USPS News Blast September 2016

New Nominations Committee Manual Released

No USPS committee is arguably as important as a nominating committee at the squadron, district and national levels. A new Nominating Committee Manual for Districts and Squadrons has been approved and released by the Leadership Development Committee. It’s available for downloading from the Leadership Development web page and gives revised insight into the workings and composition of a nominating committee. It’s required reading for any nominating committee member. Email: Harold W. O’Briant Jr.

USPS MMSI Registrations Setting Records

USPS continued to experience a record-setting month in July 2016 with 723 new MMSI numbers assigned. MMSI, or Maritime Mobile Service Identity, numbers are used for identifying vessels (your own and others) using VHF/DSC and AIS radio systems. July was our busiest month ever and continues an upward trend from 403 in July 2015 and 133 in July 2014. Please help us continue to get the word out that new users—not traveling internationally—can get free MMSI numbers from USPS at Email: Rick Edel

New Weather Webinar: GRIDs, GRIBs and Electronic Navigation

Save the date! A brand new webinar—GRIDS and GRIBS: Computer Weather Forecasting and Navigation—captures the fascinating world of modern weather forecasting. After providing some historical context, the webinar gets right to the foundation of the modern forecasting process: the giant computer models that are the basis for all professionally produced weather predictions. Most importantly for boaters, the webinar describes the types of forecasts (GRIDS and GRIBS) that these models have made possible, their strengths and weaknesses, how to get them at no cost anywhere in the world, and how to use them in electronic chart plotting. The webinar will be given at 2000 Eastern Time on Tuesday, 15 Nov. Stay tuned for registration information. Email: Robert F. Anderson

First Timers Welcomed to Pittsburgh

First Timers from more than eight states and 11 districts attended the 2016 USPS Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. First Timers attended a special “Meet and Greet” reception with the national bridge on Friday. These guests received a one-time discount on one item at the USPS Ship’s Store and an opportunity to win a door prize during the First Timer’s reception! The Membership Committee encourages USPS members to invite fellow members and friends who have not attended a national meeting to come and experience what USPS is all about! Be sure they register as First Timers for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Email: Lynda Leque

Safety Committee Web Pages

Having trouble finding accurate Safety Committee information? Please be sure you are accessing the newest Safety Committee web pages by removing your old bookmarks and clearing your browser cache. Log in as a member on the new USPS website. Follow the drop-down menus at the top of the page. From the “Departments” drop-down menu, choose “Executive” and then “Safety” for all the latest Safety Committee information. The old web page is inactive and will not be maintained. Email: Mike Wiedel

State Legislative Representatives Needed

The Government and Partner Relations Committee is seeking members to represent their respective districts as State Legislative Reps (SLR). We have about 25 states where USPS has a district presence but no SLR has been appointed to monitor the state legislature. Please contact Mary Ann Jensen or me for additional information Email: Pete TenBrink

Go to the Public Relations Web Page

For all your community outreach needs, go to the Public Relations website, where you’ll find the PROLOG Idea Book, the Seminar Promotion Guide, a large archive of boating articles and so much more. Check it out! Email: Greg Scotten

Let Us Help You Revitalize Your Squadron

Please check out the new Squadron Development/Revitalization website. Beta testing has been completed, and now it’s time for you to contact our team to help revitalize your squadron. We will work hard to bring your vision back in focus. Email: Myles Gee

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Wrap Up Savings in the Ship’s Store

September's featured sale item, our new beautiful, oversized beach towels, come in two colors,   feature a full-color embroidered logo and are now 10% off. They also make great gifts! Visit the Ship’s Store today, and click on the "Sale" prompt. Email: Jacky Van Doren

Coastal Cleanup Day Announced

A nationwide Coastal Cleanup day is scheduled for Saturday, 17 Sept. Please join a group doing the cleanup and spend the day removing debris and litter from our country’s shorelines and riverbanks. Then follow through by removing debris from the water anytime you are out boating. Email: Dick Daybell

Celestial Tools V 5.1.5

An update to Celestial Tools will be available at shortly after the Pittsburgh Governing Board Meeting. V 5.1.5 includes minor bug fixes and feature enhancements. Email: Stan Klein

Compete in The Ensign’s Spring 2017 Photo Contest

Show us what you love most about boating by sending us your favorite photos from your time on the water, and you could win a prize! The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers who are USPS members or subscribers of The Ensign magazine. Deadline for submission is 31 Dec. 2016. Winning photos will be featured in the Spring 2017 issue of The Ensign. Use the form at the link below to submit your photos. Email: Amy Townsend

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New Benefits for USPS Instructors, Students and Members: Fugawi

Our new partner Fugawi offers a select range of other manufacturers’ products on its website that make boating more fun and enhance boaters’ knowledge and awareness. Fugawi navigational software was developed by an avid mariner 20 years ago and has a large and loyal following around the world. USPS instructors receive 67% off Fugawi Marine 5 Navigational Software, and members and students receive 50% off. All members receive 10% off other products on the Fugawi store website. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Geodetic Cooperative Charting Guidelines Revised

The Cooperative Charting Committee is changing its geodetic review process to make it easier for members with smartphones to record the latitude/longitude and date of inspection on the front of geodetic photos. This requires smartphone users to download an application that can display the required information. A number of free or low-cost apps do this. Check out some of the possible apps on the Cooperative Charting website along with the new guidelines. Let your smartphone be your camera and your GPS. Let’s have some fun Cooperative Charting! Email: Diane Julum

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Heading Into Fall With Heavy Hearts

As many of you know, Louisiana has endured floods of historic proportions. But out of it all, a new nautical group has been formed, the Cajun Navy. Chuckle if you may, but if you could have seen the onslaught of pickup trucks, boats and volunteers, those chuckles would have turned to tears. Many of these volunteers took off work at their own expense to help their fellow man. Our work is just starting. For information on how you can help, visit Email: Jerry Madden

USPS Headquarters Closed for Labor Day

United States Power Squadrons headquarters will be closed on Monday, 5 Sept., for Labor Day. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

BSVT Trainers Update—Regional Administrators and Generation 4

The Boating Skills Virtual Trainer Program received a fourth U.S. Coast Guard grant, which will be used to grow the program and add functionality into 2017. So far in 2016, more than 2,500 users have been documented through the BSVT tracking forms. In September, we will test out regional administrators. Six administrators will oversee local transportation of a BSVT unit in their areas: Scott McDonald, Texas; Ken Voight, California; Al Keim, Northwest; George Hallenback, Northeast; Lisa Wilson, Southeast; and Dick Pfenniger, Florida/Puerto Rico. We hope to increase usage with greater availability and lower costs. Reservations will be handled through the BSVT website. Please contact me with any questions or suggestions. Email: Lisa Wilson