News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 19, 2011

July 19th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 29. . . . July 19, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


WEST COAST HALLS CLOSED JULY 28 FOR HARRY BRIDGES DAY

The MM&P union halls in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach will be closed on Thursday, July 28, for Harry Bridges Day. Bridges is credited with sparking the movement that transformed the world of break-bulk longshoring and culminated in the creation of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
 


NUMBER OF PIRATE ATTACKS INCREASED 36 PERCENT IN FIRST HALF OF 2011

Reported pirate attacks were up 36 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the same period last year, but the number of actual hijackings has declined. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there were 266 attacks in the first six months of 2011, compared to 196 in the same period last year. Somali-based pirates were responsible for more than 60 percent of the attacks. As of June 30, they held 420 mariners and 20 vessels hostage.

“In the past six months, Somali pirates attacked more vessels than ever before and they’re taking higher risks,” said IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan. “This June, for the first time, pirates fired on ships in rough seas in the Indian Ocean during the monsoon season. In the past, they would have stayed away in such difficult conditions.”

Although Somali pirates are more active this year, mounting 163 attacks compared to 100 in the first six months of 2010, they managed to hijack fewer ships: 21 in the first half of 2011 compared with 27 in the same period last year. This, the report says, is due to tougher ship defenses and the activities of international naval forces.

An increase in the number of particularly violent attacks has been registered on the coast of West Africa. The report listed 12 attacks on tankers off Benin since March, an area where no attacks had been reported in 2010.


MM&P MEMBER ROBERT CROWLEY HONORED FOR 35 YEARS AT HELM OF AMHS FERRY TUSTUMENA

The State of Alaska has recognized Robert Crowley, a long-time member of MM&P’s United Inland Group and captain of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry TUSTUMENA, for a remarkable 35 years of service to the ferry system and the people of Alaska.

In an interview with journalist Wes Hanna of the Kodiak Daily Mirror, Crowley remembered that his interest in working on the TUSTUMENA began in 1976, when he saw the vessel being docked at its homeport. A friend who worked on the ferry encouraged him to apply for a job. “So one thing led to another and I got hired,” Crowley says. “It wasn’t that I wanted to go to work on the ferry system–I wanted to work on the TUSTUMENA.”

Crowley started out as an ordinary seaman in 1976. He’s been captain of the ferry since the mid 1990s. “It’s been a great job, and continues to be,” Crowley says. “Because you are doing something for the communities, you get a lot of job satisfaction.”

Assignment to the TUSTUMENA is considered one of the toughest jobs in the AMHS. The ferry encounters the tidal forces of Cook Inlet, the second strongest tides in North America. Traveling down the Aleutian Chain, the TUSTUMENA also runs into strong currents from the channels between the islands. “This is some of the toughest weather, the toughest navigation, for one of our marine highway ships,” said Marc Luiken, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, at a ceremony held recently to honor Crowley. “But the TUSTUMENA is our mainstay for the southwest and the people in the communities of the southwest absolutely depend on Capt. Crowley’s leadership.”

Accepting the award, Crowley gave credit to the TUSTUMENA’s crew. “If these guys weren’t here, I probably wouldn’t be here,” he says. “They make my job easier and they have the same commitment to the TUSTUMENA and to the run.”


CUSTOMERS FLOCK TO MADE IN AMERICA STORE

A store that carries only products that are 100 percent American-made is attracting hundreds of new visitors to the tiny town of Elma, N.Y. “Dozens of tour buses have added Elma as a stop this year,” according to a report that aired on National Public Radio (NPR) last month. “On their way to scenic sites like Niagara Falls, these tourists are squeezing in a visit to the Made in America store.”

Shop owner Mark Andol boards the tour buses to welcome clients personally and to explain that shopping at the store is a patriotic gesture. “Made in this country by American workers, and the money stays in our economy,” he says. “So, enjoy yourself.”

For Andol, NPR reported, the decision to open the Made in America store has a personal as a well as a commercial component. Several years ago, the welding company he owns had to lay off almost half its 70-person workforce after losing major contracts to foreign competitors.

In the beginning, the store stocked just 50 items. Now it offers more than 3,000 products. You won’t find everything, of course: there are no electric can openers, coffee makers or just about anything electronic. Prices are competitive. Jeans cost $30, while $14 will buy you a T-shirt that says, “China is a long drive to work.”

Store manager Rob Weylan makes sure every product, right down to the packaging materials, is 100 percent American. Vendors have to say where each component of their product is made and sign letters of authenticity. This step is essential  because loopholes in Federal Trade Commission rules allow many items to be labeled “Made the USA” when it’s only partly true. The store manager says he spends hours verifying manufacturers’ claims.

Andol says sales have doubled from this time last year, but the store is investing all the revenue in new products, so he has not taken home a profit. He says he is already in contact with people who want to open up franchises.


UK PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS PROTEST PAY CUTS

Union officials have warned local governments across the United Kingdom that they face targeted strikes on key public services if they attempt to push through drastic cost cuts. In Southampton, hundreds of workers, including port health officers, struck last week to protest a pay cut of up to 5.5 percent imposed by the Conservative-led local government. The council plans to issue all municipal workers with dismissal letters and a new contract to sign within 90 days or be fired.

The joint action by local members of two unions, Unite and Unison, has targeted the municipality’s revenue-generating services, such as parking and road tolls, rather than staging mass walkouts. Strikes have been taking place since 23 May. Unite and Unison are affiliated with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).
 
The port health inspectors issue health certificates to all shippers using the port and check food imports into the United Kingdom. The ITF has asked the inspectors to notify port state control in other countries of any approaching cruise ships that have left the Port of Southampton without getting a health certificate. Port unions are also being notified.

The ITF instructions came after the union learned that some cruise ships were planning to break the strike by leaving the port without a health certificate in the hope of obtaining one at the next stop.


SEA STAR LINE HALTS JACKSONVILLE-PHILADELPHIA SERVICE

Sea Star Line says it will stop shipping cargo from Philadelphia on July 22 because the service cannot generate enough revenue. The Philadelphia service is part of a route serving Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The Jacksonville-based company said it intends to work with customers to continue shipments of cargo to Jacksonville by road, and then on to the islands.


STATE OF THE OCEAN SCIENTIFIC REPORT WARNS OF RAPID DEGRADATION

A panel of scientists has warned that countries must quickly make changes in a range of areas to prevent “the mass extinction of ocean life.” The preliminary report, produced by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), is the result of the first interdisciplinary international workshop to examine the combined effect of all the negative factors affecting the oceans, including pollution, warming, acidification, overfishing and lack of oxygen (hypoxia).

“The findings are shocking,” said the group’s scientific director, Alex Rogers, in an official statement. “This is a very serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level. We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, our children’s and generations beyond that.”

The panel concluded that the oceans are degenerating much faster than had been predicted. They found that the range of negative factors affecting the marine environment is contributing to the same conditions that have been associated with all mass extinctions in the history of the Earth.

Another report, published recently by the World Resources Institute, suggests that all coral reefs could be gone by 2050 if insufficient action is taken to protect them. At the end of June, another group of scientists forecast that this year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” will be the largest in history because of increased runoff from the Mississippi River dragging in high levels of nitrates and phosphates from fertilizers.

The IPSO report calls for: immediate reduction of CO2 emissions, coordinated efforts to restore marine ecosystems and universal implementation of the precautionary principle so “activities proceed only if they are shown not to harm the ocean singly or in combination with other activities.” The panel also called for the United Nations to swiftly introduce an “effective governance of the High Seas.”


EXCESSIVE SPEED, LACK OF OVERSIGHT, LED TO COAST GUARD’S FATAL 2009 SAN DIEGO BAY COLLISION, NTSB SAYS

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the probable causes of a 2009 collision in San Diego Bay between a Coast Guard patrol boat and a recreational motorboat were the patrol boat’s “excessive speed” and the Coast Guard’s “ineffective oversight” of its small boat operations nationally and at Coast Guard Station San Diego.

The accident took place in the early evening hours of Dec. 20, 2009, in San Diego Harbor. The Coast Guard boat, a 33-foot-long Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement (SPC-LE) vessel with five crewmembers aboard, collided with a 24-foot-long Sea Ray recreational boat carrying 13 people. The collision occurred during an annual holiday boating event, the Parade of Lights. The Coast Guard boat, which was responding to a reported grounding (considered a non-emergency), struck the Sea Ray from behind. As a result, an 8-year-old boy was killed and four other people were seriously injured. None of the crewmembers in the Coast Guard boat were injured. When it struck the Sea Ray, the patrol boat was being operated at planing speed, which was at least 19 knots and possibly as high as 42 knots.

The investigation showed that at least one crewmember of the patrol boat saw the Sea Ray as they approached it from behind. Three of the five crewmembers on the Coast Guard boat, including the operator, refused to be interviewed by NTSB investigators.

The NTSB said that another cause of the accident was the Coast Guard’s lack of oversight of its small boat vessel operations. “Coast Guard Station San Diego lacked an effective oversight system to monitor the operation of their vessels while on patrol,” according to the NTSB. “The presence of such a system could have prevented the accident. In addition, the Station officer of the day, who was on the Coast Guard boat at the time of the accident, did not advise the coxswain to slow down.”

The NTSB recommended that the Coast Guard increase vigilance in checking the speed of its boats, establish policies that prohibit excessive speed, and develop a monitoring system to detect deviations from standard operating guidance and procedures. It also recommended that the Coast Guard implement procedures to ensure that crewmembers can compensate for obstructions potentially affecting forward visibility on the SPC-LE vessels.


UNION HUNTERS STAR IN NEW SHOW ON SPORTSMAN CHANNEL

“Brotherhood Outdoors,” a show that profiles union sportsmen and sportswomen who hunt and fish, premiered in June. The show airs exclusively on the Sportsman Channel, the official network of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, each Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. It stars Jake Lovato, a sportsman, metal sculptor and UA Local 412 pipefitter. Lovato also found time in his busy scheduled to travel to Haiti, where he used his welding skills to help rebuild an orphanage after the earthquake. In the season premiere, Lovato headed to South Texas, where he encountered “some true monster whitetail.”

Host of the show is Tom Ackerman, who leads the audience on hunting and fishing adventures across North America. Union members featured on the show also “turn the tables,” taking Tom to their own favorite spots.

Want to be on the show? The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is looking for hardworking and hard-playing union members to star in “Brotherhood Outdoors.” If you want to join host Tom Ackerman on a North American hunting or fishing adventure or act as Tom’s guide in your neck of the woods, apply today at http://tiny.cc/unionhunt.

In celebration of the new show, union viewers have the chance to win a complete home theater system. One lucky winner will take home a prize package valued at nearly $5,000. It includes: 50” LG TruSlim frame plasma TV; Bose 321 GS home entertainment system; Lane Alpine swivel recliner.

For contest rules and regulations, and to enter for a chance to win, visit the Union Sportsman Alliance website: http://tinyurl.com/huntrecline. You can enter the contest once a week.


ALL CIVIL SERVICE MARINERS: PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORY!

To increase public awareness of the essential work carried out by the men and women who work for the federal government, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) has launched a  new blog called “I Am a Federal Employee.” The blog highlights the importance of federal employees to our nation, and the sacrifices they make in the name of public service. America’s hard-working and dedicated federal employees don’t get nearly the credit they deserve!

MM&P and NFFE are member unions of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), the coalition that was formed to defend public sector workers from the attacks launched against them in recent years. The FWA unions collectively represent over 300,000 federal workers.

The stories of about 20 federal workers have already been posted on www.iamafederalemployee.org. All members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) are encouraged to e-mail a description of their work and a small photo of themselves for inclusion on the site. To submit a story, all you have to do is send an e-mail and a photo to iamafederalemployee@gmail.com.


IN WISCONSIN, PRISON INMATES REPLACING UNION WORKERS IN SOME STATE JOBS

Following passage of the law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and GOP legislators which stripped state workers of their collective bargaining rights, prison inmates will now begin to replace union members in some jobs. The new law gives Wisconsin state officials the power to make many changes in working conditions and employment practice without negotiating with employees or their unions.

In Racine County, prison inmates will now be assigned to jobs that include landscaping, painting, and snow removal, all jobs that were previously performed by unionized employees. The prisoners are not required to do work for the county and are not paid, but in many instances they can receive time off their sentence in exchange for work. A spokesman for Racine County said inmates are already doing basic maintenance jobs that were previously done by unionized county workers.


MINNESOTA GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN ENDS

Legislators in Minnesota worked through the weekend on a tentative budget deal to end the state’s two-week government shutdown. The stalemate ensued when Republicans in the state legislature refused Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed budget, which included substantial spending cuts but also a proposal to raise taxes on Minnesotans earning over $1 million annually. Republicans instead proposed an all-cuts budget. During the shutdown, which lasted two weeks, most of the state’s 35,000 public workers were furloughed. Both sides have now agreed to balance the state’s approximately $35 billion budget by implementing the cuts proposed by the governor, and finding an additional $1.4 billion in revenue by delaying payments to local school districts and borrowing money against expected payments from the tobacco industry. The state was expected to reopen Tuesday.


MCNEIL ISLAND FERRY (PUGET SOUND) SEEKS MECHANIC SUPERVISOR AND TUG OPERATOR

The State of Washington is seeking a marine engine mechanic supervisor and a marine boat/tug operator to work on the McNeil Island Ferry in Puget Sound. To find out more about these positions, go to www.mmp-uig.org. The complete job descriptions are posted on the home page as PDF files. The deadline for applying for these jobs is close of business on July 28.


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-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): 8/22, 9/12, 9/26
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 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: 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

TPIC-DL � Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/15

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

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 7-15-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,479.73 2,789.80 1,316.14
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
57.42
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
121.31
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
44.32
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.90
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.23
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.81
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.97
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.48
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.81
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.83
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.93
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.39
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.27
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.98
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.20
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.71
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.14
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.78
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.22
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.61
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.84
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
18.89
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.79
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
72.85
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
70.62
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.66
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
48.63
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
30.68
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
29.38
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.57
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.09
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.33
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.32
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.74
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.97
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
40.41
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.60
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
32.05



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.