Complaints about poor delivery of the Observer have grown in recent months and it comes as no surprise. Things are clearly not what they used to be.
Consider the plight of a paper that's destined for the other side of Lenawee County, such as Onsted or Clinton. Onsted is half an hour away and Clinton less than an hour, so delivery that takes three or four days seems a little out of the order.
There was a time, long ago, when those papers would have been delivered to Adrian for local delivery around the county, but for many years area mail went to a large facility in Jackson for sorting and sending back in this direction.
When that center closed, papers were sent to Lansing and then back. When that center was closed, papers started traveling to Detroit, and that's where it stands now. An Onsted subscriber's paper is taken to Detroit and eventually is sent back this way for delivery.
Pioneer, Ohio, is only 20 miles from Morenci, but you wouldn't know it by talking to a subscriber. The story is similar to that told earlier. The Toledo mail sorting facility was closed and, once again, papers are trucked 100 miles to Detroit, sorted or lost, and then brought back to this area.
It's bad enough when delivery takes three or four or more days to locations less than an hour away, but it's even more troubling when papers don't arrive at all. Subscribers call their local post office and are often told that the problem lies with us.
We have no solution to this problem; all of the papers are mailed together the morning after they're printed. There is one alternative that we always mention to customers who report delivery problems. Unfortunately, most of the people we hear from aren't interested. The solution is to read the paper online. It's available to subscribers every Tuesday about 4 p.m. ready for reading long before it even hits the newsstand.