Hot topic

The Postal Service is working to protect employees this summer.

Across the nation, managers and supervisors are delivering stand-up talks on avoiding heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Managers and supervisors are also continuing to remind employees of the importance of drinking plenty of water to keep themselves properly hydrated — efforts that are supported by local safety teams and task forces.

For example, in Capital Metro Area’s Mid-Carolinas District, the local safety office and members of a USPS-National Association of Letter Carriers task force recently visited carriers who were delivering mail to provide them with bottled water and to remind them to work safely.

“Staying hydrated is important,” said Kinston, NC, Letter Carrier Sametha Mitchell-Kelly, a task force member.

“We have to reach out to every carrier — especially our newly hired employees — and make sure they’re aware of the dangers caused by high temperatures and humidity. Keeping hydrated is a carrier’s best defense against the summer heat.”

A widespread heat wave is expected to affect two-thirds of the nation through the weekend, with high temperatures in the forecast for much of the central and eastern United States.

In addition to staying hydrated, USPS advises employees to take other measures to protect themselves, including wearing light-colored, loose-fitting and breathable clothing and using shaded areas to stay cool.

Postal leaders say it’s critical that every employee know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses so that they can get medical attention if needed.

Ronnie Griffin, a Morehead City, NC, letter carrier, said it’s important for employees to follow the organization’s safety guidance.

“When you’re outside six or seven hours a day, you have to take precautions like drinking plenty of fluids and parking in the shade — anything to help stay cooler on a hot day,” he said.

Moon shots

The Postal Service is marking the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with two stamps that will be released Friday, July 19.

NASA’s Apollo 11 mission was launched from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong served as the flight commander, Buzz Aldrin was the pilot of the lunar module Eagle and Michael Collins was the pilot of Columbia, the command module.

The crew achieved lunar orbit three days after launch. On July 20, with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard, the Eagle separated from Columbia and began the descent to a predetermined landing site in the Sea of Tranquility.

Armstrong managed a gentle touchdown at 4:17 p.m. EDT and sent a radio message to NASA’s mission control: “The Eagle has landed.”

More than 600 million people were watching the television broadcast when Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface at 10:56 p.m. EDT and famously said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

During a little more than two and a half hours outside the lunar module, the astronauts took photographs, collected lunar rocks and soil, and deployed several scientific experiments. They also raised the U.S. flag.

On July 21, the Eagle lifted off the moon to dock with Columbia. The three astronauts returned to Earth on July 24, just four days after landing on the moon.

One of the two 1969: First Moon Landing stamps features the iconic photograph — taken by Armstrong — of Aldrin in his spacesuit on the surface of the moon.

The second stamp, designed by Antonio Alcalá, a USPS art director, is a photograph of the moon taken in 2010 by Gregory H. Revera showing the landing site of the lunar module.

The stamps will be available at Post Offices and

News Briefs

Flag notice

Flag notice. All Postal Service facilities should fly the U.S. flag at half-staff Tuesday, July 23, to honor John Paul Stevens, a retired U.S. Supreme Court associate justice who died this week.

July 23 will be the day of Stevens’ interment.

To fly the flag at half-staff, hoist the flag to the peak for an instant and then lower it to the half-staff position. The flag should be raised to the peak again before it’s lowered for the day.

For additional information, refer to the Postal Service’s Administrative Support Manual, which explains the organization’s guidelines on U.S. flag display and maintenance.

Publication updates. The Postal Bulletin’s July 18 edition looks at the Postal Inspection Service’s efforts to protect USPS employees and the mail.

The publication also includes the latest updates to postal policies, forms and procedures.

Additionally, USPS recently mailed the summer issues of the Great Lakes Area Update and the Northeast Area Update to employees in those areas. The issues are also available on Blue and LiteBlue.

Got news? Email your submissions to

Frog days of summer

Here’s Link’s latest “News Quiz,” a weekly feature that invites readers to test their knowledge of recent stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Fill in the blank: There are approximately (blank) species of frogs, including four that are featured on new stamps from USPS.

a) 4,400
b) 4,800
c) 8,400
d) 8,800

2. Which two NFL teams recently turned to the Postal Service for passport services?

a) Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers
b) Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers
c) Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots
d) New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles

3. True or false: Businesses can add interactive content to Informed Delivery emails, keeping mail relevant and helping USPS to boost revenue.

a) True
b) False

4. When is the deadline to submit audition videos for the Postal Service’s holiday advertising campaign?

a) Tuesday, July 23
b) Wednesday, July 24
c) Thursday, July 25
d) Friday, July 26

5. Match the employee in Column A with the reason he or she was featured in Link in Column B.

Column A

a) Davis, IL, Postmaster Dennis Jansen
b) Raleigh, NC, Mail Processing Clerk Cotina McLellan
c) Indianapolis Retail Associate Stacey Moss
d) Lexington, MO, Letter Carrier Clint Wood

Column B

I) Discussed customer service in a “Best Practices” column
II) Discussed customer service in an “On the Job” column
III) Organized a “date meets ZIP” event for his community
IV) Told his Postmaster that her grandfather was ill

Answers: 1) b. 2) b. 3) a. 4) d. 5) a. III., b. I., c. II., d. IV.

Look for a new quiz next week and share your feedback with Link at