LTW/VV Newsletter - June/July 2009


Water We Doing?

Well, I have installed a low-flow toilet, a front loading washing machine, and a low-flow shower head.  Now what?  The drought seems to be right on top of us, even though we have not had any water rationing. yet.  Can I do any better on water use?  You bet!  Water saving is a state of mind, not just a state of household plumbing.


The best training I ever had was to live on a limited amount of water.  Water became golden which, rightly so, it is.  Our lives depend on it.  My husband and I lived in a small cabin off of Old La Honda Road and our water came from a spring which fed into a redwood holding tank.  Those drought years of the ‘80’s are forever etched into my memory.  When you turn on a faucet and a trickle comes out, you adapt quickly to only using what is absolutely necessary.  My use of a plethora of water to wash my hands, instead turned into a stingy turning on of the faucet and a very rapid motion of soaping and rinsing my hands.  Have you ever contemplated how big a stream of water do you really need to do a perfectly adequate job of hand washing? 


You can see where this line of thinking leads to.  How much water do you really need to rinse anything?  I used to be quite comfortable turning on the water full blast to rinse dishes, hands, fruits, vegetables, sponge, wash cloth, toothbrush, baby, you-name-it.  When the water was not there, I discovered that barely turning on a faucet was totally acceptable for almost all jobs.  On top of using only a lean flow of water, I also discovered the joy of reusing water.  Right outside the kitchen door, or rather the only door in our case, were my potted flowers.  I was loathe to give up the bright spots of color as I came into the house.  So with my pan stationed under my fruits and vegetables when I washed them, I merely opened the door and dosed my flowers for a continuous summer bloom.


Years later I am in a house and have the false sense of security that water will always flow from my faucets.  But I still hearken back to my cabin days in my water use state of mind.  My showers are not full blast showers, even though we have a low flow shower head, my hands and vegetables are perfectly clean with minimal water use, and my teeth and toothbrush survive using only about a cup of water.  Hopefully I am passing on these values to my children.  When they were small, the flow of water out of the faucet mesmerized them, and it took a considerable amount of reminding and cajoling to help them comprehend that water is a valuable be saved.


We are all in this together, and each one of us can make a difference.

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale


Water District News

80% of the households in the LTCWD community have stated that they use water efficient appliances indoors. Thanks for all your efforts. This means we are applying tools and technology to save water automatically and permanently. That, plus good habits in water use, does make a difference.


What is the next big water saving opportunity? Outdoors! Many of us have landscapes that require watering, especially during the warm summer months. There are many opportunities to save water here too.  Mulching is the first line of defense, then paying close attention to watering schedules, adjusting for weather, and shutting off your irrigation from November through April all help. On the larger scale, changing our landscapes - replacing lawns with plantings that require less water and are drought tolerant -  go a long ways toward keeping our environment beautiful while still saving water.  For those with programmable irrigation controllers, converting over to weather based controllers is a huge step forward. It can require a professional installer (we have information on some qualified firms). Often a 20 to 30% reduction in water use can be achieved.


July is national ‘Smart Irrigation Month,’ so we will have more information out to you by then. At the Summer Picnic for VVCA, LTW and Blue Oaks September 27th at the Pony Tracks Ranch, we will have demonstrations and some giveaways for you to explore. Remember, when you save water, you do much, much more than just reduce your water bill. More water is left in our rivers and streams, less  power is need to purify and pump water, so less oil and coal are burned, less of our national wealth gets sent to the Middle East, and most significantly less CO2 is released into the atmosphere because of our actions.

Submitted by Mike Ward, Los Trancos County Water Board


Neighborhood Notes

- Calling all school parents - Are you interested in reviving the school bus route  for Corte Madera and Ormondale Schools?  Contact me by June 15.  Let’s get the ball rolling for next year.  Mary at

- Addison Lee graduates from the University of Denver on July 6th with a BS in Business Administration majoring in Real Estate & Construction Management.  He’s open to all job offers!  (YAY! – no more college bills!!!)

Submitted by Amanda Lee  

- Alexandra Swan is attending Yokohama's Meiji Gakuin University studying Japanese economics but will return for her senior year at UCSD continuing her studies of political science - international affairs and economics.

Submitted by Claudia Mazzetti and Richard Swan

- Monica Ferrone graduates with honors from Saint Francis High School.  She will attend Santa Clara University this fall, where she has been accepted into the Leavey School of Business.

Submitted by Susan Ferrone

- Antonio Flamenco is very excited about graduating from Corte Madera and heading onto Saint Francis High School.

Submitted by Hector Flamenco

- Krista Nightingale is graduating from Woodside High School.  In fall she is headed out to enjoy the stunning vistas from UC Santa Barbara and to concentrate on her skim boarding skills.  Oh, while she is there, she will take some classes too.

Submitted by Linda Drey-Nightingale

Mary Kormanak, daughter of Ken and Judy Kormanak, graduated as a doctor of optometry on May 31 from a 4-year program at the New England College of Optometry in Boston.  She has been accepted in a 1-year residency program at a VA Hospital in the Boston area where she will specialize in Primary Care and Ocular Disease.  She hopes to return to California in a couple of years to practice optometry. 

Submitted by Judy Kormanak


Community Associations Web Sites

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

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


Community Bulletin Board

Large Glass Fish Tank for Sale - Corner tank for sale with mirrored back walls. ~ 45/50 gallons. Comes with glass lid & light, sturdy wood cabinet/stand,filter and gravel.  Will deliver within the area. Make me an offer.  Call Mary at 650 851 4945 - eves