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Deadline Oct. 6 to opt out of electricity aggregation program

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo -
Rory Ryan

By Rory Ryan
The Highland County Press

Last week, I received a letter dated Sept. 15 regarding an electricity aggregation program. From what I gather – and from what The HCP has reported at multiple Hillsboro City Council meetings – in June, city council approved an emergency ordinance approving a plan of operation and governance for the municipal electric aggregation program of the City of Hillsboro. 

In the most-recent council meeting, Council President Tom Eichinger said that he was informed that Hillsboro residents should expect “contact letters about opt in and opt out” for the electricity aggregation program “very shortly."

Sure enough, my business received such a letter. The city's partner in this program is Energy Harbor. According to my letter, "Energy Harbor is a fully integrated retail energy provider and independent power producer capable of generating substantial carbon-free energy."

Oddly, I didn't see any mention of FirstEnergy Solutions. Alert readers may recall FirstEnergy and the infamous Ohio House Bill 6 scandal that dragged on for years – and may yet be dragging on. As reported, FirstEnergy emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and became Energy Harbor Corp.

While the stated goal of this program is to allow participants to have lower energy rates, what's often overlooked is that participation is not exactly voluntary. If the customer (in my case an AEP customer) takes no action, he is automatically enrolled in the program. I did not appreciate that, so I immediately used the online opt-out option and, just for good measure, mailed my opt-out reply card to Energy Harbor.

I have had AEP service for more than four decades at my home and business. I am not upset with my AEP billing or service. Had I discarded what at first glance I thought was junk mail, I would have unwittingly changed billing services. No thanks. I'll keep my billing – and more importantly my customer service – with AEP Ohio.

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• Another news item caught my eye this week from WCPO in Cincinnati, which reported that Hillsboro's Patriot Public House will be featured on "America's Best Restaurants" in October.

WCPO's Molly Schramm reported that The Patriot Public House will be at the center of ABR's Roadshow when the national media and marketing company comes to the restaurant on Oct. 6.

According to the report, "ABR, which aims to bring attention to local, independently owned restaurants, will highlight popular dishes as well as interview owner Angel Mootz about the Patriot Public House's place in Hillsboro."

For the complete story, go to…

* * *

• It's clearly time for Jaime Harrison and the Democratic National Committee to find a new presidential candidate for 2024.

This past week, President Biden looked dazed and confused as he walked into a giant Brazilian flag at the United Nations and then appeared to anger Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by walking off stage without shaking his hand.

Biden also unexpectedly crossed himself during a one-on-one meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Biden, a Roman Catholic, made the hand gesture as the Jewish leader of Israel began speaking.

Biden did not explain his action and the White House did not address it.

These are just the latest in years of gaffes from Biden, who has faced mounting concerns over his age (80) as he runs to remain president in 2024.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Biden struggling to gain approval from an increasingly skeptical public, with dissatisfaction growing over his handling of the economy and immigration. The poll shows former president Donald Trump with a double-digit lead in a potential rematch with Biden in 2024.

All the polling and Biden gaffes aside, it's his policies that are the core issue.

From squandering the nation's energy independence to bankrolling a never-ending war in Ukraine to China's likely takeover of Taiwan to wide open U.S. borders, this administration has been an unmitigated disaster and disgrace.

The number of illegal border crossings at the northern and southern borders and all ports of entry since January 2021  – when Biden took office – totals more than 8 million people, greater than the individual populations of 38 U.S. states.

This is simply unsustainable for cities and counties – and their taxpayers – across the U.S. Things have gotten so bad, in fact, that even Democrat officeholders are beginning to say aloud what many others are thinking: Biden's policies are hurting U.S. citizens.

Even New York Democrat Mayor Eric Adams was critical of Biden, who was in New York City last week to stumble around the UN, but did not address the surge of illegals pouring into NYC.

“New York doesn’t deserve this,” Adams said. “The asylum seekers don’t deserve this. Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this.”

Dallas Democrat Mayor Eric Johnson announced Friday that he is switching to the Republican Party, making the city the largest in the U.S. to be led by a GOP mayor.

Making the announcement in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, Johnson called on mayors to champion law and order and fiscal conservatism.

“It is clear that the nation and its cities have reached a time for choosing,” Johnson wrote. “And the overwhelming majority of Americans who call our cities home deserve to have real choices – not ‘progressive’ echo chambers."

I don't make a habit of agreeing with Democrats, but I agree with Major Johnson. As for New York, this is simply reaping what you sow. You wanted to be a "sanctuary city," so act like it.

Could it be that the illegals were destined to make a political impact (i.e. an electoral college vote fix) deep in the heart of Texas? As everyone who's paying attention understands, once Texas flips from red to blue, all future presidential elections will have predetermined outcomes. It's not an opinion. It's simple arithmetic to get to the 270 electoral votes needed. 

Meanwhile, it was another red-letter week for members of Congress. See Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., John Fetterman, D-Pa., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J. All of them ought to resign.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.

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