Saving the Postal Service
In his letter "Eliminate Postal Service" (Your Views, July 13), Lou Christodoulou argues that the U.S. Postal Service does indeed rely on the U.S. taxpayer by virtue of its borrowing practices. He concludes the USPS should be disbanded in favor of management of postal services by private firms such as UPS and FedEx, which would presumably return universal service to the path of profitability.
Unlike UPS and FedEx, the USPS is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation - 151 million residences, businesses and post office boxes. Even if UPS and FedEx took up a new mission of universal service in the delivery of more than 40 percent of the world's mail, you can be sure the current price of mailing a 1-ounce letter and the notion of mailing a priority-mail piece anywhere in the nation within one to three days at a low flat rate without fuel and other surcharges would be a thing of the past.
I would recommend the author read the "Statement of Postmaster General/CEO Patrick R. Donahoe before the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service & Labor Policy United States House of Representatives" dated March 27, 2012, as a primary source for his information. In this article the PMG outlines a solid plan for returning the USPS to profitability. A large part of this plan depends on Congress getting out of the way so the USPS can operate more like a business while continuing to provide the most efficient, affordable universal postal services in the world.
The likes of UPS and FedEx wouldn't touch the USPS delivery business under current congressional oversight that constrains the delivery schedule, limits the ability to raise prices, requires a health care plan that is dependent on the federal health insurance programs and demands the USPS pre-fund retiree health benefits at $5.5 billion to $5.8 billion annually through 2016. With prompt action by Congress, the talk of USPS's demise would certainly become a thing of the past.
This is for Lou Christodoulou and his proposal to "eliminate" the U.S. Postal Service. Please do a quick price comparison. Send a 1-ounce birthday card to someone in Elko, Nev., and ask FedEx to come to your house and pick it up for delivery. My guess is it will be substantially more than 46 cents.
The primary reason the Postal Service runs a deficit is that it must fully fund pensions for every employee - no business does that. Congress also has a hand in refusing to close unproductive and redundant post offices or stopping six-days-a-week service that could help with the bottom line.
Charles J. Moffitt
Justice for all
It's apparent that a trial by jury is not just good enough for some people any more. There are some who would rather have a mob verdict or trial by media rather than a trial by their peers. The majority of protesters already had decided their verdict in the George Zimmerman case before the trial began. The majority of the press also was biased, running pictures taken of Travon Martin when he was 12 years old even though there were up-to-date photos available of him at 17, making a false premise that Martin was still a child. Is it so hard to report accurate facts and information? Why is there always this slant by some in the media to try and incite a situation by injecting race into a story?
There are always going to be people who disagree with the outcome of a trial, but a jury of peers is a far better choice than any type of media or mob justice. If you are opposed to a law like "stand your ground law," organize to change the law - don't blame a jury that is bound to recognize it in a trial.
Burning cars and looting businesses like what you saw in California is a travesty to the memory of Trayvon Martin. All that type of behavior proves is you are just about breaking the law, not changing it to ensure there is "justice for all."
Memories of Tampa
I was 9 years old in 1944, and I was the bat boy for the Tampa Smokers and sold the Tribune on Grand Central Boulevard (now Kennedy). I lived on Davis Island. I would walk to the Big Orange Drive-In and back to the Shea & Prang's Drug Store and pick up more of my papers and go down to the Strand Theater across from Danny and Doc's Jewel Box (strip club), then to The LaChateau and shine the mob guys' shoes.
My favorite thing was to go to The Valencia restaurant and have chicken and yellow rice and the best garbanzo soup in the world. I would love to get those recipes.
I'm 78 now in Pasadena, Texas.
Oh - right down the street behind the baseball stadium, I was walking across the field once when I stumbled on a cement marker where Babe Ruth hit a home run 587 feet in a Grapefruit League game with the Boston Red Sox. I won a lot of bets about that home run. I also was the bat boy for the Reds in spring training.
I have wonderful childhood memories from Tampa.