Friday 3 May 2013

Window Cleaning News

Halifax Week in Photos: A window washer cleans the glass exterior of Belmont House, a commercial office building, in downtown Dartmouth on Tuesday. Click picture to enlarge.

True Confessions Airing on “20/20″ Friday, May 3 at 10 pm on ABC (USA): Get ready for a big dose of shocking disclosures… from doctors and hairdressers and even burglars, the people in your neighborhood reveal some surprising secrets of their trade.  “True Confessions” airs on “20/20″ on FRIDAY, MAY 3 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.   Anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir, reports include: Window Washers:  High above the city streets, scaling the sides of skyscraper office buildings and high rise condos, some window washers are not just washing, they are watching… and you can just imagine the things they’ve seen!  Matt Gutman goes up against the glass with a crew of Florida high-rise guys who video tape their adventures on helmet-cam.

William Ecker Named Chief Executive Officer of Unger Global Companies: Unger Global, has selected William D. Ecker as its new Chief Executive Officer. Before joining Unger, Mr. Ecker was President and Chief Executive Officer of Hartz Mountain Corporation, the leading manufacturer and marketer of pet care products in the United States and Canada.  Prior to joining Hartz Mountain, Mr. Ecker was Chairman of Diam International, the largest designer and manufacturer of retail displays in the nation.  A seasoned consumer products executive, Mr. Ecker held senior positions at General Foods, Unilever, and Bristol-Myers Squibb where he was the president of Clairol's US retail operations prior to joining Diam.
Mr. Ecker, is a graduate of Penn State University, and received his MBA in marketing from Northwestern University. He and his family reside in Stamford, CT. "Unger is a premier global supplier of high quality, innovative cleaning products, and I am very proud to join the company as it seeks to extend its reach into the growing market for innovative cleaning products," said Mr. Ecker. "I anticipate exciting and rewarding days ahead for our company."
About Unger Global: The company was founded in Germany in 1964 when Henry Unger, a professional window cleaner, started designing products for professional use. Over the years, the Unger family continually improved their product's efficiency and effectiveness and became a favorite of window cleaners globally. This dedication has enabled Unger to become a market leader in the professional cleaning industry. Today, Unger has expanded that expertise and knowledge from the professional cleaning arena into the consumer market, offering quality tools for at-home cleaning. The brand promise of "quality tools for smart cleaning" is evident with every item that they make. Consumers can find the Unger at-home cleaning products, including Unger Pro, Unger Carbon and neatHome across the US, Canada, Europe and online.

Introducing neatHome™ by Unger Purple is the new black in Home Cleaning: Unger, one of the most trusted names in cleaning is pleased to announce that their quality cleaning tools are now available at select Target stores and The neatHome™ by Unger collection speeds up and simplifies at-home cleaning in hard-to-reach areas in a fun and trendy way.  Unger's longstanding heritage in cleaning solutions is now being rebranded with candy colored Patrician purple product and packaging. The packaging speaks to the consumer about the product benefits with meaningful but irreverent language such as "spider webs beware" or "save an ostrich, clean with microfiber!"
Powered with Connect & Clean™ innovation, this collection of products improves the reach and effectiveness of consumers' cleaning capabilities regardless if they are dusting, cleaning windows, or scrubbing surfaces - even in the hardest to reach places in and around the home. These tools make housecleaning, "cleaner, faster and safer."  The neatHome™ difference lies with the consumer's ability to quickly change the cleaning attachments, and to clean without using ladders, chemicals or expensive refills.
"This new collection was designed with microfibers and innovative design to make the cleaning experience more efficient and ergonomically correct," said Mark Michels , Vice President of Marketing at Unger.  "The product and package design was an integral component in expressing this new collection.  We wanted to make cleaning more fun and efficient for everyone."
In addition to Target and, the new neatHome™ by Unger collection will be rolling out in more than 4,000 retail doors nationwide this summer. A neatHome™ website will also be introduced this summer with tips and tricks to simplify the journey and maximize the results - from limiting allergies to providing recommendations on scented dusting. With a refreshing new look and Connect & Clean™ innovation, Unger is the new black in home cleaning. announced it will launch its instant quoting technology - QuoteFlare Quote Center - on Friday May 3rd for use by service companies. “Whatever your services may be, you can customize a Quote Center to provide your visitors a seamless experience on your existing website and receive a quote with an array of options to choose and let them book without even picking up the phone." QuoteFlare Quote Center is already being utilized by companies in a wide variety of industries including pest control, plumbing, maid service, window cleaning, and carpet cleaning. “There really is no end to what kinds of services you can use QuoteFlare for,” says Lawlor. The site has a demo area where several different Quote Center examples can be seen and tried here.

Sunscreens protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. The sun’s rays are divided into two components ultraviolet type A (UVA) and ultraviolet type B (UVB). The UVA rays can pass through window glass and cause aging of the skin with sallow discoloration, wrinkling and purple spots. UVB rays cause sunburn, but are blocked by window glass. Both types of sun rays can cause skin cancer.
The SPF, sun protective factor, of a sunscreen is a number which refers to the ability to protect against UVB. You should use a sunscreen with a sun protective factor of 30 or higher. Curently, there is no system for scoring sun ray protection against UVA, but there will soon be. In the meantime, look for “broad spectrum” labeling which indicates a sunscreen protects against UVB and UVA.

Are windows the wrong way round at Marine Building? The state-of-the-art Marine Building at Plymouth University is having extensive repair work – less than a year after it was completed. It is understood the work concerns the £19million building's windows. One workman at the site claimed his sub-contractor's job was to turn all the windows the correct way round. It is understood that the original work was done by another sub-contractor working for the main contractor Leadbitter.
Repeated attempts by The Herald to get confirmation from Leadbitter have failed. Herald reporter Patrick Daly visited the site last week and spoke to a construction worker. He claimed he was from a replacement sub-contractor which had been hired to fix the window fittings and said he believed the last company had been taken off the job. The workman said: "When you saw the windows, you thought 'Why did they put them in like that?'."
The Leadbitter site manager said the cladding around the glass was being checked over. He also claimed that delays to construction had been caused due to the university asking for work to be kept to a minimum during exam times. Plymouth University would not confirm or deny that the windows had been incorrectly installed.

Sixty years on:  Noddy Holder was just seven years old when he stood up on stage at a working men's club to sing. It is 40 years since he first bellowed “It’s Chriiiiiistmaaas!” and Merry Xmas Everybody went straight to number one in the charts. It is 50 years since Noddy made his professional debut as a musician, on leaving school in Walsall. And it is 60 years since he first sang in public. He was just seven when he got up on stage at Walsall Labour Club in 1953. “My dad was a window cleaner and part-time singer round the working men’s clubs,” remembers Noddy.

Lyme Regis musician's rock track achieves critical acclaim:  Lyme Regis window cleaner Lee Demkiw is dreaming of a career in music as he goes about his day job. And now the electric guitarist is one step closer to realising his ambitions as one of his songs is featured in a magazine and recorded on CD. Lee's instrumental song, called 'M', is included on a CD that comes with the magazine Prog Rock, and inside is a review of his track. The father-of-two said: “I was selected from thousands of people all over the world to appear in the magazine and have my song on their cover mount CD. “It was picked up by a music critic who had a contact at Classic Rock, the sister paper of Prog Rock. They thought it was a little bit left of the middle so they forwarded it to Prog Rock, who thought it was ideal for what they do.”
Lee, of Summerhill Road, appears in the May edition along with musicians from all over the world, but he is the only UK unsigned act among them. “There are people from Brazil, America, a lot of people from Holland, but I'm the only person on the CD who isn't famous,” said Lee. “I thought it was nice they actually took it seriously.” His track is written for wife Micheala and features drummer Glyn Rattenbury from Lyme Regis and bassist Nick Bayes from Seaton. Lee said: “When I used to leave notes for Micheala I could never be bothered to write Micheala so I used to write 'M'. “I've been so pleased with the overall result. I recorded it a few years ago but it hasn't aged.” Lee, 42, was shocked to hear from the magazine to say they would like to feature his track.

Business opportunities at a new care home in Camden: Shaw healthcare Group Ltd and Camden Council have been working in partnership on a new care home, Maitland Park (near Haverstock Hill) for older people and people with dementia. On 29 May, Shaw healthcare is holding two sessions to meet local businesses and organisations. You’re invited to come along and talk about what you or your business have to offer and how you can work with Shaw Healthcare.
The morning session from 10.30am to 12.30pm is for local companies. We’d like to talk to everyone from butchers and greengrocers to window cleaners and service contractors: in fact anyone who has a service they may be able to offer. If you’re interested in coming, please contact Sean Tregonning to book a place. Phone: 07920 815 998 Email:

Kirklees Council window cleaning contract split: Kirklees Council is looking for window cleaners to keep its town halls, markets, libraries and schools looking sparkling. The council is encouraging smaller suppliers to bid for the two-year contracts. It has broken its usual district-wide contract into four geographical areas, as well as a fifth contract for more complex buildings, in an attempt to encourage more local suppliers to get involved. Companies are invited to a drop-in session on Friday at Kirkgate Buildings, Byram Street, Huddersfield from 9am to 1pm. 

New Legoland Hotel (Carlsbad) was built with kids in mind, complete with bright colors, themes: The Skyline Lounge across the way serves drinks and snacks all day. One wall features a faux city skyline made entirely of Legos. Look closely to find a window washer falling off the scaffold, a man chased by a shark in a rooftop pool or the woman trying to entice a monkey off her balcony with a banana. There are 35 different funny scenes.

Ozaukee Co. school considers using bulletproof glass: In this day and age, do elementary schools need bulletproof glass? A Port Washington school is considering that question. TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes spoke with the principal at Lincoln Elementary School, and she says big changes are coming to the school. She says they've been in the works for quite some time, and it's all about enhancing safety. Security is already tight at the school. "We have a number of security plans in place, making sure all of our doors are locked while students are present in the building," said Jane Gennerman, the principal.
A plan to redesign the school's entryway would make security even tighter. "The front of our building will be bumped out just a little bit.  This will be a waiting area." That waiting room, with an access window for parents, keeps better control of who comes in the school. However, the controversy lies with whether that window should be laminated glass or be bulletproof? A city planning commissioner raised that question to the architect two weeks ago.
City administrator Mark Grams told Nick the Sandy Hook situation led civic leaders to bring up the idea. Right now, the project would cost between $100,000 and $120,000. The price would go up if schools decided to use bulletproof glass. No one from the Port Washington-Saukville school district would go on camera, but they told Nick they have no current plans to use bulletproof glass. Some parents don't agree with the idea. "I don't know why you'd waste the money on one bulletproof glass window when none of the other windows will be bulletproof."

Clydeport clean up Fairlie windows: Clydeport have hired window cleaners to help clean up Fairlie after 'exceptional' weather conditions led to dust pollution covering houses, cars and boats. Readers alerted the Largs News Facebook page last week of a dust problem as window sills were covered with dust in the village. A Clydeport spokesman said: ""We must emphasise that these were exceptional circumstances, almost unique for the area, and we are now looking into how the problem could be prevented in the rare possibility that they should occur again."

Can you add names to these mystery faces from Sunderland’s past? “The archives at Sunderland Antiquarian Society contain hundreds upon hundreds of wonderful old pictures,” said member Bill Hawkins. “Unfortunately, many of them are missing vital details. “Sometimes it is obvious where a photo was taken, but it is much harder to establish exactly when.  “We are hoping readers can help out, as they have been brilliant in the past.”  mystery images unearthed by Bill include a shot of Sunderland pottery staff in 1901 and workers at Sunderland Window Cleaning Company with their ladders in around 1912. “Not much appears to have been written about Sunderland Window Cleaning Company, although I believe Denise Robert’s husband Bryan Thubron may have owned it before he retired,” said Bill.

Times Gone By 1963: Anyone living in Stafford in the 1960s and 1970s couldn’t fail to miss the ambling heavy loads as they made their way through town streets and eventually on to the major road networks. Witnessing these heavy loads was the easy part . . . many would have played some part in manufacturing these “giants” but being stuck in traffic behind them was another matter. Yet another drink . . . Window cleaners standing at the Hop Pole pub on the corner of Sandon Road and Wogan Street take time off as the heavy load goes past. Click picture to enlarge.

Founded in 1921, the Building Service Employees International Union (BSEIU) initially organized janitors, elevator operators, window washers, and doormen. It eventually began to organize other types of workers and to merge with other unions. In 1968, it became the SEIU, and since then it has continued to grow and to merge, most notably with a majority of the locals of the left-led hospital workers’ union, 1199. Today the SEIU is one of the largest labor organizations in the country, with about 1.8 million members. It is a major union in health care—where McAlevey did most of her SEIU work—with nurses, hospital staff persons, nursing home employees, and home health-care workers among its members.
The two persons most associated with SEIU’s rapid growth are John Sweeney and Andrew Stern. Sweeney led the large New York City local of SEIU, the often-corrupt Local 32BJ, and moved from there to the presidency of the national union, where he helped engineer the famous Justice for Janitors organizing drives. Not long after Sweeney became president of the AFL-CIO in 1995, Stern was elected SEIU’s president.
Stern believed that only by raising union density, through organizing in a particular market, could a union gain enough power to improve the lives of its members and achieve enough political leverage to gain further improvements, for its members and the entire working class. However, Stern’s other ideas undermined this model’s logic. Like most top union leaders, he was a proponent of labor-management partnership and an enemy of the strike. He said that strikes and class struggle were remnants of a bygone era; the modern union had to offer employers “added value,” that is, a bigger bottom line. As we saw with the UAW, such a philosophy ultimately weakens the union and stifles democracy.

Photograph of a window washer dressed as Spiderman by Dulce Pinzon is part of the Latino/Gotidiano exhibit by from Spain Arts and Culture. Click to enlarge.
‘Latino/US Cotidiano’ exhibit breaks boundaries of stereotypes (Washington) — The Incredible Hulk drilling a stone with a jackhammer. Catwoman caring for young children. Spider-Man perched on a skyscraper washing windows.
The photographs are of Hispanic Americans at work, dressed by photographer Dulce Pinzon to show everyday Latinos the way their families see them: superheroes working to send money back to their relatives in Latin America.
They’re just a few of the photographs in a new exhibition and book, “Latino/US Cotidiano,” which in Spanish means “everyday,” by 12 Hispanic photographers brought together by the cultural arm of the Embassy of Spain. The exhibit is free to the public in the former residence of the Spanish ambassador in Washington D.C. at 2801 16th St NW through May 12th. The exhibit then will travel to Miami, Long Beach, Calif., and other cities. Previous blog on this subject here.

ISTANBUL – One of the top international, scientific high school competitions in the world, MEF Educational Institutions’ traditional “22nd International Research Projects Competition” aims to attract any skillful student in science to become “Scientists of the Future.” The organization that will be held between May 7 and 10, 2013, will host 120 students from Turkey and 45 students among international high schools. The project topics in the competition include sustainable energy saving systems, waste-water cleaning technologies and window-cleaning robots.

The Wraith was delicately spirited into the Harrod’s shop window in the dead of night after Rolls-Royce decided to bring the two-door coupé to its exclusive customers in a setting less formal than the conventional car showroom. Its spectacular arrival is being celebrated with a special after hours VIP party at Harrods tonight hosted by Rolls-Royce – with its headquarters in the grounds of the Earl of March’s Goodwood  estate in Sussex, and its German parent company BMW.
Named after an ethereal spirit, the sumptuous Rolls-Royce supercar’s appearance is also expected to create lots of work for window cleaners from the pressed noses and fingerprints of less well-heeled admirers putting their mark on shopfront glass as they dream of that elusive lottery win. If you like window shopping and have a cool £235,000 burning a hole in your pocket, department store Harrods has just the thing to lift your spirits.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — A Spaniard and a Mexican are drinking and chatting at a bar. The Mexican, economist Rodrigo Alcazar, has recently returned here from graduate studies in Spain and is pondering the economic divergence between the two countries. “How can I put this nicely?” he asks — then pauses dramatically, and smiles. “Spain’s economy is totally ‘chingada!’” he says, using a stinging Mexican expletive to drive the dire point home. The Spaniard, Javier Rodriguez, a marketer for Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica, knows his country’s fouled up situation — interminable recession and one of Europe’s highest unemployment rates — quite well.
Several years ago, Rodriguez left Spain to try his luck in the Americas. After working a string of jobs in Central America, he settled in Mexico last year. He might have returned home if he could, but failed to secure full-time work that would have enabled him to do so. It turns out Rodriguez is not the only Spaniard fleeing hard times.
Spain’s economy had surged for much of the past few decades, luring Latin Americans in droves to brave migration overseas for a better life in what many of them consider “la Madre Patria.” But now, with Spain in the doldrums, the Latin American influx there is waning, and many Spaniards are doing what Javier Rodriguez did: coming to the Americas, where economic indicators point admirably upward, not down. Many low-income residents in Mexico struggle with limited access to public services and formal sector jobs, analysts say. About a third of Mexico’s workforce ekes out a living in the “informal sector” — a designation that includes window washers, unregistered taco venders, shoe shiners, migrant workers, and domestic helpers.

‘Stories just come to me’ - Lal Medawattegedara (Sri Lankan author)- When asked about the various characters in his novels, Lal Medawattegedara says certain characters are based on real people. Window Cleaner’s Soul, which was short listed for the Gratiaen Award in 2002 includes characters the author met during his career as a journalist. He also stresses on the importance of reading. Medawattegedara reads from all over the world, including literature from India, China and Thailand. This increases his cultural IQ, he says, making it easy to create diverse characters

Coming clean over walk for hospital: A Leighton Buzzard man is dedicated to walking from London to Brighton in an attempt to bring the total amount of money he has raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital across the last three years to more than £12,000. Keith Siddle, has raised more than £8,400 in his last two walks, and is intending to raise at least another £4000 this time around.
The kind-hearted window cleaner said: “I am a stubborn so-and-so. My motivation is to do the best I can do for the hospital and the kids as it is such a worthy cause. I have had the same customers for many years and they are putting up a lot of money for my efforts so I don’t want to let them down. They have always been very generous and supported the fundraising I have done”.
The Highfield Road resident had always previously donated to the well known London hospital, after being inspired by a leaflet requesting volunteers to walk a stretch of Hadrian’s Wall two years ago for the charity. Keith, 50, has been training hard for the 100km walk. He said: “Being the mad fool that I am I just decided to do the first walk and got the bug from there. I did a practice walk over the cold Easter weekend and I must admit that the whole of my body was aching by the end of it.” Keith will be doing the walk on May 25 and 26, and is hoping to finish the route in under 24 hours. If you would like to support Keith you can donate here.

The number of beneficiaries in Christchurch continues to drop rapidly as businesses flourish in the rebuild. Christchurch's Mirror Image Cleaning Services had employed six people from Work and Income since the earthquakes. Owner Jackie Millward said the business had nearly doubled, going from 12 employees to 22 after the quakes. ''We've got a lot of work and have really expanded,'' Millward said.
''We needed workers and this has been a great way to get hard-working people. They don't have to be rocket scientists; they just have to be good workers.'' Millward met one of her new employees in the Work and Income queue. ''He was 6 foot 7 and I said to him, 'Do you want a job?' And I told him to come to my house later that day. I asked him why he didn't have a job yet and he said he had been too scared to go to a job interview. "I said, 'Well, you're at a job interview now', and it went from there. He's been a great window cleaner.''

Marijuanamerica - Around 1969, Manhattan, visiting a friend in her skyscraper office after work hours... About half a dozen people, and somebody lights up a joint. Someone else remarks on what a cool place it is to smoke, because we're on the 30th floor where nobody can possibly see us. No sooner is that said than we hear a strange clanking... And at the bottom of one of the windows, looking in from outside, there appear two heads, slowly rising! They're window washers, hoisting themselves up on a scaffold! The joint is hastily hidden as they go by, while we marvel at how wrong we were.
A few minutes later we're stoned... And impossibly, things get even weirder. We see a corner of the scaffold descending at a steep angle, followed by the rest of the scaffold and one of the window washers, who knocks on the glass, panic-stricken, holding on to the ropes tightly. He points to one side... A window, outside the office in the hall, that can actually be opened, unlike the one inside. We all go out, and while the faint-hearted (me) look on, one of us manages to open the long-stuck window. The window washer creeps down the swaying scaffold and crawls halfway in the window, his legs dangling 30 floors above Manhattan, until he's pulled inside. He babbles to us about how his partner got off at the roof, and somehow stranded him... Meanwhile the elevator he rang for arrives and he gets on, still shaking, and takes the recommended route down to street level. So a word of advice, kids... Even on the 30th floor... you may not be alone.

The Voice contestant Karl Michael used to perform with global star Ed Sheeran. Karl, 27, had been signed to record label Atlantic with Ed, but said he let his opportunity slip through his fingers while The A Team singer grabbed it with both hands, according to The Sun. Window cleaner and barman Karl said: "I let my guard down when I was signed to Atlantic. I expected everyone to do the work for me. "But it doesn't work that way. Ed Sheeran is a good example. He signed to Atlantic the same time as me and we even performed together. He built himself from the ground up, gigging all over the UK, making videos. My band didn't do anything like that.

Conman targeted Prestonpans pensioners: A bogus window cleaner who targeted vulnerable pensioners has been ordered to pay his victims compensation. David Williamson continued to collect cash from customers in Prestonpans despite being paid off from his position weeks earlier. Williamson, 16 St Clements Terrace, Wallyford, focused his scam on elderly customers with one unsuspecting couple in their 70s, and a frail 80-year-old woman. Williamson (22) claimed he had been ‘bumped’ by his employer who had failed to hand over wages which were due, leading him to attempt to recompense himself with customers’ money. But the sneak thief was caught out when one couple handed over a £20 note and demanded change, but after waiting 20 minutes on him to return the suspicious couple contacted the police.
Williamson pleaded guilty to obtaining £20 by fraud on 23 January 2013 at an address in Gardner Crescent, Prestonpans, when he appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court on Wednesday. Former heroin addict Williamson also admitted to forming a fraudulent scheme pretending to carry out window cleaning services, asking for payment for the service and obtaining a quantity of money by fraud, all between 1 December 2012 and 6 January 2013 at four addresses in Prestonpans and at one address at Moffat Walk, Tranent. The court was told one customer became suspicious after being asked for cash by Williamson and decided to call his usual window cleaner for confirmation. But when told Williamson no longer worked for the Gladstone cleaning company the customer immediately telephoned police.
Solicitor Angela Craig told the court her client believed he was still due wages after being paid off, but that he now wanted to “make amends to these clients”. Sheriff Simon Collins said: “You sought to exploit elderly people for financial gain – that is despicable. With your record custody would be the most obvious disposal, but I am required to consider alternatives to a custodial sentence.” Sheriff Collins ordered Williamson to pay £250 compensation to be split equally among his victims and to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community. He will also be subject to an offenders’ supervision requirement and a conduct requirement, both for six months.

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