Now, just across the bay, we face an older, power-hungry Willie Brown and his thoughtless henchwoman, Barbara Kaufman. Both seem intent on placing government between newspapers and readers, and between lost pets and the owners who want them back desperately.

These two municipal tyrants are intent on destroying a great deal of what is unique and beautiful about San Francisco, because they don't understand San Francisco. And what they do understand, they don't appear to like.

This is how Peter Doty put it in a recent article for the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council newsletter: "Barbara Kaufman needs to be reminded that she is a Supervisor for San Francisco, not Singapore; we don't want a neat and tidy Police Space just because a few individuals can't handle the aesthetics of fliers on poles."

Doty hit the nail on the head. Thurber, Kaufman, Brown, and everyone else who thinks newspapers and fliers are threats to public order ought to move to Singapore -- or Walnut Creek -- and leave the rest of us to carry on the great and untidy traditions of free speaking in San Francisco.

George Cothran ( can be reached at SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco,

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