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Stories from Pete Golis

Until last week, the Tubbs fire in Sonoma County was the most disastrous fire in California history. Now, barely a year later, the Camp fire has proven to be even more destructive.
Americans are about to vote in an election in which fear and anger have become the principal forms of motivation.
By most accounts, Jerry Brown has provided a steady hand during his second time around as governor. A state reeling from shortsighted spending decisions and the revenue losses associated with the 2008 recession found new prosperity during the past eight years.
A year ago, few would have worried about the possibility of a catastrophic wildfire sweeping through a suburban neighborhood, but our sensibilities are more tender now. We’ve smelled the smoke and seen the devastation. It was a year ago Tuesday that fires killed 24 people and incinerated 5,200 homes in Sonoma County.
More than any other factor, California’s system of higher education has been the engine that powered the state’s emergence as the fifth largest economy on earth.
Eleven months later, the impacts of the October fires still hurt the heart.
People love the good life in Wine Country. They just don’t want to be bothered by housing for the people who make it all possible.
We would like to think this discarded cigarette represents only a single moment of thoughtlessness, but during a walk through a wooded neighborhood in Montecito Heights, we counted more than a dozen cigarette butts left along the side of the road.
We are a family like any other family, marked by its own idiosyncrasies and its own narratives. Some days bring great joy. Some days, not so much.
Having spent a career questioning people in government, I would be the last person to say we should blindly embrace the conduct of the public’s business. Elected officials mess up. Elected officials need to be held accountable. But this is not the same as beginning every day with the assumption that all elected officials are dumb and corrupt.