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Posts tagged: newcomers

South from Alaska

Got a nice note from a new reader who recently moved here from Fairbanks, Alaska.

I welcomed him. Then I cordially invited him to get ready to chuckle at what many here regard as challenging winter weather.

I used to count on transplanted Montanans to snort and shake their heads when confronted with Spokane winter wimps. But, as I have theorized, I think a lot of them come here because they are actively escaping Montana winters. Either that or they move here and then get corrupted by our snowmageddon overreactions to inevitable seasonal circumstances.

So maybe this fellow from Alaska will be a good influence.

I don't know, though. He seems like a pretty nice guy. He'll probably just nod and say, “Yes, you're right. Technically, 29 degrees is below freezing, as you say.”

Things haven’t been the same around here since…

Here's an answer to a finish-the-sentence exercise for which I didn't have room in Sunday's Slice.

Things haven't been the same around here since …

“Those outsiders came in with their fancy ideas,” wrote Georgie Ann Weatherby. “I speak from the standpoint of BEING an outsider. I moved here from the Portland/Vancouver area in 1996 — due to my career. I recall being at Huckleberry's not long after my arrival, inquiring about a specific type of sushi I was seeking. The store employees were very kind and helpful, but the locals in line where I stood started reminiscing about what it was like before all these 'big city folks' moved to Spokane (complete with diatribes on 'wide open spaces'). I politely mentioned that we bring revenues with us, which enriches the city. My retort was met with cold stares. There were many more incidents to follow.”

My first thought? Huck's seems like an odd place to encounter that attitude. I would have guessed a fair number of shoppers there (I'm one) would do back-flips to at least affect the opposite outlook. But that was the first year the store was open, so maybe some in Spokane hadn't figured out the vibe yet.

Anyway, Weatherby went on to say she thinks Spokane is changing. “Things have brightened up a bit as this city has slowly become more diverse, but it still has a long way to go.”

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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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