Remembering Dr. Martin L. King

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The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his thunderous speech at Glenville High School on April 26, 1967, saying “We’ve got to organize so effectively and so well and engage in such powerful creative protest that there will not be a power in the world that can stop us.” Photo courtesy of Cleveland Public Library.

As the nation pays tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin L. King today, we thought it only fitting to remember his connection to the city of Cleveland.

As Clevelanders, we know that our city holds a plethora of history including the first city in the nation to have publicly lit streetlights – Public Square;  it was once known as the richest community in the world with Millionaire’s Row a.k.a. Euclid Ave as its showcase; and we have darker memories that include the infamous Hough Riots.

We all know who Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was, what he stood for, and we appreciate that most of us get a day off from work in his honor.  However, have you ever thought about how strongly connected to Cleveland he actually was?

Dr. King frequently visited Cleveland in the mid-1960’s after the Hough riots aiding community leaders and offering advice on dealing with the city’s racial problems while working feverishly to register black voters and to assist in boosting Carl Stokes’ chances of becoming the first black mayor of an American city.

On April 26, 1967, during his visit to Glenville High School, Dr. King offered this advice to those in attendance, “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures.” That quote has become a staple in many African American households.

Dr. King’s efforts in Cleveland proved fruitful when Carl B. Stokes was elected mayor of Cleveland on November 7, 1967, fifty years ago this year.

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Winter Storm Tips to keep you safe

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A scene from a November 2014, Lake Effect snowstorm. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

Mother Nature is inching closer to providing Clevelanders with a white Christmas beginning this weekend. Northeast Ohio and Cleveland are currently under a Lake Effect Snow Advisory through Saturday morning.

As you plan for the weekend and the weeks to come we thought this would be a good time to share some basic safety principles and energy saving tips.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offers the following tips to keep you safe as you begin bringing out heaters:

  • Keep all furniture, draperies, and other household objects at least three feet from the in-wall fan heaters and 12 inches from baseboard heaters. Keep portable space heaters at least three feet way from all flammable materials.
  • Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  • If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone from inadvertently turning it back on.

Fireplace Safety

Fireplaces can be romantic and cozy yet they can be extremely hazardous if you do not exercise proper caution.  The most important step is to be certain that your fireplace was constructed for actual use, not just for decoration.  If installing a factory-made fireplace, make sure that you have adequate heat barriers and you aren’t putting it near anything combustible.

If you plan on using your fireplace regularly, you should have your chimney cleaned annually, and ensure that it is clear of leaves, pine needles and any other debris.  You should never use flammable liquids to ignite a fire, nor burn any cardboard, trash or debris in your fireplace.  Always use a screen around the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out.  Never leave your fire unattended, and be certain the flames are completely out before retiring for the night or whenever leaving the house.  Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and place smoke alarms on every level of your home.  By following these handy tips you should be able to enjoy a warm cozy winter in front of your fireplace and save on your heating bill.

Energy Saving Tips:

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEAT FROM THE SUN

Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

COVER DRAFTY WINDOWS

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE

When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your   temperature. Find out how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings.

FIND AND SEAL LEAKS

Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

Find out how to detect air leaks. Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk. Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEMS

Schedule service for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.

Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed. Find out more about maintaining your furnace or boiler.

Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently.

For the Fireplace

  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up, and out of the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly–approximately 1 inch–and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  •  If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  •  Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.

Additional tips on staying safe and warm during winter storms can be found at http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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As the nation pauses today to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the Cleveland Public Power family extends a sincere “Thank you” to our customers! We are grateful for your support and we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Let’s Talk Turkey!

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Everything tastes better when it’s fried… so why not fry your Thanksgiving Day turkey, as opposed to baking it the traditional way! Although fried turkeys are absolutely delicious, they pose a slew of safety concerns.  Thousands of fires, deaths, and injuries occur each year due to turkey fryer fires… so here are five helpful safety tips with what you need to know before setting up your fryer.

  1. Keeping Clevelanders Safe! Never fry a turkey indoors, and make sure that you set up your fryer at least 10 feet away from your home. Do not cook your turkey on your back deck – cooking oil is combustible and if it is heated beyond its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite. Keep all children and pets away. Be sure to never leave it unattended.
  2. Even Stevens in Cleveland! Make sure set your fryer on level ground; this will ensure that the oil level is being gauged accurately and that the oil is steady.
  3. No jive turkeys! Make sure that your turkey is between 10 and 15 pounds because larger birds are more likely to burn on the outside before the inside is fully cooked. Also, be sure that your turkey is completely thawed and dry; this will prevent the oil from bubbling furiously and spilling over.
  4. How about this Cleveland weather! We all know that Thanksgivings in Cleveland can vary from warm and sunny, to brutally cold and snowy… therefore, please be cognizant of the weather before planning to fry your turkey outdoors because if rain or snow strikes exposed hot cooking oil, the result can lead to property damage and/or serious injury.
  5. Cleveland Fire Department to the rescue! Be proactive as opposed to reactive; therefore, test your cooking equipment in advance to ensure it is functioning properly. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times in the event that the oil ignites. It’s better to be safe than sorry!                                                             #thisisCPP #ClevelandPublicPower #TurkeyFryingTips

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Flashback Friday: Winterfest 2011

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Scenes from the 2011 Winterfest celebration on Public Square. Join us next Saturday, November 26th as Winterfest 2016 returns to the Square! The Cleveland Department of Public Utilities will have plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained! So stop by our booths in the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center on Euclid Avenue.

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Utilities United Against Scams!

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We are happy to join with our fellow #PublicPower utilities in an effort to put the brakes on scams against our customers.

We encourage the public to be aware and cautious when those posing as utility workers call on the telephone or visit your home. Err on the side of safety and check with your provider before giving out any information or purchasing third party credit cards for payments.

Remember the following about Cleveland Public Power and our interaction with the public:

  • We do not need to gain access to your home
  • If we knock to inform you of an interruption in service we will arrive in a white truck with our logo prominently displayed –> cpp_horzcmyk_notag
  • Our employees wear shirts and jackets with the same logo imprinted on them
  • We will not call you and ask you to go out and purchase a credit card for payment
  • You can pay your bill in person, online, by telephone through our automated system or with one of our customer service representatives

If it feels suspicious call us immediately to report the call or visit. We can verify the legitimacy of the person reaching out to you.

Here are the telephone numbers to reach Cleveland Public Power:

  • Customer Service – 216-664-4600
  • 24 Hr. Trouble Line – 216-664-3156

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Fireplace Safety Tips

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Fireplaces seem to create a romantic and cozy ambiance; however, they can be extremely hazardous if you do not exercise proper caution. It is vital to have smoke alarms on every level of your home, and considering the fact that we just turned our clocks back an hour, all of the batteries in your smoke detectors should’ve been checked/replaced.

You should be certain that your fireplace was constructed for actual use, not just for decoration. If you’re considering installing a factory made fireplace, make sure that you have adequate heat barriers and you aren’t putting it near anything combustible.  If you plan on using your fireplace regularly, you should have your chimney cleaned annually, and ensure that it is clear of leaves, pine needles and any other debris.  You should never use flammable liquids to ignite a fire, nor burn any cardboard, trash or debris in your fireplace.  Always use a screen around the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out.  Never leave your fire unattended, and be certain to put the flames completely before retiring for the night or whenever leaving the house.  Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand.  By following these handy tips you should be able to enjoy a warm cozy winter in front of your fireplace, and save on your heating bill.  #thisisCPP #ClevelandPublicPower #FireplaceSafetyTips

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