News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 27, 2012

March 27th 2012

 

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

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 13. . . . March 27, 2012

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P HOLIDAY CLOSING SCHEDULE

All MM&P Union Halls, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Good Friday, April 6. In addition, the MM&P Honolulu Hall will be closed on March 30 for the birthday of Harry Bridges and the ports of Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle will be closed on April 2 for the birthday of Cesar Chavez.


MM&P MEMBERS IN SAN FRANCISCO PILOT SUPERSIZE CONTAINERSHIP

Capt. John Carlier and Capt. Ed Melvin of the San Francisco Bar Pilots were at the conn of the giant containership MSC FABIOLA last Wednesday when it made a port call in Oakland, becoming the largest vessel ever to enter San Francisco Bay. At 1,201 feet, MSC FABIOLA is longer than an aircraft carrier and has a capacity of approximately 12,500 20-foot-long containers. At full load, the ship moves 166,000 tons. On its arrival in San Francisco, it drew 36 feet of water while only half full.

A total of 19 pilots were involved in the five-day-long simulator study to prepare for the ship’s arrival and departure. Capt. Carlier brought the MSC FABIOLA in from the sea, carefully timing its entrance with the currents in the bay. Capt. Melvin turned it around in the estuary, a particularly complicated maneuver because the turning basin is about 1,500 feet wide, leaving only 150 feet of clearance at each end of the ship.

The pilots carried special computer navigation devices so they would have their own information as to course, speed and heading. Equally critical is another data set elaborated by the independent pilot computers: the rates of turn at the bow and the stern. It’s very important that both ends move at as close to the same speed as possible so that the ship remains in the center of the turning circle without gaining headway, sternway or sliding away from the center.


BIPARTISAN CALL FOR FULL FUNDING OF THE MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM

In contrast to the partisan gridlock that has dominated this session of Congress, a bipartisan group of 34 legislators is urging the House of Representatives to approve full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for fiscal year 2013. President Obama has asked Congress to fully fund the program.

The bipartisan group is led by House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Calif.). A fully funded MSP “guarantees that American-flag vessels and American crews will continue to be available to transport the supplies and equipment our troops need to do their job on behalf of our nation,” McKeon and Smith wrote in a letter to their colleagues in the House.

If MSP is not fully funded, they warn, “America will either have to place the safety of our troops in the hands of foreign shipping interests or be forced to spend billions more taxpayer dollars to achieve the commercial sealift capability that MSP represents.”

It is significant that most members of Congress who have been working with MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and a number of our shipping companies as part of our maritime grassroots campaign have joined the effort in support of full funding for MSP. They include representatives Tim Bishop (N.Y.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Janice Hahn (Calif.), Rick Larsen (Wash.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.). To read the complete text of the Congressional letter supporting full funding for MSP, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.”


JONES ACT VITAL TO NATIONAL SECURITY, NAVY LEAGUE SAYS

The Jones Act is critical to America’s economic, homeland and national security, according to the Navy League of the United States. The law serves our country by maintaining a skilled merchant marine, shipbuilding capacity and sealift capability, the organization said in its official annual policy statement.

The Jones Act mandates the use of vessels that are American-crewed, -built and -owned to move cargo between U.S. ports. Similar laws and statutes apply the same ground rules to the movement of passengers, towing, dredging and marine salvage. The law boosts security by adding a sealift capacity as well as an expanded pool of trained and experienced mariners to crew U.S. government-owned sealift assets. 

The Navy League says the Jones Act is critical to the long-term sustainability of the U.S. fleet, noting that without commercial capability, our government would be required to provide significantly more funds to build a replacement fleet and infrastructure while losing the pool of highly qualified mariners needed to sail the vessels. 

The Navy League seized the opportunity to underline the fact that the Jones Act also makes an extremely important contribution to our nation’s economy. “Shipbuilding, ship repair and ship modernization create well-paying jobs for thousands of workers and, when added to the equipment and material supply companies, add a large number of jobs to the U.S. work force,” the Navy League says.


CONTAINER VOLUME FORECASTS POINT TO OPTIMISM FOR ECONOMY

U.S. container imports are expected to grow by 10 percent in March compared to last year, according to the National Retail Federation. The organization recently raised its outlook for March to 1.2 million TEU–a year-on-year import increase of 10 percent. Since retailers import only when they think they can sell more, the number is a sign that optimism is growing. In January, the most recent month for which actual statistics are available, major U.S. ports handled 1.3 percent more containers than they did a year earlier.


MARITIME AND AGRICULTURE INDUSTRIES JOIN FORCES IN SUPPORT OF FOOD AID PROGRAM

The maritime and agriculture industries have joined forces to urge Congress to approve funding for the PL 480 Food for Peace Program. MM&P, MEBA and MIRAID are active participants in this effort, which is now focused on maximizing the domestic job creation potential of food aid programs and opposing proposals that our country send cash–rather than commodities–to countries in need of U.S. assistance.

“In contrast to cash-based foreign assistance programs, food aid provides direct economic benefits here at home,” proponents say. “U.S. food aid programs not only further our humanitarian and security goals by allowing Americans to share their bounty with the needy, they also provide stable jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans in our farming, processing and shipping economic sectors.”

Under existing law, at least 75 percent of the commodities shipped overseas under the PL 480 Food for Peace Program must be transported by privately owned, U.S.-flag vessels to the extent that such vessels are available at fair and reasonable rates. The continued availability of food aid cargoes for U.S.-flag vessels helps ensure that American vessels will be available to support the economic and military security requirements of our country. Go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New” to read the joint maritime-agriculture industries statement and to see a complete list of the organizations that have signed on so far.


MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO EX-IM BANK: SUPPORT U.S.-FLAG SHIPPING

In a strongly worded letter to the president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, three Republican congressmen have urged the bank “to be mindful of its charge to promote U.S. services, including U.S.-flag ocean transportation services.” 

The members of Congress sent their statement in response to reports that the Export-Import Bank and the Department of Transportation are discussing the applicability of U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping requirements to cargoes financed by the Export-Import Bank. 

The Congressmen–Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Thad McCotter (Miss.) and Chris Gibson (N.Y.)—insist that Ex-Im Bank must take into account “the statutory policy of the United States which is to have a U.S.-flag merchant marine available to serve our nation’s sealift needs in time of war and national emergency.”  They noted that Ex-Im Bank financed cargoes are important to “the sustainment of an active, privately owned U.S.-flag commercial fleet.” To read the entire statement, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.”


ACTIVE OFFSHORE MEMBERS AND APPLICANTS: PLEASE RESPOND TO CONTRACT SURVEY

The 2012 Offshore contract survey has been mailed to members. Please fill out the survey if you are an active member or applicant and have worked for an Offshore division company in the past three years. The surveys will be used by the bargaining committees to prioritize issues during upcoming contract negotiations with various Offshore division companies. If you did not receive a survey in the mail, please make sure that MM&P has your correct address on file. Send an e-mail to Communications@bridgedeck.org to request that another survey be sent, or you can pick one up at your local hiring hall.


MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS IN NORFOLK ON MARCH 28 AND BOSTON ON APRIL 4

There will be a union meeting in Norfolk on March 28 at 11:00 am and in Boston on April 4 at 1:00 pm. All MM&P members in the area are encouraged to attend. MM&P Contracts Officer Lars Turner will attend the meeting in Norfolk.


MEMBERSHIP MEETING IN LA/LB ON APRIL 11

There will be a union meeting in Los Angeles/Long Beach on April 11 at noon. Please also note that the Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the LA/LB hall beginning at 8:30 am on April 11. There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are urged to attend. Please RSVP to the LA/LB hall at 310-834-7201.


REVITALIZING THE MARITIME INDUSTRY CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE MAY 7-8 AT MITAGS

A two-day conference, “Revitalizing the Maritime Industry,” will be held at MITAGS on May 7-8 by The Maritime Executive. America’s marine highways have been underutilized for decades due to failed federal policies and inadequate funding mechanisms. Today, while the infrastructure is in place, U.S. vessel operators, shipbuilders, training institutions and port authorities have been overlooked as vital assets in the U.S. economic recovery plan. The Maritime Executive, with your support, aims to change that perspective in Congress and, most importantly, among the American people. To register for the event, go to: http://tiny.cc/MarEx


SCHEDULE FOR 2012 OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSES

The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2012.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): April 3-4 in Boston; April 11-12 in Los Angeles; May 29-30 in New Orleans; May 30-31 in Charleston; June 8-9 at MM&P Headquarters; Sept. 7-8 at MM&P Headquarters; Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey; Oct. 10-11 in Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are urged to attend.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to MM&P Membership Secretary Mary Seidman: mseidman@bridgedeck.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!

Did you know that you can view your course history on www.bridgedeck.org? Just go to the “Members Only” section and click the “Course History” tab. You can print the course list yourself.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: http://mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar/

For class availability, contact Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 5/21, 6/11

AIS-1 – Automatic Identification Systems (one day): 5/10, 6/6

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 4/3AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 4/5

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 4/30

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  5/9, 6/7

BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/9, 6/25

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/11

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN):  5/14

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 4/9, 6/25

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/16

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 5/21

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/4

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/30

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/9, 5/14, 6/11

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 4/2, 4/16, 5/21, 6/18

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/2, 6/18

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 4/30

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 4/9

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/11

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 6/4

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/21

EP – Emergency Procedures: 4/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/9, 6/25

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 6/6

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/11

LAP-ORG 3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/4

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/18, 5/9

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 4/16, 6/11

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 5/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/16, 6/11

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/21, 6/16

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/4

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/4

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 4/4

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/1, 4/18, 5/2, 5/6, 6/13, 6/27

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 4/23

SAR – Search & Rescue: 4/23

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/7

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 4/23, 5/14, 6/25

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/2

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 5/7

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 5/21

…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.


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.
 
April 2012

2-6          ECDIS
2-6          Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
4-6          Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
9-20       GMDSS
13th       Radar Renewal
16-20     Radar Observer Unlimited
23-27     Medical Care Provider
23-4       Medical Person-In-Charge
30th       Radar Renewal
30th       Flashing Light Exam

May 2012

1-4          ARPA
7-11       Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
7-18       GMDSS
14-18     ECDIS
14-1       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
21-25     Radar Observer Unlimited
22-24     Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2012

4-6          Emergency Procedures
4-22       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
7-8          Search and Rescue
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-22     ECDIS
18-22     Management, Communication, and Leadership (Horizon Lines)
25-29     Medical Care Provider


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 3-23-12

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,030.00 2,729.75 1,269.00
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
56.17
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
129.69
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
44.85
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.60
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.27
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.69
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.02
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
36.21
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.99
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.12
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.48
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.53
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.13
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.81
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.26
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.95
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
34.93
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.49
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.07
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
20.51
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.89
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
72.82
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
72.18
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.87
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
50.07
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.62
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
30.01
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.59
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.27
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.96
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.03
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.48
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.97
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
40.43
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
49.66
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
34.14



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.

© 2012, 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.