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[whitespace] News around Silicon Valley this week

terrorism All That Haz
Decked out in the latest anti-contamination gear, San Jose's shock troops prepare for the Big One, be it chemical, biological or nuclear.

Sunnyvale: For three years the city of Sunnyvale fought in court to keep material connected to the ouster of ex-Mayor Frances Rowe secret. The results: The city paid an estimated $300,000 to wage a losing battle against the San Jose Mercury News to avoid disclosing public documents and to justify illegal secret meetings. Last week Superior Court Judge Richard Turrone made a bigger dent in the general fund by ordering the city to pay the Merc $223,569 for the newspapers legal fees in the protracted court case.

Saratoga: "This is a quiet town," according to Mayor Don Wolfe, "and we like it that way." But alas, the halcyon days may have run their gentle course. On Saturday morning, August 1, a pair of crimes came to light--crimes so heinous, so perverse and--well, so tasteless--that this quiet little hamlet may never recover.

Gilroy: People who use the county library to access the Internet will increasingly receive a frustrating message: Access denied. After more than a year of unrelenting pressure from a small group of conservatives here, Santa Clara County has arrived at a compromise. Since July 27, filtering software has been installed on all Internet-capable computers in the county library system.

Campbell: The legal fray surrounding the old Winchester Drive-In site in Campbell, currently slated as a research and development campus, moved further into the realm of minutiae this week--with some large-scale consequences in the offing. The recent finagling demonstrates that in the arcane world of the courts, what looks like neurotic hair-splitting can result in decisions that impact citizens in very material ways.

San Jose: What can parents do with elected board members who promote pornography in the classroom? Sheryl Taylor, president of the Parental Rights Organization, says there's only one thing to do: get them fired. And so Taylor's group will file a petition this week to recall three San Jose Unified School District board members, she says.

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