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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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Scott Cowen,

Tulane University president, has been named by TIME magazine as one of the top 10 U.S. college presidents. The publication noted that Cowen had to make some very tough decisions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but "has given the university a renewed vigor" with applications more than doubling since the storm. The university president also founded the Scott S. Cowen Institute, which is concerned with improving public education in New Orleans, and he instituted a four-year public service requirement for all Tulane students.

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James Gill,

the senior curmudgeon columnist at The Times-Picayune, has retired. Gill never met a corrupt politician he didn't delight in skewering — just ask Dollar Bill Jefferson or former Gov. Edwin Edwards. For almost 30 years, the witty Brit gave the inside skinny on New Orleans politics, driving many public officials to scurry for cover. The thrice-weekly doses of Gill in the daily paper will be sorely missed by friends and foes (at least those with a sense of humor) alike.

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Louisiana Green Corps and Julia Kumari Drapkin,

a Boston filmmaker, produced the winning entry in the category, "Spirit of Efficiency," in a short film competition for their rap video, Going Green. The Green Corps is a nonprofit organization that provides green-job training for New Orleans youth. The film features four of its trainees — Kerwinell Singleton, Clarence Matthews, Derrek Taplet and Shawn Butler — as they rap and weatherize a house, making it more energy efficient. The contest was sponsored by Independent Film Channel, Sundance Channel and Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm.

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Charlie Hampton,

owner of Hamp's Construction and Hamp's Enterprises, pleaded guilty in New Orleans Criminal District Court to illegally disposing of solid waste in a wetland area. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality agents spotted Hamp's Construction trucks dumping debris in an abandoned lot on Almonaster Boulevard in eastern New Orleans. The court ordered Hampton to pay $40,000 and clean up the lot. In April, DEQ agents charged Hampton with submitting false asbestos inspection certificates, and he pleaded guilty to those charges in East Baton Rouge Parish.

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