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

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

USPS News Blast June 2017

USPS needs you!

We need your help! You have lots of talents—will you share with USPS? Please update or fill out your resume (SIRS) online. Go to the Nominations website, scroll down and find “Enter/Update Resume.” Where is the Nominations website? After you log in to the USPS site, it is found under the top menu: Committees > General > Nominations. Questions? Please let me know. See you in Dallas!   Email: Susan L. Darcy

Break the plastic habit

The Spring 2017 District 22 newsletter includes an excellent article by Commander Cheryl Matheson from Anna Maria Island Sail & Power Squadron regarding various plastic items. Some items boaters should avoid using or taking on board include plastic cutlery, plastic straws, plastic water bottles, takeaway coffee and drink cups, plastic bags and takeaway containers. Sea turtles can ingest plastic and many sea birds are killed annually from plastic in our oceans. The Pacific Gyre of plastic debris is growing rapidly.  Email: Richard Daybell

Read more:  Plastic bag bans spreading

First timers: It’s a Texas thing!

Howdy, y’all! If you have not attended an annual or Governing Board meeting, now is the time to go to the USPS website and register as a “first timer” for the upcoming meeting 10–17 Sept. Dallas, Texas, promises to be a great rodeo for all first timers! Information will be sent to you to give you the low-down on what to expect at the meeting. You will also be invited to a meet and greet with the national bridge. Make this your first USPS rodeo. We’re fixin’ to see you there!  Email: Lynda Leque

Submit National Safe Boating Week stories to The Ensign

If your squadron or district held safety demonstrations, taught boating classes, inspected vessels, participated in Ready, Set, Wear It! or held other events during National Safe Boating Week 2017, your efforts could be recognized in The Ensign’s Fall issue. For complete submission guidelines and a form you can use to submit stories and high resolution photos, please visit  Email: Tina Tibbitts

Vessel Safety Check and Safety web pages now linked

To view the latest information from the national Safety Committee on the Vessel Safety Check Program and other safety issues, please visit the national Safety Committee web pages. Check these pages often using the link below. Browse the drop-down menu on the left side of the page for additional information.  Email: Allan B. Furtado

Read more:  Safety Committee web pages

Squadron Development Committee web updates

The Squadron Development Committee website contains items designed to help districts, squadrons and their officers function more effectively and efficiently as well as information useful for all members. To visit, log in as a member at and select “Operations & Leadership Training.” “Tools and Other Presentations” includes a menu with links to detailed job descriptions for districts and squadrons, a nominating committee manual, a link to download the current operations training program, “Operations Training in 3,” and links to interactive district and squadron calendars and commanders’ kits.  Email: Edwin Kridler

D/Cs and D/AOs: Port Captains Program updates needed

Help us provide updated information for the Port Captains Program. Please email information for all district port captains to me, include the district number, squadron name, port captain’s certificate number, port captain’s name, address, phone, email and the waterway covered, including the state.  Email: Kathryn J. Stevens

Make your RV site reservation for Dallas Governing Board meeting

We found two potential RV parks suitable for commuting to the 2017 Governing Board Meeting. The closest is Sandy Lake MH & RV Resort, 1915 Sandy Lake Road, Carrollton, TX 75006. This park is approximately 10.5 miles from the hotel via I-35 South and I-635 East. The second park, Vineyards Campground and Cabins at Lake Grapevine, is 18.5 miles from the hotel via a mile of surface streets and a direct drive on I-635 East (LBJ Freeway). Visit the Highway Mariners website for further details and maps to both locations. If you are planning on RV'ing to Dallas for the meeting, make park reservations as soon as possible.  Email: William Miller

Operations Training Program Awards

The Operations and Leadership Training Committee is reviving the Operations Training Award. Your squadron/district will receive credit this year for teaching either OT in 3 or the Operations Training Program. To get credit, complete the online OT2 form with information for members completing the course. Make sure to include each member’s current active rank, because you receive extra credit when bridge members take the class. Submit the completed forms to United States Power Squadrons headquarters and send copies as instructed on the form.  Email: Mary Dodd

Read more:  Operations Training Award information

Add boating skills with interactive online seminars

USPS now offers seven fully interactive seminars online that can give you or your boating friends useful information for your summer boating. The seminars include How to Use GPS; All About Marine Radio; Weather for Boaters; Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes; Planning Your Cruise; Partner in Command; and Hurricane Preparation for Boaters. Just go to, choose the seminar(s) that interest you or a friend, and sign up today.  Email: Eileen Rickard

Communications Committee news

Have you checked out the Communications Committee Facebook page recently? It’s full of interesting articles and facts to keep you informed. Recently we posted a series of daily safety articles for National Safe Boating Week. On another note, our committee is always looking for new members to become website or newsletter advisers. Please contact Assistant Chair for Websites Cheryl Jarrell or Assistant Chair for Publications Barbara Pearson for more information.  Email: Kathleen Lambert

Read more:  Communications Committee website

Historian Department news

As many of you know, DB2000 wasn’t allowing Historian Reports to be filed, which was partly due to newly implemented security systems on our web server. Hopefully these problems have been corrected. I recommend that you download the latest version of DB2000 (9.7.5) and try filing your reports again. If you are still having problems, please click my name below to email me, explaining specifically what problem you encountered. I will make sure your problem(s) are addressed. Please don’t let this glitch discourage you from filing your reports. Thank you for your time and understanding.  Email: Jerry Zambroski

USPS Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting

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 3. Then click here to find the Nautical Reporting Form and associated supporting documents for you to enter your report. It’s that easy.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

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Get trained in CPR and first aid

The American Heart Association Heartsaver® First Aid/CPR/AED class will be offered on Wednesday (Sept. 13) during the Governing Board meeting. This course counts towards initial or renewal certification and is valid for two years. It also meets requirements for the USCG Captain’s License and BOC Certification. Minimum enrollment is six students.  Email: Jeff McKinney

Read more:  Heartsaver CPR and First Aid

Vero Beach earns 2016 BoatUS Civic Service Award

District 8's Vero Beach Power Squadron joins the 2016 list of honorees in recognition of their ongoing list of community projects. It recently came to our attention that file transfer issues last fall resulted in the submission being overlooked. In addition to offering numerous classes and vessel safety exams, the squadron has established partnerships with the local chamber of commerce, the Indian River County Boys and Girls Club, the local Civil Air Patrol squadron and Friends of the Spoil Islands to improve water quality and marine life populations. We are pleased to recognize the squadron members for their efforts. Read more about the 2016 BoatUS Civic Service Awards in the next issue of The Ensign.  Email: James Pahl-Washa

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, keep those members rollin’

No, it’s not Frankie Laine or the Blues Brothers singing that tune, but the national Membership Committee rollin’ out a whole new herd of web pages this summer. We’ll be working with all you cowpokes in Dallas at the Governing Board meeting to go over these new web pages to keep you admin folks sitting high in the saddle and on the right membership trail. Membership and Member Involvement have scheduled more than six different sessions (trail rides) on Thursday and Friday to take feedback and help you work through the tools and applications. We’ve scheduled multiple sessions to minimize meeting conflicts. See ya in Dallas, pardners!  Email: James Pahl-Washa

Are there any ABYC-certified techs in USPS?

The Electro-Mechanical Systems and several other committees would benefit by having ABYC-certified techs review and vet or suggest improvements to current and newly developed publications. If you’re willing to help, please let me or any Education Department leader know.  Email: Rick Edel

USPS News Blast October 2016

Participate in Visitation Program, Earn a Merit Mark

To recognize USPS members’ participation in the new U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Recreational Boating Safety Partner Visitation Program, a section has been added to the “Merit Mark Criteria” PDF as contained in the “Merit Mark Resources” folder to define minimum requirements for earning a merit mark, assuming no other service has been performed. Qualifying as a new Program Visitor and performing at least five visitations the first year will earn a merit mark. Thereafter, a minimum of 20 visitations per year will be needed to earn a merit mark. Email: Spencer P. Anderson

Read more:  RBS Partner Visitation

Leadership Development Seminars Scheduled for Raleigh

Sign up for the Leadership Development Seminars LD-101 and LD-102 on 5–6 Jan. 2017 at the Ramada Raleigh Hotel adjacent to USPS headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. These seminars, already attended by more than 1,800 members, are designed to develop squadron, district, and national bridge members and committee chairs into effective leaders and role models. Registration and seminar schedule information may be found at The affordable seminars are $49 each and include lunch each day. The Ramada room rate is $67.30 plus tax per night and includes a full breakfast. Reserve your room by calling 919-832-4100 and using code CGUSPS17. This rate is good for 4 Jan. if you plan to arrive the day before. Attendance is limited to 30 per seminar, and the registration deadline is 1 Nov. 2016. Members attending LD-101 and LD-102 can sign up to take LD-103 at the USPS 2017 Annual Meeting in February 2017 in Orlando, Florida. For information on LD-101, contact Ed Kridler at 843-870-5342 or; for information on LD-102, email me or call 252-241-4328. Email: Harold O’Briant Jr.

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Plan Ahead to Avoid Shipping Delays

Due to budget constraints, USPS has reduced staff in the headquarters warehouse. It is important that you plan ahead to get the best shipping rate and avoid delays. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

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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Why Does My Squadron Need an AED?

Sudden cardiac arrest is almost always fatal without lifesaving treatment. Providing high-quality CPR and an automated external defibrillator can make the difference between life and death. But if squadron members do nothing, the chance of survival diminishes by 10 percent with each passing minute. Having a readily accessible, fully compliant AED at your meetings and events gives your fellow squadron member the best chance of survival. All members are encouraged to take the CPR & First Aid for Boaters course at the USPS 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando. Squadrons should consider the Safety Committee’s recommendation to create a First Aid Support Team to respond to all health care-related matters. Contact me at 301-767-5905 for more information on taking the course, getting an AED or starting a FAST program. Email: Alan Karpas

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Falling Prices on all 100th Anniversary Items

All remaining 100th anniversary items are now 75% off! That’s right, 75% off. No promo code necessary. Go to, and click on “Sale” to find the 100th anniversary prompt. Rake in your fall savings today! Email: Jacky VanDoren

10% Off Crewneck Sweatshirts in the Ship’s Store

Just in time for fall, our crewneck sweatshirts are 10OFF during October. Available in maroon and gray, they are sure to keep you warm on these fall evenings. Visit and click on "Sale" to see this featured sale item. Email: Jacky VanDoren

New Brunswick Dealer Contest Begins in 2017

At the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, the Program Partner Relations Committee will roll out a new case study contest for squadrons participating with Brunswick Partner Dealers. Look for details soon under the education section of our website. Also, the Discover Boating Boat Show season is upon us once again. If your squadron has a participating show nearby, expect a call from Ronnie Mann about participation or email her in advance. Thanks to all the squadrons that participated in the Tall Ships America 2016 Great Lakes Challenge! Photos coming soon to our website. Email: Shirley D. Heald

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First Timers, Get Ready for Fun in Orlando

We’re looking for a large showing of First Timers at the USPS 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando! If you haven’t attended a national meeting before, you are a “First Timer”! When you register for the Annual Meeting, please check the box indicating that this is your first national meeting. You will receive a packet of information with everything you need to know about the meeting, voting, etc. At the meeting, you’ll receive a discount coupon for one item from the Ship’s Store and a chance to win a First-Timer Door Prize, as well as an invitation to a reception with the national bridge. See you in Orlando! Email: Lynda Leque

Need Help Developing or Revitalizing Your Squadron?

If so, our team is ready to help you form a new squadron or regain your squadron's confidence. District and squadron commanders and executive officers, be aware that your self-evaluation forms are due soon. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Orlando. Email: Myles Gee

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GRIDS and GRIBS: Computer Weather Forecasting and Navigation

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 ET on Tuesday, 15 Nov. To register, visit Email: Robert F. Anderson

Disposal of Unwanted and Outdated Pyrotechnic Devices

Vessel examiners are sometimes asked to accept out-of-date or otherwise unwanted pyrotechnic devices for disposal. However, accepting potentially hazardous materials for disposal is not part of the VSC mission. If requested to take possession of outdated pyrotechnic devices, examiners are advised to respectfully decline. Some municipal and volunteer fire departments or law enforcement agencies may accept pyrotechnics for disposal; many will not. Disposal may pose potential health or safety hazards to the individual or to the environment. Examiners should caution boaters against throwing unwanted pyrotechnics overboard, activating them in the marine environment, or disposing of them in household trash. Examiners can also suggest boaters contact local law enforcement or fire protection authorities for guidance on disposing of the unwanted materials. Members should not recommend that they be activated on land or retained on board a vessel as back-ups since older flares may become unstable and their burn rates unpredictable. Email: Mike Wiedel

VSC Deadline Approaching

The VSC Awards cutoff date is fast approaching. If you want your vessel exams to be counted for national awards, the exams must be entered into the USPS national database no later than midnight 31 Oct. 2016. Email: Mike Wiedel

New Bottom Paint Developments

At the Tampa Boat Show, we learned about a new method of keeping growth off the boat bottom using electronic transducers that was developed in Australia. It’s still too early to determine how well they will work to reduce the discharge of paint parts into the water or to keep shellfish off the boat’s bottom without harming the shellfish living nearby. Visit the Annual Meeting Expo in Orlando to learn more. Email: Dick Daybell

Boat Trainer News: Regional Coordinators and Upgrades

Testing is complete on the 3.2 upgrade that will correct and simplify the start-up processes and calibration issues and make the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer units much more stable. A few fun items like a working wind sock and additional personal watercraft and boat traffic will make the upgraded version more challenging. Upgrades will take place over the next few months as units are circulated through USPS headquarters. Regional coordinators will have units available on a first-come, first-served basis within the regions: Ken Voight, California; Al Keim, Pacific Northwest; Pat Antoni, Upper Midwest; George Hallenbeck, Northeast; Lisa Wilson, Southeast; and Dick Pfenniger, Florida and Puerto Rico. Continue to make reservations through the website and turn in Coast Guard tracking forms! If you have questions, email me, Project Manager Lisa Herndon Wilson. Email: Lisa Herndon Wilson

Has Your Squadron Made the 2016 EdFund Honor Roll?

Now that summer is over and life is returning to a more normal pace in your squadron, please consider making your squadron contribution to the Educational Fund so that your squadron becomes an Honor Roll Squadron for 2016. You can find more details on the EdFund website listed below or by calling me at 845-542-3180. Email: Fred Mangelsdorf

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Fall Nautical Cooperative Charting

As we transition into Fall and take that Fall cruise, be sure to check your local chart for any changes to obstructions, landmarks or depths. Look at misrepresented bridges, power lines and docks or piers. These changes should be entered to NOAA’s Nautical Discrepancy Reporting site at After making a report, please email the information to your local Cooperative Charting Area Rep, which can be found at the Cooperative Charting home page using the link below. Email: Diane Julum

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Great Lakes Cruising Club Discounts Continue

We’re pleased to announce that the partnership arrangement with the Great Lakes Cruising Club in which all GLCC online cruising-related webinars are available to USPS members at reduced USPS registration rates will continue this year. Note that there is a NEW discount code Basic1516USPS, so be sure to use this new code when signing up for a webinar. Any user can register with the GLCCSchool site by creating a user ID and password. Email: Jonathan Benman

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USCG Aids to Navigation Reporting

Have you been out on the water lately and discovered a discrepancy with an aid to navigation? Our new reporting situation requires direct reporting to the United States Coast Guard. The USCG Navigation Center has an ATON discrepancy reporting web page that members of USPS should use: It’s important to identify yourself as a USPS member in the comments section of the report and follow up by sending a copy to your Cooperative Charting Area Rep. An Area Rep reporting form will soon be posted to the Cooperative Charting home page. Email: Diane Julum

Get Recognized for Your Public Service Activities

The BoatUS Distinguished Civic Service Award is one of the most prestigious awards a squadron or district can receive. The award recognizes visibility of the BoatUS and USPS mission through local community activities and is jointly sponsored by the BoatUS Foundation and USPS through the national Membership Committee. Please review all application materials prior to submission. The award year runs from 1 Oct. to 30 Sept. Applications should be submitted electronically to the national Membership Committee chair between 1 Oct. and 15 Oct., the award deadline. Email: James Pahl-Washa

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Each One, Reach One

It’s not just a slogan; it’s a plan of action. It’s up to all of us to reach out to friends and acquaintances who have an interest in boating and our mission of being better boaters and on-the-water role models. Reach out by sharing your expertise, your time or even just a friendly smile. Provide a class or a seminar, a vessel safety exam or just a hand with a line at the dock. Remember, we welcome all. Email: James Pahl-Washa

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

USPS News Blast August 2016

Dress Code Correction for Pittsburgh Meeting

Please note the following uniform changes: Friday, 26 Aug., Uniform T (tropical), USPS blazer with tie, open-collar tropical shirt, USPS polo shirt, or other appropriate attire; Saturday, 27 Aug., Day–Uniform G Regulation short-sleeve white shirt with uniform trousers or other appropriate attire. Evening–Blazer with tie or other appropriate attire. Email: Yvonne Hill

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Get Tropical Attire for Pittsburgh

The chief commander has designated Uniform T for tropical as the official uniform of the day for Friday, 26 Aug., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two styles of unisex tropical shirts are in stock for immediate shipment. Order yours today by visiting the Ship’s Store website or calling 888-367-8777 ext. 0. You can also pick yours up at the Ship’s Store in Pittsburgh, where there will be plenty on hand! Show your USPS team spirit and support by purchasing one today! Email: Jacky Van Doren

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USPS Clean, Green Boating Projects

Please join the Environmental Committee at its Pittsburgh meeting, where we will be discussing ways to expand the California Dock Walker Program to other states and biodegradable six-pack beverage holders. The committee is looking for additional members to move forward with some clean, green boating topics. Email: Dick Daybell

Adventure Dry Sack Bag on Sale in August

Get 10% off this new Ship’s Store item when ordering online at Keep your belongings dry on the boat, at the beach or while sitting by the pool. Check out this handy new bag today and use the 10OFF promotional code. There’s plenty of summertime left! Email: Jacky VanDoren

Pittsburgh Welcomes First Timers

An information packet will soon go out to all registered first timers! If you have never attended a national meeting, register today! You will be invited to a special reception, receive a discount coupon for one item in the Ship’s Store, and receive an opportunity to win a special nautical door prize! See you at the First Timers table near registration at the 2016 Governing Board meeting. Email: Lynda Leque

Who’s Going to Help When You Have a Heart Attack?

Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States, and 90 percent of victims die while waiting for help to arrive. According to the American Heart Association, up to 74 percent of cardiac arrest victims could be saved if properly performed CPR is immediately applied along with the use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED. USPS is sponsoring a CPR/First Aid for Boaters course on Wednesday, 24 Aug., at the 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh. For more information about the course and a registration form, contact me at 301-767-5905 or Email: Alan Karpas

Program Partner Relations New Brunswick Contest

At the 2016 Governing Board Meeting, the Program Partner Relations Committee will debut a new national contest for squadrons participating in educational programs with local Brunswick Partner Dealers. At our meeting on Friday at 1500, we will have exciting new pictures of the Fairport Tall Ships Parade of Sail, in which USPS participated. Squadrons working the upcoming Discover Boating Boat Shows should begin spiffing up their displays and looking for talent to demonstrate the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer. Go to to find a show near you or email me for further information. Email: Shirley D. Heald

Squadron Emergency Response Assistance Team

Plan to attend the Squadron Emergency Response Assistance Team Program seminar at the 2016 Governing Board meeting in Pittsburgh to learn about this important and exciting squadron public service program. While the name indicates “emergency response,” the program can be used to recruit new members and enhance your educational and civic service programs. Guidelines for SERAT training will also be provided and discussed. Please email me for further information. Email: Jim Strothers

Put Your Boat in the Spotlight

Got an interesting story about how your boat was named? We would like to spotlight it in The Ensign’s Bitter End section. Please see for complete details. Submit your story and high-quality boat photo(s) using our online form. Email: Tina Tibbitts

Catch Up on What’s New in Cooperative Charting

Get the latest Cooperative Charting updates at the 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh, including new reporting sites for nautical Cooperative Charting. Meet our new NOAA representative, Russ Proctor. Learn about our upcoming MOUs with NOAA and the USCG. Share your ideas and recommendations for changes to the nautical and geodetic program. Get your questions answered directly. Come join us at 0800 on Thursday, 25 Aug., to learn more and share your stories and photos with the committee. Email: Diane M. Julum

Teaching Aid Competitions

District educational officers are encouraged to hold teaching aid competitions at their fall conferences and to register their “best of show” teaching aids for the national competition in Orlando as soon as possible. Visit our website for more information. Squadron educational officers in districts that don’t hold competitions can contact their DEO to submit an entry. Provide them with the necessary information and ask them to submit the registration. All entries should be registered well in advance of the annual meeting, so we know how much space will be needed. Email: Tom Shuell

Revised Instructor Development Student Manual Available

You can download the June 2016 edition of the Instructor Development student manual from the ID course website The Introduction (including all forms for the new final evaluation procedures) and chapter five have been revised. A revision of chapter three will be ready in a few weeks. Email: Tom Shuell

Mariners Learing System

You’ve been boating and fishing most of your life and taken most of the upper level courses form USPS; now you want your Captain’s License to make some money doing what you love. If you want to get your OUPV or Master’s license, USPS members can now buy the Captain’s License software with a 10% discount from the USPS Ship’s Store. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Communications Committee News

The website and publication evaluation forms, updated in 2016, can be found on the Communications Committee website using dropdown menus from either “Websites” or “Publications.” Please contact me or your adviser if you have any questions about the form. Email: Kathleen Lambert

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USPS News Blast June 2016

Have You Made Your Reservations for Pittsburgh?

Now’s the time to reserve your room at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square and to register for activities, tours and meals. Time is getting short, and hotel rooms are filling up. Remember that activity and meal reservation prices change after 13 July. Come have fun! Email: Sarah McCurry

10 Reasons to Attend the Pittsburgh GB Meeting

Discover the 10 reasons you need to be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 23–27 Aug. for the 2016 Governing Board Meeting. Click the link below to find out more or register online. District 7 has lots of fun and educational activities planned. Pittsburgh is waiting for you! Email: Jane Brandenstein

Read more: Check out our newsletter

Take Advantage of Partner Benefits

The Tall Ships 2016 Great Lakes Challenge begins in Toronto, 1 July 2016, travels around the Great Lakes and ends in Erie, Pennsylvania., 8–11 Sept. USPS plans to  join the parade of sail in many ports of call and will have booths with the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer at all ports of call. These events draw thousands of boaters, making them a good way to get our name and message to the public. Squadrons and districts, don’t forget to partner with local Brunswick dealers, who offer classroom space and can attract students to your boating classes and seminars. Contact me for a dealer introduction or for more information on the program. Squadrons holding the most classes at Brunswick Partner Dealers receive cash awards. Simply enter the Brunswick facility address into HQ 800 to have your classes counted toward the contest. Classes held at West Marine, Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops count toward the contest because these retailers sell Brunswick products. Email: Shirley D. Heald

Attention All First Timers

Now is the time for you to register for the 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh and indicate that you are attending your first-ever national meeting. Discover what national is all about, meet new people and renew old friendships. As a First Timer, you will receive an information packet telling you what to expect, a 15% discount on one item from the Ship’s Store, and an invitation to a meet-and-greet reception with the national bridge and fellow First Timers. You will also be eligible for a special door prize drawing at the reception. See you in Pittsburgh! Email: Lynda Leque

USPS 100th Anniversary Book—Ship’s Store

Order your copy of this beautiful 40-page hard-cover book today. For information and details simply visit the Ship’s Store website and click on the “Gift Ideas” prompt at the top of the page. Email: Jacky VanDoren

Featured on Sale—Month of June

Allie Tote Bags are 10% off during June. Choose from turquoise or navy blue. Perfect for shopping, carrying on the boat or taking on vacation, they will become your favorite bags for sure! Visit the Ship’s Store website and click on the “Sale” prompt at the top of the page. You can also get 70% off remaining 100th anniversary items while they last. Email: Jacky Van Doren

Coast Guard Issues Urgent Marine Safety Alert

Kannad Marine has issued a recall of all Safelink EPIRBs due to a possible defect that could result in the beacon not operating in emergency situations. The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all owners and users of Kannad Safelink EPIRBs seek replacement devices as soon as possible and not use them as primary search-and-rescue beacons on board your vessels. Please read the USCG Marine Safety Alert 03-16: Urgent Kannad Safelink EPIRB Recall  for more information. Email: Mike Wiedel

Filing Squadron and District History Reports

Squadron and district history reports should be filed within 30 days of your change of watch. To view your history reports, visit Reports can be found under “scanned files” and “other.” Histories written before 2007 are under scanned files; other includes histories filed electronically via DB2000. After filing electronic reports, click on “view report” to open the file in the proper format and verify that your report has been filed. Email: Kent Simpson

USPS Clean Green Boating Projects

The national Environmental Committee would like to hear from all members regarding ways we can sensibly improve our clean, green boating ways as we work to make the water a better place. Please plan to join us for the Environmental Committee meeting on Friday during the 2016 Governing Board Meeting. Email: Dick Daybell

Add to Approved Email Addresses

USPS automated emails, such as dues renewals, roster requests and national meeting reservation confirmations, use to communicate that a reply will not be received or acknowledged. Please make sure your email servers allow emails from by adding it to your list of approved senders. If not, your system may reject an important confirmation email. Email: Kristi Anderson

What Is SERAT?

The Squadron Emergency Response Assistance Team (SERAT) program provides a unique mechanism for squadrons to increase their public service. Squadrons forming SERAT units interact with local law enforcement agencies, fire departments and United States Coast Guard for on-water emergencies. SERAT units also provide assistance in many on-water events requiring safety patrols. Plan to attend the SERAT seminar during the 2016 Governing Board Meeting. For further information on SERAT, please email me. Email: Jim Strothers

Commanders: Obtain or Change Squadron Passwords

Every district and squadron has passwords to make updates to squadron, district and members’ records on the website or in DB2000. Over time, the passwords get lost or need to be changed. Commanders may access, make changes and learn more about them using the link below.  Email: Kristi Anderson

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LD 101 Scheduled for Pittsburgh

Leadership Development 101 is scheduled for Friday, 26 Aug., during the 2016 Governing Board Meeting. The first in the series of three USPS leadership development seminars, LD-101 focuses on planning effective meetings, team-building techniques, problem solving, leadership knowledge and skills, and working with different personalities within the USPS structure. All members are encouraged to complete these seminars. The one-day seminar costs $49. Visit for complete information and a registration form under “Schedule for LD Workshops–LD-101.” Email: Harold W. O’Briant Jr.

The Help Desk Needs Help

We are looking for members with the following qualities and abilities to expand the help desk: team approach to help fellow members with problems; time to answer questions (5–7 hours a week); computer literate; diplomatic and friendly; willing to learn and research Operations Manual questions; check and answer email twice a day acknowledging questions; DB2000, Information Center and HQ800 knowledge are helpful but not necessary; flexible hours. If you are interested, please contact Connie Beckman or Kristi Anderson. Email: Peter Mitchelson

New Member Benefit: VSP Individual Eye Care

Your eyes come first with VSP. As the only national not-for-profit vision care company, it reinvests in the things you value most—the best care at the lowest out-of-pocket cost. See your new benefit on the Member Benefits website! USPS members can get a basic pair of glasses to suit their prescription needs while saving over $200. Email: John Rowland

Book Your Summer Vacation With Wyndham

Summer travel is right around the corner. Plan your evening stays with Wyndham Hotel Group. USPS members can save up to 20% off the best available rate. See hotel details on the Member Benefits website and call 1-877-670-7088 or book online. Be sure to use Corporate Code #1000008696 under “Special Rates and Codes.” Email: John Rowland

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Need to Get Away But Don’t Know Where?

Look on the Member Benefits website at the Road Scholar benefits for ideas. The programs are all-inclusive. From expert-led lectures and field trips to lodgings, most meals, gratuities, and group transportation—Road Scholar will handle all the details and all the costs incurred during our programs, including those you might not anticipate. Email: John Rowland

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CPR/First Aid for Boaters at GB Meeting

USPS is sponsoring a CPR/First Aid course designed especially for boaters at the Governing Board meeting in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, 24 Aug. This course meets the requirements for a Coast Guard Captain’s license and BOC Certifiers. In order to maintain your certification, you must take the course every two years. If you have not taken the course in the past two years and want to continue with your certification, you are encouraged to take this class. Preregistration is required. For more information and to receive a course registration form, contact me at 301-767-5905 or Email: Alan Karpas

2015 Recreational Boating Safety Statistics

The USCG has released the 2015 Recreational Boating Safety Statistics, which can be found on its website. Excerpts from the publication include in 2015, there were 4,158 accidents involving 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property. The fatality rate was 5.3 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels and represents a 1.9% increase from the 2014 fatality rate. Compared to 2014, the number of accidents increased 2.3%, the number of deaths increased 2.6% and the number of injuries decreased 2.4%. The entire report can be viewed on the USCG website. Email: Mary Ann Jensen

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Engaging Youth & Families Scheduled for GB Meeting

Providing kids with boating safety knowledge will help prevent accidents and help kids save themselves if they are in an accident. On Friday, 26 Aug., Everett Sail & Power Squadron/16 shares its story and methods for starting a youth-oriented course in your squadron. Watch for more information or visit the website below for a preview. Email: Linda Martin

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Virtual Trainer Gen 3.0.1 Manuals Now Online

The new updated operations and assembly manual and the instructor training manual for the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer generation 3.0.1 units are now posted on the BSVT home page. Please use updated U.S. Coast Guard tracking forms also found on the site and new start-up procedures. Troubleshooting 101 manual is in final review and should be uploaded soon. Exciting 3.0.1 features include a new boat ramp trailering exercise and more. Email: Lisa Herndon Wilson

Every District Needs a National Membership Committee Rep

Every district should appoint a National Membership Representative (NMR) to attend the Membership Committee meetings during the Governing Board meeting. District commanders and district administrative officers are encouraged to appoint a representative to attend the meeting in Pittsburgh this August. We look forward to working with new appointees and representatives who have been working with the Membership Committee for years. We need your input to improve the membership experience, ultimately increasing membership retention and recruitment. We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh. Email: James Pahl-Washa

Nautical Cooperative Charting Is Back Online

Nautical Cooperative Charting is changing just as a new boating season is beginning. NOAA would like us to focus on discrepancies, U.S. Coast Pilot updates and depth survey reports. The interactive online reporting form has been simplified and made easy to use with fillable and drop-down data fields. Inspection reports, range line surveys and the Adopt-a-Chart program have been put on hold for now. To make a chart correction, Coast Pilot change or to add a depth survey, go to If you would like to report a discrepancy in an aid to navigation, please send that report directly to the United States Coast Guard. Email: Diane Julum

Looking for Benchmarks Can Be Crazy Fun

Not all summer activities need to be out on the water. Is your squadron trying to find an outing for members that can be done without a boat? Then geodetic Cooperative Charting is for you! All you need to get started is to locate benchmarks in your area. To do that, go to and follow the instructions to guide you to a list of marks and datasheets. You can use those datasheets as if you were on a scavenger hunt following the directions word for word. Once you find a mark, photograph it with the date and Lat/Lon. To submit the mark, go to the Cooperative Charting Geodetic Program home page. Fill in the recovery form and upload your photo of the mark and submit. What crazy fun you, your squadron or district can have—let’s go Cooperative Charting! Email: Diane Julum

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USPS News Blast May 2016

Help Us Improve the Blast

Please take a moment to take a very brief four-question survey on the USPS News Blast. We appreciate your feedback. Email: Yvonne Hill

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Your Place for NSBW Ideas

Your Public Relations Committee website can help with your squadron outreach needs. The online book, PROLOG, and the newsletter, Keeping Up, are filled with great ideas for National Safe Boating Week. Email: Greg Scotten

Celestial Tools V 5.1.2 Available

To get the latest version, visit The V 5.1.2 update is primarily for fixing bugs. Note: A 96 dpi font size is not required with computers using the Windows 10 operating system. Email: Stan Klein

District 7 Welcomes You to Pittsburgh

We would love to show off our city while you visit Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the Governing Board Meeting August 21–28. The Sheraton Station Square Hotel is right on the river with lots of restaurants within walking distance. The Rivers Casino is a free ride on the T. We have great tours, a boat ride and social activities planned. Make your reservations now; the hotel is booking rapidly. See you in the ’burgh! Email: Jane Brandenstein

Revised Chapman Award Forms Available

Forms are available online for squadrons to submit an outstanding instructor for the Chapman Award to their district educational officer. Start now to complete your submission. This year, submissions may be made electronically using the new fillable PDF forms found online. Honor your squadron’s special instructor with a nomination. Email: Spencer Anderson

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Cruising Season Is Coming

Backed by the only 110% Best Price Guarantee in the industry, CruisesOnly offers the lowest prices on thousands of cruises. Whether you are considering a river cruise or a cruise to Alaska, the Bahamas or Europe, CruisesOnly’s customer service experts will help you plan your dream trip and get the best price. Visit the Member Benefits website and look for the CruisesOnly logo. Email: Barbara Erickson

Ship’s Store May Sale

Now through the end of May receive 10% off our Sport-Tek-brand moisture-wick hoodie, perfect for spring! Visit the Ship’s Store, and click the “Sale” prompt at the top of the page for details. Email: Jacky VanDoren

Pittsburgh Welcomes First Timers

If you haven’t attended a national meeting, make plans to visit Pittsburgh for the 2016 USPS Governing Board Meeting. Get invited to a meet and greet with the national Bridge and have a chance to win a special First Timer door prize. District 7 and the National Meetings Committee have special events planned in this amazing Ohio River city. Please check the “First Timer” box when you register. See what a USPS national meeting is all about, and have a great time in Pittsburgh. Email: Lynda Leque

Historian Reports

Some history submissions show “0” merit marks. To fix, import your S/C Merit Mark data file (mmXXX_date.dat). Once imported, open and click “change status,” select “Change all Original to Accepted,” and save. The annual squadron and district reports are due 30 days after the change of watch. Please use DB2000 and submit via the web. Email: Kent Simpson

May Is Better Hearing Month

In honor of Better Hearing Month, Member Benefits invites you to visit our website and look for the American Hearing Benefits logo. Click to learn more about access to free hearing consultants and significant discounts on hearing aids nationwide. Email: Barbara Erickson

New Online GPS Seminar Debuts 4 May

Marine Global Positioning System units and chart plotters are more sophisticated and affordable than ever. Our newest online seminar, How to Use GPS—A Boater’s Guide to Electronic Charting and Navigation, will help you take advantage of these tools. This interactive seminar shows you how to use modern GPS and chart plotting tools to plan your cruise, know your location, avoid hazards and track your progress on the water. It also covers upgrading your GPS and integrating it into your boat’s electronic network. Visit for details about this and other USPS online seminars. Email: Bob Brandenstein

A MIRA Could Be Waiting for You in Pittsburgh

Share the secrets of your squadron’s member involvement and retention success with your district involvement chair and the Membership Committee chair by 30 May. Then, be prepared to pick up your Member Involvement and Retention Award this August at the 2016 Governing Board Meeting. Don’t delay; submit your entry using the fillable entry form and mailing instructions found at the link below. Email: Priscilla B. Clarke

Read more: MIRA fillable form

Bring Your Membership Questions to Pittsburgh

Whether you’ve just been appointed/elected to a membership position at the district or squadron level or you’ve served in a membership role for an extended period of time, you'll want to attend Membership 101 this August to learn about the tools available to you. Bring your questions, laptop, smartphone and a notebook. Be prepared to share your ideas and tools with others during the Thursday morning training session. Email: James Pahl-Washa

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USPS University Students

The Cyber Search selection in Site Index no longer contains USPS University students. You can find those in your area by going to USPS University Enrollment in the Site Index. These people have taken a USPS course or seminar and are interested in nautical education. Email: Robert Howd

Educational Fund Honor Roll Contributions

A table on the Educational Fund website shows the amount already contributed in 2016 for each squadron and the balance needed for the squadron to achieve Honor Roll status this year. Go to the table using the link below. Congratulations to those squadrons that have already achieved Honor Roll status for 2016 as indicated by a zero or negative balance in Column 4 of the table. Email: Fred Mangelsdorf

Read more: Honor Roll Remaining Balance

Sea Tow Offers Designated Skipper Program Materials

The Sea Tow Foundation Designated Skipper Program urges boaters to appoint a designated sober skipper whenever they are out on the water. To get involved, visit Sea Tow provides public service presentation materials that you can use during National Safe Boating Week, safety demonstrations or during boating classes. Email: John Rowland

Are You Ready for the Governing Board Meeting?

It’s time to reserve your room and sign up for great activities. Reserve your room by calling 888-627-7029 and asking for the USPS rate of $129 plus tax or by going online at Sign up for tours at There’s even an MLB game between Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros. Note: On Saturday, the uniform of the day has changed to Uniform G (short sleeve white shirt, no tie). Email: Sarah McCurry

Communications Committee News

The Communications Committee needs new website advisers. You don’t need to know web design, and new advisers will receive help getting started. Interested? Please contact either Cheryl Jarrell or myself for more information. Email: Kathleen Lambert

Read more: Communications Committee website

Help Us Find ‘Address Unknown’ Members

The new Member Services Committee has been tasked with locating members whose address is marked as unknown in the member database. Please ask the member who maintains DB2000 in your squadron to locate these people and correct their address, phone and email. Thank you for your help, and don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions. Email: Connie Beckman

Serving USPS and Your Community

Here in Louisiana, we had a storm that shut down a local village just south of us. Through the efforts of our local squadron, this community will be getting a huge generator to provide power and allow it to pump water to residents. Want to know how and why this came to be? Come to the Governing Board in Pittsburgh to hear the rest of the story. Email: Jerry Madden

Leadership Development Seminars Announced

LD-101, the first in the series of three Leadership Development seminars, is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 26, during the 2016 Governing Board Meeting. LD-101 and LD-102 leadership development seminars are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, 9–10 Sept., in Beaufort, South Carolina. Visit the website below for detailed information. Email: Harold O’Briant

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BSVT 3.0.1 Ships, Troubleshooting 101 Signup

Boating Skills Virtual Trainer 3.0.1 is now being shipped for all events and includes improved forward/reverse subtleties for docking, a trailering exercise and more! More than 1,800 users were documented during the first quarter of 2016. Thank you for returning your Coast Guard tracking forms! The USPS project team and staff are working to update operations and training manuals. A troubleshooting seminar is being planned for the near future, so email me if you’d like to learn some simple troubleshooting techniques. Email: Lisa Herndon Wilson