News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Editorials

February 1, 2014

EDITORIAL: Nice reprieve for small towns

Village Post Office plan gets services closer to home

TERRE HAUTE — As billions of dollars in financial pressures have tightened a near-death grip on what we used to simply call the post office, many in our smaller towns have begun to see a loss of mail services.

Some towns have already lost their post offices, and more probably will close.

Many remaining post offices have had their business hours cut in ways that, at least in terms of convenience, have reduced services to customers.

No longer can one run to the small-town post office during normal business hours, without looking at the clock, to mail a letter, buy a stamp, get a money order or send a package. If you do, you might find a “Sorry, closed” sign and a locked door.

That has been complicated all across the country, and certainly in the Wabash Valley, by the consolidation of mail processing centers and the use of bigger mail hubs in central cities such as Indianapolis. Jobs have been lost in cities such as Terre Haute, millions of dollars saved for sure, but from services lost.

Into that vacuum has developed a rather nice piece of business — and, really, of Americana. It’s nothing perhaps to jump up and down about, but it is a welcome development.

It’s called the Village Post Office, VPO for short. What is probably the nation’s newest VPO opened Tuesday in Clay City, a town of 861 in southern Clay County.

As you read in the Tribune-Star last week, Russ and Lori Miller have expanded their IGA store in town to now handle postal services. The U.S. Postal Service office in Clay City is still open, but its hours are expected to be cut to six a day beginning in October.

Cutting the town’s post office hours and introducing VPOs, USPS spokeswoman Mary Dando said, “is a strategy to save small post offices” while cutting costs.

The Millers’ grocery is prime as a VPO site because it is a well-established business and can offer many more hours than the traditional post office: the grocery is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The store will get a modest income from the postal service to offer mail products and also will gain some foot traffic that will ring the cash register a bit more. But Russ Miller told our Sue Loughlin that it’s basically a community service. “We try as much as possible to be community-oriented,” he said.

The VPO concept must be an especially good fit for Indiana towns, maybe because of widespread community orientation — or at least we’d like to think that. By our count on the USPS website, there are 59 VPOs in Indiana, compared with only seven in Illinois. Other Wabash Valley towns having VPOs are Dugger (about which we wrote a few months ago), Lyons, Worthington, Kingman and Spencer.

The VPO is still a new idea. The first one was in Malone, Wash., a Grays Harbor town of a few hundred people about 65 miles from Seattle. Red’s Hop N’ Market is home to that VPO, a mini-mart where postal services are in the mix with lottery tickets, fishing bait, milk, donuts, soft drinks and beer. It opened in Malone in August 2011 — the day after the town’s post office closed.

In ways, the VPO is a throwback to a few decades ago when the general store also served as the branch post office, and where the postmaster or postmistress also wore the apron of the meatcutter or the work shirt of the guy pumping gas.

Before nostalgia overwhelms us, we don’t mean to suggest that the VPO is necessarily better than the full-service post office — for instance the VPO’s services are limited to the real basics such as buying stamps or getting a mailing box.

But those are not to be dismissed as inconsequential, of course. And the VPO maintains a level of mail service in towns that otherwise might lose all services. And it puts those services in the hands of community-minded business people, like the Millers. Those things are not at all bad, especially given the alternative.

So, hail the Village Post Office where the shopping list is bread, milk, eggs, soda — and stamps.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Editorial: The Bennett ‘settlement’

    It takes a special kind of arrogance to flout ethics laws in the manner which former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has violated them. Even when he finally admitted his transgressions, he claimed he could have avoided the matter altogether had he just changed the department’s ethics policy before engaging in the troublesome conduct.
    In essence, this was the old “mistakes were made” acknowledgment of wrongdoing. And the real mistake to which Bennett admits was apparently not changing the rules before he violated them. This is a truly Nixonian moment.

    July 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A green idea worth pursuing

    It sounds like a blue-ribbon idea.

    July 9, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Be safe, be responsible

    The Independence Day weekend brought a brief respite in construction work on area roadways. In particular, it provided needed relief to the congested segment of Interstate 70 in Clay County that is undergoing resurfacing this summer.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar Editorial: City financial health demands an open, honest discussion

    Obscured by the recent rift over use of departmental funds in the city of Terre Haute’s budget are serious issues related to our city government’s overall financial health. The answers may be mired in the complexity of municipal finance, but coming to grips with the situation is important to the city’s future.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Celebrate your independence

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
    As eloquent and declaratory as that statement is, implementing its principles has been a decades-long pursuit for these United States of America. Our nation, it seems, is the quintessential work in progress, even though what this country has created in terms of a stable, collective society is, let’s face it, pretty darn good.

    July 3, 2014

  • Editorial: Texting law serves safety

    July 1 each year marks the day in Indiana when new laws take effect. But rather than focus on new laws today, let’s observe the anniversary of a law that went on the books three years ago this month — the law that barred texting while driving.

    July 1, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: For kids, an immediate need

    If you agree that not much is sadder — and potentially more unsettling to our society — than a child torn from his or her home, here is a way you can make a difference, one kid at a time.

    June 28, 2014

  • Editorial: A center for the future

    The Monday morning “groundbreaking” at the site of the new Vigo Schools Aquatic Center in Voorhees Park was largely ceremonial. It will still be a few weeks before work on the $9.8 million facility actually begins. But that didn’t stop the highly anticipated event from taking place, and it was clear from remarks made by a host of VIPs who took turns at the podium that this project is destined to produce great things.

    June 26, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A proud moment for Vigo County

    Most people, regardless of their personal opinions or beliefs on the matter, will admit that they knew the day was coming when Indiana’s law banning same-sex marriages would be overturned by a federal judge. It has happened in other states that have encountered the issue.

    June 25, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Getting smart about fighting crime

    When those “CSI” TV shows began to burst on the scene in 2000, viewers were mesmerized by the flashy scientific and technological methods police labs were using to build cases against criminals.

    June 21, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Forging ahead

    Life in the digital world has changed drastically for many community institutions. But the Vigo County Public Library, which has navigated various minefields of change in recent years, has shown it can adapt, even improve.

    June 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: More needed from Speaker

    Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma did what most people expected he would do in the wake of Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner’s ethics probe.

    June 18, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A woman in the House

    The twists and turns of politics can produce unpredictable results. Just ask Bionca Gambill.

    June 17, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Enticing more students back to campus a worthwhile initiative

    Of all of the educational initiatives paraded before Indiana residents in recent years — some ideas worthy, others flops — none seems more timely or more on point than one approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education last week.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Celebrating local success

    It’s always an uplifting occasion when good things happen to good people. And so we join in the celebration of three people who this week achieved a new level of success and recognition for their professional and personal contributions to life in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.

    June 12, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Shoring up the VA

    How America cares for its veterans is indicative of its values as a nation. We’re confident the vast majority of citizens agree that health care for military vets through the country’s network of VA hospitals should meet or exceed common-sense expectations.

    June 11, 2014

  • Editorial: Playing the Nazi card

    There was good news to report from the Indiana Republican Party Convention conducted last weekend in Fort Wayne. The GOP nominated three women to top its general election ballot in November. There isn’t much gender equity in Hoosier politics, so seeing these three rise to the top of the Republican ballot this year is refreshing. But perhaps the best news is that Richard Mourdock, two-term state treasurer and unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012, will no longer hold public office at the end of this year.

    June 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Cleaner environment will help boost city’s image

    In Terre Haute, the difference is becoming apparent between responsible stewardship of the environment and a look-the-other-way attitude about dumping harmful materials.

    June 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle’s words told a personal story

    Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the day when Allied Forces led by the United States military invaded France on the beaches at Normandy. It was the crucial turning point of World War II against Nazi Germany. To observe this somber anniversary, we have given this page’s editorial space the past three days to the columns written by Ernie Pyle in the invasion’s aftermath. Pyle filed three columns about D-Day that were circulated widely in American newspapers beginning June 12, 1944. The first appeared Wednesday. The second appeared Thursday. This is the final column.

    June 5, 2014 2 Stories

  • EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle walked the beaches of Normandy

    NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 16, 1944 — I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.
    It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.

    June 4, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Remembering D-Day — in the words of Ernie Pyle

    NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 12, 1944 — Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore. By the time we got here the beaches had been taken and the fighting had moved a couple of miles inland. All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air. That plus a gigantic and pitiful litter of wreckage along miles of shoreline.

    June 3, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Rape, sexual assault demand greater attention

    When the facts, figures, commentary and analysis about the devastating impact of rape in our society have been consumed, the daunting, even haunting, question is: What can we do to stop it?

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Editorial: GOP takes up marriage battle — again

    All eyes will focus on Indiana’s dominant political party next week as it meets to nominate candidates to statewide office for the fall election. But nominating candidates won’t be the item on the Indiana GOP convention’s agenda that garners the most attention. Rather, the public will be watching how delegates handle a proposal to reintroduce the concept of supporting the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which was deleted from the party’s platform during a previous convention.

    May 29, 2014

  • tstribunestar Editorial: Sycamores march on into NCAA baseball tourney

    The traditional academic year at Indiana State University ended earlier this month, so a quieter time has fallen over the Terre Haute campus. But Sycamore pride is swelling this week nonetheless. ISU’s baseball team was selected on Monday to the field of 64 for the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament.

    May 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Liz Ciancone: Jail? He’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it

    Sometimes when I’m feeling as if I’m running on empty, someone will toss me an offbeat idea I would never have been able to dream up on my own. And so it was when a friend brought me a clipping from her hometown newspaper over in Illinois.

    May 26, 2014

  • nabors.jpg Editorial: Never too late for another tradition at the Indy 500

    The Indianapolis 500 endures on a unique mix of tradition and change.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronn Mott: Always sad when good die young

    I think I’ve written or talked about funerals since I came back to Indiana in 1986. I had gone to about six or seven funerals or visitations at that point in time. Since then, I have attended approximately 50 or so of them.
    This past week I went to a visitation for Bradley Deetz.

    May 23, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news

    Another great year on the track

    Heavy hearts for nun’s passing

    May 22, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Fixing Vigo’s vote centers

    Concerns over flaws in Vigo County’s new voting system have settled in the weeks since regional vote centers were rolled out to replace precinct voting sites in the May 6 primary election. But the Vigo County Election Board does indeed have some work to do to improve the system’s performance by the November general election.

    May 21, 2014

  • Editorial: Play ball!!

    Terre Haute’s rich baseball history is well-documented, with famous names such as Mordecai “Three-finger” Brown, Max Carey and Tommy John among those with strong local ties. So it’s fitting to see all the activity this week at Indiana State University’s Bob Warn Field, site of the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament. Eight teams, including second-seed ISU, are vying for an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament — and potentially the College World Series.

    May 20, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Raw: Protesters, Israeli Security Forces Clash Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Wendy Williams Sees Turning 50 As Fabulous
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity