The U.S. Postal Service may be in free-fall, having lost nearly $3 billion last fiscal year and with mail volume down by some 9.5 billion pieces due to e-mail, recession, and the continued imprisonment of the Unabomber. But the USPS ain't dead yet, and while it's still kicking, it's still commemorating. Two states in the Great Nearby benefit this year.
First up is Alaska which celebrates its 50th anniversary of statehood this month. A statewide celebration and tourism push is planned. The USPS is issuing a 42-cent Alaska stamp which features snow, mountains, a dog team and, if you look really carefully with a magnifying glass, you can just see Russia in the distance.
Next up, Oregon is 150 years young this year. The post office is releasing a new 42-cent Oregon stamp Jan. 14 showing off a painting of the rugged coastline for which they are justly famous. Odd fact: The stamp commemorates the state's sesquicentennial, a word that doesn't even fit on a stamp.
Anyway, don't miss a chance to stick our neighbors on your outgoing mail. I have the feeling the USPS might not be around to issue postage stamps for their next big birthdays.