Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Does This Stamp Look Familiar?

To kick off National Stamp Collecting Month on October 1, the Postal Service will issue the Earthscapes Forever stamps at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington DC.

Miami motorists may recognize one of the “Earthscapes” stamps, although they never may have seen it like this before.  The image shows where Highways 95 and 395 converge in a carefully-engineered, multi-level interchange.  It’s an aerial view of one of America’s urban crossroads.
This stamp pane presents examples of three categories of earthscapes: natural, agricultural, and urban. The photographs all were created high above the planet’s surface, either snapped by “eyes in the sky” — satellites orbiting the Earth — or carefully composed by photographers in aircraft.
In the top row, one flies over America’s stunning wilderness. While a volcanic eruption scars the forests of Washington State, fog drifts over the timeless sandstone towers of Utah’s Monument Valley.  In Alaska, a wide stripe that looks like a highway is actually a glacier, a conveyor belt of ice.  At its base, jagged white shards resembling broken glass are really icebergs, bobbing in a lake.
The stamps in the center row may look like abstract art, but they show five products being gathered, grown, or harvested: salt, timber, grain, cherries, and cranberries.  Center-pivot irrigation systems create geometric shapes in the middle stamp — although bystanders on the ground might see only sprinklers in fields of wheat, alfalfa, corn, and soybeans. 
In the bottom row, urban life takes center stage.  Highways corkscrew around themselves and neat subdivisions sport tiny blue pools. It’s our familiar world, shrunken into miniature — with a fresh perspective.

How to Obtain First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the First-Day-Of-Issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a South Florida Post Office beginning Monday, October 1.  They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Earthscapes Stamps Special Cancellations
PO Box 92282
Washington DC 20090-2282
(The above address is for requests for all of the Earthscapes stamps.  Below address is for the Highway Interchange stamp only.)
Highway Interchange Stamp Special Cancellation
Postmaster, Miami
PO Box 52-4004
Miami FL  33152-4004
After applying the First-Day-Of-Issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by December 2, 2012.

South Florida Kicks Off Annual CFC

Will the South Florida District win the traveling trophy as it did in the 2010 CFC?
It's official ... the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has kicked off in South Florida.
One doesn't have to go far to find people in need.  Many of your family members, friends, and neighbors will at some point benefit from the services of charities participating in the CFC.  Whether it’s advances in medicine provided by research, support for our aging parents, disaster assistance or the opportunity for a child to participate in after school programs – we all have something to gain by supporting the campaign.  
For 50 years, the CFC has offered:
Choice – You get to direct your pledge to the organizations that are closest to your interests.  This year, you may choose from more than 3,000 listed in your Giving Guide.  
Convenience – Workplace giving has advantages.  Through payroll deduction, you can give more, while only having a small amount deducted from each paycheck.  Cash and checks also are accepted.  
Confidence – Each charity is screened by your federal peers.  Requirements of each charity include: a Health and Human Service impact statement, IRS determination letter, tax form 990, and certified audits where appropriate.
Did You Know?
-- At some point in their lives, 1 in 3 women is at high risk of getting cancer; for men, 1 in 2 is at high risk. 
-- Those veterans aged 20 through 24, who have served during the war on terror, had the highest suicide rate among all veterans - estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age.
-- One in 4 women in the United States has endured violence from an intimate partner.
-- Almost 11 million Americans are caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.
-- In order to afford rent of a two-bedroom apartment at a monthly fair market rent of $1,044, individuals earning minimum wage must work 3.3 full-time jobs.
-- One in 11 households faces a constant struggle against hunger.
-- About half of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence.
-- One in three adults has some form of cardiovascular disease.   

    Ordinary people experience extraordinary needs even in ordinary times.  In extraordinary times like these, those needs continue to grow.  Every day of every year, your gift to the CFC delivers hope, dignity, and comfort to thousands of people.  Will you deliver when a key worker visits your place of business?

Holiday Shipping: It's Never Too Early

USPS has released its suggested mail-by dates to help customers make sure their packages, cards and letters arrive in time for this year’s holiday season.
The first holiday mailing deadline is November 13 for customers sending Parcel Post packages to APO and FPO addresses. Space Available Mail must be mailed by November 26, regardless of the APO and FPO address.
Last-minute shoppers have until December 22 — the deadline for Express Mail packages — to send mail in the U.S. But they would be wise to send their mail before the final deadline. 

2011 FSA Claims Due Sept 30, 2012

September 30, 2012 is the deadline for Flexible Spending Account (FSA) reimbursement claims for calendar year 2011. Expenses include those made during the grace period that expired March 31, 2012.

Employees should send their claims form to:
FSA Customer Service Center
PO Box 981506
El Paso, TX 79998-1506

Or fax forms to 915-231-1709.
For more details, check the FSA pages on LiteBlue. Or call the FSA Customer Service Center at 800-842-2026 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (ET).  

It's Hispanic Heritage Month

Jose Ferrer
September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.
This year’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is “Diversity united, building America’s future today.” The theme promotes the benefits of a united and diverse workforce by encouraging reflection on Hispanic-American contributions to the U.S.
Observance of Hispanic heritage began in 1968, when Congress passed a law designating the week including Sept. 15-16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. By incorporating these dates, the law celebrated the anniversaries of national independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. In 1988, Congress amended the law, expanding the observance to a month and giving it the name it has today.
The Postal Service has more than 55,000 employees of Hispanic descent.

This year, the Postal Service issued a stamp honoring Hispanic actor José Ferrer.

Political Mail on the Campaign Trail

Customers looking for help preparing Political Campaign Mail now can turn to for assistance.
The new Political Mail website provides a plethora of Political Campaign Mail resources, including tools to help determine which USPS mail service to use and the best way to get return mail. Available too are guidelines for properly addressing mail and tips for ensuring mailing lists are up to date.
Customers also can even receive help designing mailpieces and business reply return envelopes using the contact information for Mailpiece Design Analysts.
The website features links to information on the benefits of direct mail for campaign mailers, along with a link to request further assistance from the Postal Service.
Political Campaign Mail falls under the corporate “Election Mail” initiative — part of the Delivering Results, Innovation, Value and Efficiency (DRIVE) program. For more information, go to the DRIVE website on Blue. (Note: the website is available only to readers using postal computers or BlackBerries).

DPMG Visits Lone Star State

DPMG Ron Stroman (right) thanks Houston Letter Carrier Ocie Garrett for rescuing two children from their burning home.

Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman earlier this month visited the Houston District to talk with employees about the importance of good customer service. He shared with employees his personal vision of the Postal Service’s future and encouraged their feedback.
Stroman told employees he is optimistic about the state of the business and is especially proud of the outstanding job that they do on a daily basis “Throughout my career, I have never seen this level of dedication,” he said. “It’s very heartwarming, and makes me proud to be a part of the Postal Service.”
The DPMG also emphasized that now is the time to step up to the plate. “In order to remain viable in today’s world, the Postal Service has to offer what its competitors offer — and more,” he said.
According to Stroman, the four USPS Customer Experience Essentials — Telephone Courtesy, It Begins with a Smile, Delivery Done Right and We Value Your Business — have a positive impact on customers’ relationships with employees. He stressed the need to make every customer interaction a positive one.
The DPMG also took time to recognize a local hero. Almeda, TX, Post Office Letter Carrier Danny Thompson rescued two children who were asleep when a fire started in their home — an event which received considerable local media coverage.  
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Thompson said. “I think any citizen in Houston would have done the same thing.”

Gold Medalist Visits VA Post Office

From left, Norfolk, VA, Retail Associate Carolyn Ford, Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas, and Richmond District Manager Jacob Cheeks.

Norfolk, VA, Retail Associate Carolyn Ford is a 34-year postal veteran — and the grandmother of 2-time Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas.
Douglas currently is on a national tour that includes Virginia, her home state. Douglas visited the Wright Station Post Office and her grandmother to thank employees for their support.
Ford’s coworkers have known Douglas since she was a child, when they encouraged her to pursue her Olympic dreams.
“It made my day to see her,” said Jo Ann Fleming, a distribution clerk.
Richmond District Manager Jacob Cheeks thanked the gymnast for the visit. “We want you to know that you are a part of our postal family,” he said.
Douglas posed for photos and autographed hats, magazines and photos. “I’m so thankful for all the support,” she said. “My dream is to inspire a nation, which definitely includes my postal family.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Proceeding with Caution (Tape)

Safety-minded Miami P&DC employees proceed with caution (tape).  Front Row:  Maintenance Support Clerk Angelo Maldonado and Custodian Lazaro Julve.  Back Row:  Maintenance Support Clerk Carolyn Jones; Manager, Maintenance Operations Support, Mike Adams; Lead Manager, Maintenance, Ricardo Amezquita; and Maintenance Support Clerks Linda Patrick and Luis Gonzalez.   Photo:  Briggett Glinton

One might say that Miami P&DC Maintenance Support Clerks Carolyn Jones and Linda Patrick are “on a roll and are all wrapped up” in saving money for the Postal Service.  

Recently, these cost-conscious employees identified a new supplier to purchase that bright yellow tape that has “CAUTION” printed on it to grab your attention.  A new source selling a roll at $3 compared to $40 that USPS had been paying another supplier certainly got their attention.  They shared the good news with Ricardo Amezquita, Lead Manager, Maintenance, and Mike Adams, Manager, Maintenance Operations Support, who thanked them for helping USPS capture significant savings.  

Patrick and Jones then placed an order for 50 rolls at a total cost of $150.  In comparison, the previous supplier would have charged $2,000 for the same amount.

Stuart Post Office Joins Pow Wow

The Stuart FL Post Office participated in the  annual “Spirit of the Dance” Pow Wow on Martin County Fairgrounds September 14-16.  The Pow Wow is an annual event featuring arts and crafts and inter-tribal dancing.  SSA Tina Brennan sold a limited silk cachet envelope with a special pictorial stamp cancellation at a postal booth.  Also at  the event, USPS helped Boy Scouts earn a merit badge on stamp collecting.  

Photos:  Ann Marie Tighe

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PMG Message on 'State of the USPS'

PMG Pat Donahoe characterizes his latest message to employees as “a general overview on the state of our business.”
During the video, Donahoe brings employees up to date on several topics. Among them is the strategy to keep nation’s smaller Post Offices open for business. He also discusses the importance of Political Campaign Mail and Election Mail.
Donahoe thanks employees for their hard work, which has resulted in record serviceperformance during the past two fiscal quarters. And he points to the encouraging growth of the package business — helped in part by employee commitment to upgrading scanning performance.
The PMG reviews the progress of postal legislation, noting that action in the House isn’t likely until after the November elections. He also assures viewers that “employees will be paid and our suppliers and vendors will be paid,” in spite of the Postal Service’s financial problems.
“There’s still quite a bit of noise out there on our finances,” he says, noting that employees can’t control those outside messages. He says instead, they should focus on what they can control — “doing the best job you can possibly do.”
Above all, Donahoe says, he’s proud of the record levels of service and scanning performance that employees have achieved, and he urges them to maintain it. “Keep up the great work,” he concludes.  
--- NewsLink 9/18/12

Friday, September 14, 2012

9/21: It's National PCC Day in Miami

Nationwide each year, more than 200 Postal Customer Councils (PCCs) plan an annual activity to recognize and celebrate the partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and the mailing industry.  The Miami-Dade County Postal Customer Council (PCC) invites  South Florida business mailers to participate in its “National PCC Day” event on Friday, September 21. 

"It’s a great opportunity to network with U.S. Postal Service officials and mailing industry professionals in South Florida," said A/Customer Relations Coordinator and PCC Liaison Briggett Glinton.

The PCC event will take place at the Florida Power and Light Company, 9250 W Flagler Street, Miami. For only $30, you’ll get a half day of educational presentations (not to mention a continental breakfast and lunch buffet) between 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. To register, visit

"Together Toward Tomorrow" is the theme of this year's event which will showcase the work of the PCCs and includes a series of National PCC Leadership awards recognizing outstanding service and individual achievement. Among the honors are PCC Industry Member of the Year and PCC Postal Service Member of the Year.  PCCs help member organizations grow professionally through focused educational programs and information sharing about new USPS products, services and programs that affect business mailers.

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick R. Donahoe will deliver a pre-recorded video address on the state of the U.S. Postal Service.  Our featured USPS speaker, Giselle E. Valera, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Business, will share the latest postal global network news.  Networking with USPS officials and industry professionals (including local vendors), will help you discover many new ways to make your mailings more efficient and profitable. 

The PCC leadership hopes that you’ll to invest your time in your business and attend “National PCC Day.”  

West Palm Beach Kicks Off CFC

Employees participating in the first session kick off were (pictured left to right) Linette Sperraza, Steffick Barclay, Raeko Ilimaleota, James Parsons, Megvill Johnson, Julio A. More, Evelyn Price, Bonnie Adams, Starr Hunter, Donald Brooks, Dave Huggins, Denise Tims, Annmarie Bordis, and Lorenzo Stinson.   Photo:  LuAnn Warner  

      By LuAnn Warner, Customer Relations Coordinator, West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach Customer Service Representatives were on hand Wednesday, September 12, to kick off the first session of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) class. The 2012 Campaign will be led by Denise Tims, loaned executive to the CFC Program.  Tims will be part of the CFC team to help steer the MPOO 6, MPOO 8, and the West Palm Beach P & DC toward their 2012 goal of $294,515. 

Year after year federal employees across the United States answer the call to support the CFC.  These West Palm Beach key workers proudly support the 51st year of caring through their participation in the 2012 campaign and will be part of the team to change the lives of those in need.  They are the heart and soul of the campaign, and through their efforts, will be affording all West Palm Beach employees the opportunity to participate.

For further information or to search the online database of charities, please visit the website of the Atlantic Coast CFC at

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11: National Day of Service

Dolphin Alumni Jed Weaver fills out Customs form.
Photo:  Mailin Donahue
Today, September 11, is a National Day of Remembrance to honor those who were killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks.  In South Florida, Miami Dolphins Special Teams staged at Sun Life Stadium packed care packages to ship via USPS Priority Mail to troops serving overseas.  
Operations Support Specialist Mailin Donahue and her children, Samantha and Robert, were three of approximately 100 team members  who filled donated items from the community into APO/FPO Priority Mail boxes.  Mailin coordinated the logistics, transportation, and fulfillment of Priority Mail boxes and Customs forms with the Opa Locka Post Office.  Postmaster Manny Ferrer, Letter Carrier/Shop Steward Marilyn Ray, Letter Carrier Nathan Johnson, and Vehicle Operations and Maintenance Assistant Nemesio Montoto picked up  700 Priority Mail boxes.  
The official website of the Miami Dolphins quotes Leslie Nixon, manager of volunteer services as follows:
“The families that lost members in the attacks on 9/11 actually formed an organization called 9/ So what they’ve done is they’ve turned September 11th into a National Day of Service,” said Leslie Nixon, manager of volunteer services for the Miami Dolphins. “They ask that the way you remember what happened on 9/11 to be a day of service and by you doing some sort of community service around your neighborhood in you’re area. 
“So what we decided to do is turn this into a time where we actually say thank you to the troops. Since they’re serving for us we can do a little community service by packing some care packages to send over to them. We have lots of representation from the community and some wonderful groups that have come out and donated and brought thank you cards to send to the troops. Here we’re just putting them together in boxes and mailing them out. We have the Post Office here, who has been a wonderful partner and it lets the armed forces know we haven’t forgotten about them.”

Below is the link to the official website of the Miami Dolphins; be sure to click on the “Photo Gallery” in the middle of the page:

Operations Support Specialist Mailin Donahue and son Robert proudly wear their orange "Special Teams" shirts while Dolphins Jed Weaver and Nate Garner sport their teal jerseys.  Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
Samantha Donahue (right) supervises Mom (Mailin) while Dolphin alumni Jed Weaver fills out a Customs form for a Priority Mail shipment.  Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
(L to R) "Team Opa Locka" includes Letter Carrier Nathan Johnson, Postmaster Manny Ferrer, and Letter Carrier/Shop Steward Marilyn Ray.   Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
OSS Mailin Donahue (right center) oversees the Priority Mail packaging operation with personnel (L to R) Jed Weaver, Robert Donahue, Samantha Donahue.   Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
The Miami Dolphins Special Teams is a unique volunteer organization created to enlist and mobilize the ongoing services in the community with Miami Dolphins staff, players, alumni, and volunteers.  The mission of the Special Teams is to offer hands-on services to communities and families in need, to partner with existing organizations on worthwhile social, civic and charitable programs, to provide assistance at Miami Dolphins Foundation events and to support community efforts in times of emergency. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Batter Up! Postal Service Hits Homer At Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

Joe DiMaggio had an outstanding baseball career complete with 10 pennants and nine World Series titles, a collection of awards, and a Baseball Hall of Fame induction.  Yet there was another part of his life that brought incredible meaning to him in his later years.  In 1992, DiMaggio gave his name and fundraising efforts to support a children’s hospital at Memorial Regional in Hollywood FL, making clear the one caveat to all of his support:  No child will ever be turned away because of inability to pay. 
On Saturday, September 8, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital hosted a birthday party celebrating 20 years of world-class healthcare.  A highlight was District Manager Jeffrey Becker and Hollywood Officer-In-Charge Michael Lloyd who presented an enlargement of the Joe DiMaggio stamp to hospital administrators Nina Beauchesne and Sharon Kaplan and to Morris Engelberg, DiMaggio’s friend and confidante.  During the stamp dedication, Engelberg praised the man behind the legend who was admired for his skill and grace as a fielder and 
base runner.

District Manager Jeffrey Becker and Hollywood Officer-In-Charge Michael Lloyd get ready for stamp presentation.  Photo:  Eileen Cescon
(L to R):  Morris Engelberg, Jeffrey Becker, Michael Lloyd, and Nina Beauchesne on stage.
Photo:  Eileen Cescon
Mr. and Mrs. Morris Engelberg pose with DiMaggio stamp framed artwork.  Photo: Eileen  Cescon 
Hospital administration and a host of celebrities gather onstage for the lighting of the cake.                                     Photo:  Eileen Cescon
Sparky the Fire Dog shakes on a promise to Hollywood OIC Michael Lloyd that the neighborhood dogs will respect their letter carrier.  Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
(L to R) Hollywood OIC Michael Lloyd and wife, Jo; Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Briggett Glinton; Fort Pierce Customer Relations Coordinator Ann Marie Tighe; Hollywood Supervisor, Customer Services Alyce McMahon; and Hollywood Clerk Robin Stewart.  Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
Morris Engelberg, Joe DiMaggio's friend and confidante, takes a closer look at the special cachet envelope commemorating the hospital's 20-year anniversary.                                             Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
Special cachet envelope is available at $4.00 each at Hollywood Post Offices.
Mrs. Engelberg (in green) chats with CRC Ann Marie Tighe (right) while Eileen Cescon (background) takes a break from photography duties to chat with Mr. Engelberg.  Photo:  Debra J. Fetterly
Giant Golden Oreo cookie and friends can't wait to taste the birthday cake.  Photo:  Briggett Glinton
(L to R) Hospital Administrator Sharon Kaplan; Joe DiMaggio's good friend, Morris Engelberg; District Manager Jeffrey Becker, Hollywood Officer-In-Charge Michael Lloyd; and Hospital Administrator Nina Beauchesne.  Photo:  Briggett Glinton

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Batten Down the Hatch Act

During this election season, remember to review provisions of the Hatch Act which applies to all postal employees.  The Hatch Act prohibits employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, in any government office, wearing an official uniform or using a government vehicle. That means no shirts and no hats, buttons or other items displaying the name or likeness of a candidate or political party. The law also prohibits employees from distributing partisan political messages at work.

Using a USPS computer or telephone to make a political contribution also is illegal, as is making political contributions while on the clock. Employees who use USPS email to send partisan political messages violate federal law and risk losing their jobs. Employees who receive email containing such messages should immediately delete them.

Employees can place political bumper stickers on their personal vehicles. If an employee’s car is parked on postal or other government property, the Hatch Act limits to one the number of visible bumper stickers that can be placed on the vehicle. If the vehicle is used for postal business, the employee must cover all political bumper stickers during the time the car is used for official work.

Employees aren’t completely prohibited from participating in the political process. They can register to vote and support their favorite candidates by voting on Election Day. Employees can participate in registration drives and contribute money to political organizations. They also can be candidates for public office, but only in nonpartisan elections.

For “Frequently Asked Questions about the Hatch Act:  Employees also may contact their local Field Law Office for more information, call the Ethics Helpline at 202-268-6346, or send an email to

DiMaggio Stamp to Hit Home Run at Children's Hospital this Saturday

Joe DiMaggio had an outstanding baseball career complete with 10 pennants and nine World Series titles, a collection of awards, and a Baseball Hall of Fame induction, yet there was another part of his life that brought incredible meaning to him in his later years.  In 1992, DiMaggio gave his name and fundraising efforts to support a children’s hospital at Memorial Regional in Hollywood FL, making clear the one caveat to all of his support:  No child will ever be turned away because of inability to pay. 
On Saturday, September 8, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is hosting a birthday celebration commemorating 20 years of world-class healthcare.  The event will be from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm on hospital grounds at 1005 Joe DiMaggio Blvd in Hollywood.   At 6:00 pm, District Manager Jeffrey Becker and Hollywood Officer-In-Charge Michael Lloyd will present an enlargement of the Joe DiMaggio stamp to hospital administrators and to Morris Engelberg, DiMaggio's closest friend and confidante over the last 16 years of his life.
To commemorate the hospital’s “two decades of world-class care,” the Postal Service created a special cachet envelope.  At the event, employees will distribute flyers promoting the availability of these cachets at $4.00 each at these Hollywood Post Offices:
Hollywood Main Office, 1801 Polk St
Hillcrest Postal Store, 4229 Hollywood Blvd
West Hollywood Hills Branch,  5771 Johnson St
This birthday party is a community event for families with a children’s movie under the stars, petting zoo, interactive games, and many other kid-friendly activities – all free!  Be sure your children visit the postal booth to pick up a coloring book and crayons while supplies last.
*  Employees are reminded that participation is an off-the-clock activity.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Heat Postal Commemoratives Still Hot

This summer may be the hottest on record — for more than one reason. 
For a limited time, the Miami, FL, Post Office is offering matted artwork with a commemorative envelope to celebrate the Miami Heat’s 2012 National Basketball Association Championship. 

The artwork is available for $19.99 (plus $7.70 total shipping and handling charge for one or more items).  For an order form, please visit:

For the cost of envelopes and postage, customers also can request a pictorial postmark commemorating the Heat’s championship. Customers should affix stamps to any envelope or postcard of their choice and send their requests to: Pictorial Postmarks, Champions Station, Postmaster, PO Box 524004, Miami, FL 33152-4004.
Customers also can send stamped envelopes and postcards without addresses for postmark, as long as they supply a larger return envelope with adequate postage and their address.
There’s a charge of 5 cents per additional envelope to be postmarked, when ordering 51 or more. Checks should be made out to “Postmaster.”

Handle with Care

When customers send a package containing the remains of a loved one through the mail, they trust the Postal Service to handle it with care.
Customers have the option of mailing cremated human remains — “cremains” — to a domestic address using either Registered Mail or Express Mail Service.
For cremains sent to international addresses, Registered Mail Service is the only option. The country listing in the International Mail Manual must indicate that cremated remains are permitted and that Registered Mail Service is available for that country.
According to Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, human ashes must be packed in siftproof or other containers and sealed in durable siftproof outer containers. The contents should be identified on the address side of the package.  See Postal Bulletin 22242 for more information.

SFL 'Wait' for Recognition is Over

USPS has been conducting a Wait-Time-in-Line (WTIL) Traveling Trophy Competition to improve the retail customer experience (RCE).
At the end of each quarter, the district in each Area with the best WTIL score receives an award it retains for the next quarter. High-performing districts also receive congratulatory letters from Delivery and Post Office Operations VP Dean Granholm.
In quarter 3 results, five districts were consecutive winners, and two — Greensboro (98 percent) and Northern New England (97.2 percent) — have won six consecutive times.  
This is the first time that five districts have won WTIL recognition for two consecutive quarters. Central Pennsylvania, Gateway and Sacramento districts also have repeated their award-winning performance for the second consecutive quarter.
Other high-performing districts include Arkansas (94.6 percent) and Hawkeye (95.4 percent).
Many districts showed significant improvement in the third quarter. South Florida District’s score went from just under 76 percent in fiscal year 2011 to 84.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012 — an increase of more than 8 percentage points.
The Postal Service’s overall performance in quarter 3 was 89.8 percent.

Broaden Your Horizons in Key West

Are you looking to broaden your postal horizons?  Here’s an opportunity to be a Supervisor, Customer Services, EAS-17, at the Key West Post Office at 400 Whitehead Street in Key West.  This ad-hoc position, not to exceed two years, is open to all qualified EAS career employees within the South Florida District.  
Applications will be accepted September 1–12, 2012.    



(P``                               (Per diem and lodging will be approved for the selected applicant.) 

A Supervisor, Customer Services supervises a group of employees in the delivery, collection, and distribution of mail, and in window service activities within a Post Office, station or branch, or detached unit.
1.   KNOWLEDGE OF PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT systems and standards, and customer satisfaction indicators, as they relate to customer service operations.
2.  CHANGE MANAGEMENT: Prepares employees for change by establishing and maintaining continuous dialogue with employees; communicates change to employees and reassures them during the transition from present to future state.
3.   COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Organizes and expresses thoughts and information in a clear and concise manner while tailoring the message to the audience; engages in active listening; is aware of the impact of nonverbal cues on the message being delivered; takes into account the feelings and motivation of others when delivering  a message.
4.   EMPLOYEE FOCUS: Establishes a positive and safe work environment conducive to increasing productivity through treating employees with dignity and respect; defines the roles of employees and clarifies their responsibilities for the success of the organization; provides employees with the tools and support they need to accomplish their goals.
5.  FUNCTIONAL ADMINISTRATION: Completes administrative tasks; generates and analyzes daily reports to ensure appropriate documentation of operations.
6.    OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT: Manages the operation through the use of operational plans developed to drive work unit and organizational performance; addresses labor relations issues and applies knowledge of local and national agreements to solve workplace conflicts; analyzes data on a regular basis to determine if adjustments to current operations are necessary to achieve goals.
7.    PERSONAL ACUMEN: Adapts to changes in the business environment; demonstrates trustworthiness and initiative to accomplish work unit and organizational goals and objectives.
8.    WORK UNIT PLANNING: Determines priorities of the work unit on a daily and weekly basis; identifies resources (employees and capital) needed to accomplish goals and allocates resources as allowed to support the priorities and goals established for the work unit and organization as a whole.

Interested employees must submit their eCareer profile, along with a summary of accomplishments addressing the above requirements.  Applications should be mailed for receipt by COB, Wednesday, September 12, to:                 

It's National Preparedness Month

At home or at work, routines can be disrupted with little or no warning by catastrophic events. Don’t wait for an emergency to think about being prepared. Anticipating emergencies and planning a response can save lives, and greatly lessen the extent of injuries and property damage.
For National Preparedness Month this September, the National Safety Council urges businesses and families to prepare for unexpected emergencies, both large and small. One step everyone can take is to receive training in basic First Aid, CPR, and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). Ideally, at least one person in each household should have these life-saving skills.
NSC offers emergency care training year-around through its local chapters, in classrooms or online. Visit the council’s Website,, for chapter locations and local contact information.
National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready campaign to increase public awareness of emergency preparedness. NSC is a campaign partner.
The National Safety Council saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.
Source:  National Safety Council

New Purple Heart Stamp Available

The U.S. Postal Service continues to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military with the issuance of the new Purple Heart Medal Forever stamp.  

Today, September 4, is the first day that customers may purchase this new stamp at their local Post Office. The new Forever Stamp differs from the 2011 version with a slightly larger image of the Medal and on a white background.
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is “the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier.”

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:   Customers have 60 days to obtain the first day of issue issue postmark by mail. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:       

Purple Heart Medal Stamps 
Special Cancellation
PO Box 92282
Washington DC  20090-2282

After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by November 5, 2012.