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Friday, November 28, 2014

Errant mail irks residents of 10463

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Long lines and spotty service have raised the hackles of residents served by the Kingsbridge Post Office. On Tuesday, several customers said they had waited twenty to thirty minutes to get to a window.

Correction appended.

Retired bookkeeper Esther Hoenig relies on payments from the Social Security Administration and her day-a-week job to make ends meet. But after several days with no mail service at her 3640 Johnson Ave. apartment so far this month, the latter funds arrived about a week late.

“They literally screwed me over by not delivering the mail,” said Ms. Hoenig, 75. “I think this is very unfair, very uncalled for and totally outrageous.”

While the number of residents in the same situation as Ms. Hoenig could not be ascertained, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Congressman Eliot Engel say they have received an unprecedented number of complaints about mail service interruptions from constituents in the 10463 ZIP code, which the Kingsbridge Post Office serves.

People interviewed for this article reported a range of experiences. Residents of the Whitehall high-rise in Spuyten Duyvil reported no recent interruptions in service, while one woman living in Kingsbridge said she has not received mail for a total of seven days so far this month.

Although this winter has brought some of the harshest weather in years, the problem seems to go beyond the snow, with residents complaining of delivery blackouts even on days when the weather was fine.

“The only possible excuse they can have is that they are short staffed,” Mr. Dinowtiz said of the Kingsbridge Post Office. “I suspect it goes deeper than that. I suspect they are just not up to the job of managing this area.”

Mr. Dinowitz added that he and his neighbors at a Henry Hudson Parkway apartment building have not received any mail for several days over recent weeks. He said the Kingsbridge Post Office’s failure to deliver a constituent mailing from his Albany office helped prompt him to look into the matter.

A United States Postal Service (USPS) spokeswoman did not provide details of mail blackouts in the 10463 ZIP code. But Connie Chirichello confirmed that the Kingsbridge station worked out the problem over Mr. Dinowitz’s Jan. 21 mailing, which the assemblyman said reached constituents in the 10463 ZIP code more than a week late.

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