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Bouquets & Brickbats 

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The Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy,

a public school in Jefferson, was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 9. It was one of 304 schools across the nation to receive the honor — and the only one in metro New Orleans. The distinction is accorded to schools that are either academically superior or demonstrate dramatic test score gains. The academy will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in November.



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The Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI)

collected "gently used" school uniforms for middle school and high school students and on Sept. 13 donated 215 blue blazers at a ceremony at the Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business in eastern New Orleans. The response from the public was so successful that the YRI plans to make its "Blue Blazer Drive" an annual event.



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The NO/AIDS Walk,

the annual walkathon for the NO/AIDS Task Force, took to the streets of Uptown on Sept. 12 with what the group estimated was 3,500 walkers — "probably the biggest year we've had post-Katrina," according to the group's communications manager T.J. Rogers. At press time, the fundraising tally for the day was approximately $160,000, but Rogers said matching donations and late checks were still being counted.



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Business Insider,

an online magazine, published a list of "10 American Cities That Are Dead Forever," which included New Orleans alongside troubled manufacturing centers like Flint, Mich., and Allentown, Pa. The article, which carried no byline, used 2006 population statistics to bolster its claim. We agree with City Council President Arnie Fielkow, who wrote, "I truly have to wonder what in the world the authors of this index are thinking and if they have been to New Orleans recently."

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