Wheelhouse Weekly, March 16, 2021

March 17th 2021

Volume 27… Number 11… March 16, 2021


In This Issue:




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The leaders of six maritime unions have written to President Biden thanking him for his support for America’s mariners and suggesting actions the administration can take to strengthen the US-flag fleet.

“You have expressed strong support for the US-flag maritime industry and for the American merchant mariners who crew these vessels,” the union presidents wrote.

“We greatly appreciate your comments and support, and in particular, the specific reference to the Jones Act in your Buy American Executive Order…”

MM&P President Don Marcus joined the leaders of five other maritime unions in encouraging the Administration to create more jobs for mariners by supporting legislation to increase—to 100 percent from the current 50 percent—the percentage of non-defense US-government-generated cargoes reserved for US-flag vessels.

An increase to 100 percent would match the current requirement for the carriage of defense cargoes.

The six union leaders also called on the Administration and Congress to boost US carriers’ role in foreign trade by offering tax incentives to organizations that transport their cargoes on US-flag vessels.

In addition, they asked the Administration to:

— negotiate cargo-sharing agreements with trading partners;

— advocate for funding for a US tanker security fleet;

— include full funding for the Maritime Security Program for Fiscal Year 2022 in the White House budget submission to Congress.

The need for action is urgent, the union presidents warned, because the industry’s viability is at risk as a result of competition from state-owned merchant fleets, such as that of the People’s Republic of China; flag-of-convenience carriers; and foreign-flag fleets “that operate in tax-free, regulation-free environments in which they are not required to provide their crews with even the most basic labor standards.”

“The reality is that less than 2 percent of America’s foreign trade is carried on our ships,” they wrote, “resulting in a precipitous decline in the number of US-flag ships engaged in the international trades and a corresponding decline in the strategically important civilian mariner manpower pool.”

The unions said they stand ready to work with President Biden, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley to develop policies and programs to increase the number of jobs available to American maritime workers.

The letter was signed by MM&P President Don Marcus, SUP President David Connolly, AMO President Paul Doell, MFOW President Anthony Poplawski, SIU President Michael Sacco and MEBA President Adam Vokac.

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The Spring 2021 issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on

In this issue of the magazine:

— arbitrator affirms MM&P’s position aboard two Pasha newbuilds;

— LMSR contract between Patriot and MSC renewed for five years;

— President Biden prioritizes Jones Act in “Buy American” Executive Order;

— unions call for urgent passage of landmark worker rights bill;

— feature article by Taelson Larrow, “Passing On the Art of Fancy Knotwork”;

— Matson crew takes MANOA to shipyard in China, returns on MAUNALEI.


— news from MT SLNC GOODWILL and USNS WALTER S. DIEHL, and photos from our members aboard APL PRESIDENT WILSON and MAERSK KINLOSS.

The Spring issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online on under “Latest News.”

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Sweeping legislation signed into law by President Biden on March 11 provides billions of dollars in relief for America’s transportation sector and many of the frontline workers who have put their lives on the line over the course of the past 12 months.

“For over a year, frontline workers, including those who build, operate, and maintain our transportation system, have risked their own health and wellbeing to meet the needs of the American people,” said Greg Regan, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department.

“Their sacrifices have ensured that essential workers and the supplies they need make it to the front lines of the pandemic.”

“Now, under the leadership of President Biden and Democrats in Congress, relief is coming and hope is on the horizon.”

“We applaud lawmakers and the president for passing and signing into law the American Rescue Plan, a package that meets the severity of the Covid-19 crisis and prioritizes the needs of working families.”

Among the provisions of the plan are: money for PPE, vaccines, testing, tracing and workplace safety; funding to reopen schools safely; emergency relief for transit agencies and their frontline workers; an airline payroll support program; and emergency funding for Amtrak, the FAA and workers at TSA.

“Transportation labor is committed to working with the Biden administration and Congress to build back an America that is stronger, better, safer, and more equitable,” Regan added.

“The American Rescue Plan is only the first step.”

“Now it’s time to start building toward a just recovery that leaves working people with a louder voice and a stronger hand than ever before,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“That means delivering unprecedented funding to create a 21st-century infrastructure alongside a new generation of good-paying union jobs…”

“And most of all, it means strengthening working people’s right to organize together by finally passing the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.”

MM&P is one of the 56 AFL-CIO affiliates and one of the 33 transportation sector labor unions that belong to the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department.

Information about the American Rescue Plan is at

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Citing the threat to America’s supply chain, the Maritime Labor Alliance is calling for mariners and longshore workers to be prioritized in the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.

“The pandemic has put international trade and US economic security at risk at sea and on the docks,” the MLA says, citing Covid-19 infections among port workers and vessel backups in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The virus “has exposed the fragility of the marine transportation network and the supply chain that relies on it.”

Some 1,000 West Coast longshore workers have been infected with Covid-19 and over a dozen have died. Many more are off the job because of the pandemic, causing port congestion and delays.

“At sea,” the MLA says, “Covid-19 has created hardship for seafarers to a level unprecedented in peacetime.”

“Vaccines must be made available to the approximately 60,000 longshore workers around our country and the 20,000 merchant mariners responsible for keeping the economic and military supply lines of the US open,” the MLA said in the most recent edition of its newsletter, “Delivering the Goods.”

The group is expressing “extreme concern” at the fact that under the guidelines established by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, maritime workers have not been given higher priority in the vaccination drive.

It is urging federal and state governments to distribute vaccines for maritime workers to approved medical facilities.

It has also offered to assist in the process by providing logistical and educational support.

The MLA consists of five leading maritime labor unions: American Radio Association (ARA), Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU), International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P).

“Our numbers are not great, but we play an outsized role in maintaining the economic and military security of our nation,” the presidents of the five unions said.

“Our harbors must not be backed up and commerce interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This crisis must be addressed now.”

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Yet another voice has been added to the chorus of industry participants urging that maritime workers be given higher priority in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

This time it’s the Maritime Transportation System Covid-19 working group, or CMTS, which serves as “a forum for facilitating high-level interagency discussion, communication, and actions in support of the maritime transportation system under and after Covid-19.”

The working group is led by the US Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration; participating agencies include the Centers for Disease Control, Military Sealift Command and US Transportation Command.

The working group is now recommending that merchant mariners and port workers be transferred from Phase 1(c) – Other Essential Workers to Phase 1(b) – Frontline Essential Workers.

“US merchant mariners play a critical role in our Nation’s international and domestic supply chain to support the distribution of vitally important personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgent medical supplies, as well as maintaining US national security sealift requirements,” the working group said in a statement.

“The nature of their work makes them extremely vulnerable for COVID-19 infection due to living and operating in close quarters, far from medical services, and within constantly changing geographic locations.”

“They transport commerce along our coastlines, Great Lakes, inland waters and internationally, and interact with a myriad of port workers and government inspectors.”

“Mariners work on board vessels 24/7 without knowing the full magnitude of the risk to which they are being exposed.”

“Their confined place of work is also their residence where they interact with others, whether at sea or ashore. “

“There are no testing options for COVID-19 on board, and one infected crew member may easily infect the rest, especially due to the prevalence of asymptomatic spread.”

“For mariners on international waters, there are no treatment options on board other than telemedicine, leaving the infected mariners without professional care for days or even weeks at a stretch.”

“Upon making the next port, many mariners have been denied debarkation or medical assistance because of concerns for virus infection.”

“Additionally, US mariners embark or disembark from vessels anywhere in the world, requiring travel to and from their homes, exposing them and others further.”

In advocating that port workers be given higher priority in the vaccine rollout, the working group noted that they “play a critical role to support the distribution of vitally important PPE, ventilators, and other urgent medical supplies, as well as the myriad of goods citizens rely upon, and are vulnerable to exposure due to the constant flow of trucks, warehouse and dock workers, crew from vessels, and federal inspectors.”

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US Army Corps of Engineers crews at the Soo Locks completed their planned lock maintenance tasks and began the process of re-watering the Poe Lock on March 15.

At the same time, USCG Katmai Bay and Neah Bay were working the ice in the lower St. Marys river.

This year, the locks are opening for the shipping season at noon on March 24, 12 hours earlier than usual.

The Great Lakes shipping industry requested an early open to the navigation season to ensure that an adequate supply of raw materials is available to customers.

The Mission Point park and viewing platform will be open, following social distancing guidelines.

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The ro-ro ferries FAIRWEATHER and CHENEGA have been sold to Spain, the Alaska Department of Transportation announced last week.

The successful bidder, Servicios y Concesiones Maritimas Ibicencas, said it plans to use them for service between the Spanish mainland and the island of Ibiza.

The FAIRWEATHER joined the AMHS fleet in 2004 and the CHENEGA entered service two years later.

They were fitted with four diesel engines and four water jets, and had a service speed of 32 knots, fast enough to cut travel times in half as compared to their older, conventional sister ships.

They were popular with passengers but failed to meet operating standards, the state said, because of elevated fuel consumption and performance problems, in particular in the context of Alaska’s often rough weather conditions.

In 2010, the CHENEGA also suffered an engine failure.

AMHS placed the CHENEGA in the reserve fleet in 2015; the FAIRWEATHER followed in 2019.

The state had set a target price of $10 million for the two. The final sale price was just under $5.2 million.

MM&P Juneau Representative Shannon Adamson said that funds from the sale of the ferries should be used to build new vessels for the AMHS fleet.

“The majority of our vessels were built in the 1960s and ‘70s,” she said. “That has been apparent the last few years in maintenance issues that lead to delays and cancellations.”

“The $5.1 million from the sale should go into the ferry replacement fund and that fund needs to be utilized to build new vessels.”

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The MM&P Honolulu Hall will be closed on Tuesday, March 30, for Harry Bridges Memorial Day.

All MM&P Pacific Ports union halls except for the Honolulu Hall will be closed on Wednesday, March 31, for Cesar Chavez Day.

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed for Good Friday on April 2 .

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Prior to attending any training at MITAGS East or MITAGS West, you must read the MITAGS Covid‐19 policy, which is posted on

At the end of the Covid-19 policy there is a statement acknowledging receipt of the policy and acceptance of the policy.

Before you attend either school, you must acknowledge receipt of the policy and acceptance of the policy by emailing a signed copy of the statement at the end of the policy document to or

In addition, students coming to the MITAGS East Campus must send Admissions a negative Covid-19 test result. The test must have been taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Students who cannot access testing but who otherwise meet all the requirements of the MATES Program Covid-19 policy will have to take a Covid-19 test offered at MITAGS East every Monday morning.

Members may also reschedule their classes for later in the year when the infection rates are expected to drop.

MITAGS West currently does not require negative Covid-19 test results and does not have the ability to test.

MITAGS West continues to follow established Covid-19 protocols, including daily temperature screening, health checks, masking and physical distancing.

Students attending MITAGS East or West under the MATES Program: Please note that the minimum number of days to obtain eligibility continues to be 42 days instead of 30, with a sunset date of Dec. 31, 2021.

We appreciate your cooperation during these very trying times.

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\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 6/28/21

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 5/5/21

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 6/1/21, 9/21/21

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 4/29/21, 8/9/21, 9/27/21

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/2/21, 10/25/21

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 4/13/21, 4/29/21, 5/17/21, 8/9/21, 9/14/21, 11/9/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 4/26/21

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 5/3/21, 8/2/21, 10/11/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 4/27/21, 6/22/21, 8/16/21, 9/21/21, 10/27/21, 12/14/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 4/27/21, 9/20/21, 12/13/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Not currently scheduled

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/26/21, 6/21/21, 8/9/21, 10/18/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 5/3/21, 6/14/21, 8/2/21, 10/11/21, 12/6/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 3/15/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 6/7/21, 8/23/21, 11/29/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 6/14/21, 8/30/21, 12/6/21

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/7/21, 7/26/21, 10/4/21, 11/29/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 5/10/21, 6/28/21, 8/16/21, 11/8/21, 12/13/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/12/21, 9/13/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 9/20/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/19/21, 5/10/21*, 6/7/21, 7/19/21, 8/9/21, 9/13/21, 9/27/21, 10/11/21, 11/1/21, 11/29/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/22/21*, 4/26/21, 5/17/21*, 6/14/21, 7/26/21, 8/16/21, 9/20/21, 10/4/21, 10/18/21, 11/8/21, 12/6/21

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/19/21, 9/27/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: Not currently scheduled

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: 4/7/21, 7/7/21, 10/6/21

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: 6/10/21, 12/9/21

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/1/21

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 4/2/21

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 8/27/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 8/26/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 8/23/21

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/20/21

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 4/19/21

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 5/3/21, 8/11/21, 11/11/21

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/19/21, 8/30/21, 12/6/21

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 5/3/21, 8/2/21, 10/11/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 4/26/21, 6/21/21, 8/18/21, 9/23/21, 10/26/21, 12/16/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 4/30/21, 9/16/21, 12/11/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 4/13/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 4/12/21, 8/9/21

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 4/12/21, 8/30/21, 11/15/21

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 8/2/21, 10/18/21

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 4/14/21, 4/29/21, 8/9/21, 9/15/21, 11/9/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/20/21

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 8/23/21, 11/29/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 4/12/21*, 7/12/21, 9/27/21, 11/29/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/10/21, 6/28/21, 8/30/21, 11/15/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/12/21*, 7/12/21, 9/27/21

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 4/17/21, 5/15/21, 6/24/21, 7/17/21, 8/19/21, 9/24/21, 10/2/21, 10/25/21, 12/4/21, 12/17/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 5/17/21, 6/11/21, 8/4/21, 9/16/21, 10/31/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 5/18/21, 6/9/21, 8/2/21, 9/14/21, 10/29/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 6/13/21, 8/6/21, 11/9/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21, 8/2/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 5/10/21, 6/14/21, 7/12/21, 8/9/21, 9/20/21, 11/1/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 5/9/21 (Evening), 6/12/21 (Evening), 8/7/21, 9/17/21, 11/1/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 5/9/21, 6/12/21, 7/16/21, 8/8/21, 9/18/21, 11/5/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 5/14/21, 6/18/21, 7/17/21, 8/13/21, 9/24/21, 11/6/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 4/20/21*, 4/22/21*, 6/22/21*, 6/24/21*, 7/12/21, 8/30/21, 9/1/21, 11/15/21, 11/17/21, 12/13/21, 12/15/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – Contact Admissions

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 9/18/21, 12/16/21

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/20/21

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 4/13/21, 4/30/21, 9/14/21, 9/20/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 5/24/21, 8/23/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/6/21

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/3/21, 8/23/21, 10/25/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 4/12/21*, 6/14/21*, 7/12/21, 8/30/21, 11/15/21, 12/13/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 5/17/21, 8/30/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 6/7/21, 7/12/21

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 4/26/21, 6/28/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 11/9/21

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 6/15/21

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 6/16/21, 9/8/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/11/21

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/13/21

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Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

March 2021

22nd Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
22-26 Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage
29-2 Able Seaman

April 2021

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-23 License Preparation (Original 3rd)
12-13 Basic Training Revalidation
12-16 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
12-23 GMDSS
14th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
19-22 ARPA
26-7 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)

May 2021

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
5th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
6-7 Basic Training Revalidation
6-7 & 10 Basic Training Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-28 Celestial Navigation
11-12 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
17-21 Advanced Shiphandling I
24-28 Advanced Shiphandling II

June 2021

1st Leadership & Teamworking Skills
2-3 Search & Rescue
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 GMDSS
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
18th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
28-2 Tankerman Person-In-Charge

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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 © 2020. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on