Winter 2009 Issue


Soon it will be four years since the MCA nominating committee realized that the usual pattern for selec-tion of Chairman Elect was out of sync, and that the Pacific Section had been skipped.

Scouting about at the last minute, they settled on me as a likely option. Thinking I might turn out OK because of the support I get from the great chemists I work with here in Seattle, and noting the wisdom of Cheryl, my saintly wife of forty long-suffering years, they nominated me. When, due to my ad-vanced age I cornered the geriatric vote, in the Spring of 2005 I got elected.

For the first two years I worked pretty hard. The reason is that the “Chairman-elect” (AKA: “Baby-Chair”) has some responsibility for Association educational efforts at mini-seminars and at the summer gathering. Also, there are the Executive Committee sessions (three) per year, and some other superficial duties.

Because I survived the first two years I became “Acting Chairman.” (AKA: “High- Chair”) A bit stressful to stand before one’s peers with gavel in hand. But Chemists have been kind, and all our gatherings proceed by gracious consensus.

Being Chairman has not been so hard.

One need only follow the path of very knowl-edgeable and wise past -chairmen (AKA: “Easy-Chair”): Without going into ancient history, I need only reference Les Blaize, Chris Scott, Greg Grondin, and John Bell. To conduct a meeting and to see at work the smart people you have representing you is a great gift.

But all Executive Committee members know the real reason the marine chemist world has kept turning in my tenure: the acting chair may pretend greatness, but Association business is actually in the hands of our Secretaries: Ed Willwerth and his able factotum partner Leslie Blaize. Ed, a former Chairman himself, is the repository and trustee of our recent history and professional culture. He and Leslie make sure everything, from the pens on the
conference table to the agendas of the meetings, goes painlessly and efficiently.
I write these words for two reasons: First, so we Marine Chemists will note those who represent you. And second, that you all might consider how well you yourselves will do when your turn comes one day soon.

Thanks for the chance to serve you.

Yours, Don Sly


Marine Chemist Association 2009 meetings will be as follows:

Atlantic Section:

Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009 MCA (ExCom meeting held here Sunday, Feb 22.)

Location: Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS)

692 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum, MD 21090 Tel: 410/859-5700

Hotel Rate: $ 135.00 (includes breakfast & dinner) (Note: CFLC course to be held here as well. Regis-tration and payment separate–see below.)

Gulf-Inland Section:

Date: Saturday, February 28, 2009

Location: Hilton New Orleans Airport 901 Airline

Dr. Kenner, LA 70062

Tel: 504/469-5000

Approximate Hotel rate: $ 119.00

Pacific Section:

Date: Sunday, March 8, 2009

Location: Bahia Hotel, 998 West Mission Bay Dr., San Diego, CA 92109

Tel: 858/539-7720 (Reservations: 800/576-4229)

Approximate Hotel rate: $ 169.00

Sectional Seminars Topics – Training and discussion at the Sectionals will include the following: Presentation will be made on the uses and limita-tions of photoionization detectors during marine confined space testing, a detailed review of recent significant changes to NFPA 306, especially re – garding the use of marine chemists certificates be-tween and among contractors and subcontractors. We will have a review of the differences between 29CFR9110.146 and 29CFR1915. We will also con-centrate on a number of inspection and certificate issues, including limits of detection on certificates, scope of work, a review of minimum space testing requirements, respiratory protection selection and enter with restriction, inerting, and the use of excur-sion limits/adjusted work schedules on certificates. In addition to news items from MCA and NFPA, Marine Field Service will also review key area of the Rules for Certification and Recertification.