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[whitespace] News From Silicon Valley's Neighborhoods

Crisis Councilors
Saratoga--'Twas business as usual at a joint meeting of the planning commission and City Council last week until one commissioner said she wanted to change a vote she'd cast two weeks earlier. Erna Jackman had initially supported relaxing Saratoga's fencing ordinance (residents have tired of having wildlife snack on their pets) but thought better of it and, with fellow commissioner Cynthia Barry, asked the council to remand the decision back to the planning commission. This revelation prompted strenuous debate over whether the Brown Act had been violated, and whether it was even a good idea to consider changing the ordinance in the first place.

Fortune's Fools
Los Gatos--Better fortunetellers might have divined that a palm reading business at Highway 17's summit would fail. But the enterprising clairvoyants who hung their banner on the charming little A-frame building near Lindsey's didn't see that one coming, and the facility is now a CHP "Corridor Safety Center" where Highway Patrol officers can do their paperwork and volunteers can give directions to travelers (although there are only two choices on Highway 17). It's all part of a $350,000 push to make the road to Santa Cruz a safer place to drive.

Raging Waters
Palo Alto--After a downpour of criticism following 1998's disastrous north county floods, Palo Alto officials promised to create a website that would provide local residents with real-time updates on the status of local creeks. The system got its first test last week and flunked, entirely missing a six-foot surge in San Francisquito Creek. Officials say water sensors worked properly and blamed unspecified network errors for the outage. Promises have been made that the glitch will be fixed before the next big rains.

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Web extras to the February 3-9, 2000 issue of Metro.

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