Celebrating ‘The Dean’

The USPS letter carrier academy in New York City has changed its name to honor the late Anthony Puccio, a postal employee whose work ethic set a high standard for others to follow.

The Anthony Puccio Letter Carrier Academy, located at a Manhattan Post Office, features a mural of Puccio painted by Michael Mateo Sr., a Kearny, NJ, distribution operations supervisor, and a plaque that reads, in part: “Dedicated to service, he delivered mail in NYC for 62 years.”

Puccio began working as a letter carrier in 1958 and retired in 2020. He died in January.

He delivered mail on the same route — a nine-building apartment complex in Triborough Station — for his entire career.

Puccio, who accumulated approximately 4,200 hours of sick leave by the time he retired, received several awards during his career.

Among his many honors, he was selected to help represent the Postal Service during a Nasdaq closing bell ceremony in 2018, where he met then-Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.

Always neatly dressed in his ironed postal shirt, tie and slacks, Puccio was affectionately called “The Dean” by co-workers because he “was always willing to teach and mentor young carriers,” said New York 1 District Manager Lorraine Castellano.

“He treated his customers … with the utmost respect and they, in turn, grew to adore him,” she added.

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New delivery option

USPS is reminding employees about a new service that ensures timely deliveries for customers who request expedited packaging supplies (EPS).

These supplies — including corrugated containers, envelopes, pressure-sensitive labels and decals — are specially designed for use with domestic and international Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail services, at no additional cost to customers.

All expedited packaging supplies must include a “Carrier — Leave If No Response” endorsement shipping label on uninsured EPS shipments that don’t require a signature.

The labels authorize postal employees who make the initial delivery to leave EPS shipments in an area — such as an uncovered porch, stairwell or similar location — designated in the customers’ instructions.

Employees must scan the Intelligent Mail package barcode at delivery.

Further delivery instructions are outlined in the Domestic Mail Manual, Section 508.1.2; the Postal Operations Manual, Section 617.2; Handbook M-41, Section 322.311; and Handbook PO-603, Section 331.22

“Carrier — Leave If No Response” endorsement shipping labels, which USPS introduced in May, aim to improve service by eliminating the need for customers to travel to local postal facilities to retrieve EPS orders because no one was available to accept deliveries.

Sales employees must complete a one-hour course on the Expedited Packaging Supplies Application, used to process all specialized packaging orders. The course (number 2021MKTG5059CR03) is now available on HERO.

Your best shot

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to check your health records and make sure you’ve received all relevant vaccinations and boosters.

Immunity from childhood vaccines can subside over time, and we become susceptible to different diseases as adults.

While the COVID-19 vaccine is at the forefront of our national conversation, you may find that several of your childhood immunizations need boosters. These may include MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and varicella (chickenpox).

Depending on your age and health condition, vaccines or boosters also may be required for hepatitis B, meningitis, HPV and shingles.

And of course, the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot are strongly encouraged for all adults. With the prevalence of coronavirus, and with flu season just around the corner, it is especially important that you receive these vaccines this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers VaccineFinder, a free online service that searches COVID-19 vaccination sites with open appointments nearby. The agency works with clinics, pharmacies and health departments to provide accurate and current information, updated daily.

An online assessment tool to help you determine what other general vaccinations you may need is also available.

The CDC website has additional details, and the Wellness LiteBlue page has more information on health matters.

National Update

The Postal Service has published National Update’s latest edition and mailed it to employees’ homes.

The publication — a national edition of Area Update, the organization’s print newsletter for employees — was introduced last year.

The latest edition features stories from across the nation, including Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s visit to USPS facilities in Missouri and Kansas, a Connecticut rural carrier who made a special delivery to one of the animals featured on the new Heritage Breeds stamps, a Utah business that is using the Postal Service to ship its products, and an Alabama rural carrier who has received recognition for safe driving.

This is National Update’s third edition. Previous issues are available on Blue and LiteBlue.