utilities

Doing online research is almost required in school these days, but how can you do that without a reliable way to connect to the internet? Michael Liimatta, who manages the ConnectHome initiative for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says that with more than half of public school kids living in poverty, plenty of people who should have web access still just can't afford it.

Internet-connected water and electrical meters as well as new technology like leak detection in underground pipes means public utility providers now have huge opportunities to increase efficiency. Rolling out that new tech can not only help cut costs and head off expensive failures, but can also create new revenue streams for cities.

Guests:

Once every water and gas meter, light pole, park bench, and parking spot is collecting statistics, just how do you turn all that data into useful information? Allowing access to everyone who wants to see and analyze that data can lead to amazing things, and can change people's relationships with their city.

Guests:

Courtesy/Christopher Jones

Trees have lives, but even as long as those lives can be, trees do die. When a tree's condition threatens structures and utility lines, property owners come face to face with the inevitable. On this edition of Up to Date, one such owner tells the tale of a tremendous silver maple that once shaded his backyard. Joining the conversation is a spokesperson for KCP&L with steps utilities take to keep power lines clear and safe.

Guests:

zkoenig / Panoramio

Compared to other areas of the country, Missouri and Kansas have it pretty good when it comes to energy pricing.

Courtesy of Landes family

The living room of Cheryl Landes' small apartment has the cozy feel of your grandmother’s living room.

No surprise.  She’s often watching four grandkids, as well as her own 13-year-old son.

This afternoon, two of them are playing with their hand-held electronic games. They can play alone, or together. They laugh as their small computers make music.

Cheryl’s 90-year-old mother, Billie,  lives here too. She quietly sinks into a club chair. She has chronic lung disease, and dementia.

Both Cheryl and her grandson have asthma.