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Office Hours

Posts tagged: Congress

Fairchild workers could face furloughs if the ‘fiscal cliff’ talks don’t find a solution

Do you or anyone you know work as a civilian at Fairchild Air Force Base?

It may be a tough week ahead if Congress doesn't come up with a solution to the “fiscal cliff” deficit deadline.

A Wall Street Journal article notes that the Pentagon would notify up to 800,000 civilian workers to brace for furloughs in the frst month of 2013 if no solution to the deficit issue is found.

Those workers, if affected, would need to take mandatory leave without pay for a certain period. Those furloughs would be of unlimited duration, depending on how Congress resolves the standoff.

Here's the Sunday afternoon update on where those talks are, compliments of the Washington Post.

Downtown Spokane post office will not relocate, as earlier planned


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The downtown Spokane (Riverside Avenue) post office will not relocate in 2012.

We have the story at Spokesman.com, and we're still trying to nail down suggested reasons for the about-face.

In August the USPS announced the station, at 801 W. Riverside, would close in 2012 and relocate to a smaller location in downtown.  That plan was reversed for reasons not fully disclosed by the USPS.

The decision doesn't affect plans by the Seattle USPS district office to sublease about 24,000 square feet of space on upper floors of the Crescent Court building on Main. That effort is continuing, but hasn't landed a new tenant.

 


It’s not all U.S tax dollars being spent on empty downtown buildings

We were in the grocery line today and a man two places down from us pointed to the morning paper.

“This story shows why this country is so screwed up,” he said. He pointed to the recent SR story about the U.S. Postal Service paying $490,000 per year for empty space on the sixth floor of the downtown Crescent Court building.

“It's just crazy how they're wasting our money,” he railed.

We told him, no, the money for the lease comes out of the USPS operating budget, which is, in general, self-sustaining (or should be, if people used more services and bought more stamps).

In that light, we wanted to offer some links for further reading. The USPS is at a crucial moment in its history, and unless there's a government bailout, the level of services people are used to will change dramatically.

One good starting point is a collection at Washingtonpost.com, entitled “Our Shrinking Postal Service.” It's a worthwhile read. 

The graphic above, which comes from Washingtonpost.com, shows the location of roughly 3,700 possible post offices the USPS is looking to close in the next two years.

Another good summary is this article which appeared recently in the New York Times.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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