Archive for the tag 'post office'

Source: Sarah Parrott/Flickr

If you’re planning on mailing out holiday cards or gifts, it’s time to get to it. Because this is the busiest time of year for the United States Post Office, mailings can take a little longer. Here’s a list of cut off dates to ensure timely delivery of your cards, letters or packages, courtesy of the USPS.

Check out the 2011 USPS holiday cut off dates.

Following reports that the Brighton Beach Post Office at 3157 Coney Island Avenue is slated for potential closure, Congressman Jerold Nadler is fighting to keep it open.

Nadler wrote the following letter to the postmaster general:

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:

As the Congressional representative for the 8th Congressional District in New York, I am writing concerning the proposed closures of several post offices in my district. It has come to my attention the Brighton Retail Station at 3157 Coney Island Avenue in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, the Ovington Retail Station at 6803 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and the 26 Federal Plaza and Port Authority Retail Stations in Manhattan are among the 3,653 retail stations being studied for closure nationwide by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

I understand that difficult decisions need to be made by the USPS in the face of serious budgetary concerns due to declining revenue. However, I strongly recommend that the USPS keep the Brighton and Ovington Retail Stations open, as these stations are located in neighborhoods where the communities rely on their local post offices on a daily basis. Additionally, I have heard serious concerns from the communities served by the 26 Federal Plaza and Port Authority retail stations.

The Brighton Retail Station is the only postal station in Brighton Beach, an area with many elderly, infirm and foreign-born individuals, a large number of whom use their local postal station on a regular basis. The neighborhood surrounding the Brighton Retail Station is home to more than 20 percent of residents above 65 years of age, almost twice the percentage of senior citizens in Brooklyn, and far higher than the national count, according to the U.S. Census. In addition, more than half of the residents of this neighborhood are foreign-born, and nearly a quarter of the population is disabled. Brighton Beach is also home to a thriving retail corridor, and businesses rely on the services provided by their local post office. When the station was in danger of closing last year after a proposed rent increase, my office and the USPS worked together with the landlord to sign a five year lease. I ask that you honor this lease going forward and keep the Brighton Retail Station open, for the good of the community and for local businesses.

The Ovington Retail Station’s closure would negatively impact many of my constituents in the neighborhood who rely on the station for their postal needs. In particular, the closure would affect the many seniors and the disabled who reside in this part of Bay Ridge. This neighborhood has a high percentage of disabled residents when compared with the rest of Brooklyn and with the national average, according to the last U.S. Census count. In addition, about half of the residents in the surrounding neighborhood are foreign-born, according to Census data. These populations, as well as local businesses, have come to rely on the Ovington Station, and its loss would make it difficult for them to access postal services.

As you study the impact of the potential closures, I also urge you to strongly consider the impact of closing the 26 Federal Plaza and Port Authority retail station on their surrounding communities. My office has been contacted by community members who utilize these two Manhattan post offices with concerns about their closure, especially regarding the impact on disabled individuals who use these stations.

I ask that you keep these postal stations open to ensure that residents and business communities do not lose vital resources.

I appreciate your attention to this important matter.

The Brighton Finance Station at 3157 Coney Island Avenue. Source: New York Daily News

As federal cost-cutting measures continue to affect just about all aspects of our lives, uncertainty also looms for five borough post offices, one of which is in our area.

Even after the United States Postal Service signed a five-year lease last year to keep the Brighton Finance Station at 3157 Coney Island Avenue open, the station is, once again, under threat of closure as, according to USPS spokesperson Darleen Reid, “Everything is on the table as far as cost-cutting strategies.”

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Followers of Lyndon LaRouche are prattling the day away in front of the Bill Brown Post Office (2628 East 18th Street), collecting donations for their strange political movement and carrying signs with President Barack Obama sporting a Hitler mustache.

The group’s members say they have stationed tables all around the city today, each trying to raise at least $1,000 for LaRouche.

Wondering who LaRouche is? The perennial presidential candidate is often described as an extremist, conspiracy theorist and even a cult leader. He ran for presidency in every race from 1976 to 2004, even commanding political campaigns from behind bars, after being imprisoned for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax code violations.

Now the LaRouche followers are asking for financial support and mailing list sign-ups to help. They say they’re attempting to get Obama impeached by the end of the summer, reinstate the Depression-era banking regulations of Glass-Steagall and, well, that’s all they say. When asked where the money goes, they said it was to the publications – which depict Obama embracing Hitler, among other images – and to fund the Worldwide LaRouche Youth Movement. The youth arm formed in 2000, with their first major campaign being in 2003, when it distributed over a million leaflets across the country picturing Arnold Schwarzenegger alongside Adolf Hitler (sense a theme here?). The youth arm is described by critics as a college recruiting arm for the larger organization, that uses high-pressure, strong arm tactics.

Unfortunately, that bit isn’t being discussed at their table outside of the post office, and dozens of residents opposed to the Obama administration donated money based on their claims that it would be used to unseat the president before the end of the summer.

Courtesy of Daily News

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has signed a five-year lease on 3157 Coney Island Avenue, after a fierce battle with the landlord to keep the Brighton Beach Post Office branch open.

The agreement caps an almost year long fight in which the new landlord attempted to jack up rent in excess of 30 percent of market value. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Anthony Weiner, and City Councilman Michael Nelson, joined the fight when their Brighton Beach constituents expressed outrage that the neighborhood’s only local office would close.

“Losing such an important neighborhood asset would have been unacceptable, as this is the only post office in Brighton Beach,” Weiner told Brooklyn Eagle. “The outspoken members of this community rallied to prevent this closure, and they deserve a great deal of credit for helping to avert what surely would have been a severe blow to those who live and do business in Brighton Beach.”

Photo courtesy of bettybl via Flickr

Photo courtesy of bettybl via Flickr

A month-long survey of 10 Brooklyn post offices found some surprising horror stories, with long waits, rude agents, and “chaotic” atmospheres.

The survey was conducted by Assemblyman Dov Hikind spurred on by constituent complaints. The sample included Bay Ridge, Blythbourne, Cadman Plaza, Dyker Heights, Kensington, Kings Highway, Midwood, Parkville, Sunset Park, and Van Brunt post offices.

Among the observations Hikind’s staff noted are:

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(Photo courtesy of Daily News)

(Photo courtesy of Daily News)

Though the NY Times recently reported that no Brooklyn Post Office branches are among the 16 New York City offices facing closures, one southern Brooklyn branch is still at risk for other reasons and postal authorities have not planned to accommodate its out-of-luck clients.

According to Don Brown, Community Board 15′s liaison to the United States Postal Service, authorities overseeing the Brighton Beach Post Office have negotiated a six-month extension to the retail station’s lease, following the news in May that it would shut down on December 31, 2009.  Though Brighton residents can breathe a sigh of relief until June 2010, Brown says USPS is making little headway in finding a new location.

Trouble emerged when Kaytus LLC, the new landlords of 3157 Coney Island Avenue, refused to renew the lease after more than 30 years in the location. According to Brown, Kaytus was seeking an “exorbitant” amount in excess of 30 percent of market value. With the federal agency bleeding money across the nation, postal authorities nixed any deal with the landlord and began looking elsewhere. Hampering the search are strict guidelines for finding a new location.

“It’s a matter of finding a building with the proper size and structure to accomodate their needs,” said Brown. Despite a neighborhood of empty buildings and stalled developments, the post office can’t catch a break.

Making matters worse, authorities haven’t drawn up plans to accommodate patrons of the Brighton Breach location when it closes, leaving no choice but to flood the Sheepshead Bay branch on East 18th Street, which recently reduced hours. Brown said that temporary trailers and other options have been discussed to no avail.

“Certain things have come up as possibilities, but nothing that seems viable,” he said. “There is a problem as to what alternatives [clients] have, and it’s possible they may have to flow to [the Sheepshead Bay Post Office], but ultimately I think there’ll be a solution.

While Brown remains optimistic, neighbors in both Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay have fingers crossed. With eight months on the clock, can the United States Post Office find a location in Brighton Beach?

USPS Clients Pranked


Post Office in Sheepshead Bay

A user over at Citynoise.org, a public photoblog for urbanites, posted these pictures that show a few clients of Sheepshead Bay’s United States Post Office branch as the victims of a pointless, harmless, and slightly amusing joke. Apparently someone got incredibly bored in line and decided to have his way with the packing stickers – and the backs of some defenseless coats. I know I’m not supposed to condone stuff like this, but I have got to admit: I’m smirking.

Sheepshead Bay USPS Branch

We recently reported that the Brighton Beach Finance Branch of the Post Office will be leaving its current location at 3157 Coney Island Ave (11235-9993) and is looking for a new home. In the meantime, the Sheepshead Bay Branch will have to pick up the extra slack.

Follow the jump for a list of other post office locations in the 11229 and 11235 zip codes area, if you are concerned about the Sheepshead Bay branch’s long lines. Feel free to do a customized search by address, zip code, or state or call (800) ASK-USPS for more information.

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Brighton Beach Post Office
(Photo courtesy of Daily News)

Expect the long, intolerable lines at the Sheepshead Bay post office at 2628 East 18th street to get even worse in 2010.

Daily News is reporting that the Brighton Beach post office at 3157 Coney Island Avenue will close down by December 31st. The already overburdened Sheepshead Bay branch is the closest facility, and will take on many of the clients if a new station is not established in time.

The 30-year-old Brighton office is closing because the new landlords, Kaytus LLC, refused to renew the lease, citing financial disagreements. U.S. postal officials say they are looking for an alternative site in the Brighton Beach area, but residents are skeptical.

Though the Post Office is in financial straights, we hope a solution is found before the new year. Sheepshead’s post office is beyond strained, and if it’s forced to serve clients from both neighborhoods, there’s no doubt residents will turn to private solutions like UPS or FedEx. Simply put: the Post Office will worsen their own situation if they let that happen.