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Silicon Valley update: From time to time, this space has discussed the heavy imbalance between unmarried men and single females in the California technology capital. So it's not surprising that the group American Singles would hold its annual convention there. Or that hundreds of women would show up, looking for bachelors with high-paying jobs. But it may come as a surprise that many, if not most, went home disappointed. Where were the guys? Probably, said one local woman, at work in front of their computer screens.

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Planning to take the family to a National Basketball Association game between now and April? Then prepare to dig deep. The Chicago-based Team Marketing Report says the average cost of a regular-season NBA ticket is now $48.37, making it the priciest among the four major pro sports. The cheapest? Baseball, at $14.91.

Study finds city-traffic woes up 29 percent in five years

The Texas Transportation Institute, part of Texas A&M University, has released a study of traffic congestion in 68 US urban areas. It says, on average, they experienced more than a 29 percent rise in commuting delays from 1992 to 1997. None-theless, some cities - among them San Francisco-Oakland, Honolulu, Hartford-Middletown in Connecticut, and Brownsville, Texas - managed to keep the daily commute from getting worse. And drivers in San Jose, Calif., actually saw their commutes improve a bit. The 10 US urban areas found to be most-congested - and the number of hours the average driver lost to traffic snarls per year in each:

Los Angeles 82

Washington 76

Maryland 76

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Seattle-Everett 69

Atlanta 68

Boston 66

Detroit 62

Dallas 58

Houston 58

San Francisco-Oakland 58

Miami 57

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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