94th Congress I COMMITTEE PRINT 2d Session f
STAFF REPORT AND OBSERVATION ON THE IMPACT OF THE TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION ON THE POSTAL SERVICE
COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND
UNITED STATES SENATE NINETY-FOURTH CONGRESS
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COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE GALE W. McGEE, Wyoming, Chairman JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia HIRAM L. FONG, Hawaii QUENTIN N. BURDICK, North Dakota TED STEVENS, Alaska ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma FRANK E. MOSS, Utah PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont ROD CROWLIE, Staff Director
Prepared by Wayne Schley, Special Assistant, for the use of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service
Foreword -------------------------------------------------------- V
Mail volume increase and its effect------------------------------1I
Facilities ---------------------------------------------------- 2
Employee turnover-------------------------------------------- 4
Auxiliary services provided by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co --------6 Comments and conclusions ------------------------------------- 9
Supplementary report and observation- 1975:
Observations of operations at the Federal Station Post Office ---------11 Action taken by the Postal Service to improve service in Fairbanks J 2 Conclusion -------------------------------------------------- 14
Recent letter from District Manager I. WV. Hanson reporting progress of
operating problems in Alaska. -------------------------------- 14
A-Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. employee instructions on how to
utilize mail service ------------------------------------------ 19
B-Responsibilities of Alyeska Pipeline camp mail representatives..- 20
C -Title 18, Section 1716, 1. S. Postal Regulations regarding mailing
of liquor-------------------------------------------------- 21
D--Question and answer information sheet provided Alyeska Pipeline
Co. employees ---------------------------------------------- 28
E,-Article taken from "Alaska Industry," by Pat Parnell entitled
"Why Alaskans Quit Their Jobs"------------------------------ 30
F-Letter to Postmaster General Kiassen from Senator Stevens
regarding needed postal facilities in Alaska -------------------- 33
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ggWRANOLPH, W. VA. HIRAM L. POeO. HAWAII COMMITTEE ON wjEXFDN. A .N N. DAK. TD STEVENS. ALAL'A
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March 18, 1976
The Honorable Gale W. McGee
Senate Post Office and
Civil Service Committee
Washington, D. C. 20510
As you know, I have been quite concerned over the
impact of the trans-Alaska pipeline on the economy of my
state. One of my specific concerns has been the impact the construction of the pipeline has had on the mail service to
Alaskans and to the men and women working on the pipeline
The Post Office and Civil Service Committee agreed
with rae on two occasions to send a Committee staff member to Alaska to look into the complaints and suggestions regarding
the Postal Service as well as to obtain basic information
which would help the Committee and the Postal Service solve
the problem of economic impact in other areas of this nation
as we search for energy independence. I am submitting to you the reports written as a result of these staff investigations,
These reports were not written with the thought of
having them published but rather were written as information
papers for me, members of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, and appropriate postal officials. Nevertheless,
I feel that those interested in postal history and history of
Alaska as well as those who may be comniling a history of
the trans-Alaska pipeline would find these reports valuable.
Consequently, I am now making them available to you for publication should the Comittee feel it proper and beneficial.
ith best wishes,
Digitized by the Internet Archive
STAFF REPORT AND OBSERVATION ON
THE IMPACT OF THE TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION ON THE
POSTAL SERVICE IN ALASKA-1974
One of the most important efforts in this Nation's fight for energy independence is the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Upon completion of this project, the United States will be 1D position to obtain sufficient supplies of domestic oil to reduce oil imports by approximately one half. This $7 billion project, the largest private enterprise construction project in history, employs workers from throughout the entire Nation. A vital, if not exclusive, communicative link between the workers and their families and friends in the rest of the United States is via the mails. The ability to receive and send mail efficiently and quickly has and will continue to have a tremendous effect on the morale and production of these employees.
The Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee, recognizing its Postal oversight responsibilities, authorized a staff inquiry into the adequacy of the Postal Service in light of the current pipeline construction boom in Alaska. Specifically, the goal was to ascertain the adequacy of the U.S. Postal Service in meiAing the needs of the mail users in light of the trans-Alaska pipeline construction. The methods used in this inquiry were:
(1) Interviews with appropriate Postal officials and employees in Anchorage, Valdez, and Fairbanks, and Washington, D.C., as to the current and foreseeable problems as well as solutions.
(2) Interviews with appropriate officials and employees With the pipeline construction and oil producmi companies as to the operations of the mail delivery system and its elect on their personnel.
(3) Interviews with Postal union officials as to the operation of the Postal Service, specifically noting the impact of the pipeline construction on their everyday work.
(4) Interviews with construction and production workers as to specific mail problems.
(5) On site inspection of various Alaskan mail facilities.
MAIL VOLUME INCREASE AND ITs EFFECT FACILITIES
The Lyrowth in mail volume and personnel turnover exemplify the dramaGc impact and additional burdens which the trans-Alaska pipeline construction has placed on the U.S. Postal Service. Amehorage and Fairbanks, being the prime distribution centers for the pipeline construction, have witnessed the greatest *increase in postal volume. Anchorage, for example, has experienced a 21 percent 'increase in mail volume over the past year. Fairbanks shows a close to 10 percent increase. However, *in Fairbanks, the growth of revenue is about 20 percent, indicating a considerable growth in local mailing.
These volume figures are, however, misleading in that they do not tell the entire story. For example, a parcel is considered a piece of mail, as is a letter. However, the amount of personnel and space needed to facilitate the processing of a package is considerably more than a single letter. Unfortunately, the volume counts do not indicate the increase in parcels as opposed to letter mail. Based on discussions with both postal employee union officials and Postal Service management, the increase in parcels has been rather dramatic, causing an inordinate demand on the facilities of the Postal Service. This was particularly true in the towns of Valdez and Fairbanks. For example, in Fairbanks, in the last year, the Postal Service, anticipating the increased mail volume, added some 12,000 square feet of working space for mail processing at the International Airport. The additional space which was thought to be large enough to handle the increased volume of mail for the full three year construction period is now inadequate. According to postal officials, the Post Office is now back where they were during pre-boom days. In Valdez, the additional mail, particularly parcel post, has rendered a 6-year-old facility inadequate.
The importance of the increased mail volume not only shows itself in now inadequate postal facilities but also the added work load on employees. Compounding the employee work load problem is the fact that, particularly in Anchorage, postal employees are working in overcrowded and inadequate facilities. In Anchorage, for example, the last major postal facility was completed in 1962 at a time when Anchorage was approximately half its present size. Added to the problem of increased mail relating to the pipeline construction is the, periodic increase in parcels due to settlement of the'Native Land Claims. Alaska Natives, in the 1971 Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, are entitled to periodic payments. The Postal Service noted that after the first payment this year, there was -a 30 percent increase in parcels. It is obvious that the Native peoples are using' these Land Claim funds to order needed items from such mail order, firms as Spiegel, Sear's and Roebuck, Mongtomery Wards, J. C. Penneys, etc. This dramatic increase of 30 percent can be expected again on the next Native Land Claims payments. It ig thought that this increase in parcels will continue, however, on a dwindling scale. It should be remembered that the largest parcel post delivery system,. United Parcel Service, does not service Alaska.
Due to the nature of the outdated and inadequate mail facilities in a great many areas of Alaska, the Postal Service has taken a number of measures to improve this situation. These improvements have had an effect on both employee morale and efficient service to the customers. These changes, in many cases, were brought about by the general needs in a growing state, but also in anticipation of' the pipeline construction impact.
In Anchorage, the Federal Station Post Office downtown, through GSA and the Postal Service, has accomplished minimum improvements on the rear portion of the facility housing the 'carriers. However, no more can be done on the existing building. The counter area was remodeled and a self-service postal center was installed.
In the Main Office, at the Airport, all carriers have been relocated to another plant to allow for additional needed working space for mail distribution activities in this facility. Impending at the Airport
-office i the enclosure of a canopied area to the rear of the existing building thus making available some 7,000 additional square feet of working space.
Due to lack of space, the Postal Service has installed modular units to house a Postal Employee Development Center. This employee training and development center is part of the Postal Service's program to increase efficiency in combating personnel turnover.
A new leased facility was obtained in the Spenard area of Anchorage in October 1972. Several hundred additional lock boxes were installed in this unit. The former Spenard Branch Post Office is now being utilized for procurement of supplying and contracting functions of the district. A leased facility containing some 14,000 square feet is currently housing all Anchorage carriers except those operating in the downtown and military branches.
Overall plans for Anchorage call for construction of three major new facilities which will not only bring the Postal Service in line to meet present demands, but would also service satisfactorily for many years to come.
(1) A general mail facility. This facility, currently being constructed will contain 157,000 square feet and will be located near the Anchorage International Airport. Its primary purpose is mail processing. This facility will triple the current existing mail processing facility and will cost over $15 million. Completion date, however, is still two years off.
(2) A carrier station and vehicle maintenance in the Spenard area. This particular facility has been in the offing since 1968. Recently the U.S. Postal Service approved this $8.8 million project. The facility will house all carriers except those on military bases, a complete retail outlet, locked boxes, enclosed parking for postal delivery vehicles, and a vehicle maintenance facility. Total size will be approximately 134,000 square feet. Currently these facilities are housed in several different locations, all of which are inadequate.
(3) A new downtown facility. Shortly, the construction of a new $71 million Federal Office Building will begin in Anchorage. However, the Postal Service opted not to house a mail facility in this building. Consequently, the Postal Service will need a downtown Post Office. Current Postal plans call for a facility containing 15,000 square feet, housing a retail, locked box, delivery operation only. A complete justification package including economic analysis has been submitted to the Postal Service in Washington. The estimated cost is approximately $2.2 million. As of November 15th, the Postal Service has not given approval to this specific project.
The community of Valdez is the southern terminal port for the trans-Alaska pipeline and as such, much of the construction there is of a more permanent nature than other sections of the pipeline. There are four construction camps serviced by the Valdez Post Office. The current Post Office, although only 6 years old, is totally unable to meet the needs of this seaport. The Post Office was constructed when Valdez's population was less than 1,000. Current population is in the neighborhood of 2,000 with a conservative projection of 5,000 in a couple of years. Although approval for a new Post Office containing
some 7,000 square feet has been given, the land acquisition process has yet to be completed, thus the new facility cannot be ready for occupancy until fall of 1975 at the earliest.
The anticipation of the pipeline construction boom caused the Postal Service to purchase and remodel two existing buildings near the present postal facility at the Fairbanks International Airport. These two buildings, a carrier annex and an administration building, contain 12,000 and 5,600 square feet respectively. Both were completed and occupied in August 1974. In addition, dock modification was completed at the main Post Office as well as lobby modification
including additional lock boxes in that same facility. However, even more expansion of the mail processing facility is needed. Current plans call for a 20,000 square feet expansion costing in the neighborhood of $2 million. These plans, although submitted to Washington, have not been approved as of yet.
The most noticeable mail increase involves General Delivery. General Delivery mail has more than tripled since the start of the Sprmig construction. The large number of General Delivery patrons has resulted in long lines of people waiting to pick up their mail at the only General Delivery in the Federal Station downtown Fairbanks. This line intermingles with other lines for non-General Delivery Postal businesses. The Postal Service is attempting to ameliorate this problem by reconverting two seldom used postal inspection offices into a General Delivery area at the opposite end of the Postal lobby. Hopefully, this will lessen the pressure on this aspect of mail delivery. The Postal Service also intends to increase, by approximately 700, the number of Post Office boxes at the main Post Office at the Fairbanks International Airport. In addition, serious consideration is given to an additional branch Post Office between the airport and downtown Fairbanks. Current thinking envisions a branch near Lathrop High School.
In addition, a new Post Office for Glenallen has been approved by the Postal Service's Capital Investment Committee. Design work is pending site acquisition. New Post Offices modular facilities have been completed and occupied in Copper Center and Delta Junction, two communities along the pipeline route.
The pipeline construction has had its most dramatic effect, however, on personnel turnover in the Postal Service. In the postal investigations of 1973, it was noted that one of the major causes for the declining quality of mail service was the loss of some 70,000 personnel. In any area of the United States, it is important to have experienced and stable employees. Unfortunately, Alaska has always had a higher than average turnover. This situation has been compounded by 'the availability of high paying pipeline related jobs.
During fiscal year 1973, employee turnover rate in Anchorage was 31 percent, down 1 percent from the year before. Fiscal year 1974 saw another decrease of 6 percent, however, less than one-half of fiscal year 1975 is over and Anchorage has seen a 6 percent increase in
turnover rate. Fairbanks has experienced an even more dramatic turnover. Fiscal year 1975 is expected to double the turnover rate for fiscal year 1974. The situation in Fairbanks is most acute in that access to hie her paying pipeline related jobs is easier. This creates a problem for not only current postal employees, but prospective ones as well. In more personal terms, the turnover can be seen in the rapid advancement a postal employee can expect. For example, according to postal union officials, the normal time needed to work up to the position of window clerk was five years. That time now has been reduced to three months. A mail carrier would normally work 6 to 9 months before he would be given his own route. The carrier now can expect to have his own route in three weeks. Although this situation may appear to favor the new postal employee who wishes to make USPS his career, it has resulted in an obvious lowering of efficiency on postal service.
Postal customers can now expect a greater number of errors due to inexperienced personnel. Inexperienced personnel, according to Postal officials,, are the greatest source of mistakes and complaints. Inexperienced help also contributes greatly to the morale problem. For example, Postal Service tends to rely more and more on experienced help to carry them through or see them through heavy mail days. This calls for mandatory overtime on the part of "old timers." However, mandatory overtime is not popular.
Experienced personnel feel that all postal employees, whether new or old, should share the burden of mandatory overtime. Postal Service management, realizing that an employee working an additional 2 to 4 hours overtime is more likely to make mistakes than on a regular 8 hour day, tend to choose those individuals that they know will make fewer mistakes. These individuals, of course, tend to be the more experienced personnel.
Postal management has pointed out another source of friction between management and employees, due to the availability of high paying construction jobs. An example was cited.of an employee who was doing less than satisfactory work. A supervisor, upon consulting and adVismig the new employee to increase his efficiency, was simph told, "If you don't like what I am doing and the way I'm doing it., I'll quit and get a higher paying job on the pipeline."- Unfortunately for the Postal Service, this attitude is quite prevalent among new and even old employees. This rebellious attitude affects even the excellent employee who finds it distasteful to be working along side a Postal employee who seems to care little about the quality or efficiency of his work.
Compounding the high turnover rate is the depletion of the pool of interested applicants, caused by the availability of high paying construction jobs. High paying jobs bas lessened tfie need for iii'any wives to supplement their husband's income with a second job. ThiS, source of employees, is particularly damagiiicr to the Postal Service',--, efforts to stabilize their work force. With the availability of construction jobs, naturally head of household applicants liave been very low compared to former years. These two factors liave required the Postal Servic.- to recruit part-time workers and students. -,Neither of these employment sources offer much hope for career employees and a
-stabilized work force. In prior )-ears, students have proved to be a
good source of employment for their years at the University of Alaska, working part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer. However, with the high paying construction jobs, students are no longer interested in any type of work in the summer for the Postal Service. Added to this problem of full-time students working during the school year is the inability of students to adjust their work schedule because of the demands of classroom attendance.
It should be noted, however, that Alaska has traditionally had a problem of a nomadic work force. An article in "Alaska Industry" magazine of June 1972 entitled, "Why Alaskans Quit Their Jobs" illustrates this problem for all Alaskan businesses quite well.
AUXILIARY SERVICES PROVIDED TO THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS BY
ALYESKA PIPELINE SERVICE COMPANY
The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company has established its main headquarters at the North Post, Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska. In their headquarters, Alyeska has established what could easily be considered a private postal system for those men working on the construction phase of the pipeline. This system became operational June 17, 1974. It does not include the British Petroleum and Atlantic Richfield oil production facilities at Prudhoe Bay nor the receiving and shipping terminal at Valdez. Both Prudhoe Bay and Valdez, however, do have construction camps which are serviced by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. The main postal headquarters for Alyeska is centered in the old Post Office at Fort Wainwright. The U.S. Postal Service still maintains one employee with limited window hours in this facility. However, almost the entire building is used by Alyeska for their mail processing. All mail bound for any employee on the pipeline is sent to the Alyeska Service Center. The U.S. Postal Service makes no attempt to deliver any mail in the construction camps. Alyeska assumes the responsibility of delivering the mail to every employee. By the use of a locater card system, the Service Center can determine where each employee is located and forward all mail. Because of the constant transferring of employees between the various camps, the U.S. Postal Service could not provide such an accurate and speedy forwarding service.
The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company carries on an extensive orientation program for each new employee. Included in this orientation program are instructions, both verbal and written, as to the mail service available to him as well as instructions on how to utilize this mail service. (See Appendix A) In addition, a question and answer information sheet is provided each employee (see Appendix D). Each construction camp maintains a mail representative. These non-Postal employees function to insure accurate and expeditious receipt and delivery of camp mail. Their specific responsibilities are outlined in Appendix B.
The U.S. Postal Service has carried out extensive contacts with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and their subsidiary, Bechtel Company, to assist them in developing and maintaining adequate mail service to their employees. The Postal Service, in fact, has fur-
nished a large number of sacks, sack racks, cases, and other mail distribution equipment in order to process the mail efficiently for the various camps. In addition, the Postal Service provided guidance and financial services at the Alyeska Service Center to expedite mail delivery to construction camp employees. Special transportation delivery schedules from the Fairbanks main Post Office to Alyeska's Service Center have been arranged in order to connect with all camps' supply flights. Both the officials of the U.S. Postal Service and of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and their subsidiary Bechtel Company have had high praise for each other's assistance and cooperation. There appeared to be only two problems discernible from visiting the Service Center, and talking with Postal officials, and construction camp supervisors. One problem seemed to be internal logistic problems with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in maintaining an adequate supply of postage stamps at the various camps. The fault here, however, lies somewhat with both the camp mail representative and the mail Service Center at Ft. Wainwright. The second problem involved the shipment of liquor via the mails. Senator Stevens' office did receive some complaints regarding the inspection of packages for possible containment of liquor. The Postal Service supervisor did admit to inspecting 45 packages thought to contain liquor. Of the 45, 44 in fact did contain liquor contrary to Title 18, Section 1716 of the U.S. Postal Regulations (see appendix C). Alyeska Pipeline Service Company acknowledges a number of packages brought to their Service Center not via the U.S. mails which contained liquor.
The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and its sub-contractors are adamant in their opposition to any liquor in the construction camps. Consequently, they totally approve and support any efforts by the U.S. Postal Service to stop shipment of liquor via the mails. In addition, they themselves do not allow liquor to be shipped via their own transportation and mail system.
Each construction camp provides all postal services which are normally provided in any U.S. Post Office. Appendix D is a copy of a question and answer sheet relating to postal service given to each employee during orientation.This three page item exemplifies all the postal services available to each camp resident.
Mail bound for the oil production camps on Prudhoe Bay, however, do not have the advantage of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's mail system. Each company and subcontractor maintains a post once box in Fairbanks or Anchorage. For example, British Petroleum maintains a box in Fairbanks. Any employee working in the BP camp would have his mail sent to that box number. BP then makes arrangements through Wien Airlines' ESP service (Expedited Small Package). Here mail is gathered in small packages or pouches and sent to the BP camp daily. The State maintains an airport at Deadhorse, Alaska, which is the on] y nonprivate airport between Fairbanks and the Prudhoe Bay oil Field. Tne airport borders on the BP-ARCO oil lease site. Mail addressed to an individual in an oil production camp is taken in the ESP pouch to the Wien Airlines 20 minutes before departure and is available at the Wien Airline counter at Deadhorse 20 minutes after the plane's arrival. Mail is picked up by a designated camp employee and taken back to the camp site and distributed via an open alphabetized box system. This mail delivery system is consitent with other construction camp procedures throughout the world. Each
employee then goes through the appropriate alphabetized box and obtains his mail.
Unclaimed mail, however, does pose a problem. As a matter of courtesy, camp representatives make every effort to locate the addressee of the unclaimed letter. If that individual cannot be found, the letter is sent back to the Postal Service. This problem seemed to be the major complaint of camp supervisors.
Like the construction camps along the pipeline route, camps on the oil production fields have the same services offered in any Post Office with a major and important exception. The exception is accountable mail. reListered mail, money orders, certified mail, etc. This is an extremely important service to employees on the North Slope. It is with the use of accountable mail that employees are able to send their checks to their families and to their bank accounts in the Lower 48 as well as other parts of Alaska. This problem is somewhat alleviated by a unique banking service offered by the Alaska National Bank of the North. A small branch office with f1mited hours exists in the Wien Airline terminal. The pipeline account, which is explained further in a brochure marked appendix D, does not deal at all with the need for employees to send registered, certified, or insured mail south. This need can only be remedied by a U.S. Postal facility at Deadhorse. The U.S. Postal Service has agreed, at Senator Stevens'urging, to establish a contract station. at the Deadhorse Airport. This unit would handle only air mail, up to 9 ounces, and first class letter mail, up to 12 ounces.
The facility would be expanded to include all services once the highway linking Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay is completed, sometime in late 1975. Two firms have expres7!.ed an interest in servicing this contract mail station. One interested party, Atwood Enterprises, owns and operates the only hotel at Deadhorse. The hotel is approximately 400 to 500 yards from the airline terminal. The other interested party
-is the Alaska National Bank of the North, which has an office in the airline terminal itself. December 1, 1974, is the opening date for a new Wien Airline Terminal at Deadhorse to replace the totally inadequate current facility. Alaska National Bank of the North will also have an office within this new terminal. It should be noted that the Post Office is needed not only to service the oil production camps but the various businesses and State agencies which have been established at Deadhorse. Once the pipeline construction is completed, Deadhorse is expected to have a permanent population of approximately 900 individuals.
Postal officials in Alaska feel that the Postal Service and the Western. Region Office have been more than fair in meeting the budget requests of the Alaska District. The Postal budget for the Western. Region has decreased as a whole 2 percent, however, Alaska's budget was increased 4.5 percent for fiscal year 1975. The budget currently is in excess of that by 0.6 percent. The District manager feels that they 'will have no problem, based on past history, in obtaining the necessary
-increase of funds from the Regional Office.
COMMENTS AND CONCLUSIONS
Of the two major problems observed, only one seems to be within the realm of solvability by the Postal Service. That area is new and upgraded mail facilities. Imm diate action needs to be taken in site acquisition in the Valdez area for the much needed postal facility. The same is true with the expansion of the mail processing facility in Fairbanks, and letting the contract station at Deadhorse. As to the problem of employee turnover, there seems to be little the Postal Service can do in this area that they are not already doing except greater emphasis on education and training of current employees. In most instances, however, this additional time and money spent on education and training may well be wasted, as so few employees stay for any length of time. Until the pipeline construction is completed, there is little hope that the high turnover rate will lessen, particularly in the, Fairbanks area.
The mail system of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company appears to be more than adequate to meet the needs of workers in the individual construction camps. Because of the extensive locater card system, available only to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the U.S. Postal Service could not duplicate the efficient mail service now available to construction workers. If the U.S. Postal Service had assumed the responsibility of delivering the mail to the various construction camps, current facilities would be about one-half what is needed rather than just short of adequate.
The USPS needs to provide more flexible and immediate service to axeas experiencing economic booms, such as that caused by the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. It should be unnecessary for a Senator to send a letter, such as m' appendix E. The Postal Service might well consider establishing a special office to expedite requests from hard pressed local postal officials for new facilities or additional personnel.
SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT AND
Senator Stevens had received numerous complaints regarding the operation of the Sectional Center Facility in Fairbanks, namely that the mail was especially slow in delivery, the waiting lines were exceptionally long at the postal facilities, and that the postal officials seem to pay little attention to the complaints of constituents regarding these matters. In addition, complaints were expressed as to the Postal Service's selling such non-postal materials as Alaska State vehicle license tabs and food stamps. In an attempt to learn as much as possible regarding this matter, the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee approved a staff investigation of the operation of the Sectional Facility in Fairbanks'as to the complaints made.
The following individuals were contacted:
Ivan W. Hansen, Alaska District Manager USPS
Jack C. Hodder, Alaska District Manager for Mail Processing
William Kobus, Assistant District Manager, Alaska, for Customer Services USPS
Mrs. Marge Shawver, Superintendent, Federal Station Post
Everett Wilde, Assistant Postmaster for Finance, Fairbanks
Wayne Riedel, Postal worker
Rita Hunterman, Postal employee
Laurie Herman, Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and numerous businessmen in the Fairbanks axea.
OBSERVATIONS OF OPERATIONS AT THE FEDERAL STATION POST OFFICE
There were lines of maybe 15 to 20 people observed during the peak postal hours between 9 and 10, 12 and 1, and 4:30 to 5:30. It appeared, however, that the mail patrons were being taken care of as expeditiously as possible. All of the windows were being manned, and the wait, even for those at the end of the line, seemed to be no more than 10 or 15 minutes. One should remember that Fairbanks is undergoing a boom and that long lines have become almost a way of life in all businesses in Fairbanks.
The major problem, not only for any mishandling of mail, slow delivery or slow service at the counter, can be directly attri b utable to the high turnover of postal em-ployees in Fairbanks. Estimates of this turnover range from 60 to 110 percent per year. The high wages of the pipeline construction have drawn away most of the experienced postal employees, and many new employees are there only as a source of income while they are establishing residency in border to obtain higher paying jobs on' the pipeline. In addition, many military wives and wives of working men formerly sought employment with the Postal Service
to supplement their income. However, because of the high wages being paid construction workers and the increased pay for military employees fewer women in this category are seeking jobs. This is an unfortunate situation, as they have of ten proved to be a stabilizing force in employment.
The Postal Service seems to be making every effort, to train their employees despite their awareness that these employees in 'alr probability will not stay with the Postal Service for a-very lengthy period of time. In fact, at the time of the investigation two of the three Postal Service trainee positions were vacant. There is a widespread feeling among both management and employees that it is almost useless to train a new employee, for they tend to be there such a short period of time.
Civil Service exams are currently being given every other week. The Postmaster has made a practice to hire individuals who pass the exam regardless of whether there is a vacancy, for he knows that in a very short time a vacancy will exist. The high turnover of regular employees is'not unique to the Postal Service, for almost all Alaskan businesses not connected with the pipeline are experiencing extremely high
ACTION TAKEN BY THE POSTAL SERVICE To IMPROVE SERVICE IN FAIRBANKS
The U.S. Postal Service has taken several steps to improve window service.
1. General Delivery service was removed from the main Federal
Station windows to another section of the building. General Delivery service was then separated into two alphabetical sections-which resulted in decreased waiting time for those in line seeking General Delivery Service.
2 A new parcel post pick up section will soon be in operation in
another part of the main building of the Federal Post Office Station, thus eliminating individuals waiting in line just to pick up parcels. This section will be away from the congested area near the postage self service center.
3. The selling of State vehicle license tabs has stopped. This program was conducted during February, March, April, and May as a service to the State. The Postal Service received 4.5 percent of the cost of the tabs (price of tabs range from $30 to $35). Kostal officials felt this transaction was not a hinderance to good service since it took only 2 to 3 seconds to process an application and was financially beneficial to the Postal Service. Postal officials felt that this practice would resume next year.
4. The selling of food stamps is being done at the State's request and is profitable for the Postal Service in that they receive $1,10 per transaction The hours of dispensing Food Stamps are strictly enforced from 10:00 to 3:30 which are the slack hours.
5. The Alaska District Office has requested funds to construct three facilities or lease equivalent space in the Fairbanks area.
a. General Mail Facility (airport). The present airport postal complex (the main office) consists of four buildings: a leased mail processing facility of 19,661 'square feet 'on a site of 65,000 square feet; and u USPS-owned carrier annex of 12,000 square feet and an administration building on a site of 663,000 square feet. In addition, there is a
vehicle storage building of 10,592 square feet on a site of 24,000 square feet across the street from the main mail complex. All of the above are located on land under lease from the State Division of Aviation.
The mail processing facility ground lease is long-term, approximately 20 years, while the carrier annex and administration buildings are on ground with a short-term lease running until approximately 1984. The U.S. Postal Service Real Estate Division, Western Region, has asked the State if they would consider extending the lease on the latter portion to coincide with the former. Since these facilities are located in prime aviation land, the Alaska District Office feels the State may refuse to do so. Should the State fail to extend the lease it would not be feasible to tie the existing three structures together with a new building in order to add the needed additional work space.
A preliminary Postal Service real estate report strongly recommends construction of a complete new general mail facility on USPS-owned land about Y mile from the airport. This proposal is the one the Alaska District Office supports and in the long run seems to be the most feasible approach. Facility size requirements are now being compiled. The new general mail facility, however, would most likely contain approximately 60,000 square feet. It is envisioned that the facility would include as much mechanization as could be justified based on mail volume and costs. A retail outlet including lock boxes would be included in this facility.
b. Downtown Station. Currently the U.S. Postal Service occupies 9,225 square feet in the Federal Building in downtown Fairbanks. Facility requirements have recently been completed for a new downtown station which call for a facility of approximately 15,500 square feet housing a large retail outlet and a slightly over 3,000 lock boxes. No cost estimates are available. It is the Postal Service's intent to retain such a facility in a downtown core area of Fairbanks. However, because of the laclk of available land it seems unlikely that a large enough site could be purchased and a USPS-ownmed( facility constructed on it. Preliminary real estate recommendations call for the leasing of a new facility from a private developer as being the easiest and quickest way to' react to the current needs. Currently two large mall-type developments are being planned for downtown Fairbanks and the USPS is looking into the feasibility of leasing space from one of these developments. Because of the interest of opening a new downtown fiscility, the USPS ha.s given up its proposal for a new branch office near Lathrop High School.
c. Branch facilities. Currently the U.S. Postal Service has a branch office in College consisting of 2,900 square feet on a site of approximatelv 6,500 square feet. It was the USPS's hope to increase the square footage on USPS-owned facility but because of the time involved a lease arrangement may allow the USPS to react faster to the demands. The USPS preliminary requirements call for a facility of approximately 8,000 to 10,000 square feet containing a retail outlet with approximately 2,000 to 2,500 lock boxes.
The Western Region has ranked the GMF facility at the airport as the seventh most important project in the Western Region ani the downtown-College branch facility as number eight. Since the GMF facility will undoubtedly cost more than $3 million it must he approved by the Capital Investment Committee of the USPS. It is the USPS's
Alaska District's hope that facilities in the -downtown area may be leased for less than $3 million, thus eliminating the need for approval from the Capital Investment Committee. Should this be possible -it is hoped that this project could be approved by the Western Region this winter.
There is little question that the facilities the Alaska District Office wishes to have built or leased in the Fairbanks area are vitally needed. Based on this report Senator Stevens (lid contact the Postmaster General expressing his strong belief in the necessityr to start construction or approve lease agreements on these facilities as soon as possible. In addition, although not directly related to Fairbanks but important for the whole mail delivery system for Alaska, is the early construction of the Anchorage-Spenard Carrier Station in Anchorage is necessaryF. The site for this needed facility has been purchased, the only remaining obstacle for construction is approval 'at the Washington headquarters of the U.S. Postal Service. This site is centrally located and is ideal for relocating the Carrier Station from its present leased and totally inadequate facilities. Senator Stevens has also urged early approval of this Alaskan project.
It should be kept in mind that although these projects are large financial commitments by the U.S. Postal Service and that Alaska has received numerous modern facilities recently, Alaska has long suffered with inadequate facilities because of the high cost of construction. However, because of the energy crisis and Alaska's im.portamit role in solving America's energy needs, the Postal Service
can no longer ignore the absolute need. for essential new facilities. Alaska will continue to play an important role if not an essential role in meeting the energy needs of this nation. The Postal. Service has an equally important role in providing the necessary communications system by which Alaskans can communicate with one another and those outside.
Anchorage, Alaska, October 8, 1976.
Mr. WAYNE SCHLEY,
Office of Ted Stevens, U.S. Senator,
DEAR WAYNE: The following comments are suggested for an addendum to your report which was prepared in 1974.
Since the time the report was prepared, the Postal Service has made considerable progress to resolve some of their operating problems in Alaska. In Anchorage, a new -downtown station with 15,156 square feet of space has been provided 'to serve the public. This is a modern facility with an increased number of boxes convenient to the business section. Completion of the new downtown station allowed for improved quarters for the carriers serving the area. When the Postal Service vacated the old Federal Station quarters, the carrier operation was relocated to that space.
A new General Mail Facility at Anchorage was activated on September 11, 1976. The new GMF is located in the proximity of the International Airport and provides approximately 157,000 square feet. The facility will be a mechanized unit providing for unloading vans through a mechanical system that will reduce damage and labor costs. Additional mechanization to handle sortation of letters and parcels will be provided in the near future. Contracts for this equipment have been let.
A contract for a new Vehicle Maintenance Facility has been awarded and construction is underway at this time. The Vehicle Maintenance Facility is on property purchased to house the Vehicle Maintenance Facility and the Carrier Facility. Construction of the Carrier Facility has been deferred for the present.
New facilities have been constructed at Barrow, Valdez, Glennallen, Soldotna and Homer, Alaska. Valdez and Glennallen have been highly impacted by the pipeline construction. Growth in the Barrow area as a result of the Native Land Claims Settlement and establishment of the North Slope Borough outdated the old postal facility. The new facility was placed in operation in the summer of 1976. Soldotna and Homer have also experienced growth to the extent the old facilities were inadequate to meet the community needs.
Projects are in the planning stages for three new facilities for the Fairbanks area. A new Downtown Station, College Branch and a new GMF.
Employee turnover in both Anchorage and Fairbanks has remained high. The current rate is 72 percent for Fairbanks and 42 percent for Anchorage. The efficiency of the Postal Service is impacted a great deal by the high turnover rate.
Pipeline construction activity will be winding down in the near future. Throughout the entire construction period the Alyeska Service Center at Fairbanks has done a very good job in handling mail for the construction camps along the route. Complaints from individuals have been received; however, the number of complaints in comparison to the total scope of the project are minimal.
In order to meet the needs of camps located at the Prudhoe Bay site, the U.S. Postal Service opened a contract branch in conjunction with the Alaska National Bank of the North to provide service that was not available through the camps.
In conclusion, the Postal Service has reacted to the needs of the impacted areas and growth throughout the State in a very real and professional manner.
I. W. HANSON,
TRANS ALASKA PIPELINE PROJECT
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER
If there is an emergency at home, and it is necessary to contact a pipeline employee assigned to a construction camp, Fort Wainwright or the Fairbanks axea please call: (907) 456-7222
The operator at the Project Communications Center, Fairbanks will verify the location of the employee, and will either:
(1) Tell you the camp telephone number, if the camp has a telephone, or, (2) Take a message for delivery to the camp by radio or other rapid means.
(3) Relay your message or advise you of the Fort Wainwright or Fairbanks
NOTE.-This telephone number is for emergency only. It is not for routine, inquiries or non-emergency purposes.
See other side for mail instructions.
TRANS ALASKA PIPELINE PROJECT
Pipeline Personnel Mailing Address Personal mail for pipeline employees STAMP
assigned, to camps, Fort Wainwright or the Fairbanks area should be addressed as follows.
Name -----------------------------(Name of camp)
(Name of contractor or company)
Alveska Services Center -------------- ----------------------------------Fairbanks, Alaska 99716 -------------- ----------------------------------NOT.E.-Use of the zip code is important
to expedite mail direct to the Pipeline Project post office at
See other side for Emergency Communications.
Position: Camp Mail Representative. General: Insures accurate and expeditious receipt and delivery of camp mail. Camp Responsibilities:
1. Receipt and Delivery of Incoming Mail (Twice Daily):
1. Reconcile and sign for receipt of mail bags against Airway Bills,
baggage tags and accountable bag serial numbers.
2. Notify Alyeska Services Center of any bags not 'received or discrepancies in tag or courier serial numbers.
3. Distribute mail bags to Alyeska, Bechtel, Michael Baker Jr. and
other designated contractors.
4. Log in all serial numbers of accountable mail i.e., insured, registered and certified mail.
5. Prepare notice to each employee in receipt of accountable mail.
6. Sort and distribute execution contractors, sub-contractors and,
all camp U.S. Mail.
7. Obtain employees signature for accountable mail.
8. Investigate mail complaints in coordination with the Alyeska
II. Return and Accountability of Outgoing Mail (Twice Daily):
1. Prepare outgoing mail bags insuring receipt of interoffice pouches
from Alyeska, Bechtel, Michael Baker Jr., Execution Contractor
and other contractors as designated
2. Collect all camp outgoing U.S. mail. Prepare U.S. mail bag and
Accountable bag. Unclaimed mail and accountable receipts to
be included in Accountable bag.
3. Insure unclaimed mail is readdressed if accurate forwarding
information is available.
4. Provide insured and certified mail service fo employees as.
5. Log in the senders name, addressee, certified and insured numbers
of all outgoing accountable mail.
6. Prepare baggage tags, airway bill and accountable serial numbers
for outgoing mail bags.
7. Insure receipts obtained for outgoing mail bags.
July 2.2, 1974.
Interoffice Memorandum-FIOM #2 156. To: Area managers; site managers.
From: Gerald J. Massanari of Alyeska Services Center. Subject: Mail inspection.
The enclosed letter is a response from the Fairbanks U.S. Post Office concerning our inquiry with regard to the opening and inspection of U.S. Mail addressed in care of the Alyeska Services Center.
The Alyeska Services Center has not opened, inspected or tampered with the U.S. Mail in any way. All U.S. Mail received by the Alyeska Services Center is sorted, packed and dispatched to the camps. There is virtually no delay in mail received under zip code 99716.
Packages other than U.S. Mail that are delivered to the Alveska Services Center for further delivery to the camps are not opened or inspected unless they are leaking or improperly packed. There have been very few such instances but in each case the package was not forwarded to the camps. These were held for pick up by the employee concerned or his authorized representative.
We would appreciate being notified of the suspected unauthorized opening of U.S. Mail, inner-office mail or packages forwarded through the Alyeska Services Center for delivery.
Kindly post this memorandum and enclosed letter from the Fairbanks Postmaster in the area of mail delivery and on the camp bulletin board.
ThankyouGERALD J. MASSANARI.
U.S. POST OFFICE,
Mr. ERAL J. ASSAARIFairbanks, Alaska, July 22, 1974. ~Special Services, Fort Wainwright,
Alyeska Service Center, Fairbanks, Alaska.
DEAR JERRY: In answer to your inquiry concerning the opening and inspection of personal mail, I will state that mail which by its nature can be inspected, can only be inspected by postal personnel for the purpose of protecting other mail from damage or for the assurance that non-mailable items are not in the mail.
Postal regulation, Title 18, U.S. Code, Sec: 1716 covers the subject to nonmailable matter which includes:
1. Articles which, if broken or damaged, could harm other mail, property
2. Concealable firearms, switchblades, etc.
3. Any kind of poison, or poisonous animal.
4. All explosives, or flamable material, etc.
5. All intoxicating liquor which has an alcoholic content over 3.2%.
6. Any I ottery ticket etc.
And many other items which are listed in the complete Postal Regulation.
I fully appreciate the concern of the men and their questions to you concerning the opening and inspection of their parcels, however when it is suspected that a parcel contains a non-mailable item, it is the duty of the Postal employee to bring the parcel to the attention of his supervisor. If the parcel under inspection is found to contain a non-mailable item, the item is removed and any mailable items that were included in the parcel are rewapped and sent on to the addressee. The parcel that has been inspected should be endorsed by the Postal Official that inspected it. The non-mailable item is retained at the M\ain Post Office and a report, of it is sent to the Postal Inspection Service, who in turn, will advise this office of the proper disposition of the item or items.
Another situation which your employees might be experiencing is the receiving of parcels which has been "rewrapped". This is due to the mailing of a parcel improperly prepared for mailing or which for one reason or another may have become damaged in the mail. These parcels, depending upon the degree of damage, may be re-wrapped or resealed to prevent any further damage. Thank you for your inquiry and I trust my reply has answered your questions.
HELEN BELL, Postmaster.
See. 1716. Injurious articles as nonmailable
(a) All kinds of poison, and all articles and compositions containing poi- on, and all poisonous animals, insects, reptiles, and all explosives, flammable materials, infernal machines, and mechanical, chemical, or other devices or compositions which may ignite or explode, and all disease germs or scabs, and all other natural or artificial articles, compositions, or materials which may kill or injure another, or injure the mails or other property, whether or not sealed as first-clais matterr, are nonmailable matter and shall not be conveyed in the mails or deliver-d from any post office or station thereof, nor by any officer or employee of the Postal Service.
(b) The Postal Service may permit the transmission in the mails, under such rules and regulations as it shall prescribe as to preparation and packing, of any such articles which are not outwardly or of their own force dangerous or injurious to life, health, or property.
(c) The Postal Service is authorized and directed to permit the transmission in the mails, under regulations to be prescribed by it, of live scorpions which are to be used for purposes of medical research or for the manufacture of antivenoin. Such regulations shall include such provisions with respect to the packaging of such live scorpions for transmission in the mails as the Postal Service deems necessary or desirable for the protection of Postal Service personnel and of the public generally and for ease of handling by such personnel and by any individual connected with such research or manufacture. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to authorize the transmission in the mails of live scorpions by means of aircraft engaged in the carriage of passengers for compensation or hire.
(d) The transmission in the mails of poisonous drugs and medicines may be limited by the Postal Service to shipments of such articles from the manufacturer thereof or dealer therein to licensed physicians, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, druggists, cosmetologists, barbers, and veterinarians under such rules and regulations as it shall prescribe.
(e) The transmission in the mails of poisons for scientific use and which are not outwardly dangerous or of their own force dangerous or injurious to life, health, or property, may be limited by the Postal Service to shipments of such articles between the manufacturers thereof, dealers therein, bona fide research or experimental scientific laboratories, and such other persons who are employees of the Federal, a State, or local government, whose official duties are comprised, in whole or in part, of the use of such poisons, and who are designated by the head of the agency in which they are employed to receive or send such ar icles, under such rules and regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe.
(f) All spiritous, vinous, malted, fermented, or other intoxicating liquor& of any kind are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried through the mails.
(g) All knives having a blade which opens automatically (1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both, are noninailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mails or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such knives may be conveyed in the mails, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe(1) to civilian or Armed Forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal Government ordering, procuring, or purchasing such
knives in connection with the activities of the Federal Government; ,
(2) to supply or procurement officers of the National Guard, the Air
National Guard, or militia of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such organizations;
(3) to supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal
government of the District of Columbia or of the government of any State or Territory, or any county, city, or other political subdivision of a State or Territory, ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection
with the aAivities of sueb government; and
(4) to manufacturers of such knives or bona fide dealers therein in connection with any shipment made pursuant to an order from any person designated
in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).
The Postmaster General may require, as a condition of conveying any such knife in the mails, that any person proposing to mail such knife explain in writing to the satisfaction of the Postmaster General that the mailing of such knife will not be in violation of this section.
(h) Any advertising, promotional, or sales matter which solicits of induces the mailing of anything declared nonmailable by this section is likewise nonmailable unless such matter contains wrapping or packaging instructions which are in accord with regulations promulgated by the Postal service.
Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail, according to the direction thereon, or at any place to which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, anything declared nonmailable by this section, unless in accordance with the rules and regulations authorized to be prescribed by the Postal Service, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail, according to the direction thereon, or at any place to which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, anything declared nonmailable by this section, whether or not transmitted in accordance with the rules and regulations authorized to be prescribed by the Postal Service, with intent to kill or injure another, or injure the mails or other property, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
Whoever is convicted of any crime prohibited by this section, which has resulted in the death of any person, shall be subject also to the death penalty or to imprisonment for life, if the jury shall in its discretion so direct, or, in the case of a plea of guilty, or a plea of not guilty where the defendant has waived a trial by jury, if the court in its discretion, shall so order.
Sec. 1716A. Nonmailable motor vehicle master keys
Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, or at any place to which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any matter declared to be nonmailable by section 3002 of title 39, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Sec. 1717. Letters and writings as nonmailable; opening letters
(a) Every letter, writing, circular, postal card, picture, print, engraving, photograph, newspaper, pamphlet, books, or other publication, matter or thing, in violation of sections 499, 506, 793, 794, 915,954, 956, 957,960,964, 1017, 1542,1543, 1544, or 2388 of this title or which contains any matter advocating or urging treason, insurrection, or forcible resistance to any law of the United States is nonmailable and shall not be conveyed in the mails or delivered from any post office or by any letter carrier.
(b) Whoever uses or attempts to use the mails or Postal Service for the transmission of any matter declared by this section to be nonmailable, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. Sec. 1718. Libelous matter on wrappers or envelopes
All matter otherwise mailable by law, upon the envelope or outside cover or wrapper of which, or any postal card upon which is written or printed or otherwise impressed or apparent any delineation, epithet, term, or language of libelous, scurrilous, defamatory, or threatening character, or calculaed by the terms or manner or style of display and obviously intended to reflect injuriously upon the character or conduct of another, is nonmailable matter, and shall not be conveyed in the mails nor delivered from any post office nor by any letter carrier, and shall be withdrawn from the mails under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe.
Whoever knowingly deposits for mailing or delivery, anything declared by this section to be nonmailable matter, or knowingly takes the same from the mails for the purpose of circulating or disposing of or aiding in the circulation or disposition of the same, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year or both.
.823 Dependents Residing with Military Personnel
a. Address mail to dependents for delivery through the sponsor's military unit in
care of the sponsor. Example:
Master Robert Brown
c/o Sgt. Michael Brown, 081-32-6959
Company A, 6th Bn., 10 Inf.
Fort Gordon, GA 30905
b. Mail addressed to dependents for delivery at the sponsor's military quarters
need not be addressed in care of the sponsor. Example:
Master Robert Brown
2519 C Street
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433
.83 GEOGRAPHICAL ADDRESS
Mail showing a foreign city and country in addition to the military address is subject to the rates of postage and conditions for international mail. (See Publication 42, International Mail.)
Nonmailable matter includes all matter which is by law, regulation, or treaty stipulation, prohibited from being sent in the mail or which cannot be forwarded to its destination because of illegible, incorrect, or insufficient address. .12 APPLICABILITY
The harmful or objectionable items identified in this part are some of the matter which may not be sent through the mail, as a matter of absolute prohibition. See part 124 for matter mailable only under special rules or conditions. Notwithstanding any statement contained in part 123, the burden rests with the mailer to assure that he has complied with the law. In addition to the nonmailable items. mentioned in this part, certain other articles are prohibited in the mail to military post offices overseas (part 126).
.13 PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION
Severe penalties, by fine or imprisonment, or both, are provided for persons who, knowingly mail or cause to be mailed, any matter which has been declared nonmailable under law.
.14 NONCONFORMITY WITH POSTAL REGULATIONS
Regardless of its nature, matter may not be mailed in any form if done in violation of postal regulations for such reasons as failure to pay postage, improper size or weight, improper permits, improper addresses, etc. .15 RESPONSIBILITY OF MAILER
When mailers are in doubt as to whether any matter is properly mailable, they should ask the postmaster. Even though the Postal Service has not expressly declared any matter to be nonmailable, the mailer of such matter may be held fully liable for violation of law if he does actually send nonmailable matter through the mail.
123.2 HARMFUL MATTER
.21 GENERAL PROVISION OF LAW
Any articles, compositions, or materials, which may kill or injure another or injure the mail or other property, are nonmailable. This includes but is not limited to:
a. All kinds of poison or matter containing poison.
b. All poisonous animals, except scorpions (see 124.35), all poisonous
insects, all poisonous reptiles, and all kinds of snakes.
c. All disease germs or scabs.
d. All explosives, flammable material, infernal machines, and mechanical,
chemical, or other devices or compositions which may ignite or explode. .22 GENERAL EXAMPLES OF HARMFUL MATTER
Harmful matter includes, among others, that which is likely to destroy, deface, or otherwise damage the contents of the mailbags or harm the person of anyone engaged in the Postal Service, such as caustic poisons (acids and alkalies), oxidizingmaterials, or highly flammable solids; or which are likely under conditions incident, to transportation to cause fires through friction, through absorption of moisture, through spontaneous chemical changes or as a result of retained heat from manu-
facturing or processing; explosives or containers previously used for shipping high explosives having a liquid ingredient (such as dynamite), ammunition; fireworks; highly flammable liquids or substances; radioactive materials; matches; or articles emitting a bad odor.
.23 ACCEPTABILITY IF PROPERLY PACKED
When authorized by the Postmaster General, various articles specified in this part as being nonmailable may be sent through the mail if they conform to special regulations as to preparation and packaging and if they are not outwardly dangerous, or of their own force dangerous or injurious to life, health, or property. See part 124.
.24 RADIOACTIVE MATTER
Regulations on radioactive matter are found in Publication 6. 123.3 INTOXICATING LIQUORS
.31 Spirituous, vinous, malted, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors of any kind,
containing more than 3.2 percent of alcohol by weight.
.32 Intoxicating liquors containing not more than 3.2 percent of alcohol by weight
when addressed to a Territory or district of the United States, the laws of which
prohibit the manufacture or sale therein of alcoholic beverages of that content.
123.4. LOTTERIES, FALSE REPRESENTATIONS, LIBELOUS MATTER AND SOLICITATIONS IN THE GUISE OF BILLS OR STATEMENTS 01F ACCOUNT .41 LOTTERIES
.411 Any letter, package, postal card, or circular concerning any lottery, gift enterprise, or similar scheme offering prizes dependent in whole or in part on lot or chance.
.412 Any lottery ticket or part thereof or substitute.
.413 Any form of payment for a lottery ticket or share.
.414 Any newspaper, circular, pamphlet, or publication of any kind containing any advertisement of a lottery or similar enterprise, or any list of prizes awarded in such an enterprise.
135.6 ENCLOSURES WITH ITEMS MAILED AT CATALOG, SPECIAL FOURTH-CLASS,
A ND LIBRARY RATE
.61 CATALOGS AND SIMILAR PRINTED ADVERTISING MATTER IN BOUND FORM
The following may be enclosed loose or attached in items mailed at the postage rates shown in 135.121 and 135.123:
a. Order forms, reply envelopes and cards, circulars, and miscellaneous
types of printed advertising sheets.
b. An invoice as provided for by 135.522.
Samples of merchandise may be attached to the bound pages and to the
.62 SPECIAL FOURTH-CLASS AND LIBRARY RATE
The following items only are permissible enclosures with books mailed at the postage rates shown in 135.13 and 135.14:
a. An invoice. (See 135.522.)
h. Either one envelope or one addressed post card. (If also serving as an
order form, the envelope or card may be in addition to the order form listed
in 135.621c below.)
c. One order form. (If also serving as an envelope or post card, the order
formi may be in addition to the envelope or card listed in 135.621b above.)
d. Announcements of books, appearing in book pages or as loose enclosures.
These announcements of books must be incidental, and must be exclusively devoted to books. They mnay not contain extraneous ad-vertising of book related materials or services, except that announcements miay fully describe the conditions and methods of ordering books, such ais through m1embhership, in book clubs, and may contain ordering instructions for use with the single
order form- permitted in 135.621c above.
.622 Sounid Recordings
The following items only are permissible enclosures with sound recordings mailed at the postage rates shown in section 135.13 and 135.14:
a. An invoice. (See 135.522.)
b. Either one envelope or one addressed post card. (If also serving as an
order form, the envelope or card may be in addition to the order form listed
in 135.622c below.)
c. One order form. (If also serving as an envelope or post card, the order
form may be in addition to the envelope or card listed in 135.622b above.)
d. Guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings.
e. Announcements of sound recordings appearing on title labels, on protective sleeves, on the carton or wrapper, or on loose enclosures. These announcements of sound recordings must be incidental, and must be exclusively devoted to sound recordings. They may not contain extraneous advertising of sound-recording related materials or services, except that announcements may fully describe the conditions and methods of ordering sound recordings, such as through membership in sound recording clubs, and may contain ordering instructions for use with the single order form permitted in 135.622c above.
.623 All Other Items Listed in 135.214 and 135.215
Enclosures are not permitted except as provided in 135.522. 135.7 SEALING
Fourth-class mail must be wrapped or packaged so that it can'be easily examined. Mailing of sealed parcels at the fourth-class rates of postage is considered con-sent by the sender to postal inspection of the contents. To assure that their parcels will not be opened for postal inspection, customers should, in addition to paying the first-class rate of postage, plainly mark their parcels First Class or with similar endorsements. .23 Your written confirmation should include the original information furnished plus: a. Serial numbers of Treasury checks, and serial numbers and denominations of U.S. savings bonds lost or stolen.
b. Quantity and denomination of stamps and other accountable paper
lost or stolen.
c. Amount of Government funds and property lost or stolen.
d. Nature and amount of any personal loss.
e. Serial number of any mail keys lost or stolen.
f. Full particulars of lost, stolen, or rifled registered mail.
g. Additional information developed since the initial report was made. 232.3 SERIOUS OFFENSES
Report by memo all: (See 114.2.)
a. COD irregularities.
b. Matters inciting to violence. (See 123.7.)
c. Attacks upon letterboxes or contents.
d. Suspicious activities of boxholders.
e. Willful or malicious damage or injury to Government property.
f. Nonpostal offenses occurring in space assigned to postal activities.
g. Forgery, or falsifications of postal records or securities.
h. Illegal transportation of letters in violation of the Postal Service's monopoly.
(See part 152.)
i. Intoxicating liquors. Withdraw from the mail, and await disposition instructions.
j. Libel, threats, extortion. Submit complaints with a statement of facts.
(Promptly report by telephone and follow-up by memo.)
k. Losses of Government funds, accountable paper, or property, not otherwise
1. Obscene and indecent matter. Submit complaints with a statement of facts.
In. Subversive matter. Submit complaints with a statement of facts.
n. Concealable firearms. Withdraw concealable firearms mailed contrary to
124.5, pending instructions from postal inspector in charge.
o. Failure to pay postage, violations of the franking privilege, misuse of
penalty mail, depositing of advertising material in mail boxes without
payment of postage, and similar schemes to evade payment of postage.
p. Lottery. If the matter is definitely unmailable, submit it with a statement
of the facts. Also report any suspected lottery operations within the post
office or on Government property. (See 123.41 and 123.42.)
q. Impersonation of a postal inspector, postal official or other employee. r. Missing keys and locks. Loss, improper possession, or findings of (1) regulation lookout keys, (2) special or stub keys for no. 91 locks, or (3) locks and
keys for mail boxes and mailbags.
s. Obstruction of desertion of mail. Report any willful obstruction of the
passage of the mail as well as any case of voluntary desertion of the mail before delivery or return to the post office. (Promptly report by telephone
and follow-up by memo.)
t. Delay, damage, tampering, misspending, and wrong delivery of registered
mail; tampering with other mail; wrong or improper delivery of other mail
when financial loss or criminality is involved.
u. Accidents involving injury to a private person, or private property damage
in excess of $500. See 251.5 when accidents result in court action against
postal employees, and 251.4 when claim is filed by private party.
Question. How can I be certain that my wife receives the paycheck I mail J er.
Answer. Contact your camp mail representative and arrange to have your letter sent by certified mail with return receipt. This requires additional postage for a 9 oz. airmail letter of .450.
Question. My family lives in the Fairbanks vicinity. Is it possible for them to send letters and packages addressed to me without postage?
Answer. Yes, by parcel delivery at the Alyeska Services Center, Fort Wainwright. We have a parcel delivery window which is open 24 hours a day. Maximum weight limitations is 70 lbs. and size is restricted to a total of 100" length plus breadth. A receipt can be issued to the sender for any parcel or letter that is hand
Answer. Complete a locator card which can be obtained from your camp mail representative. Your letter may be forwarded to your previous address but it will not be returned to sender. Returned unclaimed mail is forwarded to location control for readdressing. The locator card will be used to forward your mail to the new address. Notify your correspondents of your new address as soon as possible.
Question. Is it necessary to send you a locator card when I am assigned to a ,camp?
Answer. Yes, if your assignment is permanent. Although your correspondents use the correct address the locator cards are also used for emergency telephone calls. We receive an average of 4 emergency telephone calls each day. Many of the callers do not know or remember the company or camp they are calling. Your locator card assists the operator in forwarding the call.
Question. Can I send insured or COD mail from camp?
Answer. Yes. Contact your camp mail representative for details.
Question. How do I get postage stamps when the commissary runs out?
Answer. Ask your camp mail representative to contact the Alyeska Services Center. We have a small supply to be used as an alternate source until the commissary order is received.
Question. Can I send registered mail from camp?
Answer. Not exactly. The letter does not become registered until it enters the U.S. Postal System. You can make arrangements with the camp mail representative to pay the additional postage and he will send it in the interoffice, accountable mail. The Alyeska Services Center will register the letter and return the registered receipt to you.
Question. How do I receive COD packages that are sent to me c/o Alyeska Services Center?
Answer. Send a personal check to the Alyeska Services Center made payable to the "Postmaster".
Question. I received a notice from the Post Office located at the Alyeska Services Center that they are holding a certified letter that could not be delivered. Why is it that other people receive certified mail and I don't?
Answer. Certified, Insured and Registered letters or parcels can be sent either "'Addressee Only" (restricted delivery) or to the "Address Where Delivered" (unrestricted delivery) or both. In any case, accountability is maintained until the letter is delivered. However, the sender pays an additional fee for "addressee only" and the post office is not permitted by postal regulations to release this letter to anyone but you.
Question. How can I obtain an "addressee only" accountable letter without having to come to town?
Answer. On receipt of "addressee only" mail at the Alyeska Services Center post office, the postal clerk notifies you of the receipt, and notifies the sender of your location requesting that the restriction be lifted.
Question. I move around from camp to camp. What address should I use?
Answer. Arrangements should be made with your company office to receive your mail. They will forward it as they are in the best position to know your whereabouts.
Question. Is there a general delivery box at the Alyeska Services Center?
Answer. Yes. You may call for general delivery mail 24 hours a day. The correct address is c/o Alyeska Services Center, General Delivery Section, Fairbanks, Alaska 99716. Note: The zip code must be used to insure mail directed to General Delivery is held at the Alyeska Services Center.
Question. What happens to my mail when I am on R & R?
Answer. If you have left no instructions with the camp mail representative or made other arrangements to hold your mail it will be returned to us unclaimed. We will contact your company to determine your employment status and instructions regarding your mail. If you have been terminated the mail win be returned to sender. If your company advises that you are returning, the mail win be held for 10 days following your expected return date then returned to sender.
Question. How quickly does my letter get into the U.S. mail system once it leaves camp?
Answer. The same day. Your camp mail representative places all outgoing uncancelled U.S. mail in one bag. Each flight is met by an Alyeska Services Center mail clerk. The U.S. bags are then delivered to the post office. Our last delivery to the Post Office is made at midnight.
Question. How much of a delay in incoming U.S. mail occurs at the Alyeska Services Center?
Answer. For camps north of the Yukon, mail received from the U.S. Post Office at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and midnight goes to the airlines at 6:30 a.m. Mail received at 7:15 a.m., 11:50 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. goes out on the afternoon flights. Mail delivery to camps south of the Yukon is entirely dependent on transportation. When it goes, all mail goes.
Question. An Airmail letter has taken two weeks to reach me. How do you explain that?
Answer. I cannot answer for the postal department but if the mail is correctly addressed i.e.
c/o Alyeska Services Center
Fairbanks, Alaska 99716
there should be no delay.
Question. Is it possible to trace a first class or'Air Mail letter? I sent a check to the bank and haven't received a deposit receipt.
Answer. No. Use certified mail which can be traced.
Question. How much mail are you handling each day?
Answer. On a weekly average-approximately 1100# daily. We expect this to increase to 3000#/day.
Question. My mail service is great-how do you guys do it?
Answer. Thanks-Perseverance and Patience.
WHY ALASKANS QUIT 'THEIR JOBS
(By Pat Parnell)
"I'd give my eyeteeth if I could keep my employees," said the manager of a large Fairbanks business. ',
His feeling is probably typical in this outpost Alaskan community of 50,000 located at the end of the Alaska Highway. Thecity's Population includes many transients; and'economic, social and psychological reasons combine to push the employe turnover above 200 per cent a year for many businesses. To find out the reasons behind high turnover, Alaska Industry talked to a cross-section of the business community. The result was a series of opinions as diverse as the personalities behind them. In the end it seems, good business relationships, like good personal relationships, depend on a mixture of'qualities, many of them intangible.
J. C. Penney Company in Fairbanks is one of the few organizations in the arew to have a professional personnel manager. Also, in contrast to various other personnel offices which seem to act mainly as referral services for their organizations, the Penneys management is concerned with the subtle psychological and social factors that often mean the difference between a productive working relationship and a resignation or termination. ,
"We still have a turnover of well over 100 percent yearly," said Phil Shama, Penney's personnel manager, "but that's half what we had when the store opened five years ago. As, we become better established, the working conditions have improved, and at present there is a large labor force in the area. The main dif-. ference, however, is that now we are selecting our people more carefully. We try to choose people who seem interested in the work, and who want to stay in Alaska.
"Penney's has extensive training programs, and there is an effort made to motivate the individual to become interested in the work,." he said. "If people become involved, they find that retailing is a fascinating business-dealing with people; giving them what they want when they want it. Zn
"We feel our employes are our biggest asset," said Shama, "and to encourage them to stay with the company, we offer a profit-sharing program and a lucrative benefit package that can almost double the person's effective income."
Although the turnover at Penney's would still be considered high in most parts of the nation, in Fairbanks where changes in staff occur at twice the rate in other areas of the. U.S., a 100 per cent turnover is not unusual even in offices. where the wages are double those paid in retailing.
According to statistics from the Alaska Departmentof Labor,. the mean wage for sales clerks in Fairbanks is only $2.60 per hour, 50 cents higher than the minimum wage. Secretaries earn $3.60 per hour in business, $3.75 in the construction industry, and $4.95 in government.
SUPPLEMENT TO A GOOD SALARY
"Money isn't the answer though," emphasized the manager of a super market where the turnover was estimated at 200 per cent. "Some of our girls have made $350 per week working overtime and double time on Sundays, as only a supplement to a good salary earned by their husbands; they left Alaska because they 'couldn't afford to live in Fairbanks.' But other wives work only half time to supplement their husbands' minimal salary, and manage somehow."
According to the Department of Labor, the mean wage for grocery checkers in Fairbanks is $4.30Y and for butchers, $5.50. In spite of wages more than double
what might be expected in a city outside of Alaska, turnover is the store's biggeSID expense, and management doesn't even include new employes in the official figures unless they have been employed at least 60 days. If an individual leaves before two months is up, statistically he may as well have never worked at all.
"We've made a lot of progress in cutting down turnover," said the store's manager. "The thing we look for now is a stable personality. We have found that many people who come to Alaska are running from some personal problem. They don't stay in Alaska though. Whatever their problem was-drinking, taxes, family or financial-they find it's still right with them, so they leave. Eighty to 90 per cent of our turnover is due to this kind of personality problem."
Some employers also mentioned the particular kind of situation that seems to have something to do with the Alaskan mystique-the feeling of freedom and opportunity that almost every Alaskan will mention in describing his life on the "Last Frontier."
Alaskans have an independent streak that makes them indifferent to the ordinary pressures that will keep, a man on the job for 40 years in other areas. An Alaskan often seems to be daring his employer to fire him, and will sometimes quit at the drop of a hat-or an ins-ult,: real or imagined.
Everyone seems to have a sideline, whether by choice or by necessity. An electronic technician will drive a cat in the summer. A school teacher will have a part time job playing honky-tonk piano in a saloon, and a college professor will be a registered hunting guide. This versatility gives them a certain amount of independence; they are not afraid of being unable to find a job and as a result will not tolerate many of the minor inconveniences that are part of the routine in most places.
Although many people claimed that money was not the only factor that influences employes to stay on the job, it seemed that there was a direct connection between rate of pay and employe permanence. Low paying jobs had the highest turnover, although in comparing businesses with the same pay scales, the effect of other factors could be seen.
HAS A PSYCHOLOGICAL APPEAL
Working in a bank, for example, has a psychological appeal to many people, even though the sal aries are, probably lower than any other business. The supervisory personnel have opportunities to make money when they hear about investment possibilities, but most low-level workers do not have the resources to take advantage of these opportunities.
"We pay top competitive salaries in our field," said one banker, whose tellers make $2.50O per hour, "yet we can't compete salary-wise with governmentespecially considering the 25 per cent tax-free cost-of-living allowance for federal employes. Our earnings are strictly controlled by state law, and we cannot afford to compete with govern ment salaries. For example our interest rates in Alaska are limited to 8 per cent compared to'12 per cent in Washington state or Illinois.
"We probably have about a 40 per cent annual turnover," he continued. "We lose more from some departments than others. The tellers probably average 100 per cent a year or greater-but'in our higher-paid managerial positions, there is practically no turnover."
The high turnover in lower-paid positions was explained by citing the relatively numerous opportunities for unskilled workers to find work. A highly specialized, highly paid individual, on the other hand, often has few opportunities for changing jobs, if he wishes to stay in his field, even though he might like to change.
CREW RETURNS EVERY YEAR
In the construction ind 'usti-y, most workers will try to return year after year to work for the same company,'according to management officials.
"We have a basic crew who return every year," said one administrator in a large company. "I would say our turnover is less than 30 to 40 per cent, in spite of the seasonal nature of the work. Sometimes if we have a job in the field, they will look for work with another company that has a local job if they want to stay in town. And sometimes outsiders will only stay a season or two if they came north expecting to make big money. They find that $8 to $9 an hour sounds big outside, but up here it isn't much when you're only working eight or nine months, and when costs are so high."
One industry that has a built-in advantage in Alaska is; air transportation. Most Alaskans are eager to work for the airlines because they tend to hive a natural wanderlust, and because often they have friends and relatives still living in the "Lower 48."
"We had a turnover of less than 10 per cent in 1971," said Kenneth S. Sitton, airport services manager for Pan American Airways in Fairbanks. "We ,ire abhle to keep our people because the pay is good, they have a twelve-mionth yea-,r nid
employe benefits, and they can fly for only 10 per cent of the regular cost, plus. some free travel. We pay for families, too, and that can mean a saving of two or three thousand dollars every year for those that take large families outside to visit relatives. Our passenger service people start about $900 per month, and themaintenance crew at $950. With the cost-of-living allowance, some with experience earn up to $1300."
EITHER EXTREME HAS EFFECT
Although there is great variation in the per cent turnover among various business and government agencies, all are usually affected to some degree by extremes of the labor market. Either extreme-a large surplus of jobs or of workers-tends to cause increased turnover. If there 'are many jobs available, the workers can be selective; if there are many applicants, the employer can be selective and less tolerant of mediocre performance. In Fairbanks both extremes have been rather dramatically illustrated in the last three years, with the oil boom in 1970 and then the subsequent slowdown.
"Many Fairbanks employers seem to feel that turnover isn't a problem for them, since they can easily replace people with the large supply of workers who are military dependents," said James E. O'Rourke, manager of the Fairbanks office of the state employment agency. "But they are beginning to realize that. time and money is wasted in continually training new people. Recently, somehave decided that they would prefer to hire Alaskan residents in preference, towives of military personnel who may be highly skilled, but who will be transferred to other areas within two years at most.
"Sometimes, you find an organization will encourage a high turnover," said O'Rourke, "in order to avoid having to provide employe benefits. Sometimes it is financially better to have a high turnover than to have to pay for extras such as pension plans or travel benefits."
Even though it sometimes might be desirable to have a high turnover to keep down costs, in the long run, most businesses find that it is more economical to try and keep their employes as long as possible. Staff members at the Fairbanks office of the Alaska Employment Service gave the following possible reasons for high turnover:
First: Unrealistic hiring requirements. "Over-qualified people are put in low level jobs with the expectation that they may be promoted to higher positions. If only a few will eventually be promoted to managerial positions, it is unrealistic to expect the rest to stay in low level occupations.
Second: Unrealistic expectations. Sometimes an employe may have misconceptions about a job. For example, a girl might take a job as an airline stewardess, thinking it will be glamorous, or she might expect that she will get rich working as a bank teller.
Third: Poor job description on the part of the employer. Often employer.$ are inexperienced in their roles and they'don't knowhow to describe a particular" job to a prospective employe.
Fourth: Low pay.
Fifth: Lack of advancement opportunities. Sometimes even in an organliation where there are opportunities for promotion to more i interesting jobs,. lowlevel employes are not made aware of the chance for advancement and' theyleave the company out of boredom.
Sixth: Shift work. Although shift. work is attractive to certain individuals, most family-oriented people'will try to find a job where they can spend time with. their children and wives or husbands.
Seventh: Transportation difficulties. If a, job site is in an out-of-way location, the cost of transportation, especially in Alaska, often makes it impossible for low-salaried workers to continue working there.
Eighth: Personality problems. Sometimes a supervisor win be hard to get along with, and there will be high turnover in his section only.
When all aspects of high turnover are considered, we see that this is a problem that is as complex as the personalities of the people involved. The effects of today's personal mobility, and the carefree attitude of many young people combine to indicate that the days of the "faithful old retainer" are gone forever.
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS,
Washington,. D.C., September 30, 1974.
Hon. E. T. KLASSEN,
DEAR TED: As you may know, at my request a Senate Post Office and Civil Service staff inquiry is currently being conducted in Alaska to measure what impact the trans-Alaska pipeline construction has had on the operation of the postal service.
My assistant, in 'a preliminary report, has pointed out a couple of problem areas regarding needed facilities in Valdez and Anchorage.
The community of Valdez is the Southern terminal port for the trans-Alaska pipeline and as such much of the construction there is of a more permanent nature than other sections of the pipeline. There are four construction camps serviced by the Valdez post office. The current post office, although only six years old, is totally unable to meet the need of this booming seaport. Current population is in the neighborhood of 2,000 with a. conservative projection of 5,000 within a couple of years. I understand approval has been given to construct a 7,000 square foot building. However, little can be done until the land acquisition process has been finalized. I would appreciate any effort on the part of your real estate office to conclude the acquisition process in order for construction to start in the Spring. As you know, in Alaska a one month delay in one area can set back a whole project one year due to the severe winters and a short construction season. Ted, my assistant tells me it is like Christmas every day in the current post office, and that something needs to be done as soon as possible.
The second area of concern centers around Anchorage. As you know, most of the mail in and out of Alaska goes thru Anchorage. Anchorage is the key for efficient service for the entire state. Consequently I am concerned with early completion of two projects now pending for approval. One project is an $8.8 million carriers station and vehicle maintenance facility. It is my understanding that the postal service has an option on an 8 acre tract of land near 26th Avenue and A street. Property around this choice location is selling for more than twice the option price. Time, however, is of the essence as the option expires on November 12 and the owner will not renew the option. As in Valdez, a months delay here could mean a years delay in construction of this needed facility. I urge that necessary steps be taken to secur this property before the November 12 deadline, as well as early approval of this much needed carrier station and vehicle maintenance facility.
In addition, in Anchorage there exists a need for a new downtown station. As you know, the postal service will not have a station in the new Federal Building. Consequently action is needed now in approving any plans to have operational a new facility in the downtown Anchorage area. These facilities are badly needed, and even if approved may take two to four years before they could be occupied.
I know you are aware of the action by the Federal Energy Office invoking the Defense Production Act giving pipeline contractors top priority in obtaining needed materials. I do hope the postal service will act with the same energy and spirit in looking at the mail needs of the pipeline construction workers and other Alaskans.
With best wishes,
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 3 1262 09115 0309