News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 27, 2011

September 27th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 39. . . . September 27, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


GRAND RIVER NAVIGATION ADDS NEW ITB

MM&P-contracted Grand River Navigation (GRN) announced it has acquired a new ITB. The ship will soon be on its way to the Lakes from the Gulf of Mexico. “I’m always glad for the addition of more jobs for our members who sail on the Lakes,” said MM&P Great Lakes Regional Representative Charlie Malue. The new, as-yet unnamed ITB will start running on the Lakes in the spring of 2012. GRN already has a fleet of three ships and three ITBs. 


REP. CHARLES BOUSTANY CALLS ON CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT TO FOCUS ON MARITIME

Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. wants his colleagues in Congress and President Obama to recognize the maritime industry’s potential to create jobs for Americans and boost the nation’s economy. “I’ve seen little recognition from the President and Congress of the importance of our industry,” the Louisiana Republican told a group of maritime industry representatives at a recent meeting of the Washington, D.C., Propeller Club.

“Louisiana is a maritime state. Our prime interests are trade and energy, and both require a strong maritime industry,” he said. Boustany called in particular for dredging the Port of Lake Charles and the inland waterways. “Each year, private industry pays billions of dollars into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to help maintain federal waterways and promote U.S. commerce,” he said. “Yet these critical funds are continually held hostage by Washington bureaucrats as maintenance and dredging backlogs across the country rise.”

Boustany is leading a bipartisan coalition which is calling for $5.1 billion in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be released to maintain Louisiana’s navigation channels.
His bill, the Realize America’s Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act, would ensure that funds collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund were used solely for dredging American waterways and ports. The bill has more than 100 cosponsors and is pending approval by the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.


NOAA SHIP THOMAS JEFFERSON CONTINUES SEA FLOOR SURVEYS ALONG LONG ISLAND COAST

NOAA Ship THOMAS JEFFERSON continues a three-month survey of the sea floor off the coast of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, as part of a multi-year effort to update nautical charts for Block Island Sound and keep large ships and commerce moving safely. In addition to supporting marine navigation, data acquired by the 208-foot hydrographic survey vessel will also support a seafloor mapping initiative by Connecticut and New York.

NOAA issued an official statement on the survey that quotes NOAA Corps Cmdr. Lawrence Krepp, commanding officer of THOMAS JEFFERSON and the ship’s chief scientist. “This area is seeing an increase in the number of deep-draft vessels requiring depths of more than 60 feet, and the pilots need precise and up-to-date depth measurements as they navigate,” Krepp was quoted as saying. “Our task is to measure the ocean depths, search for dangers to navigation, and give mariners the information they need to protect lives and the environment, while also increasing shipping efficiencies.”

THOMAS JEFFERSON is equipped with the latest scientific instrumentation for checking channel seafloors for shoaling and debris. “Ocean floors are amazingly dynamic, and we have to chart those changes,” Krepp said. “Our data is used to update NOAA’s nautical charts, but the hydrographic information can also be used to support a number of non-traditional uses, ranging from fisheries management to regional ocean planning efforts.”

NOAA’s current work in the area began in 2009, when THOMAS JEFFERSON surveyed 174 square nautical miles in Block Island Sound. This year’s effort, from August through November, will survey 228 square nautical miles. THOMAS JEFFERSON is part of the NOAA fleet of ships and aircraft operated, managed and maintained by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes both civilians and the commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. MM&P masters and mates sail aboard NOAA vessels.


MM&P WELCOMES MSC CAMPAIGN TO IMPROVE FOOD QUALITY ABOARD SHIPS

MM&P has welcomed the news that Military Sealift Command (MSC) has undertaken significant efforts to improve the quality of the food served aboard its ships. The changes came after MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski raised serious health concerns in correspondence with MSFSC and MSC management. “It is widely known that the consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease,” Ciszewski wrote. “Trans fats are used in products because they are cost effective and provide a longer shelf life. But the real cost of using these dangerous ingredients is shifted to CIVMARs who are restricted in their ability to maintain a healthy diet.”

To promote the health and well being of our members, MM&P asked management to immediately modify its catalog requirements to ban any food item containing unhealthy hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids. MSC responded swiftly and has already made significant progress in eliminating trans fats from meals served aboard its ships. “All frying oils used worldwide are now trans-fat free,” according to an official announcement that was issued by MSC in August. At that time, three vendors were still providing shortening that contains trans fats for use in bakery products and gravies, but MSC said that “MSFSC N41 is diligently working with DLA’s Troop Support Command” to ensure that these three will soon switch to a trans-fat free brand.

MSCHQ and MSFSC N41 also announced the development of a “35-day Healthy Menu” that meets or exceeds USDA Healthy Standards. The new menu was completed Aug. 29, with rollout scheduled for the following months. Executive chefs will visit all MSC ships to conduct training in food production of items on the new menu. All MSC ships’ menus are now being assessed by MSC’s dietician for nutritional value. If menus do not meet the standard, the dietician will work with the chief steward to modify them.

MSOs, Mates and Masters serving aboard MSC ships should continue to provide Randi Ciszewski their invaluable feedback to ensure these ongoing negotiations result in MSC continuing to serve meals high in quality and nutrition, adequate in quantity, in an appealing and sanitary manner. For further information on this or any FEMG matter, please contact her at rciszewski@bridgedeck.org or 202-679-7594.


PANAMA CANAL PILOTS AFFILIATE WITH ILWU

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said the Panama Canal Pilots Union voted to affiliate with the ILWU earlier this month. The pilots union has about 250 members. “This is an historic agreement that unites workers in different countries with a critical link in the global supply chain,” said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath.


UNION PLUS BENEFITS INCLUDE COLLEGE TEST PREP DISCOUNTS, COLLEGE GRANTS

Union Plus and The Princeton Review have partnered to give working families a significant discount on the costs of college test preparation courses. One AFT member who lives in Windsor, N.J., says he and his wife saved $252 on their son’s SAT prep classes. And while we’re talking college, parents of children 12 years of age and under should take advantage of a great benefit offered to all union members by Union Plus: Union Plus will give each union family a $500 college grant if they open a 529 account, and establish a $1,000 balance, for a child who is under 12 years of age. You can open the new 529 account with any financial services provider you wish. To find out more about this and other benefits for union members, go to: http://www.unionplus.org/


PHILIPPINE AND BRITISH GOVERNMENTS ANNOUNCE THEIR SUPPORT FOR SAVE OUR SEAFARERS CAMPAIGN

Seafarers’ representatives and business leaders who have joined forces to campaign against piracy have received a boost from the British and Philippine governments, which have confirmed their support for the global Save Our Seafarers (SOS) campaign.

In the United Kingdom, Member of Parliament Henry Billingham has publicly expressed deep concern at the “distressing and intolerable conditions” in which seafarers are being held. “The government supports the key actions that the SOS campaign has prioritized,” Billingham said, adding that he will schedule a meeting with industry representatives to discuss next steps.

In the Philippines, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz issued an official statement on behalf of the government that praised the Save Our Seafarers campaign for its “unrelenting efforts to raise public awareness on the deleterious effects of piracy, particularly in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.” 

“We will continue to lobby support from all corners of the globe with our campaign that has received website visits from 174 countries worldwide, leading to more than 20,000 individual letters from members of the public to the heads of state of more than 100 countries around the world,” said SOS Steering Group Chair Giles Heimann.


PIRATES SET FIRE TO SHIP TO DRIVE CREWMEMBERS FROM CITADEL

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that pirates set a Cyprus-flagged cargo ship on fire after the crew took refuge in the citadel. A spokesman for the IMB said pirates in two skiffs attempted to seize the MV PACIFIC EXPRESS about 300 nautical miles east of Mombasa. The crewmembers locked themselves in the citadel and radioed for help. The pirates set fire to the ship in hopes of driving members of the crew out of the citadel. According to a spokesman for the Italian Navy, the pirates fled when they saw the NATO warship ANDREA DORIA approaching. NATO security teams evacuated the 26 crew members from the burning ship and transported them to Mombasa.


OCTOBER MERPAC MEETING DATES EXTENDED TO OCT. 5-7

The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) was unable to complete all agenda items during its working group meeting on Sept. 8-9.  For this reason its next meeting, originally scheduled for Oct. 6-7, will now be held Oct. 5-7. The agenda for the meeting has been changed to add a working group discussion of the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning implementation of amendments to the STCW Convention and changes to domestic endorsements.


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


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 are interested in taking the course, please contact the local union hall or Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


MSC LUCIANA REFLOATED

The containership MSC LUCIANA was successfully refloated several days after running aground on a sandbank near the Belgian border. The 360-meter-long ship grounded on a sandbank in the Westerschelde, a large sea channel connecting the Antwerp port with the North Sea.ost 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

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/13

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 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): 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

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 9-23-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,771.48 2,483.23 1,133.66
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
50.36
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
104.61
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.61
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
15.76
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.48
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.98
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.20
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.35
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.54
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.75
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.85
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.02
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.88
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.73
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.79
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.11
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.07
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
28.27
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
16.37
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.56
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.30
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.89
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
59.99
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
57.39
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
15.29
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
24.87
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
23.72
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.17
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.89
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.96
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.93
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.56
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.25
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.06
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
32.56
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
40.41
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.76



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.