Kansas Citians remember last summer as the season of the teens. They were everywhere, it seemed, clumped together, wandering around, even loitering. On the Plaza, no less. And businesses and residents grew tired of it. It even got a little scary a couple of times, including when a shot was fired near Mayor Sly James.
To counteract the bored and trouble-making children, the city tried two things: The police started enforcing a curfew, and the city rec centers held activity nights dubbed Mayor's Nights and Club KC to keep teens and youths entertained. After teens were arrested on the Plaza a couple of weeks ago, the city is getting proactive with its efforts to keep crowds of kids from congregating in public.
The city announced Tuesday that it is doubling the budget for Mayor's Nights and Club KC to $400,000, and expanding the weekends on which they operate. The activities will run for 12 weeks at five schools and rec centers starting May 24. That's the day, the Friday before Memorial Day, when a 9 p.m. curfew goes into effect downtown, at 18th and Vine, at the Plaza and at Zona Rosa .
Another change this year is that all participants must preregister. Registration information and a full Club KC schedule are available on the Mayor's website.
And it looks like it might be smart for teens to take the city up on the offer of free entertainment, DJs from Hot 103 Jamz and three-on-three basketball games.This week City Councilwoman Jan Marcason moved to put the curfew into effect all year long.