My Turn: Work together to save the Douglas Post Office

Since 1887, the Douglas Post Office has served the city and community with convenience, courtesy and efficiency. For many, it is the heartbeat of the Douglas community and that is why I have been fighting to keep it open following the recent announcement from the U.S. Postal Service to review post offices around the country for possible closure.

In July, 36 Alaska post offices were announced as under review for possible closure. As a member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee which oversees the U.S. Postal Service, I advocated directly to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and fought to keep all 36 of these offices open. So far, 31 of the post offices have been saved, but the Douglas station is one of five still under review. We have until Nov. 24 to make our case — this will be the last opportunity for community involvement. That is why we need your help.

Many of you have already attended public hearings and submitted comments to the U.S. Postal Service, but they must hear from more of you. Please take a few minutes to send your story to the U.S. Postal Service and let them know how you would be affected by a closure. It will be your voices and stories that help us save this post office. Mail your comments by Nov. 24, 2011, to:

Ms. Blesilda Lochmann

United States Postal Service

3720 Barrow Street

Anchorage, AK 99599-0001

After Nov. 24, U.S Postal Service headquarters will conduct the final review of any post offices recommended for closure nationwide. However, no closures will be made prior to the 2011 holiday season.

Just like all of you, I know the Douglas Post Office is a vital part of the community. I know you count on the convenience and appreciate the exemplary service provided by its employees. Please help me keep the Douglas Post Office open.

Please feel free to contact Sally Smith in my Juneau office if you have any questions at 907-586-7700.

• Begich is serving his first term as a U.S. Senator for Alaska.

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