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StarBulletin.com

Oahu post offices face shutdown


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POSTED: Friday, July 31, 2009

Ten post offices on Oahu, including a cluster in East Honolulu, are on a preliminary list for possible closing as part of nationwide cost-cutting.

“;We're right on the verge of being able to announce a list that is going to be a lot smaller,”; said Duke Gonzales, the U.S. Postal Service's Honolulu district office spokesman. “;We don't want customers to unnecessarily raise their anxiety. Certainly we're not going to close all of the offices.”;

The earliest any could shut down is Oct. 1, Gonzales said. The matter is complicated with a number of factors, including leases, mail and customer volumes and proximity of other post offices, he said.

On the list are three East Honolulu stations: Aina Haina, Kaimuki and Waialae-Kahala. Those on or near military installations are Fort Shafter, Tripler Army Medical Center, one on Pearl Harbor Naval Base and another across Kamehameha Highway from Pearl Harbor.

Others closer to town are Kapalama, Makiki and Moiliili.

The next phase will include assessing effects on customers who will be notified about possible closings and allowed to comment, Gonzales said.

Customers at the bustling Waialae-Kahala post office were surprised it might end up on the chopping block and defended its survival.

“;Oh dear,”; said Diamond Head resident Cathy VonWiegandt, 87. “;It's been my post office box for 30 years.”;

It has allowed her to have a permanent address despite all the moving she has done.

“;Plus, the people here are all charming,”; VonWiegandt said. “;There's a very warm feeling of camaraderie.”;

Christopher Stagnaro, a Kaimuki-Kahala resident who has a post office box for business and personal use, said, “;This is a pretty busy neighborhood post office, and a lot of people count on it. I would be pretty surprised if they close one as large as this.”;

Kaimuki resident Sheila O'Malley, who was picking up a package, said: “;I think that would be pretty disastrous. I think it services a lot of people here.

“;If they keep Kaimuki open, that is so challenging with the parking,”; she said. “;This one is so accessible. ... This is a key post office.”;

ON THE LIST

Post offices at these locations might be closed:

» Aina Haina

» Fort Shafter, 1 Fort Shafter Army Base Building 434

» Kaimuki, 1130 Koko Head Ave.

» Kapalama, 1271 N. King St.

» Makiki, 1111 Lunalilo St.

» Moiliili, 2700 S. King St. Suite B

» Pearl Harbor 1

» Pearl Harbor 3

» Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road Building 1

» Waialae-Kahala, 4354 Pahoa Ave.