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Highland Patch Scores with Solid Main Street Journalism

If anyone can beat cancer at age 73, it is Hervey Chapman, co-owner with older brother Wayne of the Verdugo Pet Shop on York Blvd. in Highland Park.

Per a heartfelt and emblematic local reporting piece by Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch editor David Fonseca, the septuagenarian has participated in nearly two dozen such races over the years, along with 143 half-marathons. Before being diagnosed with leukemia over the Christmas holidays, Chapman was set to compete in the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon in March.

Wayne added that Hervey never needed to train for his races, as his regiment of lifting 50 pound bags of chicken feed at the pet shop kept him in great shape. “He never practices,” said longtime friend Susan Levine. “He just goes out and does it.”

The piece about Chapman’s sudden health battle is an excellent example of the kind of reporting Patches in LA and beyond must focus on to make their mark. The only complaint we have is that the Christmastime diagnosis angle could have been parlayed a little more strongly, perhaps even all the way up to the headline.

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