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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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The Al Copeland Foundation,

named for the late restaurateur and founded by his children Charli Copeland Womac and Alisha Copeland, donated $150,000 to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) last week. Copeland died last year of Merkel Cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer affecting only 1,500 Americans annually. The university's school of medicine has been in the forefront of Merkel Cell research. Support from the Copeland Foundation has allowed UPCI doctors to develop two tests to detect Merkel Cell infection.

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The Partnership for Prescription Assistance,

an outreach program of several Big Pharm concerns, brought its "Help is Here Express" to New Orleans last week to help poor and uninsured residents gain access to prescription medications. The bus stopped in Marrero and eastern New Orleans, as well as at Grace Episcopal Church in Mid-City, where Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao helped stage a health fair. Residents who were unable to attend can get help by calling the PPA's toll-free hotline (888-477-2669) or receive online assistance at www.pparx.org.

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Gov. Bobby Jindal

used his line-item veto power to delete a state budget item for the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, scuttling New Orleans' major in-patient mental health facility and diverting a smaller amount of money to Southeastern Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville. Two smaller units at Children's Hospital and DePaul will remain, but Orleans Parish citizens in mental health crisis will likely be shuttled to the Northshore now. Jindal's office claims the move will save money and provide efficiency, but taking away mental health care from this city stands as one of Jindal's worst moves as governor.

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John Edwards,

the disgraced former North Carolina senator who declared his 2008 presidential bid in the Ninth Ward in December 2006, reneged on a promise to distressed Lower 9 homeowners. Edwards in 2007 pledged $100,000 in aid for local homeowners who had been foreclosed upon by a hedge fund for which Edwards worked. Last month, The Washington Post checked up on Edwards' promise and found that he had given only half that amount to the group ACORN — and the money had gone into ACORN's general mortgage counseling coffers, not to the affected homeowners.

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