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Will the Altadena Post Office Shut Down?

Despite local media reports saying the office could be closed soon, it is not on the list of potential branches targeted for closure. However, that does not mean its future is secure.

Will the Altadena Post Office Shut Down?

In the last week, two local media reports have suggested that the is at threat of being shut down, but postal officials say that no closure is currently planned.

The Pasadena Weekly reported last week that the Altadena Post Office and two other local branches are at threat of being shut down, citing local union members, and the Pasadena Star-News also listed the Altadena branch as being at risk in an article about a local postal worker protest on Tuesday.

In both cases, the discussion of a possible shutdown comes from union members from the postal service--neither paper cites an official U.S. Postal Service official by name in their reporting.

According to Richard Maher, the local spokesman for the postal service, neither the Altadena branch nor any Pasadena branches are on the list of about 3,700 post offices nationwide that are currently being considered for closure.

The only facility in Pasadena or Altadena that is under consideration is a mail sorting operation that does not include retail post office functions, Maher said.

But that does not mean local postal workers and Altadena community members who like their local post office have nothing to fear--the long-term picture for the entire postal service is grim. 

Without additional funding for the service, there exists a possibility that up to half of the post office branches in the country could be shut down within five years, according to Maher.  Altadena obviously would stand a good chance of being one of the branches to close.

It's also worth noting that Congress decided to and decided to bestow that honor on a Pasadena branch instead.  A representative for Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, said at the time that the decision had to with the Pasadena branch being "permanent."

The USPS is facing a deficit of over $9 billion, according to this ABC News report, and will default on a $5.5 billion pension fund payment if no congressional action is taken.  Because of the pension issues and the long-term decline in mail usage, the postal officials have not painted an optimistic future for the service, though several short-term solutions are currently under consideration.

However, before any branch is shut down, the public must be notified--there is a 60-day public input period before closure.  The list of 3,700 postal branches are ones where the public has now been notified.

The protests in Pasadena on Tuesday were part of a wave of union protests nationwide aimed at getting congressional leaders to take action to avoid or minimize employee layoffs, delivery reduction or branch closures.

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