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What were you thinking, Mr. President? Obama nominates Hammond to the PRC

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On Friday the White House announced that President Obama was nominating Tony Hammond as the fifth commissioner on the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  No offense to Mr. Hammond, but that’s probably not good news for communities trying to save their post office or processing plant, and it’s not good news for postal workers either. The PRC is supposed to have five … Read More

What a difference a day makes: The Postal Service slows down the mail

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Back in the day (circa 1755), it could take six weeks for a letter to go from Philadelphia to Boston if the weather was bad.  “It having been found very inconvenient to persons concerned in trade” for the mail to take so long, Postmaster General Ben Franklin gave orders to pick up the pace, and the delivery time was cut … Read More

On Falling Mail Volumes, A Tale of Two Stories

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” … Read More

Dear Santa, Please send the Post Office a miracle

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A GUEST POST, BY SHERRI MADDICK Every holiday season TV stations run the fabulous 1947 classic film, "Miracle on 34th Street," starring 9-year-old Natalie Wood.  In the movie, there is a nice old man (Edmund Gwenn) who plays Santa at Gimbels Department Store in New York City.  He says his real name is Kris Kringle, but he is threatened to … Read More

Week in Review: The discontinuing continues

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A couple of weeks ago, word leaked out that the Postal Service would put a temporary suspension on post office closings and plant consolidations to avoid problems during the holiday season.  The suspension was supposed to go into effect on Friday, Nov. 18, but some offices closed on Saturday and early the following week — right before Thanksgiving.  There's more … Read More

The New York Times Editorial: How many things can you get wrong in 300 words?

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The New York Times welcomes the holiday season with a 300-word editorial entitled “Overhauling the Post Office for the 21ST Century.”  The piece gets so many things wrong that it would be laughable if it weren’t so maddening.  It’s really the Times’ editorial staff that ought to overhauled.   On five-day delivery First, the Times calls the request from management to … Read More

The Best Postal System Money Can Buy

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GUEST POST “Falling mail volume and soaring red ink may soon doom Saturday mail delivery and prompt three-day-a-week delivery within 15 years, Postmaster General warns.” — (USA Today, July 19, 2011) It had to happen.  In the year 2020 the Postmaster General went on television and announced to the country that because of a $600 billion USPS deficit and Congress’ refusal … Read More

Week in Review: AMPs, 10-K, PRC, CBRE, VPO, GAO & OWS

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It was another busy week in Postal World — post offices keep closing, plant consolidation plans keep rolling on, the GAO keeps coming up with studies, and the PRC struggles to keep up with the appeals and Advisory Opinion.  Here are just some of the highlights: Hearing in Harlem: The New York Metro Area APWU announced that on Tuesday, Nov. 22, … Read More

How Many People Use the Post Office? Does the Postal Service Even Know?

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There’s a new GAO report out this week by the indefatigable Phillip Herr.  It’s called “Action Needed to Maximize Cost-Saving Potential of Alternatives to Post Offices.”  In this week’s Federal Eye column for the Washington Post, Ed O’Keefe writes about the report and poses the question, “How bad is it at the post office? Here are the numbers.” Citing Herr’s … Read More

What does it take to save a post office? Looking at appeals on closings

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Yesterday, the Postal Regulatory Commission rejected three more appeals to save post offices — in Minneapolis, NC; Chillicothe, IA; and Pilot Grove, IA.  But the PRC finally ruled in favor of a community seeking to save its post office.  The ruling on Innis, Louisiana, “remands” the “Final Determination” to close the post office back to the Postal Service for further consideration.  That may or … Read More

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold: Time tells the story

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There’s an excellent piece in Time.com today entitled “How the U.S. Postal Service Fell Apart,” by Josh Sanburn.  Unlike most articles in the mainstream media, this one takes a thoughtfully balanced approach to the story.  Postmaster General Donahoe is there to provide the Postal Service’s view, but there are also interviews and a narrative line that tell another side of … Read More