News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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Little Feat,
one of America's legendary rock bands, has raised more than $20,000 in donations for Habitat for Humanity's Musician's Village in the Upper Ninth Ward. The donations came after a yearlong contest and fundraiser, which was the brainchild of New Orleans native Rocky Tornabene, the group's drum and percussion tech. Little Feat collected donations at every tour date during the group's 2006 "Calling the Children Home" tour. Tornabene presented a check to Musicians' Village last week.

The Superdome Commission,
was honored last week by The Bond Buyer, a daily public finance newspaper, for the bond sale that provided funds for post-Katrina repairs to the stadium. The trade publication recognized the commission and its team of financial and legal advisers for putting together the "Southeastern Region Deal of the Year" for large municipal issues. The March 2006 sale totaled $294 million. It restructured the commission's debt and provided more than $40 million toward the dome's $185 million repair bill.

Galatoire's Restaurant
raised more than $54,000 for charities in a little over an hour last week by auctioning off coveted tables for the fabled eatery's first-floor dining room for the Friday before Christmas (Dec. 22). That Friday is typically one of the restaurant's busiest days of the year. The restaurant's new tradition raised funds for two New Orleans charities, Covenant House of New Orleans and Children's Hospital. The restaurant's second-floor dining rooms will be open for reservations as usual on Dec. 22.

FEMA
has lost approximately $1 billion to fraud and abuse in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to a report released last week by the Government Accountability Office. FEMA has been roundly criticized since the storms for its slow reaction to citizens' and small businesses' pleas for help and for its arcane paperwork requirements. FEMA has acknowledged $290 million in overpayments but has recouped only $7 million. Meanwhile, the "recovery" drags on in coastal states.

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