Friday 30 November 2012

Jesus Christ Window Cleaning

Jason Wilkerson, owner of The Housebath, has used some unconventional methods to advertise his window cleaning powerwashing and restoration company.
Entrepreneur goes from restored to restorer: Inside a small plastic bag are two placards, a chunk of marble and a prayer. The packages are distributed on driveways around Smith Mountain Lake and beseech passers-by to seek out a relationship with God in addition to the services of one residential and commercial restoration company, The Housebath. The unusual marketing campaign is spearheaded by Jason Wilkerson, the co-owner of a company that specializes in the refurbishing of worn surfaces and making gray tired houses appear brand new. Or restored like its owner.

In the late 1990s, Wilkerson was a talented artist who could take pen to paper and render the same images reminiscent of his future home: mountains and water features such as docks, streams and lakes. "I never knew [Smith Mountain Lake] existed," he said. But a troubled life during his teen years ended his artistic aspirations, and Wilkerson in his early 20s flitted from one job to the next, performing work that he described as never amounting to a lifetime job: restaurants, painting, window cleaning, a newspaper route.

An entrepreneurial epiphany occurred during a four-month stint at Roanoke Regional Airport when on one slow day he was handed a squeegee and cleaning solution. "You got time to lean, you got time to clean," said Wilkerson. "It was the motto that the bosses had." Two days later, Wilkerson quit the airport job and bought his own window-cleaning equipment. He named his new venture J.C. (Jesus Christ) Window Cleaning in response to his burgeoning Christian faith. He started walking door to door, targeting Roanoke's Grandin Road area.

Wilkerson quit the airport job and bought his own window-cleaning equipment. He named his new venture J.C. (Jesus Christ) Window Cleaning in response to his burgeoning Christian faith.
 The accounts grew to 300 residences and businesses, he said, and extended from Roanoke into neighboring communities such as Smith Mountain Lake, where he and his wife, Chesley, moved in 2007. "The best thing I ever did," he said of the move. He no longer only cleaned windows but restored the appearances of entire houses. Under The Housebath name, houses, docks and boats are power-washed, and stains are removed from roofs. Gutters are cleaned, and the company seals and stains concrete, wood and metal. Estimates are free, and prices depend on the type of job, he said.

But efforts to advertise the business through conventional means yielded unpromising results. Money was tight, and advertising purchased through local media outlets was costly. Fliers tediously distributed in newspaper boxes around the lake would blow away with the first strong wind, Wilkerson said. Marble, on the other hand, provided both a symbolic and practical solution. It's a biblical stone, he said, whose fragments are prayed over by Wilkerson and his wife. The pearly pieces are then used as a weight for the marketing materials left on driveways around the lake. "It gets a lot of good response - and a lot of corrective criticism," Wilkerson added wryly. No longer the creator of works of art, his cleaning equipment is now his paintbrush, he said. "It all comes full circle," Wilkerson said.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Window Cleaning News

Residents in Moab, Utah have started a petition to have Negro Bill Canyon renamed because they are embarrassed by the name.
Utah man starts online petition to change name of Negro Bill Canyon (Salt Lake City) - Moab resident Louis Williams (pictured) cringes every time he tells visitors the name of the canyon with the great hike to a stunning arch: Negro Bill Canyon. Williams, a window cleaner who has lived in Moab for 14 years, is leading a renewed campaign to change the name of the Southern Utah canyon that he and others believe is inappropriate. He has posted an online petition that has garnered more than 600 signatures and plans to submit a formal renaming application to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. "People cringe when we have to tell the name of it. The looks on their face is: 'What did you just say?'" Williams said. "People ask. 'Why is it named that?' They don't ask who he is." 
He wants it to bear the last name of the black cowboy who ran cattle there in the 1870s, William Granstaff. The canyon name has already been changed in the 1960s to "Negro Bill Canyon" from a name that featured a derogatory word. He said he has dug up history that shows Granstaff's name was actually spelled with a "d'' after the "n." That's why he wants it renamed as Grandstaff Canyon. "Most of the places and streets and trails that were named after settlers just used their last names," Williams said. "That is what we should do for him."
Even though efforts in the late 1990s and 2000s to change the canyon name were met by resistance from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Williams is optimistic the idea will gain more traction this time. His campaign is one of dozens across the country to rename canyons, reservoirs, lakes and other places still bearing names deemed derogatory. There are 757 places with "negro" in the name from Alaska to Florida and Maine to California, according to an analysis of government records. But the president of the NAACP's Salt Lake City chapter, Jeanetta Williams, said her organization opposes the name change just as it did when others tried to make the switch.

Condominium corporations in Ontario are not permitted to fine owners who breach the condominium documents. Fines are, however, permitted in many U.S. states and also in British Columbia. A recent case in British Columbia, Strata Plan LMS4255 v. Steven Newell, illustrates that fines may not be effective in getting a unit owner to cease breaching the condominium documents. In this case, the unit owner of a penthouse suite with an exclusive use balcony and roof deck above the unit, spent more than $800,000 on renovations, which included the installation of a hot tub, barbecue and entertainment system (TV and wall-mounted speakers) on his exclusive-use deck. Sounds like one of those bachelor pads that many of us have seen in the movies. After completing the renovations, the owner hosted many noisy parties that lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
In addition to the noise issues, the Strata Corporation took the position that the installation of the hot tub was an unauthorized installation and thus, should be removed. (The owner had previously asked for consent to install the hot tub, which was declined by the Corporation. Despite this, the hot tub was installed.) The Strata Corporation had failed its fall protection equipment inspection, as the location of the hot tub impeded the usage of two anchors required for proper window washing procedures. The Strata Corporation brought an application against the unit owner, as well as John Doe and Jane Doe and other persons unknown. This was done so that any court order would also be binding on all the attendees at the unit owner’s parties.

Cronin: 5 million jobs on track (South Africa): Public Works Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin believes the government is on track to meet its target of creating five million job opportunities by 2014. According to Cronin, the government has created 2.6 million job opportunities in the past three and a half years through infrastructure projects. Cronin was addressing delegates at the department’s third Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) summit in Pretoria. Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Qedani Mahlangu urged other municipalities to look at Tshwane as an example of how jobs could be created while also creating a clean environment for the benefit of residents and communities.
She suggested that such jobs should be expanded to include window-cleaning and the upkeep of buildings in city centres – a model in use in countries in Europe and Asia. “We should look at creating these jobs but, more important, we should help those getting the jobs… to create co-operatives and manage and run the cleaning projects. “I’m urging municipalities to ensure that locals are employed in the projects, and not have a situation where a contractor comes into a province but has employed people from elsewhere.” A requirement for awarding the contracts should be the employment of locals, as should buying building materials from local hardware stores. “This way the money comes into the local community,” said Mahlangu.

Jobs Few People Want - High-Rise Window Washer: A job that is definitely not for the faint of heart that has an abundance of openings is high-rise window washer. Finding solid applicants for this position is not as simple as a retail or office job. The applicant must be comfortable working at staggering heights, deal with inclement weather and feel secure in a job where a lot of accidents occur. According to an article released by, eight people are injured every year in New York City alone, and 75 high rise window washers have died between the years 1983 and 2008. While the risks are clear, the benefits come in the form of a solid salary. High-rise window washers make on average $14 to $19 an hour. However, this can increase depending on your contract bids. Window washers make bids on contracts for various companies and they can accept as many or as few as they'd like. By being an independent contractor, high-rise window washers can determine the amount they want to bring in.

A new online tool from the soda giant tells you precisely how much exercise or housework it will take to work off that sugary beverage you just drank. Get ready: You’re going to be vacuuming for a while. Since the enactment of Obamacare, we’ve become used to calorie counts (restaurant chains with more than 20 outlets must have them). But Coke’s Calculator goes further. Not only do you get the counts, you also get a read-out on the exercise you’ll need to do afterwards to wash away the effects of the calories you’ve consumed.
A classic red-and-white can (139 calories) equates to 51 minutes of vacuuming, 21 minutes of lawn-mowing, 34 minutes of table tennis, or 17 minutes of Zumba. A 12-ounce regular soda contains 8 teaspoons of sugar.
If Sprite’s your thing (144 calories) you’ll need 13 minutes of circuit training, 41 minutes of window cleaning, or 33 minutes of pilates. And so on. There are even suggestions for when you drink a Slimline Tonic (no mention of the gin), or one of Glaceau’s "enhanced" waters (12 minutes of ping pong for a "Vitamin Water Power C"). The calculator is currently only on Coca Cola’s U.K. site--though, presumably, the calculations apply wherever its products are sold, and wherever there’s window-cleaning to be done.

Massachusetts-based All Access Equipment, the North American distributor of CMC Narrow Access Compact Crawler Lifts, has opened a new facility. Marketed and sold under Crawerlifts, the facility is located at 891 Woburn St., Wilmington, MA. It offers customers the ability to view all Crawlerlifts models available from All Access and receive demonstrations of the equipment in action. The new facility also provides extra space for training, servicing and a full warehouse of in-stock parts to meet the demands of the lift industry.
The company chose to combine its office and warehouse into a larger single facility to better serve their customers, and the new location’s close proximity to major highways provides for speed and convenience in sales and service, the company said in a statement. In a statement, the company said, "Crawlerlifts are the next generation narrow access lifts, built heavy duty and rugged for demanding industries such as tree services, window cleaning, painters, electricians, roofing, facilities maintenance and rental stores. Available popular lift sizes range from 50 to 105 feet working height. Crawlerlifts are light and nimble, and capable of entering 36-inch doors and gates."

Dubai-bound Leeds duo putting work first: Both men have had to take a week off work to fulfil their 7s commitments – Steve Morton from his role as an enforcement officer for Leeds City Council and Chris Peach (pictured right) taking a break from his window cleaning business, which he runs alongside cousin David Peach, also 35. He, too, was a Dubai 7s candidate until injury struck, something Peach knows all too well about having broken his neck during his playing days. “My cousin played in the trial game and broke his leg, otherwise he’d have been in with a shout of going over as well,” said Peach.“He’s just come out of the pot,” But they insist that their upcoming venture to the Dubai Rugby 7s is no holiday, well, almost. Morton, of Bramley, and Peach, of Morley, are the sole Leeds representatives selected to play for the British Amateur Rugby League Association’s BARLA Bulldogs international veterans squad.

Healthy young nursery worker has double mastectomy after finding she has breast cancer gene: Fiona Luscombe, 23, had the operation after discovering she has the gene that killed her mother and grandfather. Fiona Luscombe has had a double mastectomy after both her mother and grandfather died following a battle with breast cancer. The 23-year-old had elective surgery to remove both breasts after discovering she had the hereditary BRCA2 cancer gene. The abnormal gene is passed from parent to child and caused Fiona’s mother, Brenda, and grandfather, Frank, to develop breast cancer. Fiona revealed: “It went really well but it was really daunting. Both breasts were removed at the same time. They removed all the tissue and put the implants in." She said she had already spoken to her fiancé Chris Warn, a window cleaner, about the operation before she took the test. Fiona said: “He was around when my mum died as well and so he knew about my family. He was very supportive - just saying 'I'm happy as long as you're happy'.”

Is it the end of the line for cash? Cashless societies could become the norm but much will depend on consumer confidence in the available options and the level of security. Getting rid of cash has long been on the agenda of credit card providers, which trade on the fact that they can provide transaction data to the retailers they service. But now a new wave of virtual ways to pay means that consumers could soon be using new currencies Bitcoin and Ven to pay for goods too. Meanwhile, the UK’s three largest mobile networks got together earlier this month to work with retailers on consistent technology that will allow people to pay via a mobile ‘wallet’.
Digital payment solutions iZettle and credit card payment system Square, created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, have introduced technology that allows everyone to accept card payments. Small traders, for example taxi-drivers, window cleaners and plumbers, and those retailers that do not have card acceptance in place can attach a dongle to smartphones and tablets to accept payment. This means the barrier for entry into cashless options is lowered and it is possible for those traders that were cash-only to accept cards.

Coastal Bend residents dream of winning $550 million Powerball jackpot, discuss plans for huge payday. In Corpus Christi it’s the $550 million question. What would you do if those six numbers matched the ones on your Powerball ticket? Surely there’s a unique answer for each person who bought into the dream of beating the 175 million to 1 odds to win Wednesday’s record-breaking lottery jackpot. But after buying nine tickets from Stripes at Water Street and Interstate 37 on Wednesday, Victor Acosta summed up the most likely sentiment. “I’d quit my job,” said Acosta, a window cleaner from San Antonio. If you’re looking for better odds than Powerball — it’s a safe bet to say most people would do the same. But what comes after the initial urge to free yourself from the ranks of your current job? Acosta said he’d also like to travel the world, specifically to Acapulco, Mexico. His choice of transportation for the trip would be a new yacht. Two lucky ticket holders — one in Arizona and another in Missouri — are waking up Thursday to new lives as multimillionaires after the largest Powerball jackpot drawing ever. The numbers drawn for Wednesday night, for the second-highest jackpot in U.S. lottery history, are: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.

Louth tradesmen angry over warning letters about parking while doing their jobs: A council employee, market traders and local tradespeople have all received warning letters about parking while undergoing their jobs. In preparation for new civil parking enforcement by Lincolnshire County Council which comes into force on Monday, wardens have been patrolling towns and issuing warning notices to drivers who are parked illegally. But Louth Area Committee heard that local tradespeople and market employees have also received warning notices whilst they are undergoing their work. Councillor George Horton said: "Common sense is a big factor. I was collared by a window cleaner who was doing his job who was told he could not park his van there because it is illegal. "Louth is a thriving town. Things like this do not do anything for the cause."

Man sentenced following distraction burglaries: On Saturday September 1 Nathan Lee Makey, aged 35, from Longley in Sheffield called at the home of an 80-year-old woman in the Longley area pretending to be canvassing work for a cleaning company. After gaining her confidence he asked to use the toilet. He then went onto steal jewellery, which was of huge sentimental value as it was a present from her late husband. The following weekend, on Sunday 9 September, Makey pretended to be a window cleaner when he attended at an address in the Southey area of Sheffield - the home of an 82-year-old woman. He entered the house uninvited and engaged the elderly woman in a conversation. During his short stay he went onto steal her handbag, money and other personal items. “Both elderly victims have been informed that Nathan Makey is now serving a lengthy prison sentence. They commented that it was excellent news and they were over the moon” he said.

A knifeman who terrorised a nurse on a disused railway track in the early hours, has been jailed for six months. Burnley Crown Court heard how drunken David Harrington (pictured), 24, had earlier been attacked on a night out and had armed himself with two knives and set off to find his assailants. But his victim, a slightly built man in his 50s, walking home from a night out with his wife, was an innocent, total stranger and had nothing to do with what had happened. Harrington wrapped his arm around the man’s neck from behind and held one of the six inch bladed weapons just inches from his face, leaving him petrified. Harrington, then a Padiham window cleaner, fought back tears in the dock as Judge Jonathan Gibson told him: “Given the circumstances and the widespread concern about the carrying and use of knives, I'm afraid an immediate custodial sentence is inevitable.” The defendant, a father-to-be, of Milton Street, Padiham, had admitted common assault and two counts of having an offensive weapon and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates. He had two previous convictions. Judge Gibson said: “I’m afraid what you did was truly dreadful and you accept that by demonstrating remorse, it seems to me, to the court. “Your victim was, not surprisingly, terrified and what happened has had a significant psychological effect upon him.”

Knockout for Motor Neurone Disease: Terri Reddy (pictured) a 44-year-old will trade punches with another girl as part of the ‘Pavilion Punch Up’ White Collar Boxing night in Leopardstown in order to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA). Terri’s husband Tom Byrne, 58, was diagnosed with the degenerative disease last November. In just one year, the 6ft 21/2 in rugby player, who worked as a carpenter by trade, has lost much of his mobility and struggles to walk.
For the last eight weeks, window cleaner Terri has been put through her paces at the National Stadium gym, training ground of our Olympic boxing heroes, by top coach Eddie Bolger, who trains Irish light-heavyweight champ Joe Ward. And this weekend she will stride into the ring to the theme tune of boxing movie ‘Rocky 6’ to try and outpunch her opponent for the charity.
The plucky Athy woman, who will fight under the moniker “Lights Out”, says she’s looking forward to the fight night, even though she doesn’t know yet who her opponent will be. “I’ll fight anyone, I don’t care at this stage!” she said. Some 30 supporters will be yelling her on on the night - a few, she suspects, who want to see the feisty fighter ship a few punches. “A few people will think it’s been a long time coming,” she joked. “People are very good, and are getting behind both me and the cause. Because we’re from a small town, everyone knows both of us.”

Coun Tarren Randle, left, and Hayley Johnson, general manager of Fever cleaning the outside of the premises.
Workers in Eastgate Street, alongside councillors and volunteers, grabbed the scrubbing brushes yesterday to take part in a big clean-up of the area. The call to arms was made as an incentive to help brighten up mucky shop fronts and empty buildings.  Other areas around the bowling green and Aviation Gardens were also given a spruce-up by young volunteers. It is hoped the deep clean will help draw in visitors. Councillor Jennie Dallimore, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: "We have been working with volunteers from local businesses as well as our partners to undertake a deep clean of the Eastgate area. "We hope this will improve the area's appearance and encourage footfall from more shoppers. The council has been working with its partners Enterprise to undertake a deep clean, and Gloucestershire Highways have been performing gulley maintenance. Businesses and volunteers have been joining together to tidy the frontages. "Businesses such as Asda and Wilkinson's have also been supporting the day by donating volunteers and equipment."

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Our Toxic World

The argument for bucket & squeegee.
Our toxic world (Part 10): Indoor Air Pollutants Up Close: The degree of air pollution indoors is worse than outdoors. Inside the buildings and in our homes, the toxins are trapped in enclosed spaces. This is the reason they tend to be more concentrated. Our kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, bedrooms and living areas are prime targets of indoor toxins. Most of them are petrochemicals, which are the intermediate derivatives from petroleum, hydrocarbon liquids or natural gas. Most of them are from the wide variety of products we use for cleaning. The following list was culled from the book Green This, authored by Deirdre Imus, who runs an environmental center for kids with cancer in New Jersey.  Be conscious of reading the labels and avoid the products that contain them.

Aerosol Propellants (iso butane, butane, propane). Effects:  Irritation of the eyes, airways, asthma and lung disease. Sources:  Oven, carpet and upholstery cleaners, furniture polishes and waxes, air fresheners and insecticides.

Alkylphenolic  Compounds. Effects: Disruption of hormone signals that regulate reproduction and development. Sources: All-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents.

Ammonia. Effects: Irritation of the skin, eyes and airways, and pulmonary edema. Sources: Automatic dishwasher detergents, window cleaners, furniture polishes and waxes, metal cleaners.

Chlorine Bleach. Effects: Local irritation affecting the skin eyes and airways. Sources: Bleaching or whitening products and laundry detergents.

Chloroform. Effects: Nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, respiratory problems; in extreme cases—cancer, liver and kidney damage, heart problems, even death. Sources: Fabric softeners.

Colors and Dyes. Effects: Skin and eye irritation, contact allergy, even cancer. Sources: All-purpose cleaners, hand dishwashing liquids, fabric softeners.

Crystalline Silica. Effects: Irritation of the skin, eyes and airways. Sources: All-purpose cleaners.

Diethanolamin. Effects: Possible cancer. Sources: All-purpose cleaners, hand dishwashing liquids, personal-care products.

Dioxane (also known as diethylene oxide, dioxide, or ether). Effects: Suppressed immune system, cancer. Sources: Window cleaners.

Dioxin (the most dangerous man-made chemical). Effects: Birth defects, development delays, damage to the immune, reproductive and respiratory systems. Sources: Any cleaning product labeled “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial.”

D-limoneme. Effects: Skin and eye irritation.Sources: All-purpose cleaners, fabric softeners.

Ethylacetate. Effects: Headache, stupor, irritation of the eyes and airways. Sources: Fabric softeners.

Formaldehyde. Effects: Severe irritation of the skin, eyes and airways, skin allergies, asthma,  pulmonary edema. Sources: Air fresheners, disinfectants, spray starches; off-gassing furniture, dry-cleaned clothes and upholstery.

Hydrochloric acid. Effects: Highly irritant to the skin (on contact) and to the eyes and airways via fumes. Sources: Toilet bowl, aluminum and oven cleaners, and rust removers.

Hydrofluoric acid. Effects: Extremely irritant to the skin and eyes. Sources: Metal cleaners and polishes.

Kerosene. Effects: Damage to lungs and nerves. Sources: Kerosene itself or component of furniture polishes and waxes.

Linalool. Effects: Nervous system disorders. Sources: Fabric softeners

Methanol (methyl alcohol, wood alcohol). Effects: Neurotoxin and skin irritant. Sources: Window cleaners.

Methylene chloride. Effects: Possible cancer. Sources: Air fresheners and any artificial fragrances.

Morpholine. Effects: Irritation of the skin, mucous membranes and eyes; liver and kidney damage. Sources: All-purpose cleaners, furniture polishes and waxes.

Naphthalene. Effects: Skin and eye irritation including corneal damage and cataracts; liver and kidney damage; damage to the fetus via maternal blood; nervous system disorders; hemolytic anemia. Sources: Moth balls, air fresheners, deodorizers, carpet and toilet bowl cleaners.

Optical brighteners (synthetic chemicals used to brighten clothes). Effects: Allergies. Sources: Laundry detergents.

Organic Solvents. Effects: Nerve toxicity, depression. Sources: All-purpose cleaners, metal polishes, dry-cleaning fluids.

Oxalic acid. Effects: Gastrointestinal problems. Sources: Metal polishes and cleaners.

Paradichlorobenzene or PDCB. Effects: Liver and kidney damage, hormone disruption, cancer; vapors irritate skin, eyes and airways. Sources: Moth repellants, insecticides, air fresheners, toilet deodorizers.

Pentachlorophenol. Effects: Irritation of skin and airways, headache, sweating, weakness and gasping; liver and kidney damage. Sources: Spray starch.

Perchloroethylene, or PERC. Effects: Irritation of the skin, eyes and airways; damage to the liver, kidneys and the nervous system; hormone disruption, and cancer. Sources: Spot removers, de-greasers, dry-cleaning fluids, carpet cleaners.

Phenol. Effects: Highly toxic irritant to the skin, eyes and airways, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, convulsions, shock, coma, even death. Sources: All sorts of cleaners, polishes, disinfectants and fabric softeners.

Phosphoric acid. Effects: Eye, skin and airway irritation. Sources: Toilet bowl cleaners, metal polishes, fabric softeners.

Sodium bisulfate. Effects: Respiratory problems including asthma attacks; damage to the skin, eyes and internal organs if swallowed. Sources: Toilet bowl cleaners and deodorizers, drain cleaners.

Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda or lye). Effects: Skin, eye and airway irritation; lung damage, blindness, even death if swallowed. Sources: Dishwashing liquids and detergents, laundry soaps; oven, tile and tub cleaners, toilet bowl deodorizers.

Sulfuric acid. Effects: Burns, eye damage even blindness. Sources: Metal polishes and drain cleaners.

Synthetic Pine Oil. Effects: Eye irritation. Sources: Air fresheners.

Thioureas. Effects: Thyroid enlargement, bone marrow depression. Sources: Metal polishes and cleaners.

Toluene aka Xylene. Effects: Neurotoxin, carcinogen. Sources: Stain removers.

Trichloroethane (TCA). Effects: Skin irritation, dryness, cracking, inflammation; eye and airway irritation; liver and kidney damage and birth defects on heavy exposure.  Sources: Furniture polishes and waxes, stain removers.

Triethanolamine. Effects: Skin, eye and airway irritation. Sources: All-purpose and carpet cleaners.

Trisodium  phosphate. Effects: Local irritations, breathing problems including asthma, and damage to the mouth, throat and stomach. Sources: All-purpose cleaners.

Dr. Ginsberg presented his book, What's Toxic What's Not, co-authored with Brian Toal, and discussed a number of frequently asked questions and myths the book addresses, ranging from asbestos, power lines and cancer clusters to radon, pesticides and mold. The increasing concern for sustainable environmental practices has been steadily gaining public attention over the last few decades in what Dr. Ginsberg described as the "green wave." But pseudo-environmental practices used by companies trying to appear environmentally concerned are sabotaging progress through a practice he calls "green-washing." He used as a window-cleaning product touting its use of vinegar as an eco-friendly product as an example of green-washing. "When I researched it and contacted them [the producer], vinegar was the last and smallest ingredient and the thing that did most of the cleaning was this industrial solvent that was always in the product," he said.

Thinking environmentally: Catching the "green wave" is really about new ways of thinking, he said. Homeowners associations and neighborhoods that prohibit clothes lines are key examples of an old way of thinking that needs to be replaced by new values, he said. "A new way of thinking is we see wind turbines on a ridge line and rather than people objecting to that as something that mars their view of their yacht when they're off of Nantucket, they see that as the way things ought to be, as a beautiful thing that people are using the wind and the sun," he said. He referenced the Kennedy family's opposition to wind power development off Cape Cod. "Sometimes the way things were, are the way things ought to be," he said.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Window Cleaners Gift "Giving Tuesday"

More than 2,000 recognized #GivingTuesday™ partners have come from all 50 states of the United States.
A Different Kind of Day, GIVING TUESDAY: We all recognize Black Friday and Cyber Monday as days to shop for bargains, and flood the malls and online shopping sites. Jenkintown Building Services is joining a new national initiative called "GivingTuesday", a day to give back to the community in varied and creative ways and develop giving opportunities.

Jenkintown will perform a window cleaning service today (Tuesday, Nov. 27th), for the Connelly House, rappelling the 8 story building and gifting free window cleaning.  Connelly House, a 79-unit residence, is the first LEED certified affordable housing facility in Philadelphia.  It is a partnership between Project H.O.M.E. and Bethesda Project and provides services and housing to formerly homeless men and women in Center City Philadelphia.

Ray Graber an employee of Jenkintown Window Cleaning works downtown in Philadelphia.
Marty Tuzman, CEO of Jenkintown, states, “I recently heard about #GivingTuesday and its call to service.  I immediately thought it was a perfect counter balance to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  GivingTuesday is the opposite of shopping.  It asks people and organizations to find a way they can give back. It is a reminder for us to pay attention during this holiday season to the meaningful and unique ways we can each uniquely help others and the world we live in.” Jenkintown Building Services is an 80 year old company that has provided varied building services over the years, including window cleaning, power washing, facade services and post construction cleaning.

A new tradition started on Tuesday to counter the spending frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s called “Giving Tuesday,” and businesses large and small were jumping onboard. It started with big charities like United Way and the Red Cross, but small businesses can also contribute charitably. The goal behind “Giving Tuesday” is to focus on charities, instead of retail. For many organizations, it’s a way to increase fund-raising in the race to the end of the year. “We will not write $100,000 checks, we won’t come close in digits,” says Marty Tuzman, owner of Jenkintown Building Services, a small window cleaning business, “but what we can do is give some of our time and give the talent that we have and be involved in the community in the unique ways that we as small businesses can.”

GivingTuesday is a new national initiative that has become increasingly popular since it was launched by the 92nd St Y, in New York, less than a year ago.  It encourages gifting, volunteering and other ways to give back to the community. Over 1600 partners have joined. Its supporters, also called "partners" are from all around the country and from all three sectors -- private industry, charitable sector and the government."

Jenkintown building services has a long-standing tradition of giving back to the community that has supported it for over six decades. They are the official window cleaner for all Habitat For Humanity homes in the Philadelphia area, and have cleaned over a dozen arts and cultural institutions through Hearts For The Arts program, which allowed deserving organizations with either limited or no budget for window cleaning to receive these services for free. In 2001, they asked customers to recommend organizations in need of window cleaning services, and through the Gift Of Service program, they are cleaning the windows of organizations that serve the public so well throughout the year.
Their goals are to put out a call to other area businesses to support deserving institutions with in-kind services, and to get the public to rally around area institutions. "I'd rather see these treasured organizations use their donations to buy what they need to help the community," says Jenkintown owner Marty Tuzman. "By offering a service donation in-kind, we're helping free up money for more important purposes." "We hope our free cleaning services will help these institutions shine outside as well as inside. I'd also like to see other businesses take our lead."

Today in History: Two window washers fell 47 stories from a Manhattan skyscraper when their scaffolding failed; Edgar Moreno was killed, but his brother, Alcides, miraculously survived.

Monday 26 November 2012

Window Cleaner Catches Foot - Falls To Death

Hughie, a window cleaner in East Sussex dies after falling from ladder. Witnesses said that his foot got caught.
Window cleaner dies after falling from ladder in accident: A window cleaner has died after getting his foot caught in his ladder and plunging 15ft to the ground. Hugh Winfield, known as Hughie, was working in Western Road, Lewes, when the freak accident happened. The 51-year-old, who was due to become a grandfather again in three months, carried out rounds in Coldean, Moulsecoomb and Woodingdean as well as Lewes and rural East Sussex.

His death on Tuesday was followed two days later by that of his beloved pet Max, a Staffordshire bull terrier. Mr Winfield’s widow, Karen, said she believed the dog had died of a broken heart. Speaking yesterday from their home in Wolseley Road, Coldean, she said: “The vet said it was probably a coincidence but Max was very sensitive. “I will miss them both so much – I think they are together again.”

Describing what happened to Mr Winfield, who was nicknamed the Silver Fox by members of his darts team in Hollingbury, she said: “Witnesses said that his foot got caught and he sort of jumped backwards, hitting his head on the ground. “Last week everything was normal – now it has all changed.”

Mr Winfield died on his father Clive’s birthday and just two days before his mother Jackie’s birthday. His daughter Mikayla, who is six months pregnant, turned 24 on Thursday. Mrs Winfield said: “Everybody loved him. “He had a lot of friends and a lot of interests. Mr Winfield leaves a son James, 30, and daughters Lynsey, 26, and Mikayla, 24, stepsons, Kelvin, 34, Ross, 32, Scott, 29, and Jay, 25, his parents and siblings. An inquest will be held in due course.

Friday 23 November 2012

Window Cleaning News

Safety counts. Even an apparently simple job, like that of cleaning the windows, can involve life-threatening risks if not done with the right precautionary measures, as this picture of a maid in a high-rise in Sharjah shows.
Housemaids put their lives in danger: Gulf News reader requests home owners to be more careful... I saw this sight in Al Majaz area of Sharjah and was left shocked! This housemaid was cleaning the window of an apartment and had stepped out almost entirely. She was standing on the ledge and trying to clean the windows that she couldn’t reach from inside. I was worried that at any moment she could fall and an accident could occur. I was in a state of shock. It took her almost an hour to clean just one window.  I request all home owners to please not ask housemaids to do such jobs. If God forbod anything bad happened, the owners would get in to trouble. Please be more responsible.

Omahan charged in connection with shots fired at window washers: A 34-year-old Omaha man has been charged with felony assault after allegedly shooting at two window washers who were working at his estranged wife’s place of business. Ryan J. Zimmerman (pictured), who is in the process of being divorced, is accused of firing at least five shots at two men while they were working from a lift on the ConAgra Foods campus on Nov. 10, said Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman. The men, who were not injured, identified Zimmerman as the person who shot at them about 5 p.m. They said he also fired on them from inside his vehicle and once more from the end of a campus drive.
Investigators determined that the lift the men were using had been struck by a projectile, Tierney said. Officers arrested Zimmerman at his home on Monday, confiscating seven rifles and three handguns. ConAgra was granted a restraining order Thursday to keep Zimmerman off its properties. In recent months Zimmerman also has been charged with three counts of violating a protection order and two counts of domestic violence by disturbing the peace. In the ConAgra incident, Zimmerman also is charged with two counts of using a firearm to commit a felony and one count of discharging a firearm near a building. He was released Friday from the Douglas County Jail on $5,000 bail. Also here.

'Tis the season for housekeeping:  Turkey stuffed? Check. Pumpkin pie baked? Yes. House cleaned? Oops. Many cleaning businesses, some in a lull after the busy summer season, today are in a holiday dash, answering last-minute requests from harried customers. “We do typically get a rush before the holidays and we try to accommodate,” says Dee Stahl, owner of a Merry Maids housecleaning franchise in Minden. “I'll be cleaning Thanksgiving week.” Stahl employs eight cleaners but she says during a hectic time like the week of Thanksgiving, she and her office manager and office assistant all pitch in with the cleaning to meet the demand. Fitting in a week's worth of routine cleaning jobs into three days is enough to send Stahl and her office personnel out the door with bucket and broom in hand. Stahl says she gives priority to her regular customers who make up 80 percent of her business. “I try not to book any one-time cleans the week of Thanksgiving,” Stahl said. “I schedule those the week before or the week after Thanksgiving.”
Carpet cleaners, too, see an uptick in demand around the holidays and during the slowdown after summer. (Carpet cleaners run a hose from outside to inside the house while they clean so most homeowners hire them during warmer weather.) “It's always a busy time of year for us. Just before the holiday, we get an influx of calls,” said Adam Carlsen, general manager with Evergreen Caret Care, the Reno-based company that covers a 70-mile radius area between Reno and Truckee, Fallon, Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley. Carlsen says it's a predictable pattern. During the holidays, the company goes back to running its full fleet of 16 trucks cleaning an average of 70 homes a day, the same schedule as during the height of summer. He says most of the customer calls for Thanksgiving will come in Monday, but that won't be a problem and is, in fact, a one of the company's competitive advantages. “We book most of our calls the day of or for the next day,” he said. “We haven't turned people away and that's part of our success.”
Even window cleaners see an eleventh-hour jump in demand around the holidays. “My biggest problem is people forget and call at the last minute to get it done,” said Chris Thompson, owner, Silver State Window Cleaning, a 23-year-old service for both residential and commercial customers. “Thanksgiving is the end of the busy season and the two weeks beforehand we're flooded with calls.” Thompson said his peak work time runs from April to the November holiday, when the weather is still nice enough for window cleaning. During the summer, he has a full crew of nine to 10 workers, which gets reduced to about seven cleaners once the cold weather settles in. During the winter, Thompson and his company work primarily for commercial customers that need to keep their windows sparkling year round, covering Carson City to Smith Valley and Reno to Lake Tahoe. Some window cleaners turn the cold weather holidays into a new line of business.
Reno Tahoe Window Cleaning, owned by Chris Poulis, employs nine to 10 men, each working 70 hours a week, both washing windows and hanging Christmas lights. The light-hanging business, which he runs and advertises as 1-877-XMASGUY, takes off from mid-October to mid-December and continues for the month of January when his crew return to take down the lights. “We slow down a little on windows, but it's our busiest time of the year right now,” said Poulis.

Gatland learning to walk again after freak fall: Warren Gatland still vividly remembers the moment he feared he would lose a leg. Life for the former All Black hooker turned successful international coach changed dramatically on Easter Monday this year, just after 8am. Gatland had woken early on a pristine Coromandel day, deciding to clean the windows at his family bach at Waihi Beach. The job was almost finished. One dirty window remained, just slightly out of reach. Gatland wouldn't be satisfied until the job was complete, so he edged closer and climbed onto the ledge of the house's deck. The rugby world was to quickly learn what happened next. As his feet shuffled along the railing, Gatland stretched to push the long-handled hose-brush higher. Suddenly he lost balance and toppled backwards. In that one terrifying moment, life as the Welsh rugby coach knew it then was turned upside down. Rugby was put in immediate perspective. He says his family was his immediate thought as he tumbled through the air.
Falling three metres on to concrete, Gatland broke both heels in the freak accident. "Straight away I knew I'd done a lot of damage," Gatland recalled. "You're cleaning the windows at the beach and you fall off and you think ‘if things had of gone bad I could have lost my leg'." As Gatland lay prone on the ground in agony, his wife, Trudy, was upstairs, unaware. Fortunately, some locals saw the accident and rushed to his aid. "There was a couple walking past. They came over to me and said ‘are you all right?' I said ‘no' and they called an ambulance. "I was rushed to Waikato Hospital and pumped full of morphine on the way there to kill the pain." Both ankles were fractured, his right particularly severely shattered from the impact of the fall. The initial advice was non-surgical intervention due to the major risk of a crippling infection from an operation. "If you get an infection in your foot or leg they are quite difficult to heal and there is the potential to lose your leg," he said.
After being given the all-clear to return to Wales, a shock setback made Gatland confront that scary prospect. "Unfortunately I had a small fracture blister that hadn't healed and it got infected. It was pretty messed up in terms of the heel and the swelling for a few months. I had a bit of nerve and tendon damage that you get from such an injury." Six weeks ago Gatland's progress stalled. He required two skin grafts - from his instep and calf - during surgery. He was back on crutches. Back to square one.

High Access expands services to London: A firm that specialises in maintaining and cleaning tall buildings has expanded into London after snubbing a takeover approach from a major utility business.
High Access, based in Openshaw, Manchester, was founded 10 years ago as a window cleaning company with a team of abseilers who could access hard-to-reach spots on tall buildings. Since then, it has diversified to provide pointing, re-glazing and cladding replacement services and has invested in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms that can reach up to 46 metres high. Window cleaning now only accounts for around 20 per cent of revenues, with the rest coming from its building maintenance services. High Access, which has 40 staff, expects sales to increase from £2m in 2011 to £2.6m this year and is forecasting revenues of £3m for 2013 as it expands. Pictured are Niel Bethell and director Peter Metcalfe of High Access.
The firm has opened a London office as it seeks growth in the capital and the south east. Co-founder and managing director Neil Bethell said: "We are also hoping to open a depot in London in the early stages of next year, which would see £250,000 of investment and create six jobs initially." He said the company was approached by a potential buyer on the condition that it expanded into London. Mr Bethell said: "We turned them down and decided to do it ourselves instead." High Access has meanwhile invested £175,000 in a new hydraulic platform, giving it a total fleet of 24 vehicles. It works on buildings at Spinningfields in Manchester, and has customers including Savills, and Jones Lang LaSalle. High Access also operates a fleet hire business for its vehicles which are not in use. Its hydraulic platforms were hired by US television station ESPN to film golf at St Andrews in Scotland.

Workplace accidents in Quebec are in decline despite recent tragedies (Montreal) - It’s tempting to conclude from the astonishing events a week ago, when explosions at two Eastern Townships factories within 24 hours killed employees, that serious workplace accidents in Quebec are growing. They’re not. In fact, reported Quebec work-related fatalities have mostly decreased in the last few years — while accidents in general have been slashed by 36 per cent, from 143,000 a year in 2007 to 91,030 in 2011. And, added Jacques Nadeau, spokesperson for the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST), Quebec has the fourth lowest accident rate in Canada, far ahead of Ontario or British Columbia. The death rate for work-related accidents in Quebec in 2009 was 5.16 per 100,000 workers. In Ontario, it was 8.06, and 5.74 in British Columbia. “And the 5.16 in Quebec came down from 6.43 in 2005,” Nadeau added. But that does not mean that the situation is rosy. For one thing, these numbers do not include work-related fatal illnesses that eventually kill employees. “Some guy will work in height (on a crane, a half-finished building or window-washing). He’s got a great, very secure, very effective harness — brand new. It’s literally his lifeline. Except that he leaves the harness in his truck while he’s working up there.”

After Campaigning from the Pulpit, Right Wing Churches Must Lose their Tax Exempt Status: Many Christian churches serve a useful purpose, do not campaign from the pulpit, and contribute to their communities, and maybe they should be commended for doing what Jesus commanded.   However, they should not be treated any differently than any other American who volunteers, donates, or helps their community and still pay taxes. The Constitution is explicit about two things; religion must be kept separate from the government, and every American is equal, and until every church, temple, and preacher is held to the same standards as a carpenter, waitress, or window washer, America will remain steeped in inequality and communities, states, and the federal government will be deprived of much needed revenue. America gives enough preferential treatment and entitlements to the rich, corporations, churches, and the oil industry, and in the spirit of equality, it is time for Americans to demand that the government ends all subsidies and insist that churches, like the wealthy, start paying their fair share.

ALBANY — Former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, whose precipitous fall from power was one of the major scandals to hit state government in recent years, will be out of prison in time for the holidays. Hevesi, 72, was granted parole after a hearing Wednesday at the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Oneida County. After his scheduled release on Dec. 19, he's expected to return to his home in Forest Hills, Queens. "He served 19 months and did so without complaint and lament and accepted responsibility and is anxious to go home and see his family," said Bradley Simon, Hevesi's lawyer. But Hevesi's longtime adviser, Hank Morris, was refused parole, with officials saying they feared he might commit more crimes if he was let go. Both decisions were announced Thursday. Board members also acknowledged Hevesi has health issues and concluded that he was unlikely to commit any more crimes. Hevesi has previously been described as a model prisoner and, in a hearing a year ago, said he worked as a window washer on his ward, cleaning dozens each day.

James Ciccotti, bridal-shoe designer: I'm here seven days a week. I can't imagine someone else doing what I do. It's not that I can't trust somebody else; I'm just so used to doing all aspects of my business, right down to the window washing. I could pay a guy $10 to do it, but he's not gonna wash the window the way I'm gonna wash the window.

A window cleaner has been spared jail after a “terrifying pub brawl” in which his father was seriously injured. Burnley Crown Court heard how father-of-two Daniel Sharples (31) had struck the first blow in a fight with members of a family with whom there had been a long-standing feud in the trouble at the New Black Bull in Padiham on September 23rd. Sharples, said to have been “fuelled by alcohol” had then been part of a large melee at the premises and continued the incident by returning to the scene. The defendant, who is self employed, had earlier admitted affray before Pennine magistrates and had been committed for sentence.  Sharples, of Kings Drive, Padiham, was given 30 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, with 180 hours unpaid work.
His father Ivan Sharples (49) was seriously injured in the brawl and suffered broken bones and head injuries. He was left with a fractured skull. Mr Richard Taylor (defending) told the hearing he was ashamed of his behaviour when he saw it on the CCTV recording. He was a hard-working man, was building up his own business and was keen to carry on doing that.
Sentencing, Recorder Andrew Long said the melee must have been terrifying. The judge told Sharples: “You know the consequences of what can happen when people start to fight because of what happened to your father that very night.” The judge added the defendant had been out of trouble for seven years and had been living a law abiding and productive life.  Recorder Long said: “I hope you are able to put this matter behind you and return to your law abiding life.” 

Conman strikes twice in village near Winchester: A doorstep conman has twice stolen £40 from a pensioner in Colden Common. He pretended to be a window cleaner but only cleaned the ground floor and said he would return to finish the job. No-one returned to finish cleaning the windows. Police are appealing for information and warning residents about the incident which happened last Saturday morning at Sunningdale Mobile Home Park. Later that afternoon the same offender returned and told the victim that the supports on his mobile home were rusty and would need to be repaired or replaced.
He told the victim he would do it for £300 which was dropped down to £60 and finally to £40.  The victim handed over the £40 believing the offender had the supports in his vehicle. Having taken the money the offender disappeared, driving off in his vehicle. The man police want to speak to is described is white, between 35-45 years old, with short dark hair, clean shaven and wearing a black suit, white shirt with a black tie and knee length brown boots. PC Jonathan Duggan said: “I would like to warn residents, especially elderly and vulnerable members of the community, against the dangers of people cold calling.  I must stress that under no circumstances should money or bank details be handed over to cold callers.”

Cruel conman tricks OAP twice: A conman twice stole £40 from a pensioner in Colden Common. He pretended to be a window cleaner but only cleaned some windows and said he would return to finish the job, but never did. The incident happened last Saturday morning at Sunningdale Mobile Home Park. Later that afternoon the same offender returned and told the victim that the supports on his mobile home were rusty and would need to be repaired or replaced. He told the victim he would do it for £300, which was dropped down to £60 and finally to £40. The victim handed over the £40 believing the offender had the supports in his vehicle. Having taken the money the offender disappeared, driving off in his vehicle. The man police want to speak to is white, between 35-45 years old, with short dark hair, clean shaven and wearing a black suit, white shirt with a black tie and knee length brown boots.

Guisborough trader made thousands selling fake designer goods: A trader supplied his estate’s teenagers and schoolchildren with fake designer gear - earning tens of thousands of pounds. Stuart Davie, 51, from Guisborough, was caught with counterfeit Rolex watches, Barbour jackets and Nike trainers which he admitted he had been selling in the town for years. He bought them in bulk from wholesalers in Manchester, and more than 100 boxes of products were seized from his home and from a storage container in North Skelton in raids on August 31 last year. Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said that Davie had no registered income between 2005 and this year, and he had filed no tax returns and paid no tax to HM Revenue and Customs. But the proceeds of counterfeit goods had allowed him to pay £39,000 into his bank and on credit card payments between 2006 and last year, and in 2008 he obtained a second mortgage of £68,000 to pay off his former wife after their divorce. The repayments were met. Mr Hadfield said the taxman and legitimate manufacturers were Davie’s vicitms. He said that Davie had a good lifestyle and he was buying a home abroad, financing foreign travel, and paying a mortgage which he falsely obtained by claiming to be a window cleaner.

Local business brightens up Broughton St. with window cleaning: (SAVANNAH, Ga.)-  Within a half day, water, a squeegee, some muscle, and a willingness to "give back," turned dingy, clouded windows into gleaming, crystal clear types along Broughton Street in downtown Savannah. Employees with Fish Window Cleaning in Savannah cleaned the neglected windows of properties along Broughton Street that do not have tenants.  The company offered this service for no charge to anyone. "We decided that we wanted to do something to brighten up Broughton Street for the holidays," said Tom Rokosz, owner of Fish Window Cleaning Savannah. "Savannah windows over a while if they're not maintained get dusty, pollen, lots of stuff on them and people start writing little comments on them and everything," said Rokosz.  "We wanted to make Downtown look sharp." "Giving back to the community, especially this time of the year--your efforts should be applauded," said Wednesday's guest co-host David Mihuta to Rokosz.

O'Hare workers plan to protest proposed cuts (Chicago) - Union workers will gather  at O’Hare Airport Wednesday to protest a new contract that could cost hundreds of workers their jobs.  United Maintenance is taking over custodial services at O’Hare on December 15th, leaving more than 300  airport janitors and window washers in limbo. City officials say United Maintenance won the 5-year contract with the “lowest responsible bid.” The new jobs are non-union.  Current workers who are re-hired will lose seniority and could start over at the lower, entry-level pay of $11.90 per hour plus benefits.

This is the final instalment of our business quotations series. Perhaps fitting, then, that we end with wealth. The creation of wealth is, after all, the ultimate purpose of business. “If I was as rich as Rockefeller I’d be richer than Rockefeller, because I’d do a bit of window cleaning on the side.”
Ronnie Barker (pictured), comedian (1929–2005).

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