On Wednesday, January 20, Hazel Miura, of Neighborhood Initiative Development Corporation, along with volunteers from the newly formed Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance, set up a table outside of the Van Nest Post Office to collect signatures and education people on the issue.
According to Miura, she was surprised by the number of people unaware the branch they have come to depend on was in threat of closing.
“Having the table set up makes it more convenient for the residents to learn about the issue,” Miura said.“The petitions will be taken to Congressman Joseph Crowley’s office and a copy will be sent to the borough president.”
More than 200 signatures were collected in just two hours.Given the success, the group returned to the spot directly in front of the post office on Wednesday, January 27 to add more.
John Sharkey, a resident of 43 years, was appalled that the Van Nest Post Office remains one of three post offices in the Bronx on the chopping block.
“I always see people in there all the time, I don’t know why they want to close this one.It always seems we get dumped on on this side of Morris Park,” Sharkey said.“If I really had to I can walk a few miles to the next postal station if the weather is nice, but the elderly in the community can’t.”
The petition sheets will also be circulated throughout the neighborhood during the next few weeks in an effort to gain as much support as possible before the scheduled meeting with Congressman Joseph Crowley on Monday, February 8.Attending the meeting will be Bernadette Ferrara, vice president of the Van Nest alliance, Joe Bombace, Morris Park resident and Community Board 11 member, John Fratta, district manager of CB11, and Robert Ruggiero, president of the Morris Park Alliance.
In December, the USPS announced an updated list of fewer than 170 branches and stations slated for “consolidation.” Bronx stations that remain on the list include Oak Point, Crotona Park and Van Nest. The list originally included more than 3,000 branches and stations nationwide. Only 11 New York State stations are still in danger; six of those are in New York City.
Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or amarinacci
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