Wheelhouse Weekly – June 28, 2016

June 28th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 26. . . June 28, 2016


In This Issue:


Company News:

News for MM&P Members:

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Other News:


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In their fight to defend the jobs of union members on Prince William Sound, MM&P and the Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU) have announced that they will back Steve Lindbeck, a Democrat who has mounted a vigorous challenge to Republican congressional incumbent Don Young.

As has been reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, Alyeska Pipeline Services, which oversees tanker escort operations for the oil company majors, recently announced plans to end its decades’ long contract with Crowley, which employs MM&P and IBU members and boasts an enviable safety record.

Lindbeck has accused Young of promoting the switch to out-of-state, non-union contractor Edison Chouest in a quid pro quo linked to campaign contributions by the Louisiana contractor, whose last foray into Alaskan waters ended in the grounding of an oil rig.

Edison Chouest built and operated the AIVIQ, a 360-foot vessel constructed to tow a Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling barge, the KULLUK, for Arctic offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea.

In December 2012, as the Edison Chouest vessels attempted to cross the Gulf of Alaska, they lost the KULLUK. A day later, all four engines on the AIVIQ failed. Shortly thereafter, the KULLUK grounded near Kodiak Island.

The unions held a press conference in Anchorage on June 23 to announce that they are throwing their support behind Lindbeck in the congressional race.

Participating in the press conference were IBU President Alan Cote, MM&P President Don Marcus and MM&P United Inland Group Regional Representatives Shannon Adamson and Tim Saffle. They were joined by several members of the MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region.

“We’ve reached out to all politicians [in this effort] but we’re very pleased with Steve Lindbeck’s response and his passion to save jobs in Alaska and protect the environment,” Cote told the press.

Marcus added that a switch to Edison Chouest would cost Alaskans hundreds of jobs and put the pristine water of Prince William Sound at risk.

He called Alyeska’s proposal “reckless” and described Edison Chouest as notorious for cutting corners in the name of expediency and going to any length to quash employees’ attempts to achieve better working conditions through unionization.

Edison Chouest employees and related companies have given close to $300,000 to Young’s campaigns and legal defense funds since 2007. Union members and Lindbeck have asserted the donations bought Young’s silence on a public matter involving the critical waterway.

Besides his support of the unions, Lindbeck is also the chief author of the Alaska Oil Spill Commission report that addressed the causes and consequences of the Exxon Valdez spill.

Back to Stories Covered


In the wake of the decision by a majority of voters in the United Kingdom to exit the European Union (EU), international labor unions are tying the result to the EU’s failure to adequately address the problems faced by working families.

“The European Transport Workers’ Federation deeply regrets the outcome of the UK Brexit referendum,” said ETF General Secretary Eduardo Chagas.

“It is a sad but strong signal that an adequate European Union social policy is absent, and has sent workers away from the European project. The EU’s policies do not reflect workers’ expectations; a change has to come rapidly before other countries follow Britain’s example.”

At the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), officials vowed to fight on to defend workers’ rights.

“As democrats and trade unionists, we respect the decision, hairsbreadth narrow though it was,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin.

“We also pledge to work to preserve the gains made in worker protections in past decades, and to continue to fight for more. We will not see workers, wherever they are in Europe or elsewhere, undefended and paying the price of the economic injustices and decisions of recent years. Workers should not pay the price of Brexit.”

“Trade unions are a major democratic force. The ITF is a key member of the international union community, and it is our job to reach across borders to help and represent the workers of all nations,” said ITF General Secretary Steve Cotton.

“The ITF will continue to fight for workers’ rights and against the race to the bottom and the injustices of austerity. We will defend rights and public services across borders because, as an international organization dedicated to equality and solidarity, that is what we do. We remain dedicated to internationalism, cooperation and tolerance.”

As reported in the media, the unexpected vote by a majority of Britons to exit the EU has roiled world financial markets, stunned international institutions and rocked political parties and the government in the UK.

As a result of the referendum, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by September. The UK Labour Party has split into warring factions. In Scotland, where a majority of citizens voted to remain part of the European Union, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she is “absolutely determined” to keep Scotland in the EU and that a second Scottish independence referendum is now “highly likely.”

In 2014, Scots voted by a narrow margin to remain part of the United Kingdom. Predictions are that in the wake of Brexit, they would vote to go their own way.

Meanwhile, proponents of the campaign to leave the EU are now scrambling to develop a plan for moving forward.

None appears ready to abandon the advantages of the EU common market for goods and services, but it is not clear how they could achieve that result without allowing immigration flows of other EU citizens to remain unchecked. Halting immigration flows was a major goal of the “Vote Leave” campaign.

“Many Britons [are] wondering if there is a plausible way for the nation to reconsider its drastic choice,” the New York Times reports.

Back to Stories Covered


Panama opened the $5.4 billion expansion of its shipping canal Sunday, amid cheers and controversy.

The expansion triples the size of ships that can travel the canal.

But the project is embroiled in controversy over cost overruns, the operational viability of the massive project and economic uncertainty in the global shipping industry.

The Panama Canal Authority is involved in a $3.587-billion legal fight—more than the budget for the entire project–over cost overruns. It also faces challenges that include water supply and the safe handling of the huge ships.

In a front page article entitled “The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet,” The New York Times quoted a series of professionals involved in canal operations regarding a range of problems that have surfaced.

“When the speeches and the celebrations end,” The Times reported, “one inescapable fact will remain: The expanded canal’s future is cloudy at best, its safety, quality of construction and economic viability in doubt.”

“In simple terms, to be successful, the new canal needs enough water, durable concrete and locks big enough to safely accommodate the larger ships,” write New York Times investigative journalists Walt Bogdanich, Jacqueline Williams and Ana Graciela Mendez.

“On all three counts, it has failed to meet expectations, according to dozens of interviews with contractors, canal workers, maritime experts and diplomats, as well as a review of public and internal records.”

Last summer, water began gushing through concrete that was supposed to last 100 years but could not make it to the first ship. (The winning bidder’s budget for concrete was 71 percent smaller than that of the next lowest bidder, the reporters note.)

“Then there is the lock design,” they write. “Tugboat captains say they cannot safely escort the larger ships because the locks are too small with too little margin for error, especially in windy conditions and tricky currents. In fact, in a feasibility study obtained by The Times, the Panama Canal Authority had earlier concluded that the tugs needed significantly more room.”

“The tugboats themselves are a problem, especially the 14 new boats purchased from a Spanish company, mostly for the expanded locks,” the article continues. “To maneuver safely, they must be precisely controlled, but according to captains, they are so unstable that they operate best going backward, something that cannot be done while towing ships through the canal.”

“The Spanish tugs are perfectly awful,” Iván de la Guardia, the head of the tugboat captains’ union, is quoted in the article as saying.

“We think it’s going to be a real mess,” De La Guardia told the journalists. “I think something awful is going to happen… We don’t think it’s going to work.”

His concern stems from the canal authority’s decision to abandon locomotives to guide the ships. Tugboats will now push and pull vessels that are more than three football fields long and stacked with up to 13,000 containers.

Tugboat captains fear that their boats will be overwhelmed. The authority excluded canal workers from much of the planning, according to union representatives.

De La Guardia also points out that unlike the Berendrecht Canal, which the new canal has reportedly been modeled on, in Panama tugboats must contend with currents that result when saltwater and freshwater meet. The saltwater dives under. “They fight each other until they reach equilibrium,” De la Guardia said. “It creates a current 20 to 30 feet below the surface.”

But the size of the locks is the tugboat captains’ biggest concern. The new locks are 1,400 feet long and 180 feet wide. Big container ships are 1,200 feet long and 160 feet wide. Tugboats fore and aft measure nearly 100 feet each.

A feasibility study done by the canal authority in 2003 concluded that “for the tugboat system to work safely and efficiently,” the locks needed to be 328 feet longer and 40 feet wider than the big ships passing through. By that standard, the new locks should have been 1,528 feet long and 200 feet wide.

The current size of the locks leaves little or no bailout room for the tugboats at either end should a problem arise.

“We face a situation where those working on the canal, and those passing through it, are potentially at risk,” said ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton.

Back to Stories Covered


Waterman Steamship Company will fill two Maritime Security Program (MSP) slots with a pair of vessels it will soon bring under the U.S. flag.

The MV TOPEKA, a Pure Car/Truck Carrier (PC/TC) built in 2006 that can also carry cargo and containers, will replace the MAERSK ALABAMA.

The MAERSK CALIFORNIA will be replaced by the OCEAN JAZZ, a heavy-lift, semi-submersible vessel built in 2010. It has float-on/float-off, roll-on/roll-off and lift-on/lift-off capabilities.

Waterman has not yet announced reflagging and crewing dates for the new ships but is expected to do so shortly.

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CMA CGM announced on June 27 that it has reached the stock ownership threshold required to take APL parent company Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) private.

Since the beginning of June, when CMA CGM opened a general offer for outstanding NOL shares, it has acquired 90.7 percent of the company’s equity, a spokesperson says.

This is sufficient to withdraw NOL from its listing on the Singapore Exchange when the offer period closes on July 18.

As soon as CMA CGM acquires 91.05 percent of the share capital, it can compel all remaining shareholders to accept its buyback offer.

All anti-trust regulators with jurisdiction over the merger have issued approvals.

Family-owned CMA CGM is the world’s largest privately held container shipping group. It was founded by Jacques Saadé, who currently serves as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

CMA CGM says that adding NOL will give it 12 percent of the global market share with 18 million TEU per year carried and $21 billion in turnover. It will operate a combined fleet of 540 vessels with a capacity of 2.4 million TEU.

Since NOL is centered on the Asia-Pacific trades, CMA CGM says it expects the acquisition to bolster its strength in this key global market, complementing its presence in the Atlantic and on the Asia-Europe route.

Back to Stories Covered


Soren Skou, chief executive officer of Maersk Line, has been named chief executive officer of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group. Besides its presence in the container shipping business, including ownership of U.S.-flag MLL, the Maersk Group operates in freight forwarding, container terminal operations, oil and gas.

Skou has worked for the Maersk Group since 1983. He was named to the group’s executive board in 2006.

In related news, the grandson of Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, who transformed A.P. Moller-Maersk into an international conglomerate, has been appointed chief executive of the holding company behind the Danish shipping giant.

Robert Maersk Uggla, who has been CEO of Maersk-owned tug boat operator Svitzer since 2012, will assume the position of CEO of A.P. Moller Holding on Sept. 1, the company said.

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In today’s maritime world, Deck Officers have to keep track of a myriad of professional documents.

To assist members in maintaining their documents, beginning this week, the MM&P computer system will begin sending automatic e-mail notifications of expiring documents to active Offshore members and applicants.

Once the system is fully implemented, you will receive one e-mail 60 days and one e-mail 30 days prior to the expiration of each of your professional documents.

Members are encouraged to keep the system updated with their current e-mail address.

Initially only a small group of documents will be checked but we hope to have the system completely functional with all documents being checked by mid-July.

Please notify your local dispatcher if you encounter any problems with the system.

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For a limited time only, the MM&P Federal Credit Union is running a promotion: a 1 percent reduction in all interest rates across the board.

Plus: our new lending program offers clients with high credit scores an opportunity to save even more money.

Under the new program, different lending rates are offered based on an individual’s credit score. Your credit score is determined by an outside service (Equifax Information Services LLC) as part of your credit report. Equifax assigns a credit score based on credit history.

Once you have been approved for a loan based on the credit union’s standard loan policy, your credit score determines your interest rate: auto loan rates range from 2.50 percent for those with a credit score of 720 and above to 11.00 percent for “rebuilders,” with a credit score of 579 and below.

If you take into account the loan sale, you could get an auto loan for just 1.50 percent!

The application process is easy and has not changed. To find out more, call the credit union today at 1-800-382-7777 or 410-691-8136. You can also e-mail us at or go and click on the credit union link at the top of the page.

As a reminder, credit union membership is offered to all MM&P regular, applicant and retired members, and to employees of MM&P, MIRAID, MITAGS, the MM&P Plan Office and their immediate family members.

Don’t waste time: contact Kathy at the MM&P Federal Credit Union today!

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There will be an Offshore membership meeting at the MM&P Seattle Hall on July 12 at 1100. MM&P President Don Marcus and Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner will be attending.
The meeting will begin after the 1100 job call. All Offshore members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Back to Stories Covered


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, July 4, for Independence Day. Pacific Ports will also be closed on Tuesday, July 5, for the ILWU holiday Bloody Thursday, in memory of the union members who were shot and killed during the 1934 maritime strike.

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Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (CTSB) has found that both the master and the helmsman of an oil and chemical tanker that ran aground in 2014 were suffering from fatigue.

The master had been awake for the previous 24 hours with only a three-hour “nap” before the accident and the helmsman had worked 106 hours with only 62 scheduled hours of rest. The TSB found that the master and the helmsman had been subject to “acute and chronic sleep disruption.”

The news was reported in Nautilus, the magazine of the British, Dutch and Swiss maritime officers’ union.

The ship touched bottom in Chesterfield Inlet, on the western shore of Hudson’s Bay, in October 2014 after the helmsman made a wrong turn in the darkness.

The investigators found that the ship’s crew was working a “six-on/six-off” schedule and most were not in compliance with the vessel’s safety management system.

“Transport Canada is to be commended on this report,” says Allan Graveson, senior national secretary of Nautilus. “Progress on the issue of fatigue is slow, but the direction of travel is positive.”

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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:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/9/16, 9/27/16, 1/24/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 11/14/16, 3/6/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/8/16, 10/31/16, 1/30/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/18/16, 11/14/16, 3/6/17

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/15/16, 10/10/16, 1/23/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 8/22/16, 10/31/16, 3/9/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 10/30/16, 3/9/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 8/1/16, 10/17/16, 1/16/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/8/16, 11/7/16, 1/9/17, 3/13/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 7/25/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/10/16, 11/28/16,12/19/16, 1/23/17, 3/27/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM – 7/11/16, 7/25/16,8/1/16, 8/8/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 8/29/16, 9/12/16, 10/3/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16,12/12/16, 12/19/16, 1/30/17, 2/20/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 8/1/16, 10/31/16, 3/13/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/24/16, 11/7/16,12/5/16, 1/16/17, 2/6/17, 3/6/17, 3/20/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16,12/12/16, 1/23/17, 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 3/27/17

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately. Both weeks must be taken together in order to complete SAR-CMM**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/12/16, 3/20/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/19/16, 3/2/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/30/17

DPA – 8/2/17

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 7/20/16, 11/14/16, 2/28/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16, 2/27/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/15/16, 10/10/16, 1/23/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 3/7/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/20/16, 10/3/16

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/6/17

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22/16, 3/6/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 9/19/16, 2/13/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/9/17

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 7/12/16, 9/26/16, 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16*, 2/13/17 (*Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/29/16, 10/3/16, 1/30/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16, 1/14/17, 3/6/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/10/16, 10/17/16, 2/23/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 8/8/16, 10/18/16, 2/21/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 8/7/16, 10/16/16, 2/26/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 8/22/16, 10/31/16, 3/9/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 7/18/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16, 1/9/17, 2/27/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 8/11/16, 10/20/16, 2/24/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 7/22/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16, 1/13/17, 3/3/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 7/25/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16, 1/16/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/8/16, 9/26/16, 1/23/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16, 1/11/17, 2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/22/17, 3/8/17, 3/22/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/1/16, 1/16/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/29/16, 10/17/16, 2/20/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16, 2/20/17

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/8/16, 1/9/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11/16, 1/30/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/8/16, 2/13/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16, 2/14/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/3/16, 2/20/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/19/16, 3/20/17

Back to Stories Covered


Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Mary McGhee: 206.838.1126 or

July 2016

5th Flashing Light
6-8 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility
11-15 Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15 Leadership & Managerial Skills
11-15 Engine Resource Management
11-22 GMDSS
18th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
18-22 ECDIS
25th Radar Renewal
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-29 Engine Resource Management
25-29 MEECE
26-29 ARPA

August 2016

1-5 Leadership & Managerial Skills
1-5 Bridge Resource Management
8-12 Basic Meteorology
8-12 Engine Resource Management
15th Radar Renewal
15-19 Leadership & Managerial Skills
22-26 ECDIS
22-26 MEECE
22-2 GMDSS
29-2 Leadership & Managerial Skills

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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 © 2016. 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