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April 19, 2012







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People, Places & Events
USPS takes bold actions to deliver affordable mail service
Reducing 461 post offices to 200 by 2013; consolidations to start soon after May 15
By Victor H. Benavides 
USPS District Manager, Dallas
DALLAS–America needs a financially-stable Postal Service.
Toward that end, the Postal Service is taking aggressive actions to preserve the long-term affordability of mail and to adapt to a changing marketplace and evolving mailing needs.
Subject to adoption of a final rule changing its delivery service standards, the Postal Service is pursuing a significant consolidation of its national network of mail processing facilities that will reduce the number of facilities from 461 to fewer than 200 by the end of 2013. No consolidations will occur before May 15, 2012.
Declining mail volumes and substantial fixed costs dictate that we take this bold action to preserve and protect the world’s leading Postal Service for our customers and our employees.
From 1940 to 2006, the Postal Service oversaw a continuous expansion of mail processing and retail facilities to meet growing demand for mail delivery.
This expanded capacity was built to handle high mail volumes that peaked at 213 billion pieces of mail in 2006.
However, since 2006, First-Class Mail volume has rapidly declined as the economy recessed and the age of digital communications advanced.
In 2011, 168 billion pieces of mail were delivered. By 2020, the Postal Service expects to deliver as few as 130 billion pieces.
By any standard, this is a steep decline.
In just the past quarter, the Postal Service lost $3.3 billion and is projecting further losses for the remainder of the year.
No one is to blame. Times have changed. So must the Postal Service. The American public and business are relying more on electronic communications. Bills are paid online. Friends and family interact through Facebook and Twitter.
Nevertheless, the demise of the Postal Service is greatly exaggerated. The Postal Service sustains a $900 billion industry that employs over 8 million people. Every day, we deliver to more than 151 million locations.
Even in a digital age, mail remains a powerful communications, marketing and delivery tool.
The aggressive steps we are taking to realign our mail processing network will keep mail affordable, valuable and viable for generations to come. These are responsible steps any business would take.

Master gardener conference set
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–The 12th annual Henderson County Master Gardeners Spring Conference will be held Saturday, April 21, at Eastern Hills Church of Christ. The theme is Texas Independence and San Jacinto Day, which was April 21, 1836.
The speaker will be Chief Horticulturist of Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, Steven Chamblee.
He has a master’s degree in public horticulture administration and more than 20 years experience in public and private gardens.
Chamblee served as the Native Plant Horticulturist for the Heard Natural Science Museum in McKinney, before returning to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens as the grounds manager, and then education director.
Chamblee serves as consulting editor and writer for Neil Sperry’s Gardens Magazine and authors a monthly newsletter column titled “Native Son.”
Chamblee will speak about great gardening ideas, to inspire people to create a garden that is an extension and expression of who they are.
We will hear about form, texture, contrast, framing, details and other things that create a wonderful garden.
Local master and East Texas native, chef Justin Boswell, owner of the Railway Café, will cater the dinner.
“I’m trying to do something a little different and to work with local farmers as much as possible,” Boswell said.
“I just like cooking fresh and clean; when you get pristine ingredients you don’t have to add a whole lot to them,” he added.
The menu will focus on foods from of the frontier days, with a rich flavor of its own.
The annual plant sale will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will focus on hardy perennials, with some new perennials that are not often seen in local gardens.
Potted annuals and herbs will also be for sale.
A silent auction will take place at approximately 6:40 p.m. to round out the evening.
Tickets are $20, which includes the plant sale, dinner and the speaker presentation.
Purchase tickets at the local AgriLife Extension office (903) 675-6130 or from any Master Gardener.
The Eastern Hills Church of Christ is located at 1200 East Corsicana (Hwy 175 East) in Athens.
The Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who support the AgriLife Extension Agent in meeting the demands for horticultural information throughout the county.
For more information about the conference and programs, go to


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

We have many animals at the
Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
in Seven Points
in dire need of a good home.
Please call or stop by the Humane Society today
and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
is located on
10220 County Road 2403 in Seven Points.
For more information, please call
(903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday.

For further information visit our website at



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