Hayward P.O.’s still on chopping block

The latest list of potential post office closures, released earlier this month, still includes the historic downtown Hayward Bradford branch as well as the little Mt. Eden facility. When they first announced the possible closures in the summer, it included nearly 700 branches nationwide. That was whittled down to 413 in August, now 371. Also still on the list are the Niles and Mission San Jose branches in Fremont, as well as branches in Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and San Pablo.

With about 70 branches on the list, California has nearly one-fifth of the possible closings. A final list is expected in December, and closings would begin at the earliest in January. The closures will save the Post Office between $20 million and $100 million annually.

Eric Kurhi

  • J. W. Kyle

    Chip Johnson, an articulate writer on East Bay happenings whose column appears regularly in the SF Chronicle, reports something quite interesting as a happening at the Post Office in Dimond District of Oakland where I grew up.

    Once located on Fruitvale’s a few hundred feet east of MacArthur Blvd, that neighborhood post office was relocated to a new structure on MacArthur Blvd about 25 years ago.

    It was scheduled for closure until the folks in that neighborhood, organized in an incredibly effective campaign to prevent that action. Post office recognized it as an effective and successful grass roots camopaign and r relented. The facility will remain open and has been eliminated from the list of 375 postal facilities that, nation wide. had been listed for closure.

    The interesting thing was that this ‘grabbed the attention of Kim Fernandez, district director of the division which runs from Monterey County to Napa County and that within that area 17 of the 22 east Bay Stations under consideration will remain open. Johnson does not identify Hayward’s ‘Down‘-town station but indicates two in Oakland, one in Berkeley and one in Richmond will remain under consideration. He only mentions that four of five under consideration in the East bay; Yyour article seems to indicate that the decision for that which is opposite the library is decided in the negative. God forbid that the Chronicle ever departs from it’s habit of not mentioning ’Hayward’ in print except to identify location of interesting criminal trials.

    As a result of that closure I forsee the near moment in time when I will abandon the use of Hayward’s ’main post’ office because of it’s impossible parking arrangement on busy Santa Clara St where it intersects with Elmhurst Ave. Elmhurst is pretty busy due to the presence of the County building and HQ for HUSD.

    I guess I’ll just run down along Hesperian to San Lorenzo’s fine, little noticed, post office where, the last time I stopped in, they still dispensed postage from a machine. The line’s are never long and parking is bountiful! Another attraction found at San Lorenzo is that short lines occur. despite presence of just two service windows which never seem plagued by emigrants who send packages home, in astonishing numbers per customer which has the effect of frequently seeing a ‘back up’ of those waiting for service, who ponder over the fact that all of the windows are never staffed at one time.

    What will never happen is development of a neighborhood in Hayward as was seen in Oakland’s Dimond District where the ‘intrusion‘ of minorities has worked to the benefit of common good..

  • J. W. Kyle

    A probable cause of the money loss at Post Office has to do with the fact that letter carriers are now provided oversized trucks to aid in their deliveries.

    In the good old sayss, especially during the depression, men eagerly sought thos jobs and the degtree of difficult they experienced in the delivery of mail, twice a day on the same routes, was made possible by the three cent stamp.

    Now carriers are provided large trucks which come at a price if they have right hand steering, those trucks are supported by a maintenance staff and the fuel expense is dumbfounding especially at the low gallonage per mile ratio.

    In the old days, after ‘casing their mail. it was delivered to boxes spotted along the route so that carrier did not gave tio carry their emntire assignment on thgeir backs.

    I remember them usimng the boxes as shelter when they ate their lunch during inclement weather.

    In attempst to save money, Post office removed drop boxes from the neighborhoods, leaving it to pick up mail at a rewsidential deliverry box (Each homew0 as a convenience to the patrons. So the load gets even heavier with the incredible amount of low cost advertising delivery…. low cost to the advertiser that is. The burden is upon the carrier who must now visit each door regardless of the lack of regular mail for that delivery.

    I suggest that residential post office delivery boxes be installed at the curb or pergaps even a corner location central to a dozen or more homes to lessen the time spent walking when a postman with a cushman type 3 wheel vehicle is then abkle to drive up and deliver the mail at the curb or corner locastions.

    Toss out the trucks and let ‘packages be del;ivered by an operation similar to UPS or Fed Ex. If advertisers are not able to pay the true cost of delivering ‘sale’ information then let ’em return to the newspapers…. the shopaholics then might return to subsciptions to newspapers and both Newspapers and Post office will benefit.

    Dump the expense of thiose big trucks, spot the boxes for ‘cased’ mail along the routes as in the old days. Save the carriers the time of walking up to each doorway in resiential areas, post the residential delivery box at the curb either in front of a home or at a convenient place where residents will find boxes clusterd….. sa idea which encourages social conversation between neighbors meeting at those locations.

    Dump the big trucks, provide 3 wheel motor scooters, place cased mail in large boxes as in the old days so that large trucks are not necessary, do away with truck maintenance departmnent of contracted services devoted to truck maintenance.

    Charge a higher priice for deliveru of un-addressed advertising of politacl crap at election time and above all watch profitability rise.

    Large trucks with right hand steering position may do well along ‘star routes’ in rural or semi-rural areas.
    My expense for postage is too0 high and I resent having to see advertiising in the mail box which is also usually delivered with my newspaper. How many times does Penny’s Macy’s and Kohl’s have to remind me that they need patronage…. in one week’s delivery?

    Don’t blame the loss of personal mail on the internet’s e-mail system…. hell, I curtail that because you never know if the intended recipient is or is not collecting e-mail addresses and then selling them to outfits like google who promise large profits to those who collect e-mail addresses and are paid to re-route much junk advertising through that system.

    Revolt people! Toss the junk mail into the recycling boxs. Do not for a minute fail to understand that the advertisers have ‘spies’ at the recycling center who gauge the amount of stuff arriving shortly after P.O. delivers it. Hint… don’t tear or crumple the crap, just lay it flat in the recycle buckets…… the spies are anxious to relate the information when it amounts to a sizeable weight and volume!