From the Ely Echo publisher’s desk

by Anne Swenson, publisher

From Glendora, California:<BR><BR>“Today I received my Dec 17th copy of the Ely Echo.This is really bad service. It is always late. I don’t think I have ever gotten it in less than a week late. Is this the best you can do? By the time I get the Echo, it is history! Why can’t I at least expect it in maybe a week or 10 days? Is that so hard? What class of service do you mail this for it to be such lousy service? Hope to hear from you, Frank.”<BR><BR>Dear Frank, <BR><BR>There’s nobody more unhappy with the US Postal Service than me. Every week without fail the Echoes are delivered to the Ely Post Office on Friday. They are bar coded with each address and pre-sorted by state and cities. What the Postal Service does to the newspaper when it leaves here Friday afternoon is anybody’s guess.<BR><BR>Have we put your newspaper on a Postal Watch yet? Sometimes that kick starts some action by the USPS. I apologize for the delay made by this inefficient government system.<BR><BR>— Anne Swenson, Publisher, Ely Echo <BR><BR>Here’s a letter from a St. Paul reader:<BR><BR>“Once again I have not received last Saturday's Ely Echo. I have missed many issues and there is no consistency as far as what day it is sent out. Would I be able to receive a refund on issues remaining? This is getting frustrating. Thanks. Susan”<BR><BR>Dear Susan,<BR><BR>The Ely Echo is brought to the Ely Post Office every Friday afternoon. You should be receiving the Echo by Monday at the latest. <BR><BR>We can start a Postal Watch from our end which should improve your service. Please check also with your local Post Office to encourage more prompt delivery if you choose to stay with us. If you prefer, we can refund $9 to you as the remainder of your subscription. <BR><BR>I apologize for the inefficiency of the Postal Service. When the paper leaves our office it is pre-sorted and bagged for its destination. It's frustrating for us to hear of how lax the delivery is.<BR><BR>Thank you for letting me know.<BR><BR>— Anne Swenson, Publisher, Ely Echo <BR><BR>Here in Ely we find US Postal employees to be prompt and efficient in their handling of mail. <BR><BR>It is what happens when the 136 weekly mail bags are on their way downstate and out of state that our worries begin. <BR><BR>In 2005 the Ely Echo spent $69,069.94 on postage. That’s over $1,200 per week.<BR><BR>And whereas you can mail a letter for a flat fee to any state in the Union, newspapers pay a sliding scale with the most costly newspaper to mail being the ones fartherest away from Ely. California and Florida are three times more expensive to send an Echo than mailing one to the Ely area.<BR><BR>We attempt to get subscriptions started within a week and make address changes the same way. <BR><BR>We pay 70 cents for every Echo which is returned to us by the Post Office when subscribers forget to tell us they are moving or relocating for a few months. <BR><BR>And we listen to the complaints from our customers and feel empathetic with their frustration about Echo delivery after the Echo newspapers leave the Ely loading dock.