Presidential Libraries

University Park council members want Bush library parking changes

University Park council members want Bush library parking changes
With a little more than a week until they are scheduled to vote, city officials made it clear Monday that they do not intend to rubber-stamp SMU's proposal to rezone land for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Crowds Flock to Presidential Library (~not~ a Founding Father) for President's Day

YORBA LINDA – Lured by the offer of free admission, cherry pie, and a chance to meet Abraham Lincoln, Orange County residents and visitors from as far away as Temecula, flocked to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum to celebrate Presidents Day.

By 10 a.m. the parking lot at the Library was full and visitors trekked from overflow lots across the street to climb aboard the presidential helicopter or pose for pictures with impersonators of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.

"I thought it would be good to try and remember what Presidents Day is about," said Dawn Koscelnik of Yorba Linda, who brought her three sons to the Library. "It's not about going and buying things, but seeing history."

Story from the OC Register.

She Signed Up for a Library Card, but Got a Lot More

Gig Harbor, WA: When Marie Bassett received a phone call from the Pierce County Library System telling her she had won a free laptop computer, she first thought it was a hoax.

Bassett filled out a little piece of paper when she renewed her library card a while back, but she had forgotten about it.

The countywide library system held a raffle for two laptops during its annual card drive, and Gig Harbor’s Bassett won one of them.

“It was a funny story,” she said. “I went to have my library card renewed, and they had me fill out this little slip of paper. I said, ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ ”

Bassett said she regularly checks out items at the library with her husband, and she decided to get her own card updated. “I thought, ‘That’s dumb. I might want to go without him some time,’ ” she said. “It’s ironic, because I’m really a raffle nut, but I had totally forgotten I had filled out this slip.”

Winning the laptop turned out to be perfect timing for Bassett, who recently lost her job.

“It was a heartbreaker,” she said. “It was truly a dream job. I thought I was going to be there forever.”

Nonetheless, Bassett hopes to turn bad luck around. “Now I think I want to start my own bookkeeping business,” she said. “This laptop is so timely.”

DON'T Call It a Library

Can we call it a fortress?

First artists sketches of the future George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU from Talking Points Memo. Seven renderings are shown.

Laura Bush says presidential library not intended as a monument

Laura Bush says presidential library not intended as a monument
The design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU, which will be formally unveiled today, is a showcase for exhibits, not a monument to the 43rd president, former first lady Laura Bush said this week.

University Park prepares for long rezoning debate on Bush library

The Bush Foundation has recently asked University Park officials to rezone land so that it can proceed with plans for the presidential library. As the city prepares to hold hearings and vote on the issue, it appears opposition is expected among some residents worried about traffic and road congestion.

The Future of Presidential Libraries

Congress wants to cut taxpayer costs associated with presidential libraries and archives however, and a new report (PDF) by the National Archives and Records Administration released Wednesday proposed five possible alternatives. It also warned that social networking tools will complicate future presidential record-keeping.

At Nixon Library, Mao Statue Rankles Some

A statue of deceased Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at the Nixon Presidential Library &Museum is the subject of a protest planned for Thursday, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The statue has been in the Hall of World Leaders since the Nixon Presidential Library opened. Kai Chen – a Chinese-American organizing the protest – is the first person to launch a complaint about it, said Sandy Quinn, assistant director of the Nixon Library &Birthplace Foundation.

"To even mention Mao with democratic leaders such as Churchill and Golda Meir in the same breath is truly an insult to human intelligence and offensive to all the freedom-loving people in the world," said Chen, who emigrated from China in 1981 and lives in Los Angeles.

"Having several figures in the world leaders' (section) doesn't mean we endorse their policies," assistant library director Sandy Quinn said. OC Register.

Another article from the LA Times points out that the library,
once privately run, is making a transition to government operation..."and that has turned statues of Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai into political footballs".

Judge Recuses Self from SMU Bush Library Condo Owners Suit

By LORI STAHL / The Dallas Morning News reports that the judge who has presided over a high-profile lawsuit against Southern Methodist University for years, State District Judge Martin Hoffman, has suddenly withdrawn from the case, bringing a temporary halt to all proceedings. The reason was not clear from a motion he filed with the court (but if you read his bio, you might suppose that he decided he could not be impartial in this case).

But the implications for the case itself – which has indirect ramifications for the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU – were fairly obvious: It no longer seems to be on the verge of ending.

Two months ago, SMU and the two former condominium owners who filed the lawsuit in 2005 announced that they had settled the case. Although the terms were not made public, it was clear that the condo owners agreed to back off their claim to land in exchange for some kind of payment. But within weeks, the terms of the settlement agreement were in dispute. Hoffman was set to issue a ruling on the settlement agreement when he recused himself.

A Bit of a Mess in Dallas

Former President George W. Bush had his heart set on an expansive Presidential Library, but his requirements have been harder to achieve than he thought. No eminent domain for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

A deal that was supposed to end a long-running lawsuit against SMU – and smooth the path for George W. Bush's presidential library – has fallen apart amid charges that both sides broke the terms of a confidential agreement. Report from the Dallas News.

Last month, Southern Methodist University and two former condominium owners announced that they had settled the bitter four-year fight over who is the rightful owner of land now slated for the grounds of the Bush library.

The lawsuit has become increasingly hard-fought since President George W. Bush left office in January and returned to Texas.

Earlier this year, Hoffman ruled that Bush would have to give a deposition in the case. The condo owners said they wanted a chance to ask Bush about meetings with SMU officials who discussed putting the library on the condo site before it owned the land; (the condos have since been demolished). An appellate court reversed Hoffman's order, and the condo owners appealed the matter to the Texas Supreme Court.

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