News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 01, 2010

March 1st 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 9. . . .March 1, 2010

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


ALLIANCE BEAUMONT JOINS MM&P FLEET

The newest ship to join the MM&P fleet is ALLIANCE BEAUMONT, a pure car and truck carrier which was reflagged in Dubai on Feb. 21. Aboard the massive Maersk Line, Ltd. (MLL) vessel when it was reflagged were Capt. Jonathan Ahlin and Chief Mate Richard W. Conway, both of whom had joined the vessel on Feb. 13 in the Suez Canal. Also on board when the ship was reflagged was Third Mate Thaddeus J. Grohoski. The vessel has a sister ship, ALLIANCE CHARLESTON, which was reflagged on Feb. 12 in Port Elizabeth. 


PROBLEMS WITH USCG ONLINE APPLICATION TRACKING

The Coast Guard says it is having “technical difficulties” with a new service it recently launched: online tracking of mariner credential and document applications. In an announcement circulated last week, the Coast Guard reported that online application tracking data was current only through Feb. 21. It said mariners seeking more recent data on their application status should contact the National Maritime Center by e-mail or online.


PATRIOT CONTRACT SERVICES LOOKING FOR QUALIFIED CHIEF MATES

As previously announced, Patriot Contract Services was recently awarded the contract for four LMSRs which will be in reduced operating status (“ROS”). The vessels will be located in the ports of Jacksonville, Fla., and Violet, La. Patriot Contract Services is seeking qualified chief mates for permanent as well as relief employment. Qualifications for ROS chief mate employment include recent Military Sealift Command (MSC) training and/or experience. Unlimited tonnage master’s experience or certification is preferred. Interested members are urged to submit their resumes to Program Manager John Howe at the following points of contact: John.Howe@asmhq.com; fax: 877-573-1094; Patriot Contract Services LLC, 1320 Willow Pass Rd., Suite 485, Concord, CA 94520. Contract information can be obtained from your MM&P area representative.

Members are urged to acquire and keep current their MSC training certifications, particularly in the areas of Small Arms, Basic CBR (Chemical, Biological and Radiological) Defense and Damage Control. Although specific requirements may vary depending on the contract, meeting these basic requirements will assist members in maintaining eligibility for “off-the-board” employment aboard government contract vessels.


INCREASE IN GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE RATES

The Coast Guard has announced an average 5.07 percent increase in the rates for pilotage service on the Great Lakes. The increase reflects an Aug. 1, 2010, increase in benchmark contractual wages and benefits and an adjustment for inflation. The final rule is effective Aug. 1.


PORTS OF LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH REGISTER INCREASE IN LONGSHORE WORK

For the month of February 2010, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reported a significant upswing in the amount of longshore work available. The ports have prepared summaries which show that through the first three weeks of February, there were on average 2,679 longshore jobs available each day. The number is about 35 percent higher than that reported during the same period last year.


A MESSAGE FROM THE MM&P FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned and controlled by the people they serve. They are not-for-profit organizations that exist solely to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and obtain loans at reasonable rates. Credit unions are closely regulated. Through the National Credit Union Administration, the federal government insures deposits of credit union members for up to $250,000.

Credit unions offer a level of service that is not generally available at other financial institutions.  Whether it’s providing a loan to help a member cover unexpected expenses, giving financial counseling to a member who needs budgeting help or offering a better deal on a used car loan, credit unions make a difference for their members and their families.

The MM&P Federal Credit Union (FCU) is open to all MM&P members, employees and their immediate families. It currently manages nearly $1 million in member savings and $700,000 in loans. Since its inception in 1958, it has lent members over $14 million. As of Dec. 31, 2009, most MM&P FCU depositors and borrowers were members of the union’s Offshore Membership Group.

Over the course of the year, the MM&P FCU will introduce a new service that will allow members to access their accounts via the web. Watch this space for more details.  In the meantime, if you are looking for a safe place to deposit your money or a good interest rate on a car loan, think of our credit union. We are here to serve the needs of all our members. 


D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP CLASS IN LOS ANGELES MARCH 17-8

The D-Book Membership class will be held in the Los Angeles Hall March 17-8. The class will begin at 0900 on March 17. This is a two-day course that will end at approximately 1500 on March 18. For more information and to sign up, please contact the LA Dispatcher to assure that sufficient course materials are available: 310-834-7201.

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.


MARINE HIGHWAYS LOGISTICS CONFERENCE AT MITAGS APRIL 6-7

The 2010 Journal of Commerce Marine Highways Logistics Conference will be held at the Maritime Institute of Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum Heights, Md., on April 6-7. Confirmed topics include: how shippers can benefit from a sustainable intermodal supply chain; green shipping logistics; and how the Navy is designing a dual-use ro-ro ship. Confirmed speakers include Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Congressman Elijah Cummings. For the latest agenda visit: http://www.joc.com/events.


LIBERTY SHIP SS JOHN BROWN LIVING HISTORY TOUR IN RHODE ISLAND IN SEPTEMBER

SS JOHN BROWN, one of two surviving fully operational Liberty ships preserved in the United States, will be in Providence for a week in September. The vessel, which will be docked at Connelly’s Wharf at Allen’s Avenue right off Rt. 95, will be open to the public. The Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA) is sponsoring the BROWN’s visit to Rhode Island in celebration of the society’s 75th anniversary. On Sept. 25, the crew of credentialed volunteer mariners who man the BROWN will take visitors on a living history cruise up and down Narragansett Bay. Included in the $140/person price of the six-hour cruise are two full meals. Call SSHSA at 401-274-0805 during business hours for more information and to make a reservation, or send an e-mail to rtorsell@sshsa.org.


FLEET MANAGEMENT FINED $10 MILLION FOR COSCO BUSAN SPILL

Hong-Kong based ship operator Fleet Management Ltd. has been ordered to pay $10 million for its part in causing the 2007 COSCO BUSAN oil spill. The judge ordered that $2 million of the fine be used to fund environmental projects in San Francisco Bay. Fleet Management had pleaded guilty to criminal violation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, felony obstruction of justice and making false statements to the Coast Guard. The charges revolve around creation by Fleet Management shore-side personnel of false and forged documents after the crash.

The company also agreed to introduce a training and voyage planning program for its ships sailing to the United States. The training will focus on preparing masters for command, providing navigation training and ensuring that all Fleet vessels calling in U.S. ports create a thorough port navigation plan. The new training and voyage planning requirements will be subject to audit.

Fleet admitted that after the vessel struck the San Francisco Bay Bridge, it hid ship records and produced forged documents. Specifically, a forged berth-to-berth passage plan for the day of the crash was created at the direction of shore-side supervisors with the knowledge of the master. Additionally, a ship officer falsified the official navigational chart to show fixes that were not actually recorded. False passage planning checklists were also created after the accident took place.

The allision caused a gash 150 feet long by 12 feet high on the port side of the COSCO BUSAN, puncturing two of the ship’s fuel tanks and damaging the fendering system on the delta tower of the bridge. At least 2,000 migratory birds died, including brown pelicans, marbled murrelets and western grebes. The brown pelican is a federally endangered species. The marbled murrelet is a federally threatened species and an endangered species under California law.

John Cota, the pilot in the wheelhouse at the time of the allision, was sentenced last year to 10 months in prison, one year of supervised release and 200 hours of community service.


RUSSIAN SHIPOWNER ORDERS CREW TO SAIL WITH RAG PLUGGING HULL

A British port state control inspector has detained a Russian cargo ship, the BALTIYSKY-110, after finding a hole in the hull that had been plugged with a rag. British authorities have charged the owners of the vessel with failing to comply with merchant shipping laws. The plugged hole is in the port side hull plating of a water ballast tank. Maritime inspectors say the ship had been cited for hull damage on previous port calls but that the owner had ordered the master to continue to sail. The port state control inspector is now conducting a detailed inspection with a surveyor employed by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. The ship will not be released until all problems have been fixed according to international standards.


LICENSE ADVANCEMENT COURSE AT MITAGS MARCH 29-APRIL 30

The Chief Mate/Master Unlimited Tonnage License Advancement (LAP) course will be held at MITAGS in Linthicum Heights March 29 to April 30. The 25-day course is designed for mariners who have completed the 12 weeks of STCW 95 Chief Mate/Master training and want assistance in preparing for the unlimited tonnage oceans exams. It provides a complete review of both terrestrial and celestial navigation. Practice exams use actual Coast Guard rules of the road questions. The theory and practice of vessel stability and trim calculations are reviewed, as are the deck safety and navigation general modules of the USCG license exam. To find out more and to register, go to www.mitags.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AZIPOD (2 day) – Azipod Propulsion System: 4/8

BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/12

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/11, 4/19

CHS BAS – Cargo Handling and Stowage (Operational Level): 4/5

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 4/5

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/15

CMM-CHS-I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 4/12

CMM-CHS-II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 4/19

CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/8

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/29, 4/12

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/29, 4/5, 4/19

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/26

ECDIS/ENAV for PILOTS (2-day): 3/9

ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/15

EP – Emergency Procedures: 4/21

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels: 3/31

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Basic & Advanced Combined: 4/12

FSM for Pilots � Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 3/11, 4/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/10, 4/19

LNG-GCC-Term – Liquefied Natural Gas for Terminal Operators: 4/26

[MSC-Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 4/2

MSC-DC � Damage Control (Special Evening Course): 3/29 to 4/1

MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 3/29

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/15, 4/26

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/8

SAR – Search & Rescue: 4/19

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/8

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 3/22, 4/26

SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 4/12

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – 3-Day Emergency Shiphandling-Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/8

TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/12

WX-BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/8

WKP BAS � Basic Watchkeeping 3/22

…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

March 2010

2-4 Security VCF
8-12 Electronic Navigation
15-26 GMDSS
15 Flashing Light
22 Radar Renewal
22-26 Basic Meteorology
23-26 ARPA
23-9 Celestial Navigation

April 2010

5-9      Tankerman Person-In-Charge
12-16   ECDIS
12-16   Medical Care Provider
12-16   Basic Stability
12-23  Medical Person-In-Charge
19-23  Basic Cargo Handling
26-30 Basic Shiphandling
26-7    GMDSS


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 2-19-2010

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,321.03 2,238.26 1,104.49
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
48.53
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
102.03
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
33.08
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.25
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.08
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
23.69
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.77
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.05
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.23
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
17.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.03
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.52
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.92
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.47
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
27.38
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.17
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.82
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.04
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.32
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
63.36
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
57.81
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.24
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
37.46
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.50
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
23.64
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.80
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.41
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.45
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.24
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.21
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.61
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
31.08
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
39.19
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
25.98





~ Reminders ~



MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.


 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



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.




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