CPP committed to keeping Public Square well lit during construction

Public Square just as demolition was beginning.

Public Square just as demolition was beginning.

A major component of the Public Square project is streamlining the location of and access to utilities, both publicly and privately owned, into a new duct system.  When all is said and done, a new duct will run through the square with common points of access for different utility companies.  This will be much more efficient than the status quo, made hectic by the addition of telephone lines and telecommunications wires from out of state companies under the square over the past decades.

To prepare for the rerouting of power lines into the new duct and to prevent deconstruction and demolition work from hitting live wires, Cleveland Public Power spent last weekend de-energizing power within portions of Public Square.  In the process a section of streetlights in Downtown went dark which was reported on local news channels.

As of this morning, the vast majority of street lighting Downtown has been restored and Cleveland Public Power is working to have all power restored to streetlights by tomorrow.

Two other items to note:

  • Power to the closed quadrants of Public Square, including streetlights, has been turned off however CPP is installing floodlights that illuminate each of the quadrants – this will benefit construction more than pedestrians since the lights will shine inward but they will contribute to the pedestrian experience by lighting an otherwise dark hole in the center of the city
  • Power to decorative lighting poles outside of the main entrance to Terminal Tower is fed from the center of the square and not from the line that serves streetlights – for this reason these light poles are currently without power – to prevent the entrance to Terminal Tower from appearing dark, Cleveland Public Power has installed temporary lighting that illuminates the building entrance and the area surrounding it so that this area isn’t left in the dark.

The safety of our residents and businesses is a priority and we will work to ensure that outages like this do not occur again as this project continues. We are pleased to be a part of Cleveland’s current renaissance and we look forward to lighting the new public space that will add to the life and vitality of Downtown Cleveland.

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Downtown Cleveland’s newest tenant, Heinen’s, is open for business

The beautiful architecture that is now home to Heinen's Grocery store in the heart of downtown Cleveland.

The beautiful architecture that is now home to Heinen’s Grocery store in the heart of downtown Cleveland.

Downtown Cleveland is still a buzz with excitement over the recent opening of family owned grocery store, Heinen’s in the historic rotunda of the AmeriTrust bank building. The full service grocery store is an urban shopper’s delight that serves up high quality food with superior customer service.

Co-owners Jeff and Tom Heinen, who happen to be brothers, strategically utilized the 27,000 square-foot floor plan at the  East 9th Street and Euclid Avenue store location to take advantage of the rotunda’s beautifully ornate and circular features which now display their fresh produce, meats, deli, bakery and prepared food counters. Shoppers can also find Heinen’s magnificent beer, wine and cheese displays.

For developers Fred and Greg Geis, of Geis Companies, its mission accomplished with the Heinen’s store capping off the brothers ambitious project to overhaul the 29 story AmeriTrust complex.  CPP crews along with other utility crews and Geis contractors worked nearly around the clock, enduring some of Cleveland’s most unforgiving winter weather conditions and under the tightest of deadlines to revamp the building built in 1908.  The re-purposed structure has been turned into an alluring complex The 9, where you will find an upscale hotel, luxury apartments, and Adega, a classy Mediterranean restaurant. There is also a pretty cool nightclub and speakeasy.  Adjacent to The 9 is the new LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified Cuyahoga County Administration Headquarters and parking garage.  The project, located steps away from many of Cleveland’s popular entertainment, sports and lakefront establishments, is a perfect destination hot spot.

But for the Heinen brothers, the store marks yet another successful move to continue their grandfather’s legacy of delivering quality food and superior service.  “Relationships are at the very core of our goal to knowing the sources of the products we sell,” states Tom Heinen. We look forward to serving the needs of downtown residents and businesses in this historic 1908 building containing the famous murals of Francis David Millet and the immense Tiffany stained-glass dome ceiling.

Cable splicing

Bill Baran splices cable in a manhole on E. 9th and Euclid Avenue, in preparation for the renovation of the AmeriTrust complex. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

Written by By Kimberly Smith-Woodford

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Six tips to you prepare for blackouts

Down wire

Storms potentially lead to down power lines and blackouts. STAY AWAY from down wires and report them to your electric utility or police department. (City of Cleveland Photo Bureau)

The National Preparedness Community has provided the following six tips to aid us all in case of a blackout. As we approach spring and the potential for rain storms and other situations that can lead to power outages, please keep these tips handy.

Tips to prepare for blackouts below!

  1. Follow energy conservation measures to reduce electricity usage, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts.
  1. Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer. Leave about an inch of space inside each one to account for expansion. Chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  1. Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.
  1. Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
  1. Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help in lifting it.
  1. Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.

So now we’re asking for your input, how do you prepare for blackouts?

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Alarms to sound as residents “Spring forward” for daylight savings

Don't forget to change your clocks Sunday morning. One hour ahead as the photo suggests. (Image courtesy of crossroadscards.com

Don’t forget to change your clocks Sunday morning. One hour ahead as the photo suggests. (Image courtesy of crossroadscards.com

The Cleveland Division of Fire will send a signal to local residents to make a potentially life-saving change.

On Saturday March 7 at 6:05 p.m. emergency sirens will sound for one minute in unison to urge residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks to daylight saving time this weekend.

The “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery Campaign” is a national home fire safety program sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and endorsed locally by the Cleveland Division of Fire and the American Red Cross.

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of injuries and fatalities related to residential fires in half according to the NFPA by providing an early warning signal creating critical extra seconds to escape. Although smoke alarms are in a large percentage of Cleveland homes, nearly one-third do not work because of worn or missing batteries.

In addition to urging residents to change smoke alarm batteries, the Cleveland Division of Fire’s Public Education Office recommends that every resident take a few minutes for additional fire safety measures. This includes checking the smoke alarms, practicing an emergency escape route (know two ways out of each room), and designating a common meeting place once outside of the home.

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Power Team: Transmission Operation

Welcome to our “Power Team” focus – a new feature where we will highlight an employee to offer a little insight into the wonderful people that work hard, day in and day out, to bring electricity to your home and/or business.

Yvettea Johnson, Senior Chief Electric Switchboard Transmission Operator

Most of the world never really gives much thought to their local utility suppliers, we just think about it long enough to pay the monthly bill so that we may have lights, power, or gas for the next thirty days.  With that being said… let’s focus on Cleveland Public Power for a moment!  Where do you think our power comes from?  Well we definitely aren’t generating it here for you because unfortunately, our power generation facility stopped generating power in 1977.  So then how can we be a power company that supplies Clevelanders with power you ask?  Well, we’ve been purchasing the power that we supply residents and local businesses with and shipping it directly to you via our transmission lines with the assistance of our Transmission Operators.

Yvettea Johnson, proudly displays her painting. This piece was on display at University Hospitals in February.

Yvettea Johnson, proudly displays her painting. This piece was on display at University Hospitals in February.

Yvettea Johnson is a Senior Chief Electric Switchboard Transmission Operator at CPP and her primary responsibility is the operation of transmission for the 138kV Bulk Electric System that feeds all 36 of CPP’s Substations.  She is also responsible for the monitoring of power in each of the substations as well as supervising and training the Junior Electric Switchboard Operators.  It’s not a job to take lightly because it’s a position that requires a considerable amount of training and federally regulated certifications.

Yvettea has been with CPP for 16 years now and has worked her way up along the ranks.  She started as a Line Helper Driver (those are the people out in the field who drive the line trucks and bucket trucks and they’re required to have a Class – A CDL driver’s license), then she obtained her Journeyman’s Certification, and she’s been going non-stop… now she has her NERC and PJM Certifications which aren’t easy tests to pass, and they prove her job knowledge to be reliable and credible.

When asked, Yvettea said the best thing about her job is “the experience” she’s gained.  She has a vast amount of experience that extends beyond the Control Room to which she is confined to.  Her hobbies include drawing, reading, interior design and donating countless hours of her time to the church.  Art means freedom and life to her and she is extremely passionate about it.  She has even had one of her portraits displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  In this article she is featured holding one of her pieces that was displayed during the month of February at University Hospital because it radiates a high level of peace.

I began asking Yvettea a series of random questions and these were her responses:

Where is the most amazing place you’ve ever been to?  I was fortunate enough to go to Hawaii for 23 days last February!

What is the most challenging task you’ve ever experienced?  My most challenging task is not work related at all… it’s on a more personal level.  It was having to watch a disease (pancreatic cancer) consume my mom’s life and take her from this earth.

What is your greatest achievement/accomplishment in life?  EDUCATION!  I have an Associate’s Degree in of the Study of Electrical Contracting, Degree in Interior Design, Journeyman’s License, NERC and PJM Certifications.

What’s your favorite movie?  Identity Thief

What three items can you absolutely not live without?  My Daily Inspirations Book – it serves as my spiritual food, my car – because it’s my transportation to get around, and my art supplies.

What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?  I love the fact that Cleveland is currently on the rise.  Right now it’s up and coming!

What is your least favorite thing about humanity?  Selfishness!

If you could switch positions with anyone at your job, who would it be and why?  No thank you, I would opt not to switch positions with anyone at this current time because I’m in a very fortunate position; however, I’m always open for new opportunities.

Who in your life has inspired you the most?  My mother and my current church reverend.

Let’s just say that you’re the head chef at the fanciest restaurant in town and the King of Zamunda is coming in for dinner tomorrow night… what meal will you prepare for him?

Well that’s simple… I’d make him some Alaskan king crab legs, a loaded sweet potato and some Brussel sprouts because that’s my favorite meal and I’d want him to enjoy what I love.

 In your opinion, what are some positive things about CPP?

  • They are consistent with providing service to customers.
  • They are reliable when it comes to restoration of service.
  • They are very efficient with cost.

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Celebrating Heart Health at CPP

Cleveland Public Power staff members don their red in support of Go Red For Women! (Photo by Williams Rieter, Chief Photographer)

Cleveland Public Power staff members don their red in support of Go Red For Women!
(Photo by Williams Rieter, Chief Photographer)

“GO RED FOR WOMEN”… what’s that all about you ask?  Well let me tell you!  It is a campaign designed by the American Heart Association over ten years ago to promote heart health and highlight the importance of focusing attention on heart disease because it is currently the number one killer of women in the U.S.

Around this same time the American Heart Association realized that heart disease was not just taking the lives of more women than men, but it also took more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined… now how crazy is that!

As an organization, why not get involved?  Here at Cleveland Public Power, we not only care about our external customers… we’re also concerned with the health of our employees (our internal customers).  We value our employees and we want to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle.

So for a number of years we CPP has participated in the annual national “Go Red for Women” campaign which consists of wearing red on the first Friday in February in support of heart health month.  In addition to wearing red, we also take a group photo in the Rotunda at Cleveland City Hall, and individual photos at our Administration Building with those donning their red in support of this cause.

With the individual photos, we ask employees to tell us why heart health is important to them, and they will be featured on CPP’s Facebook page.   Here is a response from one of our employees.  “The fact that I’m getting older made me realize how important my health (heart) is to me. Now I have a daily routine which consists of a total of a 20-30 minute walk in the winter (which increases to 45-60 minutes in the summer). As well as eat plenty of fruits daily,” says Customer Service Representative Precious Robinson.

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Scammers targeting Cleveland businesses


Thieves are once again preying on utility customers to make a quick buck. This week Cleveland Public Power customer commercial business customers were contacted with the threat of disconnection of their electric service if they did not call a toll-free number and make a payment to the Disconnection Department.

Fortunately the customers suspected something was amiss and contacted CPP’s Customer Service Center and reported the incident.

The Department of Public Utility Police Department has been and will continue to look into these calls, and Cleveland Public Power is urging its customers to disregard these calls.

“This scam is targeting commercial businesses and while Cleveland Public Power will contact these customers about their bills, we would not refer them to a third party payment option. Any suspicious activity like this should be reported to the Public Utilities Police at (216) 443-2426,” said Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson.

Henderson also said, “When there is a threat of disconnection the only way to make payments would be in person in our Payment Center, by calling in and making a payment with our Customer Service representatives or make an online payment yourself.”

Cleveland Public Power will post notices about the scam on its website and through its social media sites.

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