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Roger Bailey, Bismarck, Published February 13 2013

Letter: Saturday mail cut not a ‘good idea’

The headline in Thursday’s The Forum states “Many see end to Saturday mail delivery as ‘good idea.’ ” The majority of newspapers in North Dakota don’t think it’s a “good idea” at all.

While The Forum’s circulation manager sees the lack of Saturday delivery as only a minor inconvenience because most of his newspapers are home-delivered by carriers, most newspapers in North Dakota use the U.S. Postal Service for delivery, and expediency is of utmost importance to assure that what’s being delivered to subscribers is truly “news.” Newspapers might be the largest customer USPS has in the state.

Saving money is important to USPS, but their primary problem isn’t the lack of mail to deliver or the 46 cents it recently employed to mail a letter. It’s the prepaid pension money that is driving USPS out of business. No mention of that in the story or by any of the people the reporter talked to outside the Fargo Post Office.

It’s likely the already sporadic delivery of the mail will only get worse as a result of the backlog of mail created over the weekend if Saturdays are a holiday at USPS. We understand why most people won’t be bothered by a delay in receiving bills or junk mail. Prompt delivery of news is another matter.

The North Dakota Newspaper Association has asked the North Dakota congressional delegation to help stop the USPS plan to abandon Saturday delivery and give the prepaid pension money back to USPS. We’re counting on them.

Bailey, Bismarck, is executive director, North Dakota Newspaper Association.