Sunday, March 24, 2019

'Little Mo' to Grace Forever Stamp


The U.S. Postal Service will honor the legacy of the extraordinary tennis champion Maureen Connolly Brinker (1934–1969) with the issuance of the “Little Mo” Forever stamp. The First-Day-Of-Issue dedication ceremony will take place at the Southern Methodist University Tennis Complex in Dallas, TX, on April 23.

In the early 1950s, extraordinary tennis champion Maureen Connolly Brinker dominated her sport. Nicknamed “Little Mo,” the 5-foot-4-inch dynamo used powerful groundstrokes to become the first woman to win all four major tennis tournaments in a calendar year.

In 1953, she became the first woman to capture the single-season Grand Slam of tennis, winning the Australian Championships, the French Championships, Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships. Along the way, she dropped only a single set. Since then, no American singles player has won all four majors in a calendar year; only two men and three women in total have achieved that feat. After her playing career, Connolly Brinker coached tennis and wrote articles about the game she once dominated. In 1968, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The stamp art features an oil-on-linen painting of the tennis star by Gregory Manchess. Based on a black-and-white photograph taken in 1952, the portrait is a colorful interpretation of Connolly hitting a low volley. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Stamps to Honor First Lunar Landing


The 1969: First Moon Landing stamps show Astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon's surface and the moon with a dot to indicate the landing site of the lunar module.

The Postal Service will mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with new stamps.

The 1969: First Moon Landing stamps will feature two designs that  commemorate the historic milestone.
One stamp features a photograph of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin in his spacesuit on the surface of the moon. The photo was taken by Neil Armstrong, Aldrin’s fellow astronaut.

The other stamp is a photograph of the moon — taken in 2010 by Gregory H. Revera — that shows the landing site of the lunar module in the Sea of Tranquility. The site is indicated on the stamp by a dot.
The stamp selvage will include an image of the lunar module.

Antonio Alcala, a USPS art director, designed the stamp art.
Additional information, including the release date and details about the dedication ceremony, will be announced later.

Source: Link

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Friday, March 22, 2019

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Forever 21 Now Sells USPS Apparel


Clothing retailer Forever 21 has introduced an officially licensed Postal Service apparel line that features vintage USPS logos and designs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

“The collaboration will generate royalty revenue for the Postal Service and build brand awareness among a younger audience,” said Brand Marketing Executive Director Chris Karpenko.

The apparel line includes jackets, hoodies, T-shirts, joggers and other items that are available in Forever 21 stores and online at Forever21.com.

The Postal Service joins other organizations and businesses — including Coca-Cola, Kodak and NASA — that have licensed their logos for clothing lines.

The USPS apparel has received positive reaction since Forever 21 introduced the line last week. Social media posts about the clothing have received more than one million views and 250,000 “likes.”

This collection is not part of the official USPS uniform and should not be worn by postal employees while on duty. Managers and supervisors can use Postal Uniform Guidelines, a pictorial guidebook that USPS released last year, to help ensure employees wear their uniforms properly.

“Our employees are welcome to show their postal pride by wearing officially licensed USPS apparel, but they should do so in their free time,” Karpenko said.

Source: Link

Red, White & Blue Star Ribbon Stamp

The U.S.  Postal Service is issuing a Star Ribbon Forever stamp featuring a digital illustration of a star made from a single red, white and blue ribbon. The stamp will be sold in coils of 3,000 and 10,000 and in panes of 20.  

The First-Day-Of-Issue stamp dedication is today at the American Stamp Dealers Association Midwest Postage Stamp Show in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Michael J. Elston, acting Secretary of the Board of Governors, will be the dedicating official.        

Here are some facts about the celestial bodies that helped inspire the Star Ribbon stamp:
1. The sun is the star closest to the Earth. While this might be a well-known fact, what you may not know is that 1 million Earths could fit inside the sun — and the sun is considered to be an average-size star.
2. There are only 9,096 stars visible to the naked eye. To see more, you have to use a telescope to reveal stars fainter than your eyes can see. Motivated astronomers can request use of the Hubble Space Telescope through the Space Telescope Science Institute.
3. Sailors have been guided by the North Star for millennia. Also known as Polaris, the star has been one of humanity’s favored navigational icons and has always been helpful to sailors in determining latitude and locating the direction of North because it stays fixed in the night sky.
4. There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. Each galaxy contains an estimated hundred billion stars, and there are estimated to be more than 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. So the total number of stars in the universe is estimated to be 700 sextillion — more than the total amount of grains of sand on every beach on the planet.
5. When you look into the night sky, you are looking back in time. The stars seen in the night sky are trillions of kilometers away from us, so far away the star light we see with our naked eye has taken light years to reach us. This means whenever we go stargazing we are actually experiencing how those stars looked in the past. 

A camper gazes at a star-filled sky near the Mattehorn, one of the mountains in the Swiss Alps. 
Source: Link

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sesame Street Characters to Share Spotlight on New Forever Stamps

 
The U.S. Postal Service honors Sesame Street as one of the most influential and beloved children’s television shows. For the last 50 years, it has provided educational programming and entertainment for generations of children throughout the country and around the world.
 
The stamp art features photographs of 16 Muppets from Sesame Street — Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Rosita, The Count, Oscar the Grouch, Abby Cadabby, Herry Monster, Julia, Guy Smiley, Snuffleupagus, Elmo, Telly, Grover and Zoe.
 
Look for more details in future blog postings.

Seeking Your Memories of Marvin


To help mark the arrival of the Marvin Gaye stamp next month, Link wants to hear from Postal Service employees who are fans of the “Prince of Soul.”

Gaye was one of the most influential music performers of his generation, helping to shape the Motown sound in the late 1960s and broadening the reach of R&B music in the 1970s. USPS will release the Marvin Gaye stamp, the latest entry in the Music Icons series, on Tuesday, April 2.

Did you listen to Gaye’s music? Did you ever attend one of his concerts or meet him? What’s your favorite Marvin Gaye performance?

Send an email with your memories of Gaye to uspslink@usps.gov. Your contributions could be included in an upcoming Link story.

Source: Link

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Claiming Your FSAFEDS Benefits

Be sure to submit your 2018 FSAFEDS claims before the deadline. All claims for the 2018 Benefit Period must be received before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Any 2018 claims received after this time will not be reimbursed. Don't miss a savings opportunity!

Important Reminders

The Health Care FSA (HCFSA) and Limited Expense FSA (LEXFSA) allow you to carry over up to $500 into the 2019 Benefit Period. If you have more than $500 left in your account, the unused funds that aren't carried over will be forfeited after April 30, 2019.

To be eligible for carryover, you must meet the following requirements:
  • Active participant on the last day of the 2018 Health Care FSA and Limited Expense Health Care FSA plan year, with a remaining balance.
  • Re-enrolling in either a Health Care FSA or the Limited Expense Health Care FSA during Open Season for the 2019 Benefit Period.

The carryover amount is available at the beginning of the 2019 Benefit Period. Claims with dates of service incurred during 2019 first are reimbursed from the 2019 Benefit Period. Once the 2019 account is depleted, claims with 2019 dates of service will pay from the carryover balance, until the prior year deadline.

To allow for reimbursement of proper year expenses claimed by the April 30 deadline, the carryover balance will be moved to the current year account in late May.

The Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) allows you to continue spending your 2018 funds until March 15, 2019. Make sure you submit all eligible expenses incurred through March 15, 2019. Any funds remaining in your account after April 30, 2019 will be forfeited. 

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

'The Top of the Morning to You!'



 
To help mark St. Patrick’s Day, here are five facts about the annual cultural and religious celebration.

1. St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. Although Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century. At the age of 15, he was seized by Irish raiders and sold as a slave in Ireland. Six years later, he escaped and returned home, then entered the priesthood. As an adult, Patrick returned to Ireland, where he lived for 30 or more years.

2. Green hasn’t always been the color associated with St. Patrick’s Day. The color originally linked to the holiday was blue, which appears on some ancient Irish flags. Green wasn’t introduced to St. Patrick’s Day festivities until the 18th century, when the shamrock became a national symbol.

3. St. Patrick probably didn’t use four-leaf clovers in his teachings. Speaking of shamrocks: According to legend, Patrick used a three-leaf clover to represent the holy trinity. The four-leaf clover is merely a symbol of good luck.

4. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. Most businesses and schools close for the day. In America, the first known St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in St. Augustine in 1601.

5. USPS has never issued a St. Patrick’s Day stamp. However, several Irish-Americans have been honored on stamps over the years, including playwright Eugene O’Neill (1967), architect James Hoban (1981) and singer John McCormack (1984).

Source: LINK

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Need a Duplicate W-2 or 1095C Form?




Do you need a duplicate copy of your W-2 or 1095-C federal forms? If so, you have two options:

• Go to PostalEASE, which you can access from Blue, LiteBlue and self-service kiosks at many Postal Service facilities.

You’ll need your employee identification number and password to log in. Once you have access, follow the prompts to obtain duplicate W-2 or 1095-C forms.

• Call the USPS employee self-service line at 877-477-3273 and request the duplicate forms.

These options are available only to current employees. Separated employees must submit their requests in writing to the following address: Financial Reporting Section — Finance Branch, Accounting Services, 2825 Lone Oak Pkwy, Eagan MN 55121-9617.

For more information, a Year End Tax Documents poster is available on Blue, while the Accounting Blue page has a Form 1095-C toolkit.

Source: LINK

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Friday, March 15, 2019

WPB Passport Fair is Tomorrow



Does your vacation destination require a passport? Start your journey on Saturday, March 16, with a trip to the Passport Fair at the West Palm Beach Main Office, 3200 Summit Blvd. Sales and Services Associates will accept your passport application between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Employee participation will be an off-the-clock activity. 

U.S. citizens must present a valid Passport Book to enter or re-enter the United States by air. U.S. citizens entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land borders and seaports of entry must present a Passport Book, Passport Card or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government. 
 
How to Prepare for the Passport Application Process:
  • A completed application (form is available at usps.com/passport; but do not sign it until the passport clerk instructs you to do so).  
  • Remember that everyone, including newborn infants, is required to obtain a passport in his or her own name. For children under age 16, the consent of both parents/ guardians is required. 
  • Proof of identity (a valid permanent state driver’s license, a government ID or military ID, previous passport, Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate)
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (previous passport, original or certified birth certificate issued from the state with a raised, embossed, impressed, or multi-colored seal and registrar’s signature and date of certificate filing)
  • Two official passport photos (available at the Passport Fair for $15)
  • Social Security Number


The U.S. Department of State fees vary according to age and type. The fee(s) must be made by money order, check, bank draft, or cashier’s check made payable to the U.S. Department of State; debit and credit card payment is not available. The Passport Book fee for under age 16 is $80; for age 16 and older is $110. The Passport Card fee for under age 16 is $15, and for age 16 and older is $30. In addition, all acceptance agencies, including the Postal Service, charge a processing fee of $35 per application. A debit or credit card may be used in addition to cash, money order, or check made payable to the Postal Service.

Person is Ambassador on a Mission

Business Development Specialist Kimberly Person wears a second hat --- that of Informed Delivery Ambassador. Her mission is to promote the brand and boost revenue to secure the future of the organization.

Kimberly Person
Informed Delivery is a free feature that allows users to digitally preview their incoming mail and manage their packages from computers, tablets and other mobile devices. Images can be viewed via email notifications or accessed through an online dashboard at informeddelivery.usps.com.

There are more than 15 million Informed Delivery users nationwide. The goal is to enroll 40 million individuals by 2020.
Person promotes Informed Delivery at every opportunity, attending various postal functions such as employee orientation sessions and Postal Customer Council (PCC) meetings. She encourages employees to promote this feature to family, friends, and neighbors.  

“Informed Delivery is a great marketing tactic for business mail. The more customers registered, the more businesses see the benefit of this added marketing channel with two visual ads (email and physical), as well as QR Codes linking potential customers directly to their products via the internet,” Person said. “It’s a win-win.”

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

National Consumer Protection Week


On Tuesday, March 5, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Miami Division set up a display in the Miami General Mail Facility (GMF) Finance Unit lobby and shared information on frauds targeting veterans. From left, Postal Inspector Bryan Masmela, Miami Division Inspector In Charge Antonio “Tony” Gomez, Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez, Postal Inspector Vivian Guerrero, Postal Inspection Service Operations Technician Yahaira Negron, Postal Inspector Yessenia Vargas, Postal Police Captain Nancy Petrofsky, and Postal Police Officer Diego Rendon. Photo: Robert LaTorre

 
At the Miami GMF Finance Unit, Postal Inspector Yessenia Vargas (left) and Postal Inspection Service Operations Technician Yahaira Negron (right) addressed customers' concerns and offered consumer information and fraud prevention tips.  Photo: Ivan Ramirez
 

The Miami Division also participated in a National Consumer Protection Week activity at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office on Thursday, March 7. From left, Postal Police Officer Craig Clarit, Postal Inspector Otto Fernandez, Postal Inspector Yessenia Vargas, Acting Inspection Service Operations Technician Valerie Spellman, Postal Inspector Bryan Masmela, Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez, and Inspector In Charge of the Miami Division Antonio “Tony” Gomez. Photo: Kelly Worthman

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

FSA Carry Over Deadlines



Both health care and limited care Flexible Spending Accounts allow you to carry over as much as $500 into 2019. If you have more than $500 in your account, the unused funds that aren’t carried over will be forfeited after April 30.


To be eligible to carry over funds, you must meet certain requirements, such as being re-enrolled in your account for 2019. 

If you have a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, it does not allow carryover funds. However, you can continue to spend your 2018 funds until Friday, March 15. Make sure you submit all eligible expenses incurred through this deadline; funds remaining in your account after April 30 will be forfeited.


The FSA Feds site has more information. Additionally, FSA Feds benefits counselors are available weekdays from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. EDT at 877-372-3337 (TTY: 866-353-8058).

USPS Announces Three New Stamps




The Postal Service has announced three more stamp releases for 2019:
 
• Sesame Street, which will honor the influential and beloved children’s television series. Each of the 16 stamps will each feature a different Muppet from the show: Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Rosita, The Count, Oscar the Grouch, Abby Cadabby, Herry Monster, Julia, Guy Smiley, Snuffleupagus, Elmo, Telly, Grover and Zoe. Images of nine of the characters appear on the right side of the pane.

• Tyrannosaurus Rex, a pane of 16 stamps that will feature four designs: a face-to-face encounter with a T. rex approaching through a forest clearing; the same young adult T. rex with a young Triceratops (both dinosaurs are shown in fossil form); a newly hatched T. rex covered with downy feathers; and a bare-skinned juvenile T. rex chasing a primitive mammal.

• Spooky Silhouettes, an autumn release that will feature four digital illustrations in which traditional Halloween motifs are rendered as black silhouettes in backlit windows.

'What Safety Means to Me!'


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Klegin is SMDO at Royal Palm P&DC


Manager, Post Office Operations, Area 7, Louis Klegin (above) has been promoted to Senior Manager, Distribution Operations at the Royal Palm Processing and Distribution Center in Opa-locka. He had been detailed to this position since November 2018.

In his new position, Klegin is responsible for 916 employees who process 376 million pieces of mail annually.

Klegin joined the U.S. Postal Service as a Letter Carrier in Sheboygan, WI, in 1995, after serving 11 years in the U.S. Navy. In 1997, he transferred to Spokane, WA, and joined the managerial ranks, first as a delivery supervisor and then as a station manager.

In 2007, Klegin was promoted to EAS-21 Station Manager in Killeen, TX.  Two years later, he was appointed as the EAS-22 Postmaster in Round Rock, TX. In 2014, he was selected as EAS-24 Postmaster in Port Saint Lucie FL. In 2016, Klegin was selected as an Engagement Ambassador for USPS Headquarters and facilitated the Employee Engagement Program to EAS employees throughout the Southern Area. In 2017, Klegin was promoted to EAS-25 Manager, Post Office Operations, Area 7, South Florida District. 

Throughout his career, Klegin accepted detail assignments to Manager, Post Office Operations covering Central/North Texas and then in Columbus, GA. He also was acting Plant Manager, El Paso, TX, P&DC. 

Klegin has completed the U.S. Postal Service’s Management Leadership Program (MLP) and Advanced Leadership Program (ALP). He also is a Corporate Succession Planning (CSP) candidate.

“Please join me in officially welcoming Lou to his new position and in wishing him continued success in his postal career,” said Acting Senior Plant Manager Juan Gonzalez.

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

FEOY Nominations Due Tomorrow!

Tomorrow (Monday, March 11) is the last day to submit nominations to honor our outstanding craft and EAS employees in the South Florida Federal Executive Board’s 54th annual “Federal Employee of the Year” (FEOY) Awards Program.

Craft and EAS employees may be nominated and/or submit their co-workers for recognition in the following 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 and Crafts
  • Valor
     
    Important Nomination Tips:
· Nominees must be career employees.
· Nominations must be based on demonstrated performance between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018. · All nomination packages must be typed.
· Nominees must submit a digital ready photograph of the nominee or team.

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 (150 words or less) of the nomination on a separate sheet of paper
· Publicity Data Sheet/Privacy Act Notice (each nominee must sign)

A nomination package is posted on the Corporate Communications page of the district website at the following link:  
 

Although the nomination package lists March 20 as the deadline, please submit your completed nomination package(s) via email to Human Resources Administrative Assistant Jennifer Thonus at jennifer.j.thonus@usps.gov by Close of Business on Monday, March 11. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer via email or at 954-527-3235. 

The awards program/luncheon will be at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Coral Springs Hotel on Friday, June 21. Details to follow in future blog postings.