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ON THE FLY

Steve Jobs is getting ready to shave some time off his commute -- by flying to work in a helicopter.

The Apple Computer co-founder has won the City Council's approval to build a heliport -- at a cost of about $40,000 -- at a former naval fuel depot near his office at Pixar Animation Studios, the company responsible for the movie "Toy Story."

The council gave Jobs a one-year lease with four one-year options, said Patricia Jones, special assistant to Richmond's city manager.

Beginning next year, he will fly from Palo Alto, where he lives, to the former Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot, vacated by the military in 1995. His commute likely will take about 25 minutes, compared with at least an hour's drive in light traffic -- and far longer on some days.

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