Home Blog Page 2252

Lorraine Hayes, 94; Longtime Resident

Longtime Palisadian Lorraine E. Hayes died on April 7, shortly after moving to the Berkley East Convalescent Home in Santa Monica. She had celebrated her 94th birthday on March 28. Born in Chicago, Hayes and her husband Steven moved to California after World War II and eventually built several homes in Pacific Palisades. In addition to her husband, who once ran for Los Angeles City Council, Hayes was also predeceased by her sisters, Chestyn Edwards and Gwendolyn White, and her nephew, Leland White. She is survived by her brother, P. Steurt Holmquest of Indiana; nieces Donna Holmquest of Ohio, Judy McMullen of Santa Rosa and Bonnie Edwards of Santa Rosa; and great-neice Aimee White of San Diego. She is also survived by her loving friend and caregiver, Charlotte Schneider.

Ogden Cleaners Converts To Non-Toxic Solution

By GEORGINA DINHAM Palisadian-Post Contributor When you take your clothes to the dry cleaners, do you think about the chemicals and possible toxins that may be used to clean your garments or remove stains? The owners of Ogden Cleaners on Sunset, Danil Sapozhnikov and his wife Yanna, have given this issue a great deal of thought and last December became one of the few dry cleaning facilities in California to convert to an environmentally friendly cleaning system. ‘We are now using a solution that is organic, non-toxic and odorless,’ said Sapozhnikov. ‘I have been in the cleaning business since 1985, and this is a good solution for cleaning.’ The solution that Ogden Cleaners uses is an aliphatic hydrocarbon, which is called DF 2000. It is a clear, odorless fluid that is not only non-toxic but biodegradable as well. ‘Everyone will be using it in about 15 years, but right now it is still one of the latest technologies,’ Sapozhnikov said. ‘It’s been available for five or six years. I actually first heard about it in a trade magazine, and have had it now since Christmas.’ The equipment for using this latest technology has cost Sapozhnikov $150,000, which he has paid for over the last three years. ‘We have bought all new presses and washing machines so we can use the organic cleaning system,’ he said. ‘It’s better because it gives the garments a nicer feel and texture. It is much more dependable, and provides good-quality cleaning. The garments even feel softer. Silk, for example, comes out shinier than it normally would. We can also do a bigger variety of garments with this system too, like wedding dresses.’ When asked if this safe new cleaning solution has upped the price of dry cleaning for his customers, Sapozhnikov said, ‘No, it hasn’t. In fact with all our promotions we are doing it is actually cheaper.’ To dry clean a pair of men’s pants at Ogden’s costs $6.50; a man’s shirt is $7.50; and a woman’s silk blouse is $8.50. Sapozhnikov, 53, is originally from Russia and moved to the United States 25 years ago with his wife. They first lived in Chicago, where Sapozhnikov worked as a tailor for two years. ‘After Chicago we moved out here to California and I opened a cleaners in North Hollywood named Magnolia Cleaners. I then opened another cleaners in Brentwood named Image, but after a while I realized I could not have two places at the same time. One takes enough of your time. So I sold them both and bought Ogden’s here in the Palisades, which I heard about through a broker, and I’ve been here six and a half years,’ Sapozhnikov said. The couple live in Woodland Hills and have been married 25 years. They have two children, Steven, 24, who used to help out at Ogden’s, and Bianca, 16. Steven graduated from Cal State Northridge, while Bianca attends El Camino High School. Ogden Cleaners, located at 15317 Sunset, is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Editor’s note: While some 90 percent of the dry cleaners in California use the chemical perc [perchloroethylene], by 2020 all are required to convert to non-toxic cleaning solutions. As with most chemical substances, the ill effects of perc are dependent upon the level of exposure. The level of perc inside most dry cleaners is no more than 30 parts per million (ppm), far below the level at which acute effects can be observed (200 ppm), according to the American Council on Science and Health. The Palisadian-Post contacted other dry cleaners in the Village, including Prestige Cleaners on Monument, Regal Cleaners on Via de la Paz, and Philips French Cleaners and Emerson LaMay Cleaners on Sunset. Philips and Emerson said they no longer use perc in their machines.)

Wooden’s Words of Wisdom

Beloved Hall of Fame Coach Shares Life Lessons with USC Journalism Students

USC football coach Pete Carroll (left) and Palisadian Jeff Fellenzer (right) with legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden during a reception at the Annenberg School of Journalism.
USC football coach Pete Carroll (left) and Palisadian Jeff Fellenzer (right) with legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden during a reception at the Annenberg School of Journalism.
Photo by Rich Schmitt, Staff Photographer

Palisadian Jeff Fellenzer has spent many evenings in the company of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. But perhaps none have meant as much to him as last Wednesday night, when Wooden visited Fellenzer’s journalism class at the University of Southern California and shared three hours’ worth of the wisdom and knowledge that have made him one of the most beloved and respected figures in sports. “I was deeply touched by Coach Wooden’s generosity and his willingness to share so much of his time with my students,” Fellenzer said. “He stayed until he had signed everything that everyone had brought with them. John is like Bruce Springsteen in concert’he always delivers more than you could ever expect. He is an amazing person and I feel very blessed to be able to call him a friend.” Now 93 years young, Wooden is still as sharp as ever. He captivated over 200 students in USC’s Annenberg Auditorium with his thoughtful, witty and often profound answers to questions ranging from his coaching career to his life philosophy. Fellenzer started the class, titled “Sports, Business and Media in Today’s Society,” six years ago with former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Fred Claire and ever since Wooden has been at the top of the desired guest list. “I began incorporating some “Woodenisms” into my lectures last spring and the feedback I got from the class was incredible,” Fellenzer said. “Now, we call it our weekly Wooden. Well, this one is the ultimate weekly Wooden because he’s here in person.” Wooden coached UCLA to 10 national championships in 11 seasons, including seven in a row from 1967-73 and led the Bruins to 88 consecutive victories–an NCAA record that still stands. He is the first of only three men to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach and mentored countless NBA superstars, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Walt Hazzard and Gail Goodrich. Now Wooden is revered as much for what he has done off the court as for what his teams achieved on it. He has authored several books, the latest being a children’s story called “Inch and Miles,” published last fall, and his “Pyramid of Success” has become a model for coaches and teachers all over the world. Last summer, Wooden was invited to the White House, where President George Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon a United States civilian. Though he spent the majority of his coaching career at USC’s crosstown rival, the man affectionately known as the “Wizard of Westwood” is nevertheless greatly respected by Trojan faithful and he was warmly received at a pre-class reception. One of the first to arrive and last to leave was USC head football coach Pete Carroll, whose team won a share of the national championship in January. Carroll was as excited to meet Wooden as anyone in the room. “That was quite a year you had,” Wooden said as the two shook hands. “But I wish you’d cut it out.” Carroll laughed, then told a story of how adopting Wooden’s principles has contributed to his success at USC. “I’ve read a whole bunch of books looking for any little edge I could find,” Carroll said to Wooden. “A few years ago, just before I accepted this job, a friend of mine gave me the blue book (“Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court”) and I remember getting to the part that says you won your first national title in your 17th year. I found myself thinking ‘I’m never going to last 17 years here.’ But reading your book changed how I prepared for this opportunity.” Wooden’s advice to Carroll on how to keep the Trojans on top? “Like the alumni will tell you–that was yesterday,” he said. “You can’t live in the past. You have to live for today because it’s the only day that matters. Close the door on yesterday and throw away the key.” Wooden said he is proud of current USC men’s basketball coach Henry Bibby, one of his former players at UCLA, and that the program would benefit from an on-campus basketball facility instead of an outside venue like the Sports Arena. In addition to teaching at his alma mater, Fellenzer is founder of the Pete Newell Challenge, a preseason college basketball tournament in Oakland named after the popular California coach. Wooden, in fact, considers Newell to be the best he ever coached against. “Some of you may remember Coach Wooden throwing out the first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series at Anaheim Stadium two years ago,” Fellenzer said in his introduction to the class. Turning to Wooden, he added: “I thought you threw a pretty good fast ball.” “Actually, it was a slider Jeff,” Wooden corrected. “It hit the ground and slid all the way to the catcher.” Andy Hill, ex-Bruin and former L.A. City Player of the Year at University High, accompanied his former coach to the event. “As a game coach, he was good,” Hill remembered. “But in practice, there has never been anyone better than Coach Wooden. That’s really where the games were won.” Hill sat amongst the students as Wooden discussed a myriad of topics, including his dislike of showmanship in today’s game. “If one of my players dunked the ball I’d have him out of there before his feet hit the floor,” he said. Of NBA rookie sensation Lebron James, Wooden said, “I never saw anyone like him in a high school all-star game since Oscar Robertson. I’d like to see his birth certificate because he looks like he’s 25. If he can keep his feet on the ground, he’ll be a great one.” However, Wooden fears players like James, and Kobe Bryant before him, might be setting a dangerous precedent. “I don’t like to see players leave college early or skip it entirely to turn professional,” he said. “It’s a mistake in the vast majority of cases because the lifestyle in the pros is completely different.” Wooden cited the “back door” and “screen and roll” as his favorite plays and named David Robinson and John Stockton as two of his favorite players to watch. At UCLA. Wooden expected his players to abide by three simple rules: don’t use profanity, be on time and never criticize a teammate. He prefers to think of a coach as a teacher because “that’s what a coach really is after all” and he said the key to becoming a great leader is humility, saying “A great leader doesn’t light a fire under his players, but within them.” Asked to name the accomplishment he is most proud of, Wooden did not cite one of the championships he won or an honor he has received. “I’m most proud that in 29 seasons coaching college basketball (two at Indiana State, 27 at UCLA) almost all of my players graduated. That should be the first priority of every college coach.”

Franks Hit Beats Venice

When Palisades High short stop Dylan Cohen was intentionally walked with two outs in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s Western League baseball game against Venice, Adam Franks stepped to the plate with one objective: make the Gondos pay. The Dolphins’ catcher did just that, lining a two-strike pitch to right field to score Alex Thompson from second base with the only run in a battle for first place at George Robert Field. ‘I can understand why they walked Dylan’he’s our best hitter,’ Franks said. ‘But it is a little personal, yeah. By doing that, they were basically saying they didn’t think I could come through with a man in scoring position. Even though I was behind in the count, my approach was the same’stay aggressive and look for a fastball I could drive.’ The 1-0 victory kept Palisades (10-3 overall, 5-0 in league) undefeated in league play and dropped defending champion Venice (3-2 in league) into second place. The teams meet again today at Venice. ‘That’s the way it’s meant to be,’ Pali co-coach Kelly Loftus said. ‘This was just a great game between two good teams. When both teams combine for only eight hits, you know there’s some good pitching going on. This was a true test of character for our team and we passed.’ Pali’s ace right-hander Geoff Schwartz pitched a three-hitter and retired the Gondos in order in each of the last two innings to earn his third win of the season. ‘We owed them from last year,’ Schwartz said. ‘We had to come out and prove we are the better team and we did.’ Thompson’s pinch-hit single with one out started the Dolphins’ last-inning rally. After a groundout, he stole second and, with a base open, Venice walked Cohen to set up Franks’ winning hit. Thompson slid past the catcher’s tag at home plate then was mobbed by his teammates in the dugout.

Reggie’s A Big Hit At Baseball Practice

With the next day’s game against defending Western League champion Venice foremost on their minds, Palisades High baseball players showed up at practice Monday eager to get back in the swing of things after a week off for spring break. There to help the Dolphins do just that was former Los Angeles Dodger Reggie Smith, who told his attentive audience what it takes to be a good hitter. ‘According to [Boston Red Sox hall of famer] Ted Williams, being a good hitter requires three things,’ said Smith, who is now President of his own instructional center in Encino. ‘First is proper thinking. You have to go up to the plate with a plan as to what you want to do. Second, you have to be patient and get a good ball to hit. And third, you have to be quick when you get the pitch you want.’ Smith, a switch hitter whose 17-year major league career included stints with Boston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and San Francisco, played on the Dodgers’ World Series championship team in 1981 and served as the team’s hitting coach for two years upon his retirement in 1982. With a career batting average of .287, Smith had 2,020 hits and scored 1,123 runs. After addressing the Dolphins, Smith worked individually with PaliHi players in the batting cage, critiquing each player on his batting stance and swing. ‘We’re thrilled to have Reggie here helping us before a big game like this,’ Pali co-coach Tom Seyler said. ‘Hopefully, some of the kids can apply what Reggie has taught them here today against Venice.’ Asked what the hardest pitch to hit was, Smith answered any pitch that is changing planes. He had the team repeat a visualization drill in which he would hold up his hand like he was going to throw, then see if the players knew what pitch to anticipate. This eye-switch technique is aimed at getting hitters to recognize a pitcher’s release point. ‘As a batter, you’re constantly fighting for more time,’ Smith said. ‘You’re looking for any little edge you can find to give you more time to see the ball and swing. If you see the pitcher’s hand below the ball, you can anticipate a curve. If his hand is behind the ball when he releases it, expect the fastball.’ Short stop Dylan Cohen asked Smith about positioning in the batter’s box and how far apart his feet should be. When Smith suggested Cohen crowd the plate, the way he instructed his major leaguers to crowd Atlanta Braves ace Tom Glavine, Seyler expounded on Smith’s wisdom: ‘Remember what Reggie just said. Stand closer to the plate against these guys [Venice pitchers]. Make them throw it over the plate to get a strike.’

Six PALY Swimmers Make National Meet

Palisades-Malibu YMCA swim team coach Adam Blakis took six swimmers to the YMCA Spring National Swim Meet April 5-8 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex. Over 1,500 swimmers from 208 teams nationwide participated. This year, the meet’s theme was red, white and blue, and the swimmers showed their spirit by dressing in matching patriotic outfits for the opening ceremony. PALY’s team consisted of Cara Davidoff, David Nonberg, Katie Smith, Alexa Merz, Brian Johnson, and Samantha Brill. The YMCA Nationals are the championship meet that culminates the YMCA swimming short course season. Swimmers must qualify by making the national time standard. Merz, a 16-year-old junior at Harvard-Westlake High, took two silver medals in the 50- (23.82 seconds) and 100-yard (51.83 seconds) Freestyle events. She also swam the 200 Freestyle in 1:52.81 seconds (placing sixth) and the 100 Breaststroke (1:10.22 seconds). Davidoff, an 18-year-old Palisades High senior, took ninth in the 50-yard Freestyle (24.07 seconds) and 13th in the 200 Freestyle (1:53.78 seconds). She also swam the 500 Freestyle in 5:07.36, placing 24th out of 101 competitors), and the 100 Butterfly (1:00.00 seconds). Smith, a 17 year old senior at Notre Dame, swam the 100 Breaststroke (1:07.61 seconds), and placed 27th out of 173 swimmers. Nonberg, an 18-year-old junior at PaliHi, swam the 50 Freestyle in 23.12 seconds and later qualified for the YMCA Summer Long Course Nationals in the same event with a time trial of 22.94 seconds. Johnson swam the 200 Backstroke in 2:03.79 seconds. Swimmers Davidoff, Nonberg, Smith, Johnson and Brill also swam a number of best times in time-trial swims in their respective events. The 200 Freestyle Relay team of Davidoff, Merz, Smith and Brill finished 19th out of 75 teams in 1:40.14, the 200 Medley Relay was 30th out of 72 teams in 1:52.08, the 400 Freestyle Relay was 39th out of 72 teams in 3:41.01 and the 400 Medley Relay was 61st out of 75 teams in 4:10.99. Overall, the PALY women’s squad was 17th overall in total point standing among the 208 participating teams. The competition marked PALY’s largest team since the 1990s and reflects the commitment and hard work of head coach Adam Blakis and the swimmers, as well as the ongoing support of the YMCA and community. The Summer YMCA Long Course Nationals will be in early August in College Park, Maryland.

Passing Shots

Wooden Legend Lives On

As a lifelong sports fan growing up in Southern California, I heard about John Wooden all the time. I read stories about him receiving this award or that, saw him interviewed on television or watching a UCLA game from his courtside seat at Pauley Pavilion. But I had never met him until last Wednesday, when Jeff Fellenzer invited me to sit in on his ‘Evening with John Wooden’ at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism. In speaking with Jeff since the event, I learned that dozens of his students e-mailed him afterwards to express how much they enjoyed meeting Coach Wooden and how much they learned from him. One such e-mail Jeff was kind enough to share with me reads: ‘I just wanted to thank you for arranging Coach Wooden’s visit to class. I greatly enjoyed it and found myself thinking about him often this past week. I know that it was a lot for him to come all the way over here and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task. And I hope he knows how much it was appreciated. I’m not sure the class really understood just who was sitting in the room. Sports stars of the past are of a greater caliber than they are today and I’m not sure they realize and appreciate the rarity of Mr. Wooden’s style. But I’d like to think they did. I know I did. Thanks again and send my regards to Coach.’ Another student told Jeff she had watched last weekend’s Wooden Awards and was amazed a man his age could have so much energy and enthusiasm. The sentiments expressed by these students and others were shared by all of us who were fortunate enough to be in that classroom with Coach Wooden. He was our teacher that night and in those three short hours he gave us new things to think about and reminded us of things we’d long forgotten. He rattled off ‘Woodenisms’ faster than my fingers could write them down but some of what he said was so profound that I know I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. One of his favorite sayings has to do with character: ‘Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you are while your reputation is merely what others say you are.’ Another gem: ‘Sports is like a passion’it’s temporary. Education is like true love’enduring.’ He has hundreds more of these at the ready, a phrase or quote to fit every situation. The more I listened to him talk, the more respect I gained for him because I could tell what he was saying was sincere. He is a man who not only talks the talk but also walks the walk. Like the old E.F. Hutton commercial’when Coach Wooden speaks, you drop what you’re doing and listen because you know you’re going to learn something. I think what makes his advice so valuable is it’s simplicity. His concepts are not hard to understand and rarely do they require more than a simple change in attitude or action. He talked about one of the obstacles to happiness in today’s society being ‘too much emphasis on material things, when true happiness lies in things that can’t be taken away.’ He was the ultimate winner, yet he never talked to his players about winning. As I sat there observing, two things in particular impressed me. The first was his healthy sense of humor. The man is flat out funny and if laughter is indeed the eternal healer, it’s easy to see why John Wooden has outlived most of his generation. Just as remarkable to me is how humble he remains despite all that he has achieved in his life. Perhaps Jeff said it best when he described John as a teacher without being a preacher. People with that kind of character are a gift to the world. In his bestselling book ‘Wooden’ he defines success as ‘peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.’ His now-famous ‘Pyramid of Success’ is a tool that shapes winners far beyond the basketball court, even beyond the athletic arena. And John Wooden is the living embodiment of that formula. He tells us to ‘make each day a masterpiece’ while he paints a Picasso with his. He says ‘Don’t try to be better than anyone else, just try to be the best you can be’ while he honors young student-athletes for their achievements and pays no attention to his own. Wooden saved perhaps his strongest message for last, quoting from Mother Theresa: ‘A life not lived for others is not a life.’ As those who have met him can attest, John Wooden is a special man living a special life who has a lot left to live for.

Icebreaking on Polar Sea

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Sea is caught in “Ice Liberty,” an all-too-frequent occurrence amid the vast ice fields of Antarctica.
Photo by

Since he joined the United States Coast Guard seven and a half years ago, getting away from it all has taken on a whole new meaning for Bryan Goff. Goff, 26, is the IT1 (Information Systems Technician First Class) aboard Polar Sea, a United States Coast Guard cutter that returned to Seattle April 1 from a four-and-a-half month, 50,000-mile journey to the South Pole and back. The boat’s mission was to clear a path through an ice field big enough for other ships to reach McMurdo Base–the largest military base in Antarctica. Goff was part of a similar mission one year before. “The main reason I joined the Coast Guard was for the education,” says Goff, who specializes in handling all telephone operations, satellite communications and computer network systems onboard Polar Sea. “The training was both physically and mentally challenging, but I liked it.” The oldest son of Palisades High graduates Joan and Monty Goff, Bryan grew up in Topanga Canyon, graduated from Taft High and worked as an auto mechanic while attending classes at Pierce College in Woodland Hills before deciding to join the Coast Guard in 1997. His grandparents have lived on Drummond Street in Huntington Palisades since 1950. Goff’s brother David is now safely back from Iraq, where he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Goff was stationed at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland, when he decided to reenlist to get on the Polar Sea. “I knew these ships travel all over the world and that’s something I was anxious to do,” he says. “I wanted to broaden my horizons.” Polar Sea and its sister ship Polar Star are two of the largest ships in the U.S. Coast Guard and the world’s most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers. Nearly 400 feet in length and with a displacement of 13,500 tons, Polar Sea is designed to move continuously through six feet of ice at a speed of three knots. Equipped with six diesel-electric engines that power three underwater propellers, Polar Sea has a six-inch thick steel plate ‘skirt’ protecting its hull. The reinforced hull is shaped to ride up on the ice, which then breaks into small chunks under the ship’s weight. “When the bow scrapes up against the ice, it makes a very loud, distinct noise,” Goff says. “It sounds like metal being ripped apart. Not the most comforting sound for enlisted men who sleep below deck.” As one of only a handful of ships worldwide capable of conducting unrestricted high latitude operations, Polar Sea routinely operates in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Since being commissioned out of Seattle in 1978, it has sailed all seven seas, visited ports in 24 foreign countries, circumnavigated Antarctica nine times and ventured to the Arctic Circle 13 times. “The main purpose of our mission was to break up the ice around McMurdo Station so that supply ships and fuel ships can reach the base safely,” Goff says. “On this last mission, the hard part was trying to break into Marble Point, which is a fueling depot for the two HH-65A helicopters we carry on board. We hadn’t broken the ice there in four years so it was very hard and thick. When we broke through, we could see the layers of older ice. Usually a layer is equivalent to a year.” Although his most recent assignment brought him to tourist havens like the Hawaiian Islands and Sydney, Australia, and exotic spots like Tasmania, where mission scientists came aboard, Goff is quick to point out that in the armed forces, life at sea is no pleasure cruise. “It’s not as glamorous as it seems,” Goff admits. “Even when you’re docked, you’re on the boat and once you are underway it definitely gets routine. “You’re out there to do a job,” he adds. “At sea, you wake up at 6:45 a.m., have breakfast at 7 and work from about 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. My wife Jessica is in the Coast Guard too. She’s stationed in Seattle, which is our home port, but once I leave on a mission I don’t see her for months at a time.” Goff even confesses to getting seasick: “I can assure you that is no fun. Especially when you’re 100 miles from nowhere and all around as far as the eye can sea is blue ocean.’ Though day-to-day life aboard Polar Sea gets boring at times, missions can also be exciting and full of adventure. Recreational activities include a library, exercise room and daily movies to maintain morale during lengthy deployments. To break up the monotony, officers even order an occasional “abandon ship” drill, during which every crew member must report to a designated life raft with a specific piece of equipment. For Goff, that item is a satellite phone. Several times in January, while in “Ice Liberty” (meaning the vessel is lodged in ice and cannot move), Goff and his shipmates descended a ladder, engaged in snowball fights, played football and soccer, snow boarded and skied cross country-style across the iceberg. On one occasion the Polar Sea and Polar Star were caught in Ice Liberty together. “We were playing football and they decided to challenge us to a game,” Goff recalls. “In the end we beat them and they had a long walk home.” On New Year’s eve, Goff and his crew encountered a pod of orcas at the stern (rear) of the ship poking their heads out of the water to look at them. As the orcas surfaced, hundreds of Adelie penguins fled from the water and waddled to safety on the ice to avoid becoming dinner for the hungry killer whales. “That night, we had the penguin drop,” Goff explains. “You know how New York City drops the ball at midnight? Well, we have what’s called a penguin drop. All it is is a big inflatable penguin that we had up on our lanyards. As the time got nearer, the penguin got closer to the deck. After that was done with, we wrapped things up and went to bed.” McMurdo Station, located in the Ross Sea, has a population of 200 in the winter and 1,200 in the summer. It covers almost two-and-a-half square miles and contains over 100 buildings, including a church, fire department, a coffee house, a U.S. Post Office and even two ATM machines. Goff says it “resembles a mining town from the Old West.” Navigating through the Ross Sea requires the utmost precision because of icebergs, a constant threat to ships due to their massive size and often invisible surface. “About seven-eighths of an iceberg is underwater,” Goff explains. “Icebergs are either white or blue. The white ones have bubbles trapped in the ice and the surface reflects sunlight, giving the berg a white appearance. But blue ones have few or no bubbles at all and therefore no reflection. Those are the most dangerous.” One of Antarctica’s most impressive tablet-shaped icebergs, labeled B-15K, is six miles wide, 24 miles long and 100 feet high. While the assortment of marine life is fascinating to watch and the scenery can be breathtaking, crew members know the mission itself is first priority aboard Polar Sea. “We had to constantly send divers down into the sub-freezing water to check our propellers to make sure the ice wasn’t bending them,” Goff claims. “There were times when the ice was very thick at certain locations, where we were moving about 100 yards a watch (one watch is four hours in duration). It takes perseverance and determination to get the job done.” Polar Sea is back at its home port in Seattle undergoing routine maintenance, as it does upon completion of every mission. And although he still reports to work every morning, Goff is happy to be doing so on dry land for a change. “It’s nice to wake up and be in the same place you were when you went to sleep the night before,” he says. “Looking out the window and seeing the same view takes a little getting used to.”

Crossroads Cultivates Art Students as Curators

The task would be daunting to even the most experienced art professional. View 100 works of art from the acclaimed Eileen Harris-Norton and Peter Norton collection’recognized as one of the top contemporary art collections in the world’and select just over a dozen to exhibit. But four Crossroads students’three seniors and one junior’did just that when they were tapped to curate their own art show, called ‘Deep Focus,’ an exhibition recently on view at the school’s Sam Francis Gallery. Among the four students was Palisadian Anna Ayeroff, a senior who has been at Crossroads since kindergarten. An avid painter and printmaker, Ayeroff is passionate about making art. ‘That and studying art history,’ says Ayeroff, who hopes to attend either Columbia or Brown next fall. ‘Becoming curators teaches students how to look critically and thematically at the work of other artists,’ says Pam Posey, an AP studio art teacher and director of the Sam Francis Gallery. This is the second year Posey has enlisted art students to don curatorial caps, challenging them to step outside their roles as art makers to lend a discerning eye to the works of others. ‘It encourages them to have a different relationship with art.’ Among those they evaluated in the Norton collection were both emerging artists and some of the biggest names in contemporary art. Making the final selections prompted healthy debates among the four students, with Ayeroff confessing she was drawn to installation and sculpture pieces, while another of her colleagues clearly favored photography. Ultimately, choices came about on the basis of how well pieces worked together, keeping in mind the challenges to come when installing the show. In the end, all media made the cut, with works ranging from large-scale color photography’Rosemary Laing’s rich painterly take on a forest she literally laid with carpet before photographing’to sculpture with direct political and social overtones: Kim Dingle’s gum ball machine filled with bullets and titled ‘Gunball machine.’ The students worked intuitively, choosing not to impose any strict thematic thread. ‘Quite a few pieces deal with identity,’ Ayeroff says. ‘We were looking both for interesting pieces and for works that were aesthetically pleasing. Beauty mattered.’ Two minimal works, dazzling in their simplicity, were probably chosen with beauty in mind. Tony Feher’s striking piece, 25 clear glass bottles arranged on a shelf, anchors one wall of the show while a Catherine Opie photograph’icehouses occupying one narrow horizontal strip against a vast white background of overcast sky and frozen water’is a kindred spirit hanging nearby. When Peter Norton attended the opening, he praised the fluidity and elegance of the show. ‘We’ve also been told by teachers and students that it’s the best show in a long time,’ Ayeroff says. Satire made its way into the show with framed pieces by the Guerrilla Girls, a group of anonymous female artists whose work illuminates gender and racial equality issues. Noted under the heading of ‘The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist’ are caustic witticisms such as ‘Working without the pressure of success’ and ‘Not having to be in shows with men.’ ‘I find them hilarious,’ Ayeroff says. ‘The idea of what they’re doing is so fabulous.’ She points out she is in the minority among her peers in thinking feminism is fascinating. ‘Kids should realize feminism isn’t about hating men. It applies to all of us, and especially to me since I plan to pursue art as a career and lifestyle.’ Surprising was the absence of pieces of a more combative, agitating nature. ‘We’re waiting until the senior class show to really push buttons,’ says Ayeroff with a laugh. ‘I’m working on a series of prints, etchings and linoleum prints revolving around issues of pornography.’ Ayeroff, whose younger sister is a 10th grader at Crossroads, speaks of her parents as ‘big art enthusiasts’ who made gallery and museum visits a regular part of growing up. Her mother is a non-practicing architect and her father, a collector of photography, is a former art director. The senior class show opened on April 14 and will continue through April 28 in the Sam Francis Gallery at Crossroads School, 1714 21st Street, Santa Monica. Contact: 829-7391, ext. 425.

Financial Expert’s Book Empowers Young Women

When author Vanessa Summers took responsibility for her financial life, she found it affected the rest of her life. ‘When I took responsibility for myself at age 26 by getting on budget, addressing credit card debt and creating financial security for myself, the quality of my life upgraded, in terms of my health, well-being and sense of accomplishment,’ she says. Summers is hoping to help other young women achieve financial security through her book, ‘Get in the Game! The Girls’ Guide to Money & Investing’ (Bloomberg Press, $15.95). She’ll be speaking about her book on Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Books, 1049 Swarthmore. The book is an accessible look at financial basics aimed at 20-something women. The author, 32, is a registered investment advisor, who uses her own experiences as a way to connect with young women. A former model, Summers became a stockbroker at age 23 with a Hong Kong investment firm. Despite working in the field, Summers didn’t apply sound financial principles to her own life, and she found herself spending more than she earned and maxing out credit cards. After returning to the U.S. she worked as head of sales for a women’s equity fund. At a conference, she learned some frightening statistics about the poverty conditions of many elderly women. In her book, she cites an Institute for Women’s Policy Research statistic that 50 percent of all women 65 and older who are single or widowed live on $12,000 or less a year. ‘My jaw dropped,’ she recalls. ‘This was a big awakening for me. I realized I’d done nothing to plan for my financial future.’ Growing up in Miami, Summers was used to a lifestyle of vacation homes, luxury cars and country club memberships, until age 17, when her parents divorced, causing a downward shift in lifestyle for Vanessa, her siblings and her mother. Summers learned from this that as a woman, no one was ultimately going to take care of her financially. In her book, she shares statistics about women and money, giving guidance on budgeting, debt reduction, starting retirement and emergency funds and choosing investments. She includes information about socially responsible investment funds, which screen companies they invest in according to considerations such as environmental or labor practices or animal welfare. Summers wrote the book and also started her own private foundation, the Sutra Foundation, four years ago to educate young women about investing, retirement planning and other money matters. She has recently been bringing her message to college-age women at universities. Summers, who has been called ‘the financial guru of the MTV generation’ also offers a four-week wealth and success workshop in Beverly Hills. The next workshop begins May 4. Contact: 754-9706 or go to www.sutrafoundation.com.