Salmon for Wine?

by Tim Stelloh, December 1, 2009

It's one of the trade offs Mendo's
unemployed fishermen are pondering these days,
according to a story about the still-
dead commercial salmon fishery in the LA Times today.
There's also tourism. And, apparently,
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 real engine driving
Mendocino County's economy at the moment? Not a mention.
How many fishermen have traded their
boats for grows? Who knows, but this 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 bloodletting.

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.

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