Columbia River Gorge

 

Troutdale, OR, Postmaster Edmund Rice hand stamps the first purchase of the Columbia Gorge Express stamp.

When the Columbia River Gorge Priority Mail Express stamp was recently unveiled, Post Offices in Bridal Veil, Cascade Locks, Corbett, Hood River, Mosier, The Dalles and Troutdale, OR, began offering a special postmark to commemorate the occasion.Columbia River Gorge

Formed by ancient volcanic activity, glacial flows, and massive ice age floods, the Columbia River Gorge is a natural wonder of the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, the gorge runs along the Columbia River, which forms part of the border between Oregon and Washington. On November 17, 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the National Scenic Area Act, creating the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

The diversity of the gorge’s landscapes makes it hospitable to a wide variety of plant and animal life. More than 800 species of wildflowers and flowering shrubs shroud the banks and cliffs surrounding the Columbia River in vibrant color. Peregrine falcons and other raptors nest along the gorge’s rim. Deer, black bears and beavers all find homes among the area’s varied habitats. The blue and silvery waters of the river teem with aquatic life, including native salmon populations.

The stamp is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.

Elderly residents receive tips on avoiding scammers

Lottery scam

During a recent special presentation at the Metcalf Senior Citizens Center in Anaconda, MT, Anaconda Postmaster Tom Hansen and Postal Inspector Walt Tubbs discussed the dangers of foreign lotteries and sweepstakes scams. They informed the audience that no legitimate lottery or sweepstakes will ever ask for money in order for someone to receive his or her winnings.

Scammers may ask for an upfront payment to handle taxes or insurance, but they also might request a person’s social security number, bank account information, or other personal data that can be used against the target of the scam.

“Never give out your personal information to anyone you don’t know,” said Hansen during the presentation.

Hansen and Tubbs also warned the audience about the dangers of online classified ad scams. In it, the scammer offers to buy an item that a seller has listed on a site such as Craig’s List. The buyer sends the seller a check for more than the asking price of the item. The scammer then asks the seller to cash the check and wire back the difference. By the time the seller finds out the buyer’s check is a fake, the scammer already has the seller’s money.

The presentation at the Metcalf Senior Center provided attendees with the tools and knowledge they need to protect themselves against scams and how to report scammers to law enforcement.

Bon Jour: French postal officials swap tips with Las Vegas delivery unit

Bon Jour

Delivering greetings from across the Atlantic Ocean, a contingent from the Paris-based postal provider La Poste recently visited Las Vegas Paradise Valley Station. The contingent was part of a La Poste exhibitor group at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show.

Greeted by USPS Vice President of Delivery Operations Ed Phelan, USPS Manager of Delivery Strategies Scott Hooper and Las Vegas Postmaster Kathy Hand, along with other local postal leaders, the group observed USPS operations and practices.

Both sides participated in a roundtable discussion and extensive information sharing.

Among the La Poste contingent were six French letter carriers, chosen for their language skills and technical job proficiency. Three of the carriers accompanied Las Vegas carriers on their routes.

“I took a carrier named Stephanie with me,” said City Carrier Catherine Allocca. “She was amazed at the amount of parcels we delivered and how big our vehicles were.”

French carriers deliver dry cleaning, pick up recyclables, and perform wellness checks on customers.

“We were very warmly greeted here, and we thank all of you,” said La Poste Communication Manager Perrine Landry. “We had very interesting discussions.”

Richard Allen

Allen

The 39th stamp in the Black Heritage series commemorates preacher, activist, and civic leader Richard Allen (1760-1831), an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history. This stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, one of the most important institutions in African-American life, and his election and consecration as its first bishop.

After purchasing his own freedom from slavery and making a name for himself as a traveling minister throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Allen was asked to preach to his fellow African Americans at a Methodist church in Philadelphia. He quickly rose to prominence as a civic leader, co-founding an organization to help African-American neighbors in need, rallying black Philadelphians to serve as aid workers during a yellow fever epidemic, and preparing the black community to defend the city during the War of 1812.

Eager to establish an independent African-American church, Allen purchased an old blacksmith’s shop and moved it to land he owned at Sixth and Lombard Streets. Bethel Church was dedicated in 1794 and soon attracted several hundred members, but Allen spent years in conflict with white church leaders who sought to assert their control. After a campaign that included sit-ins by African-Americans and a judgment by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the congregation secured its independence. In 1816, Allen summoned other black Methodist leaders to Philadelphia, where together they founded the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, electing and consecrating Allen as its first bishop.

The stamp is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.

Bad smell leads to life-saving call

Bountiful, UT, City Carrier Sean Anderson.

Bountiful, UT, City Carrier Sean Anderson.

Bountiful, UT, City Carrier Sean Anderson was delivering along his route when he encountered a strong gas odor at a customer’s home. He knew the distinctive smell was indicative of a leak that could quickly turn deadly if not dealt with immediately, so he attempted to alert the homeowner to the problem. When nobody answered the door, Anderson attempted to alert the next door neighbor, but encountered the same result.

Anderson refused to allow his customers to suffer a potentially unfortunate tragedy. When he returned to his vehicle, he called the gas company and reported the situation.

Later that afternoon when his route returned him to the area, he saw that the entire street had been blocked off to traffic and homes were evacuated. He approached an employee from the gas company and identified himself as the individual who had called them. The gas employee, who was with the homeowner at the impacted address, told him he did a great thing because the main gas line into the home had cracked and broke. He stated that the situation could have been a great tragedy if not for Anderson’s awareness to the danger and acting appropriately in response. The homeowner also expressed his gratitude to Anderson and stated that the 5-6 hours which he was evicted from his home were more than worth it in order to have the major gas leak repaired and avoid further problems for the neighborhood.

“I’m glad to have a carrier like Sean who cares about his customers and does a great job each and every day!” said Bountiful Postmaster Andrea Gunnarson.

The Inspectors

The Inspectors

If you haven’t tuned in to “The Inspectors” recently, you’re missing out. The 30-minute CBS daytime drama features Postal Inspectors tackling consumer fraud and other postal crimes based on real case files.

The storyline and educational content complement each other and create a unique program that both engages and informs viewers.

To watch the next episode of “The Inspectors” this Saturday, check your local CBS station listing.

Quick call prevents fire from spreading

Hudson, WI, Rural Carrier Liz Lanners

Hudson, WI, Rural Carrier Liz Lanners

While Hudson, WI, Rural Carrier Liz Lanners delivered along her route, she noticed smoke billowing out from between two buildings. Knowing that the situation had the potential to cause substantial damage and loss of life, she immediately took action.

Using her cell phone, she dialed 911 and described the situation to the dispatcher. Soon thereafter, firefighters arrived on scene and extinguished the blaze before it had the chance to spread.

As a result of Lanners’ observation and quick action, no one was injured from the blaze.

Desperate call for help answered by conscientious carrier

Willmar, MN, Rural Carrier Becky Knutson

Willmar, MN, Rural Carrier Rebecca Knuteson

When Willmar, MN, Rural Carrier Rebecca Knuteson approached the home of a customer while delivering along her route, she heard a distinct cry for help. Knuteson couldn’t see the person calling for help inside the home, so she immediately dialed 911 on her phone.

Shortly after notifying the dispatcher of the situation, paramedics arrived on scene. Both the paramedics and a neighbor were able to make their way into home where they found the customer laying on the floor of the basement. The woman had fallen to the ground and remained there for four days until help arrived.

The customer was so appreciative of the assistance that she thanked Knuteson and first responders publicly in a letter written to and published by a local newspaper. “I am lucky to be here and am so grateful to these angels,” the customer said in her letter.

Postal pride and heartfelt letters

Left: Gina Mulligan of Folsom, CA, founded 'Girls Love Mail' so that letters of encouragement go to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Right: Retail Associate Deanna Eliason loves providing outstanding service to customers at her Post Office in Marsing, ID.

Left: Gina Mulligan of Folsom, CA, founded ‘Girls Love Mail’ so that letters of encouragement go to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Right: Retail Associate Deanna Eliason loves providing outstanding service to customers at her Post Office in Marsing, ID.

This edition of Your Postal Podcast showcases employees sharing why they love their jobs. You’ll also hear a California woman’s inspirational story offering heartfelt messages to thousands of other cancer survivors sparked by a message she received from a total stranger. The podcast closes with a roundup of recent Postal Service news.

You can access Your Postal Podcast on YouTube as well as on your mobile device at YourPostalPodcast.com/mobile.

Choking woman narrowly escapes brush with death

St. Paul, MN, Elway Station City Carrier Assistant Kirsten Levisen Lloyd

When St. Paul, MN, Elway Station City Carrier Assistant Kirsten Levisen Lloyd approached a home along her route, she saw a customer move toward the front door from inside. While Lloyd initially thought the customer sought to collect her mail, the situation turned out to be far more urgent in nature.

As Lloyd looked up at the customer, she saw that her lips were blue and she was choking on an object. Without hesitation, Lloyd opened the door, patted her on the back, and began performing the Heimlich maneuver. After five abdominal thrusts, the object dislodged and the woman began breathing normally.

Later on when paramedics arrived, they told Lloyd she should be paid double for the day because she did their job as well as her own.

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