Originally published 04/07/2013
The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is running into opposition from historic preservationists as the agency tries to cut losses by selling off buildings.The postal service lost $15.9 billion last year, after losing $5.1 billion in 2011 -- as online services continue to replace money-making mail deliveries.Hundreds of post offices are on the National Register of Historic Places, which largely protects them from being demolished, or are protected under deals with new owners....
Originally published 02/13/2013
Richard R. John, a professor of journalism at Columbia, is the author of “Spreading the News: The American Postal System From Franklin to Morse.”THE Postal Service’s announcement that it plans to end Saturday mail delivery reminds us of its vulnerability to the technological convulsions of the information age. The agency lost nearly $16 billion last year; stopping Saturday delivery, starting in August, would save about $2 billion a year. To preserve the letter of the law, which requires six-day service, the agency would continue Saturday parcel delivery — a shrewd decision, since, thanks to booming e-commerce, the parcel business is one of the few sectors that is actually growing.Polls suggest that 7 in 10 Americans support the change, but a predictable outcry has emerged from members of Congress, labor unions, periodical publishers and direct-mail marketers. Other critics warn that ceasing Saturday service will be the first step down an irreversible “death spiral.”
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