My Dog Doesn’t Bite

Those Wary Eyes Mean Business

Many letter carriers across the country have been told by customers that their dogs don’t bite. While a pet might show a generous affection toward friends and family members, it may not feel quite the same way about strangers. Dogs have their own unique personalities and moods, and their actions may not be as predictable as an owner might think.

There are many reasons why dogs bite. Dogs can be protective of their property, feeling the urge to attack in order to defend. This protection can extend around a yard, a favorite toy, or a human. A dog can be afraid, particularly around strangers, and may strike at someone out of that fear. Giving chase to prey is another reason dogs bite. A dog’s natural pursue and catch instinct can be triggered when it sees someone running or bicycling.

With many reasons why a dog might bite, it’s important to remember how to avoid being bitten:

– Don’t run past a dog.

– If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, and then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.

– Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.

– If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a mail satchel, backpack, or bicycle.

A Safe Million

A safe million

Salt Lake City Postmaster Steve Chaus, City Carrier Floyd Youngbauer, and District Manager Jimmy Wolf.

 

With more than 253 million cars and trucks on the road, avoiding an accident is no easy task. For Sugarhouse Station City Carrier Floyd Youngbauer, it’s a skill honed through many years on the road.

Youngbauer recently received the coveted million mile award celebrating his commitment to safety and constant vigilance. Salt Lake City Postmaster Steve Chaus and Salt Lake City District Manager Jimmy Wolf offered their congratulations and thanks for Youngbauer’s exceptional accomplishment.

Packages in the Air

Packages in the air

Many companies such as Amazon and UPS are currently testing drone delivery options as a means to ship packages in the future. Jumping on the technology bandwagon is a certain post office that could soon be delivering packages via drone to isolated areas.

GeoPost, the express parcel delivery operation of France’s La Poste, recently completed testing of a new prototype delivery service using drones. The six-bladed aerial vehicles are designed to handle up to 9 pounds of cargo carried up to a 12-mile radius from the point of origin. The drones are fully automated and don’t need a human pilot for real-time navigation, though humans will monitor flight operations from control stations.

While tests were successful, citizens in urban areas aren’t likely to see drones flooding the skies just yet. GeoPost currently plans initial delivery only in isolated areas and for emergency use.

To see a GeoDrone in action, click here.

Printing New Opportunities

The future of 3D printing
Recently, Royal Mail customers were given the opportunity to explore the world of 3D printing.

The U.K.-based postal service is partnering with 3D printing specialist iMakr to gauge customer interest in the technology. Royal Mail’s customers are among the first non-industrial customers to pilot 3D printing.Customers can purchase ready-to-print items online, or print their own solid, three-dimensional designs from a Royal Mail delivery office or iMakr store.The adoption of 3D printing technology is one of the fastest growing areas of technology. Shipment of the printers is expected to grow 95 percent between 2012 and 2017. The majority will be used by large industrial firms.“3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalized objects,” said Mike Newnham, chief customer officer at Royal Mail.“It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we’re launching a pilot to sit alongside Royal Mail’s e-commerce and delivery capability,” Newnham said.

Commitment to Caring

Layton, UT, Retail Associates Allison Payne, Maryann Wriedt, Maria Munoz, and Roger Winn.

Layton, UT, Retail Associates Allison Payne, Maryann Wriedt, Maria Munoz, and Roger Winn.

Recently, employees at the Layton, UT, Post Office revamped their lobby to help improve the customer experience at their facility. Efforts included removing the cash wrap counter, replacing tile, removing and updating lobby signage and repainting their lobby.

The various improvements by the Layton team are only part of the continuing efforts that have helped the office achieve 100 percent image scores in retail customer experience in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The busy office exemplifies the teamwork and values needed to maintain exceptional customer service on a daily basis.

Students Embrace Mail

Student “retail associates” learn the value of mail through an interactive process.

Student “retail associates” learn the value of mail through an interactive process.

For one particular kindergarten class at Haven Grade School in Haven, KS, the chance to exchange correspondence with classmates through the “mail” is part of the educational process.

Lisa Vierthaler is the wife of Hutchinson, KS, Rural Carrier Roger Vierthaler. She teaches a class of eager students through a combination of interaction, activity, and play. Part of the format employed by the creative educator is the use of a mock Post Office in the classroom.

Through the simulated Post Office, children hone their math, reading and writing skills while learning the intricacies of social interaction. Lisa touts the benefits of the Post Office simulation as a source of educational motivation and enjoyment for her students. The learning process also has the potential to instill within the youngsters the long-term value of mail in their daily lives.

Robot Dogs

Robot dogs

Google is known around the world as an innovator for its creative technology. Successfully working with self-driving vehicles, wearable computing devices, and other interesting designs, the company is one of the leading producers of next generation concepts. Another prototype creation in the works by one of its subsidiaries could one day replace the household pet and serve as an essential equipment carrier in certain situations.

Created by Boston Dynamics, a four-legged prototype robot called Spot is currently undergoing test that will gauge the machine’s ability to dynamically adapt to its surroundings. The robot dog is designed to react intuitively to its environment, including unexpected impacts and climbing up hills. The robot’s abilities are demonstrated in a video released on YouTube that shows the mechanical dog interacting with various elements.

While the creation is still in the prototype phase of development, its applications if introduced for commercial use are significant. In addition to potentially working as an assistance dog for those with disabilities and as an equipment carrier for troops in combat operations, the mechanical robots could also have the potential to act as carrier assistants for delivering the mail.

It might be possible to modify the chassis of a robot dog to house compartments for letter and package storage. The dog could then follow the carrier along his or her route, allowing the carrier to travel with a potentially greater load of mail than would otherwise be possible.

Whatever the future of this particular creation may turn out to be, robotics are likely to have an increasing presence in the world of tomorrow.

Pre-paid Ballot Envelopes

Election activities

Vote by mail was a well-received success this past election season. With three states already participating in the mail-only election process, including Colorado, Oregon and Washington, more are considering the option for future election cycles. While the ease of mail-in ballots is a positive benefit for the public, some voters might be unaware of the need to apply the correct postage to the return envelope before depositing election selections into the mail. To alleviate this issue, legislators in one state are seeking a beneficial solution.

Washington Senate Bill 5344, introduced on January 20, is designed to include the costs of primary and general elections as part of the vote by mail process. Legislators hope that by including the cost of postage, more individuals will participate in elections.

Section 1 of the bill states, “The legislature finds that many citizens lack the necessary funds to purchase the necessary postage to return his or her ballot. The legislature further finds that in order to increase participation in our democracy, we must lower all barriers to participation in the democratic process. The legislature finds that voting should be free for all citizens.”

Language in the bill specifies that both primary and general elections are included in the process, but does not indicate if special elections are also included. Whether or not postage-paid return envelopes will add an incentive for voters to return their ballots remains to be seen.

Do you think voter turnout will increase if return envelope postage is pre-paid by the state?

From Selma to Montgomery

Selma blue

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march for civil rights, the Postal Service is offering a special envelope that illustrates the passion and determination of an event that was instrumental in the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman recently unveiled the envelope designed by Alabama District General Clerk Marvin Owens. The envelope features an image from the march and a recent stamp depicting the 1963 March on Washington.Two versions are available: one with gold embossed lettering and one with blue embossed lettering. Each envelope is $5.

The 1963 March on Washington stamp sheet contains 20 stamps and is also available for purchase for $9.80 per sheet.

To download the order form for the special collection, click here.

1963 march

Embracing the Role

Arizona District Manager John DiPeri swears in Albuquerque Postmaster Severo Garza. Severo’s wife, Sylvia Guerra-Garza, looks on as her husband accepts the responsibility of his new position.

Arizona District Manager John DiPeri swears in Albuquerque Postmaster Severo Garza. Severo’s wife, Sylvia Guerra-Garza, looks on as her husband accepts the responsibility of his new position.

Last month, newly appointed Albuquerque, NM, Postmaster Severo Garza had the opportunity to enjoy a memorable installation ceremony celebrating his new position. With guests including former Postal Service Board of Governor Member Mickey Barnett, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Alex O. Romero, as well as Arizona District Manager John DiPeri, the event was well received by an enthusiastic crowd at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

In addition to the uplifting comments by event speakers, audience members had the opportunity to enjoy the musical styling of Mariachi Nacional.

Garza is the 26th Albuquerque Postmaster with a breadth of responsibility that includes 22 Post Office stations and branches, four Post Office Express units, five Contract Postal Units, and more than 900 employees.

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