Bouquets and Brickbats: Whatever the reason, remember to vote

Early-bird boutonnieres are on their way to the 40,000 or so SLO County residents who had already voted by mail as of Thursday. But not to worry; we have thousands more red, white and blue flowers in the cooler — one for each registered voter who casts a ballot, either by mail or at a voting booth on Election Day. While we hope we don’t have to dip into our bag of brickbats, we have plenty of those as well, prominently plastered with I-didn’t-bother-to-vote-today-stickers.

Remember, if you don’t vote, it will be tough to take you seriously if and when you want to whine about decisions made at City Hall, or the County Government Center, or the state Capitol, or at any other hallowed hall of government, for that matter.

So whether you’re keeping hope alive or you want the bums thrown out — just remember to vote.

A well-earned retirement

We offer a hook-and-ladder bouquet to longtime SLO Fire Inspector John Madden, who retired this week. He compiled an amazing record over the course of his 20-year career with the city. One especially impressive stat: His work led to 22 arson arrests, all of which resulted in convictions.

Fortunately, Madden won’t be leaving us altogether; he’ll be available to help local jurisdictions with arson and fire investigations. We join in wishing John a long and happy retirement — along with our thanks for a job superbly done.

Lifeguard earns outstanding mark Josh Burke made a big splash with the California Surf Lifesaving Association; it named the 14-year-old Templeton High student the state’s outstanding junior lifeguard. Josh completed the Pismo Beach Junior Lifeguard program last summer, and plans to stay in the program as long as he can. We offer Josh — and the Pismo Beach junior lifeguard instructors — our congratulations, along with a raft of beachgrass bouquets.

Giants fans go the extra mile

Here on the Central Coast, plenty of locals bleed Dodger Blue, but we’ve got to hand it to the San Francisco Giants and their loyal band of fanatics, er, fans. You won’t catch us wearing those ridiculous panda hats or shoe-polish-black beards, but if the Giants win it all, we’ll supply the sourdough bread bowls and the orange-and-black bouquets.