Thumbs DOWN to FirstEnergy for not letting go of a dimbulb idea. The electric company is looking to recoup the costs of the program in which it tried to force compact-fluorescent bulbs down ratepayers’ throats and charge for the bulbs — often at much higher prices than customers would pay simply by going to the store and buying their own bulbs. That program got shot down, but FirstEnergy is asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for permission to charge customers for the cost of scrapping the program. Enough, FirstEnergy! PUCO should flip the switch on this idea to OFF.
And while we’re at it, thumbs DOWN to FirstEnergy’s wanting to end the rate break for customers whose homes are all-electric — including heat. Offhand, we’d say those folks are the utility’s best residential customers because electric heat sucks down a lot of amps. If FirstEnergy had real competition, it would recognize the wisdom of offering breaks for volume purchases but it’s pretty much a monopoly, so it doesn’t have to, and that’s a shame.
Thumbs UP, though, to Bellevue’s Tony Sberna, who at age 89 (90, as far as the weightlifting authorities are concerned) set a world weightlifting record.
Thumbs UP to Monroeville Schools, which through a combination of financial pruning and prudence, which in turn helped convince voters to approve an income tax, is facing a “stable” financial future — and which is taking advantage of that stability to look at ways to become even more efficient from financial and energy standpoints down the road. The “effective” academic rating from the state, continuing a tradition of “effective” and “excellent” ratings, is nothing at which to sneeze, either.
Thumbs UP to Crystal Bowersox, native of Elliston, as she and her voice soar higher in the American Idol competitions — and to Myriah Cross of New London, Dave Scagnetti of Bellevue, Ashley Harris of Avon and Haley Olds of Monroeville, who won their age divisions in last Sunday’s Firelands Idol finals in Norwalk.
Last but not least, thumbs UP to the restoration of 1,200 jobs at General Motors’ giant assembly plant at Lordstown, Ohio. GM Lordstown may not be local, but its fortunes reflect and affect the fortunes of the auto industry across the state. Four hundred jobs will go to laid-off Lordstown workers and the rest will be open to GM workers nationwide — so a lot of hopes are riding on the Cruze compact that, one hopes, will soon roll off the Lordstown line. (UPDATE : And for the same reason, thumbs up to the addition of 60 jobs at Ford's Engine Plant at Brook Park, building the fuel-efficient six-cylinder engine that will be the muscle for the 2011 Mustang.)