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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Cottage Living magazine,
which has a circulation of one million, has chosen New Orleans as the site of its 2007 Idea Home and will donate proceeds from home tours and sale of the house to the Preservation Resource Center (PRC). The home will be open to the public for tours beginning in July. Tour proceeds will benefit the PRC's citywide efforts, and proceeds from the sale of the house will be donated to the Operation Comeback Revolving Fund to support the Holy Cross Development Project. The magazine is published by a subsidiary of Time Inc.

Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide,
the parent company of The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel and the W Hotels of New Orleans, dedicated one full day last week to "Operation CPR: City Park Restoration" to bring Popp's Fountain in the park back to its pre-Katrina condition. Some 800 Starwood employees from across the country donated roughly 5,000 hours to landscaping around the 70-year-old fountain as well as repairing and painting 2,700 linear feet of ornamental iron fence work at the site.

Amadeus,
a travel technology company, recently donated a day of community service by 300 of its employees, who worked at several local Habitat for Humanity home sites during the company's annual conference in New Orleans. The Habitat projects that got a helping hand from the Amadeus workers include Musicians' Village and two other home sites in the Upper Ninth Ward. Amadeus provides technology for airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, travel agencies and others in the travel industry.

The Blanco Administration
has failed to give "backup" to the state Recovery School District (RSD) in the form of authority to cut through red tape to get local public schools repaired. The RSD took over the city's failing public schools after Hurricane Katrina and has had its own share of failures, but the district should not have to fight gridlock at the state level as well. Gov. Kathleen Blanco's chief of staff, Jimmy Clarke, promised last week that the administration would expedite a request to let the RSD make its own procurement decisions.

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