News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 30, 2010

August 30th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 35. . . .August 30, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


ADVOCATE FOR A STRONG COAST GUARD BILL THAT BENEFITS YOU!

Legislation pending in Congress would bring about a number of legal and regulatory improvements that would benefit MM&P members and all professional mariners. Included in the bill are provisions that would:

  • put the medical review process for document renewal back into the hands of trained medical professionals;
  • streamline the application approval process for the Transportation Worker
  • Identification Credential (TWIC);
    – facilitate access to shore leave;

  • stop states and localities from requiring redundant background checks and duplicative security credentials;
  • shield mariners who injure pirates from legal liability;
  • create a new workforce development program aimed at helping working mariners who don’t qualify for traditional student loan programs.
  • The Coast Guard bill is now being negotiated in Congress. Please write your senators and representatives today to urge passage of the bill. The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department has prepared an extremely easy, streamlined online process that allows you to contact both your senators and your representative in just a few minutes. To send a message to Congress urging passage of this important bill, please go to http://tiny.cc/hrsgw today.


    U.S. MARITIME INDUSTRY COMMITTED TO CLEANING UP REMAINING GULF OIL

    America’s Jones Act fleet is committed to completing the clean-up of the Gulf oil spill as swiftly and effectively as possible, the Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF) pledged last week. While the Deepwater Horizon well has been capped, it is estimated that 1 million barrels of oil from the spill may remain in the Gulf of Mexico.

    “Though the oil well in the Gulf has been capped, the need for considerable clean-up remains,” said Mark Ruge, counsel to the MCTF. “The U.S. maritime industry is committed to completing the task of cleaning up the oil and ensuring we preserve the environment and natural resources that are critical to the economy of the Gulf region.”

    The American maritime industry responded to the Gulf spill in an “all hands on deck” manner. U.S. vessels involved in the clean-up include scores of the world’s largest and best-equipped oil spill response vessels, dozens of technologically advanced offshore supply vessels as well as thousands of fishing boats and other vessels of opportunity.

    Claims that the Jones Act, the foundation of U.S. domestic maritime policy since 1920, has hindered the ability of foreign oil skimmers to participate in the clean-up effort are false. In fact, the Jones Act does not apply to and does not constrain skimming outside of three miles from shore. The vast majority of skimming has occurred near the well, which is 50 miles from the U.S. coastline. Within the three-mile limit, the federal government has exercised its authority under a separate existing law and implemented an expedited waiver process to allow capable foreign skimmers to clean up oil.
     
    “Broadly waiving the Jones Act for the oil spill is an unnecessary distraction that would do nothing to advance the clean-up effort or improve the region’s economy,” said Eric Smith, vice president and chief commercial officer of OSG and an MCTF Board member. “Foreign oil skimmers are needed and already being utilized under a separate law and waiver process. A broad waiver for foreign vessels would only take work away from those most impacted by the disaster, American workers in the Gulf.”

    The Jones Act maritime industry annually generates 500,000 jobs, contributes $100 billion in total economic output, adds $46 billion to the value of U.S. economic output, provides $29 billion in wages, and contributes $11 billion in taxes. 


    AUSTRALIAN MARITIME UNION LEADER PADDY CRUMLIN IS NEW ITF PRESIDENT; ILA LEADER RICHARD HUGHES ELECTED ITF VICE PRESIDENT

    Paddy Crumlin, national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), has been elected as the new president of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) President Richard Hughes was elected as one of the ITF’s vice presidents.

    Speaking from Mexico, Crumlin said: “I’m excited to be able to take on this new role and play my part in moving the work of the ITF, its hundreds of affiliated unions and their millions of members forward through the implementation of a comprehensive organizing program focused on trade union regeneration and revitalization.”


    LEND YOUR SUPPORT TO THE FIGHT AGAINST PIRACY! PLEASE SIGN THE ONLINE ITF PETITION

    Your support is urgently needed. Please visit http://tiny.cc/nteo9 today to sign the international anti-piracy petition that will be delivered to world governments on Sept. 23. The petition, which is being promoted by a global coalition of labor unions and shipping organizations, demands stronger action from governments to stop piracy. The sponsoring group includes the International Transport Workers Federation, of which MM&P is a member, and the International Chamber of Shipping. The coalition is hoping to gather more than half a million signatures by Sept. 23, which is World Maritime Day.

    The petition demands that governments “dedicate significant resources and work to find real solutions to the growing piracy problem, take immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families and work within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people.”


    NOAA SHIP THOMAS JEFFERSON RESCUES PILOT

    While conducting mapping surveys west of Key West on the evening of Aug. 14, NOAA SHIP THOMAS JEFFERSON heard a Coast Guard radio report that a small aircraft with one person aboard had crashed in the water about 30 miles away from the vessel. The crew of THOMAS JEFFERSON immediately contacted the Coast Guard to advise they would help with the search and rescue operation.

    The crew used sophisticated navigation equipment, including the ship’s Doppler speed log and GPS positioning equipment, to estimate the ocean current and focus their search area around a location approximately two nautical miles south-southwest of the reported crash site. Shortly after 1:00 a.m. EDT, the ship’s crew heard cries for help off the port side, immediately brought the ship to an emergency stop and deployed a rescue boat. The crew located one person in the water using the searchlight and the rescue boat then picked him up. The pilot was reported to be in fine shape, except for a cut lip. MM&P masters and mates sail as officers aboard NOAA vessels including THOMAS JEFFERSON.


    MM&P HONOLULU PORT REP RANDY SWINDELL A CANDIDATE FOR HAWAII STATE LEGISLATURE

    MM&P Honolulu Port Representative Randy Swindell is running for office as a Hawaii State representative. MM&P is proud to endorse Randy! The state legislator’s job is a “part-time” position and Randy will continue to represent the union in Honolulu. His candidacy is a great example of how union members should get involved in local politics.  His campaign is centered on advancing the interests of working families in Hawaii. If you are interested in contributing or finding our more, please write to Friends of Randy Swindell, PO Box 1955, Honolulu, HI 96805. You can also call Randy at (808) 741-6352 or e-mail him at randyswindell@ymail.com.


    BIG SAVINGS ON COLLEGE PREP COURSES, PLUS $500 IN COLLEGE GRANTS

    Union Plus is offering two great new benefits for union members. For the parents of young students who want to start planning now for college, there is a $500 grant for union members who open a new 529 college savings or a pre-paid tuition account. The beneficiary of the 529 account must be 12 years old or younger at the time you open your account. Once the account is open, you must build a savings of at least $1,000 to qualify for the grant. To find out more, visit: http://tiny.cc/utm3j.

    Union Plus has also just announced big discounts on college preparation courses. Union members can now save 60 percent on SAT and ACT online courses and $400 for the in-person SAT or ACT class if they register before Sept. 13. Union families can also save between 20 and 50 percent on GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT prep classes. For more information, visit: http://tiny.cc/5p5ms.


    MM&P FEDERAL EMPLOYEES MEMBERSHIP GROUP MEMBERS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR JOBS ON OFFSHORE DIVISION GOVERNMENT CONTRACT VESSELS

    Patriot Contract Services is accepting resumes for deck officer positions on four LMSRs currently in ROS status. All MM&P members are encouraged to apply for these jobs. If you are a CIVMAR member and are interested in applying for one of these jobs, please contact MM&P New Orleans Representative Sue Bourcq: (985) 626-7133.

    All members are urged to keep up their government training in order to remain eligible for employment aboard vessels in the MM&P government contract fleet. Of particular importance are small arms training, damage control, helo fire-fighting, helo control officer, CBRD-level 1 and Shipboard Security Team training. Early identification of all officer crewing is vital because a SECRET security clearance is required for senior officers and training certification is required prior to assignment to the ships. Please send your resume, including most recent training, to Patriot Contract Services by e-mail to the following contacts:

    John Howe, Program Manager: john.howe@asmhq.com or fax to (866) 340-3072.

    Michael Gillihan, Logistics Manager: michael.gillihan@asmhq.com or fax to (866) 340-3072.

    Please also send your most recent resume and contact information to MM&P New Orleans representative Sue Bourcq: sbourcq@bridgedeck.org.


    COME TO THE LOS ANGELES LABOR DAY MARCH!

    The Los Angeles Labor Day March will be held on Monday, Sept. 6. Thousands of union members and their families attend the march every year to demonstrate their support for America’s working families and our country’s labor unions. As is our proud tradition, this year once again the Masters, Mates & Pilots will march shoulder to shoulder with the members of our fellow deep sea unions. All MM&P members, applicants and their families are encouraged to attend the march. The MM&P hall will be open by 0830. At 0900, we will begin the walk to the assembly area. Enjoy a fun morning with your shipmates and show your union pride! Join us as we march in Los Angeles Sept. 6 in honor of Labor Day.


    SHIP OPERATIONS COOPERATIVE (SOCP) WILL HOLD OPEN MEETING ON STCW REVISIONS AT MITAGS SEPT. 8-9

    The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) invites everyone to take part in its summer 2010 meeting at the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum Heights, Md. There are no membership requirements to attend. 

    This public session will provide maritime professionals, members of labor unions, seafarers, training institutions and regulatory representatives the opportunity to participate in working groups focused on the development of performance measures to assess mariner competencies listed in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW),1978, as amended in 1995, and again in June 2010.

    The working groups will focus on generating recommendations on the assessments of “performance conditions” and “behaviors,” as well as on the “criteria” for the Code’s tables of competencies. The work products generated will be forwarded to the Coast Guard. The size of each working group may be limited to ensure the groups remain at a manageable size, so please be flexible. Volunteers for working group chairpersons are being accepted and should be forwarded to Glen Paine: gpaine@mitags.org.

    There is no charge for attending or participating in the working groups. However, participants must register for the event at the SOCP website, www.socp.us, under Upcoming Events. Please indicate whether you would like to participate in a specific working group to ensure ample seating.

    Hotel accommodations are being made available for attendees at the MITAGS Conference Center. The room rate is $168/night and includes all meals.  Day attendees may purchase lunch and break service tickets at the front desk for $20. To make an online reservation please go to www.ccmit.org, click the [RESERVATION] icon on the home page, then select the [Group] icon on the reservation page.  Enter the following codes:

    Group ID – 16439
    Password – 1298

    You may also e-mail a reservation to reservations@ccmit.org or call 866-900-3517. For day participants, lunch tickets can be purchased at the front desk. For directions, please visit www.mitags.org. For questions please contact Kumar Samanta via e-mail at programadmin@socp.us or by calling (301) 440-1936.


    REAR ADM. PHILIP H. GREENE JR. NEW KINGS POINT SUPERINTENDENT

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week announced that Rear Adm. Philip H. Greene Jr. will become the new superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Greene holds a master’s license and is a 1978 Kings Point grad. He comes to Kings Point from the U.S. Navy, where he was most recently director of the Navy Irregular Warfare Office. Before that, he served as commander of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.


    COAST GUARD RESCUES 30 FROM PASSENGER VESSEL

    The Coast Guard removed passengers and crewmembers from the VIKING PRINCESS, 30-foot passenger vessel, after it became disabled off the coast of Provincetown, Mass. on Sunday, Aug. 22. No injuries or pollution were reported.


    SOMALI PIRATES DEMAND $1 MILLION IN EXCHANGE FOR MV SUEZ

    Somali pirates say they want $1 million for the Panamanian merchant ship MV SUEZ. Pirates took the ship Aug. 2 in the Red Sea. The vessel has a crew of 23 and a cargo of cement. It is currently being held off the coast of Somalia.


    MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

    Between now and the end of September 2010, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

    BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 9/27

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

    CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/13

    CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/20

    CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 9/27

    CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/13, 9/27

    CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/20


    ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 9/1

    EP – Emergency Procedures: 9/15

    [LAP – Must be USCG Approved for the Licensing Test to attend]

    LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/20

    LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/14, 9/20

    MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/27

    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/27

    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/2


    SAR – Search and Rescue: 9/13

    SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/30

    TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 9/27

    WKP-BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/27

    WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/20

    …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 2010

    7-17   Celestial Navigation
    13       Security Refresher
    13-24  GMDSS
    14-16  Security VCF
    20-24  Basic Construction & Stability
    20-22  Fast Rescue Boat
    27       Radar Renewal
    27-1   Basic Shiphandling
    27-1   ECDIS

    October 2010

    4-8       Tankerman Person-in-Charge
    4-15      Basic Watchkeeping with BRM
    11-22    GMDSS
    12-15    ARPA
    18-29   Celestial Navigation
    18-22   Medical Care Provider
    18-29   Medical Person-in-Charge
    23         Med DOT
    25-27   Fast Rescue Boat
    27         Radar Renewal


    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-27-10

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    10,150.65 2,153.63 1,064.59
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
    48.99
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    98.34
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    33.01
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    16.40
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    14.62
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    22.00
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    11.05
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    26.04
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    5.57
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    15.42
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    19.30
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    13.77
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    17.80
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    11.32
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    11.44
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    11.27
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    11.39
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    11.78
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.84
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    26.48
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    14.69
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    13.95
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    15.09
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.68
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    59.11
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    56.79
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    15.39
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    36.24
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    25.80
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    22.74
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    10.91
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    11.56
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    12.48
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    12.39
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    12.08
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    6.92
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    8.00
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    11.00
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    30.62
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    37.80
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    25.04



    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.