Showing posts with label postage stamps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label postage stamps. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rate Increase For Postal Service

WASHINGTON -- Battered by massive losses, the Postal Service wants to raise rates to bring in more money.

Postal officials scheduled a briefing today to discuss the amount of the increase, which will go to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission for review.

The boost comes as no surprise. Postmaster General John Potter said March 2 that a rate increase would be necessary for the agency, which does not receive tax funds for its operations.

The current 44-cent first-class rate took effect May 11, 2009.

While that change will be the most visible, rates for other types of mail will also go up, raising concern among business groups and nonprofit organizations.

Under the law, the post office is generally limited to increases no more than the rate of inflation -- 0.9 percent for the year ended in May.

However, the agency is allowed to seek a larger increase in unusual circumstances. Potter said in March he planned to take that step.

"The projections going forward are not bright," Potter said then. But, he added: "All is not lost. ... We can right this ship."

The agency lost $3.8 billion last fiscal year despite cutting 40,000 full-time positions and making other reductions. It has continued to face significant losses this year.

The weak economy has sharply reduced mail volume as companies cut their advertising. At the same time there has been a significant drop in lucrative first-class mail, with more and more people turning to the Internet to communicate with each other as well as to receive and pay bills.

The proposal drew a prompt complaint from the mailing industry.

"This proposed rate increase amounts to another tax imposed on Americans at a time when the economy can least afford it," said Tony Conway, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, a group representing charities and other organizations.

"Consumers everywhere will pay more for the letters and packages they need to send; businesses -- large and small -- will suffer and even more jobs will be lost," complained Conway, who was designated spokesman for the Affordable Mail Alliance, a coalition of businesses, charities and other mailers formed to oppose the increase.

Postal officials also have proposed eliminating Saturday mail delivery as a means of cutting costs, a change that would require congressional approval.

Post office finances are also complicated by the requirement that the agency make annual payments to pre-fund future health benefits for retirees, something not required of other government agencies.

And the postal inspector general contends that the Postal Service has been overcharged billions of dollars for retirement benefits for employees who worked for the old Post Office Department before it was converted to the Postal Service in 1970.

-- The Associated Press

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Adopt A Shelter Animal Postage Stamps Now Available

On Friday a new set of 10 first-class stamps bearing the faces of cheerful dogs and cats went on sale nationwide. The stamps were designed to promote adoption of animals from shelters.

The stamps are part of a "Stamps to the Rescue" campaign to encourage pet adoptions from shelters and to raise funds to buy food for animals that live in shelters.

The photos taken photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce features the faces of five cats and five dogs whom have all been adopted from a shelter in New Milford, CT.

This isn't the first time the postal department has brought awareness to cats and dogs. Cat, dog stamps push adoption of shelter animals. Previous postage stamps featuring cats and dogs have included a 13-cent stamp of a kitten and puppy playing in the snow in 1982; a set of pet stamps in 1998 and in 2002 when a kitten and puppy were featured on the "Neuter or Spay" stamps.

If you are looking for a new puppy or kitten consider the animal shelter in your area. Most animal shelters can be found on line and feature a "Pet Of the Week". You would be so surprised to see the animals that had to be given up because a family that once loved them so much could no longer care for them. And it would break your heart to see the amount of once loved animals are given up by those that are elderly.

These animals aren't bad animals. These animals have just fallen upon some hard luck and need you to give them a new home filled with love. If you can not keep a pet consider the "foster" program. They all help but they can't be successful without your donations and dedication.

These are just two of the adopted animals in my family.

(above) This is Broccoli (the cat) and Sprout (dog). Both of these animals were adopted from a shelter. Sprout just graduated from obedience school this week.

This is Lenore and still lives at a shelter until she is old enough to go into the "foster care" program. Lenore, along with her brothers and sisters, had to be bottle fed when they arrived at the shelter. She has already has a foster parent.