The Dec. 25 story “First-class stamp to increase in January” was once again reflective of how the media are not telling the truth about the United States Postal Service’s financial state.
That the Postal Service asked for a rate increase of three cents for first-class postage to offset the financial loses this year is true. But people need to know that nearly 85 percent of those loses are attributed to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which requires the postal service to make 75 years worth of payments into its health-care plan for retirees in less than 10 years.
Congress has dodged any form of postal reform for the past three years, causing the Postal Service to lose $23 million dollars a day. It is using the health-care payments to fund other projects and other retiree health-care plans.
The Postal Service is also not telling the whole story about why mail is rerouted. The reason this is being done is because the postmaster general consolidated and closed nearly 250 processing plants the past two years, among them the processing plant in Canton.
These moves were unnecessary and have not produced the savings the Postal Service predicted.
Customers in the Canton area put their mail in the box, then the mail is sent to Cleveland to be processed. Most of the time, Cleveland’s mail is processed first and Canton’s last.
This is happening all across the country, and the transportation costs are astounding. To make matters worse, the postmaster general wants to stretch delivery times even further, allowing him to close more processing facilities.
The Postal Service stated to the public that these moves would save billions in employee salaries, when, in fact, employees have been forced to move to the processing facilities that remain open.
Just recently the Office of the Inspector General decided to investigate why mail carriers are being shot and killed while delivering mail as late as 8 p.m. You know why? Our representatives to Congress haven’t done a thing about it.
Timothy J. Manning
Branch President Local 304
National Postal Mail Handlers Union
Without the falls
Now that the Cuyahoga Falls dams have been removed, perhaps the name of the city should be changed.
How about: Cuyahoga Fallsless, Cuyahoga Fallsnomore or Cuyahoga Fallsgone?
Charities in need of protection
Individual posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars distribute money to hospitalized, downsized and hard-luck veterans as well as to the Red Cross and youth programs such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Sea Cadets. Money also goes to the sheriff’s mounted and dog units, high school programs, elderly programs and a host of others.
Who will get the money from the Ohio Lottery-backed machines? First would be the Greek company, Intralot, then the company that builds and distributes the machines, then the Lottery. A very small portion would go to veterans’ and fraternal organizations.
This distribution would result in a whole lot less going to charities.
We need to keep the Ohio Lottery and the state out of the money going to charities supported by veterans in local communities.
Robert M. Smith
Not ready to take responsibility
I would like to thank Betty Lin-Fisher for her Dec. 22 follow-up article “ ‘Answer Anywhere’ is not everywhere,” on the fiasco with Time Warner Cable’s proposed digital telephone feature that was supposed to thwart robocalls.
When I read her first article the week before, I was very excited that someone had finally come up with the technology to stop annoying robocalls. But to my complete surprise, I could not get the feature to work even though we just had digital phone service installed in October. I was also not surprised, after calling Time Warner Cable three times, that it tried to place the blame on Nomorobo.com.
It seems that Time Warner Cable has been changing to a different software platform. Not surprisingly, the problem is with the company, but it doesn’t want to take responsibility. Its mantra should be, “We love charging you premium prices, but we never deliver premium service.”
John Higgins Jr., vice president of operations for Time Warner’s Northeast Ohio/Western Pennsylvania region, offered a weak apology, stating, “We are sorry for any confusion customers may have experienced while trying to add the Answer Anywhere feature.”
Aaron Foss, Nomorobo’s developer, stepped up to the plate and said he would email all registered Time Warner Cable users of Nomorobo when the problem is fixed.
Since Time Warner Cable screwed this up, it should contact all customers.
Where savings can be found
The Dec. 24 article “UA cuts holiday spending on cards” stated that the university saved $10,000 this year by eliminating the sending of holiday paper and digital cards to friends and donors.
It also saved $3,000 by not holding its annual party for staff and faculty.
I agree that these cutbacks are needed, but Summit County Republican Party chairman Alex Arshinkoff is paid $10,000 per month to lobby the Kasich administration and lawmakers in Columbus for the University of Akron.
Meaty proposition for the new year
With New Year’s resolutions upon us, consider the popular trend toward a healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, meat-free diet.
According to Harris Interactive, 47 percent of American consumers are reducing their consumption of animal products.
The Department of Agriculture projects this year’s per capita chicken and beef consumption to drop by 8 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from their 2006 peaks.
Similar dramatic drops are projected for pigs and turkeys. Milk consumption has fallen by a whopping 40 percent since 1970.
A number of celebrities are going vegan. They include Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Z and Beyonce. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams are funding plant-based replacements for meat and eggs.
Fast-food chains like Subway and Chipotle are responding to the growing demand by rolling out vegan options. Taco Bell has found that 43 percent of conversations about meat were negative.
The Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, serving more than a million meals a day, have adopted Meatless Mondays.
How about dropping animals from the menu for this New Year’s resolution? Entering “Meatout Mondays” in a search engine brings tons of useful recipes and transition tips.
Treat marriage as special
Those who say that same-sex marriage should be classified only as a “civil union” must be presumed to regard marriage as a special, sacrosanct relationship.
So be it; we should accept their view, but also insist that it be recognized only once.
Anyone seeking to remarry should be given a civil union, as well. This would include a spouse who has never been married. And to be fair, it should be made retroactive, covering all those previously divorced.
Such a two-tiered system would not be so easily accepted.
Michael W. Bradley
I hope Obamacare fails, and I’m a Democrat. Then, we could get what we really need, voluntary, national health care.
We should roll Medicaid and Medicare together, then open it up to all as a lower-cost, government-run option to private health coverage. You wouldn’t have to enroll in the plan if you didn’t want to.
Most employers would jump at the chance to drop their $300 to $500 a month insurance policies for a $200 a month plan.
The insurance companies could eke out a living by selling supplemental policies.