News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 26, 2010

July 26th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 30. . . .July 26, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P PACIFIC PORTS CLOSED WEDNESDAY IN HONOR OF LABOR LEADER HARRY BRIDGES

MM&P Pacific Ports will be closed on Wednesday, July 28, for Harry Bridges’ Birthday. Bridges is credited with sparking the movement that transformed the world of break-bulk longshoring and culminated in the creation of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. 


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, MARITIME UNIONS, CALL FOR EXPANSION OF U.S.-FLAGGED FLEET

The shrinking of the U.S.-flagged merchant fleet constitutes a risk to national security and a threat to the nation’s economy, says Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Cummings expressed his concerns during a July 20 hearing on “the state of the U.S. merchant fleet in foreign commerce.”

“Since the 1980s, the U.S.-flagged fleet has been carrying what can only be described as an increasingly miniscule portion of our foreign trade, and this fact has serious implications for our merchant marine and our nation’s economy,” Cummings said in his opening remarks. Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association President Don Keefe testified at the hearing on behalf of the maritime unions as part of a panel that also included MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus.

Marcus told legislators that “talk of a shortage of seafarers is simply a red herring” and that the real problem is the shortage of jobs. “It’s a function of the availability of quality job opportunities” for professional mariners, Marcus said. “If there are suitable and attractive opportunities, then there will be people to fill the jobs.”

To read the maritime unions’ statement in its entirety, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.”

In his opening remarks, Cummings saidCongress and the Administration “should work to formulate a meaningful U.S. maritime policy that will revitalize our merchant marine and expand the percentage of U.S. trade carried on U.S. ships.”

Maritime Administrator David T. Matsuda, who also testified at the hearing, said that the percentage of international trade carried on U.S.-flag ships has plummeted from 57.6 percent in 1947 to less than 2 percent today. He said the drop in cargoes has reduced the number of shipboard jobs for Americans, a trend which in turn has reduced the number of mariners available to meet military sealift needs.

“The founders of this country and the framers of our Constitution understood the importance of maritime,” said Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “It’s a tragedy that we’ve allowed this vital interest to deteriorate.”

Oberstar said that in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he plans to introduce legislation that would require drilling operations in American waters to be U.S.-flagged.

“The U.S. fleet now makes up less than 1 percent of the world fleet, and nearly all commerce at U.S. ports arrives or departs on board a foreign-flag vessel,” said New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo, ranking member on the subcommittee. “I am concerned by the continued contraction of this important national asset.” LoBiondo called for more effective strategies to protect mariners from pirates, and said efficient Coast Guard processing of documents is also essential to morale.

Also testifying at the hearing were Central Gulf Lines Chairman Niels M. Johnsen and Maersk Lines, Limited CEO John Reinhart.


HORIZON LINES TO KEEP NORTHEASTERN OPERATIONS IN NEW JERSEY

Horizon Lines has announced it will continue to use Elizabeth, N.J., as the hub for its weekly service to San Juan. The company had earlier said it was considering shifting its northeastern center of operations to Philadelphia.


MILITARY SEALIFT COMMANDS TAKE DELIVERY OF 10TH T-AKE SHIP

Military Sealift Command (MSC) has taken delivery of USNS CHARLES DREW, the most recent in the fleet of Lewis and Clark-class of dry cargo/ammunition ships crewed by MM&P licensed deck officers. The T-AKE vessels, which are part of MSC’s combat logistics force, carry supplies that allow Navy ships to stay at sea for long periods of time. The vessel, which is expected to operate in the Pacific, is named for Charles Drew, an American physician who pioneered modern methods of blood collection, processing and storage.


SOMALI PIRATES RELEASE OIL TANKER AND FISHING BOAT

Somali pirates have released UBT OCEAN, a fuel tanker with a crew of 21. The ship was traveling off the coast of Madagascar, well south of the usual pirate zone, when it was attacked on March 5. Pirates have also released a fishing vessel that had been seized in the same time period in waters off the coasts of Kenya and the Seychelles.

The International Maritime Bureau says its piracy reporting center logged 196 pirate attacks in the first six months of 2010. There were 31 hijackings, 27 of which took place off the coast of Somalia or in the Gulf of Aden. At least 544 crewmembers were taken hostage in the first six months of 2010. Around 360 of them were still being held prisoner at the end of June.   


FIRE CLOSES CHINA’S DALIAN TERMINAL

Officials in China said the Xingang Oil Terminal would be closed for two weeks in the aftermath of explosions and a fire that caused an oil and chemical spill measuring more than 50 square kilometers. The catastrophe ensued when a pipe carrying oil to a storage tank at the terminal exploded on July 16, causing a second blast at another pipeline.


MM&P NEWORLEANS HALL TO MOVE

The MM&P NOLA Hall will move July 31 to 300 Mariner’s Plaza, Suite 321B, Mandeville, LA 70448. The new phone number will be (985) 626-7133. The new fax number will be (985) 626-7199.


BALTIMORE LAW FIRM OFFERS TWO SCHOLARSHIPS FOR UNION FAMILIES

The Ashcraft & Gerel law firm is sponsoring two scholarships, one for undergraduate students and one for post-graduate students. Each scholarship is in the amount of $2,500. All applicants must be members in good standing of a Baltimore area AFL-CIO affiliated union, such as MM&P. To obtain an application, call Ashcraft & Gerel at 410-539-1122. The deadline for submitting an application is Oct. 15. Winners will be selected on or about Nov. 12.


GET A HEAD START ON HOLIDAY GIFT-BUYING AT THE MITAGS ONLINE STORE

Looking for that perfect gift for the mariner in your life? Why not get a head start on holiday shopping at the new MITAGS online shop, http://shop.mitags.org. The online shop features clothing, memorabilia, souvenirs and supplies such as nautical slides and course finders. MITAGS thanks Chris Romine, Internet expert in the school’s engineering department, for bringing the shop online.


APU GRADUATE DEGREE ORIENTATION AT MITAGS ON AUG. 11

The American Public University (APU) system will conduct a graduate degree orientation seminar at MITAGS on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 7:00 p.m. All previous and current MITAGS Chief Mate/Master (CMM) program students are invited to attend. APU allows transfer of academic credit earned from completing the MITAGS CMM License Advancement Program courses into its own graduate degree and certificate programs. All APU courses are delivered on-line so mariners can pursue their educational goals from wherever they are. “This ground-breaking agreement affords merchant mariners the opportunity to complete their graduate degrees from anywhere they have access to the Internet, no matter where and when they travel throughout their maritime career,” said Victor Tufts, program manager at MITAGS. For additional information, contact him at 443-989-3531 or e-mail vtufts@mitags.org. You can also visit the MITAGS website: www.mitags.org.


D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP CLASS AT MM&P HEADQUARTERS AUG. 13-14

The D-Book Membership class will be held at MM&P headquarters on the evening of Aug. 13 and all day Saturday, Aug. 14. All applicants should complete the D-Book Membership Class as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up for the Aug. 13-14 course, please contact MM&P Contracts Officer Lars Turner: lturner@bridgedeck.org or 410-850-8700 ext. 28.


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.


KINGS POINT IMPROVEMENTS TAKING HOLD, MARITIME ADMINISTRATOR SAYS

Maritime Administrator David Matsuda told legislators during testimony last week that MARAD is working hard to revitalize the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.“Improving the profile and prestige of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is one of Secretary of Transportation LaHood’s top priorities,” Matsuda told members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces at a July 21 hearing. The Obama Administration’s budget calls for a 30 percent increase in funding for Kings Point, which has suffered recently from financial and other problems. Matsuda told the subcommittee that his agency has made “significant progress” in implementing management and process improvements at the school on the basis of Government Accountability Office findings.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of September 2010, as of the Friday before this publication, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/9

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 9/27
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/5
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/13
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/20
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 9/27
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/16, 9/13, 9/27
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/9, 9/20
CMM-SHPMGT II – Ship Management (week 2) 8/2
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/9
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/23

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/9
CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 8/23

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 9/1
EP � Emergency Procedures: 9/15

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/16

HAZ- Hazardous Materials (5 Day): 8/23

[LAP – Must be USCG Approved for the Licensing Test to attend]
LAP – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, 500/1600T: 8/16
LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/20

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/4, 9/14, 9/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 8/23, 9/27
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/23, 9/27
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/28, 10/2

[Military Sealift Command Courses]
MSC-CBRD1 – Basic CBR Defense: 8/13
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 8/9
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 8/9

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 8/2
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/9

SAR � Search and Rescue: 9/13
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/30
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 8/23
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling/Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/2

TPIC – Tankerman Person In Charge: 9/27

WKP-BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/27
WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/20

…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

August 2010

2          Flashing Light
2-6      Medical Care Provider
2-13    Medical Person-In-Charge
3-5      ARPA
16-20  ECDIS
16-20  Tankerman Person-In-Charge
23        Radar Renewal

September 2010

7-17   Celestial Navigation
13       Security Refresher
13-24  GMDSS
14-16  Security VCF
20-24  Basic Construction & Stability
20-22  Fast Rescue Boat
27       Radar Renewal
27-1   Basic Shiphandling
27-1   ECDIS

October 2010

4-8    Tankerman Person-In-Charge
4-15  Basic Watchkeeping with BRM
11-22GMDSS
12-15ARPA
18-29 Celestial Navigation
18-22 Medical Care Provider
18-29 Medical Person-In-Charge
23     Med DOT
25-27 Fast Rescue Boat
27     Radar Renewal


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 7-23-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,322.30 2,269.47 1,102.66
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
49.65
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
101.63
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.39
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.79
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.34
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.88
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.05
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.05
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.57
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.51
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.72
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.74
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.03
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.59
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.49
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.69
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.09
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.73
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
27.41
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.25
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.07
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.79
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.56
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
62.19
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
59.03
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.10
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
37.91
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.41
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
23.83
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.93
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.58
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.63
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.60
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.35
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.10
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.24
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.89
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
31.90
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
39.06
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
26.07



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.

© 2010, 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.