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The Best and the Worst of the Week


Creative Time,
a New York City theater company, presented and paid for a production of Samuel Beckett's legendary absurdist play, Waiting for Godot, in the Lower Ninth Ward and later in front of an abandoned house in Gentilly, calling attention to the plight of New Orleans neighborhoods still waiting for federal aid. Renowned visual artist Paul Chan served as the project director for the New Orleans production, and New Orleans native Wendell Pierce reprised his role as Vladimir. Audiences for the free shows were so large and appreciative that Creative Time added several more performances to its schedule.

Elizabeth Fontham,
dean of LSU Health Sciences Center's School of Public Health, was selected as president-elect of the American Cancer Society. Fontham has made significant contributions in establishing a link between the risk of lung cancer and exposure to secondary smoke, and she conducted the largest study of lung cancer in nonsmoking women. Fontham has also researched the role that diet can play in the occurrence of cancer.

Emeril Lagasse,
the world-renowned New Orleans chef and restaurateur, recently announced that he is donating $500,000 for the construction of a 2,700-square-foot culinary learning center in Café Reconcile, the Central City eatery where at-risk youth learn how to work in a restaurant and gain invaluable life skills. The donation is part of $2.4 capital expansion of Café Reconcile that will enable the nonprofit to offer more programs and expand programming.

The N.O. Council and Mayor Ray Nagin
relaxed a contract provision requiring "unlimited bulky waste collection" by two of the city's three curbside trash contractors, thereby shifting the burden for hauling storm debris to homeowners. As reported by The Times-Picayune, Nagin signed trash-pickup contracts worth $24.5 million that required pick-up of "demolition materials." Later, at Nagin's request, the Council placed a 25-pound limit on such materials.

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