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USPS pitch better-received

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First, a number of beloved post offices in San Francisco were threatened with closure due to the U.S. Postal Service’s burgeoning fiscal troubles.

Now, the federal agency is considering stopping Saturday delivery in order to make up a projected $7 billion shortfall this year.

“It means I won’t get my Netflix on Saturday,” Barry Prioste said  laughing as he waited for a friend at a downtown post office Tuesday afternoon.

The USPS continues to struggle as Americans rely more on electronic communications instead of paper, with the number of items handled falling from 213 billion in 2006 to 177 billion last year.

Miles Luquingan admitted to being one of the millions who have started paying bills online, which has cost the USPS income on stamps.

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But, he said, stopping delivery on Saturdays would make it tough to receive packages because he works during the week and Saturday is the only day he’s home to sign for them.

“If I order something that they need signed, I always make it Saturdays,” Luquingan said. “They could at least keep delivery going for packages.”

Despite less reliance on the post office, ideas to reduce service in San Francisco have not been well-received. Last year, a proposal to shut three post offices sparked outcry from residents.

Those branches — McLaren Station, Bernal Heights Station and the Federal Building branch — survived following plenty of letter writing from concerned residents and a well-attended community meeting on the subject, USPS spokesman James Wigdel said.

He said he hasn’t heard that kind of passion about plans to drop Saturday deliveries.

In a USPS survey, “About 70 percent of the country [didn’t] mind five-day delivery as long as we maintained our service,” Wigdel said.

Prioste seconded that sentiment.

“I guess if they have to do it, I’d rather have quality mail service than have everyday service that was bad,” he said.

Katy Kaminski, who was snail-mailing at the Rincon Center post office Tuesday, said she would only be slightly inconvenienced if she didn’t receive mail on Saturdays.

“You know, if my paycheck doesn’t arrive on Friday, it’s nice to get it on Saturday,” Kaminski said.


The Associated Press and Examiner Staff Writer Katie Worth contributed to this report.

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