INC NEWS - USPS backs off mailbox policy (Herald-Sun)
mike at mikewoodard.com
Mon Nov 28 13:40:57 EST 2005
Thanks to Caleb to posting this to the listserv.
Postmaster Tinkham and a team of Postal Service employees will be our
guests tomorrow night at the INC meeting. They will talk with us
about identity theft and ways we as postal customers can protect
ourselves. This will be an informative and timely presentation.
I hope you will plan to come and will invite others from your
neighborhood. Please feel free to share this invitation with your
At 09:32 AM 11/28/2005, Caleb Southern wrote:
>USPS backs off mailbox policy
>By JOHN MCCANN : The Herald-Sun
>jmccann at heraldsun.com
>Nov 27, 2005 : 10:29 pm ET
>DURHAM -- A looming mailbox policy last summer that had Durham residents in
>a tizzy never materialized.
>But it would have had some merit, the postmaster says.
>At the time of the fuss, Durham Postmaster Chris Tinkham was doing an
>eight-month fill-in stint for the postal service in Raleigh. Patrick Harkin
>was Durham's interim postmaster when letters were sent telling new Bull City
>residents to erect curbside mailboxes if their homes -- typically older ones
>-- were set up for front-door delivery.
>Residents howled. The postal service backed off.
>"The story is we are on standard operating procedure," said
>InterNeighborhood Council President Mike Woodard.
>In July, the INC drew a line in the sand objecting to a forced change.
>The philosophy of the U.S. Postal Service is that curbside delivery makes
>things easier on mail carriers, saving money that's supposed to skirt the
>need for raising the price of stamps -- which, by the way, will increase by
>2 cents next year.
>That said, Tinkham won't force the issue and make folks pull the plug on
>front-door delivery, although some residents actually would welcome the
>switch, he said.
>There are homeowners who don't want to worry about the dog biting the
>mailman. Others just don't want anybody tramping through their yards,
>For those thinking the move was mandatory and hustled out and switched their
>mailboxes, reimbursements will be handled case-by-case, Tinkham said.
>Unfortunately, neither curbside mailboxes nor front-door bins do anything to
>thwart bad guys looking for personal information they can use to steal your
>identity. Sure, curbside boxes are convenient for crooks, but these bandits
>aren't lazy. They will just as easily take the extra steps and hop onto your
>porch and rummage around in the drop box by the front door.
>Tinkham recommends mailboxes with locks. They can be purchased individually.
>But the postmaster said buying one together as a cul de sac or street of
>neighbors has more aesthetic appeal, because it would be one centrally
>As a matter of convenience, locked mailboxes forfeit the need to put mail on
>hold when you're headed out of town, Tinkham said.
>Keep in mind, the postmaster added, mailbox thieves are lurking between the
>hours when your mail is delivered and the time you finally arrive home from
>work or running errands.
>And older people should be especially vigilant. These bandits are drawn to
>their letter receptacles like electronic spam to e-mail inboxes.
>"Usually, the elderly have a nest egg," Tinkham explained.
>Due in part to consumer wariness about online identity theft, the volume of
>first-class mail remains high even around here in the academically
>progressive and technologically savvy Triangle area, Tinkham said.
>When you send those letters, though, particularly if they contain precious
>personal information, the postmaster said there's no topping the security of
>the big, blue mailboxes scattered throughout the Bull City. They are
>old-fashioned, but obviously not outdated.
>The inconvenience of locating one is worth the months and years it could
>take to recover your financial life from an identity thief.
>"They're locked," Tinkham said of the government mailboxes, "and we're the
>only ones with the keys."
>"In Your Neighborhood" appears every Monday. If you know of someone or
>something interesting in your neighborhood, call 419-6630 or e-mail news
>INC-list mailing list
>INC-list at rtpnet.org
More information about the INC-list