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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Our Mail and Puerto Rico

Dear Source:

The recent article highlighting the problems with the US Postal Service (or lack thereof) and mail delivery to the US Virgin Islands is just confirming what all US Virgin Islands mail service patrons have known for years.
Mail service worsened once things moved to Puerto Rico. That's a downright shame, to say the least.
I, like most islanders I know, have a love/hate emotion with things coming out of and going into PR. Many of us have friends and family on "la isla grande", so sometimes we shut up just to avoid fraternal discord.
However – it cannot go without saying that a number of our services in the territory are impacted by Puerto Rico and the decision makers on that island. A number of federal services, such as USPS and Customs, are run out of San Juan. Many of these decision makers cannot and do not care to understand what's going here in the USVI.
A couple years ago, Delegate Christensen had the leadership of the Postal Service come to St. Thomas and hear from the postal patrons. They set up shop in the lobby at the Ottley Post Office and appeared to listen. I asked one of them, a lady, about moving the large package pickup back to the outside courtyard, which would reduce the amount of traffic in the main lobby. When she asked why, I told her that it was like that before; until that section of the building was closed for repairs.
She responded that she did not know that. She said this, after she had told those of us listening to her that she has visited St. Thomas postal operations for the past 20 years. And she doesn't remember that aspect of the operations?!!!
Yeah, right!
What she should have truthfully said is that she comes to St. Thomas, walks around telling the VI managers what needs to be done (like it is in PR), goes out for a power lunch and then gets back on a plane headed 270 degrees west. By the time she leaves the Munoz airport, St. Thomas/St. Croix is out of sight, out of mind! Hasta la vista hombres!!!
Sorry to break it to you folks, but I am of the opinion that most things run out of PR are not in the best interest of the USVI. Puerto Rico is high on national pride, which is a good thing, but this pride also creates a xenophobia that harms and hampers our (USVI) progress locally. Because PR is a large population (3.5 million people), and within the US Customs zone, they are able to get attention from the big wigs in DC.
What we need to do is put pressure on the delegate and the federal agencies to realize that while we are small in size, we are still Americans and deserve no less in service.
Terence A. Thomas
St. Thomas

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