News

Wheelhouse Weekly – January 10, 2011

January 10th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 2 . . . . January 10, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED JAN. 17 FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING’S BIRTHDAY

All MM&P port offices, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Jan. 17 for Martin Luther King’s birthday.


SUPPORTERS OF OUR INDUSTRY IN WASHINGTON, D.C., TURN OUT TO WELCOME NEW MEBA PRESIDENT MIKE JEWELL

Seven members of Congress were among the guests at a Jan. 6 reception hosted by the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA) for incoming MEBA President Mike Jewell and Washington, D.C.-based supporters of the U.S.-flag shipping industry.

Members of Congress who attended the event at MEBA’s Washington headquarters were Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.).

The reception offered industry representatives and labor officials, including MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus, a welcome opportunity to discuss issues important to our members with Washington leaders, including Military Sealift Commander Rear Adm. Mark Buzby and MARAD Administrator David T. Matsuda.

Among the other guests were aides from the offices of two senators, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and representatives of Maersk Lines Limited, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Coast Guard and the Department of Labor.


COMMENTATOR JOE KEEFE SPEAKS OUT IN FAVOR OF BILL THAT WOULD INCREASE RATES FOR BOSTON PILOTS

Respected industry observer Joe Keefe, a contributor to a number of leading maritime publications, is urging Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to sign a bill that would increase Boston Harbor pilots’ rates for the first time in over ten years.

“Pilots here in the Commonwealth have long toiled at compensation scales far lower than their colleagues elsewhere,” writes Keefe, now lead commentator at Maritime Professional publications, in a Jan. 5 article entitled, “When, Why and Where Pilot Rate Hikes Make Sense.”

Keefe says a rate increase in the Commonwealth has been stalled for years because of “political games and roadblocks” attributable to “a small but determined group of lawmakers which has–until now–been able to stall and kill any effort to bring relief to local pilots who have seen their operating costs skyrocket since the last time they saw a raise.”

The rate relief measure, which was enacted by the Massachusetts House and Senate on Jan. 3, includes provisions for a pilot rate board to ensure Massachusetts ports are properly funded in the future. The board would meet annually to review rates and examine other issues related to pilotage.

If it is signed, the measure would institute a one-time increase of approximately 11 ¼; percent for Boston pilots. Keefe compared the situation which up to now has prevailed in the Commonwealth to “the hoax perpetrated on Long Island Sound pilots, who waited some 25 years before a stingy and dysfunctional state of Connecticut DOT would agree to a series of nominal rate increases.” He said “the damage to the local pilot situation there is only now being repaired, albeit slowly, with the ultimate outcome still in doubt.”

Keefe said signing the measure “will pay handsome dividends in terms of public safety” and may be “the smartest thing [Massachusetts Governor Deval] Patrick has ever done.”

“MM&P is obviously a strong supporter of passage of the new law,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “It’s just a shame that the Boston pilots have had to wait so long for a rate increase needed to support a vital port safety system.”


MARAD ADMINISTRATOR AGREES TITLE XI OVERSIGHT MUST BE STRENGTHENED

Maritime Administrator David T. Matsuda said he agrees with a report that calls for improvements in borrower oversight in the context of the Title XI loan guarantee program. The report, which was issued last week by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), cites statistics that show the program registered $305 million in defaults from August 2008 to January 2010.

The OIG report concluded that MARAD had not succeeded in fully implementing new procedures that it had recommended in two prior audits, in 2003 and 2004. Matsuda was nominated by President Obama to head MARAD in 2009. The earlier audits were undertaken after a period in which nine borrowers defaulted on about $490 million in loan guarantees.

The OIG criticized the computer systems, files and procedures MARAD uses to monitor loans, saying “there is no assurance that information the agency needs to effectively oversee the $2.3 billion Title XI program is readily accessible.”
 
It made three recommendations: a business process review of the program to be completed by the end of May; requiring that the Office of Marine Financing and MARAD’s chief information officer develop a comprehensive financial monitoring system; ensuring that information needed to oversee borrower compliance with program requirements is readily accessible.

“We found that MARAD developed new Title XI guidance and information systems to address the recommendations in our 2003 and 2004 reports, but did not effectively implement them,” the OIG wrote. “As a result, administration and oversight still needs improvement.” MARAD said its Office of Marine Financing had hired three financial analysts who are being “trained in a manner consistent with the February 2004 guidance.”


FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION WILL EXAMINE AFFECTS OF SLOW STEAMING

With a growing number of carriers moving to “slow steaming” in the face of overcapacity and increases in the cost of fuel, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has issued a statement saying it intends to examine the impact of the practice on the environment and the supply chain as a whole. Industry forecasters predict that worldwide, about 50 vessels will be operating at 17 to 19 knots this year instead of at full speed. FMC Chairman Richard Lidinsky said last week the agency wants to see, among other things, whether the savings being generated by the carriers are being shared with the shippers. Slow-steaming is considered a way to reduce vessel-related pollution as well as costs.


NO WORD YET FROM ALGERIAN-FLAGGED SHIP SEIZED JAN. 1

The MV BLIDA, which was hijacked by Somali pirates on Jan. 1, is reportedly being held in the Indian Ocean. The vessel and its 27-man crew were taken hostage while traveling about 150 nautical miles off Salalah. The Algerian-owned bulk carrier was en route from Salalah to Dar es Salaam when it was attacked. As this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed, the ship owner released a statement saying that no ransom request had yet been received.

In related news, it was confirmed that Somali pirates are responsible for the disappearance of a Mozambican-flagged fishing vessel, VEGA 5, in waters between Mozambique and the island of Madagascar, on Dec. 31. The craft has a crew of 14. International anti-piracy authorities say 28 vessels and 654 hostages are now being held off the coast of Somalia.


BUY AMERICAN, UNION-MADE BOOTS AT WWW.THEBOOTPRO.COM

Boots for work, sport, play or just for walking! Union Boot Pro (www.TheUnionBootPro.com) offers all-American, union-made boots with a 27 percent discount for union members and free shipping. Shop on the company website and save. The boots are made in Wisconsin, by members of UFCW Local 688 and 717, at the Weinbrenner Shoe Company, a pioneering force in the American footwear industry since 1892. The company was the first to introduce many of the safety and job-fitted design elements that are common in today’s work boots.

Union Boot Pro is featured on the Union Label website, with a link on the AFL-CIO website and on the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance deals and discounts page. Spread the word about union-made boots! And check out the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department Label Letter today: http://www.unionlabel.org/.


LABOR CALENDAR AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

A calendar created by artist and labor rights activist Ricardo Levins Morales is being offered for free download in month-by-month installments. Visit the artist’s website, http://www.rlmarts.com/, to download the January edition of the calendar and sign up for a free newsletter, which will tell you when each month’s calendar has been posted. Readers are advised to access the page and download the calendar using Internet Explorer rather than other web browsers. 


GREAT LAKES FLEET REVITALIZATION IS FOCUS OF MARAD HEARINGS

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced it will hold public hearings in Cleveland, Duluth and Chicago as part of its study on how to strengthen our country’s Great Lakes fleet. MARAD said the goal of the meetings is to gather data and comments as a basis for the study, which will include a review of investment options for the fleet and regional maritime infrastructure. The study will include an overview of existing market conditions, an inventory of the U.S.-flagged Great Lakes vessels and regional port infrastructure, an examination of private/public sector financing options, and a cost-benefit analysis for each of the investment options. Meetings will be held in Cleveland on Feb. 15; Duluth, Minn., on Feb. 23; and Chicago on Feb. 25. For more information, contact Cheron Victoria Wicker at (202) 366-5067.


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSES ANNOUNCED

The Offshore Division Orientation Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2011.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Jan. 11-12 in Houston; Feb. 8-9 in New York/New Jersey; Feb. 9-10 in Honolulu; March 8-9 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; April 1-2, June 10-11 and Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are urged to attend.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to Lars Turner at lturner@bridgedeck.org.


SETTLEMENT IN ISRAELI PORT STRIKE

A three-day strike of 2,500 dock workers in the Israeli ports of Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat has been settled with an agreement to give workers a 6 percent pay raise over two years. The strike, which was declared after 10-month negotiations had reached a stalemate, halted the loading and unloading of cargo in the three ports.

Spokesmen for the government and for the Israeli labor federation, the Histadrut, called the agreement equitable to all parties. Under the terms of the contract, for both years, most employees will receive raises of 3 percent; new hires will receive an extra 5 percent for the two-year period to make up for the fact that they did not receive bonuses approved under a 2005 port reform agreement.


TWO ICEBOUND SHIPS FREED OFF RUSSIA

The Associated Press reports that two Russian ships trapped in ice in the Sea of Okhotsk, west of the Kamchatka peninsula, made it to clear water last Wednesday. On Sunday, three other vessels, with more than 430 crewmembers aboard, remained trapped in the ice for a tenth day. The transportation ministry says those vessels have sufficient fuel and water, and there is no danger to those aboard.

A trawler with 78 people on board was towed to waters where ice is lighter last Wednesday, Russian news agencies reported. The trawler was considered to be the ship most in danger because it was the closest to shore: there was concern that the drifting ice would push it into rocks that could puncture the hull.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of March 2011, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/25
AZIPOD-3 day – Azipod Propulsion System: 3/15

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 2/21
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/24, 3/3
BST � Basic Safety Training: 1/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 3/21
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/17
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 1/31
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 2/7
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 1/24, 3/7
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/24, 3/28
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/21
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 2/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/31, 2/28, 3/14, 3/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/17, 2/7, 3/7, 3/21
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/14
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/14

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 3/17

ECDIS-ENAV – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems and Electronic Navigation for Pilots: 3/3
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/21
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/15

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/24
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/18

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 2/21
Great Lakes: LAP � License Advancement Program: 1/31

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 3/7

LAP CMM � License Advancement Program of Upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/28

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/24, 3/2

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 3/21
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 2/14, 3/21
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/14, 3/21
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15, 3/26

MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/12, 1/25, 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, 3/30
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 1/24, 3/14
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/17

SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/14
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/14
SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 1/26
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/28
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 3/7

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation and Compasses: 1/31
TPIC � Tankerman Person In Charge: 3/7
TTT � Train-the-Trainer: 1/17

WKP BAS – Watchkeeping Basic � 3/7
WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/28

…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

January 2011

10-14  ECDIS
24th    Radar Renewal
24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
25-28  ARPA
31-4    Medical Care Provider
31-11   Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2011

5th      Med DOT
7th      Radar Renewal
7-8      Tractor Tug for Pilots
14th    Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications (Pilot Training Course)
15-16   Bridge Resource Management for Pilots
17-18   Azipod (Pilot Training Course)


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 1-10-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,643.54 2,708.96 1,270.66
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
55.27
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
117.16
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
41.60
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.14
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.28
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.03
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.74
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.91
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.73
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.40
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.13
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.07
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.62
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.75
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.66
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.14
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.56
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.59
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.91
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.59
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.48
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
18.51
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.56
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
72.30
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
69.27
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.50
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
46.21
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
29.84
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
28.68
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.31
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.97
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.63
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.84
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.83
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.05
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.43
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.73
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
38.49
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.00
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.84



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2011, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.