Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to Update Your eCareer Profile


eCareer

To help prepare for changes in the workplace, employees should create or update their profiles in eCareer, available on LiteBlue.
An up-to-date profile includes current contact information, work experience, education, training, special skills and a summary of accomplishments. Also, an up-to-date profile makes it easier to apply for new job opportunities.
Employees can use any of three ways to go to in eCareer:
  • On LiteBlue, go to the employee apps carousel at the center of the home page.
  • Click on the “My HR” tab from 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.
Once at the in eCareer site, click on the How to Apply link from the in eCareer intermediate page and follow the step-by-step instructions, especially the section on Building Your Candidate Profile Guide. Print both to use as reference tools when creating or updating a profile.
Employees need their Employee ID and USPS PIN numbers to log on to LiteBlue.
For assistance or questions, contact the Human Resources Shared Service Center Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Eastern Time at 877-477-3273, Option 5, (TDD/TYY: 866-260-7507).

USPS Honors 4 Great Filmmakers

The U.S. Postal Service is honoring four great filmmakers who captured the many varieties of the American experience. These extraordinary directors — Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, and Billy Wilder — created some of the most iconic scenes in American cinema. They gave audiences an unforgettable (and in some cases, deeply personal) vision of life.
The stamp art combines a portrait of each man with a scene from one of his most iconic works.
The background art for the stamp honoring Frank Capra shows a scene from It Happened One Night, a comedy in which a runaway heiress (played by Claudette Colbert) and a reporter (Clark Gable) compare their hitchhiking skills.
For the John Ford stamp, the background recalls a scene from The Searchers, an influential Western starring John Wayne in which Ford made characteristic use of the American landscape.
The Maltese Falcon inspired the background art for the John Huston stamp. In this classic mystery, gumshoe Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) goes up against various unscrupulous characters (among them Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet).
And for Billy Wilder, the background artwork was inspired by Some Like It Hot, a farce about two male musicians (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) who seek refuge from gangsters by posing as members of an all-girl band featuring luscious singer Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe).
These four filmmakers received multiple Academy Award nominations, 15 Oscars, and numerous other honors during their lifetimes. But their greatest accomplishment lies in the vitality and artistry of the stories they told through film.

Dynamic Duo Scores 100% RCE --- Four Times! --- at Margate PO

( L to R)  Dynamic duo Reggie Sullivan and Shelia Major take a moment from their supervisory duties to strike a pose for the camera.                                         

Story & Photo by Rose Mannisto
A/Manager, Customer Services, "Team Pompano" 
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.  In this case the “winners” are the dynamic duo at the Margate Branch, Reggie Sullivan and Shelia Major, supervisors who have risen above most  by achieving four 100% in a row on the Retail Customer Experience. Yes, four 100% scores!  That is an achievement difficult to obtain. 
Their attitude and working relationship is more like a brother-sister team where one looks after the other without burden or selfishness.  There is a magic quality they seem to possess with self discipline and greatness in the way they work.  
This rare situation has made the Margate Retail Associates proud to walk in the door everyday.  It is nice to work with a team of professionals where trust exists.  The attitude between the two is “if you trust in what you love, continue to do it, it will take you where you need to go.”
This devoted duo loves what they do and it shows.  Customers are assisted the moment they arrive in the Margate Post Office, they do not wait for service; they are served with respect and speed.
Congratulations Shelia & Reggie --- you have made Pompano proud.  Keep up the fantastic work.

AVP to Dedicate 'Mail a Smile' Stamps at Disney World on June 1

UPDATE
Amid a sea of smiles, the U.S. Postal Service celebrated the issuance of 125 million new stamps today featuring popular Disney Pixar characters. The Mail a Smile Forever stamps official First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony took place at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  

A video of the event can be viewed beginning at 1 p.m. today at this link: www.youtube.com/uspstv.

Available nationwide today, all 125 million stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724) or by visiting Post Offices.

“These delightful stamps lift spirits and touch hearts and remind us that when it comes to connecting with loved ones, technology is no match for the mail,” said Jo Ann Feindt, Southern Area Vice President, in dedicating the stamps as part of the resort’s grand opening.

Joining Feindt in dedicating the stamp featuring beloved Disney Pixar characters was Jay Ward, legacy guardian for Pixar Animation Studios.

“We’re thrilled ‘to infinity and beyond’ that these popular characters from ‘Toy Story 2,’ ‘Finding Nemo’ and other great Disney Pixar films are featured on these colorful new stamps,” said Ward. “This stamp issue will make posting a letter lots of fun for everyone in the family.”

*********
Five familiar faces from Disney Pixar movies, including A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), and The Incredibles (2004), remind us that it's always good to Mail a Smile.  
Jo Ann Feindt,  Area Vice President, Southern Area Operations, will dedicate these stamps at the First-Day-Of-Issue ceremony at Disney World on Friday, June 1.
This stamp pane is a follow-up to Send a Hello, a 2011 issuance featuring Disney Pixar characters that grew from the Art of Disney series issued from 2004 through 2008.



Hurricane Season Begins June 1


Making the Revenue Connection

Connecting with customers occurs through our Employee Engagement Programs which are  an umbrella of employee initiatives designed to identify new business opportunities and leverage customer relationships to generate new revenue.
  • Customer Connect® — City carriers leveraging their relationship with business customers to identify new revenue. Access the Customer Connect Resource page for how to connect with customers.
  • Business Connect® — Postmasters and Station Managers use Business Connect (BC) to build customer relationships. The BC Resource page provides details on how to get connected.
  • Rural Reach® — Provides an umbrella of opportunities allowing rural carriers to better serve their communities. The Rural Reach information page explains why you should get involved.
  • Submit a Lead — All employees not participating in the BC, CC or RR programs can submit a lead through this program. This includes details on what is a lead and how to get started.
  • Mail Handlers Submit a Lead Program — A program specifically for Mail Handlers to submit leads for businesses where there is a potential opportunity in gaining revenue for the Postal Service. 
Have you made the connection? 

Don't Strike Out! Step Up to the Plate and Order Baseball All-Star Stamps

The Postal Service is stepping up to the plate to immortalize four baseball All-Stars --- Joe DiMaggio, Larry Doby, Willie Stargell, and Ted Williams --- as a group or individually.  


Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999) was admired for his skill and grace as a fielder and base runner. The Yankee Clipper is best known for his incredible 56-game hitting streak in 1941 — the season of “the Streak.” DiMaggio led the New York Yankees to 10 pennants and nine World Series titles.

Larry Doby
Larry Doby (1923-2003) was the first African American to play in the American League, joining the Cleveland Indians shortly after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the National League. The seven-time All-Star excelled as a hitter and center fielder and set an American League outfielder record for 164 consecutive errorless games.  

Willie Stargell
Willie Stargell (1940-2001) powered the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates to a World Series title. Hitting 475 home runs during his career, the seven-time National League All-Star is famous for smashing baseballs out of stadiums.  

Ted Williams
Ted Williams (1918-2002) of the Boston Red Sox served during World War II and the Korean War. The last Major League player to bat over .400 for a single season, in 1941, Williams won six American League batting titles and four home run titles. Despite the breaks in his career, Williams hit .344 over 19 years, including 521 home runs.  


The individual player stamp sheets will be sold only in limited quantities beginning July 21 at select Post Offices in BostonClevelandCooperstownNew York andPittsburgh.   There's also a limited quantity of individual player stamp sheets ready now to fill all pre-orders for shipment on July 21.  Orders received for individual player stamp sheets will be accepted and honored through August 31, 2012, even if it requires additional printing.  

Customers may pre-order the stamps and collectible products today by visiting this link:  www.usps.com/play-ball, or by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (1-800-782-6724) or by mailing a check or money order to:

MLB PRE-ORDER OFFER 
USPS STAMP FULFILLMENT SERVICES
8300 NE UNDERGROUND DRIVE #210
KANSAS CITY, MO  64144-0001

(For mail orders, customers should include an additional $1.25 for orders up to $50. or $1.75 for orders over $50.)

ROYO = Many Happy Returns

Have you ever ordered something online that you wanted to return but the company didn’t offer a prepaid return label?
You’re not alone. Consumers pay for about 41 percent of all merchandise returns.
The Postal Service wants to be the preferred returns provider in the minds of both businesses and consumers.  Providing tracking on returns is crucial to achieving this goal.
When a customer brings a Return on Your Own (ROYO) package to a retail location, employees are prompted by the POS system to follow a number of steps that identify the package as a return and match it to a merchant. USPS provides free tracking to both sender and the merchant.
Enhancing the returns experience will help establish the Postal Service as the preferred return service provider and generate new revenue.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

FEOY Awards Program Recognizes Outstanding Employees

"Team Pompano" strikes a pose for the camera following the "Federal Employee of the Year" awards program/luncheon at Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale.  (L to R) Ed Drozdowski, JoAnn Zatorsky, Louis Mongilia, Frank Mariano, Ricardo Veiga, Sharon Puhl, Andrew Perlmutter, and Camille Moscola-Calvo.
FEOY nominees (L to R) Barry Artiz, Nellie Camm, and Curtis Hinson, Jr. Nellie was a category finalist.
Pompano's John Neal and his wife enjoyed the luncheon and entertainment.
(L to R) Maria Artiz, Barry Artiz, Nellie Camm, Curtis Hinson, Jr., Diane Tindle, and Manny Ferrer.  Maria, Diane, and Manny attended the FEOY event to support their nominees.

West Palm Beach Career Milestones

West Palm Beach Postmaster Richard Fermo recognized eight employees for career milestones celebrated in May.  James Diaz and Edward Vitek of Palm Beach Gardens Station were given 35-year service awards. John Mackey of Riviera Beach Branch and Michael Sheely of Southboro Station also were given 35-year service awards.  Celebrating 25 years of service were Angel Baez of Haverhill Branch, Jeffrey Bravo of Southboro Station, Lois Nachreiner of Palms West Branch, and Joseph Orth of Riviera Beach Branch. Congratulations to these employees for
their dedicated service!

Test Your Hurricane Preparedness

May 27 – June 2 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week.  Test your knowledge of the following hurricane preparedness material: 

KNOW YOUR RISK FOR HURRICANES
Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding.  This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards.
Storm Surge
      Storm surge, a lesser-known but very dangerous by-product from the power of hurricanes, is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm.
      What makes storm surge so dangerous is that it combines with the tides and creates a rise in the water level that can cause severe flooding in coastal areas, particularly when the storm tide coincides with the normal high tides. Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ssurge/index.shtml for more information on storm surge.
High Winds and Tornadoes
     While hurricane-force winds often make the news, there’s no such thing as “just a tropical storm.”  Hurricane- and tropical storm-force winds can send debris through the air, causing damage to homes and businesses.
      It’s important to know basic hurricane-related terms such as:
Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 38 mph or less.
Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed  ranges from 39 mph to 73 mph.
Hurricane: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 74 mph or more.
Storm Surge: An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.  Storm surge can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline.
Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph  or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph  or higher) are possible within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.
      Also, hurricanes can also produce tornadoes that add to the storm's destructive power, so it’s important to get prepared for the high winds of severe tropical weather.
Flooding
      Flooding is one of these hazards and the most common and costly natural disaster to affect every state across the country.  Flood risks associated with hurricane season extend far beyond the coastlines. 
      The largest amounts of rainfall from hurricanes are often produced by slow moving storms that stall out miles from a shoreline as did Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.  In addition, last year Hurricane Irene caused major flooding over much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast when it moved inland, with high winds and torrential rains.
      While preparing for flooding, FEMA is urging residents to purchase flood insurance now.  Flood insurance is available through more than 85 insurance companies in nearly 22,000 participating communities nationwide.  Most everyone can purchase flood insurance – including renters, business owners, and homeowners. 
     To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) website, www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419.
      Don’t put yourself at risk; follow the instructions of local officials – and if told to evacuate, then do so.  Everyone should get familiar with the terms that are used to identify a flooding hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a flooding hazard include the following:
Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, immediately do so.
Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; immediately seek higher ground on foot.
      Remember, turn around, don’t drown.  The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.
      It’s important to follow the instructions of state and local officials, and listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information.  Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for updates and information provided by their local officials.
Source:  FEMA “Hurricane Preparedness Week” Toolkit


Hollywood Watch Headquarters Makes 'Time' for 48 Soldiers

CBS 4 videotapes Invicta President and CEO Eyal Lalo (standing) and staff packaging donated Coalition Force watches. 

(L to R)  Postal Inspectors Blanca Alvarez and Ivan Ramirez ensure package is securely wrapped for shipment to APO in Germany.  They transported watches from Invicta to the Fort Lauderdale Main Office for mailing.


     Invicta, a watch company headquartered in Hollywood FL, has demonstrated its compassion and commitment to the military after learning that care packages addressed to service men and women had been stolen by an air cargo employee at JFK Airport.  
     “As soon as we heard about it, we thought it was a very sad situation to know that an air cargo worker was involved in stealing merchandise to soldiers,” said Invicta President and CEO Eyal Lalo.
     Lalo and his staff packaged 48 designer watches, estimated at $70,000, to be delivered to soldiers stationed at an APO in Germany.  The shipment will replace the stolen watch ordered by a soldier --- and the rest will be gifts to his platoon.  Lalo selected the watch with a military-inspired line --- "Coalition Force."
     Culminating an Inspection Service investigation earlier in May, the air cargo worker was wearing the stolen watch when apprehended by New York Postal Inspectors.  
     This week, Postal Inspectors Blanca Alvarez and Ivan Ramirez of the Miami Division picked up and delivered the donated watches to the Fort Lauderdale Main Office.  Several postal employees and inspectors donated funds to cover the Priority Mail postage. 

A/Mgr, Maintenance Operations Praises Miami BEMs' Work Ethic

(L to R)  Miami P&DC Building Equipment Mechanics Reynaldo Flemmings, Frank Schmidt, Miguel Palacio take a moment from their duties to pose for the camera.  

By David Mena, A/MMO, Miami Plant

At no time in its history has the United States Postal Service faced the challenges that it does today.  The future sustainability of an American institution is at risk of faltering if it cannot adapt to the changing market that it serves.  As we move forward in an effort to achieve this elusive sustainability, it is the employees committed to accepting these challenges and working through them who will write the next pages of our history.

South Florida District plants are gearing up for changes that will rock the infrastructure we currently use to process and move mail.  The workroom floors at the Miami Plant and the South Florida L&DC will have to be transformed in an effort to accommodate this dynamic and changing market.

Fortunately dedicated employees like Frank Schmidt with over 30 years of Postal Service and 20 years in the US Navy, whose detailed knowledge of the plants’ electrical capabilities that can only be gained by years of work, Miguel Palacio with 25 years of postal service and 4 years in the US Navy, offers an innovative approach to challenging issues that is testament to his commitment to excellence, and Reynaldo Flemmings with 18 years of postal service and nine years in the US Army, exemplifies the discipline and pride instilled in him during his time in the service by tackling all tasks head on and with a positive and can do attitude, employees like these will spearhead our efforts as we move forward.  Their years of training and experience are pivotal in executing plans to affect positive change.  Although they are no-longer titled Electricians by the Postal Service, these Building Equipment Mechanics (BEM) perform the duties of an electrician with pride and professionalism that breaths life into our organization.

In 2010 while adding SPBS and AFSM machines to the L&DC the power specifications for these would have required electrical contractors at a tremendous expense. The combined efforts of BEM’s Palacio, Flemings, and Schmidt saved the Postal Service approximately $30,000.00 by using recycled electrical components and wiring from the Miami Plant and the old 2C/3C Annex building to prepare the L&DC for the additional equipment.  Salvaging everything from transformers and electrical panels to conduit; these employees looked for every opportunity to reduce cost without sacrificing quality or jeopardizing safety while re-wiring the L&DC.

Now in 2012 we approach the next phase of additional DBCS machines to the Miami P&DC and we are again faced with the need for extensive electrical work.  Relocating TMS towers and DBCS machines requires power changes to the building’s existing layout and again these three employees have demonstrated their high level of commitment to the organization by salvaging existing equipment for additional savings that easily exceed $30,000.  All three employees have been exclusively at the Miami Plant during their entire careers and their dedication and commitment is an invaluable asset to our Maintenance Team and the U.S. Postal Service.

Employee commitment is defined as a personal agreement or pledge to do the right thing, (even when no one is looking).  Are you COMMITTED to our organization’s success?

Friday, May 25, 2012

USPS Extends Deadline for Postmaster Incentive Decision


USPS is providing Postmasters additional time to take advantage of their Special Incentive Offer. Postmasters who meet the criteria now have until July 2, 2012 to take advantage of the offer.

The new timetable gives Postmasters the opportunity to apply for one or more of the approximately 1,600 vacant Postmaster positions posted today on the eCareer website. Postmasters should visit eCareer — located on LiteBlue — to review the posted vacancies and to apply online.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Postmaster incentive offer — including information on how incentive date changes may affect Postmasters who opted in after the May 9 original announcement — are available at the Workforce Connection website on LiteBlue. Postmasters can expect to receive formal communications outlining these changes by mail within the next week.

Postmasters with questions not covered at the Workforce Connection website can call the Human Resources Shared Service Center (877-477-3273).

NALC Food Drive Totals

By LuAnn Warner, Customer Relations Coordinator, West Palm Beach

The West Palm Beach NALC Branch 1690 proudly reports collecting 477,938 pounds of food for the 20th Anniversary of the NALC Food Drive.  “Feeding South Florida,” which encompasses half of  Palm Beach County, was the recipient of 148,000 pounds of donations! The Treasure Coast area received 140,000 pounds, while Indian River County received 88,000. Stuart/Hobe Sound NALC collected approximately 60,000 pounds to their major benefactor “Jesus House of Hope.”Okeechobee  County received 15,000 pounds of donations and the Clewiston Community received 2,400 pounds.The Residual amount of 24,538 was divided amongst the remaining Post Offices and Branches. 

Carrier Ed Sankowski, of Palm Beach Gardens Station, stated how important it was to reach out to people with this food drive at such a difficult time. He phrased it best with “ It shows somebody cares.” 
  
NALC Branch 1071 of Palm Beach County also reports collecting 217,100 pounds of food donations.  This area covers Southern Palm Beach County, including community of Lake Worth all the way to Broward County.


Mail Handler VER, $15,000 Incentive

USPS is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) opportunity to employees represented by the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU). In addition, USPS has reached an agreement with the NPMHU to offer a separation incentive to employees the organization represents.

Earlier this month, USPS announced plans to move ahead with a modified plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases. The first phase of activities will result in up to 140 consolidations through February of 2013.
Details of the VER and incentive plan are available on the Workforce Connection website on LiteBlue. Major provisions include:
  • All career employees covered by the USPS-NPMHU National Agreement are eligible for the incentive offer, with a few exceptions that are detailed in the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • The total incentive amount for full-time NPMHU bargaining unit employees is $15,000. Eligible participating NPMHU employees will receive an initial incentive payment of $7,500 on Dec. 21, 2012 (less required deductions and withholdings). The remaining $7,500 will be paid on or about Dec. 20, 2013 (less required deductions and withholdings).
  • The incentive program is available to eligible employees who notify USPS on or before July 2, 2012 of their intent to participate in the VER, optional retirement, or voluntarily resign and who separate effective Aug. 31, 2012.
  • Part-time career employees also are eligible for the incentive on a prorated schedule.
Optionally eligible employees may begin the process immediately by using eRetire or by contacting the Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC) at 877-477-3273. VER-eligible employees will receive an offer letter and kit with required documents to initiate the process. Eligible employees selecting resignation also may begin the process immediately by contacting HRSSC. All retirement-eligible employees will receive offer letters and annuity estimates at their mailing address during the week of May 29.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hurricane Prep: Consider Apps

As the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season approaches, consider the benefits of technology when reviewing your Emergency Action Plan.  There are many available communications for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry and Smartphone users, including those listed below.  Most have an associated cost so you’ll need to do your homework.

Flashlight App  When Japan experienced the tsunami, flashlight Apps were the # 1 download on smartphones.  This feature will come in handy during a power outage.

 Hurricane HD lets you track storms with moving radar and satellite imagery from the National Hurricane Center.  It provides tropical bulletins, forecasts, and advisories.  You can watch video updates for current storms and find data on major storms of the past.

The Weather Channel has fully customizable weather maps, animated radar maps, detailed weather conditions and forecasts, severe weather alerts, and a notification bar with the current temperature and severe weather alert indicator. It allows you to get weather forecasts for your location or search by city,  ZIP Code, street address, or landmark.  This App also includes interactive maps that are fully customizable and feature the functionality of Google Maps. You can decide to display layers such as radar, clouds, UV index, rainfall, and more.

AccuWeather’s iPad App has an advanced Hurricane Center that lets you track the latest hurricanes.  The current position and expected paths of active hurricanes are plotted on a Google Map. All news stories and expert videos related to the tropics are easily accessed.  Weather warnings are displayed on the forecast page to keep you alert of any weather-related watches or warnings for your area.

Hurricane Hub is a comprehensive hurricane information portal with everything from NOAA forecasts, current storm maps, eye-witness reports and general hurricane information and trivia to tips for riding out a storm, donating or volunteering in relief efforts, and tools for reconnecting family members after a storm. It offers quick access to an overview map of active storms, computer models of projected paths from different agencies via SkeetobiteWeather.com, three- and five-day cones for active storms from NOAA, and satellite imagery of different ocean basins from Weather Underground.

Global Alert Network delivers hands-free national traffic and weather alerts. See iTunes for Apple devices or go to BlackBerry for a download.  The Global Alert Network automatically broadcasts audible hands-free alerts to mobile devices. You can choose to subscribe to weather or traffic alerts, which are geo-targeted to your location.

One last consideration:  You may not have power after a hurricane.  Prior to the storm, be sure to fully charge your electronic devices.  Also consider purchasing a solar charger to keep your smartphones, tablets, and other small devices operable.

Milam Dairy's Farmer Has 50 Years


Charles E. Farmer (center) began his career at Miami's Allapattah Station.  Today at Milam Dairy Branch, he celebrates 50 years of outstanding service as a letter carrier.  Mr. Farmer was surprised, but very pleased, to be recognized for this career milestone.  Co-workers gathered as South Florida District Manager Jeffrey Becker (left) presented him with a certificate and pin.  Pictured next to Mr. Becker is Manager, Customer Service Leonardo Padron, Mr. Farmer, Miami Officer-In-Charge Scott Bower, and NALC 1071 Branch President Mike Gill.  Mr. Bower and Mr. Gill also praised Mr. Farmer and thanked him for his commitment and dedication to the Postal Service over the years.  Photo:  Briggett Glinton

It's Picture Perfect!


Picture Permit Imprint Indicia is now live on usps.com.  Picture Permit allows customers to use logos, trademarks, and brand images in the permit imprint indicia area of their mailpieces.  

Picture Permit Imprint Indicia
Potential benefits of Picture Permit include immediate recognition of your company’s logo, product promotions and brand, which can boost the mailpiece’s value and visual impact, including open rate. The premium for First-Class Mail letters and postcards will be 1 cent per piece, and for Standard Mail letters and cards, 2 cents per piece. 
Commercial mailers and mail service providers who want to use Picture Permit on automation First-Class Mail or Standard Mail letters and postcards (must be part of Full-Service Intelligent mail barcode mailings) may register immediately.  Customers interested in using Picture Permit close to the June 24, 2012, implementation date are encouraged to register as soon as possible, since it may take several weeks to complete the approval process.  Applications for Picture Permit image designs must conform to USPS specifications, be approved in advance, and include sample mailpieces for testing prior to final approval.
Information about the Picture Permit program and registration requirements is available at: https://www.usps.com/picturepermit


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Workforce Connection

Workforce Connection is the new employee online site for the latest, most accurate information on changes in the workplace. It’s the employees’ central point of connection to opportunities and actions involving their careers. Through Workforce Connection on LiteBlue, employees can view the latest information on network and organizational changes, review frequently asked questions (FAQs) about postal initiatives, and get information on transferring and other opportunities.
Employees will need their employee identification (EIN) and USPS PIN numbers to log on to Workforce Connection. The EIN can be found on an employee’s earnings statement, and all employees have their own PINs. Go to LiteBlue and click on Workforce Connection from the home page.

May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month — a time to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of people of Asian and Pacific Island descent.
This month commemorates the arrival of Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, as well as the contributions of Chinese immigrants to the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869.
More than 51,000 employees of Asian and Pacific Island descent contribute to the business goals and organizational successes of the Postal Service. USPS recognizes that a diverse workforce improves service outcomes and financial performance.
This year’s theme is “Striving for Excellence in Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion” — three principles mirroring the goals of the Postal Service as it moves forward in the 21st century.

This is Nat'l Dog Bite Prevention Week

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


National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 19-25 and is an opportunity to emphasize to the public that responsible pet ownership can prevent these disturbing attacks. In Fiscal Year 2011 (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011), the South Florida District had 73 dog-related incidents as compared with 50 in Fiscal Year 2012 (October 1, 2011 to date). Miami (tied with Buffalo NY) ranks #18 nationwide in the number of dog bite incidents.

The U.S. Postal Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), www.aap.org; the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), www.microsurg.org; the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), www.avma.orgthe Insurance Information Institute (III), www.iii.org; and Prevent The Bite (PTB), www.preventthebite.org are driving home the message that dog bites are a nationwide issue and that education can help prevent dog attacks to people of all ages. 

The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. Letter carriers fearing for their safety due to a loose or unrestrained pet may stop delivery and ask homeowners to pick up their mail at the Post Office until the pet is restrained. In cases where a carrier sees a dog roaming and can’t  discern where it resides, delivery could be interrupted to the entire neighborhood.


Avoiding Attacks
1.  Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.

2.  Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.

3.  If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.

4.  Never approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.

5.  Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.

6.  Anyone wanting to pet a dog should first obtain permission from the owner.

7.  Always let a dog see and sniff you before petting the animal.

8.  If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.

9.  If you are knocked down by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands.

Being a Responsible Dog Owner
1.  Obedience training can teach a dog to behave properly and help owners control their dogs.

2.   When letter carriers and others who are not familiar with your dog come to your home, keep your dog inside, in another room away from the door.

3.  In protecting their territory, dogs may interpret people’s actions as a threat.

4.  Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to roam.

5.  Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.

PayPal for Click-N-Ship Customers




USPS has added PayPal as a payment option on its Click-N-Ship application, joining credit cards and Bill Me Later. 
PayPal is highly secure, allowing customers to pay without sharing financial information, and provides flexible payment options — including PayPal account balances, bank accounts, credit cards and promotional financing. 
Customers can select PayPal as their payment choice when checking out after completing a shipping label.
The addition of PayPal is one of several enhancements to Click-N-Ship and part of a broader redesign of usps.com intended to make online shipping and shopping more flexible and convenient for customers.
The Postal Service’s Shipping Assistant desktop application has been re-branded and upgraded. It’s now known as “Click-N-Ship for Business."  All of the functionality and popular features of Shipping Assistant remain, with some improvements:
  • Faster, simpler use
  • Quicker application start up
  • Updated navigation for easier label creation
  • Faster access to functions such as the Track and Confirm tool, creating return labels and importing orders directly into an address book
  • Updated look mirroring the current usps.com design.
More enhancements will be added later this year.

Monday, May 21, 2012

NALC Food Drive around the District

May 12 commemorated an important milestone — the 20th anniversary of the annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.
Since the program began in 1992, USPS employees and customers have contributed more than 1.1 billion pounds of non-perishable food — including pet food — making this annual food drive the nation’s largest one-day campaign to collect food for distribution to those in need.
Last year, letter and rural carriers collected 70.2 million pounds of food, making it the eighth consecutive food drive to surpass 70 million pounds. Preliminary reports indicate that this year won’t be an exception. The total weight of all the food collected during this year’s drive will be released within the next few weeks after the amounts are verified and tallied.
Let's take a look at food drive photos submitted from around the South Florida District:


TREASURE COAST POST OFFICES
Photos:  Ann Marie Tighe
A/Customer Relations Coordinator Ann Marie Tighe reports a successful food drive at Treasure Coast Post Offices.  Photos below are of incoming food, volunteers, retired letter carriers and postal employees at several Treasure Coast Post Offices.  West Palm Beach Postmaster Richard Fermo and NALC 1690 officials showed their support at several locations.  Food collected in Martin County was sent to the House of Hope.  Food collected at the St Lucie County and Jensen Beach Post Offices was donated to the Treasure Coast Food Bank.
L to R:  Retired Port St Lucie Letter Carriers Frank Morales and Gary Ellis helped load food donations onto a flat trailer .

CORAL SPRINGS BRANCH 
By Rose Mannisto, A/Manager, Customer Service 
On Saturday, May 12, Americans gave an abundance of food to those in need for the 20th annual NALC/USPS Food Drive.  The food collected by letter carriers goes directly into the local community food banks to help those in need. Imagine being poor, having no home and being totally dependent on others for your basic survival.
Those were the compassionate thoughts of letter carriers at the Coral Springs Branch Post Office.  At a service talk the previous days before the food drive.  The employees spoke of how fortunate they all were to be working everyday.  The food drive was apparently very important to the employees at the Coral Springs Post Office. 
In order to celebrate our day of “Giving Back” and helping our community, the Coral Springs team decided to have a cook-out.  The manager and supervisors got together and purchased hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon and chips.  Letter Carrier Franklin Rinzler donated a new grill and the NALC Shop Steward Tom Latocha generously supplied all the soft drinks and water.  Other carriers brought in potato salad and cookies.  Some of the carriers made arrangements for their teenage children to earn service hours by assisting with unloading the trucks that were filled with food.
The morning of the food drive started with excitement.  Clerks; carriers were privileged to be part of such a great group of generous individuals. 
As each carrier returned with their truckloads of food, they were greeted by the volunteers from the local church who were thrilled to assist in accepting the groceries. 
At the end of the day, the large U-Haul was filled with food.  The volunteers and postal employees were able to enjoy a nice afternoon with an appetizing cookout.  The kindness each person showed to one another was magnificent. 

A/Manager, Customer Service Rose Mannisto (center) is proud of her Coral Springs team.   Left to Right:  Terry Paulson's son, Keith Freeman; Terry Paulson; Jessica Barco; Barrett Siegal; Tisha Berrian; Rose Mannisto; Tom Latocha; Josephine Oliveras; Roberto Rodriguez; D. Nugen; and Jessica Barco's son.  Rose Mesenger captured the food drive with her camera:
Volunteer takes a well-deserved break after loading this truck in record time!
Terry Paulson cheerfully delivers the mail and picks up canned goods in the neighborhood ... 
... and enjoys a refreshing lemonade from local entrepreneurs on her route.
Coral Springs Letter Carrier John Donato is overwhelmed with joy after delivering mail and collecting canned goods in the hot sun and then unloading a truckload of donated food back at the Post Office.
Letter Carrier Franklin Rinzlet is pleased with the volume of canned goods collected on his route.  Franklin donated the use of his grill for the cookout at the Coral Springs Post Office.

KEY LARGO POST OFFICE
Key Largo Letter Carrier Mary Mendez displays canned soup from Campbell's, one of several food drive sponsors this year.  The food drive was a huge success as carriers collected approximately 12,000 pounds of food according to Rural Letter Carrier Cindy Smith.  Photo:  Cindy Smith

Key Largo Supervisor Gil Trevino Pastor Kerry Foote, and Carriers Susan Anderson and Jermira Robinson  are pleased with the results of the 2012 food drive.  Photo:  Cindy Smith

PALM BEACH GARDENS POST OFFICE
West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator LuAnn Warner helps load food onto trucks and takes the photos below to capture the 20th anniversary of the largest one-day food drive in the nation.  Her photo was taken by West Palm Beach Postmaster Richard Fermo.  
West Palm Beach Customer "Charity" is grateful for food donations to help feed her family.    
Volunteer from collecting agency, "Feeding South Florida" (L) and Palm Beach Gardens Letter Carrier Charles Phipps (R) work together to unload the carrier's collection of food from his route. 
Palm Beach Gardens Letter Carrier/NALC 1690 Shop Steward Starr Hunter is very dedicated to the cause and helps with publicity leading up to and including the day of the food drive.
Palm Beach Gardens Letter Carrier Doug George is all smiles as he returns from his route with several flat containers of canned goods. 
St. Vincent De Paul Church volunteer helps sort the incoming onslaught of food from the carriers.
Palm Beach Gardens Letter Carrier Ed Santowski has participated in the NALC Food Drive for all twenty years.  But he says this will be his last food drive; after 26 years, he is retiring in a month!  
West Palm Beach representative prepares to kick off at the Holy Name of Jesus Church.  Front L to R: West Palm Beach NALC Officials Brian Debbe and Rick Abbarno. Back Row in bed of truck: West Palm Beach NALC Representative Starr Hunter and West Palm Beach Postmaster Rich Fermo.  

TAVERNIER POST OFFICE
Pastor Foote from Burton Memorial Church (back right) is pictured with Tavernier Postmaster Eddy Suarez (back left) and Rural Carriers Barbara Froelich, Ramona Luna, Debra Weworski, and Jaaden Kincade.  Tavernier carriers collected approximately 8,500 pounds of canned goods to help feed the hungry in their community.   Photo:  Cindy Smith