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[whitespace] News From Silicon Valley's Neighborhoods

Rough or Ready?
A citizen's tribunal revs up to investigate San Jose police misconduct charges the same week the city gets slapped with two brutality lawsuits.

Post Heist
Willow Glen--It's all the rage these days for post offices to sport a retail space with coffee mugs, cards and Bugs Bunny ties openly displayed for all to see and fondle. But as the petite post office in Willow Glen's Garden Theatre has learned, lucrative retail-style business has its drawbacks. The small outpost has lost nearly $1,500 in merchandise to thieves over the last three months, says postal inspector Tom Brucklacher, and he thinks he knows why: the store's cash register goes unmanned most of the time.

Big House Blues
Cupertino--Nothing like having a neighbor's "remodeled" cottage morph into a behemoth that blocks out the sun and scares the kids. The Cupertino City Council is tweaking specifics in an ordinance that would set limits on home remodels. Last month the Planning Commission decided in favor of a limit-setting formula that gets more stringent the larger the lot. Some homeowners say the new rule would infringe on their rights to get maximum value from their property, but councilmembers have heard an earful of complaints about big houses. Says Councilmember John Statton, "When I was going door to door, people were becoming unhinged about large homes on small lots."

Tree Sluggers
Saratoga--Ten eucalyptus trees that sprouted in the wrong place at the wrong time have caused a schism in Saratoga. The controversy over the arboreal residents of the Saratoga School playground and environs has been brewing since late summer, but it's reaching a fever pitch as the Saratoga City Council prepares to voice its disapproval of a school board decision to chop down the trees. School superintendent Mary Gardner meets this week with city officials in an attempt to explain why she wants slugs, not hugs, for the trees. The trees, it is noted, have displayed nothing but upstanding behavior since they were saplings.

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Web extras to the February 11-17, 1999 issue of Metro.

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