News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 29, 2012

 

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

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 22. . . .May 29, 2012

STORIES COVERED

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


U.S. PAYS TRIBUTE TO AMERICA’S MERCHANT MARINERS ON MARITIME DAY

Labor leaders, members of Congress, top military officials and the President of the United States were among those who offered well-deserved recognition to America’s merchant mariners on National Maritime Day. 
 
“For 237 years, the men and women of the United States Merchant Marine have risen to meet our country’s call,” said President Barack Obama in the official Maritime Day Proclamation. “They have strengthened our economy and our security in times of calm and conflict, connecting our service members to the supplies they need and transporting our exports into the global marketplace. On National Maritime Day, we pay tribute to all those who have served and sacrificed on our waterways and around the world. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, Merchant Mariners have contributed to the defense of our Nation by transporting essential cargo to ports across the globe. Their commitment has helped deliver us through periods of conflict, and their service will remain a critical asset to our security in the years ahead.” 
 
Expressing the sentiment of many members of Congress, New York Democrat Tim Bishop thanked American mariners “who have served and sacrificed on our waterways and around the world…. In time of conflict, our merchant mariners take enormous risks to supply forces deployed abroad,” Bishop said. “In times of peace, our maritime industry sustains the robust trade networks that power our economy.” On behalf of his colleagues and constituents, he thanked “all those who enhance America’s security and prosperity with their service on the open seas.”

“It is especially appropriate to pause and thank the nation’s skilled maritime and longshore workers who risk their lives to preserve our freedom and our economic strength around the world,” said AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Ed Wytkind in an official statement issued on behalf of the 32 TTD-affiliated unions.

Gen. William M. Fraser III, commander of U.S. TRANSCOM, told a group of maritime industry representatives and maritime labor union leaders assembled at a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., that other industries could learn from the labor-management-government teamwork that is the hallmark of the American maritime industry. “No other nation can match the relationship we have with our partners,” he said. “We know that the men and women you represent are always going to meet the mission.”

The officers and crew of MM&P-contracted HORIZON RELIANCE, who carried out a heroic night-time rescue in the Pacific Ocean in February, were honored as part of a special National Maritime Day ceremony at the Department of Transportation. Merchant mariners were also singled out for special recognition at a Memorial Day service in San Pedro, Calif., which was attended by representatives of MM&P, California Democrat Rep. Janice Hahn, and numerous state and city officials.

Representatives of MM&P attended a solemn ceremony aboard NS SAVANNAH, where Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda and Congresswoman Helen Delich-Bentley spoke. At the close of the shipboard ceremony, which was sponsored by the Kings Point Alumni Association, the SUNY Maritime Alumni Association and the Baltimore Port Authority, a wreath was cast into the harbor in honor of mariners who had made the supreme sacrifice.


HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES ONE-TRIP TWIC PROPOSAL

On May 9, the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security approved legislation that would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to reform the process for the enrollment, activation, issuance and renewal of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) so that an individual is not required to make more than one in-person visit to a designated enrollment center. The bill, HR 3173, was introduced by Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) and has attracted 39 cosponsors.
 
MM&P, MEBA and the other seafaring and longshore unions have urged members of the committee to approve the bill, noting that “this much-needed bipartisan legislation would eliminate the requirement for mariners and other transportation workers to make two trips to a Transportation Worker Identification Credential enrollment center to pick up and activate their TWIC. When other secure identity documents, such as passports and merchant mariner credentials, can be returned to qualified applicants by mail, transportation workers should not be required to make two trips to the nearest enrollment center–which, in some cases, is hundreds of miles away–to obtain a TWIC.”

The unions said prompt passage of HR 3173 would be an important step forward in “reforming a cumbersome bureaucratic process” and providing relief for the two million transportation workers who are currently covered by the program and will need to renew their TWIC to ensure that they can continue to work in the U.S. transportation industry. “With thousands of TWICs coming up for renewal in late 2012, and thousands more to follow in 2013 and beyond, passage of this important legislation is particularly urgent,” the unions said.
 
HR 3173 was added in committee to HR 3116, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. HR 3116 is pending action in the full House of Representatives.


PRIVATELY CONTRACTED SECURITY TEAM ABOARD MAERSK TEXAS THWARTS PIRATE ATTACK

An armed security detachment aboard the U.S.-flag heavy-lift ship MAERSK TEXAS thwarted a pirate attack in the Gulf of Oman on May 23. According to an official statement released by MLL, the vessel was surrounded by numerous skiffs northeast of Fujairah. Armed men in each speedboat quickly closed on the vessel at noon local time. The crew took defensive measures and the on-board security team took up position. “Despite clear warning signals, the skiffs continued their direct line toward MAERSK TEXAS and the embarked security team fired warning shots,” according to a company spokesperson. The pirates fired on MAERSK TEXAS and the security team returned fire. No one aboard the vessel was harmed and the vessel proceeded on its voyage.


WISCONSINITES GO TO THE POLLS JUNE 5 IN RECALL ELECTION

Voters in the state of Wisconsin are going to the polls next Tuesday in an election to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who eliminated collective bargaining rights for the state’s public sector employees and sharply reduced funding for education and public services while introducing new tax breaks for corporations.

Walker had argued his plan would increase employment, but a report released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Wisconsin is the only state in the nation to suffer “statistically significant” job loss during the 12 months from March 2011 to March 2012. Over the course of the past year, Wisconsin has lost 23,900 jobs at a time when unemployment in other states is holding steady or showing modest improvement. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the candidate opposing Walker in the recall election, is a staunch supporter of collective bargaining and has a reputation for “reaching across the aisle” and getting people to work together. If you live in Wisconsin, please vote on June 5, and remind your family members, coworkers and friends to vote.


NEW USCG ONLINE TOOL IDENTIFIES DESIGNATED EXAMINERS FOR TOWING ENDORSEMENTS

The Coast Guard has introduced a new online tool that allows users to find designated examiners for towing endorsements. It can be accessed on the National Maritime Center website (www.uscg.mil/nmc) by selecting Designated Examiners under the Approved Courses menu on the left www.uscg.mil/nmc/designated_examiners/.

The tool includes the ability to verify the qualifications of a designated examiner using a simple search function. It helps users validate a Towing Officers Assessment Record (TOAR) for mariners sailing under 46 CFR 11.464(f), which allows holders of Master 200 or greater to act as Master Tow under certain conditions. The search is carried out by last name. It returns all DEs with that last name, their first and middle names, their qualification dates and their qualified routes.

The Coast Guard says that data regarding some DEs may not display properly. If there are questions regarding the data returned or if users are unable to locate the DE they are searching for, they should contact the NMC Customer Service Center at IASKNMC@uscg.mil or 888-IASKNMC (888-427-5662).


WASHINGTON STATE MARINE PILOT EXAM PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT

The Washington State Board of Pilotage Commissioners plans to hold an exam in Seattle on or after Oct. 19. An official Notice of Examination will be published no later than June 22 with specific details about the exam, including dates and how to apply. The exam is being given to identify qualified candidates for entry into a training program in either the Grays Harbor Pilotage District or the Puget Sound Pilotage District. Applicants must elect to apply for a license in one or both districts, but training to become a state licensed pilot will be for one district only.

Go to www.portofgraysharbor.com for information about the Port of Grays Harbor. Go to www.pspilots.org for information about the Puget Sound Pilots. Go to http://www.pilotage.wa.gov/annualReports.htm for other detailed information about pilotage in Washington State.

Applicants must meet the pre-examination requirements cited in RCW 88.16.090, WAC 363-116-076, WAC 363-116-077 and WAC 363-116-0751. In general, applicants must meet specified service requirements as master for one to two years while holding a minimum license as master of steam or motor vessels of not more than 1600 GRT or 3000 GT (ITC). Other types of service may also qualify. A federal pilotage endorsement is not required for either Pilotage District to take the exam but is required for licensure.

The Board’s website contains specific links and other pertinent information regarding the exam. A request to receive exam information directly can be made by contacting: Peggy Larson, Executive Director, Washington State Board of Pilotage Commissioners, 2901 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98121; Phone 206-515-3904 and 206-515-3647; Fax 206-515-3906; PilotageInfo@wsdot.wa.gov; www.pilotage.wa.gov.


MITAGS SEEKS INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN COORDINATOR

MITAGS is looking for an Instructional Design Coordinator to develop curricula (classroom-based and distance learning), assess educational programs for quality and adherence to regulations and standards and submit curricula to governing entities for approval and review. The coordinator will: help implement technology in the classroom; assist the Director of Training in providing onsite education for instructors; assist with accreditation reviews and audits submitted for certification. Qualifications include: degree in educational /instructional design or relevant work experience; three to five years’ experience in an academic/training environment highly desired; excellent computer skills, including MS Word Suite and related automated information systems.  Strong interpersonal and communication skills required. Possession of a USCG license or knowledge of the maritime field is a definite plus. Must have the ability to work flexible hours and travel to Seattle office if required. Responsibilities may require evening and weekend work in response to needs of the customers. For more information, contact MITAGS Training Director Eric Friend, efriend@mitags.org, 410-859-5700 ext. 3259; 443-989-3259; Skype: training.director.mitags


GOVERNMENT CONTRACT VESSEL EMPLOYMENT

Patriot Contract Services is seeking resumes for the LMSR program. Allactive and retired licensed deck officers who are interested in permanent orrelief work are asked to send their resumes, including most recent trainingcourses, to Patriot Contract Services Crewing Manager Michael Gillihan:crewing@asmhq.com; or by fax (866) 349-2297.


JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGINEERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings for DDEs and unlimited HP engineers on the GreatLakes. If you are interested, please contact the MM&P Great Lakes Hall at(216) 776-1667 or send an e-mail to cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS OF WWII AT MITAGS JUNE 3-6

The American Merchant Marine Veterans of World War II will hold their convention this year at the Maritime Institute of Graduate Studies (MITAGS) on June 3-6. The schedule includes a tour of the Liberty ship SS JOHN W. BROWN.


SCHEDULE FOR 2012 OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSE

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 changedepending on the number of participants who sign up): 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. TheOffshore Familiarization Course, May 30-31 in Charleston is postponed andwill be rescheduled (depending on continued interest) for a later date.

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

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


SEVEN-MONTH SENTENCE FOR CAPTAIN AND NAVIGATING OFFICER IN ASTROLABE REEF GROUNDING

The captain and navigational officer of the Liberia-flagged containership RENA, which struck New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef in October, have been sentenced to seven months in prison. The two pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including attempting to pervert the course of justice by altering ship documents. They told the court they had “cut corners” to reach Tauranga Harbor on time and then took steps to cover up their mistakes. The court listened to recordings from the black box in which the captain is heard instructing the engine room crew to increase speed just minutes before the ship hit the reef.

“At this stage,” prosecutors said, “there was sufficient time to make an effective alteration of course and avoid the reef.” Instead the result was dismissed as a false reading and without checking the charts and slowing the vessel down, the captain instructed that it speed up. After RENA hit the rocks, the prosecutor said, the captain and navigational officer deliberately tried to cover up their mistakes by changing the GPS logbook, charts and the passage plan. Hundreds of tons of oil spilled into the water, as did more than 280 containers. The clean up so far has cost $37 million.


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: 6/11, 8/20

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

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/7, 9/25

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 2/26

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/27

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  6/7, 8/23

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/25, 8/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/11, 9/10

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 7/23

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 6/25

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 7/9

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/4, 8/20

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 8/6, 9/17

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/11, 7/16, 7/30, 9/10, 9/4

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/18, 7/9, 8/6, 9/17

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/18, 8/27

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/6

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/19

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 6/4, 8/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/25, 8/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 6/6, 7/25

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 8/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/11, 8/20

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/17

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/16

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 8/20

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 6/11, 9/17

MED-PIC -R – Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 7/30

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/11, 9/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/16, 9/22

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/4, 8/6

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/4, 8/6

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/8, 8/10

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/16, 6/13, 6/27, 7/11, 7/25, 8/1, 8/15, 8/29, 9/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/6, 9/24

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 7/30

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/16

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/25, 8/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/20

TC/NAV – Terrestrial & Costal Navigation and Compasses: 9/19

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/27

TRAC-TUG-2 for Pilots:  Tractor Tug (2 day) 7/23

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/17

…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.
 
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 5-29-12

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,533.88 2,856.48 1,326.64
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
56.17
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
121.82
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
41.82
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.45
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.97
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.05
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.06
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
34.32
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.77
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.55
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.79
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.36
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.72
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.66
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.65
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.30
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.06
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.98
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.79
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.53
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.20
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.98
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
67.49
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
66.88
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.09
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
46.04
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
25.80
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.31
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.44
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.10
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.52
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.25
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.60
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.82
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.07
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
37.36
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.85
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.73



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.