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Save the College Point Mail Center

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In three months, the U.S. Postal Service plans to close its College Point facility, which employs 1,000 people. The USPS has decided to move the operation to a facility in Brooklyn.

This is a kick in the teeth to the people of Queens. So far, the only local officials to react to the decision are state Sen. Toby Stavisky and U.S. Rep Joe Crowley. She is frustrated by the postal service’s refusal to release more information about the decision.

“They have refused my and my community’s requests for more information and more time to study the closure before executing it. This will be devastating to our neighborhood, and many of my constituents’ livelihoods will be in peril,” she said. “This is like governmental ‘Jeopardy!’ — the USPS has the answers before we’ve asked the questions.”

Crowley warned that “closing this facility and cutting services won’t get USPS out of the red, but it will hurt Queens families and businesses.”

We understand the USPS is forced to either make painful cuts or go broke. We have no problem with closing post offices that do not do enough business. And we will understand if the service decides to cut Saturday deliveries.

But we do not understand a decision that will result in the loss of 1,000 jobs. More than 2 million people live in this borough. Is there any city in America that large that does not have a postal service center? The postal service admits this will slow down delivery of first-class mail.

The USPS has to cut about 35,000 jobs. College Point is being asked to share an unfair share of that burden.

We are disappointed that Stavisky and Crowley are the only elected officials publicly questioning this decision. Where are U.S. Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand? Where are the other members of Congress and the state Legislature? Their silence is deafening.

There is one small ray of hope. The USPS says the decision is not final.

“In keeping with the terms of an agreement the Postal Service made with Congress in December, no consolidation or closing of any postal facility will occur prior to May 15, 2012, to give Congress and the administration the opportunity to enact an alternative plan,” it said.

There is time for Queens representatives on Capitol Hill to fight for the mail center. Queens voters should hold their feet to the fire. If they do not, mount an effort to save 1,000 jobs — they, too, should be looking for work.

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