LTWCA Newsletter - April/May 2006


An Earthquake Is Coming, But Not When You Think

Lots of people will probably be glad to hear that this spring’s Earthquake Drill will not be an early Saturday morning variety.  But that does not mean it will be easy!  Get ready for a different kind of drill, one designed to remind us that an earthquake could happen at any hour of the day or night.  Make sure your flashlights have fresh batteries, because the April Drill is going to be in the dark, on the evening of Friday, April 28, from 7 - 9 p.m.


Over the next few weeks, the LTW Emergency Preparedness Team will be publicizing details about the Drill, and as always, we will put volunteers to good use.  Give Arthur Nielsen a call at 851-9152 if you can help in any way with our simulated community response and if you want to try your hand at on-the-spot problem solving.  We will have a debriefing afterward, and to show we learned something from the last drill, we will be offering snacks and drinks in abundance.


Return of the Chipper on Tuesday, May 2.  After the earthquake drill, we will start preparing for the dry season by welcoming the chipper back into our midst.  Last year, Los Trancos Woods kept the Woodside Fire Protection District and its chipper pretty busy for a week with our piles of brush and branches.  We removed tons of potential wildfire fuel from our neighborhood in the process.  As you reach for your hatchets and pruning shears, remember:  no eucalyptus bark, poison oak, nails, screws or branches over 8 inches in diameter.  Watch for further announcements as the day approaches. 

Submitted by Arthur Nielsen, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.


Keeping Our Trails Healthy

We all take care of our own health.  Let’s also take care of the health of our local trails.  Here are a few simple guidelines to guide us on our way:

1.  Use the trail pathway.  Off trail travel can trample the plants, cause erosion damage, and disturb animals’ homes.

2.  When the trails are muddy, wear your boots, then you can walk on the trail instead of the sides of the trail which artificially widens the trail.  Surprisingly little muck will build up on your boots.  We have such a heavy leaf litter here that it carpets the forest floor and turns our mud into humus.

3.  Leaving anything human-made on or off the trail, either intentionally or unintentionally, is leaving garbage.  Most things do not break down, and they detract from the natural surroundings.  This is nature’s home, not our home.  (In this same vein, dog poop is not part of  the natural surroundings either.  Let’s try to remember the plastic bag and pick up after our dogs.)

4.  Are your eyes feasting on the fabulous wildflower display?  We can keep this display going year after year if we leave the flowers, seeds, and bulbs in their places.  Even one less flower decreases the available seed stock and wild plants rarely survive if transplanted.


Correction - Sign of Lyme

In your last LTWCA Newsletter we published some Lyme disease infection rates that have now been updated by the Mosquito Abatement District.

“ Lyme disease spirochetes were present in 3% (not 1-3%) of ticks collected along this trail.”


Tick Species          Stage Tested          # Positive     # Tested     Prevalence of Infection

Ixodes pacificus     Adult ticks          8 (not 3)     275          3% (not 1%)

Ixodes pacificus     Nymphs          12          458          3%

Excerpts from updated letter by San Mateo County Mosquito Abatement District

Water Board News

On March 4th community volunteers from throughout the Water District pulled together and tackled french broom on District property at the corner of Lake Road and Los Trancos Circle. About 15 residents cleared the area of this invasive, nonnative plant which crowds out native species and creates a fire hazard.  By removing  the broom the District will reduce seed input to surrounding properties, reduce the fuel load on the property, and improve visibility at this intersection. Future property maintenance activities will focus on improving habitat quality and general appearance of District properties.  The Board thanks everyone who participated! We encourage all residents to provide their input to District land maintenance activities and other business. Meeting notices and agendas are posted on neighborhood kiosks and the LTW and Vista Verde web sites.

Visit:  or

Submitted by David Smernoff and Stan Gage, Los Trancos County Water Board


Sewer News

West Bay Sanitary is now responsible for the completion of the sewer design and ultimately getting the sewer project out to bid for construction this summer.  We are asking that folks who want an update check the web site first.  It has excellent information on it.  If you need more information contact either Bill Kitajima or Time Clayton at 321-0384.   

West Bay Sanitary District web site:

Submitted by Mark Levaggi


Neighborhood Notes

-  District 1 News - We have a new resident.  Kim and Gary Pearson welcomed their daughter McKenzi Jo on January 9th.  She is adored by all, especially her big brother Colin.  Glad to have you with us, McKenzi Jo.

     Submitted by Julie Duncan

District 4 News - Welcome to Everett Miller who in Dad’s words was “fast to the gate!”  Frazier and Tia Miller barely had time to zoom to Stanford Hospital on 27 Dec. ‘05 where Everett was born.  After a panic stricken call from the Millers Chris Sato-Perry came to the rescue in the night to take care of big brother, Carson.  The Woods is delighted to have you, Everett.

     Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale


Next Meeting -  7:00 p.m., 10 May, 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.