Bouquets and Brickbats: The loss of Rob Bryn is keenly felt

Bouquets of condolence go out to the family and friends of Rob Bryn, as well as to the entire Sheriff’s Office where Rob served as public information officer for the past five years. Prior to that, Rob was spokesman for the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Relationships between media and law enforcement can be tense, but no matter the circumstances, Rob was unfailingly funny, gracious and had a knack for putting people at ease. His kindness, his quick wit and his willingness to go out of his way to track down a seemingly obscure nugget of information — before deadline — won’t be forgotten. We’ll miss you, Rob.

Sewer opponents find new avenue

Call it wishful thinking, but we were under the impression that the battle over the Los Osos sewer was finally finished. We forgot, though, that sewer opponents are nothing if not wily. They found an obscure way to challenge the Coastal Commission’s approval of the project on the grounds that misinformation was intentionally supplied to the commission. Now there will be yet another hearing to rehash the same wornout arguments, maybe with a few overwrought conspiracy theories involving Paavo Ogren thrown in for good measure. Let’s just hope it doesn’t needlessly delay the project.

We might look back on all this craziness with nostalgia someday, but for now, we’re going to hum a few bars of “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away” while delivering yet another load of pugnacious brickbats to the anti-sewerites.

Fee increase passed; turnout low

We considered tossing a congratulatory, post-election bouquet to Cal Poly for persuading students to approve a $780-per-year fee increase. Then we took another look at the numbers and realized that the majority of students didn’t even bother to vote. Turnout — if it can be called that — in the online, advisory election was an uninspired 38.9 percent.

Of those students who did take the time to vote, 57 percent supported the fee. But they comprise only about 22 percent of the entire student body. That’s hardly a mandate.

We don’t blame administration, which notified both students and parents of the advisory vote. Also, voting couldn’t have been easier; all students had to do was log on to their computers.

So, sorry, no bouquets. Instead, members of Cal Poly’s silent majority — those students who couldn’t take a minute or two out of their day to vote “yeah” or “nay” — get “A’s” for apathy.

A bereaved husband’s powerful plea

A San Luis Obispo man is turning loss to action. Johnny May’s wife, Katie Noel (Parsons) May, 27, died last year while waiting for a donor who could provide her with two lungs. On Monday, Johnny May told his late wife’s story to juniors and seniors in an anatomy and physiology class at Paso Robles High School to emphasize the importance of registering as an organ donor. In his emotional presentation, May recalled his late wife’s playful personality and the strength with which she faced her situation. May used his experience to encourage the Paso Robles students to become organ donors themselves because they might save someone’s life.

The students have been inspired to collect signups from their peers during lunch breaks this week.

We donate bouquets of heroism to May for his efforts to encourage others to sign up as donors, to the students at Paso Robles High School for spreading the word among their fellow students and to all those who register as organ donors.