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Kingston waterfront news: January 2009

DEVELOPER DONATES $200,000 TO THE MARINE MUSEUM in today's Whig.

Update: apparently the Whig muffed the headline and the first paragraph of the story. The money isn't donated to the museum, it's earmarked for upgrading the dock, which is federally-owned.

Posted January 31 2009
Category: Marine Museum

PAN AM BID AIMS TO CONCENTRATE ON SUBURBS in today's National Post.

Toronto is lending its name recognition to the $1.7-billion bid backed by the provincial and federal governments, but events will be staged across the Golden Horseshoe region, from St. Catharines to Hamilton, to Barrie to Oshawa.

Which exactly matches what we've been hearing all along, and more recently from those in-the-know around the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games bid.

So Kingston's definitely left on the outside, looking-in.

Posted January 30 2009
Category: KEDCO

TWO WEEKS AGO, ON JANUARY 13TH the City of Kingston allegedly dumped 10 million litres of sewage into the St-Lawrence River during a power failure in the City's East end.

That's enough sewage to completely fill 280 of these wholesale-sized tanker trailers.

Here's a Whig article about it.

But there is still nothing tallied on the crappy Utilities Kingston sewer bypass log. Not even a note.

Jim Keech is President and CEO of Utilities Kingston. Mr Keech is well-aware of this and other past disclosure shenanigans by Utilities Kingston.

When you think of sewage in our waterways, and the health of Kingston waterfront, think of Jim Keech and Utilities Kingston. And remember: these are the same folks responsible for getting safe drinking water to your tap.

Related:

Posted January 27 2009
opa

AMHERST ISLAND IS NOT LISTED among six new wind projects announced for Ontario on Friday.

The closest to us is the proposed 64.5 MW Byran Wind Project in central Prince Edward County.

Does it seem bizarre that the announcement, totalling almost 500 MW in rated-capacity, is couched foremostly as a job creation initiative?

About the announcement, quoting the Amherst Island Wind Info website:

I assume the next RFP will have to pretty much start the process from scratch, as new proponents will be entering the bidding process. Hopefully this will take a year or so; the OPA hasn't announced its schedule yet.

Posted January 24 2009
Category: Amherst Island

TORONTO 2015 TO UNVEIL PAN AM BID PLAN SHORTLY, according to GamesBids.com.

Kingston is still in-the-hunt for the sailing events, though all the bid chatter continues to emphasize the "Golden Horseshoe" aspect of the bid.

But sailing is specialized-enough, quirky-enough, and sufficiently under-the-radar to be quietly extracted from there, and hosted in undisputedly the best venue: here in Kingston.

Related: This from October 23rd and this from November 10th.

Posted January 22 2009
Category: KEDCO

WORLD RECORD MUSKIE CATCH and its subsequent release are the subject of two interesting Whig articles this week.

Dale MacNair caught and released the 65-pound female muskellunge, measuring 57 inches with a girth of 33 inches, by the 40-Acres Shoal in November.

It's the largest catch-and-release muskie, and second-largest overall, ever. She's still out-there.

Posted January 22 2009
Category: Fishing

KYC WINS THREE TOP AWARDS at the Ontario Sailing awards presented at the Toronto Boatshow on Sunday January 18th.

  • Robert Davis is the Youth Athlete of the Year, for the 2nd year in a row.
  • Sam Crothers wins the Angus (Bud) Roulstone Leadership Award, presented to a certified CYA Instructor/Coach who has shown exceptional leadership in a learn-to-sail or racing program. This is the 2nd year in a row that a KYC-based instructor has won this award.
  • The Kingston Yacht Club wins the Unistrut Central Youth Performance Ranking Trophy, presented to the Club with the Best Results in the 16 & Under Ontario Sailing Provincial Youth Regatta Series.
Canadian Youth Sailing Team

Also the 2009 Canadian Youth Sailing Team has just been named and, of the 26 sailors named, 7 of them -- that's over a quarter of our National Team -- call Kingston Yacht Club either home or their training centre.

These sailors are:

  • Robert Davis, Laser class
  • Tom Ramshaw, Laser class
  • Charlotte Skinner, Laser Radial class
  • Samantha Rea, Laser Radial class
  • Peter and Paul Evhert, 29er Class
  • Danielle Boyd, 29er class
Posted January 19 2009
Category: Racing
Kingston Official Plan 2008 Documents

THE LATEST OFFICIAL PLAN for the City of Kingston contains much related to waterfront in its 35 PDF documents and hundreds of pages.

We're fast approaching the plan's "consultation" period, for what that's worth.

Looking through all the documents for its waterfront-related aspects, there are numerous general mentions of the recreational uses of our waterfront. Considering the vast majority of kingstonians have no meaningful relationship with the waterfront beyond the occasional glimpse, it all rings hollow.

The plan goes nowhere beyond cliches and platitudes as far as recreational waterfront is concerned.

For example, in the hundreds of pages of the plan, the words Swim, Sail, Row or Rowing, SCUBA, or Diving never appear. The word Wreck appears several times, always in reference to wrecking yards.

The word Beach appears just once in reference to Richardson Beach Bathouse but not in the context of swimming, its renovation, or any recreational aspect you might hope-for.

Don't look to the plan for mention of Ramps unless those ramps are for sidewalk accessibility.

The word Fishing appears once, in the context of some policy that would control fish farming -- probably text copied wholesale from some other municipality's plan.

The word Boating is used once, in a non-specific way, in one document titled " Downtown and Harbour Area Special Policy Area".

In that PDF you'll find doozies like this:

Public Access to the Water
10A.4.14. Access to the waterfront will be enhanced wherever possible, particularly at the ends of public rights of way. Publicly accessible docks also form character-defining elements of the Harbour Area and provide informal open space that will be preserved.

Bullshit!

Oh, there are good things in the plan. Lots of words about linking waterfront pathways, and acquiring waterfront properties. But everybody knows there will never be much money for that.

You can have a multi-faceted plan that makes everybody, especially its authors and the politicians, feel-good. But in the end, when it comes to implementation, there is only one group in Kingston that ALWAYS hoovers most of the money: Downtown Kingston. This plan ensures that this will continue.

The plan is crystal clear on this: the systematic and grotesque annual subsidies of Downtown Kingston, the land owners there, and those who run the related tourist-trappings, will continue unabated.

Looking for quality of life initiatives for the residents of the rest of amalgamated Kingston, especially addressing our waterfront-related recreational infrastructure deficit? Not in the plan.

Posted January 19 2009
Category: City Council

RETIREMENT HOME TO DISPLACE DIVE SHOP in Brockville.

There are appparently no great options in Brockville for Dive Brockville Adventure Centre.

It's the end-game for working waterfront in Brockville, or so it seems.

Working waterfront: once lost, it's gone forever.

This would never happen in Kingston, right? Ask MetalCraft Marine.

Posted January 17 2009
Category: Working waterfront

10-MILLION LITRES OF SEWAGE were dumped into the St-Lawrence River last Tuesday night during a lengthy power failure.

Nothing's tallied yet on the Utilities Kingston sewer bypass log. They call it a log. It's not a log at all. It's minimum-disclosure b.s., Kingston-style. Here's why.

For a sense of perspective, a very large tank truck, the sort used for wholesale fuel deliveries, can contain 36,000 litres. Imagine a line of 280 such tanker trucks, a queue over 5-kilometers long, lined-up to pump their entire contents in sewage into the water at the causeway. The equivalent of that happened this week in Kingston.

I repeat: Tuesday the City of Kingston dumped the full contents of 280 of these tanks worth of sewage into the St-Lawrence River.

Related:

Posted January 15 2009
Category: The environment

GOOD ARTICLE BY NATHAN BARON in today's Whig.

Nathan is currently in the midst of a 1000-mile solo-voyage in and around the Bahamas region to qualify for an upcoming single-handed Mini-Transat 6.50 race between France and Brazil.

Posted January 15 2009
Category: Racing
Posted January 15 2009
Category: The region
Kingston Boat Show

THE 2009 KINGSTON BOAT SHOW WEBSITE is up.

The show runs April 17-19 at the Cataraqui Community Centre, taking-over both rinks.

Posted January 9 2009
Category: Working waterfront

LASER CLASS RESULTS from the 2008 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta where Kingston's Robert Davis podiumed in six of ten races, including two bullets, finishing second overall and top Canadian in a 39-boat fleet.

Posted January 8 2009
Category: Racing

PUBLIC ASKED FOR INPUT on Lake Ontario Park's master plan.

There's a token 4-question online survey, and two public meetings are planned, the first on January 21 and the second on March 25, 2009. The January 21 public meeting is between 7 to 9 PM at the Invista Centre.

Let's hope this isn't just public consultation theatre like we've seen with so many City and island projects in the recent past.

Posted January 7 2009
Category: City of Kingston

IDIOTIC EDITORIAL in the Whig last Saturday about how sinking millions into refurbishing the deep-water dock at the Marine Museum is a "no brainer".

This is a no-brainer, folks. A new pier would provide a tremendous boost to the city's tourism industry with little or no financial risk.

Read the whole thing.

Now read the related report by city staff to Council. Pay attention to the minuscule number of these vessels (one), the low number of expected stoppovers each year (under five), the small number of passengers aboard (which the Whig vastly overstates), and the actual time (a few hours) that ships are expected to be docked.

In real terms most cruise ships would start off by including Kingston as a port-of-call with a brief stay of several hours in port. This would offer the downtown merchants an opportunity to sell their wares and nearby and mid-distance attractions to be included in shore excursions.

(From page 8 of the report.)

Don't forget that these passengers arrive already sumptuously-fed with room-and-board aboard. Also consider city staff's record of vastly overstating the economic benefits of all the downtown-centric projects they endorse. Never a thumbs-down when it's downtown.

Here's what's really happening: The Whig is the boardroom-bulletin publisher for the Downtown Kingston BIA.

No subsidy for Downtown Kingston is ever panned, no matter how grotesque. In The Whig, and among city staff, the BIA always trumps the interests of the rest of amalgamated Kingston.

And City Council buys-in every time. Foremost, in this case, is Councillor Bill Glover who is all-in for a dock uber alles. Then there's Councillor Ed Smith is a full-bird member of the BIA's Executive Committee. In addition, we have three other City councillors (Councillors Hector, Hutchison, and Gerretsen) who are council-appointees to the BIA's board of directors and subject to systematic face-time and, therefore, pro-BIA sales pressure.

There's more: None of this includes Councillor Foster and Mayor Rosen who are certifiable Downtown Kingston BIA cronies.

That's how the systematic fleecing of the rest of amalgamated Kingston is engineered. Nevermind the influence of a sycophantic Whig-Standard and the City's mostly downtown-based staff, Council is effectively an arm of the BIA, as opposed to the other way around.

Maybe you thought the last council was bad?

Structurally, the current council is actually worse, and getting worse, because more potential fence-sitting councillors are co-opted into the BIA Board for systematic monthly face-time and indoctrination about the BIA's interests.

Do we need a deep-water dock? Absolutely. We had one but, like most things around town, we never properly maintained it. Should a deep-water dock today be our top infrastructure priority? Should a deep-water dock be Kingston's top waterfront-related priority?

If you had a few million dollars to spend on infrastructure, and assuming you wanted to spend it to improve Kingston's waterfront, would it go to help dock a ship with three-busloads-worth of tourists, three-times per year, for barely an afternoon each time? Or should that money first go towards accessibility and recreation opportunities for the people who actually live here?

Related: This K7 post from October 2008.

Posted January 6 2009
Category: City Council

RAISINGS AND SINKINGS PAST are the subject of two new Flickr photosets by Paul Wash. These are scans of original photographs by Max Pater who, thankfully, has agreed to share these online.

There are 12 photos from the Cuidad de Inca refloating incident in December 1984, and 20 photos of the Wolfe Islander II sinking in September 1985.

Refloating of the ciudad de Inca Sinking of the Wolfe Islander

Nearly a quarter-century ago already!

Posted January 1 2009
Category: History

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Last Updated: July 17, 2012