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US Postal Service will postpone move that would put 100,000 out of work

December 14, 2011 Areawide, Business No Comments
The USPS has forecast a $14.1 billion loss in fiscal 2012, due to declining mail volume – the result of email communication significantly replacing “snail mail” messages, as well as the growth of competing package shipping services. Photo source: US Postal Service

The USPS has forecast a $14.1 billion loss in fiscal 2012, due to declining mail volume – the result of email communication significantly replacing “snail mail," as well as the growth of competing package shipping services. Photo source: US Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service, in response to a request made by multiple U.S. Senators, has agreed to delay the closing or consolidation of any Post Office or mail processing facility until May 15, 2012.

In a statement released today, a USPS spokesman said, “The Postal Service will continue all necessary steps required for the review of these facilities during the interim period, including public input meetings.”

In the meantime, legislators expect to take up the issue of the postal service’s financial troubles when Congress reconvenes in January.

As noted in the statement, “The Postal Service hopes this period will help facilitate the enactment of comprehensive postal (reform) legislation. Given the Postal Service’s financial situation and the loss of mail volume, the Postal Service must continue to take all steps necessary to reduce costs and increase revenue.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) led the request made by 21 legislators for the USPS to agree to a “moratorium” on closures.

“Over the last few months, I have heard concerns from local officials, residents and postal service employees about the original proposal from the Postal Service,” Sen. Durbin said today.

“There is no doubt that the Postal Service as we know it today has to adapt, but I think a better solution exists,” he said. “It’s now up to us to move forward with comprehensive legislation that does not jeopardize the best postal service in the world.”

His comments follow a meeting yesterday (Dec. 12) between several Senators and the U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chair Thurgood Marshall, Jr.

The USPS has forecast a $14.1 billion loss in fiscal 2012, due to declining mail volume – the result of email communication significantly replacing “snail mail” as well as the growth of competing package shipping services.

As reported today in Time online, the USPS also is expected to default Friday on a $5.5 billion payment to the Treasury.

Earlier this month, the USPS announced plans to close more than half of its 461 mail-processing plants – which would mean the end of one-day delivery of First Class mail – as well as thousands of local post offices throughout the country.

The USPS plans to close 252 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices.

Upwards of 100,000 postal employees would lose their jobs.

The USPS needs congressional approval to defer retiree benefits payments and to end Saturday delivery.

The USPS also noted that many people don’t realize that the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Posted Dec. 13, 2011

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NU now offering $100 credit for those who suffered prolonged power outages in October

November 30, 2011 Areawide, Business, Local News No Comments
dollar-sign-inside-a-quote-bubble

In addition, NU will make donations of up to $5 million to the Connecticut Food Bank, Foodshare and Operation Fuel to help them address community needs for this approaching winter season.

Northeast Utilities President Charles W. Shivery Tuesday (Nov. 29) announced in a prepared statement that the company has increased the post-storm fund established on Nov. 9 by up to $30 million.

“As we heard from our customers and had discussions with Gov. Malloy and his staff, it became clear that the original sum we proposed, $10 million, was insufficient,” said Shivery. “While this storm was unprecedented, we set very high expectations for the performance of Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P). Clearly, we did not meet a number of those expectations.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our sincere desire to keep faith with our CL&P customers by assisting those who were without power the longest, as well as organizations that provide food and warmth to those most in need,” Shivery added.

The freak snowstorm that hit Connecticut the evening of Oct. 29, dumped as much as 20 inches of snow in some parts of the state. In addition, the storm arrived before leaves had fallen from most trees, resulting in widespread damage from broken limbs tearing down power lines and smashing into buildings.

Due to a number of problems with the clean-up process, including a delay in calling in crews from other states, some Connecticut residents, businesses and agencies were without power for nine days or more.

The prolonged outages had a significant economic impact not only on businesses but on households where families had to find shelter in hotels and eat meals at restaurants, as well as towns that provided emergency shelters with costs that may or may not be reimbursed by federal emergency funds.

The NU press release also states that the company has sought the assistance of Kenneth Feinberg, the claim fund administrator who designed and administered the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, for distributing these “rebates.”

Feinberg agreed to help NU administer this post-storm fund at the request of Gov. Malloy, the press release states.

The company announced that any residential customer who was still without power after noon on Saturday, Nov. 5 as a result of the storm, will be eligible for credit applied to their CL&P bill – ranging from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $200 – depending on how many eligible customers apply for the credit.

In addition, NU will make donations of up to $5 million to the Connecticut Food Bank, Foodshare and Operation Fuel to help them address community needs for this approaching winter season.

Each organization will initially receive $1 million. Whether they will receive additional dollars depends on how much of the fund remains when it is closed down at the end of January, the release states.

“The unprecedented storm created substantial hardships for many people, despite the extraordinary efforts of our employees and contractors. Having the confidence of our customers is important to us and, in addition to establishing this fund, we have taken a series of steps to improve performance at CL&P,” Shivery said.

Those steps include:

  • providing tree crews to communities to help with debris removal,
  • appointment of a new President of CL&P,
  • creation of a new position of Senior Vice President for Emergency Preparedness
  • and an external review of CL&P preparation and response to the storm.

“With the benefit of the various reviews under way, we will have a more complete picture and will take all appropriate actions to ensure that we are able to deliver under even extreme conditions, like those we experienced in the October storm,” Shivery said, alluding to other reviews besides its own, including Gov. Malloy’s appointed Two Storm Committee.

Customers can begin applying for their rebate on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011.

“On that date, CL&P will begin contacting qualified residential customers to inform them of their eligibility to apply for the credit,” the release states. Customers also can begin applying on their own online at www.cl-p.com or call 888-566-9257 for more information.

All applications must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2012.

Credits will begin to be applied to the customer’s February 2012 billing statement.

No release of legal claims will be necessary in order to receive compensation from the fund, the release states.

“Those customers who filed information through 211 for claims associated with the storm after the initial fund was announced will receive a credit on their bill without further application required if they are eligible,” the release states.

Posted Nov. 30, 2011

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Electricity rates to drop by Jan 1 2012

November 29, 2011 Business, Local News No Comments
This means the average customer using 750 kilowatt hours will see their monthly bill decrease about $9. On the other hand… Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating have yet to seek rate increases to cover the costs of both Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter.

This means the average customer using 750 kilowatt hours will see their monthly bill decrease about $9. On the other hand… Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating have yet to seek rate increases to cover the costs of both Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter.

For the past few years, Connecticut has had the highest electric rates in the U.S., second only to Hawaii but there’s a little good news arriving with the New Year.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Connecticut’s rates fell to 16.15 cents per kilowatt hour in August, putting it behind Hawaii, New York and Alaska.

It will drop even further in January because the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (formerly the Department of Public Utility Control) announced Monday (Nov. 28) that Connecticut Light & Power’s generation rates will decrease about 1.2 cents per kilowatt hour for residential customers.

This means the average customer using 750 kilowatt hours will see their monthly bill decrease about $9.

On the other hand… Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating have yet to seek rate increases to cover the costs of both Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter.

For more about UI’s rate decrease, and rate reductions for business customers, read the full story by Christine Stuart at CTNewsJunkie at http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/ct_no_longer_has_second_highest_electric_rates/

Posted Nov. 28, 2011

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Laws make gift cards less restrictive, limit fees, but buyer beware!

November 25, 2011 Areawide, Business, Local News No Comments
Federal rules that took effect in August of 2010 are designed to protect consumers by restricting fees and changing conditions regarding gift card expiration dates.

Federal rules that took effect in August of 2010 are designed to protect consumers by restricting fees and changing conditions regarding gift card expiration dates.

As the holiday shopping season kicks off with Black Friday, many shoppers are avoiding the crowds and saving on gas by buying gift cards – the one-size-fits-all kind of gift.

The Connecticut Better Business Bureau (BBB), however, cautions consumers to do their homework, first. Not all gift cards are created equal.

“While the majority of vendors are honest, there is a degree of risk associated with buying gift cards from some online sites and over-the-counter displays at convenience stores and gas stations,” warns Connecticut BBB President Paulette Scarpetti.

Since January 2011, the BBB has received more than 440 complaints against the gift card industry, a huge increase from the 33 complaints received in 2010.

In some cases, consumers are disgruntled because they received an expired gift card that was loaded with cash, but the cards were not usable until the expiration date was corrected.

After sending their expired cards for replacement, updated cards were never returned, leaving the recipients empty-handed.

Connecticut’s Gift Card Law prohibits the sale of cards with expiration dates or inactivity fees.

The BBB has these tips for both gift card givers and recipients:

1. Know your rights

Federal rules that took effect in August of 2010 are designed to protect consumers by restricting fees and changing conditions regarding gift card expiration dates.

These new rules apply to two types of cards: retail gift cards, which can only be redeemed at retailers and restaurants that sell them, and bank gift cards, which carry the logo of a payment card network such as American Express, Visa, or MasterCard and may be used wherever those brands are accepted.

More information on the new rules is available from the Federal Reserve website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/wyntk_giftcards.htm

2. Know the seller

Make sure you are buying from a known and trusted source. You can look for information about a business at www.bbb.org

And avoid online auction sites that promise ‘full value guaranteed’ gift cards. Some sites of this type have been reported to sell cards that are valueless, counterfeit, expired or obtained fraudulently.

3. Inspect the packaging and the card

Be on the lookout for gift cards that appear to have been removed from their packaging, are approaching their expiration date or are already are expired. Verify that no protective stickers have been removed and that the protective layer on the back of the card hasn’t been scratched off to reveal a PIN number. Report any damaged cards on display to the seller.

4. Read the fine print before buying

Is there a fee to buy the card? Are there shipping and handling fees for cards bought by phone or online? Will any fees be deducted from the card after it is purchased?

5. Provide the card’s recipient with back up

Give the recipient the original receipt in case the card is later lost or stolen. Also, before you buy retail gift cards, consider the financial situation of the retailer or restaurant. A card from a business that files for bankruptcy or goes out of business may be worthless.

[Editor's note: I was given a $50 gift certificate to a children's bookstore that went out of business a week later and filed for bankruptcy. I was told by a state official that it is up to the now-closed business whether to refund or otherwise honor their gift cards. The bookstore owner chose not to.]

The BBB says if a business closes a store near the recipient [Blockbuster is a recent example], it may be hard to find another location where the card can be used.

A business that files for bankruptcy may honor its gift cards, or a competitor may accept the card. Call the business or its competitor to find out if they are redeeming the cards, or will do so at a later date.

6. Treat the gift card like cash!

For recipients, it’s important to immediately report lost or stolen cards to the issuer. Some issuers may not replace them, while others will, for a fee. Make sure to use gift cards as soon as possible; it’s not unusual to misplace or forget about them.

Founded in 1928, the Connecticut BBB is an unbiased, non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior.

The BBB helps consumers find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust, offers objective advice and a wide range of education on topics affecting marketplace trust. The BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses.

Today, 116 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than three million local and national businesses and charities.

Posted Nov. 25, 2011

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

DMV offices closed for Thanksgiving but open on Friday and Saturday

November 22, 2011 Business, Local News No Comments
Mr. Tom is not for eating, but some of his relatives may not be so lucky. Photo copyright 2009 by Brenda Sullivan

Mr. Tom is not for eating, but some of his relatives may not be so lucky. Photo copyright 2009 by Brenda Sullivan

All Department of Motor Vehicles offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 24, for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

DMV’s full-service regional hubs and limited-service offices will reopen Friday, Nov. 25, at 7:45 a.m.

DMV’s full-service regional hubs and limited-service offices will also be open for normal business hours on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In addition, all AAA offices will be closed on Thursday, November 24, but will be open to process driver’s license renewals during their normal business hours on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26.

You can visit http://ct.gov/dmv/offices for a complete list of offices and hours.

Additional information about DMV services can be found at ct.gov/dmv or through the DMV telephone center at 860-263-5700 in the Greater Hartford area and 800-842-8222 for the remainder of the state.

Through the website and phone center, customers can find specific information 24 hours a day on a non-driver identification, change of address and change of name.

In addition, the site has details about vehicle tax questions, records information, forms, emissions, inspections, operator’s licenses, titles and registrations and directions to DMV branch offices and photo license centers.

They also supply details on boating registrations, handicapped driver training, commercial vehicle safety, and instructions on how to file a complaint against a dealer or repairer.

Posted Nov. 22, 2011

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CL-P President Jeff Butler resigns in aftermath of Storm Alfred outage outrage

CL&P is currently under scrutiny by a the Two Storm Panel created by Gov. Malloy to address issues over restoring power both after Tropical Storm Irene in August and Storm Alfred in October.

CL&P is currently under scrutiny by a Two Storm Panel created by Gov. Malloy to address issues over restoring power both after Tropical Storm Irene in August and Storm Alfred in October.

The man who took the brunt of the criticism for the prolonged power outages following the freak October snowstorm – that left hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses without electricity for as long as nine days – will no longer be in the spotlight.

CL&P President Jeffrey D. Butler has resigned.

His resignation was announced via a press release issued today (Nov. 17) by Northeast Utilities, the parent company for Connecticut Light and Power.

As Butler leaves his position, he also takes with him any input he might have given into why some of the things that went wrong did so, and why some things did get done correctly, as he often pointed out in press conferences.

As the power outages stretched into day nine, after the Oct. 29 storm, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy began leaving Butler on his own at the podium during the twice-daily updates from the Emergency Operations Center televised by news stations.

Reacting to the news of Butler’s resignation, Gov. Malloy issued the following brief statement this afternoon, through a member of his staff, Senior Advisor Roy Occhiogrosso:

“Gov. Malloy made clear that he thought Northeast Utilities needed to address CL&P’s management issues, and it’s clear that process has begun. It’s also likely that there will be other changes on other fronts as a result of CL&P’s performance in the lead-up to and aftermath of the storm.”

CL&P is currently under scrutiny by a Two Storm Panel created by Gov. Malloy to address issues over restoring power both after Tropical Storm Irene in August and Storm Alfred.

The historic October storm dumped as much as 20 inches of snow in parts of the state. The main problem created by Storm Alfred was that the snow fell on trees that still had their leaves, which caused widespread damage from broken trees and tree limbs falling onto power lines.

Gov. Malloy has also called in a private company, Witt Associates to investigate what went wrong, and they are expected to produce a report by Dec. 1, 2011.

In the statement issued today, Northeast Utilities Chair, President and CEO Charles W. Shivery announced that “changes in senior leadership and in the emergency preparedness organization of its Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) operating company,” would be taking place, including accepting Butler’s resignation “effective immediately.”

Butler holds a degree in electrical and electronic engineering. He previously worked for Pacific Gas and Electric, and then for an energy consulting firm. He was hired as president by CL&P in 2009.

“We reluctantly accepted Jeff’s resignation,” Shivery said. “His commitment and dedication on behalf of our company, employees and customers have been exceptional. We thank him for his important contribution to NU, CL&P and the community. We wish him all the best.”

“I am proud of our employees and their hard work in response to these historic storms,” said Shivery. “Today’s changes are major steps to help CL&P and our employees better meet future challenges. There are still things to learn, but with winter coming these were changes I knew we should and could make right now.”

Northeast Utilities will now begin searching for Butler’s replacement. In the interim, James A. Muntz, NU president – Transmission, will take over Butler’s duties.

“Muntz currently has overall leadership and management responsibility for NU’s Transmission business… as Vice President – Customer Operations, responsible for the operation and maintenance of CL&P’s electric power distribution system,” the press release states.

Muntz will report to Lee Olivier, who is Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer for NU and CEO of CL&P.

Other steps NU will take in response to the issues surrounding Storm Irene and Storm Alfred outlined in the press release:

– the company has retained a consulting firm, Davies Consulting, Inc., “to perform a thorough evaluation of CL&P’s preparedness and response to recent unprecedented storms,” with a preliminary report due the first week of January and the final report due in early February.

– CL&P has created a new position to lead emergency preparedness, to be filled by CL&P Senior VP – Emergency Preparedness William J. Quinlan. “Quinlan will lead the consolidation and integration of all CL&P emergency preparedness. He will work with state and town officials to put protocols in place to allow CL&P to partner effectively in any type of emergency,” the release states. He also will coordinate the company’s participation in the current post-storm reviews. “Quinlan has worked closely with the towns and the state following Tropical Storm Irene,” the release states.

CL&P Vice President – Asset Strategy Dana Louth has been named to the new position of Vice President – CL&P Infrastructure “He will report to Quinlan. “Louth is a 35-year CL&P veteran with extensive experience in the design and maintenance of electric systems,” the release states. In his new role, Louth will be responsible for “reviewing and making recommendations on how the company can improve the resiliency of its electric system. He will look at such things as tree cutting/trimming, structural “hardening” (making the electric system more resilient under harsh weather conditions), and issues related to underground utilities.

Posted Nov. 17, 2011

Editor’s note: CT-N’s tapings of the Two Storm Panel proceedings can be viewed live online and previous tapings are archived. The next meeting is at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, when the panel will hear testimony from first responders, including police and firefighters, as well as union representatives. Click here for more information http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/press.asp

Related link: “Former FEMA director hired by Gov. Malloy to review response to power outages. http://windham.htnp.com/2011/11/04/former-fema-director-hired-by-gov-malloy-to-review-response-to-power-outages/

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook and follow us ( @HTNP) on Twitter!

How to register for CLP reimbursement fund for Storm Alfred damages

November 16, 2011 Areawide, Business, Local News No Comments
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy suggests that people save receipts for expenses attributable to loss of power from the October 2011 Storm Alfred. United Way 2-1-1 is in the process of gathering information from residents.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy suggests that people save receipts for expenses attributable to loss of power from the October 2011 Storm Alfred. United Way 2-1-1 is in the process of gathering information from residents.

Connecticut Light and Power is collecting information from its customers who lost power as a result of the October snowstorm.

CL&P is in the process of establishing a fund that may reimburse customers for some losses.

It has yet to be determined how that money will be distributed.

Governor Dannel Malloy is currently working to determine the best way to set up a system that is fair and timely when it comes to disbursing the money.

He expects to make an announcement within two weeks.

He suggests that people save receipts for expenses attributable to loss of power from the storm.

United Way 2-1-1 is in the process of gathering information from Connecticut residents who sustained losses caused by the October Snowstorm.

To access information about reimbursements, visit www.211ct.org and click on CL&P in the upper right corner of the page.

When you visit the CL&P part of the site, you will fill out a survey that asks for contact information, how many days you were without power, and what kinds of losses you are claiming, such as:

  • food loss and costs of eating meals at restaurants
  • costs of staying at a hotel
  • cost of gas for a power generator, as well as cost of flashlights, batteries and candles

lost wages

  • damage to property from fallen trees, tree limbs and branches
  • water damage caused by flooding
  • fire damage
  • and “other”

You also will have to include an estimate of total costs and indicate whether you have receipts for the expenses you are claiming.

Because so many people are registering their losses, there have been longer than usual call wait times and occasional delays in accessing 2-1-1 online.

Since 2-1-1 began this work earlier this month, more than 5,500 Connecticut residents have reported losses associated with the power outages by visiting www.211ct.org or calling 2-1-1.

If you wish to speak with a 2-1-1 call specialist to leave your storm-related information, dial 2-1-1 and staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Posted Nov. 16, 2011

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US Postal Service would like its stuff back, please

November 16, 2011 Areawide, Business, Local News No Comments
“The Postal Service spent nearly $50 million this past fiscal year to replace equipment that was never returned,” said Vice President of Network Operations David Williams. “This is a serious issue. We are in a financial crisis and simply cannot afford this type of unnecessary expense. The equipment is federal property and we want it back.”  Photo source: USPS

“The Postal Service spent nearly $50 million this past fiscal year to replace equipment that was never returned,” said Vice President of Network Operations David Williams. “This is a serious issue. We are in a financial crisis and simply cannot afford this type of unnecessary expense. The equipment is federal property and we want it back.” Photo source: USPS

It’s kind of like those occasional free passes your local library gives – return your books now and all overdue fines are forgiven. These “amnesty” periods tend to be very effective in bringing back a ton of books and it is cheaper than sending the local sheriff to knock on doors (yes, that does happen).

Well, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has announced a two-week amnesty period to encourage the “rapid return” of postal-owned equipment, especially pallets and mail tubs. This announcement comes on the heels of recent equipment recoveries made by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (click here to learn more. )

“The Postal Service spent nearly $50 million this past fiscal year to replace equipment that was never returned,” said Vice President of Network Operations David Williams. “This is a serious issue. We are in a financial crisis and simply cannot afford this type of unnecessary expense. The equipment is federal property and we want it back.”

The USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

The USPS has already closed many post offices around the country, in some cases replaced them with kiosks, or contracted with drug stores and other businesses to handle some postal services. And there are deeper cuts to come.

The USPS recently reported a $5 billion loss for fiscal 2011.

Interestingly, the Internet may be partly responsible for cutting down on mail volume as more people rely on email, texting and other electronic means of communicating but at the same time, the increasing use of the Internet for shopping has boosted US Postal Service revenue in other areas.

According to the USPS Nov. 15, 2011 press release, “Shipping Services revenue, which includes Priority Mail and Express Mail, increased $530 million in 2011 (6.3 percent). The increase in Shipping Services revenue was driven by strong growth in the Parcel Select and Parcel Return Services, due to increased mailings of packages, as customers continued to use the Internet more often to purchase products.”

Caught re-selling USPS property

While some people may be guilty of “borrowing” a USPS mail bucket or two, sometimes the abuses are at the criminal level. Here are some examples from the USPS Postal Inspection Service web site:

  • A Georgia man, who worked for a major mailer, was arrested for stealing and selling almost 10,000 USPS pallets to a pallet supply company. The company provided pallets to freight companies doing business in South America. The suspect made restitution of $10,129 to the USPS.
  • A woman who was an employee of an air-express transportation subcontractor for major mailers was arrested for selling 3,520 pallets to a pallet consultant company.
  • The owner of a Florida pallet company that sold more than 21,000 pallets belonging to the USPS was arrested by Postal Inspectors in Florida. The USPS says the man was aware the pallets belonged to the Postal Service and that the sale of those pallets was illegal. He and his company pleaded guilty, he was sentenced in federal court to five months in prison and was ordered to make $419,206 in restitution to the Postal Service. An additional 16,000 pallets were also returned.
  • An investigation in California by Postal Inspectors found approximately 7,500 pallets, valued at more than $200,000, at a recycling company,

No questions asked

The amnesty period to return mail transport equipment, or MTE, is from Nov. 12 to Nov. 26, 2011. Anyone possessing Postal Service MTE is strongly encouraged to return it during this time period and no questions will be asked.

During the amnesty period, small amounts of equipment can be dropped off at local Post Offices or nearby mail processing and distribution centers.

Arrangements also can be made for the Postal Service to pick up large amounts of equipment and/or pallets by sending an email to hqmte@usps.gov, and including “Equipment Pickup Request” in the subject line (if applicable, your company name), the address where the equipment is located, type of mail transport equipment and quantity, and contact information in the message.

There also is a mail transport equipment recovery hotline – 866.330.3404 – that can be used to report the misuse of equipment, such as hoarding or recycling.

The following message is printed clearly on all U.S. Postal Service equipment:

WARNING: Maximum penalty for theft or misuse of postal property, $1,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment (Title 18 USC 1707).

Chapter 58 of the Postal Operations Manual and Title 18 Section 1707 of the Federal Criminal Code detail the policy and laws regulating use of all mail transport equipment.

Posted Nov. 16, 2011

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Connecticut Water refutes criticisms of UConn water plan

Connecticut Water Eric Thornburg from Town Talk

Connecticut Water is well positioned to provide the water necessary to meet the needs identified for the University and the community over the 50 year planning horizon. The EIE considered the projected demands for the University’s Tech Park and the Next Generation initiative, as well as the Town of Mansfield’s plans for redevelopment of the Four Corners, the proposed managed care facility, and other potential development in the community consistent with their local plans.

Future of local water supply is topic of public forum July 29

water - drinking water - water faucet

Questions about water sources, usage and quality have come into focus recently in light of the Storrs Center development, UConn’s plans to bring in water to support a new Tech Park and the concurrent needs of the towns in this region, particularly in terms of their own development plans.

Coventry Farmers Market invites you to a ‘wellness’ swap

SWAPPERS logo Coventry Farmers Market 2013

As always, anything handmade, handcrafted or homegrown is swappable. But remember – you must sign up and bring something to get something in return!

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