News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 19, 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 20. . . .May 19, 2008

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


MM&P CLOSED FOR MEMORIAL DAY

MM&P Headquarters, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P port offices will be closed Monday, May 26, for Memorial Day.


SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE MOVES ON MM&P-SUPPORTED ITEMS

The Senate Commerce Committee took action last week on a number of issues on which MM&P has taken a strong advocacy role. First, the committee approved MM&P’s proposal to require the Coast Guard to conduct “a comprehensive study to determine the causes of, and contributing factors to, marine casualties.” For the first time ever, the legislation would require the Coast Guard to look specifically at the role that workload, fatigue, and manning play in marine casualties.

Second, the committee approved the union’s proposal to create a merchant mariner medical review board to “provide the Coast Guard with medical advice and recommendations on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of merchant mariners.” Under the terms of the legislation, the committee would be comprised of health care professionals with particular expertise in the medical examinations of merchant mariners, as well as professional mariners with knowledge of the occupational requirements of jobs at sea.

Third, the committee approved a proposal, put forward by the U.S.-flag maritime industry, that would give the Maritime Administration authority to determine whether any request for a waiver of the Jones Act was necessary or warranted. 

Fourth, the committee approved an industry-supported proposal that would give the Maritime Administration the authority to determine whether a government program is subject to the U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping requirements, and to impose penalties on those who fail to comply with cargo preference requirements.

The maritime casualty study proposal and the medical review board proposal are contained in S 2699, legislation introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).  The Jones Act and cargo preference proposals are included in S 2997, the fiscal year 2009 MARAD authorizations legislation. The committee plans to bring both bills to the full Senate for a vote as quickly as possible.


MM&P CREWS USNS WATERS IN PORT HUENEME

MM&P crewed the USNS WATERS in Port Hueneme, Calif., on April 28. USNS WATERS is a government vessel operated by Patriot Contract Services. MM&P members on board the vessel when Patriot assumed operation were Captain J.P. Kelley, Chief Mate Doug Harrington, Second Mate Lars Turner, Third Mate Chris Moore and Third Mate Thomas Williams.


SOME PRESCRIPTION MEDS TRIGGER AUTOMATIC DENIAL OF DOCUMENT APPLICATIONS, USCG SAYS

The Coast Guard has circulated its quarterly report on mariner credentialing, which includes the number of “physical examination reviews” conducted at the National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, W. Va., between Feb. 1 and April 30. The report notes that during that time period, its top reason for denying a mariner’s request for new documents was an applicant’s declaration that he or she had been prescribed “certain prescription medications for anxiety/depression and prescription narcotic pain medications.”

In the time period in question, the Coast Guard said, 1,380 physical examination reports, or 23 percent of the total, were forwarded to its Medical Evaluation Branch (MEB) for further review. It said that MEB denied 1.6 percent of all applications “due to physical and or medical conditions.”

The document does not specify which medications trigger rejection of the applications. “The worry is one we have raised repeatedly,” said a spokesman for MM&P. “How can a person who has never seen the mariner make a decision on whether or not that mariner is medically qualified to do his job?” The union has been monitoring the development of the USCG’s medical policy and actively participating in every available forum to represent the interests of our members.

The Coast Guard said that the Martinsburg facility denied applications to two percent of those undergoing background checks, and that the top reason for denial was “criminal convictions other than drugs (crimes against persons or property).”

The agency also noted that the timely processing of credential applications was most frequently impeded by: insufficient sea service demonstrated for credential requested; missing, incomplete, or improper drug testing compliance documentation; missing or incomplete physical exams.


FEWER THAN EIGHT PERCENT OF MARITIME SECTOR AND PORT WORKERS HAVE TWIC

Fewer than eight percent of U.S. port and maritime industry workers had obtained their Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) at the time the decision was made to roll back the deadline to April 15, 2009, according to statistics released by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

As of the first week of May, TSA reported that 275,000 of the 1.2 million workers who would need the cards had completed enrollment and about 90,000 had been issued a TWIC.

In an official statement, TSA’s TWIC Program Director Maurine Fanguy said that in “realigning” the deadline, the agency was “honoring our commitment” to the Department of Homeland Security’s final rule, which had stipulated an 18-month enrollment time frame for workers. Because of numerous delays in the rollout of the program, Fanguy said, enrollment actually began in October, which would only have left workers 11 months to comply.

The delays in the program were due in part to the jump in the number of workers expected to need the card, the agency said. TSA had originally calculated that 750,000 workers would need the card, but that figure was later revised upwards by 60 percent, to 1.2 million.


MARITIME LABOR URGES ACTION ON BELATED THANK YOU BILL

The leaders of America’s maritime unions have written Sen. Daniel Akaka, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, to urge action on S 961, the “Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2007.” The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Ben Nelson, authorizes the payment of benefits to individuals who served as members of the U.S.-flag merchant marine in World War II. To date, the legislation has been cosponsored in the Senate by a bipartisan group of 59 senators. Its companion bill, HR 23, passed the House of Representatives on July 30 of last year.

During consideration of HR 23, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs made changes to the legislation that would, among other things, reduce its overall cost. For example, the House-passed bill eliminated the payment of benefits to survivors’ spouses. Second, the program would no longer be self-funded. The bill calls for creation of a “Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund” and leaves it to Congress to later determine funding within its spending caps. Finally, those who have received benefits under the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (PL 78-346) would not be eligible for benefits under HR 23.

The letter encouraging prompt action on the legislation was signed by the presidents of the American Maritime Officers, MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Sailors Union of the Pacific, the Marine Firemen’s Union and the Seafarers International Union.

The unions asked that Akaka’s committee consider S 961 at its next legislative mark up session and send it to the Senate for consideration. “In so doing, you will be telling all the American merchant mariners who together suffered one of the highest rates of casualties in World War II that they are not forgotten,” they wrote.


LEGISLATORS REBUKE COAST GUARD OVER DEFECTS IN NATIONAL SECURITY CUTTER

Three members of Congress have written to U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen to protest the agency’s decision to accept the National Security Cutter BERTHOLF without first requiring the contractor to fix the deficiencies identified by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).
“This ship is far from being out of the woods,” wrote Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). “There are thousands of specific problems that still need to be fixed, and the Coast Guard must hold the ship’s contractor accountable for finishing the job and delivering what the taxpayers were promised.”

Following a thorough assessment of the ship last month, INSURV recommended that the Coast Guard delay acceptance until eight serious deficiencies had been addressed. When the Coast Guard took preliminary acceptance of the ship last week, it did so without the contractor having addressed most of the problems that had been identified. INSURV also reported that it had been unable to complete evaluation of the cutter’s advanced communications and information systems because they had not yet been installed on the ship.

“Given the millions of taxpayer dollars that have already been wasted on the Deepwater project as a result of poor judgment, we will be closely watching to ensure that the BERTHOLF is fit for the seas upon final acceptance,” Cummings commented.

The Coast Guard has said all outstanding problems with the cutter will be addressed by the end of May. “We expect to be notified when these issues are resolved and if there are any delays in meeting this timeline,” the legislators wrote.


CANDIDATES’ JONES ACT STANCE SHOULD BE FACTOR IN BALLOT BOX CHOICE

In today’s world of globalization and job outsourcing, voters who work in all sectors of the U.S.-flag shipping should pay particular attention to the presidential candidates’ positions on issues important to America’s maritime industry.

It is often said that America’s maritime policy is based on three distinct but equally important bodies of law: the Maritime Security Program, which helps maintain a fleet of 60 militarily useful U.S.-flag commercial vessels; cargo preference programs, which require that a percentage of U.S. government cargoes be transported on privately owned U.S.-flag ships; and the Jones Act, which requires that cargo moving between American ports be carried on vessels that are owned by U.S.-citizens, built in U.S.-shipyards, crewed by U.S.-citizens and operated in accordance with U.S. rules, regulations and tax obligations. All three programs are intended to support the operation of vessels under the U.S. flag so that our nation not only has the vessels, but also the U.S.-citizen crews, it needs to respond to our country’s call in time of war or other national emergency.

The Jones Act, in particular, has been supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, including both Presidents Bush, President Clinton and President Carter. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama both voiced strong support of the Jones Act in response to a questionnaire submitted to them by the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD), of which MM&P is a member. The Republican frontrunner, John McCain, chose not to respond to the TTD questionnaire. In the past, however, he has called for the Jones Act to be repealed.

 “I would like to see the Jones Act repealed, but I don’t think that’s likely,” McCain has been quoted as saying. “’I don’t think I would get 20 votes if I were to bring it to the floor.”

“As a former carrier-based aviator, I would have thought that [McCain’s] appreciation of a robust and reliable sealift capability would have exceeded that of the other two candidates, both of whom are not exactly experts on maritime affairs,” wrote Joe Keefe, managing editor of the respected industry publication MarEx, in a recent issue of the publication. “But McCain, according to compilations of his legislative and policy records, shows real disdain for the Jones Act and has actually called for its repeal.”

Keefe wrote that the candidates’ positions on the Jones Act give food for thought and make voters’ ballot box choices in November all the more complicated.

To see where all three candidates for the Presidency stand with regard to the Jones Act and other MM&P bread-and-butter issues, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.” The information is listed under “U.S. Presidential Candidates Speak Out on the Jones Act, Cargo Preference and MSP.” Also: a state-by-state list of the pro-maritime candidates that the union is actively supporting has been posted in the Members Only section of www.bridgedeck.org. We will update the list as decisions to support additional candidates are made.

Through the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF), our union works to support candidates who, regardless of their political party affiliation, believe our country needs a strong U.S.-flag merchant marine. Every MM&P member and employee should contribute to the PCF and vote for candidates who support our union and our industry.


NATIONAL MARITIME DAY OBSERVANCES MAY 21 AND 22 IN WASHINGTON

The public is cordially invited to attend the National Maritime Day observance on Wednesday, May 21, and Thursday, May 22, in Washington, D.C., to honor merchant mariners who have given their lives in service to our nation. The commemoration begins at 10:30 a.m. with the recitation of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea at Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on Capitol Hill, 313 Second St., N.E., Washington, D.C.

A seminar called “The Environmental Imperative: Accelerating Solutions,” is scheduled for the Rayburn House Office Building at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The seminar is sponsored by the North American Maritime Ministries Association (NAMMA). For more information, send an e-mail to contact@namepa.net or call: 203-255-4686.

The official National Maritime Day observance will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. It will be followed by a luncheon, at 11:45, at Washington Navy Yard, under the auspices of the Propeller Club of Washington, D.C. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters is scheduled to speak at the luncheon. The commemoration concludes with the Military Sealift Command wreath-laying ceremony at 2:00 p.m. at Washington Navy Yard.


COAST GUARD PROPOSES NEW ID REQUIREMENT FOR FOREIGN CREW

The Coast Guard has proposed to require each crewmember on foreign commercial vessels en route to the United States “to carry and present on demand an acceptable identification when in U.S. navigable waters.” The rule would define “acceptable identification” as a passport; a U.S. permanent resident card; a U.S. merchant mariner’s document; a TWIC; or a Seafarer’s Identification Document (SID) issued in accordance with the International Labor Organization (ILO) Seafarers’ Identification Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (ILO 185). The vessel operator would be required to ensure that crewmembers were in compliance with the regulation. The Coast Guard said in its notice of proposed rulemaking that violations could subject the mariner and the vessel operator to civil penalties and that measures could be taken against vessels carrying crew members who were not in compliance. The measure would apply even if the crewmember never departed the vessel in the United States. Under the terms of the rule, if the crewmember intended to go ashore in the United States, all immigration requirements (particularly the U.S. visa requirement) would apply.


AHL ORGANIZES KEEL-LAYING CEREMONY FOR FIRST NEW JONES ACT TANKER

MM&P-contracted AHL shipping hosted a keel-laying ceremony May 6 for the construction of the first of three new Jones Act chemical/product tankers that will go under long term charter to Shell Trading. The ceremony was held at Atlantic Marine’s Mobile shipyard. “Today’s event is yet another key step toward completing this ambitious and important project involving many of the nation’s most outstanding vessel engineering and construction professionals,” said AHL President Richard Horner in a press release. He added that the vessels will set a new standard for Jones Act petroleum transportation with their state-of-the-art diesel electric redundant propulsion system. The vessels will go on long-term time charter to Shell Trading in 2009-10 for use in transporting crude oil, chemicals and products within its domestic U.S. trade lanes. AHL currently operates a fleet of four U.S.-built Jones Act OPA90-compliant tankers serving crude and chemical customers throughout the coastal United States. All AHL vessels are crewed top-to-bottom by MM&P.


MSC NAPOLI DISASTER SHOWS NEED FOR MORE ACCURATE STATISTICS ON WEIGHT AND CONTENTS OF CONTAINERS

The results of the investigation into the break-up of MSC NAPOLI show that shippers need to pay more attention to the accuracy of statistics on container weight and contents, says the London-based insurer TT Club. Among the findings of the report by the United Kingdom’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) was that “misdeclaration” of the weights and contents of containers was a contributory factor to the accident. The report highlighted the difference between the declared and actual weights of the 660 containers stowed on deck, and the fact that seven percent of the containers were in the wrong position or declared as the wrong container, although this is actually within the industry norm of 10 percent.

“The report draws attention to the fact that shippers are sometimes unable to weigh containers before shipment because they lack the facilities,” commented a spokesperson for TT Club. “Furthermore, they are discouraged from doing so by factors such as import taxes, loading restrictions, and rail and road weight restrictions.” She added, however, that “the fact that many shippers or consolidators do not have easy access to weighing facilities should not mean they lose sight of the significant safety implications of an overweight container even before it is loaded on board a ship.” The MAIB report found that the most likely reason for incorrect placement of containers on deck was to accommodate declared dangerous goods. “These findings simply underline the TT Club’s continuing concern that cargo weight and hazardous details are habitually misdeclared,” the spokesperson said.

Although it was not seen as a primary cause of the accident, the MAIB report does state that misdeclaration erodes or eliminates existing safety margins. It also points out that only in container shipping is the weight of the cargo unknown.


MEBA’S THOMAS CANNON HONORED FOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS

Thomas F. Cannon, an instructor at the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) Calhoon School, was honored May 9 with the Maritime Administration’s Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement. Cannon received the award in recognition of four decades of service as an educator. He was chief engineer of such ships as the GTS ADM. WILLIAM M. CALLAGHAN, with its revolutionary gas turbine technology, and the NS SAVANNAH, the world’s only commercially operated nuclear ship.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON THE GREAT LAKES

MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative Charlie Malue reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for licensed mates with pilotage and engineers. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by the Organization. Interested parties should call Charlie Malue at 216-776-1667 or e-mail him at cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


MM&P MEMBER AND WIFE CRAFT NEW SIGN FOR MM&P’S CHARLESTON HALL

The union hall in Charleston is sporting a new sign thanks to MM&P member Bob Beauregard and his wife, Beverly. The two made the sign and donated it to the membership as a gift. Many thanks to Brother Beauregard and his wife!


FORGOTTEN GRAVES OF FALLEN MARINERS COMMEMORATED

U.S. Embassy representatives in Santiago, U.S. Navy officials and sailors serving aboard the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON and the frigate USS KAUFMANN paid tribute to seamen killed more than a century ago at a wreath-laying ceremony held recently at “Cemeterio de Dissidentes” in Valparaiso. Captain Richard Goodwyn, Defense and Naval attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, and other officials commemorated sailors aboard the USS ESSEX, who were killed in the war of 1812, USS BALTIMORE sailors killed during a riot on Oct. 16, 1891, and USS PENSACOLA sailors who died in January 1883, while their ship was conducting routine operations from Valparaiso.

MM&P member Bertil James Haney had come upon the graves two years ago in the cemetery near his Valparaiso home and was dismayed to learn that the U.S. government was apparently unaware of their existence. He and his son, Bertil Haney Jr., placed U.S. flags on the graves on the Fourth of July and on the anniversary of the 1812 battle. Haney wrote to Goodwyn asking that a formal gesture be made to honor the sacrifice of these brave mariners. The result was a wreath-laying ceremony held in May 2007 and the most recent ceremony, held May 16.


USMMA ALULMNI FOUNDATION SEEKS NEW PRESIDENT

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Alumni Foundation seeks a leader who will work to boost funding for the foundation through the development of programs that increase support from alumni as well as from other individuals, corporations and foundations. The position reports to the board of directors. Qualifications include good general business skills, nonprofit fundraising experience and the ability to adapt new technologies and practices to ensure the lowest administrative expenses. The position is located on the grounds of the USMM Academy on Long Island Sound. A detailed job description is posted on MM&P’s web site under “What’s New.” The need to hire a president for the foundation is an immediate concern for the academy and the timeframe is short. If, after reading the job description on the MM&P website, you believe you are qualified, please send your resume immediately to pete.rackett@alumni.usmma.edu.


  • MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

    CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of August, seats are available in the following courses:

    AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day), 7/11
    AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots – Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots:  6/23

    ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/11

    BST – Basic Safety Training:  6/23, 8/11
    BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/16, 7/21
    BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/26, 8/11

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
    CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/26
    CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1):  6/23
    CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/7
    CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 8/18
    CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 5/19, 7/28
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/4
    CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/14, 8/11
    CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management(week 1): 7/14
    CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management(week 2): 7/21
    CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/4
    CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/11

    CSE-AWR2 – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 8/25

    FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/23, 8/11

    LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/25

    [MSC – Military Sealift Command]
    MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 6/20, 8/29
    MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/18, 8/25
    MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/25 (6/16 Standby Only)

    MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/9, 7/21, 8/18
    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/9, 7/21, 8/18  
    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/17, 6/14, 7/26, 8/23
    MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 7/10

    ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 5/26, 8/4
    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/2, 7/7

    SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/7, 8/11
    SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/16, 7/21, 8/18
    SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/23, 7/28, 8/25
    SHS-ESH-BRMP 3 day – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/13

    TPIC-DL – Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 6/9
    TPIC-LG – Tankship Liquefied Gases (PIC) LNG: 8/4

    …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. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


    PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

    PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

    FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

    SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

    May 2008
    26        ROR
    27         FL
    27-30  ARPA
    27-29  AFF
    27-31  WKP BAS/BRM
    28-30 CHS BAS

    June 2008
    2          FL
    2-20    TCNAV/CO
    2-6      ROP
    2-6      SHS ASSESS
    3-5      AFF
    9         ROR
    9-13    SHS ASSESS
    9-13    BST
    9-20    GMDSS
    10        FL
    10-13  ARPA
    16-20  MED PRO
    16-20  SHS BAS
    16-20  BST
    16-27  MED PIC
    23-25  SEC VCF
    23-27  ROP
    23-27  BAFF

    July 2008
    7-11ENAV
    7-11MED PRO
    7-18GMDSS
    14-18MED PIC
    14-25CNAV
    21-25ECDIS
    21-25TPIC
    21-25STB BAS
    21-8/1SHS ADV
    28-29SAR
    28-30SEC VCF
    28-8/8GMDSS
    28-8/1TPIC
    30-8/1EP

    August 2008
    4-8MED PRO
    4-15GMDSS
    11-15MED PRO
    11-15SHS BAS
    11-22GMDSS
    18-19SAR
    20-22EP
    25-29MED PRO
    25-29SHS BAS

    September 2008
    2FL
    2-5APRA
    2-6CHS BAS
    2-6MED PRO
    3ROR
    8-12MED PIC
    9-12SHS EMR-5
    15-19WX BAS
    15-19TPIC
    15-26GMDSS
    22-26MED PRO

    For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

    PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

    High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 5-16-2008

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    12,987 2,529 1,425
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
    65.90
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    131.54
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    39.89
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    24.89
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    19.35
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    30.20
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    10.41
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    32.98
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    5.84
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    17.04
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    24.80
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    14.23
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    21.13
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    12.13
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    13.06
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    13.65
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    14.49
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    14.96
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.18
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    34.59
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    20.16
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    15.22
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    25.96
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.03
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    88.85
     Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
    18.38
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    74.88
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    21.93
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    43.00
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    39.64
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    28.36
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    11.30
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    12.17
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    14.40
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    15.18
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    15.65
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    9.20
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    10.89
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    10.29
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    37.44
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    50.51
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    31.54





    ~ Reminders ~



     

    T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

    REQUIRED COURSEWORK

    All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

    The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

    Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

    • Advanced Fire Fighting
    • Basic Safety Training, and
    • Damage Control

    Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

    Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

    Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

    Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

    The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

    Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

    IOMM&P
    700 Maritime Blvd.
    Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



    SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

    Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

    Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

    Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

    After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

    All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

    From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

    • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
    • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

    After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



    MSC PHYSICALS

    Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


    MM&P FCU NEWS

    GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

    Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

    Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

    6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
    Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

    6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
    7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
    8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
    You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

    Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

    MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

    PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
    MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

    Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



     

    MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

    MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

    As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



    NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

    As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

    If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


    WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

    The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

    Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



     

    COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

    LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

    This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

    The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
     

    Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

    • Green Cove
    • Green Dale
    • Green Lake
    • Green Point
    • Atlantic Forest
    • Sulphur Enterprise
    • Energy Enterprise
    • SGT Matej C. Kocak
    • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
    • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

    LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

    • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
    • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
    • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
    • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
    • Steel Toe Voyager
    • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
    • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

    LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

    Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

    Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

    Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

    Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

    To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.


     

    WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

    The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

    The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

    “Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

    “The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

    The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



    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.

    © 2008, 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.