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We devoted editorial space at mid-week to lauding the work of Lompoc brothers Boss and Beau Brockett, 6 and 5 respectively, and for good reason.

Like most boys their age, the Brockett brothers like to go outside and play. Unfortunately, one of their favorite play areas involved the playground equipment at Pioneer Park.

Not long ago the boys dashed over to the park — only to find their favorite swings were missing. The gear had been damaged, which forced its removal by city workers.

Here’s where the boys’ “work” comes in. Boss and Beau started raising money through various projects to give the city, hopefully encouraging officials to replace the missing swings.

And that happened earlier this week. Mission accomplished on the swings project, but we have a feeling this is not the last we’ll hear of the Brockett duo, who are about as dynamic and thoughtful as you get at such tender ages.

Every little bit helps. The Lompoc Parks Division operates on a shoe-string budget, not unlike so many municipal departments these days. The sort of civic pride and responsibility demonstrated by Boss and Beau are truly deserving of our first bouquet of roses on this Saturday morning.

Thanks to the Brockett boys for showing the rest of us how it’s done, how communities can come together to help resolve these kinds of issues. Don’t think big government or Big Brother — it’s just us, doing what needs to be done.


Roses all around to Santa Maria officials for developing a new communications system that will be of great benefit to government agencies, local businesses, schools and individual citizens on the Central Coast.

It’s called the Central Regional Interoperability Communications System, which is surely a mouthful, but whose purpose is fairly straight-forward — to provide all city departments from public works and transit, to fire and police with a seamless means of communication. Information will be simulcast across various towers, creating a web of total coverage throughout the city.

Such interoperability — that’s some fancy bureaucratic-speak for you — will be especially crucial during emergency situations that could affect the entire city, and surrounding communities.

The new system replaces an aging analog communication network, which spanned several bands and multiple frequencies. The new gear provides users with self-contained, two-way communications in a standardized frequency range. And it can work for the entire Central Coast.



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Today’s basket of bitter raspberries goes to the fool or fools who fired a BB or pellet gun at a Lompoc school bus on Thursday afternoon, cracking a window but not hurting anyone.

Actually, you have to be a special kind of fool to pull such a stunt, because a lot could have gone wrong.

The incident was especially alarming in the wake of the Valentine’s Day massacre at the South Florida high school that killed 17 students and faculty.

There were in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 Cabrillo High students on the bus, so it’s not difficult to imagine that this incident could have been much, much worse.

Our nation is on edge because of the South Florida shooting, which adds to the mounting total of mass shootings. Unless something dramatic in the way of changing laws occurs — which seems unlikely, given the congressional standoff on gun control in general — we may be on track for a record number of mass shootings before the end of 2018.

Sadly, our schools are no longer the safe havens we once thought them to be. Who would have thought schoolyards would be killing fields?