Happy holidays to you -- and you, and you . . . | An Alternative View | Diana Diamond | Mountain View Online |

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An Alternative View

By Diana Diamond

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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Happy holidays to you -- and you, and you . . .

Uploaded: Sep 9, 2022
It’s become a smorgasbord of ideas about how many more official holidays our little city of 62,000 should celebrate in Palo Alto, and an item council members will deliberate at its Monday, Sept. 12, meeting.

Top of the agenda is whether we still want to celebrate Columbus Day (you know, the man who discovered America) – or instead turn it into an “Indigenous Peoples” holiday. Also, on the debate table is whether to change Columbus Day to Italian Immigrants Day (because Columbus was Italian, you know) - or decide maybe to combine Columbus and Indigenous Peoples Day into one October holiday, OR, two separate ones? The possibilities seem endless.

But, of course, there’s even more to consider. It’s Palo Alto!

The council is already considering commemorating days for the Holocaust and Armenian genocide, and they are ready to adopt policies to formally recognize Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. Would each have a day?

Decisions, decisions.

I can see city employees already salivating about more official holidays in this city – for which they get paid days off (so does the city manager and his entourage). They already get 12 days a year, like Columbus Day and Martin Luther King Day, and next year will get Juneteenth off also.

Council member Tom DuBois, who family roots are Italian, wants to have Italian Immigrants Day become a holiday, saying he recalled the discrimination that early Italian immigrants suffered in the United States.

But that brings up a big can of worms.

My forefathers and mothers came from Poland, and two of their noted generals, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, who fought bravely in the American Revolution, helping America fight the British, and Casimir Pulaski, who came to the United States in 1777 to serve in Washington's army and helped form the American cavalry -- both assisted this country during important times.

Polish immigrants, once they came to America, also experienced lots of discrimination since their early arrival days in the 1880s and 1890s. The discrimination has lasted for years and years. Remember all those terrible Polish jokes as late as 1950 that seemed to never end? Worse than the dumb blond jokes.

And what about the Irish, who certainly were discriminated against once here (“NO Irish need apply” in want ads), and the Germans were not welcomed upon their arrival, and the discrimination against Jews that has prevailed here ever since the last century?

I haven’t yet touched on all the Philippine immigrants, and Asians, and Tongans, etc. And what about the Portuguese and the Estonians?

So, should all these immigrant groups have national holidays?

Like I said, a big can of worms.

This coming Monday, our esteemed council members will debate this issue, and our paid staff will be on hand to assist in their decisions. And, to be fair, there are a couple of other action items o. the agenda.

Ironically, this discussion is just after a week of three blackouts in parts of the city – one, city officials said, caused by a squirrel! and another one by “miscommunication,” while the third by a faulty transformer – which, to me, are major issues. Three outages in three days = a problem.

Guess it’s easier – and more fun – to talk about creating a smorgasbord of potential holidays (thank you Swedes, for that word) than about electricity problems in our fair city.
Local Journalism.
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Posted by sandragifford, a resident of North Whisman,
on Sep 9, 2022 at 4:09 pm

sandragifford is a registered user.

I appreciate the tone of the post--not vicious, not cloying, (well a little cloying) but how better to address a topic as huge and complex as Holidays? I once had a calendar that listed every day of the year as a special day--Ice cream cone day, Hot dog day, etc.--every day a Holiday. Perhaps companies and governments can assign a particular number of holidays per employee per year, but not name them--let the celebrants each name their own.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Sep 9, 2022 at 5:32 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

The question has to be asked as to what iota of difference will it make?

People will perhaps get a day off work or school. They will go to the beach, go shopping, not able to get into a government building, a post office or perhaps a bank. There will be no mail delivery. Caltrain may run on Sunday service. This is what people do on most holidays.

Otherwise, it is just a bit of virtue signaling.

copied and pasted from the town square article

Posted by Jason Castelano, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 7:48 am

Jason Castelano is a registered user.

While in college, I worked as a delivery driver for See's Candy during holiday breaks.

To confectioners, the only days/holidays worth remembering are Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.

Posted by Gail Fishman, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 10:24 am

Gail Fishman is a registered user.

To acknowledge only a few ethnicities while totally ignoring all of the others is cultural discrimination and a form of ethnocentric racism.

After all, isn't America a 'melting pot' of diversity?

There are currently 17 different languages (including English) translated and printed on all California DMV and Social Services forms.

This is obviously in acknowledgement of our cultural and ethnic diversities.

Each ethnicity should have a holiday devoted to their contributions as Americans.

Posted by Wilmer Petrovsky, a resident of another community,
on Sep 10, 2022 at 1:13 pm

Wilmer Petrovsky is a registered user.

"There are currently 17 different languages (including English) translated and printed on all California DMV and Social Services forms."

"This is obviously in acknowledgement of our cultural and ethnic diversities."

^ Begging to differ...these excessive translations are more an indication of ESL (ii.e. English illiteracy).

"Each ethnicity should have a holiday devoted to their contributions as Americans."

^ OK once a key contribution to American society is made...until then, a bit premature.

Posted by Massey, a resident of College Terrace,
on Sep 11, 2022 at 9:44 pm

Massey is a registered user.

Great article! I realized these are my favorite kinds of GI articles. Enough news and reviews, more stuff like this! Let the writers get creative!

Web Link

Posted by Judith Wasserman, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Sep 12, 2022 at 10:20 am

Judith Wasserman is a registered user.

While we're compiling about names, how is it OK that cities and streets are named after Catholic saints?

Posted by Judith Wasserman, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Sep 12, 2022 at 10:20 am

Judith Wasserman is a registered user.

I meant "complaining".

Posted by Barron Park Denizen, a resident of Barron Park,
on Sep 12, 2022 at 10:30 am

Barron Park Denizen is a registered user.

I trust there will be a holiday to honor my Croatian forebears, especially Grandpa who had to work a long series of dirty, dangerous jobs before there was OSHA or mine safety. Locals of Serbian, Slovenian, Bosnian, Montenegran, and Macedonian background may want to chime in too.

Our Council members for sure work hard. But could someone explain how additional paid holidays will promote government efficiency, and how approving scads of office buildings will help the job-housing imbalance.

Posted by Kiara Kapoor, a resident of Castro City,
on Oct 17, 2022 at 1:58 pm

Kiara Kapoor is a registered user.

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up.
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