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The United States Postal Service knows a thing or two about delivering the mail, but they haven't been quite so good at turning a profit. Fortunately, the agency's got a plan to help turn things around — daily grocery deliveries.
The Postal Regulatory Commission approved a two-year market test of a grocery delivery service, called Customized Delivery.
It's an expanded version of USPS's partnership with Amazon, which let USPS pick up and deliver groceries ordered on Amazon in San Francisco. The new plan calls for more retail partners and a wider scope.
Now, Customized Delivery isn't going to single-handedly revive the post office's flagging finances — potential revenue from the program is currently capped at $10 million, which would hardly make a dent in the estimated $100 billion USPS owes in debt and unfunded liabilities.
But as a Motley Fool writer points out, it "tests a path which could fundamentally change how the post office does business. ... Leveraging a partner for delivery makes more sense and the USPS and online retail in general are natural partners."
But these aren't uncharted waters — home grocery delivery is going through a resurgence in popularity, and the USPS's new venture will be competing against companies like Peapod and FreshDirect, along with heavyweights like Wal-Mart and startups like Uber's Corner Store.
And the post office's entry into the market hasn't been welcomed by everyone — the Taxpayers Protection Alliance submitted complaints to USPS regulators when the plan was proposed, claiming USPS will unfairly distort the market.
"This action works to hurt private businesses who cannot afford to bring their price down to a level where they can be competitive. A government agency should not be working to compete with American businesses."
The latest plan is just one recent move the USPS has made to help the agency survive, including partnerships with Amazon to support Sunday deliveries, and a partnership with office-supply chain Staples to open new postal centers at Staples locations.
This video includes images from Getty Images.
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:49:12 -0400
An unknown author once said, "The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.”
And that's similar to the purpose of national parks in the U.S. — conserving Mother Nature's natural beauty.
But what if nature is "rearranged" by human hands in the name of art? Can it really be called art or is it something closer to vandalism?
That's a question being asked by media outlets and park enthusiasts around the country after this article by Modern Hiker was published earlier this week. Similar drawings have been found in as many as 10 different national parks around the western U.S.
It's believed the woman behind the drawings is Casey Nocket, but authorities have yet to confirm that. That was discovered after a number of the images were posted to an Instagram account called Creepy Tings — the same name the drawings are signed under. (Video via KTVX)
News of the drawings soon reached social media sites like Reddit, where an investigator in Yosemite National Park asked for more pictures to help with the investigation.
The National Park Service has also issued a press release calling the drawings "vandalism" and noting the issue is taken very seriously. So far parks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Utah have all discovered images signed by Creepy Tings.
We will note, none of the drawings found contained offensive or discriminatory material. Now, it's not just the vandalism that has created a frenzy but also the so-called artist's lack of remorse for the seriousness of the crimes.
Modern Hiker's Casey Schreiner captured this conversation on the Creepy Tings Instagram before it was made private. One user asks, "Is that paint or chalk?" A person believed to be Casey Nocket replies, "acrylic." The user then posts a sad face and Nocket writes back, saying, "I know, I'm a bad person."
KSL-TV: "Holy cow, you know, what are you thinking? ... In this day in age with the knowledge we have of the value of our national parks and then to be so stupid that you post it. ... Who in the world does this person think she is?"
And that sentiment is one shared by many. The number of signatures on this White House petition is increasing by the second. The petition asks, "Please don't allow her to receive a slap. Please pursue the most serious of charges for these offenses."
KUTV: ZION NATIONAL PARK INVESTIGATOR: "At Zion we get about 3 million visitors a year, so imagine if 3 million people left their mark."
"The rocks are the art."
â€‹The vandalism is a federal offense. If Casey Nocket, who is said to be from the New York area, is found to be behind the vandalism, she could face jail time and some serious fines.
This video includes an image from Getty Images.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:34:16 -0400
Ever since Ebola made landfall in the U.S., the Obama administration and health professionals have been trying to curb fears about Ebola — most of them stemming from misinformation.
Maybe that’s why this moment Friday was so big: Dallas nurse and former Ebola patient Nina Pham was declared Ebola-free and was later embraced by President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
No reporters were allowed in the meeting. Only photographers were allowed, and they snapped tons of pictures. But it was a move that could help curb fears about Ebola for a number of reasons.
“He is the president and he was not at all concerned,” said Josh Earnest via The White House.
And most Americans shouldn’t be concerned either. The hug demonstrated that a cured patient isn’t in danger of getting anyone else infected.
Maybe this is a way to show that, despite fears about the virus, Ebola survivors should be welcomed back into society without reservation.
An all-clear diagnosis for Pham and Amber Vinson, the other Dallas nurse who was declared Ebola-free this week, is hugely significant given that they were infected by Thomas Eric Duncan, the only Ebola patient in the U.S. to die from the illness. (Video via KDFW)
Duncan’s treatment and the infection of two of his nurses raised questions about America’s preparedness to deal with Ebola. (Video via MSNBC)
The hug between President Obama and Pham obviously won’t get rid of Ebola, but it could be just another small victory in helping cure Americans of their fears surrounding this deadly disease.
This video includes images from Getty Images.Sat, 25 Oct 2014 03:54:28 -0400 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories