A little late season warm weather was a great reason to get out and have a family picnic in downtown Kent.
That’s a keeper.
A little late season warm weather was a great reason to get out and have a family picnic in downtown Kent.
That’s a keeper.
A few light snow flakes were falling in Kent this afternoon, which can only mean one thing — Santa’s on his way.
With some help from his favorite local elves, Santa has arranged to fly-in for an early visit to Kent at the annual Festival of Lights this Saturday, December 3rd.
The head-elf in charge of Santa’s social media sent around this announcement to make sure everyone gets their Santa selfie and has a chance to clear-up any misunderstanding with the naughty list:
“Bundle up the kids (of all ages) and plan to be in downtown Kent for the arrival of the big guy in the red suit and white beard during the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Festival of Lights on Saturday, December 3rd !
Once again this year in addition to Hometown Bank Plaza, Kent’s winter wonderland will include the Main Street bridge and gazebo.
Bring the kids and watch holiday favorites while waiting in line to see Santa!
Santa will arrive at approximately 6:00 pm.
Families are encouraged to get there early because the line gets long, fast.
Don’t forget to bring your camera for a keepsake photo with Santa.
The Kent Free Library in collaboration with the KSU Library will continue the tradition of handing out age-appropriate books to the children after they see Santa.
Donations are being accepted to help defer the cost of the books.
Please send checks made out to the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce to: 176 East Main Street, Suite 303.
Many local merchants are extending their business hours, so stop in and support them, and get some early Christmas shopping done.
Bring the family to this festive community event and share in the spirit of the season.
The ever-popular event is sponsored by the following organizations: Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Kent Junior Mothers, Kent Lions, Kent Kiwanis Club and Kent Parks & Recreation.”
Last week we welcomed Kent’s latest culinary option into downtown Kent — Pizza Fire.
The mastermind behind PizzaFire took the Romeo’s pizza taste and quality and gave it a new mozzarella twist tapping into the red hot fast casual dining market with his own Neapolitan flair.
Customer preferences for locally grown, top shelf quality ingredients, served how we want it, when we want it (preferably hot out of the brick oven), and at reasonable prices is the signature mix of PizzaFire.
Billed as the “Chipolte of Pizza”, PizzaFire imports the “create your own” selection to Kent for fresh out of the oven pizza made to your custom order.
The owners are excited to be in Kent and they picked a great location at the corner of Depeyster Street and Haymaker Parkway, directly across from the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center.
Please help support Kent’s local businesses — and try a slice (or two).
If it helps relieve your carb guilt, remember, your eating to support your downtown…it’s a civic responsibility and personal sacrifice you’re willing to make.
Despite perfect weather conditions for attracting large crowds of anonymous and potentially inebriated revelers, Halloween avoided the problems that often accompany that mix — and was thankfully a safe night for everyone involved.
This year Halloween in Kent was a 3 day event — starting Friday night with Main Street Kent’s “family friendly” trick or treating at the downtown stores, followed by the “unofficial” downtown costume ball on Saturday, and wrapping up Sunday afternoon with Kent’s annual neighborhood trick or treating.
Here’s some great photos complements of Main Street Kent and their family friendly Halloween (sorry no photos from Saturday night, too many were R-rated):
Really ambitious “Halloweeners” could even stretch an extra day out of the weekend by visiting our neighboring cities to sneak in another round of confectionary treats on Monday, actual Halloween Day.
4 consecutive days of sugar, leaving parents looking like a Walking Dead episode.
Years of experience has taught us that Kent loves it’s costumes and it’s parties, so we always prepare for the worst — but this year we got the best.
Crazy costumes, standing room only in bars and restaurants, and the kind of quirky stuff you only find in Kent.
What we didn’t find was a lot of trouble.
There were some drinking related incidents but the Police reported 38 arrests which is down from prior years and more importantly, the arrests that were made were relatively minor in nature.
We had very few serious crimes reported and only one minor Police Officer injury. When the public and our Officers come home safe and sound, that’s a good night.
Likewise, Fire/EMS calls were also below prior years but during the peak hours we did have every unit out on call.
The crowd may have been slightly down on the street but the bars and restaurants were still standing room only — we think, thanks in large part to the Indians World Series game.
Lots of work goes into planning for public safety around every event, especially Halloween, but if we can keep the Indians in the World Series every year, that may be our best strategy of all.
My thanks to all the City employees that pulled double-duty to keep the rest of us safe this past Halloween weekend — and especially those that came back in for triple duty on Sunday to pass out candy to kids from the back of the Police cars.
Great weekend in Kent.
Despite the unseasonable warm weather, if we’re honest, at this time of year we know that winter weather is just one cold front away.
Looking at the forecast with back-to-back 70+ degree days for the first 2 days of November, I’m ok with a little temporary self delusion about what’s coming next.
Sadly, the other wool lined boot will eventually drop and keeping warm will be a priority — and furnaces — and the electricity that powers them, will be our best friend.
Those furnaces rely on a steady supply of power which is why the recent announcement by NOPEC that First Energy has pulled the plug at year 3 on their 9 year power supply agreement got our attention.
Nothing like standing on the brink of winter and having questions about power supply to get your attention.
The City of Kent isn’t in the power supply business but residents still turn to their City staff for just about anything utility related, including power.
So we do our best to stay in the “know,” keep in contact with NOPEC and First Energy staff, and participate in power supply discussions around our region.
About 15 years ago, Kent signed on with 200 of our favorite neighboring northeast Ohio communities to give Kent residents a chance to pool their electric purchasing power and put a little friendly pressure on power suppliers to sharpen their rate pencils and offer discounts through NOPEC‘s cooperative purchasing contracts.
It may be pennies on the kilowatt but volume based buying adds up — saving a reported $218 million for NOPEC’s members on their electric bills.
On the consumer end, power supply has been reliable and affordable — exactly what we hope for when we signed on with NOPEC.
The details for the recent fall-out are just starting to trickle out but it appears that contract issues were percolating below the surface between NOPEC and First Energy, and now we’re hearing serious phrases like “unilateral demands” and “contract termination.”
Power is big business so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that hard decisions have to be made to protect the bottom line but I was surprised by the speed in the break down of this power partnership.
We’ve had nothing but good things to say about our friends at First Energy and NOPEC so I’m not sure where things went “wrong” but at this point I suspect there’s plenty of lawyers involved and they’ll have their day in court to plead their respective cases.
In the meantime, what does that mean for all of us customers?
Apparently very little — as both parties say customers will have no disruption in power service — and that seems to be one thing they can agree on.
They disagree a bit on how power supply continuity will be ensured — with First Energy suggesting customers may want to shop around (read the First Energy FAQ) for a new supplier, while NOPEC says they’ve got their members’ back, they’ll land a new supplier for us.
Power supply will seemingly go on as NOPEC secures a new contract that will go into effect January 1, 2017 — and according to their customer notices, the consumers need not worry nor do they need to shop around on their own.
I suppose the big question will be “at what price” will the new contract kick-in at the turn of the new year but as demonstrated by this recent break-up, NOPEC is willing to play hard ball for it’s members, so we’ll look for NOPEC to do the same as they negotiate a new deal on our behalf.
In the meantime here’s NOPEC’s “Questions and Answers” for it’s members:
The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) has begun discussions with new suppliers to provide electricity for 500,000 customers in 12 Northern Ohio counties following FirstEnergy Solutions’ decision on October 28th to terminate its contract with NOPEC three years early.
There will be no disruption of service to any NOPEC Customer. NOPEC expects to have a new supplier in place in the immediate future. For more information, you can read the full press release here.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions:
1. What does this mean for me, the customer? Am I going to have electricity?
Yes. Your electricity will continue to flow. Throughout the process of finding a new supplier, there will be no disruption of service for NOPEC customers.
2. So, my electricity will definitely not be shut off?
No, your electricity will not be shut off. There will be no disruption of service for our NOPEC customers because of the changing of suppliers.
3. What should I, the customer, be doing?
You should do nothing. Your discounts through NOPEC’s current supplier will continue until January. NOPEC plans to have a sound and financially strong supplier under contract shortly, ready to deliver electricity to NOPEC customers at a favorable rate.
4. What happened? How can FirstEnergy Solutions so suddenly end this contract?
FirstEnergy Solutions informed NOPEC on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, that it was terminating its contract with NOPEC three years early, effective January 2017. The unexpected termination announcement came after FirstEnergy Solutions made a surprising demand for unilateral contract concessions from NOPEC and amid numerous news reports about the severe financial challenges FirstEnergy Solutions and its parent corporation, FirstEnergy Corp., are facing.
5. What is NOPEC doing in response to this early termination?
NOPEC is currently in discussions with new suppliers to continue to provide electricity at a discounted rate for its customers. NOPEC over the past 15 years has saved customers about $250 million and added many other values that benefit our communities and customers.
6. What did the contract with FirstEnergy Solutions provide for me, and how will it change?
On Jan. 1, 2010, FirstEnergy Solutions entered into a nine-year contract with NOPEC to supply electricity to NOPEC customers. As a result of that deal, NOPEC residential customers saved 6 percent and commercial customers saved 4 percent on the generation portion of their electric bills, compared with what they would have been paying to a utility. In addition, NOPEC has funded an additional 1 percent discount that shows up on your electric bill as “NOPEC Customer Credit.”
NOPEC is focused on getting our customers an excellent, financially strong electricity supplier and a deal that will allow them to continue to experience the many benefits NOPEC has become known for delivering to our customers.
7. Why did FirstEnergy Solutions terminate so quickly?
The FES decision to terminate the contract three years early came after NOPEC rejected a number of unilateral demands for contract concessions. There also have been published reports and press interviews with FirstEnergy Corp. executives citing severe financial challenges being faced by FES. Indeed, First Energy CEO Chuck Jones recently told Crain’s Cleveland Business “there’s blood in the water” because of FirstEnergy’s weakened financial state.
It is unfortunate that FES is facing such financial problems, but any offer FES makes to potential new customers (including you) should be evaluated in that light.
NOPEC’s primary goal is to immediately find an electricity supplier for our customers that is financially stable with a proven history of excellent service.
8. I’ve read stories about a court case with NOPEC and FirstEnergy. What’s that about?
We are in court with FES over some of the details of the termination of the contract and because we want to be sure that NOPEC’s customers and their electricity supply is protected should FES be sold or go bankrupt. This does not affect NOPEC’s ability to shop for a new supplier at a discounted rate to begin providing service when FirstEnergy Solutions ends service.
9. When NOPEC finds a new supplier to provide a discounted rate, what do I need to do to receive that rate?
You should do nothing. When NOPEC contracts with a new electricity supplier, NOPEC will send a new notice to you with an option for you to “opt-out.” If you are happy with the new rate, you do not need to do anything and your discount will automatically be applied to your bill. If you do not want to reap the benefits of NOPEC’s new rate, you can fill out the “opt-out” form and return it to NOPEC within 21 days of the mailing date. If you opt-out, you will return to the utility’s standard service offer.
For 15 years, the great majority of customers in NOPEC communities have signed up for NOPEC’s significant savings. NOPEC was started by communities like yours that recognized deregulation was an opportunity for a not-for-profit energy “aggregator” that could help communities negotiate better deals on electricity and natural gas.
It has worked for the roughly 500,000 NOPEC customers in 12 Northern Ohio counties who have saved money on their utility costs and gotten other benefits from NOPEC.
Nothing that has happened will change that.
You also may call 855-639-8159 for more information.