Our apologies to those Dispatch readers in our eastern coverage area--Riley, Leonardville and Blue Rapids. Know we share your frustration.

Readers in that area have been ringing the phones “off the hook” here since the Post Office, apparently in an austerity move, shut down the Topeka sorting center. Subscribers beyond the county line are getting their newspapers two days to a week late, or more, often in the wrong order.

The change is due to another efficiency reorganization by the Post Office.

It’s never hard to apologize when what you’re apologizing for is nothing you have done or failed to do. We deliver the papers to the Clay Center Post Office every day at about the same time we have for the past generation or two and pay them in advance for delivering.

The bundling and labeling rules, which must be followed precisely, are so complicated the labeling and reporting is done by computer. We have a computer that can sort mail in the walking sequence of every mailman in the United States.

The papers leave the Clay Center Post Office on time. That’s when things go haywire. Taking the Post Office’s definition of the shortest route between two points, the papers are trucked to Kansas City before returning to Leonardville and environs.

To frustrated subscribers: You can get the paper on line the day it is published on our website at ccenterdispatch.com. By sheer coincidence, we got the Dispatch up on-line just in time for the meltdown.

But we’re also told that even readers who use the on line edition still prefer to read the printed edition.

Truthfully, the postal officials we complain to daily seem as frustrated as our readers. They insist they’re trying to straighten the problems out.

That is not promise. But it will have to do. Meantime, we’re all fortunate the Saturday shutdown has been postponed. That creates a whole new can of worms for small dailies and their readers.