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Morning Brief: Vaccine Good Samaritans, A Baby Bust, And A One-Year-Old Puma

A woman picks up her order at VCHOS Pupusa truck. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 8.

It’s no secret that getting a coronavirus vaccine in L.A. County is chock-full of possible barriers. There are confusing — and highly flawed — appointment systems, long lines, line-cutters and more.

But a new group of good Samaritans wants to help, by assisting those who are eligible navigate the appointment process and get their shots.

My colleague Carla Javier spoke to one such volunteer, who began aiding others by starting with her own parents. Candice Kim of Pasadena said that after successfully navigating the state’s appointment system, she decided, “they live in a senior apartment building with a lot of people just like them. Why don't I continue helping people until I've run out of seniors to help?"

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Now, she puts up flyers to spread the word about her work, and tries to share knowledge about open appointments when she finds them in other neighborhoods.

The county of L.A. currently has seven vaccination sites, as does the city; the most recent city-operated site to open is at the University of Southern California. Long Beach, Pasadena, and the surrounding counties all have their own sites as well. That’s not counting the region’s pharmacies, private providers and clinics that are also offering shots to residents.

Most offer phone lines for those who are eligible to call and make appointments, but it’s difficult to locate those phone numbers or navigate the process without access to the internet, or a certain level of technological savvy. That’s where volunteers such as Kim are invaluable.

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • L.A. County health officials on Sunday confirmed 1,313 new cases of coronavirus and 22 deaths.
  • California's quest for 100% renewable energy could be putting the already fragile condor population in danger.
  • Stakeholders in the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous victims held a panel to raise awareness around the devastating problem.
  • At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, some wondered whether a baby boom would be inevitable — but it may be a baby bust instead.
  • With just a pair of gloves and a few buckets on hand, 20-year-old climate activist Edgar McGregor spent nearly 600 days cleaning Eaton Canyon.
  • Long Beach officials have partially abandoned a vaccine appointment system that was letting in too many line-cutters.
  • A one-year-old puma is the latest to join researchers’ study of the big cats in and around the Santa Monica Mountains.
  • After two weeks of residency on the Red Planet, the Mars Rover Perseverance took its first road trip.
  • Members of the local teachers’ union have voted overwhelmingly to demand three conditions before returning to class.

Before You Go … Meet The Man Behind The Park To Playa Trail

David McNeill, executive director of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, at the entrance to the Mark Ridley-Thomas foot and wildlife bridge over La Cienega Blvd. at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. (Sharon McNary/LAist)

The 13 miles of L.A.'s Park to Playa Trail make it possible for the outdoors-y (or outdoors-curious) to run or bike from the Crenshaw District all the way to the beach at Playa Del Rey. (Check out our photo tour of the entire route).

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The trail is overseen by the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, and brings together a patchwork of different parks and stretches of land owned by city, county and state agencies.

It's a community vision brought to fruition by the work of David McNeill, executive director of the conservancy, who for 20 years pushed for a way to give the people of South L.A access to the great outdoors in their own neighborhood.

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