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Morning Brief: Farmers’ Markets, COVID Cases, Dragon Boat Races

Burrito at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market
A Venezuelan arepa at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market
(Courtesy of Brian De Los Santos )
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Friday, July 8th.

Can I let you in on a little secret? It’s so embarrassing, but I’m just going to say it.

I’ve never shopped at a farmers’ market. It’s wild because California has more farmers’ markets than any other state, and there are DOZENS of them all over L.A. County.

I was raised to be a big chain grocery store girl. Then, once I got a pretty penny in my pocket, I started shopping at Whole Foods…which we all know can break the bank. But now that grocery prices have skyrocketed nearly 11% in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region, I think I should check out the outdoor markets. This has especially been on my mind after reading this L.A. Times story that ranked the prices of 15 popular items at big name grocery stores (Sprouts was the most expensive at $79.65, Trader Joe’s was the least expensive at $48.88). Whole Foods definitely has a hold on me with their fresh produce, but what if I could get even FRESHER produce from a local farmer? Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

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My colleagues Evan Jacoby and Brian De Los Santos recently visited a farmers’ market in Mar Vista. One of the vendors there notes how the nutrient-rich soil most organic farms use help enhance the flavor of the produce, which makes these markets a must-go for local chefs. If local chefs are grabbing it up, I should too, right?

So, which farmers’ markets do I HAVE TO try out? What’s your favorite? Let me know on Twitter. I am ready to explore.

As always, try to stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • California is betting big that “community schools” could remake public education, according to lawmakers and advocates. In Koreatown, the UCLA Community School gives us a glimpse of what that could look like.
  • The LA County Board of Supervisors is set to ask voters to grant them the power to remove an elected sheriff from office.
  • COVID cases in LA continue to rise, with more than 900 patients hospitalized in LA County for the second day in a row. If the trend continues, the indoor mask mandate could be back by the end of this month.
  • A team of local researchers at CalTech is working on a vaccine that could protect against a wide range of coronavirus strains, even before they are discovered.
  • A Palm Desert school is on its way to becoming the first fully accredited tribal college in California. Celeste Townsend, president of the college, says it’s an important step in reversing the deep-seated mistrust of education in the Native American community.
  • Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 21 years in prison for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. We look back at how L.A. reckoned with the protests in the wake of Floyd’s murder in May 2020.

Before You Go...The Dragon Boat Races Are On!

Lotus Festival

Looking for some entertainment and whole lotta fun this weekend? Head over to Echo Park Lake on Saturday and Sunday for the 41st Lotus Festival to celebrate Asian Culture. There will be free performances, dragon boat races, and more. It runs from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. And guess what? The free doesn’t stop there! There will be free parking and shuttles available. Check out more details here.

And if you feel like spending a little money…

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Have you ever wanted to party like the cast in Euphoria? Well, you and your friends (adults only) have the chance to do so this Friday, starting at 9:30 p.m.! This event will be held at Boardner’s in Hollywood with live music by Glass Eye, The Gems, and Club Decades DJs. The tunes will be spinning the hottest artists and leave you feeling so euphoric that the $15 to $20 you spent will be completely worth it. You can see more details about these events and more here.

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