A message to all employees of the United States Postal Service from Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – In 17 major US cities this week, the US Postal Service’s Operation Santa will begin offering the public letters to Santa written by low income children. Volunteers can “adopt” letters from needy kids asking Santa for “a warm coat,” “food or clothes,” or “shoes for my older brother,” and then mail their gifts directly to the family they chose.
But many wishing to answer a child’s letter to Santa will be unable to locate a participating postal branch. Online searches for Operation Santa, even at www.USPS.com, will not readily result in the USPS’ current directory.
www.BeAnElf.org fills this need. The site is a much-needed resource letting the public know where they can volunteer for Operation Santa and how it offers an easy-to-find, current list of all participating USPS branches, along with the hours of operation.
The USPS will have its Operation Santa kickoff at 11am on Tuesday, December 3rd in New York City. Children’s Santa letters will also be offered at a single postal branch in each of the following cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, Cincinnati, Newark and 6 others. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the Operation Santa program, started by the USPS in 1912.
www.BeAnElf.org is the best online guide to Operation Santa. The website offers an easy-to-find list of this year’s 17 participating branches, tips for gifts for needy kids, such as backpacks and school supplies, and suggests a small gift for Moms, who the site notes are “often single and living below the poverty line.” Be An Elf recommends that volunteers share the work and the fun, and give Christmas parties to which friends bring gifts, and wrap them together.
Some people feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort being part of this program. Other volunteers have families and bring their kids to teach them the meaning of Christmas. Companies may adopt multiple letters.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had a big surprise for correspondent Charlie Rose this week. After their 60 Minutes interview, Bezos walked Rose into a mystery room at the Amazon offices and revealed a secret R&D project: “Octocopter” drones that will fly packages directly to your doorstep in 30 minutes.
It’s an audacious plan that Bezos says requires more safety testing and FAA approvals, but he estimates that delivery-by-drone, called Amazon “Prime Air,” will be available to customers in as soon as 4-5 years.
USPS management isn’t pleased with the PRC’s ruling last week that delayed implementation of mandatory Full-Service IMb by mailers. In a response to the PRC order, the USPS accused the PRC of overstepping its authority, and “improperly” involving itself in postal operations. It labeled the PRC’s views on pricing “vestigial”, and claimed the regulator had eroded “whatever pricing flexibility the Postal Service purportedly enjoys” under PAEA:
Although the Postal Service is complying with the Commission’s directive, it believes that the Commission’s finding… oversteps its authority and improperly involves it in the operations of the Postal Service. The intent of the Congress in passing the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was to afford the Postal Service true pricing flexibility, unencumbered by the Commission’s own vestigial views on pricing. The Commission’s findings on the Full-Service IMb issue ignore that Congressional intent, inappropriately expand the scope of the price cap, and erode whatever pricing flexibility the Postal Service purportedly enjoys.
You may remember that in 2011 the US Postal Service issued a Statue of Liberty “forever” stamp. You may also recall that shortly thereafter, it was revealed by Linn’s Stamp News that the statue pictured on the stamp wasn’t the famous one in New York Harbor, but rather, a replica that stands outside a casino in Las Vegas.
In a memorable statement, the USPS admitted that while there may have been mistakes in selecting and describing the stamp design, “We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway”. Those words may come back to haunt the agency, because the sculptor of the Las Vegas statue is now suing the USPS for copyright infringement.
The postal service licensed the photo used on the stamp from Getty Images, an online photo agency. It failed, however, to acquire a license from the sculptor- presumably because it thought it was dealing with a statue whose design had long ago entered the public domain.
The design used by the sculptor, Robert S. Davidson, was distinctive enough to be noticed by an alert Linn’s reader. And after the “error” was discovered, the USPS had been quick to proclaim that there was “no error in the artwork”, and that it had wanted all along to do something “different” from previous Liberty stamps. All of which may make it difficult for the USPS to claim now that it simply made a mistake.
Davidson says in his complaint that he is not able to specify how much he’s owed in damages- but whether it was a mistake or a conscious decision, the stamp design could be costly for the USPS. In September, the sculptor responsible for the design of the Korean War Memorial was awarded $685,000 in damages after the USPS used a photo of the memorial on a stamp without the permission of the copyright holder. In that case, a federal court found that the copyright holder was entitled to a ten percent royalty on sales of stamps to collectors, and on sales of merchandise featuring the stamp design.
A couple found a bundle of undelivered mail abandoned on a rubbish bin outside their house.
Paul Clare discovered the unopened letters on a wheelie bin outside his house in Brookside Crescent, Middleton.
He says he and his wife contacted postal bosses to tell them about the dumped mail – but it was left sitting in full view of the street for four days before it was collected.
Paul, 46, said: “I’m shocked that mail should be treated with such little importance and would hate to think my mail could be left out in the open like this for anyone to take or read.”
Paul’s partner Julie Kirkham, 36, immediately emailed Royal Mail to report the undelivered letters, but was met with an automated reply.
ROCK HILL, S.C. –
Family and friends gathered in Rock Hill for the funeral of a postal worker shot and killed. Tyson Barnette moved to Maryland after graduating from Northwestern High School in his hometown of Rock Hill.
“He was a very sweet, respectable young man,” Barnette’s great aunt Mary Roseboro said. “He’s the type of guy that anyone could love.”
On Sunday, those who loved him gathered at Foundation AME Zion Church to celebrate Barnette’s life. His family members told Eyewitness News they’re leaning on each other right now to get through this difficult time. Read the rest of this entry »
MANGUM, Okla. — Before golden rays paint over the dry and dusty plains in rural Oklahoma, one man is already hard at work. Jim Ed Bull — known to the locals as Jim Ed — rolls out of bed, powers through 50 sit-ups, and kisses his wife Susan before hopping into his trusty Ford Ranger.
Bull has racked up a lot of miles on his little red truck, more than 295,000 of them. As the postman for America’s longest mail route, he delivers mail to the tiny towns of Duke and El Dorado, as well as the homes and farms along winding country roads in between. The 72-year-old travels 187 miles a day, making 198 stops, and serving 247 families.
For nine hours each day he sits in the middle seat, steering with his left arm and slamming mailboxes shut with his right. He’s one box closer to home with each off-load of bills, birthday cards, and magazines.
LANDOVER, Md. (WUSA9) — Tomorrow morning, Prince George’s County Police detectives and U.S. Postal investigators will be passing out fliers after a postal carrier was killed on the job in Landover.
They are looking for anything that will help them find the person who killed Tyson Jerome Barnette last Saturday.
Investigators say they will retrace the route Barnette was walking the night he was killed.
Months of intense investigation of New Jersey plastic recycling centers resulted in significant arrests and both state and federal charges. Led by the baking industry COMBAT (Control of Missing Baskets and Trays) group and joined by the United States Postal Service and the FBI, a major plastic recycling operation with facilities across the Mid-Atlantic region was targeted. The value of bakery trays, milk crates, pharmacy and postal tubs recycled at two New Jersey facilities exceeded $2.5 million. Over $100,000 worth of plastic was recovered by local law enforcement. ABA has been assisting the COMBAT group in its efforts by bringing together the dairy and soft drink industries and the Postal Service to fight the theft of plastic containers.