February 6, 2013

'One less day of junk mail'

Many Mainers are shrugging at the prospect of mail-free Saturdays as the Postal Service pitches its 5-day plan.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Mail carrier Carrie Estes sorts through mail on Bradley St. in Portland during her delivery route Wednesday, February 6, 2013. The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to save about $2 billion annually.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Mail carrier Carrie Estes delivers mail on Bradley St. in Portland late in the day Wednesday, February 6, 2013. The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to save about $2 billion annually.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer

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He said the announcement was made Wednesday to give people the time between now and August to adjust.

The union that represents Maine's letter carriers decried the announcement.

"We believe this would be a death spiral for the Postal Service," said Mitch Bowman, president of the Maine State Association of Letter Carriers. "Taking away a day of delivery would mean taking away a day of business for Maine businesses. It is our opinion this proposed lower standard of services does not meet needs of Maine people."

Some Mainers who spoke Wednesday said the change simply reflects a shift in the way people use mail. In the last decade, the amount of first-class mail dropped by 50 percent. Letters have been replaced by emails and text messages. Bills have been replaced by online statements.

Moya Easterling of Limington has a post office box in Portland so she will continue to get mail on Saturdays. But she said she checks her box only every month or so.

On Wednesday, she found a stack of mail stuffed inside it. She sifted through the mail, noting nothing in the stack that was particularly time-sensitive. One piece of mail was a wedding invitation, she said, but she had known about the wedding for months.

Elaine Gutgsell of Portland, who is 86, said she has watched life around her go digital. She still writes letters, pays bills by writing and mailing checks, and gets her payroll checks in the mail, usually on Saturday.

But even she's not worried about the end of Saturday delivery. "One or two more days is not going to make much difference," she said.

Mike Mulhall of Standish said he sometimes gets important mail on Saturdays, but he'll just make adjustments if Saturday mail is discontinued.

"It's a changing world," he said. "What choice do I have?"

 

Staff Writer Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

erussell@pressherald.com

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

 

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Additional Photos

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Moya Easterling of Limington picks up her mail at the Portland Post Office Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer

  


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