Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Return to sender

The Buzz for Wednesday, March 19

This explanation needs to be returned to sender, ASAP.

When moving trucks arrived Friday morning at the Hardesty Post Office, neighborhood leaders and this newspaper feared the worst.

It was almost like Northeast was about to get its own version of “The Move.”

In 1984, semi-trucks pulled up to the Baltimore Colts’ stadium in the middle of the night and loaded everything up and moved out without saying a word. Stunned football fans woke up the next morning to find their hometown team had found another home in Indianapolis.

On Friday morning last week, Northeast residents feared they were getting the same cloak and dagger treatment as trucks pulled up to the Hardesty post office and postal employees began hauling out the furniture, wall decorations and all “non-essential” equipment.

Employees there even told customers that they had been told earlier that March 31 was the last day the old post office would be open.

Pack it up, this circus is moving on down the road.

But once again the postal service was left pointing fingers in circles attempting to divert the fervor their own early morning move was causing.

Officials say no final decision has been made, but from all appearances those decisions have been made and carried out — along with all the furniture. It’s a lot easier to close a post office that you have already cleared out for your “structural study.”

But through this whole process the Postal Service has been a little too tight-lipped for comfort. If this truly was something the post office wanted to do honestly and cleanly they should have involved neighborhood leaders, activists and others in the process from the beginning.

The integrity of any report, structural study or engineer’s report is going to be questioned because it was done while leaving residents in the dark.

The Postal Service has already lost the trust of the neighborhoods though their actions leading up to the possible closing of the Hardesty sub-station. To close it now will leave neighborhoods all over Northeast simply angry and bitter at another government organization short-changing this area.

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John “JJ” Rizzo wanted to set the record straight this week.

Last week, this little Newshound took a swipe at the political shenanigans from the Jay Nixon fundraiser held in Northeast. In this column we made a joke about how State Rep. John Burnett and his former political challenger Will Royster were shaking hands and offering glowing comments about each other at the event. We also took note of how Rizzo, another challenger in the 40th District House race was nowhere to be found.

That is because, Rizzo said, he was not invited.

“It was not because I did not want to be there to represent Northeast. It was a private event and I was not invited,” Rizzo said this week.

But Rizzo said he was not upset; just perplexed. Maybe his invite got lost in the mail as the post office attempted to flee Northeast.

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