Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Publisher's Corner: 06/01/2016

Change – the only constant

For the past five years a core group of volunteers has put on the Kenwood 4th of July Parade. They would start meeting in January, and by the end of June it was well-organized chaos, which is about par for the course around here. But five years is a long time, and this year the old guard has turned over our beloved hometown parade to a new group of people, headed up by the Kenwood School Association. So this is a perfect time for you to jump in and help out. Send an email to

Since Alec has been El Jefe for the past five years, we are leaving town early, and plan to be far away by the 4th of July! We’ll definitely miss it, but it’s the only guaranteed way to avoid being sucked back in. We’re both looking forward to the change.

I think I’m hard-wired for change. We moved around a lot when I was growing up, which left me with the paradox of being ready and even excited to pull up stakes, and at the same time wanting to put down deep roots in one place. So I’ve done both. We’ve already been here 22 years, and don’t ever plan to leave, but at the same time, whenever a new proposal comes along, my first reaction is usually, “Cool, let’s see how that works.”

Take the Farmers Market, for example. It started out at Plaza Park three years ago, and now is moving over to St. Patrick’s Church across from the Kenwood Fire Department. When it was first proposed, some people worried that it would be bigger and louder and generate far more traffic than it actually did. In fact, it turned out to be a lovely, mellow Sunday afternoon event for locals and visitors. Let’s hope the new location works out as well.

When a traffic signal was proposed for Highway 12 and Warm Springs Road back in 2001, suddenly everyone in Kenwood was a traffic engineer. People envisioned traffic backed up through town waiting for the light to turn green, and fire trucks not being able to get out onto the highway. That didn’t happen, fortunately. Maybe that’s because CalTrans actually has real traffic engineers. I for one love being able to safely turn left onto the highway. But now Warm Springs Road has to deal with cars speeding to get to the light, a situation that needs to be addressed.

So not all change is good, obviously. Sometimes you can go back to the status quo, and sometimes you can’t. If the Farmers Market had been a disaster, the county would have shut them down. But the light was always here to stay. When a large resort was proposed for Graywood Ranch along Highway 12 across from Lawndale Road, much of the community fought it – hard, but unsuccessfully. It was approved in 2004, although it has yet to be built. The project has changed hands several times and is currently owned by a huge Chinese corporation, Oceanwide Holdings, which doesn’t appear to be in any hurry. But as the permits are vested, the resort will be built eventually.

Buildings and fences go up, but you rarely ever see them come down. You have to hope that people will listen and learn before they act, so that when changes do happen the results are more good than bad.

But don’t worry – the 4th of July Parade is all good! – Ann


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Community Calendar

Oakmont Sunday Symposium
Medicinal plant walk at Quarryhill
Harvest Moon hike
Emmaus Inclusive Community service and potluck supper
Oakmont Caregivers Group meeting
Sugarloaf Trail Crew volunteer day
Oakmont Music Lovers season opener features pianist Carol Rosenberger
Rotary Club of Glen Ellen Kenwood meeting
Oakmont Art Show
Oakmont Art Show
28th annual Glen Ellen Village Fair

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