LTWCA/VV Newsletter - April/May 2009


Upcoming Environmental Sustainability Events

The Town of Portola Valley has a full schedule of sustainability events planned for the spring and summer.  Vista Verde and Los Trancos Woods residents are invited to participate. 


Events include an Earth Day Fair at 2:00 PM on April 18th and a Green Speaker Series, Local Heroes on Local Issues at 7:00 PM on the fourth Tuesday of each month: 

April 28th, May 26th, June 23rd, July 28th, August 25th, September 22nd. 

Topics for the speaker series will include: 

Ecological/ Carbon Footprint, Green Building, Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Food and Climate Change, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, and Geothermal. 


All of these events will be at the Community Hall in the new Portola Valley Town Center. 


Brandi de Garemeaux, the Town's Sustainability and Resource Efficiency Coordinator, is still lining up speakers for some of these topics.  If you would like to present, contact her at (650) 851-1700 ext. 222. or via e-mail at  Additional information on these events can be found at the Portola Valley web site,, or can be obtained by calling Brandi.

Submitted by Tom Thayer


Emergency Preparedness

On Friday evening, 7:30 p.m., May 1st, the Citizens Emergency Response Preparedness Program (CERPP) in Woodside, Portola Valley, and Los Trancos Woods and Vista Verde will be conducting a neighborhood level Earthquake Response Exercise. Participating neighborhoods will have signs simulating earthquake damage and injuries placed along the streets of the neighborhood. Participants will perform an initial damage assessment to locate the damage and injuries that have occurred. Each scenario provides a set of recommended actions that citizen responders should take following an actual earthquake. Participants will have a chance to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood's first aid and two-way radio equipment. Information about damage and injuries will be transmitted by radio to the Town's and Fire Dept.'s Emergency Operations Centers which will be activated and staffed for the Exercise. 


Plan to meet at 7:30 p.m. for instructions at the Los Trancos Woods Emergency Command Center located at 1247 Los Trancos Road.  For more information, contact Steve Friedman or visit the web site at

Submitted by Steve Friedman, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator


Latest Breaking News:  Chipper date has been set for Tuesday, 5 May.  The Woodside Fire Protection District cosponsors this program with Woodside and P.V. as a fuel reduction program.  Look around your property and work on clearing out the hazardous materials that would easily fuel a wildfire.  Eucalyptus, broom, juniper, and recently dead limbs are all highly flammable.  Cut or clear brush and trees and stack the fuel in piles on the roadside with cut ends facing the road.  Branches up to 8” diameter and piles up to 10’ x 10’ are accepted.  Remember NO eucalyptus bark, poison oak, nails, screws or metal.  Piles will be chipped back onto the site.  Let us work towards fireproofing our neighborhood NOW before the fire season gets in full swing.


Editor:  Send me notices for Newsletter of our students, high school or college or job bound,


Water District News

Communications:  In early April, the Water Board will distribute to every household a 3 year progress report with pictures, called “State of the District,” showing what your tax dollars have accomplished.  We feel that our major projects are yielding results that benefit the community, save water, make it safer, and deliver long lasting value. Soon thereafter, our second community survey (the first was 3 years ago) will go out to all households.  This survey will give you a chance to tell us what you think, what new programs you would like to see, and, most importantly, let us know what our major future direction should be.


Lands: We have finally received the Encroachment Permit from the County for the next piece of the Lake improvement program. This will be the split rail fence and service access gate across the end of Lake Road that the Town of Portola Valley asked us to put in.


Water Conservation:  We all need to be mindful of our water use, since the recent rains are not enough to overcome the three year drought.  Let us take this opportunity to upgrade any old, high-use water appliances and fixtures that we have remaining in our homes. So far, 70% of the homes have turned in their Water Use Efficiency/Conservation statements.  The Committee is contacting the last 30% to see if any assistance is needed. To be an indoor Water Efficient Home, all you need is 2 of the following 4 items (but the more you do, the more you save) -- low flow toilets, shower heads, clothes washer, and dishwasher. There are still generous rebates available.  Go to for details and forms.


Outdoor Water Efficiency:  For homes that have landscaping requiring irrigation, there are lots of ways to save water. You can plant drought resistant plants, change out lawn for less thirsty plantings, mulch, and most importantly, change your clock timer to one that is weather based.  The timers are called Smart controllers or ET controllers.  If you tune up your irrigation plumbing and have an ET controller installed by a professional, it is easy to save 20-30% of your water and have healthier plants.  More details on line.


Fire Safety:  At the request of the Water Board, the Town of Portola Valley has done an initial fire clearing of Los Trancos Road opposite Blue Oaks.  This is the beginning of a project to make our fire exit road safe for both us outgoing and fire trucks incoming.

Submitted by Mike Ward, Los Trancos County Water Board President


Neighborhood Notes

-  Every community needs someone “In the Know.”  For quite a few years I have been monitoring the Town of Portola Valley Committee/Council agendas and Town notices.  Well, that was just not fair to hog all that info., so I started sharing it with the Yahoo groups.  Now I know there is at least one other person out there who could be “In the Know” too.  I am ready to retire, so step forward!

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale

Ben Archer, 184 Vista Verde, will graduate from the United States Naval Academy on May 22 and be commissioned an ensign in the Navy Medical Corps.  He will enter the Tulane University School of Medicine this summer to start work on his M.D.  Editor:  Pretty impressive, Ben.  Congratulations!

Submitted by Loren Archer

- LTW Volunteer Copier is needed!  Shan Wang and Tsing Xue have graciously been copying for several years and now it is time for a new person.  We provide the paper, you provide the copier every two months.  Help our community and volunteer now at 851-1787 or


Community Associations Web Sites

The web site addresses are:                    The group e-mail lists are:                    

Thanks Jerry Jensen and Esther Dechow for maintaining our web sites  AND  Thanks Tsing Xue for copying our newsletter.