By Marsha Smith
The Kern Valley Sun is not going out of business, nor are we closing our doors, contrary to the rumors being spread around the valley. It is true that Ron and I plan to leave the Kern River Valley in the future to begin the next adventure of our lives, however, only after any holdings we have here have been sold and that includes the Kern Valley Sun.
We have a financial and integral personal investment in our community paper and we are committed to finding the right people that will continue that community spirit. The Kern Valley Sun has served this community for over 60 years, as an employer and taxpayer, and I am certain that will be the case in the future.
The Kern Valley Sun has not only published the local newspaper but many other special publications. One of the most important and integral to our community is the valley’s Kern River Valley Visitor’s Guide, which the Sun has published for over 30 years and has always been open to community suggestions for improvement, addition, or exclusion. It is also directly shipped to approximately 35 locations within 300 miles of our valley, along with thousands distributed locally at the Sun’s expense.
Recently, the Kernville Chamber made the decision to publish a new visitor’s guide in direct competition with the Sun, a longtime member of their nonprofit organization. Once the Sun became aware the chamber opted to change the name from visitors’ guide to the business directory. However, as the saying goes, “If it quacks like a duck.” I, along with other community members requested to sit down and discuss the issue, however, the request fell on deaf ears.
However, this past Monday I had a visit from Kernville Chamber President Orion Sanders, who assured me that the chamber was sorry for originally calling their new product a visitor’s guide and assured me their business directory was to promote their membership and would be a members-only directory with no reference to tourism, recreation, and events as is published in the Sun’s visitor’s guide. I take Sanders at his word. It certainly serves the community better to work with those who have a proven product, and are in business to do so.
Ron and I, having both been chamber presidents and board members for many years believe it is the mission of all chambers of commerce to promote local business, not compete with them for their livelihood.