Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

2010 stamp issues honor cowboys & comic strips

You may have missed it during the holidays, but the USPS has announced its 2010 commemorative stamp program. It includes a diverse mix of topics and over five dozen different designs.

For the most part, those designs are underwhelming, perhaps because many of the stamps continue ongoing series, and thus don’t look particularly new.

One pleasant exception to that is the 64¢ Monarch butterfly stamp. The USPS says the stamp is intended for use on large greeting cards, but it will pay postage on any one-ounce piece of first-class mail to which the non-machinable surcharge applies, either because of size or stiffness.

The Abstract Expressionists issue also looks interesting because the pane of 10 will include stamps in several different sizes. Finding a complete set of these stamps used for everyday business purposes will no doubt be a challenge.

Do any of this year’s announced commemorative issues strike your fancy?

End of year thanks

As we reach the end of 2009, I want to say “thank you” for reading along over the past few months. Making regular blog posts has proved to be more of a challenge than I anticipated, but I look forward to sharing more interesting items and answering your questions in the future.

I also want to thank Philosateleia’s supporters who have contributed stamps, postcards, and words of encouragement this year.

If you’re using my free stamp album pages, have questions, or just want to say hello, please feel free to send a note to me.

Happy collecting!

Post office closure list keeps shrinking

The USPS is still looking at closing post offices, but there’s a good chance yours is no longer on the list.

Back in August I wrote that nearly 700 post offices across the U.S. could be shut down to save money. Officials later shortened that list to just 241, and this week they announced less than 170 branches are still potentially on the chopping block.

California and Ohio could each lose as many as 25 post offices, according to the latest list [PDF]. Smaller numbers of offices remain under review in other states.

There’s still no word when a final decision will be made on which post offices will close their doors.

Winter update for The Philosateleian

If you live in the U.S., the temperatures have definitely taken a turn toward cold. It’s a great time of year to spend some time indoors with your stamp collection.

To help you with that, the Winter 2009 supplement (180 KB, 3 files, 21 pages) of The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is now available.

One of the most exciting aspects of this update is the addition of pages for the popular hunting permit or “duck” stamps. If you don’t collect those stamps, there’s no need to print the pages for them, but the pages are there if you need them.

Comments and suggestions are welcome. Enjoy!

USPS still considering shuttering dozens of offices

A few months ago I wrote about the United States Postal Service’s study of more than 700 post offices that could be closed in an effort to cut costs. That number has now been pruned to 241, and further changes to the list of offices under review [PDF] are not out of the question.

Closing a post office branch is tricky business since there will invariably be people who regularly use that branch who don’t want to have to go elsewhere. You have to figure some of the offices on the original list are not on the updated list because someone complained to their representative in Congress.

At the same time, the USPS ended fiscal year 2009 with a $3.8 billion loss. The really scary part? Officials are predicting a $7.8 billion loss next year. The USPS recently explained the reasons for all the red ink.

With its financial problems, the USPS might seem like a prime candidate for bankruptcy. The agency does have close ties to the federal government, however, and employs 650,000 Americans. With that sort of impact on the economy, is it possible the feds might consider it “too big to fail”?

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