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[whitespace] News From Silicon Valley's Neighborhoods

Peace, Brother
Monte Sereno--Until good neighbor and mediator extraordinaire Le Nguyen stepped in, the feud between the Aertses and the Conoms was getting ugly--allegedly involving toilet-papering, threats written in chocolate syrup and a restraining order. Tom Conom had complained to the City Council that, among other problems, neighbor Alan Aerts' lights were too bright and his house insufficiently landscaped. The council dispatched the city planner to check out the situation, but in the meantime Le Nguyen got the two families talking and hammered out an agreement. The trouble started last year when Aerts built a house with five auxiliary buildings, including a movie house, across from the Conoms.

Monkey Business
Campbell--Seems the Internet is doing its part in the revitalization of the Pruneyard: a new Internet browser just for kids is based there. Surfmonkey.com filters out offensive content, hosts a chat room that's monitored to keep out undesirable elements and enables parents to set up email buddy lists that lock out unfamiliar addresses. CEO David Smith says his company surfs with 80,000 kids on board--a mere fraction of the 8 million kids out there who are wired.

Towers of Power
Saratoga--The concerned residents did the right thing: they took their fears of radioactive emissions that could result from three proposed communications antennas to a planning meeting. But Saratoga commissioners approved the antennas anyway, citing a section of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 that prevents local governments from denying installation of wireless antennas on the basis of perceived health risks. One set of proposed antennas will be at Fruitvale and Highway 9, another set will take up residence atop a PG&E tower and a third will perch at West Valley College.

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Web extras to the October 21-27, 1999 issue of Metro.

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