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kids as cops: Actors get into their roles in a 2008 Nibley Children's Theatre production of Pirates of Penzance. Click Arts&Life index for a link to this unusual theater group. / Photo courtesy of Bonnie Schenk-Darrington

Today's word on journalism

February 17, 2009

Why I miss my hate mail:

"It's an odd thing to admit, but in a perverse sort of way, I actually miss the wretched river, the rancid flow of puerile, nasty, sickeningly homophobic email I used to receive on a regular basis from the ultra-right and the Christian right and the Mormon right and the Bush-impaired whenever I would post a friendly, pointed column full of tangy liberal attitude. . . . . Oh, I miss all the lovely and positive email too, which outpaced the nasty stuff by a huge margin. But the hate mail was very special indeed, great fodder for live readings, for the reaction of horrified disbelief of anyone who saw it, for the charming reminder of just how ugly and violent and grammatically challenged the human animal can be."

--Mark Morford, columnist, SFGate.com (2/13/09)

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River Heights is tightening budget belt

By Patrick Oden

January 28, 2009 | RIVER HEIGHTS -- All revenue is down. from "sales tax to dog licenses," Mayor Bill Baker told the city council Tuesday.

"We're just going to have to tighten our belts," Baker said.

From water line problems costing the city more than $70,000 to Apple Days, River Heights' annual community celebration, running more than 70 percent over budget, the need for cutbacks and careful spending were addressed by Baker.

Baker said he and Treasurer James Brackner would be working together to "reallocate a lot of funds," yet expects the overall budget cuts to deviate less than 10 percent from 2008. "We're taking a really hard look at the budget so we can get the revenue allocated to the right places," Baker said.

It isn't just River Heights' budget troubles that will impact the city's residents. Lack of county funds has halted an effort for a county-wide library system.

"They're going to try to do something," said Baker "They will probably try to work out some kind of licensing agreement."

Since it was unclear how the county will approach this licensing agreement, further discussion of the library system was tabled until more information becomes available from the county.

In other matters, adoption of the River Heights' city plan was tabled, after having been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission last Tuesday, pending map revisions.

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