LTWCA Newsletter - August/September 2007


The Community Needs Your Help!

We all need to decide what is important in our lives and that decision time has come for the Los Trancos Woods Community Association.  The Association works to prepare the community for an emergency, protect the community's interest, and create a community feeling.  There has been attrition of the Board members over the years, and we need a new crop of community members, you, to step forward and volunteer for two year stints on the Board.  Without you the LTWCA can no longer function to provide the above services.


What does being on the Board entail?  There are 6 Board meetings during the year held on a Wednesday night from 7-9.  Other activities which are shared include the picnic, collecting dues, contacting the County for information when necessary, writing articles for the Newsletter, delivering the Newsletter, keeping track of agendas by the web for Portola Valley Committees, helping with Emergency activities, and whatever else crops up.  The commitment is minimal for the year, but the rewards for yourself and the community are great. 


Please contact Peri Nielsen, 851-9152  or, for information and to volunteer.

Submitted by your LTWCA Board


Sudden Oak Death Task Force

The Task Force has been moving right along with several action items:  a flyer was distributed on Bay leaf infection, over 20 samples were collected and other households reported results of their investigations, a map is being assembled to show infection sites, Bill Rogoway has read the research and written up his results.  This will be made available to the community on an ongoing basis.  The latest research is showing a close link between infected Bay trees and infected Oaks.  The best action item YOU can do this summer is to trim your Bay trees.  See the guidelines below.  Come join the next meeting, Tuesday, 7 August, 7 p.m., at 132 Los Trancos Cir.  For information please contact Amanda Lee at, or Linda Drey-Nightingale at 851-1787.


Pruning and Removal of California Bay Laurel Trees to minimize Sudden Oak Death (SOD):

Bay Laurel control is of equal, if not greater, importance than treating your Oaks with Agri-Fos. Right now and throughout the summer, before the rainy season, is a great time to get this done.  Poison oak control near your oaks is also important.


Sudden Oak Death, caused by the fungus, P. ramorum, has become a substantial and increasing problem in our community.  A major risk for Oak infection comes from the close intermingling of Bay and Oak.  A careful study carried out by the USDA forest service and published this year suggested pruning back Bays.  Their recommendations, verbatim, are as follows:

ŇThe risk of P. ramorum canker and the severity of the disease can be greatly reduced, but not completely eliminated by:

1.  Removing Bay from within 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) of the trunk of a susceptible Oak

2.  Extending Bay foliage-Oak trunk clearance to 5 m (16.4 ft.) where possible, especially in the direction(s) from which storm winds blow.

3.  Pruning low branches to obtain up to 5 m (16.4 ft.) of clearance in the lower canopy even if upper canopy Bay branches are present at closer horizontal distances

4.  Eliminating poison oak climbing at canopy level within an Oak or in adjacent tree within 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) of the Oak trunk.


Zoning News

On 4 June the staff of the San Mateo County Planning Department held a public meeting about the Zoning Proposal for Los Trancos Woods.  Of the residents who attended there was general consensus that the County should proceed to implement the proposal.  The next step is the San Mateo County Planning Commission Meeting on Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 9 a.m., at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 400 County Center in Redwood City.  Any interested party should attend this meeting to hear the Planning CommissionŐs discussion and make public comment.

Submitted by Armin Staprans


Sewer News

Sewer construction is proceeding on schedule.  Remember to allow a few extra minutes when driving down into town so you can drive at a safe speed on our winding roads.  If you have any questions, comments or complaints, please notify Bill Kitajima, 650-321-0384 at West Bay Sanitary District.


Water District News

The drought is here, so get your free in-home water use audit!  For questions contact Stan Gage,

851-1924, or Mike Ward, 851-5325.  The Water District is reminding residents that the affidavit program is extended to August 31.  Rebates are available on showerheads, toilets, and washers. 


Neighborhood Notes

-  The picnics are coming, the picnics are coming!  Pull out those sumptuous recipes, gather your picnic plates, silverware and cups, put on a happy face, and get ready for fun neighborhood gatherings.  On Sunday, 23 September, from 3-6:30, Los Trancos Woods will host a picnic to meet and greet neighbors new and old.  Don Cox, a certified arborist, will educate us and answer questions on Sudden Oak Death from 3:30-4:30, a not-to-be-missed event.  On Saturday, 15 September, 11:30-2:30, at Jacques LittlefieldŐs famous property enjoy the Vista Verde annual picnic.  Details will be forth coming on both.

-  How to Get Rid of Unwanted Things - Do you have things around the house that you want to get rid of? RecycleWorks of San Mateo County can help. The office, a county government department, has prepared a list of nonprofits accepting common household items in good condition. These items include furniture, clothing, and appliances. This information, called the ReUse Guide, is available both in hard copy and in electronic format at:   The PDF version is attached. To get a free hard copy of the Guide, call the RecycleWorks Hotline at 1-888-442-2666.

     Submitted by Helene Zimmerman


Next Meeting -  7:00 p.m., 8 August, 124 Los Trancos Cir.   Agenda includes emergency preparedness, zoning proposal, and picnic.  For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site.


Los Trancos Woods Community Association Web Site

The web site address is:                    The group e-mail list is:          

Thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site        AND        Thanks to Shan Wang for copying our newsletter.