News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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Rev. Vien Nguyen, Kim Dilosa and Beverly Wright
will be awarded $120,000 each by the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program at its annual meeting next month. Rev. Nguyen is pastor at Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church in eastern New Orleans and a leading opponent of a landfill in that area. Dilosa is founder and executive director of YOUTHanasia Foundation, a teen enrichment and development organization. Wright is executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone
recently received Attorney General's awards in ceremonies held in Washington, D.C., in recognition of their service during and after Hurricane Katrina. Letten received the Attorney General's Medallion for his leadership in prosecuting federal cases immediately after the hurricane, and Perricone was cited for his efforts in establishing the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Prevention Task Force.

George and Wendy Rodrigue,
the Blue Dog artist and his author wife, will be honored by the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross as Humanitarians of the Year for their contributions to that organization's local and national efforts after 9/11 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. George Rodrigue's painting "We Will Rise Again" raised nearly $500,000 for the Red Cross after last year's storms. The Rodrigues will be honored at the Red Cross' annual ball on Oct. 14 at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Greg Meffert,
former chief technology officer for the City of New Orleans, entertained his friends Ñ including Mayor Ray Nagin Ñ aboard a 53-foot yacht owned (according to Coast Guard records) by his former business associates who landed lucrative consulting contracts at City Hall after Meffert joined the Nagin Administration. Meffert told The Times-Picayune that he owns the vessel, but he produced no evidence to refute Coast Guard records showing otherwise.

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