Some readers may have noticed that the mail delivery of their Capital Press has been delayed in recent weeks. It is because of the U.S. Postal Service, which apparently has decided to redefine the term "service."
Facing multibillion-dollar shortfalls, Postal Service managers have taken budgeting steps that can best be described as bizarre. Those steps have impacted newspapers such as the Capital Press, which depend on the mail for delivery.
The Capital Press is printed in Portland and, until recently, trucked 50 miles to the Salem post office for delivery to readers in the Willamette Valley. During a recent week, the Salem post office refused to take the newspapers, forcing us to truck them back to Portland to the post office there. At the Portland post office the papers were sorted and trucked back to Salem, causing them to be delivered late.
This would be bad enough if it were a single instance, but we only face more uncertainty as post office managers continue to change delivery schedules and protocols.
We had hoped the post office's changes would minimally impact our readers. We were wrong. The randomness of the post office schedule has left us struggling to explain to readers why a newspaper that was previously delivered on Friday or Saturday now shows up several days later.
We apologize for the shortcomings of the post office, and we offer two promises.
First, we promise to continue to go the extra mile to meet the requirements of the post office's managers to get our publication to you in a timely manner.
Second, we have developed several ways for you to read the Capital Press via email and on the Internet, thus bypassing the post office and getting the news to you immediately.
* Monday through Friday, we send via email free daily news updates to readers who request them. They focus on up-to-the-minute agricultural news and such special topics as dairy, livestock and the top stories of the week. We even produce weekly newsletters for our readers in Idaho and California.
* We offer on our website, www.capitalpress.com, all of the stories that appear in the printed version of the Capital Press -- before they are printed. In addition, we provide bonus coverage of all things agriculture around the nation and the world. Subscribers have unlimited access to our website 24 hours a day. Nonsubscribers can sign up for a 99-cent Day Pass that allows full access for a day. A one-week pass is $1.50 and a monthly pass is $3.75.
To sign up for any of the newsletters or passes, click on the top right-hand corner of our home page, www.capitalpress.com
* We also offer a mobile version of our website so subscribers can access it on their smartphone or tablet, as well as an instant message "Bulletin" when breaking news happens.
* The latest addition is an electronic edition of the Capital Press. By clicking in the "Capital Press E-Edition" link on our web page, subscribers can read the latest edition page-by-page. It's just like the printed edition, but without having to wait for the mail carrier.
Thank you for reading the Capital Press, which during the past 85 years has grown to provide the most comprehensive coverage of agricultural news in the West.
We promise to continue to do our level best to provide that news to you via email, the Internet and, yes, the mail.