It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


North Pole Santa project axed after sex offender scare

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 09:33 AM

Starry-eyed children writing letters to the jolly man at the North Pole this holiday season likely won't get a response from Santa Claus or his helpers.

The U.S. Postal Service is dropping a popular national program begun in 1954 in the small Alaska town of North Pole, where volunteers open and respond to thousands of letters addressed to Santa each year. Replies come with North Pole postmarks.

Last year, a postal worker in Maryland recognized an Operation Santa volunteer there as a registered sex offender. The postal worker interceded before the individual could answer a child's letter, but the Postal Service viewed the episode as a big enough scare to tighten rules in such programs nationwide.

No, I'm not upset that Santa won't be answering my letter this year. I'm actually concerned that this is just one more example of the all or nothing problem-solving strategies that have taken the country by storm over the last few decades.

The nation has a drug problem, so we tell the kids that they can't bring an aspirin to school. We now have children who are so sick and twisted that they will commit mass murder in their schools, so we expel a kid who draws a picture of a gun.

Now, we have a 55 year-old program where the people in a small town in Alaska volunteer to answer kids' letters to Santa and because one sex-offender tries to get involved, the whole program is trashed.

No, this is not about Santa. It's not about a kid with an aspirin at school or a kid who draws a picture of a gun or even a 6 year-old who's handcuffed and carted off to jail for some school infraction.

This is about the adults in our culture who somehow have forgotten that you can take things case-by-case. You don't have to call the cops for a pen and pencil gun just because of Columbine.

Are bureaucrats experiencing some sort of evolutionary cerebral shrinkage and can only react with their cerebellums? Has there been a brain-drain in our schools and public institutions such that it is too much to expect good-judgement from them.

Or is it fear and laziness? Are people now so afraid of lawsuits that their frontal lobes are paralyzed? Are they just too lazy to put two and two together?

Whatever the problem is, this is certainly a sad time to be a child.

[edit on 2009/11/19 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 09:44 AM
Excellent post! This is a glaring example of what our nation has become. Fat, dumb and above all LAZY. Far to lazy to come up with a solution to simple problems.

To address the Santa project specifically, I think this is utterly absurd. My daughters are now at the age when they understand Santa and his elves. This would have been the first year of our letters to the North Pole. The same North Pole that received my letters 30 plus years ago.

Sad indeed. This guy was removed before he even had a chance to view a single letter. Was this guy a pedophile, rapist or something else. (I check my neighborhood often with my local sheriffs office).

Anyway, so much for another tradition gone forever.

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by GradyPhilpott


It's paint-by-numbers governance.


Maybe Santa could deliver this year competent problem solving.

[edit on 19-11-2009 by loam]

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 09:57 AM
Have the people send them anyway, and start an uproar and make the letters increase by over 100% this year. Then the "Postal Service" officials can either just deal with it and continue the program, or they can get on the national media explaining how they had to burn hundreds of thousands or even millions of letters, because a "sex offender may have tried to join the program".

Why is this even a problem, anyway? The Postal Service is paid for by taxpayers through the US government and the program is apparently run by volunteers that are Not paid by the taxpayers. If the taxpayers want the program to continue, then the program needs to continue. Otherwise, someone needs to start their own postal service and start from scratch, seriously.

Oh, and obviously sack the officials who made this an issue, the knobheads that they are.

[edit on 19-11-2009 by SyphonX]

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 10:01 AM
Thanks for making a great point. Most folks would read this and dismiss it pretty quick as "awww too bad, no santa" when it's telling of a much bigger problem.
Increasingly, nothing anymore is for the rights or actions of majorities like it should be, and is instead about individual perspectives.
Does that make sense?

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 04:22 PM
It's gone too far Grady. Common sense doesn't live here any more.

All I can say is thank God I got a glimpse of what the world was supposed to be like.

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 05:58 PM
I completely agree with the OPs eloquently written opinion. Laws were created with the intention to protect children from sex offenders. But instead they turned us into criminals. All males have become potential pedophiles and child kidnappers.

For thousands of years childs were allowed to play outside, with little or no oversight. Today, children playing by their own, have become a rare sight in many urban areas.

Here a link to a sad story about a toddler, who drowned. A man spotted the lost child, but because of the "sex offender hysteria" he was to afraid to help the child.

But the hysteria, which has infected our society, does not stop by adult males. It also destroys the lives of teenagers. Unwise behaviour, which doesn't harm anyone, becomes a criminal offense:

A 15-year-old Ohio girl faces felony charges and may have to register as a sex offender for allegedly taking nude photos of herself and sending them to her high school classmates.

There is a fury and and sadness inside that I cannot express, is a well written article about the criminalization of our youth.

One can always kill flies with sledgehammers. It’s very effective. It will kill the fly. But in the process the damage that is done is far worse than the problem that it solves. To protect our kids we take sledgehammers to them and smash their lives.

Consider what happens today to the sexually inquisitive young. The intruding adult feels compelled to take this private matter and make it a case of the criminal law. The sledgehammer is called in. No matter that no violence or threats were used. No matter that both “victims” were very willing partners in crime.

I am still unsure, if these laws are simply written and executed by people lacking common sense, or if there is an agenda behind it. A meddling agenda which targets friendly community interactions and leaves only the authorities as trustworthy educator and patron.

[edit on 20-11-2009 by Drunkenshrew]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 06:52 AM
Just a little update on the story. God bless these volunteers for tying to save a long standing and meaningful tradition. Let's all let the kids be kids.

Volunteers Strive to Save Santa Letter Service

A group of volunteer Santa Claus "elves" in Alaska's frigid interior is determined to save a popular holiday letter service featuring the North Pole's most beloved icon.

The group is looking to counter a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to discontinue a program begun in 1954 in the small town of North Pole, where volunteers open and respond to thousands of letters addressed to "Santa Claus, North Pole" each year.

Gabby Gaborik, chief elf among several dozen volunteers, said he met with Postal Service officials this week to come up with an alternative.

He's now working with local government officials to get "101 Santa Claus Lane" as an address for his group, Santa's Mailbag. That way children will have a specific destination for their letters, allowing volunteers to run their own program and bypass stringent new rules implemented by the Postal Service after security issues arose in a similar program in Maryland last year.

Gaborik believes his town's name gives the local effort more cachet than other destinations.

"The city was founded on the Christmas theme," he said Thursday. "This is our identity. This is North Pole, Alaska."

In response to the USPS's decision to nix the long standing tradition..

People in North Pole are incensed by the changes, likening the Postal Service to the Grinch trying to steal Christmas. The letter program is a revered holiday tradition in North Pole, where light posts are curved and striped like candy canes and streets have names like Kris Kringle Drive. Volunteers in the letter program even sign the response letters as Santa's elves and helpers.

North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson also is outraged that locals just learned of the change.

"It's Grinchlike that the Postal Service never informed all the little elves before the fact," he said.

Another issue raising the hackles in the community of 2,100 is a second, separate change. Anchorage _ 260 miles to the south _ is processing mass quantities of out-of-state requests for North Pole postal cancellation marks on Christmas cards and packages. That work used to be done in Fairbanks, just 15 miles away.

Moody said as many as 800,000 items were processed last year, an overload Fairbanks is not equipped to handle. Anchorage is the only city in Alaska with the high-speed equipment necessary to do the job. Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan said the move is a matter of resources and finances for the agency, which lost billions of dollars in the last fiscal year.

Santa Claus House, a North Pole store built like a Swiss chalet and chock full of all items Christmas, sells more than 100,000 letters from Santa, and one of the lures is the postmark.

Store operations manager Paul Brown also believes his business will be affected under changes to the volunteer Santa letter program because tens of thousands of letters are addressed to Santa Claus House, North Pole, Alaska. Those letters will still be forwarded to volunteers. Those intercepted by the Postal Service will probably eventually be shredded.

Alaska's congressional delegation has stepped in to find a solution. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Republican Rep. Don Young have sent letters to Postmaster General John Potter expressing their concerns over the changes.

This is a FIGHT to save CHRISTMAS!! Kranks be damned!!

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 07:24 AM
It's good to see the community pull together to circumvent the Postal Services decision and that there are still people in the world that really care about traditions and the dreams of little children.

Just remember that the same folks who tried to kill Santa are the same folks who want to run your health care.

[edit on 2009/11/20 by GradyPhilpott]

top topics


log in