[imgcontainer left] [img:175876816_8872041df0.jpeg] This is Loretta Lynn’s childhood home in Butcher Holler, Kentucky. The singer’s story is coming to Broadway and she’ll be played by Zooey Deschanel. [/imgcontainer]

Save The Post Office doesn’t think much of the plan to keep rural post offices open that was announced this week by the Postal Service: 

After a year and a half spent threatening to close thousands of rural post offices, the Postal Service has suddenly changed course. Instead of closing small post offices, the Postal Service has come up with a way to make them irrelevant.  

The Postal Service’s new plan — awkwardly named  “Post Office Structure Plan,” or POStPlan — will reduce the hours of operation at 13,000 small post offices from eight hours a day to six, four, even two. And instead of staffing the post office with a career postmaster, these offices will be run by a part-time worker with little or no experience. It’s a deadly combination, and it will do more harm than good.

STPO thinks the Postal Service hasn’t changed its plan — to close rural post offices — just its strategy. Instead of closing 3,650 post offices (the original plan), the Postal Service will half-close 13,000. 

• The story of singer Loretta Lynn is headed to Broadway and Zooey Deschanel will play the “coal miner’s daughter.” 

Sissy Spacek played Lynn in the 1979 movie.

• The New York Times asks “how far out in the sticks can the rural retiree afford to safely live…”? It’s an article about retirees who want to be near a hospital AND live in a rural community. 

• Trees in urban areas are disappearing. In a new study, researchers found that urban America is losing tree cover at a steady rate, according to an article in The Atlantic. 

The researchers looked at aerial views of cities. In Atlanta, for example, the city lost 1.8 percent of its tree cover between 2005 and 2010. The article has some very cool photos.

• Next month the Ag Department will begin testing meat for six strains of E. coli (the “Big Six”), not just the one it tests for now. 

“The decision comes four years after scientists and government experts warned of the dangers these germs pose to the nation’s food supply,” the Washington Post reports. “Since then, the Big Six have been repeatedly tied to multi-state outbreaks and illnesses.” 

Most of those illnesses weren’t linked to meat, but to sprouts or lettuce or no source at all. That’s led the meat industry to say it is being unfairly targeted.

• Democrats will hold their party convention in Charlotte, but North Carolina is not looking friendly to the party of the president.

The Democratic governor of the state won’t seek re-election (the consensus is that Beverly Perdue would have lost). An anti-gay-marriage amendment passed overwhelmingly. Republicans won the legislature in 2010 for the first time in 140 years. The state Democratic Party chair is facing sexual harassment allegations. And unemployment in some rural counties is exceedingly high. 

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