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ARE THINGS COOLING OFF? ... According to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, a total of 122 luxury properties changed hands in Silicon Valley in July, down 6.9 percent from the 131 sales in July 2015. July's luxury home sales total was also off from June, when it stood at 158 units, although some of the decline was normal seasonal adjustments. The median sale price of a luxury property in July edged up 1.6 percent from the same month last year to $2,534,875. Last month's median sale price was off slightly from June 2016, when it stood at $2,597,500. Some key findings from this month's Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury report: The most expensive sale in Silicon Valley in July 2016 was a four-bedroom, six-bath 5,600-square-foot home in Los Altos that sold for $5.91 million; Los Altos boasted the most luxury sales, with 31, followed by Palo Alto with 26. Homes sold in an average of 33.3 days on the market, up from 28.5 days a year ago. Sellers received an average of 101 percent of their asking price, down from 106 percent last year and 103 percent the previous month.

FALL BOUQUETS ... If you're ready to move on to fall, start with taking a two-hour class at Gamble Garden on creating fall bouquets using seasonal blooms and foliage. The hands-on workshop will include techniques for flower-arranging, including the mechanics of a stable arrangement, proper conditioning of materials for longevity, and combinations of flowers, foliage and branches. You will take home your own arrangement. Materials are included in the fee. The class, limited to 12 people, will be held Friday, Sept. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 1431 Waverley St. in Palo Alto. The cost is $50 for members, $60 for nonmembers. For more information, go to or call 650-329-1356 ext. 201.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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