LTWCA Newsletter - August/September 2002


ALERT! Mailbox Safety

In the last two months mail in several residents’ mailboxes has been stolen. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department was notified and claims have been filed. The missing mail has included checks, bank account information, credit card information, and other items. One resident had their bank account information altered thus making them a victim of Identity Theft. If there is a possibility that you are missing any mail, be sure to check if any illegal activity has occurred in related accounts, etc.


The Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that crimes of this sort have increased in the rural areas of Portola Valley and Woodside. As a possible deterrent they suggest that residents purchase and install a locking mailbox. The locking mailbox does not require that the postal carrier has a key as it is designed with a mailslot in it. These locking mailboxes can be found at numerous hardware stores in the area and can cost from $70-$400. The $20 one is not recommended as it can be broken into readily. You can also check out Mailbox Solutions at this web site or by calling 1-800-630-3344. A resident has already gotten a sturdy mailbox through them for a good price.


If you see anything suspicious or you have evidence that your mail has been pilfered, please report it to the Sheriff’s Dispatch number, 363-4911.

Submitted by Julie Duncan and Linda Drey-Nightingale


Come One, Come All to the Picnics

Vista Verde has invited us on Sunday, 25 August, to their annual picnic up at Jacque Littlefield’s, 495 Old Spanish Trail. Come get a tour of his famous tanks, become familiar with our well stocked emergency container, and meet your Vista Verde neighbors. Bring a $ contribution for drinks.


Change the date to 29 September, for the annual Los Trancos Woods Potluck. We are hoping Wildlife Rescue will give a presentation on living peaceably with wildlife. Get all your wildlife questions answered and meet a live Great Horned Owl. Give Nelson Dake a call if you can help with the potluck, 851-5718.


Zoning Committee News

The Los Trancos Woods Zoning Committee is mailing out a draft zoning proposal to all property owners for review. Public meetings will be held to provide a more complete explanation of zoning related topics, to answer your questions, and to get your feedback and ideas. The meetings will be held at 7:00 PM on August 28 at 159 Ramona Road, and 7:00 PM on September 17 at 147 Lake Road. More meetings will be scheduled if needed. Based upon community input at these meetings, the Committee will revise the proposal and poll the community to determine the level of support for a zoning change in the Woods. For questions and information, please call Armin Staprans at 851-7403.

Submitted by Armin Staprans


Emergency News

By now all of you should have received your updated Emergency Communication (phone) Tree for your District. Please replace your old one in your emergency information packet with the new one dated 6/02. All leaders and alternates should have also received the information for their houses. If you have not received your information, please call your District Rep.

District I - Gale Smith, 851-4683     District II - Dave Lowin, 851-7173

District III - Jan Avilla, 851-2527     District IV - Linda Drey-Nightingale, 851-1787


Mark your calendars for Saturday, 26 Oct.! There will be a Los Trancos Woods Emergency Drill in cooperation with the Woodside Fire District. This drill is area wide, so please participate where ever you are. Whoever is at home on that date will put out the green or red flag. Leaders will perform inspections and radio in results. The Center at 1247 Los Trancos Rd. will be up and running.

Submitted by Carol Wagner


To Recycle or Not to Recycle

That is the question just about all of us are asking right now. Here are a few answers and a tip on how to get all your questions answered. You are receiving a copy of “GreenWaste Recovery’s Recycling Guide” with this newsletter. The Guide should provide most of the answers. The Guide also lists their Customer Service number, 568-9900, for any other questions you may have about recycling, yard waste, and other stuff. In short put empty, clean cans, lids, glass containers, plastic containers with 1-7 recycle symbols on them, styrofoam, newspapers, and junk mail in a bin. Put the bin (you may use the same one from Los Altos Garbage) out near your garbage can each week. Put yard waste bins out each week also.


On the Road Again

Ever wondered whose phone to ring when you hit that pothole on our road yet one more time? Here is the break down by who manages that particular section of road.

- The Town of Portola Valley manages from Alpine Rd. to the first bridge over Los Trancos Creek and from the second bridge over Los Trancos Creek to the Los Trancos Rd./Ramona Rd. split, 851-1700 ext. 14 (Public Works).

- Palo Alto manages from the first bridge over Los Trancos Creek to the second bridge over Los Trancos Creek, 496-6904, Paul Dornell (Public Works).

- San Mateo County manages all of the roads up here in the Woods, 363-4103 (Road Repair).


Sudden Oak Death Syndrome (continued)

“Ralph Zingaro, a Cornell trained plant pathologist and horticulturist, ... give(s) ... perspective on the problem. His research shows that the root cause [of Sudden Oak Death Syndrome] is nutritional not the fungus. He feels that the acid rain and fog from air pollution is leaching out valuable nutrients from the tree thus causing, not a sudden, but a slow decline in the health of the tree. The tree then becomes susceptible to the fungus. Beetles which come in to feed on the fungus then become the tertiary problem....In general he recommends fertilizing your trees well to replace the leached out minerals.”

Excerpts from Cindy Russell’s e-mail


District I News

Upon learning of the death of one of our long time residents a neighbor once remarked, “There’s another star shining brightly in the sky over Los Trancos Woods.” His words came to mind last week when I learned of the death of “Grandpa” Bert Chabot I on July 14th. Born on the old Greer Estate in Woodside, Bert’s birth in 1927 was attended by a midwife. His Uncle Charlie Belmont purchased a log cabin on Carmel Way in 1937, and their families began to spend their summers up here. Bert attended local schools and graduated from Sequoia High School in 1945. He married his high school sweetheart, “Carm.” In 1948 they acquired property on Ramona Road and built their home here where surviving family still resides. Bert served in the Korean War as an Army Medic. When he returned home, he resumed working in the automotive trades accumulating over 50 years in that field before he retired. He commuted to work in his “antique” faded brown Studebaker truck, reserving use of his spiffy black Studebaker sedan for more special occasions. Bert loved his family and his life here in Los Trancos Woods. Our sincere expressions of sympathy go the the Chabot family, Bert II, Phillip, Lisa, and the 7 grandchildren.

Submitted by Julie Duncan


District II News

Our sincere condolences to the Uridel family for the death of Nussie Uridel’s 87 year old father, Zafar Tayabali. He had remarried just 3 years ago and had resided with Nussie and Tom for 4 months and 1 day when he passed away on June 25th which coincidentally was his 3rd wedding anniversary.

Submitted by Julie Duncan


New Los Trancos Woods Directory

A new 2002 Directory is currently being compiled. If you wish to have your e-mail address included in the Directory, please e-mail your address along with your postal name and address to Michael Glenn by 15 August at


Next Board Meeting - 2 Oct., 7:00 p.m., at 21 Old Spanish Trail. The zoning proposal will be discussed. The meetings are open to all residents. For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site or your District Representative.


Los Trancos Woods (LTWCA) Web Site

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

Our sincere thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site.


Alex Kostrikin has graciously copied our newsletters for us. Thank you, Alex!