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Knockout Nails
Some say that because of minimal health and safety regulations, those fabulous fake nails can be hazardous to a worker's health.



Crime Time
Willow Glen--On June 13, 1998, the unthinkable happened when 14-year-old Oscar Perez was beaten and stabbed to death by gang members two blocks from downtown Willow Glen. One month later the victim's younger brother David hanged himself--a tragic act his mother, Adela Perez, attributes to grief. And now two of the men charged with Oscar Perez's murder are pleading "no contest" to the charge of voluntary manslaughter--a move that will keep their sentences down to 13 years at most, compared to the 15-year-minimum sentence that a murder charge would carry.

Rat Race
Sunnyvale--The sun is setting, so to speak, on police tolerance of Red Light Runners. Those harried Sunnyvale commuters who respond to yellow lights by jamming the gas pedal caused 71 accidents in 1996, and the City Council and the cops are having no more of it. This spring, city workers will install motion-sensing "rat boxes" behind signal boxes in selected intersections. Named for its dangling tail-like cord, the rat box flashes a light when it detects a car running through the intersection after the light's turned red, helping police nab offenders.

Pretty Dam Low
Los Gatos--Scenic Lexington Reservoir, lately reduced from its shimmering summertime glory to murky puddlehood, is at its lowest level in four years. Water district spokesman Mike DiMarco says that's thanks to an exceptionally dry winter and insists it has nothing to do with efforts to understand why the 52-inch pipe that drains the dam buckled last year (district engineers just finished installing a group of pressure gauges inside the dam hoping to solve the mystery). Until more rains come, the flow of water into Los Gatos Creek will remain a puny eight cubic feet per second instead of 60--just enough to keep the fish alive.

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Web extras to the January 21-27, 1999 issue of Metro.

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