USPS News Blast January 2017

Call for volunteers

Several USPS national committees are looking for volunteers with these technical skills: graphic design, desktop publishing, technical editing, proofreading, marketing and social media. We need volunteers who have expertise in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop), Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher) and CorelDRAW. Boating expertise is not required. This is a great opportunity to learn while sharing your technical skills to help USPS develop products and services that benefit squadrons and the boating public. Committee chairs will work with you to ensure assignments are clear and respect your time availability. Contact Nominations Committee chairman Bill Selden V at or 804-240-1401. Email: V. Jan Wright

We’re stuck on you

If you’ve lost or misplaced your United States Power Squadrons membership decal, call 888-367-8777, ext. 0, and we’ll mail you a new decal free of charge. Email: United States Power Squadrons Customer Service

2017 Annual Meeting welcomes First Timers

It’s not too late to register to attend your first USPS annual meeting! If you have not attended a national meeting in the past, please register now and indicate that you are a “first timer.” You will receive a special packet of information via email to help you navigate your way through a national meeting, an exclusive invitation to a meet and greet with the board of directors, and a discount on one item in the Ship’s Store. Come discover what United States Power Squadrons is all about! See you in Orlando! Email: Lynda Leque

Revised Weather and Forecasting seminar now available

Newly revised, the 2016 edition of the Basic Weather and Forecasting seminar has a well-deserved reputation for dealing with the complex (and critically important) subject of weather. Fun to take and teach, the 2016 edition comes with enhanced graphics and, for the first time, video and audio clips. The new edition continues a broad approach that covers basic weather dynamics and observation but with more emphasis on modern sources of professional marine forecasts. Instructors can order Basic Weather Kits for their students. An Onboard Weather Forecasting Quick Guide is also available. Email: Robert F. Anderson

Order your shirts from Caskey Monograms & Embroidery

Caskey Monograms & Embroidery offers custom embroidery for all your squadron, district and event needs at discounted prices. Caskey Monograms is offering all USPS members 15 percent off your shirt purchase, artwork digitizing, and any other items purchased through them. They have been working with South Florida squadrons for many years. Already purchased shirts? They will add custom embroidery to any shirt you provide! Add your boat, your name or the shirt donor’s name, for example. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all

Steve and I would like to wish all United States Power Squadron members and families a joyous holiday season. We look forward to a wonderfully successful new year! Email: Mary Paige and Steve Abbott

New policy on educational seminars

To eliminate the confusion concerning the administration of educational seminars, the Educational Department leadership is issuing a new policy effective Jan. 1, 2017. In summary, an authorized copy of United States Power Squadrons seminar materials should be distributed to all students, with the exception of members of the same household wishing to share materials. The course information and CD are proprietary materials, and squadrons aren’t authorized to present seminars without these materials. In addition, every student should be registered in the HQ-800 system, so the record is available in future years. Email: Steve Abbott

Celestial Tools V 5.4.0 and V 5.3.1

Look for an update to Celestial Tools in January, at V 5.4.0 includes several feature enhancements and a couple of fixes for obscure bugs. In the meantime, V 5.3.1, already available, includes fixes for a couple of more significant bugs that still existed in V 5.3.0. Email: Stan Klein

LD-103 registration deadline set for Orlando

Jan. 9, 2017 is the registration deadline to attend LD-103 Leadership Development seminar at the national meeting in Orlando. Scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, LD-103 is the final seminar in the Leadership Development seminar series. Preregistration is required, and completion of LD-101 and LD-102 is a prerequisite to attend the seminar. Cost for the seminar is $49. Click here for seminar information. Don’t forget to register for the annual meeting. Email: Harold W. O’Briant, Jr

United States Power Squadrons closed Jan. 2

United States Power Squadrons will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in observance of New Year’s Day. We wish everyone a healthy, prosperous 2017. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

Your state’s clean and green boating program

This winter the Environmental Committee continues to work on programs that different jurisdictions are running to promote clean, green boating for recreational boaters. We currently have information on the California Dock Walker program and the State of Florida clean boating program. We are exploring the introduction of a dock walker-type effort in Florida that might lead us to expand our efforts nationwide. Tell us what your state is doing to promote clean and green boating practices for recreational boaters. What programs does your state use to keep the local waters clean and green and to make the water a better place? Email me with information on your state’s environmental programs. Email: Richard Daybell

Get organized in 2017 with zip padfolios—10% off at the Ship’s Store

Whether you are attending the annual meeting in Orlando, a local educational class or getting your income taxes done, being organized makes it a breeze! Choose from two colors, cardinal red or black, and take 10 percent off. Shop at, and click on the “Sale” prompt. Happy New Year from the Ship’s Store! Email: Jacky VanDoren

Humans are fragile

Humans are fragile and at risk of being involved in a water safety incident or accident every day. Thankfully, we have learned how to take care of others and ourselves through learning first aid, CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because either they do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. These statistics should tell you something: Since 88 percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home, it’s likely that the life you save with CPR is the life of a loved one. We will be holding a CPR/First Aid for Boaters course at the annual meeting in Orlando on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Information and a registration form can be found by logging on as a member at and going to the CPR & First Aid section of the Safety Committee website, by contacting Alan Karpas at 301-767-5905, or emailing Email: Jeff McKinney

Get gear for upcoming changes of watch and conferences

For plaques, special awards and name tags following brand standards, contact CP Dean through the United States Power Squadrons Ship’s Store website. Just click on the navy CP Dean box. Email: Jacky Van Doren

2017 VSC decal distribution

United States Power Squadrons is currently awaiting delivery of 2017 vessel safety check decals from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. As has been the policy the last three years, when we receive the 2017 decals, they will be distributed to squadron commanders who should pass them on to local VSC chairs. Districts are not included in the distribution and will not receive decals. The decals a squadron receives are equal to the number of decals awarded and reported to USPS by Oct. 30, 2016 plus 10 percent. If a squadron awarded and reported 100 decals in 2016, that squadron will receive 110 decals for the 2017 season. Email: Mike Wiedel

January 2017 star calendar

Star calendar January 2017

1 Jan     Magnitude -4.3 Venus is 2 finger-widths to the waxing crescent moon’s upper left at dusk.

2 Jan     Tonight the moon lies between magnitude -4.3 Venus, less than 4 finger-widths to the lower right, and magnitude 0.9 Mars, less than 2 finger-widths to the upper left.

3 Jan     The moon slides past Mars this evening and forms a straight line with Venus low in the southwest at dusk. Mars is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right, and Venus lies 1 fist-width beyond Mars.

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