Elementary waiver update
The deadline for local school districts to apply for a waiver from the Alameda County Public Health Department to allow some elementary level students (TK-6) to return for on-campus instruction during the pandemic has been extended to Oct. 2, and the Pleasanton Unified School District is weighing its options, spokesman Patrick Gannon said.
The district has not submitted an application to date, nor have officials yet decided whether they'll pursue a waiver application, but they are doing work behind the scenes to be prepared for reopenings, including the possibility of submitting a waiver, Gannon said.
"The work we're doing would be moving toward the same goal of being prepared to reopen according to our plan outlined on July 14 -- whether we apply for a waiver or not," he told the Weekly.
Livermore small business grants
The Livermore City Council recently established a $2 million small business assistance grant program that aims to help qualifying businesses within Livermore -- that meet eligibility criteria -- thrive during the pandemic.
The program grants funds of up to 50% of a small businesses' eligible expenses to acquire services or equipment needed to remain competitive throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
It provides 50% matching grants of $2,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses to help them adapt to new conditions or pursue new markets (i.e. for every $2 a small business spends on eligible expenses, the city's grant program will reimburse $1). A small business is eligible for up to $20,000 from the grant program.
"To be eligible to participate in the program, a small business must: hold an active City of Livermore business license in good standing and be prepared to show proof of insurance covering business operations; not apply for more than $20,000 per owner/ownership group/franchisee regardless of number of locations; be a small business as defined by having a minimum of two employees and a maximum of $10 million in annual gross receipts; provide at least 50% of their business from a physical location or to a customer within the city of Livermore; and, provide receipts for all adaptation expenditures," city officials said.
Qualified applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis until all are funded or funds run out, according to city officials
For application information, visit www.cityoflivermore.net.
Foothill alum advances in international video contest
Foothill High School alumnus Karen Pu, who is attending Vanderbilt University, has been named among 30 semifinalists competing for $400,000 in prizes as part of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video contest.
"Students were tasked to submit engaging, imaginative (and sometimes humorous) videos to demonstrate difficult scientific concepts and theories in the physical or life sciences. Think: Steven Spielberg meets Albert Einstein," organizers said.
The competition includes a "Popular Vote" phase that runs through this Sunday (Sept. 20) at 11:59 p.m. where the public can vote on their favorite submissions. To find Pu's video and others, visit the Breakthrough Prize Foundation's Facebook page.
The 30 semifinalists come from all over world, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Korea, India, Indonesia, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Philippines, the U.K. and Venezuela. The videos represent the top submissions following a review by the Evaluation Panel, according to organizers.