31
Jul
09

Is Montclair A Real Place Without Its Post Office?

Is Montclair a real place without its post office?  Would it still feel like the wonderful little village we know and love today?  Imagine having to drive for miles to mail holiday cards and gifts, or your tax return.  Think about the impact on your daily schedule, the inconvenience, and even the wasted oil.

To us, Montclair without its post office…seems like a body with its heart ripped out.  And yet the U.S. Postal Service is deciding whether or not to perform this “major surgery” right now.

Our village is one of five Oakland P.O. locations that’s on a closure hit list.  In the Montclarion, Postal Service spokesperson Augustine Ruiz said they will begin making decisions or taking actions on October 2nd.  That means we have precious time to act, and to prevent this untimely demise.

U.S. Post Office - 41st Street

Postal Service Is Declining: In the new world order, it’s all about dollars and cents.  The snail mail business is definitely hurting with our wholesale shift to online communications, not to mention fierce competition from FedEx and UPS.  No one uses their post offices like before, including Montclarions.

Still, we have practical needs and stopping by the post office seems as natural as breathing air.  It will be tough on us if this Mountain Ave office closes down, because that means a several-mile drive down Broadway or Moraga to 41st Street (map).  Don’t get me going about the service there, either.

Local Office Needs Money, Stat: One Montclair neighbor, Karen Silverberg, decided to ask the postal workers what to do.  “I talked to one of the clerks at the Montclair P.O. and he said that the review would be based upon revenues received by each station, bottom line,” she explained.  “We should all go buy lots of stamps, ASAP.”  This seems like wise council, along with shipping a few more packages.

The Montclair Village Association will address the threatened closure at their next Board meeting, and welcomes concerned Montclarions to attend as well.  You may join them on Wednesday, August 5th, at 6:15 pm – down at the Pacific National Bank office (1998 Mountain Ave, map).

C’mon, folks!  We’ve gotta show the USPS that we mean business.

More info:   Besides making the point to visit our local post office (map), you can become an activist and register complaints too.  The USPS District Manager, Kim Fernandez, may be contacted at 1675 7th St., Rm. 307, Oakland, CA 94615.  Our Oakland Postmaster, Lowana Gooch, may be called at (510) 251-3031 or reached at 201 13th St., Rm 212,  Oakland CA  94612.  Or you may ask for assistance from U.S. Congress Rep Barbara Lee, click here for contacts.

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5 Responses to “Is Montclair A Real Place Without Its Post Office?”


  1. 1 Patrick
    August 3, 2009 at 8:37 am

    So, your plan is to BUY your way out of a post office closure? How very Montclair. I suppose you have the money to do it. If you succeed, please be mindful that you put our local post office (Dimond) at greater risk and, unlike Montclair, we don’t have the luxury of a UPS store a block away. Hell, many of my neighbors don’t have the luxury of driving to another post office, because they can’t afford cars.

    • 2 Elaine
      August 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      I always find it curious the sort of stereotypes and remarks I hear and read from folks of other Oakland neighborhoods regarding Montclair. At first I found it humorous, now it’s frankly just tiresome. Patrick, if you devoted the same amount of time to your neighborhood issues that you spend complaining about other neighborhoods, it would be so much productive to our city as a whole.

  2. 3 Miss Mountain Boulevard
    August 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    First in agreement with Elaine. She’s right. Citizens of Oakland should stop picking fights and start standing up for each other. And she has first hand knowledge of how much energy and commitment is put into making improvements in Montclair. Of course, we should also understand that when people have full-time jobs, it is hard for them to dedicate very much attention to fighting for their neighborhoods, however much they love them. More to the point: yes, Montclarions can afford to drive around, and they do it all of the time. In fact, they probably drive outside of their neighborhood to do errands/shop/eat more than any other group of Oaklanders. I don’t buy the argument that is is inconvenient for local residents to have the post office closed because we will have to make a “several mile drive down Moraga” in order to pick up packages. If you really don’t like having to drive about, why not put your energies into advocating for better public transit into the 94611 area? Keeping the post office open is not going to make a big difference since, as you say, the snail-mail business is hurting. I’d rather have better postal services than more locations, and you know they’ll have to cut one or the other…unless you plan also involves either (1) shutting down neighboring locations instead or (2) leading a USPS “economic stimulus” plan and sending millions of letters.

  3. 4 Native Oak
    August 8, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Part of what makes a “neighborhood” is its functionality. Montclair has a variety of shops that makes a “one stop shopping” trip a possibility (using less gas, but feeding those ridiculous parking meters). Having a post office in the village is part of what makes it a real neighborhood – it has a hardware store, drug stores, restaurants, bookstores, an ice cream store, you name it, and we have it (or had it, since many small businesses have closed due to economic hard times). I would hate to lose our post office, and its not about competing with other post offices or bashing other neighborhoods. Its about keeping our neighborhood’s resources both diverse and intact, so many people can come for a variety of reasons. Its a neighborhood where people can hang out with friends and also do some local shopping, including going to the post office. Driving to Dimond, or Berkeley or … just uses more gas and detracts from the overall integrity of this neighborhood. Post offices have always had a vital role in communities, and even though we live in the days of the cyperspace, we still send each other packages, even letters. Keep the post office open!

  4. 5 GS
    August 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    The Montclair post office is busy at least half the time, yet the USPS might shut it down? Yep, that office at 41st Street in Piedmont is the worst—one time there were 12 people in line, and one postal worker at the window. Took me 45 minutes to mail a small package. I’d rather pay for expensive parking in the Village than drive to lovely, lower Piedmont….


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