Interior Employees Raise Concerns After Department Celebrates ‘European Heritage Month’

The Interior Department celebrated European Heritage Month in August, an unusual move that has caused some employees to feel uneasy. 

Interior published an online monthly magazine as part of that celebration, which highlighted the history and accomplishments of various European cultures in the United States. While the same publication put out previous issues that focused on other groups such as LGBTQ and Asian Americans, the publication caused a stir among some employees who saw the celebration as insensitive and improperly promoting ideals related to white pride.

Employees at Interior said they could not recall Interior ever recognizing European Heritage Month previously, with one saying the department “made up their own commemorative month.” The publication was put together by the head of “special emphasis programs” at the Interior Business Center, though the magazine is labeled as a publication of Interior’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administrative Services. A division of Interior’s Office of Civil Rights, the department’s special emphasis programs website lists nearly a dozen events and groups as part of its observance policy and European heritage is not one of them. There does not appear to be any national recognition of August as European Heritage Month. 

Some Interior workers who were aware of the publication became annoyed and angry about it, one employee said. The message appeared to promote a “white lives matter” ideology, said the individual, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation, and was especially troubling “during a time of civil awakening.” 

Steve Carlisle, the editor of the magazine, told Government Executive he had no intention of making a political statement and did not want to “insult anybody or hurt anybody.” He said he and his colleagues gave “a lot of consideration” to the potential blowback of publishing the issue, but ultimately decided it was important to “make content relevant to everyone” and saw it as a way to “celebrate immigration.” Carlisle came up with the idea for the magazine during the novel coronavirus pandemic, as Interior employees could no longer gather in person to celebrate various cultures each month. 

“Taken as a whole,” he said of the project, “it is really about including as many groups and backgrounds of people as we possibly can.” 

The issue highlights the history of many Europeans arriving to the United States through Ellis Island and goes on to highlight specific experiences of Welsh, Irish and German Americans, including some first-person narratives of Interior employees who vacationed in their ancestral homelands. It also included references to National Parks with “European connections.” The Interior employee took issue with a blurb on the large number of Native Americans in Florida at the time of European contact, suggesting it only served to highlight that those populations have been almost entirely wiped out. 

Another Interior employee said the entire issue of the magazine was “tone deaf.” 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has flagged various organizations that celebrate European heritage as associated with white nationalism. Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, R-Va., once sparked a brief

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Researchers discover both good and bad kitchen habits in different European countries

Every year, 5,000 Europeans die from diseases contracted from food. Researchers visited people’s homes and discovered both good and bad kitchen habits in different European countries.

Most of us know that we have to be careful about hygiene when preparing raw chicken. We should wash the utensils and our hands after handling chicken, and we should wash or use a different chopping board before chopping the vegetables for the salad.

There is a lot happening at the same time in the kitchen, and it is not always easy to remember to follow good hygiene advice.

‘We have to remember that cooking is a complex social practice that is based more on routinised habits than on food safety advice’, says Researcher Silje Skuland at Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University.

Together with researchers in Norway, the UK, France, Portugal and Romania, she has mapped the shopping, hygiene and cooking habits of 75 European households. This is part of the big European research project SafeConsume, which is concerned with reducing the risk of foodborne diseases in private kitchens.

Everything you want to know

The work has resulted in an 800-page-long report on ‘everything you want to know about how food safety is addressed in everyday lives’, down to the smallest details.

Some of the questions the report answers are:

How do we wash lettuce? How and how often do we wash our hands? How do we wash our knives, chopping boards and other utensils? How do we transport, store and prepare our food? How do culture, habits and access to goods determine what we buy and how we prepare our food?

Comparisons between the five countries give the researchers knowledge about what food habits lead to the spread of bacteria and parasites.

Not just up to the consumers

WHO has determined that 23 million Europeans become ill and 5,000 die each year as a result of bacteria, parasites, allergens or toxins in food. Food’s journey from retail to fork has not been the subject of much research.

Skuland emphasises that consumers are not the only ones responsible for this.

‘It’s not the consumers’ fault that the food they buy in the shop contains Campylobacter bacteria or listeria. There is a tendency these days for consumers to be given the responsibility for fixing both environmental problems and public health challenges,’ says Skuland.

Skuland believes the food should already be safe when it ends up in our shopping bags. However, after the point of purchase consumers can minimise the risk by avoiding contamination and cooking meat well. 40% of cases of foodborne illness are caused by in the domestic setting.

Multitasking and cooking

The researchers went along when people did their shopping and followed them home to their kitchen where they prepared a meal of chicken and fresh vegetables. The goal was to find out how food was handled on its way from the shop to the table, which has

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How to make your home a European escape

Just because we can’t jump on a plane to visit our favourite European hot spots doesn’t mean some of the joys that come with an overseas holiday are off limits.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have grounded flights for now, but you can still immerse yourself in the beauty of exotic holiday destinations with some clever design and decorating moves in your own home.

Porter Davis lead interior designer Patrizia Romeo has captured some of the most popular style aspects of iconic getaways — including Spain, France, Italy, Denmark and London — as part of the builder’s World of Style themes.

“You can make every day at home feel like a holiday escape,” Ms Romeo said.

Here, she reveals how to add a little decor flair from five Euro faves.

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Taking cues from the vibrant city of Barcelona, this look embraced timeless elegance with a modern edge, Ms Romeo said.

“It’s a beautiful blend of old and new and explores heat and adventure, so let these elements inspire your decor choices,” she explained.

Timber furniture plays a big part. Ms Romeo advised sticking with pieces that had a rustic appearance, and mixing the timber species up a bit.

She said handmade ceramics, lamps with coloured glass bases, arched mirrors, furniture with matt-black or brass detailing, and lots of greenery, including palms, succulents and exotic florals, went a long way in enhancing this look as well.

With colours, she recommended a base palette of soft greys combined with inky blues and charcoals.

“Then layer in some pops of brighter colour, such as mustard or a sunburnt orange, to bring in some vibrancy and keep the home fun and fresh,” she added.


For those after a relaxed summer-lifestyle vibe, Ms Romeo suggested shifting focus to the island of Capri.

“Keep things light and airy with inviting colours such as blue, lemon and pink,” Ms Romeo said.

She also encouraged maintaining a strong indoor-outdoor flow with the main entertainment areas, and accentuating some connection with the garden.

“Keep windows and doors quite open and use beautiful, flowy sheers to soften the space and light entering the room. It will add to that resort feel,” Ms Romeo said.

Go for a rustic-style dining table, but take it up a sophisticated notch by pairing it with a set of curved-back upholstered chairs.

“Greenery is also essential here to elevate the feeling of being among nature and being on holiday,” she added.


This look is as classy as they come, with plenty of romantic touches woven through.

Ms Romeo said layering and natural light were key to keeping rooms comfortable and filled with French character.

“It creates a softness that underpins the whole feel,” she said.

Dusty blues and pinks — and even touches of lemon — combined with inky blues and sage green is the colour palette you’re after. But Ms Romeo cautioned against using

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European Market for Bathroom Furniture, Furnishings & Wellness 2020

The “The European Market for Bathroom Furniture, Furnishings and Wellness 2020” report has been added to’s offering.

The 10th edition of The European market for bathroom furniture, furnishings and wellness report offers an accurate comprehensive picture of the bathroom furniture and furnishings industry in Europe (covering a total of 24 countries), providing data and trends (both in value and in volume) on bathroom equipment consumption, at European level as a whole and for each country considered, for the total sector and by product.

Main macroeconomic variables necessary to analyse the performance of the sector, market trend 2018-2019 and forecast up to 2023, analysis of the competitive system, financial analysis on a sample of 70 selected European companies which have bathroom furniture as main business area, is also provided. The analysis of the distribution system in the bathroom furniture and furnishing sector in Europe considers: Bathroom specialist retailers, Wholesalers of bath products with showroom, Plumbers and installers, Furniture stores/chains and department stores, DIY, Contract, E-commerce, offering estimates, at European level, of the value of each distribution channel by product type. Standard retail prices by product and by price range are also given for a sample of companies.

This report takes into consideration fourteen bathroom macro-sectors and their main products: Bathroom furniture; Bathroom furnishings and accessories (including soap dish, towel rails, toilet brushes, tumbler holders, toilet paper holder, shower curtains, etc.); Bathroom mirrors; Shower screens and enclosures; Shower arms; Shower trays; Multifunctional shower booths; Whirlpool bathtubs (including equipped hydromassage columns and mini spa); Bathroom taps and faucets; Kitchen taps and faucets; WC seats; Ceramic sanitary ware (sinks, bidets, urinals, bathtubs); Acrylic sinks; Acrylic bathtubs.

The countries covered were divided into seven areas according to their geographical proximity and similarity in market characteristics. These areas are:

  • Northern Europe (Nordics): Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden
  • The United Kingdom and Ireland
  • DACH and the Netherlands: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands
  • France and Belgium
  • Spain and Portugal
  • Italy
  • Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and Greece: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece

Via detailed tables are shown sales data and market shares of the top European bathroom furniture and furnishings companies for each bathroom macro-sector and in each European country considered, together with short company profiles.

The report includes also a listing of 50 architectural companies valuable for the Project market, and the 30 Local (city) markets to watch on a 2023 perspective.

An address list of around 280 European bathroom furniture and furnishings companies is included.

Key Topics Covered

1. Introduction

  • Methodology; Research tools; Terminology

2. Basic data

  • European market for bathroom furniture, furnishings and wellness. Estimated sales by product. Eur million, thousand units and average prices
  • Bathroom furniture; Bathroom furnishings/Accessories; Bathroom mirrors; Shower screens; Shower arms; Shower trays; Whirlpool bathtubs; Multifunctional shower booths; Bathroom and Kitchen taps and faucets; WC seats; Ceramic sanitary ware; Acrylic sinks and bathtubs
  • European market for bathroom furniture, furnishings and wellness. Estimated sales by country. Eur million, thousand units and average prices (factory and
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