Advertising service? Postal Service is overstepping 2012.09.19

Advertising is essential for the success of a newspaper. It pays the bills to enable a new edition of the paper week after week.

So why is the United States Postal Service (USPS) trying to take it away?

Newspaper owners across the country are upset about a plan by the Postal Service to entice ads out of papers and move them to a USPS favored company known as Valassis.

The Postal Service will provide rebates of more than 30 percent to Valassis to entice advertising inserts from newspapers into direct mail. The goal is to create more advertising mail, at the expense of newspapers that are already in a fragile condition following the economic downturn that began in 2008. Through the recession and the growth of internet usage, advertising declined and never recovered. Now, the USPS is trying to make it even worse.

The Postal Service offer is only for the big players. Valassis can take the rebate and offer a discount to national retailers. Newspapers can’t sign a single contract together to earn their own rebate from the USPS. Small, local stores can’t be part of the deal with Valassis, either, but the USPS also has an advertising plan for them.

It just doesn’t seem right. Sure, the Postal Service has its own revenue problems, but it isn’t a business. It’s a service owned by the government, designed to serve all. It shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in any marketplace.

Does America need a federally-owned advertising service? Our answer to that is “No!”

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    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
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    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
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