News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

Bouquets & Brickbats

They get what they deserve

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Swett & Crawford,

a national wholesale insurance brokerage firm, provided funds for a new baseball diamond, dugout, bleachers, uniforms and play equipment for St. Roch Park. The donation is the second phase for Swett & Crawford in assisting the New Orleans playground. Earlier this year, 262 brokerage employees invested more than 2,000 volunteer hours in a single day: building fences, pouring concrete, moving dirt, assembling playground equipment and creating a collage of hand-decorated tiles in cement.



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The Rapid City Journal,

a South Dakota newspaper, published an article with the headline "Teens on church trip to New Orleans bring H1N1 back to South Dakota," linking the spread of swine flu to the recent Lutheran youth convention held here. The story extensively quoted Lon Kightlinger, South Dakota's state epidemiologist, and implied that the 18 new cases of H1N1 influenza reported in South Dakota could all be associated with the Lutheran convention. Later, in a Times-Picayune article, Kightlinger said there were only three new cases linked to the convention, calling the Journal's article "misleading."



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Devin Johnson and David Huguenel

embarked on a statewide tour last week "to offer a moderate voice and allow the citizens of Louisiana to posit ideas and solutions to lower the costs of health care," complete with a folksy road-trip blog. The Louisiana men are actually affiliated with the Campaign for Responsible Health Care Reform, a "multi-million dollar advertising, media and grassroots campaign" of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The campaign's Web site makes its position clear on the front page: "Say no to government-run health care." Grassroots? More like Astroturf.



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U.S. Sen. David Vitter

held a health care reform "town meeting" at Louisiana College in Pineville Aug. 8 to discuss the plan currently being debated in Congress. But Vitter's "town meeting" was not quite what its name suggested. All audience questions had been screened and selected before the event, making a mockery of the tradition of politicians facing their constituents. Vitter repeated the prescreened questions stunt at a forum in Elmwood last Monday. The senator should remember that he represents all his constituents, not just those who agree with him or who lob softballs.

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