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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

Volume 29… Number 47, November 21, 2023


In This Issue:

Mark Your Calendar:

Attention All Mariners:

Job Opportunities:



A Bahamas-flag car carrier, the GALAXY LEADER, was hijacked Sunday by Houthi rebels approximately 50 miles west of Hodeida, Yemen.

Al Jazeera quoted a spokesman for the Houthis as saying that the ship was hijacked because of the “heinous acts against our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and the West Bank.”

The ship’s registered owner, Isle of Man-based Galaxy Maritime, is commercially managed by Ray Car Carriers, which is owned by an Israeli businessman.

Israel’s government has accused Iran of being behind the attack.

The vessel, which is leased by Japan’s NYK Lines, was traveling to India at the time it was seized.

According to news reports, at around 1 p.m. local time, several armed men rappelled down to the car carrier’s deck from a helicopter and raised Palestinian and Yemeni flags.

The attack was filmed by the hijackers and has been posted online.

NYK Lines said it immediately organized a crisis management center and is prioritizing the safety of the 25 crew members.

The office of the Israeli Prime Minister released a statement condemning the hijacking, blaming Iran, and adding that “onboard the vessel are 25 crewmembers of various nationalities including Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Filipino and Mexican. No Israelis are onboard.”

Iran has denied any involvement in the hijacking.

Last week, the International Maritime Security Construct, a global coalition working to maintain safety in regional waters, warned shipping companies of threats from “malign actors” and advised transiting past Yemen only at night, with AIS turned off.

“Should your vessel be threatened, don’t stop and be a hard target through your maneuver,” IMSC warned.

Reuters has reported that two other ships listed as being commercially managed by Ray Car Carriers, GLOVIS STAR and HERMES LEADER, diverted their sailing routes on Sunday to avoid the area where the hijacking occurred.

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The Chamber of Shipping of America presented awards for environmental excellence to numerous MM&P-contracted companies at a ceremony that took place on Nov. 15.

Among the companies honored were MLL, Matson, Pasha Hawaii, Patriot Contract Services, and Waterman/SEACOR.

To be eligible for the award, companies must operate one or more vessels that have gone at least two years without:

— reportable spills (a report of a “potential spill” is not disqualifying);

— U.S. Coast Guard citations for MARPOL violations;

— port state citations for MARPOL violations; or

— violations of state/local pollution regulations.

In total, 1,085 vessels were recognized at Wednesday’s event.

CSA represents more than 30 U.S.-based companies that own, operate, charter, or maintain a commercial interest in oceangoing tankers, containerships, tugs, and other merchant vessels engaged in the domestic and international trades.

All vessels, including containerships, tankers, Great Lakes carriers, offshore supply vessels, and tugboats, representing all segments of the industry, are eligible to participate in CSA’s award programs.

“The Environmental Achievement Awards are a great opportunity for owners and operators to recognize the accomplishments of their mariners and shore-side staff,” CSA said in a statement.

“While the public hears of instances when there are environmental problems, they should know that this industry has an excellent record of environmental accomplishment.”

“The awards were initiated to let our seagoing and shore-side personnel know that we appreciate all they do as good stewards of our marine environment.”

The awards are presented at an annual ceremony in Washington, D.C., which is attended by representatives of MARAD and other government agencies, members of Congress, and Coast Guard officials.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is highlighting the potential fire risks of lithium-ion batteries following its investigation into a fire that broke out on the bridge of the oil tanker S-TRUST in November 2022 when it was docked at the Genesis Port Allen Terminal in Baton Rouge.

The agency said the fire, which resulted in $3 million in damage to the vessel, was caused by one of the cells in a lithium-ion battery for an ultra-high-frequency handheld radio exploding.

The batteries and chargers for the handheld radios were located on the communications table on the bridge.

The crew of the oil tanker extinguished the fire.

No injuries were reported, but the ship’s navigation, communication, and alarm systems were damaged beyond use.

“Lithium-ion battery cell explosions are typically caused by a thermal runaway, a chemical reaction that can cause the cell to ignite and explode,” the agency said.

“A lithium-ion battery cell can spontaneously experience a thermal runaway if damaged, shorted, overheated, defective, or overcharged.”

To help prevent thermal runaway, the agency advised:

— following manufacturers’ instructions for the care and maintenance of lithium-ion batteries;

— properly disposing of damaged batteries;

— avoiding unsupervised charging; and

— keeping batteries and chargers away from heat sources and flammable materials.

“Companies should ensure that lithium-ion batteries and devices that use lithium-ion battery packs are certified by Underwriters Laboratory or another recognized organization,” the agency said.

It said that if a lithium-ion battery fire occurs, water, foam, CO2, or other dry chemical or powdered agents designed for use on Class A (combustible) fires can be used in an attempt to extinguish it.

“If the battery fire cannot be extinguished, personnel should attempt to allow the pack to burn in a controlled manner, including by watching for nearby cells that may also experience thermal runaway and extinguishing other combustibles that may catch on fire,” the agency said.
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Rainfall in Panama has been 30 percent below average this year, leading to a lack of water for the locks and sharp cuts in the number of vessels that can travel through the Panama Canal.

Before the water problems, as many as 38 ships a day moved through the canal, but the Panama Canal Authority cut the average to 32 vessels in July and to just 25 in October.

The authority says that by February 2024, it will have to reduce traffic further, to just 18 ships a day.

For shipping companies, the situation means longer wait times, higher costs, and slower deliveries, pushing some to by-pass the canal in favor of alternative routing.

Bloomberg News has reported that LNG shippers now say they prefer using the Cape of Good Hope to any other route.

The drought is being attributed for the most part to the El Niño phenomenon, but it could also be a result of climate changes, since two of the driest El Niño periods of the last 140 years occurred in the last quarter-century, and the current one could be the third.

The problems on the canal are also the result of lack of planning by successive Panama Canal administrations, which have been aware of the risk of water shortages since the early 1960s but have not taken action to address the situation.

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Great Lakes Towing Company has purchased the Fireboat ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE, which was formerly owned by the city of Cleveland.

GLT said the acquisition is intended to provide it with a platform to use in responding to a shipboard or a shoreside fire, particularly in ports where a high volume of winter ship repair work is performed.

The fireboat could also be used to respond to a fire aboard a vessel that is underway.

The 61-foot CELEBREZZE is a twin screw, 600 HP tug, equipped with two fire pumps and five monitors, providing a total of 6,000 gallons per minute of off-ship firefighting capacity.

Great Lakes Shipyard, a division of Great Lakes Towing, has provided drydocking, maintenance, and repair services to the vessel for decades, and is very familiar with its systems and operation.

In early 2022, GLT signed an exclusive agreement with Resolve Marine to provide OPA 90 salvage and marine firefighting services in U.S. Coast Guard District 9.

The arrangement ensures continuity of service for all Resolve Marine clients and other ship operators in the ports of Buffalo, Detroit, Lake Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie, and Duluth.

As part of the agreement with Resolve Marine, the company stores a 20-foot container loaded with firefighting and dewatering pump systems at its Great Lakes Shipyard facilities in Cleveland.

The container can be loaded aboard any tug for mobilization.

The CELEBREZZE, which was named after Cleveland’s 49th mayor, was built in 1961 by Paasch Marine in Erie, Pa.

It has been a valuable resource for the Cleveland Fire Department over the years, serving as a base for the dive team, facilitating firefighting operations along the river and on the lakefront, and supplying water to companies working on the shoreline.

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Getting ready for the holiday festivities? Union Plus can help.

With Union Plus, you can save every day on things like your monthly wireless bill, flowers, and gift shopping.

When you sign up for BeFrugal, you get access to great deals, plus you earn cash back every time you make a purchase.

Union members can also get discounts on restaurants, movie tickets, concerts, and events.

To take advantage of what Union Plus has on offer this holiday season, go to the Union Plus website.

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The Plan Office received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2023 no later than Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2023 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Jan. 3, 2024, for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact the Vacation Department at 410-850-8625 or Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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Did you know that MM&P offers members FREE and CONFIDENTIAL counseling through its Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

MM&P members and their families can access this service by calling toll free 877-234-5151.

If asked for your organization or employer, just say Masters, Mates & Pilots.

Calls can be made from anywhere worldwide.

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The Atlantic Maritime Group has a regularly scheduled membership meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 1100 hours to 1300 hours.

This will be a hybrid meeting: both online and in person, for members in good standing ONLY.

To obtain the code needed to participate electronically, please touch base by Monday, Dec. 4, at 1500 with AMG Representative Paulina Czernek (pczernek@bridgedeck.org).

The in-person meeting will be held at the NY/NJ MM&P Union Hall, 570 Broad Street, Ste. 701, Newark, NJ.

It will be taking place the day after the MM&P Holiday Party, which will be held on Dec. 5 at 1200 hours.

To RSVP for the NY/NJ holiday party, you must call 201-963-1900 by Nov. 20.
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MM&P is preparing to welcome the holiday season with parties in the union halls.

You must RSVP by emailing or calling the hall if you are planning to attend so there is an accurate headcount for food orders.

— SF/Oakland—11/28 @12:00 pm (Drake’s Dealership Restaurant & Beer Garden) RSVP by November 23rd

— Seattle—11/29 @ 11:00 am–12:00 pm for drinks and socializing; 12:00 pm–2:00 pm for lunch buffet (Union Hall) RSVP by November 23rd

— NY/NJ—12/5 @ 12:00 pm (Union Hall) RSVP by November 20th

— Boston—12/7 @ 12:00 pm (Union Hall) RSVP by November 30th

— LA/LB—12/12 @ Party starts right after the 11:00 am job call (Union Hall) RSVP by December 5th for Offshore to wkarnes@bridgedeck.org or phone 310-834-7201 and for PMR to aamalfitano@bridgedeck.org or phone 310-766-9731

— Charleston—12/12 @ 11:30 am (Kickin’ Chicken) RSVP by December 5th

— Norfolk—12/14 @ 12:00 pm (Dockside Seafood) RSVP by November 7th

— Miami/PEV—12/15 @ 12:00 pm (Umberto’s) RSVP by December 8th

— Houston—12/15 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Whiskey Cake at Baybrook) RSVP by December 8th

— Honolulu—12/19 @ 11:00 am (Union Hall) RSVP by December 12th
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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 Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24, for Thanksgiving.
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The MM&P United Inland Group has jobs available with Grand River Navigation, Weeks Marine, Cetacean Marine, and Key Lakes.

At Grand River Navigation on the Great Lakes, there are:

— licensed deck jobs for those with Great Lakes pilotage;

— jobs for open water mates with a Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR);

— licensed engineering jobs.

GRN now offers a signing/retention bonus of $3,000 to all mates and assistant engineers who complete the 2023 sailing season and return for the 2024 sailing season.

At Cetacean Marine, there are licensed and unlicensed engineering jobs.

At Weeks Marine, there are licensed and unlicensed engineering jobs aboard their growing fleet of dredges.

WMI is offering a $3,000 new hire sign-on bonus. It is payable in three payments of $1,000 each, the first $1,000 after the successful completion of the second hitch, the second $1,000 upon successful completion of the third hitch, and $1,000 upon successful completion of the fourth hitch.

Cross-shipping rights for Offshore applicants/members are available for licensed personnel, with sea time and points counting towards upgrading Offshore membership.

Key Lakes is looking for a mate with Great Lakes pilotage and an open-water mate.

The regular relief is for 30 days but could be modified if mutually agreed on.

These are long-term, permanent jobs.

For more information, go to the Jobs page on bridgedeck.org.

If you are interested, please contact UIG Vice President Tom Bell (tbell@bridgedeck.org or 216-776-1667) with any questions.
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CM needed for HAINA PATRIOT.

Positions available aboard Patriot LMSR’s at all levels including new vessels SEAY and PILILAAU.

Members and applicants who are interested in MSC training, please sign up with MITAGS and for those who do not qualify for training benefits yet, please email Jeremy Hope, VP Gulf and Gov’t Contracts at jhope@bridgedeck.org with the subject line MSC TRAINING.

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There are openings for engineers in the MM&P Offshore fleet and the Great Lakes & Gulf Region.

For engineering jobs in the Offshore Group, contact Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin, tlarkin@bridgedeck.org, or 201-963-1900.

For engineering jobs on the Lakes, contact MM&P Great Lakes & Gulf Region Vice President Tom Bell, tbell@bridgedeck.org, or (216) 776-1667.
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For registration contact our Admissions Department: 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted

Class dates followed by an * are full
AB – Able Seaman (5-Day): 01/22/24, 01/29/24

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC– Automated Radar Plotting Aids (4-Day): 11/13/23, 02/05/24, 03/04/24

AZIPOD (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRM – Bridge Resource Management (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

BT – Basic Safety Training (5-Day): 01/15/24, 02/12/24

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years): 11/13/23*, 01/29/24, 03/11/24

BT-Refresher (3-day): 01/29/24

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic (5-Day): 04/15/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability (5-Day): 12/18/23, 01/29/24, 04/29/24, 06/24/24

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology (5-Day): 12/11/23, 01/22/24, 04/22/24, 06/17/24

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 02/05/24

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations (5-Day): 12/04/23, 02/26/24

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific (5-Day): 11/27/23, 03/04/24

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (5-Day): 12/11/23, 03/11/24

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) (5-Day): 11/13/23, 03/18/24

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants (5-Day): 03/11/24
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (5-Day): 02/26/24

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1) (5-Day): 12/04/23*, 01/08/24*, 02/05/24, 04/08/24, 05/06/24, 06/03/24

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2) (5-Day): 12/11/23*, 01/15/24*, 02/12/24, 04/15/24, 05/13/24, 06/10/24

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation (5-Day): 02/19/24

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping (5-Day): 03/18/24

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) –12/02/23, 01/27/24

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CNAV-OIC– Celestial Navigation (15-Day): 05/06/24

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

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): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 02/05/24

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

ERM – Engine Resource Management (5-Day): 11/27/23

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day): 02/19/24, 03/24/24

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 11/15/23, 01/31/24, 03/13/24

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 02/01/24

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 02/02/24

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 01/15/24

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/23

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 03/04/24

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 02/05/24

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 06/03/24

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

LNG-BADV – Basic and Advanced IGF Code Operations (3 Day): 11/13/23*, 01/08/24*, 02/12/24, 03/11/24

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 04/04/24

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 12/04/23

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 12/04/23, 01/08/24

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/27/23, 01/22/24

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: (5-Day): 01/08/24

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 11/16/23, 12/09/23, 01/13/24, 03/14/24

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 02/29/24, 05/09/24, 06/07/24, 08/08/24, 09/12/24, 10/31/24

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 03/01/24, 05/10/24, 06/07/24, 08/09/24, 09/13/24, 11/01/24

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day – Evening Class): 03/01/24, 05/10/24, 06/07/24, 08/09/24, 09/13/24, 11/01/24

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 01/08/24, 03/04/24, 05/13/24, 06/10/24, 07/15/24, 08/12/24, 09/16/24, 11/04/24

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour): 03/02/24, 05/11/24, 06/08/24, 08/10/24, 09/14/24, 11/02/24

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day): 01/07/24, 03/03/24, 05/12/24, 06/09/24, 07/14/24, 08/11/24, 09/15/24, 11/03/24

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day): 01/12/24, 03/08/24, 05/17/24, 06/14/24, 07/19/24, 08/16/24, 09/20/24, 11/08/24

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day): 01/22/24*, 01/24/24*, 05/13/24, 05/15/24

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) (5-Day): 01/29/24, 02/05/24

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day): 01/25/24

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day): 01/10/24

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 11/18/23, 01/31/24

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 11/16/23, 01/29/24, 02/26/24

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 04/01/24

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 04/29/24

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day): 11/13/23, 02/26/24

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 04/05/24

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 02/05/24

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 11/13/23, 01/29/24, 03/04/24

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

TTT – ** NOT covered by the MATES Program **: Not Currently Scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Not Currently Scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 05/31/24

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 12/04/23, 03/18/24

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 04/22/24

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You can enroll online at www.mitags.org or contact our Admissions Department 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

November 2023
16th Leadership & Teamworking Skills

17th Flashing Light Assessment

27-30 Advanced Firefighting

27-15 Celestial Navigation

December 2023

7-8 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

9-10 Basic Training Revalidation

9-11 Basic Training Refresher

11th Radar Renewal

11th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

11-15 Basic Training
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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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©2023. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly.

For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor, send an email to communications@bridgedeck.org.