News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 21, 2010

June 21st 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 25. . . .June 21, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


BP HOPES RELIEF WELLS WILL HALT LEAK BY AUGUST; COMPANY TO ALLOCATE $20 BILLION TO VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND

BP is reporting progress in drilling the first of two relief wells to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak. The goal is to use one or both relief wells to access the leaking well so as to shut it down with a barrage of heavy drilling fluids and cement. BP hopes that the relief wells will allow it to stop the leak in August.

In the meantime, former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, who is leading the federal response to the disaster, said BP had increased, to 25,000 barrels daily, the amount of oil it was siphoning off via a containment cap. But to put that figure in context, he said 35,000 barrels a day, and possibly as much as 60,000 barrels, were gushing into the sea from the well. Eleven workers were killed when the oil rig above the well exploded on April 20.

BP officials who met with President Obama on Wednesday agreed to create a $20 billion claims fund to compensate victims of the disaster, including fishermen and other Gulf Coast businesspeople and residents. Obama asked the company to create the fund after complaints that the BP claims process has been bureaucratic and inefficient. Data released last week by the House Judiciary Committee show that the company has paid fewer than 12 percent of the claims submitted so far.


FLORIDA LAWMAKER CALLS ON U.S. TO FULLY DEPLOY JONES ACT ASSETS IN GULF

Republican Congressman John Mica has called on the Department of Homeland Security to engage as many Jones Act operators as possible in the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. “We are surprised and dismayed at your failure to fully deploy all of our domestic resources in the ongoing federal effort,” Mica said in a letter sent last week to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “We urge you to immediately contact domestic operators to review both their assets and capability to be part of this important response.” Mica, the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he has heard from Jones Act operators that “scores of vessels” are sitting idle, waiting to respond to the emergency.


LEGISLATORS IN BOTH PARTIES, ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS, REFUTE CLAIMS THAT JONES ACT HINDERS GULF CLEAN-UP

Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with State Department and Coast Guard officials, are dismissing claims from opponents of the U.S.-flag maritime industry who are attempting to use the tragedy in the Gulf as an opportunity to spread misinformation about the Jones Act. One in four vessels now responding to the Gulf Oil spill is foreign-flagged, according to Adm. Thad Allen, the top U.S. official coordinating the nation’s response to the disaster.

The Jones Act is the name commonly given to U.S. cabotage law, which stipulates that only U.S.-flag vessels with coastwise endorsements can transport merchandise or passengers between points in the United States. The Jones Act does not apply to foreign-flag vessels involved in oil-skimming in waters beyond a state’s three-mile coastal limit. Within the three-mile limit, the law stipulates that skimming must be performed by a U.S.-flag vessel, if one is available. If a U.S.-flag vessel is not available, there is a straightforward waiver process that can be used to bring in foreign-flag vessels. Government spokesmen say Jones Act waivers can generally be issued in a few hours.

“Once again, it appears that critics of the Jones Act are distorting the facts by claiming that it applies in an instance when it simply doesn’t, or where it does, not being forthcoming with the law and the facts,” said Ken Wells, president of the Offshore Marine Service Association, based in Harahan, La. “Worse, they are taking advantage of this disastrous situation to undermine American workers for the benefit of foreign companies and foreign workers.”

“The American maritime industry has not and will not stand in the way of the use of these well-established waiver procedures to address this crisis,” said a spokesman for the Maritime Cabotage Task Force. “Countless American vessels are already responding in the Gulf.  In addition, we know that many other American vessels are standing by ready to help.” While U.S.-flag vessel operators said they would not stand in the way of legitimate Jones Act waiver requests, they remain vigilant against abuse of the laws. MM&P and MIRAID are both members of the Maritime Cabotage Task Force.

Republican Congressman John Mica of Florida has called on the Administration to immediately employ all Jones Act-eligible resources to combat the spill. In speeches on the Senate floor last week, Sens. Jeff Sessions and George LeMieux, both Republicans, asserted that Jones Act requirements are not interfering with spill response.

Hawaii Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono issued an official statement “in response to incorrect claims that the Jones Act is preventing foreign countries from providing assistance in the wake of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.” She noted that there are already 15 foreign-flagged vessels involved in the clean-up. According to information provided by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, no Jones Act waivers have been granted because none of these vessels require such a waiver to conduct emergency operations in the Gulf of Mexico. “Should such a waiver be deemed necessary, an expedited process is already in place,” Hirono said.

“Just as the U.S. Merchant Marine has capably served as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war, the Jones Act has ensured that we have a merchant marine that is capable of responding in time of national emergency in our coastal waters,” said Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda in testimony last week before Congress. “I would like to again commend the work of our nation’s heroic merchant mariners.”

Matsuda confirmed that 23 percent of the vessels responding to the spill are foreign-flagged and that no Jones Act waiver was required to enlist their help.


BALTIMORE’S INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR IS MARITIME’S HELEN BENTLEY

Maritime industry champion and former Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley was honored at the Baltimore Museum of Industry earlier this month with the city’s Industrialist of the Year award. Bentley, who worked as a journalist specialized in the maritime industry for decades, is a regular speaker at industry events. The Port of Baltimore was recently renamed in her honor. In accepting the award, she hailed maritime as “the mother of all industry.”


PIRATED U.K.-FLAGGED SHIP ARRIVES SAFELY IN OMAN

The U.K.-flagged ASIAN GLORY has arrived safely in Oman after being released by pirates who had hijacked it in January in the Indian Ocean. It was released after a ransom drop was made to the pirates on June 11. The ship has a crew of 25, all of whom are reportedly unharmed. When it was hijacked, ASIAN GLORY was transiting northwest towards the International Recommended Transiting Corridor.


SOMALI PIRATES WOUND GUARD ON TANKER

In related news, Somali pirates fired last week at a Yemeni oil tanker in the Red Sea near the Bab al-Mandab Strait, wounding a guard on board. The Bab al-Mandab links the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and is navigated by ships passing through the Suez Canal. When the pirates opened fire, the guards responded. The pirates fled but the guard was seriously wounded.


WALGREENS REMAINS IN CVS CAREMARK PHARMACY NETWORK

On June 18, CVS Caremark and Walgreens reached agreement on Walgreens’ continued participation in the CVS Caremark national pharmacy networks. This means MM&P Plan participants will have uninterrupted access to Walgreens and other pharmacies participating in the CVS Caremark national network to fill their prescriptions. The network includes more than 64,000 retail pharmacies, including numerous chain and independent pharmacies.

Plan members may continue to use their CVS Caremark prescription benefit at Walgreens’ pharmacy locations without interruption and with continued prescription benefit coverage in accordance with their benefit plan designs. Members will not need to transfer their prescriptions to other network pharmacies.


MM&P AND MEBA SHARE SPACE IN HONOLULU

MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) will move into new offices together in Honolulu on June 28. The new address is 521 Ala Moana Blvd.; Pier 2, Suite 254; Honolulu, HI 96813. Phone, fax and e-mail addresses will remain the same. The new hall is conveniently located and has ample parking.


APU GRADUATE DEGREE ORIENTATION AT MITAGS on AUG. 11

The American Public University System will conduct a Graduate Degree Orientation Seminar at the MITAGS at 7 P.M. on Wednesday, August 11. All previous and current MITAGS Chief Mate/Master program students are invited to attend. APU allows transfer of academic credit earned from completing the MITAGS Chief Mate/Master (CMM) License Advancement Program courses into its own graduate degree and certificate programs. All APU courses are delivered exclusively on-line to allow mariners to complete their educational goals wherever they are world-wide. “This ground-breaking agreement finally affords merchant mariners the opportunity to pursue and complete their graduate degrees from anywhere they have access to the internet, no matter where and when they travel throughout their maritime career” says Victor Tufts, program manager at MITAGS. For additional information, please contact him at 443-989-3531 or e-mail vtufts@mitags.org. Or visit the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of July 2010, as of the Friday before this publication, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification Systems: 7/21

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/28

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 6/21

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/28

CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 7/12

CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 7/19

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/21

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/21, 7/12

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/19

CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1): 7/26

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/15

CSE-AAES – Confined Space Entry-Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 7/21

ECDIS/ENAV for PILOTS (2-day): 7/27

FSM for Pilots � Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 7/22, 7/29

HAZ – Hazardous Materials Course (5-day): 6/21

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/16

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company and Facility: 7/12

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/21

TC NAV – Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation: 7/12

…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 2010

5-9      Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage
12-16   Radar Observer Unlimited
12-16   Train the Trainer
12-23  GMDSS
19-23  Electron Navigation
27-29  Security VCF

August 2010

2          Flashing Light
2-6      Medical Care Provider
2-13    Medical Person-In-Charge
3-5      ARPA
16-20  ECDIS
16-20  Tankerman Person-In-Charge
23        Radar Renewal


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-11-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,450.64 2,309.80 1,117.51
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
50.30
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
103.38
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.01
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.26
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.55
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
23.42
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.96
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.35
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.44
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.51
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.86
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.70
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.13
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.55
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.71
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.11
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.61
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
27.91
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.72
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.05
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.08
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.43
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
64.07
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
59.91
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.37
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.81
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
25.95
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
24.17
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.91
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.54
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.61
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.59
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.37
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.26
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.77
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
32.48
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
39.71
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
26.54



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.

© 2010, 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.




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