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[whitespace] News From Silicon Valley's Neighborhoods

All is Bright
Sunnyvale--The competition's tough this year for the Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association's Christmas decoration contest. Each year residents of the North Sunnyvale neighborhood go a little mad, draping lights over everything that won't walk away and setting up plastic sculptures on the lawn, rooftops, etc. Some of this year's highlights (pardon the pun) include a 19,000-bulb residence with flying luminescent reindeer and manger scene and a "millennium dome" made of clear plastic cups and an orange light that glows like a honeycomb. This year, two-time winner Sarah Daugherty has opted out so that others might have a chance to, er, shine.

Gift Idea!
Cupertino--Christmas shopping at the library: how grand! In late October someone came in to the Cupertino Library, got a library card with a fake ID and checked out a bunch of CDs--and repeated the ruse until by Nov. 1, he had 104 of the city's CDs. The sheriff's department thinks it's the same person who pulled a similar scam in Saratoga in September, checking out 125 CDs in a few weeks. The value of the stolen property is about $5,000.

Nature Calls
Palo Alto--Taking a leak in downtown Palo Alto will be a bit more pricey than in San Francisco now that the city council has installed two high-tech pay toilets made by the French company JC Decaux. The reason for the higher price, 50 cents vs. 25 cents, is that city officials, unlike their more gauche neighbors up north, elected not to sell ads on the outside of the commodes. Ditching the ads, they hope, will maintain Palo Alto's rarefied atmosphere. The facilities, which the city is leasing for $61,500 a year, also include a sink, a 911 line and a modem that alerts the manufacturer to problems.

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Web extras to the December 23-29, 1999 issue of Metro.

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