond the realm of that.” The co-owner added he has not called police. A disclaimer has now also been put up on the storefront, saying displays are not intended to reflect real-life events. “I’m a victim of vandalism, that I can handle.”

Haunted Honolulu: Ricky L.’s friends lived in the Moana Pacific condominium and would see handprints on the glass outside, but figured it was from the window washers. They sometimes saw a shadow in their unit, but hoped it was their imagination. The last straw in a series of incidents happened one night, when their baby was crying, the wife went to the room to check on it, and saw a shadow standing over the baby, clearly a local guy, trying to calm it down. They moved out the next day.

Window Cleaning for 10 Panes - Crystal Clear Window Cleaning - Sold by LivingSocial. The Details: If your windows' cobwebs weren't meant to be Halloween decorations, rid your house of its haunted vibe with today's deal from Crystal Clear Windows: For $40 (regularly $100), have 10 of your window panes cleaned. It's spooky what can build up on windows -- grime, toxic dust, chemical residue, and pollutants. Let the friendly and professional Crystal Clear crew ease your filthy fears by leaving your panes as clear and glistening as a ghoulish ghost. The cleaning solutions used are never diluted, so you know you're getting the best clean imaginable. Cobweb-crawling spiders may terrify you, but today's deal will deliver a treat so outstanding you'll scream with delight.

“Bleeding” Cupcakes for Halloween: Provocative series like Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood have made vampires the sexiest thing since sliced bread that has been molded into the shape of a sensuous woman. That is why bleeding cupcakes are sure to win any Halloween/Sexy-Themed Baking Contest you might enter this week. They’re not only showy and delicious, but super simple to put together as well–just like the scripts for all those dramas. (I’m just kidding. Don’t bite me.) Here’s how:
1) Bake cupcakes using your favorite recipe.
2) Once cooled, dig a small lump of cupcake out of the top. Set the removed chunk aside.
3) Pour a little bit of an edible, reddish, runny substance, such as strawberry jam or cherry pie filling, into the hole.
4) Re-insert removed chunk.
5) Frost the top (thereby covering up the evidence of step 2).
6) Dip a toothpick into some of the leftover jam (filling, sauce, red icing, etc.) and stab the top of the cupcake twice to give the appearance of fang marks. Put these cupcakes out on your Halloween snack table and you will be crowned the buffet vampire slayer.
L. A. McMahon window washing services residential, commercial, apartments, condos and businesses of all types.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Grand Theft From Window Cleaning Company

Annette Marie Kolinger, 54, was arrested Thursday afternoon on a charge of Grand Theft from her New Port Richey employer, All Clear Windows.

New Port Richey accountant accused of stealing $10,000 from window cleaning company: A woman who worked for a window washing company is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from her employer. Annette M. Kolinger had been working as an office assistant and accountant at All Clear Window Cleaning & Pressure Washing Inc. for almost two years when she started taking money from the bank deposit bags, according to a report by New Port Richey Police. Kolinger, 54, of Spring Hill was arrested Thursday on a charge of grand theft. She was released later that night from the Land O'Lakes jail after posting $2,000 bail.
She admitted to officers that she took at least $5,000 since February, the arrest report said. But the company's owners told the police she stole well over $10,000. Kolinger told authorities she had been stealing because she was low on cash. Court records show she had been charged last November with writing bad checks, and she entered into a pretrial diversion program. Records indicate she recently paid the restitution owed in that case.

Kolinger (3rd from left), 54, of Spring Hill was arrested Thursday on a charge of grand theft.

Annette Marie Kolinger, 54, of 10140 Lyric Ln. Spring Hill 34608, was arrested Thursday afternoon and accused of stealing from her New Port Richey employer. Kolinger, an employee of All Clear Windows at 5628 River Rd. New Port Richey 34652, admitted to police that she had stolen at least $5,000 in cash from deposit bags since February 2011 from her employer, according to an arrest report. The employer told police that Kolinger has stolen more than $10,000 in cash from him during her employment, according to the report. Kolinger was arrested on a charge of grand theft and taken to the Land O’ Lakes jail.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Window Cleaning Dust Goes Down For 6 Years

A window cleaner from north London who tried to hire a hitman to kill his wife when his attempts to poison her failed has been jailed for six years. Graeme Dust, 46, of Holmwood Road, Enfield, was introduced to a man who was actually an undercover policeman, the Old Bailey heard. He admitted soliciting the murder of wife Nina, 46, who was in the public gallery when he was sentenced. She has forgiven her husband and now wants him back, the court was told.

Dust also pleaded guilty to administering poison to her, through adding sleeping tablets to tea and hot chocolate. He denied attempted murder, and this was accepted by the prosecution. Bitter taste Dust had an affair when his 20-year marriage suffered problems, the court heard. On separate occasions he added something to his wife's tea and asked her to drink a pink liquid, before putting sleeping tablets in her hot chocolate as they sat in a cafe. After Mrs Dust said her drink tasted bitter and sent it back, the owner of the business spotted white powder in the cup, said prosecution solicitor Richard Merz.

Dust asked a friend if he knew anyone who could "get rid" of his wife, but the friend went to the police, the court heard. A meeting was fixed for Dust to meet a supposed hitman, who was actually an uncover police officer. Dust told the officer he had tried to poison his wife, adding that he wanted her death to look like an accident or suicide. He received a four-year sentence for soliciting murder and a further two years in prison for the poisoning offence.

The wife whose love-rat church deacon husband poisoned her drinks then tried to hire a hitman to kill her has forgiven him. Graeme Dust, 46, was jailed for six years yesterday after admitting soliciting murder and giving poison to wife Nina, also 46.
The dad of two, a helper at the Seventh Day Adventist church his family attended, had been having an affair with a younger woman he met on his window cleaning rounds. But Nina supported him through his trial and has vowed to take him back when he leaves jail.
A source said: "On the face of it, they were a happily married couple with a church-going family. There wasn't a history of domestic violence. But there was a younger woman involved." Dust blew a kiss to his wife of 21 years in court yesterday. The Old Bailey heard how over six months he put sleeping pills in her tea and made her drink a pink liquid.
He even put pills into her hot chocolate at a cafe before asking a pal to find an assassin. The pal told police, who sent an undercover cop to meet him. He was taped ordering Nina's murder for £5,000, insisting it should look like an accident. Sleeping pills were found in his van as well as at the family home in Enfield, North London. Dust had a history of depression, the court heard. Nina, who runs a cleaning firm, would not comment yesterday. Daughter Charlotte, 18, said: "We've got nothing to say."

Friday 28 October 2011

Occupation Window Cleaning - Banks Greed

Stevenage window cleaner in St Paul’s sit-in: James Albury, 34, of Stevenage has been camping out for “four or five” nights in the week to draw attention to what he said is a government “corruption” of capitalism. The former Heathcote School student said the media has misinterpreted the occupation - arguing it is part of a “movement” rather than an anti-capitalist protest - despite banners to the contrary around the site. He said: “It’s hard to encapsulate what the occupation movement is in a few sentences, but from my own perspective, I am a self-employed window cleaner – describing the occupation as some sort of anti-capitalist movement is not correct. “The idea that it is just a load of lazy students is just not right.

“I’m not anti-capitalist. I’m against this corrupt form of capitalism. If my business were to fail I couldn’t go to the government and get a bail out. I can see no reason why a great big corporate bank cannot be allowed to fail. If they made poor decisions you cannot expect the tax payer to bail them out.” He added that Stevenage could soon see a similar occupation. “I have spoken to lots of people. There is support for it,” he said.

FDIC closes four banks. Annual total: 84 so far. A window washer is reflected in the window of the office building which used to house a branch office of Firstier Bank in southeast Denver, last month. The downturn in real estate and high unemployment has caused the FDIC to close Firstier and 83 other banks so far this year.

A nice video below to explain money creation & the reason we are experiencing this "credit crunch." It starts around the 2 minute mark & the following parts are auto-played without having to hunt for the next video link. The video has been made for a foreign T.V. channel, so the speaker talks slower for the translators. This is how "they" control governments, businesses and the general population, by creating enormous debt. Vital to this has been to allow bankers to lend money they do not have. It works like this. If you or me have a million pounds, we can lend a million pounds. Very simple. But if a bank has a million pounds it can lend ten times that and more, and charge interest on it. If even a fraction of the people who theoretically have 'money' deposited in the banks went today to remove it, the banks would slam the doors in half an hour because they do not have it. Money in the bank is a myth, just a confidence trick.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Window Cleaning One Step Away From Bomb Squad Technician

From bomb disarming to grave digging: The scariest jobs in America: Just in time for Halloween, CareerBuilder released results of their scariest jobs survey. The survey polled American workers on what they believe to be the scariest professions, and high-school teachers made the list. The list includes a wide range of fear-inducing careers; some are life threatening, while others could lead to serious embarrassment or social shame.

It's no surprise that window washers may have one of the scariest jobs in America, but what about teachers? A new survey from CareerBuilder found teaching is one of the top ten scariest professions. More than 4,300 workers voted in a nationwide survey. A bomb squad technician was voted the scariest job. A high-rise window washer was second.

CareerBuilder Survey Reveals the Scariest Jobs According to American Workers:
· Bomb squad technician tops list; miner, high school teacher, stunt person among the most frightening professions.
· Pay cuts, presentations and high workload are among the things workers are most afraid of at work.

Chicago, Illinois – October 27, 2011 – What makes a job frightening? Imminent danger? Public speaking? Eerie surroundings? As Halloween weekend approaches, American workers voted on the scariest profession, choosing careers ranging from the death-defying (firefighter) to the potentially humiliating (stand-up comedian). The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Interactive from August 16 to September 8, 2011 with more than 4,300 workers.

Among the scariest jobs are:

1. Bomb Squad Technician
2. High Rise Window Washer
3. Armed Forces
4. Miner
5. Police Officer
6. Alaskan Crab Fishing
7. Mortician
8. Firefighter
9. High School Teacher
10. Cemetery Worker
11. Exterminator
12. Stand-Up Comedian
13. Animal Control
14. Stunt Person
15. Politician

What are employees most afraid of at work?
While most Americans won’t find themselves in any of the above careers, aspects of their own jobs can keep them on edge. More than a third of workers (36 percent) say layoffs are what they are most afraid of at work. Other work-related issues that may keep workers up at night include:

· Pay cuts – 13 percent
· Workload – 9 percent
· Presenting in front of other people – 9 percent
· Forced relocation – 4 percent
· The boss – 3 percent

Get window cleaning jobs now, click here.

Salaries: How they pan out..
1. Bomb Squad Technician
Salary: $54,000

Training: High school degree or equivalent, five years as a police officer, and a training period at a specialized facility, like the six-week course at the FBI Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, Ala.
Red wire or blue wire? Ten seconds. Red wire or blue wire? Nine seconds. Twenty thousand innocent lives within bomb radius. Seven seconds. Probably at least 500 sleeping babies. Five seconds. Your mom. Four seconds. RED WIRE OR BLUE WIRE? Three seconds. Blue has always been your favorite color. Two seconds. Why did you ever decide to become a bomb squad technician? One second.

2. High-Rise Window Washer
Salary: $28,770

Training: High-rise window washers usually need certification. For International Window Cleaning Association certification, the aspiring window washer must take four correspondence exams, specializing in commercial ground-based window cleaning, rope descent systems, and suspended scaffolds. American high-rise washers need specific training in regional standards. Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say. But when cleaning the 102nd floor windows of the Empire State Building, you are actually next to God. Combining the detail-focus of a custodian with the fearlessness of a circus acrobat, high-rise window washers waltz daily with death to keep our skyscrapers agleam. Peering into all those offices might reveal some pretty scary stuff too.

3. Armed Forces Member Salary: $23,400 plus bonus (private first class).
4. Miner: Salary $25.60 per hour or $53,160 per year.
5. Police Officer Salary: $41,257
6. Alaskan Crab Fishing Salary: $84,930
7. Mortician Salary: $41,440
8. Firefighter Salary: $41,300
9. High School Teacher Salary: $43,800
10. Cemetery Worker Salary: $42,250
11. Exterminator Salary: $32,840
12. Stand-Up Comedian Salary: Whatever you can hustle.
13. Animal Control Salary: $30,940
14. Stunt Person Salary: $70,000 (well-known and experienced)
15. Politician Salary: $174,000 (U.S. House and Senate Members) No experience required, but lying through your teeth for your own selfish benefit & lining your products comes in handy, especially when you have to pay off the funding you took -  to get you there in the first place.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Swing Stage Incident In Indonesia With Fatality

Gondola Victim Evacuated Wednesday (10/26): Fachrudin (33), a dead casualty of a crashed gondola at Batavia Tower in Tanah Abang has been evacuated to Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) for autopsy treatment.

Johanson Ronald Simamora as Head of Tanah Abang Sector Police explained that before the incident, Fahrudin was at the balcony of 29th floor. He crashed into a gondola which was shared by two other workers while cleaning the windows on 33th floor. “It is alleged that the victim was about to move one gondola security rope to another one." "Then, he fell down to the 29th floor." When falling down, his head hit the building divider and spotlight." "Finally, he was dead at the scene in a face down position."

Kardiman as a witness and the victim’s co-worker expressed that when moving the rope, he did not use sling cable which was used as a safety function to stop a fall. “If you want to park the gondola, you must use sling rope - but, he didn’t use it,” he added. One of the victims was wearing a helmet. As a result, his right hand fractured and the left side of his head was bleeding.

A gondola/window cleaning staging at Batavia Tower in Tanahabang, Central Jakarta, Indonesia failed. At the present time the reason of the cause of the collapse is unknown. However, due to the incident, one of the workers was killed. Ronald Simamora of the Malaysian police, said the incident occurred around 10:00 a.m. "The cause of the accident is not known but will certainly be investigated," he said on Wednesday (26/10).

The information collected by the newspaper, is that two workers fell from the gondola on the 33rd floor of the building and were stuck on the 29th floor. At that time, the workers were in the gondola to clean the glass roof. The victim who died was known by the surname Fachrudin, of Ciputat, South Tangerang. Meanwhile, other workers suffered cuts and the identities of the workers are unknown.

Rica, one of the staff at the Batavia Tower, said people are slow at coming forward on the incident & do not want to give evidence. He said "the party's management is still collecting information and will give evidence after lunch." "Just after the hour lunch break we will pass it all on to the authorities." "At the moment the authorities are still on site going through the evidence."

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Evicting Spiders & Talking Windows

The top of the Hancock Tower is “like a haunted house,” says a facilities manager.
It’s a ‘spider fest’ atop Chicago skyscrapers: At this time of year, there’s no shortage of fake spider webs around town as people try to make their houses look haunted. But in the city’s highest reaches, there’s no need for the fake stuff. Skyscrapers are prime real estate for the creepy crawlers of the city — with the bugs often riding wind currents high into the sky.

At the top of the John Hancock Center, it’s a “spider fest,” says Mead Elliott, the building’s broadcast facilities manager. “They are crawling everywhere, they are coming down on their strings everywhere, there are a lot of dead carcasses around — it’s like a haunted house,” he said. “It’s really weird seeing so many. You scratch your head, literally and figuratively. “When I first started, there was a lot of night work and all of sudden you have three or four of them crawling in your hair. As time goes on, you become more aware of them and can brush them away.”

Elliott said workers have tried various methods to control the spiders in the past, but nothing really works — they always come back. “We often think of the top of the building as this sterile environment of steel and glass, but really it’s surrounded by insects,” said Steve Sullivan, curator of urban ecology at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Acting somewhat like mountains, skyscrapers can create drafts that suck air — and bugs — to the top of the structures. For spiders, that means there is plenty of food up there. “We have pumped these insects literally up the side of the building,” Sullivan said. “By this time of the year, [spiders] just build webs everywhere.”

So how do the spiders end up outside a window on the 95th floor? Sometimes they just crawl. Most spiders, though, will use a technique called ballooning, which allows them to “fly” for miles. “They let out a little bit of silk, catch an uplifting air current and then sail in the current, basically like flying a kite,” said Petra Sierwald, associate curator of insects at the Field Museum.

Many of these spiders are from the orb-weaver family, which includes a number of different species that range in size. Some young are as small as a punctuation mark while adults can grow to about an inch big. Once a spider is planted on the side of the building, its silk is so strong that it is barely affected by wind or rain — even if the little creature is hundreds of feet in the sky. “If there is any danger, there are an enormous number of crevices and cracks, and they will just go in there and squeeze in,” Sierwald said.

The Willis Tower runs a window washing system every day, weather permitting, which helps keep the spiders at bay, according to Gary Michon, general manager of U.S. Equities Asset Management, the managing agent for the property. “It’s more of a nuisance to the tenants,” Michon said of the spiders. “They are paying for great views; the last thing they want to do is look out their window and see a big web.”

Wildlife experts, however, urge people to take advantage of the opportunity to observe the spiders, which are harmless to humans. “Spiders are particularly cool because they are building architecture with one of the strongest, most resilient substances that we know of,” Sullivan said. “See how it works. It’s a cool way to get involved with nature even up on the 90th floor.”

Store windows whisper: South African teleco retailer 8ta uses 'whispering windows' with through-glass touch technology to allow customers to browse a store’s catalogue after hours. So-called whispering windows have been a growing favorite of advertisers and marketeers for a few years now, writes trend monitoring website The windows are equipped with speakers and programmed to emit sounds or speech as passers by walk past the built in sensors.

Often they are designed to entice or create intrigue for those on the street, but the windows installed in South African 8ta stores are adding a new level of functionality to the technology by enabling customers to browse the store’s catalogue throughout the day and night. 8ta, a mobile brand subsidiary of South African Telkom, operates numerous stores selling the latest devices and services. Aiming to make a visit to their stores a sensory-rich experience for shoppers, the brand tapped One Digital Media for a variety of technological elements.

The stores’ whispering window technology “turns store windows into glass window speakers, creating a unique way to deliver messages throughout or around your store,” as One Digital Media explains. However, they differ from similar concepts seen recently with their innovative use of through-glass touch technology allows customers to browse through a store catalogue after hours, even requesting a callback when the store reopens.

Also included in 8ta stores are large video walls showcasing 8ta’s latest commercials and handset deals, as well as “pick ‘n watch” screens that allow customers to interact with and learn more about the different mobile phone models. Touch tables, meanwhile, are on hand to detail and compare all the handsets available. "Bricks and mortar may still play a key role in many product categories," observes "But that doesn’t mean physical stores can’t borrow elements from the best of the online shopping experience - including the ability to deliver multimedia messages and product information 24-seven."

Monday 24 October 2011

Window Cleaning Courses Making An Impact

Impact 43 is a leading provider of Window Cleaning training.
SOUTHAMPTON WINDOW CLEANERS SET THE BAR: Cleaners taking the QCF Level 2 Window Cleaning Course in Southampton have set the standard for 2011, says Andy Willis. It’s been a busy but rewarding time for Andy Willis of IMPACT43, who has been in Southampton steering two enthusiastic groups of window cleaners through the QCF Level 2 Window Cleaning Course. “I’ve been so impressed with the calibre of the candidates who are now attending these courses,” said Andy. “They’re really setting the standard for 2011. Most of them have substantial practical experience, but even so they’re very keen to develop further.

Course members have been following in the footsteps of Southampton-based Progress Cleaning Services, who were awarded Window Cleaners of the Year prizes in 2009. Companies attending have included: Dall Cleaning Partnership, CSS Window Cleaning, Hi-Glass Window Cleaning, and AWS Pitcher and Co.

Director Lloyd Dall of Dall Partnership, which operates throughout Southampton and Portsmouth but also covers London and other key towns and cities, said: ‘I have been in the window cleaning industry for twenty years now and times really have changed. Here at Dall we’re aware that property owners are starting to specify qualifications when they recruit. In particular, they want window cleaners who have a QCF Level 2 Qualification, so for us it’s a must that all our guys should attend a recognised course and achieve this important professional training and certification.

Director Kevin Robson from Progress Cleaning Services recommended the course to Lloyd, and he is glad he took Kevin’s advice. ‘I attended the course myself,’ said Lloyd, ‘along with director Michael and two of our window cleaners. We all thought it was excellent.’

This week the latest QCF Level 2 Qualifications and certificates have started arriving on candidates’ desks. The QCF Qualification (formally NVQ) is provided by South Thames College and their appointed service partner, IMPACT43. A recognised industry qualification for commercial/domestic window cleaners that operates right across the country, the QCF provides an exciting professional opportunity for window cleaners. Fast being adopted by managing agents, it covers all aspects of the business, including:

·      The Delivery of Customer Services
·      Effective Communication
·      How to work as a sole trader or as a Team
·      Preparing Hazard and Risk Assessments
·      Working at Height Considerations, covers flat roof access and water fed pole hazards
·      Effective Cleaning of all types of Glazed Facades
·      Safe operation of the latest Water Fed Pole Equipment

Candidates taking the QCF course attend four training workshops over four months – one day each month – and also undergo five practical assessments.

1.     Completing a hazard and risk assessment
2.     Setting up a works area control
3.     Traditional hand tools
4.     Selection inspection and safe use of ladders
5.     Water fed pole, setting up and using poles safely

Andrew Willis of IMPACT43 says: ‘Our candidates have worked really hard, and it’s a pleasure to see them now promoting their awareness of training and certification to their clients.’

In a recent press release, David Morris (a former City and Guilds candidate) from David Morris Window Cleaning said: ‘These days more and more building owners want to know about staff training. They ask what credentials you have, and I think that’s a good thing. In my opinion, every window cleaning company has a moral duty to train staff to the highest possible level, especially in matters relating to Health and Safety. No longer can you send people out to work with no training - not if you want to be taken seriously and build a reputation as a Health and Safety conscious business.’

Andrew was also pleased to receive the following email from Paul Delaney of Inside Out, one of last year’s QCF award winners. Paul, who won Newcomer of the Year, wrote:

Paul Delaney of "Inside Out," receives his award.
‘Many thanks for all your hard work in putting the course over. Your presentation with the personal experiences made it really worthwhile, so thanks. The main reason for this email is to offer congratulations on your brilliant article in Cleaning and Hygiene Today (CHT Magazine) and your comments about the FWC
Some time ago the Federation sent out a questionnaire asking 'what do we need to do?' My response was: 'Do more to change the public’s image of the window cleaner'. There was no feedback, which I expected, so you can imagine how pleased I was to see that you appreciate the need to get us over as professionals: people who undergo training and use the latest equipment safely to produce the best results.
Tim Wibrew said: ‘A couple of days after receiving my award at Windex I was completing a tender presentation for a large facilities company. I was amazed when a key person on the evaluation panel told me she had attended the awards and seen me pick up QCF Window Cleaning Manager of the Year. I thought that was good timing! And it just goes to show - you never know who might be in the audience at these awards.’

Contact details for courses:
David Willis of Impact43
Enterprise House, Unit 17 & 17a Redstone Industrial Estate
Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 8EA, UK

Tel: (01205) 364333
Fax: (01205) 205300
Mob: 07984 365917

Sunday 23 October 2011

Window Cleaners Critically Reviewed

Click picture to see original story.
Safety - What's wrong? The antics of some window cleaners were followed up on, when cleaning the windows of the offices of the CSST, an organization dedicated to safety. On October 3, workers of the company Sunshine Window Cleaning appeared at 9, Rue Nicholson, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, To clean the exterior windows of the building, which houses the offices of the Commission of Health and Safety (CSST).

In the photographs taken when the window washers were at work, one can see clearly that no security perimeter had been drawn around the workplace and people walked near the ladder although it was footed (as required) by a worker on the ground. On one of the pictures, you can see a window washer also trying somehow to keep his balance while leaning forward to reach the window.

Verdict: Nothing illegal

CSST claims they were not informed when the workers were present. An inspector who was passing by in the morning observed the ways of the business and then found that everything was perfectly in order. "All the techniques were consistent." "The number of workers was sufficient and there were cones on the sidewalk to prevent people going through there," said Jacques Nadeau, spokesman for the CSST. He added that it is not impossible that the company has changed its ways since that day. "It's possible, but it would be very unfortunate if they hadn't." He added their work practices were "Not recommended."

Asked about this, Normand Payette, responsible for work at height for a property maintenance company for 38 years, believes that "it is not off-the-law, but it is certainly not advisable." "For buildings of two stories or more, we use a crane with a bucket. In this case, people passed under the ladder, it's really not safe, "says Payette.

The owner of the building, Shazad Khan, is currently outside the country and his son Nadeem who has responded on his behalf said "We were not aware of their ways, had we known, we would have done business with another company." "We can not let something like that happen, especially as the offices of the CSST are located in this building" he said.

The viewpoint of Sunshine Window Cleaning Company is "We ensure compliance with all safety regulations." "We know how to do our job and we have experience." "We've been in business for 35 years and there has never been an accident," said Georges Hersky, an employee.

Saturday 22 October 2011

HomeOwners Risking Their Lives Cleaning Windows

Woman survives fall from fifth storey, Singapore: A woman owes her life to a wooden shelter at the bottom of an HDB block after it broke her fall from the fifth storey. The plywood roof of the shelter broke on impact and she crashed to the ground. But it slowed down her fall enough for her to escape with a fractured leg.

A man who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, said he heard a loud thud and walked over quickly to find out what happened. He saw the woman lying on the pavement at the foot of Block 209 at Bukit Batok Street 21. He said she waved at him, as if asking him to go to her, reported Shin Min Daily News.

Noticing that the windows on the fifth storey were open, Mr Tan, 90, asked the woman if she fell from there. She replied yes, but said she didn't know how she had fallen. The incident happened at about 4pm on Monday.

The woman, who is in her 60s, is believed to have lost her footing while cleaning the windows of her living room. There was a small cabinet below the open windows of the woman's flat and she is believed to have been standing on it when she fell. A piece of cloth was found near the window.

Bleeding: Mr Tan said the woman was lying on her back when he found her. She was bleeding from her forehead and from the back of her head. But she was able to sit up on her own and seemed alert, said Mr Tan. She left bloody handprints on the concrete floor when she supported herself to sit up.

A police spokesman said the woman was taken conscious to the National University Hospital, where she remains warded. Police investigations are ongoing. Neighbours said that the woman worked as a nurse before becoming a church volunteer.

Her son, who declined to be named, told Shin Min Daily News at the hospital that she was fine except for a fractured leg, and that she was still weak and unable to say much. She had been alone at home when the incident occurred and the family is still not sure why she fell. The son added that he was thankful that the wooden shelter had helped to break his mother's fall.

Friday 21 October 2011

The Window That Never Needs Cleaning

The lone window overlooking the driveway, which never needed cleaning, even when the rest of the house was covered in dirt and grime.
The history of the haunted Schweppe Mansion - The Schweppe Mansion stands in all its glory, as a palace fit for a princess. In 1917 this beautiful English Tudor, was a gift from John G. Shedd (president of Marshall Field and Company and founder of the Shedd Aquarium) and his wife to their daughter Laura Shedd. It was a wedding present for Laura and her newly wedded husband, Charles Schweppe (the drink dynasty).

The Schweppe Mansion became the home for Laura, Charles and their children. Its beautiful, breathtaking interior and exterior would soon be darkened by tragedy. According to, Laura Schweppe lost her life due to a heart attack in 1937. Laura was only 58 years old. But this devastating death would not be the last that the Schweppe Mansion would experience.

In 1941 relayed by, servants entered Charles Schweppe’s bedroom and found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Charles Schweppe was only 60 years old. The only clue left by Charles as to why he took his own life was a note found on his dresser that simply read, “I’ve been awake all night. It’s terrible.”

There are several theories as to why Charles Schweppe committed suicide. When Laura Schweppe passed she had amassed a fortune of over 10 million dollars, of which a mere 200 thousand dollars was bequeathed to her husband Charles. The remainder of her fortune was given to their children. At the time of his death Charles’ health was rumored to be riddled with sleepless nights, deteriorating health and mental status. Could it be that Charles was so disappointed with his inheritance, or that sleep deprivation and or ill health created enough turmoil within his soul, that he believed death was the only way to escape his pain? One will never know the true reasons behind Charles’ desperate act. The spirit of Charles Schweppe will forever hold the secret.

After the death of Charles Schweppe the Schweppe Mansion remained lifeless and empty for 46 years. During that time it was reported that Laura and Charles’ ghost haunted the mansion’s bedrooms. Ghostly servants were also rumored to roam the halls of the majestic Tudor. In addition, a single window in the master bedroom reportedly remained free of debris and dust, while the other mansion windows collected the cobwebs of time passing. The ghost of original owner, Charles Schweppe, has been seen keeping watch over visitors to the house through a window overlooking the front driveway.

Of particular interest to psi-searchers is a window overlooking the driveway. According to ongoing testimony, this lone pane has never needed cleaning, even when the house has been otherwise covered in grime.
In 1987 the Schweppe Mansion experienced a new beginning. According to Dennis Rodkin author of the Deal Estate blog, a couple purchased the home and extensive renovations were performed. The Schweppe Mansion, recondition to her original glory, once again stands tall amongst the houses on Mayflower Road, in Lake Forest, Illinois. No comments by the current owners could be found, regarding the haunting of the grand Schweppe Mansion.

The Schweppe Mansion is currently up for sale. The included video is a Deal Estate tour of the historical mansion from Chicago Magazine and Dennis Rodkin. According to the list price is 15 million dollars. A reduction from the previous 18 million dollar price tag. The ghost of original owner, Charles Schweppe, has been seen keeping watch over visitors to the house through a window overlooking the front driveway.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Window Cleaning News & Photos

Click to enlarge.
Photo of the day - Reunion Tower window washer - Here's a beauty from staff photographer Sonya N. Hebert, of Hugo Suarez of Cliffhanger Building Maintenance hanging off of Reunion Tower in Dallas. She said the photo gods were shining on her today, providing a blue sky, a red shirt, and angled light. She did the rest! The photo came about when I stepped off the DART train this morning and saw a window washer nearing the bottom of one of the legs of the tower. One phone call and 10 minutes later, Sonya was on the scene, and nailed the photo when she spotted another employee of the same company at the top of another column. In newsroom parlance, this is the dreaded "weather feature" combined with the "what an editor saw on the way to work" feature.

L.A. Deals: Exterior residential window cleaning includes glass & framework. Eco-friendly products & custom applicators. Servicing Orange County, Los Angeles & San Diego Counties. Licensed & insured. Window Washing's technicians will have your windows spotless and sparkling, letting in more light and improving the overall appearance of your domicile. With this deal, they'll service up to 15 exterior windows, washing away tree sap, bird droppings and insect gunk. Of course, you can always DIY, but why risk it? Ladder accidents injure 200,000 Americans every year. Leave the ladder work to the pros and let the sunshine in today with Laguna Window Washing!
THE FINE PRINT: Limit 1 voucher per customer - Not valid with any other offers - Maximum of 15 windows cleaned - By appointment only - Must redeem voucher all at one time - No paint scraping - No cash back or refund - Expires 180 days after purchase.
Previous blog on "Groupon" type deals - "Cheapening Window Cleaning One Deal At A Time."

Beilue: Man mourns toll of cancer on body - Michael Davis, who has a window-cleaning business, doesn’t seem to have anything in common with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong or gold-medal figure skater Scott Hamilton — except for that testicular cancer thing. They had it. Davis has just been through it. Because of their celebrity network, it’s doubtful Armstrong and Hamilton lacked for emotional support in the weeks and months after. Davis just wished he had the same personal understanding. “It’s been tough,” said Davis, 40. “A person can’t fully understand losing a body part until they actually lose it. To a certain degree, it’s made me more aware of what a woman goes through when losing a breast or a veteran who loses a body part.”
Davis, diagnosed with testicular cancer in March, had an orchiectomy — surgery to remove a testicle — in April in Lubbock. Before surgery, he had two rounds of chemotherapy. Since surgery, he takes a testosterone shot every two weeks. Testicular cancer, serious as it might be, has no doubt spawned a few jokes at comedy clubs for the man-card crowd. Davis has heard them too, with “Hey, grow a pair!” leading the list. “Actually I kind of joke about it some as a coping mechanism,” Davis said. “My aunt and I have a neat relationship. One night I called her and said, ‘I really do miss my nut.’ She said, ‘Well, you shouldn’t be so careless.’” Though testicular cancer strikes about one male an hour and kills one a day, it’s still pretty rare. Striking about 8,300 males a year, most from the ages of 20 to 39, the survival rate is as high as 85 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Glass artist fell to death in cathedral: A master stained-glass artist who died following a fall at Durham Cathedral had been putting the final touches to a new window, an inquest was told yesterday. Michael Lassen, 61, was helping put in the last panel of the 170ft stained-glass window when he fell 20ft from a ladder and suffered a fractured skull during a work break. A jury sitting at Newcastle ruled he died accidentally. Witnesses described Mr Lassen’s hands slipping off the ladder and him falling backward onto the stone flag floor in the cathedral’s South Quire. The reason for his fall remains unclear. Glass artist Tom Denny, who was commissioned to create the new Transfiguration window, told the hearing he had taken on Mr Lassen – one of the most experienced craftsmen in his field – to lead and install the window when a previous assistant became ill.
On the day of the tragedy on September 3, last year, Mr Lassen was working on scaffolding inside the cathedral, while Mr Denny worked on the outside of the building. Mr Denny said, while “wiggling around” the last rectangular panel, he saw the chairman of the Friends, Bill Apedaile, and others inside and decided to show them the window. He took the friends to the second level of the scaffolding, leaving Mr Lassen on the lowest level, when he heard a “clattering” noise and a woman scream. Cathedral volunteer steward Kathleen Burdon said: “I saw his (Mr Lassen’s) hands on the ladder and in an instant they just seemed to leave the ladder. “It all looked as if it happened in slow motion. His hands just seemed to slip off it. “I closed my eyes because I knew it was inevitable he would fall.”
Steward Maria Atkinson, who saw him fall backward, said he had made no attempt to grab out. The Gloucestershire artist was taken to University Hospital of North Durham, before being transferred to Newcastle General Hospital. He died on September 8 of bronchial pneumonia brought on by his head injury. Health and Safety Executive specialist inspector Stewart Eddie said he was satisfied with the ladder and scaffolding and no prosecutions were being considered.

NYPD, SEIU honor union members who died on 9/11 - Police Commissioner Ray Kelly joined SEIU 32BJ President Mike Fishman and others from the 32BJ family at a Security Recognition Ceremony on Saturday to honor the men and women of 32BJ who lost their lives on 9/11. Kelly also helped the union give out merit awards to current private security officers who have excelled in the line of duty. “They were dedicated individuals who worked as security officers, some as window washers, cleaners, elevator operators, maintenance workers,” Kelly said. “The police department considers you very much our partners in this effort. Because of the nature of your work you are in a better position than most to spot the indicators of terrorism. We depend on you. We depend on you to stay engaged, to act as our eyes and ears.”

Life-saving window washers: Enormous thanks to the window washers who potentially saved lives by reporting the loose 600 kilogram block on the building downtown. Their daily task puts them in a much better position to evaluate the integrity of buildings. They are actually on them, not in an office filing a report. Please give them a salary equal to a building inspector’s salary. They deserve it!

3M window film generates electricity, blocks light: 3M showed new window film that both cuts infrared light transmission through the glass and collects solar power from both indoor and outdoor lightsources. A square meter of the film can generate enough electricity to charge an iPhone under peak sunlight. This film has two strong energy conservation traits. The first is that it generates electricity. The second is that it blocks heat. The film generates electricity, so it can be used to power things like LED lights. As for blocking heat, this can help conserve energy, because if heat is blocked then the air conditioning of a building can be lowered, saving electricity. Those are the two main advantages for energy conservation.
The film blocks or absorbs about 80 percent of visible light and 90 percent of infrared light. In this demonstration at Ceatec in Japan the company showed the temperatures on each side of the glass, with the inside thermometer about ten degrees lower than the outer one. The film comes in flexible sheets and can be glued onto windows. There’s a greenish tint to the film, but 3M plans to make it clear by the time it plans to commercialize it sometime in 2012. The film generates only about a fifth of the electricity that a traditional silicon solar panel does and will cost about half as much, though pricing hasn’t been announced.

Ward Blanchard, 89, lives north of Grand Rapids and is the oldest man to motor 1,000 miles in 24 hours.
1,000 miles on motorcycle in a day? No problem for 89-year-old Michigan man: Just my opinion, but, frankly, I think it’s interesting all by itself that this summer, Ward Blanchard rode his motorcycle more than 1,000 miles without sleep, grinding out the distance in less than 24 hours. Something else makes it altogether stunning: Next July, Ward Blanchard turns 90. Not that you could tell. He’s got the facial features of a guy in his 60s. And he could be a hand model for dish detergent.
Not that he’s got the time or inclination. He’s too busy busting his butt on a three-wheeled cycle known as a Can-Am Roadster, setting records for long-distance motorcycling while some of his cronies are probably having trouble — let’s face it — gathering up enough steam for a spirited game of cribbage. “Don’t let your age tell you what you can do,” says Ward, who worked full-time until he was 87, mostly as a factory laborer and window washer. “Just forget about your age and do it.”

Window cleaner Steve Waplington is concerned about the effect that the closure of Lea Road will have on town business.
‘Road closure will be catastrophic’: Concerned local businesses have voiced their frustration at the closure of a major road into Gainsborough in fear that it may harm trade during a busy period. The A156 Gainsborough Road at Lea will be closed for up to two weeks for resurfacing work between Monday 24th October and Friday 4th November. It is hoped the ‘essential maintenance’ work will be completed during the half-term, while diversions will be in place along the A1500 Tillbridge Lane, A15 and A631, However, the road is one of the major routes into town from Lincoln and nearby villages such as Marton, Torksey, Fenton, Newton on Trent, Knaith Park and Saxilby - which has concerned local businesses.
Steve Waplington is a window cleaner who believes that the impact could be ‘devastating’. “I’ve contacted the council and asked them to reconsider this full road closure,” he said. “I don’t see why they can’t do a part closure with a contra-flow system, like they did when they were carrying out similar work near Blyton.” “This will have a detrimental effect on mine and other businesses in town.” “Not only is it approaching the Christmas shopping period for shops in Gainsborough, but if we were to have another cold snap like last year when it re-opens then the impact will be catastrophic.” Steve continued: “I’m on my soapbox because I think it’s wrong - doing this at such a busy time of year will be terrible.” “I don’t think that they have really thought this through.”

To some people, Paul Bastock may be your window cleaner. He may be the nice man who used to care for your dear old nan. He might even be the bloke who coached your son at one of his goalkeeper academies. But to those people who spend their Saturday’s worshiping idols in amber and black (maybe that should be green), the man known as Bazza is something much more. At Histon this week, the club’s all-time appearance record holder reached another miraculous milestone... his 650th appearance for the club. Those 650 appearances, during two spells with the club, have brought hundreds of highs and lows.
The time he ran to the half-way line to punch an opponent and receive his marching orders. The time he crashed into his own goalpost and played the remainder of the contest with an egg-sized lump on his hairless head. The occasion he saved two penalties in on match at King’s Lynn. The time he missed one from the spot himself. These are just some of the more bizarre moments that stand out from Bastock’s career with Boston. And in an era where footballers at the top of the game are vilified for being detached from society, it is refreshing to see a local hero like Bastock prove that life means more than football... while opening a few village fetes along the way. That life has seen him work locally as a window cleaner, in a care home and also as a sports coach.

West Dunbartonshire Council award window cleaning licence to gunman: I would like to comment on the report regarding a recent West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) licensing meeting. I was present at this meeting and was astonished at some of the decisions taken. Firstly, a window cleaning licence was granted to an individual who had recently served a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for possessing a machine gun! This was followed by an application by an individual who by all accounts was a serial offender, having recently served a three years and nine month sentence for drug offences. This individual had also been observed lately by a police unit in the company of “serious and organised” criminals and planned to rent a unit from a known criminal in the Dumbarton area.
Despite strong objections by Strathclyde Police to both applications being granted, the board of WDC’s licensing committee saw fit to ignore the case put forward and proceeded to grant them. Bearing in mind that these same councillors granted licences to a gunman and a serial drug dealer I suggest that this smacks of double standards. TOA should certainly bring the matter to the attention of the Standards Commission on the grounds of complete incompetence by WDC licensing committee.

Strong Winds Blow Out Glass From Near North Side High-Rise Window: Chicago - Glass from at least one window from a Near North Side high-rise was blown out due to heavy winds on Wednesday, causing nearby streets to close to pedestrian traffic. The glass fell from a 12th-floor window in a building north of Chicago Avenue on Wabash Avenue near the Loyola Water Tower campus, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said. The sidewalk was closed right away and crews were sent out to block the west side of the street. A high wind watch is effect from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning near Lake Michigan. Winds will quickly increase Wednesday afternoon with strong and potentially damaging winds likely through Wednesday night. Winds will reach 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph likely, the National Weather Service said. The very strong winds could result in minor wind damage, downed tree limbs and power lines. High-rise buildings near the lake will experience even stronger winds just a couple of hundred feet above ground, the weather service said.

Food Share benefit is coming up: "Will Bowl For Food 3," which benefits Marion-Polk Food Share, is slated for next month. Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America and ABC Window Cleaners & Building Maintenance are hosting the event. Will Bowl For Food 3 will begin at 1 p.m. Nov. 5 at Firebird Lanes, 4303 Center St. NE. Cost is $25 per person for shoe rental and two games. Or, attendees can rent a lane for $100 for up to five people, which also includes shoe rental and up to two lanes. Attendees can donate food for entry into a door prize raffle: one ticket for five cans, two tickets for 10 cans, three tickets for 15 cans and four tickets for 20 cans. For more information, call Samantha Demchak at (503) 851-4156.

City of London: Protest continues for third day - Self-employed window cleaner and protester James Awberry said he expected the demonstrators to be stereotyped but that there were many "normal, hardworking" people among them. "It's not just a bunch of hippies. We're not a single issue and we're not a one-day march. The reason why protests have never worked and never changed anything before is because they're generally speaking for a single issue for a single day. This is many issues for as long as it takes." Foreign Secretary William Hague on Sunday said that protests were not the answer, but the Green Party on Monday pledged its support to the protests in London and around the world.

"Miss Representation" takes critical look at media images: "American teenagers spend 31 hours a week watching TV, 17 hours a week listening to music, 3 hours a week watching movies, 4 hours a week reading magazines, 10 hours a week online. That's 10 hours and 45 minutes of media consumption a day." Those statistics swoosh onscreen at the beginning of Jennifer Siebel Newsom's film "Miss Representation," then swoosh off to show highly sexualized clips of women sucking their fingers, or dancing on stage in a strip club, or even just washing a window. The effect is disturbing.

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