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Wheelhouse Weekly – March 17, 2000

March 17th 2000


MASTER AND MMP MEMBERS ABOARD AND INTERESTED PERSONS THE MASTERS, MATES AND PILOTS’ — WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

VOLUME 4. . . . . NUMBER 11 . . . . March 17, 2000

STORIES COVERED



MITAGS COMPLETES ANNUAL DNV AUDIT

On March 9-10, 2000, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) representatives visited MITAGS and conducted the annual audit of the MITAGS Quality Standards System. The audit served to confirm once again that MITAGS meets DNV’s worldwide certification standards for maritime training and simulator centers. The DNV certification rules are based upon established maritime, quality assurance elements and principles and the applicable requirements of the 1995 STCW convention. Maintenance of this certification is testimony to MITAGS’ commitment to quality and continuous improvement.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


RECORD TRILLION DOLLAR BUDGET CONTAINS $185 MILLION FOR MARAD

The Clinton Administration has sent its record $1.84 trillion budget for Fiscal Year 2001 to Congress. Of that amount, $185 million is being requested for continued operations within the Maritime Administration, compared to the current fiscal year budget of $179 million.

Funding for MarAd comes out of the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) budget which is $54.9 billion for 2001, a 9 percent hike over the current year’s DOT budget of $50.2 billion.

The Maritime Security Program receives $99 million to provide operating assistance to 47 vessels in support of the Dept. of Defense (DOD).

Operations and Training receive $80 million, 10 percent above the current budget, to support the US Merchant Marine Academy, state maritime schools and MarAd operations.

Title XI Loans: $6 million to cover subsidy costs of loan guarantees for US flag and export ship construction, shipyard modernization and administrative costs. From 1994 to 1999, MARAD approved $4.7 billion of Title XI financing for 405 vessels and 8 shipyard modernization projects.

Ready Reserve Force (RRF) is managed by MarAd, but funded in the DOD budget. The 2000 level for the RRF is $257 million. DOD has requested $262 million for the 2001 fiscal year.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


AAPA: MARINE NAVIGATION SAFETY JEOPARDIZED WITH INADEQUATE FUNDS

According to the American Association of Port Authorities, the Administration’s budget request of $2.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2001 (FY 01) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) leaves US coastal areas at risk for ship groundings and collisions. The AAPA’s position is that despite a modest increase over FY 2000 (FY 00), the Administration’s request does not go far enough in providing the necessary funds to support critical navigation safety programs that protect ships and ports from potential disaster.

NOAA’s navigation programs, including tides and currents and mapping and charting, provide critical environmental protection and safety tools for marine commerce. In particular, the Physical Oceanographic Real Time System (PORTS) provides real-time tide and current information that allows vessels to better understand the conditions faced when entering a port, helping to eliminate the risk that oil spills and other hazards will occur.

AAPA says the Administration’s request of $2.8 million for PORTS in FY 01 does not go far enough in meeting the growing demands of the program. PORTS has been recognized as a model program in the maritime industry because it is the only system that can provide accurate detailed info on a real time basis.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


DC CONFERENCE ON MARITIME OPERATIONS AND THE HUMAN ELEMENT SET

A conference designed to examine the human element in maritime operations will be held April 25-26 in Washington, DC. Topics discussed will include changing maritime corporate culture to meet the realities of the post-ISM world and adopting a proactive, people-oriented approach to safety and pollution prevention. The latest studies impacting the maritime working environment will also be explored. Other issues to be covered will include: the shortage of qualified seafarers, fatigue and related issues, risk assessment, and STCW issues. USCG Rear Adm. Robert North will be the featured speaker. For further info, contact Jane Poterala at the Marine Log at 212-620-7209.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


HONG KONG TIGHTENS VESSEL TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT

The Journal of Commerce reports that Hong Kong, one of the world’s busiest ports, is stepping up enforcement of vessels not observing traffic rules. There were 246 collisions within Hong Kong waters in 1999, slightly up from 236 in 1998. 97 accidents occurred when both vessels were under way. Northern Fairway and Kap Shui Mun Fairway were the most dangerous waters with 15 collisions each.

Patrol launches are being deployed to these fairways to enforce collision-prevention regulations. Officers will closely monitor the conduct of vessels when they overtake or cross other vessels and see whether they are on the right side of the fairway. The maximum penalty for violating a collision regulation is a fine of 25,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$3,200) and imprisonment of six months.

A special task force with its own patrol craft has been launched to step up enforcement in all fairways and traffic separation schemes in Hong Kong waters on a regular basis. The action was taken to reduce collisions and to impart the correct attitude in navigation among masters in the long run, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Marine Department said.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


NO BLANK CHECK FOR CHINA!

The AFL-CIO weekly newsletter Work In Progress reports that thousands of working families will converge on Washington, DC, April 12 to lobby members of Congress and rally to demand that the US not grant permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) status to China and that future trade agreements guarantee fundamental human rights. The mass mobilization is in response to White House-backed legislation to end annual reviews of China’s intolerable record on trade and human and workers rights. Earlier this year, thousands of workers joined by many MM&P members protested China’s deplorable civil rights record at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle.

Meanwhile, legislators in Maine have joined the movement for fair trade. On February 29, the Maine legislature approved a resolution, co-sponsored by a number of union members who serve in the legislature, that urges the state’s congressional delegation to vote against NTR. To find out how you can get involved, go online at: www.aflcio.org/globaleconomy/global_fairness.htm.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


AFL-CIO’s SUMMER FOR JUSTICE STUDENT APPLICATIONS DUE

Applications are being accepted for Union Summer 2000 and the new Seminary Summer program. Now in its fifth year, Union Summer has introduced nearly 2,000 students to the front lines of the union movement. The deadline for Union Summer applications is June 1. This year, for the first time, Seminary Summer, a new track of Union Summer, will involve 25 seminarians, rabbinical students, novices and other future religious leaders in campaigns to build support for workers’ freedom to choose a union. Seminary Summer begins June 12 and is jointly sponsored by the AFL-CIO and the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. The application deadline for Seminary Summer is March 31. For more info on both Union Summer and Seminary Summer, call 1-800-952-2550 or check out the AFL-CIO webpage, www.aflcio.org/unionsummer.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


INNOVATIVE MARITIME STUDIES PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

The Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole, MA, offers a range of academic programs to students and teachers who want to learn more about the oceans. SEA employs six Captains, each a licensed merchant mariner and a master teacher as well.

The program also employs eight Ph.D level oceanographers and historians who teach innovative courses at the program’s campus on Cape Cod in subjects dealing with ocean science as well as maritme history, and policy. SEA’s undergraduates for instance, are asked to research and debate the future of the American Merchant Marine, always a lively class!

The shore-based course work is a prerequisite to signing on as a crew-member on one of SEA’s two 130 ft. steel-hulled, square-rigged schooners, the S/V WESTWARD and S/V CORWITH CRAMER. These vessels are equipped with sophisticated oceanographic labs, allowing each student to collect and analyze data for the research project they had designed on shore, an invaluable opportunity for young scientists and non-scientists alike.

The sea component of SEA programs range from ten days for high school students and teachers to six weeks for the undergraduates. Nautical Science, as taught at SEA focuses on ship design and construction, sail theory, ship operations, safety, rules of the road, and navigation. In addition to the captain, each vessel carries three licensed mates, an engineer, and a steward.

Celestial navigation is a mainstay of the curriculum, and most cruises rely on student mastery of this discipline. SEA alumni may not make regular use of their navigation instruction in later
life, but they never forget it.

The undergraduate program, SEA Semester, carries 17 academic credits from Boston University. The program lasts 12 weeks (6 in Woods Hole, 6 at sea). Programs run 6 times a year; fall, winter, spring and summer. Most students are college juniors. 60 percent have science backgrounds. No sailing experience is required.

SEA is building a new vessel to replace the WESTWARD. The ship is currently under construction at Martinac shipyard in Tacoma, WA. The new vessel, as yet unnamed (SEA would welcome a substantial naming gift to assist in the $7 million project) is scheduled for its maiden voyage in the summer of 2001.

For more information about SEA and its programs, please consult their web site at www.sea.edu, or call the admissions office at 800-552-3633 x 10. Children, grandchildren, and friends of MITAGS students and alumni warmly welcomed.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


MM&P CREDIT UNION LOWERS AUTO LOAN RATES TO AS LOW AS 6.9%

Auto loan rates at the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union have been lowered. New cars can be financed for as low as 6.90% for terms of 36 months and 7.90% for terms up to 60 months. Members can now finance up to $25,000. These rates and conditions are subject to change without notice. Call the office for the most recent info. The toll free number is 800-382-7777; Email is: mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org. Your Credit Union offers competitive rates on other loan programs. Call today for details.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


UPCOMING MITAGS COURSE OPENINGS THROUGH APRIL

MITAGS has the following course openings:

  • March 20-24: COMP-APS, ARPA
  • March 27-31: HAZ
  • March 27-April 7: GMDSS
  • March 27-April 28: LAP
  • April 3-7: MED1ST
  • April 10-21: GMDSS
  • April 15: ROR-1 Day
  • April 17-21: FRB

Contact Mary Matlock at MITAGS admissions at: Email: admissions@mitags.org or phone: 443-989-3226. Information and applications are also available on the MITAGS web site at mitags.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is being produced under MM&P election guidelines which have been previously published and may be found in their entirety on the MM&P website. The Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page under “News” at: http://www.bridgedeck.org.

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