Friday 28 September 2012

Glass Shower Doors Can Shatter Without Warning

Classic meandering pattern of heat-related stress crack, accompanied by evidence of edge damage. In this case, the building had both: edge damage and underspecified glass. Reflective blinds and a South exposure combined to create a high frequency of this type of breakage.
Glass Shower Doors Can Shatter Without Warning (Chicago): If your shower door is made of glass, you may endure injuries, a big clean up and thousands of dollars down the drain. CBS 2′s Dave Savini first exposed tempered-glass patio tables suddenly exploding. Now he found the same happening with shower doors. Dorothy Malinski’s shower door suddenly exploded while her mother was bathing. “I heard this big bang, this big boom,” said Malinski.  “I couldn’t enter all the way because there’s glass all over the counter, in the sink, on the floor.” Her mother was cut on her hands and face.

Even though tempered-glass shower doors are supposed to break into small pieces — to prevent injuries from larger, sharper pieces of glass — they can break in bigger shards. That is what happened to Larry Kucharik, who was injured while cleaning up the shattered glass from his shower door. “I just tapped the top of it and a chunk of it came down and hit my ankle,” said Kucharik, whose ankle is still scarred. “It started bleeding, and there was a lot of blood all over the floor.”

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than 60 complaints of shower doors shattering for no reason — just suddenly exploding, causing lacerations and bleeding. People reported needing stitches and even surgery. Mark Meshulam, a glass and window consultant, reviewed the reports. “These are the types of injuries and situations that I would expect to see when something goes wrong with shower doors,” he says. He says a microscopic imperfection during the manufacturing process can grow and migrate, weakening the glass until it suddenly shatters. It can even shatter without it being touched. “I would say treat the doors gingerly,” Meshulam warns. “Do not bang them. Don’t allow children to hang on the towel bars.”

He also says look for chips near brackets, the towel bar and along the edges. Also, make sure the door only moves the way it is supposed to and is not loose on the track or hinges. In Larry Kucharik’s case, the manufacturer replaced his shower door at no cost. This has also been a problem at hotels. Meshulam says one reportedly had 50 doors shatter. He would like to see protective film on shower doors to catch breaking glass. This is a tempered glass problem, so it involves various door manufacturers and the ages of glass. If this happens to you, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the door manufacturer.

Also see here & here

Chicago Window Expert - Mark Meshulam (pictured) is a consultant for glass breakage and expert witness for personal injury due to glass breakage. When tempered glass breaks, the energy retained in the glass due to internal tension/compression releases explosively and produces a breakage pattern sometimes called “cubes’.

Seeing a cubist breakage pattern does not tell you why the glass broke, it only tells you that the glass was tempered. Generally, there are three reasons tempered glass will break: impact, edge damage or inclusions. Inclusions are tiny impurities in the glass. The most well known are nickel sulfide, however there are also silica and gaseous inclusions which look like tiny bubbles.

Normally, when tempered glass breaks, it falls down into a pile of little cubes. Only the most patient window consultants with the most generous client would ever consider piecing the cubes together to determine the cause of breakage. That being said, I have personally spent many hours picking through the rubble looking for an important clue: a pair of adjacent hexagons, known as a butterfly pattern, that borders a nickel sulfide inclusion.

If you look closely, you can see the point of impact on this tempered glass. A laminated interlayer holds the cubes in place.
However, occasionally the pieces of broken tempered glass will stay in the opening, locked to each other like blocks in a masonry arch. And just like in a masonry arch, if you remove the keystone, the arch – or glass in this case – comes tumbling down. This picture above shows broken glass which was a part of a laminated unit. The PVB (polyvinyl butyrate) interlayer held the pieces in place, giving us an opportunity to observe that impact damage is visible, even in tempered glass.

Spontaneous Breakage in Tempered Glass: Glass, and especially tempered glass, sometimes breaks all by itself. This can be quite disconcerting when, as has happened in a public place which will go unnamed here in our great city, large, thick panes of tempered glass basically blew up fairly frequently. The unusual cause in this rare instance: the glazing contractor attempted to grind the edges of the glass after it was tempered, creating a series of time bombs. It is a very bad idea to modify glass after it is tempered!

A more well-known, but also quite rare cause of spontaneous breakage is nickel sulfide inclusions. If you read the previous post, you will already be down with the fact that glass is made from melted powders. A nickel sulfide inclusion is a tiny rock of unmelted material that remains in the glass. Below see an artists graphic representation of a nickel sulfide inclusion.

Artists representation of nickel sulfide inclusion.
You can well imagine that a little rock embedded in a slab of glass which is under high tension/compression forces, could weaken the glass and eventually cause breakage. But the story gets worse. Nickel sulfide grows an additional 4% of its size over time, especially in the presence of heat. If it is located in the strata in the glass between tension and compression, and it grows, kaboom!

Exploding Glass Shower Doors: One of the scariest, yet somewhat common type of tempered glass spontaneous breakage is in glass shower doors. They are exposed to banging against bumpers, heat from the shower, wrenching action of through-mounted towel bars and of course, nickel sulfide inclusions. In hotels, multiply the risk factors by the number of rooms and the lack of care typically taken by a hotel patron. There can be a delay between impact and crack propagation in tempered glass, just like any other glass, and sometimes the time the glass finally explodes seems ironic and and Machiavellian. Quite often the perverted glass will explode while the unsuspecting victim is in the shower.
Let’s count the problems: 1. The victim is naked. 2. There are sharp cubes of glass projectiles flying around. 3. The victim is bare footed. 4. The victim must walk barefooted over a field of freshly shattered glass shards. So here’s a tip for readers who actually do take showers: If your shower door shatters, stand still for a moment and take stock of the situation. Hopefully you are not cut too badly. Without moving your feet too much, look for a towel. Try to grab it and lay it down on the glass so you can walk out. Then get the hell out and never shower again.

Stress Cracks (see head picture): A “stress crack” will usually only happen in annealed or heat strengthened glass. Stress cracks emanate from the edge of the glass and meander about apparently without purpose. But there is a purpose: to relieve stress. However, the term “stress crack” can be misleading. If annealed glass is subjected to thermal fluctuations beyond its capabilities, it will break in a way that will relieve the stresses induced by thermal changes. This type of failure is a design issue. Heat strengthened glass should have been specified for the application. However, there can be a near-identical breakage pattern which emanates from damage in the glass edge that fails as stresses, such as thermal, are applied.
To tell the difference between a true stress crack and a crack due to edge damage, look at the edge of the glass for a chip, which we window linguists call an “oyster”. You might have to look hard because the oyster could be buried in the primary seal on the #2 or #3 surface. Another clue would be the distribution of glass breakage in the building. It would be normal to find stress-like cracks on elevations with greater temperature swings. But does the breakage also coincide with the use of reflective interior blinds, especially in a partially opened position? That would be indicative of a true stress crack, rather than a crack induced by edge damage.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Window Cleaner Owed £92,000 Tax

Window cleaner owed £92,000 tax: A window cleaner failed to declare a property during bankrupcy proceedings, a court heard. David Fitton, aged 61, admitted failing to declare property he owned when the HM Revenue & Customs petitioned for bankruptcy. Judge Peter Davies sentenced him to a 26-week jail term, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 150 hours unpaid work .

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said HMRC petitioned for the bankruptcy of Fitton, of Brookhey Avenue in Great Lever, who was said to owe revenue £92,000. Bolton Crown Court heard how Fitton admitted he was the owner of a home in Brookhey Avenue, a car and bank account and signed a document confirming he understood the meaning of perjury. But he failed to tell HMRC he owned a second home.

Bassano said it was a “deliberate omission” not to declare he owned a home in Calvert Road, Great Lever worth £75,000 with equity expected to be £31,000. He then failed to co-operate with letters and meetings between September and November last year. Mr Bassano said: “In March he admitted he failed to admit his interest in the Calvert Road property. He believed the property at Brookhey Avenue would be taken off him and he wouldn’t have anywhere to live.”

Adam Watkins, defending, said it was an “unsophisticated attempt to conceal or disguise the assets”. He said Fitton, a self-employed window cleaner, had accrued the debts over three years. Judge Davies, sentencing, said: “Some people might think that’s a technical offence , I can say it’s a dishonest offence. It carries the same maximum penalty as a theft and that is seven years. What you have done over a course of years is failed to pay taxed up to £92,000. “For a self-employed trader such as yourself either you are extraordinary successful businessman or a persistent evader or tax.” Fitton will be subject to bankruptcy proceedings at Bolton County Court in October.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Labour Ministry Victimised Window Cleaner

David Lazowski says the Ministry of Labour is flexing its muscles and treating him like a criminal after he initially refused to pay an ex-employee $200 in what the ministry determined was outstanding vacation pay.
Labour ministry puts squeeze on small business wronged by fired worker: Small-business man David Lazowski says the Ontario Labour Ministry continues to make him feel like “a criminal” in a case that involves a former employee who, without permission, took a company truck home on a July 2011 weekend and collided with another car in an LCBO parking lot the next day. The trouble with the ministry started after Pierre Charron, who was fired over the truck incident, filed a claim for $1565.29 in unpaid wages and vacation. The ministry determined that he was only owed $191. Lazowski says his accountant’s records show he doesn’t owe Charron anything. In fact, says Lazowski, the records show Charron actually received more money than he deserved when he was fired, and he received five paid vacation days during his 10 weeks as an employee.

Charron, who could not be reached for comment, tried to cover up his role in the crash by switching licence plates with another truck belonging to Window Butler, Lazowski’s window-washing firm. Lazowski says police determined the switch after they matched the trucks’ vehicle identification numbers to the plates. Police also had video evidence from LCBO cameras. Charron was charged and convicted of failing to remain at the scene of an accident and sentenced to 45 days in jail. What has Lazowski fuming is the ministry’s recent decision to audit the company’s payroll books, under the Employment Standards Act, to determine whether Lazowski’s 10 employees are being compensated according to their contracts.

Though Lazowski begrudgingly paid the $191, plus a $100 administration fee, after the payroll audit began this month, he can’t believe the ministry is flexing it muscles with a small businessman who has done nothing wrong. He says he is proud of his company and the way he treats the employees. He says he gives them eight to 12 weeks of paid vacation time in the winter so they don’t have to rely on employment insurance when they can’t work due to the weather. Lazowski says he suspects the ministry is auditing his payroll as punishment for disputing the vacation pay issue. But labour ministry spokesman Matt Blajer says such audits are automatically triggered if an investigation into a claim determines money is owed. That seems a bit harsh as the ministry determined that Window Butler only owed a small fraction of what Charron claimed.

Charron, dismissed on Aug. 6, 2011, complained to Window Butler last September that the company still owed him the unpaid wages and vacation. The company’s accountant determined it didn’t. So Charron filed a complaint with the labour ministry, claiming Window Butler owed him $1,289.60 in wages and another $275.69 in vacation pay. Lazowski had the paperwork to prove the wages claim was baloney. But documents for the vacation money were not conclusive, leading the ministry to decide last June that Lazowski owed the $191. He says there was never any mention of an audit until he was advised by the ministry in a letter dated Aug. 29.

Lazowski says ministry investigator Gaye Cotter clearly implied at their first meeting on Sept. 11 that the lingering dispute over the money prompted the ministry to launch the probe. He says when he told her it was unfair of the government to be going after him considering what Charron had done, she responded: “‘We don’t care about what’s fair.’” He says she explained the ministry wants closure when decisions are made so that staff can move on to other matters. Lazowski says he responded: “The woman working on my case made it sound like the next person up the line (in the ministry) had big teeth and breathed fire.” To which, says Lazowski, Cotter replied: “‘That’s her job, to make sure there is no escalation.’”

He says when he told her the ministry “made me feel as though I’d rather not be in business, she slammed her metal clipboard on the table, yelling: “‘That’s enough.’” He complained about Cotter’s behaviour to Sandra Lawson, the ministry’s Ottawa director. Lawson confirmed the ministry was looking into the complaint, and on Sept. 14, when the audit resumed, John Hutton, a district manager, accompanied Cotter. Hutton was conciliatory, says Lazowski, but he did not apologize for his colleague’s behaviour on Sept. 11. Cotter did not return my phone call.

Lazowski promised to send the money but then reneged, because, he says, Charron had taken advantage of him by taking the truck without permission and then not owning up. Here was the bad guy, who ended up in jail, says Lazowski, and then turned to the government to see if he could squeeze more out of him. Lazowski says he was warned he would face additional penalties if he didn’t pay up. He could have appealed, but would still have had to give the vacation money to the ministry, which would have been held in trust.

Though Lazowski says Charron “worked well through the first 10 days of his employment” and even received some bonus money, his performance “slipped rapidly from there.” Lazowski says his dealings with the ministry had him peeved from the start. When he was notified last March about Charron’s claims, he says he was given three choices: Pay the entire claim, try to get Charron to agree to a lesser amount, or dispute it. It was the latter option that upset him most. The ministry’s letter said if he was going to dispute the claim, he had to “provide compelling evidence” that Charron was wrong. Charron, meanwhile, only had to say on his claim what he believed he was owed. Says Lazowski: “As an employer, you are assumed to be the criminal unless you can prove otherwise.”

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Sioux Falls Window Washer Falls 5 To His Death

Joshua Keith Obenauer, a 22-year-old Sioux Falls man is dead after falling off the roof of a building on Avera McKennan's campus in central Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls window washer falls to his death: A man was killed after falling from a roof at Avera McKennan hospital this weekend. It happened at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Officer Sam Clemens, Sioux Falls Police, said the 22-year-old victim was a window washer working on top of the Prairie Center on the Avera campus. Clemens said it appeared the man was trying to move some scaffolding equipment on the roof when it fell over the side of the building. Clemens said the man was already attached to the scaffolding and it pulled the victim over the edge. The man fell five floors to his death. Witnesses who worked on the Avera campus tried to help the victim, but the man died later because of his injuries. 

Window cleaner dies after fall from hospital roof: Police have released the name of a 22-year-old window cleaner who died after falling off the roof of a hospital building. Joshua Keith Obenauer was washing windows at Avera McKennan's Prairie Center when the accident happened about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Police say he was moving scaffolding equipment when it fell over the edge of the building with him attached to a harness. The falling equipment pulled him over the edge. A witness saw the man on the second floor and went to get help, but the man died from the injuries. Police say the frame of the equipment was somewhat on top of him when he was found. Authorities say Obenauer was employed by High Rise Enterprises Inc.

On Saturday, 22-year-old Joshua Obenauer died after falling from a building while washing windows on the Avera McKennan campus. Police were called just after 12:30 p.m. by employees of Prairie Center on the hospital campus on East 23rd Street, after they saw a man on the ground. Obenauer was cleaning windows by himself for the company he worked for, High Rise Enterprises. Clemens said Obenauer was tied to a harness that was attached to scaffolding equipment when the equipment fell from the top of the building, pulling him down with it and landing partially on top of him. Clemens said it’s not clear how far off the ground he was when he fell. He was taken to the hospital immediately, Clemens said, and died later in the day.

Sioux Falls – Joshua Obenauer, age 22, passed away Saturday, September 22, 2012 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Funeral Service will begin at 1:30 PM on Thursday, September 27 at Church of the Harvest in Sioux Falls. A visitation will be held from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday at George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls; visitation will resume at Church of the Harvest with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Wednesday evening. Joshua attended elementary school at Cornerstone, Patrick Henry Middle School, and graduated from Washington High School in 2009.

According to biography information from the George Boom Funeral Home website, Obenauer attended Patrick Henry Middle School and graduated from Washington High School in 2009. He is survived by his wife, Amber Obenauer, his parents and six siblings. Clemens was unaware whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been contacted. A message left at the regional office in Bismarck, N.D., wasn’t returned Monday. “This incident is currently under investigation,” said Lindsey Meyers, director of communications at Avera. “Our condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.”

The prairie grass design on the windows of the building.

Monday 24 September 2012

Cleaning The Most Difficult Windows In The Middle East

The UAE’s expanding array of towering and bizarrely shaped buildings requires ever more extraordinary measures to keep them clean. Burj Khalifa, Dubai Height 828 metres, Emaar’s Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.
Window cleaning reaches for new heights in the United Arab Emirates: Dangling on ropes 150 metres in the air in the desert heat, six young men are systematically washing down the 12,500 glass panes that clad the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company's (Adnec) striking Capital Gate centre. Not a job for anyone with a fear of heights, the precipitous descent involves clinging to the underside of the world's steepest man-made tower using specially designed suction cups. Meanwhile, a team at the bottom of the tower has the less terrifying task of hosing down the lower floors from a moving platform.

It takes the team 30 days to wash the entire building (pictured below). And the moment they finish they have to start again. "We have to use a variety of techniques to clean our buildings, from rope access to boom systems, gantry systems, cradles and spraying with high-pressure hoses," says Alain El Tawil, the managing director of Grako, the company in charge of cleaning the tower, which leans at an angle of 18 degrees off vertical. It is also responsible for keeping the Burj Khalifa gleaming as well as a host of other oddly shaped and difficult to clean edifices.

The Capital Gate tower has gondolas built into the design to clean it's exterior.
With some of the world's tallest and most bizarre buildings, the Middle East has become a study in the art of the possible. For window cleaners, it's becoming more and more of a challenge to keep up. "Each company wants to build something different," says Mr El Tawil. "And that means making their buildings bigger and more complicated. Over the last eight years we have seen the company grow by 100 per cent each year in terms of staff numbers and we always have to keep recruiting in order to meet the demand."

Mr El Tawil's firm is not the only one challenged by the growth of bizarre building design. The struggle to maintain such structures is a problem faced throughout the construction process. "As tall buildings grow more sophisticated, systems to maintain them are increasingly addressed in the initial designs. Architects need to determine how workers will handle issues, where materials will be stored and how crews can move around the building without affecting tenants," says Kevin Brass, the public affairs manager at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a think tank based in Chicago. "In buildings, space is always at a premium. Anything that takes up rentable space slices in to the economics of a building. As buildings grow taller, the designers spend an extraordinary amount of time determining where to locate the mechanical apparatus," he says.

 Capital Gate, Adnec headquarters, Abu Dhabi- Height 160 metres Known as Abu Dhabi’s “leaning tower”, this 53,100-square-metre building leans four times as steeply as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Although the building has sets of gondolas built into the design to clean its exterior, Grako’s Alain El Tawil says abseilers are used instead because the unusual building’s lean makes it hard for ordinary machinery to reach the windows. Abseilers can also work in bigger teams, making the cleaning process quicker. To reach the underside, each window cleaner must first descend on a rope then use suction pads to overcome gravity and get to those hard-to-clean surfaces. The bottom of the building is cleaned using a device on wheels with a mechanically raised and lowered platform and high-pressure jets of water.
The trend is big business for Theo van der Linde, the operations manager for CoxGomyl, a company that specialises in installing the gondolas used to clean many tall buildings. As a rule of thumb, the more complicated and bizarrely shaped the building, the more work for specialists such as Mr van der Linde. "We work from the start with the architects who will be doing the overall design of the building and then assist them to ensure that the building maintenance units can reach all areas of the building to do cleaning or maintenance on the facade," he says. "Our specialist design team then design the gondolas according to the geometry of the specific building. The actual cleaning process is conventional using water, detergent and a applicator with the window wiper to remove the access water, the same as what they will do when they clean your car windows at the filling station, except that it is a few hundred meters above ground level. Whoever is going inside the cradle needs to have an aptitude for heights."
Aldar headquarters building, Abu Dhabi - Height 110 metres
 The world’s first and only circular tower, Aldar’s 23-storey, 666,000 square feet head-office building requires some of the most complicated and advanced cleaning and maintenance equipment in the world to scale it. “The building shape is quite interesting here as it is round in the one plane and oval if you look at it from the side,” says Cox Gomyl’s Theo van der Linde. “The BMU [building maintenance unit] was designed to cover the whole building, therefore it can travel all the way around the building from one side to the other side in order to offer access to all the facade. “This BMU has three cradles to carry out the cleaning of the facade. We have two cradles on either [circular] side of the building. Therefore, two teams can work simultaneously.”
Facilities management companies, too, say the job is getting more demanding as the shapes and sizes of buildings become ever more complicated. "We use a number of techniques to carry out facade and roof cleaning, including abseiling or rope access, man-lift equipment, suspended platforms and, finally, cleaning from the ground with a water-fed pole system," says Mark Cooke, the general manager of business operations in the Middle East at the facilities management company UGL. "It depends on the type of buildings and the possible accessibility for facade cleaners to conduct their cleaning. Each building is treated individually, which includes a risk assessment and a safe work method statement."

So how much does all this cost? Mr El Tawil says an average tall building can cost anything between Dh30,000 (US$8,167) and Dh60,000 per cleaning. A large part of that relates to the access requirements and the skill sets, training and the certification required in carrying out the cleaning, says Mr Cooke. Labour costs and the level of safety standards adhered to are also important. Window cleaners and their managers can earn anything between Dh1,500 and Dh25,000 a month. 

Aspire Zone, Doha Sports City, Qatar - Height 300 metres for the tower, making it the country’s tallest The futuristic tower, which makes up the centrepiece of the 250-hectare Aspire Zone, was designed to resemble a torch during the 2006 Asian Games. It also has a special video screen woven into a wire mesh measuring more than 1,000 square metres. The rest of the complex includes a mosque, sports dome and football stadium. The Australian company UGL is charged with facilities management at the site, which requires cleaning from ground level using a telescopic pole and abseiling down the tower to clean the facade by hand. “We need to complete six cleaning cycles per year and each cycle comprises of 60 calendar days with a team of six facade-cleaning specialists,” says Mark Cooke, UGL’s general manager for business operations in the Middle East.
Why We Build: the story of storeys, getting ever taller. The past few years have seen the development of a certain sport among western writers in gently mocking Dubai. Astronomical construction figures are laughed at, outrageous designs ridiculed and architecture intellectuals pretend to be vexed about what Dubai might represent as a model for the cities of the future. Readers are invited to shake their heads at the state of affairs at the Burj Khalifa, a building that boasts an Armani Hotel and the world's highest restaurant but needs sewage trucks parked at its base to take away the waste. Read more..
 From the many skyscrapers of JBR and the flamboyant Palm Jumeirah to the elegance of the Burj Al Arab and the colossal Burj Khalifa, Dubai has a wealth of imposing structures.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai Height 828 metres, Emaar’s Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. The Burj’s complicated shape makes it one of the most challenging buildings a window cleaner is ever likely to face. Designed to incorporate traditional Islamic patterns into a tri-petalled flower resembling a desert rose, the problem for window cleaners is to get around the glass curves in order to clean. The building is cleaned using both abseilers and cleaners standing on elevated gondolas. CoxGomyl has set up 18 gondolas to maintain the building including the highest building maintenance unit in the world working at a height of 715 metres. Three sets of machines – stationed at levels 40, 73 and 109 – are mounted on horizontal tracks, which means they can travel across the facade.

Friday 21 September 2012

Newtons Rings - Window Cleaners Glossary

Every window cleaner gets to see this at some point in their career.
Newton's rings: The phenomenon of Newton's rings, named after Isaac Newton, who first studied them in 1717, is an interference pattern caused by the reflection of light between two surfaces – a spherical surface and an adjacent flat surface. When viewed with monochromatic light, Newton's rings appear as a series of concentric, alternating bright and dark rings centered at the point of contact between the two surfaces. When viewed with white light, it forms a concentric-ring pattern of rainbow colors, because the different wavelengths of light interfere at different thicknesses of the air layer between the surfaces. 

Newton's rings in a thin film of diesel oil on a wet road, seen in white light.
Newton's Rings, a pattern of light and dark circles visible when a convex lens is placed, curved side down, on top of a flat piece of glass. The pattern was first observed by Sir Isaac Newton. The rings are caused by interference of light waves. When a beam of light is directed downward onto the two pieces of glass, two overlapping beams of light are formed—one from light reflected by the lower surface of the curved glass and the other from light reflected by the upper surface of the flat glass. The light reflected from the flat glass travels farther than the light reflected from the curved glass. Depending on the distance between the two surfaces, light waves in the two beams may be in phase, reinforcing each other, or they may be out of phase, canceling each other out. Because the distances between the two reflecting surfaces increases with distance from the point where the lens and flat glass make contact, the areas where the waves are in phase and out of phase occur in concentric bands around the center of the lens. If the beam of light directed at the two pieces of glass is monochromatic (of a single wavelength), the rings are thin circles of a single color. If white light (which consists of light of many different wavelengths) is used, the rings are fewer in number, but highly colored.

Newtons Rings, a Prism Effect Caused by Varying Thickness of Air Between Two Pieces of Glass.
Anti-Newton Ring Glass: AN (Anti-Newton) glass first came into wide spread use in the late 1960’s.  Enlarger manufacturers were desperate to find a solution of Newton rings for their professional clients.  Photo labs were creating wall size prints and needed to sandwich film between glass to ensure overall print sharpness. Unfortunately Newton Rings were causing high paper wastage.  The Newton rings were being enlarged along with the negative and ruining images. Labs couldn’t use fluid mounting due to heavy use of negative retouching, and glassless carriers allowed a small amount of film curl at the edges causing soft focus in those areas of the print. 

There are no records on file crediting any specific person or company with the invention of AN glass for photographic purposes.  But, with some experimentation, photo labs found it effective and a relatively inexpensive method of solving the Newton Ring problem. AN glass can have its problems depending on how it’s used. The most vexing problem with using any glass sandwich and film is cleanliness.  Dirty environments, poor film cleaning and glass cleaning techniques cause dust problems.  In any glass/film sandwich you have to clean 6 surfaces.  But, benefits far out way the problems.  Dust spots can be retouched from prints and files, Newton rings cannot.

Newton Rings... Optical interference colors created by two pieces of glass pressed snugly together.

Thursday 20 September 2012

WCRA For The Masses!

Click to enlarge.
WCRA for the masses! Today Window Cleaning Resource (WCR) launched a new program at the WCRA (Window Cleaning Resource Association) that has been in the works for over the year. It took about that long to get it just right. They did this in an effort to make the WCRA membership available to the most amount of window cleaners. Business building is one of the most often over looked aspects of the window cleaning business. Window cleaners tend to get hung up on all the technical aspects of cleaning glass, but in reality focus should be on building a sustainable profitable business. Once that is covered all the rest just falls into place. Quick link to join - here.

Another deal you can't miss..

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Resilient Window Washer Recovering After Fall

Bruce Sherman of Brite-Way Window Service washes windows of a sidewalk overhanging along the 1300 block of Cornwall Avenue Tuesday, Feb. 15, in Bellingham. Sherman, who has been washing windows for 30 years, said he probably has washed most of the buildings in downtown at some point over the years.
'Resilient' window washer recovering after falling through glass awning in Bellingham: Friends of a Bellingham window washer have set up a fund to help pay for his hospital bills after he crashed through a glass awning last week. Bruce Sherman, who has washed windows for 37 years, hit his head on the sidewalk after a second-story awning gave way under his weight on the afternoon of Sept. 11. He suffered six broken ribs, dislocated fingers and a serious head injury. The fall also triggered some heart problems. Those troubles are mostly under control, but longtime best friend Randy Elmore said Sherman still has a long recovery ahead. For days Sherman seemed confused as he rested in his hospital bed, answering most questions with a monotone "sure."
Since then he's shown some flashes of his old self. He was still in the cardiac unit at St. Joseph hospital as of this week, wearing an eye patch to deal with his double vision. He'll need to undergo speech therapy and have stitches removed from wounds all over his body. "He's a rainbow of colors right now," Elmore said. "But he's strong as an ox and a really resilient human being." Sherman, 64, has lived in the Bellingham area for decades. Before he started his own business, Brite Way Window Service, he earned a teaching degree at Western Washington University and taught sixth grade in the Meridian School District.
He was scrubbing windows on his knees at 2210 Rimland Drive with employee Luke Frontezak - who is not his son, contrary to an earlier report - when he fell through the awning. Because Sherman is the owner of his business, the Department of Labor & Industries likely does not have jurisdiction to investigate the accident, said spokeswoman Elaine Fischer. Sherman is married with two sons in their mid-20s. His kids are taking care of the family business while their father is recovering.
Best case scenario, Sherman is months away from working again. His total hospital bill, according to Elmore's best estimate, will easily exceed $100,000. Insurance should take a chunk out of that, but it's still a burden. Much of the bill comes from the four days Sherman spent in the intensive care unit. People can contribute to "The Bruce Sherman Donation Fund" at any Whatcom Educational Credit Union branch. Prayers for Sherman, whom Elmore described as "a very strong Christian," are encouraged.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Window Cleaning News

The Royals Are Hiring A Window Washer: (Kansas city royals) “Must Not Be Afraid Of Heights” This excellent job posting for which we are already updating our resumés. The Royals are seeking a new window cleaner, and the job consists of all the excitement a window cleaner could hope for. Applies and removes cleaning solutions to glass and similar surfaces throughout the stadium using tools including scrubbers, brushes, chamois, squeegees, scrapers, poles, and sponges, etc. And if that's not enough: Other duties as assigned. Oh shit. Do you have what it takes to be the newest member of the Kansas City Royals organization? Well, the job posting contains a list of questions that you'll have to answer when you apply. (One of these might be made up.)

1. Are you afraid of heights?
2. Do you have experience repelling off building to clean windows?
3. Do you have at least 2 years of window cleaning experience?
4. Are you at least 18 years old?
5. Are you able to work flexible hours including weekends, evenings and holidays?
6. Are you able to walk and stand for long periods of time and maneuver stairs?
7. If we stuck you in right, could you put up a WAR better than -1.9 and a UZR above -17.7?

Apply today.

It was a perfect day on Wednesday and the Chase Building located at 270 North Avenue in downtown New Rochelle decided to do some window washing. These guys looked like they were having some fun in the sun.

Petoskey window cleaning business reaches 30-year milestone: In 1982 Bill Price decided to start washing windows for a living and started Sunshine Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing. Thirty years later, he's still washing windows. During those three decades Price developed his own method of cleaning windows, his own window cleaning solution and a less expensive way to clean windows on high rise buildings. Price, whose business currently is based in Petoskey, started it as a way to earn gas money. "I stopped into three businesses in Denver, Colo., and just like that I made $75," he said. Today, $75 won't buy more than one tankful of fuel for many motorists, but it went considerably farther at gas stations in the 1980s.
From that modest start, Price developed a business that now services more than 100 accounts. Many are commercial, but there are also residential accounts. "People don't know what a clean window until they see one and that's what I do" said Price. He developed his own cleaning approach many years ago and it involves using as little liquid that's necessary to get a clean window. That way, Price said, "you don't have to squeegee off as much and that make for a cleaner, streak free window." When watching Price apply the liquid and then swing the squeegee across the window, it resembles a dance sequence.  
Along the way Price came up with his formula for his liquid cleaner. He's tried to market it to stores but found limited interest. His entire system involves moisture management to reduce how much cleaner is used and, in turn, the amount that gets spread around on the window frame and sill. Through the years Price also became proficient in cleaning windows on high-rise buildings and he got the jobs because he bid a much lower price. Instead of setting up scaffolding, Price chose another option to move up and down on the side of a building. He opted for a bosun's chair, a device sometimes seen on Great Lakes vessels that resembles an oversized child's swing chair. "Just anchor the line on the roof of a flat roofed building and over the side you go and you can walk along the side of a building and wash the buildings. And with my moisture management system I'm not getting the windows below me wet," Price said.
Price said he doesn't work on the high rise buildings anymore, but he's performed jobs on the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, several hospital buildings in Northern Michigan and some high rise condo buildings around the state, including Le Croft and the Dunes in Charlevoix. Bill says, "When I bought my first ad for Sunshine Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing in the telephone book, there were only me and maybe one other company.  Now there is something like 19." Even with the proliferation of window cleaners, Price said his business has not slowed down. In fact he has more residential customers now than he had 20 years ago. Several of the new companies, Price said, were started by helpers he hired over the years who decided to go out on their own. About five years ago, Bill found the sunny warm weather in Florida to his family's liking in the winter. So, he goes to Marco Island, Fla., for several months and takes along his window washing tools. By going to work on the residential windows, he pays the tab to enjoy the south.

A window cleaner who was doing his rounds when two female police officers were shot described how heard 'gun shots, bang bang bang bang' and then a big explosion. A window cleaner who was doing his rounds when two female police officers were shot described how heard 'gun shots, bang bang bang bang' and then a big explosion. Warren Shepherd was on his rounds in Hattersley close to where the officers were shot. "I just heard gun shots, bang, bang, bang - around ten of them, then a pause and a big explosion," he said. "I went around the back of the houses to see what happened and there was a police car that looked empty. "There was people, neighbours stood around there and one of my customers said, 'They've been shot! The police officers have been shot!' "Everybody was in shock and couldn't believe it.
"It must have been a matter of minutes, more police cars came and an ambulance came." Mr Shepherd said he went back to his van but could see the aftermath through a gap between two houses. He added: "I saw one body covered up and going into the back of the ambulance. "I saw another body on a trolley and it looked like they were doing heart compressions on the body, and I had had enough by then. "It was like something on the movies. "It's just so sad for the family of the two police women. "Both lost their lives just doing their jobs and my heart goes out to their families and I know people around here will feel the same."

Business Spotlight: Jonathan Geiman owns and operates A Beautiful View - Services offered: Window cleaning and landscaping. Date established: June 26, 2012. Location: Redding. Website. Number of employees: 1.
Describe your business? A Beautiful View is a custom maintenance service providing primarily window cleaning and landscaping services. I can service you in many areas. For instance, spider web removal, clearing loose debris from roofs and gutters, fence building and other miscellaneous duties both commercial and residential.
What prompted you to start your own business? With a lifetime in small business I learned the importance of quality service. Having a large family some of the difficulties we faced were, No. 1 somebody who could do a job and No. 2, be able to do a quality job. So with that in mind I took something that I love to do and provide it as a service to you while guaranteeing that I will give you a beautiful view.
What is your educational and career background? I graduated with a high school diploma. I spent 15 years working in the food industry full time. I worked 15-plus years working with cattle and farming operations. I spent seven years in window cleaning services.
How much research did you do before starting your business? I have years of research involved directly with hands-on training.
What were the most helpful sources, including websites? My general managers were very good about making sure that I was properly equipped to do a job. Also other acquaintances with 30-plus years' experience have and continue to be an abundant resource of information.
When were you the most discouraged? When I did not have my advertisement products. It seemed like forever before that arrived.
What company or individual do you admire? Dick Devos and Amway Corp.
What will make your business stand out from competitors? Each and every business is similar to individuals, we each leave an impact. I guarantee to leave my customer with a high quality, friendly, professional and reliable service experience that won't soon be forgotten.
Who is your target client/customer base? If you are a resident or business owner, I am here to provide you with quality service.

A V.F.W.’s Fresh Face, Very Fresh: Lance Corporal King joined the Sag Harbor Fire Department two years ago and works a day job at Blue Sky Window Cleaning. He attends Suffolk Community College, where he needs six more credits to graduate. His goal is to teach history at the high school level. He has “always had a love” for the subject, he said. Mr. King is the youngest to have served as the post’s commander, and possibly the youngest in the state. Calling himself the nerdy type at Pierson, where he was primarily interested in computers, he graduated in 2003. Born in Sag Harbor and raised by parents who were both deaf, he felt different from other kids, which posed a challenge but at the same time gave him “a deeper human understanding,” he said. His experience with his parents’ disability also helped him when he served in Iraq, he said, because he was able to communicate with Iraqis through body language.
Lance Corporal King served in the Marine Corps from March 2005 through March 2009, after he decided that small-town living was not leading him in the right direction, a decision that made him “10 times a better person,” he said. A military occupation specialist, he served two combat tours in Iraq, the first taking him to a forward operating base, and the second to Camp Fallujah with an infantry unit. “A few friends died,” he said — three, to be exact. The soft-spoken commander modestly reported that he was awarded a Purple Heart after being shot in the head. He had his helmet on at the time, and three days later was ready “to get back . . . put my life on the line to make sure my friends came home.”
Lance Corporal King did not re-enlist because of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, such as irritability, nightmares, and sensitivity to noises. Even training could cause great stress, he said — for example when he was told to lie on the ground to simulate being killed in action. He said that when he left the Marines, the military helped him make the transition to civilian life with therapy and health benefits. In addition to the Purple Heart, he received the Iraqi Campaign Medal with a star (for two deployments) and Good Conduct Medals in three consecutive years. “I loved it, every second,” he said of his service.

Two town tradesmen are all fired up in their new roles working for the emergency services. Michael Gaunt and Ben Gray (pictured right) are the latest recruits to join East Grinstead Fire Station. The pair completed their training two weeks ago and have already been thrown into action alongside their colleagues at the site in London Road. Ben, a self-employed window cleaner, is enthused by his new role. The 29-year-old said: "It's something I have wanted to do for a while and when someone mentioned there were places coming up, I just went for it. It's something a bit different and I'm looking forward to getting really stuck in." The new recruits have attended several call-outs between them since they graduated at East Preston Fire Station, near Littlehampton, on Friday, August 24.
Retained firefighters are "on call", meaning they are usually employed outside the fire service or are at home when they have to deal with a 999 incident. Retained firefighters fully crew 14 of the 25 fire stations in West Sussex and are vital to the county's emergency service. Michael and Ben both live within a short walking distance of East Grinstead Fire Station. West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service area manager Neil Stocker said: "The retained duty system relies on the support of local employers who recognise the importance of allowing their staff to respond to incidents. Of course, there are benefits to the employer as well – retained firefighters learn new skills, like first aid and LGV driving, which they may be able to use in their full-time jobs as well."

Chris Kaetzel, owner of Shinetime Window Cleaning in Hudson Falls, didn’t plan on being part of the team that creates the method of boat decontamination. But that’s exactly what he may have done Saturday. The decontamination of boats has been at the forefront of the region’s invasive species discussion over the past year, a debate that ramped up this summer after the spiny water flea was discovered in Lake George and the Champlain Canal, which links Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. While various government entities considered the political ramifications of implementing washing programs on water bodies like Lake George, Kaetzel and scientists from Middlebury College in Vermont were solving a problem out of need.
The 48-foot floating laboratory spent more than a day in the flea-infested southern Champlain Canal, before reaching apparently clean waters north of the Fort Edward lock. And that’s when Middlebury’s faculty called Kaetzel. “This is our first time,” Kaetzel said of the boat-washing, adding he’s confident the craft will be invasive-free when he’s finished. But it’s what the Middlebury team and Kaetzel are doing on a whim that could have the most long-standing significance for the region. “There’s really no protocols for this in Vermont or New York,” Manley said. “We’re hopefully finding a solution for everyone.” While chlorine is considered best at killing stowaway invaders, it would have to be used in such high concentrations, it could kill indigenous plants and animals and potentially damage the hull, Manley said.
The scientists and Kaetzal finally settled on a disinfecting soap solution that should make the boat’s hull too slippery for attached species to cling. The boat’s crew cleaned the bilge tanks with bleach and water to clean any invaders potentially sucked into the system, Manley said. All the boat’s ropes were soaked in chlorine and the maps were disinfected. Kaetzel, with his high-pressure washers, said he never planned on going into the boat-washing business. But the heightened awareness of invasive species has him mulling a new business opportunity. “This could really become something,” he said.

The late Stanley Ruhnke once asked Jerry “Wrong Way” Johnson if he thought people would remember Ruhnke after he died. The crowd of people who turned out for the dedication of a memorial for Mr. Ruhnke in downtown Rantoul Saturday afternoon suggests he won’t soon be forgotten. Future generations will remember Mr. Ruhnke every time they view the memorial with his face, flanked by a bike rack to highlight the fact that he rode a bicycle everywhere. Visitors to the Rantoul Historical Society Museum in Grissom Hall will also remember Mr. Ruhnke when they view his bicycle.
On a sparkling September day fit for washing windows and riding a bike, Mr. Ruhnke was remembered for watching out for those he cared for and helping those in need — even if they thought they didn’t need help. Mr. Ruhnke died in February 2011 at age 75.
Friends told stories about the man who wasn’t afraid to do windows and didn’t need a car to get around town. Hopkins said it wasn’t always easy being Stanley. He could be difficult to understand when he spoke, and he walked hunched over. “I know a lot of people made fun of him because of the way that he was and what he did with his bike and window washing,” Hopkins said, “(but) if each of us had a little of Stan’s heart in us, our community would be so much better. “I just want everybody to take away from here if we all work together in this community,” it will be a better place. On display, included Mr. Ruhnke’s bicycle, a bucket hanging from the handle bars representing his window washing business and photos representing his life. People might have made fun of Mr. Ruhnke’s window-washing, but he earned enough to visit Las Vegas several times and travel overseas on sight-seeing trips, Johnson said.

Mrs. Monnie Cox Williams Winchester, 92, died Monday September 3, 2012 in Gainesville. She was a native of Brewton, and a resident of Gainesville since 1946. She had been very active in the Gainesville Womans Club, Gainesville Homemakers Club, and the Alachua County Safety Council. She was a member of Parkview Baptist Church Sunday School and widows groups. She and her husband, Frank Winchester owned a window cleaning business.

Tributes paid to fireman and window cleaner Stuart Townsend: Tributes have been paid to a hero firefighter and devoted family man. Stuart Townsend, 45, suddenly collapsed and died whilst on holiday with family and friends on the island of Djerba, Tunisia last Monday. Mr Townsend was a retained firefighter at Braintree Fire Station for around 18 years and won the Dedication, Commitment and Service award in 2007 after saving a young woman from a house fire. He also ran Fairview Window Services and covered rounds across Great Yeldham, the Hedinghams and Halstead.

Dead Limerick man’s apartment broken into as he lies in funeral home: Gardai are investigating a suspected break-in at the city centre apartment of a deceased Limerick man as he lay in repose across the street at Cross’ funeral home on Saturday night. The burglary forced a late change in funeral plans for Hubert Fitzpatrick, late of Kileely and Lower Gerald Griffin Street. It had been intended that he would repose in his flat on Sunday but the removal instead had to take place from Cross’s. Funeral mass at St John’s Cathedral was also delayed over the break-in. Mourners who arrived at Mr Fitzpatrick’s on Sunday were met with a notice directing them to the nearby funeral home. This was after his residence was ransacked the night before and one line of inquiry in the garda investigation is whether the raider or raiders targeted the property knowing Mr Fitzpatrick - who had been confined to a wheelchair of late - had just passed away.
Kileely-based Cllr Kevin Kiely said Hubert Fitzpatrick, a single man aged in his 50s, was “a well-known and popular figure in Limerick and came from a very respectable family”. Mr Fitzpatrick was a familiar face in the city centre, having worked for over 35 years as a window cleaner. He had to give up work, however, after he sustained injuries when falling from a ladder five years ago. Mr Fitzpatrick told the Limerick Leader at the time that his right leg had never healed fully and he had to have part of the limb amputated after developing gangrene. He would get around town on an electric bike but was more recently wheelchair-bound. He died suddenly late last week. Cllr Kiely described last Saturday night’s break-in as “an awful thing for his friends and loved ones to have to deal with when they are already coping with his tragic loss”. Sean O’Neill, Prospect, said he knew the deceased well and he had been “a very popular man around Limerick”. Mourners had only learned of the “cold-hearted” break-in on arriving to pay their respects on Sunday.

Frank Daniel Austin was a great swimmer, a happily married man, and someone who had a successful window-washing business, says his father. The 34-year-old man went swimming at Salt Creek Beach Labor Day weekend and was reported missing by his mother on Sunday around 4 p.m. He went swimming with an underwater camera, authorities reported. Lifeguards searched for him for several days, but there was no sign of him, and the search and rescue operation was eventually called off. On Saturday evening, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department found a body floating off the coast of Dana Point’s Monarch Beach and confirmed it to be  Austin. He said Frank returned to California about nine years ago when his son relocated with his Japanese bride, whom he met in Hawaii. “We would talk about once a week, and he said and his wife were trying to have children,” he said. Austin also added that his son had a booming window-washing business that he started in Rowland Heights. “He had his driver’s license taken away years ago because he used to get seizures due to being thrown through a windshield when he was young. He was with his mother, and not wearing a seatbelt, and ever since that accident, he has had seizures, and couldn’t drive a car." He said he began a window-washing business on his bike and built it up to what it is today, a thriving business. "Really he started this business on a three-wheel bike," he said. “His mother became his chauffer and had to take him from job to job." Austin says he will miss his son and that they were “the best of friends.”

If I had my time again, I would probably be a window cleaner. Or a milkman. Out in the open air all day, not a care in the world, plenty of water - or milk - to splash about and the chance to say the words “Chamois leather” to anyone who would listen. Old ladies especially love the word Chamois, it makes them feel exotic in the same way they felt the first time they ate a kebab. I have heard tell in the past that some old ladies even faint at the first squeak of soapy cloth on glass. This is probably why the art of the chamois is dying out, replaced these days by a squirty pole hooked up to a pump. I suppose the excuse is health and safety - no more clambering up tall ladders. In reality, I reckon it’s more to do with wives who have banned their window cleaning husbands from peering at naked women through curtainless first floor windows.
Window cleaners are like priests though - what happens on the job, stays on the job and remains a secret between the parties involved. When I was a youngster, it always made me smile when the window cleaner knocked on our door. It meant he either wanted payment for services rendered or he wanted to “borrow” a bucket of warm water - although in my life I can never recall even once when a window cleaner returned the following day with some water to replace the borrowed liquid. Maybe that’s another reason window cleaning has changed. The installation of water meters in many houses make people reluctant to “lend” water as it costs them to do so, which means that not only do they pay to have their windows cleaned but they also supply the means to do it - might as well do it themselves.
But old style window cleaners provided a valuable service which doesn’t really exist any more. They kept lonely pensioners happy by shouting “Chamois” while admiring their wrinkly nakedness through first floor windows and they called the police if they spotted anyone who had collapsed on the floor with a broken hip. Strangely, folk lore surrounding window cleaners seems to deem them less attractive than milkmen. I have often heard people say that someone’s child has ginger hair - just like the milkman. But no one seems to say that about window cleaners, or perhaps there are not many red heads among our double glazing cleansing operatives. 

Stafford OAPs in fear after flats targeted by burglars: Frightened pensioners living in fear of more burglaries at a Stafford sheltered housing complex have urged bosses to install a bigger security fence - but are worried they may have to stump up the cash themselves. Sylvia Bates and Stan McGuinness, who live at George Hill Court in Fancy Walk, were both victims of break-ins within weeks of each other while they slept in their beds. The burglaries were reported to police, who said the waist-high fence around the complex, should be replaced with a taller one to deter further trouble. “There is an alleyway to the side of my flat and Stan’s flat, which is above mine, so we are quite vulnerable. The burglars used ladders stolen from a window cleaner’s van to get into Stan’s flat.

Alert for conman posing as Sheffield window cleaner: A man posing as a window cleaner has been tricking his way into homes in Sheffield to burgle them, police revealed today. The man, who is being hunted by police, has struck in the Longley and Shirecliffe areas of Sheffield. Police have not yet revealed how many homes have been targeted, or what has been stolen, but residents are being urged to step up their security. Extra police patrols have been ordered in the suburbs where offences have been reported, in a bid to prevent further break-ins. South Yorkshire Police today issued a reminder to people to always check the identity of strangers calling at their homes. And instead of relying simply on identity cards callers might produce, the force wants people to call the firms and businesses for whom the callers claim to be working, to check that they really are genuine representatives. Some organisations operate a password system to help residents identify genuine callers.

SINGAPORE: A total of 15,660 foreign domestic workers have attended the compulsory Settling-In Programme between May and August this year. The Manpower Ministry made the programme compulsory for all first-time maids arriving in Singapore from May 1. One of the five modules in the one-day Settling-In Programme teaches foreign domestic workers how to clean the exterior of windows and hang laundry out of the window safely. Nine foreign domestic workers fell to their deaths in the first half of this year. Most occurred while they were cleaning windows or hanging laundry. Five of the nine fatalities were related to maids cleaning windows in an unsafe manner. Two arose from hanging laundry.
In June, the ministry ruled that employers will not allow their foreign domestic workers to clean the exterior of windows unless two conditions are met. First, the employer or an adult representative of the employer needs to be physically present to supervise the worker. Window grilles also have to be installed and are locked at all times during the cleaning process. But employers will also need to do their part. The ministry says it is also looking into enhancing education for employers.

The Comox Valley's best Readers' Forum: Many sleepless nights to the neighbor that runs a window cleaning business nearby. The workers all show up at between 5: 30 and 6 am to start the day...which is fine, unless they start slamming ladders onto the truck, talk loudly and smoke, leaving all of their cigarette butts all over the road. Please have some common courtesy and ask your employees to be a bit quieter so early in the morning and if they need to smoke outside the house, please get rid of the butts somewhere else. I'm sure all of the other neighbors feel the same way. Sincerely, tired and annoyed.

Man charged over break-ins: A man has been charged with burglary as part of a probe into a series of break-ins where a bogus official broke into homes in Southey, Shirecliffe and Longley. The 35-year-old was arrested over a burglary on Sunday, September 9. Police are investigating a series of incidents where residents have been tricked into allowing a bogus window cleaner into their homes. Inspector Simon Leake, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Detectives from Sheffield Priority Crime Team charged a 35 year old Sheffield man with burglary.

Method statement: Last week, an acquaintance who runs his own business was sent an e-mail from his landlord concerning window cleaning. To comply with health and safety rules the landlord was demanding a “method statement” detailing the technique used to clean the inside of the windows as well as a numerical measure of the risks involved. So my friend stopped running his business in order to report that the job was done using a bucket of water, some detergent, a sponge and a squeegee. This is how it now goes. Every single possible risk facing every single business – not just concerning health and safety but in everything else too – has to be documented, checked, subjected to numerical stress tests, and then reassessed with mitigating factors considered.

Bourne schools clean up asbestos: "The interior of the building looks great," schools Superintendent Steven Lamarche said during a facilities meeting held at the school. After a week of cleaning and removal of tiles and other building materials that contained asbestos, air-quality tests by a school contractor found no trace of the harmful mineral in the air and Peebles opened on schedule, Lamarche said. Some windows with asbestos in the glazing were broken in the cleaning process, and teachers have been asked not to open the windows until they're replaced, he said.

Contaminated windows: Federal environmental officials and the University of Massachusetts have entered into a consent agreement for which the university will remove windows contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl at the John W. Lederle Graduate Research Center over 15 years. According to a prepared statement from the Environmental Protection Agency, UMass discovered that the window glazing at the research center was contaminated with high levels of contaminants after finishing a window-caulking project in 2009. UMass has agreed to replace and dispose of all 900 PCB-contaminated windows over the next 15 years at a cost of about $3 million.
The university will complete window cleaning, encapsulation, verification and baseline sampling within 24 months, according to the release and to start removing windows in Tower A on floors 3, 7 and 8 by Dec. 31, according to a UMass statement. The cost of these interim measures is about $560,000. The settlement agreement also includes a $75,000 civil penalty that will be waived if both the long-term remediation plan and interim encapsulation plan are completed, according to the release. The window-glazing compound was commonly used in construction from the 1950s through the mid-1970s. The Lederle complex at UMass Amherst was constructed in the early 1970s. UMass spokesman Edward F. Blaguszewski said this is the only building on campus that he knows of that has the contaminated windows.

Lost Cramlington parrot found after Facebook appeal: An escaped parrot has been reunited with his owner after flying off for a trip to the coast. Colourful Indian ringneck Denzel – named after Hollywood actor Denzel Washington – broke out of his cage, sparking a frantic internet appeal for his return. Owners Paul Kerry and fiancee Sarah Law had only had the much-loved pet for a few months when he made his bid for freedom. The crafty parrot managed to prise open his cage door with his beak while enjoying fresh air outside the family home at Allensgreen in Cramlington, Northumberland, last Saturday. As the week went on, Paul, dad to four-year-old Callum and 14-week-old Lily, feared that Denzel must have perished at the claws of a bird of prey.
But, after three days of anxious searching and posting pleas on Facebook, cheeky Denzel amazed everyone by turning up perched on a motorbike nine miles away in Whitley Bay. There, an eagle-eyed resident spotted Denzel’s distinctive bright green feathers and red beak and recognised him from Paul’s appeal. “I was worried sick,” said Paul, 32, a window cleaner. “I put it on Facebook for everyone to keep their eyes open because Denzel was on the loose. I couldn’t believe he was there. I went straight over to set a trap to get him back in his cage. “When I got him, I said ‘Denzel, you bad lad’ and he looked at me as if he was thinking ‘oh aye, I recognise you’. “It’s a miracle he’s alive. It’s unbelievable. We think he’s got as far as the sea and thought he didn’t fancy a trip to Spain so he just landed.”
Paul’s no stranger to making headlines himself as, last year, he snared a suspected sex pest opposite a nursery while out walking his dogs. The bird-lover spotted a man acting suspiciously in the bushes near Little Angels nursery in Cramlington and was so concerned about what he saw that he phoned the police, who raced to the scene and arrested the man on suspicion on outraging public decency. The month before his crime- fighting escapades, Paul became the lucky Toon fan that scored for Derby day goal hero Ryan Taylor’s shirt when he threw it into the crowd following a 1-0 win against arch rivals Sunderland.

There's more time with family: Working "crazy hours" as an operations manager at a startup company, Ryan Thompson spent little time with his family and little time relaxing. "I had no social life and I was frustrated with that. I felt like I was chasing money to be happy," said the 31-year-old from Somis, California. When he was laid off from the startup, Thompson saw it as an opportunity to change careers. He now teaches entrepreneurship at Thousand Oaks High School and appreciates each day. "I never feel like I am punching in and punching out." But before he was molding young minds, he had a reality check -- his future, shrunken paycheck. In the beginning, it took awhile to "be OK with not making a lot of money," he said.
While he was studying to become a teacher, he started a small window-cleaning and pressure-washing business to get by. It was only meant to be temporary, but it's now a second source of income. "I do that year-round still to this day, so that supplements the low pay that teachers get," he said. He also took night classes to push himself higher on the pay scale -- teachers are paid partially based on their work experience and education. Last year he was making just shy of $45,000 and after eight graduate classes, he will be making $53,000, he said.

Resident takes on project to revamp cemetery plagued by neglect: Standing at the face of his father's tombstone, Mr. Hunsinger watched as an elderly woman climbed the hill at Shady Lane Cemetery, navigating around scattered pizza boxes and decaying garbage, and pushing aside 4-foot-high grass on her way to visit a lost loved one. "At that point, I knew something had to be done," Mr. Hunsinger, of Scott Twp., said. "I just couldn't bear to watch these people suffer anymore - it's just not right." Since that day in June, the 31-year-old has spearheaded a family effort to revitalize the cemetery in South Abington Twp. covered in decades of neglect.
Along with his two brothers, Paul and Bob; his three children, Hailey, Matthew and Frankie; his wife, Stephanie; and his nephew, P.J.; Mr. Hunsinger has slowly transformed the cemetery - once plagued by fallen trees, collapsed headstones and uncut grass - back into pristine condition. He spends roughly 30 hours a week at the cemetery and bought a tractor and chain saw to help keep the overgrowth under control. But Mr. Hunsinger worries that it will all be for naught if he doesn't maintain the current upkeep. "It's an ongoing process, so we have to keep working hard," said Mr. Hunsinger, who heads to the cemetery each day after working at Scranton Window Cleaning. "The people who come deserve better. That's what will continue to push us." Either way, township manager David O'Neill said he is grateful for the Mr. Hunsinger's effort. Pictured; Paul Hunsinger of Scranton uses a string trimmer to cut away overgrown grass and weeds.

WACKY GOLF FUNDRAISER: Temple Adat Shalom turned its 5,400-square-foot social hall and courtyard into a 36-hole mini golf course last Sunday to raise money for Escondido-based Interfaith Community Services, a nondenominational nonprofit that provides food, emergency shelter for the homeless and jobs along with drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Billed as a one-of-a-kind event in San Diego, the fundraiser is the result of thousands of volunteer hours over the last year to plan an entertaining course, where sponsors build their own holes to reflect a theme; for example a tire shop is creating a loop-de-loop from a recycled tire, a window cleaner is designing a hole using ladders, buckets and squeegees, and a plumbing company is building a hole around a toilet and sink.

Vice President Joe Biden came from humble roots. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and his family resided with his maternal grandparents in an apartment in Delaware (with his parents and three younger siblings) before his parents were able to purchase a home in Wilmington. While attending the Archmere Academy, Biden worked for the school as a window washer and weed-puller in the garden, a job he soon learned did not suit him as he was meant for the public eye and to represent the people.

Some recognizable personalities remember their worst jobs - David Barbe: “I worked one winter as a window washer,” said Barbe, who also is an owner/engineer at Chase Park Transduction recording studio. “I hung off the side of St. Mary’s and The Georgian on what amounted to a plank of wood suspended by climbing ropes with a bucket of ammonia, lemon fresh Joy, water and a squeegee. In retrospect, it’s a good thing I was so close to a hospital considering the potential consequences. Nonetheless, the actual window washing was pretty fun in an exciting/borderline dangerous sort of way, but it turned out that I was working for someone who could best be described as a mid-grade con-man. He was getting paid, sometimes in money, but other times in perks for himself. Free meals from restaurants or movie tickets from the Palace Triple in exchange for clean windows, that kind of thing. Unfortunately, he held off on paying the window washers with a litany of excuses, and then finally wrote us bad checks the day before skipping town altogether. Ultimately, we did get paid, but it took some effort.”

Taxing questions for Osborne over new loophole for the rich: The Government will lose out on an estimated £1billion in tax revenues, that’s according to the Treasury’s own figures. Try this for a money-raising venture. You are a multi-million pound corporation in Manchester and you decide to open a branch in Spain. You then open another branch in the tax haven of Luxembourg. At the end of the year you take the profits from all three and place them in a Luxembourg bank account. Now, here’s the good bit. Thanks to George Osborne (pictured), you only have to pay Luxembourg tax rates on all your profits, whether they were made in Manchester or Alicante. Of course, these rules would never apply to small enterprises such as hairdressers or window cleaners. But from 2013 they WILL apply to huge multi-national firms based in the UK and, as a result, they are going to be able to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax in this country.

Team who give up their time to make sure accidents don’t become tragedies: Zoe was one of hundreds of people who each year find themselves coming face to face with the volunteers of the Clapham-based CRO. Reliant on donations, as the group nears its 2,500th rescue, it is hoping to use the landmark to raise awareness of the work it does. While the Dales can experience four seasons in a single day, most who get caught in a sudden change of weather manage to escape with just wet feet. Zoe, however, was one of the unlucky ones. On the descent, she slipped on a patch of ice and in what seemed like a split second she fell 300ft. “When the phone rings you never quite know what to expect,” says Malcolm Linford, a CRO volunteer of more than 30 years. “It was a trip with the Scouts that really awakened my love of the outdoors and I see the work I do with CRO as my payback.” Malcolm is just one of 80 volunteers who come from all walks of life. However, whether they are teachers, fire-fighters, engineers or window cleaners they all come together with a singular goal of helping those who are in need.

Outsourcing tasks can help an entrepreneur: Business ownership can be much different after a few months or years in business, especially since most small businesses start small and grow organically. Here are a few tips to get you started; Know what you are good at and attempt to outsource the rest. Cleaning, emptying the trash, landscaping, and window washing, etc. could be on this list not just business support services. If you are doing the things in your business you love, you are more likely to enjoy working the long days and be happier too.

A hero from York saved two elderly women when their car careered off the A64 and landed on its roof in a stream. Warren Lill, 36, was driving on the A64 towards York, with his pregnant girlfriend, when a car driven by an 81-year-old woman veered across the road, narrowly missing him before overturning and ending up in the stream near Stockton-on-the-Forest. Mr Lill, of Dringhouses , said the two women were minutes from drowning when he got to them after the accident, just before noon on Monday. He said: “I was driving in the opposite lane and the car veered into my lane coming straight towards me. I missed it by about two feet. I saw it in my mirror go off the road and into the stream.”
Mr Lill stopped his car and ran to the upturned Renault Clio car, which he said had landed in about four feet of water. He said: “The driver was in imminent danger of drowning – she was trying to keep her head out of the water.  “I was the first one there but then two other guys turned up. “I tried to kick in the window, but I had trainers on and my foot just kept bouncing off. One of the men had a tyre wrench and he put the window through with it.” Between them the three men managed to free the women from their seat belts and Mr Lill carried them to safety on the bank of the stream before the emergency services arrived. Mr Lill, who runs Bucket Heads Window Cleaning Services in York, said: “Bless them, they had to have been well into their eighties. “I put them down and kept one of them with their head still in case they had back injuries. “They just kept saying ‘thank you’ and asking what would have happened if I had not been there.”

Adventures in cheese (COEUR d'ALENE) - A restaurant that takes one of America's best-loved comfort foods and ramps it up in a gourmet way is going gangbusters since opening its doors three months ago in Coeur d'Alene. Mid-afternoon Wednesday, after the daily lunch rush had died down, customers at Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese - in the Fairway strip mall near the intersection of Kathleen Avenue and Ramsey Road - still filtered in, placing orders for creative concoctions of large slices of grilled Wheat Montana bread, melted cheeses and other adventurous ingredients. "It's an ever-evolving menu," said Joe McCarthy, owner and chef. There are days when the line of customers waiting to place their orders wraps around the side of the storefront table area, he said.
McCarthy's business partner and longtime friend Matt Yetter's current favorite sandwich is their newest menu item, the Potsticker Meltz, which features provolone and jack cheeses, pork, peppers, scallions, ginger, sesame and fried wontons. It's served with a side of potsticker dipping sauce. The Meltz menu offers "Extreme," "Uncommon," and "Simple" sandwich options, all prepared on the diner's choice of sourdough, wheat or a gluten-free bread option. Extreme items include "Gobbler," a blend of white American and jack cheeses, smoked turkey, sausage stuffing, fried sweet potatoes and chunky cranberry aioli. Yetter, who was born in Coeur d'Alene, is retired from the U.S. Army and owns a Spokane window cleaning business. He is married with five children and four grandchildren. He said he leads a ministry at Real Life Ministries.

Man faces court over hamburger assault: A Canberra man has been refused bail for allegedly assaulting a stranger who refused to give him money for a hamburger. Irwin Watson from Lyneham in Canberra's north is accused of assaulting a women on Thursday outside the Dickson shops. The ACT Magistrates Court heard Watson, who works as a window washer along Northbourne Avenue, was already on bail for another assault. His lawyer asked the court to grant bail on the condition that he not go anywhere near the Dickson shops. But Magistrate Peter Dingwall said he was concerned that without any money Watson would just go asking for cash at other shopping centres. Magistrate Dingwall refused his bail and ordered a mental health assessment, labelling his recent behaviour as 'somewhat bizarre'. Watson is expected to be sentenced in September.

Local author launches second book series: Greg Trine has just published the first book in his new series of children's stories called The Adventures of Jo Schmo. The book is called "Dinos are Forever." Trine is the author of the Melvin Beederman Superhero children's series. Trine, who has a window-washing business in Ventura as well as a writing desk, says that he didn't really start reading and writing until he was well into his 30s. "But once I started, I really started," he said. "Basically, reading and writing began on the same day for me. I took classes, joined critique groups, attended conferences, eavesdropped on kid conversations to learn their lingo." Still, Trine said it took him 12 years to sell his first book, which became the Melvin Beederman series. "During my 12 years of book rejection, I sold the occasional magazine story, which kept me from giving up completely," he said.

North Bergen Public Works Chief Used Employees For Home Chores: The North Bergen Public Works Superintendent pleads guilty to directly municipal employees to perform chores at his home while they were being paid by the township. Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says James Wiley, 67, of North Bergen, routinely used municipal employees for household chores and personal projects at his home while they were on the clock being paid by the municipality. He frequently directed the employees to work at his home on Saturdays, when they received time-and-a-half overtime pay for their hours, and the tasks ranged from cleaning his house and swimming pool to helping build an addition.
Wiley also admitted that on three occasions, he had groups of public works employees assigned to perform work for a political campaign while on duty or while being paid overtime by the township, and signed and submitted fraudulent paperwork that indicated they were doing legitimate work for the Department of Public Works. Frequently the DPW workers performed routine chores for Wiley, including housecleaning, window washing, pool maintenance, cleaning his gas grill, clearing away leaves, removing snow, and running to the store for household supplies. At other times, however, the workers were given special projects such as putting up Christmas decorations, helping to build and paint an addition to his house, and installing pavers and a hot tub.

Girl was helping mother clean car when Labrador clamped jaw on her face: Her furious dad Gary, a window cleaner, said: 'I have never seen anything like it. 'There was blood everywhere. I was stunned but also furious - I could have killed that dog. 'The attack was absolutely atrocious she is my little girl and she was savagely attacked by this dog. 'And it felt like the courts were just rubbing salt into our wounds when the owner of the creature was just ordered to pay £250. 'Is my daughters well-being worth just 250? It is an absolute joke. Lucy has just started nursery and all the kids are asking what has happened to her face. 'I hope the scar will fade away but when I look at her my heart drops.

Bad news gets worse: Baseball's Worcester (Mass.) Tornadoes not only occupy last place in the five-team Can-Am League, but they also had a recent game delayed when their cleaning company showed up right before the first pitch claiming the team owed it more than $4,000. The Enterprise Cleaning Co. of Worcester had a court order entitling it to seize the game's receipts, as well as the team's uniforms, bats, gloves and other equipment. After league officials promised to pay the bill, the game started an hour late. The Tornadoes lost to Newark, 4-3.

Occupy Wall Street is back. On the movement's first anniversary, down where it all began in lower Manhattan, a few older protestors had some advice for would-be entrepreneurs.Bob Nash, 60, a former marine, small business owner, and self-proclaimed communist told Upstart, "I would not work for a corporation.” He said retirement isn't like it used to be when retirees might get a gold Elgin watch and dinner at the Waldorf Astoria once a year, “back when people took care of their employees.” He said he believes founders have the responsibility to share the benefits of their success with their employees. “When I look at myself in the mirror, if I’m failing other people, I’m failing myself," he said. Nash recommended getting into a “service” business like window-washing, though contrary to communism's traditional prioritization on the collective, he placed a priority on being self-employed.

Police Report: 10 T-shirts were taken from Uniform Place, 811 N. 68th St., at 4:52 p.m. Aug. 29. The window washer and store manager watched as three people entered the store, took the items and drove off. The thieves went into different parts of the store to avoid detection. They nearly struck a county bus with their vehicle on the way out.

Q: I have a glass table, six chairs, 14 pots of plants and two large boxes containing evergreens on my 200-square-foot terrace. Each spring management or the window washers move all of those items off the terrace so that the washers can land the swing stage necessary for them to wash the windows in units above. Since the terrace is for my exclusive use and each year something on the terrace gets broken, am I obligated to allow this procedure?
A: The condominium corporation or its representative has the right to enter your exclusive-use common-element balcony at a reasonable time and on reasonable notice for the purpose of performing the duties of the corporation. If those duties include the cleaning or maintenance of the exterior surfaces of the windows in the units above, the corporation is entitled to move the various items if reasonably necessary to carry out the cleaning. The corporation or the cleaner, depending upon who moves the items, is responsible for negligence resulting in damage.

DRUMMONDVILLE, Que.--Trees were uprooted and buildings damaged on Saturday night as a F0 tornado touched down in Drummondville, a town 100-kilometres east of Montreal. Ten people were working on the first floor of the community centre on Brock St. when the roof was ripped off by howling winds of up to 120-kilometres-per-hour. “The winds were much stronger four stories high at roof level than they were on the ground. There’s a lot of suction to really lift up that roof,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Rene Heroux as he surveyed the damage. With winds of up to 137-kilometres-per-hour, F0 tornados are defined as the weakest funnels possible. Despite that, neighbours who saw the tornado were left shaken. While little damage was recorded from the heavy gusts that hit Montreal, a lane of the eastbound Ville-Marie highway was closed at the St-Laurent Blvd. exit on Saturday night. A window-washing platform at the nearby French superhospital was torn from its moorings and landed on the highway’s signage.

Woman in her 20s crushed to death by falling window - Poignant floral tributes including one with a note saying 'sorry we couldn't save you' have been left where a young woman was killed  when a giant window frame fell on top of her as she passed by. The tragic redhead, believed to be in her 20s, was fatally injured when a gust of wind dislodged the concrete frame and hit her as she ate a banana in front of shocked shoppers yesterday. It came from a multi-million-pound six-storey office block in Hanover Square, off Oxford Street in central London, and today flowers and messages have been placed metres from where the giant frame still lies. The construction company running the site, Westgreen Construction Ltd, said this morning they would do 'whatever is necessary' and called it a 'terrible accident.' A gust of wind is believed to have caused the tragedy.

School's new window falls, strikes art teacher (Hinsdale) - The art teacher at Kittredge Elementary School is recovering from a mild concussion after a newly installed window struck her in the head during class this week. Architects and the window manufacturer have already visited the school to inspect the window. More inspections will take place today to determine how the window came out of a locking position on Wednesday and struck art teacher Jennifer Annand. The window itself was not broken. Kittredge Principal Debbie White said representatives from Harvey Industries came to the school on Friday to disengage the release mechanisms on all of the school’s new windows which offer tilting features for cleaning and ventilation. Students are not permitted to use the windows but faculty can open and clean them. "It’s fortunate for everybody that no one was seriously hurt, but we’re taking this seriously. Whether it’s an installation problem, mechanical problem, or how it was opened, we’re still trying to figure out exactly where the problem is," Cameron said.

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