I had a very unsettling experience at the border crossing from Canada into the U.S. I feel at a loss at the border since there is no mechanism to complain about treatment. I’m not sure how to express my discontent, but I would love to write about my experiences at the border since for the past few weeks I have been crossing more than normal due to my house hunting in Blaine. I’ve been staying with a close friend in Vancouver. I now live in a new home in Blaine but still visit my friend in Vancouver.
At the age of 66 and just retired, if I don’t like what I see, I like to express that tactfully. Unfortunately, I’m not able to do that with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
(Ed. Note: CBP has four programs in place to deal with complaints. To lodge a complaint, visit https://help.cbp.gov/app/forms/complaint.)
It appears that the Grinch has already arrived in Blaine in the form of Blaine postmaster Willie Curtis.
For more than 30 years, conscientious citizens of Blaine and Birch Bay have assisted the Salvation Army in collecting funds to feed, clothe and provide presents for the needy in our community at Christmas in front of the Blaine Post Office. Now, postmaster Willie Curtis has informed us that this will no longer be allowed.
While Mr. Curtis is new at his job, he obviously has little heart for the people of the community. He has now found some long-standing rule disallowing this long-standing Christmas activity. How is it that for more than 30 years we have been welcome to assist our community in this manner and now Curtis has forbidden it?
It appears that he has forgotten the charity of this community in assisting him this summer when he couldn’t find the money in his budget to maintain the post office grounds. This charity-minded community cleaned up the disgraceful grounds in his charge, which he had allowed to fall into disrepair.
Numerous attempts to discuss this matter with Curtis have been blocked by a recorded message and with no regard to the people he is supposed to serve.
That having been said, there is a happy ending to this very sad Christmas tale. The city of Blaine has approved the Salvation Army bell ringing to be permitted on the sidewalk in front of the post office (not on post office grounds). It is very heartening to know that Blaine City Council and staff understood the importance of this activity to our community and that a favorable solution was found quickly. Bravo, Blaine City Council and staff.
The 2013 Community Assistance Program (CAP) Thanksgiving basket project provided turkeys and fixings, pies and milk for Thanksgiving dinner to a record 335 families. We are grateful to the many individuals and businesses that provided generous financial support and product donations to ensure the success of this annual tradition.
We are especially grateful to the Northwest Dairy Association for their Darigold butter; to Edaleen’s Dairy for their milk; and to Bedlington Potato Warehouse for their potatoes. We deeply appreciate your heartfelt generosity.
To the firefighters of North Whatcom Fire and Rescue for hanging the banner; transporting turkeys, milk and butter, ensuring that everything arrived on schedule, and literally putting the muscle into the program, we extend our sincere thanks for your extraordinary
To all the volunteer team members who took reservations; returned calls; bagged onions, yams and potatoes; set up the baskets; managed the distribution; served coffee and ensured the success of the program, we are greatly indebted.
Through the commitment of hardworking volunteers and the generosity of this community, 1,857 people (1,090 adults and 767 children) enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner.
Thank you one and all.
Executive director, Community Assistance Program
I would like to thank the Blaine and surrounding communities for a superb job volunteering for the Thanksgiving Feast at the Blaine Senior/Community Center.
While giving support and companionship and showing that our community cares we also served 415 meals.
Last but not least, thanks to all the business and private donations that made our Thanksgiving Feast possible.
David Van Duisen