Wheelhouse Weekly – July 16th, 2019

July 17th 2019

Volume 24… Number 29… July 16, 2019


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The House of Representatives has passed HR 2500, defense authorizations legislation that includes a number of provisions relating to the Maritime Security Program (MSP).

Specifically, the legislation would extend MSP for an additional ten years, through Fiscal Year 2035.

It authorizes $5.2 million per ship in Fiscal Years 2022-25, eliminating the reduction in funding to $3.7 million per ship that is authorized for each of these four years under current law.

The legislation also authorizes funding for the new 10-year period.

In addition, it creates a new tanker security program modeled after MSP. The new program would be comprised of petroleum product tankers necessary to meet Department of Defense requirements.

The House-passed defense legislation must now be considered by the Senate. No action in the Senate is expected until Congress returns from its summer recess after Labor Day.

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The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a policy letter saying it will act in conformity with new regulations relaxing the radar observer requirements, even though they are technically not in force yet.

The agency says mariners will be considered in compliance with the radar observer requirements if they hold a valid merchant mariner credential that contains the appropriate endorsement as radar observer.

Mariners will not be required to provide training certificates to show that their radar observer endorsement is current and valid.

The agency said the new radar endorsement rule, which takes effect on July 22, removes obsolete portions of the radar observer requirements and will harmonize the radar observer endorsement with the merchant mariner credential.

The new rule allows mariners to meet the renewal requirements for a radar observer endorsement through appropriate sea service or teaching of Coast Guard-approved radar courses.

These mariners will no longer be required to complete a course in order to renew their endorsement.

“Some mariners hold radar course completion certificates that have expired, or will expire before July 22, 2019,” the agency said in its recently issued guidance.

“Under strict interpretation of the current 46 CFR 15.815(d), these mariners may be required to provide a course completion certificate to prove the validity of their existing radar observer endorsement. This potential action would go against the purpose and intent of this rulemaking.”

The agency will therefore not enforce this provision in the interim period before the new rule takes effect.

The agency said the change in the radar observer regulations is aimed in part at reducing unnecessary financial burdens on mariners required to hold a radar observer endorsement.

The most significant change is the elimination of the requirement that mariners who actively use their MMC complete an approved refresher or recertification course to maintain a radar observer endorsement.

Specifically, a mariner who serves in “a relevant position” aboard a radar-equipped vessel for one year in the previous five years will no longer be required to complete a refresher or recertification course.

If the radar observer endorsement is on the MMC, the new rule also eliminates the requirement that mariners carry a separate certificate of training.

To renew a radar observer endorsement under the new rule, a mariner must provide evidence of one of the following:

— completion of an approved or accepted original, refresher or recertification course [46 CFR 11.480(d)];

— meeting the requirements in 46 CFR 10.227(e)(1)(v) of having instructed a Coast Guard approved or accepted radar course at least twice in the past five years;

— having at least one year of relevant sea service within the past five years in a position that routinely uses radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes.

Mariners will have met the requirement for relevant service if, in the past five years, they have at least one year of service as master or mate on ships required to be fitted with radar.

Mariners who have served on vessels other than those required to be fitted with radar, or in capacities other than master or mate, must document service in a position in which they routinely used radar for navigation and collision avoidance.

Service on ROS vessels or others that do not get underway or that occasionally get underway for short voyages will only be credited for the days during which the vessel was underway.

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The Coast Guard has posted a page of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on its final rule requiring facility owners and operators to ensure free access between ship and shore to seafarers, pilots and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations.

The blog is posted at:

Here are some important dates associated with the Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities regulation:

— it became effective on May 1, 2019;

— the access system developed by each terminal or facility must be documented in the Facility Security Plan on or before Feb. 3, 2020; and

— the facility owner and operator have 14 months after publication of the final rule to implement a system, or until June 1, 2020.

The seafarers’ access rule is the result of years of work by maritime attorney and MM&P Vice President George Quick, who shepherded the measure from legislation through agency regulatory channels.

Specifically, it requires each Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)-regulated facility to “provide a system for seamen assigned to a vessel at that facility, pilots, and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations to board and depart the vessel through the facility in a timely manner at no cost to the individual.”

Under the rule, access procedures must be documented in each vessel’s Facility Security Plan and approved by the local Captain of the Port.

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HYAK, the oldest ferry in the Washington State Ferries fleet, has been decommissioned after almost 52 years of service.

It was formally retired on June 30, after its final Seattle to Bremerton run, as a consequence of state legislators’ decision not to fund it in the 2019-21 transportation budget.

HYAK was built in San Diego by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company.

It was the first of WSF’s four Super Class ferries. Its name means “speedy” in Chinook.

Construction began in 1966. When it was completed the following year, it sailed up the coast to its new home in Seattle. HYAK entered state service on the Seattle/Bremerton route in July of that year.

Over the past 50 years, the ferry has sailed on almost every route in the WSF system.
According to WSF, the ferry was affectionately known as “the time capsule boat” because her vintage interior “made her somewhat of a floating museum of the late 1960s.”

“The HYAK looks almost the same today as she did in 1967,” according to, a website “dedicated to the hard working men and women of Washington State Ferries for keeping us safe and making our travels aboard WSF comfortable.”

“Some new tile, some new upholstery, but all in the original color scheme.”

WSF said details on the sale of HYAK will be announced in the coming months. As state property, decommissioned ferries must be sold through the state surplus process.

WSF, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the United States.

The men and women who work for the ferry system, many of whom are members of MM&P, safely and efficiently carry nearly 25 million people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world.

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The Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Committee has approved its 2018 inspection results and adopted performance lists for flags and recognized organizations (ROs) for the current year.

The Paris MoU includes the maritime administrations of 27 nations.

Together, the maritime administrations that participate in the Paris MoU cover the waters of the European coastal states and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe.

Every year, more than 18,000 inspections take place aboard foreign ships in Paris MoU ports. Ships are selected for inspection based on a calculation of the history of inspection and generic factors (such as age and ship type).

The white, grey and black lists, which cover the gamut from quality flags (white list) to flags considered high or very high risk (black list) are based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a three-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in that period.

For 2019, of the 73 flags, there are 41 on the white list, 18 on the grey list and 14 on the black list.

In 2017, U.S. ships were on the white list. Last year, however, they were moved to the grey list, where they remain in the most recent inspection report.

Lithuania and the Russian Federation have entered the white list while Saudi Arabia has dropped to the grey list.

Vanuatu has moved up from the black list to the grey list.

Albania has dropped to the black list. New on the performance list is Mongolia, which is classified in the black list as “medium-to-high risk.”

The Paris MoU reported that the level of RO performance for 2018 was similar to that reported in 2017, with four ROs classified as very low performers: out of 566 detentions recorded in 2018, 97 (17 percent) were considered RO related. This compares to 14.3 percent in 2017.

The lists are published on the Paris MoU website (

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The U.S. Navy League has created an online portal that allows supporters of World War II merchant mariners to urge Congress to finally pass legislation recognizing their heroic service to our nation.

HR 550, a bill sponsored by Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), would authorize a Congressional Gold Medal honoring World War II merchant mariners.

The bill has over 290 co-sponsors, which allows it to advance to the House Floor for a vote. The bill has not yet been scheduled for a vote, but we are hoping it will happen this summer.

A companion Senate bill (S 133), introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), is still in the process of gathering co-sponsors, so contacting members of the Senate could provide a crucial boost to our chance of success.

Our armed forces relied on the Merchant Marine to transport supplies, cargo and personnel into both theaters of operation during World War II.

Those who answered the call paid a heavy price. Thousands of American seamen died, and thousands more were wounded. Dozens were captured and tortured. Hundreds of American merchant vessels were lost or damaged.

The bills’ chances for passage can increase with your assistance. Use this link provided by the Navy League to automatically send a letter to your members of Congress urging support for the bills.

Visit and help us get this legislation over the finish line!

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There will be a union meeting at the MM&P Pompano Hall on Wednesday, July 17, at 1300.

MM&P President Don Marcus and Secretary-Treasurer Don Josberger will both attend.

The Pompano Hall is located at 540 East McNab Rd., Suite B, Pompano Beach.

The phone number is 954-946-7883.

All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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There will be an Offshore Membership Meeting in the MM&P Oakland Hall on Monday, July 22, immediately after job call.

Pacific Ports Vice President J. Lars Turner will give members at the meeting an update on negotiations with Pasha.

Additionally, a representative of Fidelity Investments will present information on the MM&P 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP).

All Offshore members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

As a reminder, the Oakland Hall is located at 548 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland.

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The MM&P union halls in Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach will be closed on Monday, July 29, in observance of the birthday of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) founder Harry Bridges.

Please note: The MM&P Honolulu Hall will be open on July 29.

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The 13-man crew of a pipe-laying vessel is essentially being held prisoner off the coast of Ghana because of the shipowner’s alleged failure to make good on a debt.

SEA HORIZON, the Panama-flagged vessel being held, belongs to Ranger Subsea, a Nigerian company.

Fortune Global Shipping & Logistics, another Nigerian company which claims it is owed $1.9 million, had the ship arrested 10 months ago.

Now the 13 crewmembers are living aboard the vessel without electricity. The owner is reportedly refusing to provide them with funds.

The news was reported by Maritime Executive.

“This is a despicable situation that shows gross disregard for human rights on the part of most of the involved parties,” says maritime lawyer Frank Coles, chief executive officer of ship management company Wallem Group.

“In many of these cases, the owner has disappeared or run out of funds. The crew are left stranded on the ship, without wages, access to support or a route home.”

“The regulations give them rights in a claim, but this does not account for the false imprisonment of being held on the ship against their will. The crew should not be a part of the arrest or abandoned ship.”

“It should be incumbent on the arresting agent, or the port or country where the ship is abandoned, to man the ship and return the crew to their home.”

“We should not have to rely on charity organizations to try and free these seafarers.”

Coles recommends creation of an international fund to deal with such situations and return crewmembers to their home countries. He says arresting agents and local ports should be required to provide a replacement crew.

“Finally,” he says, “countries should be more active in taking accountability for their citizens.”

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MITAGS-PMI is interested in receiving photo submissions from MM&P members for use on the official MITAGS-PMI social media platform.

The goal is to document members’ voyages and promote the maritime industry. As suggestions, photos can be of events and sights onboard, crewmembers at work or scenic locations.

If you are interested in sharing photos, please send them with caption information to MITAGS-PMI’s marketing manager, Lindsay Moran, at

Be sure to tell us whether you would like to be credited for the photo.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

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

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

For Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS-PMI Student/Instructional Services Manager Jennifer Pitzen at 206-739-0720 (direct line); (888) 893-7829 (toll free); or by e-mail:

Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

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

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 9/9/19

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 8/14/19

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/24/19

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 9/30/19

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/28/19

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 7/29/19, 9/30/19

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 10/2/19

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/12/19, 10/14/19

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 7/30/19*, 8/26/19, 9/25/19, 10/30/19, 12/17/19

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 7/29/19*, 9/25/19, 12/16/19

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/21/19

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 7/29/19, 9/23/19, 12/16/19

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/5/19, 9/30/19, 12/9/19

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/7/19

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 8/5/19*, 12/2/19

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 8/12/19*, 12/9/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 9/9/19, 12/2/19

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 8/19/19, 12/16/19

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/4/19 (DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 10/28/19

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/12/19*, 9/9/19*, 9/30/19, 10/14/19, 11/4/19, 12/2/19

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/22/19*, 8/19/19*, 9/16/19*, 10/7/19, 10/21/19, 11/11/19, 12/9/19

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/21/19

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/16/19

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – 9/23/19

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – 9/27/19

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – 9/25/19

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** –11/12/19

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) –10/15/19

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/4/19

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 8/19/19

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 8/22/19

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

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 8/12/19, 11/21/19

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/12/19, 12/9/19

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/12/19, 10/14/19

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 8/1/19, 8/28/19, 9/24/19, 10/29/19, 12/19/19

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 7/27/19, 9/28/19, 12/14/19

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/17/19

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/26/19, 11/18/19

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

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 7/29/19, 10/21/19*

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 9/18/19

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/23/19

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 12/2/19

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 9/30/19*, 12/2/19

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/19/19, 10/21/19

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/30/19*, 11/18/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 8/29/19, 9/23/19, 10/5/19, 10/28/19, 12/7/19, 12/20/19

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 8/7/19, 9/12/19 (evening), 11/1/19 (evening)

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 8/5/19, 9/12/19, 11/1/19

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 8/4/19, 11/3/19

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 8/10/19, 10/30/19

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 8/11/19, 9/16/19, 11/4/19

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 8/8/19, 9/14/19, 11/4/19 (evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 8/9/19, 9/15/19, 11/8/19

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 8/16/19, 9/20/19, 11/9/19

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 11/18/19

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 7/25/19*, 7/29/19, 8/26/19*, 8/28/19*, 11/18/19*, 11/20/19, 12/16/19, 12/18/19

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/23/19

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 7/24/19, 8/1/19, 8/7/19, 8/21/19, 8/28/19, 9/17/19, 9/18/19, 10/2/19, 10/16/19, 10/30/19, 11/6/19, 11/13/19, 12/4/19, 12/18/19

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/29/19

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/2/19

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/26/19, 10/28/19

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 8/5/19*, 9/23/19*, 11/18/19, 12/16/19

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/5/19

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: Not currently scheduled

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Contact Admissions

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

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 9/4/19

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/7/19

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/16/19

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For registration, contact our admissions department: 206.441.2880 or

Please also see our schedule and enroll online at

July 2019
22-25 Advanced Firefighting
22-26 Cargo Handling & Stowage
22-26 Advanced Shiphandling I
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
29-2 Advanced Shiphandling II

August 2019
5-8 Advanced Firefighting
12-13 Basic Training Revalidation
14th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
12-30 License Preparation (Mate Level)

September 2019
4th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
5-6 Basic Training Revalidation
6th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
9th Radar Renewal
9-13 Basic Training
9-13 Marine Propulsion Plants
16-19 Advanced Firefighting
16-20 Ship/Shipboard Management
23-27 Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation
30-1 ECDIS
30-1 Leadership & Managerial Skills

October 2019
2nd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
3-4 Basic Training Revalidation
7-11 Engine Resource Management
7-11 Basic Training
7-11 Advanced Shiphandling I
8th Radar Renewal
14-18 Management of Electrical & Electronic Control Equipment (MEECE)
14-18 Advanced Shiphandling II
15-18 Advanced Firefighting
18th Medical DOT
21-25 Advanced Meteorology
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
28-1 Advanced Stability
28-15 Celestial Navigation

November 2019
4-8 Advanced Cargo Operations
4-15 Basic Training
12th Radar Renewal
13th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
14-15 Basic Training Revalidation
18-19 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
18-20 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Advanced Watchkeeping
25-27 Search & Rescue

December 2019
2-6 Leadership & Managerial Skills
2-20 License Preparation (Mate Level)
3-6 Advanced Firefighting
9-12 ARPA
9-13 Basic Training
13th Radar Renewal
16th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2019. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on