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Kingston waterfront news: July 2008

WATER LEVELS ARE STILL ABOVE AVERAGE, about a foot above last year at this time, after peaking impressively in mid-May. Mid-summer Lake Ontario Levels

The big news is upstream: Lake Superior water levels have rebounded remarkably since this time last year. Mid-summer Lake Superior Levels

Posted July 31 2008
Category: Water levels
Posted July 30 2008
Category: Marinas
Health Unit Beach Report July 2008

FINALLY the KFL&A Health Unit has a dedicated beach report web page.

Getting that took over a year. Think: pulling teeth.

Another plus: The Health Unit's page lists 41 beaches, covering a wide area.

By contrast, the City of Kingston's "Environment" page lists just 11 city beaches plus Big Sandy Bay.

But the Health Unit lists four swimming spots in the City that, for some reason, don't appear on the City website:

  • The PUC dock at the foot of Collingwood street,
  • the Collins Bay Pier,
  • Lemoine Point which, oddly, the Health Unit classifies under "Cataraqui Conservation Authority". This area is within the City of Kingston, and should be listed as such.
  • What they call "Lake Ontario Hospital", which is either behind the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital, or Breakwater Park. We're supposed to guess.

So the City and the Health Unit currently aren't on the same page when it comes to keeping swimmers healthy.

Downsides: The Health Unit and the City of Kingston can't seem to agree on names for some beaches. Respect for our beaches surely starts with referring to them properly in official communications.

Here's what needs to drastically improve next because this still isn't good enough. Vital information still isn't being disclosed, like:

  • The date of the sample was collected.
  • The specific level of E.coli found, as they do in Hastings & Prince Edward Counties.
  • How, exactly, was the sample collected? Was it from a boat perhaps hundreds of feet off the beach, or within a few yards of the waterline where children actually swim?

Related: A swimmable Lake Ontario, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper Podcast from June 5, 2008. This covers, in detail, what's wrong with the current state of beach reporting around Lake Ontario.

The bottom line: thanks for finally creating a web page, but we really need way better information to make choices. See, for example, the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit beach report.

Posted July 26 2008
Category: Beaches

MASS-SWIM ROUNDUP

The mass swim, a wakeup call in support of Richardson Beach, happened last Tuesday, July 22nd.

Posted July 26 2008
Category: Beaches

GORDON ISLAND IS CLOSED TEMPORARILY because the racoon population is posing a serious threat to public safety. The island will be closed to the public from 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 27, 2008 until 11 a.m. on Friday, August 1, 2008.

Gordon Island, part of the St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada, is 3-miles east of Gananoque.

Posted July 26 2008
Category: The environment

RICHARDSON BEACH PRELIMINARY PLANS are posted. So far it's just sketches, no text.

It also appears to be mostly not about the beach, but about landscaping above the beach in the form of pathways and lookouts.

What's with the rock-bounded funnel-shaped groin in the water? The rationale for that will be interesting to hear. Someone should probably ask if the designer has ever been to a beach people actually use for swimming. Note there's no roped-off swimming area, no swimmers, and no windsurfers shown in any of the drawings.

Updated: Mixed reaction from members of on the Kingston Boardsailing Association. Boardsailors are the folks who currently use Richardson Beach the most. Among other points, the current drawings show drastic cuts to the area they need for rigging and laying-out sailboards. Richardson Beach Concept

Posted July 20 2008
Category: Beaches
Lake Ontario Park RFP

THE 25-PAGE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL for consulting services for the development of a master plan for Lake Ontario Park has been released by the City.

The RFP is due Wednesday, August 13, 2008.

Related:

Posted July 19 2008
Category: City of Kingston

EDITORIAL AND OP-ED pieces about Richardson Beach in today's Whig.

Posted July 19 2008
Category: Beaches
Kingston sewer bypass log from July 2008

BEACH CLOSURES are the subject of front-page stories in both The Whig and Kingston This Week today.

Read them both.

Jim Keech, president of Utilities Kingston, must think we're all stupid.

He certainly knows that Osprey Media reporters are pushovers.

Here we have the City of Kingston bypassing over 7,000 cubic meters of sewage -- over 1.5 million imperial gallons -- into our local waterways all within the past 10-days and we're led to believe the e.coli fouling our beaches must be due to birds.

It gets worse: they aren't actually metering all the City's sewer bypass points.

And our mainstream media just parrots what these ass-covering municipal suits say. Kingston: a sewage dumping municipality

For perspective, imagine 300 tanker trucks, each with 5,000 gallon capacity exactly like the one pictured here, lined-up taking turns pumping their full contents of sewage into the water. That's what 1.5 million gallons looks like. The equivalent of that happened this past week in Kingston, by the City of Kingston itself. And big-cheese Jim Keech says that e.coli has "...nothing to do with sewage" and "...the by-passes that we've had have been relatively insignificant".

Related:

Posted July 18 2008
Category: Beaches

THE SUMMER 2008 NEWSLETTER from Preserve Our Wrecks Kingston is available for download. Therein, among other things, is acknowledgement of the condiderable volunteer work done by the local dive community to the benefit of local tourism.

You'll also find information on the Kingston Underwater Event to be held August 8-10 at the Marine Museum and at City Hall. This is a showcase of Kingston's role as a premier freshwater dive location with a focus on diving, maritime heritage, conservation, and environmental issues.

Posted July 16 2008
Category: Diving
Deserted Richardson Beach, mid-afternoon, during the August 2006 heat wave

GROUP SEEKS BEACH CLEANUP is front-page in The Whig today, about the awareness-raising Mass Swim planned for July 22nd at Richardson Beach.

It's amazing that it has come to this.

The decrepit state of Richardson Beach is plainly evident to anyone who cares to look, and the outcry over our neglected beaches was widely acknowledged in the last municipal election campaign.

Posted July 14 2008
Category: Beaches

AT COUNCIL THIS TUESDAY: a 5-year Crawford Wharf docking agreement with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines Inc, which includes their ticket booth, for $2,200/year.

St. Larence Cruise Lines has called Kingston home since 1982. The vessel in question is the M/V Canadian Empress, a 66 passenger replica steamboat built in 1981, pictured here.

Posted July 12 2008
Category: City Council

GREAT RESULTS BY LOCAL ATHLETES:

Posted July 8 2008
Category: Racing

THIS SUMMER'S MAJOR ONE-DESIGN CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTAS are as follows:

World Championships
Contender Worlds (CORK August 18 - 23)
North American Championships
29er (CORK August 16 - 20)
470 (CORK August 17 - 20)
Flying Dutchman (CORK August 21 - 24)
Canadian Championships
29er (KYC July 26-27)
Etchells (CORK August 7-10)
Contender (CORK August 16 - 17)
F18 (CORK August 21 - 24)
49er (CORK August 21 - 24)
Albacore (CORK September 19 - 21)

This is somewhat different than the list posted back on February 29th; then the Laser, Laser Radial, and Laser 4.7 North Americans were thought to be coming here, but end-up in San Fransico. Also in the interim, the 49er North Americans turned into the 49er Canadians.

Posted July 3 2008
Category: Racing
Screwed-up beach report

The CITY OF KINGSTON BEACH REPORT continues to be a complete screwup.

Boys and girls, how hard is it to maintain a simple list, as inadequate as that is compared to the extensive service lake swimmers get in Toronto?

Moreover the City of Kingston's beach report is still linking to a non-existent page at the Health Unit's old website address.

Related: Another summer of ad-hoc Kingston beach reports from June 23rd.

Posted July 3 2008
Category: Beaches

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Last Updated: July 17, 2012