The big picture

In mid-2020, as he was recovering from a near-fatal case of COVID-19, Mark Mothersbaugh found himself bristling at some of the anti-Postal Service rhetoric being bandied about at the time.

“We weren’t hearing anybody speaking up for the Post Office, so we said, ‘Well dang it, we’re gonna do it,’” said Mothersbaugh, best known as front man for ’80s new wave band Devo.

By “we” he meant himself and fellow artist-musician Beatie Wolfe, and what they did about it was create Postcards for Democracy, a collective art project/show of solidarity that has culminated in an exhibit now on display at Florida Southwestern State College in Fort Myers.

­­­­Taking part was simple: All that was required was to create, or even simply recycle, a postcard and send it to the project’s address. (And of course, to buy stamps. That was Job 1.)

From there, the postcard was uploaded to the Postcards for Democracy website and saved for possible use in the exhibit.

Tens of thousands of people around the world answered the call.

Many months later, Wolfe and Mothersbaugh curated the submissions to create the exhibit, which is running through Aug. 8 at the college’s Rauschenberg Gallery.

The miniature artworks show that “people do care about and love their Post Office,” said Fort Myers Officer in Charge Phillip Fleener.

The topics range from the importance of the Postal Service to Black Lives Matter, climate change, feminism and much more.

“We’ve both been very touched by all the contributions — the art, poems, personal stories, sentiments,” Wolfe said, pointing out that the project can be viewed as a sort of time capsule of quarantining during the pandemic, a “physical time capsule or portal in an increasingly digital age.”

For Mothersbaugh, that physicality makes mail all the more precious. “The Postal Service delivers tangible objects, not meaningless emojis,” he said.

Mothersbaugh has been a postcard aficionado for most of his life.

“I first started mailing and sending postcards in the form of art back in the late ’60s,” he said, describing how he was inspired by Dadaists who required their art to be transferred physically by mail.

In fact, “I used to want to deliver mail as a kid,” he said. “But that was before I discovered the Beatles.”

When asked if he had a message for USPS workers, Mothersbaugh said, “Keep up the good work. There’s a sense of security and connectedness that comes from seeing a postal worker making their rounds and keeping us all a part of the bigger picture.”

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

New guidance

The Postal Service has updated Handbook AS-805, Information Security, which details the organization’s security policies for technology assets and information resources.

The updates include several new topics, including:

• The Executive Cyber Risk Committee, which evaluates and monitors cyber risk management activities and their alignment with the overall corporate risk profile;

• Contractual security agreements required for all suppliers, contractors, vendors and business partners;

• Secure coding requirements for software development;

• Prohibitions against unauthorized content downloads or information resource access outside the Postal Service network, including any attempt to bypass USPS-approved access technologies;

• Secure data requirements for the transmission, viewing, processing and storage of USPS data outside the United States, including the U.S. territories;

• Active directory account disabling, which occurs after 30 days of nonuse;

• Data-hosting requirements that include completion of the USPS certification and accreditation process; and

• Restrictions against using information resources that circumvent authorization restrictions.

The Postal Service encourages employees to comply with all security policies and guidelines.

For additional information, email the Corporate Information Security Office policy team.

Medicare, FEHB and you

Postal Service employees can participate in an upcoming webinar to learn about the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program and Medicare.

The session, “USPS: Medicare + FEHB,” will be held Monday, July 26, at noon EDT.

Brian Sperling and Mickey Basi, senior account managers for GEHA, a not-for-profit provider of health plans for federal employees, will conduct the webinar, which will explore how Medicare works with FEHB plans.

The session will also cover retirement and FEHB, Medicare as a USPS retiree and information on Medicare parts A, B, C and D.

Participants must register before the event on the webinar website. After signing up, directions for accessing the webinar will be emailed to each registrant.

Following the webinar, every registrant will receive an email with a link to an archived recording of the session, along with the slides.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.93 percent during the week ending July 16, down about a quarter of a point from one week earlier.

The data was collected July 21.

Central led the four areas with a rating of 97.19 percent, while Atlantic ranked last with a 96.68 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, Washington, part of Western Pacific Area, ranked first with a 98.05 percent rating, while Puerto Rico, part of Southern Area, ranked last with a 94.99 percent rating.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From July 1-9, the Postal Service delivered 90.6 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared with the organization’s service standard, an improvement of more than 3 percentage points from the previous quarter.

The data, reported last week, also show improvements in Marketing Mail and Periodicals delivery.

Feel the heat. Postal Bulletin’s July 15 edition features heat safety tips for Postal Service employees, along with the latest updates to policies, procedures and forms.

Stamps update. The Postal Service will dedicate its Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses stamps Friday, Aug. 6, during a ceremony at the Twin Lights State Historic Site in Highlands, NJ. The stamps will be available for sale that day nationwide at Post Offices and usps.com.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.