Wheelhouse Weekly – December 12th, 2017

December 13th 2017

Volume 22… Number 50… Dec. 12, 2017


In This Issue:



News for MM&P Members:

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At a meeting conducted in the Port of Honolulu on Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Executive Board of the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA) reaffirmed its support for MM&P in its campaign for a fair contract with Pasha (The Pasha Group, Pasha Hawaii, and other subsidiaries).

MM&P and Pasha have been in negotiations since last summer. Negotiations have been slow to reach resolution due to the company’s failure to acknowledge and comply with its contractual and legal obligations.

Accordingly, MM&P filed Unfair Labor Practice charges under Section10(b) of the National Labor Relations Act.

Pursuant to these charges, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a complaint against Pasha for violations involving two new containerships being built at Keppel AmFELS, in Brownsville, Texas.

The investigation by NLRB Region 20 determined that MM&P requested information pertinent to the new vessels under construction and that is necessary for, and relevant to, the union’s performance of its duties.

The NLRB determined that since about July 11, 2017, the company has failed and refused to comply.

The Board is seeking an order to compel Pasha to turn over the documents and to bargain in good faith with MM&P.

“The leaders of the Maritime Labor Alliance will not stand idle if Pasha continues to fail to live up to its contractual obligations, bargain in good faith and adhere to the requirements of the law,” the MLA said in a statement.

“We pledge to work in concert to ensure that Pasha will honor its obligations to the mariners that generate Pasha’s profits.”

The members of the Maritime Labor Alliance are: American Radio Association (ARA), Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU), International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and MM&P.

Together, the six MLA member unions represent 120,000 maritime workers.

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A bipartisan group of 12 House lawmakers has called on President Trump to grant civilian federal employees a bigger pay raise in 2018, equal to what the military receives.

Trump proposed a 2.1 percent raise for military personnel, but Congress boosted that figure to 2.4 percent when it passed the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act last month.

Under the President’s budget request, civilian federal employees, including Civil Service mariners, are slated to receive a 1.9 percent across-the-board raise.

Trump has said a higher increase for civilian employees is “not warranted.”

On Dec. 1, a group of lawmakers signed a letter to the President urging him to continue the tradition of increasing pay for civilian and military personnel equally when he confirms his pay raise plan later this month.

“The federal workforce is a dedicated group of individuals who are critical to the day-to-day functions of the federal government,” the House members wrote.

“We should not take them for granted. Without them, Social Security benefits would not be delivered, tainted foods would remain on grocery store shelves and our national parks would not be open for visitors to enjoy.”

The letter was signed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Reps.Gerry Connolly (D-Va.); Steny Hoyer (D-Md.); Elijah Cummings (D-Md.); Tom Cole (R-Okla.); David McKinley (R-W.Va.); Peter King (R-N.Y.); Don Beyer (D-Va.);Barbara Comstock (R-Va.); Anthony Brown (D-Md.); Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.); and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

Following the action by Congress to boost the pay of members of the military, MM&P began preparing to make the case for pay raises for the Civil Service mariners it represents through the union’s Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG).

As part of the process, MM&P FEMG Vice President Captain Randall Rockwood and MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski will attempt to motivate a similar increase for CIVMARS based on prevailing wages for comparable deep-sea maritime jobs as per the union’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Military Sealift Command (MSC).

Rockwood and Ciszewski have also underlined the persistent threat to personnel aboard ships operating in contested waters.

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Tax cut bills approved by the Senate on Dec. 2 and the House of Representatives on Nov. 16 would take away much-needed tax support for investments in America’s infrastructure, including ports, according to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).

The association, which represents 140 seaports, says infrastructure investments would be seriously curtailed under provisions in the House bill that would eliminate the tax-deductibility of Private Activity Bonds (PABs).

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach–the largest port complex in the United States–have estimated for example that the loss of tax exemptions on PABs would dramatically increase the cost of financing port infrastructure.

The Port of Los Angeles estimates its costs would increase $30 million over 30 years if it couldn’t use tax-exempt PABs, while proposed changes in both the House and Senate bills to a mechanism known as advanced refunding would cost it $28.17 million over the same time horizon.

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The expanded Panama Canal is able to handle just eight ships in a 24-hour period, rather than the 12 that were promised by the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) when work began on the expansion.

The fact that only eight ships can be handled each day–including only one liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker–has sparked complaints from the U.S.natural gas industry and other businesses looking to move goods through the canal.

The situation is due in part to a shortage of state-of-the-art tugs, says MM&P President Don Marcus.

The MM&P affiliate UCOC represents licensed deck officers of the tugboat fleet, dredges and related vessels operated by the PCA.

“You need state-of-the-art equipment and they are short,” Marcus told Bloomberg Business News reporters Michael McDonald and Naureen Malik for their Dec. 8 article, “The Panama Canal Is Now a Major Problem for U.S. Shale.”

UCOC members say there are too few tugboats to escort ships through the canal.

And although the PCA has budgeted $87 million to purchase six tugs with the option to buy four more to expand the current fleet of 46, UCOC says 90 are needed to safely and efficiently handle more than 10 vessels a day.

Marcus told Bloomberg that the canal is “risking its own competitive future” over the shortage.

“They’re not getting the most out of it because of these flaws, some of which could be fixed, but all of which cost money,” he said.

The PCA is short of money in part because next year it has to begin paying off the $2.3 billion in debt it took on to finance the canal’s expansion.

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The officers and crew of Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS TIPPECANOE have been honored for exemplary performance in the area of energy and water conservation.

They were informed in November that the ship has been chosen to receive the Secretary of the Navy’s Energy and Water Management Award at the Platinum Level.

“Your efforts set the example for our fleet to follow as MSC becomes more vigilant, constantly seeking ways to improve our energy conservation,” wrote MSC Commander Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne in a letter to TIPPECANOE’s master Captain Steven Perdue, a member of MM&P.

“Thank you for your exemplary stewardship. Keep up the great work.”

“We were deeply honored to win this award and a bit surprised as we were just following the standard practices and policies set forth by MSC, along with applying basic good engineering,” said Chief Engineer Samuel Battles, a member of MEBA.

“All of the ships are burning low sulfur fuel now to cut down on the harmful emissions,” Battles said.

He added that “there’s no real secret for the ship’s performance beyond the crew’s dedication to energy efficiency, attentiveness and hard work.”

“We’re not sure when the admiral or someone from the staff will present the ship with the actual award,” Perdue said, “but that will be one more milestone that TIPPECANOE has accomplished during her illustrious career with MSC.”

The Department of the Navy’s Energy and Water Management Awards Program is designed to promote excellence in the areas of energy efficiency, energy management, renewable energy, new technology, energy training innovation and energy awareness.

TIPPECANOE was chosen, MSC said in a statement, for having the lowest-in-class combined underway and not underway fuel consumption rate by area of responsibility; for having below-average underway and not underway burn rates for the class overall; and for exhibiting significant improvement in both underway and not underway burn rates despite spending the entire year in the Far East, which is the most energy-intensive area of responsibility.

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When Diane Rude accepted a job as a bus driver in Minneapolis, she was seeking work that would allow her to take care of her family and save for retirement.

She never expected that while on the job one day she would be forced to fight for her life.

But that’s what happened when a passenger wrapped a scarf around her neck while she was driving, threatened to kill her and took her and her passengers hostage until the authorities intervened.

“What’s most shocking about Diane’s story isn’t the post-traumatic stress she suffers or that she chose to keep her job as a bus driver,” writes Larry Willis, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) in an OpEd that was published in The Huffington Post.

“It’s that she’s just one of many.”

Statistics show in fact that on average, every three days, at least one transit operator in the United States gets assaulted on the job.

“Drivers on the job have been spat on, punched, stabbed and shot,”Willis writes.

“Verbal abuse and threats of physical violence have also become an all-too-common reality for transit workers,” he adds.

The 32 TTD unions, including MM&P, are calling for federal regulations to protect drivers from assault.

In 2015 Congress passed a law that required the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to issue a rule to better protect transit workers, but the agencies have not taken action yet.

“Given the frequent reports of assault, delay is no longer an option,”Willis says.

“DOT must ensure that measures are put in place to protect workers and provide at least some peace of mind.”

Ideas include: protective barriers that separate drivers from passengers; equipping buses with driver-side emergency exits; and emergency alert buttons that allow drivers to contact local authorities.

“Our nation’s bus drivers and the passengers they serve have waited long enough,” Willis says.

“It’s time for DOT and FTA to issue a rule to protect them.”

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A Panama-flag containership broke free from its mooring at the Paul W.Conley Container Terminal in Boston on Dec. 6 and drifted into the main shipping channel before being taken under tow by harbor tugs.

The Coast Guard said it was investigating the cause of the incident, which involved the 1,065-foot HELSINKI BRIDGE, operated by Yang Ming Marine Transport.

The vessel broke free from its mooring in the early morning hours, likely due to strong winds, a Coast Guard spokesperson said.

A docking pilot was able to board it and take control with help from the containership crew.

As many as ten port workers who were aboard the ship at the time of the incident were able to disembark safely, without injury.

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One person died and another was injured in an accident Dec. 7 on the MAERSK INTERCEPTOR, a jackup drilling rig deployed at the Tambar field off the coast of Norway.

A spokesperson for Aker BP, which operates the rig, said the two were doing maintenance work.

“It is with great sadness that we inform that one of the injured employees, a Norwegian citizen, has passed away,” said a spokesperson for Maersk Drilling in a statement.

“The family has been notified and we have set up crisis counselling for our employees and their families.”

The spokesperson said the condition of the injured person was not critical and that he had received care at a hospital.

The operator of the Tambar field said that one of the two victims had fallen into the sea and been picked up by a standby vessel before being transported by helicopter to Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen.

“This is a very difficult time for our crew members and the organization as a whole,” the Maersk Drilling spokesperson said.

“We will make every effort possible to help the family and our crew and to clarify all aspects of the incident.”

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Ballots have been mailed to members of two MM&P Atlantic Maritime Group (AMG) bargaining units: United New York Sandy Hook Pilots Association & United New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots’ Association; and Buchanan Marine, L.P.

Jan. 8, 2018 at 0900 is the deadline for completed ballots to be received for United New York Sandy Hook Pilots Association & United New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots’ Association.

The ballots will be counted by an independent ballot committee composed of rank-and-file members on Jan. 9, 2018 at 0930 at MM&P Headquarters.

Jan. 3, 2018, at 0900 is the deadline for completed ballots to be received for Buchanan Marine, L.P.

The ballots will be counted by an independent ballot committee composed of rank-and-file members on Jan. 4, 2018 at 0930 at MM&P Headquarters.

Back to Stories Covered


Ballots have been mailed to members who work at Great Lakes Towing Company.

The ballots must be received by 1200 on Dec. 22, 2017.

The ballots will be counted on Dec. 22 at the MM&P Cleveland Hall.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will close at 1500 on Thursday, Dec. 21 and reopen on Dec. 27, after the Christmas holidays.

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Dec. 29 and Jan. 1 for New Year’s.

The MM&P Plan Office will be closed on Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

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The Plan Office has received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2017 no later than Tuesday, Dec. 19,2017 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2017 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date will be held until Jan. 2, 2018 for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the Vacation Department at 410-850-8625, 410-850-8647 or Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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There will be a membership meeting at the MM&P Seattle Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 13, immediately after job call.

All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will include a representative of the Washington State Guaranteed Education Tuition Program (GET), who will discuss college savings accounts for children or grandchildren, along with the associated tax benefits.

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The MM&P Houston holiday party will be held on Friday, Dec. 15, from 1200-1500, at Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill, 700 Baybrook Mall Drive, Suite H 110, Friendswood, TX 77546.

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Holiday parties have been scheduled in the MM&P union halls. The schedule for the parties that have not yet taken place is as follows:


Boston, Friday, Dec. 15, in the union hall, 1100-1500;

Pompano, Monday, Dec. 18, 1230-1530, at Brew Fish Bar & Grill in Pompano Beach;

Newark, Thursday, Dec. 21, for both the Offshore Group & the Atlantic Maritime Group, at the Robert Treat Hotel, 1200-1700.


Houston, Friday, Dec. 15, 1200-1500, at Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill,700 Baybrook Mall Drive, Suite H 110, Friendswood, TX 77546.


Los Angeles/Long Beach, Friday, Dec. 15, 1200, in the union hall;

Seattle, Monday, Dec. 18, 1200, in the union hall.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below. New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Amanda Meadows, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail:

Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 4/16/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 3/19/18, 5/23/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/16/18, 4/3/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 3/22/18, 5/21/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/26/18, 6/18/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18,5/21/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with EmergencyShiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 3/26/18, 5/23/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) –2/7/18, 3/6/18, 4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 2/7/18, 3/5/18, 4/29/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/29/18, 4/2/18, 6/11/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/22/18, 3/12/18, 6/4/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 3/5/18, 6/4/18, 8/6/18,10/1/18

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 3/12/18,6/11/18, 8/13/18, 10/8/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/15/18, 3/26/18,6/25/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – FormerlyMCL-CMM): 1/8/18, 2/19/18, 5/14/18, 6/18/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/12/18, 10/1/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/23/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/15/18, 2/5/18,3/5/18, 3/19/18, 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18, 6/18/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/22/18, 2/12/18,3/12/18, 3/26/18, 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18,


**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments atMITAGS effective immediately**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/7/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/23/18

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/12/18

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/13/18

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 5/24/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18, 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/20/18, 3/20/18, 5/24/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/23/18, 7/9/18, 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) –Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/6/18, 3/8/18,

4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 2/10/18, 3/3/18,4/27/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/16/18, 4/17/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Contact Admissions

LAP – 2/26/18, 7/9/18, 9/17/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans,Any Gross
Ton License: Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/28/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18(*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment(Assessments not included): 2/12/18, 4/30/18, 7/16/18, 12/3/18

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 5/7/18, 7/9/18,10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/8/18, 4/23/18,6/25/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 4/16/18, 5/7/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing:1/13/18, 1/27/18, 2/5/18, 3/9/18, 4/5/18, 5/3/18, 5/12/18, 6/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological,Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/18, 5/24/18, 6/8/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/18, 5/22/18,6/6/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/25/18, 6/3/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 1/8/18,2/26/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/18, 5/13/18, 6/9/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/12/18, 3/2/18, 5/18/18, 6/10/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/13/18, 3/3/18, 5/19/18, 6/15/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 1/22/18,1/24/18, 3/29/18, 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18,2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18, 4/4/18, 4/18/18, 5/2/18,

5/9/18, 5/16/18, 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18,10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18, 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/8/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 5/22/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 1/29/18, 5/14/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 2/19/18, 3/12/18, 4/2/18,5/21/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/12/18, 4/16/18, 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/14/18, 4/9/18, 7/9/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/19/18

Back to Stories Covered


For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

December 2017

16-17 Basic Training –Revalidation
16-18 Basic Training –Refresher
18-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-22 ECDIS
20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2017. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on