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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Stephanie Simon,
a reporter for NY1 News in New York City, organized "From the Art of New York," a weeklong art exhibit in Manhattan Feb. 22-28, to benefit Gulf area arts and rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. With New Orleans native Katie Landry, Simon convinced local and international artists to participate in the exhibit, including George Rodrigue, C.C. Lockwood, LeRoy Neiman, Peter Max and others. The free exhibit will culminate in a ticketed Mardi Gras gala on Feb. 28. For more info, see

Tulane law students
thanked law schools around the nation that welcomed them after Hurricane Katrina by hosting more than 100 students and teachers in New Orleans Jan. 27-29 at "Pro Bono Publico," an event that featured lectures, discussions, a king cake party and public service projects. Displaced Tulane law students attended more than 100 law schools in more than 40 states after Katrina, and they wanted to give their former hosts a taste of New Orleans as well as an insight into local recovery efforts as a gesture of gratitude.

The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation
has announced $1.2 million in local education grants, starting with awards to more than a dozen schools and organizations that will receive funds in the next year. The foundation, devoted exclusively to education in Louisiana, was established in the will of Ruth Fertel, legendary founder of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and a New Orleans native. In announcing the grants, Randy Fertel said that his mother "would have devoted her entire energies and much of her treasure to helping the city recover" from Hurricane Katrina.

T Donald Powell,
the federal Gulf Coast rebuilding coordinator, seems to spend more time fighting local recovery efforts than coordinating them. Powell penned an op-ed piece last week in The Washington Post blasting the so-called Baker Bill, which calls for a voluntary federal buyout of underinsured homes in Louisiana damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Powell also held a news conference to blast the plan. The bill, by Republican Congressman Richard Baker of Baton Rouge, has bipartisan support — but not from the Bush Administration.


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