Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's Up is "Watts" Down at Miami Plant

The South Florida District Green Team will be honored at this year's National Executive Conference when PMG Jack Potter presents Miami Plant Manager Enrique Suarez with the "2010 PMG Sustainability Excellence Award."

The Green Team includes Project Leader Robert Balzan, along with teammates Mike Adams, Albeo Rosado, Jose Jimenez (and the late Jim Burney). The team recognizes Maintenance Manager Rick Amezquita for his ongoing support.

If you ask the team "What's up?" they quickly respond "'Watts' down!" Why?

Thanks to the team, the Miami Plant reduced its electric bill by over $450,000 (that's more than 6 million kilowatt hours) in FY 09. Energy consumption was further reduced when the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (better known as HVAC) equipment was programmed to turn on and off via a central system computer.

The 6 million kilowatt hours translate into a carbon footprint reduction of 3,810 tons! "Watt?!?!?!"

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach is offering $10.99 admission to government employees --- including postal workers --- through November 21. That's quite a savings as regular adult admission is $25.50 and kids cost $18.50.
Employees may can enjoy the discount for up to four people in one vehicle when they present a valid ID or paycheck stub.
Lion Country Safari has a drive-through safari, home to over 900 animals roaming free just inches from your car. There are animal exhibits and encounters, rides, games, food and shopping in the walk-through park.
Visit for hours and more information or call 561-793-1084.

Margate VPP: 3's a Charm in Pompano Beach

Congratulations to Pompano Beach and Margate employees! On Thursday, October 7, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will award the Margate Branch its star rating in the Voluntary Protection Program. That's a third star for Pompano with the Main Office and Atlantic Branch already having achieved this distinction ... And that makes Pompano Beach the first location in the country to have three stars to its name!

"Labor and management work together to achieve a common goal — the safety of all employees," said Pompano Beach Postmaster Ed Coppola. "All of our employees are committed to safety, and I'm very proud of our VPP achievements."

The VPP recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control; worksite analysis; training; and management commitment and worker involvement.

To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.

Safe Lifting Prevents Back Injuries

A Post Office Department Safety Poster from the 1960s.

More than half of all back injuries are directly related to improper lifting — one of the leading causes of accidents in mail processing facilities.

When carrying an object, keep the load close to your body to exert less force on your back. Also, make sure your vision isn’t blocked to avoid a trip and fall.

Plan ahead before unloading an object. An ideal spot would be at waist height to prevent unnecessary bending. Avoid crushing your hands when you release the weight and crouch down with your back straight using your thigh muscles to lower an object.

Safe lifting techniques are as important at home as they are at work. Show family members the safe way to lift, so they too can avoid back injuries.

Holiday Shipping Deadlines to APO, FPO, DPO

The holiday season is coming, and the Postal Service has released deadlines to ensure delivery of holiday cards and packages by December 25 to Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) destination addresses. For recommended shipping deadlines, go to

Mail addressed to overseas military and diplomatic Post Offices is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling.

Employees can review these restrictions by individual APO/FPO/DPO ZIP Code in the pull-out information section of each Postal Bulletin. Go to and click Postal Bulletins in the blue navigation bar.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Early-Out Retirement Checks Not in the Mail

If you accepted the Retirement/Early-Out Incentive in 2009, your check is not in the mail.

October 29, 2010 is the pay date for the second round of incentive payments to employees who accepted the Retirement/Early-Out Incentive offer in 2009.

Just like terminal leave, checks for the incentive payment will be mailed to the installation head of the duty station/employing finance number of record where the employee separated. It is incumbent upon you, the employee, to speak with your former supervisor and make arrangements for incentive payment pickup.

CFC Kickoff Oct 1: "Compassion of Individuals, Power of Community"

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) — the nation’s largest workplace fundraising campaign — is under way. This year’s campaign theme is “The Compassion of Individuals, the Power of Community.”

Since 1961, federal employees have contributed more than $6 billion to this campaign. Last year, CFC raised $66.5 million in pledges for participating local, national and international charities and had more than 150,000 donors. The goal for this year’s drive, which ends December 11, is $67 million.

Over the years, CFC has become a powerful way for employees to make donations to charities to help people and communities in need. CFC has more than 4,000 approved charities eligible to receive donations — including organizations that provide human services, health care, medical research, disaster relief, housing, youth development and much more.

When your CFC canvasser comes to your work unit, open your heart and donate to a charitable cause. All donations --- large and small --- can and do make a difference.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All in the (Cintado) Family

Many of you recognize Gaby Cintado as the shining star who debuted her acting career during the 2009 holiday season. As you'll recall, this talented young lady had a leading role in coverage of holiday postal operations on English and Spanish television stations.

Entertainment News reports that Baby Kylie is interested in following in Aunt Gaby's footsteps. And those are mighty big shoes to fill (but first Kylie will need to learn to walk!). In addition to being a television star, Aunt Gaby has a very busy schedule, balancing her school workload, completing household chores, and shopping for the latest fashions in South Florida malls.

Hialeah Officer-In-Charge Ernie Cintado is the proud father and grandfather of Gaby and Kylie, respectively.

Low Tire Pressure = Poor Gas Mileage

Folks who know say most of us are running with lower tire pressure than we should. We just don't bother to check our tires often enough.
How does low tire pressure affect vehicle handling? It's not a pretty picture! Low tire pressure adversely affects braking performance. Low pressure also can affect your ability to steer and corner. Remember that all tires lose air over time, and temperature affects the pressure. Do yourself (and your family) a favor and spend five or ten minutes on your tires each week.
Remember: “The colder the weather, the lower the pressure in your tires.” Be sure to check them once every week. Another benefit from having properly inflated tires is the improvement in gas mileage.

"Race for the Cure" in Miami on Sat, Oct 16

Hollywood Supervisor and Breast Cancer Survivor Rose Mesenger-Mannisto celebrates life and encourages your participation in the upcoming Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure." Photo: Marguerite Goulet

Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation.

That concern for others continued even as Susan neared the end of her fight. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. That promise is now Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The 15th Annual Miami/Fort Lauderdale Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled Saturday, October 16, at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. Marguerite Goulet, captain of the USPS Express Dream Team, encourages you, along with your co-workers, friends, family and neighbors, to participate in this year’s event.

Employees can join the USPS Express Dream Team by registering online today at this link:

Kylie Learns All About the Postal Service

Baby Kylie takes a moment from her first National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration to pose for the camera. Her proud grandfather is Hialeah O-I-C Ernie Cintado, well known for promoting the Postal Service at every opportunity. Recently, "El Abuelo" sat down with his granddaughter (who he calls "Lola") to tell her all about the organization:
"The Postal Service is a self-supporting government enterprise and is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no direct support from taxpayers. With 36,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, the Postal Service relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $68 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 28th in the 2009 Fortune 500."
Kylie was speechless!

Tropical Storm or Hurricane Brewing?

There are many types of emergencies. But there’s only one source of information on work schedule and reporting time changes, facility openings and closings, and other workplace announcements due to an emergency situation. To check your work schedule and/or status of your facility in an emergency situation (including before, during, and after a tropical storm or a hurricane), call the USPS National Employee Emergency Hot Line at 888-363-7462.

Deaf/hard-of-hearing employees who are seeking workplace ifnormation should call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 or the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771.

ONLY in case of a natural disaster requiring you to leave your home, city, or state … report your location, physical condition, and contact information to the USPS Emergency Notification Line at 866-666-5349.

Deaf/hard-of-hearing employees who are seeking the above workplace information should call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 or the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771. Ask the operator to call the USPS National Employee Emergency Hot Line, then relay the information to you.)

Retirement Made Simple on LiteBlue

Employees thinking about retirement and wondering whether they have the numbers to make it work now can check out “eRetire” — the new online employee self-service application on LiteBlue.

With eRetire, employees within 5 years of retirement can view annuity estimates online. The new app lets retirement-eligible, full-time employees immediately view three different annuity estimates:

-- Retirement eligibility date
-- Retirement date plus 6 months
-- Retirement date plus 1 year

Figuring out retirement eligibility isn’t the only information available on eRetire. Full-time employees currently eligible for retirement or who are within 180 days of eligibility also can download a retirement package or order one to be mailed to them and schedule a retirement information session.

Employees can use one of the following three ways to access eRetire:

-- On LiteBlue, go to the employee apps carousel at the center of the home page.

-- Click on the “My HR” tab at the top navigation bar of LiteBlue and then on the “Find Employee Apps” section.

-- Click on the employee apps button at the bottom of every “My HR” Page.

Employees need their Employee ID and USPS PIN to log on to LiteBlue.

Monday, September 27, 2010

SOX + USPS = Good Business Practices

As we approach the deadline of September 30 for full SOX compliance, all the indications are the Postal Service nationwide has been judged "technically efficient" in following our Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) and Plant Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) processes, and ensuring postal funds are properly collected.

One of the most significant changes ever made to federal securities laws, SOX was applied to USPS under the Postal Act of 2006, holding it to higher standards of financial reporting, disclosure and internal auditing. By achieving full compliance, the Postal Service has demonstrated fiscal integrity. We no longer have to endure criticism that the Postal Service is "wasting taxpayer's money." We clearly can demonstrate we don't receive any government subsidies and our sources of revenue come solely from the sale of our products and services.

Sharing Hispanic Heritage with Dinero Seguro

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time for families to remember their shared heritage, regardless of the miles that separate them. It’s also a time when many families wish to send money to relatives in Latin America or the Caribbean.

The U.S. Postal Service offers its customers Dinero Seguro ( --- a safe, affordable, convenient method of transferring money internationally. This service is available at nearly 3,000 participating Post Offices in the U.S. Customers may send as much as $2,000 per transaction per day. Identification is required for transfers exceeding $800.

The system uses secure, electronic wire transfers between the Postal Service and thousands of participating bank branch offices in destination countries. The recipient’s funds are available within 15 minutes, guaranteed, and without hidden or additional fees. Personal identification is required for the recipients of funds in the participating countries. Recipients do not need bank accounts and pay no additional fees in their countries.

Dinero Seguro is provided in partnership with Bancomer Transfer Services Inc. of Houston. Participating financial institutions are:

Argentina – BBVA Banco Frances
Colombia – Banco Davivienda, BBVA Colombia
Dominican Republic – Banco del Progresso
Ecuador – Banco de Guayaquil, Banco del Austro, Banco Internacional
El Salvador – Banco Agricola, Banco Credomatic, Banco Salvadoreno
Guatemala – Banco Industrial, Banco de Desarrollo Rural
Honduras – Banco Credomatic, Banco Mercantil, FICOHSA
Mexico – BBVA Bancomer
Nicaragua – Banco Credomatic, Banpro
Peru – BBVA Banco Continental

Stamps Tell Story of Hispanic Heritage

Postage stamps do much more than just make it possible for your mail to be delivered. For over 150 years, the U.S. Postal Service’s Stamp Program has celebrated the people, events, and cultural milestones that form our unique American experience. Stamps help tell the story of our shared heritage --- one that is rich in diversity.

September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and since 1869, stamps have recognized and celebrated the contributions of Hispanics.

HISPANIC-RELATED STAMPS (by denomination, subject, year issued)

1 - 5¢ Landing of Columbus 1869
1 - 5¢ Columbian Series 1893
3¢ David G. Farragut 1903
2, 5, & 10¢ Panama Pacific Exposition 1913
3¢ Puerto Rico, Territorial Issue 1937
3¢ Panama Canal 1939
2¢ John Philip Sousa 1940
3¢ Pan-American Union 1940
3¢ Coronado Expedition 1940
3¢ Puerto Rico Election 1949
3¢ Gadsden Purchase 1953
9¢ The Alamo 1956
8¢ Simon Bolivar 1958
4 & 8¢ Jose dé San Martin 1959
1 ¼¢ Palace of the Governors 1960
4¢ Mexican Independence 1960
5¢ Alliance for Progress 1963
5¢ Settlement of Florida 1965
6¢ California Settlement 1969
8¢ San Juan, Puerto Rico 1971
8¢ San Xavier del Bac Mission (postal card) 1971
13¢ Alta, California 1977
15¢ General Bernardo de Gálvez 1980
20¢ Ponce de León 1982
20¢ Roberto Clemente, 1984
Hispanic Americans 1984
44¢ Padre Junipero Serra 1985
5¢ Luis Muñoz Marin 1990
35¢ Dennis Chavez 1991
$5 Christopher Columbus – Landing of Columbus 1992
$2 Diego Columbus – Landing of Columbus 1992
$2 Bartholomew Columbus – Landing of Columbus 1992
30¢ Juan Pérez – Landing of Columbus 1992
2¢ Vicente Yáñez Pinzón – Landing of Columbus 1992
29¢ Landing of Columbus – World Columbian Stamp Expo 1992
29¢ Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo 1992
29¢ Ritchie Valens 1992
29¢ 500th Anniversary of Columbus’
Landing in Puerto Rico 1993
32¢ Admiral David Farragut – Civil War Series 1995
32¢ Padre Félix Varela 1997
32¢ Cinco de Mayo 1998
32¢ Spanish-American War 1998
32¢ Spanish Settlement of the Southwest 1998
33¢ Desi Arnaz – “I Love Lucy” (Celebrate the Century: 1950s) 1999
33¢ Cinco de Mayo 1999
33¢ Roberto Clemente – Legends of Baseball 2000
34¢ Frida Kahlo 2001
37¢ Cesar Chavez 2003
37¢ Let’s Dance/Bailemos 2005
37¢ Chacón: Madonna & Child 2006
41¢ Mendez v. Westminster 2007
42¢ Ruben Salazar – American Journalists 2008
42¢ Latin Jazz 2008

More information on Hispanic-related stamps may be found in Publication 295, “Hispanic People and Events on United States Postage,” at

Safety Tip: Making Defensive Stops and Avoiding Red-Light Runners

At the traffic light or stop sign, always stop with some space in front of you.
First, stopping with space in front of you gives you room to pull forward if another vehicle comes up behind and is about to rear-end you. Sometimes, all you need is three or four feet to give that rear-end guy enough space to miss you.
Second, if the vehicle stopped in front of you stalls or breaks down, this leaves you room to pull around, and you won't get stuck there at the light.
Third, it helps you reacquire your two-second space cushion when it's time to go. And, it helps keep you out of that intersection for a moment when the light turns green, and helps you miss the red-light runner. Don't enter intersections for the first four seconds after a light change. That is when red-light runners are entering your line of travel.

World-Class Visibility: Won't You "Scan By Me?"

In the highly-competitive package delivery business, customers expect more than on–time service. They also want to go online and track the status of their packages at any time.

Product scanning generates a stream of package-status information that lets mailers and recipients track the progress of packages as they move from acceptance to delivery. The Postal Service’s new Product Visibility and Operational Performance team calls the process “World-Class Visibility,” and it’s a value-added service USPS believes customers are willing to buy.

World-Class Visibility is the next step for development of product scanning. It’s about improving the quality, timeliness, and reliability of the information we provide to customers. To achieve World-Class Visibility, USPS will place a barcode on every package, improve customer-facing information technology, and maintain an overall scanning performance rate of 99 percent or better. When they're in need, won't you "scan by me?"

Preparing for Emergencies at Work and at Home

September is National Preparedness Month. It’s a reminder to take time to understand what you need to know about the emergency preparedness plan where you work.

USPS continuity planning and preparedness plans take into account all contingencies, including man-made and natural disasters. In South Florida, under the leadership of Acting District Manager Jeff Becker, the District Emergency Management Team (EMT) includes senior postal officials and Postal Inspectors. The EMT’s mission is to ensure your safety and well being as the Postal Service moves to restore operations and service following any emergency --- including a tropical storm or a hurricane.

During an emergency such as a tropical storm or a hurricane, the EMT utilizes the Postal Alert Notification System (PANS), a web-based and wireless communications mechanism, to coordinate tasks and record actions taken before, during, and after a weather event. The USPS National Emergency Hot Line at 888-363-7462 keeps employees up to date on conditions at the facilities where they work. Deaf/hard-of-hearing employees who are seeking workplace information should call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 or the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771.

Only in case of a natural disaster requiring you to leave your home, city, or state --- report your location, physical condition, and contact information to the USPS Emergency Notification Line at 866-666-5349. Deaf/hard-of-hearing employees should call Florida or Federal Relay Services for assistance in reporting this information.

The methods communities use to get the public’s attention during an emergency may vary. Typically, the methods include emergency radio and TV channel broadcasts. Employees also may hear a special siren, receive a telephone call, or be advised by emergency workers going door-to-door. Employees who live and work in different communities should become familiar with the types of natural or man-made disasters most likely to occur and how they will be notified during emergencies.

Saving for Your Future --- Electronically

Beginning September 30, employees no longer will be able to purchase paper savings bonds through payroll deduction.

The U.S. Treasury will stop issuing paper savings bonds through employer-sponsored payroll savings plans. Instead, employees must set up a TreasuryDirect account to participate in the plan. TreasuryDirect offers a voluntary option for payroll savings, using a payroll direct deposit just like any other direct deposit.

Paper savings bonds will remain available for purchase through financial institutions.

Puppy Love at 221 Million Stamps and Counting

As of September 20, more than 11 million stamp panes — nearly 221 million individual stamps — of the Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps had been sold. Sales of the stamps have generated more than $97 million. An average commemorative stamp printing is 65 million individual stamps. There were 300 million Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps printed — 4.5 times more than average.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stop Loss Payments for National Guard

In some communities federal and postal workers make up a large portion of Army and Air National Guard units. Many of them have been deployed, some more than once, to the middle east. And in some cases members of Guard units have been required to stay on duty (they call it "stop loss") even after their official tour was completed. That was a major hardship, both financially and emotionally, on many guard members and their families.

The good news is that Congress has authorized stop loss payments of $500 for each month guard and reserve personnel were kept on duty under stop-loss orders. The bad news is that many of the eligibles don't know about the benefit, and the deadline for applying for them is October 21, 2010. If you think you are eligible, or know someone who may be, check it out at

Making Every Military Vote Count

The Postal Service has made temporary modifications to the Express Mail network for Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO), and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) ZIP Codes in support of our troops and to help states comply with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE).

MOVE requires states to mail absentee ballots to military and overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election. This year, the deadline was September 18. Although most states met the deadline, at least two, Hawaii and Massachusetts, did not. As a result, the Postal Service will temporarily remove Express Mail service restrictions to off-network APO/FPO/DPO destinations.
Effective Saturday, September 25, Retail Associates must accept Express Mail shipments to all APO/FPO/DPO ZIP Codes. This mandate will stay in effect until Monday, November 1.

The POS computer network temporarily has been modified to enable acceptance of Express Mail shipments to off-network APO/FPO/DPO ZIP Codes.

SFP&DC Employees: "Are You Ready for Some Football?"

“Are you ready for some football?”

This Hank Williams’ tune is very familiar to football fans, and those fans who are scheduled to work at the South Florida Plant on Sunday, September 26, won’t be sitting on the sidelines. You may even say these employees will have home-field advantage.

What’s in the Sunday night playbook for the Dolphins vs. Jets game?

The South Florida Plant is in possession of four television sets, strategically located in the building to broadcast play-by-play action on the field. And as eligible receivers, employees may follow the game while they carry the ball and perform their postal duties. Kickoff is 8 pm.

While it’s a fair catch to monitor the game now and then, employees are reminded that they control the clock and need to ensure man-to-man coverage in postal operations. No excessive time outs, penalties, or overtime on the field or in the plant. Your referee (supervisor) will make the call.

Universal's Horror Nights at a Not-So-Scary Price

For the past nineteen years of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, he’s been the master behind every frightened scream. Now, for the first time ever, he finally takes control to create a new age of darkness and to reign over all he’s created. This year, the thing you most have to fear is… FEAR himself!
Experience Halloween Horror Nights XX: Twenty Years of Fear, only at Universal Orlando Resort.
During this 20th anniversary edition, Universal takes terror to a whole new level. You’ll venture into a nightmarish maze of all new haunted houses, electrifying scare zones, and outrageous live entertainment including the ever popular Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.
Come face to face with your greatest fears as Universal marks twenty years of bloodcurdling screams and pulse-pounding frights. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort is a separately ticketed event.
This year’s event nights are September 24, 25 & 30; October 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 20-24, 27-31.
Visit to purchase your discounted tickets. USPS Password: universal3729

OIG Campaign: "Integrity Begins With You"

As the poster reads: “Do the right thing … even if nobody is looking. Integrity begins with you.”

The Postal Service is consistently ranked as “America’s most trusted government agency” — a position it holds thanks to the integrity and quality of service provided by its employees.

To help preserve this public trust, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is launching a Financial Fraud Awareness and Crime Prevention Campaign reminding employees of the importance in preserving America’s trust in the Postal Service.

Elements of the campaign include a poster, paycheck stuffer and a special computer screensaver that can be uploaded to USPS computers. Posters will be sent to all postal facilities for display on employee bulletin boards. Additional posters may be obtained from the Topeka Material Distribution Center.

PERF: Employees Helping Employees

The Postal Employees' Relief Fund (PERF) offers assistance to active and retired employees affected by natural disasters. The organization has provided more than 3,000 grants totaling nearly $15 million to postal employees and retirees whose homes and lives have suffered from hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires and fires.

The Postal Service and participating unions and management associations created and operate the 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Each appoints one member of PERF’s Executive Committee to handle its day-to-day operations.

Employees or retirees who are victims of a natural disaster and have experienced a significant monetary loss after insurance and other relief assistance should review PERF eligibility criteria and complete an application with supporting documentation to send to:

Postal Employees' Relief Fund
PO Box 7630
Woodbridge, VA 22195-7630
Also, victims eligible for assistance can call PERF at 202-408-1869, or send an E-Mail to
Additional information, including how to donate, is available at

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Dangers of Driving on "Autopilot"

Human beings are prone to operating on "autopilot." Especially on familiar roads, our minds wander away from our immediate task to other things. It is virtually impossible to keep this from occurring, but it is important to recognize it and bring our attention back to what we're doing as often as possible -- especially if what we happen to be doing is piloting a 3,000 lb piece of machinery down the road at a brisk pace.

One of the most important aspects of defensive driving is recognizing impending hazards BEFORE they become a problem for you. Early recognition allows the time you need to avoid trouble. It is vitally important that you recognize and become IMMEDIATELY aware of what you see while driving. It is thinking about the possibility the ball rolling across the road may be chased by a child, that a vehicle approaching on an adjacent roadway may not stop at a cross street, and not being so deeply lost in thought that you fail to see a "no turn" sign, or a partially hidden railroad crossing up ahead. Use your EYES to see, and your MIND to analyze what you see for potential dangers.

Contributor: Ross C. Lewis, SEA Safety Office

Fake Out: When It's Too Good to be True

There is no legitimate reason why anyone who wants to give you money would ever ask you to send money anywhere in return.
Check scams are a fast-growing fraud that could cost you thousands of dollars. There are many types of fake check scams, but it all starts when someone gives you a realistic-looking check or money order and asks you to send cash somewhere in return. It's phony, and so is the person's story, but that may take weeks to discover. Now your bank wants the money back. However, just because you can get the cash doesn't mean the check or money order is good. Ultimately, you are responsible for the checks or money orders you deposit or cash. That's how the scam works.

While there are some common fake check scams, new variations constantly pop up, so it's important to learn the warning signs to avoid becoming a victim. Visit to take a quiz and get answers to frequently asked questions.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

'Latina Style' Praises USPS Sustainability

USPS is one of four national businesses singled out by Latina Style magazine for its “culture of conservation.” Along with IBM, Verizon and uniform provider Aramark, the Postal Service receives plaudits from the magazine for “transforming global environmental challenges and their commitment to investing in a sustainable future for the earth.” The article features quotes from officers Sam Pulcrano and Susan Brownell outlining recent USPS sustainability efforts.

To read the article, cut and paste this link:

Election Season: USPS Property Restrictions

The Hatch Act isn’t the only federal guideline governing the conduct of postal employees in the election process. Postal Service facility regulations also restrict campaign signs on USPS property, banning the placement of “freestanding signs, posters, or furniture of any type” on the interior or exterior of postal buildings.

This prohibition applies to locations where campaign signs might be placed, such as “postal walkways, steps, plazas, lawns, or landscaped areas, driveways, parking lots, or other exterior spaces.” For more information, see Postal Operations Manual (POM) 124.54.a.
“Campaigning for election to any public office” — partisan or non-partisan — is not allowed on postal property, except on public sidewalks that border postal property. See Postal Operations Manual (POM) 124.54.a for more information.

$10.99 Lion Country Safari Tickets Thru 11/21

Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach is offering $10.99 admission to government employees --- including postal workers --- through November 21. That's quite a savings as regular adult admission is $25.50 and kids cost $18.50.

Employees may can enjoy the discount for up to four people in one vehicle when they present a valid ID or paycheck stub.

Lion Country Safari has a drive-through safari, home to over 900 animals roaming free just inches from your car. There are animal exhibits and encounters, rides, games, food and shopping in the walk-through park.

Visit for hours and more information or call 561-793-1084.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

US Postage Paid 39 USC 3406 = No Postage for Military, Overseas Absentee Ballots

The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act requires states to transmit absentee ballots to military and overseas voters covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act no later than 45 days before a federal election.

This year, September 18, marks 45 days before the November 2 election and falls on a Saturday. Post Offices that are open on Saturday should expect to see mailings bearing this indicia: US Postage Paid 39 USC 3406

Absentee ballots bearing this indicia do not require postage. They are not shortpaid (DMM 703.8.0). In addition, these ballots must not be detained or held for postage payment (POM 171.3).

All other absentee ballots require postage prior to mailing.

Miami-Dade PCC Wins Silver PCC Award

Congratulations to the Miami-Dade County PCC for earning silver premier status in the National PCC Day Awards Recognition Program!

Today PMG Jack Potter was the keynote speaker for the National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day broadcast, an annual event that brings together mailers, industry partners, and customers to recognize their contributions to the Postal Service and outline plans and goals. PCCs are a network of community-based business mailers and representatives of the Postal Service, who meet regularly to share ideas and resources to create a closer working relationship.

National PCC Day also showcases the work of PCCs and includes a series of awards recognizing outstanding service and individual achievement. The Premier PCC Program is designed to maximize PCC performance. There are three levels --- Bronze, Silver, and Gold --- by which PCCs can measure their performance. Performing at the Silver Level demonstrates that a PCC has effectively expanded its core operations and implemented additional educational, networking, and communications programs to enhance the value of PCC membership.

Why is Baby Rousseau All Smiles?

Jacob Rousseau is all smiles as he celebrates his first "National Hispanic Heritage Month." His grandfather, Hispanic Programs Specialist Jacinto Acebal, is proud to teach young Jacob about the culture and traditions of his Cuban roots. If only Jacob could talk, the stories he could tell us about "el abuelo!"

National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins Today

National Hispanic Heritage Month begins today and continues through October 15. It’s a time to celebrate the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Today also is Independence Day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence from Spain September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Almost 54,500 employees with Hispanic backgrounds work for the Postal Service. More than 48 million Hispanic citizens live in the United States, representing 16 percent of the nation’s population. People of Hispanic origin are the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. By 2050, the projected Hispanic population of the U.S. will be more than 132 million — 30 percent of the nation’s population.

To attract business from the growing Hispanic business and consumer markets, along with other culturally diverse sectors, USPS has created GrowGlobal!, a multicultural initiative designed to use workforce diversity to reach out to those communities. To learn more about GrowGlobal!, send an E-Mail to

PCC Day Coverage: Coming to a TV Near You!

Postmaster General Jack Potter will deliver the keynote speech today from Portland, OR, during National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day. Potter will speak by satellite to approximately 10,000 people assembled at more than 200 PCCs around the country.

In addition to activities in Portland, local PCCs across the country will hold events to celebrate National PCC Day. In South Florida, Vice President Retail Products and Services Timothy C. Healy will talk about the components of the Postal Service’s “Action Plan for the Future” and efforts to increase mail’s value and revenue to help customers grow their businesses.

Pre-show programming begins at 11:45 am EDT with a series of short video features on best practices hosted by Steve Kearney, Senior Vice President, Customer Relations. At 12 Noon EDT, the National PCC Day program begins LIVE from Portland, hosted by Paul Vogel, President of Mailing and Shipping Services, and Susan Plonkey, Vice President of Sales. PCC members can expect to hear the PMG discuss the Postal Service’s need for fundamental legislative, labor and operational changes to keep mail service viable now and for future decades.

The program will be carried LIVE on PSTN 17 and on USPS-TV LIVESTREAM at the desktop (limited availability) at It also will be carried on the DISH Network: Satellite - Echostar 110, Channel 9612. For those not able to view the broadcast LIVE, it will be aired again at 1 pm EDT on PSTN 17. At 2 pm EDT, a replay loop of the broadcast will begin at the top of each hour on PSTN 15 from today through 8 am EDT on September 23.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Limited Edition Nature of America Stamp Series

The Nature of America Limited Edition Collector’s Set is now available for purchase. The set contains all 12 stamp panes from the Nature of America series, a 36-page booklet featuring developmental sketches and an interview with John Dawson, the stamps’ artist. Each set also comes with a foil-stamped collectible box and individually numbered certificate autographed by Dawson. The set cost $99.95. Only 2,000 sets were produced.

USPS Salutes Poet Julia de Burgos on Stamp

On the eve of National Hispanic Heritage Month, USPS today recognizes poet Julia de Burgos in San Juan, PR, honoring her with a 44-cent stamp. An award-winning writer and journalist, de Burgos joins the Postal Service’s Literary Arts series, and the company of 75 other Hispanic-themed stamps.

Northeast Area Vice President Jordan Small noted de Burgos was “a revolutionary writer, thinker and activist, “ who wrote more than 200 poems probing issues of love, feminism and political and personal freedom. “Her groundbreaking works urged women, minorities and the poor to defy social conventions and find their own true selves,” he said.

Julia Constanza Burgos García was born Feb. 17, 1914, in the town of Carolina, PR. For several years, she held a series of teaching and journalism jobs while also publishing poems in journals and newspapers. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 1933 with a 2-year teaching degree.

De Burgos’ first collection, Exact Poems to Myself, consists of poems she wrote in 1934-35. One of the poems written during this early period — “Río Grande de Loíza,” a love song to the river of her childhood — also became her most famous.

¡Río Grande de Loiza!… My wellspring, my river
since the maternal petal lifted me to the world;
my pale desires came down in you from the craggy hills
to find new furrows;
and my childhood was all a poem in the river,
and a river in the poem of my first dreams.

Her other poems addressed political themes such as equality and social justice.

De Burgos left Puerto Rico in 1940 for New York City, but later moved to Cuba, where she stayed until 1942. She also served as an editor for “Pueblos Hispanos,” a New York-based Spanish-language newspaper that promoted many progressive social and political causes, including Puerto Rican independence. She is considered one of Puerto Rico’s most distinctive literary voices and is read throughout Latin America.

Before her death in 1953, she wrote poems about the loneliness and isolation experienced by those who leave their native homeland.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Julia de Burgos Stamp
Stamp Distribution
585 Ave. RD Roosevelt OFC
San Juan, PR 00936-9311

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by November 15, 2010.