Dennis McCarthy

Dennis McCarthy

Recent articles

  • Heart transplants

    Some heart transplant patients struggle with post-op housing, but this jazz dancer wants to help: Dennis McCarthy

    “When I told him what I was doing, his first comment to me was ‘I thought you had to be rich to get a heart transplant.’” — Ava Kaufman, founder of Ava’s Heart.She’s a 67-year-old former professional jazz dancer with the heart of a young mother beating inside her. Ava Kaufman is her name, and she’s doing well for herself financially these days, which is important to mention up front.Not as well as she was...

  • News

    School crossing guards deserve special award in car crazy LA: Dennis McCarthy

    “Slow down…think of them as your own kids.” – Lt. Carl Jones, senior traffic supervisor for the LA city Department of Transportation.You’ve seen it, we all have. Cars blowing through 25-mph school zones in the morning doing 50. VIP motorists who think “slow down” signs don’t apply to them. They’re special.No, they’re not. They’re just stupid and dangerous.That’s why the 430...

  • Relationships

    Dad’s 90th brings memories of Archie and Meathead into the Trump era: Dennis McCarthy

    I ask my father what he wants for his 90th birthday tomorrow and he tells me nothing. He’s got enough stuff.You’ve got to get something, I say. Turning 90’s still a big deal. Less than five percent of Americans who reach 65 make it to 90, and three out of four of them are women.You’re a rare bird. So, what do you want, because I’m buying you something.He gets that “oh, yeah?” stubborn look in his eyes I saw so many nights...

  • Books and literature

    Speed isn’t everything for these San Fernando Valley writers — ‘taking their sweet time’

    “My daughter always said I was so straight I never walked across other people’s lawns. If she reads some of the stuff I’m writing now, her eyes will open wide.” — Mary Freeman. In this age of 140-character communication, where speed, not style, is everything, the San Fernando Valley Writers are cruising along the information highway in an old Caddie convertible taking their sweet time.Looking for some lawns to cross and the chance to open some...

  • Community

    How about Vin Scully, John Wayne or Bob Hope for a Valley monument? It’s time: Dennis McCarthy

    You know it might be time to consider a face-lift when the San Fernando Valley’s most recognizable landmark remains a brewery more than 220,000 motorists drive by everyday to and from work on the 405 freeway.New York has the Statue of Liberty, San Francisco the Golden Gate Bridge. We’ve got Budweiser - the King of Beers.Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Seinfeld would say, but being home to America’s best-selling beer, Bud Light, and the...

  • Recreational dancing

    Couple put ‘Best Foot Forward’ for Valley youngsters – and it paid off: Dennis McCarthy

    Many people talk a good game, but when it comes time to put up or shut up, they usually shut up.Not Gloria and Larry Weinstein. They put up - big time.The retired school teachers took $25,000 out of their retirement savings 10 years ago, and spent it on special dance classes to teach ballroom dancing to fourth- and fifth-grade students at six elementary schools in the Valley.The next year they took out $50,000 more as additional schools signed on, then another $50,000,...

  • Memorial Day

    Thank you to the unsung heroes, so we can live free: Dennis McCarthy

    His legacy was found in an old, brown paper bag stuck in the back of an empty storage bin.Howard Suer, owner of the Van Nuys storage company, took it into his office and scattered its contents across his desk, and then he sat down hard in his swivel chair.“This isn’t right,” he said to himself. “This just isn’t right.”Scattered across his desk was a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, and a Good Conduct Medal awarded to a Cpl. Myron H.

  • Features/People

    A ‘Pretty Blonde Nurse’ basks in the glow of Florence Nightingale – and rightly so: Dennis McCarthy

    It was the last newspaper clipping in a dusty, discarded scrapbook found in the bottom of an old file cabinet at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Sylmar a few months back.“Pretty Blonde Nurse Selected as Finalist,” the slightly sexist, but true headline in the old Valley News & Green Sheet read. Vibeke “Veba” Gerkins, 38, was a knockout.It was August of 1970 and she had been chosen as one of 25 nurses from different area hospitals to vie...

  • Veterans

    An ‘old-school’ vet finds new spark after life of sacrifice: Dennis McCarthy

    “We’re a light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of old veterans.” — Art Sherman.The letter arrives by snail mail, handwritten in blue ink. Pen to paper. Complete sentences and spelled out words. Old school.It’s from Marge Callahan, a Northridge resident, who’s taking care of her 91-year-old husband, Bob, battling some serious health issues.With the help of her four daughters, she’s trying to make his final years...

  • Local governments

    Hey, LA County supervisors – this woman has her eyes on you: Dennis McCarthy

    The bumper sticker on Genevieve Clavreul’s electric scooter tells you all you need to know about this straight​-​talking, no​-​nonsense 76-year-old retired nurse.“Don’t mess with me, I get paid to stab people with sharp objects.”For the last 18 years, Clavreul’s been surgically stabbing members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors with sharp objects every chance she gets - which is a lot considering...