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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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Reading is Fundamental, Communities in Schools New Orleans and National PTA

joined forces to launch the United We Read initiative, which recently gave 2,500 school children from six New Orleans public schools backpacks that contained books as well as resources for parents and families from the PTA, RIF and CIS. The program plans to give away a total of 7,500 books to these kids throughout the school year.



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Tulane University's Museum of Natural History

has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The funds, which are part of the federal government's economic stimulus package, will be used to redesign a computer program, GEOLocate. Approximately 800 researchers worldwide rely on the program to catalog natural-history collections. Nelson Rios, the museum's manager of collections and informatics, originally designed the program six years ago. Informatics is part of an academic field that deals with such processes as gathering, manipulating, storing, retrieving and classifying recorded information.



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David Mobley,

a University of New Orleans assistant professor of chemistry, has been named a recipient of the Hewlett-Packard Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in Computational Chemistry. Mobley, who joined the UNO faculty two years ago, earned a doctoral degree in physics from the University of California, Davis. He is currently researching the utilization of molecular simulations to predict and comprehend thermodynamic properties of molecules and their interactions. Mobley's work eventually could help develop new pharmaceutical drugs.



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Neal Boortz,

a national talk radio host, ridiculed President Barack Obama's pledge to rebuild New Orleans and referred to those displaced following the levee failures as the "debris that Katrina chased out." Boortz, who has a history of attacking minority groups and makes his living off combative, divisive blather, should check the facts as well as the collective opinion of those who still live here. Katrina victims weren't chased off; they lost their homes, livelihoods, friends and neighbors when the federal levees failed, and New Orleans would love to have them back.

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