Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How to Save The Post Office
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ameircan Stamp Dealers Association Hires PR Firm

The Business Journals Digital Network website reports, "For the first time in its 99 year history, The American Stamp Dealers Association (ASDA) has hired a Public Relations firm. Insider Media Management ( has been selected to help attract new and former stamp collecting enthusiasts to the hobby," according to press release that appears on the  website.

According to a press release that appears on the firm's website, "To accomplish this goal, the PR firm run by award-winning former news journalists has developed an integrated social media and media relations campaign called, The Stamp Love (

Insider Media Management's Public Relations Manager, Maureen Rowland is quoted in the release as saying, ""We were inspired to call our campaign the Stamp Love after spending time with ASDA members and realizing the passion they have for this hobby."

The campaign is built on four elements of stamp collecting which are easily relatable to everyone, including those who have never considered practicing this hobby: art, family, history and value.

"Through online and traditional media channels the campaign will lay out how each stamp is a work of art, collecting is a hobby which can bring families together, stamps and collecting have an extensive history worldwide, and many stamps have a significant monetary value" adds Rowland.

To read the entire press release, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, February 22, 2013

Letter Carriers To Protest Saturday Delivery Cut

The People's World website, reports, "Stepping up their grassroots lobbying of lawmakers, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will stage a nationwide protest on March 24 against the Postal Service's Saturday service shutdown scheme. In addition, they're already urging carriers and constituents to write and call their lawmakers in protest."

According to reporter Mark Gruenberg, "NALC members plan to hit the streets on what would ordinarily be their day off to tell citizens and customers about the negative impact of USPS plans to cancel Saturday pickups and delivery, starting on Aug. 5, except for parcels.The NALC's national mobilization accompanies a similar effort for several days in February by the other big USPS union, the Postal Workers. NALC and other workers also want to drum up support for legislation by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., to keep Saturday delivery while offering other solutions to the Postal Service's financial ills."

Gruenberg goes on to say, "But lawmakers are apparently splitting along partisan lines when it comes to USPS' plan to save $2 billion yearly by eliminating Saturday service - a move that unions, citing USPS studies, add would actually lose at least $5.2 billion in revenue.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 6:44 PM

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How Some Famous Stamp Collectors Got Started

The Philatelic Database website has posted an interesting article by Bill Hornadge titled "Relax With Stamps" in which some famous stamp collectors are profiled. Among the usual famous collectors cited are Czar Nicholas, King George V, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain.

However, one collector mentioned in the piece, Simon Wiesenthal, hunter of Nazi war criminals, is not so well known for his philatelic passion.

According to Hornadge, "Wiesenthal was near death in the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp when it was captured by the American army in May 1945. After expert medical treatment, Wiesenthal recovered some of his physical strength and joined the War Crimes Office of the American army. But the mental stress he had gone through in the camp played such havoc with his mind that he suffered from insomnia and by 1948 was close to a complete nervous breakdown. The doctor whom he consulted realised that Wiesenthal needed an interest strong enough to expunge the torturing memories of Mauthausen. He recommended stamp collecting."

Hornadge goes on to say, " Until that time, Wiesenthal had no interest in philately, but he realised the soundness of the doctor’s advice and decided to take up collecting to quieten his nerves."

Wiesenthal is quoted as saying, "“I don’t wish to serve as a publicity agent for stamp dealers, but I must admit that the new hobby really diverted me and put my mind at rest. I bought some catalogues, magnifying glasses, a pair of tweezers etc. and spent my evenings bent over the stamps which caught increasingly my imagination. It made me forget the events of the preceding day. It became a passion with me.”

Shown above, 2010 Israeli stamp commemorating the life of Simon Wiesenthal.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Postal Office Plans to Sell “Rain Heat & Snow” Apparel

The Washington Business Journal reports, "The U.S. Postal Service is in the works to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories under the brand name, 'Rain Heat & Snow.”

According to reporter Greg Bianco, "It has partnered with Cleveland-based Wahconah Group to produce the product lines, and they use the deliverer’s unofficial motto as the root of the branding: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.""

Steven Mills, Postal Service corporate licensing manager is quoted as saying, "The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create 'smart apparel' — also known as wearable electronics."

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on this story, click here
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Israeli Stamps Offend Some

Last week Haaretz reported on the Israeli Philatelic Service's decision not to use a picture from 1948 of a young woman working at the Ayalon Institute, a secret ammunition factory that operated before the state was established, producing bullets for the Haganah, then an underground paramilitary organization. The service cited the woman's "bare legs" as the reason for rejecting the photo.

Yesterday, Haaretz, this wasn't the first time the Philatelic Service censored a stamp for fear of offending the religious public.

According to the article by Ofer Aderet, "In 2000, the service issued a stamp to encourage proper oral hygiene for children. The stamp featured Adam and Eve with fig leaves covering their genitals and Eve tempting Adam to eat candies from the Tree of Knowledge. Righteous Adam turns away with a large, defiant toothbrush in hand."

Aderat goes on to say, "The dental hygiene stamp was the inspiration of Dr. Haim Galon, editor of Haaretz's now defunct stamps section. In the original version, Galon wrote in a letter to the editor, the toothbrush was drawn 'in a very strategic place on the man's body.' Ultimately, it was moved a few millimeters higher so as not to offend the religious public and the whole affair passed without complaint, wrote Galon."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, February 18, 2013

Postage Stamps in the Digital Age

The Wichita Eagle reports, "The digital age is messing with one of the world’s most popular hobbies: philately, the study and collecting of postage stamps."

Bernd Frazier, president of the Wichita Stamp Club is quoted as saying, "It's very damaging. American collections once lovingly handed from one generation to the next are being sold or given away."

Ralph Lott is also quoted in the article by Beccy Tanner. Lott points out internationally, some stamp collections are taking off.

“It’s going great in China,” he said. “They have people emerging who have money and pride in their country. Collections are growing in other parts of the world.”

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Easter Island Post Office Does Brisk Postcard Business

Paul Brady of the Huffington Post calls the post office on Easter Island "The World's Loneliest Post Office."

Brady pens, "In the middle of the South Pacific, one of the world's most remote post offices continues to do brisk business in stamps, as tourists from around the globe flock to pay their respects to the postcard, a much-maligned, antiquated but great form of expression."

"Asked if people still send lots of postcards from Easter Island, a clerk replied with a drawn out 'Siiii,' that indicated the glaringly obvious question fell somewhere between idiotic and offensive," according to Brady.

To read the entire article and see additional photos, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sen. Al Franken Proposes Ways to "Modernize" the Post Office

Reporter Devin Leonard writes on the Bloomberg Business Week website, "The U.S. Postal Service has another would-be savior: Al Franken, the U.S. senator from Minnesota and former Saturday Night Live cast member. On Thursday, he and seven Democratic colleagues introduced a bill to 'modernize' the financially troubled agency, which is losing $25 million a day."

Leonard goes on to say, "By 'modernize,'Franken and his allies mean expand the Postal Service’s operations. This is from his press release: 'The measure would let the Postal Service look for innovative new ways to generate revenue by allowing post offices to notarize documents, issue hunting and fishing licenses, and allow shipments of wine and beer—all services currently prohibited at post offices.”

To view Senator Franken's "Legislation to Reform, Modernize Postal Service, Preserve Saturday Delivery" press release, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 1:10 PM

Saturday, February 09, 2013

How the Post Office Made America

Richard R. John writes on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, "The Postal Service’s announcement that it plans to end Saturday mail delivery reminds us of its vulnerability to the technological convulsions of the information age. The agency lost nearly $16 billion last year; stopping Saturday delivery, starting in August, would save about $2 billion a year. To preserve the letter of the law, which requires six-day service, the agency would continue Saturday parcel delivery — a shrewd decision, since, thanks to booming e-commerce, the parcel business is one of the few sectors that is actually growing"

He goes on to pen,"Polls suggest that 7 in 10 Americans support the change, but a predictable outcry has emerged from members of Congress, labor unions, periodical publishers and direct-mail marketers. Other critics warn that ceasing Saturday service will be the first step down an irreversible “death spiral.”

John points out, "When Americans reflect on postal history, they almost always start with Benjamin Franklin. But Franklin had nothing to do with the modern institution that the founders established. It was George Washington and James Madison, not Franklin, who supported the key legislation that got the modern post office up and running in 1792."

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:52 PM

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Belgium to Issue Stamps With Chocolate Smell and Taste

Ken Hanly reports on the Digital Journal website, "On March 25, the Belgium Post Office (Bpost) will issue novel chocolate smelling, chocolate tasting stamps. There will be five stamps treated with heat sensitive inks."

Hanly quotes the Belgian Postal Service as saying, “We have added a chocolate taste to the glue of the stamps. You can taste [it] when you lick it. It was not easy to get the scent and flavor of the dark chocolate right. In the end, people from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland all worked on it.”

The stamps are being issued to honor and celebrate the country's famous chocolatiers and chocolate as a national delicacy according to Hanly.

To read the entire article and watch a video about the decline of chocolate sales in Europe, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:00 PM