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Friday, June 28, 2002



Isle residents try
to get a jump
on postage hike

Some want to mail their letters
before the increase begins


By Leila Fujimori
lfujimori@starbulletin.com

Not everyone lined up at the post office this week was simply mailing a letter or package.

A few were out to beat the Sunday postal rate hike when the cost of mailing a first-class letter goes up by 3 cents, to 37 cents.

"I sent off a whole bunch of bills last night," said small-business owner Randy Lau, who was mailing a package yesterday at the downtown post office.

Kailua resident Keane Young stood in line with four certified letters in hand. "I try to come early and get the mail out," Young said. "I think it's weird they're charging 3 cents more."

He felt it makes better sense to raise rates in even increments and to space out the increases.

Karen Prentiss of Waikele, an avid letter and card writer who was sending a package to her grandchildren, said: "Somebody once told me, for a 30-cent stamp, a letter can go anywhere in the United States. So after that I never complained. So 37 cents is a deal."

The price of a first-class stamp goes to 37 cents from 34 cents effective Sunday, meaning people may put 34-cent stamps on mail postmarked through Saturday.

U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Felice Broglio said business mailers may rush to get their mailing done today and tomorrow, although most mass mailings come from mainland businesses. But she did not think consumers would be running to the post office. "What's the point in saving 3 cents?" Broglio said.

Gary Yamamoto, manager of the Kapalama Post Office, has noticed a bit of a rush with some customers picking up the new 37-cent stamps, while others were getting 3-cent stamps to use with their ample supply of 34-cent stamps. But he said long lines are normal for his small post office.



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