Friday, January 31, 2020

Barefoot Mailman Hike

The above photo captured a previous hike that ended in South Beach. Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

This weekend (February 1-2) 400 Boy Scouts and Scout Leaders will relive part of South Florida history in the Boy Scouts of America - South Florida Council’s Annual Barefoot Mailman Hike. 

This hike honors the efforts of the 1890s South Florida letter carriers, known as the “Barefoot Mailmen,” who walked and carried mail on a four-day journey from Palm Beach to Miami. In October 1887, Carrier James Hamilton mysteriously disappeared along the journey. It is believed that he lost his life at Hillsboro Inlet, attempting to retrieve a dingy he used to get across the waterway. The annual Barefoot Mailman Hike commemorates these mailmen by completing Hamilton’s final route.

The Scouts and their scout leaders will hike 34 miles, starting Pompano Beach Pier, and ending in South Beach. Participants will be carrying commemorative letters on their journey. And just like the Barefoot Mailmen, participants will be self-sufficient, carrying all their food, shelter, and items on their backs.

Miami Promotions

Miami Postmaster Steve Kirkland (not pictured) announced the promotion of Barbara Garcia (above) as Manager, Customer Services at Blue Lagoon Branch.

Garcia started her career in November 2004 as a Letter Carrier at Snapper West Annex.  Prior to her promotion, Garcia was Acting Supervisor, Customer Services and Acting Manager, Customer Services at Kendall Carrier Annex and Snapper Creek Branch.

Garcia’s credo: “Not letting fear of failure stop you from succeeding. Every failure is an opportunity to learn how to be successful.”

Kirkland also announced the promotion of Nadine Harris-Fort (above) as Manager, Customer Services at Milam Dairy Annex. 

Harris-Fort started her career in August 2012 as a Transitional Employee (TE) Carrier at Milam Dairy Branch.  She later served as Acting Supervisor, Customer Services at this location and later was promoted as Supervisor, Customer Services at Blue Lagoon Branch.

“My goal is to grow with the company and bring my ‘best practices’ to work daily,” said Harris-Fort.

Photos: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

A Fort Pierce Retirement Celebration

Fort Pierce Orange Ave Station Supervisor, Customer Services Andrea Rowley (right) thanked Letter Carrier Kim Boyd (left) for 32 years of dedicated service to her customers. Boyd’s co-workers organized a celebration for Boyd, who retired this month. Manager, Customer Services Inge Boxill (not pictured) joined Rowley in wishing a happy retirement to Boyd.

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Michelle Jarrell is MPOO, Area 1

Michelle Jarrell (above) has been promoted to Manager, Post Office Operations, Area 1. She had been detailed to this position since June 2019. 

In her new role, Jarrell oversees the day-to-day operation of 28 Post Offices to drive efficiencies, customer service and ensure compliance with national, area, and district objectives for service, budget, and productivity. She is administratively responsible for more than 1,000 employees and oversees an operational budget of $91 million and annual revenue of $91 million. 

Jarrell began her career as a Data Conversion Operator in Jacksonville in 1997. She has held numerous positions in the Gulf Atlantic District: Customer Relations Coordinator; Supervisor, Customer Service Support; Manager, Customer Services, Westland Station, Jacksonville; Budget Analyst; Manager, Delivery and Customer Service Programs; Manager, Financial Programs Compliance; and Manager, Post Office Operations. Jarrell also was Manager, Customer Services, Boynton Beach; and Manager, Delivery and Customer Service Programs, South Florida District. 

Jarrell also has held many detail assignments including District Finance Manager in the Gulf Atlantic and Louisiana Districts, as well as Human Resources Manager in the South Florida District. 

Jarrell graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Florida. She is a 2017 graduate of the U.S. Postal Service’s Management Leadership Program (MLP) and is Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Green Belt certified.

Black Heritage Series Adds Ifill Stamp

The 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Gwen Ifill, one of the nation’s most esteemed journalists. Ifill was among the first African Americans to hold prominent positions in both broadcast and print journalism.

Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman will be the dedicating official at today’s ceremony at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.

After graduating from college in 1977, Ifill worked at The Boston Herald American, The Baltimore Evening Sun, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. In 1994, she covered politics in NBC’s Washington bureau. Five years later, she joined PBS where she became the senior political correspondent for “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week”the first woman and first African American to moderate a major television news-analysis show.

In 2013, she became co-anchor of the “PBS News Hour,” part of the first all-female team to anchor a national nightly news program. Among Ifill’s honors were the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award (2006), Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center’s Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism (2009) and induction into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame (2012). In 2015, she was awarded the Fourth Estate Award by the National Press Club. She received numerous honorary degrees and served on the boards of the News Literacy Project and the Committee to Protect Journalists, which renamed its Press Freedom Award in her honor.

The 2016 John Chancellor Award was posthumously awarded to Ifill by the Columbia Journalism School. In 2017, the Washington Press Club Foundation and the “PBS News Hour” created a journalism fellowship named for Ifill. Her alma mater, Simmons University, opened the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities in 2018.

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Super Bowl Sunday: You're the MVP

Legendary Football Coach Vince Lombardi defined teamwork as "Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
A football team is not very different from any other group of people, like postal employees, who work together to achieve a common goal. And the success of a football team, like any other team, has a lot to do with the importance given to the team and each and every one of its members.
In the Postal Service, YOU are the Most Valuable Player. YOU are the MVP.
We are made up of teams that work together to collect, transport, process, and deliver the mail. All team members must count on each other to get the job done. When an employee is out on sick leave the rest of the team works a little harder to make sure our service standards are met.   
Coming to work is habit forming. It starts with commitment. When you accept a position with the Postal Service:
  • You made a commitment to yourself and to your family to earn a decent wage, without interruption in your bi-weekly paycheck. 
  • You made a commitment to your co-workers to be available to do your share of the work, each and every day (or night). 
  • And you also made a commitment to your employer – the U. S. Postal Service – to deliver the outstanding service our customers have come to expect and deserve. We need our customers. And they are counting on us to deliver. 
Your coming to work --- as scheduled and on time --- is always important. And on Super Bowl Weekend, remember your postal team will be counting on you. Resist the temptation to call in to watch the game. Come to work. Do your job. Follow the game during your break/lunch.

Each of us must live up to our commitment --- to ourselves, to our families, to our customers --- and to our employer.  Let’s continue to work together as a team … and score a touchdown for customer service!

Save Vanishing Species Semipostal Stamp Sales Resume at Post Offices

The Postal Service has resumed selling the Save Vanishing Species semipostal stamp.

The stamps, which feature an Amur tiger cub, were first released in 2011 and have raised more than $5 million.

Proceeds from the sale of these stamps are transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support multinational species conservation funds, including the African Elephant Conservation Fund, the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund, the Great Ape Conservation Fund, the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund and the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund.

The stamps had been withdrawn from sale at the end of 2018 and were held until legislation reauthorizing their sale was signed into law, which happened in late December.

The same legislation also authorizes the continued sale of the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp through December 31, 2027.

The Breast Cancer Research stamp was first issued in 1998 and has raised almost $90 million.

Proceeds from these stamp sales are divided between the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Monday, January 27, 2020

New Benefit is Less Taxing for Filers

The Postal Service offers a free benefit that makes it easier for employees who use H&R Block to file their taxes. 

Employees may automatically upload information from W-2 and 1095-C forms to the H&R Block tax preparation company. 

The tax information — secured with USPS information systems — is uploaded to H&R Block only if the employee voluntarily opts to do so. 

USPS also works with Intuit, the company that operates TurboTax, to offer a similar tax preparation benefit

The IRS recommends individuals automatically upload information from their employers when possible if they use tax preparation service providers or tax preparation software. This saves employees from having to enter the information manually, which reduces the risk of potential errors.

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Sunday, January 26, 2020

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Price Changes Effective Today

Postal Service price changes are effective today, Sunday, January 26.
The changes include adjustments to Mailing Services and Shipping Services products.
Here are the old and new prices:
  • First-Class Mail letters (1 ounce): 55 cents (no change)
  • First-Class Mail letters (additional ounces): 15 cents (no change)
  • First-Class Mail letters (metered 1 ounce): 50 cents (no change)
  • First-Class Mail outbound international letters (1 ounce): $1.15 (old), $1.20 (new)
  • First-Class Mail single-piece flats (1 ounce): $1 (no change)
  • First-Class Mail single-piece flats and presort flats (additional ounces): 15 cents (old), 20 cents (new)
  • First-Class Mail domestic postcard stamps: 35 cents (no change)
  • Priority Mail small flat-rate box: $7.90 (old), $8.30 (new)
  • Priority Mail medium flat-rate box: $14.35 (old), $15.05 (new)
  • Priority Mail large flat-rate box: $19.95 (old), $21.10 (new)
  • Priority Mail Army/Air Post Office and Fleet Post Office large flat-rate box: $18.45 (old), $19.60 (new)
  • Priority Mail regular flat-rate envelope: $7.35 (old), $7.75 (new)
  • Priority Mail legal flat-rate envelope: $7.65 (old), $8.05 (new)
  • Priority Mail padded flat-rate envelope: $8 (old), $8.40 (new)
Mailing Services price increases are capped by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Overall, Mailing Services product prices rose by approximately 1.7 percent.

Shipping Services prices are adjusted according to market conditions and vary by product. For example, Priority Mail Express prices increased 3.5 percent, while Priority Mail prices increased 4.1 percent, on average.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Recycling Used Batteries

The Postal Service wants employees to use proper recycling procedures when discarding used batteries.
Most depleted batteries, including lithium-ion batteries used in Mobile Delivery Devices and other types of scanners, contain hazardous components and shouldn’t be thrown away in the trash.
Instead, the used batteries must be recycled through Cleanlites, the Postal Service’s universal waste management service contractor.
Cleanlites offers both mailback recycling recycling containers and direct pick-up services available through eBuy2. 
The Postal Service no longer uses the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta and the Tampa Logistics and Distribution Center for recycling used batteries.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

It's the 'Year of the Rat'

According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, you are a rat if you were born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, or 2020. The Year of the Rat begins today, January 25, 2020 and ends February 11, 2021. 

The rat is the first of all the zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party. The rat tricked the ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, the rat jumped down and landed ahead of the ox. That’s the story of how the cunning rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals. 

The Postal Service issued the Year of the Rat stamp earlier this month. The mask reflects the elaborately decorated masks used in a dragon dance, which is a hallmark of Lunar New Year parades and celebrations. 

Blue shown in various shades on the mask is said to be a lucky color for people born during the Year of the Rat. The yellow motif on top of the rat’s head is similar to a crown highlighting the importance of the rat as the first of the 12 zodiac animal symbols. A pop of red below the rat’s ear is another lucky color. The patterns based on Asian textiles are visible on the mask. The circle in the middle of the rat’s head symbolizes the new moon that heralds the beginning of the Lunar New Year. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Shandor is Miami P&DC Plant Mgr

A familiar face has returned to South Florida.

With more than 34 years of service, Don Shandor (above) has been selected Plant Manager, Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). His career began in Miami as a Multi-Position Letter Sorting Machine (MPLSM) Clerk.

As Plant Manager, Shandor is responsible for overseeing mail processing operations, where 953 employees process 1.9 billion mailpieces annually. He also is managing an annual operating budget of more than $97 million.

During his career, Shandor has acquired more than 30 years of experience in distribution operations, including Supervisor, Distribution Operations, Miami General Mail Facility (GMF); Manager, Distribution Operations, South Florida P&DC and St. Louis, MO P&DC; Senior Manager, Distribution Operations, South Florida P&DC and St. Louis, MO P&DC; Manager, Processing/Distribution, St. Petersburg P&DC and Manasota P&DC; Manager, In-Plant Support, Tampa P&DC; Plant Manager, Orlando P&DC; and Plant Manager, Manasota P&DC. In 2019, he served as Acting Senior Plant Manager in the Suncoast District, and in August that year, was detailed to his current position.

Shandor is a graduate of the Postal Service’s Advanced Leadership Program (ALP), as well as the Executive Foundations and Executive Leadership programs. He is Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Green Belt Certified, and last year, was selected “Employee Engagement Manager of the Year” in the Suncoast District.

“Don brings a wealth of mail processing experience to this position,” said Acting District Manager Sal Vacca. “Please join me in welcoming Don on his return to South Florida and in wishing him continued success in his career.”


'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Thursday, January 23, 2020

QR Codes Now on Collection Boxes

The Postal Service is adding QR codes to all blue standard and Priority Mail Express collection box labels to provide customers with information on nearby Post Offices.

To use this new feature, customers can use the camera on a mobile smart device, or the QR code reader available on the USPS Mobile application, Informed Delivery application, or another QR code scanning application.

When the customer scans the QR code, he or she will be taken directly to “Find a Post Office,” which will display 10 nearby Post Offices in order of proximity to the collection box. The information that will be presented to the customer includes:
  • Post Office addresses
  • Hours of operations
  • Distance and directions to the Post Office selected
The QR code feature is part of the Postal Service’s larger efforts to make mail more convenient for consumers and to satisfy the needs of merchants who want efficient, economical shipping services.

Made of Hearts Stamp Debuts Today

Love is in the air as the Postal Service releases its Made of Hearts stamp today, Thursday, January 23.

The stamp, part of the Love series, features horizontal lines of red and pink hearts on a white background. Toward the center, red hearts in varying sizes replace pink hearts in a formation that creates one large red heart, the focal point of the design.

Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp and served as art director.

The Postal Service issued its first Love stamp in 1973. Although the stamps are released early in the year, they are not just for Valentine’s Day and can be used for many occasions.

The stamp will be available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

South Florida to Host Dedication Of Wild Orchids Stamps on Feb. 21

The U.S. Postal Service will celebrate the beauty of Wild Orchids in South Florida on Friday, February 21. The First-Day-Of-Issue (FDOI) stamp dedication ceremony, free and open to the public, will take place at 11 a.m. at the American Orchid Society Library at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156. 

News of these Forever stamps is being shared with the hashtags #OrchidStamps and #FlowerStamps. Employees who are interested in attending the FDOI dedication ceremony must do so as an off-the-clock activity. All attendees are encouraged to RSVP at

Each stamp features a photograph of one of these nine species: Cypripedium californicum, Hexalectris spicata, Cypripedium reginae, Spiranthes odorata, Triphora trianthophoros, Platanthera grandiflora, Cyrtopodium polyphyllum, Calopogon tuberosus, and Platanthera leucophaea. Within the booklet, each stamp design is featured twice. The Wild Orchids stamps will be issued with 10 stamp designs in booklets of 20 and coils of 3,000 and 10,000.

Orchids are part of the largest plant family on Earth, and are beloved by plant experts and casual flower lovers for their gorgeous colors, unusual look, and delicate features. Orchids grow in many climates and thrive under a variety of conditions.

There are more than 30,000 species of wild orchids in the world, with more than 100 species native to North America. Many orchids native to North America are endangered or threatened, making sightings in their natural environment increasingly rare. These striking flowers are native to damp woodlands and numerous organizations across the country are working to preserve their habitats. Orchids also thrive in cultivated gardens or as houseplants.

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Miami P&DC Salutes Veterans with Military Flags at Employee Entrance

Miami P&DC Plant Manager Don Shandor stood at the employee entrance with all the flags representing the U.S. Armed Forces. 

The employee entrance to the Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) has a new look thanks to Plant Manager Don Shandor and his team. 

On Monday, January 13, flags representing each military branch and Prisoners Of War/Missing In Action (POW/MIA) were hoisted in a special presentation.  

Shandor, who began his 35-year career at the Miami P&DC, wanted to show appreciation for employees, especially veterans. 

"We have great employees, including so many who have served in the Armed Forces or have family members who have served," said Shandor. "I thought it was the perfect place to show our appreciation to all every time they walk in or walk out of the building."

He credited Manager, Maintenance Mike Kirk and his staff who were instrumental in making this veterans tribute a reality. Shandor also thanked employees who had served in the military and had participated in the flag presentation:

U.S. Coast Guard - Miami P&DC Supervisor, Maintenance Operations Kenny Franz 

U.S. Air Force - Miami P&DC Manager, Transportation Operations Phil Derys and Miami P&DC Mail Handler Carl Pinchinat 

U.S. Navy - Homeland Security Coordinator Mike Balcom and Miami P&DC Mail Handler Franco Parodi  

U.S. Marine Corps - Manager, Human Resources Tammy Deutsch

U.S. Army - Miami International Service Center (ISC) Manager, Distribution Operations Ben Jones and Miami P&DC Mail Processing Clerk Carla Mann

POW/MIA - Miami P&DC Building Equipment Mechanic Reynaldo Flemmings 

American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local # 172 President Wanda Harris and National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local # 318 President Alberto Perez also were proud to hoist the U.S. flag, which culminated the presentation.

"It was so special to see the unity of our postal family --- management, craft, unions, management associations all together to celebrate this new addition to our postal home," said Shandor. 
Acting District Manager Sal Vacca (with microphone) greeted employees and thanked veterans for their service prior to the presentation of flags. 
The South Florida Leadership Team (plus National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local # 318 President Alberto Perez in white shirt and American Postal Workers Union Local # 172 President Wanda Harris in pink outfit) attended the flag presentation.
Miami P&DC Supervisor, Maintenance Operations Kenny Franz hoisted the U.S. Coast Guard flag.
Miami P&DC Manager, Transportation Operations Phil Derys (left) and Miami P&DC Mail Handler Carl Pinchinat (right) represented the U.S. Air Force.  
Miami P&DC Mail Handler Franco Parodi (left) and Homeland Security Coordinator Mike Balcom (right) jointly hoisted the U.S. Navy flag.
Manager, Human Resources Tammy Deutsch (right) presented the U.S. Marine Corps flag  with assistance from Miami ISC Manager, Distribution Operations Ben Jones (left), who served in the U.S. Army.
Miami P&DC Building Equipment Mechanic Reynaldo Flemmings awaited his turn to hoist the POW-MIA flag. 

Miami P&DC Mail Processing Clerk Carla Mann (left) and Miami ISC Manager, Distribution Operations Ben Jones (right) hoisted the U.S. Army flag.
National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local # 318 President Alberto Perez (left) and American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local # 172 President Wanda Harris (right) saluted as they stood ready to hoist the American flag.

Photos: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Monday, January 20, 2020

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929 in Atlanta. But the King holiday is marked every year on the third Monday in January.

The fight to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday took 32 years, a lot of campaigning, and guest appearances including Stevie Wonder, Ted Kennedy, and the National Football League.

King’s birthday was finally approved as a federal holiday in 1983, and all 50 states made it a state government holiday by 2000.

Today, the King holiday serves multiple purposes: It honors the total legacy of King; focuses on the issue of civil rights; highlights the use of nonviolence to promote change; and calls people into public service.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Saturday, January 18, 2020

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Let's Celebrate!

In February, the U.S. Postal Service issuing the Let’s Celebrate! stamp for any joyous occasion. Whether celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, a new job or retirement, this stamp will help mark the occasion.

Vice President, Corporate Communications Janice Walker will be the dedicating official at the ceremony on Friday, February 14, at the Aripex 2020 Stamp Show in Mesa, AZ.

Like a burst of confetti, Let’s Celebrate! adds an extra dash of color to celebratory greeting cards, invitations and gift-bearing envelopes and packages.

The Let’s Celebrate! stamp features colorful circles in varying sizes arranged in a random pattern. The letters in “celebrate,” cast in a dark green hue, appear inside several brightly colored circles. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Ad-Hoc Manager, Customer Services Opens at Florida City Post Office

The Florida City Post Office (above) seeks Ad-Hoc Manager, Customer Services. 

Florida City is the last stop on the mainland north of the Florida Keys. It’s also the southernmost city, which is not an island, in the United States. And if you’re an EAS employee who seeks delivery and retail experience, you could be selected for an ad-hoc assignment as Manager, Customer Services, EAS-20, at the Florida City Post Office at 1000 Palm Drive.
All qualified EAS career postal employees within local commuting distance (50 miles) may consider this ad-hoc assignment (not to exceed two years). The schedule will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday as days off.

Manages, usually with the assistance of subordinate supervisors for distinct functional areas, the activities of a medium size classified carrier station or branch with a large number of employees providing delivery and collection services within, or sometimes beyond a normal geographic area, through a large number of routes; window and box services; mail distribution and dispatch; and the processing or sale of non-postal products.

1.  Knowledge of postal policies, procedures, and practices related to personnel actions, safety, and maintenance of facilities and vehicles. 
2.  Knowledge of provisions in the current collective bargaining agreement, including those related to overtime, corrective action, and grievance resolution. 
3.  Knowledge of postal operations in carrier stations, including delivery and collection service, window and box service, and mail distribution and dispatch. 
4.  Knowledge of accounting functions and budgeting activities. 
5.  Ability to manage, including planning, organizing, directing and monitoring programs, projects, and the work of people to meet organizational goals.
6.  Ability to communicate orally and in writing at a level sufficient to consult with representatives of employee organizations, to assist commercial mailers in resolving problems, and to give performance feedback to subordinates. 
7.  Ability to evaluate staffing and training needs. 
8.  Ability to identify and resolve operational and administrative problems. 
9.  Ability to analyze data for the purpose of evaluating operational performance and identifying deficiencies.

Employees interested must submit their eCareer profile, along with a summary of accomplishments addressing the requirements stated on this posting. All applications should be mailed for receipt by Close of Business (COB) Friday, January 31, 2020, to: Homestead Postmaster. 739 Washington Ave, Homestead, FL 33030-9998.