EDITORIAL: Week of February 23

There was good news last week for area residents who rely on the Ovington station of the U.S. Postal Service to buy stamps and mail packages.

USPS has decided to continue utilizing the station – which, along with 20 others in New York City, was on a list of over 3,600 stations considered for closure to help the mail service close a multi-billion dollar budget gap.

That the Ovington Station has been saved is not just a coincidence. Rather, the decision was taken after months of effort by local activists and elected officials who besieged U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe with letters and petitions aimed at making sure that the powers-that-be understood exactly how important the vest pocket post office was to the myriad of residents who regularly utilize it.

Part of their argument involved the distance that area residents who now use Ovington would have to travel to get to another post office – close to two miles. This would be a hardship for many people living in the neighborhood, which is a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, with a large number of elderly people who have aged in place, in large part because Bay Ridge provides a myriad of services within easy walking distance.

We applaud those who wouldn’t accept the idea of closure of such a vital resource for so many, and worked to make sure that it would remain open. The neighborhood’s elected officials served their constituents well with their advocacy, as did the community’s very vocal activists who seem always to be on hand when they are needed.

The good news, however, is tempered by the reality that southwest Brooklyn could still lose a post office. No decision has yet been rendered on the future of the Sunset Park station, which is still on the list of post offices being considered for closure or consolidation. It’s now up to the community there to make its case to keep that post office open, too.

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