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Volume 15 . . . . . Number 32. . . . August 9, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


WATERMAN WINS MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND CONTRACT

MM&P-contracted Waterman Steamship Company is the successful bidder in Military Sealift Command’s RFP for an ice-class dry cargo vessel. The initial contract term is one year, with four one-year option periods. “Hat’s off to work done behind the scenes by Capt. Peter Stalkus and at MM&P headquarters by Contracts Officer Lars Turner,” said MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus. “It’s great to see our members recapture these jobs that they performed so professionally in years past.”

Waterman plans to reflag to U.S. registry the ice-class dry cargo motor vessel FEDERAL PATROLLER, built in 2000 and currently operating under the Cyprus flag. The ship’s main missions will be to resupply operation Deep Freeze, bringing supplies to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and to support Operation Pacer Goose, which coordinates delivery of heavy vehicles and container cargo to Thule Air Force Base, Greenland.

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CHAMBER OF SHIPPING OF AMERICA SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS

The Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) is inviting nominations for its Eighth Annual Environmental Achievement Awards. “This is a great opportunity for owners and operators to recognize the accomplishments of their mariners and shore-side staff,” said CSA President Joe Cox. “We want the public to know that this industry has an excellent record of environmental accomplishment.” Last year, 1,091 vessels owned or operated by 64 companies received awards for a total of 7,829 years of excellent operation. The deadline for submitting vessel entries is Monday, Oct. 3.

The CSA Board encourages all vessel owners and operators to nominate their compliant vessels for this award, whether or not the companies themselves are CSA members. Vessels eligible as of Aug. 31, 2011 will be accepted. To be eligible, a vessel must have for at least a two-year period: no reportable spills (a report of a “potential spill” is not disqualifying); no U.S. Coast Guard citations for violations of MARPOL; no port state citations for violations of MARPOL; and, no violations of state/local pollution regulations.

Vessels are eligible for awards beyond the initial two-year period. The vast majority of the vessels receiving awards last year were for performance beyond the initial two-year qualifying period.

The award ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 17. Visit CSA’s website www.knowships.org to make reservations and to find out more.

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THOUSANDS OF VERIZON WORKERS STRIKE

More than 45,000 workers at Verizon Communications are now on strike. The workers are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), who are employed in sites along the East Coast, from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C.

When their contract expired Saturday at midnight, nearly 100 company demands for concessions remained on the table. Verizon is seeking to eliminate job security and require them to contribute between $1,300 and $3,000 annually to health-plan premiums. The company is also seeking to freeze pensions at the end of the year, eliminate the sickness and death benefit program, cut disability benefits from 52 weeks to 26 weeks and reduce sick time, according to a memo signed by William Huber, president of IBEW Local 827. If the loss of sick days and other benefits is factored in, the unions say, the concessions being demanded would equal about $20,000 for each worker. More important than any one item, it appears that Verizon has decided to take the stance that it wants virtually everything it has asked for and nothing less.

“Verizon forced us into this strike,” said CWA Local 1208 President Les Evans. “They’re making billions but are trying to roll back half a century of advances. This is about busting the union.” Evans said that Verizon workers “are fired up, they know what’s at stake here.” Picket lines are going up across the region.

It is the first strike in eleven years and was precipitated by the most aggressive bargaining position the company has taken in years, according to The New York Times.  Although Verizon’s landline business has been in decline with the ascendance of cell phones and cable, it still remains profitable. And people walking the picket lines point out that the company as a whole is doing well, reporting billions of dollars in annual profits. Dino Cantillo, a facilities technician and 17-year Verizon employee, told a journalist that Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg earned more than $18 million in total compensation in 2010: roughly $49,000 every day. “It takes us a year to make that,” Cantillo said.

To show your support for striking Verizon workers, join a picket line or give picketers water during the hot days. Another suggestion is that current Verizon customers purchase no new services while the strike continues.

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FAA IMPASSE OVER… FOR NOW

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week announced a compromise agreement to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and send thousands of FAA employees and construction workers back to their jobs. But the agreement to extend the FAA’s authorization does not resolve the deep partisan divide that forced the agency to furlough 4,000 employees and halted work at construction sites employing some 70,000 workers. “I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that,” Reid said. The measure passed last week will keep the agency funded and functioning until Sept. 16.

The FAA reauthorization bill expired in 2007 and has been temporarily extended 20 times since then. This time, however, the Republican-led House of Representatives included language in the funding extension that would have cut service to rural airports and reverse a National Mediation Board (NMB) ruling that makes it easier for airline employees to join a union.

“The House Republican leadership has held hostage the negotiations over this vital air safety, infrastructure and technology funding bill to get their way,” said Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. “Fortunately, the President and Democratic Senators are standing with airline travelers and workers, pushing for a clean extension of the FAA bill.”

During the shutdown, the FAA put about 4,000 employees on unpaid leave and was unable to collect taxes on airline tickets. Analysts estimate the government lost $200 million a week in airline tax revenue because of the shutdown. President Obama called the shutdown “another Washington-inflicted wound on America.”

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PROPOSED 2012 PILOTAGE RATES FOR THE GREAT LAKES

The Coast Guard has proposed adjustments to the rates for pilotage services on the Great Lakes for the 2012 navigation season. The proposed adjustments result in an average decrease of approximately 4 percent from the current rates.

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MM&P PARTICIPATES IN OPERATION TROJAN HORSE 2011

MM&P was proud to participate this year in Operation Trojan Horse, the annual maritime security exercise sponsored by the State University of New York Maritime College. The focus of the program is auditing the security preparedness of port facilities and commercial vessels. In the context of the operation, New York Naval Militia personnel work together with state and federal officials and law enforcement agencies to assess homeland security threats and test security plans. The exercise mimics major maritime incidents that could directly affect port security. 

Using as a foundation the training they had received in the MITAGS Port-Company-Ship Security Officer course, MM&P Vice President Steven Werse and MM&P Contract Officer J. Lars Turner served as security evaluators, carrying out facility and ship security vulnerability assessments in accordance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. A “playbook of scenarios” was used throughout the exercise, with the Coast Guard evaluating local conditions and notifying the maritime community of any changes to the MARSEC levels. Werse and Turner compiled “After Action Reports” and “lessons learned,” all of which were submitted to the Executive Director of Trojan Horse Major General Robert Wolf, USMC commander of the New York Naval Militia, and his senior staff at the debriefing.

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MM&P INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT TIM BROWN BECOMES ADVISOR TO ASSOCIATION FOR UNION DEMOCRACY BOARD

MM&P International President Tim Brown has been named an advisory board member of the Association for Union Democracy Board of Directors. Advisory Board members provide aid, assistance, information and expertise to the AUD Board in the conduct of official business. Though they are unable to vote on matters that come before the Board, advisors may participate fully in any discussion with permission of the Board.

“I am honored and pleased that the Association for Union Democracy has placed me on their Board of Advisors,” said Brown. “The AUD is a champion of organized labor, a forum to which candidates for union office can go to ensure they are getting fair shake in the distribution or counting of ballots in a union election. The brief that the AUD submitted to the Supreme Court in the case of ‘Lowen vs. Brown’ was certainly a factor in my winning a 9-0 victory in the case that upheld the election rights of candidates in union elections.”

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MM&P MEMBERS, PLEASE SEND US YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS

At the July 25-26 MM&P General Executive Board meeting, the Board approved the collection of e-mail addresses of all MM&P members, including applicants, members, permittees and pensioners. As we start this process, we need your help! Please send an e-mail to emailaddress@bridgedeck.org that contains the following information: your full name, your MM&P membership group, your e-mail address, the last four digits of your social security number. (Please note: The distribution list for the Wheelhouse Weekly is separate from the union’s database, so recipients of the Weekly who are MM&P members should still make sure that headquarters staffers have their current e-mail address on file).

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ENHANCEMENTS TO THE MM&P WEBSITE: VISIT US ONLINE TODAY!

The MM&P website, www.bridgedeck.org, has been upgraded in several important ways. First, to make it easier for applicants to all MM&P Membership Groups to assemble the documents needed to join the union, we have added a new section. Now, when you click on the “Join MM&P” button in the left-hand column of www.bridgedeck.org, you will access a completely new section of the site where you can find everything you need to apply for membership in the MM&P Associate Group, Federal Employees Membership Group, Pilots Group, Offshore Group or United Inland Group. You can read about each group, view group-specific contact information, and download membership applications and other forms.

Next, MM&P’s United Inland Group (UIG) now has its own site: just go to www.bridgedeck.org/membership_inland.htm to read about the United Inland Group, to view a directory of UIG offices and to find out about recent news developments and upcoming meetings. In coming months, your local UIG and Pacific Maritime Group representatives will be contributing more news, and posting information about job openings.

Look for other enhancements in the coming days and weeks: soon we will be posting a new “Flash” sequence of photos from the MM&P fleet, and a new “UIG” button will be added to the home page. And remember, you can always read the current and back issues of The Wheelhouse Weekly and The Master, Mate & Pilot on www.bridgedeck.org!

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WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS GET OUT THE VOTE IN RECALL ELECTIONS

Wisconsin voters go to the polls today for recall elections involving six of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) closest state Senate allies. The six legislators spearheaded Walker’s campaign to take away the collective bargaining rights of public employees and ram through a highly controversial budget that makes dramatic cuts to education and other public services. Over the weekend and through Election Day, thousands of volunteers in cities and towns across Wisconsin are making the final get-out-the-vote push by knocking on doors and making phone calls. The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO says voter suppression efforts by supporters of the Republican senators targeted by the recall include sending fake absentee ballots with the incorrect election date and giving poll volunteers incorrect information on how to challenge voters at polling places. The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is circulating a petition call on the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to investigate all election-related claims. The recall campaigns are a reflection of widespread opposition to Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Walker himself will not be subject to a recall election until he has been in office for at least a year.

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WISCONSIN GOVERNOR CHANGES COURSE, DECIDES TO KEEP DMV OFFICES OPEN

In the face of widespread protest, the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) last week announced it will keep all its licensing centers open. Republican Gov. Scott Walker had earlier announced plans to close 10 DMV offices at which residents were supposed to be able to obtain the photo IDs they will need to vote under a law that was pushed through by Republican legislators earlier this year.

Echoing the criticisms of other Wisconsin Democrats, State Rep. Andy Jorgensen said at the time that the decision about which centers to close appeared to be based solely on politics, with the DMV targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts. Critics charge Wisconsin’s ID law will disenfranchise tens of thousands of students, seniors, poor and minority voters who don’t have drivers’ licenses or state-issued photo IDs.

In an article published in the Aug. 4 edition of the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, DMV Operations Manager Patrick Fernan was quoted as saying that pressure from citizens led to the decision not to close any branches. “It became clear that there was a strong desire to maintain service in all current locations,” he said.

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SCHEDULE FOR 2011 OFFSHORE DIVISION ORIENTATION COURSE

The Offshore Division Orientation Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2011.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans.

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

 If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.

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INDIA REVIEWS SECURITY AFTER TANKER DRIFTS FOR DAYS IN ITS TERRITORIAL WATERS, THEN GROUNDS ON BEACH

India’s Ministry of Defense says it has launched an investigation into how a 77-meter-long tanker, MT PAVIT, drifted undetected onto the shore of Mumbai last week. Officials at the Coast Guard and the Navy are said to be preparing a detailed response. The Panamanian-flagged ship floated to Mumbai last week from Ras Al Madrakah in Oman after an engine failure. Two days before the grounding, India’s Coast Guard had organized a rescue operation to bring the PAVIT’s 13-man crew to safety. The government investigation will focus on how the drifting ship went undetected by the Navy, the Coast Guard and the country’s maritime police force during the 100 hours it spent in Indian waters before it grounded. The government has announced plans to shore up communications among agencies with responsibility for monitoring the coast and to install radar systems to track vessel movements.

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SEVERAL TONS OF COCAINE RECOVERED FROM SUNKEN SUB

A team of law enforcement officers working for the FBI, the Coast Guard and Customs succeeded last week in locating a sunken, “home-made submarine-like vessel” that had been used by smugglers trying to bring a huge shipment of cocaine into the United States in July. Five smugglers were arrested last month when the vessel was first identified by law enforcement officials in the waters off Honduras. But the men were able to sink the sub and its load of cocaine before they were actually caught. About 1,000 law enforcement officials were involved in the two-week-long effort to locate the sub within a 5-mile radius. Once it was found about 50 feet under the surface, FBI divers recouped the 232 bales of cocaine, weighing around 7.5 tons of cocaine, with a street value of about $180 million.

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MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: MITAGS:PMI :: Courses For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 8/22, 10/17
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ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27
AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/13
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BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 9/26, 11/14
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/28
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/15, 10/10

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/12, 11/14
CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 10/31
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 10/3
CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/10
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 11/17, 12/5
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/24
CMM-SHMGT I - Ship Management (week 1): 9/19, 12/5
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/12, 9/26, 10/24, 11/7, 11/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/15, 9/19, 10/3, 10/31, 11/14, 12/5
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/22, 10/31
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/29, 11/28
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CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/10
CHS BAS – Basic Cargo Handing and Stowage: 10/31
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ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 10/17
EP – Emergency Procedures: 10/19
ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 9/12
ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/29, 11/8
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FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/15, 10/10
FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 10/19
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HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/22, 11/28
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LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 10/3
LAP-ORG 3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 12/5
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/12, 10/17, 11/28
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MCL - Management, Communications and Leadership: 9/12
MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/11
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 10/24
MED-PIC -R– Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 9/12, 11/14
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/24
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/29
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MSC-CBRD1 – Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 8/12, 10/7
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 10/3
MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/3, 11/14
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ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/18, 9/14, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 12/7, 12/14
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/7
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SAR – Search & Rescue: 10/17
SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/7
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/29, 10/10, 12/12
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/10
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/17
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C-NAV – Celestial Navigation: 11/7
TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/15
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WX BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/19, 10/3

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”
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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

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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

August 2011

8-12    ECDIS
15-19   Tankerman PIC
15-19   Basic Meteorology
22nd   Radar Renewal
22-26  Medical Care Provider
27th    Medical DOT
22-2    Medical Person-In-Charge
23-26  ARPA

September 2011

6-16    Celestial Navigation
12-23  GMDSS
19-23  Medical Care Provider
26-30 Med PIC Refresher
26-30 ECDIS
26-30 Basic Shiphandling

October 2011

3-7      Basic Construction and Stability
3-14    GMDSS
10-14  ECDIS
11th      Flashing Light
12-13   Basic Environmental Awareness w/ Vessel General Permit
17th      Radar Renewal
17-21   Management, Communication, and Leadership
17-21   Basic Shiphandling
18-20  Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
24-28 Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage

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MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-8-11

D O W
N A S D A Q
S & P 500
10,952.70
2,407.79
1,140.15


Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
48.76
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
103.28
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.01
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.75
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.92
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.80
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.06
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
28.54
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.61
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.67
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.85
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.89
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.24
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.82
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.90
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.74
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.85
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.18
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.96
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
27.88
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.67
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.61
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.08
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.89
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
60.40
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
57.46
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
15.50
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
40.88
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.26
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
24.00
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.21
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.92
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.05
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.03
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.24
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.38
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.04
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
31.97
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
39.68
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.20

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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.

© 2011, 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.

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