News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 23, 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 21. . . . May 23, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED ON MEMORIAL DAY

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day.


AMERICA’S MERCHANT MARINERS HONORED ON NATIONAL MARITIME DAY

Government and military leaders paid tribute to America’s merchant mariners in solemn ceremonies on May 19 in Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities and towns. “Our merchant mariners are putting everything on the line to protect the tomorrows of our nation’s citizens,” said Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, at a ceremony at the historic Washington Navy Yard.

McNabb said that because of the contributions made by the U.S.-flag shipping industry, the military has not had to break out a single one of its own ships to move equipment and supplies in support of the war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Our U.S.-flag industry has been phenomenal,” he said. “And I try to tell the story every time I have the chance, especially to our leaders in Congress.”

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) was the keynote speaker at the 41st annual Maritime Day commemoration organized by the Maritime Administration in Washington, D.C. He thanked the U.S. Merchant Marine for its courageous service to the nation. “We wouldn’t be the nation that we are today without the contributions of our mariners,” he said. “Yes, you are civilians. But you are civilians who are patriots.”

McNabb said the U.S.-flag maritime industry gives the military “the ability to pivot” from one arena to another. He also took the opportunity to express strong support for the Jones Act, cargo preference laws and the Maritime Security Program, which he said are the fundamental pillars of a strong U.S.-flag maritime industry.

At the heart of the formal military ceremony was the presentation of three commemorative wreaths in solemn remembrance of mariners lost at sea. During presentation of the wreaths, the guests stood and service members, including McNabb and Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander, MSC, saluted as the Navy Ceremonial Guard firing party fired three volleys of seven, and the Navy Brass Quintet played “Taps.”


NOAA HURRICANE OUTLOOK INDICATES ABOVE-NORMAL ATLANTIC SEASON

The Atlantic Basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this year, according to the seasonal outlook issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting: 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes.

“The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. “However we can’t count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook.”


CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET FIGHT THREATENS ESSENTIAL FUNDING FOR WEATHER SATELLITES

NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco told reporters covering the hurricane forecast last Thursday that recent federal budget fights have put the agency’s hurricane-tracking satellites at great risk. Lubchenco said NOAA has already been forced to delay the launch of one satellite that was to transmit information for weather and climate forecasts. The delay means that there is no replacement for the satellite that is now doing that work. She said that in addition, all future funding for NOAA’s satellites is “very much in limbo.”


DEEPWATER HORIZON REPORT HIGHLIGHTS LAX SAFETY STANDARDS

The flag-of-convenience (FOC) regime often results in lax compliance with international and national maritime regulations. In an official statement, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers Section Chair David Heindel described how the recently released U.S. Coast Guard report on the Deepwater Horizon spill underlines this and other problems with FOC shipping. “The Coast Guard report… reinforces the ITF’s long-held position that FOC–or runaway-flag vessels–often facilitate and even encourage unsafe business practices,” he said.

Although the ITF recognizes that there are some conscientious FOC operators with well-trained crews, Heindel said, there are many others who have no regard for the welfare or competency of their employees and “put swift profits ahead of safety.”

“When rules and regulations are lax, conditions can deteriorate into confusion and chaos,” Heindel said. “This was seen aboard the Deepwater Horizon… It was not registered in the United States–where we have a rich maritime history–but instead with the Marshall Islands, which lacks a strong regulatory regime.”

Heindel also linked the dramatic upswing in the number of pirate attacks to the rise of FOC shipping. “Without runaway flags,” he said, “the vital task of ending piracy would be immeasurably easier as traditional maritime States would seek to protect their nation’s respective assets.”


EMPLOYEES AT U.S. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET WANT TO UNIONIZE

Workers at the federal government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) could soon join a union. Nearly 400 OMB civil service employees have approached the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) about obtaining union representation, said an AFGE spokesman. AFGE has already filed its case with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which oversees federal labor-management relations. If AFGE and OMB agree on specific contract provisions, such as which employees would be included in the bargaining unit, an election could be held in August. A spokesman for AFGE said the Obama Administration is “a strong supporter of the right of workers to organize.” He said that whatever the employees decide to do, every OMB worker is “committed to working together to serve the President and the American people.”


U.S. NAVY HELICOPTER KILLS FOUR PIRATES

A U.S. Navy helicopter killed four Somali pirates last week as they attacked a German-owned supertanker, the Artemis Glory. The supertanker was en route from Juaymah Terminal in Saudi Arabia to China when it was attacked and issued a distress call that was received by a British warship. The U.S. destroyer Bulkeley responded to the call for help and dispatched a helicopter, which opened fire on the skiff, killing all four attackers.


FILIPINO SAILOR PROBABLY KILLED BY PIRATES

Government authorities in the Philippines said last week that a sailor had been found dead aboard a ship that had earlier been attacked by pirates off the coast of Benin. The incident took place in mid-May, when the Marshall Islands flagged MV SEA KING was attacked while at anchor. The body of the mariner was found several days after the attack. The government said the investigation into how and when the seafarer died is still underway.


SOMALI PIRATES PLEAD GUILTY IN YACHT HIJACKING MURDERS

Three Somali men have pleaded guilty to piracy in U.S. federal court for their role in a hijacking that ended in the death of four Americans who were sailing the world in a yacht, distributing bibles. The three face a sentence of life in prison. Twelve other people are being held in connection with the attack, awaiting trial. 


OFFSHORE MEMBERS RECEIVE WORK RULES AND SHIPPING RULES BALLOT

Members of MM&P’s Offshore Membership Group should already have received their ballots to vote on the new Offshore Work Rules and Shipping Rules. Please participate in this important initiative by voting your ballot! The deadline for returning your ballot is Aug. 11. If you have not received your ballot by Tuesday, May 31, please contact MM&P Headquarters: 410-850-8700 ext. 10 or ext. 12.


UNITED INLAND GROUP-PACIFIC MARITIME REGION MEETING JUNE 9

There will be a meeting of the United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region on Thursday, June 9, at the Edmonds Office between 1000 and 1200. All members are encouraged to attend.


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSE

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): 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 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 Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of September, 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: 6/13, 8/22

ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27
AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 7/25, 7/28

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 9/26
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/6
BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/27, 8/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 6/6, 9/12
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 6/27
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 7/11
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 7/18
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 8/15
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/13, 8/8
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 7/25, 9/19
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 8/1, 9/26
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/13, 7/118/22, 9/12, 9/26
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/20, 7/18, 8/15, 9/19
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/22
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/20, 8/29

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 7/29
CHS BAS � Basic Cargo Handing and Stowage: 8/8

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 7/25
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 9/12
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/29

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/27, 8/15
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 6/8, 7/27

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/13, 8/22

LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/6
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/6, 9/12
LFBT-LTD � Lifeboatman Limited: 8/20
LNG Awar-4 � Liquefied Natural Gases Awareness (4 Day): 8/1

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 6/13, 9/12
MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 6/13, 8/1
MED-PIC -R� Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 9/12
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/13, 8/1
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/18, 8/6

MSC-CBRD1 � Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 6/10, 8/12
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 6/6, 8/8
MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/6, 8/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/25, 6/16, 6/28, 7/20, 7/27, 8/18, 9/14
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 6/16, 7/27, 8/29, 9/26

SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/25
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/20, 8/29
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/8
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 8/1

TC-NAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11
TPIC-DL � Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/15
TPIC-LNG � Tankerman Person In Charge Liquefied Gases: 7/11

WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 9/19

…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

May 2011

25th    Flashing Light

June 2011

2-3      Vessel Security Officer
6-24    Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-24  GMDSS
20-22 Fast Rescue Boat
20-24 ECDIS
27-29  Emergency Procedures
30-1    Search and Rescue

July 2011

5-15     GMDSS
7-8      Vessel Security Officer
11-15   Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15   Medical Care Provider
11-22   Medical Person-In-Charge
16th    Medical DOT
18th    Radar Renewal
18-22  ECDIS
18-22  Management, Communication, and Leadership
19-21   Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
25-29  Basic Construction and Stability

August 2011

1-12     GMDSS
8-12    ECDIS
15-19   Tankerman PIC
15-19   Basic Meteorology
22nd   Radar Renewal
22-26  Medical Care Provider
27th    Medical DOT
22-2    Medical Person-In-Charge
23-26  ARPA


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 5-20-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,512.04 2,803.32 1,333.27
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
58.35
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
123.12
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
44.54
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.07
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.38
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.68
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.92
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.50
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.87
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.93
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.43
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.50
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.18
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.98
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.25
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.81
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.25
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.72
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.65
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.48
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.99
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.34
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.72
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
74.53
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
73.64
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.31
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
48.53
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
30.99
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
29.94
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.55
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.25
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.09
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.35
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.37
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.38
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.82
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.92
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
40.57
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
47.31
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
32.14



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.