Does Sartell have case
Sartell has a bad case of Pinecone-itis. Or is it Pine Cone-itis? Or PineCone-itis?
A visitor to Sartell would think its residents live in the middle of a dense pine forest. Newcomers are probably surprised when they see other trees besides pines in the city: oaks, maples, aspens, birches, cottonwoods.
Why the dearth of imagination? Why the rage for Pinecone this and Pine Cone that?
The following are just some of the places in Sartell named for the mighty pinecone/pine cone: Pinecone Apartments, Pinecone Family Counseling, PineCone Vision Center, Pine Cone Pet Hospital, Pine Cone Marketplace, Pinecone Regional Park, Pinecone Central Park. Why oh why did someone think it appropriate to name Sartell’s newest park Pinecone Central when there is already a Pinecone (Regional Park) in the city? What’s the point of such needless duplication? Why confuse out-of-towners, must less residents? If something is new, shouldn’t it have a new and unique name? This is the equivalent of a couple having a dozen children and naming them all variations of Pinecone/Pine Cone/PineCone. It’s as bad as Alexandria where everything is Viking this and Viking that – just because the Vikings are said to have stopped to fish in that area (Kensington) about 800 years ago, leaving behind them a carved rock.
If Sartell were oak-crazy or aspen-obsessed, it would be a lot better. At least oak is, indisputably, one word. So is aspen. Everybody can agree on that.
But is it Pinecone or Pine Cone?
At one time, about 10 years ago, there were two name signs on the busiest road in Sartell. One said Pinecone; the other said Pine Cone. A reporter for the Sartell Newsleader was determined to find out which it should be. He called the mayor, who didn’t know. He called the city administrator, the city clerk, the public-works director, the city engineer, council members. They didn’t know or they weren’t sure. He consulted public documents and various city maps. They all differed. Some indicated Pinecone, others Pine Cone.
Even dictionaries differ. Some indicate pinecone, others pine cone.
Fortunately, there seems to be a long-overdue consensus forming that Pinecone, at least as far as references to public places in Sartell, should be one word: Pinecone Road, Pinecone Regional Park, Pinecone Central Park and so forth. For the sake of consistency, that is how the Sartell Newsleader will spell that name when referring to the public places. As for businesses, the newspaper will adhere to whichever way business owners choose to spell Pinecone, Pine Cone, PineCone. That, too, however, can be problematic because the name for this or that particular business sometimes varies in phone books, online and in other references. Best to call the owners and double-check with them.
Thank goodness, there is some good news in this welter of piney confusion. There is a plan to rename Pinecone Central Park. How about renaming it, simply, Sartell Central Park? That would do just fine.
Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, Sartell residents and newcomers to the city will discover there are other trees in the woods.