“Harbor of Hospitality” may lose historic post office

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Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was incorporated in 1793.  Wikipedia provides several interesting facts about the place: It’s known as the “Harbor of Hospitality" because of its long history of shipping thanks to its location at the narrowing of the Pasquotank River. The city has been cited as one of "The 100 Best Small Towns in America" by author Norman Crampton. … Read More

Mystery in “Love Valley”: Emergency Suspension in Liebenthal, KS

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Liebenthal, Kansas, was founded in 1876 by immigrants from the Ukraine. Named for Liebenthal (“love valley”), Russia, the settlement received a post office on November 28, 1899. According to the Hays Daily News, this week a sign appeared on the door of the Liebenthal Post Office, telling customers the post office was closed and to pick up their mail in … Read More

How many post offices does the country really need?

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Dennis Ross, Tea Party congressman from Florida, held another hearing on the post office today.  The question before the committee was “Postal Infrastructure: How Much Can We Afford?”  Given that Ross is no friend of the Postal Service, you can can quess the answer—not much. Below is a video of the hearing, and after that, a brief summary and response. … Read More

Home will never be the same

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The Pony Express is legendary for the daring of its riders and the speed with which it delivered the mail—from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, 1900 miles in 10 days.  Mark Twain was out west during those months, stage coaching across the Prairie, and he saw a “pony-rider” first-hand.  But as he writes in Roughing It, the rider went … Read More

The Social Value of the Post Office

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In February of 2010, the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization, prepared a white paper commissioned by the Postal Regulatory Commission entitled “A Framework for Considering the Social Value of Postal Services.”  Its purpose was to “identify the array of benefits provided by the United States Postal Service—through its mail service and post offices—that contribute to … Read More

Barriers to Retail Network Optimization

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Closing a post office can have devastating effects on a community’s economy, culture, and identity.  The Postal Service calls it “network optimization.” On June 9, 2011, the USPS Office of Inspector General issued a white paper called “Barriers to Retail Network Optimization.”  The report is a survey of what’s keeping the Postal Service from closing post offices as fast as … Read More

Now playing: “Save the Post Office”

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The East Akron postal station in Goodyear Heights, Akron, Ohio, is due to close this Friday.  The city is seeking a temporary restraining order to bar the U.S. Postal Service from shutting it down.   According to Ohio.com, the Postal Service announced in April that it was closing the post office to save money.  Since it's officially a "station" rather than … Read More

Post office closes, Postal Service saves $13 a day

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The village of Doylesburg, Pennsylvania, was laid out on April 24, 1852 by Philip Thomas Doyle, and two years later he became its first postmaster.  The post office has always been located in a general store, built and operated, in its early days, by another member of the Doyle family.   Doylesburg General Store owner Georgia O'Donnell has been taking … Read More

By the time we got to Rockstock, the post office was closing

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It's been compared to the "annual hoopla surrounding the uncorking of the famed Beaujolais Nouveau wine in France or the feasting during the sardine run in South Africa." Every year, on the first Saturday of August, thousands of people descend upon the small town of Rockville, Nebraska (pop. 106), for a live music festival called "Rockstock."  It's Nebraska's largest street … Read More

The Old Days of Greenwich, and the New

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The federal government has a long history, going back to the early nineteenth-century, of constructing buildings intended to symbolize the power, stability, and prosperity of the nation and its government.  Court houses, custom houses, and post offices were designed in the latest styles and using the best technology, and they were supposed to be monumental and grand to inspire confidence … Read More

The Words Are Hard To Find: Historic Post Office in York, PA—For Sale

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York, Pennsylvania, was settled by the English in 1741. During the Revolutionary War, it served as the temporary capital of the Continental Congress, and the Articles of Confederation were drafted there, so York likes to think of itself as the first Capital of the United States. The city has been called an architectural museum because the downtown features so many … Read More

Moratorium Time

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Maybe it’s time for a moratorium on post office closures, consolidations, and suspensions.  The Postal Service seems to be closing post offices as fast as it can, and communities barely have time to react.  Many have had a post office for over a hundred years, yet they’re given just 60 days to respond to a closure notice.  With emergency suspensions, … Read More

Postal worker slips on ice in North Dakota, post office closes

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In early December, the postal worker running the post office in the small town of Douglas, North Dakota, slipped on the ice, injuring his leg and knee, and the post office was put under an "emergency suspension" for eight weeks.  As reported in the Minot Daily News, on May 25,  a meeting was held in Douglas to brief postal customers … Read More

Not closed, but not open: An emergency suspension in Beallsville, Maryland

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The post office in Beallsville, Maryland, was shuttered for an “emergency suspension” in August of last year because the landlord wanted to raise the rent. According to the Gazette.Net, on Tuesday, May 7, a meeting was held with local residents and Postal Service representatives to discuss making the suspension a permanent closure. Turns out the closing was caused by a … Read More

Investigating the Emergency Suspensions

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Although an "emergency suspension" is supposed to close a post office temporarily, just until the circumstances can be corrected, once a post is suspended, it rarely opens again.  Back in 1997, a General Accounting Office study found that of the 651 post offices that had been suspended over the previous five years, only 31 had re-opened.  Some people think that … Read More