News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 8th, 2020

December 9th 2020

Volume 25… Number 49… Dec. 8, 2020

STORIES COVERED

In This Issue:

Plus:

Also:

Holiday Closing Schedule:

News From the MM&P Plans Office:

MM&P Eligible Voters & All Ports:

And:


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FMC COMMISSIONERS: “MARITIME WORKERS MUST BE PRIORITIZED IN TESTING AND VACCINE ROLLOUT”

Two top officials of the Federal Maritime Commission have told the Trump administration that to safeguard the country’s supply chain, Covid-19 testing and vaccines must be allocated on a priority basis to maritime workers.

Commissioners Carl Bentzel and Daniel Maffei say if priority is not given to mariners and port personnel, there could be serious repercussions for shipping and port operations in both the immediate and the long term.

The five-member FMC is responsible for overseeing US international container markets.

“A combination of congestion issues and the potential Covid-19 workforce disruption is an enormous risk to our economy,” the two wrote in a letter to Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Congestion issues related to cargo surges are causing unprecedented conditions in our national supply chain.”

“The confluence of the ongoing need for PPE, unexpected changes in consumer shopping patterns due to the shutdowns and the upcoming holiday season has resulted in immense demand for imports.”

“Industry experts believe these freight volume surges will continue into 2021. If the maritime, port and sealift workforces are infected, then our supply chain essentially will become infected,” they wrote.

The two noted that there have been Covid-19 outbreaks within the last month in Los Angeles/ Long Beach, Charleston, S.C., and Philadelphia.

In all three cases, they said, the authorities had to impose quarantines that threatened freight movement through the ports.

“Also looming large is the ramping up for the transport of vaccines for Covid-19, which could begin as early as this month,” they said.

“The shipping industry is already setting up special procedures through ports, which are certain to add additional pressure in what has already been a complicated year for our supply chain and workforce.”

“To minimize disruption to the supply chain at this precarious time, maritime and port labor must be a high-priority group for vaccination, once it is available.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has already said people who work in sectors throughout the US freight transportation industry should be deemed essential.

This recommendation, the CDC noted, will be taken into account by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is developing the nation’s priority testing and vaccination list.

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UN, ILO CALL ON GOVERNMENTS TO TAKE URGENT ACTION ON CREW CHANGE

The United Nations General Assembly and the International Labor Organization have passed landmark resolutions calling for urgent action by governments on the humanitarian crisis unfolding at sea.

“We now have the full authority of the United Nations General Assembly saying that if countries want to participate in the global economy, they must recognize this global workforce as ‘key workers’ with practical effect,” said ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton.

“Key worker status means letting seafarers get off in their ports for medical attention.”

“It means letting them get to an airport to fly home and return to their families when their contract on a ship is completed.”

“It means letting replacement crews through a country’s border to join waiting ships.”

The ITF, which represents more than a million mariners through its affiliated maritime unions including MM&P, has been working behind the scenes with governments and UN agencies to secure passage of the resolutions.

“Governments are starting to realize that they need to act now if they want to avoid being blamed for this pressing humanitarian—and potentially economic—crisis,” Cotton said. “The heat is on.”

The UN’s action was quickly followed by the ILO’s governing body, which adopted a parallel resolution.

“The draft resolution provides detail on what governments need to do to give ‘key worker’ status real meaning for seafarers, including allowing shore leave for seafarers to access medical care,” said Mark Dickinson, ILO Seafarers’ Group spokesperson.

A recent ITF survey found 30 percent of seafarers trapped working aboard the world’s shipping fleet had unmet medical conditions, with many unable to access medication or get prescriptions filled.

“We will seek to make governments give real effect to the resolution’s intentions,” said Dickinson, who is also general secretary of Nautilus International, of which MM&P is a member.

“We hope that the call to action will mean states now act as champions for the cause on resolving this epic humanitarian crisis.”

“This resolution makes it clear that there is no room in the global economy for those who would seek to undermine seafarers’ long-fought-for rights and their working conditions; whether they be Flag States, Port States, or the home countries of seafarers seeking to get home after their contracts.”

“This ILO resolution throws down the gauntlet to Flag States in particular to do their jobs properly as regulators to enforce seafarers’ human and labor rights.”

“If they fail to uphold the Maritime Labor Convention on their ships, seafaring unions and our allies will be calling them out.”

“It is significant that the ILO has called on the world’s companies to carry out due diligence in their supply chains and ensure crew are changed wherever they are over their initial contracts,” said ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair Dave Heindel.

“The ITF and our affiliates will be informing consumers in the lead-up to the holidays which of their favorite brands are potentially benefitting from forced labor in the delivery of their goods.”

“The ITF and our global family of seafarers’ unions will be holding governments and companies to account, including assisting seafarers to enforce their rights to stop working and be repatriated following completion of their contracts, even if that means disrupting key supply chains in the process.”

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SEACOR HOLDINGS, OWNER OF WATERMAN STEAMSHIP LINES, GOING PRIVATE

SEACOR Holdings Inc., the owner of MM&P-contracted Waterman Steamship Lines, announced on Dec. 7 that it has entered into an agreement to take the company private.

The agreement, with an affiliate of the private equity firm American Industrial Partners, values SEACOR at approximately $1 billion.

AIP is a New York-based private equity firm that focuses on buying, improving and expanding industrial concerns.

SEACOR is a family business with a long history of growth.

Its portfolio touches nearly every sector of the maritime industry in North America: Jones Act shipping, US and international towing, inland tug and barge, military logistics, disaster response and Caribbean breakbulk.

Besides Waterman Steamship Lines, the SEACOR family of businesses includes Seabulk and SEACOR Island Lines.

Eric Fabrikant, currently SEACOR’s chief operating officer, will assume the role of CEO, succeeding his father, SEACOR Executive Chairman and CEO Charles Fabrikant, a co-founder of the company, at the helm.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by SEACOR’s board of directors, AIP will commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of SEACOR for $41.50 per share in cash.

“This transaction is an exciting next step for SEACOR, delivering stockholders an immediate and meaningful premium for their shares and providing the company with access to additional growth capital and financial flexibility,” said Charles Fabrikant in a statement.

“AIP is an ideal partner for SEACOR that recognizes the value of its unique, diversified platform and management looks forward to leveraging their investment and operational expertise in pursuing industry consolidation and other growth opportunities across all our businesses.”

“AIP has demonstrated success investing in and growing industrial, services, and marine businesses, and I am confident our employees and customers will greatly benefit from this partnership.”

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

“It has been an honor to work with a talented group of associates,” said Charles Fabrikant.

“I believe that SEACOR is well positioned to reach its next phase of growth under the leadership of Eric and the rest of the senior team, working in partnership with AIP.”

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CDC RELEASES NEW COVID-19 WELL-BEING AND MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR CREWMEMBERS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new well-being and mental health resources for crewmembers with three areas of focus: ways to protect yourself and others, making healthy choices, and staying connected with others.

The information, which is posted at CDC Ship Wellbeing During Covid-19, includes a series of infographics suitable for printing and display in offices and aboard ships.

“Crew members on board vessels during the Covid-19 pandemic face unique challenges,” the agency said in a statement.

“These include fear and worry about their health, financial hardships, limited interaction with others, and restrictions while on board.”

“Many of the typical recommendations to support mental health are not feasible for crew members on board ships with strict social and physical distancing measures in place.”

Besides the webpage, there are five infographics that address stress on board a ship, healthy ways to cope with stress, reporting Covid-19 symptoms and crew member disembarkation.

CDC says that two additional infographics—one addressing Covid-19 testing and the other addressing Covid-19 facts—are forthcoming.

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ULCV DOCKS IN JAPAN AFTER LOSING 1,816 CONTAINERS

Emergency services were standing by this morning when the ultra-large containership ONE APUS docked in the Port of Kobe, Japan after losing 1,816 containers in bad weather.

The Japan-flagged APUS, which entered service in 2019, measures 1,194 feet in length with a 167-foot beam.

Owner Chidori Ship Holding and manager NYK Shipmanagement have not released any official photos of the ship, but images posted by crewmembers on social media showed the extent of the damage.

One shows seven or eight bays collapsed with some containers hanging over the side of the vessel.

Undamaged stacks can be seen beyond the area of the collapse, which shows that the incident affected stacks in the middle of the ship.

Crewmembers have not been able to assess the damage because of the danger of accessing the area while the vessel was at sea.

The companies said that the lost and damaged containers number approximately 1,816, down from an earlier estimate of more than 1,900.

Of the affected containers, the companies said, 64 contain dangerous goods, including 54 carrying fireworks, eight holding batteries and two containing liquid ethanol.

The collapse happened on the night of Nov. 30, approximately 1,600 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii.

The US Coast Guard in Hawaii issued a warning to mariners, but so far there have been no reported sightings of the lost containers and there is no word on how many may still be floating.

“Once berthed, it’s expected to take some time to offload the dislodged containers that remain on board,” the companies said in a statement.

“Then, a thorough assessment will be made on the exact number and type of containers that have been lost or damaged.”

They said the root cause analysis and investigation will look at all aspects of the incident, including the vessel’s routing, loading, equipment, and fitness for purpose in extreme weather.

Insurers said preliminary information indicates that the accident may be the single largest loss by a container vessel that was not a total casualty.

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MM&P CONGRATULATES WINNERS OF MEBA ELECTION

MM&P extends its congratulations to the officials of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association who have won the union’s election.

Adam Vokac has been elected president of MEBA District No. 1. He has been serving as MEBA West Coast Executive Vice President for the past seven years. Before that, he was the MEBA representative in Honolulu.

In a message to President Vokac earlier today, MM&P President Don Marcus stated: “Best wishes for success for you, your leadership team and your membership.

“As our collective members have done aboard ship for many generations and through every kind of crisis, we know that working together is the best way to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’

Roland “Rex” Rexha has been elected secretary-treasurer of MEBA District No. 1. He sailed with a number of MEBA-contracted companies before moving to Staten Island Ferry, where he has worked for the past 12 years, including six as shop steward.

Congratulations to all elected members of the MEBA leadership team.

MM&P also extends best wishes to outgoing MEBA officials Marshall Ainley, Bill Van Loo and Erin Bertram and thanks them for their many positive contributions over the years.

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MM&P CAPTAINS ON DOT PANEL DESCRIBE REAL-WORLD RESPONSES TO GPS JAMMING AND SPOOFING

MM&P Captains Richard G. Hoey and William Westrem were expert panelists in a Dec. 3 virtual workshop on GPS jamming and spoofing sponsored by the US Department of Transportation.

During the course of the webinar, the two shared their expertise, explaining GPS errors and failures and describing how vessels are responding. Westrem sails for APL and Hoey sails for Maersk.

“They highlighted the dangers associated with overreliance on electronic navigation and automation which relies on GPS signals,” said MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President J. Lars Turner, who participated in the webinar.

Jamming and spoofing technology is being developed and tested by China, Russia and other countries.

Concerns related to automation with high reliance on GPS location signals extend to terminal vehicles, truck and rail as well as to maritime.

“Hoey and Westrem offered real-world examples of spoofing/jamming events and also relayed the very real necessity to continue teaching and reinforcing traditional terrestrial, celestial and radar navigation techniques—as well as the importance of looking out the window,” Turner said.

“I am proud of MM&P and our members who continually step forward to represent the issues important to our membership and the greater maritime industry.”

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HOLIDAY CLOSING SCHEDULE

MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25, for the Christmas holidays, and on Thursday, Dec. 31 and Friday, Jan. 1 for New Year’s.

The MM&P Plan Office will be closed on Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

The MM&P Honolulu Hall will be closed on Monday, Jan. 4, for Jack Hall Day.

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LAST DAY FOR PROCESSING VACATION AND PRO PAYMENTS

The Plan Office received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2020 no later than Friday, December 18, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2020 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Monday, January 4, 2021 for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2021.

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NOTICE OF EXTENDED BALLOTING PERIOD

The following is a notice to all MM&P Eligible Voters from the International Ballot Committee.

The MM&P Voting Instructions that accompanied your ballot indicated that, in order to be counted, ballots must be received by 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Due to a delay relating to the date on which the ballots were mailed, the balloting period has been extended.

Accordingly, in order to be counted, your ballot must be received by 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, December 28, 2020.

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MITAGS-EAST ACADEMIC NOTES

Please be advised that as of the June MATES Trustees meeting, the number of sea days required to receive covered training at MITAGS will now be 42 days instead of 30.

This temporary change has been necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to permissible class size, available staffing and cost saving measures. The measure will remain in place through the end of 2020 and be reviewed prior to the end of this year.

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 1/25/21, 4/12/21

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: Not currently scheduled

AZIPOD (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 1/26/21, 3/8/21, 4/13/21, 4/29/21, 5/17/21
Online: 2/2/21, 4/20/21

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/10/21, 4/26/21

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/18/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 12/15/20, 2/9/21, 4/27/21, 6/22/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 12/14/20, 2/9/21, 4/27/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/20

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/18/21, 3/8/21, 5/3/21, 6/21/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/25/21, 4/26/21, 6/14/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 3/15/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 2/1/21, 6/7/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 2/8/21*, 6/14/21

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/25/21, 6/7/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 2/1/21, 5/10/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/12/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 2/22/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/30/20, 1/11/21, 2/1/21, 2/22/21, 3/15/21, 4/19/21, 5/10/21, 6/7/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/18/21, 2/8/21, 3/1/21, 3/22/21, 4/26/21, 5/17/21, 6/14/21

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/19/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/1/21

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: Not currently scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 3/10/21

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 2/26/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 2/25/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/20/21

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 2/22/21, 4/19/21

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 3/8/21, 5/3/21

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/19/21

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/18/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/17/20, 2/8/21, 4/26/21, 6/21/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 2/12/21, 4/30/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 1/26/21, 4/13/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 3/13/21

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 4/12/21

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 1/11/21

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 3/8/21

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 4/12/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 1/27/21, 3/9/21, 4/14/21, 4/29/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 1/11/21

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 4/12/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 1/25/21*, 4/12/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/11/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/25/21*

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 12/18/20, 1/16/21, 1/30/21, 4/17/21, 5/15/21, 6/24/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 2/24/21, 5/17/21, 6/11/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 2/25/21, 5/18/21, 6/9/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 2/28/21, 6/13/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 1/11/21, 3/1/21, 5/10/21, 6/14/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 3/1/21 (Evening), 5/9/21 (Evening), 6/12/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 1/15/21, 3/5/21, 5/9/21, 6/12/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 1/16/21, 3/6/21, 5/14/21, 6/18/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) –12/14/20*, 12/16/20*, 1/18/21*, 3/15/21*, 4/20/21, 4/22/21, 6/22/21, 6/24/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 2/1/21

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – 1/13/21

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 1/26/21, 4/13/21, 4/30/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 5/24/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/3/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 12/14/20*, 1/25/21*, 4/12/21*, 6/14/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 5/17/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 6/7/21

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 3/8/21, 4/26/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 3/8/21

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 2/27/21, 6/15/21

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/22/21, 6/16/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Not currently scheduled

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MITAGS-WEST ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at www.mitags.org. For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or admissions@mates.org.

December 2020

9th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
10-11 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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 © 2020. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail communications@bridgedeck.org. Back issues of The Weekly are posted on www.bridgedeck.org