LTWCA Newsletter - December 2006/January 2007


‘Tis the Season to Be...Planting

Yep, you read that right.  December and January are great months to plant natives in your yard.  The plants are dormant, will get over the transplant shock, and establish some root system before the spring growing season begins.


Why plant natives:

1.  Native plants look marvelous up here framed by a natural setting of other native plants.

2.  We have a golden opportunity up here in the Woods to give native plants exactly what they need to survive, no fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides in the soil, just plain old natural soil.

3.  Natives plants go hand in hand with our native wildlife by providing shelter and food.  To keep a proper balance we need the deer, raccoons, rodents, birds, and even the insects associated with a native ecosystem.

4.  In this day and age who would not want less work, and native plants are a lot less work, no mowing, no blowing, no chemicalizing, no pruning, and few pests are attracted to them.

5.  In looking to the future native plants make sense with their very low water requirements.  Thankfully, most will need no water at all, since water is becoming a scarce resource in California.

What to keep in mind when you plant natives:

1.  Right time, right place.  You have the right time for planting, now to pick the right place.  This will be the most difficult to sort out.  Soil, sun, shade, drainage, and neighboring plants are all factors in proper placement.  Do not be discouraged.  It may take 2 or 3 tries to find the right plant.

2.  You will need to clear the area of exotics (nonnative plants) before planting and keep clearing after planting, until they no longer have a seed or root source in the soil.

3.  There are Landscape Consultants that specialize in native plants and can help you with design.

4.  Local nurseries which carry natives are:  Al’s Nursery, Ladera Garden Center, and Yerba Buena Nursery.  Check with them on the plant’s requirements.

5.  Possibilities for local native plants are:  coffeeberry, ceanothus, manzanita, redwood sorrel, sword fern, Douglas’ iris, and canyon snow iris.


For more information peruse the local California Native Plant Society web site at:  The web site and links provide a plethora of information.  Let’s keep “Woods” in Los Trancos Woods!

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale with input from June Bilisoly


Emergency Preparedness News

On October 21, the LTW and Vista Verde Emergency Preparedness Teams staged our Fall Wildfire Drill. After a scenario response exercise, the four LTW Districts activated the emergency phone tree for the first time in a couple years. The phone tree exercise was unexpectedly efficient: our District and Group Leaders were able to call virtually every house in LTW and communicate the results to the Coordinator within 35 minutes. (Nobody answered the phone at a number of residences, of course, but this is part of the information the drill is intended to collect.) Unfortunately, a couple of residences fell through the cracks due to outdated contact information.  Our goal in a drill, and especially in a real emergency, must be 100% coverage of the homes in our neighborhood.  Please make sure your District Representative or Jamie Sovereign has your current information, and that any changes are promptly communicated to them. This drill taught us a lot about how the phone tree fits into our emergency response procedures -- both from what went well, and what didn't.  We expect to make the phone tree a regular part of future Earthquake and Fire Drills.

The Wildfire Drill also enabled the Preparedness Team to complete its first pass at mapping the areas in LTW with the weakest two-way (walkie-talkie) radio reception to and from our Emergency Operations Center at 1247 Los Trancos Road (at the entrance to Los Trancos Circle). Thanks to everyone who was involved in this, either on the roads or from their houses. In general, the worst spots are areas downhill from EOC, particularly in spots where the terrain dips abruptly. As a reminder, every household should make an effort to have at least one working two-way radio, and to check the batteries every couple months.

Submitted by Arthur Nielsen, Coordinator for the Emergency Preparedness Team


Water Board News

The Water Board Meeting, which is open to all residents, will be on Thursday, 7 Dec., from 7:30-10 p.m. at 25 Joaquin Rd.  Two items of specific interest to the residents are:  1) the Cost Offset Program (water bill rebates), eligibility and cap will be discussed; 2) Land Management, the subcommittee will bring the Board up-to-date.  Public comment will be accepted on both of these items. 


District 3

Former resident Dan Kingman died on 14 September after a three month illness.  Dan and his former wife, Nancy, and their daughter, Hilary, lived here for 19 years, 1985-2004.  Dan truly enjoyed the outdoors, traveling and golfing, and charmed many who met him with his wonderful sense of humor and big smile.  Dan will be missed by family and friends. 

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale


District 4

One of the bedrock members of the Woods, Louie Thayer, has passed on, but his memory and presence live on in his wife, Marguerite, the trees he worked so hard to save, his family, and the neighbors who came to know and love him. Louie, Marguerite, and their family moved up here in the early ‘70s, and Marguerite immediately set about becoming an integral part of the neighborhood while Louie worked on his inventions.  We have Louie to thank for bar codes. They were ever vigilant during years of Blue Oaks hearings and spoke out for preserving the naturalness of the land.  About 2 years ago they moved to a care center.  Louie is at peace now after a long bout with Alzheimer’s. 

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale


Neighborhood Notes

- The Dog Poop Bag Dispensers are being regularly used and the neighborhood is looking (and smelling) better.  However the trail still has some areas which are soiled with dog poop.  This might be because someone keeps removing the sign at the entrance.  If you like our signs, the Board would be happy to give you copies, but please help our project by keeping the signs on their posts.


Next Meeting -  7:00 p.m., 10 Jan., 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.