Unabomber News History

Copyright 2000 The Chronicle Publishing Co.

The San Francisco Chronicle



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HEADLINE: Anti-Tech Visits Techville In Unabomber Cabin Photos

BYLINE: Ron Hender


Tired of all the traffic and technology? Can't stand the cell phone? Peeved by the Palm Pilot? Get a dose of irony at the San Jose Museum of Art's current photography exhibition, "Richard Barnes: Unabomber's Cabin."

Ted Kaczynski, the man convicted of a package-bomb campaign that left three dead and 23 injured, was as anti-tech as a man could get. And since Silicon Valley is the techie capital of this planet -- well, there's that curiosity factor.

The collection of six large-scale shots by Barnes, a San Francisco resident, were taken after the 10-by-12 foot, one-room shack was moved to a federal evidence warehouse in Sacramento for Kaczynski's trial. Four of the 54-by-41-inch, black-and-white prints isolate each side of the cabin against a stark black backdrop.

"It's the most banal piece of architecture imaginable," Barnes said. "Why is this simple, stupid structure so important? Because of what went on inside of it, and because it represents the dark side of idealism, which is fanaticism."

It was inside the cabin -- which lacked electricity and running water -- that Kaczynski wrote his famous 35,000-word manifesto and constructed many of his devices of destruction.

Also included in the exhibition is a shot of the now-vacant plot in Montana where the cabin was located -- a place where Barnes says "the FBI has erected a chain-link fence defining a space where nothing exists."

Barnes, 47, graduated with a journalism degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979, but has made a career of architectural photography. One of his previous projects, documenting the earthquake retrofitting of the Legion of Honor, revealed that the museum was built atop the cemetery where San Francisco's poor were buried between 1868-1898. He's also documented archaeological excavations in Egypt, photographed the Biosphere 2 project in the Arizona desert and the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, England.

The exhibition is on display through August 6.

The San Jose Museum of Art, at 110 S. Market St., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (and half-price admission from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays). Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for students, seniors and children ages 6-17. Children 5 and younger are free. Call (408) 294-2787.

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MAKING A SPLASH: Just in time for the warm weather, the city of Burlingame and the San Mateo Union High School District will dedicate the Burlingame Aquatic Center at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Burlingame High School.

The city, the school district and an anonymous community member funded the $2.7 million project. The new 50-meter pool and complex replaces a smaller pool that had to be closed after 40 years of service due to mechanical system failures.

After the brief dedication ceremony that will feature school board President John Gregory, Superintendent Thomas Mohr, Burlingame Mayor Rosalie O'Mahoney and City Manager Dennis Argyres, the pool will be open free to the public until 4 p.m. and the Burlingame High Boosters Club will have a barbecue, with proceeds going toward new equipment for the aquatic center.

Daily sessions for public swimming began June 10 and a full schedule of lessons is set to begin June 26. Call (650) 558-7300.

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TOWN MEETING: Rep. Tom Lantos will conduct a town meeting in San Bruno tomorrow to discuss current local, national and international developments. Lantos (D-San Mateo/San Francisco) will be on hand at 10 a.m. in the San Bruno City Council chambers, 567 El Camino Real in San Bruno.

"Town meetings provide me with an invaluable opportunity to exchange views on the many complex issues that are pending in Congress," Lantos said.

Call (650) 342-0300.

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HORSING AROUND: B.O.K. Ranch, a nonprofit program that offers therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults with disabilities, will have its 15th annual fund-raiser on June 25 in Redwood City.

Artist/designer Laurel Burch, who suffers from a debilitating bone disease, will be the guest of honor. The event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include members of the NFL's Alumni Association, music by Dale Pryor and the Hayfever Band, a barbecue catered by Canyon Inn, riding demonstrations, sheep herding, a silent auction and activities for children.

Tickets cost $35 per person and include food and drink. Children under 12 are free with an adult. Call (650) 366-2265 or e-mail bokranch@aol.com.

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STANFORD STUDY: Psychiatric researchers at the Stanford Medical Center are looking for volunteers for two studies comparing acupuncture to other treatments for depression.

A center spokesman said one study will compare acupuncture and massage as treatments for depression during pregnancy, while the other will compare acupuncture to a leading anti-depressant.

Volunteers for the first study must be medically stable pregnant women age 18 or older who are experiencing depression. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive acupuncture or massage for eight weeks, and those who benefit will continue to receive treatment until the 10th week after they give birth.

Volunteers for the second study must be medically stable men and women between the ages of 18 and 65. Volunteers will be randomly assigned to receive acupuncture, the anti-depressant Paxil or a placebo pill for eight weeks.

Participants in both studies will receive full psychiatric assessments and treatment with close monitoring, at no cost, but cannot receive any concurrent treatment for depression during the studies.

For more information, call Rachel Manber, director of both studies, at (650) 724-4431.

Send items for this column to Community Notes c/o The Chronicle, 2425 Leghorn St., Mountain View, CA 94043. Or fax to (800) 340-5940. E-mail: penfriday@sfgate.com. To speak to Peninsula Friday'sprincipal staff writer, Heather Knight, call (800) 350-4840 or (415) 777-7581. GRAPHIC: PHOTO, ON EXHIBIT: Richard Barnes shot several views of Ted Kaczynski's one-room shack, including this photograph, "Unabomber's Cabin, Exhibit D."