Unabomber News History

Copyright 1995 The Chronicle Publishing Co.

The San Francisco Chronicle



LENGTH: 960 words

HEADLINE: Hello, Out There

BYLINE: Herb Caen


FRANKLY, I don't sense much excitement yet over the U.N.'s 50th anniversary ''celebration'' here but things'll pick up. Meanwhile, let us think fondly of a doughty San Franciscan -- Maude (Mrs. James L.) Flood, dghtr-in-law of the Bonanza King whose Nob Hill mansion houses the Pacific-Union Club. In 1926, Mrs. Flood built and occupied the big penthouse atop the Fairmont Hotel that is now called the Ben Swig Suite. When arrangements were being made for the first United Nations conference here in 1945, State Dept. officials asked her if she would turn over the penthouse to then-Secty. of State Edward Stettinius Jr. ''Absolutely not,'' said Mrs. Flood. ''The only way I'm leaving is in a box,'' which she did, in 1966, at age 90. Yes, San Francisco was more fun in the age of the robber barons, and that goes for the baronesses, too.

PRESSING ON: Up in Eureka, it's not the Unabomber the residents worry about, ''it's the dreaded Unaboffer, striking fear into the hearts and loins of the citizens!'' Thus flashes Damon McGuire, who reports a woman resident receiving a small package, wrapped in brown paper, and phoning the Sheriff's office. The bomb squad opened it gingerly to find what the local blatt called ''a sex toy.'' Yep, a vibrator. Beware the Unaboffer! . . . Don't tell a soul, but there are 24 free parking spaces available on the SW side of Washington bet. Battery and Sansome. Parking meter poles were installed five weeks ago but the heads have yet to arrive, so hurry.

PETER ROWLAND, the young con-man- about-town who plea-bargained his way into a three-yr. term, is still making the party scene and boozing it up with disreputable types. He won't be jailed till July so keep your hand on your wallet. Meanwhile, Rhoda and Farrell Johnson of Atascadero, who claim they lost $ 100,000 to the smoothie, have retained San Jose atty. Gary Olimpia -- ''We don't trust San Francisco lawyers'' -- to file an action voiding the plea bargain. ''They,'' meaning the D.A.'s office, ''promised they wouldn't do this,'' says an angry Johnson. Peter parties on.

PETULANT leaked memo from Joyce Chisholm, director of special education for the S.F. ''Unified'' School Dist.: ''Attendance at monthly all-staff meetings has been low. At the beginning of this school year, I made these meetings 'almost mandatory.' '' There's your problem, Joyce. Modifying mandatory simply won't do . . . Not all Republicans are the same. Powerful Piedmonter Jack Bates rec'd a phone call the other day from a Bob Dole staffer who said grandly, ''The Senator is coming out your way and we'd like you to host a dinner,'' at which Jack said, ''Hey, you're spinning your wheels. I'm pro-choice and pro- gun control.'' ''We'll get back to you,'' said the staffer, and the rest is silence . . . If you want to help poor confused Sup. Terence Hallinan make up his mind to run for mayor or D.A., you call 621-KAYO (his nickname), described as ''toll-free in San Francisco.'' Uh, aren't all local calls toll-free?

MEANWHILE: Yet another local angle on the OK City disaster. The bomb, delivered by a Ryder Truck, apparently was made in Geary County, Kansas, which, points out Jerry Matters, was named after S.F.'s first alcalde, John W. Geary, who left here in 1851, after a three-year stay, to become gov. of Kansas, then a general in the Union Army and after that a two-term gov. of Pennsylvania. Like the street named in his honor, Geary got around . . . Spinoff: Marian Feigenbaum, fourth-generation San Francisco, pronounces herself ''put off and put out'' by the big Kragen billboard on Geary Blvd., giving the store's location as ''Geary and 18th STREET.'' Now that's a stretch . . . For the seems-to-me-I've- heard-that-song-before dept.: Yesterday's so-called Excloo about one in 10 Muni Diesel buses being ''riddled with defects that could cost as much as $ 2 million to fix.'' Don't we read that about once a month? Fix the damn buses. Give us new news.

SAY HEY: ''Baseball came along just in time,'' says Jim Schock, fairly enthusiastically. ''I was running out of places to find $ 3.50 hot dogs'' . . . Actually, the game came back with a bang on Tuesday with that stunning 15-inning five-hours-plus classic with the happy ending. I wouldn't say the whole town was electrified, or even Diesel'd, but all you had to say was ''How about that?'' and people knew what you meant. At Cala Foods at Hyde and Cal., where I do my gourmet shopping on my valet's day off, the whole barn was abuzz. ''Best game I ever saw,'' said a hyperventilating Sid Colberg, noted auto racer, as he rooted around among the rutabagas. ''Paul Kane talked me into leaving at the top of the 15th, with the Dodgers leading 3-0, and look what we missed,'' sobbed ex-49er prez Lou Spadia, face down in the fennel. ''That Japanese pitcher, he was great!'' beamed an Asian cashier . . . There's hope for the old game yet. Pretty soon I can start complaining some more about pants that come down to the ankle and look like p.j.'s Strictly bush, guys.

ADD INFINITEMS: Don't miss Ronn Owens on KGO next Tues. morning. He has Gennifer Flowers on from 9 to 10 a.m., followed by Robert ''I was terribly wrong'' McNamara for an hour. The Big Mac, sensitive fellow he, won't take direct calls from listeners, but he will answer faxed questions, such as ''What're you gonna do with all those royalties now that your book is the number one best-seller?'' . . . Bumpersnicker of the day: ''Hey KSFO! Hate Radio Bombed Out in Oklahoma City'' . . . Last. Thurs. was Take Your Daughter to Work Day, today is Ride a Bike to Work Day, and to think there are people who say this city is no longer exciting.