Today’s news:

Fight to save Van Nest post office renewed

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand added her name to a chorus of voices urging the United States Postal Service to keep the Van Nest Post Office open.

Gillibrand joined Congressman Joseph Crowley, Senator Jeff Klein, Councilman Joel Rivera, and Councilman James Vacca in a recent statement calling on Postmaster General John Potter to keep open the Van Nest Post Office, located at 715 Morris Park Avenue. With the community already in the process of working on a deal to get a bank branch for the first time in more than a decade, the closure of this postal facility would further hurt this area’s resurgence.

Community leader Joe Bombace and Morris Park Alliance president Bob Ruggiero both said that the post office is vital to the 17,000 people living and working in Van Nest, who already have to leave their community in order to conduct even the simplest banking transactions. Gillibrand called the facility vital to the fabric of the neighborhood.

“Closing this post office would prevent many Bronx residents from having reliable access to yet another basic service,” Gillibrand

said. “It’s essential that the Van Nest Post Office remain open and the federal government continue to help under served communities grow and

thrive.”

The fight to save the Van Nest Post Office was taken up by elected officials after leaders like Bombace heard that it was one of several in the Bronx slated for closure.

“It is imperative that this post office remains open,” Bombace said. “Many seniors and businesses use the post office on a regular basis. It is convenient because its close to our homes.”

Bombace said he was ecstatic that Senator Gillibrand decided to join the effort. He has already presented a petition with 1,000 signatures to Congressman Joseph Crowley calling for the post office to remain open. He also joined Senator Jeff Klein at a recent public hearing on post office consolidation at Fordham University.

“For too long, the Van Nest neighborhood has been denied access to vital services, and the residents and businesses of this area deserve better,”

Crowley said.“Closing this post office location would be a slap in the face to this community, and we are calling on the Postmaster General to take notice of the extreme circumstances this neighborhood is facing and prevent this setback to community revitalization efforts.”

Bob Ruggiero, whose organization is working to revitalize the shopping strip in Van Nest and lower Morris Park, said the post office is necessary.

Ruggiero said that he was disappointed to find the Van Nest post office lacking supplies like large rolls of stamps, overnight shipping boxes, and priority mail envelopes.

The Van Nest Post Office is one of six New York City postal facilities still under review for possible consolidation under the U.S. Postal Service’s station and branch consolidation initiative.

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