New stamps

The Postal Service has announced two additions to its 2021 stamp lineup.

The first is Otters in Snow, a booklet of 20 stamps featuring four scenes of the alert and playful North American river otter reveling in a winter landscape.

The original illustrations were rendered in pen and ink, with watercolor in shades of brown for the otters, using black for facial features and crosshatching. The wintry background is white, with blue water, light blue and violet shadows, and black crosshatching.

Derry Noyes designed the stamps with artwork from illustrator John Burgoyne.

The second addition is A Visit From St. Nick, a booklet of 20 stamps with four designs that tell the story of Santa Claus’s visit on Christmas Eve.

In the first stamp, Santa stands on a snowy rooftop, sack slung across his back, with one leg inside the red-brick chimney; the second stamp shows Santa as he descends through the chimney, his legs dangling over the hearth; the third stamp is a close-up of a winking Santa; and the fourth stamp shows Santa in his sleigh, with four reindeer visible as they fly across the face of the full moon and into a starlit sky.

Greg Breeding designed the stamps with original art by Brad Woodard.

Release dates for the stamps will be announced later.

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Farm fresh

Heirloom animals get their day in the sun with the May 17 release of Heritage Breeds, the Postal Service’s latest Forever stamps.

These preindustrial farm animals were common before the onset of factory farming, which hybridized livestock for maximum productivity.

This hybridization limited genetic diversity. The survival of heritage breeds — many of which need help raising or reinforcing their numbers — is crucial to maintaining biodiversity.

The 10 breeds depicted on the 20-stamp pane are the Mulefoot hog, the Wyandotte chicken, the Milking Devon cow, the Narragansett turkey, the American Mammoth Jackstock donkey, the Cotton Patch goose, the San Clemente Island goat, the American Cream draft horse, the Cayuga duck and the Barbados Blackbelly sheep.

Zack Bryant designed the stamps based on portraits by acclaimed farm photographer Aliza Eliazarov. Greg Breeding served as art director.

The stamps are available at Post Offices and

Area vice presidents

Two Postal Service executives who have been serving in their roles on an acting basis have been appointed to the positions permanently.

Elvin Mercado was named retail and delivery operations vice president for Central Area, which includes 10 states and 33 million delivery points. He was named acting vice president in March.

Previously, Mercado served as acting retail and delivery vice president for Atlantic Area, manager of Westchester and Triboro districts, and Postmaster for Manhattan and the Bronx, NY, among other positions.

Eduardo Ruiz was appointed retail and delivery operations vice president for Western Pacific Area, also known as WestPac. Since March, Ruiz has held the position on an acting basis.

 WestPac has approximately 38.2 million addresses and encompasses 57 percent of the nation’s land mass.

Previously, Ruiz served in a range of leadership positions, including major metro district manager, area marketing manager and senior plant manager.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced Mercado’s and Ruiz’s appointments last week.

The ABCs of TSP

Thrift Savings Plan specialists will offer webinars and live question-and-answer sessions throughout May and June on the ins and outs of federal retirement.

Here’s an overview of the webinars and when they’ll be offered (all times are Eastern):

TSP Investment Funds: An overview of TSP investment funds. May 20 at 8 a.m., June 16 at 9 a.m. and June 22 at 1 p.m.

TSP Post-Service Withdrawals: An overview of TSP post-service withdrawal options, ideal for TSP participants who are within 10 years of retirement. May 25 at 1 p.m. and June 17 at 1 p.m.

TSP Death Benefits: An overview of TSP death benefits. May 26 at 1 p.m. and June 29 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

• TSP Loans: An overview of the TSP loan program. May 27 at 8 a.m. and June 24 at 10 a.m.

TSP Contributions: An overview of TSP contribution rules. June 3 at 1 p.m. and June 30 at 2 p.m.

TSP In-Service Withdrawals: An overview of TSP in-service withdrawal options. June 8 at 10 a.m. and June 24 at 1 p.m.

Intro to TSP: An introduction to the Thrift Savings Plan for new employees. June 15 at 10 a.m.

The online courses are offered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s Office of Communications and Education. Preregistration is required.

To register, go to

Participation is voluntary. Postal Service nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

All dates and topics are subject to change or cancellation. For questions regarding the courses, email