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Viewpoints April 16, 2014

2/20/2013 11:12:00 AM
And then I wrote...
by Dick Schilling
Editor Emeritus

... that I knew it was coming, but I still hated to hear it. It being that the United States Postal Service intends to do away with Saturday home delivery of mail come August.
I have suggested here before that if it is desirable to cut service one day a week to save money, why not cut service on a Wednesday or Thursday? With all those national holidays being observed on Mondays, the service cut on Saturdays will mean frequent four-day periods without mail.
The announcement came at an unfortunate time, coming about the same time that first class postage increased in price again. In effect that put the USPS in the position of saying it was charging more for poorer service.
Which is not a good business plan.
But a business plan with which we are becoming all too familiar thanks to government. Governments act to increase taxes but say will be unable to provide any new service or maybe even continue current service levels unless and until taxes are raised once more.
Maybe it won’t come true. Sometimes, our worst fears are not realized. I fully expected the Boy Scouts of America to cave and become the Whatever Scouts of America, but they have at least delayed that move. I still doubt the BSofA can maintain their age-old proscriptions. And I predict that will pretty much mark the end of the organization as I knew it.
Because I was a Boy Scout. Briefly. There were two troops in Waukon at the time, one publicly sponsored and one sponsored by St. Patrick’s Catholic parish. I stayed with the program until advancement to the next rank, I think second class, required earning a swimming badge. I did not swim. Did not want to learn. So quit.
Should not have. When I got to college, I found out I had to team to swim in order to graduate with the required physical education skills. I got by after two semesters of instruction. Then promptly gave it up. Until I got into the Navy’s Officer Candidate School, where I not only had to learn to swim again, but to jump from a 25-foot tower into flaming water!
Speaking of OCS, the day we graduated was in early March, and I rode a bus through snow-covered roads to Providence, RI, which had experienced a six-inch snowfall overnight. Traffic was at a standstill.
We Iowans tend to joke about how those northeastern big cities don’t know how to handle snow.
And to hear a Boston resident and Harvard student describe the problem over the weekend really amused me. Imagine an accent. He said what sounded like, “At Hahvad, there was no place to pahk a kah near the yahd, until they take the snow to the hahbah!”

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