2017, january, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Reynoldsburg council mulls contract with Constellation

Discussions about a new two-year aggregation contract with Constellation Electric began at the Reynoldsburg City Council meeting Jan. 10.


Discussions about a new two-year aggregation contract with Constellation Electric began at the Reynoldsburg City Council meeting Jan. 10.
City Director of Public Service Bill Sampson gave council a report on electric aggregation because the city’s current aggregation program will expire in March.
merican Municipal Power (AMP) solicited pricing last week for a 24-month period. AMP is under contract with the city to administer the program.
Three bids came in from IGS Energy, AEP and Constellation. The latter came in at the lowest rate of 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which is indicative pricing as the rates change daily. The current aggregation rate is 7.1 cents per kwh.
All bids stated there is no termination fee if residents want to cancel their participation in the program at any time.
This rate includes a $100,000 city grant for a use yet to be determined. Sampson said in his presentation he hopes the grant is used for a comprehensive city master plan.
The previous aggregation contract from 2014 with AEP Energy included a similar grant.
Sampson said the city’s goal is to get the best possible price for electricity.
“We will contract with AMP and at the present time Constellation is the lowest firm,” he said. “Residents always have a choice, but the city will contract with one firm.”
Sampson will present legislation to city council at its Monday, Jan. 23 meeting, along with a finalized rate and his recommendation for the next electric aggregation provider.
The decision about the electricity provider will be reviewed by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for certification before it takes effect.
2017, blog, columbus, january, myblog, review, yelp

Cuts Off High review

Picture from Yelp

I went to Cuts Off High for the first time in January and it was a great but very unique experience. 

I needed a hair cut so I searched on Yelp for the best hair cuts in Columbus. This place was one of the top picks. Out of 41 reviews, he has almost 5 stars. Wow! 

To schedule an appointment, I called, left a voicemail, Ray texted me back with an available time, that same day and that was that. I’ve never been texted by a hair stylist before in a non-automated way so it was a refreshingly human change. 

Ray, the barber, is very friendly and listens to what you have to say. He is interesting to talk with and has a lot of opinions he will happily share with you. He takes great pride in his work and in educating his customers. I liked that he showed me how to care for and style my hair. My favorite part was that he didn’t try and sell me a bunch of hair products or things I didn’t want. I’d gone to a lot of other salons over the year and always felt pressured into buying their shampoo or hair products. 

Don’t expect any frills in this salon. With the $22 women’s haircut, there wasn’t a shampoo, he just misted my hair with water, and then blow dried it. The salon isn’t anything fancy, there’s no receptionist to get you coffee, etc.  I did read from other reviews that he has free beverages and fruit in the lobby. I was there at 6pm and didn’t see anything.

The service was good, the price was right and a month later, I’m still enjoying the layers in my hair cut, so I would go back here or recommend him to a friend.

Originally shared on Yelp

from Yelp

2016, january, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

City, sheriff to address opioid issue

Posted Jan 16, 2017

The City of Canal Winchester and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office will team to host a Community Education event on Jan. 25 at the Frances Steube Community Center at 22 S. Trine St. in Canal Winchester.


The City of Canal Winchester and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office will team to host a Community Education event on Jan. 25 at the Frances Steube Community Center at 22 S. Trine St. in Canal Winchester.
The free program will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and will cover topics such as the opioid epidemic, prescription drug abuse, community awareness and identifying illegal drug activity.
The public is invited to join Mayor Mike Ebert, Sheriff Dave Phalen and Commander Dennis Lowe of the Fairfield-Hocking-Athens Major Crime Unit for this discussion geared to help maintain a safe and secure community.
Lowe and Phalen will make a presentation. Also planned is time for questions and the chance for community members to start a dialogue.
Sheriff Phalen said the presentation will help educate citizens as to what certain drugs look like, what the trends have been, learn how drugs are brought into communities, what parents can do and what the warning signs look for if drugs are in a neighborhood.
“This isn’t a new issue; we’ve seen this kind of drug abuse for eight or nine years all throughout the state of Ohio,” Phalen said. “In this point in time, we’ve done a good job educating students in the schools and we have a lot more resources for treatment for someone who is addicted.”
Lowe said his main goal is to raise awareness and explain what law enforcement is doing to address the issue.
He acknowledged that Fairfield County “certainly does have drug issues” and that “drug addiction is a real problem in society.”
“I think it would be important for anyone in Canal Winchester or surrounding areas to attend, so they can get a sense of what public officials are doing to address the issue and what the public can do,” he said. “People need to remember that these police officers live in the community, too, and we need the public’s help with this. It’s important the public educate themselves.”
Lowe said Ohio has become an epicenter in the nation’s drug crisis and the state leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths.
Amanda Lemke, Canal Winchester’s Events & Communications coordinator, said the community hosted a similar event last year but focused on general drug abuse. This year, they chose to focus solely on the opioid epidemic for the first time, because “it is such a hot topic in the news right now.”
“In Ohio, we are seeing tremendous numbers of people affected and every community is being affected, including Canal Winchester,” she said. “It’s such a grave issue.”
Information also will be available to those interested in joining the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Community Watch program.
“A lot of people may think their own family can’t be affected but as we’ve seen recently, any family can be affected,” Lemke said. “The more you know, the more prepared you will be.”
2017, january, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Police advisory panel formed to rebuild trust

Posted Jan 17, 2017


Officials are forming a Reynoldsburg Police Community Advisory Panel to reach out and address community concerns.
The idea for the panel has been in the works for almost a year, after former Reynoldsburg police detective Tye Downard and Lt. Shane Mauger were arrested last year in a federal corruption investigation.
In early 2016, community forums began in order to allow citizens to interact with city police officers in a nonconfrontational manner and voice their concerns.
Police Chief Jim O’Neill said he wants to address the public’s lack of confidence in police and facilitate “two-way engagement.”
“People seemed to be getting bad information from unreliable sources and that can lead to rage and frustration,” he said.
“This committee plans to get information out to the public, address concerns from the community and come up with programs to help.”
The Reynoldsburg Police Community Advisory Panel will include nine people: Two police officers, Chief O’Neill, one city council member, one business member (appointed by the Chamber of Commerce), one teacher (to be appointed by the school superintendent), one 11th-grade student (to be recommended by a faculty member and the school resource officer) and two members of the clergy.
At the Jan. 10 city council meeting at 7232 E. Main St., city council voted unanimously to elect Councilman at Large Chris Long to serve on the panel for one year.
“This panel will help open the lines of communication and keep them constant,” Long said. “I’ve seen so many changes in our community over the last 55 years and we need to focus on moving the city forward through consistent communication and through acknowledging our diversity.”
The panel will meet every third month. The first open forum meeting will be in March.
2017, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, january, myblog

Packing for Disney Cruise

Sunday, I’m leaving for a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas!
It’s time to start packing. Plus, I’ve already had one pre-cruise nightmare where I forgot my bathing suit. 
When I embark on packing, I start with doing laundry. This way, I have a full inventory to choose from. Next, I pack by laying out my clothes on my bed. This helps me not forget anything and see what I’m packing. 
I like to lay out everything on my bed so I can get a since of how much I’m bringing
I put the stuff I want to keep in my backpack, like books, iPad, camera, etc in the corner of my bed. I also put the outfit I’m wearing on the plane in a different area. 

I save space and keep my shoes from getting crushed by stuffing clothing inside them.  

I like to lay out my shorts beneath my shirts so I can make sure they coordinate 
 When I was little, before school, my mom helped me set out a “Little Deborah” on the floor so I’d know what I was wearing the next day. When packing, I pretty much fill my bed with 5 Little Deborahs so I can make sure I’m packing shorts, tops, bras underwear, shoes and socks for each day.
My base layer is made of shorts, a cardigan and bathing suits

Shoes went on the top layer, facing the outside of suitcase

I wear my heaviest clothes onto the plane and set them in a different bag so I can easily get to them. 
Packing list for the cruise:
  • Hoodie
  • Cardigan
  • Shorts, jean shorts and workout shorts
  • Tops, t-shirts and tank tops 
  • Variety of shoes 
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • iPad
  • Sunglasses
  • Magazine
  • Book
  • Chargers
  • Bag for the beach 
  • Belt
  • Face wash
  • Comb
  • Swimsuit
2017, article, january, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Winter Hikes: Metro Parks kicks off annual program

The 44th season of Metro Parks’ weekend series of Winter Hikes kicked off in Blacklick Woods on Jan. 7 with 2- and 4-mile walks.
Participants embarked on guided and self-guided hikes and enjoyed hot soup and warm drinks at the Beech-Maple Lodge afterward.
The 2017 Winter Hikes series features 13 hikes, including one at the newest park, Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City.
Peg Hanley, a Metro Parks spokeswoman, said the Winter Hikes are a good opportunity for those looking for a free outdoor activity after being cooped up inside through the holidays or who resolved to get fit this year.
“Each park has its own unique terrain, its own personality,” she said. “It’s a great chance to explore parks people might not usually go to.”
Hanley said the hikes provide an opportunity to see wildlife, such as barred owls at Blacklick Woods, bison at Battelle Darby or turkeys at Blendon Woods or Sharon Woods.
Free food might also entice hikers. Participants of the Blacklick Woods Winter Hike enjoyed a hot bowl of vegetable minestrone, hot chocolate, coffee, water and a campfire to roast marshmallows.
Cody Berkebile, a naturalist at Blacklick Woods, said Jan. 7 was his fourth Winter Hike, and he appreciated how many people came out to the park. Last year 1,117 participated in the hike at Blacklick Woods.
“I like seeing so many people in central Ohio coming out,” he said. “It’s great to see people who keep coming back year after year.”
Additionally, those snow-lovers who complete seven of the 13 weekend hikes can earn a decorative patch to wear on jackets, scarves or hats.
The Sexton family from Bexley hiked 2 miles in the frigid temperatures Jan. 7 to get ready for an upcoming family adventure.
“This summer, we’re going on a vacation out west and we plan on doing a lot of hiking, so we want to get ready for our trip,” Pam Sexton said. “We aren’t going to let winter stop us. We brought hand warmers and everyone in the family bought new hiking boots.”
Meanwhile, Libby McKinley of London proudly wore a scarf adorned with Winter Hike patches.
She said she has been participating in the Winter Hikes since 2008 and she plans on earning the 2017 patch.
Pam, Malcolm and Matt Sexton brave the cold Sat. Jan. 6 at Blacklick Woods during the kickoff of the Metro Parks’ Winter Hike’s series. The Bexley family hiked two miles to get in shape for a vacation out west. 

2017, january, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Reynoldsburg Kmart closing by end of March

Wednesday January 11, 2017 2:46 PM

Photo Credit: Debbie Gillum

The Reynoldsburg Kmart is one of 108 stores nationwide that will close at the end of March, the company announced Jan. 4.
A liquidation sale began Jan. 6 at the Reynoldsburg store, 1284 Brice Road.
Reynoldsburg Development Director Dan Havener said the store closing is unfortunate but not necessarily a surprise.
“It’s been this hearsay issue for quite a while in the community. We thought more than likely it would happen at some point in time,” he said. “We hate to see the job losses.”
Havener said he remains optimistic, however, because of the location.
“I think this will be a great new opportunity for the city of Reynoldsburg,” he said. “The Kmart is in a great location between Brice and Main Street. I see nothing but positives for the redevelopment of that site and we look forward to working with the developers.”
The Gilbert Group Real Estate of Columbus, which owns the space, will discuss future plans for the site with Havener.
Havener said this is part of a larger “unfortunate retail situation right now” that a lot of other chain retailers also are facing.
Sears also announced it also would close 42 Sears stores. In addition, Macy’s recently announced it would two central Ohio stores (Eastland and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing), and The Limited is closing all stores.
In a press release from the company website, officials said the decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step.
“Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around. But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better performing stores a chance at success,” officials said in the release.
“Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart stores.”
In addition to the Reynoldsburg stores, other Kmarts in Zanesville, Mount Vernon, Kenton, Gallipolis, New Boston and St. Clairsville will close.
The Sears closures in Ohio include stores in Lancaster, Chillicothe, Akron and Richmond Heights.
A typical Kmart store being closed employs 40 to 80 associates.
Photo Credit: Debbie Gillum
2016, blog, debbiegillum, fashion, january, myblog

ModCloth Review

So, right after I ordered my Stylish Surprise dress from Modcloth, they had a huge clearance event. I’m talking about 80% off items. Wow!
Clothes I had on my wish list were suddenly under $20 and so I snagged a few of my favorites.
I tried to be careful about ordering things since the clearance items were non returnable.
Overall, I’m happy with what I got. 
First, I wanted a long sleeve dress to wear to work and that wasn’t as short as some of my other dresses. I like this one because of the killer neckline. Makes my boobs look three sizes bigger! The color matches my eyes and the skirt is long and flowy. I wore this with leggings, boots and a scarf on Saturday. 
This black dress below was one I’d wanted since Black Friday. I thought it was overpriced back in November and sure enough, my cheapness paid off because it went even more on sale in January. I adore the floral skirt, the simple elegance and the bow tie belt. The belt’s my favorite part because unlike other belts, the bow itself clips into a hole and the excess of the belt is tucked away behind. Gorgeous. 
The picture below shows off the dark red cardigan I got. This is probably my least favorite item I ordered but I’ll still wear it. I don’t love it because it’s a bit tight in my arms and shorter than my other cardigans. I think if I tried to button it up, I’d get that awkward gaping between the buttons. 
Last, I ordered this plaid skirt. The skirt was longer than I expected but then again I think I have a warped definition of what a “long” skirt is. I like the plaid pattern of it and was looking for a school uniform type skirt. 
Once again, thanks Modcloth for the cute clothes. 
2016, blog, debbie, debbiegillum, dress, fashion, january, myblog

ModCloth Stylish Surprise

For the second time, I took advantage of Modcloth’s Stylish Surprise. Thanks to Emily for telling me it was going on. 
When I got online, the shirts were sold out so all I bought was one dress for $20. 
The way ModCloth’s Stylish Surprise works is that you pick your size and they send you any dress. You have no clue what it will be, how much it’ll be worth and you here’s the kicker: you can’t return it. It’s a big leap of faith. 
When I opened my package at first, I thought “Oh no!” because all I saw was the strange pattern of the dress. 
Turns out, it was a gorgeously cut dress. I love the A-line skirt and the neckline. 
At first, I thought “Oh no!” 
It has this zodiac pattern
I wore it today to work and made it winter appropriate with leggings, boots, a cardigan and scarf. 

Appropriate for winter or summer
Leggings, cardigan and scarf + braided hair

Love the A line skirt
The dress is pretty simple, just fabric cut and sewn in a flattering way. It’s the kind of dress that someone could potentially sew and make themselves. If I ever get into sewing, I’d try and copy the pattern of this dress. 
dublin, dublinschools, dublinvillager, january, newspaper, schoolboard, schools, ThisWeekNews

Board elects officers, hears task forces updates

Originally published in ThisWeekNews 

Wednesday January 21, 2015 7:10 PM

At the first Dublin Board of Education meeting of 2015, the Board President and Vice-President were re-elected and online school board meeting agendas were debuted.

The district will no longer distribute hard copies of agendas. Instead, community members are invited to go online to view the agendas, minutes, schedules and more.

Digitizing the agendas will increase productivity and save thousands of dollars annually, according to a district press release.

The school board meeting started an hour earlier, because of the OSU championship game.

Lynn May was re-elected as Board President and Stuart Harris as Board Vice President. Both ran unopposed and were first elected to the Board in 2005.

The facility task force reported that the engineering architectural firm of Garmann and Miller will attend the Feb. 9 school board meeting to answer questions. They will present their findings to the board on Jan. 26. The task force will recommend an architectural firm in Feb. and a construction management team in March. The task force assured community members that the Riverside Elementary traffic problems will be addressed.

The gifted education task force has been sharing the draft service model with colleagues, parent groups, and the community.  Additional input will be requested from middle school math teachers and administrators regarding advanced/accelerated math. The task force hopes to present their final draft to the board in February. They have scheduled three additional community meetings to share revisions and gather feedback. Future community  meetings will be held at 7p.m. Jan. 21 at Coffman, Jan. 22  at Jerome, and Jan. 28  at Scioto.

The middle school schedule task force held several parent forums last week to address questions. They are still on track to make a recommendation to the board by mid-February. They are closely reviewing middle schools in Illinois and Minnesota that appeared on the “Top 10 Best Education Suburban Districts” list.

For the staffing task force, Richard Bailey explained that a more robust and detailed online screener would be put in place to help narrow the candidate pool to only the best possible. This week, the new screening tool will take effect for all new and current applicants.

Treasurer Steve Osborne discussed the Fiscal Year 2014 Audit Opinion and Audit Reports from Plattenburg Certified Public Accountants.  There were no citations or findings for recovery. Osborne said it was a very good report and he thanked his staff.

Dr. Hoadley reminded community members of the State of the Schools at the Dublin Recreation Center on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and the next Superintendent Community Coffee on Jan. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at Sunny Street Cafe.

The meeting ended with Rick Weininger moving that the district make a statement of support for the Buckeyes as they met the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship game.

The Board meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m.