Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Publishers' Corner: 05/01/2019

What’s in a name?

As you will read in this issue, it looks like Sonoma Valley’s fire departments are stepping on the gas to explore a formal consolidation, which, at some point will require a new name for a whole new valley-wide district.

Which got me thinking – what would we call it?

Before I delve into this intriguing subject, please, no freak-outs about this move – I’m sure there will be strong efforts to keep our local community connections and traditions.

Now back to our regular program:

Recently, the Rincon Valley, Windsor, Mountain and Bennett Valley Fire Departments all morphed into one entity, now known as The Sonoma County Fire District.


I certainly hope we can be a little more creative when it comes to naming our potential new district. Don’t take the coward’s way out here by calling it The Sonoma Valley Fire District. Let’s try harder, people!

As a nod to every department in the valley, we could call it The MayaSchellVomGlenKen Fire District, or MSVGKFD. Though this might cause some problems – you may not be able to fit it all on an engine or letterhead, and it would be tough to answer the phone when someone calls a fire station. “Hello, MSVGKFD, how can I help you?”

It could be named after a treasured and beloved Sonoma Valley institution, such as The Kenwood Press Fire Department, but we don’t want to force people to take sides on this issue.

We’ll leave the naming of a new fire department to the professionals, which means that the result is likely to be kind of a snooze. But at least in this case, a new name is a necessity. Other county governmental entities have recently decided to change their names just to change their names.

Take the county planning agency, formerly the Permit and Resource Management Department, and now Permit Sonoma (one smart-aleck I know spells it as Permit $onoma).

But, seriously, this was a good move. The Permit and Resource Management Department was about as awkward a moniker as it gets. And we would always end up on deadline typing and yelling, “What’s it called again, what’s it called again?” and invariably mess it up.

Over at the former Sonoma County Water Agency, now it’s the much hipper and streamlined Sonoma Water. Though it makes me think it’s something expensive I can buy at the grocery store, like Fiji Water.

In another move, remember the Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District? Now, it’s branded as simply “Ag + Open Space,” which I have to admit is pretty catchy on paper, but am I supposed to say the word “plus” when talking about it? Very confusing.

I’m sure that these name changes were implemented as part of some strategic plan for transparent community engagement blah blah blah, and required lots of studies, logo maturations, brand consultants, meetings, hand-wringing, etc. Money well spent, I’m sure.

We can be hip and modern, too. What looks better, Kenwood+Press, Kenwood Press+, or +Kenwood Press?

– Alec

Editor & Publisher

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