The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on January 15, 1997 · Page 22
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 22

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Wednesday, January 15, 1997
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, B4 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 1997 LOS ANGELES TIMES News, people and events in Los Angeles County's communities. Where to Call With News Central Los Angeles: (213) 237-7077 San Fernando Valley: (818) 772-3200 San Gabriel Valley: (818) 303-8955 South Bay: (310) 726-0350 Southeast: (310) 432-5415 Westside: (310)4506666 v From Inner City to Igloos For two youths, the trip to Antarctica was an eye-and mind-opening experience. For Mike Hoover, it fulfilled a promise and a memory. By MAKI BECKER SPECIAL TO THE TIMES Beverly Johnson and Mike Hoover made a pact: They would try to somehow enrich the lives of Los Angeles' inner-city children. They were husband and wife, award-winning documentary cinematographers who had filmed the guerrilla war in Afghanistan for CBS. They had traveled the world, but had never ventured into the lower-income neighborhoods of their hometown. After the Los Angeles riots of 1992, Hoover and Johnson, residents of Eagle Rock, started making frequent trips to South-Central Los Angeles, trying to get a feel for the area. One day, they were watching youngsters playing basketball at a South-Central recreation center. Johnson turned to her husband. Hoover still remembers the words she spoke: "These are our kids." And then she died in an April 1994 helicopter crash in Nevada, returning from a skiing trip. It was big news, but only because the other passenger who died was Walt Disney Co. President Frank G. Wells. To remain faithful to their shared promise, Hoover started the Beverly Johnson Memorial Fund. With the money he raised through the fund, Hoover decided to open the eyes, and minds, of a few inner-city youngsters. "The idea was to send good kids, only good kids, on whatever program we could find," Hoover said. Last summer, he arranged for two Los Angeles teenagers to attend the Teton Science School in Kelly, Wyo. And a few weeks ago, he sent Ryan Buchanan, 13, a student at Walton Middle School in Compton, and Quanisha Shuler, 15, a student at Crenshaw High, to Antarctica. ' "A friend of mine, Anne Kershaw, runs the Adventure Network which flies people into Antarctica. She called and said, 'I know this sounds kooky, but I'm able to send a couple of kids down,' " Hoover said. That would be fabulous, he told her. Neither of the two teenagers selected for the trip had ever been farther away than Mississippi or seen snow. Now, Ryan and Quanisha, who returned home last week, have traveled more than 16,000 miles round-trip, constructed an igloo, zipped across the ice on snowmobiles, experienced 24-hour daylight and sipped the freshest water they have ever tasted, made from : Antarctic ice run through a snow melter. ' On the night before the trip, the teenagers and their families met at Hoover's home in Eagle Rock. In his living room, decorated with Oscars and artifacts from around the world, Hoover tried to prepare the youngsters for what they would encounter. They would be staying at a campsite at Patriot Hills, just a few hundred miles from the South Pole, where r f : y r - - j , -r.tyyrajw'f "" "-" - - - " , - ' 't vj :i i These kids I went straight from South-Central and Compton to Antarctica. What happens when you do something like this is that you whet their appetite.' MIKE HOOVER CAROLYN COLE Los Angela Times Jamie Washington, left, hugs Quanisha Shuler at going-away party before Antarctica trip. With them is Tamie Washington. ' 6 f, v i& W p 7 . CAROLYN COLE Lm Angeles Times QUANISHA SHULER For The Times Quanisha opens gifts from classmates at her party. Right, Ryan Buchanan stands in the Antarctica snow. "it is so cold and so inhospitable to life, you can't get sick there," said Hoover, who had filmed several expeditions to Antarctica. They would be expected to help out with chores melting snow for drinking water and cleaning up after meals to earn their keep. "My baby will be so far away," worried Luline Dotson, Ryan's mother. "I expect him to come back changed. He is already on the threshold of manhood." Quanisha and Ryan bid farewell to their nervous mothers at Los Angeles International Airport on Dec. 17 and flew to Santiago, Chile, where they transferred to a smaller plane to Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world. After getting dressed in their extreme-cold weather gear, they boarded a C-130 military cargo plane operated by the Adventure Network and headed due south for Patriot Hills. They stayed at the campgrounds for two weeks with a group of youngsters from Poland and Britain, who had won similar contests to get to Antarctica. The teenagers were disoriented by the 24 hours of sunlight. Quanisha said they wiled away the nighttime hours by playing cards. They skied for hours, met with explorers, ate meals right off the crystal-clean ice and explored a couple of old plane crash sites. Ryan camped out one night in the igloo that the youngsters had built. "I woke up covered in snow," he said. On Christmas, Quanisha and the kids from Poland and the U.K. went from tent to tent, singing carols and banging on pots and pans. Later, they exchanged gifts from their home countries and ate turkey prepared by the camp cooks. A week after the teenagers returned, the families got together with Hoover again, this time at a Sizzler in Inglewood, to pass around stacks of photographs, souvenirs and swap stories about their experiences. Quanisha said she was shocked when, just after landing on Antarctica, the back of the cargo plane opened and she saw for the first time through her snow goggles the awesome vastness of the continent "It was like a dream just seeing all that ice," she said, her opening wide. For Ryan, the most remarkable aspect was the silence of the land. "It was just so quiet," he said, carefully choosing his words. "I've never been to a place that was so quiet." The stories were flying. Hoover leaned over the restaurant table. ' "This whole thing is about access," he said. "These kids went straight from South -Central and Compton to Antarctica. What happens when you do something like this is that you whet their appetite." Steve Harvey is on vacation. Official Business Couple Killed as Plane Goes Down Near Banning A Rancho Palos Verdes couple was killed when their small airplane, caught in a snowstorm, crashed into the San Jacinto Mountains between Banning and Idyllwild, authorities said Tuesday. The couple was identified by the Civil Air Patrol as Bradley A. Humphrey, 33, and his wife, Carolyn, 32. Humphrey owned three mortgage companies in Manhattan Beach Mortgage Executives, Preferred Real Estate Group and Ventura One Financial. The Humphreys took off from Torrance Airport on Monday afternoon en route to Palm Springs. The pilot radioed that the wings of their single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza were icing as they flew over the mountains, said Riverside County Sheriffs Deputy Dennis Keene. The wreckage was discovered about noon Tuesday by a Civil Air Patrol crew and a Riverside County Sheriff's Department helicopter. Man Slain by Deputy Was Holding a Pen, Officials Say A man who authorities say refused repeated orders to submit to arrest was wielding a silver ballpoint pen rather than a knife when he was fatally shot by a Los Angeles County sheriffs deputy, officials said Tuesday. Roger Marito, 30, of Los Angeles, was killed at Heritage Classics, a vintage car dealership in West Hollywood, after apparently lunging at a deputy Monday evening, sheriff's officials said. The deputy told supervisors he thought Marito was about to stab him when he fired one round from his 9-mm handgun. Officials said Deputy Sean Ruiz who was responding to a report of a suspicious person tried to persuade Marito to calm down. But Marito became "combative," prompting Ruiz to use pepper spray and then his baton. Marito then pulled an object from his pocket and ignored Ruiz's orders to drop it, officials said. Instead, they said, Marito raised his arm and took a step toward Ruiz. Marito was shot once in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene. Date Set for Decision on Retrial in Teacher's Shooting A Compton Superior Court judge on Tuesday granted the district attorney's office more time to decide whether to retry the two gang members accused of the shooting that nearly killed school teacher Alfredo Perez. Jan. 27 date was set as the date for prosecutors to announce whether they will seek a third trial for Frazier Francis and Antonio Moses, both 19. The suspects have been held in County Jail since shortly after the shooting last February. In both previous trials, juries have been unable to reach a verdict The first trial in September deadlocked at 7 to 5 in favor of acquittal. The second, in December, ended with the jury split 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal. Perez, shot in the brain while he taught his fifth-grade class at Figueroa Elementary School, has regained his ability to speak and walks with the aid of a cane. Citing a gag order imposed during the first trial, lawyers on both sides refused to speak about the case. Secret Service Agent Denied Lower Bail in Sex Case A judge refused Tuesday to lower the $500,000 bail set for a Secret Service agent accused of having sex with a 16-year-old and supplying her with drugs. Timothy John O'Brien, 37, who used to guard Ronald and Nancy Reagan, remained in custody after a brief hearing in Los Angeles Municipal Court The six-year Secret Service veteran, who was arrested Dec. 11, is accused of having sex with a girl at his Hermosa Beach home and giving her metham-phetamine, and of pulling a gun on the girl's father when he confronted O'Brien. O'Brien faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of the charges. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 6, when a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence for trial. Suspect in Clerk's Slaying Arrested in Oakland Attic Capping an intensive six-month manhunt that included a television appeal for help, investigators on Monday arrested a suspect in the July 1996 murder of a Long Beach grocery store clerk on her first day on the job. A task force of FBI agents, U.S. marshals and Oakland police raided an Oakland home Monday morning and found Andre Gerald Wilson in the attic, Long Beach police said. FBI officials were alerted to Wilson's location by an anonymous caller who had seen the case profiled on the television program "Unsolved Mysteries." He is to be returned to Long Beach today to face prosecution. Police were outraged by the killing last summer of Sary San, a 38-year-old mother of seven who had just taken a job at the Seng Heng Market. A surveillance video showed that the suspect approached the counter, pulled out a handgun, demanded money, then pushed San's head to the counter and shot her, all in 15 seconds. "This was one of those that'll really gnaw at you," Long Beach Police Det Roy Hamand said. "When you have something like this, you make a little extra effort I'm glad he's off the street" Councilwoman No Longer Missing, Officials Say Burbank City Council member Susan Spanos, whose husband reported her missing on Sunday, contacted her family Tuesday afternoon and is no longer considered a missing person, police said. Spanos, whose whereabouts for nearly two days remained unclear Tuesday, was reported missing from a medical facility in Anaheim, Burbank police said. It was the second time this month that her husband had reported her missing. Police said Ted Spanos contacted Anaheim police to report his wife missing about 10 p.m. Sunday. Susan Spanos contacted her family about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

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