News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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The Saints and Louisiana
state officials last week took an interim step towards keeping the team in New Orleans for the long haul. Negotiators for the Saints and the state agreed to eliminate early termination clauses in the current contract, which effectively keeps the division champs playing in the Superdome for at least four more seasons. Under 2001 changes to the agreement, either side could have opted out of the contract in the next year. Instead, both sides have more time to hammer out a long-term deal.

Joel Friedman,
a professor of procedural law at Tulane Law School, has been awarded the Judge John Brown Award by the Federal Judicial Center, where he has helped train federal judges for the past two decades. The center serves as the primary education and research agency for federal courts and annually conducts orientation and continuing education programs for federal judges and court appointees. The award is doubly special for Friedman because he taught at Tulane with Judge Brown in the 1980s.

College students
from across the country once again took a break from spring break this year and donated their time and energies toward south Louisiana's recovery efforts. Last week, more than 100 students worked with Common Ground, a Ninth Ward-based nonprofit group that shifted its focus temporarily to Jefferson Parish, to help restore a marsh in Lafreniere Park. The students and other Common Ground volunteers cleared Marsh Island of Chinese tallow trees, which smother native species that support wildlife on the island.

Dr. Ralph Lupin,
chairman of the Vieux Carre Commission, recently used extremely inappropriate and offensive language to express his displeasure with city Sanitation Director Veronica White. The city wants French Quarter residents to use specially designed garbage cans, a move that many Quarter residents oppose. "I don't understand Ms. White's obstinance other than that she's a bitch," Lupin said. The comment drew sharp rebukes from civil rights groups and a demand for Lupin's resignation from Mayor Ray Nagin.

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