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What's In A Name? A South Coast City Could Rebrand With A New Moniker

Port Hueneme could be known as Hueneme Beach.

A South Coast city could be changing its name.

What’s in a name? For city officials in Port Hueneme – quite a lot. Last month, the City Council voted to start the process to change the city’s name to Hueneme Beach.

It’s an effort to make the area more attractive and to separate the city from the commercial and naval Port Of Hueneme – says the city’s mayor, Steven Gama.

"For me it's about identifying all the complicated component parts of this part of Ventura County," Gama told KCLU. "I don't think there's anything wrong with the identity, but many people don't realize that in addition to the Port of Hueneme, there's a thriving beach."

Gama grew up here. He says critics who say it’s letting go of the city’s heritage are mistaken, because it was known as Hueneme Beach years before there was a port built

"I think it's more about connecting to our history, Hueneme Beach was here long before the Port of Hueneme," said Gama.

"I think it's important for the port to have their own identity and for the city to have its own identity. The port is a destination for ships. Hueneme Beach is a destination for wellness, and people and surfing and birdwatching and fishing...and for just enjoying the beach," he told KCLU.

City of Port Hueneme Mayor Steven Gama told KCLU that the City would benefit from a name change to Hueneme Beach

It’s not the first city in the region to administer such a change. In 1992, Grover City became Grover Beach. But by a mere 99 vote majority.

Residents in Port Hueneme using the beach, are split on whether a name change is a good idea.

"I don't think it's necessary, it's always busy here in the summer," one person told KCLU.

"Everybody refers to it as that anyway, if you're local," said another.

"I think it's a great idea," said another beach-user. "The beach is why we live here unless you work at the port. That can be the Port, and this is Hueneme Beach."

The name-change still has hurdles to jump, but is a question which is likely to be put to residents on a future ballot.

Caroline won an LA Press Club Award in 2021 for Use Of Sound. However, she started her broadcasting career in the UK, working on both radio and television for the BBC, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism. She moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and is both an American and British citizen. Caroline lives in Agoura Hills with her daughter, and joined the KCLU team in 2020.