Douglas, Point Baker Post Offices Could Close

http://www.alaskapublic.org/?p=42336Post offices in Southeast Alaska’s Douglas and Point Baker are among 36 in Alaska tentatively slated for closure under a federal money-saving plan.

The Douglas post office is one of five in Juneau, including a contract station. Point Baker’s office is the only one in the small northern Prince of Wales Island community.

Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service announced it is considering closing about 3,600 offices nationwide. That’s about 11 percent of its local offices. Most are in small communities.

Alaska U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski calls the offices, quote, “necessity, not convenience.” She says many of the affected communities have no road access to another post office.

Closures outside Southeast Alaska include the towns of Circle, Kobuk, Platinum and Wales.

Postal officials say outlets on the list receive minimal traffic. They plan further review before taking any action.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.

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