LTWCA Newsletter - February/March 2006


Sign of Lyme

Have you noticed the new sign up at the entrance to the trails off of Lake Rd. and Old Spanish Trail?  LTWCA was notified of the results of tick surveys which were conducted between December 2004 and May 2005 on this trail.  We were furnished with the sign to post and the following information to disseminate to our households.


Ixodes pacificus, the western black-legged tick, is the primary vector of Lyme disease in California.  Adults of this species feed on a wide range of mammals including dogs, humans and horses.  They are encountered in grass and bushes along recreational trails from December to May.  Ixodes pacificus nymphs occur in leaf litter under heavy tree canopies in oak woodlands in April through June.  They may be picked up when humans or their pets rest in these areas.”


“These ticks were collected from the trail leading from the end of Lake Road to Alpine Rd. in Portola Valley.  Lyme disease spirochetes were present in 1-3% of ticks collected along this trail.  This is similar to the prevalence of infection seen at other sites in the county.  However, this trail does have a high density of nymphal ticks.  Persons using trails in this area should use personal protective measures, such as wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants, tucking pants into socks, and checking themselves [and their dogs] for ticks after returning home.  During the months of March-June, avoid sitting on fallen logs or leaf litter in forested areas to minimize exposure to infected nymphal ticks.”


Tick Species          Stage Tested          # Positive     # Tested     Prevalence of Infection

Ixodes pacificus     Adult ticks          3          275          1%

Ixodes pacificus     Nymphs          12          458          3%

Excerpts from a letter by San Mateo County Mosquito Abatement District


Water Board News

The schedule and location of Water Board meetings has changed.  Please note that the Board will meet at 7:30 PM on the first Thursday of every month. Meetings will be at the home of Perry Blackmon, 25 Joaquin . The next meeting will be Feb. 2nd, 2006. .At the last meeting David Smernoff was elected as the Board President.


Please feel free to contact any of the Board Members with questions or concerns: 

Perry Blackmon

Stan Gage

Charlie Krenz

Frazier Miller

David Smernoff


The Board is planning a community broom pull on Saturday, March 4th, 9:30-12 p.m.  Wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and gloves. Meet at the corner of Los Trancos Cir. and Lake Rd.  Contact Charlie Krenz for more information and to sign up.

Submitted by David Smernoff, Los Trancos County Water Board


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

S.O.S. in P.V. will not be sending out an informational flyer to every household at this time.  When and if the formal proposal is submitted to the Town of Portola Valley for relocation of the Blue Oaks’ Below Market Rate (BMR) units to the open space., we will then notify the community with detailed information. You may contact S.O.S. in P.V. by e-mail at any time at: Or you may contact any member of the Steering Committee:  Anne Baldwin, Linda Drey-Nightingale, Mary Ann Furda, Annaloy Nickum, Joe Sabel, David Smernoff, and Bob Zimmerman.

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


Neighborhood Notes

-  There is only one way to drive on a ONE WAY road, and that is in the correct direction.  Jockeying around a car coming in the wrong direction is not only dangerous but clogs up the road.  Our beginning drivers and our delivery people need all the help they can get to stay safe.  Please alert all delivery people and workers ahead of time that the circle is a one way road and inform them which direction it goes in (the ONE WAY applies to us residents too).  Our roads are not for the fainthearted, so let’s keep us all from fainting.

-   The Almanac just published an article for dog walkers.  Please be aware that the following trails are closed to dogs:  Toyon, Coal Mine, Old Spanish, Arroyo, Lake, and Bay Laurel Trails.  Dog owners will be cited and could pay up to a $500 fine.  Almost all the Trails are on the Portola Valley Ranch and their reason to ban dogs dates back to the founding of the Ranch - the residents “decided to make it a wildlife corridor and prohibit dogs, which are considered predators that can scare wildlife” with either their presence or their scent. The good news is that there are a number of Trails on Blue Oaks that are open to dogs on leash:  Old Spanish only to the Fire Rd. at the pond, Fire Rd., Sunrise, Buck Meadow, Blue Oak, Redberry, Black Oak, and Los Trancos Trails.  Please refer to your Trail Map which you received with the LTWCA Newsletter Aug./Sept. 2004 issue, also the Trail posts are clearly marked telling you which Trails are closed.  Let’s be good neighbors and honor the wishes of our Trail hosts!  Remember also to pick up after your dog.


Next Meeting -  7:00 p.m., 8 Mar., 1074 Los Trancos Rd.   Agenda includes LTW Directory and emergency preparedness.  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.