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Letters from USPS cause confusion

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - The nightmare continues as residents are confused by the letters sent out by the United States Postal Service.

It is a postal nightmare that started when residents began reporting that they were not receiving their mail following the implementation of high speed computer technology that sorts mail automatically and rejects those addresses not inputted in the USPA data base. Technology that was supposed to speed through mail has instead created confusion. As we reported in order to receive your mail USPS recommends you use the addresses provided to you.

Residents around the island are receiving letters such as this from the United States Postal Service notifying them of their correct addresses. These letters are also clustering and eliminating entire villages enraging individuals such as Sinajana Mayor Robert Hoffman whose village has apparently been clustered under Hagatna.

Mayor Hoffman says he has been receiving calls from angry and irate resident questioning why their addresses now read Hagatna instead of Sinajana. "We started with the argument with them in March it heated up in April that's when the congresswoman fired off the letters and we were hoping okay we will roll out a campaign which will educate our customers in the proper way to use it and then for today and yesterday to come aboard and everybody's up in arms cause suddenly everybody got the wrong address," he said.

But the postal service attributes these new addresses to maps provided by Department of Public Works, maps that Hoffman says are ten years old. He says someone is asleep at the wheel and the Guam Office should be held responsible for their lack of leadership. "To turn around and blame Public Works is a cop out because Public Works the first thing out of their mouths is we did not tell them there was no more Sinajana," he said.

But it is not just Sinajana - areas in Dededo are now classified as Yigo, while Piti and Talofofo are now classified as Santa Rita.

Hoffman says he contacted the postal service questioning why his village has been eliminated from the system, saying, "When I called her yesterday I said I am upset I'm the mayor for the district that you apparently eliminated from your system they said we are really sorry just scratch it out and put Sinajana and I said no that's not my job my job is not to correct your problem."

Hoffman was informed that he could still use Sinajana and that it was a routing issue on how the computer knows to send mail to Hagatna Post Office for delivery. If this is the case then why issue letters identifying the "correct" addresses for locations?

"By me scratching it out what does that do? Is the computer going to understand what I am trying to say or what I'm trying to do? And I raised the question with them you have how many villages with the same name of roads there's a Chalan Villa Gumas in almost every village," he said.

He says the USPS will differentiate between zip codes, names and address numbers. But because the villages are clustered together it remains to be seen how the postal service will efficiently sort out where the mail is intended to go.

We should add that Hoffman has written another letter to Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo expressing his frustration and hopes for resolve the issues.
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