Citizen Arcane

Like the dementors stalking Harry Potter in The Prisoner of Azkaban, the demands of citizenship pursue the bedeviled Bitch wherever she goes, even within the haven of the Miami-Dade County Law Library in the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building. While brushing up on her pro se skills, she was approached by an agitated fellow seeking the scholarly dog's paw print on a petition to keep the library -- the only public law library in the county -- open.

The library's funding was eviscerated courtesy of our Jeb-brainwashed state legislature in July 2004, when voter-approved Article V was invoked. This move transitioned court funding from the counties to the state and eliminated civil-court filing fees earmarked for law libraries.

"These fees were a major revenue source; we were forced to take a major hit to our funding. The law library suffered a lost of approximately one million dollars a year," explains director Robert E. Riger. The legislature did give the counties the absurd option of collecting a portion of a mandated $65 "criminal fee" owed by those on the accused end of misdemeanor and felony cases, but as Riger observes dryly: "It is difficult to collect fees from criminals."

Tori, you're a nice girl, but red beans and rice need to not miss you
Jonathan Postal
Tori, you're a nice girl, but red beans and rice need to not miss you
Ricky: No stranger to the weedball
Jonathan Postal
Ricky: No stranger to the weedball

John Nott, an interpreter who works at the courthouse, is fuming over the library's imperiled status. "The other [law libraries] belong to the universities or the big firms and are not open to the public. A lot of citizens can afford only to represent themselves, especially in civil cases, and for them it's essential to be able to do the research," Nott says, adding he refers many of his clients to the free resource.

"It beats me how the whole law is based upon precedent and no one's going to be able to defend themselves without researching what the precedents are," Nott continues. "It's a terrifying prospect."

Nott says he took a course at the county law library recently and got the impression he wouldn't be able to sign up for too many more. Several studiers told The Bitch they believed the library might close as early as September.

"News of our imminent demise is a bit premature," Riger insists. "We can certainly benefit from the support and prayers of the entire community in communicating the message to the powers that be that it is certainly in the best interest of Miami-Dade County to maintain an adequately funded law library."

Senza PietŠ

You normally wouldn't have to expound further on the analogous implications: This past Saturday night at Le Meridien's Bice bar, Tori Spelling shilled for her new jewelry line (bearing the unfortunate name Maven) as Nights of Cabiria flickered on a small television set in a rear corner. The Bitch considered this scenario briefly while half-watching the dual Felliniesque spectacles, captivated by Julieta Massina's spunky prostitute and troubled by whores with darker tendencies.

But it takes a professional anthropologist, not an amateur nuthound, to really take advantage of these offers ... especially in Sunny Isles Beach. Turns out Spelling, who played teen princess Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210 for a decade and has appeared steadily in Lifetime-genre movies since then, was down-to-earth and extremely gracious to a north county crowd still a little in awe of the semifamous so non-head-turningly common in South Beach. Spelling -- frail, exhausted, and fake-baked to melanin overload -- coped cheerfully with an extremely demanding entourage composed of about a half-dozen golf-cap-wearing fey young men and an equal number of watchful hens in Eighties Lacroix pouf dresses, plus prowling realtors, dazed tourists, happy autograph seekers who opportunely had made a wrong turn looking for the Aventura Mall, and a befuddled popsarazzi corps. (Two such gents argued furiously between themselves as to whether the name of the show their grandchildren watched was 90021 or 91200.)

The Bitch was content to merely observe and enjoy the effects of the new drug of choice at the Chateau Marmont, the weedball -- a potent mixture of cannabis and espresso -- but managed to sidle up to Spelling to pant out a few questions, namely: "How does it feel to be the star of the best-named cable movie of all time, Mother May I Sleep with Danger?"

Spelling grimaced at the memory of the 1996 girl-in-peril flick but laughed, "Oh, I know it still comes on all the time ..."

Is there any chance of Spelling's pilot for a reality show, NoTORIous, making it onto a network this fall?

"I'm still hoping, though it's not definite yet," Spelling beamed, Maven necklace gleaming at her throat. The jewelry itself, not made of platinum or dripping in carats and thus unsuitable for collar material, was pretty mundane charm-bracelet type of stuff. A bit understated for wear with a Dolce Vita-size chapeau.

Contra Indicated

Andrew Nazaretz, better known to WVUM-FM (90.5) listeners as DJ Contra and host of the Friday-night rapfest The Underground, was recently chosen to be M.I.A. 's new tour DJ. He took the place of party-rockin' indie hero Diplo, who is leaving the road to concentrate on his production career.

Nazaretz says he got the call Friday, June 3. Monday he moved out of his Coral Gables apartment and flew to Manhattan. The next night he made his official debut with M.I.A. during a sold-out concert at SOB's.

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