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[whitespace] News From Silicon Valley's Neighborhoods

Housing Crisis--Solved!
Sunnyvale--As horror stories of Silicon Valley's rental and home ownership markets continue to unfold, an estimated 4,000 Sunnyvale mobile-home dwellers are fighting their own battles--to suppress smug grins. Once derided as trailer trash, residents of mobile-home parks now point proudly to their neatly landscaped lots, 1,600-square-foot double-wides and the small-town feel of their residential parks and ask who's the chump; a typical mobile-home owner (yes, that's owner) can expect to pay $1,800 a month for the mortgage on a three-bedroom coach, utilities and the $500 average monthly space rental in a park.

Cat Attacks
Saratoga--The latest development in a baffling series of cat mutilations involves Saratoga kitties. In recent months, three cats have been taken from the Saratoga area, killed, mutilated and returned to their owners' homes the next day. The crimes are similar to a spate of some 20 incidents that began in June in Almaden Valley and have continued to the present, prompting some worried cat lovers to go so far as to construct elaborate fences to keep Fluffy in the yard and intruders out. The sheriff's department is advising people to keep their cats indoors on Halloween as a precaution.

Smelly Job
Los Gatos--The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department got its first K-9 unit recently, thanks to a federal grant that covered the dog's $7,500 price tag. The 2 1/2-year-old German shepherd, Quarz, is about to embark on a month-long training program in Menlo Park, where he'll learn to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. Los Gatos police name drug use as a serious problem in their community, where in spite of declining crimes in general, drug offenses have climbed every year since 1995.

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Web extras to the October 28-November 3, 1999 issue of Metro.

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