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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They Get What They Deserve

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Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation

moved the first six families into new Lower Ninth Ward homes in time for Christmas. Construction on 16 more houses has begun, and Pitt told USA Today that by December 2009, the Lower Ninth should be "one of America's largest green neighborhoods," with more than 100 homes planned, all with solar panels and protections against termites and mold. Pitt also swatted rumors that he and Angelina Jolie are leaving the city permanently, citing his love "for all things New Orleans."

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Brian Bordainick,

athletic director at G.W. Carver High School, has raised more than $800,000 to date for his "Field of Dreams" project, a state-of-the-art football and track facility for the Ninth Ward public school. At 23 years old, Bordainick says he is the youngest athletic director in Louisiana history, but he has shown the prowess of a seasoned pro. He began soliciting donations in early November, and now has secured pledges from ordinary citizens, including many of Carver's students, as well as from Nike, Councilman Arnie Fielkow and others, as well as the services of the architecture firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.

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Kai Hall,

a 17-year-old student at St. Mary's Academy in Gentilly, collected 363 pounds of dog food and pet treats for the Louisiana SPCA pet shelter in New Orleans. As part of her volunteer service hours for her school, Hall worked a total of 160 hours on the project, holding four garage sales to raise money and soliciting donations from friends, family and businesses in order to purchase the kibble and treats. This marks the third year in a row Hall has performed school service hours to help hundreds of abandoned animals at the shelter.

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The Louisiana State Board of Ethics

issued an advisory ruling that St. Tammany Parish librarians must refuse all tokens of appreciation from patrons during the holiday season, including homemade "pies and cakes" from individuals. While we agree that public servants should refrain from accepting gifts, we fail to see how a plate of homemade cookies could constitute graft. In this case, one could hardly fault the area's hardworking librarians for quoting from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist: "The law is an ass." Sometimes, it's not the law — but those who enforce it.

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