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Bouquets & Brickbats

They get what they deserve

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City Councilman Arnie Fielkow

led his fourth annual youth trip to Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., on May 31,taking 240 New Orleans kids to meet civil rights leaders, visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and take in a minor league baseball game. This year's trip included a meeting with the Revs. Skip Alexander and Bill Greason, the latter of whom played in baseball's Negro League. Also on the trip was another Negro League ball player, Herbert Simpson.



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VAYLA-NO,

the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans, celebrated its fifth anniversary on May 21 at its inaugural Heritage and Hope Gala, held at the W Hotel. VAYLA is a youth-led, community-based group dedicated to social change and empowerment among Vietnamese-American youth. The group advocates for environmental, educational and social justice in eastern New Orleans and elsewhere.



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The Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI)

kicked off its third annual "Power Through Reading" book drive, which collects books for pre-K through middle-school children in New Orleans, on June 1. The program is led by YRI president James Bernazzani and Irvin Mayfield, a musician and chairman of the board of the New Orleans Public Library. Last year Power Through Reading collected 10,400 books, which were distributed by area nonprofit groups.



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Louisiana

was ranked the third most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians in a new report released recently by Transportation for America (TFA). The groups reported that 1,040 Louisianans were killed while out walking in the decade between 2000-2009. When it came to metro areas with populations of more than a million, New Orleans came in 15th of 52 major areas. For an interactive map of the TFA's research and conclusions, go to www.t4america.org.

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