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User: Steven Haverty / Mailboat J.W.Westcott II/Facebook

 

The ZIP code for the J.W. Westcott, the official U.S. Postal Service mail boat serving Great Lakes vessels, is 48222.

Bill Redding is a boat captain and dispatcher with the J.W. Westcott Company.

Redding says John Ward Westcott had lots of dreams back in the late 1800s. In 1874, he put together a business – the J.W. Westcott mail boat – to find a way to deliver mail for sailors who served on the Great Lakes.

Westcott would row out to passing boats and place messages in the bucket thrown over the side of the boat – thus the slogan "mail in the pail."

Postal workers protest end to Saturday service

Mar 24, 2013
usps.com

Hundreds of postal workers who oppose plans to cut home delivery from six days to five have picketed outside U.S. Postal Service offices in Michigan.

The Detroit News says about 600 people marched in protest Sunday at a post office in suburban Southfield.

MLive.com says about 100 postal workers from around the state demonstrated Sunday in Grand Rapids. They carried signs and waved at passing cars.

The signs included the messages "Save America's Postal Service" and "5-Day Is the Wrong Way to Save the Postal Service."

usps.com

An ailing U.S. Postal Service is preparing to close and consolidate processing facilities across Michigan as the state in turn emerges from its own economic woes. The agency's planned actions affect operations in and around Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw.

The moves affect 475 jobs, though officials say that number includes an undetermined mix of layoffs, transfers and retraining.
    

freefoto.com

Financial problems are mounting at the U.S. Postal Service, and that's going to have repercussions on Americans' daily lives. For one thing, you won't be able to assume - or even hope - that a stamped letter will arrive at its destination the next day.   

That's because the Postal Service is looking for ways to save money, even as it awaits possible assistance from Congress.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 Postal workers delivered a message at more than a dozen rallies across Michigan today.   

Postal workers say they have a solution to the multi-billion dollar budget deficit that is threatening the future of the U.S. Post Office.  Postal officials say they are looking at closing hundreds of local post offices and mail processing centers as a way to reduce the red ink.  

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 Mail delivery could become even slower in Michigan under a plan announced  today.    The U.S. Postal Service wants to close most of its processing centers, including a half a dozen in Michigan.   

Postal Service officials are considering closing mail processing centers in Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo,  Jackson, Saginaw and  Iron Mountain.    All the state’s mail would be routed through three other locations.   

A Postal Service spokesman says he does not expect any mail processing centers will close before next Spring.

Flickr user uzvards

As many as 17 post office branches in Detroit and other parts of southeast Michigan could be closed by the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service.
    

The Detroit Free Press reports Saturday that the Postal Service released a list of branches that might close before the end of the year.

An employee in Governor Rick Snyder's office was treated and quarantined after a letter delivered to the office caused a burning sensation in his fingers. The letter had what was described as a "grainy substance" that caused the injury. The governor's office says the governor called the employee to make sure he is O-K. The Michigan State Police are investigating the incident.  

Joey Rozier / Flickr

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that the U.S. Postal Service is hoping to close a series of post offices around the country to save money. From the article:

Carlota Soc / creative commons

A mail processing center in Flint may be slated for closure next month. The United States Postal Service may move the city’s mail sorting and processing to Pontiac.

Shannon LaBruyere is with the U.S. Postal Service. She says if the closure goes through, 113 jobs will be affected; half would be relocated to Pontiac, half would be offered other positions likely outside of Michigan.

"They will be the people who bear the brunt of the change. Our customers, from our preliminary assessments, won’t see any change in the service they receive."

USPS will hold a public meeting to discuss the possible Flint closure on March 23 at the city's Holiday Inn Gateway Centre.

The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last fiscal year and plans to close 2,000 post offices nationwide this year. LaBruyere says USPS would save "$6.5 million dollars per year" by moving Flint operations to the Michigan Metroplex in Pontiac. 

A Washington Post article in February says President Obama's 2012 budget recommends about $11 billion in relief to help stem losses at the Postal Service:

The losses stem in part from hefty personnel costs not borne by other federal agencies. One is a requirement, imposed by a 2006 law, that it set aside money each year to cover the costs of future health benefits for its retired workers.

In the Obama administration's first substantive attempt to address the Postal Service's fiscal woes, the budget would allow the agency to pay $4 billion less toward future retiree health benefits than otherwise required. The mail agency would have to pay about $1.5 billion of those costs in fiscal 2012 and make up the difference in later years.

The budget proposal also adjusts the size of the annual payments by taking into account the size of the workforce, which has shrunk to about 583,000 full-time employees since the law passed in 2006.