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Kingston waterfront news for 2009

BREAKING ICE in Kingston Marina last week so MetalCraft Marine could conduct late-season vessel sea-trials in open water.
Posted December 23 2009
Category: Marinas
UNDERWATER ADVENTURE IN KINGSTON is a short and very cool promotional video about wreck diving in Kingston. Produced by Travel Canada.
Posted December 17 2009
Category: Diving
THE DECEMBER 2009 Thousand Islands Life is now available.
Posted December 16 2009
Category: The region
DOCK UPGRADES AT CONFED are expected by springtime.
Posted December 14 2009
Category: Marinas
Bob Clark of MetalCraft Marine interview

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.

Posted December 11 2009

HATTERS BAY PARK is still in jeopardy according to the Portmouth Villagers Association.

You may recall that the Coast Guard wants to shift their base from the west-side to the east-side of POH, clobbering the park, or access to the park, in the process.

Read more on the issue.

Posted December 3 2009
Category: Parks

SAILBOAT RIDE IN KINGSTON for the Olympic Torch relay on December 15th.

The torchbearer is Olympian and CORK chairman Tim Irwin.

Posted December 1 2009
Category: The region

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: more units, less parking requested by the Elevator Bay project proponents.

Here's a roundup of Elevator Bay-related news.

Posted November 30 2009
Category: City Council

THE BREAKWATER PARK RENAMING PROPOSAL is dead according to a City Staff report.

Posted November 30 2009
Category: Parks
West Streen Launch Ramp Renovations 2009

A NICE UPGRADE to the West Street Launch Ramp is presently underway.

Click here to see what it looked-like before.

Posted November 30 2009
Category: Shoreline

THE COMPANIONWAY is the quarterly newsletter of the Kingston Squadron of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron. The latest issue is online now.

Here's some of what's interesting in this issue:

  • The Power Squadron offers a complete range of courses over the winter. There are no downsides to boating-related accreditation, it's all-good. A boating course makes a fine Christmas gift, and it's a nice shared activity.
  • You may be surprised to see the number of boating and waterfront-related advertisers in the newsletter. Times may be tough but, around these parts, local businesses are continuing to step-up in support of the Power Squadron.
  • Part-two of an interesting article about power boat planing hulls by E.B.(Red) Bowes. The first part of the article is here in the August issue.
Posted November 23 2009
Category: Boating
The shoreline at Token Park

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.

Posted November 20 2009
Category: Block D

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.

Posted November 17 2009
Category: The environment

THE BROWN'S BAY INN IS FOR SALE.

It's a gem on Wolfe Island, just 4-miles south-east of Confederation Basin by-boat, just east of the winter ferry dock.

Posted November 15 2009
Category: Working waterfront

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.

Posted November 15 2009
Category: Block D

THE NOVEMBER ISSUE of the Thousand Islands Life e-zine is out.

Of particular local interest: Wolfe Island's Lighthouses.

Posted November 14 2009
Category: The region

The St-Lawrence II is apparently due for NEW LIFE RAFTS. They're reaching-out for funding, in this case via the Aviva Community Fund.

The Brigantine always happily accepts donations.

Posted November 7 2009
Category: The Brigantine

TWO WATERFRONT ITEMS on Tuesday's Council agenda.

  • The city wants to renew a 5-year lease with The Crown for POH land and land underwater. The rental rate is ''20% of the marina's annual gross revenue'', or a payment of $75,848 in 2008.
  • Kingston & the lslands Boat Lines Ltd. will keep the Island Queen, Island Belle, and Island Star at POH this winter on account of the Lasalle Causeway lift-bridge being out-of-commission for repairs for the next several months.

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?

Posted November 2 2009

PRESERVE OUR WRECKS, KINGSTON was featured on the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet last week.

Posted October 25 2009
Category: Diving

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.

Posted October 25 2009
Category: Wolfe Is windmills
Charity Shoal

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.

Posted October 19 2009
Category: Lake Ontario

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.

Posted October 17 2009
Category: Parks

MARINE MUSEUM DRYDOCK finally gets between $2M and $5M for drydock repairs. Work may start before year-end, according to The Whig.

Posted October 17 2009
Category: Marine Museum

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.

Posted October 16 2009
Category: The region

THE EARLY FORECAST for next spring indicates lower-than-average levels for Lake Ontario.

Bear in mind this is the fourth year in a row that early forecasts predict low-water and it hasn't turned-out that way come springtime.

Posted October 11 2009
Category: Water levels

HOW TO RUN A RAILROAD, Kingston-style.

You require people to register 3-weeks in advance (deadline Nov. 7th) for Saturday Nov 28th information sessions about the so-called third-crossing of the Cataraqui River.

Posted October 11 2009
Category: City of Kingston

THREE NOTABLE ITEMS on City Council's agenda for the meeting of October 6 2009.

  1. 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:

    • "Design of the Breakwater beach area (2010)". The Mass Swim, the culmination of public disgust over how our waterfront is marginalized, was held July 22nd 2008.
    • "Window repairs at the Richardson Beach Bath house (2010)". That's routine deferred maintenance, long overdue, masquerading as a listable project serving the illusion of serving the waterfront.
    • "Final approval to the Lake Ontario Park Plan (November 2009)", the proximity of which signals that public outcry (also here) over the way overblown concept plan will be mostly ignored.
    • "Marinas Business Plan (February 2010)" which promises to be an eyeball-roller given all the evident shenanigans (and here) leading to that.
    • "Waterfront Plan (2010)", whatever that is. This is bundled with, and listed after items like "New outdoor rinks construction policy (2010)", "healthy food options (2010)", "Community gardens policy (November 200)", and "Sustainable food strategy (2010)". That's your Harvey-Rosen-era Kingston waterfront, right there.
  2. The City gets, gratis, a narrow-strip of adjacent land to allow widening the waterfront pathway between the West Street launch ramp and Simcoe Street. That's courtesy of Holmstead Land Holdings which, rest assured, will get-that-back in spades later.
  3. The 2006 agreement with the Kingston Brewing Company to operate 6 Clarence Street as a service centre for Confederation Basin Marina boaters is renewed and sweetened through 2012.
Posted October 4 2009
Category: City Council

METALCRAFT reports that the FireStorm-69 fireboat they've been building for Tampa Fire Rescue has arrived.

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.

See the MetalCraft news item for a photo and a link to a very good YouTube video of the haul-off spectacle during the following morning's rising-tide.

Posted October 3 2009
Category: Working waterfront

KYC PHOTOS now being shared on Flickr.

Posted September 28 2009
Category: Photography

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.

Posted September 24 2009
Category: Tourism

PAUL DAVIS of Kingston, sailing with Bill and Joanne Abbott of Sarnia, won the Soling Worlds in Toronto.

It's the second Soling World Championship for a pair from the Abbott family and Paul Davis, the prior one being in 2002.

Posted September 21 2009
Category: Racing

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.

Posted September 17 2009
Category: Parks

MIXED REACTION at last night's Lake Ontario Park public meeting, from The Whig.

Posted September 17 2009
Category: Parks

THE SEPTEMBER THOUSAND ISLANDS LIFE is up.

It includes an article about the iconic Willow Island.

Posted September 15 2009
Category: The region

THE LAKE ONTARIO PARK RAILROAD rolls-on at a September 16th public meeting.

By now the recurring pattern is plainly evident:

  1. Defer maintenance of a municipal asset for decades.
  2. Spend megabucks on an one-time, ostentatious remediation plan.
  3. Repeat.

Previously: Paving paradise, to put up a 'fake' park from July, and How to run a railroad from last March.

Posted September 14 2009
Category: Parks

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.

Posted September 11 2009
Category: Obituary

THE GREAT CANADIAN SHORELINE CLEANUP goes-down on Saturday September 19th at 9:00 am.

Kingston's official shoreline cleanup locations include

  • Breakwater Park and MacDonald Memorial Park
  • Doug Fluhrer Park, on the Cataraqui River
  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes Shoreline and Dry Dock.

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.

Just show-up. If they don't have a TD-Bank-branded t-shirt for you, that's tough. It's well-worth doing. The area around the Marine Museum in particular needs some TLC.

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.

Posted September 8 2009
Category: The region

DROWNING IN SIMPLE-MINDEDNESS, great article by Andrew Coyne in MacLeans' Magazine in August.

Posted September 1 2009
Category: Safety

IDIOTIC BEACH REPORT from the KFLA Public Health Unit. Idiotic beach report

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.

Posted August 31 2009
Category: Beaches
Lovely forecast for Kingston

Just as summer holidays are over.

Posted August 31 2009

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.

Posted August 28 2009
Category: Racing

IAN BRUCE featured in The Whig yesterday.

Posted August 28 2009
Category: Racing

GEOFF WEBSTER HAS NOW POSTED 801 CORK PHOTOS, and he's evidently not done. We're barely passed the halfway point.

See photos from the Hobie-16 North Americans (57 shots) in July, and more recently CORK INT (256 shots) and CORK OCR (488 shots and counting), all on Smugmug.com.

Web 2.0, meet CORK.

Posted August 26 2009
Category: Racing

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.

Posted August 26 2009
Category: City of Kingston
Bill Steenbakkers founds Collins bay Marina

BILL STEENBAKKERS, a Kingston waterfront pioneer who passed-away earlier this month, was the subject of a 1972 Kingston Whig-Standard article about the founding of Collins Bay Marina.

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.

Posted August 24 2009
Category: History

CORK 2009 PHOTOS are being posted by Geoff Webster. What's great is these can be zoomed to various sizes and the quality of the photos, regardless of size, is amazing.

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 / sail@cork.org / www.cork.org.

Posted August 20 2009
Category: Racing
Major Kingston Regattas
YearWorldsN.As
200917
200816
200774
200602
200511
200401
200315
200211
200131
200005
199926
199801
199711

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.

Posted August 18 2009
Category: Racing
POC testing at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes

PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATOR CARD TESTING, a government scam if ever there was, is available at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes on Thursdays.

You have four weeks left to get yours. The deadline is September 15, 2009.

Email Ian Hood, the museum's congenial test proctor, to book yourself in.

Posted August 13 2009
Category: Boating
Great forecast!

The last time this happened was in February and, back then, these Environment Canada forecasts looked-ahead only 5-days.

Posted August 12 2009

BILL STEENBAKKERS, patriarch of Collins Bay Marina which he founded in 1971, passed away on Sunday. He was 82 years old.

Posted August 11 2009
Category: Obituary

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.

Posted August 11 2009
Category: Marine Museum
Posted August 10 2009
Category: Poker run

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.

Read the whole thing.

Posted August 7 2009
Category: Poker run

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.

Lake Ontario Levels

More history in the K7 Water Levels topic.

Posted August 5 2009
Category: Water levels
2009 Cassidys Bay Regatta

229 PHOTOS from last weekend's Cassidys Bay International-14 Regatta.

Did you know... volunteering to help run sailing regattas is a great way to get yourself on-water, or involved shore-side, and it's a ton of fun too.

Posted August 5 2009
Category: Racing

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.

Posted August 4 2009
Category: Block D
Posted August 4 2009
Category: Racing

GEOFF WEBSTER, longtime local sailing photographer, has just placed 23 photos from the 2009 Soling Bath Bowl and 57 photos from the Hobie-16 youth NA's online.

Posted August 4 2009
Category: Racing

RESULTS from the 2009 Shark Canadian championships, hosted by KYC, are posted.

Also the K7 List Of Major Regattas In Kingston has been updated.

Posted August 4 2009
Category: Racing
2009 Hobie 16 North Americans in Kingston

PHOTOS from the 2009 29er Canadian Championships and the 2009 Hobie-16 North Americans have been posted to Flickr.

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.

Posted July 27 2009
Category: Racing

THE HOBIE-16 NA'S ARE DONE and Enrique Figueroa with crew Victor Aponte of Puerto Rico won-it convincingly.

Up next: the 29er Canadian Championships hosted by KYC on Saturday and Sunday.

Posted July 24 2009
Category: Racing

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.

Photo: Christina Black
Posted July 20 2009
Category: Racing

VERY TIGHT 3-WAY TIE after day-1 at the Hobie 16 Women's North American Championship, and similarly there's a two-way tie at the top of the Youth division.

Posted July 17 2009
Category: Racing

EIGHT DAYS OF HOT CATS IN THE HARBOUR starting Friday as the 39th Hobie 16 North American Championship takes-over.

The event is hosted by CORK and sailed out of the Portsmouth Olympic Harbor.

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.

Posted July 16 2009
Category: Racing

FILM REVIEW of Waterlife, a documentary by Kevin McMahon. Grim.

Posted July 10 2009
Category: The environment

EXCELLENT PHOTOSET (Kiteboarding).

Posted July 8 2009
Category: 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:

  • Bradstreet's troop-strength ratio was about 25-to-1, a significant fact the city never mentions in its 'comment-online' background information.
  • Bradstreet's troops quickly took Fort Frontenac, trashed it, then they departed.
  • Bradstreet never spent a single eighteenth-century winter here.
  • There's no evidence John Bradstreet ever built a damn thing here.

Any questions? See the Battle of Fort Frontenac and John Bradstreet's 2-paragraph article in Wikipedia.

Posted July 7 2009
Category: Parks

THE 8-PAGE SUMMER 2009 NEWSLETTER from Preserve Our Wrecks Kingston is now available.

Posted July 5 2009
Category: Diving

PAVING PARADISE, TO PUT UP A FAKE PARK is an interesting letter in the recent Kingston This Week about the proposed extensive Lake Ontario Park re-vamp.

Posted July 5 2009
Category: City of Kingston

ELEVATOR BAY DEVELOPMENT STUCK IN LIMBO in today's Whig.

A cursory check of City Planning Committee agendas shows the project has been in abeyance for quite some time. In other words, documents have not been filed.

Here are some photos of that proposed (er, stalled) development.

Posted July 3 2009
Category: City Council

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.

Posted July 2 2009
Category: Awards

FOUR DEAD AT KINGSTON MILLS in a car discovered in a lock Tuesday morning that was finally hoisted-out on Tuesday evening. More at CKWS-TV and The Whig also here and here.

As of 9:15 AM today there has still been no boat traffic through Kingston Mills locks since yesterday morning.

Posted July 1 2009
Category: Tragedy

DAVID TYNER, a talented photographer who has contributed fifteen K7Waterfront homepage photos over the past two years, has moved to Ottawa.

David is a wizard of night photography (among other things) and he will be missed!

Thanks David!

Thanks, David!

Above: photo of, and by, David Tyner.

Posted June 30 2009
Category: Photography

UNGENTLEMANLY CONDUCT via Preserve Our Wrecks, Kingston.

Posted June 30 2009
Category: Diving

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.)

Posted June 30 2009
Category: Racing

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?

US Coast Guard vessel docked at KPH, June 2009

Posted June 29 2009
7-day Forecast

Hopefully this is just Environment Canada, low-balling the forecast, as they tend to.

Posted June 25 2009
Category: The region

THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL today filmed a segment about the archeological work going-on in Kingston harbour.

Posted June 22 2009
Category: Diving

DIVING INTO THE PAST in today's Whig, about the archeological work going-on in Kingston harbour.

See also CKWS-TV'S JUNE 4th REPORT, with video.

Posted June 22 2009
Category: Diving

THE FINAL CONCEPT PLAN FOR LAKE ONTARIO PARK has been released by the City.

More here.

Posted June 21 2009
Category: Parks
Shoreline restauration

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.

Deferred maintenance on the Kingston Ontarion shoreline Deferred maintenance on the Kingston Ontarion shoreline

Above: this is what gabion walls eventually look like when you don't maintain them.

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.

Posted June 21 2009
Category: Shoreline

WATERFRONT ACCESSIBILITY DOWNGRADE according to a moronic report to Council last Tuesday night.

Get this:

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!

Posted June 17 2009
Category: Beaches

THE JUNE 2009 THOUSAND ISLANDS LIFE is up.

Check out the terrific article titled The Wolfe Islander Is Missing, by current ferry captain Brian Johnson, about a gale in January 1950. Read the whole thing.

Posted June 14 2009
Category: The region

DOWNTOWN POKER RUN PLUG-UP planned between Friday Aug 7th at noon to Sunday Aug 9 at 6 PM.

Expect our spineless, gutless council to approve this.

Here's a summary of Poker Run-related news items here on K7 going back to 2006.

Posted June 12 2009
Category: Poker run
KFLA Beach Report

THERE'S APPARENTLY NO IMPROVEMENT since last July to the so-called "Beach Report" we're getting from the Health Unit.

What's worse, it's nearly mid-June and the City of Kingston is still not listing beach quality information, or links to beach quality information, on its Environment or Recreation landing pages.

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:

  • The exact date the sample was collected.
  • The specific level of E.coli found, as they do in Hastings & Prince Edward Counties and Toronto.
  • How, exactly, was the sample collected? Was it from a boat perhaps hundreds of feet off-the-beach, or within a few yards of the waterline where children actually swim?
  • The sampling history for each location so the propensity and volatility of E.coli contamination can be reckoned.

Because just "Open" or "Closed" isn't nearly good enough.

Posted June 9 2009
Category: Beaches

CKWS-TV'S JUNE 4th REPORT about the Kingston Harbour wreck that made news last summer. (Via Preserve Our Wrecks Kingston.)

Posted June 8 2009
Category: Diving

MARINA WORLD has a really (really) great feature on Kingston's Collins Bay Marina in it's latest issue.

Wow.

Check-out either just the article or the impressive full-issue (8 MB) online.

Posted June 4 2009
Category: Marinas
Snowbirds safety exclusion zone

THE SNOWBIRDS PATROLLED SAFETY ZONE in Kingston Harbour is unchanged this year.

This year's 45-minute show goes-off on Wednesday May 27th at exactly 6 p.m.

Here's the Snowbirds' website

Posted May 24 2009
Category: The Snowbirds

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.

Posted May 23 2009
Category: Marine Museum

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.

Posted May 23 2009
Category: Boating

AFTER A FEW DAYS AWAY sailing on Lake Erie including a transit through a sadly delapidated and disfunctional Welland Canal, some catching-up:

  • Morch Marine in Belleville, in its more-recent incarnation as a condo development corporation, is belly-up. The latest: at least boat owners were able to finally launch and get out-of-there.

  • 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.

Posted May 22 2009
Category: Roundup
Wikipedia logo

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:

  • Big Sandy Bay
  • Cedar Island.
  • Kingston Mills.
  • Kingston Harbour, as opposed to this other Kingston Harbour.
  • Kingston Rowing Club, as opposed to this other Kingston Rowing Club.
  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes.
  • Melville Shoal, despite its considerable local lore.
  • Nine Mile Point Lighthouse.
  • Snake Island, the Brother Islands (Eastern_Lake_Ontario), and other cormorant-ravaged landscapes.
  • ... and surely others.
Posted May 17 2009
Category: The region

THE SITE PLAN FOR TOKEN PARK goes before the City Planning Committee on Thursday night.

Highlights:

  • No shoreline access. It's tumble-rock shoreline. Like we don't have enough of that.
  • No jetty access. The Confedration Basin breakwall remains a birds-only place.
  • A spot reserved for a marina building which makes no sense at all.

Related: Token Park news archive.

Posted May 16 2009
Category: Block D
Posted May 15 2009
Category: The region
Richardson Beach

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?

Oh, and the plan changes drastically. You thought maybe the old plan wasn't windsurfer-friendly? Here's the new (5-week-old) schematic.

This much appears certain: another summer will pass with no beach improvements in Kingston.

Posted May 14 2009
Category: Beaches

DontRockTheBoat.ca is the website for the annual Don't Rock the Boat Event, this year on May 23rd, at Collins Bay Marina.

Posted May 11 2009
Category: Boating

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'.

Posted May 9 2009
Category: Poker run
Mayors action plan

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.

  1. Create a Municipal-Provincial-Federal Great Lakes Table.
  2. Improve and promote beaches, natural areas, wetlands, trails and tourism.
  3. Attack nuisance and toxic algae.
  4. Reduce untreated sewage and stormwater discharges entering the great lakes, especially in light of climate change and technical innovations.
  5. Build a business case and measure results from Great Lakes investments.

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.

Mass swim 2008

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!

Remember this scene from the July 22 2008 Mass Swim (also here)? The event sought to raise awareness about our woefully neglected beaches.

All signs indicate that 2009 will be another summer woeful beach maintenance, woeful beach safety reporting (also here), and more of the usual Kingston recreational infrastruture degradation.

Scroll this page for the full-story on Kingston's beaches since 2006.

Posted May 5 2009
Category: Beaches

TWO SEPARATE REPORTS from last weekend's apparently very successful Nautical Archaeology course.

It's good to see such a strong level of interest in this.

Posted May 4 2009

KINGSTON ROWING CLUB'S 2009 PROGRAMS have been posted. Better late than never.

Posted May 2 2009
Category: Rowing

SWEET DEAL, CONTINUED at Crawford Wharf and Confederation Park for Kingston and the Islands Boat Lines.

Posted May 1 2009
Category: City Council

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:

  • A heavy-duty a marine emergency first-aid kit will be required.
  • Fire extinguishers will only be acceptable for a period of 6 years after date of manufacture.
  • Only Canadian approved PFDs and/or lifejackets are allowed - this is currently the case, a fine point that many don't realize.
  • A copy of a boat license must be on board. (This assumes a proper boat licensing system)
  • Boat licenses will have to renewed every 10 years.
  • If you are under 16, your lifejacket must be inherently buoyant (disallowing inflatables?)
  • You will need to have a magnetic compass.
  • They are making changes in the different size categories.
    • currently: <6, 6<8, 8<12m (3-categories)
    • proposed: <6, 6<9, 9<12, 12<24m (4-categories)

Read the proposed new regulations.

Posted April 29 2009
Category: Safety

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?

Posted April 21 2009
Category: City Council

COLLINS BAY MARINA is again first in the region to commence serious boat launching operations.

This is just 5-days later than in 2006 which was the earliest-ever launch.

Posted April 16 2009
Category: Working waterfront

HERE'S THE LINEUP of exhibitors for the Kingston Boat Show this upcoming weekend at the Cataraqui Community Centre.

The number of exhibitors appears down somewhat, but not nearly as much as you might expect.

-

For comparison, here's last-year's K7 news item about the 2008 show, and the Official 2008 exhibitor's list is still online.

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.

Posted April 14 2009
Category: Working waterfront

A NAUTICAL ARCHEOLOGY COURSE is being hosted by Preserve Our Wrecks Kingston on May 2-3 at the Military Sportsplex.

More information available from info@powkingston.org or by calling 613-767-7446

Posted April 10 2009
Category: Diving

HOLLY MORRISON is apparently the new Acting Supervisor of Kingston's municipal marinas, replacing Ed Leeman.

Posted April 7 2009
Category: Marinas

First-ever report from diving at the HIGHWAY 15 (CRUICKSHANK) QUARRY.

Posted April 6 2009
Category: Diving

ART PARK and ENVIRO PARK concept plans for Lake Ontario Park have (finally) been posted by the City.

See the City's project page. For now it's just diagrams, no details.

Posted April 2 2009
Category: City of Kingston

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.

Posted April 1 2009
Category: Diving
Service from MarineTraffic.com

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.

Posted April 1 2009
Category: The region

GRASPING AT STRAWS for Kingston waterfront promotion.

Posted March 30 2009
Category: Marinas

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.

Posted March 27 2009
Category: City of Kingston
Divers at Morton Street

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?

Posted March 25 2009
Category: Diving

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.

Hallelujah.

Related: Anne Milina Outlook Point, the waterfront park that stands to be clobbered by said Coast Guard relocation.

Posted March 23 2009
Category: Marinas

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.

Lake Ontario Levels

Posted March 16 2009
Category: Water levels

INFORMATION KIT from SPLASH, or "Sustainable Practices Leave A Sustainable Heritage", the group that seeks to reset Kingston about, among other things, the annual Poker Run.

More background on this here and there's a Facebook group you can and should join in support.

Posted March 12 2009
Category: Poker run
The ice moves out 2009

BIG BREEZE TODAY was the tipping point for ice-breakup in Kingston Harbour.

See these photos courtesy of Frances O'Neill of ice floes pushed-up on the shore at KYC.

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.

Posted March 11 2009
Category: Shoreline
AnneMilinaOutlookPoint

ANNE MILINA OUTLOOK POINT is the newest and possibly tinyest of Kingston's waterfront parks.

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.

  • Build a new house-sized structure, and running services to it,
  • build a parking lot at the new structure,
  • build substantial new berths for coast guard vessels on the East-side of POH,
  • pave and perpetually clear and maintain the road to the new structure,
  • demolish a smaller but still house-sized structure, and rip-up the extisting Coast Guard area and turn that into a "park".

Right!

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.

Posted March 10 2009
Category: Parks

GROUP LOBBIES COUNCIL TO CANCEL POKER RUN from last Thursday's edition of Kingston EMC.

The Poker Run is obnoxious, and its promoter is full-of-himself. Read the whole thing. Yeah, we know, it's all about money. Now please take your freakshow elsewhere.

Posted March 9 2009
Category: Poker run

PRESERVE OUR WRECKS' Spring newsletter is out.

Posted March 3 2009
Category: Diving
North Block concept

NORTH BLOCK CONCEPT SKETCHES have been posted over at KCAL. These are larger and more accessible and comparable than the buried, popup-obfuscated ones posted by the City.

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.

Posted March 3 2009
Posted March 3 2009
Category: City of Kingston

NATHAN BARON is back ashore in Miami after finishing a 1000-mile solo sail from Miami around the Bahamas, and back.

Posted March 2 2009
Category: Racing

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. Turbine Blade Hoist Sequence by Paul Wash

As Paul suggests, in Flickr click the "all sizes" icon and view the largest versions available.

Posted March 1 2009
Category: Wolfe Is windmills
lovely forecast

The last time this happened was in late-August.

Posted February 28 2009

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.

Posted February 25 2009
Category: Marinas

CITY CONSIDERING UPGRADES TO ITS MARINAS in today's Whig.

Contrary to what's printed in The Whig, the "the full consultant's report" is not online. Here's the four-page fluff-intro, which is all the city has released for now.

Posted February 24 2009
Category: Marinas
Posted February 19 2009
Category: The Brigantine

IT'S OFFICIAL Kingston is not the sailing venue in the Toronto 2015 Pan American games bid.

Posted February 18 2009
Category: KEDCO

AWESOME ICE BOATING CONDITIONS, according to those who know. Good skating too.

Be careful out there.

Posted February 17 2009
Category: Ice boating

CHECK OUT THESE PHOTOS of winter kiteboarding here in Kingston, posted by Kiteboarding Kingston.

More than ever, Kingston waterfront is active all year long.

Posted February 15 2009
Category: Kiteboarding

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.

Posted February 15 2009
Category: K7Waterfront

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?)

Posted February 14 2009
Category: The region
Major Kingston Regattas
YearWorldsN.As
200917
200816
200774
200602
200511
200401
200315

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.

Posted February 12 2009
Category: Racing
Nautical Archaeology Society

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.

Posted February 12 2009
Category: History

THE SNOWBIRDS AIR SHOW is coming to Kingston on Wednesday, May 27th.

Posted February 10 2009
Category: The Snowbirds

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

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

Posted January 31 2009
Category: Marine Museum

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

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

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

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

Posted January 30 2009
Category: KEDCO

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

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

Here's a Whig article about it.

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

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

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

Related:

Posted January 27 2009
opa

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

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

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

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

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

Posted January 24 2009
Category: Amherst Island

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

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

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

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

Posted January 22 2009
Category: KEDCO

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

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

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

Posted January 22 2009
Category: Fishing

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

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

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

These sailors are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In that PDF you'll find doozies like this:

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

Bullshit!

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

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

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

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

Posted January 19 2009
Category: City Council

RETIREMENT HOME TO DISPLACE DIVE SHOP in Brockville.

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

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

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

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

Posted January 17 2009
Category: Working waterfront

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

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

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

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

Related:

Posted January 15 2009
Category: The environment

GOOD ARTICLE BY NATHAN BARON in today's Whig.

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

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

THE 2009 KINGSTON BOAT SHOW WEBSITE is up.

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

Posted January 9 2009
Category: Working waterfront

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

Posted January 8 2009
Category: Racing

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

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

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

Posted January 7 2009
Category: City of Kingston

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

(From page 8 of the report.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe you thought the last council was bad?

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

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

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

Related: This K7 post from October 2008.

Posted January 6 2009
Category: City Council

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

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

Refloating of the ciudad de Inca Sinking of the Wolfe Islander

Nearly a quarter-century ago already!

Posted January 1 2009
Category: History

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Last Updated: July 17, 2012