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Bouquets & Brickbats 

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Julie Cristina,

a chemistry teacher at Dominican High School, has been awarded the 2009 Siemens Foundation Award for Advanced Placement (AP) for her efforts teaching AP chemistry. Cristina has taught at Dominican for 30 years and helped develop the AP classes, which are college-level courses, more than eight years ago when the high school expanded its science curriculum. The Siemens Foundation selects one science teacher from each state for this honor.



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Father Paul Desrosiers and Dr. Mark Carbon

will receive the 2009 Guardian Angel Award from Project Lazarus, a residential facility that serves individuals with AIDS who no longer can live independently. Desrosiers founded Project Lazarus in 1983 and has supported the program for more than 25 years. Carbon, an emergency room pediatrician, has been a board member since 2002, organizing fundraising events as well as volunteering at the facility.



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YOUTHanasia Foundation,

a Gretna youth services group, has been awarded a $15,000 grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful, a nonprofit organization focused on reducing litter. The funds will be used to support "Helping Hands on Hancock," a program designed by teen members of the foundation to help educate youth, volunteers and residents on litter abatement while actively keeping Hancock Street free of debris and trash.



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U.S. Sen. David Vitter

publicly argued against the recently approved $410 billion omnibus spending bill, declaring it bloated with earmarks and blasting Congress' "automatic" pay hikes. Earmarks are funds directed to specific projects within a particular state. Vitter fought the bill despite having the fifth-highest number of earmarks in it — 142 of them, at a total of $249 million. He voted against the measure in the name of opposing big government, yet he takes credit for bringing projects to Louisiana. That's not leadership; that's hypocrisy.

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