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February 17, 2013
Salem News

Lois Ann Firestone remembered

To the editor:

A dear friend and historian, Lois A. Firestone, died Dec. 26, 2012. Lois was noted for her enjoyment of researching and preserving local history. She served as editor for the Quaker Heritage and Yesteryears (produced by the Salem News), both weekly papers, working with Dale Shaffer and Dick Wootten. While Lois' writings appeared in newsprint, the society realized the need to make these articles available in a more permanent booklet form. With her cooperation, the writings were gathered, reviewed and edited.

The result has been the publication of two editions: Selected Historical Articles of Lois Firestone (2006) and A Salute to Black History (2010). In her first edition she wrote the following acknowledgement: "Poring over these stories summons up images of people, places and events and they bring back the enjoyment I experienced in interviews, sifting through photographs, old diaries and journals in researching these minute pieces of area history."

We plan to continue publishing more of her writings in booklet form. On her last email to the society, she wrote, "My really warm regards to you, and thank you for the respect you've shown for my writing; it's quite rewarding to me." Lois A. We will miss her encouragement and friendship and we express our sympathy to her three children and four grandchildren.

Salem Historical Society,


Union reacts to announcement

To the editor:

I am writing to the residential and business customers of the Youngstown and surrounding areas in light of the recent announcement that the United States Postal Service will be going down to five day delivery of letter mail and the consolidation of mail processing plants. Five day delivery would delay the timely processing and delivery of the mail.

Locally, Youngstown, Ohio Area Local 443 of The American Postal Workers Union has been notified that on or around Feb. 23 of this year, all of our collection and cancellation mail will be taken out of the Youngstown facility and will be processed in Cleveland, Ohio. The union was also notified that in about a year, the Youngstown plant will be closed.

Instead of letting postal workers process the first class business mail, the mail is being contracted out to presort houses to do the work that the employees of the Youngstown plant have always done in the past. Once our collection mail goes to Cleveland to be processed, it could be weeks before the mail is processed. This is a disservice to both residential and business customers. The post office is on a downward spiral to destruction, and the road to privatization is in the near future.

The American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey has issued the following statement:

"The APWU condemns the Postal Service's decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, which will only deepen the agency's congressionally-manufactured financial crisis.

"The USPS has already begun slashing mail service by closing 13,000 post offices or drastically reducing hours of operation, shutting hundreds of mail processing facilities, and downgrading standards for mail delivery to America's homes and businesses. The effects are being felt in cities and towns across the country. USPS executives cannot save the Postal Service by tearing it apart. These across-the-board cutbacks will weaken the nation's mail system and put it on a path to privatization. Congress has the power to restore the USPS to financial stability. To do so, it must repeal provisions of the 2006 law that created the Postal Service's financial crisis.

"The agency's crisis is a direct result of an unsustainable congressional mandate that was imposed on the Postal Service by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). The federal law forces the Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees and to do so in a 1 0-year period. No other entity - public or private - bears this burden. Since the PAEA took effect in 2007, the Postal Service has been required to pre-pay approximately $5.5 billion per year. Yet the same law prohibits the Postal Service from raising postage rates to cover the cost. The USPS has a vital mission - to bind the nation together by providing efficient, inexpensive service to every part of the country. The Postal Service should be seeking ways to expand its offerings to the American people so that it can remain relevant in the digital age."

Most of the blame results from a Congress that will not act to correct the problems that are facing the United States Postal Service. They just want to watch the post office self-destruct and then maybe, just maybe they might move and do something. Congress made this mess, Congress can fix it!

I am urging each and every customer of the United States Postal Service to contact your legislators; either by phone or mail to voice your concerns and help us save America's postal service.


Editor, The Dispatcher,

APWU Youngstown, Ohio Area Local 443,

National Editor-at-Large,

APWU National Postal Press Association



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