Los  Trancos Woods Community Association


    LTW/VV Newsletter - February/March 2010


The Critical Mile

Over the past several months there has been a lot of brush clearing activity along the east side of Los Trancos Road.   Los Trancos Road has been identified as the major route for evacuation AND, the main access route for emergency vehicles into and out of our community in the event of a major wildland fire.


Over many years of growth, the Los Trancos corridor with its abundance of coyote brush and French broom has become a major fire risk.   The goal is to create defensible space along the east side of Los Trancos Road for the first mile upon leaving our community. This critical mile which extends past Oak Forest Court and a couple hundred yards to the emergency access bridge at the back of Portola Valley Ranch will offer an alternative escape route should the remaining stretch of Los Trancos Road be blocked.


This is a large undertaking but well worth it.  Contractors will continue to help complete the initial phase of the project but community volunteers are much needed.  There are 6 more broom pulling parties scheduled for February 13, February 27, March 13, March 27, April 10 and April 24 from 9:30 a.m. -1 p.m.    You only need to find one date to fit your schedule, even one hour helps a lot.  If everyone does this, we can accomplish a tremendous amount of work.


Fire safety and emergency preparedness remain important issues for our rural community.  Please contact Tracy Sherman if you would like to volunteer or if you have questions: tracy.sherman@ltcwd.org.

Submitted by Tracy Sherman, Los Trancos County Water District


Emergency Preparedness

We are not Haiti!  Or are we?  There are similar elements up here as in Haiti.  Help will most likely not arrive for days.  We are told it could be as long as 5 days after an earthquake before food and first aid arrives.  In the mean time we will have to fend for ourselves.


While we cannot predict when the next earthquake will come, and exactly where it will hit, we do know it is coming. Take this opportunity to check the list below and ensure that your household is prepared.


1.  Have you selected an out-of-state contact for your family to call with status updates?

2.  Do you have food and water stockpiled to last at least three days and perhaps a week or more?  You can use this link (http://www.quakekare.com/index.asp?dc=11027) for supplies and a commission goes towards local emergency preparedness at no cost to you.  Get a group together to order supplies and save on shipping.

3.  Have you done computer backups and stored them safely, perhaps off site or out of the area?

4.  Have you made copies of important documents, like insurance contacts and the deed to your properties?

5.  Have you identified a gathering place for your family in the event of an emergency?

6.  Do you know where your electrical, gas, and water shutoffs are located?

7.  Have you affixed furniture and heavy objects so they will not shift in an earthquake?


Luck is being prepared for the opportunities and disasters that come your way.

Submitted by Bill Tagg and Steve Friedman / VV and LTW Emergency Prep Coordinators


Sudden Oak Death (SOD) News

NOW is the time to sign up for the spring spraying of your Coast Live Oak and Black Oak Trees.  For a list of spray providers please check the web site http://www.vistaverdeca.org and click on Sudden Oak Death in the left-hand column listing.  These providers are knowledgeable about SOD and will help plan the optimal time for the spraying.


For any of you who have been hiking the local trails, you have seen that the dead and downed oak trees have increased significantly in numbers.  While we cannot be positive that SOD is killing these trees, the likelihood is high.  The only positive identification of infection is by lab test.  Every time we trek back to our houses, we are likely carrying the SOD pathogen, Phytophthera ramorum, back to our yards.  This is why it is important to be on the defensive and spray your susceptible oaks before they become infected. 


For further information please contact:  Amanda at amanda@donlee.com or Linda at 851-1787.

Submitted by the Sudden Oak Death Task Force


Due Date Is Now for VVCA Dues

We are 75% of the way there.  Only 25% more will get us all the way there.  Check those checkbooks to figure out if you are one of the 25%, and mail it in ASAP.  We need you all to participate.  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. Please mail a check for $30 payable to VVCA to Ruth Taylor, 35 Las Piedras St., Portola Valley, CA  94028.

Submitted by Ruth Taylor


Neighborhood Notes

Baggie containers for doggie droppings are provided for folks to pick up your dog's poop.  These bags should be taken home and put into your garbage.  We do not have a cleanup service which picks up the bags left on the road.  Help keep our neighborhood free of these baggie ornamentations!

-  Los Trancos Baby on the way!  Heather & Justin Morgan (1189 Los Trancos Road) are expecting a little baby girl in early March - their first child!  We are in the process of exploring childcare options. Heather will be going back to work in early June.  Anybody interested in doing a nanny share?  Please contact me at: heather_kirkby@yahoo.com or 650-430-0604.

Submitted by Heather Kirby

-  Welcome to Noel and Hadley Hartzell!  Lured by the inspiring vistas, energizing hikes, terrific schools and what they know will be even more terrific neighbors, Noel and Hadley Hartzell moved to 50 Joaquin Road this Fall from Noe Valley in San Francisco.  They are expecting their first child, a boy, on March 31st.   Noel works in tech marketing and Hadley works at a PR agency.  They look forward to getting to know more people in the neighborhood and sharing a glass of wine (or sparkling apple juice) over these views that still take their breath away. Stop by or call, 650-851-8116.

Information supplied by Noel Hartzel

-     Gene Hunner, rain recorder extraordinaire, has reported his local rainfall data for the season:  Oct. - 6.7" with deluge on 14th of 5.4", Nov. - .5", Dec. - 4.7" with record snowfall on 7th of 1" of water, Jan. - 10.5" with downpours on 19th and 20th of 4.8" total.  Our local season's total for July 2009 - January 2010 is 22.7".  Data recordings are done at 8 a.m. daily. 


Community Associations Web Sites

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

http://lostrancoswoods.org/                    VistaVerdeLTW@yahoogroups.com


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