In Dubious Battle: The Postal Service, Congress, and Verizon go at it

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Congress and the Postal Service are locked in a brutal face-off, with the future of the post office at stake.  An angry Congressman writes the Postmaster General accusing postal officials of uttering falsehoods.  The Postal Service defends itself by blaming an Internet provider.  No, we’re not talking about Darrell Issa, postal D-day, the historic default on the $5.6 billion payment … Read More

Discontinuances discontinued: Where have all the closures gone?

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The Postal Service may be taking a new line on downsizing its retail network.  Instead of big plans and long lists of potential closures, the Postal Service is apparently adopting a more incremental approach. After years of talking about closing thousands of post offices — after all the announcements of new initiatives, after all the town meetings, advisory opinions, appeals, … Read More

Double Trouble: DUOed & lease expiring

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There are two signs your post office may be in danger of closing: The Postal Service is moving the carriers to another facility — that’s called Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) — or the lease is set to expire over the coming months.  You’ve got double trouble if both of those things are happening.  It could be that the Postal Service … Read More

“A half-vast plan”: A postmaster comments on POStPlan

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[Today, Postmaster Mark Jamison of Webster, North Carolina, shared these comments on POStPlan with the Postal Regulatory Commission.] July 27, 2012 Commissioners, I am not an intervener in this docket. I understand that these comments cannot become a part of the record and may not have an impact on your deliberations in this case. I hope, however, that you will … Read More

The Annexation of the Post Office

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A new trend is emerging.  The Postal Service is closing post offices in downtown areas and busy shopping centers, and moving retail services to a carrier annex on the outskirts of town.  The “annexation” process began a long time ago, when the Postal Service started moving carriers from the main post office or a branch out to an annex, leaving … Read More

Citizens Rally to Save the Berkeley Post Office

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About a hundred people gathered for a rally in front of the post office in Berkeley, California, yesterday.  The historic 1915 post office is for sale, and the citizens of Berkeley are going to do everything they can to stop what New Deal geographer Gray Brechin calls “an old fashioned 19th century land grab.” There’s more on the story in the … Read More

What the post office could be

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What if instead of closing post offices, cutting window hours, getting rid of career postmasters, and selling off post office buildings, the Postal Service had a different vision?  What if brick-and-mortar post offices were seen as vital community hubs with a lot of potential for bringing in new sources of revenue?  What if the Postal Service stopped pushing customers to … Read More

The year of wishful thinking: The market research on Network Rationalization

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At the end of last week, the participants in the Advisory Opinion on Network Rationalization submitted reply briefs that address the issues and arguments in the initial briefs filed a couple of weeks ago.  Much of the debate about the advisability of proceeding with the consolidation plan hinges on the market research conducted last year to determine how big the … Read More

Revised POStPlan list with APOs

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A couple of days ago the Postal Service gave the Postal Regulatory Commission a revised list of the 17,752 post offices impacted by POStPlan.  The new list includes the Administrative Post Office (APO) that will manage each Remotely Managed Post Office (RMPO). You can download the entire new list on the PRC website here.  An abridged list (with some of … Read More

A day with Mr. Day: Cross-examining POStPlan at the PRC

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USPS Manager of Retail Operations, Jeffrey Day —  the Postal Service’s one and only witness for POStPlan — testified before the Postal Regulatory Commission last week.  He was there to be cross-examined about the details in the plan to reduce hours at 13,000 post offices.  There wasn’t much in the way of Perry Mason moments, and judging by the questions … Read More

Relocating Redmond: A promise the Postal Service didn’t deliver

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Redmond, Washington, is a town of 54,000 located just 16 miles east of Seattle.  It’s best known as the home of Microsoft and Nintendo, and it’s one of the most affluent communities in the state.  The town’s biggest problem seems to be growing pains — the economic boom of the past two decades has been causing a lot of traffic and … Read More