News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 28, 2010

June 28th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 26. . . .June 28, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY

All MM&P port offices, MM&P Plans, MM&P headquarters and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed on Monday, July 5, for Independence Day. In addition, the port offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be closed on July 6.


“IN NO CASE HAS JONES ACT HINDERED GULF CLEAN-UP,” NATIONAL INCIDENT COMMANDER SAYS

There has been “no case” in which the federal government has refused use of foreign vessels in the Gulf oil spill clean-up because of the Jones Act, according to a statement released by the National Incident Command (NIC), which is headed by former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen. The message was disseminated in response to attempts by opponents of the U.S.-flag shipping industry to use the disaster in the Gulf as an opportunity to spread misinformation about the laws that protect the livelihood of the American Merchant Marine.

“In no case has the Federal-On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) or Unified Area Command declined to request assistance or to accept offers of assistance of foreign vessels that meet an operational need because of the Jones Act,” the NIC said in an official statement distributed last week. Foreign vessels from many nations are in fact already working in the Gulf.

The Jones Act only applies within three miles of shore. The Deepwater Horizon spill is occurring 50 miles from shore, and the vast majority of oil is beyond three miles, so foreign skimmers have been working side-by-side with American skimmers in the disaster zone. In addition, the Coast Guard’s FOSC last week issued a determination allowing the deployment of foreign skimmers within three miles of the coast because of the need for unprecedented numbers of skimmers.

Federal law always permits waivers of the Jones Act to allow foreign vessels when no American vessel is available. The NIC has instituted streamlined procedures to ensure that such waiver requests are considered quickly during the Gulf crisis. However, “To date, no waivers of the Jones Act have been required because none of the foreign vessels currently operating as part of the response has required such a waiver,” the NIC said.

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF), a national coalition of the American shipping and shipyard industry of which MM&P and MIRAID are members, has called the attacks on the Jones Act “unfounded.”

“The American shipping industry cares deeply about the Gulf and has launched an all-hands-on-deck effort to help with the Gulf clean-up,” said a spokesman for MCTF. “More American vessels are standing by, eager to help. The Jones Act is no impediment to the clean-up for all the reasons outlined by the NIC and has not been an impediment to the use of foreign skimmers and other foreign vessels in the Gulf.”


OIL SPILL RESPONDERS GRAPPLE WITH TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, HURRICANE RISK

Hundreds of thousands of gallons more oil began gushing into the Gulf of Mexico last week after an undersea robot struck a vent and forced BP to remove a cap that had been containing some of the leaking crude. When the robot bumped the system, gas rose through the vent that carries warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming in the cap. National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen said that although the flow had increased “it’s not a totally unconstrained discharge.” The current worst-case estimate of the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf is about 2.5 million gallons a day.

In the meantime, the National Hurricane Center said Friday that there is a 70 percent chance that a low-pressure area now developing over the western Caribbean may pick up steam and head toward the Gulf. Coast Guard officials say they will likely need to remove people from rigs and the clean-up effort if the storm develops and moves toward south Louisiana. The shutdown process would begin 120 hours before winds of 40 mph or more were expected to strike.


UNIONS URGE PASSAGE OF LAW TO SHIELD MARINERS WHO HARM PIRATES FROM LEGAL LIABILITY

A law that would shield mariners from legal liability for injuries caused to pirates in the heat of an attack should be passed as part of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, say leaders of America’s maritime unions. The measure, Section 1334 of HR 3619, provides that “an owner, operator, time charterer, master or mariner who authorizes or engages in force to defend a U.S.-flag vessel against an act of piracy shall not be liable for any injury or death caused by such force to any person participating in the act of piracy.”

The unions expressed their support for the measure in a June 18 letter to Rep. James Oberstar, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and to Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chair Elijah Cummings and Ranking Members John Mica and Frank LoBiondo.

“With pirate attacks at an all time high, American mariners continue to face a serious and ongoing threat,” the unions wrote. “It would be unconscionable if they were to face liability for the injury or death of one of the perpetrators of a piracy attack.”

The letter was signed by MM&P International President Timothy Brown, MIRAID President C. James Patti and the presidents and legislative affiliates of the American Maritime Officers, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department, the Marine Firemen’s Union, the Seafarers International Union and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department.


CONFERENCE TO ADOPT REVISED STCW CONVENTION AND CODE HELD JUNE 21-25

The diplomatic conference on revisions to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) took place last week in Manila. “The successful outcome of our week-long deliberations will send a message to seafarers that we keep them constantly in our minds,” said IMO Secretary General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos. He said participants in the conference are demonstrating that “we continue to respond satisfactorily to changing conditions and circumstances affecting mariners’ professional life.” The draft amendments to the STCW Convention and Code mark the first major revision of the two instruments since those adopted in 1995, which completely revised the original 1978 Convention and introduced the Code.

In his remarks, Mitropoulos said it was highly appropriate that the conference was taking place during the IMO’s Year of the Seafarer, because of the re-emergence of threats such as piracy, and because of the “unique physical and other hazards mariners confront, including unwarranted detention when their ships are involved in accidents, denial of shore leave for security purposes and abandonment in ports far away from their home countries.” The conference is being attended by more than 630 delegates from some 85 IMO member states. In the July 5 edition of The Wheelhouse Weekly, we will recap the most important developments to come out of the conference.


MM&P MAGAZINE NOW ONLINE

The May-June 2010 issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on www.bridgedeck.org. Articles in this issue include: U.S.-flag maritime industry converges on nation’s capital to meet with members of Congress and their staffs; Military Sealift Command prepositioning ship USNS MARTIN, operated by Patriot Contract Services, is the newest addition to the MM&P fleet; House Committee votes to extend Maritime Security Program through 2025; MM&P’s United Inland Group signs contract with McAllister, christens new ferry in San Francisco and approves contract with Crowley; MM&P officials and MAERSK ALABAMA Capt. Richard Phillips meet with Sen. Barbara Boxer to urge increased U.S. action on piracy. To read the May-June issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “MM&P Magazine.”


UNITED SEAMEN’S SERVICE AWARDS TO AMO’S THOMAS BETHEL AND CROWLEY’S WILLIAM PENNELLA

The United Seamen’s Service (USS) 2010 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards(AOTOS) will be presented to American Maritime Officers (AMO) President Thomas J. Bethel and to Crowley Maritime Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President William A. Pennella. The two will be honored “for their significant contributions to American seafarers and American commerce,” said Richard Hughes, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association, who is serving as chair of the 2010 AOTOS awards committee. At the awards ceremony, which will take place in New York on Nov. 12, the American maritime unions who participated in the Haitian relief effort will receive awards on behalf of all their members. A group of American seafarers will also be recognized for acts of bravery at sea.


INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FUNDS NEW PIRACY COURT IN KENYA

With $5 million in funding from the United Nations, the European Union, and several donor countries, Kenya has been able to open a new court to try accused pirates.  The new judicial facility, at Shimo la Tewa Prison in Mombasa, will also be used as a venue for other serious criminal offenses.


BENEFITS OF UNION MEMBERSHIP MUST BE COMMUNICATED TO BROADER AUDIENCE, YOUNG WORKERS SAY

More than 400 young people who gathered in Washington in June under the auspices of the AFL-CIO said unions must use the Internet and targeted communications campaigns to make the advantages of union membership known to a broader audience and to contrast negative messages about unions that circulate in the mainstream press. These ideas were put forth in a series of workshops and breakout sessions held during the “Young Workers Summit,” an AFL-CIO conference focused on making sure young union leaders and activists are taken seriously and their ideas are heard at all levels of the union movement. The breakout groups called for increased mentoring programs to help young union members grow into leadership roles and establishing a national youth mobilization effort as an AFL-CIO priority.

They also called for: creating an internship website with information on national, state and local opportunities; creating blogs that highlight best practices for involving young workers; and “re-branding” the union movement to appeal to a wider audience. “We need to do a better job of educating the public about the labor movement–who we are and what we do–especially in the schools,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Schuler, who opened the conference. “We need to adapt our structure and be more open to organizing unconventional industries.” Shuler said unions need to adopt social networking tools to “cut through corporate and media clutter about unions and reach out to workers not in unions, and energize union workers who are sitting on the sidelines.”


PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: AN UPDATE FROM THE MM&P HEALTH AND BENEFIT PLAN

As you know, the federal health care reform legislation was enacted last March. The federal agencies responsible for interpreting and enforcing the new law’s provisions are only beginning to issue guidance concerning this legislation. Based on recently issued regulations, we understand that some of the new law’s provisions will be effective for “calendar year” plans, like ours, on Jan. 1, 2011. Some of the benefits that would be changed effective Jan. 1, 2011 include covering dependents up to age 26 provided they do not already have health coverage available through their employer.Another change would be limitations on, and eventual elimination of, lifetime and annual caps on certain benefits. The Plan’s lawyers and consultants are in the process of reviewing all the details of the new law and recently issued regulations and will be providing the Trustees with a report at their Sept. 21-23, 2010 meeting. The Plan will continue to provide the Plan’s participants with updates and will provide any necessary forms and open enrollment period on a timely basis.


MARITIME INDUSTRIES ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL SEEKS INSTRUCTOR

Maritime Industries Academy, an urban public school in Baltimore, invites applications for a full-time faculty teaching position that will require curriculum development, maritime program coordination and direct instruction of students. The school serves approximately 600 students in grades 9-12.The maritime instructional program, which will be implemented over the next four years, will offer courses in maritime studies, shipboard operations, intermodal transportation, maritime law, navigation, business and maritime affairs. Minimum qualifications are a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline related to maritime studies such as marine transportation, oceanography, engineering or naval architecture; excellent communication and leadership skills; computer skills; USCG third mate or third assistant engineer license, or other significant maritime experience. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. A background investigation is required prior to employment.Applicants must possess criminal background and child abuse clearances and must provide proof of U.S. citizenship, or eligibility to work in the United States. Applicants should send a letter of interest, resume, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three professional references to: Joy Pinder Savage, Principal , Maritime Industries Academy High School, 5001 Sinclair Lane, Baltimore, MD 21206. Applications may also be submitted by e-mail to jsavage@bcps.k12.md.us or by fax to 410-396-0085.


APU GRADUATE DEGREE ORIENTATION AT MITAGS ON AUG. 11

The American Public University (APU) system will conduct a graduate degree orientation seminar at MITAGS on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 7:00 p.m. All previous and current MITAGS Chief Mate/Master (CMM) program students are invited to attend. APU allows transfer of academic credit earned from completing the MITAGS CMM License Advancement Program courses into its own graduate degree and certificate programs. All APU courses are delivered on-line so mariners can pursue their educational goals wherever they are world-wide. “This ground-breaking agreement affords merchant mariners the opportunity to 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, contact him at 443-989-3531 or e-mail vtufts@mitags.org. You can also visit the MITAGS website: www.mitags.org.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!


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

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

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 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

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/16

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

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

September 2010

7-17   Celestial Navigation
13       Security Refresher
13-24  GMDSS
14-16  Security VCF
20-24  Basic Construction & Stability
20-22  Fast Rescue Boat
27       Radar Renewal
27-1   Basic Shiphandling
27-1   ECDIS

October 2010

4-8    Tankerman Person-In-Charge
4-15  Basic Watchkeeping with BRM
11-22GMDSS
12-15ARPA
18-29 Celestial Navigation
18-22 Medical Care Provider
18-29 Medical Person-In-Charge
23     Med DOT
25-27 Fast Rescue Boat
27     Radar Renewal


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-25-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,152.80 2,223.48 1,076.76
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
49.01
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
99.62
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
33.79
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.07
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
14.97
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.56
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.99
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
26.25
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.46
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.32
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.34
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.63
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
17.78
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.19
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.35
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.38
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.77
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.66
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
26.77
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.20
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.87
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.52
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.48
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
61.70
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
57.56
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
15.78
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
37.16
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
25.35
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
23.25
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.86
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.47
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.36
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.08
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
6.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.03
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.80
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
31.37
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
38.27
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
25.52



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.




IOMMP

IOMMP

IOMMP

Latest posts by IOMMP (see all)