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Steve Hurley: Fanning the flames

I was in the San Francisco Bay Area in the tumultuous time of the Black Panthers, Patty Hearst, the Jim Jones cult and anti-war riots, etc. I skedaddled up to Humboldt County at the same time as many others of my generation. In Humboldt County, good paying logging and fishing jobs dwindled while agriculture and tourism stayed stable. The economy shifted just as has happened here.

It got exciting at times in Humboldt County, as environmentalists and extraction industry executives tore at each other, especially during election years. Eventually, extremism gave way to something new and better in their shared community.

I never thought I would live in another place as beautiful as Humboldt. Nevada County is gorgeous though and is not nearly as geographically isolated. Our area is tied into a more robust economy down the hill that is also easier to get to. Let us count our lucky stars that we have what we have up here — as long as fire does not end the dream.



The other fire season to worry about is the election year. As always, both major political parties wish to inflame passions. This is because passionate voters go to the polls while the rest might just talk. Knowing this, let’s not allow flame-throwing political agitators to “soil the nest” with divisive rhetoric meant to ignite anger. We already have enough of that in our community right now.

The reality of electioneering season is this: “knowledge makes you powerful, but emotion makes you buy.” Passionate citizens vote, the rest sometimes do not. An effective political agitator knows this but will sacrifice the peace to, “turn out the base.”



Don’t let them wound our community. Be wary of all hyper-partisan rhetoric. Agitators are out to raise the temperature, make you boil over and they don’t care if we burn in the process.

Steve Hurley

Grass Valley


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