Buy Stamps By Mail: Help Island Post Offices

While vacationing recently in Camden, Maine, I picked up a copy of the local newspaper, The Working Waterfront. An article caught my attention about island post offices and their possible demise as local social and economic institutions. To promote their continued existence it was suggested mainland postal patrons purchase stamps from island post offices rather than online. In my opinion, this makes perfect sense as a way to maintain the social fabric of island communities. Here is the article from their September, 2009 edition and an order form to send to an island post office of your choice:

Below you find a form ready to fill out, clip and mail to one of Maine’s small island post offices. Regular readers know (from stories we’ve run in the past) that small island post offices are constantly in danger of being closed down by the U.S. Postal Service, because their volume is small. Selling stamps by mail is one way these important community institutions can keep up their volume, and stay in business to serve island communities.

Island Post Offices & Zip Codes:
Cliff Island…04019
Long Island…04050
Chebeague…04017
North Haven…04853
Swan’s Island…04685
Cranberry Isles…04625
Isle au Haut…04645
Islesford…04646
Islesboro…04848
Matinicus…04851
Monhegan…04852
Peaks Island…04108
Frenchboro…04635

Thank you. Other items available upon request. Please do not send cash. Enclose this order form plus check or money order payable to U.S. Postal Service. Orders of $200 or more will be sent by Certified Mail and must be signed for on delivery.

You can printout the order form here. You can also get a better understanding of the concerns of island and rural communities by reading The Working Waterfront article titled “Maine island post offices fight for survival”. (The above article is reprinted with permission of Island Institute, a membership-based community development organization).

Veterans Job Fair in Atlantic City – August 16 and 17

Less than two months ago New Jersey welcomed back from Iraq the National Guard’s 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team with a parade in Trenton and accompanying political hoopla. Little did some of our servicemen and women know that the world had changed during the 10 months spent thousands of miles away from their friends and families. Too many are now looking for a job since jobs have been erased in their absence.

A Veteran Career/Education/Service Expo, hosted by the state of New Jersey and The G.I. Go Fund, will be held on Sunday, August 16th from 9am – 5pm and Monday, August 17th from 8am – 11:50am at the Atlantic City Convention Center, 1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City.

The state is hosting the job fair for the almost 3000 New Jersey National Guard members (August 16) and for all other veterans (August 17). All employers, veteran organizations, college/trade schools, social service providers, and other organizations or agencies that benefit veterans are invited to attend. There is no charges or fees.

An exhibitor registration form is available online or by printing the form on the G.I. Go Fund website. It can be faxed to them at 732-377-8032 or via email to Alex Manis at manis@gigofund.org. For more information call their Veterans Transition Center at 973-802-1614.

To assist returning Guard members, other online resources include:
NJ Civil Service Commission Job Announcements, a listing of other job fairs, plus the location listing for employment service offices at the state’s One Stop Career Centers. Feel free to add your comments or other available resources.

Legal Services of New Jersey Needs Your Help

This week I received an urgent message indicating that Legal Services of New Jersey is facing a huge shortfall in their core funding and therefore faces their worst financial challenge in its history.  This comes at a time when due to the economic recession LSNJ is seeing a record number of clients seeking assistance due to mortgage foreclosures, evictions, utility shutoffs, denials of unemployment benefits, escalating collection actions, etc.

The note I received from my friend Rev. Bruce Davidson, Executive Director of the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry urges supporters to contact their state legislators to voice support for bill S2881/A3968 that is pending in Trenton.  In fact, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee will be holding a hearing on the bill on Monday, June 22, 2009.

Action can be taken in a number of ways but it requires people to call and write now. Please take the following action today to: 1) Call or write members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and ask them to post and release S2881/A3968 which imposes a temporary requirement on county treasurers to forward $300 from certain mortgage sales to provide funding for LSNJ.  See http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/committees/senate.asp for the list of committee members. 2) Send a letter or call Senate President Cody and ask him to bring the bill to the floor for a vote on June 25. His district office address and phone number is: 449 Mount Pleasant Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052-2734; Phone: 973-731-6770; FAX: 973-731-0647.

To read the bill visit http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/S3000/2881_I1.PDF. For a list of all state legislators with their phone, fax, and email addresses see the New Jersey Community Resources state legislature page at http://www.njcommunityresources.info/njlegislators.html.