News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu
went to bat for citizen-soldiers last week when she stalled a vote on legislation granting $136 billion in corporate tax breaks. Senate leaders finally agreed to pass a version of her proposed Guard and Reserve Pay Protection Act. The Louisiana Democrat¹s bill would give $2.5 billion in tax credits to small businesses who continue paying the salaries of National Guard and reserve workers serving overseas.

Greg Meffert,
Chief Technology Officer for the City of New Orleans, and his department learned recently that New Orleans¹ official Web site was named one of the nation¹s best municipal Internet portals. The Center for Digital Government placed www.cityofno.com fourth (in a tie with Chicago¹s Web site) in its ³Best of the Web² list, which ranks sites in categories such as innovation, efficiency and ease of use.

Louisiana
is the most wasteful state in the U.S. in spending Medicare money, says a recent study by the Health Affairs medical journal. That excessive spending doesn¹t translate to good health care for residents, though -- Louisiana also ranked dead last in its quality of basic health care. The study showed that, conversely, states that spend Medicare money the most efficiently also boasted the best health care.

Paul Connick,
Jefferson Parish district attorney, is allowing his prosecutors to fight to uphold Travis Hayes¹ life sentence even after Hayes¹ co-defendant (the alleged trigger man) was exonerated of the murder the men were accused of committing. Ryan Williams was freed after DNA evidence implicated another man in the death of a Bridge City grocer. Prosecutors contend that Hayes, Ryan¹s supposed accomplice, has no legal grounds to argue his innocence -- a technicality that should not stand in the way of justice.

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