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[whitespace] News From Silicon Valley's Neighborhoods

Terms and Endearment
With the changing of the guard in San Jose, the sparks of connections are flying and the wheels of fortune are turning. Suddenly, last term's politicos have cool new jobs.

Cat Houses
Los Gatos--Never known for cheap housing, Los Gatos has chipped in with the county and Community Housing Developers to fund the construction of 12 affordable studio apartments, bringing the town's total of assisted rental units to a respectable 600. The lucky tenants will pay rents starting at $640 and will have met several criteria, including sufficiently desperate income levels. (HUD defines "very low income" in this county as $27,000 for a household of one.) This ain't no gravy train leading to a hillside mansion, though: the half-acre site sits on Miles Avenue between a PG&E substation and a town corporation yard.

Cycle Killer
Cupertino--It's been two years since cyclist Jeffrey Steinwedel died in a collision with a double-trailer gravel truck near Stevens Creek Quarry. Since then the district attorney's office decided problems with eyewitness testimony would make prosecution of driver Jon Nisby impossible--only to later determine it had sufficient information to pursue the case after all. Nisby's trial began Monday. He faces a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter that could result in a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Hakone Homey
Saratoga--Life hasn't been the same at Hakone Gardens since the renovated caretaker's cottage went up for rent as an affordable housing unit. First the city of Saratoga, which manages the project, was swamped with applications. Then a watchdog agency called Project Sentinel took the city to task for specifying that it wanted a nice retired couple as tenants (no snot-nosed kids, please)--a clear violation of fair housing laws, in Project Sentinel's opinion. Now Saratoga is considering beating a hasty retreat from the landlord business and turning over the whole mess to an agency that would act as intermediary. Proceedings to pick an agency will begin at month's end.

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Web extras to the February 25-March 3, 1999 issue of Metro.

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