News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 13, 2012

March 13th 2012

 

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

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 11. . . . March 13, 2012

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P PILOT GROUP MEMBER DOING WELL AFTER RESCUE FROM PACIFIC

Columbia River Bar Pilot Deborah Dempsey is doing well after falling into the Pacific Ocean in the early morning hours of March 5 while transferring from a Greek-flagged grain ship to the pilot vessel CHINOOK. Dempsey fell into the water at about 1:41 a.m. while disembarking the NAVIOS IONIAN. “She went into the water and was rescued almost immediately,” said Capt. Gary Lewin of the Columbia River Bar Pilots, who underlined the fact that pilot boat crews are well trained in open-water rescues.

Typically, ships are brought down the Columbia River from Portland or Kalama by a river pilot until the ships reach Astoria. At that point, it’s another 12 or 13 miles to the Columbia Bar, which is considered the most treacherous bar crossing in the world. “Deb had completed her job and the ship was going on with its load of grain and in process, she ended up in the water,” Lewin told John Killen of The Oregonian. Dempsey was wearing a float suit with automatic strobe lights and a radio signal that begins transmitting when it hits the water.

Dempsey has been with the bar pilots for nearly 20 years. Before that, she was among the first women to graduate from a U.S. maritime academy, earn an unlimited tonnage  master’s license and command a merchant ship in international waters. “Debbie is a consummate professional with many years of experience,” says Joanne Rideout, a journalist and photographer who produces “The Ship Report,” a daily podcast about ship traffic around the world.

In the episode she produced following Dempsey’s accident, Rideout described the dangerous work of the bar pilots, who disembark as “the pilot ladder slides back and forth against the side of the ship, in darkness and with seas over a story high.” In the podcast, she recalled the January 2006 accident that took the life of Columbia Bar Pilot Capt. Kevin Murray, who died after falling into the Pacific at night and being swept away.


FEDERAL DREDGE EMPLOYEES TARGETED BY OREGON TAX AUTHORITIES GET MM&P SUPPORT

MM&P has pledged its support to professional mariners working aboard the federal dredges YAQUINA and ESSAYONS, some of whom are being unfairly assessed back taxes, interest and penalty by Oregon tax authorities–despite the fact that they reside in and pay income taxes to other states.
 
In 1990, Congress passed the Amtrak Reauthorization and Improvement Act, which exempts non-resident transportation workers from double taxation. Although the original Amtrak Act did not include mariners, Congress passed additional legislation–the Transportation Employee Fair Taxation Act of 1999, which was signed into law in 2000—that specifically exempts non-resident “waterway workers” from double taxation. Congress made yet another change to the law in 2010, to further clarify its intent to protect non-resident mariners from double taxation. (Specifically, Congress changed the wording in the Act from “the waters of more than one state” to “waters in two or more states.”) 
 
Oregon tax authorities are now contending that dredge employees are only covered by the Waterways Worker Exclusion when the vessel is working on the Columbia River. The state contends that by using the term “operating on the navigable waters of more than one state,” Congress intended to give a narrow exemption only to mariners working on the Columbia River and Snake rivers, but not on other Oregon waterways and not when a vessel is tied up.

MM&P believes it was the intent of Congress to pass a broad exemption that would put mariners who work in multiple states on the same footing as other transportation workers. On that basis, the union has pledged its support to the mariners involved in this case.


CSA ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

The Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) is accepting nominations for the 2011 Jones F. Devlin Award and the Safety Achievement Award. Entries for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2011, will be accepted through Friday, April 20. The awards will be presented at the Annual CSA Awards Luncheon at the Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras Street, New Orleans, on Tuesday, June 12.

Devlin Awards are awarded to any vessel that has operated for two full years or more without a crew member losing a full turn at watch because of an occupational injury. The program is open to all companies, both members and non-members of CSA. All vessel owners and operators are encouraged to participate. To qualify for a Devlin Award, a vessel must be in operation with a full crew.

The Safety Achievement Awards are presented to vessels that have performed outstanding feats of safety. These may include, for example: rescue; assistance to distressed vessels; transfer of ill or injured persons under difficult sea conditions; and demonstrations of safety and ship operations which have contributed to saving a life or a ship. They are actions in which the ship and crew as a whole were involved, rather than the achievements of an individual.

All vessels, including container ships, tankers, Great Lakes carriers, offshore supply vessels, tugboats, representing all segments of the industry (international and domestic deep-sea, coastwise and inland) are eligible to participate in this award program. To find out more, go to www.knowships.org and click on “Other Award Programs,” or contact Odell J. Moore at info@knowships.org.


1% GOT 93% OF U.S. INCOME GROWTH IN 2009-2010

In 2009 and 2010, the top 1 percent of earners captured 93 percent of U.S. income growth. Repeat: 93 percent of income growth went to the 1 percent. “Forget two-speeds. It’s more like the 1 percent is in a fast lane and the rest are stalled in the parking lot,” writes senior Wall Street Journal writer Robert Frank in his daily blog, “The Wealth Report.”  The findings emerge from a study by Emmanuel Saez of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). At the same time the earnings of the top 1 percent were surging, those in the bottom 90 percent of the income scale have seen their wage share retreat to what it was in 2006—when it was the lowest in any year (dating back to 1937).


TWIC CARD READER PILOT TEST YIELDS MIXED RESULTS

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reported that a pilot test of the terminals intended to read the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) has yielded mixed results. During the pilot program, terminals were installed at port facilities and on ships. TSA said some card readers worked well, while other did not. The agency found that “an unexpectedly high number of TWIC cards malfunctioned electronically and did not work with the readers.” It also concluded that where and how the devices were installed were key factors in the success or failure of each terminal.


17,000 WORKERS AT UNITED AIRLINES VOTE TO JOIN MACHINISTS UNION

Following the merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, passenger service and reservation workers at the new company have voted to join the Machinists (IAM). The 17,000 new members include Continental workers who had no union prior to the merger and the passenger service and reservation workers at United who were members of IAM before the merger took place. The Machinists also represent 14,800 ramp service and stock and store employees at United. With the addition of the passenger service and reservations workers, the union now represents more than 31,500 employees at the merged airline. United had objected to including some 1,000 fleet service workers in the election, but the National Mediation Board ruled that those workers should have the right to vote on joining the union. “Voters had to overcome an aggressive anti-union campaign that included an attempt to have the votes of nearly 1,000 IAM supporters invalidated,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “Despite United’s divisive tactics, we will focus our efforts on building a better airline and unite employees into a single force to face the challenges ahead.”


NEW CHIEF COUNSEL FOR MARITIME ADMINISTRATION

Franklin R. Parker has been named the new chief counsel of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). A former assistant to the general counsel at the Department of the Navy, he provided legal advice and support on issues ranging from acquisitions to cyber security, ethics and personnel. In addition, he was part of the team that developed a Gulf Coast Restoration and Recovery Plan for the President following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Before joining the Department of the Navy, he practiced at the Washington, D.C., office of Winston & Strawn LLP.


TOMORROW: LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE WEBINAR FOR HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan participants may want to view online webinars produced by Prudential, the Plan’s long-term care insurance provider. Prudential has agreed to hold an open enrollment period to allow active Plan participants to enroll in this voluntary insurance program without providing evidence of good health. The webinars will be held on Wednesday, March 14, and Wednesday, April 11, at 1:30 p.m. EST.

To access the webinar, you must have Java installed on your PC. Go to emeeting.prudential.com, click “attend a meeting” on the right side of the web page, choose MM&P H&B LTC seminar and, enter the password mmp. Then dial 866-657-9739 on your phone and enter the participant code 6653864 when prompted.

Helpful webinar hints: make sure ad/pop-up blockers are not running on your web browser or you may lose some meeting functionality; once you enter the meeting, there will be two smarticons near the top right of the screen that allow you to control (maximize or original size) the display of the meeting area; mute your phone when appropriate after connecting to the conference call. Please do not put the conference call on hold to make another call, as background music may play while on hold.


SEA-GOING COWBOYS EXHIBIT AT KINGS POINT MARCH 16-JUNE 29

A multimedia exhibit about the 2,000 men who sailed on Liberty ships after the war to transport livestock to Europe opens at Kings Point on March 16. The exhibit, a multimedia installation, is called, “Heifer Relief: Compass, Ark, Berth.” The livestock sealift was the beginning of the international aid program known today as Heifer International.
 
The exhibit opens with a lecture, “Sea Going Cowboys,” by author and historian Peggy Reiff Miller, on Friday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. The exhibit continues daily until June 29. The opening night event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact: Clayton Harper, American Merchant Marine Museum, 516.726.6047, Harperc@usmma.edu.


SS UNITED STATES CONSERVANCY FUNDRAISER AT SUNY MARITIME ON MARCH 24

SUNY Maritime invites you to a historic event: a gala to raise funds for the preservation of an icon of American history, the SS UNITED STATES. To attend the March 24 gala on the beautiful SUNY Maritime Campus, go to fortschuylerssusgala.eventbrite.com/

The SS UNITED STATES faces an uncertain future. Since her retirement in 1969, the ship has changed hands a number of times, but no plans for her refurbishment have come to fruition. Now, the ship has limited time left. “The dismantling and destruction of the SS UNITED STATES would be a tragedy comparable to melting down national icons such as the Liberty Bell, the Spirit of St. Louis or the Space Shuttle,” says a spokesperson for the SS UNITED STATES CONSERVANCY, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization. To find out you can help, go to: www.ssunitedstatesconservancy.org/


REVITALIZING THE MARITIME INDUSTRY CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE MAY 7-8 AT MITAGS

A two-day conference, “Revitalizing the Maritime Industry,” will be held at MITAGS on May 7-8 by The Maritime Executive. America’s marine highways have been underutilized for decades due to failed federal policies and inadequate funding mechanisms. Today, while the infrastructure is in place, U.S. vessel operators, shipbuilders, training institutions and port authorities have been overlooked as vital assets in the U.S. economic recovery plan. The Maritime Executive, with your support, aims to change that perspective in Congress and, most importantly, among the American people. To register for the event, go to: http://tiny.cc/MarEx


SCHEDULE FOR 2012 OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSES

The Offshore 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): 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; Oct. 10-11 in 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 MM&P Membership Secretary Mary Seidman: mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


OFFICERS IN 2011 NEW ZEALAND CARGO SHIP GROUNDING PLEAD GUILTY TO EVIDENCE TAMPERING

The captain and navigating officer of the Liberian-flagged cargo ship that ran aground last year on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef have pleaded guilty to changing the ship’s documents after the grounding, as well as operating the ship in an unsafe manner. The accident, which is being called New Zealand’s worst environmental disaster, resulted in a spill of over four hundred tons of fuel oil and the death of thousands of migratory birds. A hearing is set for May 22 and sentencing for May 25.

In the meantime, the Associated Press has reported that Australian authorities had impounded the ship 10 weeks before the crash after finding 17 safety and maintenance violations, but Liberian maritime authorities intervened and had it released. RENA split into two parts in January. Both halves remain suspended on the reef, with the stern section largely submerged, as salvors work to remove containers and the remaining fuel.


CAPT. JOHN C. JAY KENNEDY NEW KINGS POINT COMMANDANT OF MIDSHIPMEN

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s new commandant of midshipman, Capt. John C. “Jay” Kennedy, is a 1982 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, who retired with the rank of colonel after 30 years of active duty in the Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the USMC Amphibious Warfare School, the USMC Command and Staff College, and the National War College. He holds master’s degrees from the National Defense University and the University of Denver.


CAPTAIN DIES WHEN GREEK TANKER SINKS

The captain of a Greek tanker was killed when his ship, which was carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil and diesel, sank west of Athens on March 5. The other 10 members of the crew were rescued and reported safe. Officials said that there was no evidence of an oil spill and that the cause of the captain’s death was being investigated. The ship, the ALPHA 1, is said to have struck an old shipwreck.


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.

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 5/21, 6/11

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification Systems (one day): 5/10, 6/6

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/13, 4/5


BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 4/30

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/9, 6/7

BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/9, 6/25

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/19, 6/11

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 5/14

CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 4/9, 6/25

CMM-CHS � Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/16

CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 5/21

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/26, 6/4

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/30

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 5/14, 6/11

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/19, 4/2, 4/16, 5/21, 6/18

CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/2, 6/18

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 4/30

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 4/9

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 3/15, 5/11

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 6/4

ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 3/19

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/21

EP � Emergency Procedures: 4/25

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/9, 6/25

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/16, 6/6

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/11

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

LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/4

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/18, 5/9

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 3/26

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/19, 4/16, 6/11

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/19, 4/16, 6/11

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/24, 4/21, 6/16

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/4

MSC-DC � Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/4

MSC-CBRD-1 � Military Sealaif Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 3/21, 4/4

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/1, 4/18, 5/2, 5/6, 6/13, 6/27

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 4/23

SAR � Search & Rescue: 4/23

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/7

SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 4/23, 5/14, 6/25

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/2

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 5/7

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person in Charge Dangerous Liquids: 5/21

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.
 
March 2012
20-21     Safety Management Systems
22-23     Build Your Own Internal Auditing Team Seminar
26th       Radar Renewal
26-30     Medical Care Provider

April 2012

2-6          ECDIS
2-6          Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
4-6          Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
9-20       GMDSS
13th       Radar Renewal
16-20     Radar Observer Unlimited
23-27     Medical Care Provider
23-4       Medical Person-In-Charge
30th       Radar Renewal
30th       Flashing Light Exam

May 2012

1-4          ARPA
7-11       Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
7-18       GMDSS
14-18     ECDIS
14-1       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
21-25     Radar Observer Unlimited
22-24     Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2012

4-6          Emergency Procedures
4-22       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
7-8          Search and Rescue
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-22     ECDIS
18-22     Management, Communication, and Leadership (Horizon Lines)
25-29     Medical Care Provider


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 3-9-12

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,922.02 2,988.34 1,370.87
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
56.17
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
126.74
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
44.31
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.48
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.91
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.13
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.04
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
35.64
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.87
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.95
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.90
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.50
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.41
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.06
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.67
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.10
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.01
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
34.44
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.13
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.02
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
20.06
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.95
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
71.30
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
71.20
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.59
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
48.81
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.44
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
29.56
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.58
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.26
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.89
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.04
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.91
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.05
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.38
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.02
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
39.94
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
48.70
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.77



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.

© 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.