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June 29, 2011

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Joe

This from today's news:

Falling mail volume and soaring red ink may soon doom Saturday mail delivery and prompt three-day-a-week delivery within 15 years, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warns.

Donahoe's forecast is based on a projected $8.3 billion loss this year as the drift from paper to electronic communication hammers the Postal Service. "On Sept. 30," he told the USA TODAY editorial board Tuesday, "I won't be able to pay my bills."

Chief among them: a $5.5 billion payment due Sept. 30 to cover future retirees' health benefits.

Joe

From the DJ....

Letter: Clarification about the Burlingame post office
July 23, 2011, 01:38 AM

Editor,

I am writing to clarify the July 20, 2011 article “Burlingame Post Office Hits Market” regarding the Burlingame post office. Although the article is mostly speculative, it could lead people to the wrong impression, beginning with the headline. This is factually incorrect; the Burlingame Main Post Office is not on the market. We hope to be in business in downtown Burlingame for a long time to come.

What we are considering is the sale of a portion of the property surrounding the Burlingame Main Post Office; however that too is not yet on the market. Right now, the Postal Service Facilities Office is determining what the boundaries will be for the parcel of land that may come up for sale sometime in the future.

In this time of change for the Postal Service, especially when many post offices are being considered for closure nationwide, it’s important to keep the facts straight. Otherwise you run the risk of alarming people needlessly.

Rosemarie Fernandez
District manager,
San Francisco Postal District
San Francisco

Joe

The Times' Insider has some news on one of the other postal facilities in B'game (we have four all together):

The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that a mail-processing facility in Burlingame is on a list of about 250 such operations across the country being considered for closure.

The good news? According to Postal Service spokesman Augustine Ruiz, the 142 employees who work at the North Peninsula Delivery Distribution Center won't necessarily lose their jobs if the facility is closed.

The distribution center, on Rollins Road between Millbrae Avenue and Broadway, is where all the mail bound for San Mateo County residents makes a stop after initial processing at a station on Evans Avenue in the Hunters Point district of San Francisco, Ruiz said.

Three million pieces of mail arrive in Burlingame every day for final sorting and sequencing, Ruiz said. It's then sent to individual post offices for delivery by mail carriers, having already been organized by machines into a sequence that corresponds with the carriers' routes.

The Postal Service is in the midst of a revenue free fall, having lost $8.5 billion last year. Mail volume has declined from 213 billion pieces in 2006 to 175 billion in 2001, Ruiz said.

The drop in business leaves the agency with excess capacity and idle equipment, and the Postal Service hopes to move employees from where they aren't needed to where they are. The organization needs to shed about 35,000 jobs, but since it loses more employees than that every year through attrition, it's possible to reach
that goal without layoffs, according to Ruiz. "That's our plan," he said.

Of course, it may not be feasible for Postal Service employees who work at the Peninsula distribution center and live nearby to commute to Petaluma or San Jose, two possible landing spots if the Burlingame facility closes.

It's unclear when a decision will be made on which facilities will be shuttered, Ruiz said.

As for the Postal Service's previously announced plan to close hundreds of post offices across the country, Ruiz said a decision is not expected until February or March.

Branches being considered for closure include Colma, Loma Mar and San Gregorio.

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