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This story came from the
Orlando Sentinel. I mirrored it. So, you should be nice to me.

Bush wants to close book on library flap

By John Kennedy | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted February 2, 2003

Not long before it was revealed that Gov. Jeb Bush planned to close the Florida State Library, lay off the entire staff and move the collection to Florida State University, the governor issued a proclamation declaring February as Florida Library Appreciation Month.

Bush, who has said promotion of reading is a top priority of his second term, wants to shut down the state's main library and move almost 1 million books and historical items, including 16th-century maps, early documents on Walt Disney World and some of the oldest photos of Florida.

The budget-cutting move has drawn fire, and even FSU said it doesn't have space or money to house the items.

Parts of FSU's own collection are in warehouses, and the university wouldn't get any more money or staff to deal with the new collections.

Told last week that the flap doesn't seem to be going away, Bush answered, "So, stop writing about it."

The governor's proclamation praised the importance of libraries and said the month is "to encourage recognition of all of our Florida libraries that provide outstanding service to our communities."

Good thing he didn't proclaim "Florida Library Year."

The party's over

Bush's inaugural committee says it will make good on its promise to repair about $50,000 in damage to the Florida State University intramural fields, used as the site of last month's "Black Tie and Blue Jeans" governor's ball.

About 4,000 people paid $100 each to crowd into a lavish tent on top of the sports fields to dine, dance and drink on the eve of Bush's second inaugural.

The next morning, the turf was tapioca.

New sod, regrading and maybe some irrigation work is needed to restore the field, said Paul Dirks, FSU's campus recreation director.

The inaugural committee, whose festivities are to be paid out of more than $1 million expected from private contributions, still has cash to cover the expense, said Todd Harris, a committee spokesman.

Meanwhile, Courtney Gallant, 22, an Orlando native and president of FSU's women's lacrosse club, has been rescheduling the team's practices.

She said she has learned a life lesson from the event.

"I didn't vote in the last election," Gallant said. "I didn't think it was going to affect me much. But the next thing you know, something that looked like an aircraft hangar was sitting on top of my intramural field."

Rolodex updates

Former Bush spokeswoman Katie Muniz, who left the administration on inauguration day, has resurfaced as public affairs manager for the St. Joe Co., the land giant planning development across the Florida Panhandle.

Another mouthpiece, Nicole Harburger, spokeswoman for Democrat Janet Reno's campaign for governor, is the new communications director for the Democratic Governors' Association.

Former Attorney General Richard Doran, who stepped in briefly when Bob Butterworth quit to run for state Senate, has joined the Ausley & McMullen law firm in Tallahassee.

John Kennedy can be reached at Bob Mahlburg can be reached at Both also can be reached at 850-222-5564.