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Going postal? Not on Saturdays

Mantecans using Postal Service less & less

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Going postal? Not on Saturdays

Crystal Tanaka stamps a stack of bridal shower invitations Wednesday afternoon at the Manteca Post Office – the same day that the agency announced they’d be halting mail deliveries on Saturdays to ...

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED February 7, 2013 1:04 a.m.

Crystal Tanaka had it down to a science.

Peel, stick, stack and drop.

You would have thought based on the way that she breezed through her abundance of bridal shower invitation that she was a regular at the Manteca Post Office.

But Tanaka represents the changing of the guard – the new way that young people today connect with the rest of the world to do everything from communicate with friends to take care of their financial obligations.

So when the United States Postal Service announced Wednesday that they would defy Congress and halt mail delivery on Saturday – saving $2 billion in the process – she didn’t really expect it to affect her. Bills come electronically nowadays, she said, and the handwritten letter is almost a thing of the past.

That doesn’t mean, however, that she doesn’t recognize the impact the move will have on others.

“I could see how not having delivery on Saturdays, especially for businesses, could make things difficult,” Tanaka said. “I personally don’t use the post office too often – I’m down here today to send out bridal shower invitations.

“My bank statements, student loans and bills are all electronic today, so I don’t think that this is going to impact me. But there are still people who expect their mail regularly, and this will be different for them.”

Parcel packages would continue to be delivered on Saturdays, and Post Office sites that already keep Saturday hours would remain open.

A number of Manteca residents have indicated they are using the Postal Service less and less these days.

At the heart of the issue is the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act approved by Congress that requires the Post Office – which receives no Congressional funding – to set aside 75 years’ worth of pensions. The same year it was enacted was the last year that the Postal Service turned a profit – $900 million – and some experts believe that the organization would be sitting on a $1.5 billion surplus if it weren’t for the Congressional mandate.

By law Congress would ultimately have to approve the plan to halt Saturday delivery – something that they’ve refused to do in the past.

Chris Kelley said that she read about the cutback and didn’t quite know how to feel about the proposed changes. If she ran an eBay business or worked from home where losing a day of mail service would be extremely costly, she said, the issue would probably stir more emotion.

But in the day and age when email is replacing hand-carried letters, Kelley said it’s hard to get wrapped-up in the sweeping change.

“You don’t really even get birthday cards in the mail anymore,” she said. “Technically if I were waiting for a check on Saturday I’d be a little bit concerned. But as long as they don’t close the post office on Saturday I think I’ll be fine.”

While responses were mixed from Ripon residents that learned Wednesday morning of the United States Postal Service’s plan to halt Saturday mail delivery, the Ripon almond farmer and South San Joaquin Irrigation District director Ralph Roos he’d welcome the change with open arms.

“They’d be doing me a favor – the little bit that we get on Saturday ain’t worth a hill of beans or the trip to go pick it up,” he said. “It’s usually lighter than during the week anyway. Good grief – it makes a lot of sense. That’s my opinion anyway.”

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