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January Update 2021

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Thanks so very much for your continued interest.  You are totally forgiven for not reading the whole thing!  Crazy amount of stuff happening!
Hopefully there are 1-2 items of interest for you personally!
MYSTERY DOCK!  Does anyone know anything about these two 8×8 docks tied together and roped to the shore at Molly Brant Point?  We would like to use them (or something like them) to attach to the Kingston Marina dock for exciting new events this coming season!  If you know anything, or have any suggestions for docks, please contact Mary at
1. Turtles Kingston + City on Turtle Fencing Initiative
2. MetalCraft Marine’s Prestigious 2020 Workboat of the Year Award! 
3. Calliope Collective’s Water Parade
4. JP Longboat’s Canoe Stories 
5. Parks and Recreation Master Plan – Survey Deadline Jan 28
6. Homeowners Retrofit Program to Reduce Energy Costs + Carbon Footprint
7. Green Standard Community Improvement Plan
8. Open Budget: City Discussions to be Live-Streamed
9. Public Art Update:  Hub Proposals – City Seeks Community Input 
+ Alderville Spirit Garden at Lake Ontario Park
10. Waste Diversion Survey for Condo and Apartment Dwellers
11. Useful Tips on Curbside Recycling
12. Mayor’s Arts Awards 
13. Another Scam!
14. Turning the Tide on Climate – 350 Kingston Seminar Series
15. American Eel Update from Ottawa River Keeper
16. Advance Care Planning Offered Online
17. Message from Henry Lickers, Indigenous Rep on the International Joint Commission
18.  The Sixth Great Lake is Under Your Feet
19. From the Chamber of Marine Commerce: Line 5 + Carp + Lake Ice
20. COVID 19 in Animals
21. Protest Ontario’s Long-Term Care Crisis! – Jan 29, 2021 
22. Chili Pepper Chemical for Solar Panels?
23. Kingston Fire Fighters Rescue Deer from Thin Ice
24. Jamie Swift’s Adventures – Plague Walks Part 1
25.  Time for a Laugh!

1. Turtles Kingston and City on Turtle Fencing Initiative
Received from Mabyn Armstrong of Turtles Kingston Jan 13, 2021
“Council voted unanimously to support the proposal for the mitigation of the Westbrook Wetland.
THANK YOU in particular to Councillors Lisa Osanic and Simon Chapellefor their never wavering support. 
THANK YOU to Kari Gunson, the Road Ecologist, for her professionalism and commitment to the project who generously donated her time before the proposal was formalized.
THANK YOU to Adrianna Nystedt, the Queen’s student who launched her petition in support of the initiative which was signed by more than 1,200 people and presented to Council last January. 
THANK YOU to the 4,000 TURTLES KINGSTON Facebook supporters,many of who sent emails to City Council in support of the proposal. 
The years of hard work paid off tonight. The turtles are peacefully hibernating right now and we cannot express the relief and joy we are feeling knowing that their populations will be safe this spring. 
They will continue to serve us well keeping our freshwater sources clean. 
The mitigation of the Westbrook Wetland, Kingston’s number 1 Turtle Road Mortality Hotspot, has always been the primary goal for TURTLES KINGSTON. The installation of exclusion fencing, eco passages and alternative nesting sites along Highway 2 between Collin’s Bay and Westbrook Roads will be the saving grace of the Turtle populations that call that wetland home…
Council voted unanimously to direct staff to include $525,000 in the Transportation and Public Works Capital Budget Submission (2021) and increase the operating budget starting in 2022 by $10,000 on an annual basis, for the ongoing maintenance and monitoring of the Turtle mitigation initiative for the Westbrook Wetland.  
There is great strength when we come together from a place of integrity. 
There is great strength in being respectful and even greater strength in the preservation and protection of what appears to be so resilient but in actuality, is so delicate and irreplaceable. 
The environment is the common denominator for us all. 
We thank KINGSTON CITY COUNCIL and the supporting public for giving her the respect she doesn’t ask for but deserves. 
Your unanimous vote, letters and support were instrumental in making this happen.

2. MetalCraft Marine’s Prestigious 2020 Int’l WorkBoat of the Year Award!
– announced and highlighted in WorkBoat magazine!
“The Port of Los Angeles just added a new State of the Art CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) asset to its fleet of patrol boats:
The LA Port Police Boat is one of a new breed of CBRN detection patrol boats. A very fine bow entry is the critical design feature of all the Interceptor model line. Its high speed rough water performance allows the operators to go offshore to inspect incoming ships before they enter the Port for nuclear and chemical hazardous contaminants.
The boat is designed for rough water with structure design to ISO 12215 and equally important, stability to ISO 12217 Category B. Cat B means it can work safely in 13-17’ waves. The boat has a very tall mast for restricted in maneuverability lights or tow lights. It has exceptional visibility meeting ABYC sight lines. Its spotter windows are designed to clearly see the ship’s upper superstructures and sheerline. The unique feature is that in a hard over turn the side spotter windows give the operator an unobstructed view to either port or starboard while at 45 degrees heel.
The propulsion system is designed around reliability and ease of maintenance and includes the robust and reliable Cummins 6.7L engines at 480 HP and Konrad heavy duty 680 duo-prop outdrives. This combination provides an exceptionally spacious engine room and easy access to all service points minimizing down time for servicing. Oversize engine hatches provide access to all sides of the engines.
The boat is fitted with an aft deck helm, which allows an operator to be part of a boarding exercise or water rescue and provide additional support. The boat has a portable 900 lb davit for body recovery. The wide body version of the Interceptor line provides comfortable seating for three Officers and extra seating for a boarding party or mass rescue. The boat has overwide side decks with cabin access from near normal size sliding doors. These large doors provide good ingress/egress and for use with side arms.
The boat has a high speed stainless deck windlass for when the boat is at anchor and surveilling the harbor and its entrance. It can bring up the anchor at a rapid rate safely with no chance of fouling to let the crew get underway immediately.
The electronics selection was the latest Furuno Timezero navigation system, with 16” displays at the helm and a giant 24” screen at the command/navigation station. The Timezero system is virtually instant at responding to new crew commands, with overlays so clear and intuitive that you really don’t need additional training on these units. A four way split screen permits navigation information, CCTV cams and infrared cam info simultaneously.
The boat has two very powerful CBRN detection units that are the highest level state of the art detection systems available and are military grade.
The RAD System: The RAD system was supplied by Radiation Plus. The RS-700 has a Gamma and Neutron detection system. The unit has an integrated controller and data acquisition system. The heart of the RS-700 is the proprietary advanced digital spectrometer (ADS) module. Using a unique detector energy calibration curve stored in the ADS module, the spectrum is linearized and compressed into the system’s 1024 channel resolution.
A high speed processor allows data to be corrected if necessary without distortion and can process 250,000 characters per second. All data is posted to the RAD Assist software with mapping and Nuclide Identification features.
The Chemical Detection System: The RAPIDplus chemical detector by Bruker is the second piece of this powerful CBRN patrol boat.  It can automatically Detect, Identify and Monitor all known Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) and important Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) at long distances. Long distances means at 3.1 miles distance.
The system can provide real time detection. The instruments utilise Bruker’s proven RockSolid™ flex-pivot interferometer and can be operated whilst static or on the move with no degradation in performance. The software provides the user with enhanced visual surveillance and analytical displays overlaid on video with an extended substance library and increased detection capability.
The chemical detection limits of the remote sensor for CWAs and TICs are in the low ppm range and the new enhanced list of chemicals in the library is comprehensive. The system requires minimum training and maintenance and utilises operator friendly software that allows easy control of the instrument and interpretation of data. The RAPIDplus software  provides enhanced analytical displays that visualise a hazardous cloud as an overlay on video and allows enhanced interrogation of the detection and manipulation of the hazard.
MetalCraft Link to LA Port Interceptor 43-44:
MetalCraft Link to other Interceptor models: “

3. Calliope Collective’s Water Parade
Calliope Collective is planning an exciting Water Parade hopefully this coming May (although with COVID one can’t be totally sure).  The idea was inspired by the Bosch Parade in Holland –   FKIH is hoping to participate in some way with the Algonquin birch bark canoe made by community last season. Human powered floats will parade along the shoreline of Doug Fluhrer Park.   Promises to be amazing. More anon…..

4. JP Longboat’s Canoe Stories
JP Longboat is hoping for a grant to do an amazing canoe event that will take place in Ottawa, Kingston, Tyendinaga and Peterborough.  The plan at this point is for it to be in Kingston at the end of August. Again, FKIH is hoping to participate.  At this point, we are wondering about contributing to this event by doing some of the canoe launch weekend activities that we couldn’t do at the canoe build last September because of COVID. If anyone would like to be involved in the planning and/or has suggestions of any sort, contact Mary at or Michelle at

5. Parks and Recreation Master Plan – Survey Deadline Jan 28, 2021
Received from the City, Jan 12, 2021
City seeks input on update to Parks and Recreation Master Plan
“It’s time to shape the future of active fun in Kingston. The City of Kingston is seeking your input as part of the process to update its Parks and Recreation Master Plan – the Plan which guides how programs and services are offered and directs investment in recreational facilities. It also looks at how the City can partner with other like-minded organizations, to offer more recreational opportunities to more people.
‘We are in a time when maintaining your physical and mental health is more important than ever. COVID-19 may have changed the way some of our recreation programs and facilities feel – but our commitment to providing fun and safe recreation opportunities will never change,’ says Lacricia Turner, Director, Recreation and Leisure Services. 
Here’s how to get involved, Kingston!
Review the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and Needs Assessment Report on Get Involved Kingston.
Complete a short online survey on the draft recommendations. Paper surveys are available by request by calling 613-546-4291 ext. 1900.
Share your stories on how you used parks, open spaces, recreation programs and services during COVID-19.
Public engagement on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan will close on Jan. 28, 2021. The Plan and the public engagement summary will be submitted to the Arts, Recreation and Community Policies Committee and City Council in Q1 2021.
Fostering healthy citizens and vibrant spaces is a priority of City Council.

6. Homeowners Program to Reduce Energy Costs and Carbon Footprint
Received from the City Jan 21, 2021
“Last night, City Council received the Kingston Home Energy Retrofit Program and an update on the Green Standard Community Improvement Plan – both initiatives aimed at reducing Kingston’s carbon footprint.
The Kingston Home Energy Retrofit Program will help homeowners retrofit their homes to make them more energy-efficient and affordable – and bring the City one step closer to its goal of being carbon neutral by 2040. 
‘We know that Kingston residents are eager to make a difference when it comes to climate change and protecting our environment and as a City, we want to help make this possible,’ says Mayor Bryan Paterson. ‘We’re thrilled to see the Kingston Home Energy Retrofit program move forward, an initiative that will support homeowners with their own climate action goals, while also helping them cut their personal expenses’” adds Paterson.  
More about the Kingston Home Energy Retrofit Program
Kingston homes account for approximately 14 per cent of the community’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Council has set an ambitious target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, 10 years ahead of most governments. While this goal is for the City of Kingston as a corporation, it has also become a goal post for the entire community.  
The Kingston Home Energy Retrofit Program would potentially be supported through money from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and City funds. If it receives support during next week’s City budget deliberations, staff will then apply for the federal funding for implementation. Staff will report back to the Environment, Infrastructure & Transportation Policies Committee with final program details following notification on the funding application.
The Kingston Home Energy Retrofit Program could launch as early as this Fall. Homeowners in Kingston could then apply to the program, and if eligible, have an energy audit completed on their homes to help determine which areas might benefit from an upgrade. Examples of energy-saving upgrades include installing energy-efficient furnaces, insulation or solar panels. These changes would be made by contractors and financed over time through participating residents’ individual property tax bills. 
While the City is looking at how to make existing buildings more sustainable, it is also focused on growing greener.
More Info?

7. Green Standard Community Improvement Plan
Received from the City, Jan 21, 2021
The Climate Leadership Division also presented Council with an update on the Green Standard Community Improvement Plan.
This plan would incentivize net-zero construction in Kingston, by providing homebuilders and developers with incentives such as grants, loans, refunds, exemptions, tax increment rebates, financing or assistance if their build meets net-zero requirements (i.e. the building has no net greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations).
City staff is developing the program and will present it later this year to the Environment, Infrastructure & Transportation Policies Committee, before it goes to Council.
Learn more about the Kingston Home Energy Retrofit Program and work on the Green Standard Community Improvement Plan.”

8. Open Budget: City Discussions to be Live-Streamed
 Received from City, Jan 21, 2021
“The City invites community members to log on next week, as Council deliberates on the various capital and operating budgets supported by the municipality.
‘We want to continue to be open and transparent about how spending and resource allocation decisions are made, and to provide residents with the opportunity to hear how budgets support municipal services and priorities. This is especially crucial this year as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19, which has had a significant impact on City revenues and resources,’ says Desiree Kennedy, the City’s Chief Financial Officer and City Treasurer.
From Jan. 26 to 28, City Councillors are scheduled to convene as the Committee of the Whole to discuss City budgets, City-funded agency budget submissions and municipal utility budgets as presented by Utilities Kingston.
These discussions will be live-streamed (close captioned and recorded) on the Kingston City Council YouTube Channel and on the Kingston Meeting Twitter feed so that residents can follow the decision-making process.
PLEASE NOTE: Depending on discussion, the final night of budget deliberations may not be needed.
City budgets support municipal services (such as recreation programs and facilities, park amenities, waste collection, snow plowing, transit) and capital infrastructure (including roads, bridges, pathways and buildings) as well as the initiatives outlined in Kingston’s 2019 to 2022 Strategic Plan
Opening the budgeting process
The City is committed to opening its budgeting process to residents so they can:
– understand the structure of the municipal budget and how budgeting decisions are made;
– provide input on priorities;
– influence the allocation of public resources; and
– follow the decision-making process.

This fall, the City ran a series of Open Budget engagements, which attracted 500+ participants. It consisted of a series of weekly polls and a survey on Get Involved Kingston followed by two virtual open houses that provided an overview of the City’s operating and capital budgets, recent fiscal challenges, and plans for an ongoing budget engagement process. 
Find previous years’ budgets on the budget archive page.

9. Public Art Update:  Hub Proposals -Community Input Deadline Feb 5
+ Alderville Spirit Garden at Lake Ontario Park
Received from the City, Jan 18, 2021
The City is seeking your input on three public art proposals for the Princess Street Sidewalk Project, a permanent public artwork to be installed in the Kingston’s Hub area at the intersection of Princess and Division streets.  
Through a Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ) process, three artists – Christine Dewancker, Don Maynard, and Brandon Vickerd – have been shortlisted by a jury of artists, curators, residents and local business to submit proposals for this project. Provide your feedback on the artists’ proposals from Jan. 18 to Feb. 5 through the City’s Get Involved website. Your input will be given to the artists who will consider it as they prepare their final proposals. Their concept statements are below.  
For the project, the proposed artworks must consider the area’s history and architecture (including the origin story of Princess Towers) and reflect the energy of the dynamic social scene for which “The Hub” is known. The artists must also respond to community feedback generated through The Hub Project engagement in 2019.   
The final proposals will be submitted in March 2021. The jury will then review and select one project based on artwork acquisition criteria. This process follows the Public Art Policy approved by Council and the final selected artwork will be installed by September 2021.  

Shortlisted Artists’ Concept Statements 
Clinamina Towers by Christine Dewancker: takes its formal cue from the Brutalist architecture of Princess Towers, emphasizing the geometric linear contours and minimal construction materials that exemplify this movement. The steel plates and central column of the sculpture will slowly rust over time, creating a natural patina and marking the structure’s slow adaptation to environmental conditions. The raised central concrete form at the front of the sculpture will function as a seat for pedestrians along Princess Street, creating a piece of urban furniture along the downtown corridor. Since Princess Street runs West to East, the shadows cast from the steel plates will also change over time, moving during the day with the course of the sun, revealing certain messages and marking the passage of time.  
Murmurations by Don Maynard: like murmurations of birds, students arrive in Kingston in the fall. They take on the challenge of learning and creating, they stretch their wings and explore the city, forming connections and building community. The sculptural concept, Murmurations, quite literally mirrors these changes and activities that occur at the Hub: the comings and goings of students, the local pedestrian traffic, passing cars, the sky and clouds; all of these are reflected in the sculpture’s highly polished mirrored stainless-steel surface. These reflections call to mind nearby Lake Ontario, conjuring images of light reflecting on moving water. 
The Wilds of Kingston by Brandon Vickerd: will consist of two bronze figures that appear to be citizens leisurely going about their day; however, upon inspection the figures will reveal themselves to be extraordinary characters with the heads of a pigeon and a squirrel. Humorously referencing cartoon clichés, this installation invites a thoughtful reflection on our relationship to nature and the urban environment. The Wilds of Kingston will consider and respond to the area’s counterculture history… and reflect the energy of the dynamic social scene for which “The Hub” is known by turning the mundane into a moment of unexpected humour. The two figures, dressed in casual clothes such as jeans and hooded sweaters, could be people waiting for friends until the viewer gets close enough to experience the surprise of the full-sized sculptures.  

About the City of Kingston’s Public Art Program  
The City of Kingston’s Public Art Program supports the creation of contemporary public art by emerging and established artists through commissions and artist collaborations. The program produces art for public spaces throughout the city, contributes to developing a vibrant public realm in Kingston, and enhances a sense of community across the City, in the downtown, suburban, rural, and natural areas. Through this program, the City is committed to working with artists, residents and the public and private sectors in the ongoing development and implementation of public art projects to establish Kingston as a hub of creative placemaking that recognizes and builds on the City’s diverse history, engages its community and inspires its future leaders.

Alderville First Nation Commemoration Project Update
Construction on the public artwork Manidoo Ogitigan (Spirit Garden), created by artist Terence Radford for the Alderville First Nation Commemoration Project, began in August 2020. A Ground Blessing Ceremony, held at the project site at Lake Ontario Park with members of the Alderville First Nation, Radford, City staff and community members marked the start of construction. Work began in September with hardscaping and installation taking place in October. The first phase of construction is now complete and the final phase, which will include planting of more than 430 plants, will take place in early Spring 2021. 
A special launch event will be held following the completion of the installation. More information can be found on the Alderville First Nation Commemoration Project Page.

10. Waste Diversion Survey for Condo + Apt Dwellers – Deadline Feb 8
Received from the City, Jan 18, 2021

 “The City is seeking your input as it considers the option of making the Green Bin program – or the separation of food waste and organics from garbage – mandatory in apartments/condos.
‘Some people who live in apartments and condos already participate in the City’s Green Bin program. Right now, use of the Green Bin, or another food waste diversion program, in these multi-residential buildings is optional,’ says Raymond Garner, Director, Solid Waste Services.
Complete the survey at by 4 p.m. on Feb. 8.
The City’s Green Bin and other food waste diversion programs:
– capture organic waste so it can be made into compost and kept out of landfill;
– will help the City achieve its goal to divert 65 per cent of residential waste from landfill by 2025; and
– reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused from decomposing organics in landfills.

This initiative is one of the engagement efforts under the Waste Strategies project and falls under the City’s strategic priority to demonstrate leadership on climate action as landfilled waste contributes to climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. 
11. Useful Tips on Curbside Recycling
Video with tips about how to put out your recycling!

12. Mayor’s Arts Awards
Received from the City, Jan 19, 2021
“Mayor Bryan Paterson recognized the 2020 recipients of the Mayor’s Arts Awards at an online event last night. The Mayor’s Arts Awards is an annual recognition program that celebrates high artistic achievement and recognizes extraordinary contributions in and to the arts.
‘Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Mayor’s Arts Awards program! This event, where we come together to celebrate our community’s remarkable artists, organizations and supporters of the arts, is always a highlight of my year,’ says Mayor Bryan Paterson. ‘The arts add so much to our quality of life in Kingston and is a key part of what makes our city vibrantand it’s a particularly important time for us to continue to support the arts in Kingston.’
The City, through the cultural services department, administers the Mayor’s Arts Awards program and works with the Kingston Arts Council (KAC) to document and promote the work of award recipients that includes commissioning profile videos. The nomination of award recipients is facilitated through the City of Kingston Arts Advisory Committee (AAC) that, each year, establishes a Council approved Nominations Working Group (NWG) for this purpose.
The 2020 Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients will also be formally recognized by city council at tonight’s meeting. View the Jan.18 online event and the Jan.19 city council meeting
2020 Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients by category 
Creator Awards
The Creator Award (cash prize of $2,500, award and certificate) recognizes living artists, artistic collectives, or arts organizations. Three Creator Awards are given each year to honour artistic merit and/or innovation that advances the arts in the City, contributes to the development of the art form and expresses the cultural vitality of Kingston. The 2020 recipients are:
Kay Kenney, a professional contemporary dancer and choreographer. Kay trained with the Kingston School of Dance and the Professional Contemporary Dance Programme at The School of Dance in Ottawa. Her performance and choreographic accomplishments since graduation and her work in Kingston, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa are impressive indicators of her dedication to advancing the art of dance. In 2018, Kay moved back to Kingston where shares her passion for innovative creation and performance through professional dance and movement instruction from her new studio in Portsmouth Village. 
Chaka Chikodzi, a Zimbabwe-born Canadian sculptor who has been living and working in Kingston for the past decade. A talented stone carver, he imaginatively adapts the traditions of Zimbabwe to the Canadian context, using dense, beautifully figured volcanic rock to create dramatic forms. His work has been exhibited and collected across Canada, and he has been active in arts education in the schools, a camp for urban youth, and with newcomer youth. In 2015, he undertook a residency at the National Gallery Zimbabwe (Bulawayo) with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.  
The Kingston Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra that under the leadership of Music Director Evan Mitchell and General Manager Andrea Haughton, has excelled in making orchestral music meaningful to modern audiences. Its various outreach and education programs bring music to a broad and increasingly diverse audience, providing new relevance to the music of the past while championing the works of Canadian composers, women, and ethnically under-represented composers.  
Arts Champion Award
The Arts Champion Award (award and certificate) recognizes a living individual, organization or corporation who makes an extraordinary, leading contribution to the arts in Kingston as a volunteer, advocate, supporter, sponsor and/or philanthropist. The 2020 recipient is:
Bruce Kauffman, a poet, editor, radio host, open-mic and other events organizer, and general nurturer of poetic talent. He has published four collections and four chapbooks and edited eight literary anthologies. Kauffman’s monthly open-mic reading series, begun in 2009, maintains a large and devoted following. His weekly literary radio show, “finding a voice,” has aired on CFRC since 2010. Last year, Bruce was profiled in a feature-length documentary of Kingston’s poetry community entitled “Who is Bruce Kauffman?”  
Limestone Arts Legacy Award
The Limestone Arts Legacy Award (award and certificate) recognizes individuals of the past whose sustained and substantial contributions have built the artistic vitality of the City, nurturing and enabling forms of creation, participation, presentation and enjoyment, whose leadership has inspired others, and whose influence has been felt in the region and beyond. The 2020 recipient is:
Daniel David Moses (1952-2020), a highly respected dramaturge, editor, essayist, teacher, and writer-in-residence with institutions across the country. Along with being an award-winning playwright and poet, Daniel was unique in his position as a First Nations playwright with a body of work of consistent and superior quality. Over the course of 30 years, Daniel wrote more than 12 plays, four books of poetry and co-edited four volumes of ‘An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English.’ His exceptional artistry, demonstrated commitment, and ongoing creative growth served to elevate the art form.  
More information on the Mayor’s Arts Awards program and recipients can be found on the City of Kingston website.”   

13. Another Scam!
Received Jan 12 from The Kingstonist – Tori Stafford
Police warn of ‘unscrupulous’ HVAC company targeting Kingston residents
“Kingston Police are warning local residents after receiving numerous complaints regarding an HVAC company and its sales personnel based out of Mississauga.
According to police, the company is phoning area homeowners – and predominantly targeting seniors – telling them that they will send someone to their house to inspect their water heater.
Once an appointment has been arranged, police say that a salesman shows up in person at the residence, looks at the homeowner’s water heater, and claims that it is out of date and needs to be replaced. The salesman then gets the owner to sign some forms, and photographs the homeowner’s driver’s licence and a void cheque.
‘Some of the forms are in fact a loan application for the homeowner to finance a water heater that is thousands of dollars above the average cost of such an item’ Kingston Police said in a press release on
Police say that, while there is no criminal offence involved, these instances may be possible violations of the Consumer Protection Act.
‘Under the Act, certain products – including furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters – cannot be sold at your home unless you initiate the transaction,’ Kingston Police said, noting that, in order for a homeowner to initiate the transaction, they would need to call or email a business and ask them to come to the home for the purpose of entering a contract.
Police also note that, for those who become involved with the company, once a written copy of the contract is obtained, the homeowner still has a 10-day ‘cooling off period’ during which time they can cancel the contract.
‘If you don’t receive a written contract, or the contract you receive doesn’t include required information about the products or services, you can cancel the contract within one year from the day you entered it,’ Kingston Police further explained.
Kingston Police are advising residents not to give their identity information to strangers or individuals who have shown up or contacted them without solicitation.
‘Do not let people that you haven’t called yourself into your home,’ police said.
Kingston Police also recommends checking with local businesses to get an idea of what a product or service should cost before agreeing to any contract.
‘It is always a good idea to get quotes from different companies and contractors,’ they said.
Police are encouraging homeowners to educate themselves on their rights under the Consumer Protection Act by visiting the Ministry’s website at:
Complaints concerning such companies and their practices should be made to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. This can be done online at:
Kingston Police are asking the public to share this information with friends and family, and specifically with seniors who appear to be the most commonly targeted individuals in this scheme.”

Also included in The Kingstonist via Jessica Foley:
OPP state indicators of common scams include: 

– Request for gift cards
– Computer support service calling you
– Request for bitcoin
– Demands or persuasive caller 
– Random requests for personal information 
Beware of high pressure sales tactics.
If in doubt, request the information in writing and watch for urgent pleas that play on emotion. 
It is important to remember who originated the request, OPP said in the release.
Did the individual call a trusted number for assistance, or receive an unknown call from a potential fraudster?
If ever unsure, consider researching a contact number and call the company/organization back. Reports of fraud should be directed to local police and the CAFC. 
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police have more information on fraud.

14.Turning the Tide on Climate
– 350 Kingston Presents Weekly Seminar Series
Monday nights, 7:00 to 8:00 pm on Zoom

Chance to have climate questions answered by knowledgeable experts!
These days, it is almost a cliché to say that we are at a turning point in world history. Everyone knows we must reduce global carbon emissions dramatically in the next decade or we’re headed for disaster. But what are the best practices for turning the ship around?  The idea with this series is to hear from Kingston-based scientists and activists on the front lines of the climate emergency and to give you a chance to ask them your most pressing questions. The series welcomes people who don’t normally think much about climate change and are hesitant about political spin.
Because we want participants to have ample opportunity to ask questions, each week’s event will start with a 15–20-minute presentation by the speaker on Zoom, followed by a 40-minute question period. What are your questions? What do you want to know more about? Now is your chance to ask.
Jan. 25 – Farming and Food in the Climate Crisis with Mara Shaw
Feb. 1 – Lakes in a Changing Climate with Dr. John Smol
Feb. 8 – Waste, Recycling and Climate Change with Dr. Myra Hird
Feb. 15 – Climate Emergency Economics with Steven Moore
Feb. 22 – Health and the Environment with Dr. Cathy Vakil
Mar. 1 – Youth and Climate Action with Isidora Ferguson
The series will continue in the spring. Dates TBA. Some highlights include: Kyla Tienhaara on The Green New Deal, Marcus Taylor on Climate Justice, Joyce Hostyn on Forests and Plants, David MacDonald on Renewables and Their Discontents, and Jeremy Milloy on Cities and Global Warming.
More Info and RSVP Sign-Up:

15. American Eel Update from Ottawa River Keeper
Received from the Ottawa River Keeper, Jan 19, 2021
MARY’S NOTE:  Only 1% of the native American Eel population now exist in the Great Cataraqui River.  Most are chewed up at the dam in Cornwall.  This article draws attention to current important concerns.

Last fall, the news broke that the Carillon Dam would be undergoing massive renovations. The price tag was a whopping $750 million dollars. But wait… what does that have to do with eels? Well don’t worry, we have the answer to that question, as well as many more in this list of FAQs on the Carillon Dam and the American eel.
For example, why are dams having such an impact on eels?  The answer is that the American eel is actually migratory.  It spawns in the ocean, specifically the Sargasso Sea, and then the young eels make their way upstream to freshwater ecosystems to live out most of their adult lives.
Dams, like the Carillon, prevent this upstream migration almost entirely. Plus, they can also be deadly for adult eels that migrate downstream back to the ocean, often killing the estimated 20% of those eels that are unfortunate enough to pass through the turbines at the Carillon dam.
Has anything been done to try to mitigate these impacts?  If eel ladders/passage could help mitigate the dams impact, why hasn’t one been constructed yet? 

FAQs on the Carillon Dam and the American eel
In the fall of 2020 it was announced that the Carillon Dam, the most significant barrier to American eel migration into the Ottawa River watershed, would be undergoing major renovations. We’ve assembled a series of questions and answers to bring you up to speed on the relationship between the dam and this endangered fish species in our watershed.
What and where is the Carillon dam?
Carillon is a run-of-river power plant operated by Hydro-Québec. It is located on the Ottawa River, just over 100 km downstream from the National Capital Region, and just upstream of Rigaud and Oka, Québec. The dam is transboundary; its turbines are located on the Québec side of the river, while the spillway is located on the Ontario side.
Carillon has the most generating capacity of any dam in the Ottawa River watershed, with its 14 units generating 753 MW, enough to power about 150,000 households. As it sits near the mouth of the Ottawa River, the dam sees an immense volume of water pass through it, with a mean flow rate of 2,000 m3/s, which can reach levels up to and beyond 8,000 m3/s during the spring freshet.
When was the dam built?
The dam was completed in the early 1960s, at a time when fish passage was rarely taken into account in the construction of these structures.
What impact did the dam’s construction have on the American eel population in the watershed?
Since the construction of the dam, the Ottawa River’s eel population has collapsed dramatically, by as much as 99%. There are many factors that have contributed to this collapse, but experts agree that dams, in particular the Carillon dam as it relates to the Ottawa River population, are the primary culprits.
Why are dams having such an impact on eels?
American eels are migratory, catadromous fish; they spawn in the ocean (the Sargasso sea) and live their adult lives in freshwater. Dams impact fish migrating in both directions. In the downstream direction, a portion of the fish migrating back to the ocean are killed when they are struck by turbines. It is difficult to know exactly how many in the case of the Carillon dam, but estimates hover around 20%.
Perhaps even more dramatic is the impact the dam has had in the upstream direction, on young eels attempting to migrate into the Ottawa River. In short, they can’t. The dam is the very first one eels encounter as they enter the Ottawa River, and it acts as a practically impassable barrier, due to the absence of eel passage infrastructure (i.e. an “eel ladder”).
Has anything been done to try to mitigate these impacts?
Yes, but not nearly enough. We need to do more.
For several years, the Québec and Ontario governments, in conjunction with Hydro-Québec and other collaborators (including Ottawa Riverkeeper) have been conducting a “trap and transfer” program, which involves capturing approximately 400 eels in the St. Lawrence, tagging them, then physically transporting them around the dam to be released upstream in the Ottawa River. We recognize that this is an important measure, but it is a stop-gap approach at best. It cannot be considered a permanent solution, and it does not allow for passage of sufficient numbers that would lead to a significant population recovery.
Moreover, for several years the Québec government has been promising an ‘action plan’ to guide recovery efforts. This plan has yet to be published, and we look forward to seeing what measures are being proposed to respond to the dramatic collapse of the American eel.
Ontario published their American Eel Recovery Strategy several years ago, and it offers insight into their plans for the protection and recovery of this species, including to “Strategically restore access to habitat within the historical range of the American Eel”, which  specifically mentions the Ottawa River.
(MARY’S NOTE: This also affects the Great Cataraqui River!)

Knowing that an eel ladder would mitigate the dam’s impact on migration, why hasn’t one been constructed yet?
We have been asking ourselves that question, too! Here are three reasons that are often cited by authorities.
Installing eel ladders can be costly, into the millions of dollars for a large structure. While the cost argument is frequently brought up, to our knowledge, there has never been a costing exercise by Hydro-Québec to put a price tag on an eel ladder at Carillon. 
Invasive species.
We’ve heard from authorities that the dam’s “barrier effect” also has a positive impact because it blocks invasive species such as Asian carp from entering the Ottawa River system. While we don’t disagree with that fact, it’s certainly not an argument to oppose an eel ladder! As good luck would have it, eel biology is such that ladders can be custom-made to allow for eel passage, while not allowing invasive species to make it through. (For example, eels can climb at a much steeper angle than other fish). 
A contested need for it.
To date, the Québec government has questioned the need to allow eel migration back into the Ottawa River system. We’ve heard many arguments to this effect. One is that the number of eels attempting to migrate into the Ottawa River is now so low that it’s not worth the investment relative to other eel recovery measures elsewhere in Québec. To this we would give two responses: 
First, that the number of migrating eels being impeded by the Carillon dam is currently unknown – the latest data being over 10 years old. Ottawa Riverkeeper proposed to conduct – and pay for – new research on this front, but unfortunately authorization was denied by the Québec government. 
Second, those numbers are almost certainly low, but that is precisely because the dam has caused a population collapse! If we don’t fix the root cause of this problem, we are locking ourselves into a spiral that will lead to the extirpation of eels in the Ottawa River watershed.
Why is this the time to push for eel passage at Carillon?
The best time to add fish passage infrastructure to a dam is when it is being upgraded. Hydro-Québec is moving forward with a massive $750 million dollar overhaul of this dam. (To put that into context, the entire annual budget of Québec’s Ministry of Forest, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) is significantly smaller, at only $564 million). This is literally a once-in-a-generation opportunity to devote a small fraction of the costs of this upgrade to adding permanent fish passage infrastructure. An upgrade such as this could help the population recover. The next time such an opportunity presents itself it may be too late.
More Info including great pics?

16. Advance Care Planning Offered Online
Received Jan 21 from The Kingstonist – Jessica Foley
Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL), in partnership with Compassionate Communities Kingston, are offering free sessions on Advance Care Planning through KFPL Zoom programming.
“Have you thought about what would be most important to you if you became seriously ill or injured, or if you were near the end of life?” asks Anne Hall, Librarian, Programming & Outreach at KFPL, in a release from the library dated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. “Who would speak for you if you were unable, and have you communicated your beliefs, values and wishes clearly to them? Advance Care Planning helps you arrange for your future care needs so your values, beliefs and wishes will be respected and carried out.  It can lessen some of the stress on your family during an anxious time.”
A 2019 Nanos poll found that while 80 per cent of Canadian think it’s important to do Advance Care Planning, fewer than one in five actually have a plan, only 36 per cent have discussed it with family and friends, and only 8 per cent with their health care provider, according to the release.  KFPL says only 7 per cent have spoken to a lawyer.
Compassionate Communities Kingston offers a free interactive online seminar on Advance Care Planning, to show how to think about your values and wishes, and how to get conversations started with family and friends, the library said in the release. Take part to discover what to include in your Advance Care Plan, how to choose a Substitute Decision Maker, and how to clearly communicate your future care needs to them. According to the release, planning now can allow you to maintain responsibility for your own autonomy and help to avoid family disputes or agonizing dilemmas.
KFPL and Compassionate Communities Kingston will be offering several sessions of this seminar, in two stages: first, a 90-minute Introduction, and then a 90-minute follow-up session. Advance Care Planning: An Introduction will be offered three times in February:
Tuesday, February 2, 2021: 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 18, 2021: 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 27: 2 to 3:30 p.m. 

The follow-up Advance Care Planning: A Review for Past Attendees will take place a month later, allowing you to start your Plan and to begin those conversations with family and friends before coming back with additional questions:
Thursday, March 4, 2021: 2 to 3:30 p.m. 
Monday, March 22, 2021: 7 to 8:30 p.m. 
Saturday, April 10, 2021: 2 to 3:30 p.m. 

All three Introduction sessions are identical, as are all three Review sessions. KFPL says space is limited, so please register for only one Introduction and one Review seminar. Register online at or by phone at (613) 549-8888. A Zoom link will be emailed immediately upon registration. 

17. Letter from Henry Lickers, Indigenous Rep on the International Joint Commission: Water is Alive: A Conversation
Canadian IJC Commissioner Henry Lickers authored this article for the fall 2020 edition of the Lakes Letter, a publication of the International Association for Great Lakes Research. See also, the IJC’s series on Indigenous Knowledge.
Henry Lickers is a Haudenosaunee citizen of the Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan. He is a Canadian commissioner of the International Joint Commission and was the director and environmental science officer of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne for 43 years.

“Shekon (Greetings), people of IAGLR and the Great Lakes. I hope this letter finds you and your family in good health and spirits during these trying times. I write this letter to share my experiences as an Indigenous scientist. I, too, have had problems talking to and understanding the knowledge of my people, the Haudenosaunee. I hope that by sharing my story, you will become more aware of and curious about Indigenous ways and the importance of drawing from multiple knowledge systems.
I was encouraged by my grandparents and my mother to get an education to understand the ways of science and technology. I was never a really good student since I was too busy observing and living in the environment. Book learning was seen as important, but only as long as it didn’t interfere with my experiences.
When I was 12, I left the Six Nations Indian Reserve and moved to downtown Toronto. What a culture shock! People in Toronto were always busy and placed entirely too much emphasis on progress to notice their beautiful surroundings. But for a boy with a bicycle, Toronto was a wondrous place. Within the first few months, I knew where all the nut, fruit, and medicine trees were within 10 kilometers of my house. I also found out that a young ragamuffin was not viewed as suspicious, so I knocked on people’s doors to ask if I could harvest the nuts, apples, and chestnut husks from their trees. In most cases, the homeowners saw these trees as nuisances that dirtied their lawns, so I always agreed to clean up their yards and make them look nice. Sometimes the homeowners even paid me!
I took the fruit, nuts, and medicines home, where my mother made pies, apple sauce, and nut cakes and used the money for important things like clothes and shoes. I felt like a real hunter in the big city helping to take care of my family. Some months later, I realized that Toronto’s alleys were home to some of the biggest raccoons, squirrels, and skunks that I had ever seen. I decided to operate a trapline in the alley north of Bloor Street. I’d take the skins home to Brantford, where the fur buyers would ask where I got such high-quality pelts. I’d just cross my arms as only a boy can do and say that this was Traditional Knowledge of my people that I couldn’t divulge. I later learned that harvesting Canada geese for my mother’s wonderful goose soup was perhaps illegal at the time­—indigenous harvesting practice hadn’t yet been won—but I only took what was needed and helped keep the population down.
My school friends must have thought it strange that the apple sauce in my lunch was red (apples with the skins) and my “chicken” and rice soup (goose and wild rice) smelled different from theirs; even my bread was strange—Indian fry bread. They liked my nut loaf and maple tarts and would trade handsomely for these. I discovered that the Traditional Knowledge of the Haudenosaunee was not only important to my well-being and prestige, it was also profitable.
Lake Ontario, Toronto Islands, and the many ravines in the city were the places where I could be myself, an Indigenous boy looking for a natural adventure. On the reserve, I had always wondered what job and who would pay me to play in nature. I was naturally drawn to the water, which seems to link everything together, and I decided to become a biologist. I worked as hard as I could, sometimes being irresponsible and crazy but always focused on the goal. I went to a new university in Peterborough called Trent University, which seemed perfect for me, got married, and ended up in graduate school at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. The Maori people there taught me to be myself and that the knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples may not be understood by the “new people,” but it was our responsibility to show the “new people” the way to live peacefully on the land. This was the same message I had heard from my great grandmother and grandparents.
So, what does this have to do with science and Traditional Knowledge? I think everything.
All my experiences have led me to this truth: that science and Traditional Knowledge need each other to be a whole knowledge system.

This system includes both community knowledge and the ways in which knowledge is passed from one person to another, one group to another, and one nation to another. I call this a Naturalized Knowledge System that is connected to a given place. It is the knowledge gathered by the people in order to live in that place, and it allows the transfer of knowledge.
My knowledge includes that which I have gained from all the areas and peoples I have met along the way. I keep their stories, understanding, and wisdom as if they were my own, but remember these people and acknowledge them whenever I use their knowledge. Some of my teachers were not even humans. As a boy, I believed that animals and plants could talk to me, but just used different forms of communication. Trees and plants used smells and colors to tell me about their lives, and the badger talked to me using his language of grunts and whistles. Sometimes I didn’t understand, but if I listened hard enough I could understand which grubs he liked the best. I lived in a magical world of sights, sounds, smells, and feelings. My grandfather told me everything had a spirit, and that I could talk with them if I listened closely enough. Only recently through my daughter did I learn that the stones on the ground could tell us very old stories, although they talk very, very slowly. All knowledge is story told to us in different forms—from scientific journals and great tomes to jokes and tales—each with their own lessons and facts.
When I lived in the city, I met people who carried just one story as their profession. Scientists believed that science was the only factual story, economists believed that finance was not connected to the physical world, and doctors that the body acted like a machine. While these stories are useful, they don’t describe the world entirely. To carry out their work, these professionals need to reduce their understanding to a very small portion of the whole, and by doing so, they lose much of their ability to understand the world. I have been blessed to have met some giants in the fields of knowledge whose very presence has influenced how I think, and not all of them have been indigenous peoples. Truly great scientists are interested in everything, truly great economists see the links between the physical world and finance, and the greatest doctors see the humanity and spirits of their patients—and they use these attributes as tools in their professions.
Naturalized Knowledge Systems expand the way we look at the world, and their tenets become important to people who live close to the land and environment. The basic tenets are as follows:
The Earth is our mother;
Cooperation is the way to survive;
Knowledge is powerful only if it’s shared;
Responsibility is the best practice;
Everything is connected to everything;
Place is important, and finally,
The spiritual world is not distant from the Earth.

As a society removes itself from the environment, these tenets are lost, and the first loss seems to be the recognition that the earth is our mother. With this loss, the society begins to lose its respect for women at the basic level. Yet as the environment and the tenets become more important, women become more important, too. Each of these tenets can be expanded with a little thought, and people who live on the land and depend upon the land and waters soon become steeped in these themes.
The question that seems to occupy everyone’s mind is how do scientists integrate Traditional Knowledge into modern sciences. In order to evaluate a scientific fact’s validity, there are a number tests that it must pass. The fact has to be reproducible, consistent, and verifiable. Traditional Knowledge uses these same tools to judge the worthiness of a fact. Description, observation, and analysis all combine to establish the truth of a fact. The reliance on a fact is tested every time that fact is needed. In the natural environment, the result of a bad fact is usually more catastrophic than in a lab. The placement of known fruit and nut trees in Toronto was tested every time I left the house to harvest. If I could not reproduce the experiment, it meant no food. While this may not have meant death to my family, it could have meant hardship. Not having the right facts or knowledge meant a loss of prestige for the hunter. Getting it right meant honor and respect in my community. Scientists are honored for being right, and they take precautions to test and validate their information in the same way a hunter validates his.
Scientists and Indigenous People can work together by building a relationship with each other and benefitting from the knowledge they both have. This relationship is based upon the science of relationship that the Haudenosaunee have been practicing for hundreds of years. The Haudenosaunee call this the Great Law of Peace, the Great Way of Peace, or the Way to be Nice, and it can be explained using three words. I have taken the liberty of translating these words into English as closely as possible: respect, equity, and empowerment.
The Great Way of Peace

While respect sounds simple, it has some tools that can assist us: Understanding. You can’t have respect for someone unless you try to understand them. Communication. You can’t respect someone unless you communicate with them. Consensus. There is not respect unless you form some type of consensus with each other. You do not need total agreement. Mediation. When you disagree, you need a process of mediation to get to consensus. Honor is that quality of truth that builds up through actions or deeds. As we say, respect is earned, not given. It is amazing how little respect is needed to start a relationship. 
In the modern world, equity is automatically thought of as money, but in the building of a relationship, knowledge is far more important. Knowledge brings us together and helps solidify the respect we have for one another. Also important to equity are networks—who knows whom and how they can help bring sweat equity to the relationship. Personnel are the people skilled enough to carry out the work, and having the time to do it is also equity. Social/political power or the prestige a person brings to the relationship can also help drive the action forward as more people add their skills to the relationship, but money and finance are also important. We say that equity must be balanced or someone will feel cheated and disrespected. A small amount of equity at the beginning of a relationship may prove vital to its existence. Among Indigenous People, the expression of thanksgiving in an opening or a meal shared are seen as respectful equity. 
Since the Haudenosaunee languages are verb based, we use peace as a verb; you must do peace or wage peace. These actions help to build relationships and show our sincerity in doing so. Application is to do what we say we will do. So many times we only discuss but never act. Consider authorship, which to academia is a tool of empowerment. When people come to our community to build a relationship, they collect information to use in a book or for the advancement of their careers, but often they don’t acknowledge the people who supplied the information. Sharing authorship of a paper can increase the empowerment of all the people who took part, even the local sources of information. Credibility and partnerships are built, and we accept the responsibilities for our actions and deeds. All of this adds to the empowerment of the relationship.

The Haudenosaunee say that with a little respect, equity, and empowerment, we build a joyful relationship, and we want to do it again. Only this time, we are willing to add more respect and equity and empower ourselves to build better and better relationships. In my grandmother’s words, “we learn how to be nice to each other” and the Great Way of Peace has accomplished a seemingly impossible task. It is interesting that the Great Way of Peace can be used to build a relationship, but it can also be used to analyze our failures to do so.
I know this narrative is part story, part fact, and part reminiscence; that is the way Indigenous People pass knowledge to one another. When I was a boy, my great grandmother would tell me stories that I didn’t always understand, but the stories were exciting and I liked them. It wasn’t until years later that I got the “a ha” moment when I understood the story. In the relationship between IAGLR, the Great Lakes, and Indigenous Peoples, there will be many “eureka” moments in the future. I just hope that you’ll remember this story as well. My great grandmother would be pleased.
Skennen (In Peace),
Henry Lickers”

18. The Sixth Great Lake is Under Your Feet
Received from FLOW, Jan 18, 2012 – Dave Dempsey, Traverse City,  Michigan
It’s natural to stand on the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes and admire their vastness and majesty. But another abundant water resource in the basin is out of sight and rarely commands such appreciation.
That’s groundwater. Between 20-40 percent of the water budget of the lakes
 (the total water flowing in and out of the system) originates as groundwater. Without this unseen water, the Great Lakes would be dramatically different from those we know. Strengthening public appreciation of and public policy protecting groundwater is a fundamental part of Great Lakes stewardship.
Groundwater fills the pores and fractures in underground materials such as sand, gravel and other rock. It is not an underground river or lake. But because of its sheer volume, scientists have dubbed groundwater in the Great Lakes basin as the sixth Great Lake.
The volume of fresh groundwater in the basin is about equal to the volume of water in Lake Huron, according to a 2015 report to the Great Lakes Executive Committee by the Annex 8 Subcommittee under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).
Groundwater is critical to the ecology and economy of the Great Lakes region. Because it remains at a near-constant, cold temperature year-round, the discharge of groundwater to rivers supports trout streams. Groundwater also is crucial to the health of a rare type of wetland called prairie fens and supports the region’s public health and economy.
In Michigan, for example, groundwater is the source of drinking water for 45 percent of the state’s population, important to agricultural irrigation and a significant factor in manufacturing.
Despite its value, the region’s groundwater is widely contaminated from sources such as failing septic systems, inappropriate application of animal waste and agricultural fertilizers, abandoned industrial sites where chemicals were used and leaking landfills.
The widespread detection of groundwater contaminated by a class of chemicals known as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has revealed a source not previously recognized: airports and military bases where firefighting foams were heavily used in training exercises.
Cleaning up contaminated groundwater is often difficult and expensive.Sometimes, government agencies choose to leave it in place. The state of Michigan, for instance, has spent more than $27 million to provide affected homeowners with a clean public water supply rather than removing a toxic chemical known as TCE from a 13 trillion gallon plume of contaminated groundwater originating from a former chemical handling facility in Mancelona, east of Traverse City.
Although the exact influence of groundwater on the quality of the surface waters of the Great Lakes has not been pinpointed, plumes of contaminated groundwater often discharge to lakes and streams.

The top of the surface where groundwater occurs is called the water table….The ground below the water table is saturated with water (the saturated zone). Aquifers are replenished by the seepage of precipitation that falls on the land, but there are many geologic, meteorologic, topographic, and human factors that determine the extent and rate to which aquifers are refilled with water. Rocks have different porosity and permeability characteristics, which means that water does not move around the same way in all rocks. Thus, the characteristics of groundwater recharge vary all over the world. Credit: US Geological Survey

“Discharge of groundwater is likely an important vector [path] for some contaminants that affect the Great Lakes,” according to a 2016 report to the Great Lakes Executive Committee by the Annex 8 Subcommittee.
The GLWQA recognizes the interconnection between groundwater and the waters of the Great Lakes. It calls for Canada and the United States to identify groundwater impacts on the surface waters of the Great Lakes; analyze contaminants, including nutrients in groundwater, derived from both point and nonpoint sources; assess information gaps and science needs related to groundwater; and analyze other factors, such as climate change, that affect the impact of groundwater on Great Lakes water quality.
Individuals contribute to groundwater contamination, and also stewardship.  Simple actions you can take to protect groundwater include properly disposing of household hazardous wastes, reducing lawn fertilizer use or using phosphorus-free fertilizers, and supporting community groundwater mapping and education efforts.
Groundwater is out of sight and often out of mind, but its importance to life and the quality of the Great Lakes is undeniable. Taking care of the lakes means taking care of the groundwater that feeds them.

19.  From the Chamber of Marine Commerce: Line 5 + Carp + Lake Ice
(MARY’S NOTE: As you may be aware, we are following the Line 5 pipeline discussion from Michigan as well as the Line 3 discussion from Minnesota because these issues may, long-term, have ramifications for our Line 9 issue.  A rupture in Line 9 could cause untold damage to the Great Cataraqui River.)
Trudeau asked to help save Line 5 pipeline, Owen Sound Sun Times (Owen Sound, Ontario), January 1, 2021.  Sarnia-area politicians and labour leaders want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appeal directly to U.S. President Joe Biden to keep the Line 5 oil and gas pipeline running through Michigan, where the state’s Democratic governor has ordered it shut down.  Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley wrote to the prime minister this month challenging the legality of the governor’s order and asking Trudeau to speak with Biden directly on the issue.  Line 5 carries western oil and natural gas liquids to the refineries, chemical plants and propane users in the U.S. Midwest, as well as Eastern Canada.
Asian carp gauntlet project ‘off to the races’ with Army Corps funding, MLive (Ann Arbor, Michigan), January 20, 2021.  Efforts to stop invasive silver and bighead carp from reaching Lake Michigan by fortifying a chokepoint in the Chicago waterway system are accelerating thanks to new funding for project design and engineering in the latest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budget.  The Army Corps included $3.8 million for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam gauntlet project in its fiscal year 2021 work plan, released on Tuesday, January 19.  The ambitious project would reconfigure the Brandon Road lock with a gauntlet of fortification to hamper invasive silver and bighead carp from moving upstream, such as an electric barrier, bubble barrier, acoustic deterrents and flushing lock.  The upgrades are meant to reduce the chances fish could slip through while still allowing barge traffic to pass.
The Great Lakes are nearly ice-free in late January, part of a long-term trend, The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.), January 22, 2021.  It’s late January, and less than 4 percent of the surface area of the Great Lakes is covered with ice.  The lakes are almost entirely ice-free, and there’s not much to suggest that’s about to change soon.  On Lake Erie, typically the most prone to significant freeze, only about 3 percent of the lake surface is covered by ice. Lake Ontario, meanwhile, is hovering at just above 1 percent ice coverage, while Lake Michigan, doubling that, still only sits a tad over 2 percent.  Lake Superior is seeing the most rapid decadal decline in maximum ice coverage, falling at an average of 8.2 percent per decade.

20. COVID 19 in Animals
Received from National Geographic, Jan 14, 2021 COVID-19 and gorillas: At least three western lowland gorillas in the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for the coronavirus. The gorillas, who live in a troop of eight, are expected to recover, zoo executive director Lisa Peterson tells Nat Geo’s Natasha Daly. Gorillas are the seventh non-human species to have contracted the virus naturally, following confirmed infections in tigerslionsmink, snow leopards, dogs, and domestic cats

21. Protest Ontario’s Long-Term Care Crisis
Received from the Ontario Health Coalition
Join mass live-stream protest on Facebook.
Friday, Jan 29, 10 am – 12:30 pm
You CAN make a difference.

The protest will be interactive & live streamed – Watch online speeches, post your comments & reactions live, join in online actions through the protest, receive “Save Our Seniors” window signs and post pictures, share your stories. 
To join? Go to the Ontario Health Coalition page on Facebook 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Friday January 29 to watch & join in!

22. Chilli Pepper Chemical for Solar Panels?
Received from New Scientist, Jan 13, 2021 – Karina Shah
Chemical that makes chilli peppers spicy boosts solar panel cells
Solar cells treated with capsaicin – the compound that makes chilli peppers hot – have been found to be more efficient at converting solar energy.
Ultra-thin solar cells made with lead-based materials can absorb light more efficiently than silicon-based solar cells, but they often can’t convert energy as efficiently because they lose some of it to heat. It turns out the solution is to add a bit of heat.
Qinye Bao at East China Normal University in Shanghai and his colleagues added capsaicin to these ultra-thin perovskite solar cells during the manufacturing process. Bao and his team suspected that capsaicin might have an energy-boosting effect because it can free up electrons that can go on to carry charge.
They tested the capsaicin-treated solar cells in the laboratory by exposing them to artificial light to simulate sunlight and measuring the electrical current running through them.
Read more: Changing how we make solar panels could reduce their carbon emissions
Capsaicin made the solar cells more efficient, yielding a power conversion of 21.88 per cent, versus 19.1 per cent without capsaicin. The team then analysed the solar cells with spectroscopy while conducting energy and found that the addition of capsaicin did indeed lead to a greater number of free electrons available to conduct current at the solar cells’ surface. This reduced energy leakage via heat.
The exact mechanism behind this improvement is still being debated. Bao and his colleagues hypothesise that capsaicin molecules react with the lead ions in the solar cell to free up more electrons to conduct current.
“It is our priority to select sustainable forest-based biomaterials,” says Bao. “Capsaicin is low-cost, natural, sustainable and Earth-abundant.”
Many natural organic compounds are being tested to see if they have the same effect as capsaicin, says Tsutomu Miyasaka at the University of Yokohama in Japan, who invented perovskite solar cells in 2009. They improve the stability and efficiency of the solar cells at a low cost, he says.
Journal reference: Joule, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.12.009
More on these topics:
solar power
materials science
Read more:

22. Lovely Old SeaScapes

23. Kingston Fire Fighters Rescue Deer from Thin Ice
Received from The Kingstonist, Jan 20, 2021 – Cris Vilela
Kingston Fire & Rescue (KFR) crews responded to an emergency call on Bath Rd in the area of Collins Bay on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, where witnesses said a deer had made its way onto thin ice and appeared trapped.
Upon arrival at approximately 1:10 p.m., firefighters put on their ice water rescue gear and began to make their way to the deer. It would have been a difficult rescue, however, nature cooperated, according to KFR.
“The deer took advantage of the path made by crews, and swam back to the shoreline,” said KFR in a release.
KFR reminds all residents that ice is never 100 per cent safe. “Please stay off lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and reservoirs. Do not put yourself and others at risk,” said KFR.

24. Plague Walks, Part 1: Don’t Feed the Belle Park Deer
Received from the Kingston Local, Jan 18, 2021 – Jamie Swift
Here is the link with Hilbert Buist’s and Martine Bresson’s great pics.
Otherwise – read on.
“Be a nature noticer, not a destroyer of signs
Heading off one early January afternoon for what I’ve come to call my “Plague walks,” I noticed that the street trees were sporting a delicate dressing of fresh, light snow. It was dead calm, the thermometer hovering just above freezing, perfect conditions for fashioning snowballs and the like. The snow was sticking to every branch.
The scene along the Anglin Bay waterfront was that much more entrancing. No annoying automotive hum on damp pavement. And turning along the path through Belle Park and onto Belle Island was, well, sublime is inadequate. All the island undergrowth was feathered with a delicate, lacey white frosting.
The coating seemed to have muted things completely. Nary a sound on the island. Not the usual whine of the downstream causeway or construction cacophony from upstream work on the Span to Sprawl, aka the “Third Crossing.”
Arriving at the island, I’d noticed a handwritten sign on the gate that barred four wheel traffic from this little bit of Kingston wilderness that had been used by Indigenous peoples long before colonization. PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE DEER! the sign pleaded.
I’d heard tell of deer on Belle Island and the adjacent park, the former golf course that had replaced the wetland that the city, in its wisdom, had previously replaced with a municipal garbage dump — and eventually been convicted and fined for polluting the Cataraqui River. (But that’s a reminder story about City Hall’s sorry record for another time.)
We live in a small city, so it wasn’t hard to track down the fellow who had put up the sign. Martine Bresson, who makes the fine photos that often enhance this column, put me in touch with Hilbert Buist.
Hilbert, a pastry chef by trade and ardent naturalist by avocation, lives in the Inner Harbour neighborhood. He had put up a sign in the spring, announcing the birth of Belle Island’s two fawns. He had been keeping an eye on the mother and offspring ever since. It would be an understatement to describe his enthusiasm for the island’s natural beauty as keen.
“It pretty amazing that we have all this right here in the city of Kingston,” he exclaimed. “A piece of wilderness!”
Hilbert is an admirer of the distinguished English writer Robert Macfarlane, a walker-writer and observer of landscape, nature and place. Macfarlane has hiked to lofty heights (his first book was the massively successful Mountains of the Mind) and explored the scary depths of caves in an epic exploration of Earth’s depths, Underland. Hilbert and a friend were reading a Macfarlane book when they came across an Important Word.
“I’m a noticer,” he said, tipping his hat to Macfarlane.
His observations haven’t been limited to big creatures like deer. Hilbert reports seeing species of fungi in the island’s splendid oak-hickory forest, not particularly rare for the Kingston area.
“But it’s the diversity of fungi for such a small place that’s unbelievable, mind boggling. A variety that’s developed over centuries.”
As for his sign about feeding the deer, it’s part of an unfolding story. The fawns were abandoned by their mother in September. Hilbert worries about well-meaning but ignorant people leaving oats and hay, threatening the deer. Deer depend on woody browse of forest understory for wintertime sustenance.
He put up another sign in mid-December after coming across open packages of sugary breakfast cereal. “I looked at it and said to myself ‘Ewww! What’s that brown crap on top?’ It’s cinnamon!”
In addition to pleading with people not to feed the deer, Hilbert’s sign explained that Their stomachs are adapted to woody material. Eating anything else (which they love) can make them weak, sick, and can lead to death!
Hilbert worries that the deer are hemmed in by the city with nowhere else to go. Coyotes are a concern. As are scofflaw owners of off-leash dogs; the little forest has become increasingly frequented by walkers like myself during the Plague. We’re just visitors but, the activist naturalist insists, the little wilderness pocket is home for the juvenile deer.
“They don’t know any other place than this place,” he insisted. “They need to be left alone.”
Lately Hilbert has noticed that the deer, one female and a male, have recently started to pass more time on the adjacent tannery lands. He figures the virulently toxic space is, ironically, safer. Fewer people, fewer off leash dogs. Perhaps fewer coyotes, intent on Bambicide.
Coyotes only moved east to Ontario in the 1940s, attracted by what prominent Kingston nature writer Wayne Grady calls “the rodent-rich grasslands we now call suburban parklands.” Belle Park comes to mind. Urban coyotes threaten domestic pets like cats, while aggravating dogs, on leash or off. Wayne has written that he “rather likes the idea” of coyotes “driving German shepherds mad by scent-marking their telephone poles.”
No one knows what will happen to the deer. Hilbert knows they’re running out of space. Would controversial local developer Jay Patry welcome wild tenants on the tannery lands? He intends to fill the 13-hectare contaminated tract with housing …. provided the public picks up (in the form of foregone charges and taxes) the tab for much of the $66 million cleanup cost.
Meanwhile, Hilbert’s Belle Island signs about keeping the deer safe — urging people stop feeding them the likes of Count Chocula and controlling their dogs — have been trashed. And, in a sign of the times that surely resonates with the anti-vaccination, anti-mask crowd, one of his signs had this added to it: “Please stop telling people what to do!”
But I’m among those who think that, as we head out on our Plague walks, people like Hilbert have valuable things to say. Let’s notice nature. And respect it.
News of Jamie Swift’s Plague walks will continue in the months to come.
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25. Time for a Laugh

So there we are.  I can’t believe how much stuff I didn’t include! – tons of interesting COVID updates, school openings, the heartbreaking homelessness situation worldwide, or the City’s help for businesses!  Do consider getting on the City’s news feed yourselves – as well as subscribing to The Kingstonist and the Kingston Local.
On to February and more sunny days!
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour