Post Office Protest

About a dozen protesters lined the sidewalk in front of the downtown Frederick Post Office Tuesday evening in support of the postal service.

After 25 years working for the U.S. Postal Service, Edith Hough knows the value of the mail.

Hough, who retired in 2018 from working at the post office facility on East Patrick Street in Frederick, was back in front of her old workplace Tuesday night as one of nearly a dozen people protesting proposed cuts to the postal service by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Despite concerns that the administration is slowing down mail service to hinder the delivery and return of ballots for mail-in voting, Hough sees another reason for the slowdown in service that some customers have seen.

The Frederick and Annapolis facilities are handling Baltimore’s mail because of issues with the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a ripple effect through the local service, she said.

But others who stood along East Patrick Street, waving to cars who honked in support as they drove by, saw more nefarious forces at work.

It feels like the postal service is being sabotaged, said Rachel Hall of Westminster.

She believes mail-in voting is a safe way to cast ballots.

“Everything has become a partisan issue lately,” she said.

Hall said people also need the mail to get medicine and other things they need, she said.

Pam Bell of Frederick said she’s concerned about what she’s seen happening, and about the possibility of ballots getting slowed down.

She and her husband both get medication through the mail.

And with the continuing pandemic, Bell said she’ll definitely be voting by mail in November’s election.

Small businesses need the postal service, and mail service is essential for everything from paying bills and getting medicine to the birthday card she recently sent to her daughter, said Patricia Witt, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

“This country will not work without a post office. We need a postal system,” she said.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter:

@RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(76) comments

TomWheatley

I renewed my car online Sunday the 23rd. Got them in the mail on the 27th (Thursday) with a postmark of the 25th (Tuesday). No problem here with mail delivery!!

ma23464

It’s ridiculous to think the postal service can’t handle the mail in ballots. Even if every voter voted by mail the volume of ballots is minuscule compared to what the post office normally handles. The problem with the post office is it’s business model is absolute. I understand that it is a government “service”, but if they intend to operate as a independent agency they need to step it up.

They need customer service, nicer buildings, packing and shipping supplies, better tracking, faster delivery. They need to charge more for the “last mile delivery” they do for private shippers. They need sales and marketing people to help sell junk mail.

They need better more comfortable and efficient mail delivery vehicles.

Problem is congress has hobbled they post office. Why not free them and let them run?

pdl603

The seniors pictured should be at home sequestered rather than being out protesting en masse. They should know that they are the most vulnerable. I guess the DNC didn’t think this through when paying these ancients to get out protest.

DickD

How can you say that when your hero, Trump almost never wears a mask and holds regular hate rallies without a mask.

@PDL

They would probably pay you too, did you even ask?

Brookhawk

It's Aug 26. I am still waiting for something a friend mailed me first class on Aug 7. Another man in my building is still waiting for his pension check mailed 2 weeks ago. Another woman in my building had her credit card payment delivered late and incurred late charges and interest because of it. Baby chicks delivered dead to farmers trying to earn a living. This is Trump's version of "efficiency." The Postal Service is not a business for him to run into bankruptcy. It's a service that supports us, the people, and the businesses trying to keep going. The Postal Workers and carriers have seen us loyally through this pandemic so far, and what does Trump do but shove his own agenda down their throats because he's afraid he'll lose the election. There is no other way to spin this. The only election fraud ever proven was done by a Republican, until this one which will be done by a Trumpist (there are no Republicans anymore - they all sold out - witness "their" convention).

Hayduke2

Brookhawk - [thumbup][thumbup]

jerseygrl42

OMG, the sky is falling ...again..first of all the postal Service is a quasi-indepent agency that thrives or not on the users of the mail, they are NOT govt. funded and this President or the new PMG have no intent on "running it into bankruptcy". The only thing being jammed down your throat is the idiotic idea of voting by mail and its NOT a postal problem so much as it is a counting of the votes and verifying that they are legal and anyone who is familiar with this type of voting which BTY is far different than Absentee balloting , knows how easy it is to stuff with box with illegal votes ...wake up

Hayduke2

Jersey - it is you that screams the sky is falling. So easy to stuff the box with illegal votes, mail in voting fraud and your constant barking at the moon. Keep whining and playing the victim.

The “sky is falling”!

No time in our history has a president sought interference into our presidential election. Not once, but twice.

So, does the department of defense show a profit? Department of transportation?Department of Energy? NASA? the list goes on... But 3 months from Trump being removed from office he suddenly had an epiphany to reform a national service. Of-course you don’t think he’s trying to sabotage mail-in voting?

So, why now? You don’t think he trying to set the stage if he loses to claim he was was cheated? The election was illegitimate! The votes counted after “Election Day” by mail aren’t legitimate.

Hayduke2

Why does jersey think the sky is falling? Because she can't think beyond her partisan focus.

Burgessdr

Eat a dozen more donuts

Blueline

"Twenty-five years & retired ..." It may not be popular to say so, but that statement is a good part of the reason many Gov't areas, at all levels, have major fiscal issues.

NewMarketParent

@Blueline

Or... just maybe... people who never want to pay the full price for anything are constantly being told that privatization will magically fix everything and they magically believe it.

Your fellow citizens who are public servants are not your enemy for wanting the same things in life you do, no matter how you try to vilify them.

Blueline

NMP - you misinterpret what I said. I am not vilifying workers at all. Actually, I would like what they have. Twenty-five years & out, pension & benefits for life, who wouldn't like that? I have to fund my own 401K. As a taxpayer (& not their enemy), our politicians get paid to deliver sustainable & effective agencies, but this is rarely what happens. I actually believe the P.O. is one of the better Gov't sectors. Their issues go back 30-40 years, but have never been addressed. Problems do not go away by sticking your head in the sand & ignoring them.

NewMarketParent

@Blueline

We all have to fund our own pensions because we have lost workers rights left and right because we have joined in the chorus of rich funders in villifying our only collective bargaining power.

A lot of our government agencies work really well, but have been under a 30+ year attack spearheaded by wealthy families who are our publicly-funded services and windfalls to build generational wealth from. PO has specifically been kneecapped time and again from offering additional services that would have allowed them to serve the same user base. Businesses are allowed to pivot all the time, but we don't allow that level of agility to our public services because privatization is placed above public good. That and the tax cuts that we keep giving away to the rich end up getting cut from somewhere. Someone is getting rich from this and it ain't our civil servants.

@NMP

Can I be you tomorrow? I’m tired of typing critical thinking skills. There was something about chem-trials and X-Files I’ve been thinking about but 3 times I was stopped but tomorrow when you are me you can read my thoughts.

jloo

FEDEX and UPS are doing just fine thank you. And no one should be able to retire after 25 years, that's ridiculous to foist that kind of cost on to working Americans.

sue1955

jloo, the article does not give Ms. Hough's age. There is a formula for Federal retirement based on the combination of age and years of service. There is a formula that differs between the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the newer Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) (enacted when Reagan was President). As such, not all employees with only 25 years of service can retire. For example, someone coming in at 21 years of ago cannot retire in 25 years at the age of 46. Also; be aware that Federal employees pay into their own retirement. CSRS employees pay 7% of their gross salary for their whole careers. (FERS employees are under a different set of regulations). The USPS is what is known as a quasi-government agency. USPS is not funded by taxpayers, unlike a true Federal Government department/agency.

Hayduke2

jloo - so military, police, judges, and others are committed to working how long? A teacher who puts in 30 years shouldn't be able to retire ? How many years in your mind is long enough to work in a job?

bosco

That's your opinion and thanks for sharing it. Defined pension plans are a thing of the past. Thank goodness I didn't accept the offers and pressure to change to a new and "better" retirement package and stuck with what I signed up for. Lived below our means and saved. Put two kids through college by paying cash when tuition and other expenses were due. Did I mention saved? 30 and out and livin' the dream. We are the richest people we know, good health and we do whatever we feel like. We earned it.

Everybody has to find their own way. The opportunities are there.

[ninja]

MD1756

If you save early and often, there is no reason why one couldn't retire after 25 years if that is what they want. Pensions are often tied to longevity so if one goes out after 25 years, their pension can be significantly lower than after 35 years. Additionally if one retires after 25 years of service, their salary tends to be lower than if they retired after say 35 years. It is possible that an organization that plans well may actually do better if they kept employees only 25 years instead of 35+ years.

bosco

NMP, thanks for you seldom heard defense of public servants. [thumbup][ninja]

@bosco

I can't believe you typed this: NMP, thanks for you seldom heard defense of public servants.

I hope are you prepared for me to type lack of critical thinking skills in response to NMP's post to you..this is gonna be real good and I have plenty of popcorn and my fingers are primed to type once, lack of critical thinking skills....

bosco

Are you such a contrarian that a compliment to NewMarket offends you? That's laughable.[lol][ninja]

bosco

What kind of protest was this? No looting, no dumpster fires, no riots? Did the Post Office board up their windows to antagonize the protesters?

[lol][lol][lol][lol][ninja]

C.D.Reid

Protests by the Geritol generation seem to be a bit more civilized.

NewMarketParent

@C.D.Reid

Always sinking to the lowest point. I expect nothing better of you.

@NMP

Thing is CD is of the Geritol age, because I remember him saying in a post when he was telling us why he spends so much time in the comment section he was retired.

bosco

Doesn't take much to get the keyboard warriors of the LLBTT fired up, does it CD? They are so predicable in their personal name calling. [lol][ninja]

Hayduke2

That's because the armed right wing protestors didn't show up. The Proud Boys and others were busy in Wisconsin.

NewMarketParent

@hayduke2

I don't think they are that proud anymore. I think they might have changed their names to The Sheepish Boys. I heard they were going on tour with some other boy bands.

Bbianchi

Two questions:

1. If Pam is willing to protest in front of the Post Office, why is she unwilling to vote in person.

2. Of the two people quoted, one is from Berkeley Springs and the other from Westminster. Are there Post Offices in those towns that it would be easier to protest in front of?

NewMarketParent

@Bbianchi

Protesting while masked outside is significantly safer than being forced to queue up inside of a building built with central ventilation.

You may know that, but you don't care because you want to risk other people's lives in order to maintain power because you are part of the death cult.

Bbianchi

Lol—so protesting in person is fine, but voting is a no no? Maybe the voting machines could be outside? Maybe wear a mask inside (already required but maybe you don’t know that).

NewMarketParent

@Bbianchi

If could be done in such a way that keeps people safe, absolutely. I wear a mask when out in public, but also I try to stay out of people-dense places since that seems to be the best way to keep people safe.

I also am not a member of a death cult.

bosco

Well, Bbianchi, I see you are the latest target of the LLBTT. See how easily they jump from you asking a legitimate question to accusing you of being a member of "the death cult". It's what they do in order to silence all opposition and free thinking - in other words cancel.

[lol][lol][ninja]

Hayduke2

Ever think lthey could be visiting someone in the area? Broaden your outlook and thinking.

Motoguy

Another Democrat hoax like RUSSIA COLLUSION!!! and the fake impeachment.

Also, if you think mail in voting is fine please answer one simple question: How do we know who filled out the ballot if it is not done in person, at the polling station? Simple answer is we can't know. If you are OK with that then I guess you are OK with that.

I love all the in-person protests about now wanting to cast in-person ballots. Perfect!

Why would I have someone else fill out my mail in ballot? Even if I did so what?

It's one ballot per person that's counted, and one vote per candidate or issue. Also

when you go into the polling place you vote in private, no one is actually supposed to see who you vote for, well unless you feel the need to shout out who you voted for.

In Maryland you just have to tell them your name, and if you are a first time voter you may have to show them some ID, but you don't usually need to prove who you are to cast a vote at a polling place in MD. So how do we know for sure who filled out the ballot in person at the polling place?

Do you even think things through before you make a post? and you are making yourself look like like a fool grasping for a non-existent straw

NewMarketParent

@PurplePickles

It's because they literally have nothing that they can use as a wedge this time around. They are trying to find it, but every time, it ends up hurting them as well.

It has moved from figuratively grasping at straws to literally at this point.

C.D.Reid

You mean the way the DNC literally grasped at a straw when they pulled Wheezy Joe out of mothballs?

NewMarketParent

@C.D.Reid

You can actually write that without snickering when you put up 45?

A guy that could have made more money in interest by putting his inheritance in a bank than by all of his business dealings, that guy? That is your standard bearer?

The guy who raw-dogged a pornography actress while his then wife was recovering from childbirth, that guy?

The guy who lost in court when fighting allegations that he stole from a children's charity, that guy?

The guy whose inauguration was so small that the crowd would have trouble filling a Hardees during lunch, that guy?

The guy who almost every person who worked on their campaign is either in jail or on their way, that guy?

The guy who has told 20K false or misleading claims from 1/16 until 7/20, that guy?

The guy who is so brave that he tear-gassed peaceful protestors at a church so that he could have a photo-op with a bible, that he proceeded to hold upside down, that guy?

Y'all keep comin' with the hits.

@CD

You are failing your initiation for the "Cool Kids" club. I told you it wasn't for the faint of heart. Critical thinking skills are a must to pass the initiation, so far we've seen none...

MD1756

I think you missed the point. At the polling place they identify who you are not who you are voting for. With mail in ballots, it is conceivable that someone collect unused ballots and fill them out and mail them in (and I'm not saying that could be done at a level to change a national election, but it is something that conceivably could be done). After all, one of my grandmothers allegedly voted after she died (she died 1 1/2 months after turning 100 and that is probably why she was sent a thank you letter for voting after being 100), so clearly she did not vote in person and there was not a sufficient check on the legitimacy of the vote cast in her name (and again I'm not saying that has ever turned an election at the national level, but for example Elrich in MoCo was the County Exec. democratic primary election by only 77 votes out of nearly 130,00 cast for county executive) So while highly unlikely, it is not out of the realm of possibility that it matters (after all, would would have thought Ellicott City would have two 1,000 year floods so close together (again not likely but within the realm of possibilities).

@MD1765

No got the point but I didn’t want to go that far down into a possible rabbit hole. It’s within the realm of possibilities but the odds of it possibly happening wasn’t worth the typing it would take to get out of the rabbit hole.

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
NewMarketParent

@PurplePickles

I mean these Trumpsters are the type of folks that they have to put coffee warning labels on the cups for. Like how do you function in the world if you can't connect A and B?

What's crazy though is that they will readily except some QAnon theory about how a pedo ring was running out of the basement of pizza joint in DC with no basement because... heck I don't know...chemtrails.

Comment deleted.
jloo

Uh, it's a hoax.

Lemmy

Uneducated Democrats on display. It doesn't take much to get them stirred up about a non-issue. The post office has enough money and more than enough capacity to deliver mail-in ballots even if every American used one in this November's election and they can’t possibly spend $25 billion that quickly in any case. The post office has been taking out underutilized equipment for years, but suspended those efforts through the election after Democratic protests. Democrats voted for so much money as a bailout for the letter-carriers union that endorsed Joe Biden this month.

newspostreader

The significant delays that have started with my mail over the past month or so would disagree with your statement. Why is it taking 3 times longer to get something now than it did a few months ago?

C.D.Reid

As a matter of fact, prior to the virus we usually got our mail between 4:00-5:00 in the afternoon but the last few months it's been coming significantly sooner, as early as 11:00-12:00 in the morning. Not sure why, but we're not complaining.

DickD

Most likely because they are not sorting mail the day it is received. That is why mail is taking a day longer. Also, notice the date stamped on it. It is now stamped in Baltimore, a day later.

bosco

And we've been getting two of the little vans through every day, one drops off packages generally early in the morning and then the regular carrier comes through late morning.

What the Trumpster should've done was come out in favor of mail in ballots. That would've got the Pelosi gang all in a twist on how to implement in person voting in order to protect the election process.

[ninja]

NewMarketParent

@C.D.Reid

This is such a disingenuous take.

"I got my mail earlier in the day today, therefore there aren't any delays."

Do you personally know how long it took to process that mail that got to you? If not, you probably shouldn't try to drop any anecdotes.

NewMarketParent

@bosco

Your side can still do it. You should absolutely get the Trumpsters and the rest of the death cult to do it. I double-dog dare you. That'll show 'em.

TomWheatley

Surprised as the mail has been going to Baltimore for many years now (like 10 or so?) to be sorted and then comes back to get delivered. Maybe some local sorting is back in place?

bosco

Good one, CD. But beware of the dreaded Triple Dog Dare. You'll put your eye out.[pirate]

DickD

See my answer to CD below

Motoguy

COVID??

NewMarketParent

@Lemmy

Please enlighten us with your degree from *consults notes* Barbizon Modeling Center.

From WAPO:

---------

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/20/postal-service-mail-sorters-removals/

Data published in USPS reports submitted annually to the Postal Regulatory Commission show the agency typically decommissions dozens, sometimes hundreds, of machines each year. However, they also show that this year’s reductions in sorting capacity are larger than they were in prior years.

In 2018, for instance, the agency decommissioned about 3 percent of its Delivery Bar Code Sorters, or 125 machines. In 2019, it was 5 percent, or 186 machines. The 671 on this year’s list amounted to about 13 percent.

------

A 13 percent reduction in capacity in one year compared to 8 percent reduction over the 2 previous years combined and in the middle of an election year where a pandemic is keeping most people at home. Right now, 2 things are allowing most of us to function, internet service and mail deliveries. They are keeping a majority of Americans safe. Go ahead... continue to sweep it under the rug as routine.

C.D.Reid

WAPO, huh? I bet you use Wikipedia too. [lol][lol][lol][lol][lol]

francesca_easa

The Postal Service is a vital tradition in our country. It should not be allowed to go the way of the Dodo bird. But i don't see the need for mailboxes throughout towns when folks can leave their outbound mail in their home mailboxes for collection. Remember you can help preserve the postal service by writing letters, paying bills by check and sending greeting cards through the mail. Courier services via USPS starting at 55 cents is a bargain.

DickD

All very true but why use the mail when you can pickup the phone an give your credit card number than writing a check with no cost. You can pay the credit card by again using the phone and giving your bank routing and account number. You can even set a specific payment date on both. Top it off with on line bankin you always know your balance, payment dates, make deposits, see cashed checks and deposits.

I quite agree that the Post Office should not be required to make a profit and for many years the Post Office was subsidized with first class stamps were only three cents. Those days are long gone.

C.D.Reid

When the price of a stamp went up to $0.55 was when I started paying just about all of my bills online; the water/electric bill I put in the drop box at the town hall with a check. I remember the days of 3 cent stamps and, while I know not all of the postal services' troubles aren't self imposed, I think 55 cents for one is outrageous. I rarely use stamps for anything anymore. Do I believe the postal service is necessary? Yes, I do, and I don't want to see it eliminated. But I'm not going to spend anymore money on it than I absolutely need to.

On a side note, during my first trip to Scotland back in '04 we stayed in Sanquhar (pronounced as San-ker,) Dumfriesshire where the oldest post office in the world is located. In continuous service since 1712, as of last fall it was up for sale. Only £275,000, too.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-50301895

C.D.Reid

Correction: I know not all of the postal services' troubles "are" self imposed,

Hayduke2

CD - great! You trust online bill paying so you would have no problem to going to online voting. That would solve the issue. Glad you would support it.

C.D.Reid

Ok hay, now tell me what safe guards are put into place to make online voting as secure as paying bills. Personal account numbers? Personal usernames and passwords? Having a code sent to your phone to verify who you are before being able to log into an account? All that will be in place for each registered voter by Nov. 3rd?

Hayduke2

CD- none of the issues you state are insurmountable-everyone with a social security number is already in a database. The greatest country on earth with all the tech wizards we have could do it. Glad you are okay with it and would support it

NewMarketParent

@DickD

The subsidy was drawn down on purpose in order to make a problem that only privatization could solve. Republicans want to privatize all services that people need to function.

Brookhawk

So that they and their buddies can raise rates, and make more money providing less service. Trump wears out his "businesses," takes the money and runs off into bankruptcy. That's what he plans to do with everything he gets his hands on, including us.

DickD

I know that, it is the same kind of thing Blaine was trying to do. Republicans are all greedy and run in a pack.

NewMarketParent

@franceca_easa

You are right it is a bargain. That and no other commercial entity is required to deliver to every citizen and address in the US.

Try getting UPS or FedEx to deliver an envelope to 82% of Alaska.

Business Owner

Keep in mind NMP, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the same requirement (to conduct business in the entire US and it's territories). I know it's not the same thing.

@francesa

I do see the need for mailboxes throughout the town, tamper proof mailboxes. People either need to start doing everything online OR drop their mail in those mailboxes or take it directly to the nearest post office. DO NOT MAIL CHECKS FROM HOME or anything else you don't want someone else to get their hands on, take your checks if you are still using the mail, (which I don't know why people are still mailing checks) directly to the post office. I to want to support my Post Office but let's be smart about it.

Also there is this issue .---and this is a must read

Thieves are stealing checks from USPS boxes. 'Mailbox fishing' — or an inside job?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/thieves-are-stealing-checks-from-usps-boxes-mailbox-fishing-or-an-inside-job/ar-BB18fD7T?li=BBnbcA1

francesca_easa

And Purple, how many times has people's bank accounts been broken in to by online thieves?

Dwasserba

If you are on a walking route to school, your mailbox security is/was iffy, and if your flag was broken off/ mail missing or scattered on the lawn/mailbox defaced or damaged and you ask the schools to make an announcement of any kind they said, "No. Call the police." We had a mailbox in our neighborhood. It left years ago. It was the way to safeguard outgoing mail. We drive to the post office with outgoing mail ever since. And we do that even when we still have a flag on our mailbox. We'd rather not.

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