Tag Archives: US Postal Service

If You’re Wondering Why The US Postal Service Loses $2 Billion A Year …

… just check out this mailer:

I have no idea how many Westporters will dash on down to Playhouse Square on those 2 magical Sundays next month.

But I’ll bet you a sackful of Santa’s toys that it won’t come near covering the cost of this glossy, colorful postcard.

Which (I think) was sent to every single mailbox in town this week.

Introducing A New “06880” Feature: Unsung Heroes

Westport is filled with amazing people. They head our government and non-profit organizations. They’re business owners, arts advocates, athletes — the town’s movers and shakers.

We know them, because they’re so active and visible. They’re the folks who frequently — and deservedly — get their names and mugs on “06880.”

But Westport is also filled with amazing people who never get shout-outs.

Store clerks, bank tellers, baristas. Cleaning ladies, volunteers, neighbors. Their list is probably a lot longer than the one of all the great men and women everyone always thanks.

Now — every Wednesday — our unsung heroes will have their praises sung.

Any “06880” reader can nominate anyone. It can be someone who has spent a lifetime doing good, quiet deeds — or someone who did one great solid you noticed.

Unsung heroes can be any age. They can do anything. The only qualification is: They must live, work, or otherwise have some connection to Westport.

Email dwoog@optonline.net, with a photo and description of your unsung hero. He or she can know about your nomination in advance — or it can be a complete surprise. They’ll be posted every Wednesday, at noon.

Here’s our 1st Unsung Hero:

Alert — and grateful — “06880” reader Chris Swan (above) says:

Trudy Lynch has been our USPS carrier for many years. But since I retired 4 years ago, I’ve gotten to know her very well.

Though morale at the Post Office seems to have gotten very low, Trudy always smiles and tries to raise her coworkers’ spirits.

She often stops her truck and walks up to drop off mail, as opposed to stuffing it in the box on the street. She is not your typical government employee.

Just today, she delivered (another) Amazon box. Her smile was so contagious, she gave us a real lift.

My wife Carol wondered how many people actually know their carrier’s name?

So we took her picture to send your way in recognition of this terrific employee, serving our community tirelessly day in and out.

Congratulations, Trudy. You are the first of many unsung heroes — making you truly #1!

Neither Snow Nor …

Today’s light but steady snowfall made driving treacherous.

(Except for the usual bozos barreling along the Post Road at their usual breakneck speed. Slow down, guys!)

Our postal carriers were undeterred. They lived up to their motto — as this photo from Drumlin Road shows.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

The truck made its way up the unplowed road with some difficulty, alert photographer Fred Cantor reports.

But it did deliver the mail.

Newman’s Own Stamp

From Walt Reed and Stevan Dohanos to Miggs Burroughs, Westport artists have designed dozens of US postage stamps.

There have been so many, in fact, that the Westport Historical Society devoted an entire exhibit to the illustrators and their stamps.

Now, a famous Westporter is being honored with a stamp of his own.

Paul Newman’s very good-looking face will grace a “Forever Stamp.” It goes on sale September 18.

Paul Newman stampThere’s not enough room on the stamp to list all of Newman’s accomplishments. He’s been an award-winning actor, producer, director, race car driver, salad dressing/lemonade king, humanitarian, founder of a camp for kids with cancer, and contributor to many causes, around the globe and right here in his home town.

So it reads simply “Actor/Philanthropist.”

To which Westporters proudly add: Our actor/philanthropist.

(For more information on the stamp, click here. Hat tip: Melissa Chang)

New Zip Code In The Works For Westport

First it was new telephone area codes.

Now, it’s a new zip code.

According to the website ZipCodesUSA, the United States Postal Service is “seriously considering” a plan to slice Westport into 2 zip codes. Other suburban communities with similar populations nationwide would also be affected.

This is not John Nissenson.

This is not John C. Nissenson.

“It’s a way of adapting to changing technology, and changing postal mailing patterns,” said John C. Nissenson, USPS director of zip code enhancement. “We think we can handle delivery more efficiently with added zip codes.” The “enhanced” zip codes would take effect January 1, 2015.

Approximately half of Westport’s residential customers would lose 06880 — our well-known zip code since they were introduced in 1963. The new zip code would be 06882. 06881 is used for town offices, while 06883 is Weston’s zip code.

Fortunately, my zip code won’t change. And rest assured: This blog’s name won’t change either.

But yours might. Click here to see a map of the proposed changes.

Video Promises Explosive Postal Service Expose — With A Westport Link

“06880”‘s tagline is “Where Westport meets the world.”

This story takes both the zip code and blog motto literally.

Nicolette Weinbaum is a former Inklings school newspaper editor, and 2012 Staples graduate. Now a Villanova University sophomore and activist, her Nicolette Post website offers insights into culture, politics, trends and entertainment.

In a few days, she’ll post an explosive video she hopes will gain national attention. Today, she offered “06880” a world premiere. (The link to view it is at the end of this story.)

Nicolette Weinbaum stands near the post office, for her video.

Nicolette Weinbaum stands near the post office, for her video.

The video starts with an overview of the US Postal Service‘s financial woes. But she quickly zeroes in on her local post office — well, the building that served that purpose for over 70 years.

Nicolette’s “eye-opening” finding that “should concern all Americans” includes a look back at the limestone and brick building at 154 Post Road East. Designed as a New Deal project by a former World War I flying ace, the post office cost $35,000 for the land, $108,000 to build.

Nicolette offers 2 very intriguing facts.

One is that although the building was appraised for $3.6 million, it was sold a couple of years ago for just $2.4 million. The purchaser — an Atlanta developer — turned it into the Post 154 restaurant.

The Westport Post Office, near the end of its 70-year run.

The Westport Post Office, near the end of its 70-year run.

Westport is not the only place where a historic post office was sold. (Full disclosure: I’m a talking head in Nicolette’s video. I say the new Playhouse Square location “looks like a military recruiting center, not an 06880 post office.”)

Just a few miles away, Stamford’s  1916 post office on Atlantic Street will soon turn into a twin-building, 21-story residential-retail complex. Greenwich, Hartford, Fairfield, Bridgeport and Norwich have also lost post offices to private investors.

Nicolette says that across the country, historic, taxpayer-funded post offices are being sold to private interests at prices below their appraised values.

USPS logoThe other stunning fact: According to the video, in 2006 Congress mandated that the Postal Service pre-pay retiree health care benefits, at a cost of $55 billion over 10 years. That created a $5.5 billion annual deficit, for an organization that had been in the black.

Nicolette calls the USPS a victim of “toxic Congressional politics.” It is not, she says, truly broken.

Nicolette ends the video with a word about “shocking conflicts of interest that go all the way to the top of the US Senate.” Part of the information comes from investigative reporter Peter Byrne, author of the book Going Postal.

What are those conflicts of interest? You’ll have to wait for part 2 of the video to find out.

Now that may really PO you.

(Click above to see the world premiere of Nicolette’s video.)

Neither Rain Nor Sleet … (The Other Side )

This morning’s “06880” told the tale of a Sturges Highway-area resident who — even though her mailbox is all dug out — has not received mail for a week.

That inspired alert reader Karen Murphy to tell a different tale.

She writes: “I was so impressed to see the mail delivery truck on this day when so much snow fell I took a picture!”

Mail today

The moral of the story: Just like real estate, with mail delivery it’s all about location, location, location.

Maybe Not Rain Or Sleet. But Snow. Definitely Snow.

An alert — and increasingly perturbed — “06880” reader says that on the 1st day after last week’s 1st big snowstorm, the snowplows buried her mailbox, on a road off Sturges Highway.

She understands why the mail was not delivered that day.

The next day, her son shoveled out her mailbox, and her neighbors’. It was his birthday, and he expected a few cards. (With, perhaps, a check or two…?)

But the mailman never came.

He didn’t come the next day.

Or the day after that.

In fact, he hasn’t been seen since early last week.

A mailbox about to be buried in snow, somewhere in the Northeast.

A mailbox about to be buried in snow, somewhere in the Northeast.

A family member gets important medicine by mail. This woman wonders if her mailman even considers that the mailbox was shoveled out long ago.

Yesterday was a federal holiday. She hopes that today — for the 1st time in a week — her mail will show up.

“I know one thing for sure,” she says. “I’m not even going to try to get it at the post office in Playhouse Square!”

I Spoke Too Soon

Saturday’s post called out — with vivid photographic evidence — FedEx and UPS trucks. Within minutes of each other, they parked illegally — in the fire lane, and going the wrong way — in the Fresh Market parking lot.

At least, I said, the US Postal Service didn’t do that.

Uh oh.

Not content to trail the leaders in overnight delivery services, they also bring up the rear in illegal parking.

It took until today, but they finally got it right.

Er, wrong.

Post office truck

FedEx, UPS: Both Flunk Parking

An alert “06880” reader — who requests anonymity, because she still wants to receive packages at her home — says:

I was walking to  Sweet Frog the other day, when this UPS driver jerk dangerously cut me off. He drove and parked the wrong way in the 1-way lane — and in the fire lane.

I said, “Hey, did you know this is 1-way,  and you cut me off right in front of the frozen yogurt place where children go? This is very dangerous!” He walked away saying, “yeah yeah,” totally dismissing me.  So I took this picture, and went back to my car to email it to you explaining what happened.

UPS truck, wrong way Westport CT

Well, within a minute a FedEx truck came and did the exact same thing — driving the wrong way in the 1-way lane and parking in the fire lane. Unbelievable! So I took that picture too.

FedEx truck parking wrong way - Westport CT

Hey! The US Postal Service mailbox is there — but they were nowhere to be seen. They couldn’t even be bothered to park the wrong way.

No wonder they’re bankrupt.