Saturday, July 30, 2011

Owney Gets His Own Stamp

Nearly a century after riding the rails and protecting the mail, the canine mascot that provided good luck to clerks of the Railway Mail Service today returns to life in the form of 60 million “Owney the Postal Dog” Forever stamps.

To celebrate the news, Owney — now a stay-at-home resident of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum — is back with a taxidermal makeover for the opening of a new exhibit chronicling his adventures.

“For almost 10 years, Owney was the much-beloved and well-travelled mascot of the Railway Mail Service,” said Mary Anne Gibbons, general counsel and executive vice president. “With his new stamp and through the efforts of the National Postal Museum, Owney’s legacy will transcend time, becoming as much a part of the Postal Service of the 21st century as he was more than 100 years ago.”

Railway clerks believed Owney brought them good luck, since not a single train he rode was in an accident. During his life, Owney traveled by some estimates more than 140,000 miles. He even visited other countries representing the U.S. Post Office.”

Joining Gibbons in dedicating the stamp were Allen Kane, director, National Postal Museum; Owney stamp artist William Bond; author Dirk Wales and Stephen Kearney, manager, Stamp Services.

It Takes a Village Post Office

For communities currently without a postal retail office and for communities affected by these retail optimization efforts, the U.S. Postal Service introduced the Village Post Office as a potential replacement option. Village Post Offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging. These retail units also may provide Post Office Boxes either inside or outside the business.

“By working with third-party retailers, we’re creating easier, more convenient access to our products and services when and where our customers want them,” Donahoe said. “The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers’ needs.”

With 32,000 postal retail offices and more than 70,000 third-party retailers --- Approved Postal Providers --- selling postage stamps and providing expanded access to other postal products and services, customers today have about 100,000 locations across the nation where they can do business with the U.S. Postal Service.

“The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner, and more competitive, and it will continue to drive commerce, serve communities, and deliver value,” Donahoe added.

Business establishments interested in applying for a contract with the Postal Service to start a Village Post Office in their local community should contact:

USPS Salutes US Merchant Marine Forever

The Postal Service salutes the U.S. Merchant Marine by issuing 60 million Forever stamps to set sail through the nation’s mailstream.

Since the founding of the republic, the United States has looked to the maritime industry for much of its growth and security. The U.S. Postal Service honors the U.S. Merchant Marine — the modern name for the maritime fleet — with four stamps featuring vessels that have played an important role in our nation's history.

The Clipper Ship stamp is based on an undated Frank Vining Smith lithograph of the famous clipper Sovereign of the Seas, which launched in 1852. Clipper ships, ushered in by the California Gold Rush of 1849 and noted for their streamlined shape and their majestic cloud of square-rigged sails, set numerous speed records in their time.

The Auxiliary Steamship stamp is based on contemporary lithographs of ships of the Collins Line, which provided service between New York and Liverpool in the 1850s. Auxiliary steamships — steam-powered ships with back-up sailing rigs — were the ocean liners of their day, competing in the 1850s with clipper and other sailing ships for trans-Atlantic mail and passenger service.

The Liberty Ship stamp is based on a photograph of an unidentified Liberty ship in the files of the Westport, CT, Public Library. During World War II, the United States built more than 2,700 Liberty ships — plain but sturdy cargo vessels that sustained the Allied forces with a steady supply of food and war material.

The Container Ship stamp is based on an undated photograph of the R.J. Pfeiffer, a modern container ship launched in 1992 and operated by Matson Navigation Company. Container ships, pioneered in the 1950s, are key to today’s global economy, carrying manufactured goods worldwide across the oceans and exemplifying the modern merchant marine.

EAP: "The Power of Connection"

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has “the power of connection.”

This “connection” is through a new ePromotion designed to bring some reflection, challenge, and encouragement into your day. The EAP will send periodic emails sharing brief information to help you actively engage in a topic. Interested employees may sign up for this service by sending an email to Dr. Vivian Perez-Gonzalez, EAP Consultant, at

Registered employees will receive emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the next seven weeks.

“The Power of Connection” will be exploring the many ways we relate to others and how improving the quality of those connections can enhance our lives. The EAP also will be offering some tools, tips, and techniques to assist you.

Your participation is strictly confidential. You can use your postal or home email address. Employees are encouraged to invite their co-workers and family members to sign up for the “The Power of Connection.”

If you’d like more information about this ePromotion, contact Dr. Vivian Perez-Gonzalez at the above email address.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Customers Depend on Our Scanning

We have the ability to make passive scans in many of our facilities. Passive scanning takes advantage of all of our automated distribution equipment or material handling systems and the ability to “read” labels, container placards “in process.”

A passive scan does not require anyone to do anything. For example, as the item goes down a conveyor belt, it is automatically scanned. Nationally, we are currently expanding our ability to do more passive scans. Until everything can be passively scanned, we have to rely on people to scan.

Scanning has become a way of life. Customers demand to have the information that scanning provides. It allows them to make better business decisions. If customers don’t get the level of information that they want, they will look at alternatives.

This is why our competitors have invested so heavily in scanning and why they promote their ability to track packages in real-time. They want to be the alternative to the Postal Service.

Priority Mail is a growing business. We are increasing our market share at the expense of our competitors, even though the economy is tough for everyone. We can only keep this market share if we scan. Customers who have paid for Delivery Confirmation want to be able to track their Priority Mail package through our system; and, they want to know when it’s been delivered.

As we work Priority Mail manually in our processing and distribution facilities, it is important that we scan every Priority Mail piece with a Delivery Confirmation label. As soon as we are done scanning and have cleared this operation, the scanner needs to go back into its cradle. This allows the data to be downloaded and then posted to

Our customers then get a true picture of where their Priority Mail is in our system. They can only get this picture if we make sure all proper scans are done when they are supposed to be done. Scanning provides our customer information and peace of mind. If they can see their mail move through our system, they know we have maintained chain-of-custody. They keep their trust in us. And they will keep coming back.

Delivery Confirmation is an important, value added option for our customers. Customers choose this option not on price, but on who will actually deliver on the promise. Meeting the promise means we will keep getting the revenue.

School Days & American Ways

The School Days & American Ways curriculum-connected calendar with Teaching Guide is now available. This valuable teaching tool — that already has made an impact in elementary classrooms across the country — can benefit students in any community.

Endorsed by TIME for Kids, superintendents of some of the country’s largest school systems, curriculum directors and teachers, School Days & American Ways describes America’s history and heritage as documented in the Postal Service’s stamp archive.

Areas covered include botany, biology, geography, astronomy, history, poetry, visual and performing arts, civics and multiculturalism.

The award-winning calendar and guide is featured in the recently released “Education in America Report,” a partnership production involving the U.S. Department of Education, the National Parent Teacher Association and the NBC TV Network’s Education Nation, among others.

Each calendar and companion Teaching Guide is available for $12 per set, plus $2.77 for shipping and handling.

For more information, visit or send an e-mail to

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Love is in the Air --- and on the Web

Love is in the air — and on the Web — as the Postal Service continues its sneak peek at some of its 2012 stamps by previewing the Love Ribbons Forever stamp today through social media outlets.

Customers may preview the stamps on Facebook at, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for the back story on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Love Ribbons Forever stamp“Evoking images of romance and elegance, this year's Love stamp features a graphic design of satin ribbons that spell out the word ‘Love’ in a graceful, cursive script,” said Stephen Kearney, manager, Stamp Services. “Ribbons are often used to enhance the beauty of bridal bouquets, wedding invitations and other special celebrations for our friends and loved ones — it’s a perfect complement to have them on stamps, too.

For this stamp, working under art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, graphic designer Louise Fili of New York City spelled out the word “Love” in a cursive script resembling a satin, pink-tinged white ribbon on a bright red background. Pieces of ribbon that appear to extend beyond the borders of the stamp broaden the reach of the design.

Tarzan Creator Burroughs on 2012 Stamp

The Postal Service continues its sneak peek at some of its 2012 stamps by previewing the Edgar Rice Burroughs Forever stamp today though social media outlets.

Select stamps from the 2012 commemorative program will be previewed one at a time throughout the summer. Customers may preview the stamps on Facebook at, throughTwitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for the back story on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Edgar Rice Burroughs Forever stamp “The Postal Service is proud to honor Edgar Rice Burroughs, one of the most popular and prolific authors of the early 20th century,” said Stephen Kearney, executive director, Stamp Services. “Best known for inventing the iconic character Tarzan, he wrote more than 70 books, including historical fiction and several popular series of science fiction tales. Social media is a great way to preview our stamp program while also making it easy for people to share the news about stamps of interest with their friends.”

Restless by nature, Burroughs (1875-1959) served with the U.S. Cavalry, dredged for gold, worked as a door-to-door salesman and a railroad policeman, and perfomed many other varied jobs until he published his first story, “Under the Moons of Mars,” in 1912 — and found his destiny as a writer.

This Forever stamp shows Tarzan, Burroughs’ most famous literary creation, clinging to a tree by a vine with his left hand and wielding a weapon in his right. Burroughs appears in profile in the background. Hulbert Burroughs, the author’s son, took the 1934 photograph that served as the basis for the stamp portrait of Burroughs. The depiction of Tarzan is an interpretation of the character by artist Sterling Hundley of Chesterfield, VA, under the direction of art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA.

This stamp issuance coincides with the 100th anniversary of the publication of “Under the Moons of Mars,” and his first Tarzan story, “Tarzan of the Apes,” in 1912.

Equipment Roundup Can Save Millions

Each year, the Postal Service spends millions of dollars to replace Mail Transport Equipment (MTE) that leaks out of its network. With wooden and plastic pallets ranging from $7 to $20 each, cardboard and plastic letter trays ranging from 65 cents to $2.75 per tray, and plastic flat tubs costing around $4 each, losses quickly add up.

Recovery efforts are proving fruitful. Last year, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, working with the Mail Transport Equipment office, recovered more than 21,000 pallets and other MTE worth close to $1.75 million.USPS has other initiatives to combat the problem, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Equipment Recovery Project.

Postal Inspectors have a number of investigations under way in several parts of the country involving plastic recyclers, pallet bounty hunters and mailers.

Employees can do their part to help return MTE. If you see postal equipment that is obviously outside the postal network, call the MTE hotline at 866-330-3404 to pass along information about the location, type and quantities of equipment. A Postal Service MTE group will respond to every hotline lead.

In addition to calling the hotline, employees can send information related to equipment recovery to Customers can return large quantities of MTE or larger equipment by completing the MTE Return Request Form available on the Facility Access Shipment Tracking website.

"We're Everywhere So You Can Be Anywhere"

With nearly 100,000 places to buy stamps, ship a package or renew a passport, the U.S. Postal Service is expanding customer access to its products and services. It’s not about brick-and-mortar Post Offices anymore, as postal products move online and into retail outlets, grocery stores, office supply chains and pharmacies.

Responding to changing customer needs and a business plan that calls for expanding access to Postal Service products, stores including Costco and Office Depot are offering shipping and mailing services.

According to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, the Postal Service is changing for the better.

“We’re teaming up with hundreds of new stores so customers can do postal business at places where they already shop,” Donahoe said. “Americans have more to do and less time to do it. We know simpler is better – online, on your mobile device, on your way, with an expertise that you can count on.”

Customers can find dozens of locations to purchase postal services within their neighborhoods by visiting an interactive map at and typing a ZIP Code. Using a simple icon guide designating stamps, shipping and packaging, PO Boxes and other services, customers can easily navigate to retail outlets, grocery stores, Automated Postal Center (APC) kiosks and Post Offices, among other options.

With Post Office hours usually ending by 5 pm or earlier, customers can send a Priority Mail Flat Rate Box and buy Forever stamps as long as the alternate sites are open – often as late as 9 pm. Some sites are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We’re creating easier, more convenient access to products and services when and where our customers want them,” Donahoe said. “We’re everywhere so you can be anywhere.”

There are about 32,000 Post Office locations around the country that sell Postal Service products and services. There are more than 50,000 other locations selling postage stamps alone – the top product sold at Post Offices. With the additional shipping provider locations, customers have about 100,000 locations and ways to do business with the Postal Service.

Nearly 35 percent of Postal Service retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as Costco, Office Depot, grocery stores, drug stores, APCs, ATMs and, open 24/7.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

We’re everywhere so you can be anywhere:

Social Media Announces Black Heritage Stamp

The Postal Service continues its sneak peek at some of its 2012 stamps, using social media outlets today to preview the 2012 Black Heritage Stamp honoring legendary publisher John H. Johnson. Using social media to reach broader, more diverse audiences is an initiative that began Monday. Select stamps from the 2012 commemorative program will continue to be previewed one at a time.

Stamps are on Facebook at, through Twitter @USPSstamps and on the “Beyond the Perf” website at Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for the back story on upcoming stamp subjects, First-Day-Of-Issue events and other philatelic news.

“We are proud to immortalize John H. Johnson as our latest inductee in our Black Heritage stamp series,” said Stephen Kearney, Manager, Stamp Services. “He was the trailblazing publisher of Ebony, Jet and other magazines as well as an entrepreneur.”

The Postal Service has recognized the achievements of prominent African Americans through the Black Heritage series since 1978. The series highlights outstanding individuals who helped shape American culture.

Monday, July 18, 2011

EDDM Opens 'Door' to Revenue

EDDM lets a business market to every address in the neighborhoods near the business without the need for names or street addresses. The business saves the cost of renting a mailing list and does not require a postage permit to mail. That means no annual fee! Just bring mail bundles to the Post Office that services the area you want to reach, and letter carriers will deliver these mailpieces during regular delivery. And the postage is only 14.2 cents per piece!

Nearly any business can take advantage of EDDM’s marketing power. Retailers: Auto dealers, restaurants and pizzerias, pharmacies, clothing stores, furniture dealers, flower shops, coffee shops, and bakeries. Service-based businesses: Attorneys, health care professionals, dry cleaners, home improvement companies, and real estate firms.

EDDM must be dropped at the Post Office that services the carrier routes being targeted. There is a maximum of 5,000 mailpieces per mailer/per day, and a per-piece weight up to 3.3 ounces. EDDM applies to Standard Mail flats only.

“EDDM makes is possible for businesses and organizations of all sizes to reach their target audiences with information, advertising or special offers — even if they don’t have an advertising budget and have never prepared a mailpiece before.” — Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products.

If you know a business that may be interested in EDDM, contact Grow Your Business Days Coordinator Ellen Uptgrow at

EMI Earns Worldwide Recognition

The Postal Service’s ability to deliver efficient Express Mail International service has earned worldwide recognition.

The international postal Express Mail Service (EMS) — a cooperative of Universal Postal Union members — presented the Postal Service with its 2010 Silver Award for outstanding EMS service during a ceremony in Bern, Switzerland.

To earn the award, the Postal Service met or exceeded targets for on-time Express Mail delivery. Postal organizations are measured by independent third-party auditors using five key performance indicators.

USPS ranked 22nd out of 203 postal organizations within the cooperative, achieving a 95 percent score for on-time data transmissions in 2010. The Postal Service earned a Bronze Award in 2009 with a 92 percent score.

South Florida Welcomes Simmons as MOPS

South Florida District Manager Jeffrey Becker announces the selection of Reginald (Chris) Simmons as Manager, Operations Programs Support, for the South Florida District.

Simmons began his career as a distribution clerk in 1997. He is a graduate of the Associate Supervisor Program (ASP) and has held various positions of increased responsibility, including Supervisor, Customer Services; Operations Programs Analyst, Southwest Area; Manager of Delivery, Dallas District; and Operations Programs Analyst, Southwest Area.

Simmons also has served in various detail assignments as Officer-In-Charge in Roswell, New Mexico; Southwest Area Function 4 Logistics Coordinator; and Southwest Area Project Leader, Route Count and Inspections.

He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Please join District Manager Jeffrey Becker in welcoming Chris to his new position.

Cascio Promoted to Manager, Finance

South Florida District Manager Jeffrey Becker has selected Susan Cascio as Manager, Finance.

Cascio began her career as a Distribution Clerk in Los Angeles, California in 1980. Five years later, she was promoted to Budget Specialist in the Van Nuys District.

Cascio has held various positions --- Manager, Budget and Financial Analysis; Financial Analyst; Manager, Customer Services; and Officer- In-Charge --- in the Sierra Coastal, Los Angeles, and Sacramento Districts.

Cascio also has worked in various detail assignments at the District, Area, and Headquarters before her most recent position as Manager, Budget in the South Florida District.

Cascio is a graduate of the Advanced Leadership Program.

Please join District Manager Jeff Becker in welcoming Susan to her new position.

There's a New Face in the South Florida District

There’s a new face in the South Florida District. Meet Janice Atherly.

Janice is relocating from Providence, Rhode Island, to join our Operations Programs Support Team. Prior to her promotion to Manager, Delivery and Customer Service Programs, Janice was Manager of Delivery in the South East New England District.

In her new position, Janice will be administratively and operationally responsible for the Operations Programs Delivery Support Staff. Her duties also will include performing reviews and analyses of delivery, collection, and retail operations, procedures, and service performance to improve delivery and retail operations and services.

Janice brings a wealth of experience to her new position. She has been Associate Supervisor in the Southeast New England District; Supervisor, Customer Services in West Warwick, RI; Officer-In-Charge at Warren, West Warwick, and Westerly RI; Manager, Delivery and Customer Service Programs in Southeast New England; Acting Manager of Operations Programs Support in the New Hampshire/Vermont District; and Acting Manager of Operations Programs Support in the Southeast New England District. Most recently, she was detailed as Customer Service Programs Analyst for the Northeast Area.

Janice earned a degree in Sociology from Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

Please join Chris Simmons, Manager, Operations Programs Support, in welcoming Janice to the South Florida Postal Family.

Depression in the Workplace

The office of Workplace Environment Improvement (WEI) has joined the Postal Inspection Service to help employees better understand depression in the workplace.

According to WEI, depression affects more than 20 million people annually. At any given time, one in 20 employees may be experiencing depression on the job. “It’s important that all employees know the basic signs of depression to understand if they need to seek help or to encourage others to get help,” says David Colon, organizational development analyst of the WEI group.

To help with its awareness program, USPS has developed a series of three posters, each with information about depression. The first poster in the series, “POS 400,” shows an individual struggling to determine whether he is depressed.

The second poster, “POS 401,” illustrates an individual struggling with the idea of reaching out for help because he fears what others will think.

The third poster, “POS 402,” also highlights reaching out for help and offers a message on breaking the stigma of depression.

Employees can contact the EAP 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 800-327-4968 (TTY: 877-492-7341) or online at

Stamp Program 'Blossoms' in Social Media

In a move to raise awareness of the stamp program and to send a message to younger and more media-diverse audiences, the Postal Service is using social media websites to preview its 2012 stamp program.

Employees who are Facebook fans or Twitter followers can begin looking at the 2012 commemorative Forever stamps later this month. Sign up as a Facebook friend at And follow USPS on “!/USPSstamps.”
Meanwhile, employees also can go to Beyond the Perf — the Postal Service’s website that provides background on upcoming stamp subjects — to see the preview.

“Stamps reflect our American culture, icons and lifestyles,” said Executive Director, Stamp Services, Steve Kearney. “We have stamps on almost every topic imaginable. By providing this sneak peek, we’re hoping that people will be able to find stamps they’re interested in and excited about, and then spread the news to their friends.”

The 2012 stamps will appear — one day at a time, five days per week — on the social media sites. The first sneak peek for 2012 is the Cherry Blossom Centennial Forever stamps, celebrating the friendship between America and Japan. In this unique design, two stamps form the left and right halves of a single, panoramic view of cherry trees bordering the Tidal Basin in the nation’s capital. Japan gave more than 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. a century ago.

Slick Driving in Wet Weather

Last week, an employee was driving on a wet, muddy road during a heavy rain, and while trying to avoid potholes, over-corrected and struck a sign with his mirrors. The window broke.

This was a preventable accident. In South Florida, especially this time of year, it is common to have daily, and even continuous, rain for several days at a time. While driving in the rain, you may experience adverse road conditions. Also, your visibility is hampered. You need to be cautious, and drive slower.

Some things you can do to avoid accidents are list below:

-- Be prepared to encounter large puddles of standing water or entire flooded areas that can momentarily cause you to lose control.

-- Check your windshield wipers daily. Make sure they are in good working condition.

-- Check your tires to ensure they have adequate tread.

-- Increase distance between vehicles when driving on wet or slippery surfaces.

-- Prepare to stop quickly for stalled vehicles.

-- Watch for low hanging or fallen branches or debris in the road.

-- Slow down, in advance, before turns and curves.

Take extra precautions in the rain. Be aware of the defensive action you may need to take at all times. Driving defensively helps save lives, time, and money.

PMG to 'Set Record Straight' on July 20

At 8 am EDT on Wednesday, July 20, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe will broadcast the first in a series of three special messages regarding the current state of our business. This special series will give all employees the opportunity to hear directly from the Postmaster General as he “sets the record straight” with a candid discussion about the financial position of the Postal Service.

The series, “State of the Postal Service --- An All Employee Message,” will be available on the Postmaster General’s website on Blue in different formats, viewable at the desktop, and as a downloadable DVD. It also will be available as an audio file for sites that cannot access video. In addition, supplemental materials to answer your questions will be accessible on the same website.

Since every facility has varying capability of showing the video or listening to the audio file, managers are developing the best plan to coordinate sharing this message with all employees by August 3.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's Not About 'Brick-and-Mortar' POs

With nearly 100,000 places to buy stamps, ship a package or renew a passport, the U.S. Postal Service is expanding customer access to its products and services. It’s not about brick-and-mortar Post Offices anymore, as postal products move online and into retail outlets, grocery stores, office supply chains, and pharmacies.

The Postal Service is teaming up with hundreds of new stores so customers can do postal business at places where they already shop. Responding to changing customer needs and a business plan that calls for expanding access to postal products, stores including Costco and Office Depot, are offering shipping and mailing services.

Customers can find dozens of locations to purchase postal services within their neighborhoods by visiting an interactive map at and typing in a ZIP Code. Using a simple icon guide designating stamps, shipping and packaging, PO Boxes and other services, customers can easily navigate to retail outlets, grocery stores, Automated Postal Center (APC) kiosks and Post Offices, among other options.

With Post Office hours usually ending by 5 p.m. or earlier, customers can send a Priority Mail Flat Rate Box and buy Forever stamps as long as the alternate sites are open – often as late as 9 p.m. Some sites are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With the additional shipping provider locations, customers have about 100,000 locations and ways to do business with the Postal Service.

Nearly 35 percent of the Postal Service retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as Costco, Office Depot, grocery stores, drug stores, APCs, ATMs and, open 24/7.

USPS Outperforms Green Goals

Continuing its green innovation and leadership strategy, the U.S. Postal Service released its fiscal year (FY) 2010 Annual Sustainability Report, which demonstrated the agency had exceeded a number of its sustainability goals — including nearly a 30-percent reduction in facility energy use, a 33-percent reduction of supplies purchases and a 133-percent increase in alternative fuel use.

“Delivering the mail to every person and business in America is a big job with enormous responsibilities to our customers and the environment,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Donahoe. “That’s why ‘leaner, greener, faster, smarter’ is our sustainability call to action as we eliminate waste, reduce fuel and energy use and lower our carbon footprint, driving costs down in a sustainable, responsible way.”

Chief Sustainability Officer, Thomas Day, credits the agency’s culture of conservation for its gains. “Postal employees care very much about the environment. With the help of 400 green teams created to identify low- and no-cost conservation projects, we reduced energy and water use in 2010, saving more than $5 million. We also reduced waste to landfills and recycled 222,000 tons of material in 2010, which avoided $9 million in landfill fees and generated $13 million in revenue.”

Highlights from the report include:
171 billion — pieces of mail delivered to 150 million delivery points, along 230,000 routes, with 215,000 postal vehicles, of which 44,000 are alternative fuel-capable, logging 4 million miles a day.
27 billion — Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM stamps and shipping supplies provided to customers. USPS is the only mailing and shipping company in the world to have earned this certification for materials that meet established standards for human and environmental health and recyclability.
1,067,834 — metric tons of CO2 reduced from an FY 2008 baseline, an amount equal to the annual emissions of nearly 204,000 passenger vehicles.

These energy-conservation actions are part of a comprehensive strategy USPS is using to meet its goals to reduce facility energy use 30 percent, increase alternative fuel use 10 percent, and reduce vehicle petroleum use 20 percent by 2015 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020.

USPS also helps customers practice sustainability. In FY 2010, lobby recycling programs in more than 10,000 Post Offices helped customers divert 22,000 tons of discarded mail from landfills. USPS also helped customers recycle more than 1 million small electronics and printer cartridges.

The FY 2010 Annual Sustainability Report is available in multiple electronic formats, including online at and in several digital eBook formats used by reading devices and smart phones. For additional information, visit, and the green newsroom.

USPS has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo awards, Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year and Climate Registry Gold Status Recognition.

Study Finds Direct Mail Makes an Impression

A recent study suggests that direct mail makes deeper and longer-lasting impressions on people’s brains than digital advertising.

The study was conducted jointly by research firm Millward Brown, Bangor University and the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail.

Researchers used neuroscience technology to see which areas of the brain became active when participants viewed the same marketing message as a physical piece of direct mail and digitally on a computer screen.

Their findings suggest “the brain is more emotionally engaged and is potentially reflecting more on a response” when viewing direct mail, says Graham Page, executive vice president of consumer neuroscience at Millward Brown. Also, because the brain saw mail as real, deeper memories were likely being created.

Direct mail hadn’t been the subject of any major neuroscience research until Royal Mail and Millward Brown teamed in 2009 to investigate its place in the evolving media landscape.

“We were keen to understand how direct mail would work within new emerging media,” says Mike West, head of data products at Royal Mail. At the same time, the organization wanted to be able to show businesses that were starting to switch to digital how the benefits compared with direct mail.

Page says the implication is clear — direct mail should still have a place in marketing strategies, even in the digital era.

“While there are huge benefits of taking advantage of virtual media, our research suggests that we shouldn’t be forgetting more physical media like direct mail,” says Page. “Physical, ‘real’ events like receiving direct mail add an element that virtual campaigns cannot.”

Source: NewsLink 7/7/11

WPB Delivers EDDM, Collects Customer Leads

West Palm Beach Officer-In-Charge Robert Weiser delivered an EDDM presentation that captivated members of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Gale Jackson

The West Palm Beach Post Office is focused on building new business relationships and capturing revenue. A recent community event resulted in 28 customer leads.

Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce members, including realtors, mechanics, chiropractic technicians, event planners, and a host of other professions, learned more about the Postal Service and its products and services at a recent chamber meeting with the PCC of the Palm Beaches. The meeting was part of a commitment to develop and support an outreach program to our businesses.

The Chamber presented West Palm Beach Officer-In-Charge Robert Weiser with a framed certificate of membership prior to his powerful message promoting the U. S. Postal Service's Every Door Direct Mail product. Weiser explained that EDDM is a very inexpensive way for customers to market their business at only 14.2 cents per piece. In addition, the customer saves the cost of purchasing a mailing list because each piece is addressed to every address on the carrier route. He further explained that an EDDM mailing may be dropped at the Business Mail Entry Unit --- or if it is less than 5,000 pieces per day, at the Post Office retail counter.

“EDDM was designed with small businesses in mind, especially those that have never used Direct Mail,” said Weiser. “Customers are encouraged to use our free online tool to identify the carrier routes that best fit their business needs. Built-in mapping identifies the routes within a given number of miles of the business location.”

Weiser’s presentation received high marks from industry professionals including Greg Dodig of Southeastern Printing, James Locklair and Jim Locklair of American Business Equipment, and Chamber Chairman Sam Roman of Applied Advertising Solutions. In addition to PCC board members, postal representatives Officer-In-Charge Robert Weiser, Mailing Requirements Clerk Dianna Emmans, Acting Customer Relations Coordinator Gale Jackson, Business Solutions Specialist Sharon Squadrito, and District “Grow Your Business Days” Coordinator Ellen Uptgrow attended the event.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Time for a Career Change? Try Auto Tech

Automotive Technician PS-8: Performs routine and complex repairs and maintenance on all types of motor vehicles. Troubleshoots and diagnoses more complex vehicle malfunctions using a variety of computerized test equipment.

Locations: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Miami and West Palm Beach Vehicle Maintenance Facilities


-- Qualify on 943-Auto Mechanic Exam and 944 Auto Technician Exam approx. 2 ½ hours
-- If you qualify on 943/944 Exams you will then be scheduled to take the 941 Automotive Performance Bench Test. This is a hands on performance exam. Approx 2 hours.
-- Those who qualify will be placed on an In-Service register for the South Florida District. As approved vacancies are available, those eligible will be contacted by score order and the suitability process will commence.

Please call the Learning Development & Diversity Office in West Palm Beach to get an Applicant Data Collection Sheet that must be returned by COB on Saturday, July 16, 2011. The phone number is 561-697-1992.

You can either fax or mail to the address below:

Learning Development and Diversity
U S Postal Service
Attn Auto Tech Exam
P O Box 163565
West Palm Beach, FL 33416-3565

Fax: 561-697-2120

This opportunity only is open to current career employees.

Tavernier Employees Help Feed the Hungry

Tavernier postal employees and Burton Church members were pleased with the amount of canned goods collected from Keys residents.

The annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive was conducted in May, but some families struggle to put food on their tables every day. The food drive has become the nation’s largest single-day event of its kind. Keys rural and city letter carriers collected canned goods along their routes to replenish food banks and pantries in the local community. Keys recipients continue to express their gratitude to Tavernier postal employees and customers, as well as to members of the Burton Church, for their roles in "stamping out hunger."

'We're Everywhere So You Can Be Anywhere'

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. Just like any business, the Postal Service is streamlining operations to reduce costs and capture savings. Customers are encouraged to visit their local Post Office or conduct postal business in places they already frequent. At, customers will find dozens of locations to purchase postal services within their neighborhoods by visiting an interactive map and typing in a ZIP Code. Icons designating stamps, shipping and packaging, PO Boxes and other services assist postal customers in locating alternate access options in the ZIP Code(s) of their choice.

The 'Dog' Days of Summer

From left, Houston, TX, Officer in Charge Matthew Lopez; Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and star of the show “It’s me or the dog,” with Alf, a mascot from Houston’s animal shelter and adoption facility.

Today's news reports are filled with stories of children, adults --- and even other animals --- who have been injured, or even killed, in vicious animal attacks.

Contrary to what cartoonists and comedians might think about dogs and the letter carrier, children in the United States are the most frequent victims of dog bites and attacks. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States, small children, the elderly, and U.S. Postal Service letter carriers --- in that order --- are the most frequent victims of dog bites and attacks.

While some persons attribute attacks on letter carriers to dogs' inbred aversion to uniforms, experts say the psychology actually runs much deeper. Every day that a letter carrier comes into a dog's territory, the dog barks and the letter carrier leaves. Day after day the dog sees this action repeated. After a week or two, the dog appears to feel invincible against intruders. Once the dog gets loose, there's a good chance it will attack.

You may feel confident that your dog won't add to these statistics, and it is probably true that your trusted companion will never seriously harm anyone. However, medical expenses, workers' compensation, legal costs, delivery curtailment, carrier replacement, and other costs associated with dog bite incidents result in significant annual costs for the U.S. Postal Service. And the cost in employee pain and suffering cannot be measured.

'Scanning' the Future of USPS

The visibility created with scanning is a win-win for customers and the Postal Service. For USPS, scanning improves efficiency, tracks and measures mail and packages in real time --- both within and between postal facilities --- and improves management of the network. Benefits to customers include improved visibility of the mail from acceptance to delivery. Customers also can improve the effectiveness of their mailings, offering, for example the opportunity to increase media advertisements based on the delivery of direct mail. Scanning also produces data to support marketing campaigns and helps customers better manage mail processing and logistics. Failure to scan international mail can result in financial penalties for USPS.

How to Get That 'Stamp of Approval'

Ever wonder who suggests, and finally decides, what subjects and images will be portrayed on stamps? Here's how to get that "stamp of approval" for this miniature artwork:

For almost all stamp subjects, the process begins with the public. Americans each year submit up to 50,000 written proposals on literally thousands of different topics to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC). This method allows everyone the same opportunity to suggest a new stamp subject.

CSAC members evaluate the merits of all proposals that comply with the selection standards and guidelines. These include general policies that postage stamps primarily feature American or American-related subjects; that no living person be portrayed on U.S. postage; that only events, persons and themes of widespread national appeal and significance will be considered; and that no stamp shall be considered if one treating the same subject has been issued in the past 50 years.

The committee is composed of a maximum of 15 members who meet four times yearly to review all eligible proposals. Committee members are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Postmaster General who ultimately approves the subjects and designs for all U.S. postage stamps.

In addition to recommending new subjects for commemorative stamps, the committee also suggests subjects for the extensive line of regular stamps. These selections, similar to those for commemoratives, take into consideration the interest of stamp collectors, the general public, and the need for subjects that will stand the test of time.

The Customer is the Focus of All that We Do

Cost cutting and revenue generation are two of the cornerstones USPS is using to build a firm foundation for the future. But service is the top priority, with customers being the focus of everything the Postal Service does.

During the past 10 years, USPS has established a record of unprecedented service improvements. Customers have rewarded these efforts, giving USPS high marks for delivering affordable, dependable service.

On-time delivery of First-Class Mail has steadily increased during the decade to record-high levels. Customer satisfaction also has broken records. Service measurement — historically limited to First-Class Mail, Priority Mail and Express Mail — has been expanded to include all market-dominant classes of mail, including Standard Mail and Periodicals, Package Services and Special Services.

Customers trust employees to protect their information and privacy. USPS is perennially named in surveys as the most trusted federal agency and is consistently ranked in the top 10 of most-trusted businesses.

USPS has developed scanning and tracking technologies — and the information-rich Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) — to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving mailing industry. USPS also is using technology to expand customer reach and convenience. More than 1.2 million customers visit each day — where they can use Click-N-Ship to print postage and labels from any computer. Automated Postal Centers in retail lobbies and Carrier Pickup have made mailing and shipping with USPS easier than ever. And this year’s census mailings — the largest in history — was a successful test of IMb.

Innovative partnerships have helped improve service and expand access. Agreements with FedEx and UPS for air transport of mail and last-mile delivery of packages have spawned a new word — “coopetition.” Alliances with online enterprises such as eBay and licensed partners that allow customers to print postage from their computers are examples of how USPS is navigating in an increasingly digital world and meeting the needs of its customers.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Literary Arts Series Adds Mark Twain

Acclaimed author and humorist Mark Twain is being honored by the U.S. Postal Service with the issuance of a commemorative Forever postage stamp in the city that served as the setting for two of his most famous works. A First-Day-Of-Issue ceremony was held June 25 at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, MO. The 27th stamp in the Literary Arts series, the Mark Twain First-Class Forever stamp is available nationwide at Post Offices and online at

"Our literary tribute this year rightfully honors Mark Twain, author of one of the greatest novels in American literature and the man whom William Faulkner called ‘the first truly American writer,’ said Postal Service Board of Governors member James H. Bilbray. “Mark Twain was a rarity, as he was one of the first writers to exploit the vernacular voice in his books, using the speech of common Americans,” Bilbray said.

Joining Bilbray at the dedication ceremony will be Henry Sweets, curator for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum; Rachel Bringer, Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Hannibal MO; and David Martin, district manager, Gateway District, USPS.

Mark Twain (1835—1910), is the author of beloved works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. His Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is widely considered one of the greatest novels in American literature. In this tale of an abused boy and a runaway slave who become friends while riding a raft down the Mississippi River,

Twain addressed issues of race and racism in America with a frankness that is still startling more than a100 years later. Born Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain took his name from his time working as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi.

The postage stamp portrait shows Twain as an older man; the steamboat in the background evokes a way of life along the Mississippi River that played a huge role in many of Twain’s works, as well as in his own life. Art director and stamp designer Phil Jordan collaborated with stamp artist Gregory Manchess, who based his portrait of Twain on a photograph taken around 1907.

The Mark Twain Forever Stamp is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce rate. Past honorees for the Literary Arts series include T.S. Eliot (1986), Ernest Hemingway (1989), William Faulkner (1987), Tennessee Williams (1995), Thomas Wolfe (2000), James Baldwin (2004)and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (2008).

USPS Institutes Cash Conservation Plan

The U.S. Postal Service has informed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) of its intention to suspend its employer’s contributions for the defined benefit portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to conserve cash and preserve liquidity. The Postal Service has a FERS account surplus valued at $6.9 billion.

“We will continue to transmit to OPM employees’ contributions to FERS and also will continue to transmit employer automatic and matching contributions and employee contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan,” said Anthony Vegliante, chief human resources officer and executive vice president.

The Postal Service pays about $115 million every other week to OPM for the FERS annuity. Suspension of payments, effective June 24, will free about $800 million in the current fiscal year.
The Postal Service continues to cut costs significantly with initiatives to reduce the size of its labor force, the number of mail processing facilities and administrative overhead. Over the last four fiscal years, the Postal Service has reduced its size by 110,000 career positions and saved $12 billion in costs.

The Postal Service also is generating new revenue by opening cost-effective new retail locations in places where people already shop, including grocery stores, drug stores and office supply stores, and introducing other new product and pricing initiatives.'

Despite significant cost reductions in areas within its control, and even with this emergency action, the Postal Service needs Congress to enact legislation that would do the following to return the Postal Service to financial stability:

-- Eliminate the current mandates requiring retiree health benefit pre-payments.
-- Allow the Postal Service to access Civil Service Retirement System and FERS overpayments.
-- Give the Postal Service the authority to determine the frequency of mail delivery.
-- The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Stamps Honor Design Pioneers

A new sheet of stamps honors 12 of the nation’s most important and influential industrial designers: Peter Müller-Munk, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Raymond Loewy, Donald Deskey, Walter Dorwin Teague, Henry Dreyfuss, Norman Bel Geddes, Dave Chapman, Greta von Nessen, Eliot Noyes, Russel Wright and Gilbert Rohde.

Industrial design, which emerged during the Great Depression as a way to attract consumers, is characterized by sleek, streamlined looks that evoke a sense of speed, efficiency and modernity. The designs encompass everything from consumer goods — furniture, kitchen appliances and electronics — to cars, high-speed trains and airplanes.

Some of the best recognized classic examples are the “Patriot” radio, Fiesta dinnerware, Kodak’s “Baby Brownie” camera and the “Selectric” typewriter.

Delivering Scanning Excellence

One-hundred percent scanning requires 100 percent commitment from everyone — carriers, clerks, mailhandlers, maintenance, transportation, management and administrative support. It’s what the Postal Service needs to achieve world-class visibility, and world-class visibility leads to improved customer service and increased revenue.

Scanning offers our customers transparency and predictability. If they mail a package on Tuesday, they can expect it to arrive Wednesday or Thursday, because they’ve been tracking it through our system.

In his most recent video, PMG Pat Donahoe made a commitment that we would scan 100 percent of all barcoded packages by the end of the fiscal year. To get us on the right path, an initiative is set for the entire month of September to focus on capturing every scan possible — from acceptance to enroute to delivery — with an initial goal of achieving 95 percent at the 3-digit level by September.

To assist with that effort, new “ring scanners” are being deployed to select facilities from mid-July through early September. In addition, the rollout of the Automated Parcel Bundle Sorter is now in full swing.

USPS already has some high performing districts with 3-digit areas that are capturing more than 90 percent scan scores. In the coming weeks, they’re going to share the best practices they use to achieve those numbers.

Check out the “Delivering with every scan” page on Blue at: for updated field resources and performance scores as they become available, and see how you’re helping us “deliver with every scan!”

Staying Connected During Hurricane Season

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.

USPS National Employee Emergency Hot Line
To check your work schedule and/or status of your facility in an emergency (including before, during, and after a tropical storm or a hurricane), call the USPS National Employee Emergency Hot Line at 888-363-7462.

If you are a deaf or hard-of-hearing employee, here’s how to contact the Postal Service in an emergency:

If you have a mobile phone with a relay app such as Sorenson, Sprint, Purple, etc., call the voice hotline number through your phone’s relay service or contact us online via the Federal IP Relay at If you use TDD, call the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.

USPS Employee Notification Line
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 Employee Notification Line at 866-666-5349. Please DO NOT call this number for information on your work schedule/facility status.

For deaf or hard-of-hearing employees who have a mobile phone with a relay app such as Sorenson, Sprint, Purple, etc.:

Call the voice hotline number through your phone’s relay service or contact USPS online via the Federal IP Relay at If you use TDD, call the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339. With either method, provide your personal status and ask that your information is communicated to the USPS Employee Notification Line.

Celebrating the Fourth

Fireworks can add some zing to July 4th festivities. They also can turn a joyful celebration into a painful memory if someone is injured. Heed these safety reminders:

-- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.
-- Never allow children to play with fireworks.
-- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
-- Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
-- Observe local laws regarding use of fireworks.