Bouquets and Brickbats: Heartfelt thanks to work crews

We’re pulling on waders and delivering water-proof bouquets to emergency crews around the county that responded to downed trees, power outages, flooded intersections and other storm-related troubles this week. Much as we need the rain, it can’t be easy to work in such miserable conditions.

To Caltrans, CHP, county and city public works departments, road and tree crews, fire and police departments, PG&E and all the other workers who braved the elements so the rest of us could stay safe and dry, a huge, warm thank you.

Outfitting school a worthy cause

We’re reserving apple-red bouquets and spots on the honor roll for all who contribute to the George Flamson Middle School fund to purchase furniture for the rebuilt campus.

The old school building had to be torn down on account of damage from the San Simeon Earthquake. FEMA provided $15.2 million for a new building, but the school needs $175,000 to purchase desks, chairs and other furniture.

We know there are many worthy causes in these challenging times, but if you have even a few dollars to spare, this is a good investment in our children’s futures. Every school child deserves the basics, and a desk and a chair are about as basic as it gets.

To find out more about the fundraising campaign, log on to www.pasoschools.org and click on George Flamson Middle School.

Disappointed in surfers’ behavior

Here’s a wipeout if ever there was one: Two surfers get into a bloody fracas that lands one in criminal court and the other in the ER.

In case you missed the story, Kevin Lee Majors, 36, allegedly accused Kenneth Nakazawa, 24, of encroaching on his wave at Montana de Oro last summer. Majors may or may not have thrown a punch, whereupon Nakazawa responded — either accidentally or on purpose — by jamming his surfboard into Majors’ nose, opening a gash that required 30 stitches to close.

Nakazawa was charged with felony assault and battery, but due to conflicting stories — including testimony that the younger man acted in self-defense — the judge dismissed the case at a preliminary hearing this week.

We’ll obviously never know exactly what happened out in the water, but the episode makes us wonder how the two will behave when confronted with a real crisis, like being cut off in traffic or getting a sausage pizza when they ordered pepperoni.

The court may not be able to enact punishment, but we order the pair beached and brickbatted until they’ve passed a conflict-resolution course.

Hoping for Paso water rate resolution

We toss the Paso Robles City Council a good-luck bouquet as it launches yet another effort to raise water rates to pay for the Nacimiento water project.

The opposition, led by John Borst, has sunk every other attempt, putting the city in the position of having to dip into reserves to pay its share of the Nacimiento pipeline. Let’s hope the fifth time is a charm and a compromise can be reached that both sides can live with.