post office closings - postalnews blog

post office closings

Video: Post Office Hour Cuts Upset A Growing North Dakota Town

It is about to get tricky for customers in Horace to mail their packages and get stamps. Their post office retail window will go from being open 8 hours a day to only being open for 6 hours a day. It’s part of a bigger trend that’s been happening in rural towns across the country.

The Horace post office serves the communities of Oxbow, Wildrice, and Hickson or about 1,400 people and some of these communities are on the grow. That is why the group "Concerned Citizens of 58047" are upset that their post office will be reducing their hours this year.

"The big slogan in town is invest in the valley, invest in your community. We believe it strongly, the post office is a big facet to what we do with our business. We need the availability to go there during business hours," says John Koerselman, a business owner in Horace.

Valley News Live – KVLY/KXJB – Fargo/Grand Forks

Read more: Post Office Hour Cuts Upset A Growing Town – Valley News Live – KVLY/KXJB – Fargo/Grand Forks.

USPS “blatantly” ignored the law by trying to sell Bronx PO

nattrustIn a letter to the editor of the New York Times, David J. Brown, Executive Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, accused the US Postal Service of “blatantly ignoring” Congress and the President in going ahead with the sale of the historic Bronx NY Post Office:

The House Appropriations Committee included language in the federal appropriations bill that was signed into law by President Obama in January urging the United States Postal Service to place a moratorium on the sale of its properties. By moving ahead with the Bronx post office sale — and the sale of other historic post offices across the country — the Postal Service is blatantly ignoring this recommendation.

Though nonbinding, the appropriations bill clearly indicates Congress’s intention that the Postal Service call off all sales of post offices until the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Postal Service’s own Office of Inspector General can evaluate the Postal Service’s current process for transferring ownership of its buildings. Despite repeated requests from elected officials, preservation groups and local citizens, the Postal Service has not come forth with a clear and consistent process for selling properties that it no longer needs.

Read more: Endangered Post Offices, on Main Street, U.S.A. – NYTimes.com.

Connecticut town’s only post office closes without any advance notice

salem2Customers often complain that the USPS process for closing post offices is just a formality- once the USPS decides to close a PO, it’s pretty much a done deal, regardless of customer feedback and public meetings. But what if you’re one of the growing number of customers served by a contract station? If you live in Salem CT, the “process” consisted of a sign on the door one morning saying that the office was closed:

Salem – When residents arrived at the town’s only post office to mail packages Thursday morning, they were greeted by a sign on the business’s door announcing that it had been permanently closed.

Salem has no official post office, and residents relied on a Contract Postal Unit operated by the Four Corners Country Deli. But when the deli closed, apparently unexpectedly on Wednesday, so did the postal unit.

The 46 residents with P.O. boxes will have to pick up their mail at the Colchester post office for now, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Christine Dugas. And all residents will have to go out of town to mail a package or use other postal services.

Read more: The Day – Customers surprised to find Salem post office out of business | News from southeastern Connecticut.

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Endangered Stamford, Connecticut Post Office

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Stamford post office on Atlantic Street was closed in a hurried fashion on September 20th to clear the way for a quiet sale to a developer who plans to tear down part of the historic building to make way for two twenty story luxury apartments, one of which would be located on the post office property.  The postal facility is on the National Registry of Historic Buildings. 

The Center for Art and Mindfulness, the National Post Office Collaborate and a post office customer filed a lawsuit in federal court in Connecticut on September 25th and requested a restraining order to stop the sale.   A restraining order was issued by Judge Vanessa Bryant on September 27 th that prohibits the sale of the historic building, but requires the plaintiff’s to post a $4.5 million dollar bond.  “This is the first case in which a restraining order has been issued in a challenge to a post office closure or relocation,” according to Drew Backstrand, a lawyer who is a Director of the Center for Art and Mindfulness.

The lawsuit alleges the postal service’s violation of several aspects of federal law and its own regulations relating to the closing of post offices (in this case done with 3 days advance notice and done in violation of notice and public meeting requirements applicable to the post office).  The sale of historic post office buildings has been occurring across America at an alarming rate as the result of postal downsizing.

Congress made it clear in the Postal Accountability Act of 2006 that the post office must reorganize by reducing its size as mail volume is declining.  At the same time  the post office was required to maintain its service level to postal customers and vigilantly protect national treasures like the new deal art in many post offices and the national historic buildings that are themselves architectural treasures.

The postal service’s management failed in its building liquidation program to devise a method of sale that property protects these architecturally significant buildings in a nondiscriminatory sales process which has resulted in the lawsuit.

“This architecturally important building must be preserved for use by the public as opposed to the uncertainty of becoming lost in the hands of a developer or other private owner, without consideration for the legacy it contains,” according to  Debra Sherwood, the Center’s Executive Director.

The Center for Art and Mindfulness is a Connecticut nonprofit organization established to operate as a community art center with exhibitions and an education component that includes mindfulness training.  While considering locations for the Center, the Post Office became a favored site.

The National Post office Collaborate is a national historic preservation organization, established to save historic post offices and their priceless art and architecture and the legacy of the post offices as promised in the Constitution, for the benefit of the people of the United States.

To help save the post office and to protect this endangered structure from the wrecking ball, and to obtain further information, please contact Debra Sherwood at the Center for Art and Mindfulness at 203-979-2963 or das651@msn.com or the National Post Office Collaborate at 415-987-7641 or on their website at www.post officecollaborate.com.  Tax deductible donations may be made to the National Post Office Collaborative at their web site or to the Center for Art and Mindfulness. 

 

Field organizational changes- USPS continues operational efficiency initiatives

From USPS News Link:

As a part of its network optimization effort, USPS has developed a facility ranking strategy to align staffing across the entire mail processing network. Included in this strategy are processing and distribution centers, processing and distribution facilities, logistics and distribution centers, network distribution centers, international service centers and annexes.

New rankings and Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) staffing criteria went into effect Sept. 7. With these changes, USPS also will implement an organizational change process that could include a reduction-in-force (RIF).

Communications about these changes began last week. Managers will keep employees informed throughout the process.

As part of the effort to avoid a RIF, USPS is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) to field EAS employees at all locations, regardless of whether they’re impacted. An incentive is not a part of this VER offering.

VER eligibility is based on a Dec. 31, 2013 VER-effective retirement date. USPS will mail annuity estimates to VER-eligible employees the week of Sept. 16. VER-eligible employees may retire either Dec. 31, 2013, or Jan. 31, 2014. Requests for early retirement must be submitted no later than Nov. 29 and can’t be withdrawn after that date.

More information related to the RIF and the VER is available on the LiteBlue employee website. Go to the Organizational Changes pages and the Workforce Connection site. Employees also can find these links in the “Hot Topics” section on LiteBlue, or the “My HR” section on the upper right corner of the LiteBlue home page.

Employees should check these sites often for updates.

Video: Pennsylvania Post Office Closed After Car Rams Into Building

CAMPTOWN PA — A post office in Bradford County is out of commission after a vehicle smashed into it.

The United States Postal Service said the crash happened at the Camptown Post Office sometime over the weekend.

All of the operations there will temporarily be moved to the Stevensville Post Office

Read more: Post Office Closed After Car Rams Into Building | WNEP.com.

Berkeley post office protest leads to crime in area, authorities say

BERKELEY — Protesters camping on the steps of the Berkeley main post office are tied to a number of violent crimes in the area, including a stabbing and an incident in which a dog bit off a large chunk of a man’s hand, city officials say.

People camping there and handing out fliers are opposed to the U.S. Postal Service July 18 decision to sell the building.

Two weeks after protesters started camping out on the property on July 27, led by Save the Berkeley Post Office, other groups and individuals joined in and “criminal incidents related to the encampment began to occur,” according to a memo sent Monday from City Manager Christine Daniel to Bates and the City Council.

Read more: Berkeley post office protest leads to crime in area, authorities say – San Jose Mercury News.

Video: Vermont post offices facing slashed service

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

WEST NEWBURY, Vt. -

The future of rural post offices across Vermont could bring major changes and slashed service.

"The people that are here, their day either begins, or ends at this post office. It’s a way of life for these people, and for me," said Charlie Metz of West Newbury.

Dozens of West Newbury residents gathered for a heated discussion Monday night over the future of the local post office. Many argued the building is more than a place to collect mail calling it the hub of the community.

"This is a community center, you come and see your neighbors and get your mail and hear someone is ill, so there is all of that," says Andrea Nye of West Newbury who opposes a recent U.S. Postal Service decision to cut hours at the town’s branch in half.

The USPS is billions of dollars in the hole and is scaling back to close the gap. West Newbury is one of 148 post offices in Vermont to have retail hours adjusted.

Read more: Vt. post offices facing slashed service – WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-.

Video: “If The Post Office Closes Horatio Will Be No More”

Horatio, SC (WLTX) In the tiny town of Horatio the post office has been nestled inside the town’s only store since 1900.

And the two are intertwined.

Lenoir’s store depends on area residents to come in to get their mail and then to shop.

A government plan to save money, set to begin in October of 2014, would trim the post office’s hours to only two hours a day and that would put Lenoir’s store in jeopardy.

The residents in Horatio are hoping that something can be worked out between now and then to keep the post office open full-time and in the process keep their beloved country store open as well.

via “If The Post Office Closes Horatio Will Be No More” | wltx.com.

Senator Bernie Sanders Statement on Postal Service Bill

bernieWASHINGTON, Aug. 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders today issued the following statement on a Postal Service reform bill introduced late Thursday in the Senate that could end Saturday and door-to-door mail delivery and close mail processing plants:

“While I have a great deal of respect for Sens. Carper and Coburn, the Postal Service bill that they introduced is significantly weaker than the bill that passed the Senate last year with 62 votes. That makes no sense. Over a short period of time, the Carper-Coburn bill will allow the Postal Service to shut down over half of the mail processing plants in this country, end Saturday delivery and even deliver mail fewer than 5 days a week.

“In the midst of a severe recession, this bill would lead to the elimination of tens of thousands of decent-paying jobs – many of them held by military veterans. That is why I have introduced the Postal Service Protection Act with 28 cosponsors, a bill that would sustain the Postal Service, avert unnecessary closures and save American jobs. Similar legislation introduced in the House by Rep. DeFazio now has 166 cosponsors.

“The Postal Service is an institution of enormous importance to the American people. It must be preserved and protected. About 80 percent of the financial problems of the Postal Service are the result of an unprecedented and onerous mandate that forces it to pay 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period.

“While we all understand that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems today and that changes need to be made, providing fewer services and poorer quality is not the way to save the Postal Service. That is why I am strongly opposed to this legislation.”