Wheelhouse Weekly – March 6th, 2018

March 7th 2018

Volume 23… Number 10… March 6, 2018


In This Issue:



News for MM&P Members:

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Unmanned, autonomous ships will not be sailing the oceans of the world in the short or even the medium term, says Maersk Chief Executive Officer Soren Skou.

He told a journalist for Bloomberg in a recent interview that although automation has allowed Maersk and other operators to reduce the number of crewmembers working on container ships and supply vessels, he does not see an opportunity for additional reductions of significance in coming decades.

“Even if technology advances, I don’t expect we will be allowed to sail around with 400-meter-long container ships, weighing 200,000 tons without any human beings onboard,” he was quoted as saying in an article that was published on Feb. 15 by Bloomberg Technology.

“I don’t think it will be a driver of efficiency, not in my time,” he added.

Skou cited two factors he said will inhibit the spread of autonomous shipping: the lack of adequate return on investment and the absence of regulations.

Maersk has reportedly developed a self-sailing tugboat for use in its towage unit, but Skou told Bloomberg that fully automated vessels are not part of the company’s strategy.

In an interesting aside, journalist Christian Weinberg noted in the article that one of the major promoters of autonomous shipping, Rolls Royce, had decided to put its marine unit up for sale in January because it had failed to generate a profit, even after restructuring and the elimination of 4,200 jobs.

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The AFL-CIO last week praised President Trump’s announcement that the United States will begin imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

“For years, we have called attention to the predatory practices of some steel exporting countries,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“Such practices hurt working people and cheat companies that produce in the United States. We applaud the administration’s efforts to fix this problem.”

The president’s proposed tariffs–25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports—have drawn criticism from some Republican members of Congress and threats of retaliation by some U.S. allies, including Canada and the European Union.

Paul D. Ryan, the Republican House Speaker, said President Trump’s proposed tariffs could lead to a damaging trade war.

Trumka had signaled the AFL-CIO’s willingness to work with Trump at the start of his administration, but has more recently criticized the president for not following through on his promises to help working Americans.

The import tariffs are “a great first step toward addressing trade cheating, and we will continue to work with the administration on rewriting trade rules to benefit working people,” Trumka said.

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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said last week that it would retract its ruling in Hy-Brand Industrial, a controversial case with broad implications for today’s franchise- and contract-driven labor market.

The NLRB is the government agency charged with protecting workers’ rights and limiting industrial conflict.

The ruling that will be retracted—or “vacated”–was issued by the Trump labor board in December 2017.

It overturned an Obama-era rule that made it easier for workers to sue companies for labor law violations occurring at the franchise level.

The 2015 ruling by the Obama-era board expanded the circumstances under which a company could be considered a “joint employer” of people it doesn’t directly pay.

That ruling, in a case known as Browning-Ferris, was vehemently opposed by corporations operating in franchise industries such as fast food, and by the growing number of contract agencies and others that “supply” workers to third parties seeking to reduce their expenses and legal liability by not employing people directly.

The NLRB under President Trump had acted quickly to undo the Browning-Ferris decision.

But among the Trump appointees taking part in the 3-2 reversal was William Emanuel, a former management-side attorney whose previous employer, the law firm Littler Mendelson, had represented a contractor for Browning-Ferris, the waste company that lost the 2015 decision.

The NLRB’s inspector general challenged the ruling because of that conflict, which investigators said should have led Emanuel to recuse himself from the Hy-Brand case.

“The Board’s Designated Agency Ethics Official [rules] that Member Emanuel is, and should have been, disqualified from participating in this proceeding,” the agency said in a statement issued last week.

The inspector general said that Emanuel’s participation in the case shows the need for review of issues “to protect the board’s deliberative process from actual conflicts of interest and the appearance of such.”

Former NLRB chair Wilma Liebman, a Democrat who has represented unions, said the finding raises serious issues for the agency.

Failure to recuse when appropriate could be grounds for federal courts to reject or remand NLRB rulings, she said, and the confluence of factors in the joint-employment case looks particularly suspicious.

“It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure workers have a voice and corporations are being held responsible to respect employees’ rights,” said Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington state and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

She said the NLRB was right to “reconsider its decision without member Emanuel’s participation.”

Efforts by the new administration to take away legal gains made by working people under previous presidents picked up steam at the beginning of 2018 with a proposal to demote the senior civil servants who resolve most labor cases.

Going forward, they would have to answer to a small cadre of officials installed above them in the hierarchy of the National Labor Relations Board by political appointees.

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Captain Matthew Probst of CNIC (Commander, Naval Installations Command) talked recently with a journalist for the Kitsap Sun about the work of the CNIC NWR Tug Captains who guide giant naval vessels into and out of port.

Probst, an MM&P member who works in the CNIC’s Northwest Region, was interviewed for an article about the Navy’s plan to replace some tugboats in the fleet with newer vessels.

“At 44 years old, Probst’s Natick-class tug is one of the oldest tugs in the Navy’s service,” wrote Julianne Stanford of the Kitsap Sun in an article that was published on Feb. 27.

“Three of the Navy’s eight tugboats that operate in the Pacific Northwest are almost 50 years old, surpassing expectations for how long they would run.”

As it works to modernize its ship-assist fleet, the Navy is planning to add seven new tugboats during the next three years at a cost of more than $94 million, according to its recently released fiscal year 2019 budget and 30-year shipbuilding plan.

Although those tugs haven’t been assigned to a particular command yet, the budget indicated the new ones will replace older tugboats in Yokosuka, Portsmouth and Navy Region Northwest.

Probst said the age of the tug he captains—the CANONCHET—doesn’t mean it works any less efficiently than the newer ones in the fleet.

“It would be nice to get new vessels, but we’re good with what we have until we get replacements,” Probst says.

“To replace them, that’s fine and dandy, but these boats are fine vessels,” Probst says.

“Just because they’re old, doesn’t mean they’re obsolete.”

He said four to five tugs typically meet the giant Navy aircraft carriers as they pass Bainbridge Island, helping them safely navigate the rest of the way home.

“As the carrier approaches the waterfront, the welcoming cheers from pier-side family members ring out across the water,” Stanford writes.

“But the crews of the Navy tugs that guide the roughly 4-acre wide, 20-story tall carriers into port miss the homecoming show.”

“The honest answer is that we can’t even see them,” Probst says.

“Even so, we’re happy to bring them home to their wives and sons and daughters and mothers and fathers because they’re the reason why we’re here and to bring them home safely to a good homecoming is what we do.”

“Our brothers serving as CNIC NWR Tug Captains are experts in their field,” says MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski.

“The unique and dangerous work that they perform in support of Navy, the Department of Defense and our great nation doesn’t come without risk. The slightest misstep could place the vessel and her crew in harm’s way, could put a naval vessel out of commission.”

“Because of their knowledge, experience, qualifications, and skill set, these MM&P members are able to meet the physical and mental challenges and risks associated with their daily duties and responsibilities to safely accomplish Navy’s mission on a daily basis.”

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Advocates for first responders and a bipartisan group of legislators are calling on Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to “leave the 9/11 health care program alone,” demanding he remove it from the White House’s 2019 proposed budget.

Among the lawmakers and supporters of 9/11 victims who have voiced opposition to the White House plan are Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

The budget is short on details regarding what changes would be made to the program, which helps with medical care for firefighters, police officers, veterans and others struck by injuries and life-threatening diseases as a result of their work at the site.

As a first step, the White House plan would carve the program out of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which has managed it since its inception.

The change would cause the program to lose the “expertise of NIOSH management and the knowledge base the institute has gained for more than a decade of experience running the program,” Maloney said at a March 5 news conference, adding there was no information on how the proposed move would take place.

Rep. Peter King said at the same news conference that the program has been “100 percent effective” in the five years it has been operational.

“Since I’ve been in Congress… there’s probably never been a program enacted at the federal level that has gone through with no complaints, no criticism, no allegations of mismanagement, no allegations of scandal, no allegations of being ineffective,” King said.

The proposal is said to have been made without any input from victims of 9/11, the organizations involved or congressional representatives from New York.

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The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has announced the launch of a “Military to Maritime” digital career platform aimed at helping veterans find family-wage jobs in the maritime industry.

AMP said the platform builds on lessons learned in career fairs across the country to help connect veterans with career opportunities in the U.S. shipbuilding and maritime industry.

Employers can upload job openings to the site, and veterans and active members of the military can search the maritime-related listings.

“As part of our coordinated effort across the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the commercial maritime industry, the Maritime Administration is working to make it easier for transitioning veterans to obtain their mariner credentials based on their service experience,” said MARAD Administrator Mark Buzby.

“In addition, MARAD supports all educational and training resources to assist veterans as they transition from the military into a new career as a licensed mariner.”

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and a Marine veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a long-time champion for the hiring of veterans into maritime careers.

“Mariners in the Armed Forces have skills that can successfully translate into the civilian workforce,” he said.

Veterans and active service members are encouraged to create a free profile at where they can find, track and apply for maritime jobs.

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MM&P Atlantic Ports union halls and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Friday, March 16, for Gleason’s Birthday, a longshore holiday.

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The Houston Pilots Association has voted to take eight more pilots this year and will need additional pilots for the next few years due to retirements.

All applicants have to apply with the Port of Houston first as the Houston Pilots can only accept applications that have been cleared by the Port.

To apply, go to the Port of Houston’s website and view the requirements:

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The Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will meet on March 20, 21 and 22 in New Orleans.

The meetings, which will be open to the public, will be held at the Coast Guard’s Eighth Coast Guard District, Hale Boggs Federal Building, 500 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130 in Room B106.

Preregistration is not required for access.

To view the agenda and find out more, search: FR Doc. 2018–02924 Filed 2–12–18; 8:4
For more information contact: Davis Breyer, Alternate Designated Federal Officer of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Stop 7509, Washington, DC 20593-7509, or 202-372-1445, or

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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:

For Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS-PMI Student/Instructional Services Manager Jennifer Pitzen at 206-739-0720 (direct line); (888) 893-7829 (toll free); or by e-mail:

Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

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 – 4/16/18, 8/27/18, 10/15/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/18, 8/29/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 4/3/18, 9/25/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/21/18, 10/15/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/18/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/29/18, 5/21/18, 7/16/18, 12/19/18

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

BRMP-Refresher – 3/26/18, 5/23/18, 7/18/18, 9/11/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 4/9/18, 8/13/18, 10/22/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) –4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18, 7/31/18, 8/27/18, 9/26/18, 10/31/18, 12/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 4/29/18, 7/30/18, 9/26/18, 12/17/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/7/18

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/2/18, 6/11/18, 7/30/18, 9/24/18, 12/10/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 3/12/18, 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 9/17/18, 12/3/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 3/12/18, 6/11/18, 8/13/18, 10/8/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 3/26/18, 6/25/18, 8/13/18, 11/12/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 5/14/18, 6/18/18, 8/20/18, 11/26/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/15/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/12/18, 10/1/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/23/18, 10/29/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/19/18, 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18, 6/18/18, 7/16/18, 7/30/18, 8/13/18, 9/10/18, 10/1/18, 11/5/18, 11/26/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/12/18, 3/26/18, 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 6/25/18, 7/23/18, 8/6/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18, 10/8/18, 11/12/18, 12/3/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/19/18, 10/22/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/7/18, 9/10/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/23/18

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 5/1/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/12/18

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/13/18

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/23/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 5/24/18, 7/26/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 5/24/18, 8/27/18, 12/17/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/23/18, 7/9/18, 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 4/9/18, 8/13/18, 10/22/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18, 8/2/18, 8/29/18, 9/25/18, 10/30/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 4/27/18, 7/28/18, 9/29/18, 12/15/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/17/18, 9/11/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: Contact Admissions

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Contact Admissions

LAP – 7/9/18, 9/17/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/28/18, 4/18/18, 5/8/18, 9/12/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 4/30/18, 7/16/18, 12/3/18

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/19/18, 5/7/18, 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 4/23/18, 6/25/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/19/18, 4/16/18, 5/7/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/5/18, 5/3/18, 5/12/18, 6/21/18, 7/14/18, 8/30/18, 9/24/18, 10/13/18, 10/29/18, 12/1/18, 12/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 5/24/18, 6/8/18, 8/8/18, 9/12/18, 11/14/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 5/22/18, 6/6/18, 8/6/18, 9/13/18, 11/12/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/3/18, 8/5/18, 11/4/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18, 8/13/18, 10/31/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 7/16/18, 8/12/18, 9/17/18, 11/5/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 5/13/18, 6/9/18, 8/9/18, 9/15/18, 11/2/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 5/18/18, 6/10/18, 7/15/18, 8/10/18, 9/16/18, 11/3/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 5/19/18, 6/15/18, 7/20/18, 8/17/18, 9/21/18, 11/9/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 3/29/18, 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18, 7/31/18, 8/2/18, 8/28/18, 8/30/18, 11/12/18, 11/14/18, 12/17/18, 12/19/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/24/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 3/21/18, 4/4/18, 4/18/18, 5/2/18, 5/9/18, 5/16/18, 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18, 10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18, 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 9/17/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 5/22/18, 12/17/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/14/18, 8/27/18, 10/22/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 3/12/18, 4/2/18, 5/21/18, 7/23/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18, 12/10/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: Contact Admissions

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: Contact Admissions

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 4/16/18, 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 4/9/18, 7/9/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

Back to Stories Covered


Winter-Spring 2018

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

March 2018
7th Hazwoper Refresher
8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
9-10 Basic Training Revalidation
12th Radar Renewal
12-16 MEECE
12-16 Tankerman PIC
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
19-21 24-Hour Hazwoper
19-23 Basic Training
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
23-24 Basic Training Revalidation
26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
26th Medical DOT
26-30 Able Seaman
27th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)

April 2018
3-6 ARPA
9-13 Basic Training
9-20 GMDSS
9-20 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
9-27 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11th Hazwoper Refresher
13th Radar Renewal
13-14 Basic Training Revalidation
16th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
16-18 24-Hour Hazwoper
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23rd Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
23-4 GMDSS
23-4 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
27-28 Basic Training Revalidation
30-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills

May 2018
7-11 Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18 License Preparation
9th Hazwoper Refresher
11-12 Basic Training Revalidation
11-14 Basic Training Refresher (no class on Sunday)
14th Radar Renewal
14-18 Basic Training
14-18 Ship Construction and Basic Stability
15th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Search and Rescue
21-25 ECDIS
23-25 24-Hour Hazwoper
25th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
29-1 Advanced Firefighting

June 2018
2-4 Basic Training Revalidation (no class on Sunday)
4th Radar Renewal
4th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-8 ARPA
11-14 Advanced Firefighting
11-22 GMDSS
11-22 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
18-22 Engine Resource Management
22-23 Basic Training Revalidation
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
25-29 Meteorology (Operational Level)
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
26th Medical DOT

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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 © 2018. 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