Tuesday 24 December 2013

Thinking Of Window Washer Jimmy At Christmas

Thinking of Jimmy the window washer at Christmas.
When I was ten years old I used to put the New York Times Sunday newspaper together at a small store on Union Street where I grew up. My mother would get up at 4 a.m. and drive me there. It seemed like an endless amount of sections that I had to piece together. I would put up a small table that was about six feet long and line up everything and then started hammering away. It was a lot of work for $10 and it took me about three hours to get it all done. When I was done, I’d have breakfast with the owner of the store and then walk to meet my parents at church.

One day I noticed some guy washing windows outside at a diner that opened at 6 a.m. He had a bucket of water, a sponge and a squeegee. I didn’t pay much attention to it until I kept seeing him every Sunday washing the same windows. I wondered why anyone would need their store-front windows washed so much. It wasn’t like we lived in a dust bowl. Then, one weekday afternoon after school, I was going to the diner to get their three bean soup. It was the best soup I ever had. I asked Charlie, the owner, what the guy was doing washing his windows all of the time. He replied, “That’s Jimmy. He lives on the street and I give him meals for washing the windows.” It was the first time I heard of a trade out and the first time I ever heard of someone giving a damn about someone on the streets. Trying to understand it all when you’re a ten-year-old from a good home and has a bed to sleep in is difficult.

People talk about Christmas as a time for being thoughtful and giving but that’s just once a year. I have friends that refuse to celebrate it because they think the whole concept of caring about people once every twelve months is bogus. As I get older, and in looking back, I can understand their argument. After midnight on Christmas all of the poor people that we act like we care about suddenly turn back into pumpkins. It just doesn’t seem right.

One Sunday in the winter, I saw Jimmy mixing rubbing alcohol with the water in the bucket. I thought he was going freeze as he sat outside the diner on a ladder trying to reach the tippy-top of the big window that was on the right side of the restaurant. He knew me from my family and I stopped to ask him why he put rubbing alcohol in with the water. He explained that it was to make sure the water wouldn’t freeze. It was a trick he learned from another window washer who actually made a living at doing it.

I was done early that day and had time to kill before church, so I went into the diner to get a breakfast sandwich. They used to make theirs with scrambled eggs, provolone cheese and roasted peppers. It was 75 cents and delicious. I sat at the counter and told Charlie to make another one for Jimmy for when he was done. He told me that he already got free food for doing the windows. I asked him to pay Jimmy some cash so he could have a meal for later as well. After all, I had a ten spot in my pocket. When you’re a little kid it’s a great feeling and I always thought money was a dumb concept anyway. I left before Jimmy finished and said goodbye to him on my way out.

The next Sunday, I didn’t see the window washer when I was done. I didn’t think much of it and went on my way. The Sunday after that I didn’t see him again and this time walked into the diner to ask Charlie what happened to him. Charlie said that Jimmy just didn’t show up anymore. I thought he moved onto another town. I always thought to myself, “If you’re going to be homeless why not be homeless somewhere where it’s warm?” Why do homeless people stay in cold cities in the winter? I never understood it and I still don’t.

Later on I found out, through the usual newspaper stand gossip, that Jimmy died of pneumonia at the local hospital. He never made it out of the city and the whole thing made me feel pretty damn bad. I was upset that I didn’t try and do more, I was mad that he had to sit in the freezing weather and wash windows in order to eat, but most of all, I was just sad at the fact that I would no longer be able to say hello to him on my way to church. Life is funny like that. We get so used to our routines that, when they suddenly have a wrench thrown into the works, we feel lost.

To this day I think about him around the holidays. I really don’t know why. Maybe Christmas, more than anything, isn’t so much a time for gifts, but a time to reminisce about what’s important in our own lives. It’s an occasion to be humble, gracious and most of all, thankful for the friends and family we have and the memories and experiences that have made us who we are.

I think Jimmy stated it best and made a good analogy for life when he said, “You have to keep stirring the bucket or it’ll start to freeze up and then it’s useless.”

Monday 23 December 2013

A Day In The Life Of A Window Cleaner

Peter Manzi the managing director of Clearwater in the company's water purication plant where the equipment can filter up to 75,000 litres of water per day and is stored in these containers.
http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/the-life/a-day-in-the-life-keeping-dubai-water-and-windows-up-to-scratchA day in the life: keeping Dubai water and windows up to scratch - Peter Manzi is the managing director of Clearwater, a window cleaning and maintenance company based in Dubai. The 53 year old Briton arrived in the UAE nine years ago having seen a new water purification system in the United Kingdom and sensed a window of opportunity opening in Dubai with the emergence of the property market. He began with three employees, which has grown to a staff of 20. The purification system he employs removes the sodium, calcium and magnesium to leave the water chemical free and windows streak-free.

I have always been an early riser, not naturally, it’s because I have seven children, aged nine to 29. Only four of them are here at the moment, but Christmas can become chaotic. I get the kids ready for school. I live in Arabian Ranches with the kids at Jess Ranches, so I’m lucky enough to be able to walk them there. We have recently restructured the company so domesticity is a respite.

I have a cup of tea and some toast and then pack the wife off to work. She is in property so is constantly busy. I swim 20 lengths every morning, it focuses my mind, strengthens my body and creates a positive energy that doesn’t leave me for the whole day.

Clearwater has changed tack from the corporate world and rope access on high towers to the residential space. We moved from concentrating solely on window cleaning to adding a maintenance service. The service is a 24-hour operation so we have to be ready to react day or night to people with plumbing problems, AC maintenance or electricity concerns. When I began the business I partnered with the Lootah family, which helped with the licensing and the business development. That partnership ended 18 months ago as the Clearwater business didn’t fit with their core business. However, the family are still a valuable and dependable resource. We have the contract for cleaning the windows of all the Eppco and Enoc service stations. This has to be done at night which generally means the morning is more than busy.

I often have site visits or contract negotiations. We recently signed the contract to do deep cleaning [when one tenant leaves and a home is readied for another] on 100 villas and preventive maintenance for 42 villas on Jumeirah Golf Estates. There has been a real movement in the business confidence of the city and it is showing in our contracts book.

I have lunch – usually a smoked salmon sandwich – which is generally eaten at my desk. I would like to expand regionally but for the moment I am relying on organic growth. The maintenance business is a very competitive field. It requires professional, prompt service and now we are seeing the benefit from the referrals. The past few years have been difficult but the fact that we have stayed in the market, delivering a competitive package, is now paying dividends.

There are usually more site visits in the afternoon whether it’s checking on the maintenance team or to see if an overnight clean has been done correctly. I believe in our product and the water purification system that we use [for window cleaning] so I have diversified into selling bottled cleaning water for interior windows. It was a natural extension as one can see a myriad of products in every supermarket that use countless chemicals to clean windows.

Our product is environmentally friendly and we keep our carbon footprint as low as possible. Our fleet of vans run on bio diesel, sourced from the Lootah family. The bottled water business is still in its infancy as the patent costs and the scale of distribution is huge but we are in Géant and Lulu. It probably needs a Dh3 million investment to push that side of the business, which at present I feel would be challenging, but you don’t get many cleaning products that are safe enough for your children to drink and kind to the environment. I am planning for a very good 2014 with 50 per cent growth in manpower and 28 per cent growth in profits. When you look at global commerce right now there are few better places to be in business than here.

I leave for home and make sure the kids have done all their homework. If there is something on the TV, or Chelsea, I may watch but generally the business always needs some attention. Supper is usually pasta at 8pm.

It’s lights out and straight to sleep as long as there has not been too much stress that day.

Friday 20 December 2013

The Mole & Jersey Show Episode 6

Informative. Inspirational. Better than a cat video.
The Mole & Jersey Show: A new kinda show has come to town - have you seen it yet? A lot like Window Cleaning Nation only with a reckless abandon & inside jokes that probably only window cleaners would get. Episode 6 features film star Alex Lambrinides of Window Cleaning Resource (WCR), where somehow they can't even pronounce his name right. Meanwhile.. if you missed previous episodes, you can find them on this blog but go direct to source for all them, although you may be missing a few latest episodes due to chemtrails. This weeks episode can be found HERE.

Michael Mole is a window cleaning and pressure washing guru who resides in Savanah, Georgia.  The outspoken Mr. Mole is a regular on most industry forums and is liked by dozens in the industry, and his mom thinks he is the coolest guy she knows.  He’s a married man ladies so back off!  He also has an awesome son.  If you call him Mike, you may get on his bad side.

Jersey Josh DOES NOT live in New Jersey, but Wisconsin. False advertising you might say? Well no one asked you. He owns a window cleaning company that gets to enjoy great weather for at least 3 months of the year. A married father of 2 who Michael’s mom also thinks is an alright guy. Yes he likes cheese, and no he’s not a douche.

Mail yo’ swag to: 1313 Maiden Lane, Racine, Wisconsin 53403

Thursday 19 December 2013

Glass News, Window Cleaning News & Pictures

Touchdown's Mitch Lawry, Michael Eland, Lincon Bart, and Laurie Coughlen clean the windows of 50 Marcus Clarke Street, dressed as Santa and his Elves.
Santa lets the sun in as Canberra temperatures hit peak: Workers at Canberra's 50 Marcus Clarke Street got an early visit from Santa and his helpers on Thursday as the rest of the city tried to beat the heat. As the city's temperature hit 35 degrees, swimmers hit suburban pools and Lake Burley Griffin - just as staff from Touchdown Building Services used a regular window cleaning to spread some Christmas cheer.
Justin Ryan said the idea of cleaning windows in Christmas costumes had been months in the making. Complete with three helpers, Santa made sure the sunshine could be seen from inside. ''We've been thinking about doing it for a year or two and we thought it would be a fun thing to do in the last few days before Christmas,'' he said. ''One of the excellent things about the job is you work with the sun and the season.'' Canberra was set to swelter through one of its hottest nights since last summer, with the city's night-time lows staying above 17 degrees on Thursday and Friday. Heading for a top of 35 degrees and mostly sunny conditions on Thursday, the temperature reached the top about 5pm.

Santa and his helpers above Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra, Australia.
Strand’s 25 busy years - It now all seems a far cry from the days when John Hellowell was a lad growing up in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He said: ‘As a lad at 13 I bought an old butcher’s bike, got myself half a dozen hens and started selling eggs to my friends and neighbours.’ He then got a hawker’s licence and ended up with around 50 hens. He became a familiar sight on the market square on Saturday mornings. This was the launch of John’s business career. John was keen to keep involved in business. He recalled how he put an advert in the paper: ‘‘Wanted: business of any kind, anything considered.’’
He left school at 15 with no qualifications. John said another business that came forward was a commercial cleaning company. In fact it turned out to be a small window cleaning business in Douglas. John said he liked the look of it, saw the potential and Strand Cleaners, named after Strand Street in Douglas, was born. In 1988 there were just two members of staff. Today the Strand Group employs nearly 130 people. One of Strand Group’s largest clients now, was a Prospect Hill customer of the original window cleaning business 25 years ago. Today Strand Group provides facilities management, cleaning, high level access, secure document scanning, storage and destruction, through its three operating businesses which are called Strand Facilities Services, Storall and Krypton.
Today it is a 24/7 business and John told Business News that he believes team work is a major factor in the success. John, 56, told how they used to have a contract with Manx Airlines. ‘We used to polish the aircraft for the company. According to Manx Airlines if you polished an aircraft the slipstream is so much more efficient. Apparently a return trip to Manchester would save 10 litres of fuel with a brightly polished aircraft. ‘We used to polish them by hand. We’d get four or five people to do it over a weekend with the old ATPs. ’
John said he has always prided himself on being involved with the job, mucking in and not just sitting in his office. ‘I’ve got a nickname in this firm, I’m known as the Vest, I’m never off their backs’ he said with a chuckle. He said he has always remained enthusiastic for the business as it has expanded, but he was keen to praise the group’s management team for being very good and also the loyal workforce, some of whom have been with Strand for many years. His ex-wife Gill is the group’s finance director.

Japanese Window Cleaners Clad in Costumes from Chinese Zodiac - Window cleaners clad in costumes of snake and horse from Chinese zodiac pose for a photograph before they wipe windows of Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan, Dec. 18, 2013. Click to enlarge.

The Mole & Jersey show - well did you see it? Well did ya'? If you missed episode 5 of this video podcast click Michael Moles eye above to take you to the link. Do it now!  

Window cleaners work at an office building at Berlin's Kurfuerstendamm shopping mall - German real wages to fall in 2013 for first time in 4 years. Real wages in Germany are likely to fall this year for the first time since the height of the financial crisis in 2009, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday, basing its prediction on data for the first nine months. The decline could dampen hopes that domestic consumption will boost Europe's biggest economy in the coming months as the traditionally export-driven powerhouse suffers from fragile demand from the euro zone and a slowdown in emerging markets. In the third quarter, a full-time worker earned 3,462 euros before tax per month on average, excluding special payments.

Six things you may not know originated in comics (The Addams Family) - Remember the original Addams Family, the black & white television series from the 1960s? That’s not the original. The family of Addams actually premiered in series of one-off gag strips by cartoonist Charles Addams in the pages of the The New  Yorker in the late 1930s.  In the original comics they were an unnamed American gothic family, and were only given names when the television show was put into production.  Based on his childhood hometown of Westfield, New Jersey, the Addams Family concept took on a life outside of comics that dwarved its sequential art origins. Back in 2010 a book titled The Addams Family: An Evilution was published, tracing the origins of the macabre bunch from a one-time window washer to becoming a staple of modern culture.

Emotional meeting as heart transplant man thanks Keynsham donor's family - A 21-year-old who received a heart transplant last year has had the opportunity to meet his donor’s family during an emotional meeting in Bath. Last Christmas Will Pope was in intensive care, just weeks away from death, suffering from heart failure believed to have been cased by a virus which attacked the heart muscle. His only hope was a heart transplant, which was made possible thanks to the generous and brave decision by the family of Keynsham apprentice engineer Tom Ince. Tom, 20, was killed in an accident on December 30 when he lost control of his car in torrential rain on the outskirts of Bristol.
His parents Steve and Sue knew he was on the organ donor register, but had to make the agonising decision whether to honour his wishes after being told by doctors that Tom was only being kept alive by life-support machines. “It would have been easier, if I am honest, to say no,” admitted Steve, 48, a window cleaner and whose wife, 47, is a director of a coach company. “It would have been much easier to say, “No, leave him alone, he’s been through enough. I don’t want you to touch him”. “But that wasn’t Tom’s wish. That was just me as a father trying to protect him, but if we had wavered, there would be people who wouldn’t be alive today.”

Lupe Fiasco tweets his novel - Lupe Fiasco has a hot-and-cold relationship with Twitter—one of those users who opens an account, then abruptly deletes it, then opens one again and routinely threatens to delete it, like Alec Baldwin or your weird ex from college. Now the Chicago rapper is using the social media platform to write a new self-described "Afrofuturist novel," 140 characters at a time. He started unveiling chapters of Teriyaki Joe: Neo Harlem Detective on November 30 and is currently releasing chapter three. Poetry Genius breaks down the first chapter, which includes mention of grits and Sun Ra, and sentences like "That's Neo-Harlem for you. That slow burn then that inferno." and "Could really use some pussy. Real pussy not that robotic Kevlar jellyfish these ladies walking around with today."
Lupe talked about quitting music a few years ago (he retires from the industry about as often as he quits Twitter) and expressed his plans to become an author. Back then, his book-in-progress was punnily titled Reflections of a Window Washer, but now it seems he's moving in a more cyberpunk noir direction. Thus far, Teriyaki Joe is a weird but mildly entertaining sci-fi/crime page-turner—er, scroll-downer. More interesting than the snoozy single "Old School Love," at least. For more, follow @LupeFiasco. It's private, so you'll have to wait for approval to find out what happens next in Neo Harlem.

Abseilers and tradesmen urged to go for Tower Hamlets housing contracts (London, UK): Contracts are up for grabs for tradesmen in London’s East End to get a slice of the £181 million being spent on improving council housing. The five main contractors bringing 8,500 properties owned by Tower Hamlets Homes up to scratch by 2015 have pledged to spend half the Whitehall cash locally on services and skilled workers. It could mean work for plumbers, electricians, decorators, carpenters and caterers. Abseilers could also be hoisting themselves into a job. “Our contractors have promised to put work out to a whole range of trades in the East End,” the hosing organisation’s spokesman said. “There’s even work for abseilers—like our abseiling window cleaner at Bethnal Green. It’s often cheaper and more fun for abseilers than contractors having to put up scaffolding when work is being carried out.” The five main contractors have also taken on 53 apprentices between them this year.

St. Petersburg Window washer Eric Williams of JR Service Solutions cleans one of the 1,062 panes of glass that make up the free-form glass bubble known as the “enigma” Thursday at the Dalí Museum. The exterior and a portion of the interior windows are cleaned twice a year, said Brian Iacofano, director of facilities for the museum. The cleaning takes four days to complete. A Christmas tree decorated with Salvador Dalí-themed ornaments is on display in the museum. Click to enlarge.
Dalí Museum spruces up for holidays - ST. PETERSBURG — With the holidays approaching, most everyone wants to look their Sunday best for family gatherings and other special events. The same is true for tourist destinations here in the Tampa Bay area, including the Dalí Museum along the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. That's why window washer were busy Thursday cleaning the 1,062 panes of glass that make up the free-form glass bubble known as the "enigma." According to Brian Iacofano, director of facilities for the museum, the exterior and a portion of the interior windows are cleaned twice a year by a three-person crew. The cleaning takes four days to complete. Inside, museum visitors will find a holiday Christmas tree decorated with Dalí-designed ornaments.

Volunteers with a Higher Calling -  While Bill Gurnett and David Yoon are volunteers who serve the state Office of Emergency Services under the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, some might say these men also answer to a higher power. Gurnett and Yoon - Pastor Bill and Pastor David, respectively - are both ordained ministers. In addition to their "day jobs" they serve as law enforcement chaplains.
Unlike a community chaplain, law enforcement chaplains are ordained, and their conversations are held in confidence. According to its website, Contra Costa County currently has 25 law enforcement chaplains supporting police, fire and civic organizations throughout the area. In addition to his work as pastor for Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Martinez, Gurnett volunteers 30 to 40 hours a month assisting the Lafayette Police Department. He has been there for six of his eight years as a volunteer chaplain, and is one of three lead chaplains organized under a senior chaplain. Yoon is associate pastor for Concord Korean Baptist Church in Martinez. He was sworn in as a chaplain for the Sheriff's office in October, 2012, and has been allied with the Orinda Police Department since January, 2013.
The two ride along with on-duty officers, so they see suicides, traffic fatalities, shootings and accidental death; they accompany police on death notification calls. They feel their presence lends a calming effect to the situation. Law enforcement chaplains offer comfort to victims and their families,facilitate end of life planning, and, as Yoon said, generally "act as a sounding board" to those involved. Although there are exceptions, volunteer chaplains don't usually work inside county jails because the jails employ paid chaplains. "We bring reality together" and help victims "move forward in a healthy way," said Yoon. Gurnett emphasized that although they are chaplains, their job is not to convert, but to help "normal people in abnormal times."
"We are with the families until they get a support system," he said. Law enforcement chaplains help both victims and first responders alike. A chaplain is often called upon to conduct an event debriefing, called a critical incident management debriefing. This process helps those affected by a traumatic event cope with its aftermath. Gurnett and other law enforcement chaplains were involved in several briefing sessions after two window washers were shocked and burned in Orinda in 2010.

This might be the year's last Idiots on Ladders picture. We think it lives up to the standards of the rest. The Ladder Association, formerly the British Ladder Manufacturers' Association (BLMA), aims to set a new agenda for the ladder industry in the UK. A tried and trusted piece of workplace equipment – it is estimated that some two million are in daily use throughout the UK – the ubiquitous ladder is set to get some serious support. The BLMA was formed in 1947 by the major ladder manufacturers of the day. Today, the Ladder Association welcomes members from every part of the access industry, advances best practice and plays an integral role in promoting the highest standards of ladder design and manufacture.

They’re over the edge and very comfortable being so high up: Being comfortable with heights is a prerequisite for this job. Industrial Abseiling employees have been swinging around outside the Daily Mercury's office this week. You might have seen them while driving along Gordon St, or even pulled over to take a sneaky photo on your smart phone. But abseiling from roof- tops is just a day-to-day thing for Tim Heilbronn and Noureddene Saimah. Mr Heilbronn has a background in rock climbing and is a carpenter by trade. Spanish-born Mr Saimah has been working in the industry for 10 years and has cleaned the windows on skyscrapers as tall as 150 metres.
While Mr Saimah shrugged off any sense of fear, Mr Heilbronn said his fear helped drive him to stay safe on the job site. "Heights are also what make the job fun I guess," Mr Heilbronn said. "But I have a system of checks. The anchor points are weighted to two tonnes and the ropes are weighted to much more than my 75kg. "It's a matter of processing the realities of your fear."
On the Daily Mercury's Gordon St building the pair have removed the metal sunshades and started painting the steel frames from blue to grey. It is the first time the Gold Coast-based company has had a contract in Mackay. The sight of two men swinging from ropes created entertainment for office workers in the first few days, but the pair said they were used to the attention. "Yeah, you see people take photos on their phones, it's kind of cool," Mr Heilbronn said. All industrial abseilers must have an Industrial Rope Access Trade Association qualifications under their belt. An IRATA Certificate One can be attained in Brisbane and costs about $1800.

Southborough pensioner in misery over 'unjust' service charges: A Southborough man has been left "distraught" after discovering his landlords wrongly charged residents thousands of pounds. Michael Ledingham, 64, of Pennington Manor, was shocked to see his housing association had added a bill of £2,172 on to their service costs. Mr Ledingham wrote to Town and Country Housing Group, and was told a tree needed to be trimmed back on their property. After demanding to see invoices for the work done, he received a letter from the housing group on December 5. He discovered work undertaken on land three miles from Pennington Manor, in Pennine Walk, had been charged to residents. He said: "I was absolutely furious. It has uncovered a whole bunch of lies and taking a look at the other costs charged I can see things are not right. I am distraught. I am cracking under the pressure they are putting me under and I'm not sure how much more I can take."
Mr Ledingham has taken legal advice, and is convinced residents are being overcharged for a number of other services such as window cleaning, admin fees and gardening. Pennington Manor comprises 23 bedsits, seven one-bedroom flats and one two-bedroom flat. Despite residents being charged £42.44 per flat for legionella checks, only one sample was taken from the building. Mr Ledingham said: "I know most of it doesn't leave us as residents out of pocket because we rely on housing benefits, but that doesn't stop it from being unjust. "Ultimately this is the taxpayers' money and if I don't stand up and say something then no-one will. "They think they can get away with targeting the old and vulnerable because they won't fight back. It's a disgrace. "I don't want to live like this for another 30 years of my life. I feel as though I am being lied to constantly."

The Dusty Miller pub in Longwood hosts man's Christmas cake bake contest: Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have made baking a big hit. But the team behind The Great British Bake-Off,  are lagging behind a group in Huddersfield. They’re the cake bakers of The Dusty Miller in Longwood. And on Sunday, they will again be putting their skills to the test when they hold their Christmas cake competition for the 10th year in a row. It has proved a great draw over the years and this year’s contest is expected to attract more than 20 bakers. And every one of them will be a man – the rules of the competition strictly forbid women from entering, although there are women on the judging panel.
So what is the secret of a good Christmas cake? Roger (pictured left), a 48-year-old window cleaner, admits it is something that has to be made well in advance and timing is everything. “I made mine at the end of October so hopefully it will be at its best come Sunday. “I live on a narrowboat in Elland and that brings added problems, because I have to cook with Calor gas and that is different to other cookers. “As last year’s winner and a top-three finisher every year, I really hope I can become the first to retain the trophy. No-one has managed to do that over the past nine years, even though there are at least six of us who have competed each year.” The final is at 7.30pm on Sunday, December 22, at The Dusty Miller in Gilead Road, Longwood.

Crooner freemason saves the day at pensioners’ Xmas party - A freemason has been hailed a hero for rescuing a crisis-hit pensioners’ party. More than 50 people from the community homes, Magdalen House, Stony Stratford, and Radcote Lodge, Two Mile Ash, faced heartbreak when a magician pulled out of their Christmas knees-up because of illness. So Paul French, 48, stepped up to the microphone to serenade the guests with a 45 minute set of traditional songs, American standards, and festive jokes to ensure the party went with a swing.
Paul, a window cleaner,said: “Normally being chair of a masonic lodge involves conducting committee meetings and make sure the lodge is supporting the right charities. “This time, I had to sing for somebody else’s supper!” Fellow freemason Mick Hull,64, a business consultant Great Linford, said: “Paul saved the day. The audience was getting a bit restive. I told Paul to do something. He just grabbed the microphone and bit his lip.  “Then, he leapt on to the stage and made some witty remarks, before launching into some old standards, like ‘My Kind of Town.’ “He is an inspirational chairman who lives our standards of friendship, decency, and charity.”

How I fell in love with a homeless man - Good salary, own home. It's a standard criteria that most men must meet for most women to be interested. But 22 years ago, Louise Ashley met a homeless man in a book shop. She has been with Jason Liostatos ever since. “I met Jason in November 1991 in Waterstones in Bath, where I lived. I was 25 and an underwear designer for Bentwoods in Bristol, supplying Marks & Spencer. I earned a salary that just about afforded me a comfortable flat. I spotted Jason reading on the floor in the self-help section, wearing a beige woolly jumper with long hair in a pony tail. There was a wild look about him that caught my eye. Jason started talking to me about the book he was reading and we chatted for ages, discovering we had much in common. After a while, I suggested we head to a Spanish restaurant for dinner, especially as I still didn't know many people in Bath. Jason came but didn't eat, apparently he had been too nervous.
Over dinner, I asked where Jason lived and was shocked when he told me it was in his Chevette car in the local sports centre car park. If you meet someone that might be a possible partner, it's only natural to want them to have a nice house and everything that goes with it. Still, there was something about him that got me hooked, confirmed when he walked me home and hugged me goodbye. I felt an electric shock run through my body as we embraced. The following day, Jason dropped a card through my door joking that he'd bring step ladders next time we met (I am five foot one and he is six foot three), though I had doubtful thoughts about seeing him again. Still, I couldn't stop thinking about Jason and went to look for his car in the multi-storey car park a few days later. I saw it immediately as there were few cars around. I knocked on the boot and Jason was inside a caterpillar sleeping bag, reading. He invited me in. As we got to know each other, I found out he earned a living as a window cleaner.

Working Alongside Old Man Winter - EAST STROUDSBURG — The forecast is calling for several days of cold weather and some people have to get used to it, mainly because they have no choice but to work outside. The temperature on the ESSA Bank thermometer in East Stroudsburg says 34 degrees but to many, it feels colder. No matter what, winter weather has arrived. Snow and ice are still stuck to the ground, making it sometimes a little tricky for parking enforcement officer Walter Phillips to do his job which he does on foot. “This ain’t nothing. It’s in the 20s,” he said. “I’d wear shorts if they’d allow it.”
Phillips spends hours out in the elements but says he doesn’t mind the cold because he knows how to beat Old Man Winter at his own game. “Layers, hat’s a big thing for me, thicker socks. I feel feet and head.” “Wearing lots of layers helps, staying dry and wearing layers,” said Ben Wagner. Staying dry for Wagner is a big job. He works for Dan Wagner Window Cleaning which means every Wednesday, no matter the weather, you can find him and his brother walking around Main Street washing windows. “Your clothes gets a little wet sometimes, gloves get wet,” Wagner said.
So in this report we’re talking about working outside in the cold and I have to make mention of being a reporter out in the cold. First your mouth freezes when you’re trying to do a live shot and my problem, my hands get cold, and we all know I love talking with my hands. And another issue, I also like picking up things with my hands, and you can imagine this, no fun. What also isn’t fun is not dressing properly for the elements.

Biegel Celebrates Ten Years with Fish Window Cleaning:  Local resident Jeffrey Biegel (pictured left) is celebrating his ten-year anniversary with national franchisor Fish Window Cleaning®. “I enjoy making a difference in the community I serve,” said Biegel. “Five of my employees have been with me for over seven years. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together.” In July, Biegel received FISH’s “Franchisee of the Year” Award. This prestigious award recognizes excellence in performance and contributions to the overall success of the national franchise organization. In order to qualify for this award, the locally owned and operated location must continually grow as well as consistently provide exemplary customer service.
In addition to being named Franchisee of the Year, Biegel received the Star Performer Award—Executive Market Group and the Top Sales Award for adding over 500 new accounts in 2012. During his time as a FISH owner, Biegel has regularly been recognized for top sales. He also accepted the Navigator Award for his work with prospective franchisees. Biegel made a trip to FISH franchise headquarters in St. Louis to celebrate, where he also made a commitment to continue his FISH business for another ten years. “It has been exciting to watch Jeff grow his business and reach this milestone anniversary,” said Nathan Merrick, vice president of franchise development at Fish Window Cleaning. “We look forward to many more years of success with him.”

LED lights for the holidays: LED lights can be a great gift to the holiday decorator. Even though they cost more than other types, they last longer, produce far less heat and use less energy. The letters stand for “light-emitting diode” (but if you’re like some of my neighbors, they might more appropriately stand for “love elaborate displays.”) Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs are solid-state. There’s no filament that heats up with wasteful thermal radiation. Instead, light is released when electrical current excites electrons in the diode.
Just in time for the peak decorating season, here’s a stocking full of tidbits about LED lights, compiled by our researchers and based on interviews with highly rated lighting and electrical experts and other sources: Plan to spend about four times more for a string of LED lights than for traditional bulbs. However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical strand of incandescent lights may last three years, while a comparable strand of LEDs can last 20 years or more. An LED bulb generally consumes 75 percent less energy than its incandescent counterpart. You can connect up to 25 strands of lights end-to-end and not worry that you’ll blow a fuse.
Size matters: Earlier versions of holiday light bulbs began with what are known as C6 bulbs, where the C stands for “cone-shaped” and the 6 refers to the diameter of the bulb in eighths of an inch. Modern versions of the C6 are strawberry-shaped bulbs often used indoors or draped around doorways. C7 and C9 bulbs are commonly hung along rooflines or wrapped around trees. Popular LED holiday bulb types include the globe-shaped G series, or T, which are small tubes. Mini-tube LEDs are recommended for indoor Christmas trees.
Other types of LED lights that can make your holiday bright include rope lights, which are encased in flexible plastic tubing, and net lighting, which can be draped over a bush or tree, avoiding the usual tangled mess. Colors of LED holiday lights are as varied as their incandescent counterparts. Newer versions can match the warm, candle-like hues of incandescents. No matter what kind of bulbs you invest in for holiday decorating, keep in mind that if you would rather not get up on a ladder and hang strand after strand, there are service providers who do that kind of work.
Categories of professionals who can help with holiday decorating include landscapers, interior decorators, roofers and window washers. A job can range from lighting a single tree to stringing lights across the whole house. The cost for professional holiday decorating help can vary widely, but most experts say to expect to pay from $800 to $1,500 the first year. While you may find experts who have time to fit your decorating job in for this season, you’ll guarantee an even more relaxed holiday next year if you contact them months ahead of time. Or, if you find it fun to decorate, you might consider hiring help with the more onerous task of taking everything down and storing it away.

SageGlass Simplicity electrochromic glass is solar powered and controlled with an iPad: In some instances, there is a need to control light and heat that enter a home or business through windows. There are basic solutions such as tinting, but that may not be ideal in all uses. A company called Sage has some very interesting electrochromic windows that are able to tint itself in response to changing light conditions.
The company has announced what it claims to be the industry's first electrochromic glass that is completely solar powered, self-contained, and controlled wirelessly using an iPad. The new glass is called SageGlass Simplicity and it is a dynamic glass that is electronically tintable. The big feature of the glass is its ability to darken or clear automatically or manually based on lighting or the owners desire.
In some instances, there is a need to control light and heat that enter a home or business through windows. There are basic solutions such as tinting, but that may not be ideal in all uses. A company called Sage has some very interesting electrochromic windows that are able to tint itself in response to changing light conditions.
The company has announced what it claims to be the industry's first electrochromic glass that is completely solar powered, self-contained, and controlled wirelessly using an iPad. The new glass is called SageGlass Simplicity and it is a dynamic glass that is electronically tintable. The big feature of the glass is its ability to darken or clear automatically or manually based on lighting or the owners desire.

The industrial window makes a comeback in residential design: Over the past decade, residential design has been undergoing an industrial revolution. The sewing stool, the weathered workbench, exposed concrete floors – these features have showed up everywhere, not just in converted lofts, but also in new condos and suburban houses.
Now architects and designers are employing a new tool: the industrial window. Framed in black steel, divided into a grid of rectangular lights, such windows are borrowed from the factories of the early 20th century. And now, as that era fades into history, some of us are choosing to recall it in the design of our homes. In an age of laptops, spreadsheets and telecommuting, the idea of real work – the kind of work our grandfathers did, with tools and hot steel and hunks of wood, the kind that today’s professionals have never done – has an attractive tang of nostalgia.
Even a decade ago, that would have been an eccentric choice. Steel windows were historical artifacts – and indeed old versions are still visible in places like Vancouver’s Gastown. “The steel window, at the turn of the 20th century was the go-to window for factory design,” explains architect and artist Michael Awad. “It was originally for practical reasons – if a bolt goes flying off a machine and breaks a window, you’re not replacing a huge pane of glass.”

After last year's fire incident in a Bandra-Kurla Complex building exposed the helplessness of firefighters, civic body draws up fresh guidelines to safeguard human life and property.
Glass facade openings a must on all floors (Mumbai, India): A year after a building with a glass façade in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) caught fire, the city’s municipality has come up with guidelines for such buildings which are mushrooming across the city, especially in business hubs. The guidelines prepared by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have been put together to safeguard human life and property especially in case a fire breaks out. To begin with, buildings with glass façades will now need to have a window-like opening on every floor of the structure. This window should be of a minimum width of 1.5mt and a height of 1.5mt. On any given floor, such windows should be created at a horizontal distance of 15mt. These window openings should be strategically located — such that a window is available at a place facing a motorable road. In case of a fire, the ladder of a fire brigade should have easy access from the road to a higher floor.
After last year’s fire, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte had asked the fire brigade and the municipality’s building proposal department to put in place guidelines for glass façade structures. On September 7, 2012, a fire had broken out on the 12th floor of First International Financial Centre in Bandra-Kurla Complex. The building has a glass façade. Officials from the fire department have said that they face a lot of difficulty in fighting a fire in a glass-façade building. A senior fire official said that they are often unable to enter the premises. “If at all we do get in, the visibility is poor, hampered as it is due to the glass-façade structure which raises the temperature inside, affecting rescue operations.” Deputy chief fire officer S Nesarikar said that the guidelines are applicable to all new buildings that will come up in the city. “The guidelines are also binding in order to procure a ‘no objection certificate’ from the fire safety point of view,” said Nesarikar. “For existing buildings with glass façades, the guidelines apply to buildings which are yet to get occupancy certificates.”
Fire safety measures
A window-like opening on each floor of glass-façade buildings is mandatory. The opening should be at least 1.5 metre wide and 1.5 metre high. On each floor, such windows should be created at a distance of 15 metre.
The window should be positioned such that it is overlooks an access road. This will allow easy access to the ladder in case a fire breaks out an upper floor.
The window should have manual opening mechanism from not just from inside outside as well.
The glass panel should swing open horizontally — left to right or vice versa – instead of opening vertically like, for instance, the boot of a car .
The distance between a building’s glass exterior and the inner brick periphery wall should not be more than 300mm.
Smoke barriers should be placed on each floor. This will prevent the smoke from billowing onto either the higher or lower floors. The smoke barriers should be of non-combustible material.
The glass material should be such that it can withstand and resist a fire for at least an hour.
Coating of any film made of plastic or any combustible material shall not be allowed on either the internal or external wall of the glass façade.

A visitor looks at the mountains through a glass cage named 'Pas dans le Vide' (Step into the Void) at the top of the Aiguille du Midi peak (3842-meters high), in the French Alps. How do they clean the glass?
How to stand 3,000ft in the air: A French tourism company has suspended a glass cube with a see-through bottom from a peak in the Alps, offering a breathtaking view a 3,000ft down. Billed as the tallest attraction in Europe, the structure was three years in the making. It includes five transparent sides made of three layers of tempered glass fixed with metal to a big support structure. Tourists will get a stunning view from the Aiguille du Midi mountain of the landscape, including Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain. "Step into the Void," opens to the public on Saturday.

Robert Djordjevic, a local abstract artist, holds up a rock and roll themed stain glass window, The Dark Side of Oz, he created. The 40-year-old local abstract artist uses his unique vision and applies them to glass, a project he has never seen before.
Unique stained glass artist doesn’t ‘follow the rules’ - A local abstract artist has tossed the paint brush and canvas aside and is now expressing his unique style on stained glass windows. Robert Djordjevic, 40, says he is not the typical Victorian stained glass artist. “I don’t follow the rules,” Djordjevic said. “I’m not a traditionalist. I like to do my own thing.” Glass artworks depicting Jimi Hendrix, The Dark Side of Oz (the Wizard of Oz meets Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon),  sports logos and various comic book heroes are a few of the creative projects he’s taken on.
Djordjevic, an abstract artist since his teens, learned the basic skills of making stained glass creations from his father-in-law John Beaudoin, a stained glass artist with 25 years of experience. Djordjevic learned from Beaudoin, but applied his own unique touch. “I do things out of glass you don’t normally see,” he said. “I’m a different artist than other stained glass artists I’ve noticed.” An idea just pops in his head and, instead of putting it on paper, he puts it on glass while listening to music that inspires him. “This is my escape – my getaway,” he said. “It’s unique. I love doing it and I hope it catches on somewhere.”
Creating stained glass artwork isn’t cheap and it’s time consuming. His Dark Side of Oz piece took him one month to create, working on it two or three hours a day. A piece with a hand, snake and an apple, The Forbidden Fruit, took him two months, working off and on when he had spare time. The full-time factory worker puts time into his hobby when he can. Djordjevic’s next project will be Elvis, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix in the same panel, which he plans on starting in January. “It’s like making a puzzle,” Djordjevic said. “You have to match each piece with certain coloured glass and cut it to the drawing.” He then uses copper foil to hold the glass in place. Once everything is fitted he solders it all. Djordjevic had a stained glass business for two years, doing custom work for businesses and local residents, before shutting it down 2010 because he couldn’t make enough to support his growing family.
After a year of  “artistic block”  he got back into designing these new pieces on a more serious level – artwork that no one has seen before. Working out of his basement, surrounded by glassed pieces – comic book hero Iron Man,the Green Bay Packers logo, Jesus with a lion and a lamb – Djordjevic hopes to make people aware of the artistic talent in Windsor. “I’m just a speckle of the artists in the city,” he said. “They need to get their work out.” “I want to be known as the artist, who works with stained glass, but as the guy who does different things with stained glass,” Djordjevic said. “Hopefully I can inspire people. There is some amazing stuff out there.”

Daredevil's world record attempt to jump through 10 panes of glass goes wrong: Watch how this acrobat landed himself in hospital after his daring attempt to smash through ten window panes in the fastest time A former Cirque du Soleil acrobat made a daring attempt to jump through ten panes of glass but ended up breaking his neck. The daredevil - know as Jesus 'Half Animal' Villa - slammed head-first into the glass in July and spent months in hospital recovering. The Las Vegas stunt man can be seen confidently preparing for his challenge by kitting himself out in protective clothing, a hard helmet and goggles. But as he takes a running leap into the first pane of glass, the gutsy action man slams head first into the hard surface and ends up on the floor, clearly injured. It is understood the daredevil now hopes to raise $100,000 to help pay for his ultimate comeback.

A doctor watches 'Die Hard' to see if Bruce Willis would actually survive... You know how it is. You're watching a film and you're thinking, "There's absolutely no way anyone could survive going through a plate-glass window and make a one-liner about it afterwards". It just doesn't make sense and you're not even a doctor. Simple physics would tell you that some of the glass is going to wind up making a mark or something, right? Well, here's something for you pedants. An actual, certified, real-life doctor sat down and watched Entertainment.ie's all-time favourite Bruce Willis film, Die Hard, and analysed it for injuries. As it turns out, Detective John McClane must have been some sort of freak of human nature to withstand this shit. Remember the bit at the start when he fights Karl's brother in the stairwell? Didn't make sense at all, according to this doctor.

R.I.P. Arnold Tuzman, 98, of Elkins Park and Pompano Beach, Fla., a Holocaust survivor, businessman, and philanthropist, died Thursday, Dec. 12, of cancer at Abington Hospice at Warminster. Mr. Tuzman was the longtime proprietor of Jenkintown Window Cleaning, a family business taken over and expanded by his son. The firm was known for sending workers hundreds of feet skyward to clean the windows of such structures as Liberty Place, the Wanamaker Building, and Veterans Stadium. It also handled hospitals, historical sites, and mansions on the Main Line, according to its website.
Mr. Tuzman was born as Aharon Tuzman in 1915 in what is now Zaklikow, Poland. At age 8, he sold sweet buns warm from the family's oven on the village streets to make a little money. After the Nazis invaded Poland in World War II, his widowed mother, Symma, told Mr. Tuzman to take his brother, Maier, and flee. Bribing a farmer with two bottles of vodka, the two young men crossed the Soviet border buried inside a hay wagon. They covered their mouths so as not to cry out when border guards stabbed the hay with pitchforks, his family said in a tribute.
Mr. Tuzman and his brother were captured by Russians, though, and sent to a Siberian labor camp because they were escapees. When a call went out for men to serve in the Soviet Polish army, Mr. Tuzman volunteered. Rising to the rank of chief quartermaster, he not only saved his and his brother's lives, but also smuggled supplies to Jewish survivors of concentration camps, his family said.
Mr. Tuzman was still in uniform just after V-E Day when he was asked to give a ride to a young woman named Esther Knobel. Suspecting she was Jewish, he asked if she knew a Hebrew blessing recited on the Sabbath. When her eyes filled with tears, he knew she was a fellow Jew. "They were both being careful," their daughter, Ani, said. The two married in 1946 and immigrated to America a year later. They lived briefly in New York City before moving to New Jersey. Mr. Tuzman sold roofing and siding, delivered soda, and ran a chicken farm in Vineland, all before becoming proprietor of Jenkintown Window Cleaning. In 1961, he moved his family from South Jersey to Northeast Philadelphia. Later, the two moved to Montgomery County, and divided their time between it and Pompano Beach.

Former firefighter and popular councillor Bob Gale dies, aged 68 - Bob Gale, a well-liked and respected Richmondshire District Councillor, died last week at his home in Arkengarthdale with wife Shirley and their two sons, Richard and Michael, at his bedside. He had battled against cancer for several months. Fellow councillors and officers paid tribute to Mr Gale at his funeral held in Arkengarthdale Parish Church on Wednesday, December 18. A long established parish councillor, he was elected as an Independent to the district council in May 2011, representing Reeth and Arkengarthdale in the Upper Dales. He also became a member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority - and had a well deserved reputation for standing up for local communities. He married Shirley in 1968 and the couple had two sons, Richard and Michael. He continued to serve the community as a retained fireman for many years, and also worked as a part time window cleaner, then later as a mechanic at a friend’s garage on his days off.

Cop put window cleaner in Powerade bottle - A police officer sick of a colleague drinking his Powerade substituted the blue energy drink with window cleaner. Det. Const. Gary Quigley, 46, filled the 500ml with the potentially deadly blue liquid in a bid to catch the thief and "teach him a lesson". The Southwark Crown Court was told that Det. Const. Steve Halfide mistook it for his bottle of Powerade and drank it. The policeman, a colleague at the child protection unit, was hospitalised but avoided serious injury. Det. Const. Quigley, of Essex, denied administering a poison with intent, the Daily Mail reports. Det. Const. Halfhide told the court he experienced a burning sensation in his mouth and throat and vomited repeatedly after swallowing the liquid.
"I swallowed two mouthfuls.I instantly felt burning in my throat and then I was physically sick into the sink," he said. "I then went into one of the toilets and I was sick. I still had the burning in my throat. "I obviously wasn't aware at the time of what it was I had. I was quite anxious and a little bit panicky." He said he was unaware of any food or drink going missing. Det. Const. Quigley told the court he became dismayed when his drinks were stolen from a communal fridge and said his "sole intention was to catch the thief". "I admit fully and accept all culpability for my actions," he said. "I am extremely sorry and deeply remorseful for what has happened. It was never my intention to cause any injury to anyone." The pair were based at police offices in Stratford, east London, but did not know each other, the court was told. The trial continues.

DNA leads to Waltham man's arrest on B&E - Nine strands of hair left at a burglary scene in Wayland last January led to a Waltham man being arrested for the crime on Tuesday, authorities said. Stevan R. Pelletier, 51, left a winter hat that contained nine strands of his hair when he broke into a home at an unspecified address on Jan. 29, prosecutor Emily Walsh said Tuesday during Pelletier's Framingham District Court arraignment. On that day, the homeowner arrived home and discovered someone had broken in through a window in the kitchen and stole a watch valued at $2,500 and a gold necklace, valued at $1,000.
The homeowner also noticed a winter hat on the kitchen sink that did not belong to anyone in the home, the prosecutor said. "It had nine hairs in it," said Walsh. "The hairs were sent for DNA testing."
Those results came in last Monday and matched Pelletier's DNA. Police asked the homeowner if she knew who Pelletier was. "She believed he was a co-owner of a business that washed her windows, that is in Waltham," Walsh said. Wayland Police asked Pelletier to come to the police station to be questioned. When he did, they arrested him at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Police charged Pelletier, of 93 Alder St., Waltham, with breaking and entering during the day and larceny of property worth more than $250. Walsh asked Judge Douglas Stoddart to hold Pelletier on $400 bail. She said his record included 10 guilty findings, several incarcerations and other larceny cases. Pelletier's lawyer, Joseph Colangelo, argued for his client's release. He said Pelletier is a lifetime resident of Waltham, works for his father's window-washing company and helps care for his elderly grandmother.
Stoddart, though, more than doubled Walsh's bail request, setting Pelletier's bail  at $1,000 based on what he said was a likelihood of conviction. "I believe DNA by itself is sufficient for a jury to convict him," Stoddart said. Pelletier is due back in court on Feb. 3 for a pretrial conference.

Deacon charged with lewd conduct, says Satan took over body (Nampa, Idaho) - A church deacon from southwestern Idaho has been charged with lewd conduct after prosecutors said he abused a young parishioner. The Idaho Press-Tribune reports Alexander Gonzalez Garcia (pictured), a deacon with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nampa, was arrested Tuesday. Prosecutors say a girl younger than 16 told investigators in July that Garcia inappropriately touched her in a church storage room during a potluck a few days earlier. Court records say Garcia was also interviewed by police detectives. The detectives said in court documents that Garcia claimed Satan was also in the storage room and may have taken control of his body. Comments section: Weird. This man is my old window cleaner from A & D Window cleaning. Super nice guy. Sad.

Jail for Arbroath man who duped pensioners into paying ‘window cleaning’ cash - A 25 year old Arbroath man who duped vulnerable older people out of cash by collecting window cleaning money has been jailed for four months. Sheriff Gregor Murray at Arbroath told Kenneth Tough it was a despicable crime and he had no alternative but to send him to custody. Tough, of Burnett Drive, admitted obtaining £68.95 by fraud on August 4 at a sheltered housing complex on Cliffburn Road, from two men aged 76 and 60 and two women aged 84 and 85, by pretending to be a window cleaner and pretending he was collecting money for window cleaning services. He also admitted stealing £20 from the complex and a coin counter.
Solicitor Billy Rennie said his client had worked as a window cleaner before being sacked due to an increasing drug dependency. He said Tough was owed £70 when he was fired but was not paid by his boss. Collecting the cash was more a way of getting back at his employer rather than his victims, Mr Rennie told the court. Sheriff Murray said he would sentence Tough to four months in jail due to the “gravity” of the offence.

20-year-old man sentenced to two and a half years in prison for fraud and theft in Milton Keynes: A man has been sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment, after pleading guilty to a number of fraud and theft offences across Milton Keynes. Ally Gillan, of no fixed abode, was convicted and sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on Thursday (December 12). Gillan pleaded guilty to seven offences; four fraud offences and three thefts that occurred across Milton Keynes between May and September this year.
He targeted the vulnerable and elderly, stealing purses and taking payment for jobs like window cleaning that he did not actually complete. Gillan also asked for a further 15 offences to be taken in to consideration at court. On sentencing the judge also applied a restraining order upon Gillans’ release, whereby he cannot attend residential properties requesting money for services or offering services for payment in England and Wales. He is also banned from attending any residential properties asking for money in England and Wales.
He must not approach anyone in a public place requesting money for services or offering services for payment unless in paid employment or registered with a charity or voluntary organisation in England and Wales. Investigation officer, Detective Sergeant Kelly Gardner from Milton Keynes CID, said: “These offences had a big impact on the victims, as Gillan had befriended some of those he targeted and they believed that they could trust him. “This sentence and the restrictions that have been place upon him on release from prison should ensure that he is unable to impose threat on any further victims.”

A teenager caught with 17 bags of cannabis will have a chance to prove that the offence was a “one-off”. Nineteen-year-old Jason Rutherford was spared a custodial sentence when he appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court last week. The sheriff accepted that the young window cleaner was attempting to make something of himself after being removed from a “criminal element” as a youngster. Rutherford, 23 Salters Road, Wallyford, was ordered to carry out 200 hour of unpaid work as part of a community payback order. He had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of a controlled class-B drug at The Grove near the River Esk, Musselburgh, on May 1.
The court heard police officers investigating another matter became aware of a strong smell of cannabis coming from a hut near the river. The accused, who was there with five other youths, was found to have a bag containing 17 individual bags of cannabis. The officers later went to the home of his grandparents, where he had been staying, and found another bag of cannabis and a grinder. Depute Fiscal Alison Innes said the drugs found at the riverside had a potential value of between £150 and £350. Defence agent David Cairns, described it as a “non-commercial venture” for Rutherford, who was supplying the cannabis on a social basis. Having been removed from a “criminal element” as a youngster, Mr Cairns said Rutherford had obtained qualifications at school, held down jobs and had never been involved in this type of offending before. Sheriff Peter Braid agreed to accept the recommendation of a social work report and imposed a community payback order.

Police issue warning about bogus callers: Police have issued a warning about bogus callers after two homes were targeted in the same day. The first incident happened at 1.15pm on November 13 when a man knocked on the door of an address in Claremont Road, Cricklewood, and told the cleaner who answered that he had arranged with the home's owner to clean the windows. He asked to come in and fill his bucket and headed upstairs. When he came down a few minutes later, the bogus window cleaner left, saying he would be back to collect his money. But he didn't, and soon afterwards the contents of a purse were found to be missing. The man is described as white, aged in his mid 40s, 5ft 10in tall and of slim build. He had mousy coloured hair which curled up at the end.
Then, at 3.30pm in Crescent Road, Crouch End, an elderly woman was approached by a man who said he was working on the gutters of her apartment block. He followed the woman into the communal hallway and up to her flat. Police believe that he then poured water on her floor once inside. The bogus workman claimed that the gutters were responsible for the puddle on the floor, but when the person who lived in the flat below came up and challenged him about water leaking through the ceiling, he said he would go outside and speak with his colleague. However, the man, who is described as young, white and with ginger hair, instead fled.
Detective Constable Matthew Lever, of Haringey Police, said: “I would appeal for anyone who remembers seeing either of these men to contact me on 101. “If you feel uncomfortable letting someone into your home, then don't.” Anyone with information about the bogus caller in Cricklewood should call police on 101 quoting reference 2822804/13. And ring the same number, quoting reference 2822694/13, with information about the incident in Crouch End.

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