News » Bouquets & Brickbats: local heroes and zeroes

The Best and the Worst of the Week

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FedEx Kinko's
last week donated $300,000 to the Scott S. Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University. The donation coincided with the opening of a FedEx Kinko's office and print center on the Tulane campus. The institute seeks to help local public schools address their unmet needs. Tulane President Scott Cowen chaired the Bring New Orleans Back Commission and was the architect of the commission's plan for rebuilding and reforming public schools after Katrina.

Jonathan Bender,
former NBA Indiana Pacers star forward, recently adopted the Joseph Maggiore Elementary School in Jefferson Parish through his namesake foundation, which he established after witnessing first-hand the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Bender, a native of Picayune, Miss., will help the school rebuild its library and playground, and establish an after-school program. The foundation, which focuses on addressing the needs of children in this area, will also adopt a school in Orleans Parish.

The International School of Louisiana,
a K-8 French and Spanish immersion school, reports that its enrollment has increased dramatically since it was named one of the best charter schools in the nation by the Center for Education Reform, a national charter advocacy group. The school's charter calls for grades K-12, and school officials are seeking a permanent home to satisfy the growing demand. The International School was one of only 53 schools in the country — and the only one in Louisiana — to receive the honor.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter
issued a patently false press release the day after Hustler publisher Larry Flynt announced that former prostitute Wendy Yow had passed a lie detector test regarding Vitter's pay-for-sex relationship with her. The Vitter release claimed that he convinced federal Recovery Coordinator Donald Powell to reduce the state's share of a hurricane protection system by $1 billion. Powell said a day later that he made "no new commitment" to Vitter. Truth is, the feds reduced Louisiana's burden months earlier.

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