News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 13, 2011

December 13th 2011

 

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 50. . . . December 13, 2011

STORIES COVERED

Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.


MM&P HOLIDAY CLOSING SCHEDULE

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26, for the Christmas holidays, and on Monday, Jan. 2 for New Year’s. Pacific Ports and Gulf Ports will also be closed on Dec. 30.


OCCUPY PROTESTERS BLOCK ACCESS TO WEST COAST PORTS

Demonstrators marching under the banner of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement blocked access to a number of West Coast ports on Monday. The protesters briefly blocked or slowed business at the ports of Oakland, Portland and Seattle. Blockades were also erected at the ports of Long Beach, Longview, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tacoma and Vancouver. Numerous arrests were made in several ports when protesters defied police orders to disperse.

The demonstrators have given a number of reasons for the protests. Some say they are trying to help workers at the ports; others say ports are being targeted because of their role in global commerce and unequal wealth distribution.

The AFL-CIO and a number of labor unions and locals have endorsed the “Occupy” movement, especially its fundamental tenet that growing income inequality is undermining the American middle class. But the attempt to shut down the ports has raised a host of conflicting issues for workers and their unions.


PRESIDENT SIGNS LAW THAT FUNDS MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM, FOOD AID

President Obama has signed into law a piece of legislation that includes Fiscal Year 2012 funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and the PL 480 Food for Peace Program. The funds were included in legislation that provides appropriations for five Cabinet Departments, including Transportation and Agriculture.

The full amount requested by the Obama Administration for the Maritime Security Program in Fiscal Year 2012 was included: $174 million. This amount, coupled with the $12 million in MSP funds remaining from previous years, will fund MSP at the congressionally authorized level of $186 million in Fiscal Year 2012. Each vessel participating in the program will be eligible to receive up to $3.1 million in Fiscal Year 2012.

The amount approved by Congress for the PL 480 Title II Food Aid Program for Fiscal Year 2012 is $1.46 billion. It represents an improvement over the $1.04 billion proposed by the House of Representatives and reflects the growing awareness in Congress that, in addition to providing much-needed humanitarian assistance around the world, the program is a significant generator of U.S. jobs. The money appropriated will be used to purchase and process commodities in the United States, to transport those commodities by rail and barge to American ports, and to ship 75 percent of them to their foreign destination on U.S.-flag commercial vessels under U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping requirements. This program, which provides an important source of cargo for U.S.-flag vessels, had been funded at $2.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2009.

MM&P, along with the other maritime unions, shipping companies and associations, was actively involved in the effort to secure Fiscal Year 2012 funding for these two programs. Maritime union members who contacted their members of Congress to urge passage of these important pieces of legislation were an important factor in our success.


PRODUCTION ERROR MAKES SOME TWIC CARDS UNREADABLE, TSA SAYS

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says about 26,000 TWIC cards issued before April 5, 2011 may not work with all TWIC card readers. The agency attributes the problem to integrated circuit chips which were improperly encoded. It says it will replace defective cards free of charge. To find out if your card is affected, go to: http://tiny.cc/faultytwic. To request a replacement, call the TWIC Help Desk at 1-866-347-8942, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST.


TRANSPORTATION UNIONS CALL FOR CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT OF NEW BUY AMERICA RULES

The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) has called on members of the House of Representatives to support the “Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011,” a bill to fund investments in our nation’s infrastructure based on provisions to ensure the use of American-made products whenever possible. The bill, HR 3533, was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-W. Va.). 
 
“Particularly at a time when our economy continues to struggle and unemployment remains high, it is sound economic policy to make substantial investments in our nation’s infrastructure,” says TTD President Edward Wytkind. “Repairing our deteriorating transit, aviation, highway, bridge, rail and port and maritime systems will help put millions to work while improving a national infrastructure system that the World Economic Forum recently ranked an embarrassing 16th best in the world.”

Current “Buy America” requirements are specific to each government agency, creating a myriad of policies that are inconsistently applied to various modes of transportation, TTD says. Additionally, the policies often include broadly applied waiver provisions which lack accountability.

HR 3533 would ensure waivers are awarded only when warranted and with full transparency. It would require federal agencies to post any proposed waiver online, provide a detailed justification, and offer the American public an opportunity to comment. The bill would also prevent state and local governments from segmenting projects that receive federal funds in order to bypass Buy America requirements. 

“The American people need a commitment from their government that federal investments will create the greatest possible economic impact and support U.S. job growth,” Wytkind says. MM&P is a member of TTD.


BLUE & GOLD CAPT. JASON COVELL PROFILED IN SAN FRANCISCO’S BAY CROSSING MAGAZINE

Capt. Jason Covell, a long-time member of MM&P’s United Inland Group who works for Blue & Gold Fleet, was interviewed for an article published in the most recent edition of “Bay Crossing” magazine, the publication for passengers on Bay Area ferries.

A 20-year veteran of Blue & Gold who also volunteers as MM&P’s Vallejo shop steward, Covell grew up wanting to be a lawyer and decided to go to work at an investment banking firm. The decision to become a professional mariner came after a stint working part-time as a bartender on a ferry. “It was a pretty easy decision to go from investment banking to working on a boat,” he says.

As captain, he says, not a minute goes by that he doesn’t think of his passengers and crew. “I’m always concerned with safety,” he said. “It’s stressful at times but I do enjoy it, that’s why I keep coming back every day.” In his free time, he takes photographs, many of which have been published in maritime magazines, and pursues hobby wine-making with a group of friends. Now a captain on the Vallejo Baylink run, he says he enjoys working the early morning shift because it allows him to be home when his daughter returns from school and in time to prepare dinner for his family.

In October of this year, WETA, the regional public agency that operates Bay Area ferry services, awarded Blue & Gold Fleet a five-year contract for operations and maintenance of the ferry system.


COAST GUARD SEEKS MEMBERS FOR MERPAC

The Coast Guard is seeking applications for membership on the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), which advises the Department of Homeland Security on matters related to merchant mariner training, qualifications, certification and fitness. Six members are being sought: two representatives of licensed deck officers; one representative of the state maritime academies; one representative of licensed chief engineering officers authorized to serve on vessels of any horsepower; and one representative of the general public.

Each MERPAC member serves a term of office of up to three years. All members serve without compensation from the federal government; however, upon request, they do receive travel reimbursement and per diem. MERPAC is expected to meet approximately twice a year, once at or near Coast Guard Headquarters, and once elsewhere in the country. It may also meet for extraordinary purposes. Its subcommittees and working groups may also meet to consider specific tasks as required.

Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume in time to reach the agency by Feb. 6. Cover letter and resume can be submitted by e-mail, mail or fax to: rogers.w.henderson@uscg.mil; Commandant (CG–5221), Attn MERPAC, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd St. SW., Stop 7126, Washington DC 20593–7126; or (202) 372–1926 (fax). For more information, contact Rogers W. Henderson, (202) 372–1408.


GOVERNMENT SAYS IT WILL WIND DOWN GMATS

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced it intends to “wind down” the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) by July of next year. A spokesperson for DOT says the decision, which will entail transitioning the organization from a government body to a new non-profit organization, was made in response to “specific recommendations from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).” GMATS is the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s continuing education program. It services the military, government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and private sector maritime employers.


UNITED INLAND GROUP BY-LAWS RATIFIED

Members of the MM&P United Inland Group (UIG) have ratified new by-laws. Nigel Raithby of the Pacific Maritime Region and Karen Gibis of the Atlantic & Gulf acted as observers to the count. A total of 256 ballots were received. One hundred and seventy-one members voted for the new by-laws and 84 voted against. “I want to thank all the brothers and sisters who took the time to read this information and vote,” said MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray. “Our members’ contributions to this process have laid the foundations for a healthy debate on the issues going forward.”


DEC. 28 LAST DAY FOR PROCESSING 2011 VACATION AND PRO PAYMENTS

The Plan Office has received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2011 no later than Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 1:00 p.m. EST. All requests for 2011 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2012. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.


MM&P HOLIDAY PARTY SCHEDULE

MM&P members, employees, their families and friends are encouraged to attend the holiday parties now being scheduled in our union halls.

On the East Coast:

— Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., Boston Union Hall, 12 Channel St., Suite 606-A;

— New York/New Jersey, Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 1:00 p.m., at the New York/New Jersey Hall;

— Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 15, at noon, Norfolk Commerce Centre III, 5425 Robin Hood Rd.,  Suite 204,  Norfolk (conveniently located off I-64/Military Hwy and Norfolk International Airport; HRT bus stops front of building);

— Puerto Rico, Friday, Dec. 16, at 3:30 p.m., El Camaron, Ponce de Leon Avenue, near old Puerto Rico Hall.

On the Gulf Coast:

— Houston, Thursday, Dec. 15, at noon, Brady’s Landing;

— Pompano, Friday, Dec. 16, at 10:00 a.m.;

— New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 14, at noon, Portobello Catering in Metairie.

On the West Coast:

— Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 16, at noon, in the Los Angeles Hall with members of the United Inland Group (UIG) and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA);

— Seattle, Tuesday, Dec. 13, after United Inland Group Meeting, in Seattle Hall;

— Seattle, Wednesday, Dec. 14, at noon, in the Seattle Hall.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: http://mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar/

For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 1/9

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/24, 3/13

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 3/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/20

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  1/23, 3/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/23

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/9, 3/19

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 3/5

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/16

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 1/30

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 1/23

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/23, 3/26

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 2/20

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/16, 1/30, 2/27, 3/12, 3/26

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/23, 2/6, 3/5, 3/19

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/13


CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 3/15

DDE-GL – Designated Duty Engineer Great Lakes: 1/30

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 3/1

ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 3/19

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/23

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 2/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 3/5

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 3/19

LAP-GL – License Advancement Program for Great Lakes: 1/30

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/23, 3/1

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 3/26

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/9, 2/13, 3/19

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 3/5

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/9, 2/13, 3/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/14, 3/24

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/12

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/14, 1/11, 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/7, 3/21

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/23, 3/12

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/16

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/12

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/11, 2/27

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 3/5

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial and Costal Navigation and Compasses: 1/30

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 3/5

WKP BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 3/5

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 3/26

…Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.
 


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org
 
For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126
 
December 2011

19-22  ARPA


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-9-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,083.00 2,294.75 1,243.75
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
54.10
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
116.09
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
39.93
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.14
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.96
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.90
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.18
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.22
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.64
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.36
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.48
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.27
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.29
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.62
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.59
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.84
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.21
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.98
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.41
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.36
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.13
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
18.08
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.83
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
63.79
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
63.20
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
17.08
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
43.53
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.06
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.14
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.36
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.51
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.58
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.32
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.64
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.87
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.92
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
36.43
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
44.62
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
30.24



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2011, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.