LTWCA Newsletter - December ‘05/January ‘06


Living with Wildlife ( the native kind, not the human kind)

Ever gone out to fetch that apple pie you had outside cooling and found it gone or, equally disconcerting, dismembered.  You have just had a close encounter of the wild kind.  We live in such comfortable homes we tend to forget that the great outdoors literally is just out our backdoors and frontdoors.  This is the first in a series of articles on how to live peacefully with wildlife.


Here are some general hints on how to discourage wildlife from hanging around:

1.  Would you like free junk food?  All the time?  That is exactly what is happening when we leave out our garbage cans without the lids properly fastened down.  Our food and our pets’ food are literally junk food for wild animals (raccoons, coyotes, rats, etc.), and it is free.  By not eating properly and not working for their food, the health of a wild animal is compromised.  In addition you have the “apple pie” syndrome.  Your house will become a regular stop as they carouse through the neighborhood looking for free food.  (My house was a stop for a while.)

2.  If you happen to feed Fido and Fluffy outside, stand by while they eat so you can immediately take in the food bowls.  Pet food is not the nutritional equivalent of wild food.  It has been formulated especially for the digestive tracks of dogs or cats.  Water bowls are okay if they are changed daily to avoid breeding mosquitoes.

3.  Speaking of pet food (I mean a pet that becomes food) our local coyotes have developed a hankering for the flavor of domestic cat.  Sadly quite a number of neighborhood outdoor cats have been killed by coyotes.  No area is immune to coyote activity, whether you are on the edges or in the middle of our housing development.  Indoor cats are the surefire remedy.

4.  Diseases can pass from wildlife to domestic pets and from domestic pets to wildlife.  To prevent this “bug” exchange, pick up your dog’s droppings, have your dog on a leash so it cannot explore wild animal droppings, and keep your cats inside.  A disease that may be innocuous to one species of animal can be devastating to another.  Sick and weakened wildlife can pose a danger to you, your children, and your pet.

Let’s enjoy our wildlife at a distance, not in our face.

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale


Water Board News

The final results of the election canvass for the Board of Directors which was posted by the San Mateo County Registrar of Voters ( on November 29th, 2005 are:

LOS TRANCOS COUNTY WATER DISTRICT:  ( 3 to be elected   Precincts Reported 4 of 4)

DAVID SMERNOFF - 194(19.2%), PERRY BLACKMON - 175(17.3%), FRAZIER MILLER - 171(16.9%), THOMAS THAYER - 158 (15.7%), CURT PARKIN - 156 (15.5%), GEORGE LEE - 155 (15.4%)


There was, however, a problem in establishing who was eligible to vote in this election. At this point in time, it appears that all of the registered voters on Oak Forest Court were inadvertently excluded from voting.  In light of this situation, the Board feels obliged to inform the community of this problem and that any voter in the District has the right to challenge the outcome of the election as a result of this problem. Any such challenge must be raised within 30 days of the certification of the election results by the Registrar of Voters. To succeed, a challenge must meet several rather rigorous legal criteria. If a court sustains the challenge, it may order a new election at some expense to the District, the County, or both.  Relevant information in the California Elections Code regarding a challenge can be accessed on line at:  Note sections 16100 and 16400.

Submitted by Stan Gage,  Los Trancos County Water Board

Save Open Space in Portola Valley - S.O.S. in P.V.

The group who has been working on the issues for the Blue Oaks’ Below Market Rate (BMR) Units has now formed an independent organization, Save Open Space in Portola Valley. Los Trancos Woods, Vista Verde, and Portola Valley residents are all invited to join.  The first action of S.O.S. in P.V. was to send letters to 7 Portola Valley Town Committees outlining the issues of the proposed relocation of the BMRs.  You will soon receive an informational flyer from S.O.S. in P.V..  To contact S.O.S. in P.V. you can e-mail them at:

Submitted by the Steering Committee of S.O.S. in P.V,


Emergency Preparedness

Look for LTW Emergency Preparedness on the Web!  The LTW web site ( now includes a link to some key resources about crisis preparedness and response, presented by the Emergency Preparedness team.  The link directs readers to the best materials we have located on the internet, including detailed articles and checklists, first aid procedures, and advice about scenario planning. 

Submitted by Arthur Nielsen, Coordinator of the Emergency Preparedness Team


District I News

A belated welcome to Avelino Ramanolo Hanmer born on 12 March ‘05.  We hear the parents, Daria King and James Hanmer, were in “baby lock down” for months.  Avelino is mild mannered and his brother, Justice, has done pretty well with this addition to the family.  Best of luck and we will see you in a couple of years when things settle down.


Neighborhood Notes

-  The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!  And so are the holiday parties.  Remember to plan the parking as well as the menu.  Keep the cars off the roads as much as possible.  Living on such narrow roads means we need to be aware of fire truck access at all times.  Keep in mind the fire season includes the holiday season.

Last Chance Mercury Thermometer Exchange - Tucked away in the back of your medicine cabinet may be an old mercury thermometer.  Why get rid of it?  Because if the thermometer ever breaks, you have a highly toxic substance on your hands and no way to dispose of it.  Act now and you receive a free digital thermometer in exchange. By 15 Dec. call Jan at 851-2527.

-  Due to lack of  submissions there will no longer be a twice yearly Community Bulletin Board that provides space for advertising items and services.  The Board may consider making it a regular feature of each bimonthly Newsletter which would provide more timely advertising. 


Next Meeting -  7:00 p.m., 11 Jan., 1074 Los Trancos Rd.   Agenda includes dues collection,  emergency preparedness, and Blue Oaks BMR’s.  For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site or your District Rep.


Los Trancos Woods (LTWCA) Web Site

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

Thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site        AND        Thanks to Alex Kostrikin for copying our newsletter.