FIVE BRICKBATS TO KINGSTON CITY COUNCIL (2008) is an interesting post by an apparently very well-traveled Canadian.
Here's brickbat number four:
(4) the failure to create a walkable, enjoyable public downtown waterfront.
One of the more annoying aspects of the mismanagement of Kingston is the absolute disregard the city has for its downtown waterfront. Centennial park directly in front of City Hall doesn't cut it. Nor does the little bit of pathway/public space between City Park west beyond KGH. The absolute lack of interest in providing a walkable inviting downtown waterfront from Belle Isle down to the foot of Ontario St is an embarrassment and should shame each and every councillor. It's not difficult - just takes some leadership.
Amen, brother. Read the whole thing.
Also some members of the CFB Dolphins Scuba Club, which is active all winter long, went for a shore-dive to the KGH wreck.
Anyone else have photos to share?
That's the scoop according to an article by Ross Pollack in the latest Thousand Islands Life.
According to the article:
These Canadian charts are beautiful examples of the printers' art: at once highly readable and richly presented with great registration of the different colored inks. But government efficiency will soon eliminate the cross-checking possible with different US and Canadian charts of the same St. Lawrence River waters.
According to a spokesman for the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, navigational charts covering the same US-Canada border areas will no longer be produced by both nations, and water boundary areas will be divided between the nations for mapping purposes.
The plan is for the relevant stretch of the St. Lawrence River to be charted by the US alone. Eventually, these Canadian charts, numbers 1435 to 1439, will be obsolete and will be replaced by up-to-date versions of US charts 14770 to 14774 and 14802.
There's apparently nothing else online about this yet. There's something fundamentally repulsive about this.
READER COMMENTS can now be added to any news item or any article in this website.
If this works, this should vastly broaden the input from K7 readers.
This is still in the testing stage, so try it out and let me know what you think.
Just click the "Comments" link below and give it a whirl.
To post a comment, you only need to provide a name or an alias. All other information is voluntary.
The photos, which are excellent, were taken in November.
This wreck has been known to local divers since the 1960's, and it was catalogued by Parks Canada as early as 2002.
Recently, according to Jonathan Moore, an underwater archeologist with Parks Canada:
We have no real archeological evidence that it is HMS Montreal.
GONE ARE THE OLD-STYLE SHOAL MARKERS in Kingston Harbour. This summer, the M.O.T. replaced them with much smaller, and much lower, cylindrical ones.
Beyond arcane trivia, why would this matter?
There are many factors that make Kingston Harbour a great place to race sailboats. The axis of Lake Ontario, the narrowing and gradual funneling of the shorelines towards Kingston, the low-lying landmasses to the south and west, the landscapes inland that help generate thermal winds, these are all good.
For dinghy-racing sailors, another nice feature of Kingston Harbour is the fortunate positioning of both Myles Shoal and Penitentiary Shoal which, until this summer, were both marked with large green buoys that were easily visible at a mile distance. (See the chart below.)
Myles Shoal lies exactly 1/2 nautical mile off Kingston Yacht Club, almost directly into the teeth of prevailing breezes. Myles Shoal makes a perfect first-target for a group of practice-racing dinghies as they leave shore. The stretch between KYC and Myles Shoal has surely served for many-a-thousand dinghy tunings and warmups over the years.
From there, Penitentiary Shoal lies exactly one nautical mile from Myles Shoal, a perfect practice distance. This leg bears 272 degrees magnetic (ignoring magnetic anomalies), which is typically to the right of prevailing breezes, but this right-offset largely compensates for the left-side bias when racing in Kingston Harbour. The result is usually a tactically balanced upwind practice-leg for a group of racing dinghies. Perfect!
But the new shoal markers are smaller and lower, and can't be seen at a distance of one nautical mile when viewed from low on the water. The markers are in the same positions as always, but there has been a significant downgrade in their recreational utility. There are simply fewer obvious targets to sail-between now. Kingston Harbour lost a dinghy-sailing intangible this summer.
When the M.O.T. decided to swich-out the old shoal markers, it's likely nobody gave the dinghy-sailing aspect any thought whatsoever.
And so it goes: a really special waterfront slowly becomes an ordinary waterfront one step-at-a-time.
Constantly losing intangibles, each one perhaps "no big deal" taken individually, eventually adds-up on aggregate.
HOPE FOR A BRUTAL WINTER because, if current forecasts hold, we may be facing low water in the spring, about a foot lower than in recent years.
Moreover the water-level news from the big-lakes upstream isn't great. Throughout most of 2008 water levels on Lake Superior were rebounding towards normal. Now that gap appears to be widening again.
Downstream from Lake Superior, Lakes Michigan and Huron are still a full 15-inches below normal levels.
LAFARGE LOSES APPEAL, which clears the way for a Environmental Review Tribunal hearing on burning tires at its cement plant in Bath.
So what does Lafarge plan to do? Rather than finally facing serious environmental scrutiny, and stepping-up to years of is own rhetoric, apparently Lafarge is scrapping its plans.
How whacked is that?
K7 TURNS THREE this week.
Here's a big Thank You to some of the folks who've helped along the way with great photos, information, insight, scoops, concerns and corrections.
The 2-page PDF explains how to find the 3 wooden steamer hulls with a shore-dive off KPH.
Related to local diving is the upcoming Talk on the War of 1812 Wrecks. Jonathan Moore, a well-known author on the topic and member of Parks Canada's Underwater Archaeology Service, will be speaking at the Marine Museum in Kingston on Sunday, November 30th at 2 pm to launch his new book on "Shipwrecks from the War of 1812 at Kingston: A Look Beneath the Waves".
THE GROYNE IS A DONE-DEAL, apparently.
Public consultation, Kingston-style: 1) Quickly conjure a single plan with no options, 2) pretend to listen to input, then 3) execute the plan.
Name a recent Kingston waterfront development that didn't follow this pattern, or this pattern minus step-2.
A NEW FORMAT FOR CORK is announced today.
According to the press release, CORK 2009 will play-out ike this:
This is great news on a number of levels.
For example, for the first time in many years, there is no overlap between CORK events and the obnoxious 1000 Islands Kingston Poker Run, currently scheduled for August 7-8 2009.
Another plus: better segmenting the events means better cohesion amongst participants. Youth and young sailors together; high-performance sailors together; and keelboat with international-class dinghies all together. This makes planning the all-important social packages more straightforward.
Another plus: dates for the Keelboats and international-class dinghies -- generally older adult sailors -- dovetail with the 2009 Kingston Blues Festival.
Another plus: CORK 2009 spans just 12-days of competition, compared to 18-days for CORK 2008. This will be much easier on the volunteer-base, so better regattas for all-concerned are likely to result.
Any downsides? It's hard to quibble with any of this.
Also booked for 2009 so far: cats!
THE 2015 PAN-AM GAMES BID goes to Toronto's City Council today.
If (Toronto) council endorses the bid, a more detailed report is expected in February that will help lay out a venue plan and a detailed look at the financial, social, economic and infrastructure implications of the 2015 games. A formal bid must be submitted to the Pan American Sports Organization by April.
So KEDCO is running out of time to get the Sailing event for Kingston.
Here's the 6-page City of Toronto Staff Report on the matter.
The (Toronto) City Manager recommends that (Toronto) City Council:
1. Endorse the City of Toronto's role as the host city and participant in a bid to be submitted by the Bid Corporation to host the 2015 Pan American/ParaPan American Games in Toronto and communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.
It's not looking good.
PHOTOS OF NEW WIND FARM TOWERS can be viewed on Gordon Campbell's blog.
Kingston's Waterfront has changed, starting now.
AT COUNCIL this upcoming Tuesday, two related items about Crawford Wharf. Coincidence?
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.
Therefore this is for quickies, the 200 passengers being roughly equivalent to just three busloads, a few times per year, for a few hours each time.
How Crawford Wharf trumps other deferred maintenance in Kingston, nevermind just waterfront-related deferred maintenance, is anybody's guess.
THE FIRST WOLFE ISLAND WIND TURBINE, Tower 19, is on the north side of Reeds Bay.
It won't appear very large when viewed from Kingston. Some subsequent towers will be 3-miles closer to Kingston than this one.
NAVY BAY'S EASTERN SHORE is a half-mile stretch of shoreline that runs from RMC to Point Henry.
It's less than a mile from downtown Kingston.
It's inaccessible, derelict and, when explored in mid-October 2008, trash-strewn.
Through various levels of government, taxpayers pump millions into Fort Henry each year. From a waterfront accessibility and recreation perspective, we get nothing back.
Kingston's Waterfront is all the poorer for that.
THE 2015 TORONTO PAN-AMERICAN GAMES BID, specifically the sailing event, is discussed in Wednesday's Whig.
There's more: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was on-hand in Acapulco, Mexico to launch the bid just prior to Thanksgiving. The Toronto bid is slick; their ducks are aligned. Harvey Rosen wasn't on the trip.
From The Globe and Mail, three weeks ago on October 3rd:
The bid is Toronto-branded, meaning organizers will peddle the Pan Am bid internationally using the country's largest city as a hook. However, Toronto's main events likely will be the opening and closing ceremonies. Sports venues are most likely to go into the region covered by the 905 area code: Vaughan, Markham, Durham, Peel-Halton and the Niagara Region.
Here's the bid home page. There's nothing specific there yet.
But there's definitely a sense that Kingston's on the outside, looking-in at this point.
More to the point: each time Toronto bids for a major games, why is Kingston always the supplicant for the sailing event? It's worth asking: Hey Toronto! what's your problem?
Maybe one reason Toronto seems to come-up short in its games bids is because of Toronto's inability to leverage its proven world-class, world-renowned assets, like Kingston for sailing, for example.
Another way to look at it is: if the Toronto 2015 bid doesn't showcase Kingston for sailing, then perhaps Toronto doesn't deserve to win. Certainly everyone will know, at least as far as sailing is concerned, that it's all about the politics, not the competitors.
What's not in doubt is this: Since 1976 Summer Games, Kingston hasn't been resting on its laurels. Kingston has earned it.
THE LIVING AT THE BARRICADES PODCAST from October 16, 2008 titled Landfills, Leachate and Law is very interesting because it contains a lengthy segment on the Belle Park leaching landfill case, which the City of Kingston fought for eight years all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
That was embarassing for the City of Kingston. Harvey Rosen was Mayor of Kingston through most of the the appeals.
The segment following Kingston's is about the City of Hamilton which pled guilty to similar charges at the first opportunity, wasting no time towards fixing the problem.
This replica was the subject of a Whig aticle last week about long-ago scuttled plans for a waterfront heritage centre in Kingston. The Whig re-surfaces the notion of transforming the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes into a showpiece tourism attraction in this Monday's editorial.
To be blunt, it's a silly idea.
Considering the average Kingstonian has no relationship whatsoever with the waterfront, local-citizen access should come long before the so-called needs of hypothetical "wealthy european tourists". Kingston needs to become a better place to live, not a better tourist trap.
In The Whig today: Underwater wires connect Kingston, island.
Here's a link to a nice diagram of the cable's route.
Also, here are photos of the excavation activity in Sand Bay in August, where the cable lands on the Kingston-side.
And THIS IS AWESOME, especially the latter parts of the 53-pages titled "WOLFE ISLAND CABLE ROUTE SURVEY". C:\Wikis\K7Waterfront\FTPRoot\Files
The purpose of this was to mate it with its superstructure. Hulls are built upside-down so rotating the hull was part of the process.
This fireboat is destined for service in Tampa, Florida. Thanks to John Duerkop for the photos.
THIS MONTH-OLD HALF-BAKED WATERFRONT-RELATED MOTION was again debated then soundy defeated at Council last night.
GARISH NEW STREET LIGHTS, seven of them, on Point Frederick. They are spaced less than 30m apart.
These are a butt-ugly addition to a prime piece of Kingston Waterfront.
The Black Angus is the 100-year-old 28-foot wood double-ended clinker fishing boat restored by volunteers at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and re-launched this August after 7,000 hours of restauration.
Thanks to John Duerkop for the photos.
This pro/am fishing event will run in support of well-known fisherman, Jim McLaughlin, and his battle with cancer, while also honouring our Canadian Forces.
It starts Friday at the Junior Officer's Mess at CFB Kingston, Saturday and Sunday at POH.
STUDYING THE LIFE OF THE LAKE in today's Whig, by Brian Johnson, about the research of nautical archeologist Ben Ford.
IT'S ALWAYS INTERESTING to read how visitors percieve Kingston.
Then there's this picture showing a rooftop air-conditioner on the Clarence Street Post Office destroying an otherwise enchanting sightline. That's Kingston.
TWO WATERFRONT-RELATED ITEMS ON THE AGENDA of the City's Arts, Recreation & Community Policies Committee meeting of Thursday September 25th.
THE GREAT CANADIAN SHORELINE CLEANUP is the subject of a Whig article yesterday. The volunteer cleanup is between September 20 and 28th.
For more information about the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup call 1-877-427-2422, local co-ordinator Serge Landry at 541-6000, extension 3664. Volunteers can also go to www.vanaqua.org/cleanup.
NO RAIN in the latest 14-day outlook.
It surely won't turn-out that way, but it's a notable and rare forecast.
THE FINAL OF THE WFN 2008 BASS TOUR, THE CANADIAN OPEN, which was supposedly coming to Kingston September 19-21, isn't going to happen.
Apparently word of the cancellation has been known in fishing circles since late May.
But when things derail, mum's the word.
The event is still listed on the KEDCO website.
Related: K7's news item from last November.
A DISMAL WIND FORECAST FOR SATURDAY has prompted the organizers of the Pro-Am Canadian Freestyle Jam windsurfing championship to postpone until next weekend.
John Bradstreet had 3,000 men at his disposal against 110 French soldiers garrisoned inside the Fort. The French surrendered without a fight. Then Bradstreet plundered, burned, and demolished the fort. Then Bradstreet left town.
Which raises the questions: Why? Bradstreet, and why Kingston's premier waterfront park?
Should such honours be reserved for, say, people who actually lived here? Does Kingston's history not have valorous military commanders who didn't enjoy a 30-1 man advantage upon arrival? How about, say, somebody who actually built something? As opposed to John Bradstreet, who extracted a quick surrender, then plundered and demolished the place before immediately moving on.
More on John Bradstreet at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
MILESTONE AT RAVENSVIEW, from Allen Lucas, Utilities Kingston engineer.
It gives me great pleasure to inform everyone that on September 4th at about 4:00 pm, wastewater was started flowing through the Biological Aerated Filters. This signifies the culmination of a lot of hard work and tremendous effort on the part of the construction team, the engineering team and Utilities Kingston operations staff.
AT COUNCIL TONIGHT is a motion to...
"....prevent any development within 120 m of the high water mark of the Rideau waterway from the Lasalle Causeway to the northern boundary of the city without the permission of Council."
Most people don't realize the northern extent of the City of Kingston.
FYI, this motion includes:
This is a job for a proper Conservation Authority, one that doesn't give a rats-ass if your name is Brit Smith or Byron Springer.
Details in The Whig, but there is no sense therein of the full extent of this.
WE HAVE A NEW LOCAL SHORE DIVE off Kingston General Hospital.
The wreck is in very good condition; one of the more intact examples of what is certainly a sailing vessel and probably associated with use on the canal systems. It's almost a hundred feet long and about 24 feet wide. Care should be taken by visiting divers to avoid disturbing and damaging many upright features that have stood the test of time.
The wreck is well known already; it features on local charts, but it has not previously been of great interest, since it lies in the path of frequent boat traffic and didn't have any line to it from shore.
Update: New photos and video of this wreck.
See the updated List of Shore Dives near Kingston on the K7 "Wrecks" page. The list now contains 17 shore dives.
EXTREME PRESSURE CHANGES NEAR WIND TURBINE BLADES injures bat lungs, according to a recent University of Calgary study.
A bat mortality study supervised by U of C biology professor Robert Barclay that began in 2006 has determined that the vast majority of bats found dead below turbines near Pincher Creek suffered severe injuries to their respiratory systems consistent with a sudden drop in air pressure -- called barotrauma -- that occurs when the animals get close to turbine blades...
The study shows that 90 per cent the bats examined after death showed signs of internal hemorrhaging consistent with barotraumas while only about half of the bats showed any evidence of direct contact with the blades.
So wind turbines are deadlier to flying animals than just the trauma of contact with the blades. Flying close to a blade can kill too.
RIDEAU LAKES MISS THE BOAT, according to the Saturday Ottawa Citizen.
Area has everything except a visible attempt to promote itself
This area between Smiths Falls and Kingston has lakes of all sizes, the Rideau Canal, the Cataraqui Trail, fine fishing, decent golf courses, excellent scenery and some quaint towns. What it doesn't have is any visible effort to promote or package all that attractive stuff.
That's so true. The Township of Rideau Lakes is an independent entity and, if the author is correct, then tourism-wise Kingston has an evidently weak northern neighbor with tons of potential.
Just like Quebec City benefits from Mt. Ste-Anne, and Montreal benefits from the Eastern Townships, Kingston stands to gain from having stronger tourism players in the region.
Not that Kingston currently contributes much regionally. Currently, Kingston's tourism "region", its sole focus, covers barely a square-mile.
VIDEO FROM THE CONTENDER WORLDS on YouTube.
Day 1 was sailed in light and shifty breezes.
Note the damage from Snake Island Shoal shown at the end of the video. The Contender Worlds, a 34-competitor event, are being sailed on Foxtrot course, out beyond Kingston Harbour.
While you are there, here's an interesting tour of Soren Andreasen's boat from Denmark.
The last time this happened, back in April, it didn't turn out that way.
LOCAL SAILORS, and many sailors who regularly train here, posted some great results at the Canadian Youth National Sailing Championships -- see results for the Alpha and Bravo racing areas -- that ended yesterday in Halifax. In summary:
Note the other good results by some of our younger up-and-comers.
Update: August 16th Whig Article on Danielle Boyd.
CONTENDERS FOR SALE after the World Championships, which runs between August 19-23. The ask for these used single-handed trapeze boats from UK competitors ranges between $1,900 and $7,000.
Some older boats from Toronto are also available after the worlds. Contact Neil Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BARGE TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER LOGISTICS for the Wolfe Island Wind Project are the subject of an interesting article in today's Whig.
The large barge is loaded in Ogdensburg, NY, and unloads at the Wolfe Island winter ferry dock. Meanwhile, on Wolfe Island, lots of preparations are well underway.
EXCELLENT OP-ED BY JAMIE SWIFT in today's Whig Standard about the obnoxious Poker Run, which is this weekend.
A group of concerned citizens has been distributing postcards around town protesting the poker run. Here you can download the front and the back of that postcard, which is addressed to Mayor Harvey Rosen.
The "CITY OF KINGSTON 2008 WATERFRONT PATHWAY" is the subject of a pamphlet being distributed to tourists at all the usual places.
"Kingston's Waterfront Pathway" is also the subject of a web page in the "Visitors" area of the City of Kingston Website.
Only two-thirds of the 9 (not 8) Km suggested by the brochure could actually be considered "on waterfront".
Long stretches along King Street, with no water whatsoever in evidence, are part of the suggested "waterfront" pathway.
Look closely: they suggest you walk around the K-Rock Centre as part of the waterfront tour.
That's odd, because it steers walkers away from an exquisite stretch of our waterfront: the Lasalle Causeway, the RMC grounds, then Point Frederick, then Navy Bay and its very active boating facilities, Fort Henry of course, and then Point Henry all the way around behind the Fort. Then up and around for the best vista in town, from the very top of Fort Henry Hill.
Not a word about any of that. A full 5 Km continuously by the water, including majestic elevated views of the city and the harbour. All of it walkable and cycleable. This is easily the longest uninterrupted "waterfront pathway" we've got.
But it merits no mention whatsoever in the City of Kingston tourist brochure about our walkable waterfront.
They've printed some 14,000 copies over the past two years. Here's who's responsible for grossly misrepresenting our walkable waterfront to visitors.
Respect for waterfront means never, EVER selling it short. In this town, in the Harvey Rosen era, disrespect for our waterfront is rampant.
THIS PHOTO from the 1980 Laser Worlds is worth checking out.
Tillerman is running a caption contest for it. Nevermind the captions suggested so far, some of the comments about Kingston and CORK are interesting. When it comes to reputation, infrastructure and attention to details count for a lot.
Click for a larger version.
WATER LEVELS ARE STILL ABOVE AVERAGE, about a foot above last year at this time, after peaking impressively in mid-May.
MARINAS.COM has a very impressive database of aerial photographs of marinas all over the world, including many in the region. Have a look.
FINALLY the KFL&A Health Unit has a dedicated beach report web page.
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:
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:
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.
This is interesting: starting at the 27:50 minute mark of the 30-minute podcast, Waterkeeper Mark Mattson urges cities to stop pitching the press about "unknown" sources of E. coli, and get out to the beaches and actually investigate. Co-host Krystyn Tully then suggests how they should be doing that.
Also Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has posted event photos in their new space on Flickr.
Here's the transcript posted by CKWS-TV News on July 23rd.
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.
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.
The RFP is due Wednesday, August 13, 2008.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
GREAT RESULTS BY LOCAL ATHLETES:
THIS SUMMER'S MAJOR ONE-DESIGN CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTAS are as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 million||through 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|
Updated: The city cleaned-up and re-posted the document, and readability is much improved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Lake Ontario covers 7,540 square miles. There is very little commercial fishery activity on the Canadian side, and no commercial fishery at all based on the the American side. Not so long ago, there was lots.
Subscribe to the Living At the Barricades Podcast via iTunes.
LAKE ONTARIO WATER LEVELS HAVE APPARENTLY PEAKED. Almost off the chart. Normally the peak is in late June.
Here are recent photos of the boat in the shop for its winter re-fit.
The Mini Transat is a single-handed yacht race from La Rochelle France to Salvador Brazil. Current plans have the team soon training in Annapolis and racing in the double-handed race from Annapolis to Bermuda Ocean Race (BOR), which starts June 13th, with Nathan Baron and Greg van Rossem aboard.
INSIDE LOOK AT THE LAFARGE TIRE-BURNING CASE is a very interesting podcast from Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. A good summary of where we stand, and don't stand.
Download the 12.5 Mb MP3 file which runs 27:19 minutes. You can also subscribe to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper podcasts with iTunes.
THE SPINY WATER FLEA is the subject of an interesting article in The Whig yesterday.
Anglers on local lakes are being asked to let their lines, nets and other gear dry completely between fishing expeditions to prevent the spread of a parasite that a Queen's University researcher (Dr. Shelley Arnott) fears is taking over Ontario's lakes.
The same proscription presumably applies to boats and trailers.
A HOME FOR THE PHOEBE is the title for a front-page colour photo in Friday's Kingston This Week.
Students in the Building Construction Internship Program heritage carpentry class secure a piece onto one of four large timber trusses that will support the roof of a 22x60 foot exhibit pavillion. The shelter at the rear of the Pump House Stream Museum will house the restored steamboat Phoebe. The group of 12 students should have the building complete by the end of the school year.
Related: This diagram of the exhibit shelter from last September.
A FRESH MAKEOVER for the CORK website.
LAKE ONTARIO PARK CLEANUP, by the Friends of Lake Ontario Park and all interested volunteers, is planned for this Friday (April 25) from 1 to 4 pm.
It's 37 acres, and it's worth doing.
Bags and gloves are available at the 'long house' anytime after 1 pm.
Related: Lake Ontario Park, looking for a plan from March 23rd.
SCUBA DIVING MAGAZINE has a brief article on diving near Kingston, now online from its March issue. The article covers three wrecks: The George A. Marsh, The Comet, and The Wolfe Islander II.
From the introduction:
With upward of 24 known moored wrecks, including schooners, barges and passenger ships, Kingston, Ontario, is a tempting destination for cold-water wreck divers. In fact, more than 400 ships are known to have wrecked in the area.
Well worth reading each spring: SHOCKING NEWS ABOUT COLD WATER.
- Nine elite marines, water survival instructors, capsized in 36 degree water wearing sweatsuits and no PFDs. None of them survived the attempted 100 yard swim to shore.
- Sixteen (16) Danish fishermen jumped into the icy waters of the North Sea when their trawler sank in a storm. They were in the water for a 2 - 3 hours before being rescued. They walked across the deck of the rescue vessel and went down into the galley to warm up. Each and every one collapsed and died in the galley.
- An average adult person has a 50/50 chance of surviving a 50 yard swim in 50F water.
- A 50 year-old person in 50F water has a 50/50 chance of surviving for 50 minutes.
Read the whole thing. Stay safe.
HERE'S THE LINEUP of exhibitors for the Kingston Boat Show this upcoming weekend.
It's a pretty good list, all things considered.
IDLING BOATS are covered in a proposed by-law to control the idling of vehicles and boats, still in committee at City Hall.
They've received several comments about how boats, with no breaks, need to idle engines to a warm state for safety reasons, since stalling leaves few options. So here's the exemption that addresses that:
4.4 Vehicles or boats where idling is required to repair or prepare the vehicle or boat for service
ON THE LEFT you see the Bypass Log For The City of Kingston.
It's reduced to 500 pixels high so you can see it in one view.
The red box is where they put the "news" about the immense sewer dumping tally of the past three weeks.
Visitors need to scroll way down to see it, past several cues that suggest the page is stale, two months out of date.
Pollution disclosure, City of Kingston-style:
Right:"Table 3" from April 3.
It lists 5 events.
( See it full-size here, from our April 4th news item.)
Right:"Table 3" from April 7.
It now lists just 4 events.
One new row has appeared, a small spill, but two rows have scrolled-off.
Vanished: 57,000 m^3 -- 12.5 MILLION gallons of sewage dumped barely 2-weeks ago.
MASSIVE SEWAGE DUMPING by the City of Kingston over the past several days.
The dumping of the past few days has exceeded the tally for all of 2007 by a considerable margin.
Dumping for 2008 year-to-date is way ahead of ALL of 2006 and 2007 combined.
Word from the Dolphins Scuba club is, at West Street, this is a visibly nasty flow of immense quantities of fecal matter, toilet paper and sanitary supplies.
Shame on the City of Kingston for its massive spending on things like OHL arenas, squares, and theatres, and so today we continue to despoil a natural lake.
No word yet about this from local mainstream media.
Finally, shame on Utilities Kingston for placing this information way down on their combined sewer overflows bypass log.
When you look at the initial viewpane for that page, you see nothing recent worthy of note. You need to scroll way down to see the real news.
They call it a "bypass log". It's nothing like a bypass log. It's a selective and obfuscated tally, with no links to details.
Related: don't barf when you read this.
From Boating Industry Canada:
The CMM designation is a professional qualification and certification program assuring marina customers, investors, bankers, insurers and the public that marina properties are professionally managed and run. The award follows his completion of the Advanced Marina Management course, providing training in site planning, marina-development skills, marina-operation techniques, business strategies, risks and liabilities and environmental policies. Hub becomes only the 4th person in Canada and the 212th person in the world to attain this certification since the programs inception in 1992.
Hub owns and operates Collins Bay Marina.
POSTPONED: The Crew overboard! seminar, originally scheduled for March 28th, is postponed to May 31. The new programme will include on-water practice following the seminar.
LAKE ONTARIO PARK MASTER PLAN - TERMS OF REFERENCE is a 7-page report just released by the City staff for a committee meeting later this week.
The Terms of Reference for the next phase are focused on finding a viable way of putting in place the vision and planning principles agreed to in the visioning exercise. The Phase I Planning Study achieved its goal of reaching a consensus on the future of Lake Ontario Park. Phase 2 of the park redevelopment process has three objectives which are:
- To develop and recommend a multi-year strategic direction and plan for the revitalization and rejuvenation of the park as a public community facility;
- To ensure ongoing and inclusive community consultation throughout the development of the plan and the related implementation strategy; and
- To develop and recommend a long-term financing and budget strategy for the capital construction and operating costs necessary to implement and maintain the recommended development plan.
Totally unlike, say, City marinas.
Request for proposal: MARINA SUSTAINABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AND BUSINESS PLAN (29 pages) released by The City of Kingston 9 days ago (March 10th).
But the RFP is still not posted on the City of Kingston Tenders, RFPs and RFIs web page.
Update: The RFP was finally posted sometime after 3:30 PM on March 19th.
When it comes to City Marinas we've seen BS like this before.
THE PRESERVE OUR WRECKS, KINGSTON BLOG was just launched today.
This is the first post to what I hope will become an active and informative resource for everyone interested in respecting and protecting the maritime heritage of Kingston, Ontario and neighbouring waters.
Mike is also one of the folks behind the truly excellent Kingston Dolphins Scuba Club Blog.
Don't be surprised to see the important work of Preserve Our Wrecks brought squarely to the forefront of the ongoing public conversations about our waterfront.
CITY OF KINGSTON REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL for partial dock replacement of "B" Dock at Confederation Basin Marina.
Interestingly this item apparently doesn't appear in the marinas section of the 2007-08 Municipal Capital Budget.
A a six-year Confederation Basin refurbishment program began in 2006.
THE KINGSTON AND DISTRICT SPORTS HALL OF FAME WEBSITE is online, featuring 111 inductees since its establishment in 1996.
You might prefer its Wikipedia article if being spoon-fed the list 20-inductees at a time isn't your bag.
Of the 111 inductees, just 6 have been elected for performance in, or contributions to, waterfront-related sports and, of those, just 2 are inducted as athletes.
Here's the Nominations page.
WE ALL NEED CERTAINTY...AND A SWIMABLE, DRINKABLE, FISHABLE KINGSTON is a wrap of recent Lake Ontario Waterkeeper activity in the area, including the Lafarge tire-burning issue.
Bet you didn't know that Lake Ontario Waterkeeper started in Kingston.
A STUNNING DESKTOP IMAGE from Ian Coristine, available for download in the following screen sizes: 1152 x 864, 1280 x 800 or 1680 x 1050.
The best story which also explains its location will earn a set of 6 prints.
Read more on the photography of Ian Coristine, who's been capturing the Thousand Islands region for more than 15 years.
Related: the photos festooned throughout the Thousand Islands Life e-zine.
THIS YEAR'S LIST OF KINGSTON'S NOTABLE SAILING REGATTAS is looking very good indeed.
The last time Kingston hosted so many North American Championships was in 1999.
Is there a city in Canada that hosts more international sporting championships than Kingston?
The IWLC mission is tremendously important, but their membership, especially in Canada, is quite small. This year, Collins Bay Marina took steps to help expand that membership and strengthen their voice on our behalf.
The challenge is to other marinas and clubs to urge their members to support the IWLC.
We would like to challenge each marina, association, boating business and yacht club on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario to mount a similar membership drive for the IWLC. Aware citizens, active in making our needs known to government, are the only route we have to protecting our waters, our recreation and our businesses.
THE 1000 ISLANDS POKER RUN is currently scheduled for Friday and Saturday August 8-9.
That's just two days, compared to last year's 3-days.
As usual, it overlaps with the CORK PHRF and One-Design Keelboat Regatta, which makes no sense whatsoever.
It is also immediately prior to the CORK Optimist Dinghy Championship, when lots of youth sailors are on the water practicing. For many young sailors and their parents, it's an obnoxious introduction to Kingston's waterfront.
This Friday, February, 22, 2008, from 2:00-3:00pm, Waterkeeper brings its weekly radio show - Living at the Barricades - to The Grad Club in Kingston, ON. Very special guests and musicians will join hosts Mark Mattson and Krystyn Tully for an exciting and inspiring live broadcast entitled: "Beyond the Barricades: The promise of a swimable, drinkable, fishable Kingston."
Free Admittance. Please join us!
162 Barrie St. in Kingston, 2:00-3:00pm
Contact: Avi Grand (Producer)
DECAYING SPY SATELLITE USA 193 was shot-down by the US military on Wednesday night.
Just two and a half orbits prior to its scheduled demise, USA 193 had a 1.3 magnitude visible pass almost directly over Kingston.
To the right is USA 193's location just after the pass.
THE FEBRUARY 2008 EDITION OF THOUSAND ISLANDS LIFE is online with, as usual, some stunning photographs.
LAKE ONTARIO WATER LEVELS are looking good again, especially considering all the snow on the ground in the Great Lakes basin.
Currently Lake Ontario levels are about average for this time of year, after a period of abnormally low water last fall.
CARTWRIGHT POINT IS ON COUNCIL AGENDA for the Tuesday February 5th meeting.
The purpose of the application is to allow the adjustment of property boundaries with the effect of reducing the number of lots from 37 lots to 14 parcels in order to recognize the location of homes, water wells, septic systems and vehicle paths. Lots are being merged, lot lines are being adjusted and rights-of-way are being created. No new homes or building lots are being created. However, the legal descriptions of the properties will result in a form that is suitable for convenient conveyance.
That's really sweet waterfront, right there.
There's a sweetner involved, though why it's there isn't mentioned. Moreover its location isn't marked in the exhibits.
The Owner also proposes to donate a parcel of land to the City in order to allow access to the shore line of Deadman's Bay. The site is acceptable to the Parks Department.
Their dates are:
Here are the results for the 2001 Contender Worlds in Kingston which was a 31-boat event won by Arthur Brett of Australia, with the top North American finishing 14th.
IT'S NOT TOO COLD TO DIVE, or to partake in an ice diving course.
NOTICE FROM THE CITY about the expansion of the Point Pleasant water treatment plant.
A Public Information Centre will be held at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Press Lounge from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 30, 2008, to allow the public to meet the project team, discuss the study objectives and to receive comments and input.
Here's the current home page.
Your tax dollars at work; five-figure dollars worth.
Apparently nothing's changed since last November when this first came to light, then immediately taken offline.
It would be interesting to find out: who is well-served by misleading potential visitors to Kingston?
Note the adult and two kids, in a what appears to be a 15-foot canoe, mid-Harbour at dusk in imminent weather. Seriously, how improbable is that? How wise is that?
International-14 class sailboats haven't actively sailed here for quite some time; all "14" sailboats come here from out-of-town, and they are here maybe one-weekend a year. The boat pictured here is Toronto-based, shown in no-wind, flat-calm conditions, which is insulting, a bit like picturing a slalom skier in a farmer's field.
Adding just one more link-button to that web page looks very expensive. Guess how many files you'd need to touch to add another little box to the left of the canoe.
Is the KEDCO "blue belt" website like other websites KEDCO isn't able to maintain?
Take a guess: what percentage of visitors to Kingston ever get their feet wet in Kingston Harbour? A single-digit percentage? One-in-fifty, perhaps?
Take another guess: what percentage of Kingston residents ever get their feet wet in Kingston Harbour over the course of a typical year?
Do you suppose it might be because of fundamental waterfront inaccessibilities that exist here? Just who is KEDCO trying to kid?
It's one thing to try and lure visitors here, but it's quite another to be overtly dishonest about what we really have to offer.
The movers behind this "blue belt" website, Ross Cameron, Don Curtis, and KEDCO, are the very same folks who thought putting the LVEC on waterfront, expropriating MetalCraft Marine, totally eliminating Kingston Marina, and comandeering part of Fluhrer Park for the LVEC was a fine idea.
A TOKEN PARK IDEA from a reader. This is downtown Budapest, on the Danube.
At the moment, the plan for Token Park is for a large rubble-rock shoreline, which is inaccessible, ugly, and ubiquitous around here.
In addition to adding a real sense of connection to the water, steps would make Token Park a little bigger, and opens the possibility of using the large, wide-open anchorage as a staging area, or as a competition area complete with viewing stands of sorts.
THE ONTARIO SAILING AGM, held at the Toronto Boat Show last weekend, brought some good news and accolades for sailors from Kingston:
AN EVENING OF CANOE STORIES WITH JAMES RAFFAN, is a free lecture sponsored by the Friends of Frontenac Park, on Thursday February 7th in the Wilson Room, Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Central Branch, 130 Johnson Street, at 7 pm. All are welcome.
James Raffan is a respected author and outdoor educator who has written and edited numerous best-selling books, including " Fire in the Bones: Bill Mason and the Canadian Canoeing Tradition" and " Deep Waters".
The canoe stories will be about Herb Pohl and Sir George Simpson, two iconic Canadian canoeists who are the subjects of " The Lure of Faraway Places: Reflections on Wilderness and Solitude" and "Solitude and Emperor of the North", his two most recent books, published in 2007
TOKEN PARK CONCEPT PLANS have finally been posted on the City website.
Observation: You've got to love how this city does business.
By not posting plans before the meeting, this assures an unprepared and uninformed audience at the meeting, all the better minimize the chance of derailing pre-conceived development plans.
This is really how our waterfront got so ruined: one step at a time. That's how Block-D got stuffed with tall buildings, and that's how the rest of us ended-up with a token-park.
Here we have a "proposed marina building" with no connection whatsoever to the marina. The foot of the nearest dock, on the west-side of the Radisson Hotel, is 245 m away. The foot of the main docks, on Clarence Street, is over 520m away. That's going to be a great marina building, don't you think?
Here is detail of the juncture between Token Park and the stone breakwater that surrounds Confederation Marina. Note the utter lack of vision: there's plenty of usable space on the stone breakwater. Waterfront cities world-wide that "get it" have piers and breakwalls people can walk on. But in Kingston? Nah! Token Park is really a dog park, a place where the condo owner's pets can "go", nevermind that there's acres of great waterfront space out on the stone breakwall.
ACCOUNT OF THE TOKEN PARK (BLOCK-D) PUBLIC MEETING in Thursday's Whig Standard.
Update: Here's a transcript of an item titled Block Park from CKWS-TV News.
FRIENDS OF THE PHOEBE 10TH ANNIVERSARY, Sunday January 27th, 2-4, at the Kingston Public Library, Johnson Street.
Music, Silent Auction, Exhibits, Refreshments, Door Prizes, anniversary gift for every ticket holder.
Tickets $5.00 per person, phone 613-4154 or at the door.
STILL IN PLANNING: This is not new, but a reminder about three waterside 100-meter wind turbines being proposed for the Invista property at 455 Front Road. This item appears on the agenda for the next City of Kingston Planning Committee meeting.
It seems surprising that, in the context of the large Invista plant and the location of the turbines, that a noise report would be required here.
MOVIE TRAILER FOR ST-LAWRENCE II, THE MOVIE
(turn-up the audio).
It's a soon-to-be-released documentary about Brigantine Inc's St-Lawrence II.
Also visit The Brigantine's donations page. In addition to cash donations, they can use all of the follwing things that might be cluttering your home or office:
Update: The sound track in the trailer is Sleepy Maggie by Ashley Macisaac.
A PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT TOKEN PARK (BLOCK D) is to be held January 16, 2008, Memorial Hall, City Hall, 7 p.m.
There's nothing new on the City website other than the meeting announcement. Nonetheless,
Written comments will be received at email@example.com until Friday, Feb. 15.
Here's the only concept ever posted on the Internet.
THE ORANGE BOWL INTERNATIONAL YOUTH REGATTA RESULTS show Greg Clunies and Robert Davis, both sailing for KYC, finishing 5th and 7th respectively in a 40-boat fleet, with each scoring a bullet in the 9-race series.
HERE'S A STATUS REPORT from Nathan Baron.