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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

New Orleans
has been ranked as one of the top American cities to visit. Travel + Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News conducted an online poll of nearly 60,000 travelers and New Orleans came in first for nine of the 55 categories. Survey respondents determined that, among other things, our city is best for: after-dark nightlife, cocktail hour, live music, cheap eats, antique and flea market shopping, girlfriend getaways, wild weekends and — something we're very aware of — the most fun local people.

Dr. Jim Doty
has donated $4.4 million to Tulane University School of Medicine. A neurosurgeon and 1981 graduate of Tulane's medical school, Doty gave away $37 million — almost all of his personal fortune. He pledged the money to Tulane and others in 2000 after making $75 million in paper profits from various investments. When the dot-com meltdown occurred, he lost his fortune except for stock in a privately held company. When that company went public this year, Doty made $37 million — and kept his promise.

Pat Connick,
a newly elected state representative from Marrero, is giving away roughly $9,000 in leftover campaign funds to help clean up the grounds of Hope Haven, which is located in his district. Connick, who ran unopposed in House District 84, decided to use the money to help Hope Haven — primarily a residential treatment center for abused and neglected children as well as a homeless shelter and food bank — after concluding that would be a better use of the money than paying for a mailer to his constituents.

Jerome Gibbs,
director of Metropolitan Human Services District, which contracts with the state to provide public mental health outpatient services in New Orleans, awarded a no-bid $49,050 contract to a doctor with whom Gibbs had previously worked in New York. Gibbs isn't required by law to put out to public bid any contract worth less than $50,000, but considering the state's reputation for corruption and the suspicious amount of the contract, a bid would have been a good idea.

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