News

Wheelhouse Weekly – January 03, 2011

January 3rd 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 1 . . . . January 3, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


SHAVER TRANSPORTATION’S GENEROSITY MITIGATES IMPACT ON MEMBERS OF LOCK CLOSURE

The MM&P community is extending heartfelt thanks to Shaver Transportation, a family-owned business based in Portland, Ore., for a gesture of generosity that brightened the holiday season for many of our members and their families.

Beginning last month and continuing into the first quarter of 2011, three navigation locks on the Columbia River will be under repair by the Army Corps of Engineers, resulting in a complete shutdown of upriver traffic. Fifty percent of the MM&P members employed at Shaver may be laid off during this time as a result.

Shaver and MM&P collaborated with other companies and unions working the Columbia River to seek member assistance through federal and state agencies for unemployment benefits, funds for food and utilities and subsidies to health and welfare contributions.

One of the most serious concerns was the anticipated loss of health benefits for members and their families. In the end, the only available assistance appeared to be state unemployment and funds for food and utilities through the AFL-CIO.

Faced with this stark reality, in a magnanimous gesture, Shaver management–President Steve Shaver and Chairman of the Board Harry Shaver–committed to fully paid health coverage for our members and their families during the period in which the locks are closed.

“I want to extend my appreciation and thanks to Steve and Harry Shaver for their generosity,” said MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray. “It’s like getting a Christmas gift that extends into 2011. It’s nice to have a company take care of the employees who in turn take care of the employer.”

“The Masters, Mates & Pilots appreciates and applauds the actions of Harry and Steve Shaver,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “Their action demonstrates the value they place on the wellbeing of their employees.”

Shaver is a family-founded and family-owned business that has been in operation since 1880. The company currently has a fleet of 10 tugs, including 4 Z-drive tugs and 16 grain barges. There are approximately 70 MM&P-UIG members, top-to-bottom staffing, employed by the company.


CIVMAR PAY ALSO FROZEN UNDER FEDERAL EMPLOYEE PAY FREEZE MEASURE, DOD SAYS

The Department of Defense (DOD) says that Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian mariners (CIVMARS) are included under the two-year government workforce pay freeze announced at the end of 2010 by President Obama. Although it was clear at the outset that the pay of General Schedule (GS) employees had been frozen, there was uncertainty as to whether or not prevailing rate employees (CIVMARs) would also be included in the freeze.

DOD responded on Dec. 27 that MSC’s CIVMAR pay would be frozen for two years, citing section 147 of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 111-242), as amended by section 1(a) of the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 111-322, Dec. 22, 2010). 

Early last month, MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and a group of 20 other unions that together represent over 300,000 federal workers called on Congress to oppose President Obama’s plan to freeze federal civilian pay for two years. Many government employees’ unions are working closely together on this and other issues as part of a coalition known as the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA). The group is very similar to the United DOD Workers Coalition (UDWC) which was founded to combat the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), a Bush Administration proposal to strip federal workers, including civilian mariners, of their collective bargaining rights. After years of fighting, the UDWC was ultimately able to bring down NSPS through a combination of law suits and legislative advocacy.

The alliance has now turned its attention to the most recent attempts to target public employees with political aims in mind. “We are not unaware of the difficult economic times the nation faces and the large budget deficit,” the unions wrote in a Dec. 8 letter to all members of Congress. “But we do not believe that singling out federal employees for deficit reduction is fair.” The unions also said the federal wage freeze “is likely to impede the government’s ability to hire and keep talented and skilled employees at a time when nearly 45 percent are eligible to retire.”


PORT AUTHORITY DECIDES BAYONNE BRIDGE SHOULD BE RAISED, NOT REPLACED

To accommodate larger container ships, the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey announced last week it will propose raising the roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge. The project would involve a multi-year modification of the roads leading onto the bridge, in addition to raising its main roadway by approximately 64 feet.

With only 151 feet of clearance at the Kill van Kull channel, the bridge is much too low for the larger ships expected to serve port terminals when the newly enlarged Panama Canal opens in 2014. The new project, the port authority said, would raise the clearance to 215 feet. The port authority did not release an estimate of what the project would cost or say when it would be completed, although it has stated that $1 billion had been allocated to solving the problem.


NEW CONTACT INFO FOR MM&P GOVERNMENT FLEET REP RANDI CISZEWSKI

Please update your address book to ensure you have the most up-to-date contact information for MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. She can now be reached by telephone at 732-527-0828 or 848-391-8062 or by e-mail at rciszewski@bridgedeck.org.


PIRATES NOW HOLD 601 MARINERS AND 25 SHIPS

There are now 25 vessels and 601 hostages being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia, according to the international maritime authorities. The total includes three ships that were hijacked between Christmas Day and Dec. 27: a Taiwanese fishing vessel with 26 crewmembers on board that was hijacked about 120 nautical miles off the northeast tip of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean; an Antigua-Barbuda-flagged cargo ship, the EMS RIVER, that was captured along with its crew of eight 175 nautical miles northeast of Salalah; and the MV THOR NEXUS, a Thailand-flagged cargo ship that was seized along with its 27-member crew approximately 450 nautical miles northeast of the island of Socotra.

In related news, after payment of an unspecified ransom, pirates on Dec. 28 released the German products tanker MARIDA MARGUERITE and its 22-member crew. The vessel had been hijacked eight months previously. All the members of the crew are said to be in good health.


AUTHORITIES SAY AT LEAST SEVEN PIRATE MOTHER SHIPS UNDERWAY

The international maritime authorities have reported that as many as seven pirate attack groups aboard previously pirated mother ships are now operating in the Arabian Sea and the greater Somali Basin. The list of vessels now being used as mother ships is said to include the LPG tanker YORK, the MT MOTIVATOR, MV HANNIBAL II, MV IZUMI and MV POLAR.


PIRATES ATTACK TWO SHIPS IN MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL

European naval authorities say Somali pirates last week tried to hijack two ships in the Mozambique Channel, some 950 nautical miles south of Dar es Salaam. Authorities said the attacks, which took place on Dec. 25 and 26, show the pirates are moving further and further south. The vessels involved were a Russian tanker, NS AFRICA, and an Indian bulk carrier, the MAJESTIC.


NUMBER OF PIRATE ATTACKS ROSE IN 2010

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre has released statistics that show an approximately 10 percent increase in the number of pirate attacks reported in 2010. There were 440 attacks reported in 2010 and 404 in 2009, the IMB said.  


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSES ANNOUNCED

The Offshore Division Orientation Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2011.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Jan. 11-12 in Houston; Feb. 8-9 in New York/New Jersey; March 8-9 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; April 1-2, June 10-11 and Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are urged to attend.

If you want to attend a course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to Lars Turner at lturner@bridgedeck.org.


WRECKS OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE AT MITAGS, JUNE 6-7

The American Salvage Association (ASA) and the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA) will co-sponsor a conference, “Wrecks of the  World: Hidden Risks of the Deep” on Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7 at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum Heights, Md. The conference will explore the issues (pollution, impact modeling, risk assessment, oil removal and remediation, legal, insurance and funding issues, next steps) related to the more than 8,500 sunken vessels in the world, many of them World War II-era.  The program has been expanded to include discussion of the pollution threat posed not just by wrecks but also by the tens of thousands of abandoned oil wells that litter coast and offshore waters around the world.

The problem of potentially polluting wrecks has long been discussed and recent incidents around the world have caused government agencies and responsible parties to look proactively at preventing catastrophic oil and other chemical releases from long submerged shipwrecks. These wrecks may contain as much as 20 million tons of oil and other hazardous materials. Sporadic or continuous leakages or potential sudden massive spillages from these wrecks pose a continual risk across the globe. 
 
The conference program is still being finalized. More details are available on the ASA and NAMEPA websites: www.americansalvage.org and www.namepa.net.


ELEVEN PRESUMED DEAD AFTER VIETNAMESE CARGO SHIP SINKS

Eleven mariners were missing and presumed dead after the VAN DON-2, a Vietnamese cargo ship, sank in a gale Dec. 28 in the South China Sea. A fishing boat rescued 12 members of the crew. Two other vessels, a container ship and a fishing boat, have gone down in violent storms in the area in recent weeks, with a loss of 43 lives.  


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of March 2011, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 1/10
ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/25
AZIPOD-3 day – Azipod Propulsion System: 3/15

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 2/21
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/24, 3/3
BST � Basic Safety Training: 1/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 1/10, 3/21
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/17
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 1/31
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 2/7
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 1/24, 3/7
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/24, 3/28
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/21
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 2/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/10, 1/31, 2/28, 3/14, 3/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/17, 2/7, 3/7, 3/21
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/14
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/14

CONSTAB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/10
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 3/17

ECDIS-ENAV – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems and Electronic Navigation for Pilots: 3/3
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/21
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/15

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/24
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/18

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 2/21
Great Lakes: DDE � Designated Duty Engineer: 1/10
Great Lakes: LAP � License Advancement Program: 1/31

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 3/7

LAP CMM � License Advancement Program of Upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/28

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/24, 3/2

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 3/21
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/10, 2/14, 3/21
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/10, 2/14, 3/21
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15, 3/26

MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/12, 1/25, 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, 3/30
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 1/24, 3/14
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/17

SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/14
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/14
SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 1/26
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/28
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 3/7

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation and Compasses: 1/31
TPIC � Tankerman Person In Charge: 3/7
TTT � Train-the-Trainer: 1/17

WKP BAS – Watchkeeping Basic � 3/7
WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/28

…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. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


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

January 2011

10-14  ECDIS
24th    Radar Renewal
24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
25-28  ARPA
31-4    Medical Care Provider
31-11   Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2011

5th      Med DOT
7th      Radar Renewal
7-8      Tractor Tug for Pilots
14th    Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications (Pilot Training Course)
15-16   Bridge Resource Management for Pilots
17-18   Azipod (Pilot Training Course)


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-24-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,573.49 2,665.60 1,256.77
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
54.68
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
115.72
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
41.34
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.14
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.14
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.90
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.92
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.60
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.68
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.26
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.13
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.78
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.99
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.66
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.83
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.79
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.55
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.55
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.65
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.36
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
18.29
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.51
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
71.41
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
68.63
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.19
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
45.40
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
30.04
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
28.35
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.34
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.81
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.97
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.49
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.67
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
38.20
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
44.44
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.77



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.