April 14, 2013
Re "Saturday mail - and red ink," Editorial, April 11 The Times minimizes the need for Saturday delivery and glosses over one of the biggest culprits for the U.S. Postal Service's financial troubles: the responsibility for retiree benefits. The Postal Service is required by federal law to pre-fund retiree benefits, a burden that isn't placed on any other organization and costs it billions of dollars a year. Not everyone uses email, and the private delivery companies are much more expensive than the Postal Service.
April 11, 2013 |
When the U.S. Postal Service announced in February that it would end Saturday mail delivery this summer, most Americans reacted with a mixture of wistfulness and resignation. Yes, it was sad that the mail carrier wouldn't be dropping off letters on Saturday anymore, but scaling back to five days was a necessary concession to the agency's financial problems and a reflection of changes in communication wrought by the Internet. But not everyone saw it that way: The unions representing postal employees and their champions on Capitol Hill were especially determined to block the change, and a continuing resolution passed by Congress last month prohibited the USPS from curtailing service.
April 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON--The US Postal Service has canceled a plan to end Saturday letter delivery this summer, conceding Wednesday that Congress had won a recent legal bout over the agency's attempt to cut costs. The USPS had announced in February that letter delivery would drop to five days starting Aug. 5. But Congress responded by adding a rider on a spending bill mandating Saturday delivery. The Postal Service's Board of Governors reviewed Congress' decision and determined Congress had the authority to make it, it said in a press release Wednesday.
April 7, 2013 |
This Coachella edition gathers new music by lesser-known artists gigging this weekend's music festival as well as one epic reissue by a recently reunited group. If you haven't the desire, money or constitution to spend three days surrounded by so many humans under the desert sun, you can find comfort in the tracks (and watch the whole event live online). Kurt Vile, "Wakin on a Pretty Daze" (Matador). The Philadelphia singer and guitarist's new record is a guitar rock gem of the classic variety.
March 18, 2013 |
Stamps.com Inc. was typical of many companies that imploded during the dot-com crash more than a decade ago. Flush with start-up cash, it spent recklessly on employees, sprawling office space and acquisitions. Workers raced through the company's 90,000-square-foot Santa Monica headquarters on Razor scooters, ate catered meals and tracked the company's stock price with visions of riches. Executives spoke of a day when everyone would print their own postage - and pay Stamps.com a monthly fee for the opportunity.
March 9, 2013 |
A Berkeley city councilman is proposing an email tax to help the cash-poor United States Postal Service stay afloat. Gordon Wozniak suggested that using email, which is partially responsible for killing off demand for letter-carrying services, could save “vital functions” of the post office, the news site Berkleyside reported. “There should be ... a very tiny tax on email,” he told the City Council. “There should be something like a bit tax. I mean, a bit tax could be a cent per gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollar a year.” The problem is, such a levy wouldn't be legal unless the Internet Tax Freedom Act is allowed to expire in 2014.
March 7, 2013 |
Five of the rowdiest, rarest and best-known muscle cars of an era when gas prices were less than 40 cents a gallon have been immortalized in a new series of U.S. Postal Service stamps. The stamps in the "Muscle Cars Forever" collection, whose makeup has already inspired debate among muscle car aficionados, depict the 1966 Pontiac GTO, the 1967 Shelby GT-500, the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, the 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda, and the 1970 Chevelle SS. "I was a little surprised at the cars they chose," said Steve Dale, a salesman at Showdown Muscle Cars dealership in Port Charlotte, Fla. "They left out the [Chevrolet]
February 24, 2013 |
Question: My husband and I will be traveling abroad for several weeks. We plan to pack lightly so that we do not have to check luggage. However, we will need more toiletries than we can carry on our planes so we are thinking about shipping them ahead. Can you give us any advice? Patricia Koch Long Beach Answer: Because of the cost of luggage services, I would ordinarily recommend sending toiletries (which Koch said couldn't be bought at the destination) by a known entity, such as the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and DHL. Jami Counter, senior director of TripAdvisor Flights, agrees.
February 22, 2013 |
In the same week that Lance Armstrong announced that he would not cooperate with the anti-doping agency that uncovered the deception he used to win seven Tour de France titles, the Justice Department on Friday opted to press him for the millions he took from former sponsor the U.S. Postal Service. By joining a whistle-blower lawsuit first filed by Armstrong's former cycling teammate Floyd Landis, the Justice Department alleges Armstrong and teammates violated sponsor agreements by using banned substances and methods, including blood doping, testosterone and human growth hormone.