News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 22, 2011

November 22nd 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 47. . . . November 22, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED NOV. 24-5 FOR THANKSGIVING

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 Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24-5, for Thanksgiving.


FUNDING FOR MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM, FOOD AID, CLEARS CONGRESS

The House of Representatives and the Senate gave final approval on Nov. 17 to legislation that includes Fiscal Year 2012 funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and the PL 480 Food for Peace Program. The funds were included in HR 2112, legislation that provides appropriations for five Cabinet Departments, including Transportation and Agriculture.

The full amount requested by the Obama Administration for the Maritime Security Program in Fiscal Year 2012 was included: $174 million. This amount, coupled with the $12 million in MSP funds remaining from previous years, will fund MSP at the congressionally authorized level of $186 million in Fiscal Year 2012. Each vessel participating in the program will be eligible to receive up to $3.1 million in Fiscal Year 2012.

The amount approved by Congress for the PL 480 Title II Food Aid Program for Fiscal Year 2012 is $1.46 billion. It represents an improvement over the $1.04 billion proposed by the House of Representatives and reflects the growing awareness in Congress that, in addition to providing much-needed humanitarian assistance around the world, the program is a significant generator of U.S. jobs. The money appropriated will be used to purchase and process commodities in the United States, to transport those commodities by rail and barge to American ports, and to ship 75 percent of them to their foreign destination on U.S.-flag commercial vessels under U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping requirements. This program, which provides an important source of cargo for U.S.-flag vessels, had been funded at $2.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2009.

MM&P, along with the other maritime unions, shipping companies and associations, was actively involved in the effort to secure Fiscal Year 2012 funding for these two maritime programs. Maritime union members who contacted their members of Congress to urge passage of these important pieces of legislation were an important factor in our success.


HOUSE PASSES COAST GUARD BILL, ADDRESSES KEY MARITIME ISSUES

The House of Representatives passed its Fiscal Year 2012 Coast Guard Authorizations legislation (HR 2838) on Nov. 15. The bill, which is now awaiting action in the Senate, includes a number of provisions that address important maritime industry concerns, such as:

— The merchant mariner medical program: The House-passed bill includes two provisions relating to the merchant mariner medical program. The first would give the Coast Guard the authority to extend for up to one year a mariner’s medical certificate if the extension were necessary to help the Coast Guard eliminate a backlog in processing applications or in order to respond to a national emergency. The second provision directs the Coast Guard to submit a report to Congress that provides an evaluation of the merchant mariner medical evaluation program, as well as a discussion of alternatives to the program. The report is also to include an explanation of what changes to the Coast Guard’s program will be required by the STCW amendments that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. 

— Piracy: The legislation includes four major provisions relating to piracy. The first directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish a training program for mariners on the use of force against pirates. The course is to address tactics for the defense of a vessel, rules for the use of force for self-defense and procedures to improve crewmember survivability if taken hostage. The second provision directs each federal department or agency that ships U.S.-government-generated cargo to make sure there are armed personnel aboard U.S.-flag vessels carrying such cargo, and to reimburse the owners or operators of such vessels for the cost of providing armed personnel. Third, the legislation directs the Administration to submit a report to Congress detailing the actions taken by the Department of Defense to protect foreign-flag vessels from acts of piracy on the high seas. The report is to include the number of such incidents as well as the total cost to the United States for providing such assistance. Finally, the legislation requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress describing efforts to track ransom payments paid to pirates as well as efforts and actions taken to improve the international prosecution of pirates.

— Jones Act waivers: In response to the large number of waivers granted to foreign companies to transport strategic petroleum reserve oil between American ports, this legislation puts in place procedures requiring Congressional notification before waivers are issued, and requirements for the Maritime Administration to identify actions that can be taken to enable Jones Act-qualified vessels to meet the shipping requirements before issuing a waiver.

— Ballast water: HR 2838 includes provisions that would establish a nationwide standard governing the discharge of ballast water, replacing the numerous and oftentimes inconsistent patchwork of state regulations that exist today.     


MARITIME GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN GOES FORWARD

The unprecedented maritime grassroots campaign and its Maritime Advisory Committees are continuing their activities, meeting in New York with Congressman Tim Bishop’s district and communications director. The meetings are part of the effort to ensure that members of Congress understand the importance of our industry to the military, economic and homeland security of our nation, as well as the importance of the U.S.-flag maritime industry to jobs and the economic well-being of their constituents, districts and States.

MM&P and MEBA were two of the first organizations to join this first-time-ever nationwide maritime grassroots campaign. Both unions attended the meeting with Congressman Bishop’s staff in New York. MM&P was represented by former MM&P Vice President Rich May, a resident of Bishop’s district.  “Everyone committed to a stronger, more economically viable U.S.-flag maritime industry should join this effort so we can take our message back home to members of Congress in their districts and states,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “This way we can elevate our programs and issues to the level they deserve and, in so doing, prevent the exodus of vessels from our flag and the outsourcing of American maritime jobs.” More maritime advisory committee meetings are planned with additional members of Congress over the coming weeks.


TRAILER BRIDGE AND GENERAL MARITIME FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

Jacksonville-based Trailer Bridge and General Maritime, America’s second largest oil tanker owner, have both filed for bankruptcy protection. General Maritime issued an official statement last Thursday attributing its decision to a decreasing demand for oil and a surplus of tanker availability, which had generated two consecutive years of losses. The company said it was negotiating for additional financing to fund a corporate reorganization and intends to continue operating in the meantime. Trailer Bridge, which ships between Jacksonville, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, also said it has a new financing agreement in place and will continue operations during its reorganization under bankruptcy law protection.


MM&P HOLIDAY PARTY SCHEDULE

MM&P members, employees, their families and friends are encouraged to attend the holiday parties now being scheduled in our union halls.

On the East Coast:

— Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., Boston Union Hall, 12 Channel St., Suite 606-A;

— New York/New Jersey, Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 1:00 p.m., at the New York/New Jersey Hall;

— Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 15, at noon, Norfolk Commerce Centre III, 5425 Robin Hood Rd.,  Suite 204,  Norfolk (conveniently located off I-64/Military Hwy and Norfolk International Airport; HRT bus stops front of building).

On the West Coast:

— Honolulu, Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 11:00 a.m. in the Honolulu Hall, together with members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA);

— Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 16, at noon, in the Los Angeles Hall with MEBA;

— Oakland, Friday Dec. 9, 12:30 p.m., in the Oakland Hall with MEBA;

— Seattle, Friday, Dec. 2, at noon, in the Seattle Hall.


REAR ADM. WATSON TO HEAD SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT BUREAU

MM&P congratulates Rear Adm. James A. Watson, Coast Guard director of prevention policy, on his appointment to head the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Watson assumes the leadership position at BSEE on Dec. 1. He served as the deputy commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command in April 2010, and, on June 1, 2010, was designated as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the government response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Watson was appointed to head BSEE by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Adm. Watson has the experience, leadership, and vision that BSEE needs to be successful in establishing and enforcing safety and environmental protections for offshore oil and gas operations,” Salazar said in an official statement. “He will bring to the job a distinguished record, a commitment to tough and fair-minded enforcement, and the determination to advance our reform agenda for the benefit of the American people and industry.”


RENA SALVAGE TEAM SHIFTS FOCUS TO CONTAINERS

Salvage crews working for the past six weeks on the grounded Liberia-flagged cargo ship RENA say they have removed all the oil from the ship. They are now trying to remove the containers that are still aboard the listing vessel and retrieve those that that have fallen into the sea. The vessel grounded on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef on Oct. 5. Salvors predict that they will be able to remove only a few containers each day, given the precarious state of the ship and the dangers of the project. Some containers are so damaged they are breaking up as a crane tries to remove them. Wildlife rehabilitators say they hope to release 60 little blue penguins today, the first of the oil-covered birds to be cleaned and freed back into the wild after the spill.


THREE KIDNAPPED WHEN PIRATES ATTACK OIL VESSEL OFF NIGERIA

An oil supply vessel operated by Chevron was attacked off the coast of Nigeria last Thursday by pirates, who kidnapped three people. A spokesman for Chevron said the ship, the MV C-ENDEAVOUR, was boarded by eight armed pirates who attacked the crew and took three persons hostage.


ONE DEAD, TWO INJURED IN RUSSIAN CRUISE SHIP FIRE

The toll of a cruise ship fire in Moscow last week is one dead and two injured. Firefighters fought the blaze aboard the SERGEI ABRAMOV cruise ship at the Severny river port in Moscow for over 13 hours, according to the Russian news service Itar-Tass.

There were 31 people aboard the vessel when the fire broke out: 16 crewmembers and 15 visitors who were eating in the ship’s restaurant. Firefighters reported they had to pump out 33 tons of fuel while battling the blaze.


COAST GUARD BLOCKS COCAINE SMUGGLERS

The Coast Guard says the crew of Cutter BOUTWELL disrupted two drug smuggling operations off the coast of South America earlier this month and forced the smugglers to abandon over one thousand pounds of cocaine. The first operation took place Nov. 3, when the crew of BOUTWELL identified a suspicious fishing vessel operating approximately 155 miles off the Galapagos Islands. The second operation took place on Nov. 4. Smugglers who saw the Coast Guard vessel arriving in both cases threw an estimated 1,300 pounds of cocaine overboard. BOUTWELL is a 378-foot High Endurance Cutter homeported in San Diego, Calif.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 1/9

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/24, 3/13

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

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/20

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  11/28, 1/23, 3/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/23

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/9, 3/19

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

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/16

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

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 1/23

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/23, 3/26

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 12/5, 2/20

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/28, 1/16, 1/30, 2/27, 3/12, 3/26

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/5 , 1/23, 2/6, 3/5, 3/19

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/28, 2/13


CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9

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

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/23

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

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 2/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/28, 3/5

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

LAP-GL – License Advancement Program for Great Lakes: 1/30

LAP-ORG 3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 12/5

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/28, 1/23, 3/1

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 3/26

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/9, 2/13, 3/19

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

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/9, 2/13, 3/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/14, 3/24

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

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/7, 12/14, 1/11, 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/7, 3/21

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/23, 3/12

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/16

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/12

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 12/12, 2/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/11, 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
 
November 2011

28th   Radar Renewal
28-2    Medical Care Provider
28-9    Medical Person-In-Charge
29-2    ARPA

December 2011

5th      Radar Renewal
5-9      Train the Trainer
5-16     GMDSS
12-16   Radar Observer Unlimited
19-22  ARPA


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 11-18-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,581.93 2,520.33 1,192.15
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
53.06
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
112.29
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.70
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.69
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.41
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.01
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.14
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.25
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.62
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.16
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
20.97
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.18
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.11
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.18
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.41
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.51
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.87
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.00
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.40
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.06
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.91
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.50
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.84
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
61.84
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
62.40
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.64
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
42.10
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.14
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.36
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.05
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.33
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.36
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.07
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.48
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.67
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.91
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.35
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.15
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.30



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.