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For some, mail goes undelivered

(ran East, Beach, South editions)

Residents of Woodlawn, the post office wants you to know the mail is in the mail.

That wasn't true Monday for several homes along 12th Avenue N.

That was just too much for them. First, the post office installed curbside mailboxes they say they didn't want. Then on Monday, the street got no mail at all. No rain, no sleet, no hail. Just a sunny Florida day _ and no mail.

"I've lived here 28 years, and we've always had our mail come in," said Carol Cole of 1753 12th Ave. N. "Then we get these garbage-y mailboxes . . . and all of a sudden _ Boom! We don't have mail."

"I've been here 42 years, and they made us take (the mailboxes) out in '68," said Wanda Beaumier of 1758 12th Ave. N.

"I don't see the sense of putting them back now . . . especially now" with the delivery problem.

Like many of their neighbors, Cole and Beaumier called the post office several times Monday to complain. They were told that the carrier was running late and to expect their mail Monday evening. It didn't come until Tuesday afternoon.

"We definitely are not holding mail or anything," said Postmaster Martha Worrell. "I don't want (the residents) to feel like there's any retaliation" because they've complained about the curbside mailboxes.

Worrell said the lapse in delivery is rare, and that it occurred because the regular carrier was on vacation and his route was divided between two other deliverers.

Worrell said she is listening to residents' concerns and will try to remove the boxes where they are unwanted.

But she maintains that many residents agreed to the new boxes, which were installed in an effort to ease delivery and to prevent dogs from biting postal carriers.