Sunday 29 April 2012

Monster Window Cleaning News Edition & Photos

Photo: Building confidence Jeff Jent, an employee with Reflections Window Cleaning & Painting, scaled the 10-story building at One Monument Square in Portland to wash windows on Thursday. Click to enlarge.

Labourers clean the windows of the Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, eastern China. Click to enlarge.

We don’t need cash to shop local: One of the things that happens in longer-than-normal recessions is that markets established over many years break down. Think about window cleaners -- perhaps you got your windows cleaned during the boom once a month, and now that things are tighter, you don't. So the 'market' for window cleaning services disappears once the window cleaner can't make a living from it. This destruction of markets inconveniences some and brings hardship to others, and it all comes about because of a lack of demand based on a lack of disposable income to fund that demand. But the windows still need to be cleaned, and some people would still like to clean them, in exchange for something else. The barrier is that no one has any cash. So: get rid of the cash. Everyone thinks economics is all about money. It isn't. Economics is about exchange, and money is usually used as a medium of exchange. The familiar monetary exchange is: I'd like my windows cleaned; here's a tenner. A valid alternative exchange is: I'd like my windows cleaned, here's an apple tart. Or two. 

When the 13th day of the month lands on a Friday, the culturally unfavorable attributes of each are multiplied by infinity. Friday is heavily charged with guilt and pain and death in the Judeo- Christian tradition. It was on a Friday that Eve served forbidden fruit pie at her legendary garden soiree. Friday was the day that Adam was expelled from Paradise, the day he repented, the day he died and the day he was cremated. And it was on a Friday -- Good Friday -- that Christ was killed on the cross. Friday, the day of original sin, the day Jesus died, the day of public hangings, in combination with 13, the number of steps on a gallows, the number of coils of rope in a hangman's noose, the number of the Death card in the tarot deck, is indubitably designated as a day of portent and doom. The pitiful suicide note of a window washer that was found with his body in a gas-filled room at his home and quoted in a 1960 issue of the Yorkshire Post, underscores its powerful, popular reputation, "It just needed to rain today -- Friday the 13th -- for me to make up my mind." Poor sod.

How billionaires destroy democracy: The fund managers insist that their compensation is still very risky; while some deals may lead to huge profits, others prove disastrous. True. But risk is hardly confined to fund managers. And at lower income levels, the risks are far larger. Indeed, in the last 30 years, vast swaths of the economy could be designated as risky for those needing to earn a living. The sort of stable, lifelong jobs that were common a generation ago have been largely replaced by contract or part-time work, with little or no security. A layoff can mean the loss of the family home or health benefits, or even destitution — far more serious plights than anything likely to befall a hedge fund manager. (For that matter, no one ever seems to argue for special low tax rates for the real risk-takers among us — miners, oil-rig workers, acrobats, firemen, window washers working on tall buildings.)

High level access cleaning company, Grako, has secured a year-long contract for Abu Dhabi’s 35-floor Capital Gate building. The contract tasks Grako with keeping the façade of the building spotless, a task which is challenging, given the nature of its desert surroundings. A team has been appointed to work on the façade continuously to ensure it stay clean. "Capital Gate is one of the most technically challenging engineering projects in the world, and high-level access cleaning for a structure of this kind presents its own set of challenges,” said Alain El Tawil, Managing Partner, Grako. "Grako [has] a proven track record and extensive expertise in tackling some of the most challenging projects in the UAE, and working on Abu Dhabi’s most prestigious property is another opportunity for us to demonstrate our capabilities. It’s not about just cleaning the structure, it’s about helping the city maintain its futuristic and progressive image."
The asymmetrical nature of the structure, its incline and the ‘splash’ connecting the Capital Gate to the exhibition centre present areas that are difficult to access using traditional high-level cleaning methods. "No one angle of the building is the same and each panel of glass is different, which means the standard methods of cleaning just won’t suffice," says El Tawil. "We have deployed a combination of access machine operators and abseiling or rope-access technicians to tackle the many hard to reach areas and ensure efficient cleaning. Abseiling (rope-access) is one of the safest methods of high-access cleaning techniques that Grako specialises in."

Fraudster jailed for 21 months after Blackbery app scam: Fraudster Samson Jagun has been jailed after using a Blackberry App scam to cheat a finance firm out of £117,000. The 31-year-old was convicted of sophisticated fraud using an App designed to help small mobile businesses such as window cleaners and Tupperware party organisers. Jagun had denied fraud, acquiring criminal property and converting criminal property but was jailed for 21 months after being convicted. Co-defendant Michael Deans, 31, of Wimbledon, was found not guilty of acquiring criminal property. At the start of the trial at Gloucester Crown Court, the jury was told Jagun set up a firm called Blocket Auto Shipping to defraud Cheltenham finance firm, Oriel Receivables, between August 15, 2008 and May 1, 2009. Prosecutor Paul Cook told the jury the EMerit App was created in 2007 to enable financial transactions to be made through Blackberry phones.
Small businesses, which paid £19.99 a month to use the app, were able to accept payment from customers using credit or debit cards. A business would log into the account and enter the card details to get payment. Half a dozen of the businesses were shams, such as Blocket Auto Shipping, Mr Cook said. Fraudsters had got hold of the card details of unsuspecting members of the public and used them to obtain money through the app. He told the jury Blocket Auto Shipping dishonestly got £35,365 by cheating the eMerit system. Another allegedly sham company, S. Williaams and Co Ltd, got £64,244 – of which £9,400 found its way into Mr Deans' bank account. Mr Cook said the total loss to the Oriel group of Cheltenham was £117,548 although the fraudsters had tried to obtain nearly £1 million.
The fraud was uncovered when Oriel's Paul Kinnear noticed 'spikes' of activity involving S. Williaams. On April 6, 2009 he noticed S. Williaams processed 15 transactions totalling £22,000. When members of the public started reporting unauthorised payments to Oriel out of their accounts, Mr Kinnear investigated and found six sham companies involved. When Jagun was interviewed, he claimed he had been set up by a South African man called James Onengey. Jagun said he thought Onengey was helping him to set up a business and only realised something was wrong when the bank froze his account. Deans claimed the £9,400 in his account was payment for a Bang and Olufson TV he sold. Jailing Jagun, of Archway, London, Judge William Hart said: "The fraud was a sophisticated one which clearly involved a number of people but you played a central role." Oriel declined to comment on the case.

The secret to old age? Just ask the residents of Hinton, St George - The Somerset locals, who have the greatest life expectancy of anywhere in the UK, reveal the reasons for their longevity. "We’ve been puzzling over it all morning,” says Alex Nuttall from behind the bar at the Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George, the south Somerset village that this week found itself feted as the best place in Britain for a long retirement. “And, to be honest, no one is quite sure why.”
Over in the community-run shop, they seem more amused than puzzled. “We’ve had people coming in all morning to buy the papers and see our name in print,” says Sara Hayward. “It is such an easy-going sort of place. No one usually takes much notice of us.” A study by actuaries at Towers Watson has placed Hinton St George (population: 400) narrowly ahead of Aldeburgh in Suffolk at the top of a table of life expectancy for those retiring at 65 with an occupational pension. Men here will live to an average age of 88.7 years, and local women often see their 91st birthday.
Dave Keirle, the local window cleaner, who has come into the shop for a ciabatta roll for his lunch, refuses to take the village’s 15 minutes of fame seriously. “If I had to put long lives here down to anything, I’d say it was caused by what a good job I do,” he jokes. “Clean windows mean more light, and they say that the more vitamin D you get from the sun, the longer your life.” It’s a theory to keep them puzzling over at the bar.

Local comic artists have big plans: These creators know that comic book conventions and the distribution of a traditional print style publication is still hard to beat when it comes to drawing an audience to their work. “Nobody’s going to give a damn about your comic … unless you make people pay attention,” says Primmer, who produces Zombie 2012 with writer Josh Bertwistle and artist Mark Cromwell. “I’m shameless . . . but I think that’s part of the reason we do well and actually sell our comics and shirts.” Primmer, 36, has his hands full in life with a window-washing business and a wife and toddler at home, but that doesn’t stop him from dedicating early mornings and late nights to Zombie 2012.
He dreams that it will one day make an impression on this zombie-mad pop landscape, getting picked up by a publisher and maybe even turned into a movie. But for now, he thrives on the validation he gets at events like Expo. “When somebody tells you they appreciate your story, that’s what it’s all about,” he says. “We’re definitely not making any money. Someday, hopefully, we will.” For Wilcox, the prospect of making a buck off his creations is certainly not the motivating factor. The 37-year-old software designer has been creating his own comics since the mid-90s when he used to photocopy, fold and staple each issue, distributing them to coffee shops for free. Eventually Wilcox began selling his comics on the convention circuit.
This led to interest from a perspective publisher and a “Hollywood type” who wanted to turn Dorkboy into a TV series, Wilcox says. Things went sour when the TV people tried to change the concept. “That whole process I found very stressful,” Wilcox says. “It sucked the enjoyment out of making comics.” That’s when he decided to pull away from the business and simply release his work online. Wilcox is a big believer in web comics. They cut out print production costs for independent creators and he loves their easy accessibility. “Anybody can hop onto their computer or even their phone now and go over to any web comics site,” he says. But despite the benefits of self-publishing online, Wilcox still had a yearning for traditional comics. “I’m part of that camp that has a tough time seeing print go away,” he explains. “With a book I’ve got an artifact, an original. Whereas with digital, I felt like if I’m not producing something tangible or physical, it could disappear. ”

Marc Cabrera: Clarifying the stuff of legends: Just because you're good at what you do doesn't make you a legend. This goes back to the previous examples I cited, and I think the media can take fault for this. As I said, we journalists are sometimes quick to lead our audience in the discussion. We want readers, viewers or listeners to understand the importance of a given subject, so we sometimes overvalue the subject. I think it's fine to be a longtime concert of boxing promoter, or longtime shoe shiner or window washer. You can be legendary in any of those given fields. Ultimately, people decide that for themselves, not journalists. That's why I'm picking on my colleagues in this column, just to remind them that the reader doesn't need to be led by the nose. And just to remind them that the next time you label some one legendary, make sure they're, you know, actual legends.

The letters page would contain a daily diary by The Man With A Long Chin, a fictional character whose escapades would usually involve starting a new job at the beginning of the week and getting fired towards the end. “I have a new job as a window cleaner but accidentally slipped and broke a window. I then decided to smash all the windows in hope that the owner wouldn’t notice. I would have gotten away with it too if the bathroom window wasn’t frosted.”

War shell present shunned after Middleton-in-Teesdale bomb alert: A woman has told her husband to stick to buying her flowers after his last present caused a street and school to be evacuated. Lisa Scott was amazed to find her neighbourhood at the centre of a bomb scare on Friday morning after a window cleaner called police. Her husband, Jonathan, had found a spent First World War shell the night before on a nearby fell and, knowing it to be safe, brought it to his home in Leekworth Gardens, Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, and put it on his garden bench. A window cleaner saw the 10in shell and, fearing it to be dangerous, called police, who cordoned off the street for an hour while bomb disposal experts from Catterick, North Yorkshire, investigated. All 130 pupils at neighbouring Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary School, including the Scotts’ two oldest children – Cameron, nine, and Eve, eight – had to be moved to a safe distance, all on teacher Tessa Fenoughty’s first day as acting headteacher. Also here.

A teenager picked up a knife during a row in a garden with a neighbour, a court was told. Window cleaner Scott Blackburn “became aggressive” after his neighbour asked him about damage to a wheelie bin. But the 18-year-old claims he acted in self-defence. Blackburn, of Keats Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to affray when he appeared before South Tyneside magistrates, on the basis of facts that are different from the prosecution case. Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said Blackburn was drinking in his garden with friends on Saturday, March 31, when a neighbour came out and asked him if he knew anything about fire damage to his wheelie bin. He said: “A verbal argument ensued, and Mr Blackburn became aggressive and was clenching his fists. “He picked up a large glass bottle and said ‘I will smash this over your head’ and ‘I am going to stab you’. “He was holding two kitchen knives and made threats, saying ‘I will chop yous up’.”
The court heard that the neighbour was at his home with friends and family, who witnessed the attack. In a police interview, Blackburn said he acted in self-defence because he felt “threatened by the witnesses”. Graeme Cook, defending, said Blackburn was wrongly accused of setting fire to his neighbour’s wheelie bin. He added: “One of the men who was at the neighbour’s house came forward and kicked him in the head, and he fell to the ground. “It happened next to the front door, and there was some gardening equipment near to the door. “He picked something up and asked the men to keep away from him. He said ‘I have got these knives’. “He accepts this was excessive self-defence, but he was terrified at the time.” Because of the contrasting evidence from prosecution and defence, magistrates said they were not in a position to pass sentence. They requested a Newton Hearing, which means the evidence will be considered by an independent judge. Blackburn, who works as a full-time window cleaner, was released on conditional bail. He will return to South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court for sentence on May 29.

Royal Military College To Have Clean Windows Says Peter MacKay…Fewer Prof's But Clean Windows: MacKay’s officials also had another tactic ready which was designed to get some good press for the minister. They issued an unprecedented number of press releases – 7 in total the same day. The releases covered everything from a window-cleaning contract at RMC (no mention though of the 68 profs whose jobs are on the line) to a $33,000 painting contract. Each, noted MacKay, proved that the government was “continuing to provide the Canadian economy with local jobs sustained by these defence infrastructure projects.” The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced two contract awards for RMC Window Cleaning and to upgrade lighting in the Dining Hall at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. The overall value of the contracts is $333,702. “The Government is continuing to provide the Canadian economy with local jobs sustained by defence infrastructure projects,” said Minister Mackay.

Thud! Toronto's fatal bird crashes land lawsuits: Toronto, Canada — Lesley Sloan’s workdays at an office tower in north Toronto were marked by the chilling impact of birds against her sixth-floor window. “I’ll never be able to remove the sound of the thuds from my head,” she told an Ontario court last week. Sloan, an administrative assistant at Ricoh Canada, would see the macabre results at the start and end of her shift — scores of broken, feathered bodies at the foot of three office towers, which make up a complex called the Yonge Corporate Centre (pictured below). The complex is accused of being the most lethal for bird collisions in Toronto, killing or injuring more than 22,000 migratory birds from 2000 to 2010, according to FLAP, a non-profit group that has tracked bird collision deaths and injuries in the city since 1993.
That alleged lethal record has landed the giant property owner Cadillac Fairview Corp. in court, accused of breaking a federal law, the Species at Risk Act, and two provincial ones, the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The company has pleaded not guilty to charges brought against it by the Canadian environmental group, Ecojustice. In what observers believe could become a precedent-setting lawsuit, Ecojustice lawyer Albert Koehl alleges the birds are lured to their bone-crushing deaths by reflective panes of glass that cover the buildings from top to bottom. They mirror the sky and nearby trees, tricking birds into thinking they can fly right through, Koehl argues. The case highlights what some ornithologists describe as a largely ignored carnage in North America. In the United States, collisions with buildings kill an estimated 100 million to 1 billion birds annually, says Daniel Klem, a leading ornithologist at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. By comparison, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska killed an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 birds. Cadillac Fairview has already made clear it takes bird collisions at its office complex “very seriously.” The company has announced that it will install film patterns on the windows, making them less reflective.

Metroland's Durham Region papers lauded for editorial excellence - Take 12 awards in North American contest. Window cleaning clouds. Ryan Pfeiffer won the Best Feature Photo in the Local Media Association Editorial Excellence Awards. This picture of the office tower at the Pickering Town Centre obviously captured the eye of the judges.

Gatland fractures heels window cleaning: Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland is to undergo surgery after fracturing both of his heels in a fall, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced. The accident happened at the 48-year-old's family beach house in New Zealand during a visit over Easter. “He was cleaning windows when he lost his balance and fell three metres onto concrete taking the full impact on his heels. He suffered multiple fractures to the right calcaneus and also a fracture to the left calcaneus. Consequently, he is in leg casts and requires surgery by the leading orthopaedic surgeon in the Waikato to reconstruct his right heel. – Welsh Rugby Union statement.

Phew, I’ve only just arrived at Kidzania, KL’s latest “place-to-go”, an entertainment and educational centre that allows kids to learn while they role-play, and I am already caught in the manic buzz of my surrounds. Children (and adults!) whizz by me in a blur, their faces reflecting the excitement and anxiety of being let loose in their own world, where kids are king. It’s not quite Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here. There’s no candy or flowing fountains of chocolate to lead them astray, nor a Willy Wonka character to add intrigue. Kidzania is actually a city for kids where common public service institutions — the hospital, fire station, bank and even others like beauty salon and radio station — are recreated. The kids derive excitement from being able to play at being adults. There are 90 real-life roles to choose from. “Kidzania allows the kids to empower themselves, to make their own decisions, such as what are the jobs that they could pursue based on their interest and at the same time, how and where they spend their money. It’s a city where kids can also find solutions to problems that may crop up. It’s very much a world reflective of the real world,” says the casually-clad Waikuan Wong, vice-president of communications, marketing and sales for Themed Attractions Malaysia, who was tasked with guiding me around the place. Giving a little wave to her daughter who has suddenly emerged from the NST office with her friend armed with a reporter’s notebook and Press tag around her neck, Wan adds: “I want her to learn how things happen. She got the chance to experience a window cleaner’s life, what it’s like to be a courier, how tough it is to get money. It’s a great experience. As a parent, I give my daughter some directions but ultimately I want her to make decisions herself. It’s important for parents to come and enjoy the experience together with the children.”

Janitorial firm worker files labor complaint against SEIU - A worker for a Massachusetts janitorial firm filed a complaint against the Service Employees International Union, alleging a violation of his National Labor Relations Act right. Jairo Hernandez of Lynn, Mass., filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Boston against the Service Employees International Union Local 615. He filed the charges for himself and his coworkers at Complete Cleaning. SEIU Local 615 officials claimed collective bargaining privileges with Complete Cleaning even though workers nearly unanimously oppose the union hierarchy in their workplace, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is providing free legal assistance for the workers in the case. Under federal law, it is illegal for a union to claim such a status without the consent of the majority of the employees.
 The SEIU filed a complaint to force the employer to negotiate a contact with the union. The NRWF said in a written statement that because Massachusetts does not have a Right-to-Work law making union dues payments strictly voluntary, SEIU officials will almost certainly demand a contract that forces Complete Cleaning's workers into union dues payments. "SEIU officials are pulling out all the stops to force their so-called 'representation' - and with it forced dues payments - down workers' throats," said Mark Mix, NRWF president. "Massachusetts desperately needs a Right to Work law to make it less difficult for workers to keep predatory union bosses in check."

Contico acquired by Robert Scott: UK cleaning products distributor Robert Scott has acquired the total share capital of Contico Manufacturing, formerly owned by Proventec. "Both Robert Scott and Contico have longstanding reputations for quality and service standards that we feel can only be enhanced by this acquisition," said Alastair Scott, who confirmed Contico will continue to operate from its premises in Redruth, Cornwall, under the current management team.

Russian Space Hotel makes common people’s dream of living in space come true. Planned to be opened in the year 2016, this hotel would house seven guests in four cabins and allows guests to view the Earth turning below through large windows. It would quite comfortable to live in such a hotel, as the guests can freely choose their favorite cabins, enjoy different kinds of food and even a bath. Due to all those nice things you may get from the Space Hotel, you’ll need to pay 1 million USD for a 5-day trip.

Tardiness was a real problem for a female employee, whose excuses were becoming increasingly incredible. One morning she was more than two hours late, and explained that she'd awakened to discover two male window washers hanging outside her bedroom window. Because she slept in the nude, she was waiting for them to leave so that she could get up and go to work.

Downtown construction projects may need to slow down due to the NATO summit in May as city officials are casting a more critical eye on certain permit requests. Permits to use the public right of way, whether streets, alleys or sidewalks, for projects during May are getting "an extra layer of review," said Peter Scales, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation, which issues such permits. The requests are being flagged "to figure out whether they will potentially interfere with traffic needs," he said, adding that no permit requests have been denied at this point.  The NATO summit will be at McCormick Place May 20-21. "Right now there is not a lot of major new construction in that vicinity, but anybody trying to do anything, from small curb cuts to cuts in the street for water or sewer ... would not be able to do that," said Chris Chwedyk, director of the code group for Burnham Nationwide, a company that helps developers get municipal permit approvals. Some buildings have been asked to take down their scaffolding, he said. City officials said there is no moratorium in effect, either for public way permits or building permits. "There are concerns about scaffolding," he said. "Some of our members have been told the city won't issue permits for that." The group has questions on whether facade maintenance, window-washing and other work over public ways will be permitted, he said.

Man in court after class B drugs were found on him: A window cleaner has appeared in court after class B drugs were found on him. Jordan Lyons was before Kirklees Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The 23-year-old admitted possession of a small quantity of amphetamine. The Huddersfield court was told that on March 30 police attended the scene of a collision between two cars. Lyons, who received slight injuries, was shouting and aggravating the situation. He was arrested for breaching the peace and a small bag of white powder was found on him. The type of drugs were confirmed in tests by police. James Weekes, prosecuting, said of the drugs on Lyons: “He said he spent £50 a week on it and used it while he was working as a window cleaner.” Magistrates were told that Lyons, of Six Lane Ends, Heckmondwike, had 25 convictions for 41 offences. The bench fined him £45 and ordered him to pay £85 costs as well as a £15 victim surcharge.

Council says sorry to neighbours for late-night window cleaning: Southwark Council has apologised to residents of Tooley Street after their sleep was disturbed by window cleaning at the authority's headquarters in the early hours of the morning. At Tuesday's meeting of the council's cabinet a public question was tabled by local resident Jeff Kelland who asked: "Does the council think the cleaning of windows at the front of its offices at 160 Tooley Street at 1.30am on a weekday using a cherrypicker and supervised by security staff is reasonable and neighbourly behaviour as occurred in the early hours of Thursday 29 March?"
 Cllr Richard Livingstone, the council's cabinet member for resources and community safety, replied: "The actions of the contractor on behalf of the council were clearly not reasonable or neighbourly. "Good relationships with our residential neighbours are of paramount importance and the council can only apologise for this very unfortunate incident and the disturbance that it caused. "As part of the buildings periodic external window clean the windows on the front elevation had been previously cleaned by a 'reach and wash' system during working hours but at high level this failed to clean to the required standard primarily due to the trees at the front of the building on Tooley Street.
The window cleaning contractors were instructed to return to meet the required quality standard. "Over the night of Wednesday 28 March and the early hours of Thursday 29 March the contractor was undertaking work to other non council buildings in the vicinity of Tooley Street using a cherry picker and unfortunately, without prior arrangement or agreement from the council, they returned at 00.30hrs on Thursday morning to the front elevation at Tooley Street to clean the windows again. "All window cleaning operations at Tooley Street are normally carried out during the working day and had we received prior notification of their intention to return at this time this would not have been approved in any circumstances. The contractors concerned have been dealt with very stongly and we can assure our neighbours that this will not be repeated."

Governor Dayton acts on bills. Thursday, April 18, Governor Mark Dayton signed one of the the following twenty-two bills into law - Chapter 182, SF 1964, including window cleaning safety measures in the state building code.

Shaun Hewitt still sees the flashback 30 years on. A jet fighter plane tearing through the skies, heading for his ship, barely giving him time to react. "It came straight down the side. I took my binoculars down," he recalled. "I could see the pilot. I looked at him and he looked across at me. As the plane went back up, it just exploded into a thousand pieces." Shaun, from Fenpark, near Fenton, was only 21 years old at the time, and had just seen warfare close up. He was serving in the Royal Navy when his ship, the HMS Intrepid, was posted to the Falkland Islands. It was 1982 and not long after the conflict had broken out between Britain and Argentina. As Britain marks 30 years since the end of the war, Shaun's life seems a world away from his Navy days. The 51-year-old now works as a window cleaner and has a wife and three grown-up children. He said: "The anniversary has been emotional. I saw footage of my old ship on TV when it was under attack. I can still remember where I was standing at the time. It can also be the little things that trigger the memories. If there's a plane flying low, I duck my head and feel shivers up my spine."

Man told woman he would 'prove he was not gay' before raping her: John Docherty has been jailed for six years for the attack at his home in Livingston. A man who told a visitor to his home he would prove he was not gay before raping her has been jailed for six years. John Docherty's victim repeatedly pleaded with him to stop during the attack but was subjected to a series of sex acts. Docherty, 42, had denied raping the woman in the house in Livingston, West Lothian on August 6, 2010 but a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh unanimously convicted him. On Friday, judge Lord Bracadale told Docherty: "She made it clear that she was not consenting to have sexual intercourse with you. You persisted despite her repeated requests for you to stop and resorted to force to overcome her will. "It is clear from the victim impact statement this has had a profound effect on her life." Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said Docherty, a window cleaner, had no record of sexual offending. Docherty was placed on the sex offenders register.

Part of Norwich’s roadside heritage restored thanks to work of dedicated enthusiast: Careful work to lovingly restore three 1868 milestones, which line the way for part of the journey from Norwich to Dereham, is now complete largely thanks to the work of Nigel Ford, a member of The Milestone Society - which, established in 2001. Mr Ford, a retired window cleaner who has taken on the job of locating, repairing and repainting these relics as part of the Norfolk Jubilee Milestone Project which aims to restore 60 of Norfolk’s neglected milestones to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne. Pictured; Nigel Ford of the Milestone Society with the 1868 stone he has restored on the Dereham Road near the Waterworks Road junction.

The Pullman Mall of the Emirates hotel, which adjoins the famous Mall of the Emirates shopping center, opened in September 2010 and rapidly established itself in Dubai's world of luxury and extravagance.The brand will open two other hotels in 2012: the Pullman Deira and the Pullman Jumeirah. Visit a unique address in the middle of the desert. Three weeks to clean the façade - Three or four times a year, the hotel's vast glass façade also becomes the focus of an impressive show.The establishment uses the services of a special company to clean it and the absailing window cleaners spend two or three weeks cleaning the façade using cranes set up on the roof. Sometimes, as sand storms are frequent in Dubai there are hitches and they have to start all over again.

Mike Moran: Dr. LeRoy Walker Is Gone, But Not The Memories Of This Extraordinary Man: Born on June 14, 1918, in Atlanta, he was taken to Harlem at the age of nine by his brother, Joe, after his father, a railroad fireman, died. According to historical writings, he worked in Joe’s barbeque restaurants and window cleaning business to earn money during the Great Depression. Doc, as the first black President of the United States Olympic Committee, had led the 654 members of the American team into the Olympic Stadium as millions watched. Here he was, born in Atlanta in 1918, the grandson of slaves and the youngest of 13 children, returning to his hometown as the leader of the most powerful Olympic Team on the planet, for an evening capped by the lighting of the Olympic flame by American icon Muhammd Ali.

UK based truck mounted lift rental company RKP Access Platforms has added a 30 metre Wumag to its fleet. The unit, a used machine, was purchased from Wumag/Palfinger Platforms’ distributor Skyking and is mounted on a 7.5 tonne Iveco Eurocargo chassis. The company says that the machine will be available for rental either with an operator or on a self-drive rental basis. Owner Paul Hunwick said: “After a bit of TLC on the chassis and the machine its self, a touch of sign writing here and there the machine looks as good as new.” “It is more of a replacement than an additional machine, we sold our 20 metre Multitel ALU 20 and quickly acquired the 30 metre unit to replace it. The Wumag has proven extremely popular with our window cleaning clients for its quick set up and easy smooth operation system.”

Work of police and Neighbourhood Watch is to feature on TV: The first episode of ‘Doorstep Crime 999’ on BBC One will feature the story of how officers and volunteers came together to catch a doorstep conman. The man was tricking pensioners into believing he was a window cleaner collecting money for work he had done but was caught and convicted thanks to information provided by Neighbourhood Watch members. A TV crew spent two days with the volunteers, victims of crime and police officers filming for the programme, which is set to feature interviews with Insp Paul McKinder and Marion Lewis of the Neighbourhood Watch. Insp McKinder said: “This case highlights the excellent collaboration between Neighbourhood Watch and the police in Market Harborough. “This man targeted the elderly in Harborough asking for money for work he hadn’t done and the scam only came to light when the genuine window cleaner turned up a few days later.

Gilroy brothers Andrew Charles, a 21-year-old window washer, and Richard Charles, a 23-year-old roofer, were arrested the morning of March 28 for possession of controlled substance for sale, and possession of a firearm, according to records from The Unified Narcotic Enforcement Task Force in Santa Clara County. State police entered the Charles' home on 4564 Forest St. on a search warrant and found a loaded handgun and an ounce of crystal meth. The two men were booked to Santa Clara County jail, police said.

Brave Jak Humphrey was impaled on a metal fence when he fell while climbing a tree - told the Gazette he feels “just fine” after a skilled repair by surgeons. Jak, 11, who lives with dad Neil in Glentworth Avenue, Netherfields, Middlesbrough, escaped major injury to his tendons, nerves and arteries. But he has a six-inch wound in his upper arm. As reported, Jak was rescued thanks to the actions of a dog walker and his pet - that just happened to be called Spike. Today Jak proudly showed off the barbed fence spike which caused the trouble. After cutting him free from the 6ft fence, near Macbean Street, firefighters gave him the piece as a souvenir. Soccer-mad Jak said: “As I was put on the stretcher after they cut me off the fence, it just fell out of my arm. “I still feel a bit woozy, but it won’t stop me climbing trees.” Relieved dad Neil 36, who has his own window cleaning business, said: “I’m delighted to have him back home in one piece. Doctors at James Cook operated on Monday to clean and stitch the wound. I’ve seen their photos and it was a big hole. “But there’s no major damage to his arm. It should be healed in weeks.

Jail for Chesham man who stole from family: A man who emptied his 89-year-old grandfather's bank account before stealing Elvis Presley memorabilia worth £1,000 from his dad has been sent to prison. James Tillman "milked" Dennis Burns' account of £1,790 after stealing the debit card from his wallet and learning the pin code by breaking into a safe. He stole the money over nine separate transactions before being caught by CCTV footage outside one of the banks he made a withdrawal from. That led to the 26-year-old being thrown out of his family home - and his response was to steal again, this time from his father, whilst on bail for the first set of offences. He pleaded guilty to one charge of theft and two of fraud, and asked for a further seven offences to be taken into consideration, in relation to stealing the bank card and money from his grandfather. Tillman denied another theft charge for stealing the Elvis memorabilia but was convicted of the offence by Aylesbury magistrates after some of the goods was recovered from a lock-up garage he used in Chesham. The offences were all committed while Tillman, of Elmtree Hill, Chesham, was the subject of a suspended sentence order for three further thefts from homes he carried out while working as a window cleaner.

A window cleaner stole £700 from a critically ill pensioner after helping the OAP get to hospital. William McGeouch (pictured), 50, held Terry Longwell’s hand as he was taken by ambulance to Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary. But once the 65-year-old had been admitted, callous McGeouch used a spare key to get into his victim’s flat and swipe the cash. Last night gutted Terry told how he had won the money on the lottery — and even handed McGeouch £20 of his winnings to celebrate. He said: “How low can someone stoop? Finding out my flat had been burgled while I was in hospital almost finished me off. Billy had been really concerned about me and insisted on coming in the ambulance.”
Terry, who was suffering from heart and breathing problems, added: “While I was in hospital he came to see me and said he was going to Blackpool with his missus. He said his mother in law was paying for it. “But he’d gone there with my money.” Retired builder Terry discovered the cash was missing when he was discharged from hospital and a pal told him McGeouch had been in the flat “to clean up”. The thief admitted taking £700 from the flat in Glasgow’s south side and will be sentenced at the city’s sheriff court today. He has already been told to pay the cash back to his victim. Terry added: “I want everyone to know what a scumbag McGeouch is. People like him can’t be trusted and the more people who know what he did, the better.”

Little Sunshine Mistakes that Can Give You Cancer Instead of Vitamin D: Avoid Tanning through a Window as it Will Increase Your Skin Cancer Risk Because the UVA has a longer wavelength, it penetrates materials more easily, such as the earth's atmosphere and window glass which will effectively filter out the majority of UVB radiation, but only minimally filters out UVAs. What's the significance of that, you ask? It's important to remember that vitamin D3 is formed from exposure to UVB rays, whereas UVA radiation actually destroys vitamin D. This helps keep your body in balance; it's one of the protective mechanisms your body has to avoid overdosing on vitamin D when you're outside. However, when you're exposed to sunlight through windows -- in your office, your home or your car -- you get the UVA but virtually none of the beneficial UVB. This can lead to significant health problems, because in addition to destroying vitamin D3, UVA's also increase oxidative stress. UVA is one of the primary culprits behind skin cancer, and it increases photo aging of your skin. It's also what causes you to tan. You can actually get vitamin D without significantly darkening your skin, because the UVB wavelength does not stimulate the melanin pigment to produce a tan. Normally, of course, when you get tanned from outdoor sun exposure you're getting both UVA and UVB at the same time, so it's not a problem. But when you are indoors and expose yourself to sunlight filtered through window glass, you are increasing your risk of a variety of conditions, primarily skin cancer, because the UVA's are effectively destroying your vitamin D3 levels while you're getting none of the benefits from UVB, and this can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer. This is one of the reasons why many that drive long hours in their cars develop skin cancer on the arm next to the car window.

Sophomore Molly Denisevicz won Temple's contest to design an attractive yet effective film to prevent bird-window collisions. The entries are stuck to the windows of Paley Library.
Thousand of birds crash into windows on Temple campus each year: According to a three-year survey conducted by Audubon Pennsylvania, the Temple University campus has one of Philadelphia's highest rates of bird mortality. The culprit: tall buildings with lots of windows. More than 1,000 birds collide with glass at Temple every year, an estimate higher than a comparable Center City area thick with skyscrapers. Head groundskeeper at Temple, Glenn Eck, counts dead birds. "We're picking these things up anyway, why don't we keep track of what's coming here, and where they are dying, and in what numbers," said Eck. "That was in 2004." Eck noticed that the campus' year-round residents of sparrows, skylarks, and pigeons seem to have figured out where the windows are on campus. It's the out-of-town, migratory birds that get confused by glass, and die by the hundreds every spring and fall. Birds prefer dark sheltered places to perch, tending to seek bridges or porch eaves. Many buildings on campus have overhangs or wide ledges with large panes of glass underneath. So when a bird swoops under one of those ledges looking for a sheltered perch, it smacks headfirst into a window. Now that the mortality rate of migratory birds can be tracked, the next step is to do something about it. Temple's Tyler School of Art hosted a design contest for students to come up with window decals that would both repel birds from crashing, and be pleasing to look at. Submissions include stencils of spider webs, patterns of bird silhouettes, and abstract line designs. All have been temporarily installed in the windows of Paley Library, to see if they make a difference.

Daniel Lefkowitz has successfully raised public awareness about the presence of polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) in building caulk that was applied to public buildings, most notably schools. Dr. Lefkowitz is the parent of a child that attended the French Hill Elementary School where he discovered, through testing, PCBs in the window caulking of his son’s school in 2004. As a result, Dr. Lefkowitz created a website that contains studies on PCBs in caulking, contact information for PCB blood analyses, various PCB sampling reports (for caulk and soil), links to EPA resources and other useful links to raise awareness about the issue.

Three Video Games Helped This Guy Recover From a Stroke: People fortunate to survive a stroke face a hard road to recovering their full mental and physical capabilities. Canoeist Sam Chick found himself facing that journey after a stroke rendered the left side of his body immobile 12 years ago. But Chick's been getting a more enjoyable kind of physical therapy thanks to special games created by the The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Unveiled earlier this week, the KineLabs platform consists of three games that help patients regain strength and mobility by controlling software designed for Microsoft's motion-tracking camera. The games may have terrible names—Hong Kong Chef, Good Views Hunting and, erm, Cockroach Invasion—but playing the role of chef, window cleaner or cockroach stomper get patients moving upper and lower limbs. The KineLabs games also pair up with software that tracks progress over time.

Couple devastated after hotel suddenly closes: A couple were left devastated after the hotel they booked for their 40th wedding celebration suddenly closed down two days before the event. Zana and Tom Johnstone were due to attend the Sussex Edwardian Hotel, formerly High Beech Hotel, in Eisenhower Drive on Saturday. But on Thursday night they received a phone call to say the hotel had close down. The couple’s son had gone to do his window cleaning job at the hotel when he noticed it was closed and deserted. That left them just 24 hours to find an alternative venue as 80 guests had been booked in some travelling from Lancashire and Scotland.

Crystal Palace fan's triathlon success: Most football fans get the coach, but one dedicated Eagles follower completed a 425 km triathlon to see a Crystal Palace away match. Tony Werner, 43, is taking a well-deserved rest after he ran, swam and cycled from Selhurst Park to St Andrews, the home of Birmingham City FC, in the space of a week, in memory of his mother. Window cleaner Mr Werner, who moved from Addiscombe to Norfolk six months ago, has managed to raise £3,000 to Diabetes UK, after his mother Pamela, also a huge Palace fan from Caterham, died from the disease five years ago. He said: "Completing this has had two benefits personally - one is you feel great raising money for a cause that will benefit others, but secondly knowing you have set the challenge it really motivates you to achieve - you don’t want to look stupid." Setting out after Palace were thrashed 3-0 by Nottingham Forest on March 31, Mr Werner carried out kilometer cold water swims in Tooting, Rugby, and Market Bosworth, cycled along stony towpaths along canals from London to Birmingham, and carried out four half marathon runs. In total he completed 6.4 km swimming, 83 km running and 337 km on the bicycle. To donate to Mr Werner’s cause go here.

A couple from Yate had their dream wedding day – thanks to readers of the Post. Charlotte Richards, 27 and Pete Oliver, 35, who live in Birch Road, tied the knot in a ceremony at the Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa. The pair were the winners of our Win a Wedding competition, and scooped everything they needed to make their big day special. Charlotte, a personal assistant, and Pete, a window cleaner, met four years ago through a mutual friend and it wasn't long before their son Ryan, now three, came along.
They were already saving up for their wedding, after Pete proposed on Christmas Eve 2010. But with a young child and a mortgage to pay it wasn't easy for the pair and they did not know when they would be able to get married. Then last year Charlotte's sister, Joanne Faulkner, 29, saw what a struggle saving money was for the couple and decided to enter them into the Post's Win a Wedding competition, which included a £12,000 package. "My sister rang me and told me she'd entered us into the competition," said Charlotte. "I was quite surprised but thought it would be great if we won."
The young mum then spent the next three weeks recruiting family members and work colleagues to help her collect tokens and vote for them in the paper. Charlotte said: "We collected so many tokens – one day I waited at Asda at 4am, just so I could buy as many copies as possible. "In May we got a phone call telling us we had come second. "We received a lovely bouquet but were a bit disappointed that we hadn't won." But in November last year the pair got another phone call to tell them the winning couple had pulled out due to a family bereavement. "We were told we had won and couldn't believe it," said Charlotte.

Lawsuit: Faulty window led to Oak Lawn bicyclist’s death: The family of an Oak Lawn man who died last year after cutting his leg on a broken window is suing the building owner, claiming the window should have been replaced. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, says Michael J. Racky, 52, was fatally injured while riding his bicycle at 1:15 p.m. May 24 outside the vacant storefront of the former Miss Fantasia Boutique, 4823 W. 95th St. The store had been empty since a fire at nearby Eva’s Bridal Shop. Navigating between a stop sign and the storefront, Racky put his hand against the storefront glass window and it collapsed, according to the lawsuit. Racky fell through the window and the broken glass cut his right leg at mid-thigh to the bone. Racky, of the 5800 block of 100th Street, was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 1:54 p.m., police said. The lawsuit claims that the window, which should have been replaced, had been shot with a BB and was taped up with clear packing tape. Karnezis Properties, of Morris, owned the property when the accident occurred, according to the lawsuit. The window hadn’t been replaced since the building opened in 1959, according to the lawsuit, which seeks at least $50,000 plus costs. “It was a time bomb waiting to explode,” Racky family attorney Thomas Paris said. “Anybody could have touched that window and the same thing would have happened.”

Burnley dad raising funds for son’s rare condition: A window cleaner is donning his running shoes to raise awareness of his son’s rare condition caused by Type 1 diabetes. Laurence Gorman, 44, has signed up for the Bupa Great Manchester Run with Diabetes UK on May 20. He will be competing in the event for his 13-year-old son Edward, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of eight. However, he also has a diabetes-related condition called necrobiosis on his legs. Type 1 diabetes develops when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. It accounts for around 10 per cent of all people with diabetes, cannot be prevented and is not connected with being overweight. People with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin several times a day to stay alive. Edward’s condition is currently managed with four daily injections. Laurence, of Rosehill Road, Burnley, said: “It was a huge shock for the family when Edward was first diagnosed and it is still a worry every day for his mum and me, especially as Edward is very independent and at 13 wants to go out more on his own. Laurence, who is self-employed and works across East Lancashire, said: “Edward wants to be a PE teacher when he is older and we hope that the insulin pump will allow him to live the life that he wants. To sponsor Laurence visit the website here.

60 years ago: One of the grownups I may have seen was the coal-man carrying his one hundredweight (50 kilogram) sack down the “back-alley,” a narrow alleyway barely a yard wide which separated the high yard-walls of the back-to-back terraces; or perhaps the window cleaner who managed to walk the entire length of the street on the nine inch-wide garden walls of those back yards and, having reached a regular client, was able to place the feet of his ladder at exactly the right spot to enable him to step aboard on about the tenth rung and launch out to land his mount against the house wall at exactly the right place and angle to start his chore without ever having to touch the ground. It is possible that he never set foot on the ground for the whole of his working day.

Apple’s Glass Stores: A Danger to Birds and Old Ladies? Every year thousands of birds smack their faces on the glass walls of Apple Stores, and it's very sad. But have you ever considered the grandmas? An 83-year-old fur magnate walked face-first into an Apple Store door. She's now suing for $1,000,000. On December 13th of last year, Evelyn Paswall, formerly one of Manhattan's top Russian sable fur dealers, approached the Apple store in Manhasset on Long Island (pictured above). But her approach was stopped short by, y'know, the door. She walked face first into it, breaking her nose. So now she's suing Apple for a million bucks. According to her lawyer, a Mr. Derek T. Smith: High-tech? On the one hand, glass has been around since 3,500 B.C. On the other, who hasn't walked into a glass door? You have to feel for Ms. Paswall. Maybe not a million bucks worth of feeling, but still, it sucks to break your nose. Apparently, there are now white markings on the doors at the Manhasset store, though it isn't clear whether they were there on the day of the incident. "There were no markings on the glass or they were inadequate," her lawyer says. "My client is an octogenarian. She sees well, but she did not see any glass."

Fictitious NamesListed in order are the name, owner, and address of businesses with fictitious names recorded by the Florida Division of Corporations from March 18 - 24. Fish Window Cleaning Bradenton, Carter's Cleaners, Inc., 6501 37th Ave. Cir. W., Bradenton. Fictitious Names: Clear Vision Window Cleaning, Kulpeksa, Shannon Micheal, 1669 Oak St., Sarasota.

The $4 million Bridgeville Public Library, which opened in January 2011, is closing on Sundays and Mondays and reducing its weekly operating hours by nearly one third starting Tuesday because of lack of volunteers and donations. Library board member Nino Petrocelli Sr. warned that if financial circumstances don't improve, the library on McMillen Street may have to close. Under the new schedule, the library will be open 35 hours a week, the minimum required to be eligible for funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District and the state. Present operations are 51 hours a week. As a result of a lackluster response to fundraising appeals, the library has had to cut its budget from $400,000 to $200,000. And the lack of volunteers means the library has to pay for services like grass cutting, window washing and snow removal, which cost $8,000 last year, he said.

Savings Found; Education Programs Spared - Just a week after the Farmington Board of Education left the table unwilling to make program and staffing cuts to next year’s proposed budget, the board Monday night found a way not to. Three creative options explored in hopes of avoiding reductions in programs, teaching positions and facilities repairs bore out nearly enough money to cover the $431,356 by which the Town Council reduced the board’s proposed budget. Greider rounded out recommended cuts with $30,000 in curriculum development, $12,000 for a window-washing contract and $28,260 in the substitutes account.

Spokane Window Cleaning: This lens explores the exciting industry of window cleaning. We focus mainly on residential window services. Click Here to Learn More Spokane window cleaning is a varied and challenging experience. For a window cleaning business to survive, excel, and provide the best window cleaning service available we must employ and train competent people who are trained to use the best window cleaning supplies and equipment available. WestCoast Window Cleaning sets a high standard in both the commercial window cleaning and residential window cleaning arenas. Each type of window cleaning requires special skills and attention to successfully serve you and to set us apart as full service window cleaning business. Although hi-rise window cleaning may be the rock star of window cleaning, it's in residential window cleaning that our crew will utilize more and varied equipment to accommodate a much wider variety of windows styles and situations.

Kiwi film into New York festival: A Kiwi short film is set to premiere at a prestigious New York film festival next week. The film, 43,000 Feet, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday - the same day scriptwriter Matthew Harris receives his PhD in English at Massey University's Albany graduation. The film is about a statistician who gets sucked out of a plane. He calculates he has exactly three minutes and 48 seconds before he hits the ground and rehearses what he will say to the media on the off chance he survives. The idea for the film came after Harris heard about the miraculous survival of a New York window washer who fell 47 storeys from an apartment building. "The idea for the framing story came from hearing about the miraculous survival of a New York window washer called Alcides Moreno, who fell from an apartment building, 47 stories into an alleyway," Mr Harris says. "But the falling scenario really acts a vehicle for the protagonist to ramble about how he think there's no such thing as the present or the future - they're empty concepts".

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