We just want our mail: A maximum degree of no postal services in Francitas

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Francitas is a small town in south Texas.  It’s had a post office since 1911, but no longer.  The Postal Service isn’t interested in providing Francitas with a post office anymore, nor with much else either. Since 2011, the town has been hit with two final determinations to close the post office, had the hours reduced to two a day … Read More

Not so good Friday in Freistatt: Post office closed on two days’ notice

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The post office in Freistatt, Missouri, closed today — on two days’ notice to customers.  The Postal Service says it was unable to negotiate a lease renewal with the landlord, so it declared an emergency suspension.  As usual in these cases, the landlord says he was more than willing to reduce the rent and make other accommodations, but his efforts, … Read More

The Postal Service shares some lists: Closures, Suspensions, VPOs, CPUs, and Retail Channels

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Yesterday the Postal Service provided the Postal Regulatory Commission with some lists and other material for the annual compliance report.  They include the post offices that were closed and suspended during fiscal year 2012 (October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012), as well as information about retail revenue sources and Contract Postal Units (CPUs) and Village Post Offices (VPOs). You … Read More

Constructively closed: The emergency suspensions continue

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The Postal Service continues to close post offices by emergency suspension over problems renegotiating leases.  Many of the problems are caused by the Postal Service.  A suspension is an easy way to close a post office — it avoids a lengthy discontinuance process and the possibility of an appeal to the Postal Regulatory Commission, and it makes it look like the closure … Read More

Manufacturing Emergencies: An open letter to the PRC on post office suspensions

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BY MARK JAMISON [The following letter was recently sent to the Postal Regulatory Commission and Chairman Goldway in response to issues arising from the implementation of POStPlan.] Dear Chairman Goldway, I am writing to you directly but I hope you will share these comments with the other commissioners. As you are aware, I was very critical of the decision in … Read More

Holler for help: There’s no stopping emergency suspensions

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According to a USPS service disruption report issued on November 10, over 330 post offices were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  About 120 were completely shut down, and another 30 had the retail operations suspended.  Many of these offices remain closed, but it’s likely they will all eventually reopen once power is restored. The same cannot be said for several other post offices … Read More

Another POStPlan post office hit with suspension, gets the fifth option

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  The Postal Service has closed another POStPlan post office by emergency suspension.  The Postal Service’s reassurances to the Postal Regulatory Commission that it wouldn’t be doing that don’t seem to count for much. A few days ago, we noted the emergency suspension of the post office in Helen, Maryland.  It’s on the POStPlan list, set to be downgraded to … Read More

Fork in the Road for POStPlan

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The Postal Service has assured the Postal Regulatory Commission on several occasions that it would not use lease problems or staffing issues to close POStPlan post offices by emergency suspension.  Yet even before the implementation of POStPlan has officially begun, that seems to be exactly what’s happening. In Helen, Maryland, the post office is set to be reduced to two … Read More

Knife in the back: More tales of emergency suspensions

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Tomorrow will be the last day for the Southboro Station post office in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The Postal Service is closing the office as an “emergency suspension” due to a “lease expiration.” USPS Handbook PO-101 says the Postal Service has 90 days to find another location or to proceed with a formal discontinuance study, but according to the Palm  … 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

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

Manufacturing Emergency: Stories of Post Office Suspensions

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It can take months for the USPS to go through the bureaucratic process of closing a post office, but under the law’s provision for an “emergency suspension,” the USPS can shutter a post office in as little as 24 hours.  According to the Postal Operations Manual (download pdf), these suspensions are supposed to be temporary closings for unusual circumstances—a natural … Read More