The Postal Service has begun a discontinuance study to close the downtown post office in Victoria, Texas. The Postal Service rents the space from the General Services Administration for $305,000 annually, plus $160,000 in utilities. If the GSA were to lower the rent, the post office might stay put, but if that doesn't happen, downtown businesses will suffer, and it will be a hardship on many residents. Read more.
Lauren Steiner, LA Progressive: The rally I went to Saturday to save the Santa Monica Post Office was a bit of a bummer. After 75 years of continuous service, the branch on Arizona and 5th Street was closing its doors for good. The U.S. Postal Service, a vital part of the public infrastructure of this country and a source of hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs, is in the process of being raided, and its assets sold to the highest bidder. And the best that we the people can muster is a rally to beg a city agency to recognize the historic value of the building, so at least it won’t be demolished. And maybe, if we’re lucky enough, the new private owner will build a restaurant or some other entity that will preserve the historic lobby of the building for the public to see — at least those members willing and able to pay for a meal. Read more.
The Postal Service has issued a Final Determination to relocate retail services in La Jolla, California, thus paving the way for the eventual sale of the historic New Deal post office. Tom Samra, Vice President, Facilities, was responsible for reviewing the appeals, and not unexpectedly, he came to the same decision that he made regarding the relocation of the Bronx GPO: the objections to the relocation “do not outweigh the financial exigencies facing the Postal Service.” (Mr. Samra’s Final Determination is here.)
Leslie Davis, chair of a task force trying to stop the sale of the landmark post office, did not mince words about her view of the Postal Service’s decision. “The USPS has behaved like an arrogant bully,” she said. “They have been dismissive, aloof, secretive and cocky. The resources of time and money they’ve spent on their misinformation campaign regarding their finances have succeeded, and ‘the people’ never stood a chance. Realtors at CBRE will continue the sell-off of these real estate assets that once belonged to all Americans but somehow were handed over in a silent act of greed.”
Mr. Samra’s Final Determination indicates that appeals were received from several elected officials and community organizations: Congresswoman Susan Davis, Congressman Scott Peters, Mayor Bob Filner, Councilmember Sherri Lightner, the Save Our La Jolla Post Office Task Force, the La Jolla Historical Society, the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, as well as a number of other individuals.
One might think that with such important people and organizations opposing the relocation decision so vehemently, the Postal Service could look for other ways to save a few dollars and bring in some revenue, but postal management will not change course, no matter what.
Several of the appeals pointed to the Postal Service’s failure to follow federal statutes and regulations regarding the disposal of historic properties. That’s been the case with most of the other historic post offices that have been closed, relocated, and sold, but the Postal Service has continuously maintained that it is following the law. That claim, dubious as it is, can only be challenged in federal court.
The day after La Jollans celebrated their country’s independence with a fireworks display at the cove, the Postal Service tacked a notice to the Wall Street post office that many La Jollans consider decidedly unpatriotic — USPS’s “final determination” of plans to sell the historic building at 1140 Wall St.
Community members who have been working to keep postal services in the building for more than a year and a half reacted swiftly to the announcement, which comes at the conclusion of the USPS’s review of more than 70 appeals filed in response to the planned sale of the building, and relocation of its services.
Task force chair Leslie Davis called the announcement “a frontal assault on communities across the United States.” Read more.
The U.S. Postal Service's pending sale of Northfield's downtown post office has been a long and, at times, frustrating process for multiple local groups. Now the Postal Service is doing a fresh appraisal and rethinking the selling price. In the meantime, a survey of downtown businesses reports that they use the facility often for sending and receiving mail and rate the service as satisfactory, very important and essential to their business. The summary of the survey of 48 downtown Northfield businesses that responded concluded that a consolidation that would move the services to the annex at the south end of Northfield at 2101 Cannon Rd. would be inconvenient and increase business costs. Read more.
Five protestors, calling themselves “postal protectors," were arrested today in an occupation of a private air cargo facility slated to handle and process US mail. “Postal mail handlers and mail processing clerks are losing their jobs to profiteering, private corporations,” declared Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier who joined the civil disobedience action at the Matheson Flight Extenders facility, just next door to the US Postal Service’s Portland Air Cargo Center. “We protest the privatization of the public postal service. We oppose the destruction of family wage, union jobs and the delay of the people’s mail. We intend to disrupt this attack on our communities.” Protest organizers, Portland Communities and Postal Workers United, are demanding that Matheson management pull out of negotiations for the subcontracting of postal jobs. Read more.