Saturday, March 30, 2019

WPB Passport Fair Reels in Revenue


On Saturday, March 16, the West Palm Beach Main Office hosted a Passport Fair which resulted in $6,255 in revenue.

Parents expressed their appreciation to have their children’s passports accepted and processed on Saturday instead of getting them excused from school during the week.  

Dedicated Sales and Services Associates/Passport Acceptance Clerks (below) accepted 145 passport applications.

City Place Station: Susie Brewster

Haverhill Branch: Mable Cooper
 
Palm Beach Gardens Branch: Brandon Black
 
Palms West Branch: Andy Caballero

West Palm Beach Main Office: Lawrence BattleThomas CostelloAshley Killerbrew, Antony Peguero
 
Passport team member Crystal Restrepo, who is a City Carrier Assistant (CCA) at the Port St. Lucie Main Office, took 91 photos during the six-hour event. 

'What Safety Means to Me!'


Friday, March 29, 2019

Coral Reefs Postcard Stamps Debut


The Coral Reefs stamps feature colorful, highly-stylized digital portraits of stony corals and reef fish.

The U.S. Postal Service is releasing its Coral Reefs postcard stamps today.
Coral reefs are one of the world’s most important ecosystems, sheltering and sustaining about a quarter of all ocean species.
The reefs are formed over thousands of years, mainly by colonies of animals called polyps. These creatures make stony corals, the foundation for most coral reefs, by secreting protective skeletons of limestone.
As these skeletons accumulate over time — with new colonies of polyps growing on top of the skeletons of older ones — they build up the base of coral reefs.
The Coral Reefs stamps feature highly stylized digital portraits that depict four types of stony corals and associated reef fish:
  • Elkhorn coral and two French angelfish
  • Brain coral and a spotted moray eel
  • Staghorn coral and bluestriped grunts
  • Pillar coral and a coney grouper and neon gobies
The word “Postcard” printed on the stamps indicates their usage value. Like a Forever stamp, these stamps will always be valid for the rate printed on them.
Source: Link

'What Safety Means to Me!'


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Driving in Gusty Winds Can Be Tricky


Gusty wind can be one of the trickier driving situations to deal with, especially with erratic gusts that rapidly change direction and intensity. Since the carrier can't see these as they come, it's only possible to react after they've already affected the Long Life Vehicle's (LLV’s) behavior.

The main goal when driving in heavy wind is to keep the LLV as stable as possible (a goal in all driving situations).

Strong head winds mostly just require corrective action with the gas pedal. The main thing here is to maintain a close awareness of the LLV’s speed, and feed extra pulses of gas to counteract the wind gust pulses as precisely as possible. The faster you react to the gusts, the easier it is to maintain stability. It's much harder to speed back up into a head wind once the LLV has slowed down to any degree.

Tail winds are similar to head winds, in that they are primarily compensated for with the gas pedal. The main thing to keep in mind with these is that tail winds can significantly increase a LLV's stopping distance.

Cross winds are the trickiest to deal with. Any side force (wind) on the LLV has to be counteracted with steering if the LLV is to continue to go in a straight line.

One factor to consider is speed. Slowing down reduces the reaction forces necessary to counteract the wind. This is especially important in cold weather where the wind could also be producing slippery spots on the road. Good judgment is needed to determine how fast is safe.

Some side gust situations can be predicted: driving under an overpass, passing a truck, coming past the edge of a mountain wall, etc. Use whatever you can predict to your advantage.

When you're out in the open and the wind is simply erratic, it's necessary to react to gusts as you feel them. This can be very tiring and laborious if you just try to fight with the steering wheel as you feel the car being pushed out of the lane.

One important thing is to keep your eyes focused way down the road to where you want to wind up, instead of focusing on the lane markings right in front of the LLV (always a good practice anyway). This provides a much more stable and relaxed reference, as well providing as much advanced notice as possible for upcoming situations.

Here's a useful trick for steering technique in strong gusting side winds:

Position your hands on the steering wheel at either the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock or the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions. Rise up your elbows so that your forearms are diagonal at about 45 degrees. Let the weight of your arms hang down on the steering wheel. Keep your arm muscles as relaxed as possible.

In this position, when a side wind gust pushes on the LLV and starts to tilt the body, the inertia from your arms will cause the steering to be directed into the wind gust. Because this is a direct mechanical response, it is faster and more accurate than waiting for the brain to detect the wind gust and react. Also, because you're not fighting the gusts with your muscles, it's a much more relaxing way to drive in this type of situation.

It's necessary to adjust the specific position and angle of your arms to get the proper reaction. Basically, the higher up you raise your elbows, the stronger the steering reaction will be. It's not too difficult to find the right position that keeps the LLV going where you want it.

Remember to always wear your seatbelt! 

'What Safety Means to Me!'


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cancer Survivor: 'Know Your Body'


Jay Overy, a Bay Village, OH, retail associate, stands with Nicole Marcellino, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ in-arena announcer, at a recent game where Overy was honored for his efforts to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.

Jay Overy was surprised to learn he had colorectal cancer after undergoing a routine colonoscopy in 2017.

The Bay Village, OH, retail associate was told that because the cancer was in stage 2, there was a high chance for successful treatment.

“Early detection is critical,” said Overy, a 31-year USPS employee. “I put off my colonoscopy for two years.”

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overy considers himself lucky.

Following a year of treatment that included six surgeries, he learned in 2018 that he was cancer free.

Overy soon became a volunteer ambassador for Fight Colorectal Cancer, an organization that pushes for advocacy and research. In his free time, he helps spread awareness.

“Everyone knows what the pink ribbon is, but not a lot of people know about the blue ribbon,” he said. “We are trying to change policies so that everyone, regardless of insurance, can be screened.”

Overy’s efforts led to him being recognized during halftime at a recent Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game, and being invited to play at the Cologuard Classic, a professional golf tournament.

He and other survivors also rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange last month.

Additionally, Overy’s photo is included in a Times Square billboard display in honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed in March.

Colleagues like Dan Demarino, a fellow Bay Village retail associate, aren’t surprised by the attention Overy has received.

“He spreads the word really well,” Demarino said. “Almost everyone we’ve worked with has gotten screened because of Jay putting the word out.”

Overy hopes his story inspires others to take action.

“Know your body,” he said. “Be aware of colorectal cancer symptoms and get tested. Colonoscopies are way easier than colon cancer.”

Source: Link 

'What Safety Means to Me!'


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Gratigny Letter Carrier Saves Baby

On behalf of Postmaster General/CEO Megan Brennan, South Florida District Manager Timothy Costello (right) presented a PMG Hero Award letter to Gratigny Letter Carrier Donna Bratton (left). Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte 
 

Miami Gratigny Branch Letter Carrier Donna Bratton was delivering mail at an apartment complex when a customer holding an infant ran out in agony because her baby couldn’t breathe. While 911 was called, Bratton performed CPR and revived the girl. Emergency responders soon arrived and took over; the infant was hospitalized to recover.   

Recently, Bratton was recognized by South Florida District Manager Timothy Costello with a letter of commendation from Postmaster General/CEO Megan Brennan. In a letter, Southern Area Vice President Shaun Mossman also praised Bratton for her heroic efforts.

Pictured above, from left: Gratigny Branch Manager, Customer Services Brian Goldstein; National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 1071 Secretary Marilyn Ray; Gratigny Branch Letter Carrier Donna Bratton; South Florida District Manager Timothy Costello; Manager, Customer Service Operations Juan Albo; and Supervisors, Customer Services Jesenia Rojas and John Cruz. Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

'What Safety Means to Me!'


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.

'What Safety Means to Me!'


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

'What Safety Means to Me!'



Friday, March 22, 2019

'What Safety Means to Me!'


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

'What Safety Means to Me!'


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. 

'What Safety Means to Me!'





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

'What Safety Means to Me!'


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

'What Safety Means to Me!'


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.”