Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Orofino Rotary extends outreach internationally

Randy Bowen of Orofino, fourth from left, represented the Orofino Rotary Club during its 2008 international project in the Philippines.

By Randy Bowen

Since it was chartered in 1978, the Orofino Rotary Club has lived the Rotary motto, “Service above Self.

Locally, Rotary has completed many service projects that have benefited the Orofino and Clearwater communities. These have included running the annual Fourth of July Log Drive to provide scholarships to Orofino and Timberline High Schools, constructing the helipad at Clearwater Valley Hospital, building the Museum patio, creating the Rotary softball field, and erecting the gazebo in the City Park (to name only a few) .

The Orofino Rotary Club, part of Rotary International and Rotary District 5080, also strives to provide service to the international community. Examples follow:

In 1984, six years after the club was chartered, club members organized a project that sent hospital beds to the Philippine Islands.

In 1985 medical supplies and an ambulance were driven from Orofino to Mexico.

During 1998/99 the club was actively involved in building a housing project in Peru.

In 2002 Orofino Rotary partnered a local Rotary Club in the Philippines and applied for money in support of a large computer literacy project in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao. The clubs delivered 10 complete computer units to the Cugman Elementary School there.

In 2006 Orofino Rotary partnered with the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro Far East. Utilizing a District 5080 Simplified Grant, the two clubs provided computer literacy to the Balubal Elementary School in Mindanao.

The year 2008 saw Orofino Rotary create partnerships with the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro & the Ayala Foundation and GILAS (Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access for Students), two Filipino foundations that promote computer literacy. Together the partnership provided 6 computers, printers, furniture, and a server with internet access to Bayanga National High School outside of Cagayan de Oro City.

During the 2009-2010 Rotary year, the Orofino Rotary Club realized a humanitarian goal of providing potable water service to 300 homes in the Philippines. Previously, each household had to buy drinking water from a water broker daily and haul it two kilometers back home.

Last year, the club provided much needed school supplies to over 200 students at the Special Education Unit of City Central Elementary School in Cagayan de Oro.

In October of this year, Orofino Rotary will be providing school supplies and basic protective footwear to students at Cabalawan Elementary School in the San Juanico area of Leyte Island, in the Philippines. To accomplish this project, Orofino Rotary has partnered with Aaron and Heidi Garcia of Orofino, the Second Indian Presbyterian Church of Kamiah, and the Nez Perce Indian Churches’ Joint Session. The Orofino Rotary Club is highly appreciative of these individuals and organizations for their financial partnerships!

The Rotary Club of Orofino is consistently involved in the international community to help achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs.

Locally, with the assistance of Orofino High School managers, the club is also working to organize a High School Interact Club. This Rotary-affiliated club for high school-aged students will also be required to be involved in international “Service above Self” projects yearly.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Labor Director Roger Madsen spells it out

Computers, soft skills, and the right work ethic get you the job

By Alannah Allbrett

Roger Madsen, Director of the Idaho Department of Labor (DOL) gave an open presentation to approximately 40 business people Aug. 18.
The focus of the visit to Orofino was twofold: first to meet with employers and representatives to gain feedback from them as to their employment challenges, how the DOL may assist them, and to find out what business leaders would like to happen in the labor market.

Secondly, he presented information on the Idaho Career Connect and HireOne Idaho programs, with the assistance of Kathryn Tacke, Regional Economist for DOL and Ricia Lasso, Regional Business Specialist.

Madsen, who laughingly called himself a “bureaucrat from Boise,” held an informative and personable question and answer session following the meeting. Each employer had the opportunity to ask Madsen questions directly. Calling on many people by name, Madsen said that he would take their concerns back to the Governor.

Employers were in agreement, stating that many youth (and some adults) whom they have hired have not had a good work ethic, nor had the appropriate attitude or “soft skills” (people skills) to meet business requirements.
Some employers have resorted to hiring migrant workers or using temporary agencies to fill their workforce needs when they would have preferred to hire local workers. They have not been able to get people willing to work hard and who show up when they are expected.

An aging workforce is also a factor when considering future employment staffing. It was reported the average journeyman employee (in HVAC) is in his mid 50’s. The skilled, trained labor force is aging and not being replaced.

“There is currently a skills mismatch,” stated Kathryn Tacke. “The skills unemployed individuals have are not necessarily those needed in the growing health care field, for instance,” she said. Re-training, mastering computer software programs, and acquiring good soft skills are the biggest factors in gaining full-time employment

The HireOne Program provides benefits and tax credits for qualifying businesses. It was passed during the 2011 legislative session and allows tax credits based upon an employer’s unemployment insurance tax rating, the number of new employees hired, and the average unemployment rate during the prior year for the county where the job was created and the work that was performed.

Employers may qualify for the credit when they pay $12 an hour or more, plus benefits, for jobs created and performed with an annual average unemployment rate of at least 10 percent, and $15 an hour or more, plus benefits, in counties with lower rates.

The Career Connect Program connects students and would-be employees with business owners who might be able to utilize their skills. It educates the community about the scope of potential careers and provides for partnering with local schools.

Additionally, the following programs are available to help Idaho employers hire new employees:

Workforce Development Training Fund – equips new full-time employees with new skills or upgrades skills of current full-time workers. Up to $3,000 is available in rural counties for each new job.

On-the-Job Training – allows employers to receive partial reimbursement for training costs for providing on-the-job training.

Customized Training – provides customized training to meet company needs or to teach specific occupational skills.

Registered Apprenticeships – combine on-the-job learning with related technical instruction.

Idaho Internships – offer short-term work assignments and job shadowing.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit – offsets employers’ federal tax liabilities by as much as $2,400 per new hire, when qualified.

Kid Connect – connects businesses, schools, and kids.

To find out if your business qualifies for HireOne you may learn more at the following website: hireone.idaho.gov or contact the Department of Labor. Ricia Lasso may be reached at 457-8789 Ext. 3992. Kathryn Tacke may be reached at 799-5000 Ext. 3984. Heather Leach, Manager of the Orofino and Grangeville offices may be reached at 476-5506 Ext. 3751.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Out the door, but not off the hook

Andrea Wolverton resigns after 24 years

By Alannah Allbrett

Andrea Wolverton is saying goodbye to her friends at Les Schwab after 24 years. “There have been a lot of good years,” said Andrea. When she began as the assistant bookkeeper at Les Schwab everything was done by hand. They had to keep all customer records on big cards and update them each time a customer came in. It wasn’t until she had been there about five years that the company got its first office computers.

Andrea was sent to the company headquarters in Prineville, OR for data entry training on the new computer system. It was at that time that she got to meet Mr. Schwab (of “free beef” fame) in person. We’ve all seen him on television over the years, and as one might expect, Andrea said he turned out to be a “nice and very likable man.” He was the man who started helping customers with “free flat tire repairs on Les Schwab tires” along with good service.

Andrea’s fellow employees surprised her with a farewell BBQ in Orofino City Park Sunday in honor of her many years of service. She said it’s been great being in a small town and getting to know all the customers. “Something I’ll miss,” said Andrea “is seeing all the people I’ve been friends with all these years.”

She’s not off the hook yet as far as work is concerned, Andrea’s husband, Dr. Duane Wolverton, runs Clearwater Valley Veterinary Clinic. Over the years, she has helped him with everything from assisting in surgery, to pulling out porcupine quills. Andrea will cross-train on all of the other jobs and be a more of a regular presence in the animal clinic as well as taking care of their 160 acres and rental properties.

Andrea wishes to thank her Manager, Gary Wessels, Shanna Schwartz, all the great guys at Les Schwab, and all her customers as well. “Thank you for always being wonderful people to deal with,” said Andrea.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clearwater remembers 9-11

UPDATE: The new parade route is new described in the article.

By Don Gardner
No one can forget where they were as the tragic events of Sept. 11 unfolded before their eyes in 2001. The world watched in horror as four hijacked jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, the deadliest terrorist attack ever to occur on U.S. soil.

In tribute to the indomitable character of the American people Clearwater County first responder agencies will host events to mark the 10 year anniversary of that tragic day. You can join us on Facebook to post your comments at “Clearwater Remembers 9-11.”

A first responder’s silent parade will start Sunday, 9-11-2011 at 12:30 p.m. Beginning at Orofino Elementary School, it will go down Michigan Ave. and turn onto Johnson Ave., circle around the far side of Brookside Landing, come back up Main Street, and end on Johnson Ave.. After that, first responders and emergency vehicles will set up on Johnson Ave. and serve lunch. At this time citizens are invited to meet the first responders and take a look at the emergency services vehicles. Johnson will be blocked off at the Michigan Ave. and First Street intersections (First Street runs past Les Schwab and Loralee’s Beauty Salon). Parts of College Ave. will also be blocked off.

A challenge: To place 3,000 USA Flags around Clearwater County on that weekend - large flags and small flags both. Place them anywhere they can be seen. Take pictures and share them on Facebook and with the newspapers. It’s a large request but it’s to remember those that lost their lives that day. 

We encourage you to share your thoughts, memories and photos by posting on our Facebook wall, meet your first responders, and carry out the 3,000 flag challenge. Let’s build a lasting tribute that tells America and the world that Clearwater County Remembers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chinese Hanging Site sign stolen…again

This sign at the Pierce Chinese Hanging Site was pried from its metal backing by a very dedicated thief, as sturdy silicone adhesive was used to attach the sign to its backing.

Pictured in June of 2010 are Jonathan Syed and volunteers who helped him complete his Eagle Scout Project. Shown (l to r) are: front row, Front Billy Bob Dana; middle, Jonathan Syed (with sign), Hunter Skiles, Brandon Bishop, and Dalton Chatfield; back row, Charlie Billups, Linden Bishop, Steven Elsbury, Ben Perkins, Sean Perkins, and John Elsbury. Not pictured is Justin Kent

By Andrea Dell

One of the signs at the Pierce Chinese Hanging Site off of Highway 11 has been stolen, and this isn’t the first time. The original sign placed there approximately 30 years ago was attached to a stone marker. Eventually vandals pried it off the marker. In June of last year, Pierce student Jonathan Syed, for his Eagle Scout project, chose to improve the hanging site by placing four brand new signs. On Aug. 9 Jonathan’s mother, Carmen, walked the 365-foot trail to the signs’ location, and discovered that the largest one was gone.

Between the signs’ installation last year and the recent theft, the second of the three smaller signs was damaged by vandals. “It appears someone tried to twist sign two off the post, but was unable,” said Carmen in an e-mail to the Tribune.

She explained that the group of volunteers who placed the signs originally cemented the sign posts and bent the bolts where the brackets attached to the signs' metal backing, to discourage vandalism. In an effort to further lessen the likelihood of theft, silicone adhesive was applied between the signs and their backing.

It is known that the stolen sign was still there in June of this year, according to Deputy Mitch Jared of the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office.

The Idaho Transportation Department established a historic marker on Highway 11 near where five Chinese men were hanged in 1885. They had been accused of killing a Pierce merchant, D.M. Fraser, and were being transported to Murray to stand trial. Three miles outside of Pierce, vigilantes intercepted the transport and hanged the men.

The exact location of the hanging is unknown, but ITD established a memorial site in the approximate area, with a stone marker covered with an interpretive sign, at the end of the trail leading to the site. Even after the original sign was stolen, the stone marker remained.

Potlatch Corporation approved Jonathan’s Eagle Scout project, and the ITD Historic Byway program provided a grant to pay for the work. After months of research and planning, Jonathan and several volunteers gathered to clear the trail and install the four new signs along the path.

The first three detail a portion of historical events leading up to D.M. Fraser's murder. The fourth and largest sign, located at the site itself, describes the hanging incident.

ASE Signs of Orofino produced the new signs, and local residents John Bergen, Bill Maki, and Wayne Thornton, along with several other volunteers, pitched in to help Jonathan complete the project.

One of ITD’s stipulations for allowing the project was that the original stone marker not be disturbed, meaning the new signs would have to be placed elsewhere.

Persons who may know something about the incident are invited to phone Deputy Jared at the sheriff’s office at 476-4521. If you visited the trail anytime between June and Aug. 9 of this year and noticed whether or not the sign was present, Deputy Jared would appreciate hearing from you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Corps posts temporary fire restrictions on Dworshak lands; dry forest conditions pose wildfire risk

AHSAHKA, Idaho – Extremely dry forest conditions prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to place temporary fire restrictions on all Corps-managed lands around Dworshak Dam and Reservoir, effective Thursday, Aug. 18.

To reduce the risk of wildfires occurring, campfires – using metal fire rings only – must be completely extinguished between and The fire restrictions include all developed campgrounds and mini-camps, according to Deb Norton, lead ranger for the Corps at Dworshak. Camping is allowed only in designated Corps and Idaho State Park campsites around Dworshak Dam and Reservoir.

Restrictions will remain in effect until fire-risk conditions change.

Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protection Agency and Corps of Engineers wildland fire managers want to ensure Dworshak Reservoir visitors are aware of the fire-risk conditions and temporary fire restrictions.

“Visitors should take extra precautions not only with campfires, but also with other sources of ignition, such as cigarettes, vehicle exhaust systems and even charcoal briquettes. Visitors should carry a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher to quench their fires,” said Norton.

All visitors are encouraged to keep an eye out for potential fire risks and contact the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office or Dworshak staff if they see, for example, an unattended campfire, or observe smoke, suspiciously larger than what a normal campfire would produce.

For more information about recreation opportunities or fire conditions at Dworshak, contact Dworshak staff at 208-476-1255. Outdoor recreation information is also available on the Corps’ Walla Walla District website at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More "My Favorite Memory"

  In celebration of Clearwater County’s 100th Birthday, the Clearwater Tribune would like to publish our readers’ favorite memory of their time in this area. Here are the latest submissions.
Submitted by Rob Baird of Chandler, Arizona
Memories of the period from 1950 – 1955
  I lived in Orofino from 1946 through graduation from high school in June 1955. For the past 50+ years, my home has been Southern California. However, two months ago, I relocated to Chandler, Arizona.
  My memories center around Sewell's Barbershop on Johnson Avenue. Actually, in reality it was Red Jordan's Barbershop, as Mr. Sewell had retired and Red ran the shop.
  Why do I have such vivid memories of this shop? Simply because as an eighth grader in 1950, I begged Red to give me the job of shoe-shine boy to replace Morrie Synder, who had been the shoe shine boy for a couple of years previously. Red looked at me and said, “You are kind of young for this job.” As I said, I begged him and he relented.
  This began an experience I will never forget. For the next five years, I worked six days a week shining shoes. In the winter, I worked inside the shop. In the summer I moved my stand out onto the street and worked in the fresh air, and sometimes hot weather.
  It was a glorious time in Orofino. The town was bustling and I got into the center of the bustle, as all things seemed to center around the town barbershop. Haircuts were a buck, shaves $.75, and my shoe shines were $.30. If there was any gossip going on in town it all came out during a haircut, shave or shoeshine.
  Just a few of the customers I remember as friends were, Chief Philpot, Mr. Sodeberg, Mr. McCarthy, all the lumberjacks in town for a good time weekend, (they were great tippers incidentally). Others were Mr. Snyder from next door, Mr. Tate from the shoe shop, Norm Erbst, Hans Wetter, and yes, even the Madam from the esteemed hotel at the end of Johnson Avenue. (She would drop off her shoes to be shined.)
  I worked in this job until the night before I graduated from high school. There were many shiny shoes in Clearwater County as a result of my humble work during those years.
  During this time, I remember the sporting events, where, both Monk and Art kept we athletes in check. In many respects they became our surrogate fathers. You will never find two more dedicated men to the City of Orofino's children.
  Lastly, I recall fondly during the summer of 1954 the advent of cable T.V. coming to Orofino. Several of us watched the fantastic catch Willie Mays made in the World Series that year, as we watched the game in the front room of Butch Erbst's home. (I was later invited by Willie to go into the visiting Giants locker room at Dodger Stadium to introduce my young son to Willie).
  These memories, along with the thrill of stopping traffic on the highway in the summer of 1954, while Bob Titus and I dived from the Clearwater Bridge into the rushing river below—that's when the old bridge was a lot higher—yes, these were the good days.
  I often wished my own children could have had a similar experience while growing up. There simply is no replacement for Orofino, Idaho. May it stand forever!

Submitted by Kathy Strom Von Bargen, 1962 OHS graduate, living in Clarkston
  This isn’t a favorite memory but it is a profound one. In the late 40’s and early 50’s, my grandparents, Arthur and Myrtle Anderson, lived at the top of Canada Hill next door to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Bonner.
  The sidewalk on the steepest part of Canada Hill was a raised wooden one which was scary enough for little kids but the real terror was imposed by the little village of hobos who lived in tarpaper shacks, or worse, tucked at the base of the hill and next to where the wooden sidewalk existed. The village was called Jingle Town.
  My mother and grandmother warned us to never, under any circumstances, speak to any resident of that area. If we thought one of men living there was even looking our way let alone walking toward us, we ran like the wind until we either passed the Rex Rooms on the way downtown or arrived at Grandma’s house on the way home. There may have been a few instances where we called out to taunt them.
  We would see the men cooking over open fires and sometimes observe an altercation but in general they were a congenial lot.
  At the time it seemed there were very many residents but probably they numbered only 12 to 15. Most likely these were older men who could no longer work and had no family or money. They may have had a small pension of some sort that allowed them to buy a little food and not much else. They never, ever bothered us but our fertile imaginations caused us to be ever on guard!
  Having a nickel or dime to take downtown for an ice cream cone was always made more exciting when we passed by this village.

More memories welcome
  If you’d like to share your favorite memory, we’d love to publish it. Please submit it in written form via e-mail to cleartrib@cebridge.net or mail it to us at: Clearwater Tribune, My Favorite Memory, P.O. Box 71, Orofino, ID 83544.
  In addition to as many details as you can recall, please include your name, where you live now, when you lived in the area (if you aren’t currently a resident), the period of time when your memory takes place (such as the 1970’s), and a phone number where you may be reached (in case we need clarification. Phone numbers will not be published).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shelby Tyler wins “Poise and Personality Projection” in Miss Teen of Idaho

Shelby Tyler was a candidate in the Miss Teen of Idaho Scholarship and Recognition Program Aug. 5-7 in Caldwell. There were 46 contestants ages 13 through 18 from all over the state of Idaho competing in categories of Scholastic Record, Service and Achievement, Personal Development, General Awareness and Judge's Interview.

Shelby won the Poise and Personality Projection portion of the program by being dazzling in her formal attire. She won because of her choice of attire and grooming, carriage and posture, teen image, personality projection, poise and naturalness.

Behind the scenes, candidates participated in leadership activities throughout the weekend. As part of the program, they also created skits to perform in front of the audience and danced in a production number. Shelby was very memorable in her group’s problem solving skit as the salesman trying to sell ice to Eskimo's.

Shelby is the daughter of Lee and Jill Woolsey and Clayne and Jami Tyler. Her brother, Dashiell; sisters Kylie and Sarah; grandparents, Don and Pat Lake; aunt, Angi Gergen and cousin, Will Gergen were in attendance to cheer her on.

Her family is very proud of her scholastic achievements and involvement in both school and community. Great job, Shelby!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lloyd and Jo Anne Schlader are Wild Weippe Rodeo Grand Marshals

By Alannah Allbrett

This year’s Wild Weippe Rodeo Grand Marshals, Lloyd and Jo Anne Schlader, interrupted their busy haying season to come talk with me at the Clearwater Tribune. Lloyd said, “It worked out just right because of the rain anyway.” When one farms, everything depends upon the weather. They graciously shared a little of the rodeo’s history and a bit of their own.

The Schladers have lived in Weippe pretty much all their lives. Both Lloyd and Jo Anne are natives – except for a small technicality; Lloyd said he was delivered at Clarkston, WA and brought home to Weippe. Jo Anne was actually born in Weippe, and the doctor came up from Orofino to deliver her as a baby. Talk about house calls!

Jo Anne said, “It’s nice to know everyone and have everyone know you.” They both graduated from Weippe High School and knew each other as children. The couple married in 1964, and has raised four children who all live within a day’s drive. The grandchildren number about 13.

Lloyd said the Wild Weippe Rodeo became incorporated in 1963, and land was purchased in 1964. A concession stand was built in 1969, and the loading chutes were relocated in 1970. In 1971 the rodeo held its first ever parade. Lloyd’s father, Andy was the very first Grand Marshal in that parade. In 1972 The Wild Weippe Rodeo became affiliated with the Idaho Cowboy Association.

Lloyd and Jo Anne raise cattle at their place. Lloyd also “worked in the woods” logging as well as ranching. Jo Anne drove a school bus for Timberline and Weippe Schools for 33 years. And, despite their hard work, the two have made time for the rodeo including having three daughters who were rodeo royalty. Lloyd served as President in 1964, 1983, and 1984. Jo Anne was Secretary in 1971 through 1974 and again from 1994 to the present.

When asked if they had any pictures of the two of them together at the rodeo, the answer was, “No.” “I was usually busy at one end, and he was busy at the other end,” said Jo Anne. “And never the two shall meet” she laughed. There is always lots of work to be done to put on the rodeo. When they do get a chance to get away, they enjoy camping in Idaho’s beautiful mountains.

Rodeo schedule

This year’s rodeo is set for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20 and 21. Show times begin at The parade will be at Saturday on Main Street. There will be a dance Saturday, with Coltrain at the Weippe Community Hall. The popular cowboy breakfast will be Sunday at the rodeo grounds,

The EhCapa Bareback riders from Boise will be performing at the rodeo, something you’ll be sure to enjoy. The 2011 Rodeo Queen is Myrissa Wolfe. Everyone’s favorite rodeo clown, Eddie White, will be there too. Hal Olson will be the announcer. Jo Anne and Lloyd invite everyone to come enjoy the weekend festivities at the Wild Weippe Rodeo.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ahsahka post office considered for closure

Ahsahka Postmistress Anita Brumley stands in front of the facility which may be closed as early as 2012. Brumley has served at this post office since February 2005.

By Alannah Allbrett

The U.S. Postal Service last week released a list of nearly 3,700 post offices nationwide that may be closed or downsized, and the post office in Ahsahka was among them.

Ahsahka’s Postmistress, Anita Brumley, said she first learned of it Tuesday, July 26. When asked if customers are upset at hearing the news, she said they are mostly curious at how it will work, where they will get their mail, and when it will take place.

Ernie Swanson, Corporate Communications Spokesperson for the post office, outlined the process and the likely timeline. He said it is a pretty structured process, and that he doesn’t foresee any closures happening until some time in the 2012 calendar year.

The process will begin by a “Feasibility Study for Discontinuance” in which tracking of mail going through the Ahsahka Post Office will take place. The volume count will then be reviewed, followed by a community meeting.

“In order to gauge customer‘s feelings,” Swanson said, “Questionnaires are being put into each customer’s box and made available also at the post office.” He went on to say, postal management representatives will be available at the meeting to answer questions, address concerns, hear comments, and explain how mail will be handled in the event of the closure.

A decision will be made 30 days after the public meeting. The community will then have 30 days to respond to administrative decisions to close a particular office. Swanson said the recommendation for closure of certain offices happens in the west area office in Denver, CO, and then is sent to Washington, D.C. for final determination.

The number of locations targeted for possible closure account for about 11 percent of the full retail locations in the United States.

Some small towns in Idaho with a post office targeted for possible closure include: Avery, Calder, Chester, Clayton, De Smet, Ellis, Geneva, Hamer, Harvard, Howe, Monteview, Ola, Parker, Pocatello, Swanlake, Tensed, Weston and Yellow Pine. In cities with more than one post office, such as Boise, Moscow, and Pocatello only one branch location has been targeted to close its doors.

Orofino is relatively close (at four+ miles) to serve Ahsahka’s needs. But smaller places like Yellow Pine will feel the effects of closure much more keenly. It takes approximately three hours to drive to the nearest post office from Yellow Pine in the summer, and five to six hours in the winter. It is being suggested that the Village Post Office of old be restored in cases such as these where a hotel owner, grocery store, or other business serves as a replacement for an official postal office.