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(Fox 23 Tulsa)   House Republicans decide that people don't need mail delivered to their homes anymore, propose new neighborhood "cluster boxes." If only there was a word to insert between "cluster" and "boxes" that would describe the probable results   ( fox23.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, mail delivered, Cox Enterprises  
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10021 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jul 2013 at 11:45 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-24 12:05:44 AM  
If its a totally proper cluster box, they have these slots in them that you put all your junk mail, then the mail carrier comes along the next time and takes out all the junk mail and delivers it to the station for recycling.

/Or is that the outgoing mail slot?
//Meh, any old slot in a storm and you don't get busted for littering.
 
2013-07-24 12:06:10 AM  

optikeye: Geeze...The GOP is really trying to drive America into third world country territory. No space program, no education, no roads, no research.


Door-to-door delivery for some, miniature cluster boxes for others!
 
2013-07-24 12:06:27 AM  

Shadowknight: Somehow, I don't think this is going to work in all places in the US.


[www.publicdomainpictures.net image 615x368]


I grew up in a place like this.  They don't have mail delivery anyhow.  You have to drive a few miles to go to the post office.  PO box only.  If anything, a cluster box would be an improvement.
 
2013-07-24 12:07:32 AM  
At my apartment complex, if you get a package the mail carrier just takes it back to the station and lies to this supervisor about having made a delivery attempt and left a notice for you. Then on Saturday morning you wait in line with 30 other people the same thing happened to.
 
2013-07-24 12:07:36 AM  

vbob: Fustercluck?
[www.theblindcard.com image 500x666]


I want that and I don't even have home mail delivery.
 
2013-07-24 12:07:45 AM  
I have not received a piece of mail I needed in several years.  All those willing to try may do the same.

Disassemble the whole Goddamn thing!
 
2013-07-24 12:08:14 AM  
I'm going to have to side with the pubs on this one. Rural delivery is just plain wasteful. Have you seen some of those backwoods roads in Montana and Wyoming? Why should the USPS have to drive 60 miles out into the middle of nowhere to service 4 or 5 mailboxes of mega cattle ranchers? Let them drive into town once a week/month and get it themselves.

I say clusterboxes aren't nearly draconian enough - centralize everything into post offices. Cut staff and fuel costs and we're off to the races.

If rich folks who live in the country want to have curbside service let them pay the private market the pubs speak so highly of...
 
2013-07-24 12:08:57 AM  
sheep snorter:
//Meh, any old slot in a storm and you don't get busted for littering.


Tell that to my Pop.
 
2013-07-24 12:09:43 AM  
Nobody remembers this lunatic?

commondreams.org
 
2013-07-24 12:10:22 AM  
When "cluster mailboxes = third world hardship" you know these people have lost any shred of perspective.
 
2013-07-24 12:11:20 AM  

serial_crusher: I've been using this service called Outbox NSA and liking it. They take all your mail and scan it, so you just delete the crap and have easy access to important mails from your phone.


Whatever works for you.
 
2013-07-24 12:11:58 AM  
Like everybody else said, any newer subdivision already has these, and it isn't even a cluster for the whole subdivision, usually there is a 16 box cluster on every block  (most I see are in the middle of the block somewhere) so nobody has to go all that far.
I live in an older neighborhood now, with delivery to the door, but I'm moving to a newer subdivision in 3 weeks, the cluster box is 3 houses down from mine. It isn't going to be that much harder to get my mail.

I can see this saving some cash, and some people are going to hate it because they hate change. Hell, there may even be some sort of compromise where if a person can prove they are disabled the mail carrier will still bring it to the door. It looks like there is already a "Mail Delivery to the Physically Handicapped Act" that does just that--fill out a form, doctor signs it, postmaster approves it, and you still get mail delivered to the door.

/I really don't care
//Have a PO Box anyway--it is more secure
///Saturdays can be done away with too
 
2013-07-24 12:12:21 AM  

TheOmni: Before considering any Republican proposal about the USPS, keep in mind that they want them to fail and actively take steps to encourage that failure.


This is the Postmaster General's proposal for the USPS to not go bankrupt, and the shift has been gradually happening for years. Does he want the USPS to fail too? I guess you have a better way to close a USPS deficit that's $16B and growing?
 
2013-07-24 12:13:08 AM  

miss jinxed: I had these growing up outside of Denver.  What's the big deal?


I had those when I lived in California. It was a pain in the ass. Now that I live in the Midwest I hope we don't get them ever. I'd hate to walk through feet of snow and ice and across sidewalks the city refuses to maintain just to get mail. I like being able to stick my arm outside and get my mail without breaking a hip.
 
2013-07-24 12:14:55 AM  

NeedlesslyCanadian: ...subby's never heard of these? These things are everywhere in new housing subdivisions and townhouse complexes.


That's what I was thinking.  Subby, you've never seen....wait really?

Sometimes I wish for a law where the media couldn't print any affiliated party information for one month when reporting on proposed new laws.  C'mon guys even Hitler had a few good idea every now and then.  All the hippies driving beetles ("the people's car") can attest to that.
 
2013-07-24 12:15:05 AM  

vossiewulf: Barfmaker: God forbid you'd have to walk down the street for your mail.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x266]

Fark those invalids anyway for making the bad choice to be disabled.


Not to mention all those losers who are too lazy not to get old.
 
2013-07-24 12:15:21 AM  

Shadowknight: Somehow, I don't think this is going to work in all places in the US.elsuavio:

[www.publicdomainpictures.net image 615x368]


Which are the least profitable and thus most in need of Constitutionally-mandated postal service - also happening to be the reddest tracts in the nation - whose constituents their Republican representatives want to hand over to Fedex.
 
2013-07-24 12:15:58 AM  

Elandriel: I've been thinking we should stop considering the USPS as a business that is intended to turn a tidy profit.  The situation isn't the same as it used to be earlier in its day.  There are way more people, way more mail, and more carriers etc are needed.  Adding that volume to an enterprise like UPS or FedEx or whatever would likely result in the same outcome because of the scope and coverage of the USPS.  It would be better if we would treat it as an expense; it is a good investment and it brings real value to society.  Nobody's biatching about firemen not turning a profit, or the military or whatever.


Well, that's what it's always been and, before the Tea Party-like mindset where the Right actively sought ways to attack it, that's how society understood it.  Like the roads, like sanitation, it's something that provides a benefit far above its costs.  But we, as a collective nation, are in the process of destroying ourselves, so there it goes.
 
2013-07-24 12:16:00 AM  
We don't have a cluster box, but my closest two neighbors and I all have boxes right next to each other at the end of the shared driveway.  The driveway is about a mile long and it's about a mile to the next closest little row of mailboxes, so I feel like we're meeting the PO halfway with this.  The farker still likes to leave packages sitting on top of the boxes though, with his half-drunk morning cup of coffee.  Won't even waste a delivery slip and take the package back to the post office.
 
2013-07-24 12:16:24 AM  

buzzcut73: Like everybody else said, any newer subdivision already has these, and it isn't even a cluster for the whole subdivision, usually there is a 16 box cluster on every block  (most I see are in the middle of the block somewhere) so nobody has to go all that far.
I live in an older neighborhood now, with delivery to the door, but I'm moving to a newer subdivision in 3 weeks, the cluster box is 3 houses down from mine. It isn't going to be that much harder to get my mail.

I can see this saving some cash, and some people are going to hate it because they hate change. Hell, there may even be some sort of compromise where if a person can prove they are disabled the mail carrier will still bring it to the door. It looks like there is already a "Mail Delivery to the Physically Handicapped Act" that does just that--fill out a form, doctor signs it, postmaster approves it, and you still get mail delivered to the door.

/I really don't care
//Have a PO Box anyway--it is more secure
///Saturdays can be done away with too


Any subdivision, hoa or not, that I've lived in for the last twenty years has had these. Large lock boxes for packages and individual boxes for mail. They are in public rights of way.

What's the issue here?
 
2013-07-24 12:16:56 AM  

djkutch: We call them mail or cluster islands around here. Here's the thing: These work well for condo and town home associations. They are put in common area paid for by HOA dues. For areas of single family homes? There is no area to install them that is not on private property.


That is where the 'put up a mailbox at the end of your driveway' comes in.
 
2013-07-24 12:17:01 AM  
Apparently I'm not the only one who realizes this kind of delivery has been around for decades.  Even in the sticks.  Welcome to the 70s, subby.
 
2013-07-24 12:17:42 AM  

TwowheelinTim: MaudlinMutantMollusk: /on the bright side, I was assured when I moved here that DSL was "Just months away!"
//that was by PacBell

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but PacBell was swallowed up by AT&T a few years ago. At least here on the north coast it was. So "just months away" has dragged on for a spell?


Yeah... we even went through SBC on the way

/a skosh over 8 years now
 
2013-07-24 12:18:06 AM  
If trayvon martin had his skittles and watermellon juice mailed to him, he would be alive today.
 
2013-07-24 12:18:39 AM  
Bashar,

Of course your take on things isn't really based in reality.  The postal service as a quasi-independent agency of the government is supposed to operate off of its revenues.  Prior to a few years ago, the postal service had never laid off any employees.  The requirement for the postal service fully fund its pensions is neither draconian, nor an act of trying to kill the postal service, it is one endangered example of common sense coming out of DC.

Granted, if the entire federal government had to adhere to the same rules, the size and scope of govt. would be much smaller..  I do not harbor ill feelings towards govt workers, many/most perform a vital service with little to no individual recognition... but if an "independent agency" is truly independent, would they need a govt. bailout?
 
2013-07-24 12:19:14 AM  

serial_crusher: I've been using this service called Outbox and liking it. They take all your mail and scan it, so you just delete the crap and have easy access to important mails from your phone.


What about legal stuff, new debit/credit cards, packages... ?
 
2013-07-24 12:19:22 AM  
kidgenius:

Any subdivision, hoa or not, that I've lived in for the last twenty years has had these. Large lock boxes for packages and individual boxes for mail. They are in public rights of way.

What's the issue here?


I have no issue with it. I was saying the same thing--these things have been around forever, and you don't even have to walk that far because they tend to place one on every block.
We're on the same side--this is not a big deal, and some people are biatching because they like to biatch.
 
2013-07-24 12:20:46 AM  

NeedlesslyCanadian: ...subby's never heard of these? These things are everywhere in new housing subdivisions and townhouse complexes.


Rush warned us years ago.
 
2013-07-24 12:21:04 AM  

Shadowknight: Somehow, I don't think this is going to work in all places in the US.


I propose that there would be a maximum distance between "clusters" of boxes and residents.  So if you are the only person for miles around, then your individual box is itself a cluster,.  There, rectified without shooting down the idea mindlessly.
 
2013-07-24 12:21:46 AM  

ChaoticCoyote: serial_crusher: I've been using this service called Outbox and liking it. They take all your mail and scan it, so you just delete the crap and have easy access to important mails from your phone.

What about legal stuff, new debit/credit cards, packages... ?


Fedex, bub, and you'\ll pay what they say and like it.
 
2013-07-24 12:21:49 AM  
My house, built in 1982, has this style of mailbox.  Not convenient but not the end of world either.
 
2013-07-24 12:21:56 AM  
I'm changing my middle name to Clusterbox...it just sounds farkin' cool! John "Clusterbox" Smith....Fred "Clusterbox" Ortega...Danny "Clusterbox" Gambino
 
2013-07-24 12:23:17 AM  

geoduck42: TwowheelinTim: No smashed boxes from bozos who think they're cool is high on the list.

A solution to this I once read: Get a large metal mailbox, and another the next size down. Put the latter inside the former and fill the gaps between the two with a batch of concrete. Mount it solidly enough on the support pole, and you'll find shards of broken baseball bat scattered around your driveway.

On topic.. my street uses the cluster-box model, and it works fine. One plus side for senior citizens; going to get the mail gives them a chance to socialize with the neighbors.


I've lived in neighborhoods with the CFBoxes and didn't mind it. Yes, it's kind of a social gathering place to meet your neighbors in the evening. I make a point of getting along with my neighbors. It's very, um, neighborly.

For what it's worth, the town I live in was founded in 1903 and they decided then not to have home delivery. If people don't like it, they can live somewhere else.
 
2013-07-24 12:24:30 AM  
I don't know why they don't quit charging for PO boxes. Assign one to everyone in their zone. No need for delivery clerks. Saves massive amounts on gas, insurance, vehicle upkeep, etc. The amount of money the post office has paid my mother-in-law alone in worker's comp for the multiple times her delivery jeep has been plowed down, they could build another post office just for her delivery route.
 
2013-07-24 12:26:07 AM  
I have an idea that would save the USPS money: how about, when someone has a letter for me, I just go directly to them and pick it up? If everyone did this, we wouldn't need the USPS at all. It's the only bootstrappy approach.
 
2013-07-24 12:29:43 AM  

albatros183: NeedlesslyCanadian: ...subby's never heard of these? These things are everywhere in new housing subdivisions and townhouse complexes.

Rush warned us years ago.


Conform or be cast out.
 
2013-07-24 12:29:50 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: The best part of them is that if you pry the back of one open, you get to steal 10 or 12 peoples mail all at the same time!

/happens frequently in rural areas
//like the one I live in


Exactly! It was hard enough feeding my family on unemployment checks 5 years ago.. It was even harder when the mail thief would make his monthly rounds and steal my UI checks from the community box.

It was even better when Maria Lopez used my stolen SSN to file me as a dependent. The IRS did not appreciate me filing myself as head of household that same year too.

Eventually our HOA charged us all an extra $500 for 2 months to build a big metal cage around the community mail boxes. They were only robbed a couple times more after that.. LOL.
 
2013-07-24 12:29:58 AM  
http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20110811/DEPARTMENTS02/108110303/ U SPS-aims-cut-third-workforce

The U.S. Postal Service is planning to cut 220,000 employees - roughly a third of its workforce, and half of those through layoffs - by 2015.

It also said it wants to set up its own health benefits plan for employees and stop offering a pension for new employees.

The Postal Service is essentially bankrupt and will run out of cash next month, which is forcing it to take drastic steps to cut costs. Federal Times obtained draft documents outlining the agency's plans, which were first reported by The Washington Post.

"If we were a private company, we already would have filed for bankruptcy and gone through restructuring - much like major automakers did two years ago," the Postal Service said in one paper.

The Postal Service said attrition will cut 100,000 employees, but layoffs will be needed to eliminate the other 120,000 and bring its total workforce down to 425,000. However, unions' collective bargaining agreements have for decades banned layoffs, and the Postal Service said it has been unable to convince them to give up those protections during contract negotiations. So the Postal Service is asking Congress to step in and pass a law removing those layoff protections.

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, objected to the Postal Service's plans in a statement.

"The Congress of the United States does not engage in contract negotiations with unions and we do not believe they are about to do so," Rolando said. "Contract negotiations for NALC open Thursday, Aug. 18. USPS is free to bring these issues to the table. If they do so, we will bargain in good faith."

The Postal Service also proposes to speed up plans to close and consolidate facilities to cut costs. If it closes facilities butcan't lay off employees, thousands will be left idle and the Postal Service won't be able to bring its expenses in line with revenues.

The Postal Service also said the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program doesn't meet its needs, and said it will ask Congress for permission to pull its 600,000 active employees and 480,000 retirees out of the program. The Postal Service wouldset up its own health plan instead, which it said would be simpler, more cost effective, and more in line with the private sector.

The Postal Service also wants to pull employees and retirees out of the Federal Employees Retirement System and the Civil Service Retirement System and put them into a new Postal Service Retirement Program.

But future employees would no longer receive a defined benefit pension, as CSRS and FERS employees do. They would only have a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k) or the current Thrift Savings Plan. It is unclear whether postal employees would remain under the TSP or would have their own defined contribution plan under the postal plan.

Existing retirees would continue to receive the same level of benefits. Current CSRS and FERS employees near retirement would receive the same level of benefits when they retire as they would have if they had stayed in their old plans.

The Postal Service said it may reduce future benefits for current FERS employees who are not near retirement.
 
2013-07-24 12:30:15 AM  

TwowheelinTim: For what it's worth, the town I live in was founded in 1903 and they decided then not to have home delivery. If people don't like it, they can live somewhere else.


I have relatives who live in a really small town where they have to go over to the town post office to get their mail.
 
2013-07-24 12:30:19 AM  

Pray 4 Mojo: Also... You should try the country life before you get all judgy. It's pretty awesome.


If you have access to water of which you cannot see land on the other side, it's all good.

If you live in "country" that is a land-locked wasteland, where you can watch your dog run away - for three days - that's completely different.

/misses water
 
2013-07-24 12:32:00 AM  

Circusdog320: I'm changing my middle name to Clusterbox...it just sounds farkin' cool! John "Clusterbox" Smith....Fred "Clusterbox" Ortega...Danny "Clusterbox" Gambino


Circusdog "Clusterbox" 320 has a nice ring to it as well.
 
2013-07-24 12:32:02 AM  

Pray 4 Mojo: Aarontology: I AM A VENGEFUL AND CONFUSING GOD.

Jesus farking christ... elect a man king and he get's all "I am GOD!" in a matter of hours.

Also... You should try the country life before you get all judgy. It's pretty awesome. This used to be my backyard:
[farm4.staticflickr.com image 320x240]


Glad your receiving free welfare farm subsidies I think reading you over a while Mojo would kick you in the face
 
2013-07-24 12:32:07 AM  

Helmsly: Exactly! It was hard enough feeding my family on unemployment checks 5 years ago.. It was even harder when the mail thief would make his monthly rounds and steal my UI checks from the community box.


This is why I'm glad they do direct deposit now.
 
2013-07-24 12:32:34 AM  
If only there were trillions of US dollars hidden in tax havens off shore we could tap into that could prevent cuts on basic services.
 
2013-07-24 12:33:11 AM  
House GOPers give retards a bad name.
 
2013-07-24 12:33:44 AM  
They could always just charge regular postage for all mail, instead of allowing lower rate junk mail.  My mail volume would drop tremendously....they'd have to use the little flag on the box to let me know if there was really something in there.

I'm not against the USPS per se, but technology and the world is changing, and they shouldn't be immune to its effects.  Most mail could go away, and delivery could drop to perhaps once a week.
 
2013-07-24 12:34:12 AM  
"We all need to make sacrifices." -Obama

"Clustered mailboxes."

:lib outrage:
 
2013-07-24 12:34:17 AM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: jpo2269: If the choice is between centralized mailboxes in a subdivision vs. having to get a post office box, I think the centralized mail box would be just fine.  The postal service has to come up with some serious solutions in order to survive; this proposal doesn't seem to be draconian at all....

The choice isn't between that though. The choice is between paying current post office worker salaries and pensions as they come in, and paying up front for nearly eight decades worth of employee costs up front every time a new person is hired. Each time you lick a stamp you're paying for the health care costs of a current postal service employee to be able to get a checkup fifty years from now. If it sounds insane, it's because Republicans desperately want to destroy the USPS for whatever reason, and it is a law that they be able to cover with today's revenues the eventuality of every employee they currently employ, and any others they hire in the future.

The postal service would be fine had Congress not attached a shackle to its balls and told it to make do.


No, not true, that's a lie.  A lie and a liberal talking point.  Even without the pension payment, which the USPS hasn't made since August of last year, they are still losing money.  They are still losing money.  They cannot cover their obligations.

So get off the liar train and do some research.

Of course, if liberals like you were left alone to handle finances, then we'd end up with Detroit.
 
2013-07-24 12:34:33 AM  
Clusterboxes can work in cities and towns and rural ares with a reasonable number of people living in close proximity to each but that's not always the case.   Also Clusterboxes are fail when it comes to getting a package in the mail.
 
2013-07-24 12:35:31 AM  
Here are 2 idea's. Congress voids the language in the contracts that say no layoffs so the USPS can cut the staffing they need to.  Charge bulk mailers and advertisers higher rates, these are typically below advertised rates and negotiated. Also stop selling names to advertisers.

If you want to go extreme then cut residential to 3 day delivery. But no change means anything unless the USPS can layoff which they can't due because of union contracts.


Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: The postal service would be fine had Congress not attached a shackle to its balls and told it to make do.


You should check your figures as the USPS is losing more than the prefund (15.9B vs 11.1B).
 
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