An angry man drove a front-end loader into homes near Port Angeles, Wash., Friday afternoon, knocking one off its foundation, police said. The scene was about two and a half hours west of Seattle.
The incident happened shortly before 12:30 p.m. along Pioneer Road near Baker Street, just outside the city limits, according to the Peninsula Daily News. The newspaper reported that a truck also was damaged.
A neighbor told the newspaper that the man “just went nuts,” demolishing the two homes. The scene also cut power to thousands of Port Angeles residents.
“We have a number of power lines down in the area and that’s preventing us actually from going to make sure there are no other injuries or other problems inside the containment area,” Clallam County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Borte told the Daily News.
The scene led police to close US Route 101 in both directions for about 15 minutes. See a picture of the damage here from KIRO/7.
I spent many hours in the safari-themed Banana Republic, born in Mill Valley in 1978, brought to prominence near San Francisco’s Union Square and eventually spread to malls across the state. Even as it expanded, somehow the distinct you’re-on-an-expedition-with-Indiana Jones vibe remained throughout most of the 1980s. With its palm fronds, mosquito net canopies and real military jeeps bursting into the walkway of your local mall, it was like someone dropped a Disneyland ride in the middle of the retail sameness of suburbia.
So why does it all feel like a dream?
This week’s Let’s Go to the Morgue! photo archive search is a tribute to the original Banana Republic, which couldn’t possible look less like the current incarnation. I’m not slamming the current incarnation — clearly the rebranding was a sound financial move. I’m wearing a BR slim fit stretch poplin dress shirt as I type these words. But it’s like the cable network that has completely altered its lineup to small children swigging coke and talking back to their mother, but still keeping calling itself The Learning Channel. Young people must be so confused.
A few more thoughts below Franklin Mieuli in a pith helmet …
Photo: Eric Luse/The Chronicle 1981
One of the joys of digging around the Chronicle photo morgue is finding little surprises, like Warriors owner Mieuli (with Washington Square Bar and Grill co-owner Sam Deitsch) randomly showing up clad in expedition wear for the San Francisco Chronicle’s 1981 Banana Republic photo shoot.
I’m not going to aim my spears of cultural criticism at the late Donald Fisher or anyone else responsible for jettisoning the original ideals of the company. Financially, the 1989 rebranding from expedition wear to trendier upscale clothing was a huge success.
I do feel sympathy for the Zieglers, who must drive by seven Banana Republics a day, knowing that nobody under the age of 35 understands what the company was like when they built it. It was a blast of adventure between the Miller’s Outposts, Chess Kings and Sam Goodys. It was a good place to buy a leather bomber jacket. The catalog was one of the more entertaining reads at the time. (Banana Republic was selling its jackets and dresses with swashbuckling Mel Ziegler-written blurbs long before J. Peterman.)
Images courtesy Mel and Patricia Ziegler (2012 photo)
My safari-themed Banana Republic of choice was the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, although I mostly browsed. I bought T-shirts with safari animals on them, an Israeli paratrooper briefcase and maybe a pair of khakis. Along with the jeep, I’m pretty sure they also had a fog machine.
One conflicted Banana Republic memory comes in 1991 or so, when I was an editor for the college newspaper Mustang Daily at Cal Poly. One of our ad execs, who we’ll call “Amy,” was about to graduate, and landed a job as an assistant manager at the Hillsdale Banana Republic. She somehow got this job without seeing the store, and was desperate for information. Our conversation went something like this:
Amy: “You know about Banana Republic in Hillsdale? Is it a nice store?”
Peter: “You’re so lucky! It’s the coolest store in the mall. It’s not one of those faceless clothing stores. It has a rad safari theme and a jeep coming through the front of the store.”
Amy: “Oh my God, that’s such a relief! I thought it was going to be someplace boring.”
This is the type of misunderstanding that happened a lot before the internet. I felt really bad when I returned from school the following summer and discovered the old Banana Republic was replaced by something that looked exactly like the Macy’s activewear section.
One last note: I’m fully aware that I didn’t include a photo of a Banana Republic jeep, which is like running a Haight Street retrospective without any hippies. If you have a photo of a Banana Republic store jeep that you’re legally entitled to share, please send it my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to you Banana Republic memories in the comments.
PETER HARTLAUB is the pop culture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle and founder/editor of The Big Event. He takes requests. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeterHartlaub. Follow The Big Event on Facebook.
Would LiLo make a good martian settler? (Photo via The Guise Archives/Wikimedia Commons)
Looking for a one-way ticket off the planet? So are at least 78,000 other souls.
That’s how many people applied over the past two weeks to become part of Earth’s first cattle-call attempt to colonize Mars. Dutch private space flight outfit Mars One wants to hear from more applicants who are “committed, creative, resilient and motivated,” says Mars One Chief Medical Officers Dr. Norbert Kraft. Colonization, by the way, will be part of history’s largest reality TV show, which the nonprofit hopes will help raise some of the $6 billion it needs to lift off and set up camp.
Mars One expects 500,000 or more to sign up by the end of August for what its CEO, Bas Landsorp, has called “the most desired job in history.” So far, people have applied from all walks of life (grocery store clerks to bona fide rocket scientists) from 120 countries, but mostly the United States, China and the United Kingdom.
You don’t need prior experience in engineering or astronomy to put your name in the running (though that might help, one hopes). As long as you’re at least 18, in good health and willing to live the rest of your life on a planet without running water or breathable air, with deadly radiation and insanely unstable surface temperatures that average out to about –58F, then, by all means, submit your application video.
Yeah, it’s staged for “Hunger Games” level reality TV, but living on the Red Planet won’t be a “Survivor” challenge on some tropical island where the biggest problem is a little interpersonal drama and some fitness-challenge-like obstacle course. Colonists will actually have to get their hands dirty. The daily routine involves construction work, like building greenhouses, researching the planet’s climate and geology and maintaining the settlement.
Anyway, Mars One says that by 2015, the massive group of applicants will get whittled down to about 40. Then, it’s up to the TV audience to vote on who gets to settle on martian soil. After eight years of training, the group will take off in 2022, assuming the project lasts that long.
This is a volunteer effort, but if we could nominate a few people, who would you send? How about …
Lindsay Lohan. The lady can’t abide by Spaceship Earth’s rules, so why not give her a chance to start over – clean slate, new set of laws, the whole deal – in what’s presumably a drug-free environment. Her judge would be thrilled, but so would her agent. As the biggest television event in history, wouldn’t the “Mars One” reality show make us all forget those painful-to-watch made-for-TV movies she dabbled in? Plus, it would be a way better comeback than, say, “The Surreal Life” or some such day-time reality spin-off.
The Duggars. These people have proven themselves expert at makin’ babies. Plus, they all seem so well-behaved and onboard with the whole teamwork thing – perfect for colonial settlements, right? Nineteen’s a great start, you guys, but there’s room for more of your ilk elsewhere.
Online communities that promote self-harm flock under social media tags like #thinspiration (thin + inspiration), #proana (pro-anorexia) and #promia (pro-bulimia).
Google (actually, don’t) “pro-ana” or other “thinspo” buzzwords and you’ll see literally thousands of message boards, websites, social media accounts and other dark little Internet hideaways home to what are effectively pro-eating disorder support groups. The mostly female participants living off barely-there nourishment like Diet Coke and apple slivers encourage each other to fast, posting motivational pictures of thigh gaps, sunken stomachs and rib cages.
Pinterest and Tumblr chose to police thinspo tags about a year ago. The effectiveness of tag bans is up for debate, of course. And no one appears to be harping on YouTube, despite its myriad of impossibly thin anorexics posting enabling vlogs of their frightening attempts to whittle away.
“The issue is a contentious one, and with good reason – on one hand it is in everyone’s best interest to protect young or otherwise impressionable users from material that might encourage them to self-harm,” writes fashion blogger Styleite. “On the other, banning certain categories of content may pave the way for greater censorship down the line.”
The National Eating Disorder Association is willing to help sites come up with effective strategies, training Pinterest moderators to detect the difference between the innocuous and thinspiring. The organization also teamed up with Tumblr to enact a policy that directs people to a public service announcement if they search a pro-starvation tag.
Should Twitter listen to Singer’s petiton, the magazine asks?
“I’m not going to say I think it’d be super effective,” answers Padilla. “But I don’t think they should just sit back and not do anything about it just because [pro-eating disorder users] will find something else to use. They should be blocking every channel they’ve got that gets the message across, and keep blocking the tags until the movement is suppressed. This is an issue that requires a vigilant effort. I’m in favor of blocking the thinspo hashtag. I really hope this issue gets resolved, because this is an epidemic, basically. I hope girls can escape it.”
Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, both of whom were kidnapped as girls and subsequently rescued, have managed to maintain some privacy while carefully choosing paid interviews. From the limited information we have of them, both Smart and Dugard have adjusted well to a return to regular life.
“I am just so overjoyed, so happy to hear another happy ending,” she told ABC’s Good Morning America. “I think it’s just proof there are more happy endings out there, and that it just means we need to have constant vigilance, constantly keep our eyes open and our ears open, because miracles do happen and there are happy endings out there waiting to happen.”
Like Dugard, Smart cautions the world to respect the women’s privacy to allow them to find themselves after years of someone holding their sense of identity hostage.
Elizabeth Smart reminds families of the missing to remain vigilant and hopeful.
“[The captor has] stolen so much from them already, they deserve to be happy,” Smart tells the morning news program. “I would tell them, I hope that they realize there is so much ahead of them, that they don’t need to hold on to the past, they don’t need to relive everything that’s happened, because it’s proof, their rescue is proof there are good people out there … who want the best for them, who want them to be happy, who want good things to happen.”
The son of the man suspected of kidnapping and holding captive three teens for over a decade in Cleveland, wrote about the case in 2004, just months after the abductions.
Ariel Castro, then a journalism student, shares the same name with his father, was was arrested yesterday when Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were all found alive after disappearing between 2002 and 2004. Local NBC affiliate WKYC-TV first reported the story and contacted the younger Castro, who expressed shock at the allegations lodged against his father.
Since April 2, 2004 , the day 14-year-old Gina DeJesus was last seen on her way home from Wilbur Wright Middle School , neighborhood residents have been taken by an overwhelming need for caution. Parents are more strictly enforcing curfews, encouraging their children to walk in groups, or driving them to and from school when they had previously walked alone.
“You can tell the difference,” DeJesus’ mother, Nancy Ruiz said. “People are watching out for each other’s kids. It’s a shame that a tragedy had to happen for me to really know my neighbors. Bless their hearts, they’ve been great.”
On Cleveland ’s west side, it is difficult to go any length of time without seeing Gina’s picture on telephone poles, in windows, or on cars along the busy streets.
“People are really looking out for my daughter,” Ruiz said.