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Burn Baby Burn
Los Gatos--Mountain and valley residents may be out a helicopter firefighting team if its landowners can't drum up a deal with the state. With its lease up next April, California Department of Forestry's Alma fire station has played a key role in every major mountain blaze in the past decade. Alma's four acres are being bid on by the state for a price well beneath what its landowners, the Oregon-based McDougal Brothers, are seeking. In case the two cannot agree, fire officials are perusing alternate settings, like city and county parks, even a vacant property off Bear Creek Road.

Play Day
Willow Glen--The city's first disabled-friendly playground will soon be under construction at the corner of Curtner and Lincoln avenues. To open by year's end, the $650,000 Lincoln Glen Play for All Playground will be specially designed so that a kid in a wheelchair can roll directly into a structure, without having to pull himself out of the chair or plead with others for assistance. The new tot lot will accommodate play for both disabled and nondisabled children, hence the designation "Play for All," dubbed so by its Berkeley-based designers.

Town Healer
Saratoga--The now famed eucalyptus tree that caused nine months of heated uproar in Saratoga School and the nearby neighborhoods lives on, despite being chopped down by the district in May. While many locals still feel bitter about their leafy friend's premature demise, Saratoga doctor Arthur Anderson feels he can patch the wounds that scarred the community. He managed to salvage several branches from the fallen tree and from them, through his hobby called "wood-turning," created a pair of fancy wooden bowls and handed them over to the district superintendent who'll put them on display in remembrance.

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Web extras to the July 13-19, 2000 issue of Metro.

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