Los Trancos Woods Community Association
LTW/VV Newsletter - Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010
Upkeep On Our Lots...or is it?...Keeping Up With Our Lots
There are a number of issues that have been brought to my attention recently, and they all fall under the heading of what is outside our windows. We have the opportunity to nurture and renew our lands, but the way forward is not always as straight forward as we might think.
- leaves, Leaves, LEAVES! We are at that time of year when we are awash in leaves. Although one might think the best way to get rid of leaves is to blow them into a pile with our leaf blowers and load them into bags for GreenWaste pickup, actually leaves are the perfect compost for our soils up here. Not only do the oak trees need their leaves to decompose and enrich the soil, but also it makes the perfect mulch to discourage weeds. If you need to clear your walkways, consider raking or sweeping which allows for a sense of quiet in the neighborhood.
- Now is the perfect time of year to look around and see where you can put in some native plants. Just before the rains come and while plants are still in their dormancy stage, you can spruce up your yard with seeds from your own natives or plants from Yerba Buena Nursery on Skyline Blvd. Native ferns are especially appropriate for areas in the shade and are not a fire hazard. Thank goodness we do not need to completely clear our lots to be fire safe.
- trees, Trees, TREES! We seem to be losing our trees at a faster rate than they are replacing themselves. Sudden Oak Death, rot, and insects are taking their toll. Not all of us may be aware that San Mateo County does require permits to take down or even trim a heritage tree. There is a County pamphlet that lists heritage trees and how to get a permit. Download at: http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/vgn/images/portal/cit_609/1036816721040.pdf. A licensed arborist will also know the County rules and can give you good advice on how to keep your trees instead of cutting or trimming them. We need our healthy trees for maintaining a more balanced ecosystem of fungi, beneficial insects, birds, and bats. If you have to take out a tree, remember to plant a new one to eventually take its place. Paul Heiple from California Native Plant Society recommends using seeds from our own trees which are perfectly suited to our environment. Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale with help from multiple residents
VVCA Dues Are Due
The Vista Verde Community Association (VVCA) benefits Vista Verde residents. Members pay annual dues which fund a variety of community benefits such as the annual Directory, emergency preparedness, and the summer picnic. We want to thank those residents that have already contributed and encourage those who have not to do so. Sixty percent of VV residents have turned in their dues, but we need everyone to contribute. Please mail a check for $30 payable to VVCA to Ruth Taylor. The deadline is December 20th, or as soon as possible.
Submitted by Ruth Taylor
Thanks to all LTW residents who have responded to requests to provide updated contact information for our community Directory and emergency notification system. We are still in the process of collecting current household names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses from LTW to be published early next year. Only information given with your permission will be printed in the Directory or used for communication in the event of a fire, earthquake or other emergency need. If you have yet to be contacted or would like to forward updated information, please contact Steve Friedman, LTW Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.
Submitted by Steve Friedman, LTW Emergency Preparedness
A Remembrance of Ford Wade
Ford Wade, one of our longest residents, died recently. His parents, who were active in the community, instilled a community spirit in him. Ford cared deeply about the community and kept track of happenings. He will be missed by family and friends. Our sympathy is with Jan, his wife, and their family.
Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale
Ford loved the outdoors - hiking, fishing, off and on road motorcycling, and camping. He loved tinkering with things in his shop. He would take things apart to see what makes them tick. This helped him to be a “jack of all trades.” He is survived by his wife, Jan, of 23 years, his children Ford and Sarah, his brothers Chad, Marc and Guy, and numerous cousins.
Brother Ford had a great love for Los Trancos Woods. This place was truly his stomping grounds, but he also loved people. He was happiest helping someone fix something broken, no matter what their station in life.
Submitted by Jan Wade and Chad Wade
An Invitation to Join the Historic Los Trancos Book Club
Please come and join a great group of interesting, multigenerational women who love to read and talk. We have been gathering the third Wednesday of every month in each other's homes since the end of WWII to discuss what each of us is currently reading. The original group's purpose was to share scarce print resources and good reads. Everyone came prepared to share and exchange a book. In this way, most members were given access to a greater variety of books and articles and rich conversations. Today, we have grown to appreciate the quality of the women who live in the Woods, but the group needs more members to continue. Times and the world have changed, but books, conversation and local wisdom are still invaluable. We would love to carry on this 65 years old tradition with new energy and ideas. If you are a woman who enjoys reading, please join us. You may call Gloria or Jan.
Submitted by Jan Avilla and Gloria Rosenthal
- We have a published author among us! Autumn Stanley has just published Raising More Hell and Fewer Dahlias. This first-ever biography of the feisty 19th century feminist and reformer, Charlotte Smith (1840-1917), just came out in June from Lehigh University Press and is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Autumn called the book Raising More Hell and Fewer Dahlias because that is the way this fascinating woman lived her life. Contact Autumn if you have any questions or comments. Congratulations, Autumn!
- Jed, Carolina, and Milo Pitera (and their dog Linus) recently purchased 9 Vista Verde Way from the Walshes and are looking forward to meeting the neighbors (Linus has already met the deer and coyotes). They are still getting settled and unpacked, but are planning a holiday housewarming sometime soon.
Submitted by Carolina Pitera
- Adam Smith is graduating from SF State University on Dec 21, 2009 with a BA in Economics. His area of interest is the Economics of Sustainable Energy. He actually has real job prospects, for which we are grateful given the current market. His family and friends congratulate him on a job well done, and know he will make an important contribution to the world!
Submitted by Gale Smith
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.