USPS News Blast May 2017

Get a FedEx Office account for your squadron

United States Power Squadrons and FedEx have established a partnership that allows squadrons to sign up for a FedEx Office account with access to the online USPS DocStore, where you can purchase Welcome to the Neighborhood banners, as well as discounts on other print and copy jobs in store and online. For complete details, download this detailed instruction sheet. If you have questions or problems signing up, please email me.   Email: Tammy Brown

Environmental Committee seeks wider coverage

The Environmental Committee urges district commanders to appoint a district Environmental Committee representative to help us expand coverage of environmental (clean, green boating) matters nationwide. Contact me for further information.  Email: Richard Daybell

Do you have an MMSI?

MMSI, an acronym for Maritime Mobile Service Identity, is like a home telephone number for your VHF/DSC and AIS radios. When you obtain an MMSI, information about you and your boat is entered into a database. When you transmit an emergency DSC call, your MMSI number allows the Coast Guard to read the information about you and your boat. If you do not plan to cross borders into Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas or beyond, then you’re entitled to get a free MMSI number from USPS.* Use the link below to get more information and register for an MMSI. *If you do plan to cross borders and use your VHF/DSC radio while in foreign waters, you are encouraged to get an FCC Station License and MMSI number. There is a cost associated with those.  Email: Richard K. Edel

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Squadron Development Committee news

The Squadron Development Committee has a new website. On the left side of its new home page, you’ll see Operations & Leadership Training, Squadron Development & Support and a link to the Membership Committee. Operations Training in 3, Leadership Training, BoatUS Distinguished Civic Service and Doing It Right awards can also be located on the new website. We hope that each squadron and district will participate in these awards. Please contact me or one of our three staff commanders if you have any questions.   Email: Myles Gee

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Celestial Tools V 5.6.0

An update to Celestial Tools is available at V 5.6.0 includes enhancements to the Noon Sight, Sight Averaging and Navigational Math tools.  Email: Stan Klein

Dallas welcomes first timers

If you have never before attended a national meeting, register now as a first timer for the 2017 Governing Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas. You will receive information in advance of the meeting to familiarize yourself with what to expect. When you arrive in Dallas, you will receive a discount coupon for the USPS Ship’s Store and an invitation to a special meet-and-greet with the national bridge. We look forward to your attendance at your first national meeting. Mark your calendars, and register soon!  Email: Lynda Leque

CPR and first-aid course at 2017 Governing Board Meeting

A CPR and first-aid class will be offered at the Governing Board in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 13, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Upon completion of the training, students receive an American Heart Association Course Completion Card in CPR and first-aid. This certification card meets CPR and first-aid certification requirements for BOC and a U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License. It has a two-year expiration date. An additional section, “Special Medical Concerns and Emergencies for Boaters,” is included in the course. For more information, contact me at 301-788-0622.  Email: Jeff McKinney

Check your cyber member list

Recently we had a class where we had a significant difference in member and non-member prices. Several students went to and signed up to get the member price. They didn’t realize they were cyber members and not squadron members. We only knew they were members when they asked for the member price. Don’t make the same mistake, check your cyber member list on a regular basis.  Email: Robert Howd

America’s Boating Course now available in Spanish

America’s Boating Course is now available in Spanish and English online at The Spanish classroom materials can be ordered from the USPS Online Catalog. The Spanish student manual is free courtesy of a USCG grant, but there’s a $5 fee per book to cover shipping, handling, ancillary course materials and required student database support. A bilingual instructor PowerPoint presentation is in progress, as is translation of the state-specific examinations.  Email: Jack Purse

USPS Digital Media Library 2.0 casting call

Ever thought about being in pictures? The DML is now producing 20 new 2017 boating safety videos. And we’d like to feature you, your boat and crew on-camera. Topics include Boat Accident Reporting, BUI, Life Jackets, MMSI, Nav Rules, PWC Operations and Visual Distress Signals. Why should you get involved? Enjoy fame and fun, make the waters safer, and help save lives. How can you participate? Choose the most convenient day and contact us with information about your boat and passengers and where you’d like to be filmed. We’ll help select the best script and confirm all logistics with you. Let us make you a star!  Email: Marty Lafferty

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Membership Involvement and Retention Award submissions due

The MIRA recognizes both squadron and district programs to increase member involvement and retention that have produced measurable results. Membership retention rates are always a key indicator of squadron success, and the MIRA program is designed to recognize squadrons for their achievements. Submission deadlines: May 15 to District Membership/Involvement chair; May 30 to me.  Email: Priscilla Clarke

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USPS Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting System

The new Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting System is up and running. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Here’s what you need to do after you have concluded your day on the water and wish to submit a Cooperative Charting Nautical Report: 1. Gather all of your data, 2. log on to USPS, and 3. click here and enter your reporting information. It’s that easy.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

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Communications Committee news

Both the Website and Publication Evaluation forms have been updated for 2017. They are posted on the left side of the Communications Committee web page under their respective designations. Please check them out. The committee is also looking for new advisers. If you’re interested in joining us, please contact Cheryl Jarrell or Barbara Pearson for more information.  Email: Kathleen Lambert

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Adding associate or honorary members to your roster

Thanks to the Information Technology department, squadron bridge officers, roster chairs or membership chairs can easily add an individual as an honorary member of their squadron or add a current USPS member as an associate member. To do so, log in to the Information Center, scroll down to the two new options under the membership information section and make the appropriate selection. This online option makes maintaining your squadron’s roster easy.  Email: Wayne Lambert

Educational Department launches new website

The Educational Department has launched its new website, adopting USPS’ standard template for member pages and updating its site index to help members find what they need more easily. National Educational Officer Craig Fraser said, “We hope it will help squadrons to plan and manage their educational offerings and make it easier for members to realize their boater education goals in the classroom, online and on the water. I invite you to take a moment to explore the site and to use the Contact Us function to share your comments, questions and suggestions.” To find the site, go to, log in as a member, and under Departments, select Educational Department.  Email: Jan Wright

Star calendar May 2017

Star calendar May 2017

1 May     High in the west at dusk, Procyon is 1 fist-width to the waxing crescent moon’s lower left. Pollux is 1 fist-width to the upper right. Dimmer magnitude 1.93 Castor is 2 finger-widths to the right of Pollux.

3 May     Magnitude 1.4 Regulus is only 2 finger-widths to the left of the first-quarter moon at dusk.

7 May     The waxing gibbous moon is 1 finger-width to the lower left of magnitude -1.4 Jupiter. Magnitude 0.98 Spica is 4 finger-widths below the moon.

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