Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 12/2/15


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Items appearing in the HNA E-News are deemed to be of general interest to neighbors but do not necessarily reflect the views of Halcyon Neighborhood Association (HNA), its Steering Committee, or the Editor. The EditorÕs introductory comments express her personal viewpoint.

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1. HNA Planning Meeting for 2016: Sunday, 12/6/15, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

2. HNAÕs Annual Fundraising Appeal!

3. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, 1/24/16

4. Crime-Watch Update & Holiday Safety Tips

5. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., 1/8/16, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

6. City Workshop: Get Prepared for El Ni–o: Thurs. 12/10/15, 6:30 p.m.

7. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles


EditorÕs Introductory Note:


Many thanks to the neighbors and students who volunteered at HNAÕs Big Berkeley Project Work Party in the park in October. Whole Foods Market supplied delicious treats, and Mokka CafŽ once again provided fresh hot coffee. Special thanks to the Berkeley Project volunteers from Cal, who weeded, removed graffiti in the surrounding neighborhood, and made sure that the mulch got spread prior to the rainy season. Thanks as well to all who volunteered at and attended another very successful earthquake exercise at Halcyon Commons on October 17! To quote organizer Susan Snyder: ÒSpecial thanks to our volunteer experts Kate, Mike, Leah, and Charles for running training stations and to our volunteer crew who helped with welcoming, set-up, clean-up, and everything in-between: Mishaa, Denise, Bill, Mary, Claudia, and Clare! We had 46 participants, including guests from a neighborhood across Ashby that is starting to get organized and really appreciated the opportunity to be with us.Ó


It is with great sadness that I announce the departure of HNAÕs longtime Steering Committee member and Disaster Preparedness Coordinator of the past seven years, Wheeler Street neighbor Susan Snyder. SheÕs the one who pulled everyone together for the great earthquake exercise, as well as for the fun Halloween parade at the end of October. After receiving news of an owner move-in to their rental, Susan and her family tried hard to find a new place in our neighborhood, but unfortunately werenÕt successful and instead will be moving across town (if any of you ever hear of a good opportunity for them to rent or buy back in our neighborhood, please email, and weÕll pass the word on; theyÕd love to return!). Over the years, many of you have met Susan at our earthquake exercises and at the Halcyon Halloween parades she set in motion. She and her family have also participated in crime watch meetings, work parties in the park, and many other events. Susan has demonstrated how a person can be a busy working parent with two young children and still find a way to participate in our neighborhood! She and her family were wonderful neighbors and friends to everyone who passed by on Wheeler Street. We will miss them greatly and hope theyÕll come back often to say hello to old friends at our neighborhood events!


Susan Snyder modeled ways we can support one another in creating a safer and more convivial neighborhood. Please see items 1 and 2 to find out ways you can help us keep moving forward in 2016. We hope some of you will consider helping plan neighborhood activities for the coming year by joining our HNA Steering Committee (item 1). We especially need some fresh blood given SusanÕs departure and the one-year out-of-country travels of Steering Committee member Tory Finn. Please consider pitching in!


HereÕs wishing happy and safe holidays to all!


—Nancy Carleton, HNA Co-Chair and E-News Editor,


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1. HNA Planning Meeting for 2016: Sunday, 12/6/15, 3:00-4:30 p.m.


EditorÕs note: Each year, the HNA Steering Committee meets in December to map out dates for neighborhood activities for the following year, including work parties to maintain Halcyon Commons, disaster preparedness drills, crime-watch meetings, and social events, such as our popular neighborhood potlucks, celebrations in the park, Halloween parade, and more. Given the departure of valued member Susan Snyder to another neighborhood (our loss, their gain!), we especially need a couple of new folks to help track our earthquake exercise (typically in the fall) and to make sure we include a focus on neighborhood kids at our events (the annual Halloween parade, ensuring a kid-friendly feature at our 20th anniversary celebration of the park in September 2016, etc.). Given our great information infrastructure and willing volunteers, it doesnÕt require much time on your part to make a big difference as a lead convener for an event. So much is possible in our neighborhood, but we depend on new neighbors getting involved to help keep us moving forward. The HNA Steering Committee uses a Yahoo listserv group for most of its planning to spare us from too many meetings in our already commitment-full lives (weÕll likely have just two Steering Committee meetings in all of 2016). We would very much welcome your participation!


Please email if you want more information. All neighbors willing to work in the spirit of HNAÕs Guiding Principles (see item 7 below) are welcome to join the Steering Committee. WeÕre very much open to new projects (for example, a couple of neighbors came forward to organize play dates for neighborhood children; another organized a neighborhood singalong some years back, etc.). So if you have an aspect of the neighborhood youÕd like to see addressed, please step up! And we especially need your help if you have an interest in disaster preparedness or kid-friendly activities (most of our current Steering Committee members donÕt have children at home, so we need you to help us tune in). For a modest investment of time, you can make a big difference right here where you live.


HNA Planning Meeting for 2016

Sunday, December 6, 3:00-4:30

(WeÕre meeting earlier in the day than usual this year to accommodate neighbors who have Hanukkah evening plans.)

Meeting will take place at a home on Wheeler Street. Email for details.


This meeting is open to Steering Committee members plus interested members of our Crime Watch and Disaster Preparedness groups, and others who are willing to work together in the spirit of HNAÕs Guiding Principles.


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2. HNAÕs Annual Fundraising Appeal


EditorÕs note: Your contributions are crucial to realizing HNAÕs 2016 priorities! Please give generously.


HNA doesnÕt have a formal membership structure or require annual dues because we wanted to keep participation as broad as possible. At the same time, we incur various expenses during the course of a year, including:

            * Flyer production

            * Supplies for disaster preparedness drills and other special events in park

            * Supplies for work parties

            * In-fill and replacement plants for Halcyon Commons and nearby landscaped features

            * Graffiti removal peripherals (the City provides most of the materials)


And in 2016 we have some special, one-time projects that require financial support:

            * Small refurbishing projects in Halcyon Commons as part of the parkÕs 20th anniversary in 2016

            * Installation of Halcyon bird sculpture by local artist Nina Lyons (who lives on Prince Street); already approved by two commissions and the City Council, the sculpture is scheduled to be installed in time for the parkÕs 20th anniversary in mid-2016. All funds have been raised for the sculpture itself (thank you, neighbors, for your strong support at last summerÕs fundraiser!), but we still need to raise a bit more for the installation supplies and final steps in the process.

            * WeÕre planning a gala celebration for the 20th anniversary of the park in September 2016; although most supplies will be donated, there will be some incidental costs, such as renting a bouncy castle or some other special feature for kids to make the event more fun for all ages.


We also use the funds we raise to enable us to supplement and enhance the supplies in our neighborhood disaster preparedness supply shed (these items are intended to benefit the entire neighborhood in the event of disaster and include first aid, search & rescue, and communications tools plus items for command center setup in Halcyon Commons park; they are not intended to substitute for individual household preparedness, but they will help us save lives and minimize disruption after a large earthquake).


WeÕre asking neighbors who appreciate all that HNA does to improve and beautify our neighborhood, to keep us safer (on both crime-watch and disaster-prep levels), and to facilitate communication and help create a more convivial place to live to give generously this year, and do your part.


There are three ways you can respond to this appeal:

(1) Make a financial contribution directly to HNA (not tax-deductible, but allows us maximum flexibility) by writing a check made out to ÒHNAÓ and mailing or dropping it off in an envelope to HNA Treasurer Susan Hunter, 3044 Halcyon Court, Berkeley, CA 94705;


(2) Make a tax-deductible financial contribution by writing a check made out to ÒBerkeley Partners for ParksÓ (BPFP, our nonprofit fiscal sponsor), earmarked Halcyon, and mailing or dropping it off in an envelope to HNA Treasurer Susan Hunter, 3044 Halcyon Court, Berkeley, CA 94705; or


(3) Make a direct donation of any of the items listed in our Disaster Supply Cache Wish List found on our HNA website. Contact to arrange to drop them off.


No contribution is too small (or too large!). Our neighborhood associationÕs health and vitality depend on your ongoing support! And in the event of a big earthquake, some of our lives may very well depend upon it. Please pitch in!


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3. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 24, 2016


EditorÕs note: A couple of hosts are still needed. (And please be sure to mark your calendars for this fun annual event, which will take place on Sunday, January 24, 2016!)


Our January Post-Holiday ÒProgressive PotluckÓ is one of our favorite neighborhood events; thereÕs always a great turnout, and itÕs a great way to meet our neighbors and enjoy the community we so value in the Halcyon neighborhood.


If you havenÕt hosted before or if youÕve enjoyed hosting in the past, please consider being a host for one of the courses this January. We have likely hosts for Salad and Dessert courses. We still need hosts for Appetizers and Main Course.


Hosts usually provide paper plates, cups, napkins, etc. They are not expected to provide food for the whole course; itÕs a potluck, with last names determining which dish neighbors bring. For hosts, course assignments are made based on the routing that makes most sense; we usually start further west and move eastward to end up at Webster/Halcyon. (Please note that our city councilmembers and members of our Police Department are always on our invitation list and may show up at your home if youÕre one of the hosts.)


Please respond if you are interested in hosting one of the courses on January 24 — even if youÕre not sure whether you can or if you want more info. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2016!


Email to host!


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4. Crime-Watch Update & Holiday Safety Tips


EditorÕs note: Our HNA Facebook group at!/group.php?gid=292160762499 often shares breaking crime reports in between E-News editions (your home and email addresses plus phone are required to participate so we can be sure the group is kept safe for neighbors, and we require this information prior to accepting your request). Remember, we rely on neighbors to fill in the details of crimes in our neighborhood, so, in addition to filing a police report (which can now be done online through the City of Berkeley website for some kinds of crimes:, please email to pass the word on to your neighbors, or share it on our Facebook page, so we can all stay aware and vigilant!


Thanks to HNA Steering Committee member Mikel Delgado for assembling this list of crimes (from in and near our neighborhood (Mikel is now including a broader territory, including incidents outside the boundaries of our neighborhood, in her reports, so take that into account when comparing this with prior reports; indeed, many of these crimes took place just outside HNA boundaries). Thank you, Mikel!


9/17 vehicle stolen Woolsey & Whitney 

9/19 burglary Woolsey & Whitney 

9/19 assault/domestic violence Prince & Halcyon 

9/19 sexual assault Alta Bates 

9/22 theft Wheeler & Russell 

9/23 theft Telegraph & Ashby 

9/23 theft Alta Bates 

9/30 felony theft Ashby & Ellsworth 

10/3 theft Fulton & Ashby 

10/8 vehicle stolen Woolsey & Telegraph 

10/8 assault Alta Bates 

10/10 burglary Woolsey & Dana 

10/11 burglary Woolsey & Whitney 

10/12 theft Telegraph & Ashby 

10/13 robbery Woolsey & Deakin 

10/13 assault Telegraph & 66th 

10/21 theft Alta Bates 

10.22 theft Shattuck & Russell 

10/23 vehicle stolen Alta Bates 

10/23 vehicle break-in Ashby & Deakin 

10/23 burglary Alta Bates 

10/24 vehicle stolen Ashby & Florence


A Prince Street neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


ÒBetween 2:30 and 3:10 this morning [Nov. 23], 6 bikes were stolen from a secured garage in an apartment building on Prince near Deakin. The police believe this was a ÔproÕ job as they used bolt cutters to cut through the metal bar garage door to access the bikes. HereÕs an email [we] sent to the police, with a link to videos and photos of the perpetrators: Ó


A Wheeler Street neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


ÒA kid-size wood & metal bench (like a mini park bench) was taken from our front yard last night [Nov. 6].

Just a(another) heads-up about heightening security this time of year (that bench had been there, unmolested, for years). It had our last name carved into the underside, and yes I reported it to the BPD, but I don't expect to see it again.Ó


An Ashby Avenue neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


ÒPackage stolen from apartment lobby on corner of Ashby/Shattuck [at around 7 p.m. on Oct. 26].Ó


A Woolsey Street neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


ÒBerkeley Police came to my door this morning, because we have a video camera that faces the street. Apparently around 5:45 a.m. today [Oct. 13] right off the corner of Woolsey and Deakin, someone working in our neighborhood was parking their car, and then was held up at gunpoint. They took his car. I will be reviewing my footage on my Video Security DVR later tonight. So be VERY careful when you are by yourself on the street. I highly encourage all neighbors to install a simple video surveillance system. I believe, the better neighborhood coverage we have, we might be able to identify criminals up to no good.Ó


Berkeley Police Offer a Few Holiday Safety Tips


The holiday season is always a special time of year. Unfortunately, many communities experience some increases in crimes during the holiday season. The Berkeley Police Department would like to offer a few holiday safety tips to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season.



* Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.

* Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car.

* Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area. 

* Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.

* Park as close as you can to your destination.

* Park in well lit areas. 



* Try to shop during daylight hours when possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

* Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

* Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

* Stay alert to your surroundings.

* Avoid overloading yourself with packages. 

* Walk with a sense of purpose – show you are calm, confident and know where you are going.

* DonÕt store packages in your vehicle while you continue to shop; thieves watch for this kind of activity. 


At Home

* Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it is for a few minutes.

* Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows/doors of your home.

* If you leave for an extended period of time, have a friend or family member watch your house and pick up newspaper and mail.

* Consider having packages delivered to a trusted neighbor if you are not home to receive them. Packages left on doorsteps can be easily stolen.

* Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.


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5. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., Jan. 8, 8:15-8:45 a.m.


EditorÕs note: News from Whole Foods Market courtesy of Store Team Leader Melody Mestermacher.


You may have heard that our Community Relations/Marketing structure has changed and while Ruby Beaupre will continue to partner with our store for donation and events needs from her new East Bay Metro position, Carlisle Crumley (an Associate Store Team Leader) and I will be your primary points of contact for the store and neighborhood needs. As always please let me know as things come up, especially as we get into the holidays. I donÕt expect any changes to the operation we have run for the last several years in terms of trailers, turkeys, and meal pickups, so if you see something you didnÕt expect or that didnÕt happen last year, please let me know.


Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Friday, January 8, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

Whole Foods Market (check in at Customer Service)


These meetings are held at the Community Table at the front of the store, and the purpose is to share our plans for ongoing changes in the store, street litter control, and progress on any of the ongoing issues we discuss [with HNA reps and nearby neighbors]. The Store Team Leader is usually present, and anyone is welcome to join us. Of course there will be complimentary coffee or tea. Our goal is to follow up immediately on any issues that we hear about, and to hear how the store can be a better neighbor.


As always, if there are ever any urgent issues, please call the store at 510-649-1333 and ask for the shift manager on duty. We have new shift leaders being trained, so please send an email to the group below so we can follow up appropriately. Always feel free to swing by too, if youÕd like to have a word with us.


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6. City Workshop: Get Prepared for El Ni–o: Thurs. 12/10, 6:30 p.m.


Community Workshop: Get Prepared for El Ni–o

Thursday, December 10, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Berkeley Unified School District Boardroom

1231 Addison St. in Berkeley (Easy and free parking at Browning and Addison St.)

Wheelchair accessible.


Come get tips and help on preparing your home, your family, and getting free resources. On December 10th, the City of Berkeley and Berkeley Unified School District will host a free workshop on preparing your home and family for the potential high winds, rain, and flooding from El Ni–o storms.


Learn about:

¬     Expected impact of El Ni–o in Berkeley

¬     Storm-related communications from the City and Schools

¬     Emergency power and lighting supplies

¬     Protecting your home, your family, and your neighborhood

¬     FREE resources to help community members prepare

¬     How community responders helping can impact our whole city

¬     And moreÉ


Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. There will also be a raffle for home emergency preparedness kits and other items.


Questions? Contact: Timothy Burroughs, Chief Resilience Officer.


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7. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles


EditorÕs note: Given our upcoming Planning Meeting for 2016 (see item 1) and many new neighbors, this seems like a good time to highlight HNAÕs Guiding Principles (which can always be found on our website).


HNA is a community group dedicated to stewardship of the Halcyon Neighborhood in South Berkeley (bounded by Telegraph, Ashby, Adeline, and Woolsey). We encourage positive, proactive, partnership-oriented approaches to improving the well-being of our neighborhood, with an emphasis on the following goals:


* Community building (such as regular potlucks, special events in the park, mutual support among neighbors, and multiblock yard sales);


* Ongoing care of Halcyon Commons (a park conceived of and created by the neighbors who founded HNA) under the nonprofit umbrella provided by Berkeley Partners for Parks and in partnership with the City of Berkeley;


* Continued greening and care of the neighborhood (planting trees, cleaning litter off streets, graffiti removal, and helping maintain public landscaped features);


* Strengthening neighborhood watch (crime watch, community safety walks, emergency preparedness, and disaster supply cache);


* Networking with the larger Berkeley community (nearby neighborhood groups, neighborhood businesses, City staff, and elected officials);

* Sharing information and empowering residents to become proactive in addressing neighborhood needs and in expressing individual viewpoints regarding civic affairs (spreading news through meetings, flyers, and the HNA E-News, and providing contact information).


To fulfill these goals, HNA provides a sanctuary from partisan politics so that neighbors with diverse viewpoints feel welcome to participate. Thus, HNA only takes stands on larger issues when there is near-unanimity among neighbors. By focusing on immediate local concerns, we find we can have a greater impact and get better results from the time we invest. Guided by these principles, HNA invites neighbors who are willing to work together in a spirit of partnership to participate at whatever level makes sense for them. Opportunities for serving on our volunteer Steering Committee and project-oriented committees are available to neighbors who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work together in a nonpartisan spirit. Neighbors are invited to step forward into leadership positions defined by the work they do in accordance with HNAÕs primary goals and guiding principles.


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