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The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers a variety of services to include HR advising. Their HR Advisor,...

Good Morning! It’s Thursday, September 30 and it’s going to be a sunny, warm day with a high of 86. The National Weather Service says the warmth is going to last for a while:

Today, the eviction moratorium that protected pandemic-impacted renters will be lifted. However, there are a lot of resources for people who might still need help. Also, many Californians are eligible to apply for free broadband internet through a federal program but very few people are signing up. Here’s how you can. And, in case you missed the announcement yesterday, Santa Cruz County lifted its indoor mask mandate yesterday as the county slipped into the yellow tier.

At the statewide level, USC entered into a secret settlement with the family of a young woman who had a drug-fueled relationship with the university’s medical dean, according to an investigation by our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

Let’s dive in:

Today’s the final day of the eviction moratorium: Here’s what you need to know

Renter relief is on the way for some.
Renter relief is on the way for some. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

California’s eviction moratorium expires today. Fortunately, there are options available for additional rental support — here’s how to find those resources and how to apply. Locally, there are millions left available to those who need it. Our Grace Stetson has some of the resources you can tap into if you need them here.

Habitat for Humanity opens applications for Live Oak project

The Habitat for Humanity Rodeo Creek Court development.
A duplex under construction as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Rodeo Creek Court development. The 11-unit project will have a community garden and a kids play area once completed. Credit: Courtesy Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay

The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity announced yesterday it has opened the application process for six homes in Live Oak, part of the group’s efforts to increase homeownership across income levels. Santa Cruz County has seen a stark increase in home prices over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more from our Grace Stetson here.

COVID 2021

READ THE STORY: Masks off: Santa Cruz health officials remove mandate
READ THE STORY: Masks off: Santa Cruz health officials remove mandate Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

ICYMI: Santa Cruz health officials lift mask mandate: Santa Cruz County lifted its mask mandate yesterday amid decreasing community transmission levels of COVID-19. Masks are still strongly recommended for indoor public spaces and the lifted mask mandate does not affect the state of California’s face-covering rules, which require unvaccinated individuals to wear them. Read more from Lookout contributor Hanna Merzbach here.

A nurse administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to frontline health workers
A nurse administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to front-line health workers at UC Davis Medical Center in December. Credit: Courtesy of UC Davis Health

California vaccine mandate — Most health care workers are complying, hospitals say: As the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate kicks in today, Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health, Keck Medicine and other major hospital systems in California say they are well on their way to meeting deadline, with several citing vaccination rates of 90% or higher. But they don’t have to provide data to the state unless asked. Read more here.

Free broadband service is available to many Californians. Here’s how to apply: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how important it is to have a broadband internet connection at home — for remote school or work, virtual doctor’s exams and everything else. The federal government will cover much or all of the cost of broadband internet service for low-income households. But only a fraction of eligible people are signing up. Read more about how you can sign up here.

Higher Education beat

Carmen Puliafito, the former dean of USC’s medical school.
Carmen Puliafito, the former dean of USC’s medical school. Credit: Alex J. Berliner via Los Angeles Times

A secret USC payout had a catch: Images of ex-dean using drugs had to be given up: In 2017, USC entered into a secret mediation agreement with the family of a young woman whose drug-fueled relationship with Carmen Puliafito, the former dean of the university’s medical school had engulfed the institution in scandal. The agreement paid Sarah Warren, her brother and their parents a combined $1.5 million to head off a lawsuit. To receive the money, family members had to turn over to USC all of their videos and photographs showing Puliafito using illegal drugs. Read more here.

UC Berkeley student Riya Maste
UC Berkeley Riya Master, a Virginia native, chose to attend UC rather than the University of Virginia specifically for her major and worries the new tuition hike will make it much less likely for future out-of-state students to attend. Credit: Anne Wernikoff / CalMatters

As UC makes room for more Californians, can it afford to lose out-of-state students? Out-of-state students at the University of California may pay three times more in tuition than California students, but the Legislature sees in-state students as worth more. That’s why lawmakers approved plans this summer for the UC to enroll an extra nearly 11,000 California residents, in part by removing 4,500 out-of-state slots over five years. Read more about the potential impact of this move here.

Around the county…

‘It’s a beautiful thing’: Youth advisers try to keep play alive while keeping kids safe (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Recall effort against PVUSD Trustee Georgia Acosta fails (The Pajaronian)

Pogonip farm relocation advances in Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Local)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs on everything we’re publishing through the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Lookout Santa Cruz

Follow Tulsi Kamath on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. Tulsi Kamath was the originator of Lookout Santa Cruz’s flagship Morning Lookout newsletter and its original Managing Editor.