LTWCA Newsletter - October/November 2006


Living With Wildlife - the ratty kind

Darn! Rats! Or is it, darn rats!  Roof rats (similar in appearance to laboratory rats), which are quite different from wood rats (live outside, are much smaller, and have a short body and large head), sometimes invade our houses, our cars, and our gardens.  We may be inadvertently “inviting” them in, if we are providing food, water, or shelter. 


How do we get rid of roof rats?  Poisoning them is not a good alternative in our area since domestic animals and wildlife, like foxes and owls, could easily pick up and eat a poisoned rat.  Although it takes a little more time, it is much more effective to take away their cozy living conditions.  Survey your surroundings and see if any of the following apply:

1)  Seal or screen all holes, dime size or larger, leading into your house or outside sheds.  Look around pipes, vents, cables, wires, doors, or covers.  Install a rat-guard on your utility line and cut away overhanging branches from your house and shed roofs.

2)  Pick up all garbage around your yard and secure your garbage can and lid.  Look for other sources of possible food and remove it.

3)  When putting pet food and water outside, be sure you take it in each night, so as not to be an attractant to wildlife.

4)  Clear away ivy which is a favorite living and breeding area for rats.  Make especially sure that ivy is not adjacent to your house or shed or climbing up your trees.  Any area that has an accumulation of leaves is prone to rat inhabitation, like space between double fencing or between an outbuilding and a fence.  Clear it.

5)  Be sure not to trap rats inside your house or shed.  Seal up the area and immediately set out baited live traps wherever you see rat droppings.  You can purchase a chipmunk trap (16”x6”x6 3/8” ) which will work the best at a hardware store.  Release them outside away from structures. 

If roof rats have no cozy place to live, we will quickly see a reduction in their numbers.

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale  (with information gleaned from Wildlife Rescue)


Emergency Preparedness Update

Our next preparedness exercise will be a Wildfire Drill on Saturday, October 21, starting at 9:00 A.MMark your calendar now.  All of the CERPP divisions will be participating in this drill, and Los Trancos Woods will be coordinating closely with the Vista Verde Preparedness Team on communication, medical response, and evacuation simulations.  We will also be activating the emergency phone tree for the first time in a couple years, starting at around 10 A.M.  We encourage full participation of the entire neighborhood, and, most importantly, the District and group leaders.  In view of recent news reports that this has been a particularly dangerous wildfire season, the Wildfire Drill takes on added importance.  We will distribute a flier to every household describing the Drill in more detail a week beforehand.  Contact Arthur Nielsen at

566-2297 for more information, and especially if you can volunteer. 

Submitted by Arthur Nielsen, Coordinator for the Emergency Preparedness Team


District 1

Carmel Way residents welcome their new neighbors Tracy Sherman and Steve Friedman who arrived in time to be included in the latest edition of our Directory and attend the Annual Picnic.

Submitted by Julie Duncan

District 4

July 19th was an exciting day for Victoria Menshikova and André Kunov, especially the drive from here to the hospital.  They arrived on time and Vladimir Kunov was born, a healthy, happy 8 lb. 7oz.  baby boy.  Congratulations Victoria and André!  We look forward to meeting Vladimir on walks.

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale


Neighborhood Notes

-  It was a great gathering of friends and neighbors at the Los Trancos Woods Picnic!  We visited, had an enlightening presentation by the Sheriff’s Dept., and ate some scrumptious food.  The Sheriff highlighted the importance of knowing your neighbors and keeping a watchful eye.  Locking mailboxes were stressed as one of the best securities against mail theft and you should deposit outgoing mail in an official postal service mailbox.  Armin and Lisa Staprins hosted us on their property and Armin spent hours setting up and breaking down.  A HUGE thank you to Armin!!  Thanks to the Board members also for their work.

-  Our new Dog Poop Bag Dispenser Program is in full swing  We have three convenient locations:  the stop sign at Los Trancos Cir. and Los Trancos Rd., on a tree at the triangle junction of Los Trancos Cir. and Vista Verde Way, and at the entrance to the hiking trails and the pond on Old Spanish Trail.  Our dogs and wildlife will all thank you for the healthier conditions when you pick up after your dogs.

-  Remember that our P.V. Neighborhood Cleanup Day is on 28 Oct. 8-11 a.m. at Ford Field, 3399 Alpine Rd.  Greenwaste will accept wood waste, furniture, metal, household discards, appliances, and e-waste (TV’s, computers, etc.).  They will NOT accept any hazardous or toxic waste like refrigerators, car related liquids, paint, household and garden chemicals, etc.  Bring your garbage bill as an identification.  For more information call Steven at 851-1700 ext. 18.

Well wishes to Jerry Jensen who has been ill for some time and unable to maintain our web site.


Next Meeting -  7:00 p.m., 8 Nov., 1074 Los Trancos Rd.   Agenda includes emergency preparedness.  For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site or your District Rep.


Los Trancos Woods Community Association Web Site

The web site address is:                    The group e-mail list is:          

Thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site        AND        Thanks to Shan Wang for copying our newsletter.