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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rural living -- post offices play a vital role

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nebraskans are some of the most thoughtful and patriotic Americans you can find. We're always ready, willing, and able to do our part for the country, but that doesn't mean we're not watchful for proposals that would impact life in rural America. Proposals put forth by the U.S. Postal Service to close rural post offices and end Saturday mail delivery would do just that.

Inconvenient Driving Distances

Those who live in cities don't always appreciate driving distances in agriculture country and what rural folks have to deal with when it comes to post offices in a state this large. For instance, a business owner in Lisco, in Nebraska's Panhandle, wrote to me saying if the Lisco office is closed, as is proposed, he'll have to drive to Oshkosh just to get his mail. That's about 15 miles one way or a round trip of 30 miles which would amount to 150 miles for a five day work week. That's a lot of inconvenience and added expense especially with gas prices what they are today.

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed closing many mail processing centers and 3,700 mainly rural post offices across the country, including 90 in Nebraska. Congress is currently working on comprehensive postal reform legislation to protect rural post offices from closure and I've supported these efforts.

Important Issue for Newspapers

I know local post offices and regular mail delivery are very important to communities across Nebraska. Keeping Saturday delivery shows one example.

Without Saturday delivery, rural Nebraskans might not see their local newspaper they get now in the mail on Friday or Saturday until the following Tuesday. People won't be able to keep up on local news. Daily papers will become like weeklies. Delivery of weekly papers could slide too.

This hurts the right of citizens to be informed, which has been an important principle since America was founded.

If Congress doesn't pass a postal reform bill soon, there's nothing to stop the U.S. Postmaster General from going ahead with a draconian cost-savings plan that would change small town life in Nebraska and across the country.

Impact on the Community

Rural post offices, the services they provide, and the people who provide them, have great value to communities across Nebraska. Everyone understands that the Postal Service is in the midst of a financial crisis that has to be addressed. This problem can be solved without substantially slowing down the delivery of mail or harming rural America.

But we can't do that if some in Congress continue with tactics that only delays postal reform from moving forward and obstructing Congress with more job killing gridlock. Meanwhile, time is running out and the D.C. bureaucrats still don't get it when it comes to rural living.

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So many folks want to complain when the USPS wants to close a little used Post office, they suddenly realize the value of the Post Office in their town. Then they want to report how far they will have to drive to get their mail. Welllll, it is not true, everyone that had a Post Office box, can have their mail delivered by the Rural carrier every delivery day, to their box. Why is it that folks want others to believe that when the office closes that they will have to drive out of town to get their mail? Yes the carrier can sell stamps and other services from the delivery vehicle, so why would you believe that you must drive to the next town for mail service?

Do you have a Wal Mart in your town? A hardware store? A bank? Think about it, you really have no complaint. Do you complain about the drive to the Doctor, Bank, Grocery, Hardware, Dentist, RX, School activties, Fuel? Need I ask more questions?

-- Posted by overloadded on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 10:04 AM

Our federal government is broke, but nobody can cut ANYTHING. Not postal service, not social security, not food stamps, not welfare, not HUD programs, not the military, not farm subsidies, and most of all, not Congressional staffs and perks.

As the governmnent absorbs a growing part of our income and our lives, we move inexorably toward the ultimate poverty of totalitarian government control.

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, May 4, 2012, at 12:07 PM

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