Wheelhouse Weekly – October 30th, 2018

October 30th 2018

Volume 23… Number 44… Oct. 30, 2018


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We strongly encourage every MM&P member to vote in November’s federal elections.

The candidates elected to the House of Representatives and the Senate will be in a position to affect the future viability and growth of our industry.

Their actions will determine whether American-flag vessels and American shipboard jobs will remain under the U.S. flag or be outsourced to the benefit of foreign shipping interests.

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.

The MM&P PCF supports candidates who understand that it is critically important to our nation’s economic and military security that the federal government fully fund and implement the Maritime Security Program; that the Jones Act be maintained and enforced; and that the cargo preference laws remain in place.

Equally important, we vigorously support candidates who will fight with us to preserve employment opportunities for American maritime workers.

A list of the candidates the union is supporting in state races has been posted in the Members Only section of

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has announced that the new Soo Lock project in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., reached a milestone last week when President Trump signed America’s Water Infrastructure Act into law.

The legislation–America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018/Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA 2018–was passed Oct. 10 by the Senate by a vote of 99-1.

It had passed in the House of Representatives in August by unanimous voice vote.

Supporters of the legislation include transportation labor, dredging companies, port operators and coastal municipalities.

Since the act includes authorization for the construction of the new lock, the project can now compete for funding with other construction projects throughout the country.

The new lock is authorized to be 100 percent federally funded and will be considered for appropriations in the next funding cycle.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, understands the significance of this critical project,” said Lt. Col. Greg Turner, district engineer.

“We stand ready to execute the New Soo Lock construction and have already begun taking steps to minimize the time from receipt of funding to project completion.”

The Soo Locks, situated on the St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie, allow vessels to transit the 21-foot elevation change at the St. Marys Falls.

The new Soo Lock project would construct a second Poe-sized lock (110’ by 1,200’) on the site of the existing Davis and Sabin Locks.

The locks at Sault Ste. Marie allow vessels of over 1,000 feet to move between Lake Superior and the lower four Great Lakes.

In a typical year, as much as 80 million tons of cargo—mostly iron ore for steel production but also coal, grain and limestone–pass through the locks.

The Poe is the only one of the four locks owned and operated by the Army Corps in the Soo big enough to handle the largest freighters, which carry 89 percent of the cargo through the corridor.

The new lock is projected to cost approximately $922 million and take seven years to build.

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The most recent edition of MM&P’s news magazine, The Master, Mate & Pilot, has been posted on

In this issue:

— new study shows that cabotage laws like the Jones Act—far from being an exception as opponents would portray them–are in force in 80 percent of United Nations’ countries with a coastline;

— New York Water Taxi crew responds to “man overboard” situation;

— Alaska Marine Highway system christens first of two “Made in Alaska” ferries;

— MM&P members turn out in force for Labor Day;

— news from our members at Foss Tankermen, Great Lakes Towing, SAFMARINE NGAMI and USNS DAHL.

Plus: interview with Chuck Hendricks, a member of the MM&P Offshore Group.

The Master, Mate & Pilot will be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online at under “Latest News.”

Back to Stories Covered


Seventeen mariners who were abandoned on Iran’s Kish Island are victims of extreme human rights abuses, according to a case study by the U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea (HRAS).

The 17 were left on the island—in some cases for more than a year—with limited clean water, substandard food and no access to medical care.

Some had not been paid in almost two years.

“If Kish Island is being used by shipowners to abandon seafarers so that they circumvent their legal obligations… the situation must be highlighted and ended,” a spokesperson for HRAS said.

“The shipping industry must come together and explicitly condemn such practices.”

“Not only were these men left facing destitution in a foreign land, but they also had been denied their identity documents, so they could not travel. Such practices amount to slavery.”

HRAS intervened in October to facilitate the repatriation of an Ethiopian deck officer who had worked under a contract for 10 months without ever being paid.

Earlier this year, another charity, Justice Upheld, rescued a total of 17 abandoned seafarers: 12 Indian nationals, three Ethiopians and two Filipinos.

Justice Upheld was contacted by one of the men, only to find other cases of seafarers abandoned in what the charity called a “master and slave” relationship.

When the charity reported the case to the embassies of India and the Philippines at the end of May, the men were paid and repatriated.

However, the seafarers have alleged that the employers made deductions to pay for their airfare home so that they actually received far less than their original contracts stipulated.

For fear of reprisals, none of the men would identify the companies that had employed them.

Back to Stories Covered


European Union naval forces seized and destroyed a pirate whaler off the coast of Somalia on Sunday.

The authorities said the whaler had been seized “after a sustained period of surveillance” following an attack on a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier, the KSL SYDNEY. The attack took place 340 nm off the Somali coast on Oct. 16.

The ability to deploy aircraft and ships immediately to the area proved vital in locating the whaler, according to EU NAVFOR Cmdr. Rear Adm. Alfonso Perez de Nanclares.

It was ultimately tracked down in a small bay, just off the Somali coast, where it was seized, towed out to sea and destroyed.

In related news, pirates kidnapped 11 members of the crew of the Liberian-flagged container ship POMERENIA SKY off the coast of Nigeria Saturday as the vessel traveled to the port of Onne.

Eight of the men abducted are Polish, two are Filipino and one is Ukrainian. Nine crewmembers remain on board the vessel and are reportedly unharmed, and the vessel has sailed to safety, the shipowner said.

A spokesman for Nigeria’s navy said an investigation and search and rescue operation had begun as soon as the incident was reported.

The second quarterly report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau states that in the first half of the year, six separate incidents of kidnapping, involving a total of 25 crewmembers, occurred in the Gulf of Guinea.

One hundred seafarers are said to have been kidnapped in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea in 2017.

Back to Stories Covered


The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has released a request for proposal for a vessel construction manager to deliver a new class of training ships.

In a release to the press, MARAD said the construction manager it selects will contract with a qualified shipyard to ensure that commercial best practices are employed in delivering the training ship–referred to as the national security multi-mission vessel (NSMV)–on time and on budget.

“A new multi-mission vessel built by an American shipyard will not only create new jobs, but help train the next generation of American mariners and contribute to disaster relief,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directed MARAD to provide for an entity other than the Maritime Administration to contract for the construction of the new ship.

MARAD says this procurement process will leverage existing marketplace expertise, targeting companies experienced in the production of innovative U.S.-built ships.

“The U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry is vital to the economic strength and security of our nation,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby, “and this project will demonstrate that American shipbuilding remains the global standard of excellence.”

The agency said that the new vessel will help sustain “world-class, U.S. maritime training operations at the state maritime academies by equipping young American mariners with a modern and adaptable training platform.”

The ship will include instructional spaces, eight classrooms, a full training bridge, labs and an auditorium.

In addition to serving as an educational platform for up to 600 cadets, the NSMV will be available to support government efforts in response to national and international disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

In this role, it will be equipped to support major federal relief and response efforts, providing hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad and berthing for up to 1,000 first responders and recovery workers.

A roll-on/roll-off ramp and a crane to facilitate container storage will enable it to provide critical supplies to damaged port facilities.

MARAD said that “the economic benefit of this coastwise-endorsed training vessel extends beyond academics–and the replacement of the nation’s aging training ship fleet–to the thousands of men and women in the shipbuilding and repair industry.”

“These skilled workers at U.S. shipyards and repair facilities add billions to the economy annually, reflecting the best of American maritime engineering and ingenuity,” the agency said.

The first NSMV is expected to be delivered to the Maritime Administration in 2022.

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A plan to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) so that it functions more like a corporation will be released after the November mid-term elections, the White House says.

The plan, which was finalized this summer by a White House task force, has been circulated within the Trump administration but not released to the public or to Congress—where the USPS enjoys broad, bipartisan support.

Without any taxpayer funding, the USPS serves 150 million households and businesses in the United States each day, providing affordable, universal mail service to all at a cost that is lower than that of mail service in most other industrialized countries.

But it has lost money for years as a result of the drop in the volume of first class mail and a mandate imposed by Congress in 2006 that it “prefund” retirees’ pension and health coverage 75 years into the future, an onerous requirement that does not apply to any other government agency.

Business groups are urging the Trump administration to focus on overhauling the Postal Service’s retiree benefits structure, which they call the main driver of its financial problems.

They have pushed the task force to throw its support behind bipartisan House and Senate legislation that would end the mandate that the USPS prepay future pension and health care obligations

In response, the administration has cited the “successful model” of postal privatization in other countries.

But the truth is that such efforts in Europe have resulted in severe job losses and wage cuts for postal workers, along with increased prices and reduced mail delivery access for customers.

Unlike private companies that won’t deliver to certain remote areas because it’s not profitable to do so, the Postal Service is obligated to serve all Americans regardless of where they live.

This means that under a privatization scheme, rural communities would suffer the most.
If the Trump administration were serious about revitalizing the Postal Service, its backers say, there are several practical steps it could endorse.

Beyond eliminating the burdensome pre-funding requirement, one idea that is gaining momentum is postal banking.

A bill introduced in Congress earlier this year would enable post offices to provide basic financial services, including check-cashing and small, low-interest loans.

These are services that are already provided by post offices in many other countries.

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Three International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) leaders were honored Oct. 27 at the Sixth Annual ILA Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Committee Awards Dinner in Savannah.

Willie J. Seymore, executive vice president of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District and an international vice president representing the Port of Savannah, received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award.

Yvette Flowers, four-term financial secretary treasurer of Local 1422 in the Port of Charleston, received the Women’s Rights Award.

Andrew Lee Laws, a district representative with the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District in the Port of Galveston, received the Labor Leader Award.

The Humanitarian Award was given to Griff Lynch, chief operating officer/incoming executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

ILA President Harold J. Daggett, recipient of the first ILA Civil Rights Award six years ago, delivered the keynote address.

Other speakers included ILA Secretary-Treasurer Stephen Knott, Executive Vice President Dennis A. Daggett, South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District President Alan Robb and Atlantic Coast District President Michael Vigneron.

MM&P President Don Marcus, Great Lakes & Gulf Vice President Tom Bell and Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger represented Masters, Mates & Pilots at the event.

MM&P is the marine affiliate of the ILA.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12, for Veterans Day.

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MITAGS-PMI is seeking a full-time instructor for its West Coast campus in Seattle.
The instructor will present curriculum that aligns with the school’s industry-recognized apprenticeship program.

These courses are for mariners who want to serve as an officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW).

The instructor will also present courses in the Marine Safety and Security Department, including custom safety programs.
Desired qualifications include: USCG officer level license; experience sailing under his/her highest level license and similar experience are a plus, but may be substituted by equivalent uniformed service experience (NOAA, USCG or USN); degree in adult education, maritime sciences or related field; two years of experience supervising staff in a similar environment; experience teaching adults (including cadets) professional subjects for one or more years.

The successful applicant must have the experience, training and qualifications necessary to obtain Coast Guard approval to teach courses in the field.

Please submit a cover letter with your resume to MITAGS-PMI Human Resource Manager Jane Sibiski:

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MITAGS-PMI is interested in receiving photo submissions from MM&P members for use on the official MITAGS-PMI social media platform.

The goal is to document members’ voyages. As suggestions, photos can be of events and sights onboard, crewmembers at work or scenic locations.

If you are interested in sharing photos, please send them with caption information to or

Be sure to tell us whether you would like to be credited for the photo.

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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.

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – 4/15/19

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 5/2/19

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/15/19, 4/2/19

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 3/11/19, 5/2/19

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/18/19

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 12/19/18, 1/29/19, 3/11/19, 4/9/19

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/13/19, 4/29/18

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/14/19, 4/8/19

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 12/18/18, 2/5/19, 3/6/19, 4/3/19, 4/30/19, 6/19/19

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 12/17/18, 2/4/19, 3/6/19, 4/29/19

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/29/19

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 12/10/18*, 1/14/19, 3/11/19, 6/10/19

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 12/3/18, 1/7/19, 4/8/19, 6/3/19

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 3/18/19

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 3/18/19, 5/6/19

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 3/25/19, 5/13/19

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 11/12/18, 3/25/19

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 11/26/18, 2/18/19, 5/20/19

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/15/19 (DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 2/25/19

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/5/18*, 11/26/18*, 1/21/19, 2/4/19, 3/4/19, 3/18/19, 4/8/19, 4/29/19, 5/13/19, 6/3/19, 6/17/19

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/12/18*, 12/3/18*, 1/28/19*, 2/11/19, 3/11/19, 3/25/19, 4/15/19, 5/6/19, 5/20/19, 6/10/19, 6/24/19

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/1/19

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: TBD

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – 3/11/19, 6/10/19

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – 3/15/19, 6/14/19

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – 3/13/19, 6/12/19

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 4/8/19

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 2/19/19

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Contact Admissions

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/23/19

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner – 12/10/18

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 1/21/19, 6/3/19

DPA (2-Day) – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 12/17/18, 2/18/19, 4/30/19

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 11/26/18, 3/4/19, 4/22/19

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/14/19, 4/8/19

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/20/18, 2/7/19, 3/5/19, 4/2/19, 5/2/19, 6/18/19

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 12/15/18, 3/9/19, 4/27/19

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 1/29/19, 4/9/19

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 1/18/19

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 3/4/19

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 12/10/18, 4/15/19

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 2/25/19*, 7/29/19, 10/21/19

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (20-Day): 1/21/19

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 6/3/19

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 1/30/19, 3/12/19, 4/10/19, 4/30/19

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 4/1/19

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 12/3/18, 2/25/19, 4/29/19

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 11/26/18*, 1/21/19, 3/18/19, 5/6/19

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/7/19, 3/11/19, 6/24/19

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/26/18*, 1/21/19, 3/18/19, 5/6/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 12/1/18, 12/21/18, 1/12/19, 1/26/19, 2/8/19, 3/9/19, 3/23/19, 4/1/19, 5/3/19, 5/11/19, 6/17/19

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 11/14/18, 2/22/19, 5/21/19, 6/5/19

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 11/12/18, 2/18/19, 5/21/19, 6/5/19

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 11/4/18, 2/24/19, 6/2/19

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/3/19

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 11/5/18*, 1/7/19, 2/25/19, 5/13/19, 6/9/19

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 2/23/19, 5/12/19, 6/7/19

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 1/11/19, 3/1/19, 5/17/19, 6/8/19

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 11/9/18*, 1/13/19, 3/2/19, 5/18/19, 6/13/19

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 11/12/18*, 11/14/18*, 12/17/18*, 12/19/18*, 1/24/19*, 3/18/19, 4/22/19, 4/24/19, 6/24/19, 6/26/19

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 1/14/19

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18*, 1/9/19, 1/30/19, 2/5/19, 2/20/19, 3/6/19, 3/20/19, 4/3/19, 4/17/19, 4/24/19, 4/30/19, 5/8/19, 5/15/19, 6/5/19, 6/12/19, 6/19/19

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/7/19, 3/4/19

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/17/18, 4/21/19

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 1/28/19, 5/13/19

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 12/10/18, 2/25/19*, 4/1/19, 6/17/19

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/21/19

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 1/28/19

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 1/14/19, 4/8/19

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Contact Admissions

TTT – Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 2/14/19, 4/23/19

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/11/19, 4/24/19

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 2/18/19

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/18/19

Back to Stories Covered


Summer-Fall 2018

For registration, contact our admissions department: 206.441.2880 or

Please also see our schedule and enroll online at

October 2018
31-1 Basic Training Revalidation
31-5 Basic Training Refresher

November 2018
2nd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
5th Radar Renewal
5-8 Advanced Firefighting
5-9 Basic Training
12-14 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
16th Medical DOT
16th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
19-20 Basic Training Revalidation
21st Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
29-30 Basic Training Revalidation

December 2018
3rd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
3-7 Leadership & Managerial Skills
3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-13 ARPA
10-14 Basic Training
14th Radar Renewal
14th Medical DOT
14-18 Basic Training Refresher
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation
17-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
19th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

Back to Stories Covered

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