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September Newsletter 2023

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
September is here!  Thanks so much Debbie O’Grady for the pic of the recent Blue Moon, Aug 30. Amazing.

1. Public Meeting re bridge over John Counter we have been fighting for!
2. No Clearcut Kingston Events – Sept 15 @ Queen’s & Oct 6@ Musiikki
3. Just Recovery Update + Meeting Sept 6.
4. Celebrate Kingston’s Rich Cultural Diversity – Sun, Sept 17, 2023
5. Update from Golder Consultants on Inner Harbour proposed $70 milllion dredging project
6. Kanien’kehá:ka reclaims land lost to construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway
7. Plastic weighing as much as the Eiffel Tower pollutes Great Lakes yearly.  High-tech helps
8.  90% of Great Lakes Contains Microplastics, Study Finds
9. Mapping the Great Lakes.  Who is Looking Out for the Great Lakes?

10. Hydroelectricity Without Dams: Innovations in River Current Energy
11. Digital Fabrication and Biomaterials in Architecture: Fusing Identity and Technology
12. These Giant Viruses are Unlike Any We’ve Ever Seen Before
13. Male Map Turtles Prefer to Mate with Larger Females – Fun Video
14. Wonderful Book Recommended by James Brown

1. Public Meeting re Plans for Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge over John Counter Blvd & CN Railway
Received from Danny Potts, Project Manager, Transportation Infrastructure, Kingston, Aug 29, 2023
What: The City of Kingston initiated this study to identify alternative locations and conceptual design alternatives for a new pedestrian and cycling crossing anticipated to cross over John Counter Blvd and the CN Rail line to provide a north-south connection for the existing K&P Trail between Division St. and Elliott Ave. The need for this crossing was identified in the City’s Active Transportation Master Plan and the initiation of this study was committed in the City’s Five Year Active Transportation Implementation Plan. The study will confirm and document the existing conditions of the study area and identify alternative locations that best support a new pedestrian bridge crossing. The environmental impacts of each alternative will be evaluated and in consultation with the public and external agencies, and a technically preferred alternative will be selected.
At the meeting, staff will present the study process, existing conditions, alternative solutions/locations, identify the recommended Technically Preferred Location(s) and provide opportunity for public input and comments.
Where:  Rideau Heights Community Centre, 85 MacCauley St, Kingston, ON
When: Tues, Sept 12 Open House anytime between 6:00 and 8:00 pm
Notes: Following the meeting the display boards will be available through the “Get Involved City of Kingston” website ( and on
More info? Danny Potts, Project Manager,, 613-546-4291, ex 3186 and Lisa Marshall, Consultant Project Manager, McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers, Ltd. 115 Walgreen Rd. R.R. 3 Carp, ON,, 1-613-714-0815.

2. No Clearcuts Kingston Update.
Received from Kathleen O’Hara <>
i). Global Climate Strike:  This summer has shown us how destructive the climate crisis can be!  It will be worse if government policies don’t get tough on fossil fuels.  Join other concerned Kingstonians to call for IMMEDIATE AND EFFECTIVE climate action by politicians at ALL levels, including a cap on oil and gas emissions, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, a just transition for workers, more support for renewables!  Meet at noon, Friday, Sept. 15, Union and University!! 

ii). A Walk in the Tannery Forest:  Come and hear music by a variety ofKingston musicians at Musiikki on at 7 pm, Friday, October 6!  This is a pay-what-you-can fundraiser for No Clearcuts Kingston (NCK) as it continues its efforts to save 2000 trees, a wetland, and wildlife on the former Tannery site.   Our previous City Council voted against the clearcut, but developer Patry Inc. appealed this vote to the Ontario Land Tribunal.  NCK needs $50,000 to prepare a strong case against the company’s destructive proposal.  Google Small Change Fund, Stop the Chop for more information and a chance to donate!  

3. Just Recovery Update
Received from Joan Jardin, mid Aug 2023
Thanks to all who attended the August 2 Connections meeting at Friendship Park. 
Brandon Tozzo led a discussion about the implications of the Strong Mayor Powers.  We learned that there is no official process to deny the mayor these powers.
Tara Kainer informed us of the motion regarding a cooling bylaw for Tenants that went to City Council on Tuesday, August 8.  The motion was to investigate the feasibility of introducing a Tenant Cooling Bylaw and was passed by City Council. 
Our next JRK Connections meeting is Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, at Friendship Park:     (rain location is 99 York St)
Please bring chairs and/or blankets on which to sit.  If we meet inside, please remember that masks are required.
At the September 6 Connections meeting, we will hear about:
– the Queen’s Residence Don Unionization Campaign and
– the City of Kingston’s Short Term Rentals report and ways we can push this policy towards being more tenant friendly.
You can access the report here:

Connections meetings are the first Wednesday of each month.  If you would like to share an update at this meeting, please email Joan Jardin, JRK Steering Committee

4. Celebrate Kingston’s Rich Cultural Diversity – Sun, Sept 17, 2023
Received from the Kingstonist, Aug 30, 2023 – Jessica Foley
The City of Kingston invites residents and visitors alike to the Intercultural Arts Festival, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., at Confederation Basin.
According to a release from the City, this free, family-friendly event is a celebration of the Kingston area’s rich cultural diversity. This year, attendees will experience arts and cultural performances on the festival mainstage including a headlining performance by Tocani, a Tkaronto/Toronto-based contemporary fusion act, whose members have their roots in South America, a show blending costume, music, dance, poetry, and theatre. Other highlights include francophone folk/pop singer-songwriter Pierre-Hervé Goulet, a Kathak dance by Parul Gupta, and a performance by the Kings Don Taiko drummers.
Workshops, sponsored by Empire Life, will also take place, including the popular drag make-up tutorial presented by Kingston Pride and dance workshops in Bachata, Aztec, West African dance, and more.
The City said that everyone should bring their appetite — the Festival will also feature food by Q-Bite (Indian Fusion), Jerkebago (Caribbean), Los Gringos (Mexican), Dr. Shawarma (Egyptian), and B’s Bike Bites in addition to multicultural arts, crafts, and food in the International Pavilion, which will be located in Confederation Park.
The festival will include the September 17 iteration of the Katarokwi Indigenous Art and Food Market, which takes place weekly in Springer Market Square. The market is coordinated by RIEL Cultural Consulting with support from Tourism Kingston and the City of Kingston. The festival will kick off with Mayor Bryan Paterson presenting Kingston’s Civic Awards. 
Confederation Park and Springer Market Square are accessible to those with mobility issues and mobility devices. There will be a sensory-reduced zone for those experiencing sensory overload or sensitivity. ASL Interpretation will be available for the opening ceremonies and Mayor’s Civic Awards, however, interpretation will not be provided for workshops and performances, the City stated. Anyone with accessibility questions is asked to contact the City of Kingston Special Events Office at
For an updated list of performances and programming visit

5. Update on Golder Consultants on the Inner Harbour proposed dredging situation
Received from Golder Consultants Sept, 1, 2023
“We anticipate having a revised conceptual sediment management plan (SMP) early this fall and will follow-up with the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour when it is available. This report advances the concepts of the original SMP and incorporates feedback the Project team received through consultation and engagement with Indigenous groups, stakeholders and the public.”


6Kanien’kehá:ka reclaims land lost to construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, APTN News, August 4, 2023. After almost 70 years, the Mohawk community of Kahnawake has reclaimed a piece of land that was expropriated for the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. More than 485 hectares (1,200 acres) were lost, as well as access to the river which had devastating impacts on the Kanien’kehá:ka community and the environment. Now the community is celebrating the completion of the Tekakwitha Island and Bay Restoration project, which began construction in 2020 after years of research and planning by the Kahnawake Environment Protection Office (KEPO).

7. Plastic weighing as much as the Eiffel Tower pollutes Great Lakes yearly.  High-tech helps, Aol, August 13, 2023.  Stoves, washing machines and scrap material.  These are a few of the things Evan Rinke has pulled out of rivers that flow into Lake Michigan.  This is Rinke’s first summer operating a marine debris boat, which is used to pick up trash along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.  Yet nothing surprises him.  What worries Rinke more, though, is the amount of plastic he sees every day.  Every year 22 million pounds of plastic winds up in the Great Lakes – about the same weight as the Eiffel Tower.  Just over half goes into Lake Michigan.

8.  90% of Great Lakes Contains Microplastics, Study Finds, Causes, August 18, 2023.  A new report found that 90% of Great Lakes water samples taken over the last decade contain microplastic levels that are unsafe for wildlife.  The highest median levels were found in Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario.

9.Mapping the Great Lakes: Who is looking out for the Great Lakes?, Great Lakes Now, August 16, 2023.  Nearly 50 different organizations have staked a claim to ensuring the environmental, economic, media or academic impact is known for the Great Lakes.  Seven active government agencies, six commissions and three councils all have jurisdiction over differing and shared aspects of the Great Lakes.  Ten different coalitions work on advocating for legal and other provisions to boost ecological or trade outcomes.  Nine academic initiatives — seven of which are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan — are focused on environmental concerns in the Great Lakes from invasive species to mapping the lakebeds.


10. Hydroelectricity Without Dams: Innovations in River Current Energy
Received June 2023, Alan Caldwell

Harnessing the Power of River Currents: Exploring Innovative Hydroelectricity Solutions Without Dams
Hydroelectricity has long been a key player in the renewable energy sector, with its ability to generate electricity from the natural flow of water. Traditionally, this has been achieved through the construction of large dams, which not only generate power but also serve as water reservoirs for irrigation and flood control. However, the environmental and social impacts of dams have raised concerns among scientists, policymakers, and local communities. These concerns have prompted the search for alternative, more sustainable ways to harness the power of water for electricity generation. One such solution lies in the development of innovative technologies that can capture the energy of river currents without the need for dams.
River current energy, also known as hydrokinetic energy, is generated by harnessing the kinetic energy of flowing water in rivers, streams, and ocean currents. Unlike traditional hydroelectric power, which relies on the potential energy created by a difference in water levels, hydrokinetic energy systems can operate in shallow water and at low flow rates. This makes them a more environmentally friendly option, as they do not require the construction of large dams or reservoirs, which can have significant ecological and social impacts.
Several innovative technologies are being developed to harness the power of river currents. One such technology is the hydrokinetic turbine,which operates similarly to a wind turbine but is submerged in water. These turbines can be installed in rivers, tidal areas, or ocean currents, and their spinning blades capture the kinetic energy of the water flow, converting it into electricity. Some designs are even able to generate power in water depths as shallow as three feet, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.
Another promising technology is the oscillating hydrofoil, which uses the lift force generated by water flow over a hydrofoil to create oscillatory motion. This motion is then converted into electricity through a mechanical linkage and generator system. Oscillating hydrofoils have the advantage of being able to operate in both low and high flow conditions, making them suitable for a variety of river environments.
In-stream linear generators are another innovative solution being explored for harnessing river current energy. These devices consist of a series of magnets and coils that are placed along the riverbed. As the water flows over the magnets, it induces an electric current in the coils, generating electricity. In-stream linear generators have the advantage of being modular and scalable, allowing for the installation of multiple units in a river to increase power output.
One of the key benefits of these innovative hydroelectricity solutions is their minimal environmental impact. Unlike dams, which can disrupt ecosystems, block fish migration, and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions through the decomposition of flooded vegetation, river current energy technologies have a much smaller ecological footprint. Additionally, they do not require the displacement of local communities or the flooding of large areas of land, making them a more socially responsible option for electricity generation.
While the potential of river current energy is promising, there are still challenges to overcome in order to make it a viable large-scale solution. One of the main obstacles is the relatively high cost of these technologies compared to traditional hydroelectric power. However, as research and development continue, it is expected that the costs will decrease, making river current energy more competitive in the renewable energy market.
In conclusion, the development of innovative technologies to harness the power of river currents without the need for dams offers a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for hydroelectricity generation. As the world continues to search for clean, renewable energy sources to combat climate change and meet growing energy demands, river current energy could play a crucial role in the transition to a greener future.

11. Digital Fabrication and Biomaterials in Architecture: Fusing Identity and Technology

Carved stones were the first tools that hominids used to transform their environment. It is exciting to imagine how, since the Stone Age —a period that began approximately around 10,000 BC— and thanks to humanity’s long evolutionary process, the tools we used have evolved from simple stones to complex robotic systems. These advancements represent a revolution in production methods, both at the current industrial level and on a local scale.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and digital fabrication systems have been perceived as labor-replacing threats varying by context. In Latin America, manual fabrication is deeply ingrained, specialized, and cost-efficient in some sectors, making digital substitution less pressing. In contrast, biomaterials derived from fungi or agro-waste provide environmentally friendly construction alternatives, promoting sustainability and circular economies. This stimulates meaningful discussions about the potential of digital fabrication, requiring an understanding of local resources and challenges. Therefore, it lays the groundwork for biomaterials that preserve identity while offering solutions to local issues.
Whether organic or inorganic, waste now demands attention as an indispensable resource. Consequently, initiatives like Manufactura integrate digital fabrication and waste utilization for fresh perspectives. Dinorah Martínez Schulte, the co-founder of this project, gave us insights about the potential of these processes and their application in a material such as wood, which has been used since our ancestors began to shape other materials with stone.
Contextualizing materials and understanding their origins
According to Martínez Schulte’s research in Mexico, annual wood production reaches approximately 8 million m³. Of this volume, 70% goes to the sawmill industry, which generates around 2.8 million m³ of waste, mainly sawdust, chips, and bark. Although there are currently ways to manage wood waste, they depend on chemical processes and fuels.
“The Wood Project / Un Proyecto de Madera” is a research initiative carried out in collaboration with La Metropolitana, a local workshop that combines traditional techniques with technology in its furniture manufacturing processes. Addressing a daily issue, the project repurposes sawdust —usually discarded— summing up around 5-6 bags, roughly 40 kg each, generated daily. This not only mitigates waste but also addresses safety concerns due to sawdust’s flammability and respiratory risks when airborne.
Although this wood waste by itself is not highly polluting, the volume that is discarded does represent a considerable source of raw wood, and in regions of Mexico, it has a high economic and cultural value. As part of this project, Manufactura created a bio-composite based on sawdust residuesfrom the Tzalam tree (Lysiloma latisiliquum). This species is native and highly appreciated in the southeast of Mexico, in the Mayan region, due to its appearance, high resistance, and aesthetic characteristic of reddish color and pronounced veins.
Chemistry as part of the manufacturing process
In the manufacture of bio-composites, Manufactura proposes an approach that first comprises the chemical composition of the materials. From their first projects working with eggshells, they approached the material by considering it as calcium carbonate and, as in the case of wood, as cellulose.
After conducting several experiments to generate a cellulose-based mixture, they discovered that sawdust undergoes changes in its physical state related to binding and drying, depending on the machine from which it is extracted. In addition, moisture in the biocomposite was conducive to fungal growth, so they experimented with lime and gypsum to neutralize it. Also, after developing several prototypes, they determined that the sawdust from the calibrating machines and the CNC router had the optimal physical conditions to allow the 3D printing process.
Chemical composition is the basis of everything. -Dinorah Martínez Schulte
The transition from a subtractive manufacturing process to an additive one led to the exploration of new approaches. To manufacture the modular tiles from the bio-composite, it was necessary to understand the weight, density, and water content of each material. In addition, organic binders were used as a matrix, along with lime, which, after several tests, proved to be more effective in preventing fungal growth.
In this research process, they worked in collaboration with the Laboratory of Materials and Structural Systems of UNAM, which provides a scientific perspective to the project. Finally, after numerous processes and tests, a material for casting combined with a binder is obtained. This material is then converted to a plastic state using an extruder designed for semi-liquid materials, which is mounted on a robotic arm.
Neo-wood and geometry
In testing, Manufactura observed that the pieces retained properties of the wood species used. The first pieces manufactured using pine waste were less rigid and lighter in color compared to those made with tzalam, which showed greater hardness and a reddish color. In both cases, these qualities were similar to those of the wood in its original state. The interplay between the mixture, technical printing parameters (extrusion speed and robotic arm speed), and the shape of the pieces resulted in the realization of three lattices; 72 pieces, each measuring 20 x 20 cm. This 3-week printing and drying process yielded replicable pieces that can be assembled for scalability. Martínez Schulte highlights the need to consider variables like temperature and humidity, which affect material printing. Parts typically dry within 5 to 7 days.
To determine the shapes of the pieces, several prototypes were created, beginning with basic geometries like circles, squares, and triangles. This approach helped identify the most suitable geometry. Martínez Schulte emphasizes that by testing different geometries, a better understanding of the material is achieved. As a result, it becomes possible to define the sizes of the pieces, reduce the distances, and identify where an infill pattern is necessary.
Digital fabrication is not linear, it is an infinite loop.  -Dinorah Martínez Schulte
In summary, the realization of this project has been feasible thanks to the synergy between computational design, the advantages provided by digital fabrication, innovation in the local context, and creativity in converting wood waste into new materials. It also highlights the importance of thinking about bio-materials and digital fabrication as a way to address local issues and generate new conversations based on the technical and aesthetic qualities and applications of bio-composites. Whether in the professional sphere through work in the workshop or from the academy collaborating with universities, Manufactura and Dinorah Martínez Schulte propose a change of perspective on what is considered waste.
The impact of digital fabrication and biomaterials is being answered in the different proposals emerging at a global scale, especially regarding the potential benefits and risks involved. One fact is that these types of materials are making their way by challenging contemporary architectural production as well as current manufacturing methods in favor of a circular economy. As Carlos Raúl Villanueva stated: “Architecture is a social act par excellence, utilitarian art, as a projection of life itself, linked to economic and social problems, and not only to aesthetic norms…”.

12. These Giant Viruses are Unlike Any We’ve Ever Seen Before
Received from, Aug 1, 2023 – Kristin Houser

Scientists have discovered new “giant viruses” in Massachusetts’ Harvard Forest — and many of them are unlike anything we’ve seen before. 
The challenge: Viruses are microbes that can only replicate inside the cells of a separate living host — depending on the virus, this can mean people, animals, plants, or even other microorganisms, like bacteria.
Giant viruses are physically larger-than-normal and often have remarkably large genomes, too.
While many of the viruses that cause sickness in humans are well studied, researchers estimate that there are millions more that we don’t know anything about — identifying and analyzing those mystery viruses can help us understand the role they play in our health and environment, for better or worse.
What’s new? In 2018, US researchers used genomic sequencing to analyze soil in the Harvard Forest (actually about 70 miles from Harvard University). The results made them suspect the forest contained many previously unknown species of giant viruses.
As the name suggests, these are physically larger-than-normal viruses — while a typical virus is about 100 nanometers wide, giant viruses range from 200 to 750 nm — and they often have remarkably large genomes, too.
One of the researchers involved in that study — Jeffrey Blanchard from the University of Massachusetts — then teamed up with scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Germany to take a closer look at Harvard Forest soil.
Many of the giant viruses have never-before-scene characteristics, including tubular appendages, unusual tails, and strange, hair-like coatings.
This time, they used electron microscopy — a technique that uses beams of electrons to illuminate and magnify objects — to actually see the viruses suggested by the genetic sequencing study.
They’ve shared images of some of these giant viruses in a new paper, available on the preprint server bioRXiv, as well as details about how many of them have never-before-scene characteristics, including tubular appendages, unusual tails, and strange, hair-like coatings.
Looking ahead: While the researchers are highly confident that they’ve imaged giant viruses, they refer to them as “virus-like particles” in the paper — that’s because something looking like a virus isn’t enough to confirm that that’s what it is.
Their findings also need to undergo peer review, too, but if they hold up, they’ll add to our growing understanding of the viruses — big and small — hidden all around us.
We’d love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Freethink story, please email us at 
13. Male Map Turtles Prefer to Mate with Larger Females – Fun Video

14. Wonderful Book Recommended by James Brown
Received Aug 29, 2023Tue, Aug 29 at 12:43 p.m.
“Greetings planet friends
You may find this is a book worth promoting with your circles.
The Design Pathway for Regenerating Earth
There is a short video at this site.
The very best always, 
Jim and Joan

So that’s it for the beginning of September.
Wishing you all exciting new beginnings at the beginning of the new school year.
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour