BOUQUET to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for banning the dietary supplement ephedra, which has been linked to 155 deaths and dozens of heart attacks and strokes. But we can’t help but wonder what took the FDA so long; reports of health problems linked to ephedra began surfacing eight years ago.

BRICK to Gilbert Town Councilman Dave Petersen for wanting to reopen the town’s water-fluoridation issue, which should have been settled once and for all when voters approved it in 2000 following a rancorous campaign. Thankfully, Petersen’s colleagues don’t appear inclined to believe the bogus scare stories that have been circulating for decades about fluoride, which has been proven safe and effective in preventing tooth decay, especially in children.

BRICK to Scottsdale city leaders for not recognizing that a fraction of a tax is still a tax. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission recommended voters approve a four-tenths-cent increase in city sales taxes to raise up to $500 million to purchase land for the growing preserve. But when the influential McDowell Sonoran Land Trust recently stated it could live with a quarter-cent tax increase instead, city leaders started talking down the higher amount. Instead of either, city leaders should be encouraging private donations to supplant the sizeable public contributions, donations particularly from preserve neighbors whose views and property values stand the most to gain from a larger, protected preserve.

BOUQUET to the Arizona Department of Public Safety for gearing up to charge drunken drivers at least a portion of the cost to investigate the crashes they cause. Up to $1,000 could be added to existing fines and surcharges these drivers already have to pay.

And another BOUQUET to the Arizona Legislature for increasing the maximum amounts of those fines and surcharges. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot any of the bills to process the harm these offenders should be responsible for.

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