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USPS introduces same day delivery service in New York City

The Postal Service has introduced Metro Post — a new option for New York businesses that need same-day package delivery service in the city.

New York is the second test market for Metro Post, which began in San Francisco in 2012.

In New York, businesses pay a fee to have packages picked up in the afternoon and delivered anywhere to customers in Manhattan by that evening.

New York District Customer Services Supervisor Jesse Garrett supervises five City Carrier Assistants who handle pickups and deliveries.

“Franklin Delano Roosevelt Station Post Office is excited to be at the forefront of the Postal Service’s newest innovation that blows our competition out of the water,” Garrett said. “Everyone is working hard to meet customer and operational expectations with the new service.”

Metro Post is part of the Postal Service’s strategy to grow its package delivery business. USPS said its package business increased 15 percent during the holidays. It also delivers packages on Sundays to Amazon customers in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas.

Postal workers alliance sends letter to Issa opposing latest reform proposal

The four unions representing rank and file postal workers have sent the following letter to Darrel Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member:

alliance

Dear Mr. Issa and Mr. Cummings:

We write to share our views on the hearing held on April 8, 2014 on the President’s proposals in the FY 2015 budget regarding the U.S. Postal Service. We write on behalf of nearly 500,000 postal employees who live and work in every Congressional District in America and who belong to our unions. We respectfully request that this letter be included in the record of the hearing. Read the rest of this entry »

New Royal Mail stamp issue chronicles the history of Buckingham Palace

buck_634x323Royal Mail today launches a ten-stamp issue that celebrates the history of Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of The Queen.
Six stamps explore the different appearance of this iconic building over the centuries while a four-stamp miniature sheet celebrates the opulence of its interior.

Royal Mail commissioned the artwork used for the 2014 stamp. The watercolour of the present day exterior of the Palace was painted by the artist Chris Draper.

The stamps are available from www.royalmail.com/buckinghampalace Opens in new window, by phone on 08457 641 641 and in 10,000 Post Offices throughout the UK

ASBPlargeBuckingham Palace is one of the few remaining working royal palaces in the world today and provides the setting for ceremonies and formal entertaining, as well as the Prime Minister’s weekly audience with The Queen.

Andrew Hammond, Royal Mail spokesperson, said; “This stamp issue illustrates the development of Buckingham Palace from the private house built by the Duke of Buckingham 300 years ago to one of the most iconic buildings in the world.

“Buckingham Palace is one of the most recognised landmarks in the UK and is a source of pride to the nation; it forms a huge part of our heritage, so it’s fitting Royal Mail has been able to dedicate a stamp issue to this most famous of addresses.”

MZBPlargeThe history of Buckingham Palace can be traced back to the early 17th century, when a mulberry garden was established on the site to breed silk worms. A house built near the garden for Lord Goring in 1633 was replaced, after a fire, on a larger scale by the next occupant, Henry Bennet, Secretary of State to King Charles II and later first Earl of Arlington. In 1698, Arlington House was acquired by John Sheffield, who was created Duke of Buckingham in 1703.

It was the Duke of Buckingham who transformed the site by demolishing the existing building and erecting an ambitious brick house with a three-storeyed central block and flanking pavilions.

This basic plan of Buckingham House formed the core of the future palace and dictated all subsequent development. Facing the Mall – the grand tree-lined avenue running along the north side of St James’s Park – and with a large formal garden at the back, it was an impressive residence benefitting from an excellent location and magnificent views.

In 1761, King George III bought the house as a private residence following his marriage to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh-Strelitz. However, it did not make for a comfortable home. By this time, many features of Buckingham House were out of fashion. To adapt the house to his tastes and needs, King George III put architect Sir William Chambers in charge. After Queen Charlotte settled in the upstairs rooms in 1775, the residence was known as the Queen’s House and became the centre of royal life.

The main developments by John Nash in the early 19th century to transformed it into a Royal Palace, and Queen Victoria’s expansion of the building created a new front facing the Mall.

The 20th century saw King Edward VII set about redecorating much of the interior in its distinctive white and gold décor.

- See more at: http://www.royalmailgroup.com/new-royal-mail-stamp-issue-chronicles-history-buckingham-palace#sthash.mLRCfsgC.dpuf

Mysterious postcard becomes window into past

The postcard’s message is brief, written along its edge in fading pencil: “Arrived in Portland at 8 o’clock. Having a fine time. Be home sometime Sat. — Blanche.”

But the writing on the postcard, addressed to Florence Marion of Butte Falls, isn’t its defining characteristic. The date it was sent — and the date it finally arrived — all but redefine the term “snail mail.”

Postmarked from Portland: 12:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 1940.

Arrived in Butte Falls: July 2013.

Formally delivered to Florence Marion’s great-grandson, Alan Marion of Phoenix: April 14, 2014.

Read more: Mysterious postcard becomes window into past | MailTribune.com.

USPS Plans to Open Hubs to Retailers Competing with Amazon

In 2020, when your supplies of milk and butter start to run low, your refrigerator will know to send out a call to the grocery store and, later that day, the Postal Service will show up at your door with fresh provisions.

Sound far-fetched? Not to Nagisa Manabe.

Manabe, the chief marketing and sales officer with the USPS, offered a preview of an array of initiatives that the agency is working on to improve and expand its services through the use of technology, tapping into unused infrastructure and by forging new partnerships.

Read more: USPS Plans to Open Hubs to Retailers Competing with Amazon.

Netflix Postal Advantage Comes to an End

(CN) – The D.C. Circuit approved the Postal Commission’s plan to end DVD-mailer discrimination – and Netflix’s favored status at the U.S. Postal Service – by equalizing the postage for DVD flats and letters.

Last year, the D.C. Circuit ended the U.S. Postal Service’s favoritism toward Netflix mail, which sorted Netflix DVD-mailers by hand, free of charge, while sending other companies’ DVD-mailers through automated processing machines.

GameFly, a video game rental service, challenged the Post Office’s bias in court, claiming that automatic processing often damages DVDs, requiring Gamefly to package their discs in heavier – and therefore, more expensive – cardboard packaging.

Read more: Courthouse News Service.

Deadly Letters: Connecticut Woman, 94, An Unlikely Victim Of 2001 Anthrax Mail Attacks

For weeks Ottilie Lundgren hadn’t been able to shake a pesky cold, so when her niece Shirley Davis visited her Oxford home on a Friday morning and found the 94-year-old woman was having difficulty breathing, they went to the hospital.

“I remember she kept telling me, ‘I don’t know why I am so sick. What could have happened to me that I’m still sick?’ I’ve never had anything like this before,’ ” Davis recalled recently. “Oh Lord, if she only knew the truth.”

Lundgren loved to read a good mystery but seemed an unlikely candidate to become a central character in one.

But that is exactly what happened after Davis brought her to Griffin Hospital in Derby on Nov. 16, 2001. For days doctors did tests trying to find out what was making Lundgren so sick. It wasn’t until one doctor tested for anthrax that the reality set in — somehow a mostly housebound elderly woman had been poisoned with the same anthrax that had been sent to U.S. senators and media outlets.

Read more: Deadly Letters: Oxford Woman, 94, An Unlikely Victim Of 2001 Anthrax Mail Attacks – Courant.com.

Man sentenced for robbing postal worker

Brandon B. Handy of Opelousas has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for assaulting and robbing a U.S. Postal Service contract carrier.

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said that sentence against Handy, 33, was handed down by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote. Handy was also sentenced to five years of supervised release once he serves his prison time.

During a two-day trail, Finley said witness testimony and documents admitted into evidence established that Handy and another individual wearing masks and armed with a pistol robbed a U.S. Postal Service contract driver on Aug. 13, 2011, at the Lawtell Post Office.

Read more: Man sentenced for robbing postal worker | Daily World | dailyworld.com.

California letter carrier arrested for Workers’ Comp fraud

13768258403_046574a541_mLOS ANGELES, Calif. – Wayne Lu, 53 of Torrance is in custody on charges of alleged workers’ compensation fraud associated with an injury received during his employment with the U.S. Postal Service. Detectives from the California Department of Insurance, with the assistance of U.S. Postal Inspectors, arrested Lu on Tuesday, April 8 in Manhattan Beach.

“Workers’ compensation fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Fraudulent claims inflate premiums for all consumers and cast unnecessary doubt on workers that are truly injured and deserve timely treatment and rehabilitation.”

California Department of Insurance Detectives and United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agents conducted a joint investigation and learned that Lu was working as a massage therapist despite his claims of shoulder injury. Surveillance and undercover operations by Fraud Division Detectives proved that Lu was a working massage therapist and failed to report said employment or improvement of condition to the United States Department of Labor, the entity that handles workers’ compensation for the U.S. Postal Service.

Detectives from CDI’s Fraud Division are currently part of a task force operated by the Office of Inspector General – Postal Inspection Unit, focused on investigating and arresting postal employees who are suspected of committing insurance fraud in the State of California. Wayne Lu is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud and the case will be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Video: Linns Stamp News Monday Morning Brief

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editor Charles Snee discusses a few significant events in the stamp world last week and what to look for in the coming week.This week’s stories for April 14, 2014, include:

  • April Fools’ Day USPS press release backfires
  • Stamp shortage strikes Nicaragua
  • Scott catalogue update
  • Vintage Circus Poster stamps set for May 5

Read more: Linns Stamp News