Steve Robles, Union writer, taken by COVID-19

Mad River Union

ARCATA – Steve Robles, writer and reporter for the Mad River Union and Arcata Union, has passed away after a weeks-long battle with COVID-19 in a Los Angeles-area hospital.

Robles wrote for a variety of publications in the San Francisco Bay area including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, BBH Media and various online news sites. 

He also worked as a freelance proofreader and worked for a number of marketing companies.

On his Linkedin page, Robles described himself as a “cannabis advocacy journalist.”

At the Mad River Union through last November, Robles wrote general news and profiled businesses in Arcata’s Cannabis Innovation Zone. At the end of the year he moved to Los Angeles.

He studied journalism at Los Angeles Harbor College in Wilmington and studied marketing at San Francisco State University.

Known to friends as SteveO, one of Robles’ passions was music. 

He was part of a San Francisco DJ crew that called itself “The Ambient Mafia.”

He was an accomplished guitarist, always up for jamming, and had an ear for unorthodox musical styles. Along with superb writing skills, Robles was gifted with a piercing and sardonic sense of humor. 

His mischievous quips and consummate facility with paste-up always enlivened production sessions on deadline at the former Arcata Union newspaper. 

Recalled friend Jackie Backman, “He was one of the editorial department ‘original gangsters’ and one of the funniest, chillest dudes I’ve ever met...

“He also knew that if anyone so much as hummed ‘The Final Countdown’ in my presence it would get stuck in my head for days. And so, in true SteveO fashion, he did it often...

“He would always end by saying “you’re doing great, Jr,” and I always appreciated hearing that from such a talented person.

“I’ll miss you, Steve. May you rest easy and rock hard in the heavens.”



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