Downey : Collectors Protest Cutback in Philatelic Center Hours

About 20 stamp collectors picketed the Downey Post Office, 8111 Firestone Blvd., on Monday because the branch's Philatelic Center hours were reduced from 20 to 12 a week.

The special-service counter, once open five days a week, is now open four hours a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The cutback was necessary because "customer traffic" did not justify the hours, post office spokeswoman Susan Manley said.

Customers can purchase stamps at the regular branch windows when the philatelic center is closed.

The protest was organized by South Gate Councilman Gregory Slaughter, a stamp collector. Collectors from surrounding cities, including South Gate, Bell Gardens, Lynwood, Maywood and Huntington Park, use the center.

They have received letters and resolutions from elected officials and stamp collectors supporting the group's effort to have the hours restored, Slaughter said. He said the group has 75 letters, including ones from Sen. Pete Wilson (R-San Diego) and Assemblywoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles).

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