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Feb 6, 2013 2:08 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Most East Enders OK With Postal Service Ending Saturday Mail Delivery

Feb 19, 2013 5:00 PM

Citing a $20 billion budget gap and the rise of e-commerce, U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced earlier this month that the Postal Service would no longer deliver mail to street addresses on Saturdays beginning the week of August 5.

Packages of all sizes will still be delivered, however, and post offices that are currently open on Saturdays will remain open. Those with post office boxes will still have their mail delivered to them on Saturdays.

Mr. Donahoe said that ending delivery of letters, bills, magazines and the like on Saturdays would save the service $2 billion annually.

Although the new delivery schedule is a historic change—six-day delivery began in 1863—many East End residents don’t seem too worried about losing their sixth delivery day.

East Hampton resident Dave Hill said he doesn’t get much mail on Saturday to begin with. “Who needs Saturday mail anyway?” he said outside the East Hampton Post Office this week. “If I were going to get a check every Saturday, yes.”

Amagansett resident Maureen Goldberg mirrored Mr. Hill’s sentiments. “The answer is, ‘Who cares?’” she said. “If you can’t wait two days for a check, then you’ve not lived your life very well.”

Many people who have post office boxes expressed support for the new delivery schedule, especially since their mail would not be affected.

A Southampton man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he picks up his post office box mail in Southampton every day and has no problem with one fewer day of delivery. “Monday through Friday is enough,” he said. “Saturday is only good for Christmas cards. I can wait for bills.”

Jerry Adams of Southampton, who picks up mail at the Southampton Post Office every day, said while it won’t affect him, he understands that taking Saturday delivery away must be done. “I know the Postal Service is in a big, deep hole … anything to help,” he said. “I think that the Postal Service has been beaten up by the web and e-mail.”

According to Mr. Donahoe, that was precisely a big determinant of why the Postal Service decided to eliminate Saturday delivery. “First-class mail that businesses send continues to prove its value and has also been relatively stable,” he said in his testimony before a Senate committee last week. “Fortunately, people want to receive hard copy statements and other business correspondence through the mail, but, unfortunately for us, they elect to pay bills online. The result is that we have seen sharp declines in the first-class mail sent by residential customers. This is a trend that will continue to erode postal revenues.”

Many residents acknowledge the impact that the internet and e-commerce has on the post office. Instead of paying and receiving bills in the mail, many pay them online. The junk mail they used to get are now junk emails. The Christmas cards and thank-you notes that used to surprise them at the mailbox now come as e-cards.

“Email has changed a lot of things,” said Southampton Village resident Bill Mulligan. “I get very little mail on Saturdays, and most of what I get is junk mail.”

While changing the display inside his shop window, Travis Corwin of Corwin Jewelers on Southampton’s Main Street said he’s seen a decrease in mail as well, but he’s not complaining. “We used to get stacks of mail, but now it’s very little,” he said, adding that the internet has all but destroyed paper mail. “It’s something we can wait until Monday for.”

Technologically savvy AnneMarie Pallister, the managing broker for Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Hampton Bays and Montauk, said her company would not be heavily affected by the change, as most of its communications is already done through email or fax—though that too is becoming “archaic.” “I would have to say that we’re probably one of the biggest culprits, because most of the stuff we do is online,” she said. She added that she was surprised the service is still operating as it does, considering the high price of stamps.

Elyse Richman, owner of Shock and Baby Shock in Westhampton Beach, said that the change will not affect her business that much. For the most part, she pays all of her bills online and does most work for her business on the internet and via email. Although she does do a lot of shipping for her business, she said she typically does it at the post office and not on a Saturday because that is her busiest day.

“It is not really going to affect us at all,” Ms. Richman said. “We do do a nice amount of shipping, because we do offer that service to our customers so they don’t have to go to a post office, but we use the actual post office to ship the boxes. We can always go to the office on Monday.”

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“My constituents have spoken clearly that ending Saturday delivery would be more than an inconvenience, it could potentially be dangerous,” he said in a press release.

Please back that statement up Bishop... how ridiculous. Packages (re: medications) will still be delivered on saturdays. I cannot fathom any other instance where not receiving mail on a particular day could endanger anyone's life (please someone correct me if I'm wrong)
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 6, 13 2:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree. Very ridiculous. The Post Office continues to hemmorage cash.
By semaj (10), riverside on Feb 6, 13 2:27 PM
The Post Office will be 17 billion in the red this year. Maybe he can ask his constituents where this money will come from. Welcome to the new liberal socialist normal ....., spend and don't contribute.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Feb 6, 13 2:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Haven't read Christopher Faricy, have you?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 6, 13 9:07 PM
Once again, Chief, you respond with thoughtless, right-wing ideology instead of facts. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. They are required by law to cover their costs.

The reason the post office is broke is because the federal gov't requires them to "prefund" health benefits for future retirees, an unnecessarily burdensome requirement.

Remember, mail is delivered by ...more
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Feb 7, 13 8:28 AM
Don't bother dag... Chief is famous for the hit and run. Never offers a substantive response to well thoughtout critisims, or ya know, facts.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 7, 13 9:09 AM
Will at least the Post Office be open on Saturdays? I have a P.O. Box and work too late during the week to get my mail--
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Feb 6, 13 2:38 PM
From what I've read in other news sources, Post Offices will maintain existing hours, and P.O. Boxes will continue to be filled on Saturdays
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 6, 13 2:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is a good move by the Post Office and has been in the works for years - many turnaround professionals would be doing the same. Tim Bishop is a very mediocre representative; his sole qualification seems to be that he never gets too far ahead on any issue to be a target for challengers. His key talent is in obtaining outlays for his district and not managing the national interests.
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Feb 6, 13 3:29 PM
I hate to sound like a broken record but once again Bishop disappoints. This is what happens when you elect a man who has never served in the private sector. His qualifications for office were serving as provost for Southampton college. Not exactly a picture of finacial success.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Feb 6, 13 3:49 PM
15 years from now we will be looking back on the post office (first class letter delivery for a relatively cheap stamp) with nostalgia, because it will be gone.
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Feb 6, 13 5:56 PM
Bishop's comments are ridiculous at best and just demonstrate his complete lack of comprehension of any sort of fiscal discipline. At the rate the Post Office is hemorrhaging money they should consider doing routes every other day and really cut their costs. Getting mail delivery 3 times a week would be little more than a minor inconvenience if that.
By bird (829), Southampton on Feb 6, 13 6:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bishops comments are ridiculous 85% of the time. We need a new direction in this country Now that we have witnessed Rove's complete failure and waste of 400 million dollars through Crossroads in 2012, and the wild success of the Tea Party in 2010 it shouldn't be hard to persuade the bigger donors not to waste their money with him. It's just dumb at this point. Tea Party = Victory. Rove = Loss.

Rove disses the Tea Party and attacks them; that was part of the reason for Romney's loss of ...more
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Feb 6, 13 7:27 PM
Women beat Romney.Idiot republicans kept bad mouthing women,then rush started bleating anti women nonsense.Then the lunatic fringe pitched in with anti abortion clap trap.All in all Romney was cooked.
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on Feb 6, 13 9:18 PM
No, not really.

The only part of the female demographic that swung more heavily democratic than usual were single mothers, most of whom(but not all, I know), are recipients of one form of welfare or another and are voting for the party that will keep the free stuff flowing.

Oh, and as far a Rush's "anti women nonsense", he was 100% correct. A "student" in her 30's believes it's her right to demand that others pay for her birth control. Those others footing the bill include women ...more
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Feb 6, 13 9:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
27dan is right on! He's got it nailed, yes indeed. That's just what the Republican Party should do, ditch Rove and all the other moderates and go all out with the Tea Party tactics and strategy. That'll do it, by gum! Tea Party = Victory. I sure hope they listen to you, Dan.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Feb 16, 13 4:07 PM
Bishop never saw a deficit he did not like...Balance what?
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Feb 6, 13 11:08 PM
By VOS (1241), WHB on Feb 6, 13 11:58 PM
Bishop plays to a base of Idiots
By kpjc (161), east quogue on Feb 7, 13 8:13 AM
To say that 27 east has been taken over by right-wing ideologues without an original thought in their heads would be an understatement.

Comment after comment by people who have no clue what they are talking about. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. We are required by law to cover our costs.

The Postal Service has the world’s largest retail network — larger ...more
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Feb 7, 13 8:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Not to mention the federal gov. requires that the Postal Service fund retirement payments WAAAAAAAAY in advance which is what has caused them such financial strain. I'm not saying the Postal service would be fine without that wrinkle, but it's a big blow to them which is not felt by any other government agency.

And honestly, when you really think about it, for 50 cents you can put a piece of paper in your mailbox and three days later someone three thousand miles away gets it in their mailbox. ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 7, 13 9:08 AM
Ditto to dagdavid and Nature. Most people do not appreciate the USPS for its strengths and cost-effective moving of lots of mail.

We can thank the Junk Mail Lobby for part of the PO's budget shortfall. You know all that crap that ends up in your mail box for a fraction of the first class rates? It ain't any cheaper to carry, especially because it is usually, and aptly named, BULK MAIL.

If the PO has to be privatized, you can expect bulk mail rates to skyrocket, and probably first ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 7, 13 10:38 AM
Captn, look through the posts and see the word "socialism" - the implication is clear.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Feb 7, 13 12:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
Of course it's taxpayers money. Where do you think the 16 billion shortfall comes from. Another case of Nature believing what someone says with no research. Don't you think the post office should put away for retirement? Or should we go the way of social security which has 60 trillion of unfunded entitlements. Or better yet the county of Suffolk which is 500 million in the red because of retirements. Please tell me Nature one fact I can't back up.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Feb 7, 13 1:31 PM
Chief - the problem with USPS is they have to PREFUND retirement benefits. No government entity (quasi- or otherwise) is required to do so and it puts the USPS much deeper in the red than it otherwise would be. Yes, the USPS is in trouble and frankly I'd be fine with it going down to 3 days a week. My point above was that what they do is actually amazing for the price (perhaps, TOO amazing).

And the County doesn't have a deficit of $500 million. They have a PROJECTED deficit of $500 ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 7, 13 2:44 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Feb 7, 13 2:45 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Feb 7, 13 3:45 PM
Please rephrase Chief - I didn't get to see it
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 7, 13 7:38 PM
There is 60 trillion of unfunded retirements, medicaid, medicare, ss, goverment pensions, ect ect. We have almost 17 trillion in debt already. Where does this extra money come from Nature? Please let us know.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Feb 8, 13 3:36 PM
Chief how much is the national debt is owed to social security because every president in the last 30 years spent that money , instead of it being put in a lock box where it belongs?

Despite Alan Greenspan's revenue enhancements, all that extra funding matters not when you use it for deficit spending.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 20, 13 9:43 AM
It will be like the dial telephone and black and white TV aerials. It won't even matter in time as we all adjust.
By Sandflea (35), Southampton on Feb 7, 13 1:47 PM
why is it that the Bridgehampton PO is opened at 8:30 AMfor the past few years yet Sagaponack PO is open at 6AM. Perhaps we need a little more supervision in our area?? Plus the BH PO building is about to fall down. No repairs to the building in years. Why not??
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Feb 7, 13 8:04 PM
If the US postal service were a business it would be insolvent. They have defaulted on two payments owed to the Gvt last year and are,claiming a 1.3 billion dollar loss last quater. Who is on the hook for the payments they have defaulted on? You guessed it.The tax payer. In fact their is a huge push by the senate to give the the postal office a 34 billion dollar bailout. Its a giant mess and USPS potential savior (GVT) is the one prohibiting the post master general from making the necessary changes ...more
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Feb 8, 13 1:29 PM
And look at the book cooking between the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the federal government.

They engage in accounting practices that would have anyone else thrown in jail.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 20, 13 9:48 AM
Here's some extra tidbits which may be of interest:

"On Aug. 1, for the first time since the 2006 mandate, the Postal Service did not pay its $5.5 billion annual retiree health benefits bill, and announced that it's likely to default on the next payment too, due Sept. 30. While the announcement raised red flags of concern for the welfare of retiring postal workers, experts, including postal employee unions, contend that the retirees will be fine -- or may even be better off -- if the USPS ...more
Feb 23, 13 2:40 PM appended by Mr. Z
Maybe it's just that another "surplus" fund is needed to steal from. Just like all the alleged "entitlement" programs which should be well funded, yet have nothing but T-Bills and Ponzi style annual income from the taxpayers to keep the scam going.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 23, 13 2:40 PM
Despite the Postal Service's debt, its retiree benefit coffers are beyond full. Its pension funds are more than 100% funded, compared with 42% for all federal pension funds and 80% for the average Fortune 1000 pension plan. That "astonishingly high figure," according to Williams, amounts to a "war chest" of resources that will take care of older workers for decades to come."

No takers yet? C'mon, where's the "truth brigade"?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 23, 13 7:51 PM