News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 20, 2010

September 20th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 38. . . .September 20, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


MARITIME UNIONS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER PROPOSAL TO MODIFY LAW ON LINER AGREEMENTS

The leaders of America’s maritime and longshore unions have voiced their opposition to a legislative proposal that would modify the regulatory framework governing the U.S. liner shipping trades.

In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) the leaders of MM&P and five other unions said any changes in the existing law, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, should be based on careful analysis of the current situation, including talks with the liner shipping companies, shippers and seafaring and longshore labor. They said the liner conferences bring stability to the industry and protect against predatory pricing policies.

“With the serious short-term capacity crisis over,” the unions wrote in the letter to Oberstar, “we firmly believe that through your good offices, the carriers, shippers, and labor can be brought together to address what actions the industry and government should take to mitigate against any such crisis in the future.  

“The ocean shipping industry, unlike the airline industry, has no barriers to entry,” they added. “This fact, coupled with the fact that the ocean shipping industry is not concentrated at all, can and should be taken into consideration by the carriers and shippers and others when determining what type of regulatory system is warranted.”

The unions have requested a meeting with Congressional staffers to discuss the specifics of the proposal. 

In agreement with the unions, the World Shipping Council has also expressed opposition to the proposal to modify the current regulatory framework.


VOTE YOUR JOB ON NOV. 2!

The countdown to Election Day is on. All 435 members of the House of Representatives and a third of the members of the Senate face re-election on Nov. 2.

These elections are particularly important for American merchant mariners in that they come on the heels of the misinformation campaign aimed at repealing the Jones Act that was launched in the midst of the BP oil spill. Legislators who introduced or sponsored Jones Act repeal bills are on the ballot. But so are men and women who stand beside the maritime unions every day in the fight to protect your job.

If you are a member of MM&P, you can go to www.bridgedeck.org to access a user friendly, state-by-state listing of the candidates for public office who have consistently demonstrated their support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry. The names of the congressmen and senators who have supported MM&P in the ongoing fight to protect your job and the jobs of other American maritime workers are posted in the Members Only pages of www.bridgedeck.org. Click on the “Who We Support” link to see a user-friendly, state-by-state list of the legislators who have received support in this election from the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF).

You should also consider voting early or requesting an absentee ballot if you think you may not be able to go to the polls on Nov. 2.

All states offer voters the option of voting prior to the election. In some states, you can request an absentee ballot and send it back by mail. This is referred to as “absentee voting.” Other states permit voters to vote in person at the offices of county clerks or at other satellite voting locations. This is referred to as “early voting” or “in-person absentee voting.”

For an easily accessible, state-by-state listing of how to vote early or by absentee ballot, you can go to the National Council of State Legislatures website, http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16604.

For information on voting early or by absentee ballot in your state of residence, you can also go to the U.S. Election Commission site, http://www.eac.gov/, and click on “Resources for Voters.”


NEW JERSEY PORT AUTHORITY WILL INCREASE HEIGHT OF BAYONNE BRIDGE

The New Jersey Port Authority has agreed to spend up to $1 billion to raise the Bayonne Bridge so bigger ships can pass under it. A spokesman for the Port Authority said New Jersey’s economy would get a much-needed boost from the plan to raise the height of the bridge, which connects Bayonne with Staten Island.
The $ 1 billion deal will cover the cost of raising the bridge around 60 feet, to 215 feet. The Port Authority has been studying ways to accommodate larger ships for some time. Last year, the Army Corps of Engineers concluded that raising the bridge to 215 feet would be the best solution. But Port Authority officials said they’re still not sure whether the bridge will be modified or completely replaced.


CHINESE FISHING BOAT CAPTAIN HELD AFTER CRASH WITH JAPANESE PATROL BOATS

The captain of a Chinese fishing boat remains under arrest in Japan following a collision with two Japanese Coast Guard patrol boats. The incident has serious diplomatic repercussions: China has postponed a senior official’s visit to Tokyo amidst the dispute.

The accident took place on Sept. 7. The Japanese Coast Guard has stated that patrol boats repeatedly ordered the Chinese fishing boat to exit an off-limits area and then tried to perform a search. When the fishing vessel did not stop, a chase ensued, leading to the collision of the fishing boat with both patrol boats.

The incident took place in the vicinity of the disputed islands known as “Senkaku” in Japanese and “Diaoyu” in Chinese. The islands are controlled by Japan but are also claimed by China and Taiwan.

The Chinese government accused Japan of provoking the incident and ordered that the captain and crew of the fishing boat be released. Japan let the 14 crew members go free but continues to hold the captain.


INCREASE IN PIRATE ACTIVITY EXPECTED WITH END OF MONSOON SEASON

The International Maritime Bureau is warning that pirates will step up attacks in the Horn of Africa region with the end of monsoon season. Each year, the number of pirate attacks decreases during the monsoon period because of rough seas. With improving weather, the number of attacks is expected to grow sharply in the near future. Last weekend, armed forces patrolling the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor reported six suspicious skiffs. People aboard all the skiffs were observed throwing material overboard when approached by the naval vessels.


U.S. GOVERNMENT APPEALS DISMISSAL OF CHARGES IN PIRACY CASE

The U.S. government is appealing a district court judge’s decision to dismiss piracy charges against five Somalis accused of attacking the USS ASHLAND in April. The men accused in the attack claimed that they were transporting refuges. Their attorneys had argued successfully that the five were not guilty of piracy because they did not actually board the Navy ship.


TWO SAILORS KIDNAPPED OFF DREDGE IN CAMEROON

Two seafarers were kidnapped last week by men who boarded their dredge last week in the port city of Douala, in Cameroon. Observers said seven men armed with rocket launchers attacked two ships and the dredge, stealing money and cell phones, and then kidnapping the two crew members, a Croatian and a Filipino. The Luxembourg-flagged dredge, VESPUCCI, was in the process of dredging the channel in the port.


U.S. MARINES DRILLED THROUGH THREE BULKHEADS TO REACH CREW OF HIJACKED GERMAN SHIP

The marines who retook the pirated German cargo ship MAGELLAN STAR off the Somali coast two weeks ago had a tough time convincing members of the crew that they were rescuers and not pirates, according to an Associated Press report.

The marines, members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force, used small craft, under the surveillance of Cobra attack helicopters, to reach the deck of the Antigua-and-Barbuda- flagged vessel. The pirates gave up almost immediately after being confronted by the heavily armed marines.

But to reach the 11-member crew, who had taken refuge in a safe room, the marines had to drill through three bulkheads. A Navy spokesman said the crew finally understood they were being saved when one marine tore the American flag patch off his uniform and stuffed it through a hole in the steel door. The marines recaptured the ship and took nine pirates prisoner without firing a single shot. It was the first such raid by the international anti-piracy fleet.

The MAGELLAN STAR was traveling from Bilbao, Spain, to Singapore with a cargo of anchor chains when it came under attack. It is now in a shipyard being repaired because the pirates vandalized it in frustration when they were unable to find the crew to start the engines.


MM&P NORFOLK HALL HAS A NEW ADDRESS

The MM&P Hall in Norfolk has moved! The new address is: Commerce Center III, 5425 Robin Hood Rd #204, Norfolk, VA 23513. The phone and fax numbers for the hall are still: 757-489-7406 (phone) and 757-489-1715 (fax). Mark Nemergut and Greg Sherry are the MM&P Norfolk representatives. Their e-mail address is: norfolk@bridgedeck.org.


MM&P OFFSHORE DIVISION SHIPPING AND WORK RULES COMMITTEE MEETS OCT. 19-21

The Offshore Division Shipping and Work Rules Committee is scheduled to meet at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights Oct. 19-21. During the meeting, the committee will address the Offshore Division Shipping Rules and Work Rules. Please submit recommendations for rule changes by Tuesday, Oct. 5 at the latest, to the Offshore Division Shipping and Work Rules Committee c/o the International Secretary-Treasurer.

Procedure for Submitting Items to Amend Offshore Shipping & Work Rules

All Shipping & Work Rule changes for consideration by the Rules Committee must be submitted to the International Secretary-Treasurer no later than at least ten (10) days prior to the first day of the Rules Committee meetings. Submissions must include the following to be accepted for submission by the Rules Committee: the page number of the proposed change/addition; the section heading of the Rule being changed; the paragraph (ex: 2. (a) (iii) ¶3 etc.) to be changed; the wording of the change/addition; the purpose of the change/addition; the name(s) of the submitter(s).

The cut-off date for submitting resolutions to the Rules Committee is Oct, 5, 2010. Resolutions received after the cut-off date will be considered for submission by the Rules Committee on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in serving on the Rules Committee, contact your area Vice President.


DRAFT OF RECENT SOCP MEETING RESULTS POSTED ON WWW.SOCP.US

On Sept. 8-9, SOCP hosted a working group assessment of the STCW95 Code as amended during the 2010 IMO Manila convention. The purpose of the meeting, which was held at MITAGS, was to generate comments and recommendations to be used by the U.S. Coast Guard in updating licensing regulations. Drafts of the working group comments are now posted for your review and comments on the SOCP website, www.socp.us, under “Past Events/Meetings.”
Please send your comments directly to the chairpersons listed no later than Nov. 15. The recommendations will be discussed at SOCP’s December meeting at MITAGS before being delivered to the Coast Guard.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of December 2010, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 10/18
ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 11/30
Azipod for Pilots: 10/14

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 9/27, 12/13
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/29
BST � Basic Safety Training: 10/11

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 11/1
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/20, 11/1
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 9/27, 11/8
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 10/4, 11/15
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 11/15, 12/13
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/25, 11/29
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 10/11, 12/6
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 10/18, 12/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/27, 10/25, 11/29
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/20, 10/4, 11/1, 12/6
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 11/8, 12/6
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/25, 11/29

CHS BAS � Cargo Handling and Stowage: 10/11
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 11/11
CSE-AWR-2 � Confined Space Awareness: 11/11


ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/10
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 11/1

FF-BADV � Fire Fighting Combined Basic and Advanced: 10/11
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 12/1

GMDSS – Global Marine Distress Safety System: 10/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/29

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/12, 11/29

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 9/27, 11/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/27, 11/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/2, 11/13

Military Sealift Command Courses:
MSC-CBRD-1 – Basic CBR Defense (Orientation): 10/8
MSC-DC – Damage Control (Evening Course): 10/4
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 10/4, 11/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 9/27, 10/20, 11/17, 12/1, 12/15
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 11/29
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/15

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 10/8
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/11, 11/15, 12/13
SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 12/1
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/18
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/11

TPIC – Tankerman Person In Charge: 9/27

WKP-BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/27
WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/20

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


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

September 2010

20-24   Basic Construction & Stability
20-24   ECDIS
20-22   Fast Rescue Boat
27        Radar Renewal
27-1     Basic Shiphandling

October 2010

4-8      Tankerman Person-in-Charge
4-15     Basic Watchkeeping with BRM
12-15   ARPA
18-29  Celestial Navigation
18-22  Medical Care Provider – Standby only
23rd    Med DOT
25-27  Fast Rescue Boat
27th    Radar Renewal

November 2010

1-3       Security VCF
1-5       Medical Care Provider
8-12    ECDIS
8-19    GMDSS
15-19   Basic Construction & Stability
15-17   Fast Rescue Boat
29        Radar Renewal

December 2010

6-10    Medical Care Provider
6-17     Medical Person-in-Charge
6-17     GMDSS
7-9      Security VCF
11         Med DOT
13-15   Emergency Shiphandling
20       Radar Renewal


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-17-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,594.83 2,315.61 1,125.59
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
50.98
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
104.10
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.97
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.57
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.68
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
23.26
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.00
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.75
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.67
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.82
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
20.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.96
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.55
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.84
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.77
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.99
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.40
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.80
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
28.05
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.81
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.43
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.00
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.69
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
62.65
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
59.96
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.29
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.82
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
27.56
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
24.14
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.74
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.90
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.90
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.46
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.00
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
32.46
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
40.02
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
26.53



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.

© 2010, 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.