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Post office to welcome back newspapers

Tim Mutrie

The newspaper vending boxes removed from the Aspen post officeproperty last month will soon be allowed to return, accordingto U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis.McInnis, who represents Aspen and much of the Western Slope, discussedthe matter with interim Aspen postmaster Bob Reinstra and a Denverpostal official in Aspen Saturday. “They do have regulations,” McInnis said, “but I think they’resoon going to have those newspaper stands in a convenient areaon the property. In the next two to three weeks, they’re goingto decide where’s the best place they could be.”The post office did not intend to remove the newspaper standsthere permanently – it has just been a matter of relocating themto where they wouldn’t be a nuisance to parking,” the congressmanadded. “They feel strongly about community relations, and they’re goingto do what they can to accommodate customers who like to pickup a newspaper when they pick up their mail,” he said.Jarman Smith, former interim Aspen postmaster, said he intendedto bring the local facility into compliance with postal regulationswhen he ordered that all newspaper boxes be removed from postoffice property by Feb. 19. He offered no hint that it was a temporarymove.The action was one of several by Smith that produced a local outcry.He also chained off the exit behind the post office building,creating new traffic headaches for postal customers, and bannedcandidates and activists from soliciting petition signatures onpostal property.Many local residents voiced dismay with Smith’s agenda. McInnis,who was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, entered the fracasafter hearing about the controversy from an angry newspaper publisher.On Feb. 23, McInnis fired off a letter to the postmaster generaladdressing the removal of the newspaper boxes.McInnis said Sunday that the only issue which he discussed withReinstra and the Denver postal official was the newspaper boxes.”At this point they seem very cooperative,” McInnis said. “Theystressed two or three times the importance they place on communityrelations, which is what they should be doing.”Reinstra replaced Smith as Aspen’s interim postmaster on Feb.26. He was unavailable for comment yesterday.


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