Tuesday 30 September 2014

Window Washing Scaffolding Sends Broken Glass Raining Down

An unoccupied window washing scaffolding began swinging uncontrollably atop an East Village condominium high-rise Monday, smashing through a window before crews were able to secure it.
Window Washing System Swings Off High-Rise Roof: Firefighters worked quickly Monday to remove scaffolding hanging ominously from a downtown high-rise building. A window washing system arm came crashing down at about 3:45 p.m. atop the Mark Condos in the 800 block of Market Street, according to San Diego Fire officials. The equipment shattered a window below, leaving the arm dangling above the main downtown thoroughfare. Police closed down the street in front of the condos in case the scaffolding tumbled onto people or cars below. Firefighters removed the system before it could fall. No one was injured or trapped in the incident.

http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/09/29/highrise-window-washing-scaffolding-crashes-in-downtown/Broken scaffolding dangles from high-rise (San Diego) – Scaffolding used to wash windows on an East Village high-rise swung uncontrollably before crashing into the building Monday afternoon, leaving the scaffolding dangling above the street, authorities said. San Diego Fire Rescue Department crews were investigating what caused the scaffolding to crash into several apartment windows at the Mark Condos on Market Street and 8th Avenue in East Village at 3:45 p.m.

No one was on the scaffolding at the time of accident, and the operators of the platform told authorities gusty winds apparently had caused the accident, SDFRD Capt. Joe Amador said. Glass from the window crashed onto the street below causing authorities to block Market Street between 8th and 9th Avenues until 6 p.m.  Some residents were evacuated from the apartment complex while fire crews attempted to remove the damaged scaffolding, Amador said. Police closed a block of the street in front of the building for about two hours while workers removed the scaffolding and cleaned up the broken glass.

Monday 29 September 2014

Cycling Window Cleaners Dog Kills Cat

An unleashed Staffordshire bull terrier owned by a window cleaner whilst on his rounds caused death of a cat.
Cycling window cleaner's dog blamed for death of cat: A dog belonging to a window cleaner who rides around on a bike with a ladder has been blamed for killing a cat in Horfield. Eddie Heatley, 65, was shocked when he was told by a neighbour that their cat Minxsy had been attacked by what he believes to be a Staffordshire bull terrier at around 2pm on Thursday afternoon.

A Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) attended the scene and was joined by a police constable as residents were spoken to. It is understood the man who owned the dog was also spoken to. Mr Heatley, who is retired, told the Bristol Post he learned that the window cleaner had left after the incident. He said: "The attack was observed by a neighbour who informed the police of what happened. "This man has been in the area with his dog and cleaning windows. "I have seen him several times and I know he has been warned by other people around here that he should have his dog on a lead."

Describing what his neighbour told him of the attack on Minxsy, who is his son's cat, he said: "The dog broke her neck while he was cleaning windows at another property and there were puncture wounds on both sides of her body. "Police arrived and we were talking to them just when he came up the road again. "He admitted that his dog had killed the cat. He said the cat had come out into the garden a couple of doors down from where he was cleaning windows.

"Police spoke to him but he apparently would not tell them where his dog was. "He should not have the dog loose anyway and when he is cleaning windows he should tie it up so there are not problems like this." Police confirmed they attended the scene and had spoken to residents. A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset police said that the case was now in the hands of a dog warden at Bristol City Council. The Bristol Post was unable to locate the window cleaner.

Friday 26 September 2014

FiSH Window Cleaning Gets New President

FiSH Window Cleaning Gets New President.
Grand Rapids Fish Window Cleaning franchise owner hired as company president: Grand Rapids, MI) - A little over a decade after buying a Grand Rapids area franchise of Fish Window Cleaning Service Inc., Randy Cross has been hired to lead the company.

Cross was named president of the St. Louis-based company, which is the largest window cleaning franchise in the country. Fish provides service to more than 200,000 commercial and residential customers nationwide, the company said.

Cross plans to keep his Fish franchise location, at 2990 Franklin Ave. SW in Grandville, while leading a staff of 25 to support 250 franchise locations and develop new territories.

“Other than decisions of faith and family, joining Fish Window Cleaning has been one of the best decisions of my life,” said Cross. “I look forward to continuing to help others realize their dreams of business ownership and the freedom and flexibility it can provide in their lives.”

One reason Cross was drawn to the Fish franchise: he wouldn't have to work nights, weekends or holidays, which allowed him to have a balanced life with time for his family and volunteering. Before buying the franchise, he was a sales operation manager at Computer Products And Resources.

"I do not let business dominate my life and going back to faith, I believe I have been rewarded for that," said Cross, 44, who graduated from Grand Rapids' Creston High School in 1988 and from Hope College, in Holland, four years later.

Two years after Cross bought the Grand Rapids Fish franchise, he was named “Franchisee of the Year” in 2005.

Cross says franchising has been a good fit for him because it is about following systems and processes, which is his strong suit.

"My wife likes to tease me that I won’t deviate from a recipe when cooking. That same trait helps make me a successful franchise owner," said Cross. "The skills I have taken from the experience of being a business owner will help me in my new role leading Fish Window Cleaning."

He began working for the corporate office in 2008, recruiting franchise prospects as part of the franchise development team, and more recently, leading Fish's franchise support staff.

Owner Mike Merrick, who has served in a dual role of chief executive officer and president of Fish since he started the company in 1978, will remain the company’s CEO and chief financial officer. He and his wife, Linda Merrick, will also continue their full ownership of the privately-held corporation.

“The foundation of Fish Window Cleaning Services, Inc. is well established with over 35 years in the window cleaning industry and over 15 years in the franchise industry,” said Merrick. “These strategic changes will sustain present and future growth. I fully support Randy, and I have no doubt that he will do a fantastic job.”

Fish Window Cleaning, the leader in alternative startup, franchise and small business financing. After seven years in banking, Mike Merrick walked through a brand new “window” of opportunity and founded Fish Window Cleaning in January, 1978. Mike quickly differentiated himself from his competition by providing his customers with uniformed professionals and reliable scheduling at a competitive price. He made each customer feel as though they were the only customer.

FiSH specializes in window cleaning for low-rise structures, and also provides awning cleaning, gutter cleaning and construction clean-up for commercial and residential customers, who receive a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all work.

FiSH was named to the 2010 and 2011 INC. 5000 list of fastest growing companies. FISH ranks 119th on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2012 Franchise 500 list, 68th on Dun & Bradstreet’s AllBusiness AllStars Franchise 100 list and 14th among the Top 50 Large Systems in Franchise Business Review’s 2011 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards, which is based on the results of surveying over 22,000 franchise owners representing over 300 franchise brands.

Why a window cleaning business? Where did your initial inspiration come from?

Mike: I was always looking at different types of businesses to own. The guy who cleaned the windows where I worked put his window cleaning business up for sale, and I decided to check into it. The more I learned, the more I thought it would be a good “fit” for what I wanted.

I liked that the business didn’t require an investment in inventory. Because I had a young family at the time, I liked that it was a Monday-to-Friday business that didn’t require any work in the evenings or on weekends or holidays.

My wife’s family had owned a restaurant, and I had seen how that business totally dominated and controlled them. The window cleaning business doesn’t have any perishable items like the food business. And we’re not like retailers who have to wait for the customers to come to them. We go out to our customers.

Bottom line: I can own this business without it owning me.

What influenced the decision to start franchising the company in 1998? Were there any specific challenges you faced when trying to replicate your business model for others to implement?

Mike: I always thought franchising was a great idea, but really didn’t know anything about it. I always wanted to do it, and so I did it. Money wasn’t the primary objective. I thought about it for ten years before doing it. I figured this was a good business for others, too, since it had family-friendly hours and low overhead after start-up.

After I read an article on franchising I followed up with some of the resources mentioned in the article and worked with someone to help me get started and sell my first franchises. I learned some lessons from this experience and used those to refine my franchisee recruitment process.

One of my biggest challenges was that window cleaning is not a glamorous or sexy business. So it doesn’t have instant appeal to prospective franchisees. It became easier to attract franchises after I had the first ten or 15 franchises up and running, but getting there was a chore. My wife and I spent three long, hard years building the franchise organization, working seven days a week and traveling throughout the country helping new franchisees get their businesses up and running.

I also had to adapt to an entirely different role and set of responsibilities. I was no longer running my own business, but coaching others on how to run their businesses. I did not have control of all the factors that can influence a franchisee’s success, but their success was paramount to my success as a franchisor.

The key is to get people to believe in you and what you’re doing. You need successful franchisees who will give positive validation for your system when they speak with prospective franchisees.

When someone buys a franchise they buy a system so you have to be able to take all your knowledge and put it into an operations manual that franchisees can follow. My wife and I thought we could accomplish this in one “long weekend.” Boy, were we wrong. It’s very hard to take a concept and put it on paper. It took much longer to get the initial operations manual put together, and it’s an ongoing endeavor. We’re constantly revising, rewriting everything as our business changes and external factors come into play. Today we give our new franchisees three different manuals—operations, marketing, and personnel.

What are some of the main differences between starting a business on your own and buying a franchise?

Mike: Franchisees don’t have to start from square one. They are given a proven business model that provides guidelines on everything they need to know - how to hire, how to get business, branding and marketing guidelines, billing and accounting procedures, as well as a proprietary software system that helps them run their business. A franchisee can come in and follow the existing system and get started growing their business on day one.

As one franchisee told me, “I don’t have time to develop a database for how I’m going to keep up with my accounts receivable, my customers, my schedule, how I’m going to do payroll, personnel, how many jobs have been done. I don’t want to come up with those systems. The FISH franchise offered me an opportunity to buy into all of these existing systems.”

Our franchisees have the advantage of 34 years of window cleaning experience, a large support staff that’s available to work with them daily, and a franchise community that openly shares information and supports one another. We have regional meetings for franchisees with guest speakers and industry updates. We leverage our buying power to provide franchisees with preferred pricing on window cleaning equipment and tools. We have marketing and branding materials online and in print, as well as targeted marketing campaigns that franchisees can customize for their individual needs.

How are SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and social media helping support your business?

Mike: We proactively monitor and continuously optimize our franchisee’s Web sites to produce optimum results. We want to ensure a positive customer experience for users who are looking for a window cleaning service. We want it to be easy for them to find FISH so we work to maintain a top three placement in searches. We include an online estimate request form to help garner leads. We offer customers the option to pay their bills online. We use automation to keep things easy for the customer and the franchisees. We also maintain a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and FaceBook.

You regularly publish and update a list of suggested books for entrepreneurs and franchisees to read. What book recommendations do you have for our readers?

Mike: In addition to The E Myth, which I recommend to every prospective franchisee, I also recommend Good to Great by Jim Collins. The book addresses the question, “Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?” Collins concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. He and his team of researchers sorted through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11, and discovered their common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success.

The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack and Bo Bulingham. The authors describe a company that is run on democratic principles–the same principles we demand in every other aspect of our lives–and came up with a revolutionary approach to reviving industrial America. This book is for people who are fed up with management systems that don’t work, and for managers who have tried every motivational tool and still can’t get employees to perform up to their abilities.

Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen. This book looks at why some companies thrive in times of uncertainty, even chaos, and others don’t. Again using research and interviews, Collins and his co-author uncover and enumerate the principles for succeeding in unpredictable, turbulent times.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for Fish Window Cleaning?

Mike: January 2013 will be the 35th anniversary for FISH and the 15th anniversary for our franchise organization, and we plan to celebrate this all year. We are seeing record growth from our top performing franchisees and the synergy of the brand nationally. For example, Mrs. Smith may have FISH clean her condo in Florida, but she also has FISH clean her home in Michigan. A restaurant manager, who previously managed a restaurant in Knoxville where FISH cleaned his restaurant’s windows, looked FISH up when he was transferred to Jacksonville and asked them to come and clean the windows there. We’re getting noticed nationally all across the country. This provides tremendous momentum that we plan to build on and keep going.

We’re also expanding our brand presence by making our proprietary FISH Foam glass cleaner available for sale to the public. It’s been reviewed by several influential bloggers who give it high ratings, and we now receive orders for it daily. In fact we just restocked it in our warehouse this week.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Window Cleaning News

Windsor, Ontario, September 2014: Workers with Tecumseh Window Cleaning spray the windows at the Chrysler Canada headquarters at One Riverside Drive west in Windsor, Ontario on September 11, 2014.

PDT Berkeley -- State workplace safety officials have fined UC Berkeley more than $26,000 for violations in connection with the death of a custodian who tumbled 22 feet from a lift that collapsed as he was cleaning windows in April. California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health determined that supervisors of the custodian, Damon Frick, 45, of Richmond, failed to ensure that the lift was assembled correctly and allowed Frick to use it unsupervised. UC Berkeley said in a statement that as he assembled the lift, Frick apparently ignored a label warning of "serious injury or death" if a certain piece was inserted as Frick did it.
At the same time, "we have documentation that Mr. Frick was fully trained in use of this lift," the statement said. But the training was ineffective because it was provided more than two years earlier, Cal/OSHA inspectors said. "This unit is used approximately once a year with no in-between training or practice," according to the citation issued Sept. 9. "The training was ineffective as the last training was provided on March 12, 2012.
On April 7, Frick was vacuuming auditorium window sills at International House at 2299 Piedmont Ave. while standing on an elevated platform made by Upright Lifts, Inc. At 7:45 a.m., another employee heard a crash, rushed to the auditorium, and found Frick "flat on his back on the floor along with the lift that tipped over," inspectors said. There were no witnesses. Frick was taken by ambulance to Highland Hospital, where he died on April 9.
A month later, his labor union filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA. Frick had worked at UC Berkeley since 2011. UC Berkeley was fined $6,750 for ineffective training; $18,000 for allowing the machine to be improperly assembled; $375 for failing to document prior safety inspections; $375 for not keeping maintenance records; and $750 because the operating instructions weren't on the lift as required. Janet Gilmore, a spokeswoman for UC Berkeley, said officials have not decided whether to appeal. The university has until Sept. 30 to pay the fines, and until Oct. 3 to correct the errors.

New Scottish window cleaning licence: New licensing regulations have come into force for anyone working as a window cleaner or second hand dealer in East Lothian. From 15 September 2014, anyone carrying out a business in these areas is required to obtain a licence from East Lothian Council in terms of the Civic Government (Sc) Act 1982. Trading in either of these activities after that date without an appropriate licence shall constitute a criminal offence.
Following a request to the council from Police Scotland, and a public consultation exercise in the latter part of 2013, the council formally approved resolutions initiating the licensing of these activities in December 2013. In terms of the legislation, the new requirements come into effect nine months after the date of adoption of the resolutions. The effective date for the coming into effect of these resolutions was 15 September 2014.
The fees for these new licences have been set. A one year window cleaner licence shall cost £50, and a three-year Second-hand dealer licence shall cost £220. Application forms in respect of these new licences, and details of the conditions which shall apply to these licences, can be obtained from the Licensing Section of the Council.  Contact details: licensing@eastlothian.gov.uk Telephone: 01620 827867

Jim Cordiano, of Robbinsville, was recently surprised with a free window cleaning from a local business in honor of his Navy service.
Robbinsville Area business gives back: Jim Cordiano served in the Navy from 1967 to 1970 aboard the USS John F. Kennedy doing air traffic control aboard the aircraft carrier. Now living in Robbinsville with his wife of 44 years, Sandra, the 70-year-old veteran said they finally decided to hire a professional to clean the windows, a chore they’d been doing themselves for years. "We saw an ad for Window Genie and thought ‘why not try them out,’" he said. "While on the phone, Robin (the owner) said they offered 25 percent off to veterans, which we thought was great. It wasn’t until it came time for me to pay when she surprised us and told us the cleaning was on her. It blew my mind. I thought she was kidding."
On Thursday, Sept. 11, Robin McKenna, of Belle Mead, and her team at Window Genie of Princeton surprised the local Vietnam War era veteran with a free window cleaning at his home. Ms. McKenna said she and her staff are dedicated to giving back and keeping an active presence in the community because, "it gives us a chance to connect with the people in our hometown." "I told him we offer discounts to veterans, which we do, but since his appointment was on Sept. 11 I felt it was only right to tell him this one’s on me," Ms. McKenna said.
Prior to opening her Window Genie location in Princeton in March 2014, Ms. McKenna had been very involved in the community serving as a Girl Scout Leader, United Way Day of Caring organizer and a member of the Somerset Valley YMCA parent board and parent volunteer. "I’m a born and bred Jersey girl and always knew when I opened this business that I’d continue finding ways to give back and grow the business through meaningful customer relationships," Ms. McKenna said. "When I learned Jim was a veteran I couldn’t wait to surprise his family with a free cleaning. It’s the very least we can do to say thank you for his service."
As far as how the cleaning service was, Mr. Cordiano said, "I like the results. Window Genie has a very satisfied customer. The team finished our house in less than three hours, ... I’ve already handed out some business cards to neighbors because I want to help a business that deserves it." This isn’t the first time Window Genie honored a veteran. "In the spirit of Memorial Day a few months ago, we offered a free cleaning to another local Vietnam War era veteran," Ms. McKenna said. "This customer had Window Genie out to his home to clean some windows on his patio because he was planning a surprise birthday party for his wife.
"Upon learning about this man’s military service, and knowing how special the party was that he was planning for his wife, we were touched. We were happy to tell him there’d be no bill this time. We do this to show our gratitude and build a relationship with customers that lets them know we care about them and are truly appreciative of their military service. We’re not just a window cleaning business, we’re here to make a difference in the community whether it’s by sprucing up someone’s home or making their day a little brighter with the gift of a free cleaning."
Window Genie is a locally owned and operated home service franchise specializing in window cleaning, window tinting, pressure washing, gutter cleaning and more. Ms. McKenna is the owner and her business serves the central New Jersey areas surrounding greater Princeton as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Window Genie of Princeton would like to continue giving back to local families this October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Vermont Soap finds silver lining after fire (Middlebury): For Larry Plesent, last month’s fire that seriously damaged his Exchange Street business turned into an unexpected opportunity to expand his organic soap company sooner than expected. At the time, Plesent thought that despite the more than $1 million in damage — caused by a short circuit in an iPod speaker — Vermont Soap Company would be back in business in about a month. But that didn’t happen. “What we didn’t understand was the pervasive nature of soot,” he said. And for a company that makes organic products, he said it was a particular challenge to move back in.
Instead, Plesent cast about for a new location and found one on Industrial Avenue — a warehouse size building that was previously occupied by Specialty Filaments. It represents a significant upgrade from the old location on Exchange Street. “We’re going from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet,” Plesent said last week during a tour of the new facility. Since the fire, Plesent has kept his 23 employees on the payroll, cleaning, moving and setting up at the new location. Last week, Vermont Soap began shipping again: three tons of bath salts to a commercial customer. Plesent said his goal is to have the company running at full speed in 60 days.
Plesent didn’t start his working career making soap. He was a professional window washer when he developed a skin rash from the cleaning compounds. So he developed a soap that wouldn’t irritate his skin. Today, Vermont Soap makes a variety of certified organic bar and liquid soaps, moisturizers, organic toothpaste, organic deodorant and non-toxic cleaners. In addition to its own Vermont Soap brand, the company manufactures private label brands. About two-thirds of the company’s business is private label and bulk manufacturing.
Plesent calls his company the “un-detergent company,” serving the countless number of people across the country allergic to basic household soaps and cleaners. “We manufacture for people who do not want to use or cannot use the detergent chemicals that are the main foaming base of our civilization,” he said. The company’s mission, more simply put, Plesent said, “is to replace yucky stuff with yummy stuff.”

Remembering a town window cleaner and stalwart poppy seller: Scores of people turned out for the funeral of a popular window cleaner. A service was held at St Alphege on September 6 for Alan Archer, who died in August, aged 83. Son Barry, 41, said his dad was a larger than life character with a fondness for jokes and animals, and someone who, throughout his life, exhibited a steely determination. Alan became a window cleaner after leaving the Navy. Barry, the youngest of three children, said: “And that’s how he got to know the entire population of Whitstable. He would walk through the town and stop and say hello to absolutely everyone.”
For 28 years Alan sold poppies for the British Legion. Barry said: “He brought back thousands of pounds. He stood fast.” His love of practical jokes and pets were combined in one joke, three years ago, when he convinced the Legion that his border collie cross, Mia, was actually a guide dog. He wrapped her in the Union Jack and marched proudly with her at the head of the Remembrance Day town parade. The service was conducted by Reverend Rachel Webbley, who said : “Rest in Peace, Alan Archer. What a privilege to conduct your funeral at St Alphege. A true Whitstable character!”

Firefighters appeal for new retained recruits at Epping Firestation: A fireman celebrating more than 40 years service is appealing for new recruits to help save lives. Derek Whitbread, 59, officer in charge of Epping Fire Station, started firefighting in 1974 and should have retired from the service four years ago. The father-of-three, who's first call at the age of 19 was a fatal plane crash, has attended over 15,000 calls during his time and is now seeking aspiring retained firefighters to start as soon as possible. He said: "I haven't retired because I love my job, it's always different and you get a kick out of helping people.
"The new recruits just need to have a passion for helping others, you can apply if you're male, female, a mother or even a window cleaner, everyone will be trained the same. "A retained firefighter doesn't need to be available all the time, you can be free during the day, evening or weekends, just a few days a week to be called out." The new recruits must live or work between four to six minutes from the station in order to reach the job in a safe amount of time.

POWDER PARADISE: Derek Grzelewski training his personal avalanche dog Maya. "Not much official progress but a lot of fun." After his escape Grzelewski eventually made it to New Zealand and after working as an abseiling window cleaner and exploring the country, he applied for a job at National Geographic in 1992. He had no portfolio, no previous experience and English was his fourth language. However, he and editor Kennedy Warne were "both burning with the same fire, the curiosity for life, the treasure hunter's lust to go out into the world and find the nuggets of the best stories, and to bring them home, polish them up as best we could, and offer them for others to experience and, hopefully, savour." Grzelewski has gone on to be the most published writer in New Zealand Geographic and Going to Extremes, which will be launched at the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival in Wanaka next week, is a collection of some of his most memorable stories published in the New Zealand Geographic and the Smithsonian.

Window cleaning services(County court of the State of Oregon & for the county of Grant). Last month an Invitation to Bid for window cleaning services was issued to three local service providers. The sole bid from Hoffman’s Yes-We-Do Cleaning was opened and read as follows: $2,152.00 for the Courthouse, $273.00 for the Library, $239.00 for the L-Building and $321.00 for the Road Department for a total annual amount of $2,985.00. MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to accept the sole bid for window cleaning services received from Hoffman’s Yes-We-Do Cleaning at $2,985.00 for 2014–2015.

Sunderland contract cleaning company set to expand: Sunderland based contract cleaning and facilities management business, Maxim Facilities Management Limited (Maxim FM), is set to expand nationally following a second six-figure investment from The Finance for Business North East Growth Fund. Founded by managing director Graham Conway in late 2010, Maxim FM is on track to achieve annualised revenues of around £5 million, and is aiming to increase this figure to around £15 million within the next five years. Maxim FM provides services to public and private sector clients, as well as working with a growing number of blue chip corporate clients.
In recent months, Maxim has acquired both Glasgow-based commercial cleaning and window cleaning contractor Ross Cleaning Services, and regional competitor New Life Cleaning Systems (North) Ltd, which has taken the total number of people it employs past the 500 mark. New clients have been secured this year in the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, as well as within the North East, and with further management structures being put in place, Maxim is set to establish a footprint right across the UK.

Manhattan Project radiation-proof window for sale: For sale, one window, slightly used. Not the most exciting of classified ads, but this ain't your average pane of glass. Researchers on the Manhattan Project to create the first nuclear weapons stared through windows like this one to oversee production of the plutonium for Fat Man, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945. The New York branch of auctioneers Bonhams is selling one of the few remaining examples of these windows, at an estimated price of $150,000 to $250,000. The yellow edge isn't a trick of the light – it's a clue that the window is packed with lead oxide, layered between sheets of glass.
The lead blocked radiation from the plutonium, making it safe for researchers to look in from the other side, but also gave the window strange properties, such as crumbling rather than fracturing when cut. Thankfully for anyone planning to purchase a slice of atomic history, the window is not radioactive.

Price for early Hanford window at auction expected to be steep (Richland): A piece of Hanford history will go up for auction next month. But anyone wanting to buy the item will need to cough up a pretty penny. The heavily leaded glass was originally sold by the federal government to a salvage operator for its metal casement, before becoming a collector's item, Bonhams said. Such Hanford artifacts are no longer easy to come by. Since the early '90s, Hanford officials have had agreements with state and federal historical preservation agencies to search out and save important items rather than letting them fall into private hands.
The yellow window that will be auctioned is described as a 54-by-36-inch rectangle of six-inch thick glass weighing 1,500 pounds. The window is clear, but contains so much lead that it "reacts more like a metal than a glass, crumbling when ground or cut and sweating like ice when heated," according to Bonhams. The glass would have been used to shield scientists or other workers from radioactive materials they worked with behind the glass. It emits an eerie yellow glow, thanks to the lead, which "evokes the material's atomic origin," according to the auction house.

Clark inmate removed from jail (Jeffersonville): An inmate of the Clark County jail was removed from the facility last week to move furniture from a rental property that belongs to Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 Judge Jerry Jacobi. Joe Renck, community service coordinator for Clark County Probation, said he was given authorization from Clark County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Brian Meyer to remove the inmate from the jail Wednesday, Sept. 3. Renck said he had been asked by Jacobi to remove the items — a mattress box spring and a television — after a tenant had moved out of the apartment unit on Market Street in Jeffersonville. Renck said he feels that he committed no wrongdoing, as the inmate was a trusty, which is an inmate who may be taken out of the jail to complete tasks such as grounds maintenance, window washing, litter collection or cleaning up after special events.

Future Wars certainly offers one of the oddest first steps I've ever seen in a game. There's no real backstory and no character details to play with. All you know when you start the game is that you're a window cleaner on the side of a huge skyscraper; a little like Roger Wilco over in the Space Quest world, you're due to prove that janitorial services can clean up any mess. First though, your day is interrupted when the boss some three floors up opens up a window in a way that very few skyscrapers allow people to do due to what's known in architecture circles as the "OOHBUGGERAAARGHSPLAT!" problem, to not in fact unfairly ream you out for knocking over your water with a foot and thus nominating anyone unfortunate to be at street level for the Complete Arse Bucket Challenge. This is where the game starts, with no objective and no real hint as to what you're supposed to do next. The only clue is that the window the boss leaned out of is still ajar, and crawling through it you see a bathroom. Okay! Fill the bucket with water, get back to work.

Paul Stonebanks, managing director, AIS Training: To say Paul Stonebanks entered the business world at an early age is something of an understatement. At just 12 years old, growing up in North Tyneside, he was already working on the local milk floats. “It was ridiculous, looking back,” he recalled. “I was getting up at two or three in the morning and I kept that up all the way through to leaving school. I must have had the entrepreneurial spirit even back then.” Indeed, noting that his line of work was much-sought after among the younger crowd, he built up a team of workers, prepared to return half of what they earned to him.
With the money he made, he set up a window cleaning business, which expanded to the point that, aged 16, he was able to sell it for £5,000. “I grew up in Percy Main, which was good fun, but tough,” he said. “And it’s that that gives you the hunger.” It’s fair to say that, throughout his working life, Paul has maintained that hunger, and now, as managing director of AIS Training, he’s responsible for 120 employees, turning over more than £12m from its UK operations alone and aiming to more than double that figure within the next couple of years.
Working with customers from pretty much every section of industry, the business - which has plans for further expansion - trains between 10,000 and 12,000 people annually on 90 or so different courses at its 120,000 sq ft training village at the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate.

Parents in plea for help over brain tumour youngster who has had 28 operations: After years of gruelling treatment for a brain tumour 10-year-old Mark Gallagher has one wish ... a new bedroom. Now his family is appealing for help to raise money to make the changes. Mark was only six when doctors discovered he had a brain tumour the size of an orange. He had been complaining of headaches, and his parents Michelle Gallagher and Chris Denny, both 27, would get regular phone calls from his school saying he had been sick. Immediately it was diagnosed Mark was taken by ambulance from Yorkhill Hospital For Sick Children to the Southern General Hospital at midnight and by 8am he was on the operating table. The operation lasted 13 hours as surgeons tried to remove the massive tumour.
Michelle said: "It was unreal, I was numb when we found out. "After being diagnosed, it just happened so fast. They didn't manage to get the full tumour out, but with the radiotherapy it did shrink. "But it started growing again and he had to have even more treatment. He was last in hospital in May." After four years of intensive treatment, including radiotherapy and 28 operations, Mark is now back at home in Crookston. However, his aggressive forms of therapy have made him unsteady on his feet and he can no longer get to his upstairs bedroom. The youngster is forced to sleep in the corner of the living room, on a specially adapted bed provided by the hospital. Each night a member of his family takes it in turns to sleep on the nearby couch to be close to him in case anything happens.
Michelle, who stays at home to look after Mark, and Chris, a window cleaner, are desperate to raise £10,000 to convert their garage into an accessible bedroom for Mark. The family say they have tried everything to get help, including applying to television show DIY SOS but were unsuccessful. They say the extra space would give the youngster more privacy and a place where he can play with his friends, like every other boy his age. His parents also hope they can raise enough to include a wetroom, meaning Mark would not have to rely on having bed baths, as he does right now. To donate to Mark's cause, see the website.

Top Las Vegas Window Cleaning Service Joins Work In Progress: Window Sparkle, a long-time Las Vegas provider of window cleaning and janitorial services, today announced that they have joined Work in Progress, Las Vegas network of creative and collaborative businesses and workers.
Work in Progress gives creative businesses and independent contractors convenient and collaborative tools and resources to enhance their creativity and improve their productivity. Membership in Work in Progress includes access to downtown Las Vegas events, a support network made up of entrepreneurs, thought leaders and other experts, business tools like Wi-Fi networks and member discounts on business services, and a variety of workspace solutions, including conference rooms, mail services, work lounges, storage and more.
Were excited to be part of Work in Progress, said Tate Eliason, owner of Window Sparkle. As a full-service window cleaning and janitorial service company, were always connected to other Las Vegas businesses. Moving to the Work in Progress building at the heart of Las Vegas helps us be more connected with the businesses and people with whom we work every day.

Expert tips on getting your windows clean (Houston): If spring passed you up for some spring cleaning, then summer might be an even better time to clean, especially your home's windows. The pros say you really need to clean your windows twice a year to protect your investment. If you wait too long in between cleanings, it could end up costing you a lot more money. It has been four years since homeowner Kerry Taylor has had her exterior windows cleaned. "It's not always a top concern but they do get extremely dirty and it is frustrating to look outside and it be very foggy just because our windows are dirty," Taylor said.
That's why she called the experts of cleaning exterior windows at Advantage Pro Services. "We're going to be using a pure water machine, which basically it's filtered water. It takes out all the mineral deposits in the water. Scrub them down, rinse them off. They dry spotless if we're not using any detergents. It's the safest, cleanest way to clean your windows," said Justin Gonzalez of Advantage Pro Services. The process is easy. They scrub them down, rinse them off, and let them dry. The problem sometimes are the calcium deposits that come from your sprinkler system. "Over time calcium deposits will build on your windows. It looks like dried water spots," Gonzalez said.
If not treated right away, they can be tough to remove. "After that happens, it's very hard to get off. There's a couple of home ingredients. Vinegar will get them off but if it's been on there a long time you usually have to end up replacing the whole window," Gonzalez said. If you have a sprinkler system, it's a good idea to get a sprinkler guard to avoid the calcium deposits on your windows.
To clean your windows yourself and to safely get to them, you don't have to hire a pro. "Home Depot sells squeegees. Just get you some squeegees, a little bit of Dawn soap, some water, scrub down the windows and take care of the streaks afterwards with a little spray," Gonzalez said. If you are cleaning them from indoors, make sure to protect your floors. Then use a sponge to scrub the windows and a squeegee to wipe down the excess. Use Windex to clear up the streaks. Taylor says it's easy enough for kids to help out, and her plan is to get to her windows more often. "Well, once a year is our goal but it would be really nice to do it more than once a year just with all the dirt that builds up so quickly," Taylor said.

Dirty Window Thoughts From Perfectionist: Once upon a year, I was a neat freak.  There was a place for everything and everything was in its place. While I dislike housework,  as an advocate of Feng Sui (pronounce Feng Schway), I've always tried to keep both my life and my home in balance, not an easy job with three growing children and a busy husband in a nine-room house. Make that 16 rooms counting five basement and two attic rooms. In my younger years, windows–a major frustration–were washed each early spring and late fall. Thirty-nine windows!  (Actually, double that to 78 counting storm windows.)  But, as a young, energetic organizer and perfectionist, I managed!
The windows?  I've hired them washed several times but found the results didn't meet my perfectionist expectations.  Why pay for inferior work?  They're dirty again and will remain that way until the spirit moves me.   I've lowered my standards because–at age 82–my strength and will-power are diminishing.  I've found I can accept a slight misalignment of all the pictures on my walls that, somehow, become askew.  The sweeper sits idle between monthly visits by my trusted friend and treasured current house cleaner, Debbie.  Should guests be expected between her visits, I do a rapid Swiffer dusting. I'm no longer a neat freak perfectionist.  Life is good, but not perfect.  Why should I try to be? It's a losing battle. So are those 78 windows!

4 ribbon cuttings planned: The Sandusky Chamber of Commerce will hold four ribbon cuttings in the next two weeks for new and re-located businesses. The first event is Thursday, Sept. 25 for the new All Thumb Window Cleaning on East Sanilac Avenue – the north wide, east of the stoplight and next to AVCI.Net, The owner is John Herman of Marlette.

Town road will be closed: Motorists are being warned of a one-day road closure in Harborough town centre later this month. Adam and Eve Street will be shut to traffic from its junction with St Mary’s Road and the junction with Church Square on Sunday, September 28. It is being closed to allow for external window cleaning of Harborough District Council’s offices.

Soapwatch UK: Window cleaner Tim’s secret is revealed through a saucy leaflet in Coronation Street (ITV1). The flyers advertising his business read Dirty Widows. Satisfaction Guaranteed.
When Sally takes a call from someone interested in being rubbed down with a damp shammy she wonders exactly what services he’s offering.
Tim is thrilled with the flyers he has had made for his window cleaning business but they make more of an impact than he had expected - thanks to an unfortunate typing error. When Maddie catches people sniggering over them she makes it her mission to try and get all the flyers off the streets.

Endorsement - Michael Stuart in Lexington council District 2: Challenger Michael Stuart, a small-business owner with a record of civic involvement, offers more promise to make meaningful contributions to the diverse district and the entire community. With 13 years of experience building his window-cleaning business, Stuart has a real-world understanding of the challenges involved. He readily listed off some of the larger employers in the district and said as a council member he would reach out to get them involved in training and hiring people who live nearby.

Ecover Multi Daily wins Cradle to Cradle gold: Multi Daily, the interior cleaner from Ecover Professional, has been awarded gold level in the Cradle to Cradle certification programme. The company launched its first Cradle to Cradle certified products in April 2013 and to achieve gold status with this product has worked to achieve greater transparency regarding social fairness. A comprehensive study of the supply chain was required in order to document the problems inherent in the industry.
Where possible, Ecover prefers to deal with local suppliers and locally sourced raw materials - even suppliers’ subcontractors were included in the project. The suppliers concerned were assessed for socially responsible business practices, including employee training, commitment to the environment, quality certification and the existing safety regulations for their employees.

Eastman Launches a Safer and High-Performing Revolutionary Solvent for Household, Industrial and Institutional Cleaners: Eastman Omnia™ high-performance solvent proves it's possible to have a product that's both "green" and highly effective at removing tough soils. This revolutionary solvent, which meets CARB's LVP-VOC criteria, is changing the chemistry of clean through its winning combination of exceptional human and environmental safety, strong performance, and value through its versatility. The introduction of Omnia demonstrates Eastman's commitment to meeting market needs with sustainable products. "We've developed an underpinning technology process that allows us to create new molecules based on our understanding of market needs and regulatory drivers. Unlike most solvents, Omnia does not require customers to compromise performance to achieve an excellent safety profile, reduce toxicity and reduce environmental impact," said Glenda Eilo, Eastman solvents business director.
"The best way to document the safety advantage of Omnia is by evaluating whether specific effects occur following a variety of exposure scenarios. To this end, single or repeated exposures of Omnia did not produce evidence of acute toxicity, genetic toxicity, developmental or reproductive toxicity, skin sensitization or skin irritation. All tests confirmed Omnia to be extraordinarily benign," said Dave Kossor, Eastman toxicologist. In addition, testing indicated there is no evidence of Omnia impacting aquatic life, and it is readily biodegradable. Omnia is highly effective in neutral pH formulations, eliminating the need to develop cleaning formulations that are either acidic or caustic, both of which can be harmful to surfaces, people and the environment.
Eastman senior technical associate Dr. Jos de Wit developed an innovative scrub machine to test the cleaning power of different solvents. This machine removes two variables that contribute to the cleaning process, mechanical and thermal energies, making it possible to evaluate the power of chemical energy exclusively. "We compared Omnia against all the commonly used solvents in HI&I cleaners. Omnia outperformed all of them consistently every time," said de Wit. From greasy dirt and tar to soap scum, Omnia outperforms the industry's most common solvents, making it an ideal ingredient for most cleaners, including window, general surface, bathroom and floor formulations.
Because Omnia is a low vapor pressure volatile organic compound (LVP-VOC) and has an excellent toxicology profile, it offers more flexibility to formulators who face the challenge of meeting increasingly restrictive standards from government directives, third parties and their customers. "As regulations have become more and more stringent over the past 10 years, you've probably noticed that cleaning products don't work as well as they once did. That's because companies have had to reduce or eliminate ingredients like solvents that enhanced the performance of cleaning products. Omnia is giving companies that make cleaners the opportunity to formulate back to the performance that consumers and end users love," said Carol Perkins, industry leader, industrial & household care for Eastman.

Rinz EZ is the smartest way to clean your windows: By Johnnie Chuoke (Happy Handyman): A while back I had a customer come in and she was in an area of the store that had the commercial window cleaning supplies. I asked her if she had ever heard of Rinz EZ? Rinz EZ is the smartest way to clean your windows. You simply put a package of Rinz EZ soap in the applicator and add water and stir. Then you attach it to your hose and start cleaning the windows. You want to do this in the cool of the morning because the Rinz EZ sheets off cleanly to leave you a spot-free window. If the glass is hot, the Rinz EZ will dry too quickly. You can easily do 16 windows in 30 minutes. You can even reach the second-story windows from the ground with the Rinz EZ applicator. No more getting on a ladder. When I had a boat and a lake house, I always cleaned the boat and wet jets with the left over Rinz EZ. You can wash your car too, it’s very versatile. After I showed my customer the Rinz EZ she put back all the commercial stuff and walked out with one bag and a much easier job in mind.

Finally, Google stops forcing Google+ on Gmail users: Google+, Google's "Facebook killer", was launched in 2011 to lukewarm reviews. Since then, all users have been automatically signed up to it, only (in a lot of cases) to leave their profiles abandoned, floating in cyber-limbo. Not any more: from this month, anyone who signs up for a new Google account can opt out of G+ by ticking a box. They'll still have the option to start a profile (natch), but they won't automatically be badgered with constant messages informing them their window cleaner has added them to his Circles.

Carroll Richard Miller, Sr., 83, of Parkersburg, passed away on Sept. 23, 2014 at Camden Clark Medical Center. He was born March 29, 1931 in Parkersburg, a son of the late Carl B. and Mary Louise Kimble Miller. He was of the Methodist faith, was a retired brick layer and painter, a former employee at Universal Glass and had owned the Vienna Window Cleaning Service. He had served in the United States Navy during the Korean War, being stationed on the USS DeMoines-Daisy Mae. He was a lifetime member of the DAV and enjoyed fishing, crossword puzzles, and was a football fan.

Andy Bell, 50, is one half of pop duo Erasure. They have had ten Top 5 hits including A Little Respect and Sometimes. BLONDIE: Parallel Lines (EMI): Any says, "I became a fan of Blondie after hearing Denis on the radio when I had a window-cleaning round." "I still go ga-ga every time I see Debbie." "A lot of my friends were into hard punk but I found it too violent." "Blondie was soft punk, and Heart Of Glass was disco heaven."

'Oddjob' man worries police (NZ): A man who has been knocking on doors in Richmond offering to do "odd jobs" has been arrested for performing an indecent act. Nelson police want to hear from other people in the area who have been approached by the man, who is aged in his 40s and uses the name "Mike". He was arrested on Monday afternoon after knocking on a woman's door and allegedly making inappropriate suggestions of a sexual nature and performing an indecent act. He is expected to appear in Nelson District Court this week.
"He's a person who's going knocking on doors asking for odd jobs and then making inappropriate suggestions to at least one female that we know of," Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge said. "We're just concerned that if he's done it once, is there anyone else out there who possibly hasn't reported it?"
The door-to-door services he has been offering include window washing and other housework. Longridge said police were trying to figure out whether "Mike" was genuinely seeking work and his inappropriate behaviour was an isolated case, or whether he was doing the same at every house he visited. Anyone with information about this man is asked to contact Detective Sean Young on 545 9847.

Jail for Darlington man who failed to complete unpaid work:  Magistrates accused a prolific offender of showing a flagrant disregard for court orders as they jailed him for 16 weeks for failing to turn up for unpaid work. Adrian Raper was given a 12-month community order with 40 hours of unpaid work in June this year for stealing copper piping, possessing a bladed article and possessing the Class B drug amphetamine. The 27-year-old, of no fixed abode, appeared in the dock at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court today (Wednesday, September 17) where he admitted failing to surrender and failing to comply with a community order. The court heard he had not attended any supervision meetings with the Probation Service, despite an officer visiting his house, and had not completed any unpaid work since the hearing.
In mitigation, Michael Clarke said his client had been working as a window cleaner when he was sentenced and had not had stable accommodation since June. He said he had been sleeping on the sofa of a property in Darlington which he thought was empty. Magistrates revoked the original sentence and jailed Raper for 16 weeks. Chairwoman of the bench Esme Mason said: “The reason for that is your flagrant disregard for court orders and your previous history for similar offending.”

Allesley woman, 93, left penniless after window cleaner plundered her savings: A window cleaner preyed on a 93-year-old customer – clearing out her savings account down to the last penny. Joshua Bruce, 19, is now behind bars after taking the Coventry woman’s pension card and stealing money from her Post Office account. After the thefts were discovered, the defendant was caught because police were waiting for him when he returned to his vulnerable victim’s home. Bruce, of Jardine Crescent, Tile Hill, was jailed for six months by a judge after he admitted four charges of fraud and one of possessing cannabis.
At the crown court in Leamington, prosecutor Tim Sapwell said Bruce knew his aged victim because he worked for the person who had the contract to clean her windows. The pensioner had a Post Office account into which her pension was paid every fortnight, and a friend withdrew money from the account on her behalf for her to pay for food deliveries and so on. Bruce turned up at her home in Allesley on May 21 to clean the windows, and he also cleaned out the guttering. When he had finished he went inside where she gave him something to eat, and while he was there he walked round the house on the pretext of going to the toilet, during which he took her Post Office card and pin number from her purse.
He withdrew £300 from her Post Office account and later replaced the card, but took it again on three further occasions to withdraw £200, £300 and, on June 2 after checking the account balance, £272.81. “He must have known that last withdrawal represented the cleaning out of her account,” said Mr Sapwell. When he was questioned Bruce, who had a small amount of cannabis on him, said he had spent all of the money on the drug. Mr Sapwell pointed out that the 93-year-old is being treated for polymyalgia, which can be exacerbated by stress, and she says the incidents have set her back five years. As a result, she struggles to sit up and to lift her arms, and she has said: “This has taken my independence and confidence away. I feel I’m past my sell-by date.”
Lee Marklew, defending, said the offence happened at a time when Bruce, who is ashamed of what he did and is now drug-free, had ‘lost his safety net’ following the death of his father. Jailing Bruce, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “This case is about you taking advantage of the trust placed in you by an elderly lady living alone and trying her best to retain her independence. “You cannot pay her back, and the Post Office will not give it back to her. It was all her money for that period.”

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Jobs That's Take Your Breath Away

Jobs That's Take Your Breath Away - "Wind can stop your heart," Richard Capozzi says. "It has a lot more strength than people think. It catches your seat and pushes you. It can lift you up, swing you left, right or spin you around, and tangle your ropes. That's when you get down." Throughout the years, he's developed a sixth sense for bad weather.
Jobs That's Take Your Breath Away - High Rise Building Window Cleaner: On a cold day, the wind can be pretty biting when you're 22 stories up on the outside of a building. At least that's what Richard Capozzi says. And he'd know. The veteran window cleaner has served as owner and operator of New Haven County Window Cleaners LLC, a high- and low-rise building window cleaning service, for almost two decades.

It's an occupation to be taken seriously, he said. It requires competency, and ingenuity along with a healthy dose of controlled fear. "There's no such thing as 'afraid,' " he explained. "Each time you calculate your equipment, everything you're using, everything you hook up, it helps control the fear."

Wearing a plethora of safety equipment and attached to a lifeline, he and his crew perform controlled descents down the side of high rise buildings in what's known as a bosun's chair to do the obvious: clean windows.

And it's not just with a bottle of Windex and a handful of paper towels. Sometimes the windows have 10 years' worth of grime and oxidation, which requires chemical applications and repeated cleanings to restore them to their original splendor.

The gig is largely weather-dependent, and if the wind is blowing greater than 15 to 20 mph, the crew doesn't go out. But sometimes, there are unexpected gusts, much like rogue waves on the ocean. And when they occur, according to Capozzi, it's more than a little spooky.

"Wind can stop your heart," he said. "It has a lot more strength than people think. It catches your seat and pushes you. It can lift you up, swing you left, right or spin you around, and tangle your ropes. That's when you get down."

It's not a job where you take risks, he said, especially because he's not only responsible for himself, but also for the other members of his cleaning crew. Throughout the years, he's developed a sixth sense for bad weather. "You can almost feel it in your bones when you've done it for so long; you know it's coming."

Capozzi said the best part of his job is the sense of accomplishment he gets when he's completed a challenging project. "When the job is done, you turn around and the sun shines on that building, so you see the before and after and it's sort of like, I win. I did it. And then I point to the building and say, 'See you next year, buddy.' " 

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Window Washer Or Gunman?

Window washers a threat?
Reported gunman at Resolute Health actually window washer: New Braunfels Police Department’s SWAT team on Saturday conducted a thorough search on the new Resolute Health campus in New Braunfels in search of a man reportedly seen there with a gun, according to a written statement the department released. But, investigators determined, the person a passerby told police was a gunman on a roof happened to be a window washer working, an executive with the health system said Monday.

Investigators determined, the person a passerby told police was a gunman on a roof happened to be a window washer working.
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas: A false report of a man with a gun sent law enforcement agencies in New Braunfels, Texas, scrambling to secure a hospital Saturday. Police said they received the tip at approximately 11:15 a.m. Officers were immediately dispatched to Resolute Health Hospital, located in the 500 block of Creekside Dr. An Eyewitness at the scene told KENS 5 that SWAT officers were making rounds through the hospital's floors, going door to door, in order to secure the building. 
No gunman was located, police wrote in a statement. According to the New Braunfels Police Department, the information they received was vague and did not provide any specific details. Patti Tanner, a spokeswoman for Resolute Health said the man believed to be a gunman was actually a window washer. Tanner said the hospital's systems worked as designed and that the experience would serve as a good training exercise. The building was deemed safe within two hours and police cleared the scene.

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