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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

John Goodman
has lent his considerable talent and star power to Levees.Org by making a public service announcement advocating better levee protection everywhere. Levees.Org has launched a series of celebrity PSAs to call the nation's attention to the fact that many American communities share New Orleans' dependence on federally built levees. "Don't we all deserve levees that work?" Goodman asks in the PSA. The group is also pushing for an 8/29 Commission and an unbiased investigation into federal engineering failures.

Baptist Community Ministries
has awarded a $450,000 grant to the Weed and Seed crime prevention program, which is managed by the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. The grant focuses on redevelopment of the area around John W. Hoffman School in Central City, which will become a "safe haven" for the neighborhood. The Weed and Seed Program is designed to "weed" out crime in a targeted area through classic police work and then "seed" that area with positive resources to improve the quality of life for residents.

The Home Depot Foundation
was named the lead funding partner for Global Green USA's affordable housing effort in the Holy Cross neighborhood. The foundation is the largest supporter of the project, which hopes to foster support for "greening" the entire rebuilding effort in New Orleans. The affordable housing community in the Lower Ninth Ward will be rebuilt based on a winning design selected from among 125 concepts from the world's top sustainable-building designers and architects. Actor Brad Pitt helped judge the competition.

Elliot's Gun Shop,
a large-scale firearms dealer in Jefferson, was shuttered last week after agents from several federal and state agencies raided the establishment for allegedly selling guns to ineligible buyers (read: criminals) and forging police IDs to buy discounted guns from manufacturers. Law enforcement officials also say that a disproportionate number of guns used in violent crimes has been traced to Elliot's over a five-year period, including 127 weapons linked to murder investigations.


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