INTERESTING INTERVIEW with MetalCraft Marine Contracts Manager Bob Clark from the tradeshow floor of the 2009 International WorkBoat Convention in New Orleans, LA.
In the interview Bob talks about the history of MetalCraft Marine, and the boats they design and build. Most people in Kingston don't realize the degree to which MetalCraft Marine is a player in the high-end fireboat and patrol boat markets.
SAILBOAT RIDE IN KINGSTON for the Olympic Torch relay on December 15th.
The torchbearer is Olympian and CORK chairman Tim Irwin.
THE BREAKWATER PARK RENAMING PROPOSAL is dead according to a City Staff report.
Here's some of what's interesting in this issue:
HERE YOU ARE LOOKING southwest from a vantage upstairs at the Radisson Hotel. Click here for a much larger version of this photo.
What you see in the middle-distance is the tumble-stone breakwall of Confederation Basin. In the right-foreground is part of the 250 meters of new tumble-stone shoreline around Block-D's Token Park.
In the past this 250m of Block-D perimeter was a corrugated metal seawall where boats could tie-up. It was a pretty good place for boat-passenger dropoffs and pickups when the marina's docks were packed in the summertime. It was a fine venue for model-boat racing. It has been said that many late-summer-night skinny-dips took place there in the hours between closing-time and dawn.
This was, in short, usable shoreline which is in very short supply around here. But that was then.
Let history show that, in the Harvey Rosen era, the City of Kingston transformed this once-usable protected shoreline into severe inaccessible shoreline. Which begs the question: why? All this is on calm waters that are amply protected by the massive Confederation Basin breakwall.
This is another waterfront loss in Kingston, one of many that have recently occurred because of the raving lunatics who lead and manage this unfortunate city.
Thanks to Joanna Bull for the photo.
STICKING-IT to the M.O.E. in the latest Lake Ontario Waterkeeper podcast.
It's about the Lafarge case in Bath, Ontario coming to an end. It's a most excellent 26-minute listen.
THIS is scandalous. Get a load of this:
At the next Council meeting, senior city managers Cynthia Beach and Lanie Hurdle (remember the wonderful, wonderful LVEC project?) want to add $200,000 to the budget for Token Park to cover some glaring planning oversights. Like lighting, and accessibility.
To finance this, these people want to filch $55,000 from the city's waterfront improvement account, $55,000 from the cycling and pathway account, and $90,000 remaining in the City Park splash-pad account.
Because, you know, we're up-to-our-eyeballs in recreational infrastructure here in Kingston.
TWO WATERFRONT ITEMS on Tuesday's Council agenda.
It looks like a sweetheart deal for KBL. The city is applying the same linear-footage charge they use for non-commerical pleasure boats one-tenth the length of these vessels.
Winter storage fees ought to be a function of area occupied, not just nominal length.
KBL will be storing its three large wedding-cake vessels for about five-months, through April 30th, for the grand-total of, get this, $4,784 plus hydro for the bubblers.
The normal folks paying over $600 in POH winter storage fees for their relatively tiny 30x10-foot sailboats can read that again.
When it comes to selling waterfront short, when is the City of Kingston not a pushover?
INADEQUACY of Wind Turbine Noise Regulations and their Application is an interesting paper recently presented by Queen's University Physics professor John P Harrison to the Annual Conference of the Canadian Acoustics Association.
It's an interesting technical read.
As you go through it, keep in mind that the Wolfe Island Wind Farm's minimum setback is only 400m.
The Ontario Government, in its recent Green Energy Act has proposed a minimum 550-metre setback from residences for wind projects involving five or fewer turbines, with greater setbacks -- up to 1,000 metres -- for projects of more than eight turbines.
Wolfe Island has 86 turbines.
Wolfe Island falls ridiculously short of the Ontario government's own proposed health and safety guidelines for wind industry development.
History already shows that Wolfe Island was a development pushover. Island leaders have a lot to answer for. And who was the Provincial Minister responsible for this? That would be Kingston's own John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment.
We've been pwned by our own.
FISHING FOR ANSWERS OFF KINGSTON'S SHORES in today's Whig, about an ongoing geophysical survey of Charity Shoal, thought to be a meteor impact crater.
One-mile diameter Charity Shoal is 11-miles due South of Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. Most of the crater is in Canadian waters.
THE FINAL CONCEPT PLAN for Lake Ontario Park has been posted in the City's Arts, Recreation & Community Policies Committee agenda for its October 22 meeting.
MARINE MUSEUM DRYDOCK finally gets between $2M and $5M for drydock repairs. Work may start before year-end, according to The Whig.
The OCTOBER EDITION of the Thousand Islands Life e-zine is out.
Local interest articles include Howe Island Vines on local grape-growing, A Muskie Jake Tribute about Clarence (Muskie Jake) Huntley who passed away last year, and a Brian Johnson article titled Silent Rapids of Long Sault.
Also interesting is Pauls Legacy, Judys Gift, TI Gold about what's become of the late Paul Malo's extensive archives.
THREE NOTABLE ITEMS on City Council's agenda for the meeting of October 6 2009.
Read the Recreation & Leisure Services Department 2009-2010 Priorities and observe the degree to which waterfront just isn't on the radar. What's waterfront-related is either stalled, or token.
Waterfront items include:
Evidently it was an impressive sight under the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
Prior to arrival, the delivery crew spent an unscheduled night on a shallow sandbar off St-Augustine, FL.
KYC PHOTOS now being shared on Flickr.
THE LIMITS OF SOFT CULTURAL POWER, from the September 10th edition of The Economist, about UNESCO and World Heritage Sites, which today number nearly 900.
Guarding precious and vulnerable places is one of the better things the UN's cultural agency does -- but it may topple over if it stretches too far
The article comments are interesting too. The ones pointing-out tourist-trappism certainly ring-true here.
AN UNBELIEVABLY STUPID IDEA, renaming Breakwater Park after a 1758 transient who couldn't possibly lose, gets moved forward.
To be crystal clear:
Between Bradstreet's departure in 1758 and the arrival of the first surveyors in 1783, there was no European settlement at Cataraqui. The French fort and outer buildings lay in ruins and the area was of little interest until the closing of the American War of Independence.
There is no truth to the popular claim that Bradstreet helped lay the foundation of Kingston. This is not to diminish the significance of his raid or his role during the Seven Years' War, but it took another conflict and the emergence of a new military and refugee problem for the British to gave Cataraqui a new lease on life, leading to the founding of "Kingstown."
The Kingston Historical Society, unable to prevent the perpetual renanaming of Market Square after modern-day narcissists, grasps at straws for relevance.
MIXED REACTION at last night's Lake Ontario Park public meeting, from The Whig.
THE LAKE ONTARIO PARK RAILROAD rolls-on at a September 16th public meeting.
By now the recurring pattern is plainly evident:
SAM LAZIER, a truly great friend of our waterfront, passed away earlier this week. He was 83 years old.
Funeral today at 2 PM at at St. George's Cathedral. Donations for those wishing may be made to the Kingston Marine Museum.
THE GREAT CANADIAN SHORELINE CLEANUP goes-down on Saturday September 19th at 9:00 am.
Kingston's official shoreline cleanup locations include
The official website appears very officious, with allusions that signing-up is required.
Don't be put-off by that. It's probably because they need to plan for the number of t-shirts, clipboards for the always-interesting tallies, garbage-bags, pick-up logistics, and whatnot.
Or, you could just grab a couple of green garbage bags and some gloves, don your boots, and head-down to your favorite stretch and make it a little better. Any day.
See photos from past cleanups. It looks like fun. The people you'll meet are all givers.
DROWNING IN SIMPLE-MINDEDNESS, great article by Andrew Coyne in MacLeans' Magazine in August.
IDIOTIC BEACH REPORT from the KFLA Public Health Unit.
Go ahead, read it.
Who writes this crap? Who is it written-for? Er, which beaches are open, or closed, or what? This is bullshit.
Hey, KFLA Public Health unit, give us obvious in-context links to the complete list of beaches in the KFLA area posted as unsafe for swimmers.
Just like that.
Not long confusing link-free paragraphs then, far from there, a link that doesn't-look-like-a-link, out-of-context, which few people will scroll-to and find, and fewer will click. Can you find it? Look again.
Seriously, how hard could that be? This is so basic.
This isn't news. For too long the KFLA Public Health Unit has been an embarassment to our waterfront.
Dr Ian Gemill, enough self-serving verbiage about beaches. Do us a favour: either clean-house or retire.
LIST OF MAJOR REGATTAS IN KINGSTON has just been updated with CORK results from the past week.
This year is notable because it's apparently the first time sailors from Asia have won major regattas here.
Terence Choo from Singapore won the Byte CII Canadians and, just this week Darren Choy, also from Singapore, won the Byte CII Worlds. Actually, Singapore dominated both events, placing four sailors in the top-5 in both events.
IAN BRUCE featured in The Whig yesterday.
AIRHEADS MANAGING OUR WATERFRONT in today's Whig.
At Lemoine Point, an orange lifesaving ring and rope hang from a steel post below a sign.
The sign warns that swimming is unsupervised and cautions that "strong winds and high waves cause dangerous conditions."
The sign and ring, however, are located roughly 100 metres from the waterfront, next to the gravel access road at the north end of the conservation area.
Reading the article, evidently Bill Steenbakkers' original vision for the marina remains intact nearly forty years later.
The suceess of Collins Bay Marina was never assured -- it's interesting that there were already two other marinas on the Bay when Collins Bay Marina was built.
Day-1 photos are all from the Byte C-II Canadian Championships.
Also, CORK IS STILL LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS. There are many different volunteer jobs available for sailors and non-sailors alike. Get out and have some fun! Contact the CORK office for more information: 613.545.1322 / email@example.com / www.cork.org.
|Major Kingston Regattas|
CORK 2009 gets underway in earnest today.
There's been zero-fuss about this, but this year is CORK's 40th anniversary.
The first four days are all about youth development classes. There's one Canadian Championship at stake, in the Byte CII class.
But starting Sunday August 23rd, the focus shifts to older sailors, with one World Championship, four North American Championships, and one Canadian Championship at stake.
Here's how the whole summer shakes-out compared to past years'. Kinston's never hosted so many North American Championships before.
The last time this happened was in February and, back then, these Environment Canada forecasts looked-ahead only 5-days.
BILL STEENBAKKERS, patriarch of Collins Bay Marina which he founded in 1971, passed away on Sunday. He was 82 years old.
CALLING ALL MARINE MUSEUM AND ALEXANDER HENRY FRIENDS - Plan to join us for a taste of 'Icebreaker Ale' on Monday, 17 August 2009, beginning at 6 pm, upstairs at the Kingston Brew Pub, 34 Clarence Street.
The Kingston Brewing Company has very generously agreed to brew a celebratory libation for the Alexander Henry's 50th, and it will be unveiled/untapped, or whatever one does to launch a beer, on the 17th. Fifty cents from the purchase of each glass of Icebreaker Ale will be donated to the Marine Museum.
POKER RUN PARTICIPANTS DEFEND EVENT in today's Whig.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR POKER RUNS AMERICA BOATS makes for interesting reading.
You have to call it for what this truly is: a gig monopolized into four downtown hotels -- Radisson, Holiday Inn, Confederation Place Hotel and Four Points Sheraton -- all of these are owned by the usual suspects.
Most meals and the entertainment package appear to be monopolized into those four hotels as well.
LAKE ONTARIO WATER LEVELS are currently above average, almost exactly where they were last year at this time.
The good news is the big-lakes upstream are replenishing. You may recall that upper-lake levels were bleak back in 2007. Lake Superior was about 18" below average in August 2007 and Lakes Michigan and Lake Huron were about 23" below average in December 2007.
Lake Superior has been, for most of the summer, above last-year's levels, generally about 5 to 7" below its long-term average levels. Lakes Michigan and Huron are a full 5 to 10" above last summer's levels, and currently within 6" of long-term averages.
More history in the K7 Water Levels topic.
TOKEN PARK DETAILS have been published.
Note the tumble-rock perimiter. No connection to water whatsoever. Why???
All this sits behind the massive Confederation Basin tumble-rock breakwall already! A breakwall behind a breakwall; Brilliant!
The effing idiots who have screwed-up our waterfront for decades haven't learned a damn thing.
Read more on Token Park.
Here are the 29er Canadian Championship results. Danielle Boyd of Kingston, sailing with Emily Hill, finished third, ending the 10-race regatta with three bullets. Ellie Clark and Rachael Boyd of Kingston finished 8th in the 26-boat fleet.
HOW MANY COLOURFUL CATS do you think are required to make some people realize that there's a championship competition going on, and so it might be sensible to stay clear?
Below, some wanker in a large cruising sailboat, crossing, blanketing, and eventually splitting a 54-boat Hobie 16 North American Championship fleet a few moments after the start of race 2.
Other than that, the championship is going-off pretty well. Some more wind would be nice. Today (Monday) was saved by the usual Kingston Harbour sea breeze.
EIGHT DAYS OF HOT CATS IN THE HARBOUR starting Friday as the 39th Hobie 16 North American Championship takes-over.
The event starts with three days of racing for the Youth and Women's Championship followed by five days of racing for the Open Championship.
Competitors from six countries and eleven US states will take part in the event. The entry list includes five former Olympians and four past Hobie 16 North American Champions. The defending champions from Puerto Rico, Francisco Figueroa and Jolliam Berrios, will be defending their title.
FILM REVIEW of Waterlife, a documentary by Kevin McMahon. Grim.
EXCELLENT PHOTOSET (Kiteboarding).
COMMENT ONLINE on the city website about the proposed renaming of Breakwater Park in honor of Lt.-Col John Bradstreet.
Renaming the park after John Bradstreet is a stupid idea. Here's why:
THE 8-PAGE SUMMER 2009 NEWSLETTER from Preserve Our Wrecks Kingston is now available.
OFFICER OF THE ORDER OF CANADA announced today for Ian Bruce of Dorval, QC.
For his contributions to the sport of sailing in Canada and abroad, notably for the design and development of high-performance crafts for young sailors.
OC is the 2nd highest rank. That's the same level among sportsmen as the likes of Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Steve Podborski, and Alex Bauman so this is a very big deal.
Update: Nice summary of Ian Bruce's career courtesy of the Montreal Sailing blog.
UNGENTLEMANLY CONDUCT via Preserve Our Wrecks, Kingston.
KINGSTON'S ROBERT DAVIS FINISHED 12TH at the Laser North American Championships over the weekend.
(The results page is a mess and you may need to scroll to the table that lists all 10 races scored.)
Does anybody know what this US Coast Guard vessel, and a barge, are doing at KPH?
One guess: it's the only available wharf in-town?
Hopefully this is just Environment Canada, low-balling the forecast, as they tend to.
THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL today filmed a segment about the archeological work going-on in Kingston harbour.
YEARS OF DEFERRED MAINTENANCE has come to the point of requiring a public meeting about a small stretch of Kingston Waterfront.
The designs, to be implemented this summer, are the subject of an upcoming public information session on Monday, June 22, at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall at City Hall, 216 Ontario St., and are now posted for review at www.cityofkingston.ca/waterfront/.
The improvements are moving forward based on the City's Waterfront Strategy now part of Kingston's Recommended Draft Official Plan (cityofkingston.ca/officialplan/).
We can't find any reference to this area of waterfront in Kingston's Recommended Draft Official Plan.
Here are some photos of the area taken from the water.
It looks like this has turned-into a major piece of work that can't be deferred any longer and will involve the closure of the West Street Launch Ramp for a period of time this summer.
Here's the deal: Instead of decades of neglect, how about regular required and preventive maintenance? Instead of doing nearly nothing for decades, why not fix problems as they occur? Each spring, improve things a little bit. After a major storm, go down and check if anything washed-away. If so, fix it immediately.
As things appear now, with respect to the waterfront, Kingston's official plan isn't about better waterfront living or even clawing back what we've recently lost. The official plan is apparently more about doing obvious repairs, merely fixing things that should never have been permitted to remain broken in the first place.
WATERFRONT ACCESSIBILITY DOWNGRADE according to a moronic report to Council last Tuesday night.
Other City owned locations used by the public for swimming but not designated for swimming includes [sic]: Esplanade Park, Everitt Park, Patterson Park and Confederation Park..... In non-designated swimming areas the signs will indicate that swimming is not permitted. Both designated and non-designated swimming areas will restrict certain activities, such as diving, due the potential. [sic]
Swimming flat-out prohibited at Esplanade Park, Everitt Park, and Patterson Park. Can you imagine?
City Hall in the Harvey Rosen era is led by idiots!
The main problem with our Health Unit's Beach Report remains the lack of disclosure which is in stark contrast with the quality of beach information other areas are getting.
Here's the data we need to see:
Because just "Open" or "Closed" isn't nearly good enough.
ON ICE: ALEXANDER HENRY AT FIFTY is a new Marine Museum exhibit which opens tomorrow, Sunday May 24th, at 2 pm.
Guest speaker Captain Patrick Toomey, one of Canada's top marine ice experts, will speak about the Alexander Henry, the Canadian Coast Guard and the challenges of navigating in ice.
FINALLY the Whig publishes something about the pain surrounding the Belle Harbour / Morch Marine receivership in Belleville.
If the article is to be believed, apparently BDO Dunwoody has a harbour's worth of boat owners pissed-off at them, and now you know all about it too.
AFTER A FEW DAYS AWAY sailing on Lake Erie including a transit through a sadly delapidated and disfunctional Welland Canal, some catching-up:
Kingston's stalled beach dossier from The Whig on Wednesday. Some great comments from readers too.
Funding for the Tett Centre appears to be coming together.
Looking at the concept drawing of a water-side perspective, there's apparently zero direct water-accessibility in the plans. One of Kingston's best shore-dives lies just off the property.
LEMOINE POINT CONSERVATION AREA now has a Wikipedia page, thanks to the initiative of a user named SoftwareSimian, who created the page yesterday. This is great!
Whenever you Google something, have you noticed that Wikipedia always ranks very high in the list of returned results?
Wikipedia is highly authoritative in the eyes of Google. This means that if a Google search returns a million results, Wikipedia's entry is typically in the top-10, sometimes top-5.
Kingston's Waterfront continues to have a Wikipedia deficit. That needs to change.
If you care about something, document it. That, in and of itself, makes it harder for the clueless among us to mess with it.
Some existing Kingston waterfront-related Wikipedia articles that need work:
These articles exist already, but are sparse, mere shades of what they could be.
Some potential Kingston waterfront-related Wikipedia articles that don't exist yet:
There are currently no Wikipedia articles about any of the following:
THE SITE PLAN FOR TOKEN PARK goes before the City Planning Committee on Thursday night.
Related: Token Park news archive.
THE MAY ISSUE OF THOUSAND ISLANDS LIFE is online.
A RICHARDSON BEACH UPDATE is on the Council agenda for next Tuesday. 12-pages in all.
The words "windsurf" and "sail", and any reference to current users of the beach, appear exactly zero-times.
So the railroad is running perfectly. How perfectly? The consultant's report is dated April 9th. What's a five-week disclosure delay when you and your plans aren't accountable to anyone in particular?
This much appears certain: another summer will pass with no beach improvements in Kingston.
TWO EXCELLENT LETTERS this week in The Whig:
Here's a summary of Poker Run-related news items here on K7 going back to 2006.
See also the articles in this Whig-Standard search on 'Poker Run'.
MAYORS WANT GREAT LAKES BEACHES PROMOTED according to a report released today.
Here is a link to the 44-page report which, take note, isn't provided by any of the online "professional" mainstream media "covering" this today.
It's a 5-point plan.
There may be no better way to strengthen the public's connection to the Great Lakes than to enhance and promote beaches and other shoreline activities such as wetlands, natural areas and trails. Drawing more people to the shoreline can also boost local economies and contribute to healthier lifestyles. With a greater share of Great Lakes shoreline than any other jurisdiction, it makes sense to promote Ontario as a major beach and shoreline destination.
One wonders about Harvey Rosen's role in all this.
When it comes to waterfront around here, it's been absolutely all-downhill during his tenure.
One can easily imagine Harvey Rosen, a minority dissenter, clinging instead to some half-baked plan to siphon more tax-dollars for his cronies Downtown.
Beaches? Trails? Parks and wetlands? Harvey Rosen? Please!
Scroll this page for the full-story on Kingston's beaches since 2006.
KINGSTON ROWING CLUB'S 2009 PROGRAMS have been posted. Better late than never.
SWEET DEAL, CONTINUED at Crawford Wharf and Confederation Park for Kingston and the Islands Boat Lines.
SMALL VESSEL REGULATIONS are being re-vamped. The Canada Gazette published the Small Vessel Regulations on April 25th. There is a 30 day comment period which ends May 25.
Here are some of the notable changes in the pleasure craft section of the proposed regulations:
Read the proposed new regulations.
AT COUNCIL TONIGHT, one of the In Camera items:
(b) Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose - Clean-up of contaminated sites in the Inner Harbour
Anybody know what this might be about? The dump? Rosen-lands? Third-crossing-related?
The number of exhibitors appears down somewhat, but not nearly as much as you might expect.
What's different this year? Commercially the show appears nearly as strong as last year. The difference between 2008 and 2009 is almost entirely due to local marinas, clubs and several non-profit organizations who are no-shows this year.
HOLLY MORRISON is apparently the new Acting Supervisor of Kingston's municipal marinas, replacing Ed Leeman.
First-ever report from diving at the HIGHWAY 15 (CRUICKSHANK) QUARRY.
THE HIGHWAY 15 DIVE QUARRY is Kingston's newest recreational dive site.
The quarry also known as Pittsburgh quarry and Cruickshank quarry is just north of Gore Rd on Highway 15. It has a gravel bottom and crystal clear water. It is fairly well protected from any wind. It will be open for all types of diving and people are encouraged to come and enjoy the site for relaxation and training.
LOCAL SHIP TRAFFIC, live and online.
For the moment in the region it's just the Wolfe Islander III and the tug Vigilant I which is in-service on the Wolfe Island wind project.
You can zoom-out and pan to the St-Lawrence Seaway, whose activity is rapidly picking-up since yesterday's seaway opening at Montreal.
GRASPING AT STRAWS for Kingston waterfront promotion.
HOW TO RUN A RAILROAD. All aboard! The Lake Ontario Park express.
First you have a public meeting and THEN you post proposal details online.
This guarantees minimum buzz prior to the meeting, a low turnout, and uninformed attendees at the meeting itself.
All the better to ram-through pre-conceived plans with a minimum disruption like actual input.
This is how the people who have fucked-up our waterfront operate.
Related: The City's token 4-question online LOP survey from last January.
The QUEEN'S PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE DESIGN was unveiled earlier this week. According to The Whig, it's quite something.
A thoughtful reader points out that plans are unclear about its waterfront aspects. The waterfront here has long been a neighborhood and community park for the launch of kayaks, swimmers, windsurfers and scuba divers both east and west of the Stella Buck Building.
Now this area is controlled by Queen's. Here's hoping this doesn't turn into yet another loss of accessibility to the residents of Kingston.
Considering the number of CFB Kingston Scuba Club blog posts tagged with 'Tett Centre', this site is used 12-months a year, day or night, and it's evidently one of the nicer shore dive locations in the Kingston region.
Wouldn't it be great to see active waterfront accessibility built-into the project?
ON TUESDAY'S COUNCIL AGENDA is the City Marinas Sustainable Strategy and Business Plan whose weeks-delayed public release was thoroughly botched last month following its truly bizarre August 2006 inception as a suspiciously narrowly-circulated RFI.
(Hey, you have to agree: it's a great way to run a railroad.)
FINALLY, for perhaps the first time in the seemingly endless Harvey Rosen era, Kingston waterfront takes a step that's NOT downright stupid, or ridiculously over-hyped, or shamefully stalled, or dirigiste, or laughably incomplete, or botched, or totally wasted, or commandeered by a raving bo-bo or otherwise seriously retrograde.
This bucks the unmistakable trend:
THAT the recommendation for the relocation of the Coast Guard at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour be exempted from the above clauses, and that it be referred back to staff for review and reconsideration in light of the community concerns raised within correspondence and through a delegation to the Committee on behalf of the Portsmouth Villagers Community Association.
Related: Anne Milina Outlook Point, the waterfront park that stands to be clobbered by said Coast Guard relocation.
LAKE ONTARIO SPRING WATER LEVELS are looking good after a winter with lots of precipitation in the Great Lakes Basin.
That's good because last November's forecast was bleak. The latest forecasts are a full-foot above that.
If water levels matter to you, don't miss the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control public teleconference tomorrow (Tuesday) between 7:00-8:30 pm.
BIG BREEZE TODAY was the tipping point for ice-breakup in Kingston Harbour.
Look closely: the ice pushed-up a large part of the rocky beach.
UPDATE: See also these photos from Chris Walmsley, also taken at KYC, including this one of the ice crumpling an iron fence. The photos also show yesterday's wind graph which peaks at 100 KM/H (60 MPH on the graph).
UPDATE: All this is reminiscent of this scene on February 17 2006, only this year is worse because thick ice floes are far more damaging than water. Peak wind on that day was 84 KM/H.
It sits on the southeastern edge of Portsmouth Olympic Harbour on land formerly controlled by Corrections Canada. It was opened in June 2008.
The point is also known as Hatters Bay Park
The recently released consultant's report, titled Kingston Marinas Sustainability and Development Strategy and Business Plan says this about the the Coast Guard building that sits on the Western edge of the POH property.
Current Coast Guard building inadequate for their needs considering relocation to east side of harbour at Hadders (sic) Bay Park.
Among the plan's recommendations for POH is number 7:
Recommendation POH7 : Collaborate with the Coast Guard to develop and implement a plan for relocating and enlarging their land-based facilities and berth, while relocating Hatters Bay Park to current Coast Guard location at southwest corner of site.
Financial Implications: Minimal or no cost to City of Kingston.
Timing: Q4 2008- Q2 2009 (sic)
Understandably, clobbering a beautiful waterfront park and moving it to a concrete-surrounded petrol-station-sign-dominated place in the shadow of tall condo buildings has folks in Portsmouth Village a little disturbed.
But more to the point, according to the consultant, all this is supposed to happen at minimal or no cost to City of Kingston.
It's a really stupid idea on so many levels. Still, it's out-there, floating-around as someone's bright idea for our waterfront.
Nevermind that there's no other publicly accessible waterfront between there and Breakwater Park, a full 1.2 kilometers to the east, as the crow flies.
PRESERVE OUR WRECKS' Spring newsletter is out.
This city only seems to have "vision", for what that's worth, if it involves the downtown and, specifically, land owners who shilled and shelled for the mayor at the last election.
Meanwhile, another summer approaches with zero apparent progress on waterfront accessibility, no reversal of the unmistakable trend.
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT LAUNCHED FOR THE THIRD CROSSING of the Cataraqui River.
NATHAN BARON is back ashore in Miami after finishing a 1000-mile solo sail from Miami around the Bahamas, and back.
PAUL WASH has just posted a photo sequence of the lifting and installation of the blades and hub assembly on a Siemens wind turbine on Wolfe Island.
As Paul suggests, in Flickr click the "all sizes" icon and view the largest versions available.
The last time this happened was in late-August.
Update 3:16 PM: Finally a readable version of the City Marina Business Plan (57 pages, 12 Mb PDF) is posted by the web-bozos at the City of Kingston. It's an incomplete posting, lacking appendices.
Update 7:00 PM: Here's the original sloppy version (164 pages, 7 Mb PDF) first posted by the City. At least this one contains the appendices. It's just ridiculous how the public gets waxed by the systematic incompetence of the City of Kingston Communications Department.
The communications bozos at the City of Kingston have posted a sloppily-scanned borderline unreadable City Marina report.
I'm trying to obtain a readable version to post.
The report is dated January 5th. The City Committee meeting is tomorrow night. This smells exactly like the folks we all know running their usual railroad.
The screwing-up of Kingston's Waterfront is apparently continuing unabated. Early public participation and input in waterfront-related processes is clearly not in the cards, and marinas is no exception. Quite the opposite, evidently.
IT'S OFFICIAL Kingston is not the sailing venue in the Toronto 2015 Pan American games bid.
AWESOME ICE BOATING CONDITIONS, according to those who know. Good skating too.
Be careful out there.
The K7 LIST OF MAJOR REGATTAS IN KINGSTON has just received a major functional upgrade.
You can now filter and search the list on any phrase you choose.
Kingston has hosted some 160 major events, defined as national championship or higher, over the past 35-years.
THE FEBRUARY 2009 THOUSAND ISLANDS LIFE is online. It appears to be a most excellent issue, with lots of Canadian content and great photographs throughout.
Articles include The MacNair Forty-Acre Muskie about the recently celebrated world-record catch-and-release by Dale MacNair. There's an article about The Canadian Empress, a very interesting article about Winter Island Living, and an article about Snowsqualls that explains how nearby Pulaski NY gets so thoroughly buried each winter.
Important News for Brockville breaks very recent news about a Brockville waterfront condo development landing a government-goodie in the form of a two-thirds funding of a new $18M Maritime Discovery Centre. (Incidentally, reading this, how does Kingston's Token Park sit with you now?)
|Major Kingston Regattas|
KINGSTON'S 2009 REGATTA PICTURE is firming-up and it looks really good.
This summer sees Kingston host The Byte CII World Championship and seven North American Championships including three from Olympic classes: Hobie 16 (women, youth, and open), Finn, 470, 29er, and 49er class sailboats.
Here's how 2009 shapes-up compared to previous years in the number of prestigious championship events hosted.
More details in our list of major regattas in Kingston.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY SAVE ONTARIO SHIPWRECKS (SOS) that it has formed a partnership with the Nautical Archaeology Society of Portsmouth UK to deliver maritime archaeology education programs developed by the society.
A committee of instructors has been established. Training will begin in 2009. SOS aims to provide opportunities for training across the province.
Save Ontario Shipwrecks is a Provincial Heritage Organization dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of an appreciation of Ontario's marine heritage.
THE SNOWBIRDS AIR SHOW is coming to Kingston on Wednesday, May 27th.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
KYC WINS THREE TOP AWARDS at the Ontario Sailing awards presented at the Toronto Boatshow on Sunday January 18th.
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:
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.
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.
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.
10-MILLION LITRES OF SEWAGE were dumped into the St-Lawrence River last Tuesday night during a lengthy power failure.
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.
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.
The show runs April 17-19 at the Cataraqui Community Centre, taking-over both rinks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nearly a quarter-century ago already!