Retail service temporarily suspended at Milan Station PO in Richmond, VA


13NewsNow: Retail services have been suspended at the Milan Station Post Office in Norfolk, Virginia, on Wednesday.

The Postal Service is working with the landlord to reopen the building located at 3800 Colley Avenue as soon as possible.

Delivery services will not be impacted.

Until service can be restored, customers can pick up their Post Office Box mail at Norfolk Main Post Office, located at 600 Church Street in Norfolk.

(The news report provides no further explanation for the emergency suspension, but the USPS Leased Facilities Report for Virginia shows that the lease on the building ends Feb. 28, 2018, so the problem is probably lease related.)

13NewsNow Update: According to the Postal Service, efforts to find a new Post Office location has begun. Prior to the location’s official closing, post office officials said they were ‘cooperating’ with the landlord to get the building open as soon as possible.

What changed? Officials didn’t answer that question, but we contacted the landlord.

He didn’t want to be identified, but told 13News Now he had no idea about plans to close. The lease was ending next month, but there were no troubles, he explained.  Read more.


Postal Service Workers Are Shouldering the Burden for Amazon


Nation Magazine: Every day postal trucks drop off about 4,000 packages at a US Postal Service station in central Tennessee, where they’re unloaded by a team of around six USPS employees. Each person grabs a box, rushes to the only scanning machine, runs the bar code, and then places it in the proper gurney for its route. The process takes about 10 seconds, and it can be repeated as many as 200 times in an hour.

“You’ll see all of us, management included, trying to get under the machine, scanning packages and then tossing them, trying to get through it,” said Amanda, a USPS clerk who works there. “I’m pretty sure every one of us has at least one repetitive motion injury.”

Around one-third of the packages Amanda handles are shipped by Amazon. As the Seattle-based tech giant commands an ever greater share of the retail market, the number of packages handled by the USPS keeps increasing. But employees say Postal Service management hasn’t responded to surge in heavy items by investing in staffing or infrastructure. Instead, its leadership has cut costs and resorted to what union leaders call “management by stress.”  Read more.


Facebook plans to use U.S. mail to verify IDs of election ad buyers


PoliticusUSA: Facebook Inc will start using postcards sent by U.S. mail later this year to verify the identities and location of people who want to purchase U.S. election-related advertising on its site, a senior company executive said on Saturday.

The postcard verification is Facebook’s latest effort to respond to criticism from lawmakers, security experts and election integrity watchdog groups that it and other social media companies failed to detect and later responded slowly to Russia’s use of their platforms to spread divisive political content, including disinformation, during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook revealed the plans a day after U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed an indictment accusing 13 Russians and three Russian companies of conducting a criminal and espionage conspiracy using social media to interfere in the election by boosting Republican Donald Trump and denigrating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  Read more.


USPS is mum on plans to reopen Zanoni, MO, post office


Ozark County Times: Thursday, Feb. 8, was the deadline for area residents to submit proposals and offers for a site to be leased for the Zanoni, MO, post office “alternate quarters” being proposed by the U.S. Postal Service. But USPS personnel involved with the matter declined to provide any information about the USPS plan Monday.

USPS real estate specialist Vic Spikes, who presided over a public meeting here Jan. 8, said he was unable to speak to the media about the matter, referring the Times to Kansas City-based USPS strategic communications specialist Stacy St. John.

When contacted by the Times on Monday, St. John at first said that Feb. 8 was the deadline for “customer input” about the matter, not for site proposals. After the Times emailed her a copy of the materials distributed at the Jan. 8 meeting saying that Feb. 8 was the deadline for submitting site proposals and offers, she replied by email, “Unfortunately at this date we have nothing new to share.”

Paul Rose, who owns the building that housed the Zanoni post office from 1970 until USPS closed it under “emergency suspension” in February 2016, said Monday that he had withdrawn his earlier proposal to have the USPS locate the “alternate quarters” on his land. Spikes said at the Jan. 8 meeting that the new facility would be a modular 500-square-foot building equipped with a “self-incinerating toilet” for the USPS employee who would work there two hours a day during the week and four hours on Saturday. USPS planned to spend $270,000 to $280,000 to open the facility.  Read more.


University looks to renovate historic post office in Florence, SC


Renovations planned for an old post office in downtown Florence, SC, are on hold after Francis Marion University announced the multi-million-dollar project last February.

University officials said they expected to start moving into the old post office building this year, but they’re still waiting on the funds to move forward with the project.

FMU President Dr. Fred Carter said with the building now in their name, the university is working to come up with the money needed to renovate the building that will house new and current university programs.

“We would love to get the money as soon as possible,” Carter said. “It will provide class space and office space and instructional space for the next four or five health science programs at Francis Marion so it’s a good investment.”

Donors purchased the building for $3.7 million. With the addition of $8 million in renovations, all together the project costs over $11 million.

Carter said the university is working with state leaders to secure legislative funding for the renovations.

“It’s great for the university to be able to get that building. It’s right across the street from out health science building here. It’s a wonderful location for the expansion of our health sciences programs,” Carter said.  Read more.


As Work Space, Old Post Offices Have a Timeless Allure


New York Times: The Postal Service moved out of its longtime main post office in downtown Chicago in 1997, but ideas for remaking the Art Deco behemoth never gained traction. The huge building sat vacant, a far cry from the time when workers could sort up to 35 million letters a day there and residents posted mail in its elegant lobby, an airy space with stone floors and decorative panels.

Now, the real estate firm 601W Companies is taking a crack at reviving it. With a $500 million construction loan in hand, 601W is transforming a place once known for catalogs and stamps into a 2.8-million-square-foot office building called, simply enough, the Post Office.

The project is one of several major postal building redevelopments in the works around the country, including in New York and Houston. With their central locations and warehouse areas that can be converted into new uses, older postal facilities are seen as tantalizing candidates for transformation.

“Truly unique postindustrial space can’t be replicated, especially in great locations,” said Matt Garrison, a managing principal at R2 Companies, a Chicago real estate company that bought a 1.1-million-square-foot postal distribution center in downtown Milwaukee from an investor in 2015. “It’s very finite in supply. That’s what makes the spaces special and unique — you can’t fabricate it.”  Read more.