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Heraldville

Alabama Politics from The Wetumpka Herald

I have always been a big fan of the postal service. My Uncle Roy’s dad was the postmaster in our town. Then, my best friend’s dad replaced him as postmaster. Heck, we liked the post office so much that my sister actually drove my daddy’s 1955 Plymouth into the side of the post office wall (by mistake of course) with me in the back seat. We had the same postal carrier at the house where I grew up for all my young life.
Delivering the mail to our houses and businesses every day has always been something I appreciated and respected of the people who performed those tasks. Then, times changed somewhere along the way…..and I am not sure why because it costs so much more now than ever before and I understand about costs, etc….But, I offer this blog tidbit below which I found very interesting reading from Chan Lowe, SunSentinel.com, on the proposal to shut down 2,000 post offices.
His comments about the condition of the local post office hit home. There are exceptions in many local post offices and generally ours has not been in this “non-cleanliness” category. But my former hometown post office is currently maintained in horrific condition, where workers’ attitudes are worse than any USPS employees I have ever encountered. They dress like rag muffins rather than uniformed postal employees and the conditions of the office is horrific.
These “new employee  attitudes of those who greet you and make you feel uncomfortable seem to be the norm, rather than the exception – even to the point of being rude.  It happens here too. I have seen it personally locally and we bite our tongue, but bring up the subject and people tell us they know it too.
We don’t want any of our post offices in Elmore County to close, and we believe Congress will prevent such too.
The USPS could be profitable if they start smiling again, and running that business like a business. One rate increase after another has customers like us looking for alternatives, even hiring newspaper carriers to deliver our product because either postal workers don’t care about getting our products out on time with the same priorities with other mail that we pay for, or the system is truly broken. It takes a week to get a paper from Wetumpka to Alexander City. Our business and others often have lost mail going through Montgomery. Usually, it’s every week I tell you.
Service and rates have become horrible for newspapers, yet we pay more and more each year at  or higher than first-class delivery rates –
Give us your thoughts after you read this below from Chan Lowe of SunSentinel.com……
The outcry over the U.S. Postal Service’s rumored closing of 2,000 post offices over the next two years reflects our dismay at the prospect of yet another slice of Americana fading into the miasma of rotting memories⎯like the ice-man, the gas station attendant and the bootlegger who made backdoor house calls.
The notion of the village post office⎯the warm, welcoming community center housing a half-bespectacled postmistress who knows everyone in town, as well as their business⎯ is an indelible component of the national myth.
If you grew up in a big city like I did, your memories of the post office don’t reflect the same rosy, gemütlich glow. The lobby of my post office always smelled like a colony of feral cats lived behind the heating grate, and the sullen, silent lines of frustrated customers shuffling forward while slab-faced postal clerks served them at mollusk-like speed made the visit seem more like an episode of The Twilight Zone than The Andy Griffith Show.
Nonetheless, I said “rumored” in the first paragraph because I doubt Congress will ever let it happen. It’s easy to cut things in the abstract, but even conservative Republicans know that constituents have long memories when it comes to losing something dear to them, be it that post office or the military base down the road ⎯ cries for fiscal restraint be damned.
This is just the first shot across the bow. It’s the USPS’ way of letting members of Congress know it’s time to think about how they’re going to sell the continued funding of a losing operation that has no long-term future to the public.
Our representatives have plenty of practice; it’s no different than keeping a useless military weapons program alive because the components are⎯due to the connivance of the prime contractor⎯manufactured in as many home districts as possible.
Don’t despair. Our legislators are skilled professionals. They’ll find a way.

An Alabama House committee today passed three bills on Gov. Bob Riley’s ethics special session agenda.  One bill will stop the hiding of campaign donations by transferring them from one political action committee to another; the second would require legislators and state officials to receive ethics training classes, and the third would prohibit legislators from telling the heads of state agencies to spend money on any project not authorized by the state budget. That bill would make these “pass through appropriations” a class C misdemeanor.

 

 

 

Elmore County native, Art Faulkner, was one of two late appointments to Gov. Riley’s cabinet this week.

Riley is also expected to call a special session on election reform with the new legislature.  What would you like to see as part of the election reform package?

  • Elimination of PAC-to-PAC transfers
  • Limited contributions from lobbyists
  • Control on donations to judicial campaigns

Are there other issues you’d like to see resolved?

Politics is often about disagreement, but I think we can all agree that the men and women who sacrifice to protect our freedom should be honored and celebrated every day, but especially today.

Managing editor of The Wetumpka Herald, Peggy Blackburn, put together a brief history and some numbers on this important holiday.

Alabama Governor-elect Robert Bentley said today that he will dissolve Gov. Bob Riley’s task force on illegal gambling.  He also said that an investigation will be launched with the help of newly elected AG Luther Strange to determine the legality of electronic bingo in the state.

What do you think the outcome of that investigation will be? Do you trust Bentley to be fair in this investigation even though he is openly against gambling in Alabama?

Why did Bingo Bob sign a certificate of appreciation recognizing Victoryland for its contributions to a record tourism year in Sweet Home Alabama in 2007? Now he decides to close Victoryland. Is this a little hypocritical?

The Postal Rate Commission has proposed a huge rate increase for newspapers and other bulk mailers. Other classes such as first-class mail will rise from 44 cents to 46 cents. Newspapers are facing an increase as high as 10 percent. If the newspaper took itself out of the mail and started home delivery, would it make a difference to you? We may have to start home delivery to wave off these high increases.

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