LTW/VV Newsletter - October/November 2009


NOT All Is Smoke and Mirrors

Within two days of each other, 25 & 27 September, our community has had real reason to brush up on our fire preparedness skills.  Multiple fire engines roared up Los Trancos Rd. through Pony Tracks Ranch to Page Mill Rd. to assist in a car fire that had spread to surrounding vegetation on the 25th.  Had the winds been strong and in our direction, the fire could have headed down our canyons.  Thanks to a “hit it hard and fast” approach the fire was contained and extinguished after an hour.  On the 27th a second fire broke out near the intersection of Vista Verde Way and Los Trancos Circle.  The cause appeared to be a faulty electrical line which ignited the electrical pole and an adjacent fence.  Quick work by George Lee and neighbors and a quick emergency phone call brought this situation under control before the fire spread to vegetation and houses.


The take home lesson from these incidences are BE PREPARED!  George had a spigot and hose ready to go.  He knew to keep water away from electricity.  Gene Hunner knew to keep a fire extinguisher accessible. When you call to report a fire be as specific as possible for the location.  Call multiple times if you can update the location.  Maintain your yard with an eye to fire prevention.  Dispose of dead and dying trees before they become either a fire hazard or safety hazard.  Be vigilant.

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale and Stan Gage


Emergency Preparedness

GET READY TO SHAKEOUT!  At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2009, millions of Californians will participate in the largest Earthquake Drill ever.  The main goal of the ShakeOut is to get Californians prepared for major earthquakes, so use the ShakeOut as an opportunity to learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Visit for tips on how to prepare, protect, and recover.

Submitted by Steve Friedman, LTW Emergency Preparedness Coordinator


Picnic Kudos

The community picnic at Pony Tracks last Saturday was a huge success. We had over 200 attendees, and fun was had by all! A big THANK YOU goes to the Littlefields for letting us use their grounds and being such great hosts. As always the tank tours were popular with the adults( along with the beer keg!), and the trains were a big attraction for children and adults alike.  The potluck cooks delivered a wonderful array of salads and desserts, m-m-m chocolate.  The BBQ was so popular we cooked everything we had.


We also had a live demonstration from the LTCWD ( on low-flow shower heads, which the kids loved on such a hot day. Thank you, Mike and Stan! And last but not least a big thank you to all the volunteers from VV and LTW [editor’s note: and Tim Kennedy] who helped before, during, and after the picnic. I did hear that this was the best turn out ever and several people were already talking about next year !

Submitted by Tim Kennedy


Lost & Found from Picnic - contact Don Ramsey

1) Green long-sleeve shirt with the logo: 97-PC Forum

2) Newborn/1 yr. old purple shorts with butterflies

...and... from LAST YEAR'S picnic, found in my stash of unclaimed goods...

3) A ceramic serving bowl

Submitted by Don Ramsey


Beware on Hallow’s Eve!!!

Come Hallow’s Eve, our gang of little Children from the Woods will once again be wandering the streets looking for tricks or treats. Last year we caught many of you by surprise – so be warned – we are coming….wo-o-o-o-o.


We plan to begin our wandering on Bonita, make our way down the Circle, onto Los Trancos Road, and end on Foxwood. If you want us to come knocking – leave a light on!  For those families seeking a scary beginning please come for a light bite to eat (no drawing blood please) at the Brownell’s at 234 Bonita from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- bite or be bitten. And keep an eye out for the Haunted Tower at 1124 Los Trancos Road – kids go in, but they do not always come out.


Bo-o-o-o……..from the Neighborhood Munchkins!

Submitted by Karen Tate and Marnia Brownell


Mountain Lion Movements

With the recent sightings of mountain lions in Portola Valley, it is a good time to understand the following safety tips from the California Department of Fish and Game.  It is unlikely that you will ever need to fend off a mountain lion, as they avoid interactions with humans, but it is wise to be prepared.


-  DO NOT HIKE ALONE. Make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. Go in groups, with adults supervising children. A sturdy walking stick is a good idea. You can use it to ward off a lion.

-  KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE TO YOU. Observations of captured lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.

-  STOP! Do not run from a lion. Back away from it slowly, but only if you can do so safely. Running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up so they will not panic and run. Although it may seem awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the lion.

-  DO NOT BEND OR CROUCH OVER; DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER. A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. Raise your arms. Open your jacket, if you are wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can grab without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a large voice.

-  DO NOT APPROACH A LION, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

-  FIGHT BACK IF ATTACKED. Try to stay on your feet if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven off by prey that fights back. Some hikers have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands. Since lions usually try to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.  Cover your neck to protect it.

Submitted by Steve Friedman


Neighborhood Notes

-  From the far away and fascinating lands of India, Tia Miller writes on 20 August, “[Shaw] made a dash for the exit last Sunday - two weeks before his due date.  The Indian doctors weren’t quite sure what to  do with the 6 lb. 1 oz. muffin given how white he was, but he’s healthy and happy all the same...We are happy to be home now and Carson and Everett are totally smitten with their new baby brother.”  Congratulations from the neighborhood!


Community Associations Web Sites

The web site addresses are:                    The group e-mail list is:                             

Thanks Jerry Jensen & Esther Dechow for maintaining web sites    AND  Thanks Monica Nester for copying the newsletter.