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Morning Brief: Vaccinating Farmworkers, Lovely Granny Flats, And Desert Art

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Cars stopped in an intersection in Watts. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 12.

At the beginning of this month, food and agriculture workers became eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. That includes grocery store and restaurant employees, cafeteria workers, and many more.

But for farmworkers, one of the groups included among the newly eligible, accessing the vaccine can be difficult. Of the estimated 200,000 individuals employed on California farms, many work six days a week and don’t live near a clinic or vaccination site. Others may not have reliable access to a computer or the internet to schedule an appointment.

My colleague Sharon McNary reports that to get vaccines in more arms, a California nonprofit is meeting farmworkers where they are. Over the weekend, that meant setting up a temporary vaccination site in an Oxnard alleyway, where 500 people received their first shot.

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While some in line had already been infected, receiving the vaccination provided much-needed relief that they likely would not put their bodies — or their family’s bodies — through that again.

When farmworkers became eligible for the vaccine, so too did most child care workers, school staff, and more emergency service personnel. On March 15 — this coming Monday — eligibility in L.A. will expand even more, to include residents between the ages of 16 and 65 with underlying health conditions.

In Long Beach, that expansion has already happened.

Much of this increased availability stems from President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines in 100 days, which he now reportedly expects to surpass. Several federally-funded vaccination sites have opened in California in accordance with that goal, including one at Cal State L.A. Vaccine supply has also been on the rise in recent weeks.

Abel Aragón Perez, who has labored as a farmworker for 30 years and received the vaccination on Sunday, said that he has good reason to ensure that he stays healthy.

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"As a father,” he said, “I have to think about my kids.”

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

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What Else You Need To Know Today

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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:

Racial disparities in medical care permeate all areas, including when it comes to getting treatment for Alzheimer’s. (L.A. Sentinel)

Asian-Americans in the San Gabriel Valley have been suffering what appear to be racially motivated attacks. (LAist)

A local professor is studying the effects of increased screen time on kids, as many have upped their watching/playing/scrolling during the pandemic. (San Fernando Sun)

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Domestic workers have struggled with employment and safety throughout the pandemic. (La Opinión)

Sex workers are reshaping their industry using the tools and skills they’ve learned during the pandemic. (LAist)

Promotoras — community health workers — are connecting people with information and resources regarding the vaccine. (Boyle Heights Beat)

Salsa dancers have not let the coronavirus stop them from showing off their moves. (LAist)

Neighborhood Council elections are coming up — get informed about what neighborhood councils do, and why you should care about who’s on yours. (The LAnd)

A local artist put benches up around the L.A. River in Frogtown — until the city cracked down. (LAist)


Before You Go … This Weekend’s Outdoor Pick: Desert X

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Sterling Ruby's bright orange art piece 'Specter' was part of Desert X 2019. (Christine N. Ziemba)

Okay everyone; we’re almost in the red tier. That means indoor dining, movie theaters and more can begin to slowly — slowly! — reopen, at limited capacity. So yes, start dusting off your pants that don’t have elastic waistbands and locate your hairbrush. But until we get the official word, there’s still plenty to do from the comfort of your couch (or in the great outdoors!):

Watch the grunion hit the beach. Catch sets by Jhene Aiko and John Legend. Enjoy Tilda Swinton in Pedro Almodóvar's newest flick. Learn about the history of Korean and Japanese alcohol. Slice into some Pi Day deals. Explore art in the desert. Laugh along with Fortune Feimster. And more.


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