News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 12, 2012

June 12th 2012

 

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

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 24. . . .June 12, 2012

STORIES COVERED

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


MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM FUNDING ADVANCES IN CONGRESS

The House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee and the full Senate Committee on Appropriations have approved legislation that calls for $184 million in fiscal year 2013 funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the amount requested by the Obama Administration to maintain the full 60-ship maritime security fleet.
 
In the report accompanying the legislation (S 2322), the Senate Appropriations Committee noted that the funds are necessary “to maintain a U.S.-flag merchant fleet crewed by U.S. citizens to serve both the commercial and national security needs of the United States… Participating operators are required to keep the vessels in active commercial service and provide intermodal sealift support to the Department of Defense (DOD) in times of war or national emergency.”

“MSP is a successful and critical partnership with the Department of Defense and the U.S.-flag commercial maritime industry that supports military operations overseas,” the members of the committee said. “It provides a sealift fleet capacity that would cost the government $13,000,000,000 in capital to reproduce. Furthermore, according to the United States Transportation Command, it would cost the government an additional $52,000,000,000 to replicate the global intermodal system that is made available to the Department of Defense by MSP participants who are continuously developing, maintaining and upgrading their logistical support systems. The committee strongly encourages the Department of Transportation to continue to support this proven and cost effective program in its fiscal year 2014 budget request.”
 

MM&P will continue to work with others in our industry towards prompt enactment of fiscal year 2013 funding legislation for MSP.


HORIZON LINES NAMES NEW PRESIDENT/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Horizon Lines announced last week that Sam Woodward, an expert in transportation and logistics management, is the company’s new president and chief executive officer. Woodward succeeds Stephen H. Fraser, who had served as Horizon Lines president and CEO on an interim basis since March 2011.

In a personal call last week to the leadership of MM&P, Woodward expressed his belief in a “fair and equitable collaborative relationship” with labor and discussed his extensive experience working with unions. He said that his goal is to “focus on the business of the business and concentrate on the relentless pursuit of quality operations.”

Outgoing CEO Stephen Fraser, who also participated in the conference call, expressed his gratitude to the members of MM&P and the other seagoing unions for their sacrifices and for their successful efforts to help see the company through a difficult period. “We are sad to see Stephen Fraser give up the helm because his leadership has been universally respected by our members,” said the MM&P International President. “His efforts have brought Horizon Lines back from the brink and his contributions cannot be overstated. We wish him a fond farewell while we welcome Sam Woodward aboard. MM&P members will stand with him, upholding the highest standards of professionalism, as Horizon Lines meets the challenges ahead.”

“Sam is known for his leadership abilities as a business strategist focused on operational transformation and excellence,” said Jeffrey A. Brodsky, chairman of the Horizon Lines Board of Directors. “He has a strong track record of success in a career that has spanned multiple companies over more than 30 years.”

Woodward joins Horizon Lines from Traffic Tech Inc., an international freight forwarder, where he held several executive leadership roles. He also served as a managing director of investment bank Bengur Bryan & Co. and as chairman, president and CEO of Gemini Air Cargo.


HOUSE PANEL ACTS ON MM&P-BACKED TWIC REFORMS

The House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security has favorably reported HR 4251, a bill aimed at addressing a number of important shortfalls in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The legislation, which is strongly supported by MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and others in our industry, is called the “Securing Maritime Activities Through Risk-Based Targeting for Port Security Act.” It was introduced by Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.), chairman of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee.

The legislation expresses the sense of Congress that “to avoid further imposing unnecessary and costly regulatory burdens on U.S. workers and businesses . . . it is urgent that the TWIC application process be reformed by not later than the end of 2012 when hundreds of thousands of current TWIC holders will begin to face the requirement to renew their TWICs.”

The bill directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reform the process “for the enrollment, activation, issuance and renewal of a TWIC to require, in total, not more than one in-person visit to a designated enrollment center except in cases in which there are extenuating circumstances, as determined by the Secretary, requiring more than one such in-person visit.”

The bill as passed by the committee also requires DHS to issue the final rule for the installation of electronic readers to verify TWICs by Dec. 31, 2014.  If the rule is not issued by that date, then no TWIC scheduled to expire after Dec. 31, 2014 will expire until the date on which the final rule is issued.

MM&P is working with the Committee on Homeland Security to bring this legislation to the House of Representatives for a vote. At this time, no comparable legislation is pending in the Senate.


SAN FRANCISCO BAY FERRY INAUGURATES NEW ROUTE

For the first time in nearly two decades, the San Francisco Bay Area has launched a new ferry route. The South San Francisco to East Bay route, which connects the booming biotechnology employment hub near San Francisco Airport with residential communities in the East Bay, was inaugurated on June 4. MM&P-contracted Blue & Gold Fleet operates the new route and three other Bay Area ferry services for San Francisco Bay Ferry, the public agency that oversees the network. Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group were front and center during the inauguration ceremony, bringing the first ferry boats in to the sleek new South San Francisco landing in the presence of elected officials including Congresswoman Jackie Speier.


KEY STEP TOWARDS FIRST CONTRACT FOR MSC MEDICAL SERVICES OFFICERS

There’s good news for Medical Services Officers (MSOs) represented by MM&P. As a result of negotiations between the union and Military Sealift Command (MSC), permanent pay raises for all MSOs should be in place within a few pay periods.

“MM&P and MSC officials have been working to effect positive change for the Command and MSOs,” said MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. “MSC has agreed to MM&P’s proposal that MSO billets in the CIVMAR fleet be paid at the 902 level, consistent with MSC’s long-standing past practice. This will raise the permanent rate of MSOs to level 902.”  

“While MSC works to carry out the personnel actions necessary to implement permanent promotions, we wanted to share the positive news that has emerged from this highly productive labor-management partnership,” Ciszewski said.

“MM&P appreciates the common-sense and cooperative attitude of MSC throughout our involvement with the MSOs,” said the MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer. “The patience and cohesion of our MSO dues-paying members, as well as the diligence of Randi Ciszewski and her MSC counterparts in working out this agreement, bode well for the future.”


GRAY LISTING OF U.S.-FLAG SHIPS HIGHLIGHTS CONFORMANCE GAP BETWEEN U.S. REGULATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

A growing number of U.S.-flag vessels are being detained by port state control authorities because of non-compliance with international maritime requirements. This finding, which was reported in an article by USCG Chief of Commercial Vessel Compliance Capt. Eric Christensen, has led the agency to sound “a high-level alarm for detentions of U.S.-flag vessels.”

“Coast Guard analysis of recent actions taken on U.S.-flag vessels by port state control (PSC) authorities overseas indicates an alarming trend in the number of significant deficiencies noted,” Christensen writes in an article posted on the Coast Guard’s homeport website. The deficiencies cited by port state control authorities include: improper manning, engine room fire hazards and structural hull safety. Christensen says the situation “is illustrative of a decline of registry performance, which has firmly landed the U.S. on the gray list in at least one of the regional PSC regimes since 2008.”

But observers say there is more to the story. “Part of the problem is with the USCG administration and its regulatory system, which allows gaps between international regulatory requirements and U.S. regulatory requirements,” says the MM&P Pilot Group Vice President. “Without clear guidance and direction in USCG regulations on the implementation of new IMO international standards, U.S. ships in the international trade are not meeting the new international requirements. The USCG has an obligation to conform its regulations to the new requirements, but the legally mandated long procedural process for doing so can create regulatory gaps between U.S. and international requirements that leave our ships exposed to sanctions or detention in foreign ports.”


HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE SLASHES FUNDS FOR FOOD AID

Ignoring the humanitarian, economic and national security benefits associated with the Food for Peace PL 480 food aid export program, the House of Representatives Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee voted to slash fiscal year 2013 funding for the program to $1.15 billion from the $1.46 billion appropriated for fiscal year 2012. The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee rejected a similar 21 percent reduction in food aid funding, choosing instead to maintain the 2012 level of $1.46 billion. The program had already been subject to drastic cuts in funding, down to its current level from $2.3 billion in 2009.
 
The law requires that at least 75 percent of the food aid cargoes exported under this program be carried by U.S.-flag vessels to the extent such vessels are available at fair and reasonable rates. Further cuts in funding would result in less food for the world’s neediest people and less cargo for U.S.-flag vessels. This in turn would threaten the viability of the U.S.-flag fleet and put at risk our industry’s continued availability to meet America’s national security needs.

MM&P will be working with others in our industry to prevent further cuts in the food aid program and to obtain fiscal year 2013 funding at a level at least equal to the fiscal year 2012 level.


REP. BOB GIBBS NAMED GREAT LAKES LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR

Congressman Bob Gibbs of Ohio has been named the “Great Lakes Legislator of the Year” by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force. “Rep. Gibbs’ first term in Congress has been remarkably focused on the issue that will most decide the future of Great Lakes shipping: the dredging crisis,” says Task Force President Eugene Caldwell.

Gibbs is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment and a strong supporter of the RAMP Act, which would require that Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund tax dollars collected for dredging actually be spent on dredging. Currently the trust fund surplus is being used to balance shortfalls in other areas of the budget. “More than 16 million cubic yards of sediment clog the Great Lakes navigation system,” Caldwell says, “and the backlog will grow to 28 million by 2016 unless dredging is adequately funded.”

“The economic importance of maritime trade cannot be underestimated,” Gibbs says.  “Proper investment in dredging is critical. Every inch of depth means more cargo can be shipped, and with our nation attempting to increase exports, we need to ensure that all our ports are operating at their full potential and ships aren’t running half-full.” Gibbs says that addressing the infrastructure needs of Great Lakes ports “is essential to keeping American farms and businesses competitive and growing American jobs.”


MM&P CONVENTION RESOLUTION DEADLINE REMINDER

The 84th MM&P Convention will take place July 23-25, 2012. Per Article IV, Section 6 (c) of the MM&P Constitution, resolutions must be submitted 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention.


GREEK CHEMICAL TANKER AND 21-PERSON CREW FREE AFTER SEVEN MONTHS

Somali pirates last week released the Greek chemical tanker LIQUID VELVET and 21 crewmembers. The vessel had been seized on Oct. 31, 2011, while en route from Morocco to India inside the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor. The crew had taken refuge in the ship’s citadel, but the pirates were able to breach the barrier and take control. In the intervening six months, they used the tanker as a mother ship to launch other attacks. There was no word on the ransom paid. The pirates had reportedly requested $8 million for the ship and its crew. The International Maritime Bureau reports that 157 seafarers are now being held captive by pirates.


SCHEDULE FOR 2012 OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSE

The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2012.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): June 8-9 at MM&P Headquarters; Sept. 7-8 at MM&P Headquarters; Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey; Oct. 10-11 in Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston. The Offshore Familiarization Course, May 30-31 in Charleston is postponed and will be rescheduled (depending on continued interest) for a later date.

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 MM&P Membership Secretary Mary Seidman: mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


MARAD STUDY SHOWS POTENTIAL FOR RENEWABLE MARINE FUEL

The Maritime Administration announced today its analysis of a test conducted with algae-based biofuel on one of its large commercial-size vessels. This cutting-edge research used marine engines aboard the Great Lakes Maritime Academy training ship STATE OF MICHIGAN to measure emissions reduction impact. The project is part of a joint effort by the Departments of Defense and Transportation to reduce the nation’s dependence on petroleum. The fuel, which was provided by the Navy, was tested in one of the vessel’s engines for more than 400 hours. Researchers measured the fuel’s emissions, efficiency and effect on engine performance. Detailed results of the test and a complete report on the study are posted at www.marad.dot.gov.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: http://mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar/

For class availability, contact Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 8/20

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/7, 9/25

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/27

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  8/23

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/25, 8/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/10

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 7/23

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 6/25

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 7/9

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/20

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 8/6, 9/17

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/16, 7/30, 9/10, 9/4

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/18, 7/9, 8/6, 9/17

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/18, 8/27

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/6

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/19

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 8/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/25, 8/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 7/25

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 8/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/20

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/16

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 8/20

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 9/17

MED-PIC -R – Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 7/30

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/16, 9/22

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/6

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/6

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/10

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/13, 6/27, 7/11, 7/25, 8/1, 8/15, 8/29, 9/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/6, 9/24

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 7/30

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/16

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/25, 8/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/20

TC/NAV – Terrestrial & Costal Navigation and Compasses: 9/19

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/27

TRAC-TUG-2 for Pilots:  Tractor Tug (2 day) 7/23

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/17

…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.


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.
 
June 2012

18-22    ECDIS
18-22    Management, Communication, and Leadership (Horizon Lines)
25-29    Medical Care Provider


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-12-12

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,254.42 2,830.01 1,318.20
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
56.17
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
121.11
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.73
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.40
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.66
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.96
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.08
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.89
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.78
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.55
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.67
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.40
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.67
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.60
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.85
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.22
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.10
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.65
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.59
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.50
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.03
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
11.01
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
66.62
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
65.93
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.05
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
45.25
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
25.70
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.94
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.10
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.41
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.17
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.53
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.74
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.12
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
36.40
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.58
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.39



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.

© 2012, 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.