Tag Archives: post office

Post office raises stamp price


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of USPS

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Reach down a little deeper into your pocket if you plan to use “snail mail” any time soon.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) implemented an increase in the price of a first class stamp from 45 cents to 46 cents on January 27.

Congetta Chirichello, a spokesperson for the USPS, said the increase in the price of stamps comes at the increase of electricity and gas rates throughout the past few years.

“We don’t pay a fuel surcharge like our competitors,” Chirichello said. “So we have to pay for that ourselves.”

Chirichello said this is the reason why customers have been seeing a “traditional” annual increase in the price of stamps over the past few years. Last year the USPS raised the price from 45 cents to 46 cents.

Another big reason, Chirichello said, for the increase of stamp prices is due to the increase of use in the internet for such tasks in paying bills and communication.

“From fiscal year 2001 through the end of 2012, mail volume for this category has declined by almost 23 billion pieces,” she said. “Approximately 42 percent.

The price increase however didn’t seem to dissuade the people going about their day at the Bayside Postal Office. Residents were in unison in saying the extra penny wouldn’t drastically affect their decision on using “snail mail” for certain tasks, while busily going about mailing letters and packages at the office.

 

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Future of Bayside post office still undelivered


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Melissa Chan

The fate of the Bayside post office branch has not yet been sealed, but a possible move is under discussion, according to a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Connie Chirichello, a USPS representative, said the widely circulated rumor of the 212-35 42nd Avenue post office branch closing and relocating sometime in 2013 was a “misunderstanding,” adding that the branch is only going through a routine national review of its operations.

“It’s a healthy review of our resources that will best incorporate them into long-term plans for effective and efficient retail service,” she said, adding that a definitive answer on the branch’s future will be determined at a later date.

Last week, Congressmember Gary Ackerman blasted the agency and announced its proposed plans to move the current centrally located branch — located off Bell Boulevard behind the Long Island Rail Road station — to a remote annex at 41-29 216th Street. Despite mixed responses from the USPS, a spokesperson for the congressmember said relocating is still the plan for now.

“Moving the Bayside branch from its prime spot in the middle of the area’s busy commercial strip to a remote and inconvenient location makes absolutely no sense,” Ackerman said. “Not only would this plan adversely impact the local residents and businesses who use this facility, but it could likely cause a further erosion in postal business since its customers may not trek to this out-of-the-way location.”

Ackerman said the USPS presently leases both properties. Postal officials, he said, claimed swapping locations would save the agency money.

No jobs would be lost under the plan, but the congressmember said the agency still needs to follow proper procedure in consolidating facilities, which requires public notice, consultation and input.

“That has not happened,” Ackerman said.

According to Chirichello, the review currently conducted on the Bayside branch is being done to several postal facilities nationwide. She said reviewing offices has become increasingly important as the agency continues to face dire financial circumstances that partly stems from the 42 percent decrease in the amount of single-piece first-class mail since 2001.

“It is prudent for us to look for ways to improve efficiency by making better use of space, staffing, equipment and transportation in processing the nation’s mail,” she said. “A lot of things are on the chalkboard. Taking a look at Bayside is one of them and isn’t going to seal any deal.”

Bayside resident Frank Ringuette, who picks up his mail at a P.O. box in the Bayside branch, said if the change occurs it would be a huge inconvenience for him.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

Congressmember Ackerman: Bayside post office branch to close


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Melissa Chan

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will close and relocate its Bayside post office branch, according to Congressmember Gary Ackerman.

USPS officials want to move the centrally located Bayside branch, located at 212-35 42nd Avenue — off Bell Boulevard behind the Long Island Rail Road station — to a remote annex at 41-29 216th Street, the congressmember said. The annex, he said, is located in a much less convenient location on the edge of a residential neighborhood.

“Moving the Bayside branch from its prime spot in the middle of the area’s busy commercial strip to a remote and inconvenient location makes absolutely no sense,” Ackerman said. “Not only would this plan adversely impact the local residents and businesses who use this facility, but it could likely cause a further erosion in postal business since its customers may not trek to this out-of-the-way location.”

According to Ackerman, the USPS presently leases both properties, and its officials say swapping locations would save the agency money.

“The Postal Service is in a financial death spiral, and we’re all aware that the agency is under intense pressure to cut costs. But making it more difficult for consumers to purchase its products and utilize its services is certainly not the way to go,” he said.

The USPS did not yet return calls for comment.

The move would occur sometime in 2013. While no jobs would be lost under the plan, the congressmember said the agency still needs to follow proper procedure in consolidating facilities, which requires public notice, consultation and input.

“That has not happened,” Ackerman said.

Bayside resident Frank Ringuette, who picks up his mail at a P.O. box in the Bayside branch, said the change would be a huge inconvenience for him.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

 

Glendale denied their own ZIP code, granted “preferred last line”


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Denied its own ZIP code, the post office granted Glendale a distinction to help separate itself from neighboring Ridgewood.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) moved Glendale to a “preferred last line,” which will allow Glendale residents to be recognized as such.

“Every time we order something it comes up Ridgewood or Flushing, but we’re Glendale,” said Assemblymember Mike Miller, who along with Congressmember Bob Turner petitioned the USPS for a ZIP code change.

A “preferred last line” will allow the post office and web sites to recognize addresses within the limits of the neighborhood as Glendale instead of automatically changing it to Ridgewood.

“This is the first time we have not been ignored,” said Turner, who called the issue an “irksome problem that has existed for a very long time.”

Since 1979, Glendale has shared the 11385 ZIP code with Ridgewood.

Miller said he has received stacks of letters complaining about Glendale being without ZIP code, but this is a big first step.

“We’ve been trying for years to get this done and nobody would make a change,” Miller said. “In this case we actually got movement. You get movement that’s the first step.”

Currently, officials are determining the boundaries of Glendale so every address will be recognized as such by the post office.

The preferred last line is just a start, officials said.

“We need a unique ZIP code,” said Bob Kozlowski, vice president of the Glendale Property Owners Association.

Miller and Turner said that they will soon reapply for a Glendale ZIP code. They said 11384 is available and would allow the USPS to easily remedy the situation with the change of a single digit.

 

Astoria Post Office saved


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Congressmember Carolyn Maloney Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, District Leader Costa Constantinides and Senator Michael Gianaris (left to right) celebrate saving of Grand Station Post Office from possible closure

Patrons of the Grand Station Post Office have had their wish signed, sealed and delivered.

Following months of apprehension regarding the fate of the post office, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that Grand Station was removed from a list of branches targeted for potential closure.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney was joined by Senator Michal Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and other community leaders of western Queens at Grand Station on October 19 for a celebratory gathering to announce the saving of the post office.

“For residents and businesses, Grand Station provides vital services,” said Maloney, who led the meeting. “I thank the Postal Service for hearing our concerns and keeping this important community institution open for business. Above all, I’d like to thank the countless residents and business owners of Astoria who spoke out to save their post office. This is really a victory for them and the entire community.”

This past summer, multiple rallies were held in objection to the USPS’ examination of Grand Station, located at 45-08 30th Avenue in Astoria.

Several community leaders also sent a letter to Post Master General Patrick Donahoe, along with petitions signed by over 1,000 residents protesting the prospective closure of the post office.

“As our neighborhood continues to grow, we cannot afford to lose important services such as those provided by the Grand Station Post Office,” said Gianaris. “I am thrilled we were able to save this community resource, particularly for our seniors who spent their lives making our neighborhood as great as it is today.”

The USPS’ investigation studied numerous qualities at 3,652 branches being targeted nationwide, including foot traffic, the number of customers compared to workers’ wages, proximity to other post offices and mail volume.

Grand Station was among the offices examined due in part to its generating only $560,392 in revenue last year, which fell just short of the USPS threshold of $600,000. Closing Grand Station would have saved the USPS $23,460 per year and forced the post office’s patrons to travel roughly half a mile to the next nearest branch.

“Grand Station is faster and very convenient for me and my family,” said Tiziana Cassella, an Astoria resident who visits Grand Station each week. “Closing it would create longer lines and a lot more headaches for everyone. I think it is ridiculous to close it . . . The government should regard what the community wants and needs. We pay our taxes, so we should keep it.”

Photo Courtesy of Congressmember Carolyn Maloney

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, District Leader Costa Constantinides and Senator Michael Gianaris (left to right) celebrate saving of Grand Station Post Office from possible closure

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/20/2011: Suspected groper released from custody


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Former JetBlue flight attendant sentenced to one year of probation

A fed-up flight attendant whose spectacular exit down an emergency chute made him a national sensation completed his court-ordered treatment program Wednesday and was sentenced to a year of probation. Steven Slater avoided jail time for his stunt when he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief and agreed to undergo counseling and substance abuse treatment. Read More: CBS News

 

Suspected groper released from custody

Police arrested Joshua Flecha, of Queens, on charges of forcible touching and sexual abuse. Flecha was picked out of a lineup in connection with the May 7 incident, but authorities say the woman could not say for certain he was the suspect and police released him Wednesday. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Ex-George Washington Bridge employee pleads guilty to toll theft

A former toll collector at the George Washington Bridge admitted Wednesday that she stole $500 in toll funds to support her prescription-drug abuse. Debbie Rembert, 41, of Queens,  admitted in court that she partly concealed the thefts by falsely reporting that trucks passed through her tollbooth but then turned around and did not cross the bridge or pay the toll. Read More: NJ.gov

 

 

Councilmember Van Bramer Announces Plans To Improve Queens Libraries

City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced at the Queens Library of Woodside on Wednesday his plans to fund library improvements, including a teen center, in the 26th District. Watch the video: NY1

 

Man found dead in bathtub in Woodside

Detectives are investigating the death of a Queens man who was found in his bathtub Wednesday with what police described as two puncture wounds to his head. The 62-year-old Woodside man was discovered Wednesday morning after a friend became concerned when he could not reach him, police sources said. Read More: Daily News

 

Astoria Post Office saved

Following months of apprehension regarding the fate of the post office, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that Grand Station was removed from a list of branches targeted for potential closure. Read More: Queens Courier