Bouquets and Brickbats: Big brickbat for wedding crusher

This being February and all — with Valentine’s Day just around the corner — we should be tossing congratulatory bouquets and handfuls of bird seed to all the young, soon-to-be-married couples.

Instead, we find ourselves offering hankies and bouquets of sympathy to the brides and grooms who had the (wedding) carpet pulled out from under them with the sudden closure of David Weyrich’s Villa Toscana. Overnight, their dream, fairytale weddings have turned into nightmares — compounded by uncertainty over whether they’ll ever see their hefty deposits again.

In his defense, we recognize that Weyrich is by no means the only business owner to see his investments go belly up in this horrible economy.

But here’s what bothers us: Weyrich’s financial troubles have been looming for a long time. Yet not only did he continue to collect deposits for future weddings that he’s now unable to deliver, he also apparently failed to ensure that deposits would be returned should the property shut down. Now, he’s leaving young couples in the dark as to whether they might see their money again.

Oh, we know, he claims the bank’s got the money. The bank says it doesn’t. Sounds like a variation of the old check-is-in-the-mail story to us.

If it’s any consolation to those bilked brides and grooms — which it probably isn’t — we’ll make sure Weyrich gets a bridezilla-size brickbat for Valentine’s Day.

SLO mom exhibits her drive

We award SLO mom Terri Jacques a most-inspirational-player bouquet for organizing a drive to collect sports equipment for aspiring young athletes in American Samoa.

Terri saw a segment on “60 Minutes” that described how ill equipped football players are there; many use equipment that wouldn’t meet standards in the United States.

Terri didn’t just sit on the sidelines; she decided to do something about it. On Feb. 20 and 21, she’ll have a container available at SLO High for donations of football helmets and pads, as well as volleyball and baseball equipment. Terri also has agreed to accept donations from other communities around the nation, where people were similarly moved by the plight of the athletes in American Samoa.

If you have sporting equipment in your garage or attic that the kids have outgrown — or no longer use — here’s an opportunity to clear out that clutter, while doing a good deed for young athletes overseas. Wilcox’s parting ‘gift’ is galling

The county finally may have seen the last of Gail Wilcox — but not before agreeing to hand her a parting gift of $180,000.

To recap: Wilcox was fired from her job as assistant county administrator for having an affair with a representative of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association — a huge conflict of interest, given that she represented management. Yet now she’s managing to walk away with a $180,000 settlement from the county, in exchange for agreeing to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit against ex-County Administrator David Edge.

Yes, it was in the best interests of the county to settle the case and avoid an expensive trial, etc., etc., etc. We also recognize that Edge acted inappropriately, to put it mildly.

But it’s galling, nonetheless, to see taxpayer money spent this way. Here’s how we’d like to settle the case: with 180,000 nonnegotiable brickbats. Kudos to Nipomo High seniors

To kick off their college careers, we pass well-played bouquets to the three Nipomo High seniors who recently signed National Letters of Intent to play football at the Division 1 Level. Not bad at all for a high school that’s still relatively new — it’s been fielding varsity teams for just seven years. Kevin Britt signed to play at Cal Poly; Akeem King at San Jose State; and Duane Hanna at Sacramento State. Congratulations to the players, their families and to the Titan football coaches.