The full newsletter (with a bit of formatting) is online at

Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Facebook group at!/group.php?gid=292160762499!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 9/2/14


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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. Disaster Preparedness Exercise at Halcyon Commons, Sat., Oct. 18, 9-11 a.m.: Volunteers Needed!

2. District 8 CandidatesÕ Night: Mon. Sept. 22, 7:30-9 p.m., Alta Bates Auditoriums 5 & 6

3. Disaster Preparedness Links

4. Crime-Watch Updates & Links

5. Whole Foods Market News: Street Spirit VendorÕs Death, Nickels for Halcyon; Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Weds., Sept. 10, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

6. East Bay Community Solar Project: Bulk Rate Deadline October 31

7. New Streetlights: Contact Information for Feedback

8. Hidden Gems of Berkeley Bike Tour, Sun. Sept. 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., starts at Halcyon Commons

9. Mandatory Water Limits in Face of Drought (Plus Cutbacks at Halcyon Commons)

10. Link on Planning Grant for South Berkeley


EditorÕs Introductory Note


At our National Night Out Ice Cream Social in the park, close to one hundred neighbors stopped by over the course of the evening. Many thanks to event coordinator Tory Finn, the homemade ice cream makers, Bruce Wicinas, Tory Finn, and Julia Griswold, and the neighbors who distributed flyers and who helped clean up and set up the event. And to Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Max Anderson, fire fighters, police, and other City officials who stopped by. A special touch was the Preparedness Punch lemonade stand organized by HNA Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Susan Snyder and staffed by neighborhood kids. An extra big thanks to Whole Foods Market, which once again helped make it a festive event with cake, extra ice cream and nondairy alternatives, and appetizers. They also presented us with a check for $1,016.26 -- the amount raised from the Nickels for Nonprofits program (added thank you to all neighbors who brought their own bags and donated the refund to projects in Halcyon Commons)!


The subject of disaster preparedness is a special theme of this edition of the E-News (see item 3). In the spirit of neighborhood and city preparedness, Halcyon Neighborhood Association will once again be participating in the citywide drill, which will take place on Saturday, October 18 (see item 1). Please mark your calendars now and plan to participate!


HereÕs to a good end to summer and start of the school season!


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


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1. Disaster Preparedness Exercise at Halcyon Commons,
Sat., Oct. 18, 9-11 a.m.: Volunteers Needed!


EditorÕs note: HNAÕs Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, Susan Snyder, submitted the following announcement about HNAÕs participation in the citywide disaster preparedness exercise on Sat. Oct. 18. Please lend a hand! For a small investment of time, youÕll be making a big contribution to our level of neighborhood preparedness.


Hello Neighbors,


I hope you will be able to join together for this yearÕs Disaster Preparedness Exercise. It is October 18th with set up @ 8:30, the exercise from 9-11, and neighborhood debrief from 11-11:30. Anyone is welcome to join me at the citywide debrief from 12-1 at the South Berkeley Senior Center.




I need volunteers to:

1) help set up (pick up food donations from Whole Foods/Mokka, set up park)

2) sign in and orient neighbors

3) run training stations in and near Halcyon Commons

4) break down and clean up after the exercise


There will be one prep meeting before the exercise (TBA).


There will be instructions for the training stations, so you donÕt need prior CERT experience to run one; if you do have prior experience, thatÕs great! Let me know!


Please let me know as soon as possible if you will be able to participate! THANK YOU!


Susan Snyder


EditorÕs note: And please register for the drill at this link, which will help the city in its planning for the exercise:


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2. District 8 CandidatesÕ Night: Mon. Sept. 22, 7:30-9 p.m., Alta Bates Auditoriums 5 & 6


EditorÕs note: Bateman Neighborhood Association President Lucy Smallsreed submitted the following announcement about an upcoming CandidatesÕ Night for District 8 City Council candidates, which is being sponsored jointly by HNA and BNA; both neighborhoods contain voters who were previously in District 7 and will be voting in District 8 for the first time. Lucy and HNA Co-Chair John Steere will be the moderators. This nonpartisan event offers a great chance to get to hear all four candidates -- one of whom will be representing part of our neighborhood for the next four years. You can find the new district lines for the November 4 election online at In brief, the east side of Deakin Street and blocks east are now in District 8 (Halcyon neighbors on the west side of Deakin and blocks west are in District 3, where the next Council election doesnÕt take place until 2016; none of Halcyon neighborhood remains in District 7, though that could change again depending on the outcome of Measure S on the November ballot, which lets voters decide whether to accept the Council majorityÕs newly drawn district lines).


Hello, everyone:


We have set the time for the Bateman and Halcyon neighborhood associationsÕ CandidatesÕ Night on Monday, Sept. 22.  It will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end at 9:00.  The location is Alta Bates Hospital, Auditoriums 5 & 6.  Please plan on arriving by 7:15 p.m., so we can begin promptly at 7:30.


Thanks again to our four candidates, who all plan to be there! 


Lucy Smallsreed

BNA President


EditorÕs note: HNA doesnÕt make endorsements in Council races, but we encourage neighbors to become informed and to vote. Berkeley City Council races are now ranked-choice elections (avoiding the need for a runoff), so youÕll be able to vote for your top three choices. Below, in random order, IÕve listed the links to the websites of the four candidates running in District 8 (the current councilmember for District 8, Gordon Wozniak, is retiring).


Jacquelyn McCormick:


Mike Alvarez Cohen:


Lori Droste:


George Beier:


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3. Disaster Preparedness Links


EditorÕs note: Disaster preparedness takes center stage following the 6.0 earthquake near Napa. IÕm hoping each of us will be inspired to take at least one step forward in our personal and household preparedness! Below are some links I hope youÕll find of interest.


Reminders from the City of Berkeley:


A good argument for taking your chimney down (or at least making sure itÕs well braced and reinforced): - photo-6783749


ThereÕs a new position in Berkeley, Chief Resilience Officer. Timothy Burroughs, whoÕs the first to hold the post, will be overseeing the cityÕs emergency preparedness.


This article reminds us of the importance of including our companion animals in our disaster preparedness plans. - 26264101=0


New fault involved in Napa Quake:


Free Earthquake App from the American Red Cross:


Lots we can learn from this quake. Take a look around our neighborhood and your own home to identify (and hopefully begin to mitigate) obvious risks.


From the Berkeley Disaster Preparedness Neighborhood Network (BDPNN):

ÒNixle sent a message to all people in the area about road closures from quake damage. If you havenÕt signed up for Nixle, I highly recommend it. In addition, people with Napa addresses are getting lots of information about water stations, shelters, PG&E reporting, etc. See this website:Ó


A ten-second warning?


A good argument for getting an automatic gas shutoff valve or excess flow valve for your home.


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4. Crime-Watch Updates & Links


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!


From Prince Street neighbor Mikel Delgado (thanks, Mikel!), a list of some recent crimes in our neighborhood and just beyond:


6/30 car stolen Telegraph and Webster

7/1 car stolen Dana and Webster

7/3 car break in Dana and Webster

7/9 car stolen Telegraph and Webster
residential burglary Deakin and Russell

7/13 car stolen Essex & Shattuck

8/4 robbery Colby and Ashby


Reported to our HNA Facebook group by a Halcyon neighbor on July 19:


ÒReport of suspicious individual appearing to case next door: Just five minutes ago, as I was loading my car on Halcyon Court, I noticed someone peeking carefully around, then quickly going up my next-door neighborÕs porch (thereÕs a lot of work going on in the back, but he definitely wasnÕt one of the workers, and the downstairs neighbor is out of town, which raised my alert). When I asked him, ÔWhat are you doing?Õ he said, ÔLooking for a blanket.Õ I said, ÔWell, stay off of peopleÕs property; we look out for each other in this neighborhood.Õ He took off very quickly -- turns out he had a skateboard with pole stashed right across the street in the park (I had noticed the abandoned skateboard about ten minutes earlier, leaning against the redwood tree and had wondered about it) -- which added to the suspicious nature of things. When I went to look at my neighborÕs porch to make sure everything was all right, I saw a package had been delivered and was there a bit further in. Given package thefts lately in the neighborhood, I went back to make sure there hadn't been a second package that the guy had managed to grab when IÕd questioned him, but by then he was gone; his direction was south on Halcyon toward Prince. I did report the incident to the police nonemergency number; although the guyÕs long gone, he may be scoping out other parts of the neighborhood, so theyÕll send an officer to drive through. Description: African-American male, probably in twenties, some sparkle from teeth, dark complexion, dreadlocks, medium height (approx. 5' 7"), thin, wearing baggy dark clothing, something red in the mix but I didnÕt have a long enough look to get a better description of the clothing/shoes. Keep an eye out!Ó


From a neighbor across Ashby in early August:


ÒI guess this is the definition of ironic, but while we were out with you guys at the Ice Cream Social to celebrate a night against crime, our house got broken into on Newbury Street. It looks like the door was either crowbarred or kicked in, because the frame was completely wrecked. Two Macbook Air computers were taken, and they went through a bunch of our drawers looking for valuables, but we really don't keep anything valuable at home except computers. Stay safe.Ó


Crime-Related Links


On the cellphone kill-switch law:


A new feature offered by the BPD that allows you to view a customized map of various crime in your vicinity:


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5. Whole Foods Market News: Street Spirit VendorÕs Death, Nickels for Halcyon;
Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Weds., Sept. 10, 8:15-8:45 a.m.


EditorÕs note: News from Whole Foods Market. If youÕd like to be added to the neighbor notification list that Lizzie Brimhall maintains for the neighborhood-WFM meetings (and to notify neighbors when work is being done at the store), please email her at


Street Spirit Vendor Mike Passed Away in July


A neighbor on HNAÕs Facebook page reported: ÒEarlier this week Mike, one of our two regular Spirit of the Street vendors, passed away. Donald [one of the other vendors] has a crate for people to sign out where Mike used to sit. He said that MikeÕs daughter would pick it up on Friday. IÕm saddened by this news -- Mike was always very friendly to us!Ó Another neighbor added: ÒMichael was always friendly, whether or not one bought a paper from him. He was very proud of his daughter, who he told me was now in college and had her eyes set on becoming a pediatrician. I am sorry I didnÕt talk with him a bit more in recent months. I could tell he had worsening health in recent months. I hope he was near family in his last days. I think his daughter stayed near Sacramento with her auntie, who raised her for many years.Ó And another neighbor: ÒI was so saddened when I saw the box and flowers balloon and MikeÕs pic. He had fallen through a roof on a job, was hospitalized for a week, and I suspect never recovered from the injuries. I would like to make a contribution to his family whom he loved so dearly and whom he showed up for by selling papers. If anyone has suggestions how to do that IÕd appreciate hearing. May he rest in peace.Ó And another: ÒOh so sad! He was always so sweet and talked so proudly about his daughterÕs college achievements to me. RIP, Michael.Ó Another neighbor added some information: ÒMike had told me he fell through the roof on the roofing job and was in the hospital for about a week with internal bleeding; they did all kinds of test MRI things like that and I spoke to a woman this morning and she said sheÕd spoken to him and he said all the meds that he was on were really bothering him, so I donÕt know if he healed from his accident and then the meds affected him. He did seem very, very frail last few times I saw him, and IÕm glad the last time I saw him I bought him some yogurt; he asked me to buy strawberry yogurt. . . .Ó At least a couple of neighbors attending the memorial for Mike in late July.


Thanks to Neighbors Who Donated Their Nickel Refund to Refurbishment Projects in Halcyon Commons!


EditorÕs note: Thanks to the neighbors who brought their own bags to Whole Foods Market and donated the nickel refund, Whole Foods Market presented Friends of Halcyon Commons with a check for $1,016.26! That puts us halfway toward our goal of raising funds to refurbish the pathway in Halcyon Commons. WeÕre deeply grateful to Whole Foods Market and to the many neighbors who participated by brining their own bags and donating.


Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

Whole Foods Market (check in at Customer Service)


ÒThese 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.Ó


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. If itÕs between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Melody, Carlisle, or Curt will be in the store, so always feel free to swing by too, if youÕd like to have a word with us. Or call the store during business hours (8 a.m.-10 p.m.) at 649-1333 and ask for a Shift Manager:


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6. East Bay Community Solar Project: Bulk Rate Deadline October 31


EditorÕs note: The following announcement was received from the East Bay Community Solar Project (EBCSP).


Get the Best Deal on Solar with Ease by Taking Advantage of Community Support. Sign up for the Nonprofit East Bay Community Solar Project!


Has going solar been on your to-do list, but not gotten crossed off because you think it will be a hassle? Move it to the top and cross it off with ease with community support offered by nonprofit East Bay Community Solar Project!


With EBCSP you can take advantage of the due diligence of others in the community who are going solar, to make sure you get the best deal with the least hassle. We have assembled a committee of such people to review bids from five different contractors and pick one to provide installations to participants at a bulk, discounted rate. This means not only will it be easier to get it done responsibly, but you will also get a discount on top that is often worth several thousand dollars -- a discount that would not be available to you as an individual customer. 


The deadline for sign ups is October 31. Visit the website to learn more and sign up for a no-commitment proposal at:


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7. New Streetlights: Contact Information for Feedback


EditorÕs note: HereÕs some information about the LED lights replacing standard lights in many City fixtures. Also a link from Berkeleyside. So far, IÕve heard a wide range of opinions from neighbors; some love the extra light during walks home from BART at night; some feel the lights are too bright or make it difficult to sleep. It appears the City is willing to adjust particular lights if they are shining in bedroom windows. As always, make your opinions, favorable or unfavorable, know to decision makers.


From the City of Berkeley:


Noticed the new street lighting? If you would like to provide the City of Berkeley with feedback on the new LED streetlights that are being installed this summer, here is the info for Public Feedback: We are interested in your feedback. If you have questions or comments on the new LED lighting, please contact Reeve Battle by email at or by phone at 510-981-6336.


From Councilmember Kriss WorthingtonÕs office:




As of last Friday August 1st, Public Works had converted approximately 2000 streetlights over to the new LED system; this represents about 25% of the total number of streetlights schedule for conversion Citywide. One of the main objectives of the LED Conversion Project was to provide an energy efficient system that met the requirements of the American National Standard Practice for Roadway Lighting (RP-8). The individual LED lights that have been installed within each specific geographical area were designed to meet the RP-8 standards for that location with the focus of illumination being directed to the street and sidewalk areas. To date, we have received 50 community responses regarding the brightness of the new fixtures and the area of illumination.



1. Conduct nighttime illumination surveys in all areas of concern (Beginning 8/4/14)

2. Use City Electricians to make appropriate adjustments to either the LED fixture or the fixture control arm that extends from the light pole to adjust direction of light.

3. If feasible, install specialty design shields to minimize impacts to adjacent properties.


Berkeleyside article:


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8. Hidden Gems of Berkeley Bike Tour, Sun. Sept. 28, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., starts at Halcyon Commons


EditorÕs note: HNA Co-Chair John Steere is also the current president of Berkeley Partners for Parks, nonprofit fiscal sponsor for Friends of Halcyon Commons/HNA, and heÕs been leading the Hidden Gems of Berkeley Tour for many years. Join him for a bike ride that will change how you experience Berkeley.


The Hidden Gems of Berkeley Tour (HGBT) is returning as a celebration of Grassroots Greening! Join us on Sunday, September 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a fascinating bicycle tour of unique, community-based park and greenway  features and community gardens around Berkeley. The tour will showcase the Ògrassroots-greeningÓ projects of Berkeley Partners for Parks (BPFP) and its affiliates. They include the Santa Fe ROW, Halcyon Commons, Ohlone Greenway, the Edible School Yard, Schoolhouse Creek Commons, Marin Circle Fountain, Northside Garden, and many more remarkable features. (The HGBT will coincide with Berkeley Partners for Parks Day, proclaimed by the City Council as a celebration of 20 years of Grassroots Greening by BPFP.) The tour will end in Peralta Community Garden at 2 p.m. for a celebration of BPFP and as part of the annual gathering the supporters of the Westbrae Commons in this garden. The tour is free and will cover about five miles of gently sloping terrain. Please bring water and lunch. Meet at Halcyon Commons on Halcyon Court between Prince and Webster, just West of Telegraph.  Led by John Steere (President, BPFP), Linda Currie (Transportation Working Group Chair, Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, BCAC), and Shawna McCarroll (Land Use Working Group Chair, BCAC).  Please call 510-849-1969 if you have any questions.


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9. Mandatory Water Limits in Face of Drought (Plus Cutbacks at Halcyon Commons)


EditorÕs note: I received a notice from Andy Katz, President, EBMUD Board of Directors, reminding us that as of 7/28 mandatory limits on outdoor water usage went into effect. See the link for the mandatory restrictions along with recommendations geared toward cutting water usage at least 20 percent. With regard to water use in Halcyon Commons, HNA Steering Comm. member Bruce Wicinas and I have met with City staff to review water cutbacks at the park. Several system leaks have been repaired, and water to the lawn has been cut back by a third, so it will soon be getting browner (the goal is to let it brown but not die, so it will come back in the hoped-for rainy season; this will allow cutbacks in the remainder of the park to be less severe). We also worked to ensure that some inadvertent cutoffs of water to some parts of the park, which were resulting in severe stress to some of the plants and the loss of several, have been addressed so that we can keep the base plants alive while at the same time participating in citywide goals for reducing water use in public spaces. If you notice a leak in the irrigation system in the park, please let us know promptly at so we can address issues as soon as possible with the Parks staff. Friends of Halcyon Commons has enjoyed a good relationship with City staff over the years, and weÕre working together to save water.


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10. Link on Planning Grant for South Berkeley


EditorÕs note: The Berkeleyside article at this link discussed a $750,000 grant for the Adeline corridor. Note that this falls into one of those categories where HNA itself will not be taking positions (given the range of views in the neighborhood and our nonpartisan Guiding Principles), but we do encourage neighbors to inform themselves, participate in the process, and make any strong opinions known to decision makers.


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