News

Wheelhouse Weekly – January 13, 2005

January 13th 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 2 . . . . January 13, 2005


STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS


MM&P HQ, PLANS AND FCU WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY, JANUARY 17 IN OBSERVANCE OF THE MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY



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





 

MARAD HEAD CAPT. WILLIAM SCHUBERT TENDERS RESIGNATION

The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced late last Friday (1-7) that Capt. William Schubert has resigned as head of the Maritime Administration (MARAD), effective Feb. 12. “He was a strong advocate of the nation’s vital maritime transportation system,” said DOT Secretary Norman Mineta in a statement.

Capt. Schubert managed a large-scale activation of MARAD’s Ready Reserve Force in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He also worked to eliminate trade barriers for American ocean shipping companies doing business in China by successfully negotiating a historic maritime agreement between the US and China, Mineta added.

According to the DOT, John Jamian, deputy administrator of MARAD, will serve as acting maritime administrator during the White House selection process for a new administrator. Schubert plans to return to Houston to take a job in the private sector.



 

WINNER OF PCF DRAWING FOR SEAWANHAKA PAINTING ANNOUNCED

The winner of the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF) drawing for the original painting of the SS SEAWANHAKA is Union member Danilo Diong. He lives in Gardena, CA and sails for MM&P-contracted American Heavy Lift (AHL). The winning ticket number was 0108. The colorful painting of the SS SEAWANHAKA was captured on canvas by MM&P member, Maryland Pilot and artist Capt. Brian Hope. Proceeds will benefit the MM&P PCF.



 

MITAGS DEVELOPS BERMUDA PORT AUTHORITY SIMULATION PROJECT

MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine has announced the development of a port simulation project to assist Bermuda’s Department of Marine and Port Services in managing vessels within its port and channel configurations.

“We have finished the first phase of the Bermuda port simulation project,” said Paine. “The new database has been uploaded into our STN Atlas simulation system. Now the Bermuda Port Authority and its harbor pilots can independently assess the handling characteristics of vessels before they call on the port. The database will also be used in the future to evaluate the feasibility of changes to channels and port configurations from an operational perspective.”

“Bermuda looks forward to a mutually rewarding relationship with MITAGS as the requirements of port development, ship simulation, night pilotage, and pilot training are addressed,” said a spokesperson from the Bermuda Port Authority.

MITAGS and PMI, its Seattle affiliate, are recognized for providing the most advanced full-mission simulation capabilities in the nation. The systems are constructed to Det Norske Veritas’ Class A Simulation Standards and configured to handle a wide range of training and port simulation roles. The new patented database development software has dramatically reduced the cost of developing new port and ship models.



 

USCG HOLDS SHIP OFF VIRGINIA AFTER FINDING MASTER DRUNK

According to media reports, USCG officials were holding the Panama-registered bulker GENERAL LEE 12 miles off the coast of Virginia because the captain was found drunk during a boarding. When the USCG boarded the foreign-flagged ship at about 0600 on Tuesday (1-11), an USCG officer smelled alcohol on the master’s breath.

The vessel’s master then failed a field sobriety test and refused a subsequent Breathalyzer test. The ship is owned and operated by the Oahu Maritime Corp and was en route to Hampton Roads. The USCG reports that the company has a long history of safety infractions in US ports.

The USCG said it will hold the GENERAL LEE until the captain agrees to take and passes the Breathalyzer test. Once that is accomplished, the ship will be allowed to enter Hampton Roads. The USCG reports that it plans to seek civil penalties against the operator.




 

USCG SAFETY AND SECURITY BOARDING TARGETING CRITERIA

How does the USCG determine which vessels will be targeted for safety and security boardings? In October 2004, the USCG updated its security targeting info for foreign flag vessels, which includes a vessel’s flag state administration and last five port of calls. The revised information is provided on the following web site: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/pscweb/index.htm. The info for flag states and recognized security organizations is updated monthly. Targeting info will be compiled annually and published in an annual report starting this year.

The USCG says that flag administrations whose names appear on the targeted flag state list have demonstrated a below average compliance rate in the US for security since July 2004. Foreign vessels flying these flags can expect increased scrutiny and boardings based on this info.

 


DELAWARE RIVER OIL SPILL UPDATE

The foreign-flagged tanker M/V ATHOS I, which spilled thousands of gallons of oil into the Delaware River last month has finally departed a terminal in Morrisville, PA, with a temporary patch and is en route to Mobile, AL for permanent repairs.

The USCG reports that oil recovery operations will continue throughout the winter months. Here are the latest figures on the recovery efforts:

  • Over 1,700 responders are working in the command center and along the Delaware River.
  • 83 vessels are deployed in the response effort.
  • 49,695 gallons of oil and oily liquid and 1,817 gallons of submerged oil have been recovered.
  • 4,573 tons of oily solids (cleanup materials and oil) have been collected.
  • 23 waterfront facilities have been decontaminated thus far along with 22 percent of the impacted shoreline.
  • Experts report 257 birds have been cleaned; 155 birds have been released and 162 birds are reported deceased. Oil has affected approximately 57 miles of shoreline from the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to south of the Smyrna River in DE.


    PANAMA CANAL AUTHORITY REQUIRES NEW SHIPBOARD PLANS

    The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued new regulations that require all vessels carrying 400 metric tons or more of hydrocarbons, either as fuel or cargo, to submit a Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP) at least 96 hours prior to transiting through the Canal. The regulations took effect on Jan.1, 2005.

    The ACP cautions that non-compliance will be a violation of the ACP Maritime Regulations for the Operation of the Panama Canal and may cause the vessel to be subject to penalties that could include fines, additional charges, and/or delays to transit.


    DHS PUBLISHES YEAR END REVIEW FACT SHEET

    The following are some of the maritime activities that the US Department of Homeland Security performed in 2004:

    • Customs and Border Protection (CBP):
    • 428 million passengers and pedestrians, including 262 million aliens, were processed at land, air, and sea ports of entry. Of that number over 643,000 aliens were deemed inadmissible under US law. 1,158,800 illegal aliens were arrested by Border Patrol agents between US official ports of entry.
    • The Container Security Initiative (CSI) was expanded to include 21 countries. CSI is now operational in 33 foreign ports in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The port of Dubai recently became the first Middle Eastern port to participate in CSI.
    • The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terror (C-TPAT) has become the largest government/private partnership to arise from Sept.11. CBP officers and agents made 56,321 seizures of illegal drugs, with a total weight of 2,199,619 pounds. Of this number, CBP officers at official ports of entry made 47,744 seizures nationwide, weighing 844,222 pounds and worth an estimated $1 billion.
    • US Coast Guard: 255,233 pounds of cocaine were seized breaking the record set in 1997; 10,348 migrants were interdicted; and 5,498 lives were saved and 30,895 search-and-rescue cases were conducted.
    • The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) was implemented. It is the largest maritime regulatory project in US history, which entailed the establishment of 43 Area Maritime Security Committees as well as the creation of 43 Area Maritime Security Plans, almost 9,200 Vessel Security Plans, and over 3,100 Facility Security Plans.


     

    HORIZON LINES HEAD APPOINTED TO TOP SECURITY COMMITTEE

    Charles (Chuck) Raymond, chairman, president and chief executive officer of MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines, has been appointed to a five-year term on the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee. Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), made the announcement.

    The National Advisory Committee is established as required in The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA), signed on Nov.25, 2002. That legislation was developed to protect the nation’s ports and waterways from possible future terrorist attacks.

    According to the DHS, Mr. Raymond’s principal responsibility will be to “advise, consult with and make recommendations to the Department of Homeland Security, via the Commandant of the Coast Guard” on matters related to national maritime security, according to Secretary Ridge.

    “This responsibility is very meaningful to me as we continue to face serious threats to our country’s infrastructure and try to minimize the vulnerability of America’s marine transportation system,” said Mr. Raymond. “I am grateful for the confidence of Secretary Ridge and commit my full resources to this significant assignment.”

    Mr. Raymond previously was inaugural Chairman of the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council from 2000-2003, reporting to Dept. of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. Mr. Raymond has spent his entire 40-year career in the transportation industry.

    From Sept. 1988 until the sale of Sea-Land Service’s international business in 1999, he served as the company’s senior vice president and chief transportation officer. He was an executive officer of CSX Corporation from 1994 to 2003. Mr. Raymond is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.



     

    SEVENTH ‘HIGH-PRIORITY’ SHIP LEAVES JAMES RIVER FLEET

    For the seventh time in less than six months, a retired ship considered a high priority for scrapping departed from the US Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) James River Reserve Fleet last week. The GENERAL NELSON WALKER, the latest in a wave of ships to leave the James River, is being towed to the Esco Marine facility in Brownsville, TX, to be dismantled.

    “Each ship towed from the fleet demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to the citizens of this region,” said MARAD Administrator Capt. William Schubert. “We’re getting the job done. We promised to remove these ships and we continue to deliver on that promise.”

    The GENERAL NELSON WALKER was first commissioned as the ADMIRAL H.T. MAYO (AP-125). The vessel transported troops between Marseilles and the US and between Okinawa and the US between June and September 1945. In October 1945, the Admiral Mayo participated in the first of four “Magic Carpet” voyages to Tokyo and Manila carrying replacements for battle-weary veterans whom the vessel was to bring back home. The final voyages were completed in March 1946.

    The vessel proceeded to New York where it was decommissioned in May 1946. The GENERAL WALKER was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service in August 1965. From December 1965 to August 1966, it made five cruises from San Francisco to Japan, Okinawa, and Vietnam. Following decommissioning and storage, the vessel was transferred to MARAD in 1970.

    Since 2001, 29 ships have been removed from the National Defense Reserve Fleet anchorage. Congress has mandated a 2006 deadline scrapping all the fleet’s outmoded vessels.



     

    IMO RESPONDS TO TSUNAMI DISASTER

    The International Maritime Organization (IMO) says that it is coordinating efforts to restore the battered maritime infrastructure in the regions affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami. It has established the Tsunami Maritime Relief Fund through which the shipping industry’s direct financial aid for the victims of the disaster can be coordinated.

    The IMO stressed that its first goal is ensuring that ports, navigational aids and other key elements of the maritime infrastructure are in effective working order as soon as possible.



     

    REMINDER: KINGS POINT CLUB TO HOST INAUGURAL GALA

    The Kings Point Club of Washington DC will host an Inaugural Gala on Wednesday, Jan.19 from 1830 to 2230 for the midshipmen marching in the 55th Presidential Inauguration Parade. The Gala will be held at the conference facilities of MITAGS. For ticket info, contact the gala chairman Chris Thayer at 202-685-5549; Email: christopher.thayer@navy.mil or chapter president Lee Kincaid at 202-641-6765; Email: clklak@aol.com.



     

    MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

     

    CLASS OPENINGS

    Between now and the end of March 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

    • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/07, 3/14
    • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/24, 2/14
    • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/07
    • BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/31, 3/07

      CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

    • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/14
    • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/31
    • CMM-CHS I- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1): 3/28
    • CMM-CHS II- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2): 3/21
    • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 2/07, 3/21
    • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/17, 2/21
    • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/07, 2/28
    • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 3/07
    • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/24, 1/31, 2/14, 3/14, 3/28
    • CMM-SHS-ADV-II- Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/31, 3/21
    • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/24
    • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/14
    • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/21, 2/11, 3/04
    • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 1/26, 3/07
    • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress & Safety System: 1/24
    • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 3/28
    • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/08
    • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/20, 2/10, 3/03, 3/17
    • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15, 2/12, 3/19
    • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 2/07, 3/14
    • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/07, 3/14

      MSC – Military Sealift Command

    • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 1/29, 2/06, 3/03
    • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 1/24, 2/02
    • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4-day): 1/31
    • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/04
      (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
    • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 1/17, 3/28
    • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/07, 3/14
    • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 2/08
    • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 1/17, 2/28
    • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/10
    • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 1/17, 3/28

     


    ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION & CANCELLATION IS VITAL

    If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.

    SCHEDULES, UPDATED COURSE AVAILABILITY, INFO & REGISTRATION

    Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.



    PMI MARITIME TECHNOLOGY & CAREER CENTER ACADEMIC SCHEDULE – Winter 2004 – Spring 2005

    All the courses below will be conducted at our new facility at 1729 Alaskan Way South, home to the “Maritime Technology and Career Center” which houses PMI’s state-of-the-art Full Mission Ship Simulator.

    January 2005

    • 1/17-21: Able Bodied Seaman
    • 1/18-19: MAXIMO
    • 1/17-28: GMDSS
    • 1/24-25: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
    • 1/24-28: Radar Observer Unlimited
    • 1/24-27: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
    • 1/24-27: Fast Rescue Boat
    • 1/24/28: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
    • 1/24-28: Medical Care Provider
    • 1/24-2/04: Medical Person-In-Charge
    • 1/24-2/04: GMDSS
    • 1/24-28: Emergency Shiphandling
    • 1/31: Radar Recertification
    • 1/31-2/04: ARPA
    • 1/31-2/04: Electronic Navigation
    • 1/31-2/11: Advanced Shiphandling

    February 2005

    • 2/07-11: Electronic Navigation
    • 2/07-18: GMDSS
    • 2/14: Radar Recertification
    • 2/14-18: Basic Safety Training
    • 2/14-18: ARPA
    • 2/14-18: Emergency Shiphandling
    • 2/14-25: Celestial Navigation
    • 2/14-25: 100 Ton Course
    • 2/21-25: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
    • 2/21-25: Basic Shiphandling
    • 2/21-24: Fast Rescue Boat
    • 2/28-3/4: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
    • 2/28-3/4: Basic Meteorology
    • 2/28-3/2: Ship/Company Security Officer
    • 2/28-3/11: GMDSS

    March 2005

    • 3/07-11: Construction and Stability
    • 3/14-18: Basic Safety Training
    • 3/17-18: Basic Firefighting
    • 3/14-18: Cargo Handling and Stowage
    • 3/14-18: ARPA
    • 3/14-18: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
    • 3/21-25: Able Bodied Seaman
    • 3/21-24: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
    • 3/21-25: Medical Care Provider
    • 3/21-4/01: Medical Person-In-Charge
    • 3/21-25: ECDIS
    • 3/21-24: Fast Rescue Boat
    • 3/28-29: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
    • 3/28-29: Search and Rescue
    • 3/30-4/01: Emergency Procedures
    • 3/28-4/01: ARPA
    • 3/28: Radar Recertification
    • 3/28-4/01: Emergency Shiphandling

    For registration and more info call DeeDee Lazik or Jennifer Fowler at 888-893-7829, check the PMI website at mates.org or Email PMI at admin@mates.org.




     
     

    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF JANUARY 12, 2005 CLOSE


     D O W    N A S D A Q
     10,617.78 +19.95 for the week  2,092.53  +1.29 for the week
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
    Closing
    Price
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    109.47
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    29.95
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    18.43
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    15.87
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    30.25
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    10.47
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
    6.43
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.25
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    17.16
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    16.04
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    37.70
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    102.22
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    42.02





    ~ Reminders ~




     

    T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

    REQUIRED COURSEWORK

    All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

    The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

    Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

    • Advanced Fire Fighting
    • Basic Safety Training, and
    • Damage Control

    Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old.

    Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

    Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

    Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. Positions for all ratings remain open.

    The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

    Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

    IOMM&P
    700 Maritime Blvd.
    Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



    SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

    Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

    Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

    Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

    After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

    All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

    From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

    • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
    • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

    After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.

    When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, Mbohlman@horizon-lines.com. His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.



    MSC PHYSICALS

    Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.

    On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.


    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:

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

    5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
    5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
    6.25 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

    NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

    On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

    MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

    “Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

    “In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

    “We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



    NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

    MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

    To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

    First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

    • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
      This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
    • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

    After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

    Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

    “We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



    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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.