USPS News Blast August 2017

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Get CPR and first-aid certified at the 2017 Governing Board

Want to get certified (or renew your current card) in the crucial skills of CPR and first aid? We are offering a one-day class on Wednesday, Sept. 13, in Dallas, Texas. The cost is $60 (book is included). Lunch will be available to purchase onsite. Minimum class size is 10 students. Registration deadline is Aug. 21. Email me for more information and to sign up. Email: Jeff McKinney

Dallas welcomes first-timers

If you’ve been planning to attend your first national meeting, register now to attend the 2017 Governing Board Meeting in Dallas! You will receive helpful information, an invitation to a meet-and-greet with the national bridge, and a discount coupon for one item from the Ship’s Store. We look forward to giving you a big ol’ Texas welcome.  Email: Lynda Leque

There’s a room in Dallas waiting for you to claim it

Rooms are available at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre for the 2017 Governing Board Meeting, Sept. 10–17. Visit the USPS National Meetings website and reserve your room now. While on the website, check out the exciting events and tours. Don’t miss out on the fun!  Email: Vincene Aquilato
Read more:  National Meetings

Dock and marina trash collection

The Environmental Committee urges all boaters and passengers to stow trash and garbage on the boat and take it to a trash disposal container on shore. In addition, the committee encourages boaters to pick up trash on the water and on land. After collecting all this stuff, we need convenient places on shore where we can dump the trash. We need to work with marinas, boatyards and other locations to provide visible, easy-to-use trash containers for boaters. Squadrons may need to work with proprietors to install signs directing boaters to trash containers to make protecting our waters as easy and convenient as we can.  Email: Richard Daybell

Squadron Development/Leadership Committee

It’s time you start looking at the seminars you’ll want to attend in Dallas. The Squadron Development/Leadership Committee will present four seminars: “Operations Training in 3 Hours” by Harvey Young, “How to Run a Meeting” by Brad Peters, “Navigate the National Website & Where to Find Forms for Your Department” by the committee and “Job Descriptions-Commanders Kits-Calendars” by the committee. See you in Dallas!  Email: Myles Gee
Read more:  Sign up for seminars

Wing’s book is being replaced

Charlie Wing’s “One Minute Guide to the Rules of the Road” is being replaced with the downloaded U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules immediately. This change affects the Seamanship Course and the Mastering the Rules of the Road Seminar. Those who already have Wing’s book may continue to use it.  Email: Chris Windeler
Read more:  USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook

Safety Committee has VSC posters

Please visit the Safety Committee web page for Vessel Safety Check posters, fliers and boat ramp signs. Click on the link to the Decal Awareness Program. If download assistance is needed to personalize your information, email me for assistance.  Email: Bob Bales
Read more:   Decal Awareness Program

Operations and Leadership Training

Wonder what happened to all the interesting and useful information that was on the Leadership Development Committee website? The commanders and district commanders kits, squadron and district calendars, and all presentations can be reached by either clicking on Squadron Development/Leadership Committee under Departments and then clicking on Operations and Leadership Training or by clicking on Operations and Leadership Training under Committees. If you need additional information, email Edwin Kridler or me.   Email: Mary Dodd
Read more:  Operations and Leadership Training

Celestial Tools V 5.6.1

Although Celestial Tools V 5.6.1 was announced in last month’s USPS News Blast, it was not available on the website until recently. This release contains feature enhancements, changes, and bug fixes. It is available on the ONCom Software and Tools web page.  Email: Stan Klein
Read more:  ONCom Software and Tools

Operations Training at 2017 Governing Board

The three-hour Operations Training Seminar, “OT in 3,” has been updated to include changes made at the Annual Meeting. You can take the revised seminar during the 2017 Governing Board Meeting on Sept. 15 from 8:30–11:45 a.m. The seminar will help new members learn how our organization operates and keep other members in touch with organizational changes. It covers officers’ duties and responsibilities at all levels, discussions on committee work, and interrelations among the levels. We discuss protocol, educational opportunities, project scheduling, delegating, committee management, and problem solving. We designed the seminar for members’ personal advancement and as encouragement to get members more involved. We emphasize the opportunities and benefits of membership. Since our organization is constantly changing, we recommend participating in the program every four to five years.  Email: Edwin G. Kridler

The Finance Committee needs your help

The Finance Committee is looking for members. We are looking to add a staff commander to lead a fundraising initiative. If you have a background in fundraising, please submit your resume to the Committee on Nominations or contact me directly. We are also looking for additional committee members. If you have a finance or business background, please consider joining our committee.  Email: Ben Coons
Read more:  Submit a resume

The Summer of Membership is in full swing

July 4th parades and activities are behind us, but summer is far from over. Summer got off to a quick start for the Golden Corner Lakes Sail & Power Squadron, which held its 12th annual boat rides for clients and families of the Tribble Center in June. This annual event promotes squadron retention and definitely provides a great service to the community. They’re in the running to win a new squadron banner; how about you? Learn more about their event in Dallas. Now it’s time for you to share your stories that promote membership.  Email: Jim Pahl-Washa
Read more:  Summer of Membership

Start using new educational course completion certificates

It’s time to start using the new educational course completion certificates. We will not be sending out educational course completion stickers for the old membership certificates, as there are new membership certificates and new printable educational course completion certificates. The new certificates can be accessed by the SEOs, squadron commanders as well as students. Visit, go to the “Information Center,” select the member under the “Member Information” page, then select “Show Training History.” Once there, you can either print a certificate that lists all the courses completed to date or each specific course certificate.  Email: Craig D. Fraser
Read more:  Information Center

August 2017

Star calendar August 2017

1 Aug    Magnitude 0.96 Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is less than 1 fist-width below the moon low in the south at dusk. Magnitude 0.3 Saturn is 1½ fist-widths to the lower left.

2 Aug    Saturn is less than 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. The moon is at apogee, 63.51 Earth-radii away.

6 Aug    Rising a half hour before sunset, the moon forms a straight line with Altair, nearly 3 fist-widths above the moon, and Vega, another 3 fist-widths beyond Altair. These stars make up two-thirds of the Summer Triangle. The last star, Deneb, is about 2 fist-widths to Altair’s lower left.

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USPS News Blast July 2017

ITCom needs your help

ITCom is in need of people with php, website, Joomla and search engine optimization skills to help with site development. As requests continue to increase, the IT Committee is in need of additional people to help out.  Email: Carl Filios

Wash down and clean your boat at the launch ramp

Boaters need to clean their boats when and where they come out of the water. Remove all pieces of plants such as hydrilla and other aquatic weeds. To slow the spread of zebra and quagga mussels, your wash down should include the parts of engines and motors where these critters move in and hide. They multiply rapidly and will totally plug intake water pipes.  Email: Richard Daybell

New and shorter MMSI link available

You can now find our MMSI page at This shorter URL makes the site easier to find and use.  Email: Rick Edel

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Celestial Tools V5.6.1

An update to Celestial Tools is available on the Offshore Navigation Committee’s Software and Tools web page. V 5.6.1 includes bug fixes and feature enhancements.  Email: Stan Klein

Read more:  Offshore Navigation Committee’s Software and Tools web page

Sight Calc for JN and N

Good news! For Junior Navigation and Navigation students, Sight Calc is a must-have app for solving the law of cosines. Sight Calc version 1.2 works with iOS 10 and is available now in the Apple store! Just search for “sight calc.” Minor changes include replacing the AC key with CE for “clear entry,” C means “clear everything,” and Zn (azimuth) is now displayed in addition to Z (azimuth angle). Please rate it in the Apple store. Click on the sextant in the store and choose “write a review.”  Email: Sandy Trevor

How to find a cyber member number

When first sent, a cyber member notification does not contain the member number because it has not yet been assigned. Within a day or two, the member number can be found using “Cyber Search” in the site index.  Email: Robert Howd

BoatU.S. Civic Service Award

Don’t delay submitting your squadron or district for the BoatU.S. Civic Service Award. Sponsored by BoatU.S. Foundation, the award recognizes squadrons and districts for outstanding contributions to the communities they serve. In addition to boating classes and vessel safety checks, the award has been expanded to include public seminars and workshops, scholarships, courtesy marine patrols, media interviews, children’s safety programs and more. Submissions must be received by the designated person by Oct. 15, 2017.  Email: Myles Gee

Read more:  BoatU.S. Distinguished Civic Service Award

On Call International medical and travel assistance

On Call International offers medical and travel assistance memberships to protect individuals and families traveling anywhere around the globe. As a leading medical and travel assistance provider for vacationers, business travelers, expatriates, students and others traveling away from home, On Call International delivers life-determining aid during medical emergencies worldwide, including evacuation to hospital of choice, any time members travel more than 50 miles from home. Services include expert medical monitoring, worldwide medical referrals, emergency medical transportation services, legal assistance and consultation, and pretravel destination information. USPS Members receive 10 percent off! Use promo code USPS10 at checkout.  Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Safety Committee

Please visit the Safety Committee website for important marine safety information. Marine Safety Alert 04-17 shows seven-second time laps of a boat approaching kayakers at 20 knots.  Email: Bob Bales

Read more:  Marine Safety Alert 04-17

Operations Manual now up to date

The Operations Manual has been totally updated and includes changes made after the February meeting. Chapter 3 has been almost totally rewritten due to those changes. Check it out by logging in as a member and visiting  Email: Micky McNelis

The Lone Star State wants you

If you’re attending the Dallas Governing Board Sept. 10–17, 2017, make your hotel reservations soon! Take advantage of discounted “early bird” event rates before prices increase on July 25. Come for the meetings and stay for the friendship, fun, sightseeing, entertainment and great restaurants.  Email: Vincene Aquilato

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Take advantage of online student new member leads

Did you know that your squadron gets a new membership lead every time someone nearby takes an online seminar? After students register for online seminars, your squadron’s public contact person gets an email with the name and information for online students living within 40 miles of the squadron. Make sure someone contacts the student, thanks them for taking the online seminar, and listens to how they boat and what they are interested in. Then you can encourage the student to take part in your squadron’s social, on-the-water and educational activities. Be sure to make it clear that you are contacting them because of the online seminar and that they are close enough to take advantage of other squadron offerings. Take advantage of these leads!  Email: Eileen Rickard

Read more:  Recruiting students who take online seminars

USPS headquarters closed in observance of Independence Day

USPS headquarters will be closed on Mon., July 3, and Tues., July 4, in observance of Independence Day. Stay safe on the water!  Email: Mary Catherine Berube

New Membership Committee website now open for business

The Membership Committee website has been completely redesigned following the new USPS design model. Membership Services, Squadron Activities, Youth Activities, Member Benefits, New Member Kits and Handouts, Membership Award Programs, First Timer links, and so much more can all be found easily from the new home page. Please update your online bookmarks and take a tour. We welcome your feedback, and we’ll be devoting the membership workshops at the upcoming Dallas Governing Board Meeting to help familiarize attendees with all links, attachments and tools.  Email: Jim Pahl-Washa

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Win a banner during the ‘Summer of Membership’

Welcome to Membership and all the summer squadron activities that members enjoy. For many of us, the summer boating season is our favorite time of year and provides one of our best opportunities to recruit new members and keep members active. Share your 2017 “Summer of Membership” recruitment and retention stories with the national Membership Committee for a chance to win a new FedEx membership banner. Send your best of the summer recruitment and retention stories to Winning stories and photos will be featured on the new Membership Committee website listed in the PDF below. Winners will be selected by attendees of the Membership Committee workshops at the Dallas Governing Board in September.  Email: Jim Pahl-Washa

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Jump Start — Hands-on training for new boat owners

Do you know someone with a new boat that needs some some help learning how to handle it? The Boat Operator Certification/On Water Training Committee has released Jump Start, a new program that shows you how to conduct a one-on-one training session customized to meet each boater’s needs. No certification or license is required. We’ll show you how to plan and conduct the training as well as qualify for insurance coverage. The program is free and can be a great member benefit and membership recruiting tool. You can download the program or informational presentation here. Find out more about this and our other hands-on training and certification programs on the new Educational Department web page.  Email: Scott McDonald

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Visit the Government Video Expo & National Drone Show

The United States Power Squadrons Digital Media Library cordially invites squadron members to attend the Government Video Expo & National Drone Show as our guests free of charge this November in Washington, D.C. The USPS DML will be exhibiting, providing demos, and offering drone tutorials during this three-day event featuring a broad range of production, streaming, display, and delivery technologies across multiple platforms for federal, state, and local government; law enforcement; educational institutions; nonprofits; and publicly funded institutions. GVE & NDS will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Nov. 28–30, 2017, and includes the DC Postproduction Conference, FGDLA Symposium, Advanced UAV Workshop, DC Drone Film Festival, and Intensive Production Workshop.  Email: Marty Lafferty

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USPS Cooperative Charting Programs

Summer and great boating weather have arrived. As of mid-June we have had 390 members report on 720 items (both geodetic and nautical). Why not join us and participate in a cooperative charting event in your area. Whether you choose to be on the water or on land, you will be helping to validate documented nautical charts and/or geodetic marks. If you need help getting started, just contact your district cooperative charting chair.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

Treasurers — 990 Information

The 990 information has been mailed to treasurers. The due date for submitting TR1s is Aug. 1, 2017.  Email: Lena Padro

Marcia Rowland

Past Commander Marcia Rowland, JN, was a life member and Commander of Santa Barbara Sail & Power Squadron from 2013 to 2015. She passed away at home, surrounded by family on June 13, 2017. She is survived by her husband, Dick, and two daughters.

Marcia will be remembered for her leadership and command, and SBSPS benefited greatly from her contributions. In addition to holding leadership positions, Marcia was a popular course instructor, including Basic Boating, Seamanship and Cruise Planning. Besides her work on behalf of the squadron, Marcia was a well-respected loan officer in a local bank and, in later years, a volunteer at Sansum Clinic’s Information Desk.

Marcia had a passion for the water. She was a competitive swimmer and three-time winner of the Women’s National Spearfishing Championship. She loved sailing with Dick on Westwind, their 34-foot Islander.
She will be missed but not forgotten.

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Total solar eclipse to throw shade on U.S.

By Arnold Medalen

Nature’s most dramatic phenomenon—a total solar eclipse—occurs on Aug. 21, 2017. The last total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States occurred on Feb. 26, 1979, nearly four decades ago. The last solar eclipse with totality visible across the continental U.S. occurred 99 years ago.

Totality covers a 70-mile-wide path, making landfall on the northern Oregon coast at about 10:15 a.m. PDT and moving offshore in South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT. The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 40.2 seconds in southern Illinois, near Carbondale.

The beginning of the eclipse, called “first contact,” starts more than an hour before totality when the moon’s edge first appears to touch the sun’s edge. “Second contact” occurs when the moon just covers the sun, which lasts until the sun begins to uncover at “third contact.” At “fourth contact,” the last portion of the sun is uncovered, and the eclipse is over.

To see if your location will be in the path of totality, important safety information and much more, visit

Don’t despair if you’re not in the path of totality. The continental U.S. will see at least a 55 percent eclipse, which is an experience you’ll always remember.

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Star calendar July 2017

Star calendar July 2017

1 Jul    Jupiter is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right at sunset. Spica is 3 finger-widths to the lower left. Arcturus is 2½ fist-widths above the moon.

3 Jul    Earth is at aphelion, 1.01668 AU from the sun.

5 Jul    At dusk, Antares is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Saturn is a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower left.

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Claude “Skip” Wharton

Claude “Skip” Wharton, AP, was born Oct. 8, 1947, in Mount Clemons, Michigan, son of the late Claude Arthur Wharton Jr. and Lucille Keats Wharton. He was a retired director of business operations for the Applied Research and Development Institute of the South Carolina Research Authority. Skip was a Citadel graduate, Class of 1969, and was a captain in the U.S. Army. He served in Vietnam where he was the recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry in action. His various organizations included membership in The Citadel Alumni Association, life member of American Legion post 0172, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia Life Member, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment Association Life Member, and a member of the VFW Member-at-large of South Carolina.

Skip is survived by his wife, Patricia Wharton; son, Jeremy Wharton, of St. Petersburg, Florida; daughter, Mollie Dadin (husband Brian); beloved granddaughters, Aila and Eliza Dadin, of Charleston, South Carolina; and sister, Tootie Owens (husband James) and her family of Richmond, Virginia.

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Moving forward with Cooperative Charting

Over 15 million recreational boat users in the U.S. use NOAA digital chart products when navigating. These boaters, like their commercial counterparts, expect more precise, higher resolution charts with more timely and easily accessible chart updates. United States Power Squadrons is the NOAA Office of Coast Survey’s original trusted partner for valuable observations and data to improve charts, especially for recreational boating. NOAA remains committed to the Cooperative Charting Program.

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Lake Michigan

Hybrid power refit

Taking a solar-electric hybrid approach to marine propulsion

By Phil Shelley

As an engineer interested in renewable energy, I’ve long considered the viability of electric propulsion for marine vessels.

In recent years, large vessels such as cruise ships, ferries and tugboats have increasingly adopted hybrid electric drives. Now that solar panels have become more efficient and dramatically cheaper, I decided to try converting a medium-sized hull to a solar-electric hybrid. Read More

Honoring the 2016 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching winners

By Yvonne Hill

You don’t become a Charles F. Chapman Award winner by remaining safely in port; you must chart new educational ground and expand the limits of your teaching skills. The 2016 winners, sailors all, exemplify this Chapman spirit. They share a wealth of boating knowledge and experience, a love of teaching, a dedication to their students, and a desire to make the water a better place through education.

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