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Wheelhouse Weekly – January 24, 2012

January 24th 2012

 

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

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 4. . . . January 24, 2012

STORIES COVERED

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


ILWU REACHES TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH GRAIN TERMINAL OPERATOR AT PORT OF LONGVIEW

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced it has reached a tentative agreement with multinational grain terminal operator EGT to end the long-running labor dispute at the Port of Longview.

“The ILWU has eight decades of grain export experience in the Northwest, and we look forward to the opportunity to develop a positive working relationship with EGT,” ILWU President Robert McEllrath said in a written statement. The details of the tentative agreement have not been released.

“While the parties are still working to finalize certain conditions over the next several days, we are optimistic we can resolve the dispute and get on with the business of operating the facility,” EGT Chief Executive Officer Larry Clarke said in a statement.

Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire led the discussions to end the dispute. “Both parties should be commended for their willingness to work together and compromise,” Gregoire said.


CREW OF ARMY CORPS DREDGE MCFARLAND RESCUES BOATER

The crew of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers DREDGE MCFARLAND last week rescued a boater who was only minutes away from being carried into the open ocean. The rescue took place on Jan. 16, in the waters off Morehead City, N.C., where the dredge–which is homeported in Philadelphia–was performing an emergency hazardous waste removal project.

The incident began at 7:05 a.m., when crewmembers spotted an object in the water and stopped dredging to approach for a closer look. On seeing what appeared to be a vessel and a man floating next to it, the crew, under the direction of MM&P member Capt. Thomas Evans, notified the Coast Guard and lowered a launch.

The launch crew, under the direction of MM&P member Chief Mate Shawn Bailey, was able to secure a line around the hapless boater–who was suffering from hypothermia–and lift him into the launch. The crew administered first aid and, at the direction of Capt. Evans, who was in contact with the Coast Guard, took him directly to the Coast Guard Station at Fort Macon. The man told rescuers that he had decided to go for a ride in his boat at about 4:00 a.m., and ended up hitting a log or a buoy.

Capt. Evans praised the actions of his crew. “I am very proud of their quick and professional response,” he said. “Thankfully the man was spotted, because with a strong outgoing tide, he was only 20 to 30 minutes from being in open ocean and survival and rescue may not have happened.”


REP. BOB GIBBS CALLS FOR INCLUSION OF MARITIME TITLE IN HOUSE TRANSPORTATION BILL

Congressman Bob Gibbs, in an address last week to The Propeller Club of Washington, D.C., expressed strong support for inclusion of a maritime transportation title in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization proposal now being formulated by Congress.  Gibbs is chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The Committee on Transportation is currently formulating a multi-year transportation authorization bill that includes funding and sets policy for federal highway, rail and other surface transit programs. In the past, maritime transportation has not been included in these bills. Recognizing the importance of commercial shipping to the nation’s economy, Gibbs is working to change that. MM&P has actively pushed for inclusion of a maritime title in the bill.

Among the provisions advocated by MM&P and endorsed by Gibbs is a change to current law that would remove impediments to development of the marine highway system.  The congressman says that the U.S. freight transportation network could be better utilized if double taxation under the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) of cargo moved by vessels in domestic commerce were eliminated. Also proposed for inclusion in a maritime title would be an expansion of the allowable uses of tax-deferred Capital Construction Fund (CCF) accounts maintained by shipping companies for upgrading and maintaining their fleets. Another proposed provision would further port deepening and navigation projects.

Gibbs is optimistic that the transportation bill will receive full House of Representatives consideration later this winter.


COSTA CRUISE SHIP CAPTAIN, MANAGERS, TRADE ACCUSATIONS

Maritime authorities in Italy said Monday that the wrecked cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA is stable and that there is no risk it will drop to a lower seabed. This means that the effort to pump fuel from the ship can proceed in tandem with the search for casualties. The bodies of 16 people had been recovered as this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed. Approximately 20 people were still unaccounted for in the wake of the disaster, which took place on the evening of Jan. 13.

In the meantime, the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, has reportedly told prosecutors that the managers of Costa Cruises, the Carnival Cruise Lines subsidiary which owns the ship, had routinely instructed him to approach the shore while performing a maneuver known as a “salute,” in which liners get very close to land to attract publicity. Schettino is charged with manslaughter and abandoning ship.

The chief executive officer of Costa Cruises, for his part, has told Italian TV journalists that Schettino did not inform the crew or the company in a timely manner that the ship had struck a reef. Costa Cruises CEO Pierluigi Foschi told journalists that company personnel spoke to the captain at 10:05 p.m., some 20 minutes after evidence shows the ship ran aground, but that the captain told them only that he was “experiencing problems.”

Foschi said the reason crew members were telling passengers to return to their cabins as late as 10:25 p.m. was that they were also unaware of what had happened. All parties agree that the abandon ship alarm sounded just before 11 p.m.


CRUISE SHIP DISASTER UNDERLINES NEED FOR MORE U.S.-FLAG SHIPS

Increasing the number of highly trained and experienced American mariners who sail the seas is the best antidote to the unsafe practices that culminated in the wreck of the COSTA CONCORDIA. Former MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President Paul Nielsen made the remarks in a Letter to the Editor that was published last week in the Torrance, Calif., newspaper “The Daily Breeze.”

“COSTA CONCORDIA, owned by Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines, operates under foreign registry largely to avoid taxation, health, safety and environmental regulations, and other crew – and vessel-related requirements,” Nielsen wrote. He added that the CARNIVAL SPLENDOR, which caught fire of the coast of Mexico in November 2010, was Panama registered.

“I remain convinced that the most effective form of maritime safety is to increase the number of U.S-flag vessels manned by American seamen,” Nielsen wrote.


WISCONSIN WORKERS COLLECT A MILLION SIGNATURES IN DRIVE TO UNSEAT SCOTT WALKER

Wisconsinites seeking to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker last week delivered over a million petition signatures to the state Government Accountability Board, far more than the 540,208 needed to spark a recall election. Last summer, Democrats attempted to win back control of the state Senate after the Republican leadership passed legislation limiting public workers’ bargaining rights. They recalled two Republicans but fell one seat short of flipping the chamber. Walker was not eligible for recall until this year.

Anti-Walker activists needed a substantial signature buffer because some signatures will almost certainly be thrown out by the Government Accountability Board. Collecting double the required amount, however, is a symbolic gesture. Democrats pointed out to reporters at a news conference in Wisconsin that Walker was elected with only 1.1 million votes. Several Democrats have already stepped forward to say they want to challenge Walker in the recall election.


TRAILER BRIDGE BONDHOLDERS APPROVE RESTRUCTURING PLAN

U.S.-Puerto Rico carrier Trailer Bridge has announced that its majority bondholders have agreed on a restructuring plan that could allow it to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the course of the next two months. In an official statement, Trailer Bridge said that bondholders Seacor Holdings and Whipporwill Associates have agreed to finance a plan that will issue new debt and give current bondholders 91 percent of company stock. Under the plan, Seacor—which serves the oil, gas, aviation and marine transportation industries—would become Trailer Bridge’s largest shareholder. Trailer Bridge filed for bankruptcy last year after failing in its bid to refinance $82.5 million in senior notes which came due Nov. 15.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR: PACIFIC PORTS MEETINGS IN FEBRUARY

Four membership meetings will be held in Pacific Ports during the month of February. The schedule is: Feb. 7 Seattle; Feb.8 Los Angeles; Feb. 9 Oakland; and Feb. 28 Honolulu. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meetings.


SCHEDULE FOR 2012 MM&P FAMILIARIZATION COURSES ANNOUNCED

The MM&P Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2012.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Feb. 3-4 at MM&P Headquarters; Feb. 28-29 in Honolulu; April 3-4 in Boston; April 11-12 in Los Angeles; May 29-30 in New Orleans; May 30-31 in Charleston; June 8-9 at MM&P Headquarters; Sept. 7-8 at MM&P Headquarters; Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey and Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston.

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 the 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.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.

The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!

Did you know that you can view your course history on www.bridgedeck.org? Just go to the “Members Only” section and click the “Course History” tab. You can print the course list yourself. 


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

For class availability, contact Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/13

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

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/20

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  3/1

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/19

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

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

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/26

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

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

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

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/13

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

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: 3/1

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 3/26

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 2/13, 3/19

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

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

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

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

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

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/12


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: 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.
 
January 2012

26-27     Vessel Security Officer
30-3       ECDIS
30-3       Medical Care Provider
30-10     Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2012

10th       Flashing Light
13th       Radar Renewal
13-17     Bridge Resource Management
20-24     Medical Care Provider
20-24     Able Seaman
21-24     ARPA
27-2       Basic Meteorology
27-9       Celestial Navigation

March 2012

5-9          ECDIS
12-16     Radar Observer Unlimited
12-23     GMDSS
12-30     License Preparation (Mate – 500Ton, 1600Ton, 3rd Unlimited)
20-21     Safety Management Systems
22-23     Build Your Own Internal Auditing Team Seminar
26th       Radar Renewal
26-30     Medical Care Provider


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 1-23-12 at 11:00 a.m. EST
Mutual Fund Data at 1-20-12 Market Close

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,720.48 2,786.70 1,315.38
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
55.20
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
121.23
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
41.81
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.53
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.56
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.89
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.06
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.39
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.76
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.55
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.99
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.27
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.76
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.66
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.73
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.08
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.48
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.97
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.86
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.78
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.46
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.05
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.88
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
66.48
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
67.51
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.06
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
44.70
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.90
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.72
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.38
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.03
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.52
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.31
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.66
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.92
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.93
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
37.68
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.58
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.33



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.

© 2012, 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.




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