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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Arnie Fielkow,
chairman of the New Orleans City Council, took a pre-emptive step to ease racial tensions last week when he recommended that the vacancy left by the resignation of fellow Councilman Oliver Thomas be filled by an African-American interim appointee, who cannot run for the seat in the Oct. 20 special election. Local diversity expert Lance Hill said Fielkow obviously asked himself the question every politician should ask: "Will this action increase or decrease racial trust and unity in New Orleans?"

The Bureau of Governmental Research
recently won a top prize at the annual Governmental Research Association conference — for the fifth time in the past six years. BGR's report, "Not Ready for Prime Time: An Analysis of the UNOP Citywide Plan," won the prize for "Most Effective Education." The report, issued after a brief public comment period on the Unified New Orleans Plan, helped fill a void by providing objective comment on the city's massive recovery plan.

Reginelli's Pizzeria
has been named "Independent Pizzeria of the Year" by Pizza Today magazine. There are 65,000 pizzerias in the U.S., and it's not easy for independents to battle against the national chains, but Reginelli's has succeeded with five locations after opening its first restaurant in New Orleans 11 years ago. The magazine selected Reginelli's based on its "sales, marketing and leadership." And if you haven't tried it, they make pretty good pizza, too.

The Orleans Parish Board of Assessors
should have anticipated the public's response to the new tax assessments and planned for it with logistical support. As one person commented, the assessors could have rented space in the Convention Center or another large, air-conditioned building and brought in additional temporary staff so citizens wouldn't have to stand for hours, even days, in the heat without getting a chance to see their assessor or someone in their assessor's office.

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