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Crosscurrents

What's really forcing the USPS into bankruptcy?

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Under CC license from Flickr user Steve Rhodes
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Berkeley Post Office

Earlier this year, demonstrators staged a “camp-out” on the steps of Berkeley Post Office building, which dates to 1914. Residents don’t want to see it go, but it’s part of a much larger plan by the US Postal Service to sell some of its $85 billion real estate portfolio.

Investigative reporter Peter Byrne has written an e-book that explores the rationale behind the sales, taking on the behind-the-scenes issues that are forcing the Postal Service toward bankruptcy. The e-book is called “Going Postal: US Senator Diane Feinstein’s Husband Sells Post Offices to his Friends...Cheap.”

KALW’s Ben Trefny spoke with Byrne and asked him if the problem boils down to the Post Office’s reliance on “snail mail.”

PETER BYRNE: The US Postal Service has a monopoly on the delivery of mail. And it’s a very valuable monopoly. Clearly, the private sector would like to own that monopoly.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

And find more information about Peter Byrne and his new e-book here.

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, delivering daily newscasts, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and supervising special projects including KALW's Audio Academy training program.