Salmon for Wine?
by Tim Stelloh, December 1, 2009
It's one of the career changes some of Mendo's unemployed fishermen are pondering these days, according to a story about California's non-existent commercial salmon industry--and what local fishermen are up to--in the LA Times today.
Tourism, of course, is another of the dreaded professional switcheroos. So, apparently, is renewable energy.
Mendocino County officials are "talking up the isolated county as a tourist's dream, encouraging visitors to stay longer and attend the World's Largest Salmon Barbecue, Mendocino's Crab and Wine Days, and the Mendocino Film Festival.
They're looking into producing renewable energy and trying to extend broadband throughout the county so small businesses can move to sparsely populated regions. And they're encouraging organic cheese, herb and beef companies to expand operations there.
"Looking at the county in totality, we need to talk about diversification," said Kendall Smith, a Mendocino County supervisor.
And what about the engine driving Mendocino County's economy at the moment? Not a mention. How many fishermen have traded their boats for grows? Who knows. But the story doesn't even pose the question. Odd, considering the recent spate of national stories about Northern California's weed bonanza and because dope growing provides what tourism can't: A "hard-core income" for workers, as one fisherman put it.
Even more odd, seeing as how dope-growing is, as the saying goes, a profession in the "reality-based community," and not just wishful thinking during a budgetary fallout.