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UPTON undefined With nearly 1,200 students, many of whom spend class time in auto body shop, a professional kitchen or manufacturing setting, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School has a lot of heavy cleaning to do.
But 18 months ago, the school embarked on an effort to replace its cleaning supplies and processes with environmentally friendly, nontoxic products. It's now one of the few schools in the state to be totally “green.”
“The school's always strived to be ahead of the curve,” said James Brochu, director of construction and facilities. “With efforts the staff has made in green cleaning, we're maintaining that positive drive forward.”
School officials knew that switching to green cleaning would be good for the environment and the health of students and staff, but they were skeptical whether green products would clean as well as those with strong chemicals
More At Source: The Telegram
DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - December 27, 2010) - When the Metrodome in Minneapolis succumbed to the forces of Mother Nature, the NFL was left with a dilemma, where do they stage the matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants? Most people don't realize there was a second dilemma that came with that decision; this became clear once the NFL decided their solution was to hold the game at Ford Field in Detroit just 24 hours after the Detroit Lions finished up their own home game. Now came the interesting part. It took nearly 1,000 tons of snow to make the Metrodome stadium inadequate to play in. Nearly 240 Jani-King Commercial Cleaning crew members assembled to get another stadium ready to take its place.
More At Source:Market Wire
When searching for cleaning services in South Florida, you better be very specific or else you might find yourself getting taken to the cleaners.
A Miami woman hired to tidy up a house has been arrested after the homeowner claims the woman made herself right at home and stole $200,000 worth of jewelry, electronics and other items.
Jesenia Lopez-Gavilan, 22, was in court Tuesday and charged with grand theft for her phony maid scam, JustNews.com reports.
Lopez-Gavilan was advertising her services on Craigslist.com and that's how she pulled in her victims, police said.
The woman allegedly cased the joint and then came back with an accomplice, Ray Valdez, who was also arrested.
Chances are this isn't the only time the duo have pulled off such a house cleaning, police said.
Source: NBC Miami
MIDDLETOWN undefined A school janitor was fired on Dec. 7 for "inappropriate conduct" after an internal investigation into reports on his behavior by several students, district officials said.
The district is not aware of the janitor engaging in any criminal activity or child endangerment, said Board of Education attorney Christopher Parton, who declined to identify the employee or elaborate on the "inappropriate conduct."
During a board meeting on Wednesday, several parents criticized the school district's handling of the situation, alleging that the district did not report information to authorities in a timely manner and that it allowed the janitor to remain in contact with students as the internal investigation developed.
"Children are going to be at risk," said resident Dina Milne, if the district handles future cases in a similar fashion.
More at Source:App.com
A San Mateo man who worked as a janitor at several Shell service stations on the Peninsula is now accused of robbing them, a prosecutor said.
Marlon Arbulu, 27, is accused of going on a two-week robbery spree in which he hit the same service station, and same clerk, twice in San Mateo as well stations in San Carlos and San Bruno, said chief deputy district attorney Steve Wagstaffe. The managers at the San Mateo station recognized Arbulu when watching surveillance footage and realized he used to work there as a janitor.
Arbulu pleaded not guilty Friday in San Mateo County Superior Court to robbery and burglary charges, said Wagstaffe.
Prosecutors say the robberies started Nov. 28 at a Shell station on Peninsula Avenue in San Mateo. Arbulu is accused of passing the clerk a note that demanded cash and warned there would be trouble if the money wasn't handed over. Authorities say Arbulu got away with about $200. He came back on Dec. 12 and said he didn't get enough money the first time and ordered the clerk, who was behind the counter at the first robbery, to give him more, according to authorities; he escaped with an undetermined amount of money.
Prosecutors said he robbed a Shell station in San Carlos on Dec. 14 and then held up one in San Bruno on Dec 16. Based on information from his previous employers, police identified Arbulu as a suspect in the crimes. He was arrested in a San Bruno hotel on the same day as the last robbery.
Source: Mercury News
Invercargill's Ascot Park Hotel has taken an environmental leap and ditched cleaning chemicals in favour of water and microfibre cloths.
Executive manager Peter Ridsdale said after months of testing the hotel took the plunge to 100 per cent chemical-free cleaning yesterday.
The move is expected to save $6000 in chemical costs annually and has helped secure the hotel three "green" conferences – for Apparelmaster, Environment Southland and a yet-to-be-named tourism organisation.
Other benefits have included less irritation for housekeepers, asthmatic guests raving about the rooms and social media commentator Craig Garner, who travels extensively, said he was blown away by the cleanliness of the room he stayed in.
Laboratory tests during an eight-week trial in which 10 rooms were cleaned with microfibre cloth and 10 with chemicals showed a massive difference in cleanliness.
The bacterial count in rooms cleaned chemically was 179, while in the microfibre rooms it was just 11.
"The only real downside is the room really doesn't smell like anything at all," Mr Ridsdale said.
The move was part of a four-year journey that began with a sustainability audit, resulting in a huge recycling project and an electrical audit that led to new light bulbs and $1000 a month savings.
The latest environmental project for the Invercargill Licensing Trust hotel is a plan to spearhead rejuvenation of Dog Island and joining forces with the Department of Conservation and Maritime New Zealand to investigate its historical, ecological and tourism potential.
The hotel had given $10,000 from one of the hotel's guest washing machines as an initial funding injection. Being a part of the sustainable movement was a huge thrill, Mr Ridsdale said.
"I'm not a greenie by any stretch of the imagination but I've embarked on a trail that's getting greener and greener.
"It has a feel-good factor not just for me but everyone else that works here as well," he said.
Read More At The Source
Q: We have a four-year-old home with a mid-efficiency furnace and air conditioning. The humidifier is a "drum" and we have been told it is better to remove the existing humidifier, eliminate the cleaning of all the scales and sludge, and have an in-line humidifier installed for about $350. We have hard water, and while we have a water softener, the line to the humidifier is before the water softener. Do you recommend the change-out? Should we expect fewer problems and easier maintenance?
A: First of all, your humidifier is sufficient; there's no need to replace it. You should clean it once a year, using white vinegar, allowing the vinegar to remove the minerals that have accumulated over time. After cleaning it, hook it up to the hot water line after the water softener. This way, the water entering the humidifier will have been processed by the water softener, and will therefore have less minerals in it. Also, your furnace fan should be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The new model furnaces are designed to do this in an energy-efficient manner. This will help improve the quality of the air inside your home, since the furnace filter will remove particles in the air, and the humidifier will maintain the proper humidity level.
Listen to Shell Busey on Vancouver's CKNW AM980, Sundays 8:30 to 10 a.m. For more home-improvement information, contact Shell Busey's HouseSmart Home Services. Go to www.TheHouseSmart.com.
ALBANY undefined Legislation designed to push up the pay of janitors, security guards and groundskeepers at utility companies has created a holiday season lobbying spree now that the measure has been sent to Gov. David A. Paterson for consideration in his final days in office.
The pay boost affecting service industry workers on contract at utility companies presents a slippery slope, opponents say, because it broadens the state’s prevailing wage payment requirements, beyond just public agencies or private entities on public works projects, that now must pay the higher rates.
Besides raising energy costs for gas and electric utilities by millions of dollars, which will get passed on to consumers, the bill will also end up impacting other employers, including those located in “business improvement districts,” such as the 24-block Buffalo Place, according to opponents.
But Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat and sponsor of the bill in the Assembly, has a simple message: Calm down.
More at the source:Buffalo News
The 50-cent reward advertised on a strange, yellow disc, found propped against a recycling bin after washing up on Long Beach, made Jacki Aubertin laugh.
"It just cracked me up," said Aubertin, a Parks Canada janitor at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, who cleaned the disc so she could read the inscription.
"I thought: 'How cheap is that? It wouldn't even cover the postage.'"
But the real reward was a story spanning 40 years that started near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Aubertin took the plastic floater, which gave the return address of the U.S. Geological Survey in California, to Parks Canada colleagues, and ecosystem scientist John McIntosh wrote a letter to the USGS explaining where it was found. "We will happily forgo the 50-cent reward in the interests of science," he wrote.
After two months passed without a response, the mystery of the yellow disc became a joke among staff. Aubertin was even presented with a fake letter from President Barack Obama, with two U.S. quarters taped to it.
However, this week, letters from the USGS explained the disc was one of a series of "seabed drifters" dropped off in various locations near the bridge in March 1970 as part of a study on water circulation in San Francisco Bay and the adjacent Pacific Ocean. The Long Beach disc was one of the last stragglers from a group of 1,345 drifters.
Instead of 50 cents, Parks Canada staff were offered USGS T-shirts and baseball caps and, as a bonus, USGS contacted research oceanographer emeritus David Peterson, one of the researchers who released the discs.
It was a great surprise to have one of the discs turn up 40 years later, Peterson said. "One turned up in Hawaii about 15 years ago."
The research paper, which looked at how the currents could affect oil spills or drums of radioactive material in the ocean, said 19 per cent of discs recovered were found on beaches seaward of the Golden Gate and 81 per cent were found inside the Golden Gate.
An Atlanta janitorial service earlier this week offered $8-an-hour jobs sweeping floors and cleaning toilets and 56 unemployed people said, ‘Yes, indeed, I’m interested and I’ll come apply in person.'
Yet only a handful of the supposed jobseekers showed up for the interview in northern Cobb County. The turnout led Bob Williams, who owns the cleaning company, to question the work ethic of metro Atlanta’s unemployed.
“Somebody told me the other day, ‘I just don’t like this work. I think I’ll go draw unemployment instead,’ ” Williams said. “A lot of people say they want to work, but do they really want to work?”
If he paid $10 an hour he’d fill more positions. “That would probably work,” said Williams, whose company, AccuClean, services office buildings, schools and YMCAs across metro Atlanta. “But then I’m not competitive and I won’t get (cleaning) accounts.”
AccuClean’s hiring struggles reflect the conflicting economic trends that pushed Georgia's unemployment rate to 10.1 percent in November, from 9.8 percent in October, according to Georgia Department of Labor figures released Thursday.
Low-income, less-educated workers suffer a disproportionately high level of joblessness. The unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma, for example, is nearly 16 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But do those jobless truly want a job? Some economists and many conservatives argue that extended unemployment benefits keep the jobless rate artificially high by supporting the unemployed who otherwise would have no choice but to take any job. They pressed their case this past month as Congress debated continuing extended benefits for millions of unemployed Americans.
More at the source: AJC.com
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