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Code Dependents
Santa Clara County--Looks like the valley's number is up again. Just one year after the 408 area code's last split and the dawn of poetically challenged 831's takeover of Monterey Bay, "area-code relief" is striking again. Starting Jan. 8, 2000, the 669 area code will be overlaid on the 408 zone, meaning the two numbers will share a geographical area extending from Sunnyvale to Gilroy and including parts of surrounding counties. It won't change the price of a call, officials say, or existing 408 numbers--just new ones. Meanwhile, Burbscape plans to contact a numerologist to check out the new number. Tune in next week...

An Artist's Life
Saratoga--"Inventive" and "impressive" are early verdicts on plans for 10 artists' cottages at Villa Montalvo. Last week Saratoga planners gave a preliminary thumbs-up to the two-year, $4 million "Orchard of Artists" project, designed to house and hopefully inspire artists in residence at Montalvo. Five teams of architects and artists collaborated on the designs of the eco-friendly bungalows; one of the writer's buildings was the brainchild of sculptor Richard Serra and Nobel laureate poet Czeslaw Milosz, with architect Jim Jennings acting as midwife.

Fire Man
West Valley--Patrick Brennan of Sunnyvale was arrested last Wednesday in connection with 16 fires in local open-space areas, including Lexington Reservoir and Stevens Creek county parks. California Department of Forestry officers had been following Brennan for 10 days prior to the arrest, acting on a tip from Campbell police, who said Brennan was registered as an arsonist after setting fires in the Grand Canyon five years ago. Brennan has admitted to setting some of the fires, and even walked investigators through some of the areas he allegedly burned. The largest of the fires was confined to about a quarter acre, forestry officials said.

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Web extras to the August 5-11, 1999 issue of Metro.

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