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June Newsletter 2022

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour
Thanks so much Debbie O’Grady for the Inner Harbour wildlife pic. Debbie posts a lot of great wildlife photos on Facebook.

1. Connect with Water through Nature Journaling Workshop – June 5
2. Beautiful Belle Island Video by Randy Cadue
3. Swim, Drink, Fish Water Event – June 8
4. Turtle Volunteer Opportunities
5. Commuter Challenge, 2022 – June 5-11
6. Inspiring Video from local H’Art Centre
7. Kingston at a Crossroads: Comment by Inner Harbour Businessman, Ric Barr
8. The Not-So-Reassuring News about COVID in Kingston: Comment by Dick Zoutman
9. Tannery Wildlife: Comment by Dr. Matt Rogalsky
10. LGBTQ Service at St. Georges Cathedral, June 12 during Pride Month
11. Styrofoam in the River
12. Thanks to Donors

1. Connect with Water through Nature Journaling Workshop
What: Connecting with water through nature journaling.
Being outside. Paying attention. Looking closely. Listening. Feeling.
Working on the theme of “How to Draw Water” participants will be guided to notice the sights, sounds, and movement around them and to give visual form to water-related experiences. No prior experience necessary.
Who: Corina Brdar (M.Sc.) is a Great Lakes-based ecologist and passionate nature journaller. 
Some of Corina’s deepest nature connections have been on Canada’s seashores while engaged in scientific, contemplative, and creative activities. Through her interdisciplinary approach of in situ sketches combined with science- and feelings-based notations she fosters present moment sensory and emotional connection between people and natural spaces.
More Info about Corina and this
The event will be introduced by an interactive performance of songs in honour of ocean stewardship and the sustainability of marine life led by The Rev.Wendy Luella Perkins, singer-songwriter, community artist/activist.
Where:  Doug Fluhrer Park, behind Rideaucrest Home, right on the river
What to Bring:  Please bring a sharpie marker, a notebook and pen, a folding chair, a sense of curiosity, as well as whatever you need to feel comfortable sitting outdoors at this time.
When: Sunday, June 5, 10:30 – noon
More Background Info: This event is presented in conjunction with Ocean Week and the International Nature Journaling Week. More details about events across Canada and the world available there and at
Contacts: Wendy Luella Perkins – and/or
Corina Brdar –

2. Beautiful Belle Island Video from Randy Cadue
Randy Cadue | Facebook

3. Swim, Drink, Fish Water Event – June 8
Received from the Kingston Whig Standard, May 31 – Ian MacAlpine
The group Swim Drink Fish will be holding Clean Water Kickoff and World Oceans Day on Wednesday, June 8, in Kingston, Toronto and Vancouver. The Kingston event is in partnership with the City of Kingston and River First YGK community group.
Swim, Drink, Fish was founded in 2001, and is dedicated to keeping public waterways and lakes clean for swimming, drinking and fishing.
The Kingston event goes from 6-9 p.m. at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston.
The group is celebrating the launch of its 2021 hub, monitoring reports, and will talk about water stewardship, connection and protection.
A news release said the event is an evening of learning and conversation about all things water.
Speaking at the Kingston event will be Mark Mattson, president of Swim Drink Fish and founder of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper; Neil Unsworth, manager of parks development for the City of Kingston; Michelle Clarabut, program and communications manager at the marine museum; and members of River First YGK community group.
“These water stewardship leaders from our community will start off the event sharing their stories of stewardship, protection and engagement in support of clean and accessible water in and around Toronto,” the release stated. Following presentations, Swim Drink Fish will have a discussion among participants on the state of the waters around Kingston.
“We’ll have a series of small-group round-table discussions where speakers and community members will come together to share perspectives and learn about our water,” the release said.
To register for the free event, go to

4. Turtle Volunteer Opportunities
Received from tara Bauer of Turtles Kingston, May 31

We are excited to be expanding our turtle conservation efforts to include monitoring nesting turtles in Kingston. Volunteering with Turtles Kingston helps us to protect more turtles in the area and to better understand the needs and presence of turtles! 

This particular volunteering opportunity provides you with a great reason to get outside for a couple hours throughout the summer. Being in nature is great for your physical and mental health – so why not monitor for turtles while you get the benefits of being outside?

If you live in Kingston, are interested in volunteering, and have the means to access the Kingston downtown area then please apply to be a volunteer by signing up to be a Turtles Kingston Member with the link in our bio (indicate you are interested in being a general volunteer and we will contact you with more details).

Volunteers will be asked to take walks in our ‘study area’ to observe and ID nesting turtles (the area will be disclosed at a later date only to those who go through the training process). Walks can be completed when volunteers are available but are preferred to be ~2 hours in length and during the morning or evenings. All volunteers will be required to submit their findings through a google form and upload photos to a shared folder. 

Once you have signed up as a Turtles Kingston Member we will email you a volunteer agreement form that must be signed before any additional information is disclosed. If you are already a Turtles Kingston Member and have indicated you want to be a ‘general volunteer’ you will receive an email from us. Our turtles are species at risk and subject to poaching which is why we take precautions to protect their locations. Once you have signed the volunteer agreement form further details will be provided as to the training location.

More Info and to sign up as a member of Turtles Kingston: Turtles Kingston
Thank you for being a Turtle Warrior!”

5. Commuter Challenge, 2022 – June 5 -11
Received from Sustainable Kingston, May 31
Kingston Leading the Way in Ontario with Commuter Challenge Registration
Thanks to businesses and organizations like CFB Kingston, Princess Auto, Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, and KFL&A Public Health, among others, Kingston has more registered workplaces and individuals than any other city in Ontario for this year’s Commuter Challenge.
However, if Kingston is going to  catch up with national leaders Winnipeg and Calgary, we need more workplaces to sign up!    
Held June 5-11, the Commuter Challenge is an annual national campaign designed to encourage Canadians to walk, cycle, carpool/ride-share, take transit and telecommute. 

To sign up your workplace:  
Choose a workplace ambassador. 
Register your workplace at
Encourage your colleagues to register under your workplace/organization profile on
From June 5 to 11, log your sustainable commute on (Your colleagues do the same on their own).  
More Info and to register Geoff Hendry, Manager of Communications and Business Development, at Sustainable Kingston at   
NOTE: It is also possible to do it on your own without a business affiliation.
Register today!

6. Inspiring Video from local H’Art Centre: Inclusive Arts for All Abilities

7. Kingston at a Crossroads: Comment by Inner Harbour Businessman, Ric Barr
Received June 3
Ever since the city allowed the Harbour Place Condo to be built in the 1980’s I have watched the total loss and disfigurement of Kingston’s greatest resource, its shoreline.
Now we are about to head in precisely the same direction with apparently the same outcome, but with even more disastrous potential for a ghetto at the old Davis Tannery site.
I have been to Bilbao and seen the Sydney Opera house, and many other world class
landmarks and what they can embody as well as mean to the spirit of their blessed

I am sure you have probably read the stories of the Gugenheim, but would like to enclose these articles in case you haven’t.
I have a strong feeling that Belle island and the tannery site as well as the path along towards the city center deserve a huge presence in recognition and dedicated to indigenous peoples. I also believe that we are at a crossroads where this is the last chance for Kingston to sit up and pay attention to what it has before it is lost forever.
I do not have a talent for pushing my opinions but I hope you and your powers might be able to help rescue something.
Thats it!
Ric Barr
Editor’s Note: I have included Ric’s two attachments, the first with a link and the second with a few paragraphs copied and pasted.
pollalis-case-BilbaoG-CaseA (

The Bilbao effect: how Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim started a global craze
“Opened 20 years ago this month, the glittering titanium museum had a wow factor that cities around the globe were soon clamouring to copy Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
Rowan Moore Sun 1 Oct 2017 07.30 BST

When he got to Bilbao a month before it opened, says Frank Gehry, “I went over the hill and saw it shining there. I thought: ‘What the fuck have I done to these people?’” The “it” is the Bilbao Guggenheim museum, which made both its architect Gehry and the Basque city world-famous. Its achievement, measured in much-repeated metrics of visitor numbers and economic uplift, in global recognition and media coverage, in being, in effect, an Instagram sensation long before anyone knew what that might be, is prodigious. It revived belief that architecture could be ambitious, beautiful and popular all at once, yet Gehry has always said that its success took him by surprise.
The museum was opened 20 years ago this month, by the king and queen of Spain, since when it has become the most influential building of modern times. It has given its name to the “Bilbao effect” – a phenomenon whereby cultural investment plus showy architecture is supposed to equal economic uplift for cities down on their luck. It is the father of “iconic” architecture, the prolific progenitor of countless odd-shaped buildings the world over. Yet rarely, if ever, have the myriad wannabe Bilbaos matched the original. This is probably because it came about through a coincidence of conditions that is unlikely to happen again.
Despite Gehry’s protestations of surprise, it is a project that has fulfilled its original intentions with precision. Juan Ignacio Vidarte, the museum’s director, whose involvement dates back to the time of its inception in the early 90s, says that it was meant to be “a transformational project”, a catalyst for a wider plan to turn around an industrial city in decline and afflicted by Basque separatist terrorism. It was to be “a driver of economic renewal”, an “agent of economic development” that would appeal to a “universal audience”, create a “positive image” and “reinforce self-esteem”. All of which it pretty much did. It has been rewarded with a steady million visitors a year, the 20 millionth having arrived shortly before the 20th birthday.
Gehry, who beat two other architects in the competition to design the building, recalls that he was asked to design what was then not called an icon. He was nervous. “They said: ‘Mr Gehry, we need the Sydney Opera House. Our town is dying.’ I looked at them and said: ‘Where’s the nearest exit? I’ll do my best but I can’t guarantee anything.’” So he came up with the convulsive, majestic, climactic assembly of titanium and stone, of heft and shimmer, a cross-breed of palazzo and ship that also flips its tail like a jumping fish, that now stands on the bank of the river Nervión.
It was not a wholly new set of ideas – Sydney, indeed, had demonstrated the value of the transformative landmark, as had Paris with the Pompidou Centre. Frankfurt, Glasgow and Pittsburgh had striven to raise themselves with culture and/or museum-building. What set Bilbao apart was the degree of contrast between the city’s lowly status and the artistic and architectural ambition of its proposed flagship.
They found an ally in the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation of New York, which had previous in commissioning icons from architects named Frank, in the form of Frank Lloyd Wright’s white spiralling museum on Fifth Avenue. It was then run by Thomas Krens, the holder of an MBA from Yale and a man formed by the risk-taking, deal-making culture of the 1980s. The Bilbao people had heard that the Guggenheim wanted to expand its European presence, and plans to do this by adding to the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice weren’t “going forward sweetly”, as Vidarte puts it, so they offered their battered city in place of La Serenissima. The Guggenheim, he says, liked their ideas and their seriousness.
An agreement was worked out, an early instance of the international trading of museum brands that also engenders, for example, the forthcoming Louvre Abu Dhabi, whereby the governments of the city, and of the province and region in which Bilbao stands, would pay for construction, and contribute to acquisitions and running costs. The Guggenheim Foundation would lend its name, works from its permanent collections and its management and curatorship. The arrangement wasn’t universally popular – it was called “McGuggenheim”, an act of cultural imperialism paid for by the people it subjected – but it gave Bilbao access to the high-quality art without which a museum would be pointless.
The Canadian-born Gehry, now aged 88, was then in his 60s, and he had a high reputation in the architectural world for his imaginative reinterpretations of the everyday structures of his adopted home of Los Angeles. He didn’t have the celebrity he gained later (an appearance on The Simpsons, for example), and although he was known for the freedom of his forms, the public hadn’t yet seen much of the complex, multiply curving shapes which, since Bilbao, are assumed to be his trademark…..

What both approaches, public and private, have in common is the use of spectacle to distract attention. Public authorities might not want you to notice that their regeneration plans are flimsy. Developers typically use eye-catching design to justify their stretching of planning restrictions, or to obscure the fundamental sameness and ordinariness of their products, or to sell buildings before they are realised – in some cases too to deodorise the dirty money that pays for the projects.
The use of spectacle was also the basis of the most sustained critique of the generally lauded Guggenheim, that its powerful look makes it a poor setting for art. For the critic Hal Foster, speaking in Sydney Pollack’s film Sketches of Frank Gehry, the building trumps the art it is supposed to serve: “he’s given his clients too much of what they want, a sublime space that overwhelms the viewer, a spectacular image that can circulate through the media and around the world as brand”.
Gehry is familiar with the criticism and pushes back. All his professional life he has known and worked with artists. “In the beginning,” he says, “I thought architects should make neutral spaces for art. But my artists were saying: ‘Fuck off, we want to be in an important building. I want to go home and tell my mother I’m in the Louvre.’” He reels off the artists who he says liked the Guggenheim – Anselm Kiefer, Sol LeWitt, “even” Robert Rauschenberg. He says that a clique of museum directors, meeting in London, “passed a resolution that they should never build a building like Frank Gehry’s… they pretty much kept to it.” He claims that the same directors – “you know who they are” – told Cy Twombly never to show in Bilbao. He did, eventually, two years or so before his death. “Cy called me and said it was the best show in his whole life.”
Gehry is also keen to distance himself from the dumber aspects of the building’s architectural legacy. “I apologise for having anything to do with it,” he says. “Maybe I should be hung by the yardarm. My intention was not that it should happen.” Talk of the “Bilbao effect” makes him cringe – “it’s bullshit… I blame your journalist brethren for that.” He wants to stress an aspect of the design often overlooked by imitators, which is that it works hard to connect to its surroundings: “I spent a lot of time making the building relate to the 19th century street module and then it was on the river, with the history of the river, the sea, the boats coming up the channel. It was a boat.”
Five would-be icons
Centre Pompidou-Metz, France, designed by Shigeru Ban, 2010
As in Bilbao, a famous art institution created an architecturally conspicuous outpost in an unglamorous city.
The Public, West Bromwich, designed by Will Alsop, 2008
An attempt to revive the West Midlands with a “box of delights”, where people could both experience and make art. It is now a sixth-form college.
Centre Niemeyer, Avilés, Spain, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, 2011
A cultural centre designed by the celebrated Brazilian architect in his 90s, it closed for financial reasons soon after its completion, but later reopened.
Ordos museum, China, by MAD Architects, 2011
A museum and landmark for a city in the Gobi desert, whose redevelopment is famously underinhabited.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, 2017
Due to open in November, the latest marriage of a museum brand with an aspiring city, celebrated with dazzling architecture.
This article was amended on 4 October 2017. It had originally stated that the giant puppy outside the Guggenheim had been there only temporarily

8. The Not-So-Reassuring News about COVID in Kingston

Received from The Kingstonist, May 30 – Dick Zoutman

Editorial note: The following is a submitted Op/Ed in response to a recently published article regarding the COVID-19 media briefing delivered by Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health, on Friday, May 27, 2022.
I am writing to offer some rebuttal to the recent Friday, May 27, 2022, article in the Kingstonist entitled ‘Reassuring news’ from MOH as summer approaches, written by Michelle Dorey Forestell.
In this article KFL&A Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, is extensively quoted concerning the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region. I do not think the news is as reassuring as stated in the article.
The article states, as per Dr. Oglaza, that the KFL&A region’s death rate from COVID-19 is the lowest in the larger South Eastern Ontario region. During the most recent full month of April 2022, where we have complete data, KFL&A has the highest recorded death rate from COVID-19 in the South Eastern Ontario region. For April, KFL&A has a far higher death rate at 7.2 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to 1.8 in Leeds Grenville, 3.7 in Hastings Prince Edward County, and 3.5 in Eastern Ontario health unit regions that make up the larger South Eastern Ontario region. As for May, we have already reached 4.8 deaths per 100,000 population by KFL&A Public Health’s most recent report of Thursday, May 26, 20The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the KFL&A region, as reported by Public Health Ontario (PHO) on Monday, May 30, 2022. The data shows that 12 COVID-19 deaths occurred in the region in April 2022, accounting for just over 20 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in KFL&A. Ten additional COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the region since the end of April 2022, according to PHO data.
The article also states that the COVID-19 case rate in KFL&A region is “far below previous peak levels,” as indicated by Dr. Oglaza. It is very important to recall that, as of January 1, 2022, publicly available COVID-19 testing was drastically cut back, resulting in an approximately 90 per cent reduction in the detection of COVID-19 cases after early January 2022. Because of this reduced testing Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, stated on March 3, 2022, during his press conference, that the reported numbers of COVID-19 cases needs to be multiplied by 10 to reflect the actual case numbers. Similarly, Dr. Peter Juni, then head of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Table, said the same thing on March 31, 2022.
When one takes into account the vastly under-reported actual number of COVID-19 cases in KFL&A, the most recently reported seven-day average of new cases of 18.4 cases/day, multiplied by 10, yields an actual count of 184 new cases per day. This level of COVID-19 is what the rates were in KFL&A in mid-December 2021 when we were hit hard with the new Omicron BA.1 variant, and before we stopped most of the public testing. Recall that the current Omicron BA.2 variant now circulating in KFL&A is more infectious than BA.1 was.
The number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in KFL&A as of Monday, May 30, 2022, according to Public Health Ontario (PHO). The number of active cases in the region as of April 1 was 495.96 per 100,000 population, 534.98 per 100,000 on April 30, 320.14 per 100,000 on May 15, and 132.10 per 100,000 as of May 30, according to the PHO data.
During my presentation to the KFL&A Board of Public Health on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, I presented the board members with some of the most current scientific evidence indicating that, given our mediocre level of coverage from the current COVID-19 vaccinations (with only 58 per cent third booster dose coverage), that wearing high-quality, well-fitting manufactured masks by a large proportion of the population inside indoor public spaces would prevent a new variant from surging to high levels again.
Given the high number of deaths we have seen in our region, most since the arrival of Omicron, and the actual high levels of COVID-19 that still exist in KFL&A, it is important that the citizens of KFL&A have access to high-quality information so that they can make well-informed decisions. This is the basis of what Public Heath is all about.
Dick Zoutman, MD, FRCPC, CCPE, C. Dir
Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology Specialist
Emeritus Professor, School of Medicine
Queen’s University

9. Tannery Wildlife: Comment by Dr. Matt Rogalsky
Dear Mayor and Councillors, 
I have begun making and releasing a series of high quality recordings made in and around the “tannery lands” and adjacent marsh, documenting the sonic beauty of its complex soundscapes. All of this is due to be razed and infilled if Council does not see fit to reconsider its agreement with Patry Inc. 
I invite you to listen to my recordings here: they are free to download or stream. My most recent one is a dawn chorus half hour recording, made just a few days ago.
My recordings are a sonic record of the biodiversity of the site, and I am doing them for posterity as they make clear what we stand to lose. If the 1800 trees on the site are not respected as living habitat for thousands of creatures already, and if they are razed in favour of 1500 cheaply-built, yet expensive-to-buy apartments and condos, I predict a “silent spring” to come here, to use Rachel Carson’s term from the history of conservation. If I revisit the site after development and my recordings, as I predict, then show a dramatic loss of bioacoustic energy, are you willing as Councillors to take the blame for another stunningly shortsighted decision regarding development of our waterfront which requires destroying a valuable “resource”?
In light of what we have learned even just in the last two or three years, about beneficial effects of local mature forests and marshes for urban biodiversity and control of local climate and flooding, I believe Council would be well advised to find a way to keep this forest and marsh intact. To make this site an accessible place of natural beauty with examples of natural remediation, a boardwalk is what is needed. We need to show off the biodiversity here and bring people to enjoy it!
Dr Matt Rogalsky
Main St Kingston K7K3Y8
Further interesting comment by Kerry Hill, May 31, 2022I could be mistaken, but in the audio of 7:30 a.m. there seems to be a black-billed cuckoo calling.  This is a rare and declining bird that Cornell Birds has on ‘conservation watch’.  It requires densely wooded forests and is a champion eater of tent caterpillars and other spiny caterpillars that no one else will eat.  
EDITOR’S NOTE: At the very least, it would appear that further study of wildlife is definitely warranted along with the city hiring an independent hydrogeologist  to study the complex water issues more fully BEFORE ANY BUILDING PERMIT IS GRANTED FOR THE DAVIS TANNERY SITE. And further to Ric Barr’s comment, if building occurs at all it should be with a truly iconic building, one that is inspiring, and one that truly respects the waterfront and wildlife constraints of the site.

10. LGBTQ Service at St. Georges Cathedral, June 12 during Pride Month
To pay respect to members of Kingston’s KGBTQ community, and especially to honour dancer and parishioner, Paul Robertson, Debra Donaldson, a dance instructor and choreographer from Gananoque, is choreographing a 4 minute celebratory dance routine to be included as part of the service.
Sunday, June 12 at 10:30 am. All welcome!
11. Styrofoam in the River

There is a big problem with small bits of Styrofoam on both east and west sides of the Cataraqui River.
Carl Hannah has done an amazing job of documenting it since the muskrats chewed into the turbidity curtain earlier. It would appear that the Third Crossing team are concerned about bigger bits of Styrofoam but not about micro-bits. We are extremely concerned that animals may be dying from ingesting these micro-bits. We are of the opinion that something like a shop vac should be used along the shoreline to vacuum these bits up. if you would llike to learn more, check out Carl Hanna on Facebook.  More anon…..
12. Thanks to Donors

Thanks so very much to Elizabeth Harrison and Ada Mullett for donating to the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour. If you would like to donate as well, the best way is to write a cheque to the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour and mail it to
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
1 Place d’Armes, Unit 83,
Kingston, ON, K7K6S6

As always, thanks so much for your interest. Very much appreciated.