News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 12, 2010

April 12th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 15. . . .April 12, 2010

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


GOVERNMENT LEADERS CHART COURSE FOR SHORT SEA SHIPPING

Favorable winds that could finally make America’s “marine highway system” a reality are gathering force in Washington, D.C. The Transportation Department has unveiled a new regulatory procedure that will allow the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to designate selected rivers and coastal routes as “marine highway corridors.” Official designation as a marine highway corridor would give projects in these areas an advantage in competing for federal grants.

In a parallel development, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) says he is now optimistic that legislation to eliminate the multiple application of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) on coastwise shipments may soon make it out of the House Ways and Means Committee, where it has languished for some time. Modifying the HMT is a prerequisite to establishing “marine highway” projects on America’s coasts.

LaHood and Cummings made the remarks last week at the Marine Highways Conference. The conference was organized by the Journal of Commerce at MM&P’s training facility and conference center, the Maritime Institute for Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS). 

“For too long, we’ve overlooked the economic and environmental benefits that our waterways and domestic seaports offer as a means of moving freight in our country,”
LaHood said. He announced that for the remainder of this year, $7 million in competitive grant funds will be available for marine highway projects, with more details to come this summer. In addition, $600 million in TIGER grants will be directed towards the effort. Cummings, for his part, called short sea shipping, a “top priority.”

“There are many places in our country where expanded use of marine transportation just makes sense,” said Acting MARAD Administrator David Matsuda, who also spoke at the conference. Short sea shipping “has so much potential to help our nation in many ways,” he added: “reduced gridlock and greenhouse gases and more jobs for skilled mariners and shipbuilders.”

Cummings cited a 2008 Congressional Budget Office analysis that showed that the cost to the HMT Trust Fund of adopting an HMT exemption for short sea shipping would be less than $1 million annually. “Even the trucking industry believes short sea shipping would be good for America,” he added.

“There is just about unanimous support among members of the Transportation Committee to exempt short sea shipping from the Harbor Maintenance Tax,” Cummings told the audience. “This [short sea shipping] is not an issue that has any partisan boundaries,” he added. The fact that the concept appeals to legislators from both parties is particularly important in view of the political skirmishes that have been stalling progress on many of the other items in Congress’s agenda.

“Short sea shipping is a true no-brainer,” Cumming concluded. “It is critical that we begin to capitalize on opportunities to move people and goods by water.” Going forward, he strongly encouraged proponents of short sea shipping, including maritime industry employees and U.S.-flag shipping companies, to work harder to educate Washington decision-makers about its benefits.


GI BILL AUTHORIZED FOR THREE MATE TRAINING PROGRAMS

The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is now approved to offer Veterans Administration GI Bill Education benefits to veterans and their eligible dependents enrolled in the STCW95 “Chief Mate/Master” License Advancement Program, the “AB-to-Mate” and “500/1600 Mate” training programs.

Veterans and their eligible dependents can use their Post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill benefits. Monetary benefits vary: the Chief Mate/ Master Program is eligible for up to $3,600; the AB-to-Mate Program is eligible for up to $7,200; and the 500/1600 Mate Program is eligible for over $28,000.

The AB-to-Mate and the 500/1600 GRT Mate programs both meet the requirements for “Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch.” The Chief Mate/Master License Advancement Program meets the Coast Guard and STCW-95 “management level” training requirements.

To apply for the benefits or to obtain additional information, contact Victor Tufts, MITAGS Program Manager, at 443-989-3531 or by e-mail: vtufts@mitags.org.


INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION ADOPTS EMISSION CONTROL AREA PROPOSAL

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has officially accepted a proposal to designate waters off the North American coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA), a move that will result in cleaner air for millions of Americans. Large ships that operate in ECAs must use dramatically cleaner fuel and technology. The ECA was proposed in March 2009 and the IMO adopted it in the fastest possible timetable.      

“This is a change that will benefit millions of people and set in motion new innovations for the shipping industry,” said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. “The sulfur, particulate emissions and other harmful pollutants from large ships reach from our ports to communities hundreds of miles inland, bringing with them health, environmental and economic burdens. Cleaning up our shipping lanes will be a boon to communities across North America.”                                                      

Enforcement of the stringent ECA standards will reduce sulfur content in fuel by 98 percent, slashing particulate matter emissions by 85 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent. To achieve the reductions, tougher sulfur standards will phase in starting in 2012. New ships will be required to use advanced emission control technologies beginning in 2016, a factor which will further reduce emissions.


NEW CONTAINERSHIP DELIVERIES TRACK GLOBAL ECONOMIC REBOUND

Almost 300 new containerships are expected to enter service in 2010, according to a maritime industry forecaster, Alphaliner consultants. New ships with a total capacity of 307,000 TEUs were already added in the first quarter; additional ships are expected to increase the capacity of the world fleet by 430,000 TEUs in the second quarter. For all of 2010, Alphaliner forecasts delivery of 295 ships, for an additional 1.5 million TEUs. After accounting for scrapping and delayed ship deliveries, the forecasters predict that global container capacity will reach 14.3 million TEUs by the end of the year, a 9.6 percent increase over 2010.


MAERSK AIMS TO CUT COSTS BY $500 MILLION

The A.P. Moeller-Maersk Group says it will try to slash another $500 million from its operating budget this year. The announcement comes on the heels of a cost-cutting program that allowed it to save $2 billion in 2009. Maersk Chief Executive Officer Nils Andersen said the goal is to make the giant company more nimble and efficient by zeroing in on areas of waste and either terminating or turning around less profitable business niches. “We are not cutting just to survive but to become more competitive,” he was quoted as saying in an interview published in the company’s house magazine, Maersk Post.


WARSHIPS INTERVENE AS MONSOON SEASON ENDS AND PIRATES STEP-UP ATTACKS

Commercial vessels could experience an increased risk of attack off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean through May because the end of the monsoon season makes it easier for pirates to operate, according to a MARAD advisory. Calmer seas allow pirates to operate with larger mother ships and further from shore. Even vessels traveling 1,000 miles from the Somali coast should now be considered targets, the agency says.

In related news, the crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS MCFAUL captured 10 suspected pirates and rescued eight crewmembers from an Indian cargo dhow near Salalah, Oman, April 5. USS MCFAUL is attached to the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Carrier Strike Group, which is working in support of maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Meanwhile, European Union forces confirmed that the Turkish-flagged bulk carrier YASIN C, hijacked April 7, was released by pirates on April 9. It was reported that the pirates had left the ship and that the master was back in control.


THE PORT THAT BUILT A CITY AND STATE WILL BE SHOWN APRIL 21 AT MITAGS

As part of the April Kings Point Alumni Association monthly dinner meeting, there will be a special showing of the highly acclaimed documentary, “The Port That Built a City and State,” at the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies on Wednesday April 21, at 5:30. Special guests include The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley and Mark P. O’Malley, USCG, Captain of The Port of Baltimore. Guest speaker: Kathy Broadwater, deputy executive director, Maryland Port Administration. The deadline to RSVP for this event is Monday, April 19. The cost of the dinner is $35, payable in advance or at the door (cash or check payable to KPChesapeake). Mail to: Gary G. Hicks ’76 – President, USMMA KP Alumni – Chesapeake Chapter Inc., 42 Idlewild Street, Bel Air, MD 21014 Tel: (410) 420-0080 or e-mail: kpchesapeake@comcast.net.


IN WAKE OF GREAT BARRIER REEF GROUNDING, EFFORTS TO LIMIT OIL DAMAGE CONTINUE

Australian officials say they are transferring oil inside a Chinese bulk carrier that grounded April 3 near the Great Barrier Reef. The vessel, SHEN NENG 1, ran aground on a shoal off the coast of central Queensland. The remediation effort is focusing on the transfer of oil from vulnerable tanks to more secure ones to avoid further spillage. Officials said they expect to start removing oil from the ship in coming days if weather and sea conditions are favorable. Meanwhile, the Australian Marine Safety Authority said that, before running aground, the ship had deviated from its sailing plan and entered a prohibited area. Marine salvors have not yet decided whether to attempt to remove its cargo of 65,000 tons of coal, which was destined for China.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of June 2010, as of the Friday before this publication, seats are available in the following courses:

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 6/14

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 5/17

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/7

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 5/24

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/19, 5/13, 6/14

CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 5/3

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 5/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 6/21

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 5/17, 6/28

CMM-CHS-II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 4/19

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System:  6/7

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants:  6/14

CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1): 5/3

CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2): 5/10

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/24, 6/21

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/7, 6/28

CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 5/24

ECDIS/ENAV for PILOTS (2-day): 5/18

EP – Emergency Procedures: 4/21

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels: 5/26

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Basic & Advanced Combined: 6/7

FSM for Pilots � Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 4/21, 5/13, 5/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials Course (5-day): 6/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/19, 5/3, 5/13, 6/15

LNG-GCC-Term – Liquefied Natural Gas for Terminal Operators: 4/26

MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 5/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/8, 6/19

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 5/3, 6/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/26, 5/3, 6/14

[MSC-Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 5/21

MSC-DC � Damage Control (Special Evening Course): 5/17 to 5/20

MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: (Standby Only 5/17)

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 5/3

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/17

SAR – Search & Rescue: 4/19

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/10

SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 4/26

TPIC � Tankerman Person-in-Charge: 5/17

No classes scheduled for Memorial Day week (May 31-June 6).

…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

April 2010

19-23  Basic Cargo Handling
26-30 Basic Shiphandling
26-7    GMDSS

May 2010

3          Radar Renewal
3-7      Medical Care Provider
10-14  Medical Care Provider
10-21  Basic Watchkeeping w/BRM
24-28 Medical Care Provider
24-28 ECDIS
26-28 Security VCF

June 2010

2-4      Security VCF
7-10    ARPA
7-11     Medical Care Provider
7-18    Medical Person-In-Charge
7-18    GMDSS
8-10    BRM & Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots
11         Radar Renewal
14-2    Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
21-25  Tankerman Person-in-Charge


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 4-9-2010

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,927.07 2,454.05 1,194.37
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
51.14
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
110.09
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.80
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.80
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.43
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.60
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.70
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.18
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.58
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.70
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
20.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.61
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.38
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.91
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.03
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.87
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.41
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
29.70
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
16.23
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.50
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.38
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.30
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
69.10
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
64.60
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
17.77
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
41.02
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.81
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.12
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.02
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.08
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.22
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.15
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.62
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.90
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.65
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.52
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
42.29
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.01





~ Reminders ~



MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.


 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



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.

© 2010, 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.