Monday, July 30, 2012

New Stamps Debut on National Stage

The U.S. Postal Service paid tribute on National Dance Day (July 28) — to four influential choreographers who forever changed the art of dance in this country and around the world: Isadora Duncan, José Limón, Katherine Dunham and Bob Fosse.
The Innovative Choreographers stamps were dedicated at Los Angeles County’s Grand Park, as part of the West coast’s flagship National Dance Day Celebration, by Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer and co-creator of “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD), the FOX prime-time dance reality show, and Ruth Goldway, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

“Together, the PRC and the Postal Service believe these stamps will serve as a reminder of the achievements made by these truly innovative choreographers,” said Goldway. “We hope more people will learn about the incredible contributions they made and their enduring legacies.”

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) Dancer, adventurer, revolutionary and ardent defender of the poetic spirit, Duncan has been one of the most enduring influences on contemporary culture. Virtually single-handedly, Duncan restored dance to a high place among the arts. Breaking with convention, she traced the art of dance back to its roots as a sacred art. Duncan is credited with inventing what later came to be known as Modern Dance. The image on the stamp reflects Duncan’s interest in classical Greek dance.
José Limón (1908-1972) José Limón was born in Culiacán, Mexico. At age 7, he moved to the United States, where he later studied with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman and danced with their company (1930-1940). He established his own company in 1947, with Humphrey as artistic director. The company toured worldwide during Limón’s life and remained active after his death. On the stamp image, Limón is shown in a performance pose.
Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) Katherine Dunham became one of the first African-American women to attend the University of Chicago, where she earned a doctoral degree in anthropology. She was a pioneer in the use of folk and ethnic choreography and one of the founders of the anthropological dance movement. She is credited for bringing Caribbean and African influences to a European-dominated dance world. On the stamp image, Dunham is shown in a pose from her critically acclaimed ballet “L’Ag’Ya.”
Bob Fosse (1927-1987) Bob Fosse was one of the 20th century’s great choreographers. As an artist, Fosse was known for his thoroughly modern style, a signature one could never mistake for anyone else’s. Snapping fingers are omnipresent, so are rakishly tilted bowler hats. Both hip and shoulder rolls appear frequently, as do backward exits. Swiveling hips and strutting predominate, as do white-gloved, single-handed gestures. The image on the stamp portrays Fosse on the set of “Sweet Charity.”

USPS to Honor a Special Lady

The stamp, based partly on her official White House portrait, will be available nationwide in December.

To celebrate the centennial birth year of Lady Bird Johnson, the Postal Service will issue a commemorative Forever Stamp.
The stamp honoring Johnson — who was married to President Lyndon B. Johnson — will feature her official White House portrait, as well as the artwork of stamps originally issued in the 1960s to encourage planting flowers to beautify America.
“Lady Bird Johnson’s impact on society continues to be felt by many today,” said USPS Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall Jr. “Anyone who drives our nation’s highways today still benefits from her leadership in transforming the American landscape and helping to preserve its natural beauty. We’re pleased to honor her with this stamp.”
“During her lifetime, Lady Bird Johnson was recognized for many achievements related to her advocacy for the environment, including the passing of The Highway Beautification Act of 1965,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “We’re pleased to join the celebration honoring what would be her 100-year birthday and also to continue to help further her important legacy of creating a more beautiful America.”
The Lady Bird Johnson stamps will be issued for sale nationwide this December.

No Employee Impact from Missed RHB Prefunding Payments

The Postal Service’s decision not to make two payments to fund retiree health benefits — due August 1 and September 30 — will have no impact on employee pay or operations.

In a prepared statement, USPS said it will “continue to deliver the mail, pay our employees and suppliers and meet our other financial obligations.”

The $5.5 billion payment due August 1 and the $5.6 billion payment due September 30 are required by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which became law in 2006.

The statement also said the Postal Service is moving ahead with implementation of its strategic plan, adding “comprehensive postal legislation is needed in order to return the Postal Service to long-term financial stability.” USPS says it “remains hopeful” a new law will be enacted during the current Congress.

Under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, the Postal Service is required to prefund Retiree Health Benefits. The Act established an accelerated prefunding schedule for FYs 2007 through 2016. The Postal Service has made $17.9 billion of these payments so far, reflecting the required payments for FYs 2007-2010. A law was passed last year that deferred the FY 2011 $5.6 billion prepayment until Aug. 1, 2012. As a result, the total required to prefund Retiree Health Benefits in 2012 is $11.1 billion: the FY 2011 payment of $5.5 billion due by Aug. 1, 2012, and the FY 2012 payment of $5.6 billion due by Sept. 30, 2012. Absent legislative action, the Postal Service will not make either payment in order to fully fund its operations. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony

USPS held the official first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever stamps Friday at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.
The celebration was the first of five ceremonies, with the remaining events taking place in the cities where four of baseball’s most iconic legends built their careers.
Orders for the stamps prior to their issuance exceeded more than two million “stamps batted in” (SBI). The stamps honor New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio, Cleveland Indian Larry Doby, Pittsburgh Pirate Willie Stargell and Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams.
“Today the Postal Service honors the memory of four great players whose unchanging dreams and exceptional skills propelled them to success,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “Our Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever Stamps salute the accomplishments of these excellent players.”
Joining Donahoe in dedicating the stamps were former San Diego Padre and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn; Willie Stargell’s wife, Margaret Weller-Stargell; Larry Doby’s son, Larry Doby Jr.; Kathie Stein, a granddaughter of Joe DiMaggio; National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Chairman Jane Forbes Clark; Postal Service Board of Governors member Louis Giuliano; and Brian Kenny of the Major League Baseball Television Network.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Four of baseball’s most revered icons will be immortal­ized on Forever stamps later this month with the issuance of the Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever Stamps. The stamps honor Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees; Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians; Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates; and Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox.
On July 20, 10 a.m., Cooperstown, New York, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The First-Day-Of-Issue Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps dedication ceremony for the sheet of stamps featuring all four players is taking place at the museum as part of opening day festivities for the 4-day Hall of Fame Weekend celebration in Cooper­stown. Available nationwide that day, the stamps can also be purchased at the museum and at the Cooper­stown Post Office.
On July 21, First-Day-Of-Issue dedication ceremonies for each of the individual player stamp sheets are being planned to honor DiMaggio in New York; Doby in Cleveland; Stargell in Pittsburgh; and Williams in Boston.

Joe DiMaggio (1914–1999) led the New York Yankees to ten pennants and nine World Series titles. Many consider him the greatest all-around player of his time.
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. He faced prejudice with dignity and courage.
Willie Stargell (1940–2001) powered the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, a multicultural team known as “The Family,” to a World Series title. He is also remembered for promoting har­mony between players from different backgrounds.
Ted Williams (1918–2002) of the Boston Red Sox was the last Major League player to bat over .400 for a single season (1941). During his stellar career, he won six American League batting titles and four home run titles. Today, “the Kid” is regarded as one of the all-time greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Takin' Care of Business: Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming PCC Events

     National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day is a time when postal officials and the nation’s PCC memberships get together to exchange ideas and viewpoints.  Beginning this year, this premier Fall event will expand and will be known as “National PCC Week.”
     During PCC Week, scheduled September 18-20, approximately 8,000 PCC members will hear PMG Pat Donahoe discuss the current state of the Postal Service. The week’s events also will include recognition of PCCs that have grown professionally through focused educational programs.
     USPS will distribute a pre-recorded video message available at all PCC venues. The video also will contain current information and product announcements.   Stay posted for information on PCC Week events in South Florida.  In the meantime, there are other local PCC activities scheduled:
     On Thursday, July 19, the PCC of the Palm Beaches is offering two educational seminars at the West Palm Beach Main Office at 3200 Summit Blvd in West Palm Beach.  The first seminar is to assist political campaign and election mailers.  This seminar is scheduled from 9:30 am to 11:00 am.  The second seminar will focus on the benefits of the Intelligent Mail barcode to track your mail.  This seminar is scheduled from 12:00 Noon to 2:30 pm.  There is a fee associated with the seminars (which include a continental breakfast and light lunch).  Contact Customer Relations Coordinator LuAnn Warner at 561-697-2145 for additional information and registration.
     On behalf of the Miami-Dade County Postal Customer Council, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Briggett Glinton invites business mailers to register for presentations on political mail and POSTNET retirement on Friday, July 20.  These seminars are scheduled from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in the Miami Postmaster's Conference Room (#535), 2200 NW 72 Avenue in Miami.  Refreshments will be provided.  Visit to register.  Questions may be directed to Briggett at 305-470-0386.
     The PCC of Broward will be hosting two events at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office, 1900 West Oakland Park Blvd in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, July 26.  The first seminar will cover "Election/Campaign Mail" from 8:30 am to 9:30 am and the second seminar titled "Intelligent Mail Barcode Implementation" from 9:45 am to 12:00 Noon.  There is a nominal fee for the seminars which include breakfast and lunch.  For more information, contact Customer Relations Coordinator Tashia Romano at 954-527-3281.  
     The PCC of Broward also will host an event on Every Door Direct Mail from 9:00 am to 10:30 am on Thursday, August 9.  This event will take place at Priority One Credit Union at 3000 N University Drive in Sunrise

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Four in a Row in Tequesta

MPOO 8 Robert Weiser would like to commend employees from the equesta PO for their outstanding effort in achieving their "4th in a row" 100% RCE Mystery Shop!

Pictured (L to R):  SSAs Mark Brekke; Cliff Jackson; Derek Arron; MCS Brian Coulton.  Not pictured:  SSAs Delores J Morton and Reni Echemendia.  Photo:  Ann Marie Tighe

Three's a Charm in Hobe Sound

MPOO 8 Robert Weiser would like to recognize employees from the Hobe Sound PO for their outstanding effort in achieving 100% in their recent RCE Mystery Shop!

Pictured (L to R):  Christine Storey, Joan Yoson-Weber, Romelia Moreira, and Robin Gazo.
Not pictured are SSDAs Eileen Haggerty and Eva Bressler who also supported the effort in achieving 100%.  Photo:  Ann Marie Tighe
Postmaster Catherine Gangi's comments of her employees: "I am very proud of them. This is the third 100% in a row!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kudos to Jupiter MO Employees!

Manager, Post Office Operations Robert Weiser recognizes and thanks employees from the Jupiter Main PO for their outstanding effort in achieving 100% in their recent RCE Mystery Shop!

Pictured L to R Bottom Row:  SSDAs Marilou Whelan, Florie Wilcox, and MaryAnn Tucker.  L to R Top Row:  SCSs Anthony Jones, Bill Looney (Retail), and Steve Maiorino.  Other team members who were unavailable for this photo opportunity are OIC Patricia Copeland, and SSDAs Parvin Kahn, Marilyn Phillips-Banket, Tysheka Burnett; Mackenzie Moise, and Gloria Eliman.  Photo:  Ann Marie Tighe

EAP: Helping Special Needs Persons

Key West Beautification Project Comes Home to Roost

The Key West Post Office has received a $50,000 special delivery from the Trophia Butterfly Foundation. The chicken-scratched gravel in front of the facility has been replaced with a garden of palm trees, stone seats, and flowering plants.

The foundation has donated and installed butterfly gardens, trees, and plants at several Key West locations, including the Monroe County Public Library and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The postal beautification project marks the foundation's biggest and most expensive undertaking, as low stone walls and raised planters were used to minimize damage from the neighborhood's resident chickens that frequently scratch at the roots and damage garden plants. Foundation leaders proudly report that no chickens were disturbed by the project.

The foundation is responsible for the maintenance which saves the USPS a small fortune. Prior to the landscaping, USPS paid $2,500 a year to maintain the existing palm trees. And though native plants require less-frequent watering, the large cistern underneath the Post Office collects rain water used for irrigation.

“This renovation will attract visitors to our Post Office which should increase stamps sales, as well as make us a good neighbor in the community,” said Postmaster Jane Evans.

Grateful Customer Gives Bear Hug

Fort Lauderdale MVS Driver Robert Selvin knows the true meaning of customer service.

“Working for the Postal Service is great,” said Selvin. “But finding a customer’s lost Birth Certificate and Passport in the mail for a cruise departing at 4 pm that day is priceless!”

As Selvin was leaving the Sabal Palm Post Office at 1 pm, a vehicle driven by a frantic customer cut him off in the parking lot. The customer exited her vehicle and explained that she had to find her Express Mail that contained her Birth Certificate and Passport. The sender had written the wrong address, but correct ZIP Code on the mailpiece.

Selvin asked the customer to follow him to the Tamarac Post Office that delivered ZIP Code 33319. However, on the way, Selvin had a hunch that the Express Mail was at the Fort Lauderdale Processing and Distribution Center so he pulled over, and the customer parked behind him. He called Expeditor Doug Elbaum who then located the Express Mail. Selvin exited his vehicle to share the good news with the customer.

“When I mentioned the sender’s name to her, she jumped out of her car and gave me the biggest bear hug known to man!” said Selvin. “Her tears of joy absolutely were overwhelming when we picked up the Express Mail. Her repeated thanks to me truly was a heartwarming feeling.”

Photo:  William G. Quinn, Jr.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Preparing for the Good Life

Employees who have seen the Postal Service’s new retirement counseling videos for Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System employees are telling USPS they’re worth watching.
“The 3-step video on line was very helpful in filling out my retirement forms,” one prospective retiree told the Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC).
Another employee went a step further, saying, “The retirement videos are great. They should be required viewing before the counseling sessions since they answer so many of the questions.”
The videos are for the benefit of employees who have started the retirement process and have already received their paperwork. They include the same information retirement specialists at the HRSSC would give employees over the phone.
But unlike a telephone conversation, each 20-minute session can be viewed as many times as employees need — and they can pause to finish paperwork or rewind to review information.
The counseling videos at LiteBlue are in addition to a set of general retirement videos which includes information for new employees as well as those preparing to retire. The general retirement videos are not available on ACE computers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Flags and Fireworks on the Fourth

Wednesday, July 4, is Independence Day, one of the six days each year postal facilities are required to fly the POW–MIA flag. The flag and its display at postal facilities honor the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action.
The POW–MIA flag must fly below the U.S. flag. If a postal facility is closed July 4, the facility is required to display the POW–MIA flag on the last business day before July 4.  Additional information may be found in the Administrative Support Manual Section 476 "POW–MIA Flag Display.”
On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence.  Today, the original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington DC.  Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, parades, barbecues, baseball games, and family reunions.