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Kingston waterfront news: June 2008

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT CORK.

Volunteering at CORK is always special. Many CORK volunteers gladly return year after year. Everyone you'll meet there is a giver.

Posted June 27 2008
Category: Racing

STILL SOME JUNIOR SAILING CAMP OPENINGS AT KYC for the White Sail I & II sailing program for the 2-week session beginning June 30th. Pass the word.

Posted June 25 2008

AT THE KINGSTON PUBLIC HEARING of the International Board of Control, which was held Tuesday evening at City Hall, speakers expressed overwhelming support in favour of Plan B+.

Plan B+ is the lake water-level management scheme which would see generally more water retained in Lake Ontario, for longer periods, under a wide range of conditions, especially during fair weather seasons.

Call it "the keep more water here plan". It's also the plan computer models show as having the higher range of water levels -- the highest highs, but also the lowest lows -- during the boating season. It's also the plan favoured by many environmental groups.

But many who have built in places that prudence would never advise aren't keen on Plan B+. Some were here in Kingston City Hall on Tuesday night too.

Plan B+ and Plan 2007 compared under average and extreme high and low-water conditions.

Posted June 25 2008
Category: Water levels
KLFA Health Unit home page

ANOTHER SUMMER OF AD-HOC KINGSTON BEACH REPORTS, it seems.

The Health Unit Communications Officer, Mr Justin Chenier, has made it very clear: there are currently no plans for a link, nevermind a dedicated page, about local beaches on the Health Unit website. Don't even think about it; it's not on the radar.

If you need the latest on local beaches, you'll need to root through the Health Unit's news dispatches, essentially fending for yourself, interpreting the fragmentary disclosures therein. Assuming you find it at all.

Also, this Health Unit declares beaches unsafe, but does not explicitly declare them safe again. So faced with, say, a 5-day old beach report, what should one conclude?

Alternately, you could consult this City of Kingston web page (found via "Residents", then "Environment", not "Recreation") which provides a list, but with no date-of-update and no other cues, so information freshness is always in doubt here. This same page showed Lake Ontario Park Beach and Rotary Park Beach closed for most of the winter, a sign that keeping this list fresh certainly wasn't any sort of priority last year.

The City web page currently links to the Health Unit's old website address (http://www.healthunit.on.ca/programs/environ.html) which, like all references to the old website, redirects to the current home page where, assuming the beach news hasn't scrolled-off, you might find more beach-related information in the 4-item news-area found there.

This is all very sloppy. There's no possible excuse for this.

Now look at Toronto: they do it better. Toronto has:

Here in Kingston, don't even think of making suggestions for the Health Unit website: they are evidently only interested in hearing themselves tell you how great the KFL&A Health Unit website is. You'll be talking with God's gift to local beach users. That's got to change.

Related:

All this is emblematic of how much our municipal and local bureaucracies, at every level, need a swift kick-in-the-butt when it comes to respecting our waterfront and its users.

See also: You snooze, you lose -- Kingston's disappearing waterfront. This beach-report situation is more evidence that some nine-to-fivers among us are evidently auto-stumbling through their waterfront-related dossiers.

Posted June 23 2008
Category: Beaches
THE RAVENSVIEW PROJECT JUNE 2008 NEWSLETTER is available. These are always interesting; this one is four pages with lots of pictures.
Posted June 20 2008
Category: City of Kingston

THE EASTERN ONTARIO ARTIFICIAL REEF ASSOCIATION seeks on-line petition signatures in support of the sinking of the destroyer HMCS Terra Nova which, apparently, isn't a done-deal yet.

The scuttling is supposed to be just off Browns Bay Provincial Park, near Mallorytown on the 1000 Islands Parkway.

Add your name to the list of signators and support this.

Posted June 19 2008
Category: Diving

ROTATED AND UNREADABLE is Major Capital Projects (Schedule B) in this week's Council documents. Inside, zooming-in and squinting, are the following tallies:

JK Tett Building$13.0 million in 2010
Lake Ontario Park upgrades$8.5 millionthrough 2013
Deep Sea Dock$7.0 million through 2012
Waterfront land aquisition/trail development$3.0 million through 2011
9 North Street, the Imperial Warehouse$1.5 million through 2010

If you could, how would you allocate $30 over 5-years? How much of that would you put on the Tett Centre? Lake Ontario Park? Waterfront acquisition? Some major capital projects near Kingston's waterfront

Updated: The city cleaned-up and re-posted the document, and readability is much improved.

Posted June 16 2008
Category: City of Kingston
Kingston Ontario waterfront exclusion zone for the 2008 Snowbirds airshow

HERE'S THE SNOWBIRDS AIRSHOW SAFETY ZONE in Kingston Harbour.

The airshow is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18 from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. exactly.

The exclusion zone isn't boater friendly; it prevents virtually all boat circulation near Kingston.

Click for a larger version.

Posted June 13 2008
Category: The Snowbirds

Here are visitation and service details for Bud Gormley, past chairman of CORK and past commodore of KYC, who passed away June 9th.

Bud Gormley was 72 years-old.

Posted June 11 2008
Category: Obituary

The Waterfront Challenge is a national [ed: actually, North American] competition to encourage people who care about their local waterfront, to improve their local waterfront.

The Challenge is designed for any group of three or more people who want to spend a minimum of two days of their lives improving their local waterfront and encouraging others to do the same. Projects should be new, and make some part of your waterfront an environmentally better place.

Seven regional awards of $5,000 each will be presented, along with a separate grand prize of $25,000. Canada is considered a region. Projects must be completed by November 5 2008.

Posted June 11 2008
Category: The environment
Museum of Underwatre Archaeology

THE MUSEUM OF UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY is a cool outreach by underwater archaeologists and maritime historians. It's an example of how the web is bringing otherwise obscure science and history to a wider audience.

They are currently conducting research in Lake Ontario on wrecks near Kingston. A recent jourunal entry from May 2008 describes work off Carleton Island, on the other side of Wolfe Island near Cape Vincent.

This entry from July 2007 has an intriguing drawing of Kingston waterfront circa 1813, looking from downtown over to RMC and Fort-Henry hill, pre-fort. Here's the larger version of the drawing.

Posted June 10 2008
Category: History

In the Whig today, this story about a move by the Kingston Historical Society to rename Breakwater Park after Lt.-Col. John Bradstreet, the British officer who led the battle to overthrow Fort Frontenac 250-years ago this August.

The French among us may not be amused by this idea. John Bradstreet had 3,000 men at his disposal against 110 French soldiers garrisoned inside the Fort.

Maybe this park could be renamed in perpetuity after present-day narcissists for the equivalent of one-sixth the cost of a single renovation. Like what's happened to Market Square. Here's a reminder how that went down. For history's sake.

Posted June 10 2008
Category: Parks
Kingston Ontario third crossing RFI

HERE'S THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT R.F.I. for the third crossing of the Great Cataraqui River (10 pages). Submissions are due by June 25th.

The proposed period of environmental assessment is between November 2008 and December 2010, which ends just beyond this term of Council.

Posted June 6 2008
Category: City of Kingston

AN ONGOING WRECK SURVEY IN NAVY BAY, from the Dolphins Scuba Club, and more from Preserve Our Wrecks.

Posted June 6 2008
Category: History

TOKEN PARK PROPOSAL IS A WATERFRONT DOWNGRADE, says a thoughtful reader commenting on Kingston's Disappearing Waterfront. Block D docking, pre Token Park

Here's the problem:

In prior years, the seawalls of Block D, some 200 linear meters worth, were commonly used for docking, including docking very large boats. The Block D seawall was also used for RC model boat competitions.

The current proposal for Token Park has the seawall finished with stone boulders, just like most of Kingston's waterfront.

Which begs these questions:

  1. Why does this shoreline, already well under cover of the Confederation Basin boulder breakwall, need to have a boulder-block finish?

  2. Doesn't Kingston have enough inacessible boulder seawalls already?
  3. Why is the City of Kingston apparently settling for the minimum-cost-to-Brit-Smith option while rendering 200m of shoreline completely inaccessible and dysfunctional?
Detail of Token Park seawalls
Posted June 3 2008
Category: Block D

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Last Updated: July 17, 2012