A few weeks back in The Daily Star, a guest commentator wrote an article titled “Does Our Local Economy Have a Future?” He noted our 16 percent poverty rate, 8 percent unemployment, inability to lure outside manufacturing, maxed-out tourism, and the exodus of our young. He forgot to mention the slow, agonizing death of the dairy farmers in our area, but that has been going on for a generation, and all they have ever gotten is lip service.
He was making a lot of sense, which is unusual for a guest commentator in The Daily Star, so I skipped to the end to see who was writing this article, and as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise! Surprise! Adrian Kuzminski!”
If this isn’t like A-Rod complaining about illegal drugs in Major League Baseball, I’ll eat sushi! Hasn’t Adrian and his Sustainable Otsego been in the forefront of trying to stop every new business endeavor in Otsego County?
As I read on, I got to his solutions to our economic problems. Let’s grow grapes. Maybe hops, too. Make honey and syrup! As in the Finger Lakes region, we may prosper with “boutique farms, wineries, food tourism and related enterprises.”
He advocates “regional products for which France and other European countries are famous. Why not an Otsego cheese or mead or sausage or a local line of furniture or clothing?” Why not? Does Walmart and JCPenney ring a bell?
With regard to energy in our area, he states, “Where viable and efficient, solar (Maybe President Obama can arrange another loan?), hydro (Where?), wind (You mean Industrial Wind Turbines! I thought Sustainable Otsego was opposed to these.), and perhaps biofuels (There’s a winner).”
Of course, gas exploration, which may be the only industry that will bring prosperity to upstate New York, is out of the question. Not one for letting the facts get in the way, Mr. Kuzmininski states, “…natural gas doesn’t count as a resource for us. Its harmful environmental, economic, and social side effects, ignored by the industry and its supporters, cancel out any short term profits fracking might bring.”