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Working K9-5
Campbell--It's a dog's world in downtown Campbell, where shop owners like Kensington Art Centre's Michael Symons are bringing their pooches to work. "He's come to work with me since day one," Symons said of his dog, Muush, a 12-year-old white Maltese. "We've missed only three days."

Muush isn't the only animal who has the run of the place, though. Louie, a very vocal cockatiel, also enjoys visiting customers and often sits on the shoulders of art students as they paint on Tuesday evenings. Symons swears that his pets help business. "It's a trend I think somebody ought to start," he said.

Housing Commute
Saratoga--On Monday mornings between 12:30 and 1, John and Paula Franco hit the streets and head to work. The couple commute from Stockton to their jobs in San Jose and Saratoga because their salaries won't allow them to live locally. They are both public servants and as commuters, they are far from being alone.

At the Saratoga Fire District, which provides fire service to part of the city, salaries start at about $29,000 for apprentices and $54,000 for engineers, said Fire Chief Ernest Kraule. Because firefighters can't afford homes here, they commute from as far away as Sacramento, Yuba City and Marysville, Gilson said.

Down Under
Los Gatos--Today's building restrictions are literally driving Bay Area homeowners into the ground. With planning commissions cracking down on monster homes, residents are building basements--not dark, dank storage cellars, but big sprawling basements. "I'll bet 80 percent of houses I see on the drawing board now have basements," Paul Mehus, president of Mehus Construction in Los Gatos, says. "The old-timers didn't used to see this."

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Web extras to the April 19-25, 2001 issue of Metro.

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