FirstEnergy’s admissions feed critics’ call for big-picture regulatory oversight and review

The company’s revelations about Ohio’s largest corruption case raise questions about the integrity of the regulatory process and its piecemeal approach to reviewing utility spending.

By Kathiann M. Kowalski

This story is from the Energy News Network in collaboration with Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join Eye on Ohio’s  free mailing list or the mailing list for the Energy News Network as this helps The Tremonster provide more public service reporting.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio should conduct a big-picture, in-depth review of FirstEnergy’s spending and governance in light of the company’s admissions last month about former PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo, critics say.

“It’s not a debate anymore whether the company engaged in corruption,” said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “The company did so. With this pervasive corruption, the PUCO needs to mind the store in order to protect the public interest and to protect consumers.”

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Community meeting on consent decree to focus on CDP search and seizure practices

By Rich Weiss, Neighborhood & Community Media Association of Greater Cleveland

The Cleveland Consent Decree mandates that the City of Cleveland Division of Police conduct all investigatory stops, searches, and arrests fairly and respectfully as part of an effective overall crime prevention strategy that considers community values.

How well they are discharging that mandate is the subject of the next community conversation in the series of discussions jointly sponsored by United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland NAACP.

The next meeting in the series is this Wednesday, August 11 at 6:00 p. The theme will be Search and Seizure. The public is invited and encouraged to attend these sessions to help in the monitoring process.

To attend, ask questions or voice your concerns, register for any of the four remaining Consent Decree public meetings by visiting

The meetings are conducted via Zoom on the second Wednesday of each month. The July meeting focused on “Bias-Free Policing and Racial Profiling,” Among the topics raised last month:

  • “What does ‘trained, bias-free policing policies’ mean practically, and what does that training look like?
  • How do we justify over-policing in communities of color and lower-income communities?
  • How are we measuring success with these initiatives?

Richard T. Andrews contributed to this report.

The Other Henry Senyak

Henry Senyak, avid beer can collector (photo by Bruce Checefsky).
Bruce Checefsky

Henry Senyak is a retired communications and electrical contractor and lifelong resident of Cleveland. He served as past President and Board officer with the Tremont West Development Corporation, and continues his community engagement in the Tremont and Near West Side neighborhoods. He is currently Chairperson of Lincoln Heights Block Club. He’s also an avid beer can collector. 

Bruce: When did you start collecting beer cans?

Henry: I started collecting when I was 10 years old. My dad and uncles would get me beer cans when we went on road trips. We’d check the dumpsters at rest areas for empty beer cans. I stopped collecting when I turned 18 and went back to collecting in1996. I bought an inventory of beer cans from a dealer in Fairlawn who lived in a small little bungalow house with his wife. She wanted him to sell his entire inventory. He owned a business called B&B Sales, one of the biggest beer can selling outfits in the country back in the 70’s and 80’s. I ran into him at the Hartville Flea Market. I started to buy his inventory in 1998 then he passed away a year later. It took me about forty-five trips with my van to go to Fairlawn and bring his inventory back to Cleveland. I’ve sold a lot of it since then on eBay in early 2000. I supplement my personal collection by buying and trading with other collectors across the country.

Bruce: How many cans were in his inventory? 

Henry: Over 50,000 beer cans. I paid about $2,600. A lot of people might say, ‘you got a bunch of junk here’ which collectors might agree with but everybody has junk. If they only knew that I sold and traded some from his inventory to build my personal collection, they’d understand. My personal collection is now more than 45,000 cans and I still have about 40,000 duplicates from his inventory available to trade.

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More cash means more stability for children and families

More cash means more stability for children and families

by Will Petrik

    All children and families, no matter where they live or what they look like, deserve stability, security, and basic human dignity. But for decades, certain state and federal lawmakers have prioritized tax giveaways for the wealthy while 46% of Cleveland children lived in poverty in 2019.

    On July 15, tens of millions of families across the nation received their first child tax credit payment, which was part of the American Rescue Plan, the federal COVID-relief bill. The deposits of $300 per child under age six, and $250 per child ages 6 to 17, are the first of six monthly payments going to households with children this year. The expansion of the child tax credit will give children the opportunity for a brighter future, take some stress off struggling families, and put more money in peoples’ pockets to spend at local businesses and support the economy.

    The overall payment is $3,600 a year per child under age 6 and $3,000 per child 6 to 17. The first half is going out to families in monthly payments and the other half will come in a lump sum after parents or heads of households file their 2021 taxes next year. This could be a game-changer for an estimated 389,000 adults in Ohio who reported recently (data collected between June 9 and July 5) that children in their household were not eating enough because they couldn’t afford enough food, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University estimate that the changes to the child tax credit will reduce child poverty in Ohio by nearly 49%. Families will have additional resources to help with food, diapers, safe housing, health care and other basic family expenses.

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Tremont Brainery Hosts its First Workshop at Limelight, Electric Gardens on 8-4-21

by Jack Ricchiuto and Keri November

In every community, there are amazing varieties of unknown talents. People have talents in things like cooking, gardening, languages, technology, repairs, writing, speaking, leadership, startups, parenting, grandparenting, exercise, nutrition, wellness, sports, games, arts, crafts, travel. 

Tremont Brainery is a volunteer effort hosting Tremont neighbors teaching neighbors in any area of interest you can imagine. 

Neighbors include anyone who lives, who works, or who is friends with people in Tremont. 

Free classes are available – some virtual and some in person. Sign up to be a teacher or learner.


During 2020, we all did our best to distance ourselves from those we care about for their health and our own until things started to look up. It was incredible to see how the community of Tremont came together during such a difficult time. 

Now that we’re gaining some semblance of normalcy, we wanted to discuss ideas to keep that sense of community going. 

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What’s new Tremont?

Ask around once you get to the central and west Lake Erie coast area and go to the waterfront spots that are suggested…so many fun little spots.

Old Tremonster Talks About His New Neighborhood and Some Learned Perspective Being Away

by Josh York

Well, I suppose you’ve figured it out, I no longer live in Tremont. In fairness, I admit I haven’t actually lived in Tremont for some time. I have written many an article for the Tremonster while living in the far-off lands of Westpark and Parma Heights. How can I write about Tremont then, you ask? I felt as though I could still write poignant pieces based around the perspective of the average Tremonster for two reasons; For one, I still worked my day job in Tremont, keeping me roughly in the buzz. And for two, the Tremonster has always been a publication that is supposed to represent what any neighborhood can aspire to be, by advocating local-based thinking and inclusion, wherever your neighborhood may be and whatever form your neighborhood takes.

Which brings me to the point of the piece; The dust has settled somewhat after the pandemic shutdowns and reopenings, and I have found myself in a different industry, working in Vermilion! Which is indeed as far as it sounds. Living, working and parenting in three completely different regions can show you some pretty stark realities about what you thought you knew about human beings, and their feelings and perspectives. And that is why I thought it was appropriate to do a first piece back, about how zany my new neighborhood is, how many cool things there are to see along the central coast of Lake Erie, and how we all can find common ground with those that, at first, we may find off-putting.

Now, you may be inclined to think I am about to go into how different the neighborhoods are in Vermilion compared to Tremont or something like that, but that is not the way I am seeing things at all these days. I look at the area that I cover regularly, which spans from Vermilion to Lakewood to Parma Heights and down to Akron, as my ‘one big neighborhood’. My world is large now and I am loving it. It gives me a chance to hike, kayak and ride in new parks, and I have food and beers in countless small towns, mid-size suburbs, country areas, urban areas, and various neighborhoods. I meet people of every degree on the conservative/liberal spectrum. I have been yelled at and openly made fun of for wearing a mask upon walking into establishments. I have been yelled at and harassed by fellow customers for standing up to shift my coat under my butt on a bar stool while my mask top was just below my nose. I exist in places where the fringes of different social sets brush against each other, and in a large enough area that I can start to understand the finer nuances of what we may write off as one group or another.

Let’s be honest too, this country has been polarized by so many different ideas and events, many political in nature and many involving difficult health decisions, and it’s a shame that we are drawing these lines with one another. In doing so, we are buying into an idea that you must be 100% on the side of one topic. And that means that the other side must be 100% exactly opposite of your side. In thinking like that, we are banishing ourselves into informational deserts, with little chance to find common ground. I am mostly liberal, and definitely did not agree with the storming of the Capitol. But when I heard that the QAnon Shaman was boycotting food because he only eats organic and whatnot, it made me go, “Hunh.” I support organic eating, too. I bet you if it never came up about QAnon or the Capitol, he and I would have a decent conversation about whole foods.

I am not out to make this piece heavy in its tone, I am only wanting to throw out a few observations in my travels back and forth and to and fro. Let’s keep it light and get to it.

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The Movement Project: patch[works] voices amplified

The Movement Project: patch[works] voices amplified will consist of multiple staggered performances at the Pivot Center. Tickets are available through online pre-sale only.

by Rebecca J. Leuszler

Inspired by the vibrant sounds of electronic composers Laurie Spiegel and Suzanne Ciani, The Movement Project welcomes you to patch[works] voices amplified, an evening of new works set to the groundbreaking sounds of electronic music’s unsung trailblazers. Join us July 17th at the Pivot Center as we transport audiences through a visceral movement experience filled with brilliant sounds, hypnotic color and intricate patterns in this exuberant exploration of movement and sound.


Date: Saturday July 17th, 2021

Location: Pivot Center 2937 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113 (Tremont)

Parking: Free onsite parking lot.

Price: $16 (Online Pre-sale Only)

Time & Schedule of Events: 6:00 pm (SHOW 1) & 8:00 pm (SHOW 2)

To ensure the safety of all our patrons, performers and staff, TMP has created a responsible evening of works to be enjoyed in a distant setting. Below are details on how the evening’s events will unfold.

When patrons purchase their tickets, they will be assigned an arrival time for check-in to ensure social distancing.

Arrival/Check-In Times
     SHOW 1 (6:00 PM):
         Group 1 Arrival/Check-In: 5:30 – 5:40 pm
         Group 2 Arrival/Check-In: 5:40 – 5:50 pm
     SHOW 2 (8:00 PM):
         Group 1 Arrival/Check-In: 7:30 – 7:40 pm
         Group 2 Arrival/Check-In: 7:40 – 7:50 pm

To purchase tickets, learn more about this performance and to review all safety protocols and procedures in place visit our website:

Family members who lost loved ones to police action speak at community meeting on Consent Decree


By Rich Weiss, for Neighborhood & Community Media Association of Greater Cleveland

The Neighborhood and Community Media Association of Greater Cleveland is providing monthly reports on a series of community conversations about the 2015 Consent Decree negotiated between the US Department of Justice and the City of Cleveland regarding the policies and practices of the Cleveland Police Department.

Four local community members who lost loved ones to Cleveland Police Department (CPD) use-of-force were the Zoom panelists for the June public input meeting on the Cleveland Consent Decree.  United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP co-sponsored this and five previous public conversations on the Consent Decree and its ramifications for our Cleveland communities.

Background: The Cleveland Consent Decree is a court-enforceable agreement that resulted from an investigation into the CPD by the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ).  The DOJ is the agency of the federal government that has the authority to investigate and prosecute alleged violations of citizens’ constitutional rights by the CPD.

After a 21-month investigation, the DOJ found the CPD had engaged in a pattern of excessive force.  The Cleveland Consent Decree was agreed upon by the City of Cleveland and the DOJ to “…repair community trust and protect the constitutional rights of the people of the City of Cleveland.”  The Consent Decree was signed into effect by Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. and the DOJ on June 12, 2015.  The agreement mandates “…the City will file a status report every six months thereafter while this agreement is in effect.”

The agreement also calls on “the community” of Cleveland to be a part of the reform process by serving on various Consent Decree committees and/or by attending local community meetings such as this to share concerns and real-life experiences from the community, and for the community to make recommendations for policy change. 

Photo of Angelo Miller and son courtesy of Alicia Kirkman

Alicia Kirkman was asked to be a panelist at the June public meeting on the Cleveland Consent Decree because her son, Angelo Miller, died in 2007 in an incident involving CPD use-of-force. 

Kirkman told the Zoom attendees, “Angelo was my everything.  Angelo was 17 years old, and I was still dropping Angelo off at high school and Angelo would still give me a kiss like he was still my 5 year old.  Still that loving, funny Angelo, he brought joy to all of us, to my whole family.  And he had two sons—Angelo was a father and his two sons didn’t get a chance to know their father.  I continue to fight for justice.  I want murder charges against the officer that killed Angelo.  We need charges.  The whole thing—when it comes to settlements and the families being paid—we need cops to be charged with murder.  If we get more charged with murder, they’ll stop killing.  They’ll stop killing.”

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