Greenport business owners and residents wrote letters and called the U.S. Postal Service, demanding that the historic, deep blue cast-iron mailbox bolted to the cement pole in front of Claudio’s restaurant be kept where it is.
I have a friend who loves to write letters. Several years ago, he was in the habit of sending me one every day. I wrote him back once.
My friend’s letters were all part of an experiment in which several writers from around the country — he was working as a sports reporter in Seattle at the time — would send each other handwritten musings on journalism and feedback on side projects. (more…)
The mailbox is bolted to a cement pole in front of Claudio’s restaurant in Greenport, its blue paint partially chipped away. Near the rusty keyhole locking letters inside the box, a peeling sticker notes the collection time: Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m.
A small metal tab at the top of the mail slot, embossed with the phrase “Pull Down,” emits a high-pitched creak when pulled open before bouncing shut with a few rapid clanks.
Main Street business owners say they’ll miss that old box and its old noise if the U.S. Postal Service follows through on a plan to remove it and install a new mailbox a block or so up the road.
The U.S. Postal Service will no longer deliver mail on Saturday’s, federal officials announced Wednesday. Package delivery will continue on a six-day cycle and post offices regularly open on Saturday’s will remain open.
The cutbacks are expected to save the financially strapped service about $2 billion annually, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in a news conference. The change is expected to take place in August, officials said.
North Fork locals interviewed Wednesday afternoon were split on the implications.
Two women at the Mattituck Post Office said the change didn’t faze them.
“Mondays through Friday’s are enough,” said Orient resident Chrisie Droroski. “If it will keep costs down then why not? It may cut down on peoples’ hours, but you have to close gaps someplace.”
Mattituck resident Bonnie Adams was surprised by the news, but said she doesn’t expect to feel much of an effect from the decision.
“I hadn’t heard that, but it doesn’t make a difference to me,” Ms. Adams said. “Maybe one less bill will come during the weekend.”
Congressman Tim Bishop is one of the dissenting voices against the plan, according to spokesman Oliver Longwell. Mr. Longwell said in a press release that Mr. Bishop has asked the Postal Service to reconsider its decision, citing the impact on senior citizens and workers who rely on Saturday delivery for timely receipt of medicines, paychecks and other important items.
“My constituents have spoken clearly that ending Saturday delivery would be more than an inconvenience, it could potentially be dangerous,” Congressman Bishop said in the release. “I urge the Postal Service in the strongest terms to think of their customers, including small businesses, the elderly and disabled, rural communities and others who depend on Saturday delivery.”
Congressman Bishop’s office has cosponsored a bipartisan resolution asking the Postal Service to take all appropriate measures to save six-day service.
At the Riverhead Post Office, local resident Bogumila Stechlik said she was fine with the decision. She has a post office box, which will still receive mail on Saturday.
Two other residents raised questions about the decision.
“We need mail on Saturday,” said Amrik Singh of Riverhead. “Usually we do everything by email, but with mail you never know what you need.”
Dilcia Gonzalaz of Riverhead said she also believes the decision could carry negative implications for some.
“Sometimes it’s not that important, but sometimes people are waiting for really important papers then it’s kind of wow,” she said. “I’m surprised that’s going to happen.”