The Times West Virginian

February 17, 2013

Can we survive no home letter delivery on Saturdays?

Times West Virginian

I’ve been standing here waiting Mr. Postman

Sooo, so patiently

For just a card, or just a letter

Saying he’s returning home to me.

Please Mr. Postman!

Well, the poor Marvelettes may have to wait just another day come August when the U.S. Postal Service plans to cut home delivery on Saturdays in a desperate attempt to save a few billion dollars.

Of course, a lot has changed since 1961 when “Please Mr. Postman” hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 11 chart.

You see, that boyfriend they’ve been waiting to hear from has probably already sent the break-up text and changed his status on Facebook from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated.” No need to wait for the mail to get a “Dear Marvelette ...” letter these days.

At the beginning of the month, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announced that the U.S. Postal Service would no longer have home delivery of letters on Saturdays effective Aug. 1. This move is estimated to save the service at least $2 billion per year.

And we should achieve some of those savings, too. Consider that just this month, the Postal Service increased the cost of first-class stamps to 46 cents, while postcard prices went up to 33 cents. It was the fifth increase since 2006.

But change is tough. Even when it means more change in our pocket.

Consider what one online reader had to say.

“I just have a question that I’ve not hear anyone speak of. When there is a holiday on Mondays, which there are several, will we not get mail from Friday until Tuesday?” Linda Romesburg asked. “That’s too long to go without mail service. Maybe on those weeks, mail will come on the Monday holiday.”

The Postal Service thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side — the service’s market research indicates that nearly 7 in 10 people support the switch as a way to reduce costs. And when you make a bold statement like that, you better be able to back it up. We polled our own readers, who log on each week to to express their thoughts on our online poll question. Last week we asked “How much will it affect you if the U.S. Postal Service stops delivery of mail to homes on Saturdays”

And here’s what our readers had to say:

This will be a pain! I’m going to have to adjust the way I do things — 12.75 percent

Online bill pay and emails ... who needs home delivery? — 42 percent

It may take some getting used to, but if it saves on postage in the long run, I’m happy — 45.1 percent

Well, the Postal Service may, in fact, be right this time. We’ve got more than 87 percent of our readers either supporting the change or at least the idea behind it.

This week, let’s talk about a proposal made by President Barack Obama to increase minimum wage to $9 per hour. Can you support that?

Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online, like Linda did.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor