To the editor: I concur with letter writer Mark Hanna of Whitingham ("Problems with new delivery plan," Sept 30) about the short-sightedness of the Reformer's new delivery plan.
Cutting the jobs of local delivery drivers in favor of putting delivery onto the backs of our beleaguered postal workers makes no sense to me. Like Hanna, the pleasure of reading a physical paper in the morning is a key reason I have subscribed to the paper since I moved to the area in 1994.
As a former journalist myself, I want good journalism to thrive and I understand the economic constraints, but publisher Jordan Brechenser and owner Paul Belogour claim to want to support our local economy as well. Eliminating local jobs, and shifting this task to the USPS doesn't help at all. As many know, the postal service is struggling to deliver the mail it already must cope with; a recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that the service has been underpaying employees for overtime for years because of pressure by that agency to reduce costs. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has pushed to reduce use of overtime altogether, leading to inevitable service delays. Adding local newspaper delivery on top of these challenges can only add to postal service problems, while also eliminating the morning paper readers depend upon.
Print subscribers have already lost the Monday paper and section C (which used to be national and international news); now we are expected to accept even less service. As Hanna notes, it is greenwashing to claim this will reduce emissions, as many rural customers will have to drive to their post offices to claim their paper. And the rest of us will have to accept afternoon delivery – in my case that means I likely won't be able to read the paper until the next day, reducing its value as a daily paper.
As Hanna put it, retaining subscribers is key to keeping journalism alive. Eliminating morning delivery, and delivery jobs, is not the way to do that.
Westminster West, Oct. 8