Privatization of the Postal Service: New Litmus Test for Republicans?

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Is favoring the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service becoming a new litmus test to determine the conservative bona fides of Republican candidates for president?  It’s looking that way. Speaking at the University of Chicago June 7, presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty specifically mentioned the Postal Service in his list of government agencies that should be turned over to the private … Read More

Mass media hypnosis

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Last week, US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, commenting on his efforts to protect postal jobs, compared the financial problems of the Postal Service to a fiscal failure abroad. “"Look what's going on in Greece,” he said. “There's nothing safe.”  The doomsday talk just gets shriller.  The Ross committee brings forth witnesses to testify that the Postal Service must make drastic … Read More

“You designed a system to make the post office fail.”

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The post office was established in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, in 1810, when it was one of only 35 in the state.  From 1835 until 1914, it was located in the Jenkins Country Store with members of the Jenkins family succeeding each other as postmasters.  In 1914, it moved to a small building on the grounds of Gwynedd Friends Meeting, a Quaker … Read More

The Culture of Closure in the UK: The Real Cost of Axing Post Offices

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In the UK, they know all about post office closures.  They’ve been dealing with them for almost 15 years.  As in the US, the British postal system had long been a government department, but in 1969 the UK turned its postal system into a “statutory corporation.”  (One year later President Nixon would sign the Postal Reorganization Act, likewise turning our … Read More

No go in Ohio: Judge wimps out

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It would have been big.  For only the second time in history, a city took the Postal Service to court to stop it from closing a post office. Last week, the city of Akron requested  a temporary restraining order to stop the closing of the Goodyear Heights Post Office at the end of the day on Friday.  But on Friday … 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

“Harbor of Hospitality” may lose historic post office

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Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was incorporated in 1793.  Wikipedia provides several interesting facts about the place: It’s known as the “Harbor of Hospitality" because of its long history of shipping thanks to its location at the narrowing of the Pasquotank River. The city has been cited as one of "The 100 Best Small Towns in America" by author Norman Crampton. … 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

How many post offices does the country really need?

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Dennis Ross, Tea Party congressman from Florida, held another hearing on the post office today.  The question before the committee was “Postal Infrastructure: How Much Can We Afford?”  Given that Ross is no friend of the Postal Service, you can can quess the answer—not much. Below is a video of the hearing, and after that, a brief summary and response. … Read More

Home will never be the same

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The Pony Express is legendary for the daring of its riders and the speed with which it delivered the mail—from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, 1900 miles in 10 days.  Mark Twain was out west during those months, stage coaching across the Prairie, and he saw a “pony-rider” first-hand.  But as he writes in Roughing It, the rider went … Read More