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[whitespace] News From Silicon Valley's Neighborhoods

Frat Cats
Willow Glen--What a horrible sight met the eyes of Willow Glen citizen Elaine Pittroff when she walked to her mailbox on Feb. 17. Instead of her two beloved 250-pound stone lions standing sentinel before her house, nothing but two blank platforms did she see. Pittroff and her husband, Lyle, have filed a police report and posted fliers around the San Jose State University campus offering a reward for the return of the purloined and petrified pets. Their working theory? Fraternity pledges pulling Rush Week pranks. Back in the '80s, the previous owner of their house found the lions at a fraternity house after they were stolen--also during Rush Week.

Towers of Power
Saratoga--Planning commissioners in Saratoga are gettin' suspicious of all the cell phone antennae in their pretty little town. Although the commission can give cell tower locations the thumbs-down for aesthetic reasons, they are required by law to let companies place towers within their town. Several of the commissioners, however, have questions about health risks posed by cell towers and want to revisit the process by which companies apply for permission to place towers. Ideas kicked around so far: environmental impact reports and studies on the cumulative effects of antennas.

Clean Juice
Palo Alto--Palo Alto residents will soon have the option of paying more to purchase electricity generated by renewable resources like wind, water or sun. Residents buying green power from the city-owned utility will get only a fraction of what they pay for, however, since all of the city's electricity is routed from a central source. That means consumers who don't pony up will get as much clean juice as their more environmentally aware neighbors. Whether the good environmental karma is also diluted and equally distributed is not so clear.

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Web extras to the March 2-8, 2000 issue of Metro.

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