LTW/VV Newsletter   June/July 2010


A Message From Woodside Fire Marshal

 ÒI encourage the LTCWD to continue its work assisting homeowners in the creation of defensible space around structures.  The fact is Eucalyptus trees can create a serious fire and fuel loading condition. The high content of very flammable oils in the bark and leaves can easily result in flame heights in excess of twice the treeÕs height. The leaves are engineered like sails and can easily turn into flights of burning vegetation landing on roofs and dry grass.  This very scenario was the unfortunate outcome during the Albion fire in 2002 where a home almost 3Ú4 of a mile away was ignited and destroyed.  The ecological impacts of Eucalyptus should not be overlooked. The oils suppress the native plant community from regenerating. Eucalyptus is an aggressive seed producer and grows at accelerated rates, outcompeting natives, such as fire resistant Oaks and Madrones. The area within the LTCWD is environmentally sensitive, and with proactive leadership this inimitable community, I am sure, will improve its ambience and overall fire safety with native trees not exotic invasives.Ó

Denise  Enea, Fire Marshal, Woodside Fire Protection District


Simple Fire Safety Tips

With summer fast approaching this is a perfect time to get ready for fire season.  There are simple steps we can all take to make our homes less vulnerable to a wildland fire and the embers that a firestorm will leave in its wake.


1)  Remove dead leaves near the walls of your home, weed whack tall grasses and try for at least 30 feet of defensible space.  This does not mean clear-cutting.  Limb up trees, remove dead material and pull all Broom near your residence.

2)  Be sure to clear your roof and gutters of all accumulated leaves and debris.

3)  Take a look around your home.  Do you have brooms leaning against the house? Sisal mats next to your doors? Firewood and/or construction materials next to or leaning up against your house? If so, these all make wonderful kindling for flying embers.  Move these to a safer spot further away.

4)  Exterior vents are another way that embers can make their way into a home.  Making sure that all venting is covered with 1/8th inch metal mesh is an excellent preventative measure.

5)  When going on vacation especially during fire season, pull all flammable doormats inside and store away all patio cushions/umbrellas.  In the event of a wildfire and evacuation, it is a good idea to pull these items inside as well before leaving your home.


Check out and the Fire Safety link for more details.  Wishing everyone a happy and safe summer.

Submitted by Tracy Sherman, Adapted from Fire Safe Council, FireWise Communities


The Picnic is Coming, The Picnic is Coming!

Los Trancos Woods Community Association is once again hosting a community potluck picnic on Sunday, 13 June, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at 1074 Los Trancos Rd., the DakesÕ ever-welcoming circle driveway.  Come one, come all to a rollicking good time of neighbors greeting, friends eating, and sunshine beating.  Mark your calendar now, and keep a lookout for the picnic flyer in your mail!


LTWCA Dues Are Due

We are almost there!  For those of you who have already sent in your dues – thank you.  For those of you who have not sent in your dues yet – there is still time!  We need all of you to participate, since the LTW Community Association benefits all LTW residents.  Members pay only $30 dues every two years to fund a variety of community benefits such as the Community Resource Guide, emergency preparedness, the Newsletter, and the picnic. Please mail a check for $30 payable to LTWCA to LTWCA, 111 Carmel, Portola Valley, CA  94028.  If you are uncertain if have already paid, contact Julie Duncan who is our Treasurer to find out.


Water District News – Water Movement Control Program

At the May 6th meeting, the ProgramÕs Draft Phase I Report was presented by BAGG Engineering and discussed by Board and interested District residents.  The Draft Report was subsequently posted at the LTCWD website for further public review and comment. The ReportÕs proposed final version will be considered at the BoardÕs June 3rd regular meeting. The purpose of this initial phase was to map and assess the existing natural and engineered drainage systemÕs flow patterns and adequacy, and to interrelate those flow patterns with other documented geologic features and problems within the District. Deficiencies in the system have resulted in periodic slope saturation, flooding, soil erosion, landslides, road failures, and other problems such as heavy (and possibly contaminated) discharge into the creeks.


Phase II begins on July 1 and focuses on development and initial implementation of appropriate short and long-term problem mitigation strategies. These will include an incentive program to assist interested residents in the mitigation of high-impact residential problems, and an effort to work with and through San Mateo County to help facilitate timely repair of Ramona Rd. LTCWD engagement with water removal issues is authorized by both its founding charter and the California Water Code, and will be carried out in a manner that respects the primacy of San Mateo County and other public agencies.  We also will carefully target the investment of District funds to achieve the most cost-effective possible results. For the Phase I Report and other Program materials visit www.ltcwd.orgSubmitted by David Smernoff & Tom Uridel, LTCWD Board


Waste Not, Want Not

Using waste water from your shower, clothes washer, or bathroom sink is now considered legal per recent changes to the California Plumbing Code. But be wary of going overboard trying to create fancy systems that store or pump gray water. These more complex systems have lots of pitfalls and almost invariably require frequent cleaning of filters and pumps. The code change permits use of gray water from one source with gravity flow.  Such systems may be put into use without any permits from the county.  Anything more complex requires a permit. For more information, please see  and navigate to the short article on gray water in the Saving Water tab.  Submitted by Stan Gage


Neighborhood Notes

-  Get the Scoop on the Poop!  Please, while we can still joke about this, remember to pick up your dogÕs poop and dispose of the bag.  Los Trancos Road has become littered with bags of dog poop in the area between Ramona and Los Trancos Circle intersection.  Bagging your dogÕs poop is only half the job, taking it home with you and disposing of it there, is the rest of the job.   On the subject of not picking up the poop at all, this gives all the dog owners here a bad name. Oh yes, I know that carrying a bag of smelly poop for a ½ mile is not fun.  I have been doing this for 7 years.  Submitted by Ted DeLong

-  Hadley and Noel Hartzell welcomed Alton James Hartzell to the neighborhood on March 15th. Everyone is happy, healthy and having a great time (while learning to love the world in 3 hour increments).  Submitted by Hadley and Noel Hartzell   Congratulations and welcome to the neighborhood, Alton!

-  Sydney Madison Whalen was born appropriately on May 9th, MotherÕs Day, to Julie and Erin Whalen.  She is actively participating in the standard baby fare of eating, sleeping and pooping.  As of yet there have been no breakfasts in bed or lattes, but Erin claims she has been a calm baby.  Welcome, Sydney!

Gene Hunner, our rain monitor, has the stats: April – 7.30", May – 1.36", total rain for season – 42.08". 


Community Associations Web Sites

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The group e-mail list is:            


Thanks Jerry Jensen & Esther Dechow for maintaining web sites    AND  Thanks Tom Thayer for copying the newsletter.