Sunday, January 31, 2016

Retailers Not Meeting Shipping Needs

Many retailers aren’t meeting consumers’ delivery expectations, new research shows.
While 80 percent of online shoppers want same-day delivery, 47 percent of retailers don’t offer that option, according to a survey of consumers and businesses by Temando, a shipping software company.
Seventy-seven percent of shoppers say they also would like guaranteed weekend or after-hours shipping, but only 34 percent of retailers offer that option.
“Consumer expectations are increasing. Retailers still aren’t offering the full gamut of services that consumers are expecting,” Temando chief executive Carl Hartmann told the Internet Retailer news site.
The survey also found that shipping experiences are important for businesses.
Eighty-six percent of retailers said increasing the number of shipping options during checkout helps boost sales, while 41 percent said their reputations were harmed when shipments were lost, delayed or damaged.
USPS offers a range of services to help businesses meet customers’ needs, including offering Sunday and same-day deliveries.
The Postal Service also is focused on ensuring accurate scanning, delivering, on time and improving overall customer experiences.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Barefoot Mailman Hike This Weekend

More than 600 Boy Scouts and Scout Leaders will hike 34 miles from Pompano Beach to Miami Beach to commemorate the 52nd annual Barefoot Mailman Hike this weekend.

The Boy Scouts of America South Florida Council relived part of history, walking the trail of the Barefoot Mailmen who carried mail on foot between 1885 and 1893. The Barefoot Mailmen braved heat, thunderstorms, alligators, sharks, and bears to carry mail between these two cities. 

Crossing inlets by rowboat and hiking along the beach, a round trip took six days. Their exploits earned them $600 a year, and later resulted in a best-selling book and a movie.

James Hamilton was the most well-known carrier. He mysteriously disappeared after only three months on the job. It is believed that he lost his life at Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach, FL, where he attempted to swim from the shoreline to the other bank to retrieve his rowboat that had drifted. Search parties scoured the coastline, but only found Hamilton’s clothes and a backpack of letters.

Following in Hamilton’s footsteps, modern-day Barefoot Mailmen were self-sufficient, carrying   their food supply, shelter, and letters on their backs. They camped overnight on the beach. On the second day, family and friends gathered to applaud and cheer Scouts --- some barefooted and blistered --- as they completed their journey. 

As in every year, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte (pictured below from last year's event) will collect letters and affix a “Barefoot Mailman Station” special cancellation to each envelope to commemorate the event. 



Friday, January 29, 2016

Now Accepting FEOY Nominations

It's that time of the year to honor outstanding employees (craft and management) in the 51st annual “Federal Employee of the Year” (FEOY) Awards Program. This program, sponsored by the South Florida Federal Executive Board, is your opportunity to recognize employees for their work performance and/or contributions to the community. 

This year a new category has been added entitled “Innovation” which will recognize employees who are new to government service – 10 years or less – who provide a fresh perspective to government programs, products, and/or services.  

Overall, there are 12 award categories: 
  • Administrative
  • Clerical/Administrative Support  
  • Innovation   
  • Law Enforcement       
  • Management (except Agency Head)   
  • Organizational Partnership                    
  • Professional  
  • Scientific         
  • Service to the Community
  • Technical/Information Technology
  • Trades & Crafts 
  • Valor
Please note the following requirements:
  • Nominees must be permanent career employees.
  • Nominations must be based on demonstrated performance between 10/1/14 and 9/30/15.
  • All nomination packages must be typed.
  • Nominees must submit a digital ready photograph of the nominee or team.
  • All nominations must be submitted to Manager, Learning Development and Diversity Damaris Agrait by Wednesday, February 17, 2016.
Each nomination package must include: 
  • Nomination Form Cover Page (For team nominations, enter team name on the nomination form cover page and attach individual names on separate page.)
  • Narrative (not to exceed one typewritten page (Time News Roman font no smaller than 10 point)
  • Summary (100 words or less) of the nomination on a separate sheet of paper
  • Publicity Data Sheet/Privacy Act Notice (each nominee must sign)
For a nomination package, contact your supervisor or Damaris Agrait at 305-470-0881.

Flowers Blooming on Stamps Today

Depicted on the stamps, top row from left:  corn lilies, tulips, stocks, roses and petunias. Pictured bottom row from left:  tulips, dahlias, Japanese Iris, tulips and daffodils and jonquils. 

The U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of beautiful floral-themed stamps by dedicating the Botanical Art Forever stamps featuring vintage illustrations taken from 19th- and early 20th-century plant and seed catalogs.

The official First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place January 29 in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hilton Atlanta Downtown, 255 Courtland St. N.E. as part of the American Philatelic Society’s AmeriStamp Expo.

The stamp art features 10 individual designs, each a detail of an illustration from an American nursery catalog printed between 1891 and 1912. The catalogs are part of The New York Botanical Garden’s nursery and seed catalog collection, one of the largest and most important collections in the United States. The collection and similar collections in other institutions are treasure troves of historical information for scholars and scientists studying a wide range of subjects, including the history of botany, horticulture, commercial agriculture, landscape design, plant exploration, graphic arts and publishing.

Drawings of Exotic Botanical Species
Beginning in the late 15th century, intrepid Europeans explored new lands in the Americas, the South Pacific and other areas of the world. There they discovered plants unknown in Europe, which they imported for study and propagation. Scientists, gardeners, plant hunters, and collectors required accurate botanical drawings of the exotic new species. Botanical illustrators produced works that were meticulous and highly detailed and quite often beautiful pieces of art as well. The years 1750 to 1850 are considered the height of the botanical illustrator’s art.

The mid-19th century saw a flowering of another kind of botanical art. As more people discovered the joys of ornamental and recreational gardening, thriving commercial greenhouses and nurseries marketed plants — exotic as well as native — to eager gardeners. To entice buyers, the nurseries created colorful catalogs illustrated with beautiful blossoms and lush foliage. The illustrations were idealized, romantic versions of what plants could look like, but they fueled many a garden dream.

Leadership Program Opens Feb. 1

The Postal Service is seeking applicants for a program to help employees develop their leadership skills.
The EAS Leadership Development (ELD) application period is February 1 - 22 (11:59 p.m. CST).
The program offers a structured approach to help USPS develop leaders for key managerial positions in each area and district.
Participants are given an opportunity to develop their leadership competencies and functional and technical skills through virtual learning, on-the-job development, feedback and coaching.
The program is available to area and district employees who are Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) levels 16 or above.
Employees who meet these criteria and are interested in leadership development and future career growth are encouraged to apply.
If you are a current ELD participant, you must re-apply during this open application period to continue participating.
Interested employees should talk to their managers about ELD and prepare for the application period by visiting the career development site on Blue.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chicago Clerk is a 'Survivor'

Chicago Mail Processing Clerk Darnell Hamilton will compete on “Survivor: Kaoh Rong,” debuting February 17.

Darnell Hamilton’s Postal Service career has prepared him for many challenges — including “Survivor: Kaoh Rong.”
The Chicago Mail Processing Clerk will compete for the CBS show’s $1 million prize during its 32nd season, which is slated to premiere February 17.
Hamilton, a Chicago native and three-year USPS employee, will play on the “brawn” team, competing against the acutely named “brains” and “beauty” teams.
“Where I’m from, you always see the negative. It’s good to be doing something positive,” Hamilton said. “I have no problem taking on a big task.”
Last week, Hamilton told the Chicago Tribune he’ll bring street smarts to the competition and hopes to be a role model for people with difficult pasts.
More information about Hamilton is available on the “Survivor” site.

Carrier Academy 'Drives' Performance

South Florida District Manager Jeffery Taylor (standing) spoke with newly-hired City Carrier Assistants (CCAs) at the West Palm Beach, FL, Carrier Academy. Taylor stressed the important role of City Carrier Assistant to the Postal Service and encouraged all to do their best. These CCAs will be delivering mail from offices from Pompano, FL, to Fort Pierce, FL.

Pictured from left: Palm Beach Gardens, FL, City Carrier Assistant (CCA) Diane Rios, Fort Pierce, FL, Letter Carrier and Carrier Academy Instructor Tera Ogden, and Jupiter, FL/Tequesta, FL, CCA Yisel Pomares review case labels.

Fort Pierce, FL, Letter Carrier and Carrier Academy Instructor Tera Ogden is responsible for making sure that new letter carriers understand their responsibilities and duties. During the three-day training class, Ogden explains to City Carrier Assistants (CCAs) how to read case labels and how to follow the line of travel.

Ogden began her postal career as a Casual employee in 1999, and says that she enjoys training new carriers.

Photos: Curlita Rogers-Saunders, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

Is Self Plus One Right for You?

Employees can choose Self Plus One health coverage during a special enrollment period from February 1-29.
Self Plus One is a Federal Employee Health Benefits enrollment type, similar to Self and Family and Self Only.
Self Plus One covers you and one eligible dependent such as a spouse, a son or daughter under the age of 26 or a son or daughter who is incapable of self-support.
In many cases, Self Plus One costs less than Self and Family.
The special enrollment period is available only to employees enrolled in Self and Family plans.
If you’re enrolled in a Self Only plan, you must wait until open season or until you experience a “qualifying life event” — such as a marriage, divorce or change in employment status — to switch to Self Plus One.
To change your enrollment type, go to PostalEASE or call 877-477-3273 (select option 1). Some facilities also offer self-service kiosks that allow you to change your coverage.
For assistance, call the HR Shared Service Center at 877-477-3273 (select option 5). The TTY number is 866-260-7507.
The special enrollment ends at 11:59 EST February 29. More information is available on the Self Plus One LiteBlue page.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Creating Direct Mail That Gets Attention, Produces Results

John Dorko, Vice President, New Business Development, Wilen Direct, shared how to create direct mail that gets attention and produces results at the Postal Customer Council of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast (PCCPBTC) meeting. Photo: Curlita Rogers-Saunders, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

The Postal Customer Council of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast (PCCPBTC) hosted its first meeting for 2016. John Dorko, Vice President, New Business Development, Wilen Direct, shared how to create direct mail that gets attention and produces results. Dorko brought many samples of mailpiece designs that resulted in a high return on investment for mailers.

Mary Ann Perez, Mailing Standards Specialist, U.S. Postal Service; and Connie Mitchell, Supervisor, Business Mail Entry Connie Mitchell, U.S. Postal Service – West Palm Beach, FL, addressed questions from attendees.

Auto Nation Commends Carrier Arlan

From left: Oakland Park Letter Carrier Bill Arlan and Fort Lauderdale Officer In Charge (OIC) David Guiney

Auto Nation Chevrolet of Fort Lauderdale sent an award to the Fort Lauderdale Postmaster’s Office commending Oakland Park Letter Carrier Bill Arlan for his outstanding performance. Officer In Charge (OIC) David Guiney was pleased to present a Certificate of Appreciation, along with the award, to Arlan. 

“Our letter carriers get the job done every day, and it’s nice when our customers take notice,” Guiney said. “Congratulations to Bill on this recognition.”

Photo: Kelly Worthman, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Riviera Beach Letter Carrier Awaits Route to Call Her Own

On January 23, Riviera Beach Letter Carrier April Armstrong was converted from City Carrier Assistant (CCA) to Letter Carrier. Armstrong said the only word to describe how she feels is “awesome.”

“I am looking forward to my career with the Postal Service,” said Armstrong. “I can’t wait to finally get my benefits, paid holidays, and my own route.” 

Pictured right: Newly-converted Riviera Beach, FL, Letter Carrier April Armstrong poses for a photo for her new employee identification badge. 

Photo: Curlita Rogers-Saunders, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

Retiring in Oakland Park


From left: Fort Lauderdale, FL, Officer In Charge (OIC) David Guiney presents Retirement Certificate to Oakland Park, FL, Letter Carrier Matilde Tolmos.

Tolmos has worked for the Postal Service for the past 11 years. Tolmos said she would miss her co-workers and her customers!





Photo: Kelly Worthman, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

Celebrating in Miami Springs

A/Manager, Customer Services Lawrence (Larry) Rogers (right) recognizes Miami Springs, FL, Finance Unit Retail Associate Renee Cunningham with her 30-Year Service Award and pin. 
“Renee not only has reached her 30-year career milestone, but also is a key player in the success of the Miami Springs Finance Unit having achieved several Retail Customer Experience (RCE) Gold Star Awards for perfect transactions,” said Rogers.
Photo: Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Monday, January 25, 2016

Challenge to Employees Highlights Top Performers at Plantation PO

Every month Plantation Supervisor, Customer Services, Vanessa Cooper challenges employees to excel in their performance.  
In December, Cooper challenged her employees on their scanning performance, sick leave and overall productivity. The names of the top eight performers were placed into a tray and Plantation A/Manager, Customer Services John Pinto drew four names from the collection. Cooper created a Certificate of Participation and presented a gift card to the four winners.
Pinto and Cooper thanked all employees for their participation and placed another challenge to the floor for January. Stay tuned!
 
Front Row from left: Plantation A/Manager, Customer Services John Pinto; Letter Carriers John Rodas and Arlene Weyker; Supervisor, Customer Services Vanessa Cooper; and Letter Carriers Angela Grayson and Lynette Jackson. Back Row from left: Letter Carriers Paul Sharp, Christian Cerulli  and Randy Pettitt. Not pictured: Letter Carrier Derrick Silinsky. Photo: Kelly Worthman, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jupiter Carrier Seay to the Rescue

Jupiter Letter Carrier Shawn Seay became concerned when he noticed a customer hadn’t collected mail for several days. Seay knocked on the front door of her house, but there was no answer. He then asked a neighbor to call for help. Emergency responders arrived, entered the house and found an ill woman lying in bed. She was taken to a hospital and treated.

Editor's Note: The PMG's Heroes Program began in 2003 and recognizes employees who go above and beyond to serve their communities. All heroes receive a personal thank you letter from the PMG/CEO, and are featured in USPS’s internal publication, LINK. To access the PMG Hero nomination form, PS Form 400, cut and paste this link http://blue.usps.gov/pac/pmghero.pdf  into your web browser. For more information on the PMG Heroes Program, review the Postal Bulletin dated June 23, 2013.  If you have any questions, contact your Communications Programs Specialist (in South Florida, that's Debbie Fetterly). 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Need a Duplicate W-2 Form?

Employees who need a duplicate W-2 form can use PostalEASE to print one or request a reprint. Alternatively, employees can request a duplicate form by calling 877-477-3273 and selecting option 1. Individuals who no longer work for USPS must submit their requests in writing to Accounting Services. Visit http://blue.usps.gov/accounting/.


Friday, January 22, 2016

PMG: 'We Need Legislation Now'

PMG Megan J. Brennan testified before a Senate committee Jan. 21.

During testimony at a U.S. Senate Committee Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, Brennan said that USPS has streamlined operations, restructured networks, improved productivity for six consecutive years, grown its package business and stabilized its mail business, but without legislative reform, the organization’s losses will continue.
“Our financial challenges are serious, but they can be solved,” said Brennan.
After months of listening to its stakeholders, identifying their concerns and educating them about the Postal Service’s needs, the PMG said the organization has identified several key areas where Congress could help.
For example, USPS wants Congress to require Medicare integration for all postal retiree health plans.
This would save the Postal Service money and reduce costs for employees and retirees while providing them with the same or better health coverage.
USPS also wants more flexibility to offer new products and services.
Additionally, the organization wants to continue the “exigent” surcharge in effect since 2014 and use postal-specific assumptions to calculate pension liabilities.
The PMG said enacting these provisions would save the Postal Service $27 billion during the next five years and allow the organization to “continue to provide affordable, reliable and secure delivery service.”

Thursday, January 21, 2016

'Engagement' Deadline: Jan. 27

Please note that there’s a new email address for your application.  The deadline has been extended to January 27, 2016.

If you’ve already applied, there’s no information on whether or not you need to re-apply at the new email address. If you have questions about the Engagement team or the Engagement Ambassador positions, please contact the Engagement Team at Engagement@usps.gov.


U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
Direct Line

From Employee Engagement Director Kelvin Williams
Jan. 15, 2016

Employee Engagement Ambassadors
USPS seeks the best of the best to lead engagement training nationwide

To support the continuous enrichment of employee engagement within the organization, USPS is seeking individuals to serve as Engagement Ambassadors. Each Area will have three positions and headquarters will have one open position for top performers. Employees are eligible to apply for positions within their current Area only.

Engagement Ambassadors will be given the tools to become experts in training leaders and managers to inspire engagement, foster collaboration and connect with employees. They will travel extensively within their Area to conduct on-site engagement training. Participants will learn techniques and strategies for training managers and leaders to take responsibility for creating an engaging workplace.

Successful candidates should have strong facilitation skills, an interest in creating positive changes within the work environment and a desire to support the development of others. Additionally, strong candidates should be clear communicators, engaging presenters, willing to travel frequently within the Area and successful time management skills.

The Engagement Ambassador positions will be two year, not to exceed, lateral assignments. Open positions will be domiciled across the country; successful candidates will remain at their current grade levels and domiciled in their current locations, but will become headquarters related employee subject to the pay and evaluation policies for headquarters employees, such as the Pay for Performance and Performance Evaluation System policies.

The application process is open to all non-bargaining unit employees, including executives, EAS employees and pay bands employees. The process includes multiple steps, with a comprehensive selection process. Following submission of an application and completion of a review process, candidates will be interviewed by their Area Vice President or the Director of Engagement for headquarters. Top candidates within the Area will be extended a contingent offer and will be required to attend the Gallup Learning Leader Certification. This training course includes:
·        Four day instructor-led training by Gallup;
·        Oral exam with Gallup and USPS panel; and
·        Co-facilitation of up to three courses with Gallup.

Successful completion of the certification process is required to be formally selected as an Engagement Ambassador within your Area. Successful candidates are required to maintain a 4.5 course-evaluation rating throughout the assignment.

If you have questions about the Engagement team or the Engagement Ambassador positions please contact the Engagement Team at Engagement@usps.gov.

How to apply:

Interested applicants, in the Southern Area, must submit an eCareer profile along with a one page summary explaining why you would be a successful Engagement Ambassador.  Applications must be submitted to EEASouthern@usps.gov, by close of business Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

Florida Carrier Stars in Commercial

Madeira Beach, FL, Letter Carrier Lance Carswell scans a package in the Postal Service’s new TV ad.

You’ll know right when your packages arrive.
That’s the message of a new television advertisement that encourages customers to use the Postal Service for timely and accurate package shipping and delivery. The new spot promotes real-time delivery notifications, a service that alerts customers when their packages arrive. The alerts are available year-round through My USPS.com.
The 15-second commercial, which will run through March, also can be viewed on Blue and the Postal Service’s YouTube channel.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Miami Celebrates Career Milestones

Buena Vista Branch Manager, Customer Services Joseph Diglio, Jr. (far right), recognizes Letter Carriers Willie Hayward (left) and Mary Adderly (center) who each attained 30 years of service. Each letter carrier received a framed Service Award and pin.
Norland Branch A/Manager, Customer Services Raymond Borger (not pictured) recognized employees with Service Awards and pins. Pictured from left: Letter Carriers Hattie Gilbert, Alonzo Culmer and Leatrice Culpepper reached 30-year career milestones; Retail Associate Anthony Littlejohn reached his 35-year career milestone.

Photos: Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

WPB Duo 'Delivers' Excellent Service

Haverhill, FL, Post Office Retail Associate Regina Bean (above) received a perfect score on her Retail Customer Experience (RCE) transaction. Manager, Customer Services Yves Jean-Pierre stated that Bean always works diligently to move customers through the line and he is confident that she will continue to achieve a “perfect score.”
West Palm Beach Main Office Window Unit Lead Retail Associate Patricia "Pat" Moody (right) earned a perfect score on a Retail Customer Experience (RCE) transaction. Recently, Moody was awarded a bid as Lead Retail Associate at the Royal Palm Beach Post Office.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Pat,” said West Palm Beach, FL, Main Office Window Unit Supervisor, Customer Services Marlene Findlay. “She truly will be an asset to our Royal Palm Beach customers.”


Monday, January 18, 2016

Dr. King's 'I Have a Dream' Speech

Today is a federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. King was the chief spokesman for non-violent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays.It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree is a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But 100 years later the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still badly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men --- yes, black mean as white men --- would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ''insufficient funds.''

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.  This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is .an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality --- 1963 is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright days of justice emerge. And that is something that I must say to my people who stand on the worn threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.

They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn hack. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?'' We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their adulthood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating ''For Whites Only."

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and the Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulation. Some of you have some fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering.

Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabarna, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners, will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream ... I have a dream that one day in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today ... I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning. "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring.'' And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rookies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi, from every mountain side. Let freedom ring ...

When we allow freedom to ring  --- when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, Free at last, Great God almighty, We are free at last."

--- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Burn Victim Sa'Fyre Terry is a Jewel

How long will it take to read more than one million holiday cards and open 22,000 packages?
Sa’fyre Terry will be able to answer that one day. Thanks to her wish to receive cards for Christmas, the 8-year-old New York girl now has enough to last a lifetime.
Sa’fyre is the sole survivor of a 2013 fire that killed her family and resulted in the loss of her right hand and left foot. Her story touched people from all over the world who have sent cards, letters and gifts to fulfill her holiday wish. 
Sa’fyre is donating the toys she receives to needy children, while volunteers are helping her write back to everyone who sends cards. 
If you'd like to write, her address is Sa'fyre, PO Box 6126, Schenectady NY 12306-6126.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Miami Celebrates Career Milestones

Kendall Carrier Annex employees celebrate career milestones. Orencio “Larry” Suarez (center) presents 30-year Service Awards and pins to Letter Carriers Nelson Ortiz and Victor Crespo, Jr. (left and second to left), and Joseph Yeager (far right). Jose Perez (second from right) received his 25-Year Service Award and pin. Photo: Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

All in the Family for Long-Term Care

Postal Service and other federal employees with opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partners now qualify for long-term health care.
The Office of Personnel Management recently updated the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), expanding the definition of a “qualifying relative” to include both opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partners.
Adult children of both opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partnerships also qualify under the change.
Employees interested in applying for the coverage must provide a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form to the Human Resources Shared Service Center.
Additionally, employees must download an FLTCIP application online.
The program offers long-term care coverage for employees and qualifying relatives who are unable to perform everyday tasks by themselves due to a chronic illness, injury, disability or the aging process.
More information is available on OPM’s site.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Birthday Greetings, Dr. King

"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. / "I Have A Dream" speech, August 28, 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, GA. He was a Baptist minister and social activist, who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968.
Among his many efforts, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. 
In April 1968, King was assassinated. He continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I Have a Dream."

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jan. 17: Priority Mail & Retail Ground

New Postal Service Shipping Services prices will take effect Jan. 17, 2016. Shipping Services (also known as Competitive Products) includes Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, International Shipping Services, along with some other products and services. 

What are the retail prices for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes?

  • Small Flat Rate Box - $6.80
  • Medium Flat Rate Box - $13.45
  • Large Flat Rate Box - $18.75
  • Large APO/FPO Flat Rate Box - $16.75
  • Regular Flat Rate Envelope - $6.45
  • Legal Flat Rate Envelope - $6.45
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope - $6.80
How much will Priority Mail Express and International Flat Rate boxes cost?
Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate Boxes will be eliminated due to low customer usage.

What is the overall average increase for Priority Mail Express Retail products and services?
The prices will increase an average of 14.4 percent. That amounts to about $3.20 per piece.

What is the price for a Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope?
The price for Domestic Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope, Padded Flat Rate Envelope, and Legal Flat Rate Envelope will be $22.95.

What is the overall average increase for Priority Mail International (PMI) products and services?
PMI is a reliable, cost-effective way to send merchandise and documents to about 180 countries.  The overall average increase is 10.2 percent.

  • Flat Rate Envelope to Canada - $23.95
  • Flat Rate Envelope to certain Latin American countries including Mexico- $29.95
  • Flat Rate Envelope to certain Asian countries including China - $30.95
  • Flat Rate Envelope to certain Western European countries - $32.95
What are the changes to Priority Mail Express International (PMEI)?
PMEI provides affordable and fast international delivery, usually within 3 to 5 business days, to about 180 countries.  Shipments are insured against loss, damage, and/or missing contents up to $200 for merchandise at no additional charge. Date–certain service with a money-back delivery guarantee is available to select countries.  PMEI prices will increase 11.6 percent. Flat rate pricing is available to most destinations.

  • Flat Rate Envelope to Canada - $41.50
  • Flat Rate Envelope to certain Latin American countries including Mexico- $57.50
  • Flat Rate Envelope to certain Asian countries including China - $61.50
  • Flat Rate Envelope to certain Western European countries - $59.50
What are the new Standard Post prices?
Standard Post will be renamed Retail Ground and is the Postal Service’s retail ground parcel offering. USPS Retail Ground will have an average price increase of 10 percent. Like last year, USPS Retail Ground customers shipping in Zones 1-4 will continue to receive Priority Mail service automatically, and will only default to USPS Retail Ground when their item contains hazardous material or is otherwise not permitted to travel by air transportation. 

Top 10 Postal Facts

10. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately. The Museum, located in Washington, DC, was created by an agreement between the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Postal Service in 1990 and opened to the public in 1993. In 2013, the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery — the world’s largest gallery dedicated to philately — opened its doors. The gallery provides an experience available nowhere else and offers something for everyone, from casual visitors to experienced collectors.

9. The phrase by Herodotus etched atop the James A. Farley Building in Manhattan — “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” — is not the official Postal Service motto. The Postal Service does not have a motto. 


8. The Postal Service is environmentally friendly and is a respected sustainability leader. It promoted sustainable practices long before doing so was encouraged, mandated or governed. 

7. The Postal Service is the only organization in the country that has the resources, network infrastructure and logistical capability to deliver to every residential and business address in the nation. 


6. The Postal Service has the country’s largest retail network — larger than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart combined, domestically. 


5. The Postal Service can and does compete with the private sector — and it collaborates with it, too. UPS and FedEx pay the Postal Service to deliver hundreds of millions of their ground packages to residences, taking advantage of the Postal Service’s expansive delivery network. The Postal Service pays UPS and FedEx for air transportation, taking advantage of their comprehensive air networks. 


4. Mail is a great communication tool. No monthly plans. No signal outages. No roaming charges. Regardless of geographic location, anyone can send a letter for just 49¢ to anywhere in the United States, its territories and U.S. military and diplomatic installations worldwide. 


3. Mail is reliable, trusted and secure — more than 200 federal laws protect the sanctity of the U.S. Mail. These laws are enforced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. U.S. Postal Inspectors are federal agents, mandated to safeguard the nation’s mail — including the people who move it and the customers who use it. 



2. The Postal Service continues to improve customer service by increasing access to postal services online, on smart-phones and in the places people visit every day: grocery stores, drug stores, ATMs and local retailers. 


And most importantly…
1. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

The EAP Offers Life Coaching

Many people begin each year resolving to quit smoking, lose weight or start a hobby.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers “life coaching” to help you achieve these kinds of goals.
Life coaching focuses on strengths, promotes self-awareness and provides support to strengthen your skills. Life coaching is confidential, personal, flexible and voluntary.
Employees can communicate with a coach face-to-face or by telephone. Occasionally, support is provided via email.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Shipping Services Prices Effective Sunday, January 17

New Postal Service Shipping Services prices were approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) and will take effect on January 17, 2016.  Shipping Services (also known as Competitive Products) include Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, and International Shipping Services, along with some other products and services. 
All the new prices will be posted on the Postal Explorer website: http://pe.usps.com
The complete USPS price filing with the new prices for all Shipping Services products are posted on the PRC website at http://www.prc.gov/dockets/daily.

Rutchey Retires, Pursues Art Career

Palms West Branch Letter Carrier Holly Rutchey retires after more than 30 years of service. West Palm Beach Postmaster Richard Fermo thanks Rutchey for her years of dedicated service and extra efforts during the 2015 holiday season. Supervisor, Customer Services Tim Price wished her much success with her painting career and that he will be looking for her name on artwork. Photo: Curlita Rogers-Saunders, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Love is in the Air(port) in Dallas TX

Love takes to the air tomorrow from Dallas Love Field with the dedication of the Quilled Paper Heart Forever stamps as the 44th inductee into the Postal Service’s Love stamp series.  
The stamp features a heart created using the ancient art of quilling — also called paper filigree — which involves rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper, laying them on their edges, and gluing them in place to form intricate designs. The origin of the name “quilling” is believed to have come from the first tool used to create the paper curls — the base of a feather or quill. (The photo of the stamp above right provides scale to the original three-dimensional 8”x10” artwork.) 
“Thousands of travelers at Love Field will take flight to destinations across the nation and around the globe,” said Postal Service Corporate Communications Vice President Janice Walker who will dedicate the stamp. “Our beautiful Quilled Paper Heart Forever Love stamp evokes tranquility, peace and love as Americans correspond with beloved friends and family while away from home. And they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day cards.”  
Scheduled to join Walker in the ceremony are:  City of Dallas Director of Aviation Mark Duebner; Postal Service Dallas District Manager Timothy Costello and Postal Service Acting Director of Stamp Services Mary-Anne Penner.

Creating the Art
Renowned paper artist and illustrator Yulia Brodskaya used two simple materials — paper and glue — an intricate technique, that involved placing carefully cut and bent strips of paper to make the lush, vibrant, three-dimensional paper heart artwork. The heart shape in the center is made from paper strips of appealing, eye-catching bright colors surrounded by white paper swirls. The background is white with shadows cast by the dimensional pieces of quilled paper.  

Quilling is believed to date from the 15th or 16th century. The first known quillers were monks and nuns in European religious houses. Inspired by metal filigree, quilling was an inexpensive way to create elaborate decorations normally beyond the means of most churches and religious orders. When gilded or silvered, the curled paper could resemble the work of the finest goldsmiths and silversmiths, while designs made with cream-colored paper or vellum appeared to be carvings of ivory.

Fans 'Beam' about Star Trek Stamps


“Star Trek” fans are “beaming” about the Postal Service’s plans to issue stamps this year to honor the classic TV show’s 50th anniversary.
The four stamps, which USPS announced last month, feature images inspired by the 1966-69 series.
For example, one stamp shows a USS Enterprise crewman inside a transporter, while another depicts the ship inside the outline of Mr. Spock’s Vulcan salute.
The New York Post praised the stamps in a recent editorial, declaring them “pretty neat.” The stamps also capture “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” the Post wrote.
USPS took great care designing the stamps, Wired magazine reported.
“Anytime you’re dealing with a show with as passionate a following as ‘Star Trek,’ you need to triple-check the accuracy of every detail,” said Woody Harrington, a senior designer at Heads of State, which designed the stamps for the Postal Service.