Rural Residents, Save Your Post Office–Go Check Your Mail Today!
Rural residents of Humboldt need to check their mail. Notices have been going out to customers of some small post offices that their service office might be shut down and meetings are being held to determine local concerns. The notices announce a “discontinuance feasibility study of the facility operations” at, as noted earlier here, Blocksburg, Honeydew, Kneeland, Phillipsville, Redcrest, Samoa, Weott, and Zenia. The study’s purpose is to “increase efficiency and cut costs.” The reason these offices have been selected is because of a “decline in workload” and because there are “alternate sites within a short distance of this office that provide for the sale of stamps and other postal products and services.”
The notices for Phillipsville just went out yesterday and a meeting is being held there next Tuesday, August 30th at 5pm to discuss whether our office will be shut down. Short notice for folk who often don’t go to town more than once a week. As one SoHum resident said, “Obviously they don’t understand the subtle aspects of rural life. Or perhaps they do….Of course this instigates my paranoid, ‘Big Brother is out to fuck us & save $$ because they’re broke ….’ ”
This lack of notice will hurt turnout. Spread the news among the neighbors before we lose service to so many of our tiny communities.
Blocksburg resident Kristin Windbigler has started a Facebook event page for their office’s community meeting which is today. Windbigler is also frustrated by the short notice and the lack of knowledge about rural conditions.
According to the letter the USPS sent Blocksburg postal patrons, those of us with PO boxes will have to drive “the short distance” to Alderpoint to retrieve our mail. Additionally, the letter states that we can conveniently access the other postal products and services we require online or by using our “smart phones” — or at the local stores we frequent. We need to help them understand those aren’t viable solutions in this community.
The Phillipsville residents and post office users are being offered access to the Miranda Post Office should Phillipsville be closed. For many of us, this would necessitate a 15 minute detour into that town before we could continue to our main shopping center of Garberville/Redway. Should we choose to then have our boxes in Garberville/Redway, we would have to drive an additional15 minutes to access the post office on the days when we didn’t have other chores in the area. Also residents of the town of Phillipsville some of whom are poor and do not have access to vehicles would be crippled in accessing their mail where they get subsistence checks.
While urban residents have access to public transportation, fast broadband and door to door postal delivery, rural residents often have to drive miles on poor country roads to get to their local offices. If rural mail service is cut, rural residents will once again get less than their city sisters all the while paying the same (or more*) in taxes.
* The latest case where rural residents might end up paying more is the CalFire
tax …er… excuse me…fee.