Monday, December 31, 2012

Collection Boxes Removed for Times Square Celebration

Times Square, New York City, during annual New Year's Eve celebration
 As the estimated one million revelers congregate in Times Square tonight to celebrate New Year’s Eve, an elite group of U. S. Postal Service employees can take satisfaction in knowing they help keep everyone safe.

L to R: SMO Orlando Lozada, Maint. Mechanics John Carmitchel,
Harvey Josephowitz, Darrlye White 
In conjunction with the NYPD and the Manhattan Centralized Collection Unit, technicians from the New York District’s Central Maintenance Service (CMS) removed 13 collection boxes from the “crossroads of the world”––an area that stretches from 40th street to 48th street along both 7th Avenue and Broadway.
“Unfortunately, collection boxes make a great depository for other things beside mail, like explosives,” said Supv. Maintenance Operations Orlando Lozada. “So whenever there is an event in the city where they expect a lot of people, we remove or sometimes seal the boxes for the safety of the public.”

“We removed them on December 26th,” said Maintenance Mechanic Darrlye White. “We drill out the bolts that fasten the boxes to the sidewalk and cart them away to Morgan. We will put them all back on January 2nd.”
Securing collection boxes for New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a high profile task, but the 83 employees in CMS are also responsible for maintaining and repairing air-conditioning and heating units throughout the New York District, as well as carpentry, plumbing, painting, welding and Letter Carrier cart repairs.
“Plus, we repair collection boxes that get hit by motor vehicles, on an almost daily basis,” added Lozada.

Deep in the sub-basement of Morgan P&DC, White takes inventory of how many expansion bolts he will need to re-fasten the collection boxes to their rightful place on the streets of New York.
“Movie shoots, parades, rallies, concerts, there are so many events in this city where we need to temporarily remove collection boxes,” said White. “It’s seems like a simple thing, but it’s a very important job.”
“With the way things have been in the news lately, it’s a great feeling to know that in our own little way we can contribute to the safety of our fellow New Yorkers,” said Lozada. “We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year.”  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Times Square Takes the Cup

Times Square station earned the Manhattan Postmaster's Cup for Excellence in Retail after posting the biggest increase in revenue over SPLY (Same Period Last Year) and the highest scores in Retail Customer Experience (RCE) in Quarter 4 FY '12.

L to R: Area Mgr. Ron Hart, NY PM Robert Brown, SSAs Jacqueline Goodwin, Debra Caldwell, Winston Campbell, Cheryl Vogel, Che-Kia Batts, Rose Lui, Station Mgr. Anthony Carlo, Supv. Valerie Vahamonde

Manhattan Postmaster Robert Brown and Area Manager Ronald Hart presented the retail staff with the grandiose travelling Cup, and immediately challenged them.
"Not one station has been able to repeat this achievement and hang on to the Cup for longer than one quarter," said Brown. "You have done a phenomenal job at generating revenue by up-selling and keep the lines moving along swiftly. So now let's see if you can do it for two quarters in a row."
"We accept the challenge and will make every effort to repeat our success next quarter," predicted Station Manager Anthony Carlo.
"We have a great staff that works hard as a team," said Supv. Valerie Vahamonde. "Our priority is our customers, but receiving this cup is a very nice accomplishment for the staff."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Received Yet Another Ugly Sweater for Christmas?

With an estimated one third of all gifts expected to be sent back, the U.S. Postal Service makes returns shipping easy and convenient by offering a lineup of options that fit the needs of both consumers and merchants.
USPS Returns include Priority Mail Return Service, First-Class Package Return Service, and Ground Return Service. These services include tracking on each package and offer simplified payments for larger shippers.
If the merchant didn't include a prepaid return label with the order, the Postal Service offers a convenient way to return those unwanted gifts. Consumers can go to Click-N-Ship online at to print a label — Delivery Confirmation is included at no additional charge for Priority Mail — and schedule a free package pickup. 

On January 27, 2013, USPS will introduce Parcel Return Service-Full Network for high-volume shippers. It will offer the benefits of free tracking, simplified payment, and flexible label printing options.
For more information on returns, visit

Friday, December 21, 2012

Creative NY Employees Share Holiday Greetings

Mail Clerk Frank Rodriquez photo-shopped these images of the iconic James A. Farley Post Office and many of its employees wishing everyone a joyful holiday season.

Madison Square Letter Carrier Ivan Ramos exemplifies the spirit of New York District employees during holiday season while on his route.

It’s that time of the year
And I’m sure there’s no doubt
That once again old St Nick
Will need us to bail him out

So we’ll line up the tractors
And fill them with fuel
Load all of the packages
And be ready for the Yule

TTO (Tractor Trailer Operaters) Elves will be dressed
They’ll be ready to go
They won’t miss a house
No matter how much it snows

To the children’s delight
They will bring lots of toys
To the parent’s delight
There will be much joy

Then the trucks will drive off
Disappear into the night
Thank you TTO Elves
For making Christmas bright

Then back to the Post Office
To corral all the “sleighs”
For the TTO Elves
This was a great day

Make this Christmas special. Buy your kids an extra toy. Take a day off from work to spend with them. Hold them a little closer. Life is too short to talk about what you should have done when you had the chance. Be grateful you’re not one of the 20 families planning a funeral this Christmas.

“Supervisor Sandy”

Sandra Gershenson 
Supv. Transportation Operations

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Outward Bound School's Symbolic March to Post Office

As a group of 100 enthusiastic high school seniors from nearby James Baldwin Expeditionary School marched towards Old Chelsea Post Office in Manhattan, Finance Supv. Raymond Mapps said, “The U.S. Postal Service is always happy to contribute to the community in a meaningful way––especially when it supports the education of our youth.”
A member of the NYC Outward Bound Schools Network, the James Baldwin was one of many schools throughout the city that staged the symbolic march to their local Post Office to mail out their college applications–on time.
New York District Post Offices hosted two additional “Student Marches” at Washington Bridge (10033) and Tremont (10457). More "Marches" were held in Triboro District Post Offices.

Seniors gather outside of Old Chelsea Post Office on West 18th Street in Manhattan

Seniors wave school pennants and college applications in the Old Chelsea lobby

Seniors form line to drop college applications into mail slot
NYC Outward Bound Schools operates a growing network of Expeditionary Learning schools in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. These college-preparatory schools bring demanding academics, community and character to NYC public schools in all five boroughs, ensuring that all students, regardless of background, are challenged and supported to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.

Tamara Oliveras, who hopes to attend Northeastern University and wants to be a neurosurgeon, said she was very excited and grateful for the opportunity the school provided her.
Joseph Alvarez wants to major in Psychology at Temple University, and said that thanks to the school, he has the confidence to know he can achieve his goals.

Inside the Old Chelsea Post Office, School Principle Christine Olsen addressed the proud seniors and thanked the Postal Service for their support.
“Today throughout the five boroughs, 600 Outward Bound students are marching to their local Post Office to mail out their college applications,” said Olsen to the pennant waving assembly. “You are role models for the students coming up behind you.”
 “This school makes me feel at home,” said Luis Espinal, who intends to attend Lafayette College. “We all care for and support each other.”
“It’s been an emotional day,” added Alyssa Pimentel, who wants to study at Barnard College. “The students, the teachers and staff, helped bring me out of my shell.”

A resounding 93 percent of graduates from NYC Outward Bound School Network were accepted to college.
NYC Outward Bound Schools has served over 55,000 young people since 1987.   

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Unique Post Office Box Established for Families Affected by Newtown Tragedy

The U.S. Postal Service has established a unique Post Office Box to allow employees and the public to send condolences to those affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT, last week.

Those who wish to send expressions of comfort should address them to:

Messages of Condolence for Newtown
PO Box 3700
Newtown CT 06470

After visiting the Newtown Post Office, Connecticut District Manager Kimberly J. Peters said, “We understand that there is an outpouring of support for everyone in the Newtown area and we hope to make it easier for those who wish to send encouragement and messages of compassion to those affected. Having a central address will make it easier to isolate this mail for efficient distribution."

Busiest Mailing Day in New York

With an estimated 2.7 million originating letters and cards and 700,000 international letters and cards being mailed in the New York District yesterday, an army of managers and supervisors went to busy Post Offices throughout the city to provide lobby support on the busiest mailing day of the year.

Manhattan Postmaster Robert Brown helps customer at the JAF Post Office

Bronx Postmaster Elvin Mercado assists customer at Bronx GPO
Manager Francisco Gutierrez gives customer packaging options at
Williamsbridge Post Office in the Bronx
 “One week before Christmas is designated as the busiest mailing day because that’s when people start feeling the pressure to mail out their cards, letters and packages,” said Bronx Postmaster Elvin Mercado as he assisted customers on line at Bronx GPO. “Thursday is probably the last day to send First Class mail and expect it to arrive to its destination by Christmas. After that, you should use Priority Mail or Express Mail.”

Business Development Specialist Wilma Rivera patrols the line at
Planetarium Post Office in Manhattan

“We want the customer experience to be especially positive during the holiday season, so we gave about 20 of our managers a refresher course on our products and services and assigned them to busy Post Offices around the city on the busiest mailing day to help alleviate the crush,” said Marketing Manager Raschelle Parker.
Additionally, according to Operations Program Specialist Khandokar M. Ali , a projected 2,561,614 packages will be mailed the week of Dec. 17-23.
“Yesterday was a very busy day in the lobbies ,” said Manhattan PM Robert Brown.  “Our employees all worked  hard to provide an positive experience and the customers I talked to were pleased with the service they received.”
Nationally, an estimated 658 million pieces of mail were mailed out yesterday, Dec. 17.

Mgr. Mavis Smith and TSPO Valerie Donald attend to the lines at JAF

Monday, December 10, 2012

TSP InstitutesTemporary Change for Hurricane Sandy Victims

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, administrator of the Thrift Savings Program (TSP), has made temporary changes in the financial hardship withdrawal rules for employees affected by Hurricane Sandy.
For a limited time, TSP participants can make hardship withdrawals either for themselves or for their family members.
Also, TSP is waiving its rule barring contributions for a 6-month period following a hardship withdrawal, allowing participants to more quickly restore their savings.
To qualify for a hardship withdrawal, participants must meet the following criteria:
  • The participant’s primary residence or place of employment must be in a covered disaster area.
  • The loss must have been a result of Hurricane Sandy.
  • Participant’s hardship withdrawal request will be used for themselves or to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
  • The participant must be a federal employee.
  • The participant must write “Hurricane Sandy” on the top of page 1 of Form TSP-76.
  • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty” box on page 2 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
  • The participant request must be received by Jan. 25, 2013. The distribution must occur before Feb. 1, 2013. 
Participants who want to stop making TSP contributions must complete Form TSP-1, Election Form, or use the applicable automated system.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

100th Anniversary of Operation Santa Claus in NYC

Santa makes surprise visit at the 100th Anniversary of "Op Santa" program held at James A. Farley Post Office in NYC
It was only fitting that Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe was on hand to kick-off the 100th anniversary of the Letters To Santa program at the James A. Farley Post Office in New York- a campaign that has helped fulfill holiday wishes of children and their families from around the world.

Over a century ago NY Postal Clerks from the Money Order Division, touched by letters addressed to Santa, dug into their own pockets to purchase food and toys to distribute to needy children in the area.
The public response was so positive, that in 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow Postal employees and citizens to adopt to the letters, and the program became officially recognized as “Letters to Santa” — except here in New York, where it’s called “Operation Santa.”

"The Letters to Santa program has made dreams come true for those in need for 100 years," said Donahoe to the crush of school children, Postal officials, media and the general public. "This is a time to celebrate how Postal employees, charitable organizations, businesses and others have made a difference in the lives of children coast to coast."

"I can tell you that amazing things happen during this time of year, and many wishes and dreams are fulfilled right here, at Operation Santa New York," said Pete Fontana, CEO of the Postal Holidays, and Chief Elf Operating Officer for Operation Santa.
 "So if you are so inclined to help Santa out this year, the program opens to the public beginning tomorrow Dec 5th, and runs through December 24th.You are all invited to come by, read some letters, and if one touches your heart you can help us deliver dreams."

Children from PS-33, who entertained the assembly with Christmas carols before the event started, received some early holiday cheer when Santa Claus stopped in and gave each child a bag filled with goodies.

New York’s Operation Santa program is the largest in the country, receiving more than half-million letters a season. Every Christmas, tens of thousands of people come to James A. Farley Post Office to adopt a letter.

PMG Patrick Donahoe commends Chief Elf Operating Officer Pete Fontana for coordinating "Op Santa" program every year in New York

PS-33 School Children sing carols prior to kick-off

SCS Lynne Watson-Miyamoto sings National Anthem

Operation Santa

Hours & Dates at James A. Farley Post Office
421 8th Avenue New York NY 10199

Dec. 5-24, 2012

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Closed on Sunday

For more information call 212-330-3000

See video of Letters to Santa on Manhattan Neighborhood Network Tuesday, December 18 and Dec. 25 at 9 pm on Time Warner Cable channel 56, RCN ch. 83 or Verizon FiOS ch. 34.  It will stream live at that time on
It can also be watched on the youtube link below.

Check out the new USPS Holiday Blog Here