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Community event helps "Energize the Zone"

Tom Joyner (left) was greeted by Councilwoman Cindy Circo, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and Councilman Terry Riley.

More photos are available online on MARC's Flickr site.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Green Impact Zone welcomed more than 500 people to "Energize the Zone, Impact Your Home," a community event and information fair held at Paseo High School.

The free event offered zone residents an opportunity to learn more about the Green Impact Zone initiative and visit more than 50 booths where area service providers shared information about weatherization, home ownership, energy efficiency, jobs and job training, youth programs and more. Several workshops were also offered as part of the event.

Entertainment included special guest Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, and performances by the Lee A. Tolbert Christian Academy Drum Line, Jason Goodman, Lee Langston and the Prototypes, the Paseo Academy of Fine & Performance Arts Dance Department, Spoken Word Poet Robert Brown and Souls Poem.

Event sponsors were KCP&L, the city of Kansas City, Mo., Magic 107.3 (KMJK-FM), the U.S. Census Bureau and the Mid-America Regional Council. Many other organizations contributed to the event, including Upper Room, which provided shuttle service for residents at no cost, and KC Healthy Start/Dedicated Dads who donated hundreds of hot dogs for refreshments. More than 75 volunteers also helped make the event a success.

Feedback received during and after the event confirmed its value to residents, who appreciated having a convenient and comfortable setting to gain information about available programs and services and to interact with neighborhood leaders and other zone residents. Many also commented on the quality of the event, noting that the inclusion of refreshments and entertainment made them feel special. Representatives from the agencies with information booths remarked that the event offered an excellent opportunity to meet and share information with others, which is expected to result in new partnerships.

Planning is underway for a second community event to be held in March 2010.


Paseo students gain valuable experience at event

Standing, from left, Paseo students Ivory Bradford, Micah Thompson,Joseph Gilkey and Sergio Gonzales; and (kneeling) instructor David Brisco Luby.


The Green Impact Zone's Dec. 5 community event offered several Paseo High School students an opportunity to put some of the skills they have learned in class to work in a real-world situation. Four students provided technical assistance with lighting, sound and equipment for workshops and entertainment in the school's auditoriums, and five students conducted on-camera interviews with participants.

The technical team included students Joseph Gilkey, senior, lighting technician; Ivory Bradford, senior, lighting technician and spotlight operator; Sergio Gonzalez, junior, lighting technician; and Micah Thompson, junior, sound technician. The recording crew included students Roland Carter, Lindia Thomas, Lucas Percy, Ronald Williams and Shaquila Foreman.

The students not only gained valuable experience, but also enjoyed taking part in the Green Impact Zone initiative. "This really showed me how a group of people working together can make a better community," said Sergio Gonzalez.

Micah Thompson agreed. "It encouraged our community to become more aware of how to conserve energy and help do our part for a cleaner environment."


"Smart Grid" coming to the Green Impact Zone

Energy efficiency in the Green Impact Zone took a big step forward in November with the announcement of a $24 million grant to implement KCP&L's five-year SmartGrid demonstration project in and around the zone. The project, funded with federal stimulus dollars and a matching contribution of $24 million from KCP&L and its partners, will modernize the energy infrastructure in the zone.

The SmartGrid will introduce advanced technology that allows real-time, two-way communication between KCP&L and its customers living in the area bounded by Main Street, 37th Street, 52nd Street and Swope Parkway — encompassing all of the Green Impact Zone. This technology will include Energy Optimizer programmable thermostats with advanced features, new meters and other improvements that will help monitor and manage energy use, ultimately reducing costs, improving reliability and helping the environment.

According to KCP&L, selected homes in the Green Impact Zone will be eligible for energy management systems, home energy audits and other energy-efficiency upgrades. Other features of the demonstration project will include:

  • Installation of neighborhood charging stations for hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Installation of rooftop solar technology at selected commercial buildings, government facilities and residences.
  • Installation of more efficient heat-pump water heaters and other high-efficiency appliances in selected homes.
  • Distribution grid improvements.
  • Collaboration with community organizations to train and recruit workers from the urban core in green technologies.

For more information about the SmartGrid demonstration project, visit

Census job testing held at Green Impact Zone office

In preparation for the 2010 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting workers for temporary jobs nationwide. Locally, the Green Impact Zone office at 4600 Paseo will serve as a testing center for people interested in census jobs.

Census-takers work in their own communities, locating households, explaining the purpose of the census, helping neighbors complete the 2010 Census questionnaire, and recording responses on paper forms. In most cases, a valid driver's license and use of a vehicle are required, and the jobs may include evening and weekend hours. According to the Census Bureau website, census-taker positions in Kansas City, Mo., will have a starting wage of $15.25 per hour. A practice test and application materials are available online. Those interested in census jobs should contact the Kansas City census office at 816-977-2140 to register for the employment test. Applicants may specify that they would like to take the test at the Green Impact Zone office, where testing sessions are scheduled for Jan. 12 and 28.

Census forms will be mailed to all U.S. residents next March. The Green Impact Zone plans to offer assistance to residents who need help completing the forms, which must be returned to the Census Bureau by April 1, 2010. Federal, state and local governments often rely on census population numbers to determine how much money is spent on infrastructure and other services, so ensuring that everyone is counted accurately is important to the future of the neighborhoods in the Green Impact Zone.


Green Impact Zone
4600 Paseo, Kansas City, MO 64110
Phone 816-474-4240 Fax 816-421-7758 | Subscribe/Unsubscribe