Bouquets and Brickbats: Praise for these good Samaritans

We’re rush-delivering gorgeous good Samaritan bouquets to the witnesses who came to the rescue of an Arroyo Grande girl allegedly attacked under the Fair Oaks bridge.

The suspect is accused of approaching the 17-year-old girl near Arroyo Grande Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, then dragging her into a nearby creek bed and beating her. Her screams alerted some nearby witnesses who ran to intervene. After letting the girl go, the suspect ran away, but he was chased down by the witnesses and later arrested by police.

The group credited with helping the girl includes a few teenagers and a couple of men — James Brown and Steve Missamore — who all happened to be in the area.

It’s inspiring to see bystanders do the right thing, especially after hearing about other appalling incidents where people stood by and did nothing — such as the infamous case in Seattle, where security guards watched as teens beat and kicked a 15-year-old girl.

It does our hearts good to know that local residents are willing to stand up for someone in danger.

Waterfield on the home stretch

We don’t know who will ultimately win the Republican nomination for Assembly. But in the unofficial race to be declared the rightest of the right-wing candidates in the 33rd Assembly District, Etta Waterfield moved out in front this week with an endorsement from Sheriff Joe “let them wear pink underwear” Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.

We’re not quite sure why an Arizona sheriff would be endorsing a candidate for California Assembly, but hey, we’re not going to trample on Sheriff Joe’s First Amendment rights, or he might come slap some pink handcuffs on us.

But back to Etta. We contemplated sending her a bright pink brickbat for bragging about what’s got to be the most bizarre endorsement of the local political season, but for all we know, conservative candidates may consider a brickbat from the “mainstream media” a badge of honor. Instead, we’ll toss Etta a prickly pear bouquet as she enters the home stretch of a tight race.

Kudos for voluntary pay cuts

As public agencies continue to struggle in this economy, several elected officials are voluntarily cutting their own pay. But taking a 50 percent cut, plus a reduction in benefits, goes above and beyond what we’ve seen elsewhere, and for that, Paso Robles school board members earn themselves extra-credit bouquets.

Bus depot renovation is welcome

Quaglino Properties, the new owners of the old Greyhound bus depot on South Street, deserve a beautification bouquet for undertaking an extensive remodel of the property. We don’t want to sound harsh, but this building is one big eyesore, and we can’t wait to see the new, improved version.