Written by Patricia Huelseman
The Harrison Press
Santa’s not the only one delivering holiday cheer.
Everyone knows about Santa and his mad delivering skills. But during this great gift giving season, there is another, a group, a team dedicated to delivering packages
to their new owners and dispersing holiday cheer.
This professional gift-delivery unit goes by a very official name: The United States Postal Service.
While Santa dedicates an entire night to package delivery, the post office delivers year round, Monday – Saturday, holidays excluded.
Michael Lohman, a native of Harrison Township, has delivered for the U.S. Postal Service for 16 years, 9 of which were in the city of Harrison.
In all of his years of service, Lohman says he only recalls one day when mail was not delivered. Snow, he says, was well over 2 feet deep making all roads impassable.
Lohman always appreciates this time of year. He finds joy in delivering packages and Christmas cards and otherwise spreading the holiday cheer.
Read the rest of this article here.
Thank a Postal Worker This Holiday
By John Nichols
The Capital Times
Postal workers are giving it their all this holiday season, as cards and packages must be delivered among ice storms, snowstorms and wild temperature drops.
Yet postal workers are still under assault from political slackers in Washington — like House members who want nothing more than to diminish the United States Postal Service to such an extent that it can be bartered off to the highest bidder.
The Postal Service is going through changes, to be sure. But it is wrong — and frankly absurd — to suggest that the only fix is downsizing. That’s precisely the wrong route. Schemes to cut services and sell off parts of the service begin with the false premise that its current financial challenges are evidence of structural flaws.
That’s not the case.
To the extent that the Postal Service is losing money, the vast majority of the losses — roughly 80 percent, according to Congressman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., result from a mandate imposed by Congress in 2006 that requires the USPS to prepay retiree health care benefits for 75 years into the future. Major corporations could not shoulder such a burden. Neither could cities, states or the federal government.
Ending the mandate and requiring the Postal Service to operate along the lines of the most responsible private businesses would make the USPS viable.
Read more of Nichols’ column here.
Mail Carriers Deserve Our Thanks
By Laura Washington
The Sun Times
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds. And the postman always rings twice.
The explosion of online shopping and for-profit competition raises questions about the future of the U.S. Postal Service. The business pages report that millions of packages will flow through the postal system in the season. Retailers declare, the Judgment Day of Shipping is at hand. “Free Delivery by Christmas Eve!”
This time of year, we think a lot about our mail, but not so much about the men and women who sort, slot, stack and haul to get it there. They deliver our personal cargo, whether precious or unwelcome. They bring us the trinkets, bucks, bills and, yes, way too much junk.
As December wanes, I think of the postman often, with love and affection. My father was a postman, born on Christmas Day. He died in 1990.
In Daddy’s day, the postman was an iconic symbol of productivity and American life. Andrew Washington, Sr. was proud to carry the mail proud to wear the uniform (especially the cap, since he went bald in his early 20s).
He was no sentimentalist, but he treasured delivering to his neighbors. They depended on his dependability. For decades, he toted bulging duffel bags out of the post office at 61st and Langley. Every day, on the doorsteps, with a sardonic joke, being sure to ring, so they would know the mail was in.
Daddy knew the names of everyone on his route. Back before automatic deposit, they were sure to get their public assistance and Social Security checks on time.
Read more here.
Neither Rain, Snow Nor, In This Case, Online Shopping…
By Lauren Zumbach
In recent years, mail carriers have had fewer and fewer letters to deliver. Demand has dropped so much that the U.S. Postal Service, which lost $5 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, tried to get Congress’ approval to stop Saturday letter deliveries.
So it came as a surprise when the Chicago post office announced last week that local carriers would deliver packages seven days a week in the two weeks before Christmas — including this Sunday — to keep up with a larger than expected boom in demand for holiday shipping.
“Why the growth? Two words: online shipping,” said Mark Reynolds, Postal Service spokesman for the Chicago District. “A lot more online business is coming to us than in years past.”
Though the number of pieces of first-class mail, which makes up the largest share of the Postal Service’s revenue, fell from 91.7 billion in the 2008 fiscal year to 65.8 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, package shipments have been rising. This year, the Postal Service handled 3.7 billion of them, up from 3.1 billion in 2009.
Although the strengthening economy “doesn’t hurt,” Reynolds attributed the growth to the Postal Service’s focus on partnering with major online retailers, including Amazon.com.
Read the rest of Zumbach’s article here.
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