News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 20, 2011

September 20th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 38. . . . September 20, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P MEMBERS ABOARD USNS COMFORT ARE IN THE NEWS

Civil service mariners who sail aboard USNS COMFORT are winding up an ambitious humanitarian mission that has brought desperately needed medical aid to residents of Jamaica, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Haiti. The mission, “Continuing Promise 2011,” is one of the biggest programs of this type ever undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere. In the course of the mission, medical personnel aboard COMFORT have examined over 60,000 people and carried out well over 1,000 surgical operations in the hospital ship’s 12 modern operating rooms.

“When you’re sailing on here with 900 people and a fully functional modern hospital between the bow and the stern, you really get a feel for the power and strength of the United States differently than you would on a gray combat ship,” Capt. Randall Rockwood, COMFORT’s civil service master and vice president of MM&P’s Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG), told a journalist who writes for the MSC publication “Sealift.”

An article in the magazine features interviews with members of the MM&P FEMG who operate the ship: Second Officer Grant Begley; Second Officer Shari Lee; Third Officer Edward Pollard; and Third Officer Krystyn Rutzel. Also aboard COMFORT and taking part in operation “Continuing Promise 2011” is FEMG member Third Officer Joe Kranz.


ILWU FIGHTS TO PROTECT JURISDICTION IN LONGVIEW

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and community activists have conducted a series of “wildcat” protests this summer at the EGT grain terminal in Longview, Wash. Wildcat protests are demonstrations that are not authorized by the labor union to which the employees belong. Over 100 arrests have been made in the course of the demonstrations, and a contempt citation was issued against the ILWU on Sept. 15 by Federal Judge Ronald B. Leighton. The judge is expected to announce possible sanctions against the union on Sept. 30.

The EGT terminal is owned and operated by a consortium of three companies:  Missouri-based Bungie, South Korea-based STX Pan Ocean and Japan-based Itochu Corp. EGT’s new grain elevator is the first to be built on the West Coast in almost 25 years. After securing tax and land concessions from the local community, EGT signed an agreement with the Port of Longview that obligated EGT to staff the facility with ILWU members. EGT also negotiated directly with ILWU Local 21–then walked away from the talks and hired a subcontractor who employed some workers covered by an agreement with the Operating Engineers Local 107. EGT is now suing the Port of Longview–and taxpayers–in court, claiming that they were never obligated to hired ILWU members despite signing agreements with the port and negotiating with ILWU Local 21. 

On Sept. 7, several groups of protesters reportedly gathered on the train tracks near the ports of Vancouver and Longview. Protestors allegedly blocked a train carrying a load of grain. ILWU President Bob McEllrath was among several who were briefly detained on that day by police. “It shouldn’t be a crime to fight for good jobs in America,” McEllrath said.

Early the next morning, news reports say hundreds of workers entered the facility, opening the doors of the railroad cars and allowing grain to spill onto the ground. Police said some windows were broken. No arrests were made at the time, but several have been made since the incident.

MM&P members have joined other unions over the course of the summer in demonstrations outside the EGT facility to support the ILWU members.


HORIZON LINES CLOSES ON BRIDGE LOAN

Horizon Lines said last week it had concluded negotiations on a bridge loan facility of up to $25 million and had reached an agreement with its bank lenders to amend its current credit facility to accommodate the bridge loan. It also said it has made a $7 million payment to note holders. The company said the arrangement would provide it with more than $35 million in liquidity to fund its operations until the closing of a comprehensive refinancing agreement announced in August.


NAVY LEAGUE HONORS REPRESENTATIVE TODD AKIN

The National Capital Council of the Navy League last week presented its annual Congressional Sea Services Award to Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.). The award, which is given annually by the council, honors a U.S. representative or senator for outstanding contributions to the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine.

In remarks during the ceremony, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley praised Akin’s service on behalf of the sea services as chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. Leaders from each of the sea services were on hand to salute Akin, including: Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Vice Adm. John Blake; Marine Corps Deputy Commandant Lt. Gen. Richard Tryon; Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp; and a representative from the Maritime Administration.

National Capital Council President Charlie McCullough presented the award to Akin. The award features a compass binnacle from the SS SIOUX FALLS VICTORY, a Victory ship that saw duty during World War II, Korea and the Vietnam War.


LEE KINCAID AND JAMES CAPONITI WILL LEAD AMC

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the American Maritime Congress (AMC) have announced the appointment of Lee A. Kincaid as permanent AMC president and James E. Caponiti as AMC executive director. “Under their guidance, AMC will gain an even stronger voice in Washington as the advocate for the good of American-flag shipping and the U.S.-flag merchant marine,” said AMC Board Chairman and MEBA President Mike Jewell.

Kincaid has served as interim president of the AMC for the past six months. He is a Kings Point graduate who sailed for 15 years in all merchant marine deck officer positions, including master. Caponiti serves as the assistant administrator for the U.S. Maritime Administration.


MARITIME UNIONS SAY PROPOSAL TO CREATE UN ANTI-PIRACY FORCE WOULD REWARD FOC REGISTRIES THAT ARE DOING LITTLE OR NOTHING TO FIGHT PIRACY

In response to the International Shipping Roundtable’s request for United Nations military detachments to fight shipboard piracy, four American maritime unions have written the U.S. Department of State to express their strong opposition to the proposal. The unions said that asking the United Nations to shoulder the load would be grossly unfair to U.S. taxpayers and responsible flag states.

In a Sept. 16 letter to Department of State Anti-Piracy Coordinator Donna Leigh Hopkins, Seafarers International Union (SIU) Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel spelled out the most serious problems with the proposal made earlier this month by the Round Table of international shipping associations. Heindel serves as chair of the Seafarers’ Section of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). He wrote the letter on behalf of the AMO, MEBA, MM&P and the SIU.

“The Round Table’s proposal that the U.N. establish a force of armed military guards for deployment aboard merchant ships amounts to saddling American taxpayers with paying to protect the flag-of-convenience scheme,” Heindel wrote. (The United States is the largest donor to the United Nations, supplying 22 percent of its budget in 2011.) “Their proposal equates to having others pay to fight piracy while the absent flag states rake in profits from much of the world’s fleet without meeting any of the obligations as a proper flag state. In our opinion, their failure to act thus far has contributed to the death of more than sixty seafarers….”

“We oppose the use of U.N. forces in this fight because, quite simply, it would reward flag-of-convenience states that make no effort to protect crews working on vessels flying their flags,” Heindel wrote. “In particular, most if not all of the flag-of-convenience or runaway flags have either made woefully inadequate attempts to combat piracy, or they’ve made none at all. The burden of dealing with pirates is being borne by the seafarers themselves, ship operators and a few nations–including the United States–and the task of actually prosecuting pirates by even fewer. The failure of flag-of-convenience states to exercise their jurisdiction against pirates who have attacked vessels flying their flag is totally unacceptable to the world’s seafarers and should be to those that employ and regulate us.”


PIRATES RAID TANKER, KIDNAP 23 SAILORS IN WEST AFRICA

Pirates last week attacked a Cyprus-flagged tanker off the coast of West Africa and kidnapped the 23 crewmembers on board. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), pirates boarded the ship as it idled 62 nautical miles from Benin’s capital of Cotonos, while the crew was in the process of transferring its cargo of crude oil to a Norwegian-flagged ship. The pirates attacked the Norwegian ship as well, but members of the crew locked themselves into a strong room and waited until the pirates fled. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is becoming a growing problem: officials are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of incidents as well as in the level of violence that characterizes the attacks.


PIRATES KILL TWO TOURISTS, KIDNAP THEIR WIVES

European naval forces last week rescued a French woman kidnapped by Somali pirates who had hijacked a yacht off the coast of Yemen. The woman’s husband was killed by the pirates when they boarded the yacht. A warship responding to a distress call found the yacht unmanned and then located a skiff suspected of involvement in the incident. The crew of the warship stopped the skiff, released the woman and detained seven pirates. 

In related news, police continue to hunt for suspects in the killing of a British tourist and the kidnapping of his wife in a raid on an exclusive beach resort in Kenya. The man was shot in the head as he tried to fight off the gang at Kiwayu Safari Village, near the Kenyan border with Somalia. His wife was taken away by pirates in a motor boat. The couple had arrived at Kiwayu on Saturday afternoon after visiting the Masai Mara reserve.

Somali pirates are currently holding 50 vessels and 528 hostages. Two weeks ago a Danish family of five, including three children, and two crew members, were released after seven months of negotiations.


QUICK ACCESS TO UNITED INLAND GROUP PAGES ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

We’ve upgraded www.bridgedeck.org to create a new section dedicated to the members of the MM&P United Inland Group (UIG). The UIG now has its own section on the site and its own button on the home page: to find it, just go to www.bridgedeck.org and look in the left-hand column. Click on “United Inland Group” to find out all about the group, to view a directory of UIG halls and to read updates and important news.

We have also added another new section to our site, “Join MM&P,” which makes it easier to apply for membership in every MM&P membership group by helping prospective members assemble the documents necessary to apply. To access the new section, go to www.bridgedeck.org, and click on “Join MM&P” in the left-hand column. There, you’ll find all the information and forms you need to become a member.


OFFSHORE DIVISION ORIENTATION COURSE SCHEDULE

The Offshore Division Orientation course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held: Oct. 12-13 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans. If sufficient showing of interest is demonstrated at other union halls, additional courses may be added to the schedule. 

Under the changes to the shipping rules that were ratified by the membership in August, members who want to upgrade to a B-Book or an A-Book are now required to attend the course. It is also a pre-requisite for D-Book status. Applicants should take this course as soon as possible.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the hiring hall or, in the case of a course at headquarters, to Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


MARAD HOSTS PUBLIC MEETINGS ON PANAMA CANAL EXPANSION AND SHORT SEA SHIPPING

MARAD is inviting industry stakeholders to participate in two public meetings during the month of September, one on each coast. The morning sessions are dedicated to discussion of the potential impact of the Panama Canal expansion on U.S. ports. The afternoon sessions will explore opportunities to incorporate the American marine highway system into the rest of the country’s transportation system. The first two meetings will be held in San Francisco on Thursday, Sept. 22 and in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 27.More information as well as registration instructions can be found at www.PanamaCanalStudy.com/registration or in the Federal Register at http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-22967


JONES ACT FORUM AT MITAGS OCT. 12-13

The Jones Act has the potential to generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs and should be a central focus of the campaign to jumpstart the nation’s economy. This is the tenet of a national forum sponsored by Maritime Executive, the publishing company that produces Maritime Executive magazine and the MarEx newsletter. The company will hold a national forum on the Jones Act at MITAGS Oct. 12-13.

“Today, U.S. vessel operators, shipbuilders, training institutions and port authorities have been overlooked as vital assets in the U.S. economic recovery plan,” the company said in an official release. “With your support, we aim to change that perspective in Congress and, most importantly, among the American people through a media campaign titled ‘Strong Ships for America’ and a series of strategic Jones Act conferences.” To register, go to: http://www.maritime-executive.com/registration.php


ENGINE ROOM FIRE KILLS TWO ON NORWEGIAN CRUISE SHIP

An explosive fire in the engine room of the Norwegian cruise liner MS NORDLYS last week killed two members of the crew, injured nine and forced the evacuation of the vessel. All the passengers were evacuated safely into lifeboats or after the boat pulled into harbor. Two crew members, aged 18 and 57, were found dead in the engine room; nine others were admitted to the hospital. A spokesman for the ship operator,  Hurtigruten Shipping Line, said Monday the vessel, which was berthed at the port of Aalesund about 230 miles northwest of Oslo, was no longer at risk of capsizing. The fire began at 9:20 a.m. local time on Thursday. The 1994-built NORDLYS, which can carry almost 700 passengers, operates on the popular tourist route from Bergen to the northern regions above the Polar circle.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: MITAGS:PMI :: Courses

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: 10/17

ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27
AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/13

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 9/26, 11/14
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/28
BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/10

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 11/14
CMM-ADVNAV � Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 10/31
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 10/3
CMM-CHS � Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/10
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 12/5
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/24
CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 12/5
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/26, 10/24, 11/7, 11/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/3, 10/31, 11/14, 12/5
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/28

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 11/10
CHS BAS � Basic Cargo Handing and Stowage: 10/31

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 10/17
EP � Emergency Procedures: 10/19
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/8

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/10
FSM � Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 10/19

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/28

LAP � License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 10/3
LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 12/5
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/17, 11/28

MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 11/11
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 10/24
MED-PIC -R� Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 11/14
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 10/24
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/29

MSC-CBRD1 � Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 10/7
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 10/3
MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/3, 11/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 12/7, 12/14
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/7

SAR � Search & Rescue: 10/17
SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/7
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 10/10, 12/12
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/10
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 10/17

C-NAV � Celestial Navigation: 11/7

WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 10/3

…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

September 2011

26-30 Med PIC Refresher
26-30 ECDIS
26-30 Basic Shiphandling

October 2011

3-7      Basic Construction and Stability
3-14    GMDSS
10-14  ECDIS
11th      Flashing Light
12-13   Basic Environmental Awareness w/ Vessel General Permit
17th      Radar Renewal
17-21   Management, Communication, and Leadership
17-21   Basic Shiphandling
18-20  Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
24-28 Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-16-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,509.09 2,622.31 1,216.01
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
53.23
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
112.52
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.92
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.39
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.69
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
24.57
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.18
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.44
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.60
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.13
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.23
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.18
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.14
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.42
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.37
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.60
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.96
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.00
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.50
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.32
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.10
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.41
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.89
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
64.66
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
62.59
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.51
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
43.84
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
27.09
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.98
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.36
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.09
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.48
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.54
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.64
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.87
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.06
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.55
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.23
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.71



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.




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