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Bouquets & Brickbats 

They get what they deserve

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The Better than Ezra Foundation,

formed by the popular New Orleans rockers, raised $200,000 at its ninth annual Ezra Open bowling event, patron party and auction March 27. The foundation's goal is to provide financial resources for organizations engaged in renewal of the structural and cultural heritage of the area. Beneficiaries of this year's funds have not been selected but past recipients include firefighters, Make It Right, New Orleans Oral School, Louisiana Artworks, Restore or Retreat and others.

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The Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association (FMIA)

was honored when the Marigny neighborhood was named one of 2009's "Great Places in America" at the recent conference of the American Planning Association (APA), a group of urban planners. The national award, which is bestowed on 10 neighborhoods each year, is the APA's highest distinction and was presented in Washington Square Park to the FMIA for its work restoring the square after Hurricane Katrina.

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Mary Pope Osborne,

the children's-book writer and creator of the popular "Magic Tree House" series for beginning readers, teamed up with publisher Random House to provide 4,000 new books to New Orleans children in 27 schools. Osborne's newest book — the 42nd in the series — features characters who travel back in time to meet the young Louis Armstrong. Osborne said she was inspired to create the book after visiting New Orleans with her husband after Hurricane Katrina.

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Jonathan Bolar,

former Gretna city councilman, was convicted by federal jurors on April 9 of extortion (four counts), wire fraud (two counts), failure to file income tax returns (two counts) and three other counts of financial crimes. Despite his imminent trial, Bolar ran for his council seat in a March 27 election in which he called his opponents "opportunists." Voters in his district gave him only 11 percent of their votes. Bolar faces a possible 139 years in prison, $2.65 million in fines and $87,000 in forfeitures.


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