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APWU Congressional Information Center

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Dismantling the Public Realm: Post Offices for Sale
"...The Postal Service didn’t hire the biggest real estate company in the world because it wants to sell off a mere 126 properties.  The Postal Service owns 35,000 properties.  The new CBRE website is just a preview of coming attractions.  The Postal Service wants to sell off the entire network, or at least a huge portion of it..." [Read more]

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A Postmaster Goes to War Against His General
Employees take aim at a plan to close thousands of post offices [Read more]

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4,000 more post offices on the chopping block:
Nothing personal, it's just business
The Postal Service is in the process of closing some 3,650 post offices as part of its Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI).  The first of them will close by the end of the year, and it will take a few more months to work through the list.  But the Postal Service is already looking ahead, and word now comes that 4,000 more post offices will soon be on the chopping block. [Read more]


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The Great Postal Heist
The US Postal Service, its workforce, and US citizens are under attack. [Watch video]

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Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Signed, Sealed, Indebted, with Allison Kilkenny
VIEW THIS GREAT SYNOPSIS VIDEO

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What's wrong with the Postal Service?

How about what's wrong with the media?
Trying to correct all the bogus postal stories being put out by the media and think-tanks is like playing a game of Whack-a-Mole, and it’s impossible to come out ahead. [Read more]

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Without rhyme or reason: The PRC turns down the Akron appeal
"...Many communities have said they feel like the Postal Service's public hearings are just a sham because the decision has already been made.  If the PRC keeps rejecting appeals like this, it’s going to start looking like the whole process is a charade..." [Read more]

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Postal Workers: The Last Union

by: Allison Kilkenny, Truthout | News Analysis
"...Perhaps it was its booming history that first drew Congress' attention to the Postal Service in 2006 when it passed the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA), which mandated that the Postal Service would have to fully fund retiree health benefits for future retirees..." [Read more]

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The Hits Just Keep On Coming: A List of Lists
The Postal Service has been producing lists of post offices it wants to close since early 2009, and there have been so many, it’s almost impossible to keep them straight.  Even the experts can get them mixed up. [Read more]

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How to Save the Postal Service Before It’s Too Late
The United States Postal Service is in dire straits.  It is suffering from billions of dollars of losses over recent years, the promise of falling mail volumes, and an increasingly threatened business model.  The response from Congress, postal management, and many in the mailing industry has been to call for cutting the size of the workforce to a Draconian degree, pulling employee benefits out of federal programs, relaxing the universal service standard, and closing thousands of post offices. [Read more]

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The Perfect Storm:
How everything is coming together to take the Postal Service apart
“…The United States Postal Service isn't dying because of its fiscal deficit.  It is being systematically dismembered by a management team that lacks vision, soul, and ethic.  It is being taken down by calculating politicians looking for short-term political gain, who see advantage in pandering to the new American ethic of “beggar thy neighbor.”  And eventually, it will probably be taken apart and sold off in pieces to private corporations more interested in personal profit than public service, and that will be the end of the Postal Service…”
[Read more]

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A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself
VISTA, Calif. — Here on the third floor of a gleaming office building overlooking a golf course in the rugged foothills north of San Diego, Darrell Issa, the entrepreneur, oversees the hub of a growing financial empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Just a few steps down the hall, Representative Darrell Issa, the powerful Republican congressman, runs the local district office where his constituents come for help. 
[Read more]

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Editorial: Postal Service out of options
The U.S. Postal Service's announcement last week that it intends to shed a third of its workforce by 2015, scrap its pension plan for new employees, and pare down employees' health benefits came as a bombshell.
It shouldn't have.  [Read more]


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The Shock Doctrine:
 Why the Postal Service is scaring the hell out of us
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe wants to close half the country’s post offices, cut a third of all postal jobs, and pull the Postal Service out of its federal health and retirement programs.  That’s 16,000 post offices, 220,000 jobs, and a lot of lost benefits.  He’s doing all this to save the Postal Service, but there’s good reason to fear that he’s going to destroy it. [Read more]

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City of Camden Wants Money From Post Office
It's been more than six weeks since Fox 29 Investigates reported how the postal service in Camden allegedly delayed the delivery of thousands of pieces of first class mail in order to save money on overtime.
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Read more]

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Welcome to Ye Olde Village Poste Office
On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system was established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general.  In its profound wisdom, the Postal Service chose July 26 to release a list of 3,653 post offices that will it be studying for closure over the coming months.  The list even includes the B Free Franklin post office, a museum dedicated to Ben Franklin and the creation of the post office.
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Read more]

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What we’ll lose if we lose the post office
I carried mail for 20 years for the United States Postal Service in Denver and in Raleigh and Durham, N.C. I retired early in 2000 to pursue a doctorate and a career as a historian, but I haven’t left the mail behind. Instead, I’ve become fascinated with the history of the post office and increasingly concerned about its future. [Read more]

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A Penny for Your Post Office
How much would it cost the Postal Service to cancel its plans to close half the country’s post offices over the next six years? [Read more]

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How to Privatize the Post Office: Piece by piece, step by step
Think it would take an act of Congress to privatize the postal system?  They’ve been privatizing the post office for four decades, piece by piece, step by step.  It’s called “piecemeal privatization,” and it works like this. [Read more]

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Going Postal: Darrell Issa’s War on the USPS
"...In a nutshell, Issa’s plan is to not let the Postal Service fix itself. Issa’s plan is to set up two new agencies—one to smash the Postal Service into a wall and one to sell off the pieces. One to loan them money and one to slap their hands for taking it. One to force them into bankruptcy and one to “renegotiate” salaries and collective bargaining agreements afterward..."  [Read more]

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 Pawlenty’s Really Bad Answers

APWU Web News Article 073-2011, June 20, 2011
A proposal by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to privatize the Postal Service is a really bad idea, APWU President Cliff Guffey wrote in a guest column for The Hill. Pawlenty, a Republican candidate for president, cited the USPS as a prime candidate for privatization in a speech at the University of Chicago on June 7. [Read more]

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The Coming Postal Bailout
Congress wants taxpayers to save mail worker pensions.
"One thing we'll say about federal bailouts—if you pay attention, you can usually see them coming a mile away. It was true of Fannie Mae and General Motors, and it's increasingly clear that the next candidate will be the U.S. Postal Service...The obligation of postal management is to negotiate this inevitable transition while protecting taxpayers from another union raid. If Republicans don't start paying attention, the raid is going to arrive on their doorstep." [Read more]

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New postmaster general wants lines to move faster
Postal clerks will stop holding up the line with all those questions when you mail something. [
Read more]

USPS Announces Changes To ‘Mystery Shopper Program’
APWU Web News Article 158-2010, Dec. 30, 2010
After years of APWU complaints, the Postal Service has notified the union that the Mystery Shopper Program will be altered beginning in January 2011. Retail Associates (RAs) will no longer be required to follow a precise script when waiting on customers; instead they will be permitted to “customize their questions to best address individual customer needs.”
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Read more]

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For many in Massachusetts, it’s a postal disservice
From Berkshires to Boston, patrons bemoan inconvenience brought about by office closings
"...The cuts have been accelerating, and this year there are 742 fewer post offices across the country than last year, more than three times the number of offices that were closed last year and substantially steeper cuts than at any time in the past 15 years..."
[Read more]

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It’s Not a ‘Bailout’
APWU Blasts Deficit Commission Proposals
APWU Web News Article 143-2010, Dec. 2, 2010
APWU President Cliff Guffey is urging the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also known as the Deficit Commission, to reject recommendations in its Dec. 1 report [PDF] regarding the Postal Service, which he said were based on inaccuracies.
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Read more]


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Chaffetz calls Postmaster General’s retirement package ‘ridiculous’
Rep. Jason Chaffetz called the $5.5 million retirement package for outgoing Postmaster General John Potter absurd and unfair in the wake of the United States Postal Service’s announcement that it had lost $8.5 billion this year. [Read more]

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                 Mysterious Packages Show Up At Allston Office
      There is a pile of packages in the entrance of Alex Safian's Allston office building and the labels are addressed to all over   the country. "They are in transit. They aren't from this building, not to this building, they are just dropped off here and just sitting here," said Safian. [Read more & watch video]

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Hub post office hit with $357g in safety fines
T
he Occupational Safety and Health Administration has levied a $357,000 fine against the U.S. Postal Service after finding what it has called nine “willful and serious” violations of federal workplace safety laws at the bustling South Boston mail distribution center on Summer Street. [Read more]

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USPS Said No To White House on 5-Day Test
The U.S. Postal Service declined The White House’s suggestion that it conduct a pilot test of five-day delivery, according to a document made public this week. [Read more]

Potter tells White House USPS can't do a pilot test of 5 day delivery
 [PRC filing (.pdf file)]

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Postal Customers Tweet About Post Office Lines
Customers standing in lines at post offices are using Twitter to comment (tweet) about their waits.
Click here for Realtime Tweets results for post office lines.

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Lance Armstrong's Mail Fraud
"...
More than a decade ago, some Postal Service whiz decided our stamp money would be better put to use sponsoring a fabulous cycling team..." [Read more]

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Postal Service worksharing outgrows its intention
For more than 30 years, the Postal Service has offered worksharing to its customers. It's a form of outsourcing where mailers perform specific activities in exchange for reduced postage prices. [Read more]

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Six-Day Delivery Supporters Finally Speak Up To PRC

What a difference a month makes! More than 92% of the comments submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission in June regarding the number of mail delivery days favored six-day delivery. [Read more]

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Top USPS Attorney Says They Are Two sets of rules at USPS, one for hourly employees and one for executives?
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During the investigation into the activities of Robert F. Bernstock, former president of shipping and mailing for the U.S. Postal Service, attorney Mary Anne Gibbons told investigators she thought there were two sets of rules governing the so-called de minimus policies on the use of postal equipment for outside activities ("Postal boss was not sent packing," Web, News, Thursday)..." [Read more]

Replace a broken USPS

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A chance for Congress to acknowledge its role in postal crisis
"...It's easy -- and accurate -- to blame the ailing condition of the U.S. Postal Service on the nation's sick economy. And the rapid movement toward electronic communications certainly has dealt the service a serious blow.

But as Congress looks for ways to pull the USPS from its financial sinkhole, lawmakers also should look in the mirror..." [Read more]

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CVS, Medco Oppose Postal Cuts, Citing Drug Delays, Higher Costs

 "...CVS Caremark Corp. and Medco Health Solutions Inc. are opposing the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to end Saturday delivery, saying the move would delay needed medicines and may boost mail-order drug prices..." [Read more]

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Locals protest postal cutbacks in Winsted, CT
"...Ben Drendel, Project Organizer for the Trust, said he is worried about the possibility of privatizing and/or corporatizing the post office. “The post office is an equalizer,” he said. “If you start running it like a business, you’re going to lose that important part.”

Alan Dicara, a protestor, said he does not believe post office customers want cuts to service. “They want more service, and they want better service,” he said..." 
[Read more]

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Going Postal in the Digital Era
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we must recognize that the Postal Service can and must remain public if we are to maintain the essential infrastructures of democracy. Americans do not often talk about the Postal Service as a crucial underpinning of the democratic infrastructure, but we should..." [Read more]

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Déjà vu: The Postal Service’s Economic Troubles
Weekly column by Senator Susan Collins
"...Approximately every three years – in 2003, 2006, and again last year, the Postal Service has come to Congress seeking relief from its financial obligations in exchange for promises of future profitability. Now, among other things, the Postmaster General is asking Congress to allow it to reduce delivery services from six to five days a week..." [Read more]

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Senators challenge Postal Service's 10-year rescue plan
"...Serious questions need to be asked and answered before Congress simply changes the course and embraces major change in mail delivery," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government..." [Read more]

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USPS official (VP Bernstock) directs sole-source $4.5M contract to former colleague
"This sounds like another example from the top to steer a contract to the friends of senior government officials which isn't appropriate,.." [Read more]

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APWU Local President: USPS HQ Staff Has Increased 38% Since 2000
The facts are simply INCREDIBLE!  [Read more]

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An agency going down in a blaze of optimism
"...It is beginning to appear as though the U.S. Postal Service has a death wish.
Judging from the customer service policies we've seen in the Florida Keys recently -- or, more accurately, customer service reductions -- the agency seems hellbent on self-destruction. And, increasingly, it is a perception shared by other communities throughout the nation..." [Read more]

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Big surprise: USPS lacks a plan
"...The response provided by the USPS was horrifying. It actually said that it had nothing more to add than what was in the FY2010 Integrated Financial Plan, its Form 10-K, as well as the Annual Report and Comprehensive Statement. If you have had a chance to read any of these documents, you would know that there is NO PLAN contained in these documents..." [Read more]

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Report finds 'imprudent spending' at Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service spent more than $792,000 "without justification" on meals and events in one five-month period even as it reported losing $3.8 billion this year, the agency's inspector general says in a report. [Read more]

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APWU dissatisfied with BU Administration
The post office in the George Sherman Union is one of three in the Boston area recommended for closing after six others have been removed from the list of possible closings, officials said. [Read more]

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Get ready to wait at the Norwood post office

It’s shopping time, and what follows is shipping time. As those of us who frequent the post office on Central Street know, it’s a very long wait. The problem is obviously staffing.
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Read more]

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Ruth Goldway, Postal Regulatory Commission, Chairman
Ruth Goldway talked about the future of the U.S. Postal Service, as it considers cutting service days in this C-SPAN Washington Journal interview. [Watch this informative video]

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Cutting Hours or Cutting Post Offices
 Those communities that found their Post Office on the original list but are no longer under consideration for closing are likely relieved that their Post Office will remain open. These communities will be less pleased when the hours that the Post Office is open shrink ...
[Read more]

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BC among nine profitable post offices considered for closure

The BC post office, which employs one full-time USPS employee, remains on the list of potential closures despite its profitability - walk-in revenues for the office amounted to $205,724 last year and expected to provide the USPS with $100,475 profit in the 2009 fiscal year. [Read more]

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Residents give possible Newton post office closing stamp of disapproval
More than 50 people turned out for a public meeting Tuesday night (9/29) to discuss the possible closing of the Nonantum Post Office. [Read more]

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Post Office wins and woes
So is our post office safe?
For now.
But it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on. [Read more]

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Campus post office branch in danger of closing
Despite turning over a $213,099 profit during Fiscal Year 2009, Tufts’ USPS branch, located beside the Brown and Brew café in Curtis Hall, is on a list of nine post offices in the Boston metropolitan area in imminent danger of being closed. [Read more]

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MIT’s Post Office May Be Closed; Final Decision Expected in October
The fate of the MIT post office will likely be determined next month, according to the United States Postal Service (USPS). The office, slated for closure along with eight other Boston-area post offices, has been on the chopping block since a July 30 USPS announcement. [Read more]

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B.U.'s GSU post office set to close

The GSU (Boston University’s George Sherman Union) branch is one of nine offices set to close in the Boston area. Branches at Boston College, Babson College, Faneuil Hall, Logan Airport, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nonantum Station, Soldiers Field and Tufts University will close, based on data provided by the Postal Service.               [Read more]


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CBS 60 Minutes - Rooney On The Post Office
Andy Rooney has gotten wind of potential changes to the postal service and he's not a fan.
 [Click here to watch the clip]

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New PRC Chairman hopes "to emphasize the needs of the average citizen mailer as opposed to the business mailers, who the postal service often considers its customers," [Read more]


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NJ Congressman blasts USPS for plans to close station
“The data is lacking and the timing suspect,” said Smith, who met with USPS officials in March. “It directly contradicts what they told a group of local leaders in a meeting we co-hosted in borough hall in March. Postal officials specifically promised that no decision would be made before they answered some basic inquiries about the costs of closure, and until they conducted a second meeting with community officials to discuss those costs. Those promises are being broken.” [Read more]

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Threat to shutter N.Y. post offices is pushing the envelope

There's no reason the United States Postal Service should be going broke - but it could end up that way if its managers, including politically motivated members of Congress, don't wise up. [Read more]

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Recession, U.S. Postal Service downsizing may force closure of twenty post office branches in NYC
Postal officials said there are no plans to shutter outlets "at this time," but they left the door open for closings down the road.     [Read more]


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Postal Service Makes Strong Push for 5-Day Delivery

It remains a venerable institution, but it has been so severely handicapped by the recession that lawmakers are beginning to seriously consider cutting a day of delivery. [Read more]


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Irritation rises at old stamping grounds
By Lou Michel NEWS STAFF REPORTER
"...The U. S. Postal Service now sells a stamp it calls “Forever” because it can be used regardless of what happens to postal rates. As far as Chris Parks is concerned, the stamp is appropriately named: Forever is how long it takes to buy a stamp at the post office...It’s ridiculous. “Now they have signs saying go to the supermarket, but who wants to go to a supermarket to buy a stamp?...”  [Read this insightful article]

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Federal Administrative Judge has Harsh Words for San Francisco USPS Management
The judge cited harassment, a hostile work environment, failure to accommodate, and retaliation by various USPS management personnel.
[Read more]

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Bill to Limit Postal Subcontracting Introduced in House
APWU Web News Article #034-09, March 30, 2009
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives on March 24 that would restrict USPS subcontracting. The Mail Protection Act (H.R. 1686), which is backed by the APWU, is modeled on a bill the Congressman introduced in November 2007 (H.R. 4236). [Read more]

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Does Post Office Hide its Lower-Cost Services?
Liz Crenshaw reports on Partial Post on nbcwashington
  A hidden camera investigation reveals what the Post Office isn't telling you when mailing packages
in Virginia, Boston or anywhere else:
[
nbcwashington.com/news]

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