Friday, 21 December 2012

Window Cleaning News

Junya Kono, left, and Tomoharu Fujimaki, window cleaner dressed as Santa Claus and reindeer clean a window at a shopping mall in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009.
Obligatory Santa photos, used every year since 2009: Window cleaners dressed as Santa Claus work during an event promoting Christmas at a hotel in the business district of Tokyo.
Tips to aid the tippers this Christmas: It is a Christmas tradition that can give low-paid workers a boost and leave us with a festive glow. And it’s still the done thing to give a festive tip to the paper boy, postman, binman or window cleaner. But the tradition of seasonal tipping has become complicated – with concerns over etiquette and even conmen. Fraudsters in the county have already been exploiting generous residents – with one posing as a dustman to collect Christmas tips. Residents in the Winchester area were warned earlier this month that a man wearing a hi-vis vest and claiming to work for the council’s waste contractors Biffa was knocking on doors saying it was his last collection before Christmas, before asking for money.
Hampshire Constabulary has advised that anyone who wants to give a tip should take a “common sense approach” to avoid giving money to conmen. A spokesperson said: “The advice is to give it to the person directly or drop it off at their place of work. “If you know them personally write them a cheque or put the funds into some sort of format that cannot be used fraudulently by someone else.
“We’re advising a commonsense approach. “It’s very generous of people to give tips at Christmas.
However, there are people out there that wouldn’t think twice about stealing an envelope of money left outside a front door – it’s easy pickings.”
“With the kind of salaries these workers are getting it’s no wonder people feel they have to tip.” But etiquette expert William Hanson has advised that, in fact, it is better manners to give people a present rather than money. He said: “People do still tip, but what’s more common is to leave a bottle of wine and a Christmas card, rather than a specific amount of money. “That way it feels more like you’re giving a present, rather than just giving money and it’s a great idea. “This is the time of year when we think about other people – and sticking money in an envelope doesn’t require much thought – a present is a bit more personal.”

What to get the person who has everything: Is it always the thought that counts? Choosing presents for family and friends at Christmas can be a challenging task. There’s the pressure of what to buy them, hoping they will like it, and hoping that they don’t already have it. We all have that one friend who is impossible to buy for because they just seem to have everything. Joan Streets, 74, of Bents Green, said: “Definitely time. I’d make a list with things that need doing like hedge cutting and window cleaning. As I get older that’s the sort of thing I’d like.”

Special appearance by Santa at North Naples Hospital, Fla. - A special treat arrived for children at the NCH North this morning.  Santa Claus showed up to do a little window washing. The jolly fat man, complete with the brilliant red suit, took to the air with the aid of ropes to do some pre-Christmas cleaning. The Clean-Up Group gave an assist to the window washing effort. Watch FOX 4 News at 6 for more of this holiday appearance of Old Saint Nick in North Naples.

North driver was five times the limit: A Highland window cleaner who drove while almost five times the legal alcohol limit – a level high enough to kill a person – had an open can of lager in the car’s cup-holder when stopped by police, a court heard. Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart described the level of alcohol in Steven Duncan’s body as “higher than the lowest fatality I have seen from alcohol poisoning”. Self-employed Duncan, 32, who previously worked as a nurse, was put off the roads for 40 months, fined £200 and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work when he appeared for sentence at Dingwall Sheriff Court.

Winbot Window Cleaning Robot Arriving In 2013: There is nothing quite like starting off the year on a clean slate, where everything is spanking new, so why not make sure your home’s windows too, are up to snuff? If you live on landed property, that should not be an issue, but for folks living in high rise buildings and the maintenance crew aren’t doing their jobs very well to keep your windows squeaky clean, here is good news for you – the Winbot window cleaning robot (yeah, isn’t the name super obvious) will be out from next year onwards, thanks to China-based Ecovacs.
Winbot functions like any other cleaning bots, where it will first maps out the scale of the surface that it needs to clean, followed by programming a path to track. The Winbot will rely on suction power instead of magnets in previous models, generating a mere 55 decibels of noise when “working”, and it can hold up to 37 pounds (17 kg). You can also attach a safety pod to the window just in case the Winbot loses suction. Any takers?
From the consumers’ point of view, the Winbot7 is easy to use. Simply attach little pads to the unit, spray them with some cleaner, place it on the window and press start, he explained. “Walk away and the robot will do its job, which is to clean the window.” The 4.5 pound robot is equipped with two powerful motors. One provides the suction to keep it vertical on the window, the other drives it smoothly. A soft bumper prevents damage to window frames. It also “has a very high tech brain,” which allows the Winbot to determine the best path to clean windows of all shapes and sizes, Savadian added. It cleans in a zigzag pattern and then the perimeter. “Then it will come back to the place of start and will play music to notify that ‘I am done and ready for the next chore,’” Savadian said. More here.

Tesco 'error' lets entrepreneur cash in: Gareth Pugh could not believe his luck when a Tesco pricing error allowed him to pick up a £59 vacuum cleaner for £1.90. The mis-pricing of the Karcher WV50 Window Cleaning Vacuum made national news and is one of numerous high-profile pricing glitches to hit the supermarket chain, including a £500 iPad going through checkouts for just £50. “Every day I check ukhotdeals online for a bargain or two, and as soon as I read about this I headed down to my local store to see if I could get lucky,” said the 30-year-old dad of two. “I picked up two and headed to the self-checkout in case they noticed something was up at the tills. I had the biggest smile on my face when it came up with £1.90.” “It happens all the time so keep your eyes peeled and you never know what you might be able to get your hands on.”

End Of The World For James? The Australian Deputy Commissioner of Taxation issued winding up proceedings against Rushlyn Pty Ltd for unpaid taxes on 26 November 2012. The case is before the Federal Court in Brisbane today. Rushlyn is the franchisor for the James Home Services group. If the Court website is accurate Rushlyn haven’t filed any documents to support an alternative to winding up.
With the James Home Services head office up for lease and no new address to be found, the Australian Tax Office and Rushlyn appear to have failed in reaching a payment schedule acceptable to the ATO. It seems the reputation of rogue franchising may have finally caught up with the James Home Services franchisor who is apparently having difficulties selling anything even close to the numbers of franchises he needs to sell.
James Home Services have been pushing franchises for house cleaning, pet grooming, mowing, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, car detailing and pest control. It is reported that most of these brands have very low numbers of franchisees. The brand has been plagued by angry franchisees seeking both compensation and revenge.

Police issue e-fit in Telford house burglary probe: Police are keen to talk to the man about a burglary that occurred in Horsehay in October. The incident happened at an address in Spring Village on Tuesday October 23, between 7.10am and 3pm. Police said it appeared a stone or brick was used to smash a rear window. The burglars then reached in through the smashed window and opened it to gain access. Once inside the house the burglars carried out a thorough search before stealing a gold ladies watch worth about £400 and about £800 in cash before escaping. Detective Constable Charlotte Ford, who is investigating the incident, has released this e-fit image of a man she would like to identify as part of her investigation. DC Ford said: “According to a witness who lives near the property that was burgled, the man featured in the e-fit was in the area on the day of the burglary and was offering window cleaning services to local residents. “This man was seen approaching the house that was burgled on the day in question and therefore we are keen to identify and speak to him so we can ensure he is not involved in this break-in. 

Stupid Police Officer: Inspector Mark Barlow, from the Newcastle Borough local policing team, is advising residents to keep all their windows secure, and to remain vigilant. Inspector Barlow added: "We don't know if this is a professional burglar, or someone who is just walking around the area and taking opportunities when they come. We have a list of people we are looking to talk to about the burglaries. "We are advising to be on the look out for anyone acting suspiciously. For example, someone carrying around ladders might be suspicious, as it isn't the usual time of year for cleaning windows."

Brian McClerren of Lopez Island has declared his candidacy from District 3 Lopez/Shaw/Decatur for the new county-wide county council election April 23. McClerren moved to Lopez Island in 2004, lured by a plethora of good paying jobs. Initially he was hired over the telephone by a local building contractor. “The labor shortage was so acute that I remember trying to convince my friends back in Oregon to move up and work construction,” he said. Jobs were easy to find, but places to live were not. His first rental on the island had a priceless view of the ocean but no kitchen or shower. “I figured out early on that if you want to survive out here you've got to have a broad set of skills and you have to keep adapting,” he said. McClerren recently hired the first employee for his new business Reveal Window Cleaning while also working full time at Sunset Builder's Supply. McClerren has pledged to restore monthly town hall meetings and make himself available to those who can't find the time to attend. “We must find ways to improve citizens access to our government and give the people tangible reasons to believe that the council is their advocate and not their adversary,” he said.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving city contracts to private companies that promise to "save money" by replacing hundreds of good-paying union jobs with low-paying non-union jobs. More than 300 janitors and window washers at O'Hare International Airport are at risk of losing their jobs just days before Christmas this year because Mayor Emanuel is replacing their employer with United Maintenance. As Republicans across the country continue their all-out assault on public employees, labor unions and the middle class, why is Chicago's Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel -- President Obama's former White Hose Chief-of-Staff -- joining in by awarding contracts that eliminate good-paying union jobs for race-to-the bottom, low-paying, insider-connected, anti-middle-class non-union jobs? To top it off, several news organizations are reporting that the companies involved may have "ties" to organized crime, including top employees convicted of racketeering in organized crime prosecutions, and partnerships with known organized crime figures.

Labor headache on Broadway may be averted (NEW YORK) — A union representing hundreds of Broadway theater cleaners, porters, elevator operators and bathroom attendants, janitors, property maintenance workers, doormen, security officers, window cleaners and food service workers reached a tentative agreement with theater producers to avert a strike, both sides said Monday. The potential deal must still be ratified by the 250 theater workers represented by the 32BJ union, a process expected to be completed by next week. Details of the deal were not immediately revealed. "This is a fair agreement that addresses the concerns of our members, the men and women who work hard every day to keep theaters safe, clean and running for the millions of theatergoers who come to Broadway from around the world," said Shirley Aldebol, vice president of 32BJ. Members of the union last week authorized a strike if an acceptable new deal wasn't reached by the end of the year. The current contact ends Dec. 30. Workers are seeking pay increases and better health care benefits.

Calgary Hail Storm Makes Environment Canada's Top 10 Extreme Weather Events: It only lasted about 10 minutes, but the hail storm that blew in and out of Calgary on Aug. 12 this summer packed enough punch to find a place on Environment Canada's top ten list of Canadian weather stories for 2012. The mammoth storm rolled over city skies late at night, pelting homes, cars and people with hailstones larger than golf balls and brought with it high winds that felled trees and ripped siding from buildings and residences. It was so severe, with the potential to do much more damage, that cloud-seeding planes were sent to the skies to help calm the storm.
The Calgary Herald reported at the time that four aircraft were sent into thick, swirling clouds for more than 12 hours before the storm, spraying silver iodide into the air to tamper the size of the hailstones that would eventually fall. "This one was a beast. It took everything we threw at it and still was able to wreak some havoc," Terry Krauss, project director of the Alberta Severe Weather Management Society told the Herald. "I believe if we hadn't seeded, it would have even been worse." And if that weren't enough, Calgary was hit later that week with two separate hail storms that left behind additional damage and even stranded two window washers 22 storeys above the downtown core before they were forced to smash out an office window to climb to safety.

Kindles Slices brings digestible essays and short stories to the UK: After a relatively successful stint in the US, Amazon is bringing its "vast spectrum " of reports, memoirs and narratives to the British Isles. Former Penguin Press managing director, Andrew Rosenheim, has been drafted in to curate what appears in Kindle Slices. at the moment, there's plenty of 99p titles from notable authors and journalists, with subjects encompassing video games, Lincoln and short stories involving window cleaners -- hopefully, then, a suitable read in there for any UK readers unwrapping a new Kindle next week.

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