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Morning Brief: Big Vaccine Energy, Echo Park Fenced Off, And Glowing Ocean Algae

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Moderna COVID-19 vaccines ready to be administered at a vaccination site at Kedren Community Health Center in South L.A. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 26.

It seems that every time we get a grasp on the vaccine timeline, it changes. That’s good news for all the folks who’ve been patiently waiting their turn to get the golden shot.

Exactly one week ago, Gov. Newsom said everyone in California would be eligible for the vaccine by the end of April, approximately. That would have put the Golden State a few days ahead of President Biden's goal to make doses available to every American by May 1.

But yesterday, the governor announced some significant updates.

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Californians 50+ will be able to sign up starting April 1. And everyone 16-and-older will be eligible on April 15, about two weeks ahead of schedule. Another immediate change: if you’re not yet eligible, but a family member is, and you’re able to tag along to their appointment, you’ll also get the vaccine -- “no questions asked,” Newsom said.

Of course, it all depends on how many doses L.A. County actually has to give. It’s all about supply.

The local health department released this statement shortly after Newsom made the announcement:

L.A. County Public Health is happy to see eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine expanded by the state … Everyone who wants a vaccine should have access to one, and we look forward to a day when all of LA County residents and workers are protected … It is our hope that the expansion of eligibility carries with it increased doses of vaccine coming into LA County along with improved ability to target vaccine doses for those in hard hit communities. LA County vaccination sites continue to operate below their capacity and have the ability to vaccinate more than twice the number of residents each week than our current allocation allows.”

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

  • At least two Asian-owned businesses in the Inland Empire have received the same hateful letter filled with profanities and slurs. Riverside PD is investigating.
  • The conflict between the Echo Park homeless community and the city of L.A. continues; The entire park is now enclosed by a fence and the last remaining residents were ordered to leave last night.
  • Good news: COVID-19 cases are down. Bad news: parking tickets are back. Here’s what you need to know.
  • USC will pay 710 women to settle their allegations of abuse against the university’s former campus gynecologist, George Tyndall. He was arrested in 2019; a hearing in his case is scheduled for today.
  • An LAist reader asks: “If you're not testing, how can you really know that your infection rate is going down?” And, as always, reporter Carla Javier has an answer.
  • When it comes to hesitancy about getting the coronavirus vaccine, people in the Black community are more interested in talking about contemporary racism and barriers to health care … while academics and officials continue to use the Tuskegee syphilis study as a catch-all explanation.
  • LAist contributor Dakota Kim writes about a recent incident at the Huntington Gardens in which she was verbally attacked for being Asian.
  • These days, if you gaze into the ocean off Laguna or Newport Beach, you may notice the water looking a little brown and ruddy. Take a look again after the sun sets, and you'll see a glowing blue-green light show in the waves.
  • Feeling that end-of-the-tunnel quarantine fatigue? It’s real. Maybe you should treat yourself to some Somalian cuisine, vintage cocktails, and/or a Mexican horror mockumentary. Here’s our round-up of things to do this weekend

Before You Go … Passover is this weekend, which means it’s the perfect time to revisit Jacob Margolis’ deep dive into gefilte fish situation:

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Gefilte fish from Eleven City Los Angeles. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

“For those who have never had the stuff, gefilte fish is, in its most basic form, a fish ball. It's traditionally made from whitefish and it's not easy to prepare, so many Jews who eat it buy it pre-made in jars.

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Come dinner time, my aunts will dutifully make the rounds, offering up these pungent, greyish fish torpedoes, which jiggle as they're pulled from their jelly and plopped down, waiting to be eaten with horseradish and matzo.

One or two cousins will claim to enjoy it. I assume this is part of our long Jewish obligation to suffer, much like our ancestors did when they fled Egypt thousands of years ago. I've never understood the appeal. But gefilte fish has been around for generations and we're still eating the stuff, so I figured, maybe I'm missing something.”

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:

People are dumping their trash all over L.A. We’re talking thousands of tons of trash, debris and hazardous waste. (The Eastsider)

Wondering why L.A.’s vaccine I.D. rules are so flexible, especially for people with certain medical conditions and disabilities? Reporter Sharon McNary has answers. (LAist)

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LAPD officers shot six people in seven days -- and the department has been criticized for using the term “officer involved shooting” on social media. (LA TACO)

Indoor dining is now allowed (at reduced capacity), but some restaurant owners are choosing to hold off on reopening … for a variety of reasons (LAist).

The inspiring backstory behind Perry’s Joint, a Black-owned sandwich shop in Pasadena. (LA Sentinel)

Malibu Wine Safari, the day drinking spot known for its giraffes, allegedly took money for bookings that never happened … and reportedly declined to offer customer refunds when asked. (EATER)

Gyms are now open for indoor workouts at 10% capacity. But are Angelenos going back? (KCRW)


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