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Dollars and Census
Los Gatos--It would seem that Los Gatos is a natural candidate for a local census office site. It's the densest town in the census region covering southern Santa Clara and northern Santa Cruz counties, it's centrally located, and, well, the office is actually named after Los Gatos. But this year the Los Gatos Local Census Office won't be found anywhere within the limits of Cat Town. Instead it's located in Sunnyvale. The reason? Explains office manager Judy McTighe, "What it came down to is that they couldn't afford the rent in Los Gatos, and no one wanted to rent to us for just a year."

Sweet Charity
Saratoga--Last week Saratogan Nemat Maleksalehi stunned local planners with his generous offer to build the town an indoor sports and rec center--for free. The owner of the nonprofit Indoor Sports Network Corp., a firm believer in the benefits of exercise, insists his offer is in good faith. But alas, the town has learned that the man's reputation is besmirched: Next week Maleksalehi will be tried on one count of welfare fraud and four counts of felony grand theft. The moral? If it looks too good to be true--oh, never mind.

Dead Fish
Palo Alto--Palo Alto's tropical fish will go belly up in their tanks if their owners don't take steps to treat the ammonia-laden water that will be coming out of their faucets starting 2002. Health authorities say that what's bad for the fish will actually be good for humans, who will no longer be ingesting cancer-causing trihalomethanes (they're neutralized by the ammonia). The change is being made to comply with new federal rules aimed at carcinogens. Officials promise the H2O will taste better than ever, although the water, if untreated, also poses health hazards to kidney dialysis patients.

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Web extras to the January 13-19, 2000 issue of Metro.

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