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The Best and the Worst of the Week


Employees of Cleco,
a Pineville-based electric company, have collected some 200 electric fans to be distributed to needy residents on the Northshore. The company's employees participated in a monthlong drive to collect fans for those in need throughout the state, and to date they have collected 1,200 through donations, fundraisers and other activities. On the Northshore, fans will be distributed through the Covington Food Bank and All Saints Ministries.

Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter
spearheaded a move to have the U.S. Senate pass a Gulf Coast drilling bill that would give Louisiana a much greater portion of royalties from oil and gas production off the state's coast. The bill would direct the revenue toward coastal restoration projects. The Senate bill would generate an estimated $200 million for the state over the next decade and even more after that. The House passed its own drilling bill with higher estimated royalties for Louisiana, and now congressional negotiators must iron out differences between the two.

Kimberly Williamson Butler,
former New Orleans Criminal District Court Clerk and a failed candidate for mayor, rejected a global environmental company's bid of $4.9 million to clean up the evidence room of the city criminal court in favor of an $8 million bid from Biodefense America, a sketchy and unknown Florida firm. Butler paid that business $200,000 before it abandoned the job after FEMA refused to pay for the work. The state attorney general's office is investigating the matter.

Paul Lambert,
a Miami-based planning consultant hired by the City Council to help the 49 flooded neighborhoods recover, publicly lambasted the new Unified New Orleans Plan as being too slow and urged neighborhood groups instead to seek state and federal funding piecemeal using plans his team developed. His statements, which angered council members and the Louisiana Recovery Authority, were divisive and misinformed. What we need is a comprehensive plan that includes all neighborhoods, infrastructure and other components.

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