News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 05, 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 27. . . . July 5, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


ATTACKS ON GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES’ PAY AND BENEFITS MUST STOP, FEDERAL WORKERS’ ALLIANCE SAYS

Federal government workers have just been hit by a two-year pay freeze and should not be forced to make additional sacrifices in the context of the budget battle now being waged in Congress. MM&P joined other member unions of the Federal Workers’ Alliance (FWA) last month in calling on Vice President Joseph Biden to resist demands that government employees be the target of additional cuts. Collectively, the FWA unions represent over 300,000 federal government workers.

“Ever since the ‘shellacking’ last November, the Administration has turned its focus away from stimulating the stalling recovery and has instead embraced the currently popular but ill-conceived mantra of immediate austerity,” the unions wrote. “While the wisdom of that economic policy pivot is dubious, what we in Labor find more disturbing is its juxtaposition with the abandonment in December of the President’s core campaign pledge to return to the Clinton tax rates for the wealthiest Americans–tax rates that balanced the budget and brought prosperity to America in the 1990’s. The stated argument at that time was that even a 4.6 percent tax increase on the marginal income of the wealthiest Americans would jeopardize the recovery because the government needs to continue to inject funds to stimulate the economy. But that statement is at odds with the recent Administration decision to freeze federal pay raises for two years, an action that clearly took critical funds out of the economy and therefore ultimately killed private-sector jobs. The only difference was that the Bush tax extension for the wealthy put money in the hands of rich people and the pay freeze took money away from middle class Americans. Last December, Labor took that one for the team and tempered its criticism. We cannot be expected to stand idly by this time around.”

The FWA unions called for a stop to “draconian cuts… many again targeting public servants.” Federal workers, they said, had already taken it on the chin under the Reagan Presidency, when half of their defined benefit pension was eliminated. Boosting retirement contributions for federal workers–a proposal that has frequently been advanced in the context of the current budget negotiations–would represent a selective payroll tax increase that could exceed 5 percent of the entire income of federal workers and would be a violation of the President’s campaign pledge not to raise taxes on people earning less than $250,000. “Federal workers have already sacrificed enormously with the two-year pay freeze, which represents up to a $50,000 cut, not counting interest earnings, for an individual employee over the next decade, indeed perhaps the family’s entire college savings,” the unions wrote.

The FWA called on the Obama Administration to “reject the current dishonest scapegoating of federal employees,” adding “civil servants cannot be blamed for the current economic downturn, which was caused by private sector and financial industry recklessness and greed along with a failure of federal regulatory oversight.”

“We fully support shared sacrifice of all Americans for the greater good based on progressive personal taxation rates and fair taxation of corporate profits, but Labor will vigorously oppose any further selective benefit cuts or tax increases unfairly targeting federal workers,” they added. “We will fight any efforts to vilify these fine public servants who have dedicated their lives, and who sometimes give their lives, for their country. Their middle-class patriotism and commitment to public service should be rewarded, certainly not punished.” 


PRESIDENT OBAMA WARNS AGAINST CUTS TO WEATHER SERVICE

President Obama reminded journalists assembled at the White House for a press conference last Wednesday that the federal government has numerous responsibilities to the nation besides funding Medicare, Social Security and national security defense. “We can’t get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the Weather Service,” the President said.

As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s polar weather satellite is at grave risk. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco recently told journalists that funding to replace the satellite had been “lost” in the last-minute 2011 budget negotiations between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner last spring. Unless money is allocated very soon to replace the satellite, weather prediction services worldwide will be seriously compromised.

With more cuts in the pipeline, essential priorities such as the NOAA satellite might fall by the wayside, although this would only increase future costs, both by seriously interfering with the government’s ability to forecast the weather and, once Congress has realized the consequences, by the costly rush to put a new satellite up. Every dollar we don’t spend now will cost $3 later on, Lubchenco warned.


KOJI SEKIMIZU ELECTED SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION

Koji Sekimizu has been elected to a four-year term as secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Sekimizu, currently director of IMO’s Safety Division, will assume the office of secretary-general on Jan. 1, after a vote on his election by the IMO Assembly in November.

The United States had nominated Coast Guard Director for Commercial Regulations and Standards Jeffrey G. Lantz for the post. Lantz, who has served in the military and government agencies for over 30 years, has headed numerous U.S. delegations to IMO.

Sekimizu is an expert in marine engineering and naval architecture who began his career as a ship inspector in Japan’s Ministry of Transport. He joined the IMO Secretariat in 1989.

“To succeed in the hugely demanding and heavy task the Council has entrusted him with, Sekimizu will need the understanding, support and co operation of the entire membership,” said outgoing IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos.


MARINE HIGHWAY ONLINE BENEFITS CALCULATOR: A NEW TOOL FOR URBAN PLANNERS

The Marine Highway Cooperative has posted a free online tool, the Public Benefits Calculator, which allows users to predict the benefits that could be generated by including water-based transport in a complete inter-modal freight transport plan. The tool also has the capability to show interested freight industry users the potential benefits of incorporating water into intermodal freight moves.

The Marine Highway Cooperative’s Richard Plant, formerly special projects director at MM&P, was a driving force behind development of the new forecasting tool.

Increased use of our nation’s marine highway system, which also goes under the name of “short sea shipping,” is widely recognized as a potential source of a wide range of benefits that include greatly reduced traffic congestion, lower emissions (per ton-mile), and even reduced energy use (per ton-mile).

To use the calculator, go to http://www.marinehighways.org/benefits_calculator/
You only need basic trip information to provide estimates of benefits; the tool also allows you to enter more advanced factors, if you wish, to improve the accuracy of the calculation.

The calculator uses a number of parameters to calculate total savings. By default, the Marine Highways Calculator uses standard generalized values for these parameters, based on industry averages and government guidelines.


N.J. ATTORNEYS GENERAL JOIN IBEW

Attorneys at the New Jersey Attorney General’s office have voted to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Spokesmen for the group said their decision was motivated by the fact that they were tired of receiving few benefits and not getting raises, and that they were fed up with not having any power to change things in their workplace. “We want respect in the workplace,” said a spokesman for the new bargaining unit. “We wanted to be treated fairly and ensure that the promises made to us are kept.”

“You have almost no power as an individual, but as a member of a union, you’re treated with respect,” said a spokesman for the IBEW in a video about the vote.


NOAA LOOKS FOR SHIPS LOST IN WORLD WAR II OFF NORTH CAROLINA COAST

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is leading a summer research expedition to locate and study World War II shipwrecks sunk in 1942 off North Carolina during the Battle of the Atlantic, specifically the Battle of Convoy KS-520. The shipwrecks are located in an area known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” which includes sunken vessels from U.S. and British naval fleets, merchant ships and German U-boats.

“This summer will be the most ambitious of our Battle of the Atlantic research expeditions, and potentially the most exciting,” said David W. Alberg, superintendent, USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. The group will use cutting-edge technology to search for and document historically significant shipwrecks.

On July 14, 1942, a merchant convoy of 19 ships and five military escorts left Hampton Roads, Va., sailing south to Key West, Fla., to deliver cargo to aid the war effort. The next day, off Cape Hatteras, Convoy KS-520 was attacked by German submarine U-576. The convoy fought back with an American warship ramming the U-boat while U.S. Navy aircraft dropped depth charges that sunk the submarine.

Alberg said NOAA’s expedition will build on work conducted by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) during the past three summers to document and preserve an important part of North Carolina’s history. The 2011 Battle of the Atlantic expedition survey will be conducted in four phases aboard the ONMS Research Vessel 8501.

Phase one of the expedition will include a wide area survey in water depths of 100 to 1,500 feet. Advanced remote sensing technologies, including an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and multiple sonar systems, will be used to attempt to locate undiscovered wreck sites, including the U-576 and the BLUEFIELDS, a Nicaraguan tanker the U-576 sunk in a torpedo strike. 

A more targeted survey will be conducted during the second phase, relying on an AUV and multi-beam sonar systems to produce 3-D images of wreck sites. Scientists also will be investigating potential fuel leaks at the sites.

During phase three, scientists will return to selected targets identified in the wide area survey and use a 3-D scanner to create highly detailed models of the wrecks. In the final phase, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system and high definition 3-D video cameras will be used to create photomosaics of shipwreck sites for research, education and outreach purposes.

Many of the World War II wrecks off North Carolina, some lying as shallow as 100 feet, serve as popular recreational dive sites and are visited by thousands of divers each year. Unfortunately, some of these wrecks have been severely damaged over the years by human activity. Both NOAA and the recreational diving community promote open access to the shipwrecks and encourage responsible dive behavior and preservation of underwater resources for future generations to enjoy.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.


MINNESOTA GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN

Failure to reach a budget agreement forced a government shutdown in Minnesota after talks between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican State legislators stalled. Dayton argued for raising taxes on the state’s highest earners to help close a $5 billion deficit, while the Republican Legislature refused to go along with that–or any new spending above the amount the state is projected to collect. In Minnesota as in 21 other states, there’s no way to keep government operating past the end of a budget period without legislative action.

The political stalemate meant that 22,000 state employees were immediately laid off. Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin blamed Republicans, saying they had driven the state to a shutdown to protect millionaires from tax increases. Dayton said he campaigned and was elected on a promise not to make spending cuts to a “draconian level.”


DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING MM&P MEMBERSHIP DOCUMENTS FOR JULY 26-27 GEB MEETING

The July 26-27 MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) meeting will be held in conjunction with the International Longshoremen’s Association Convention in Hollywood, Fla. For this GEB meeting only, all materials submitted for GEB consideration must be received at MM&P headquarters 14 calendar days prior to the meeting dates.


ALL UNITED INLAND GROUP-PACIFIC MARITIME REGION MEMBERS URGED TO ATTEND UPCOMING UNION MEETINGS IN JULY

All members of the United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region are strongly encouraged to attend the MM&P membership meetings that are scheduled for the months of July and August. Matters of importance to members who work at Washington State Ferries will be discussed.

Please join us at the Edmonds Hall on July 12 (1000 – 1200 and 1400-1600); in
Anacortes at the Steelworkers Hall on July 13 (1000 – 1200 and 1400-1600); or in
Kingston at the North Kitsap Fire Hall on 7/14 (1000 – 1200 and 1400-1600).

In addition, there will be a meeting at the Edmonds Hall on Aug. 9, at 10:00 a.m. All MM&P members are urged to attend these meetings.


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 OFFSHORE DIVISION ORIENTATION COURSE

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): Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; 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 Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


WHEN THE WEATHER IS HOT, REACH FOR A UNION-MADE BEER

What tastes better on a long, hot summer day than a beer that has been brewed by American union members? When you’re reaching for a beer this summer, why not try one of these? Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser, Bud Light, Budweiser American Ale, Busch, Hamm’s, Hamm’s Draft, Hamm’s Light, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Henry Weinhard’s Blue Boar Pale Ale, Icehouse, Iron City, Labatt’s Blue, Leinenkugel’s, Lionshead, Mad River, Michelob, Mickey’s Malt, Mickey’s Ice, Miller, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Genuine Draft Light, Miller High Life, Miller High Life Light, Miller Lite Ice, Milwaukee’s Best, Milwaukee’s Best Light, Milwaukee’s Best Ice, Molson, Moosehead, Natural Light, O’Doul’s, Olde English 800, Pabst, Red Dog, Rolling Rock, Sharp’s (non alcoholic), Shock Top, Steelhead Fine Ale, Stegmaier.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of September 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.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 8/22

ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27
AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 7/25, 7/28

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 9/26
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 9/12
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 7/11
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 7/18
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 8/15
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/8
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 7/25, 9/19
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 8/1, 9/26
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/11, 8/22, 9/12, 9/26
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/18, 8/15, 9/19
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/22
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/29

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 7/29
CHS BAS � Basic Cargo Handing and Stowage: 8/8

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 7/25
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 9/12
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/29

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/27, 8/15
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 7/27

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/22

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/12
LFBT-LTD � Lifeboatman Limited: 8/20
LNG Awar-4 � Liquefied Natural Gases Awareness (4 Day): 8/1

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 9/12
MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 8/1
MED-PIC -R� Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 9/12
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/1
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/6

MSC-CBRD1 � Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 8/12
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 8/8
MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/20, 7/27, 8/18, 9/14
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 7/27, 8/29, 9/26
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 8/1

SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/25
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 8/29
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 8/1

TC-NAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11
TPIC-DL � Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/15
TPIC-LNG � Tankerman Person In Charge Liquefied Gases: 7/11

WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 9/19

…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

July 2011

7-8      Vessel Security Officer
11-15   Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15   Medical Care Provider
11-22   Medical Person-In-Charge
18th    Radar Renewal
18-22  ECDIS
18-22  Management, Communication, and Leadership
19-21   Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
25-29  Basic Construction and Stability

August 2011

1-12     GMDSS
8-12    ECDIS
15-19   Tankerman PIC
15-19   Basic Meteorology
22nd   Radar Renewal
22-26  Medical Care Provider
27th    Medical DOT
22-2    Medical Person-In-Charge
23-26  ARPA

September 2011

6-16    Celestial Navigation
12-23  GMDSS
19-23  Medical Care Provider
26-30 Med PIC Refresher
26-30 ECDIS
26-30 Basic Shiphandling

October 2011

3-7      Basic Construction and Stability
3-14    GMDSS
10-14  ECDIS
11th      Flashing Light
12-13   Basic Environmental Awareness w/ Vessel General Permit
17th      Radar Renewal
17-21   Management, Communication, and Leadership
17-21   Basic Shiphandling
18-20  Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
24-28 Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 7-1-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,582.77 2,816.03 1,339.67
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
58.38
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
123.41
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
45.01
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.52
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.51
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.55
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.92
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.79
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.78
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.92
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.31
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.38
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.26
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.08
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.36
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.95
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.39
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.68
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.78
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.83
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.06
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.33
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.68
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
73.91
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
73.23
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.36
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
48.94
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
31.44
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
30.04
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.56
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.27
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.40
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.41
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.86
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.88
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
41.01
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
47.64
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
32.49



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.