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Morning Brief: Help With Rent, A (Possible) New Sheriff, And Disneyland Is Back

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(Chava Sanchez
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Good morning, L.A. It’s April 30.

Today is the final day of our spring member drive. If you rely on and enjoy LAist, please take a moment right now to become a member. Your support powers our journalists and allows us to stay independent, because we report to you — our readers.

And now, back to the news…

In L.A., the coronavirus seems to finally be turning around. But at this time last year, it looked like it would never end — and for those who lost their jobs or struggled with paying rent, the hard times felt even more infinite.

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The good news is that there’s still time to get help. L.A.’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program will pay your landlord 80 percent of your unpaid back-rent from April 1, 2020 thru today. However, you do have to get the cooperation of your landlord, who must agree to forgive the other 20 percent of what you owe.

The deadline for applying to the program comes at 11:59 p.m. tonight for most L.A. city and county residents. Long Beach residents have until May 12 to send in their applications.

Meanwhile, on the state level, there isn’t as much hope on the horizon. California’s rent moratorium is scheduled to end on June 30, but lawmakers don’t appear to have any plans in the works to keep it in place.

This is a big concern for renters and their allies. A group of activists called for an extension to the moratorium on Wednesday.

“If we don’t get this right,” said Carroll Fife, a member of the Oakland City Council and part of the group calling for an extension, “we will struggle for generations to come.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • LASD Chief Eliezer Vera says he'll run for Sheriff next year against Alex Villanueva.
  • A fire that began Wednesday afternoon near Castaic initially prompted mandatory evacuations as weather officials warned of elevated danger through Saturday.
  • Officials warned anyone near Torrance Beach on Thursday afternoon: "Please do not panic. This is only a test."
  • Here’s what theme parks in Southern California will look like when they reopen.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse, an acclaimed movie complex in downtown L.A., will reopen in late May.

Weekend Reads

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives, let alone to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, here’s what you may have missed:

A former Olympic water polo player shared his story about racism with us — and wasn’t prepared for the hate that followed. (LAist)

Disneyland’s most memorable rides have been … wacky and wild, to say the least. (LAist)

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L.A. leaders in criminal justice reform will join forces to combat violence. (L.A. Sentinel)

One young climate activist wants to ensure that an array of diverse voices can speak to the issue. (LAist)

Lidia Reyes is the first Latina to belong to the old-school and highly respected motorcycle club, Old School Riders. (L.A. Taco)

Marshmallows + penguins = one childrens’ book author’s brilliant way to teach kids about climate change. (LAist)

The Academy Awards’ ratings were dismal this year. Here’s what they might learn from “Top Chef.” (LAist)

Family members of homicide victims are advocating against L.A. District Attorney George Gascon. (San Fernando Valley Sun)

California and Texas took near-polar-opposite approaches to getting people vaccinated. Whose worked better? (LAist)

Before You Go … Today’s Outdoor Pick: The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Egret in wetlands
Great egret (Ardea alba) hunting at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in July 2018.
(CDFW photo by Kirsten Macintyre)

Located in Huntington Beach, the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail is part of the 1,300-acre coastal estuary. Get out and walk the popular three-mile loop as you spot birds, critters and spring flowers. Start at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy on Warner Ave. or the parking lot off of Pacific Coast Hwy.

Or, you could: Whip up a mint julep for Derby Day. Grab those Mickey ears and head to Disneyland. Immerse yourself in a Madcap Motel adventure in DTLA. Document nature with the kiddos. And more.