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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Spokane tries to mollify Italians

Christopher Columbus’ holiday is gone from the Spokane calendar, but the City Council is suggesting another way to celebrate Italian heritage.

City Councilwoman Amber Waldref will forward a proposal Monday to proclaim Oct. 1 each year as “Italian-American Heritage Day” following the contentious decision in August to rename the second Monday of October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

“It’s not meant to replace Columbus Day,” said Waldref, who worked with the American Italian Club of Spokane to create the new observance. “Columbus Day still exists federally. This is a day for Spokane, that’s significant for Italian Americans in Spokane.”

The council will vote on the proposal at its meeting Monday night.

The Oct. 1 date is significant to the club, as it marks the 50th anniversary of its establishment in Spokane. The city also will formalize its sister city relationship with Cagli, Italy, on that day, at the end of a downtown celebration of the American Italian Club’s history in Spokane, said Ron Anselmo, the club’s president.

Anselmo said members felt jilted by the Columbus Day renaming, having been notified just days before the council was scheduled to vote.

“It was really a kick in the teeth,” Anselmo said/Kip Hill, SR. More here (subscription).

Question: Is this a good idea? Or something similar to getting a Miss Congeniality award in a beauty contest?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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