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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 12/2/11

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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 2012: This Sunday, 12/ 4, 5-6:45 p.m.

2. HNA Year-End Fundraising Appeal

3. Hosts Still Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 29, 2012

4. Crime Watch Updates: Three Units on Prince Burglarized; Casing on Halcyon Court; Car Break-in on Prince

5. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles

6. Disaster Preparedness for Pets: Notes on Supplies to Have on Hand

7. Free Disaster Preparedness Fair, Thursday, 12/8, 7-9 p.m., South Berkeley Senior Center

8. Whole Foods News: Next Community Meeting, Weds., 12/14, 8:30 a.m., plus Announcements

9. Seismic Compliance Day of Action, Sat., 12/3/, Noon to 2 p.m., Sproul Plaza


EditorÕs Introductory Note:


In the wake of recent seismic activity on the Hayward Fault, seventeen neighbors attended the November 9 disaster preparedness discussion organized and hosted by neighbor Susan Snyder (thank you, Susan!), and several initiatives were set in motion for the coming year. Watch the E-News for information about upcoming mini-seminars, including one on disaster prep for our companion animals, hopefully coming in early January. Also, a neighbor is researching recommendations on automatic gas shutoff valves — news to follow. If you missed the meeting and are interested in upping your level of preparedness on personal and neighborhood levels, please contact and ask to be part of HNAÕs Yahoo listserv group devoted to disaster prep.


As the year comes to a close, please consider how we can all act together to make this a stronger, healthier community and neighborhood. There are many ways to pitch in, some of them outlined in this E-News. It would be especially heartening to those of us who take an active role in our neighborhood association if you could take the time to answer our year-end fundraising appeal (see item 2).


Happy Holidays!


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



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1. HNA Planning Meeting for 2012: This Sunday, 12/4, 5-6:45 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 and nearby planted features plus remove graffiti neighborhood-wide, disaster preparedness drills, crime-watch meetings, and social events, such as our popular neighborhood potlucks, celebrations in the park, Halloween parade, and more. So much is possible, but we depend on new neighbors getting involved to help keep us keep 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. We would very much welcome your involvement! Please email if you want more information and are interested in participating. All neighbors willing to work in the spirit of HNAÕs Guiding Principles (see item 5 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, etc.). So if you have an aspect of the neighborhood youÕd like to see addressed, please step up! And if you have a special interest in crime watch or disaster preparedness, we especially need your help. For a modest investment of time, you can make a big difference right here where you live!


HNA Planning Meeting for 2012

Sunday, December 4, 5-6:45 p.m.

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. HNA Year-End Fundraising Appeal


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 paper for flyers, photocopying and ink cartridges, supplies for events in the park, and other miscellaneous costs, and at the moment our coffers are depleted. In addition, each year we raise funds to enable us to supplement 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 supplies plus items for command center setup in Halcyon Commons park).


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), and mail or drop off your check to HNA Treasurer Susan Hunter, 3044 Halcyon Court, Berkeley, CA 94705; (2) Make a tax-deductible financial contribution with check made out to Berkeley Partners for Parks (BPFP, our nonprofit fiscal sponsor), earmarked Halcyon Commons, and mail or drop off 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 too. Please pitch in!


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3. Hosts Still Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 29, 2012


EditorÕs note: HNA Potluck organizer and Steering Committee member Tory Finn sent the following announcement. (And please be sure to mark your calendars for this fun annual event!)


Dear neighbors,


My name is Tory Finn, and I live on Wheeler Street. Our January Post-Holiday ŌProgressive PotluckĶ is one of my favorite neighborhood events. Unlike the rest of our quarterly potlucks, we move from house to house for each course; itÕs a great way to meet our neighbors and enjoy the community we so value in Halcyon.


If you havenÕt hosted before or if youÕve enjoyed hosting in the past, please consider being a host for one course this coming January 29, 2012. WeÕve had the chance to go to some houses many times, and it would be nice to involve more people. We need a total of THREE or possibly FOUR hosts (Appetizers, Salad, and Main Course need hosts; Dessert will be at John and MichelleÕs house unless someone else would really like to do it). Hosts usually provide paper plates, cups, napkins, etc., but other people can help with those resources if needed.


Please contact me if you are interested in hosting one of the courses on January 29 — even if youÕre not sure whether you can or if you want more info. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2012!


Tory Finn




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4. Crime Watch Updates: Three Units on Prince Burglarized; Casing on Halcyon Court


EditorÕs note: As E-News Editor I want to note that after a period of relative quiet, there seems to an increase in the number of burglaries being reported, and the series of three from the first of the two reports below is of particular concern the approach seemed so methodical. If youÕre concerned about neighborhood crime and want to get notices more quickly (and strategize about neighborhood safety), please email and ask to join our HNA Yahoo listserv group focused on crime watch (and night-time safety walks). In addition, news is often shared right after it happens on our HNA Facebook group page (visit!/group.php?gid=292160762499 to request to join). For all our safety, please note that both venues require your full name, address, and phone number to join. A Prince Street neighbor submitted the following report.


ŌOur apartment got broken into [Monday, November 21] sometime between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. (we are on Prince St near Halcyon). It looks like at least one of the other units on our property was broken into as well. The thieves used the city compost collection bin, dragged it to our side window (in view of the street) after trying to break into a more secure window in the back, and climbed up on it to get to the window. They used some tool to pry the window out of the wall completely. No fingerprints were left so they may have been wearing gloves. They took computers, cameras, an iPod, and a little bit of cash. They also rifled through our drawers and looked in all of our closets. Just want people to know so they can keep their eyes open! And also if anyone saw anything suspicious, please let the Police know. Our neighbors had contractors working outside her building from 12-3 p.m. and didnÕt see/hear anything. BPD was quick to respond when I got home. Update: Turns out both our back neighbors also got broken into. The robbers were very careful and did not make a huge mess going through stuff — it seems like they took their time. They took some laptops and an ID/Social Security card from back neighbors as well.Ķ


EditorÕs note: A Halcyon Court neighbor reported the following.


ŌOn Saturday morning, November 6, I awoke to see three police cars parked in front of my house on Halcyon Court. After I got dressed, I went out to talk to an officer and asked him if there was reason for concern. He deadpanned, ŌThereÕs always reason for concern in Berkeley,Ķ which didnÕt ease my worry. When pressed, he said that one of my neighbors called about a man going towards the back of the house who seemed to be casing the joint. Apparently, the police were too late but they did check it out. IÕm reporting it now because of the break-in on the same side of the street around October 5th and also to thank whoever the neighbor was who called the police. Seems like we should all be particularly

alert right now.Ķ


EditorÕs note: A Prince Street neighbor reported the following.


ŌOur car was broken into around 1:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning (11/24). We have surveillance footage of the person trying cars up Prince Street, and unfortunately we have one door that sometimes doesnÕt auto lock. He spent 10 minutes rifling through the car, put his cigarette out on our carpet and left his hat behind, all for a handful of change. We didn't get video of his face, but after he left our car he went down Fulton and we see him trying other cars on the video. This is the second break-in of our car this year, in our driveway, so please lock your doors and be aware of any suspicious behavior. We are turning a copy of the footage to police.Ķ [EditorÕs note: A reminder to neighbors that car break-ins tend to happen in waves. We can make a difference by being careful not to leave valuables (or anything that looks like it might contain a valuable) in view in our cars. Also, please report any suspicious behavior, such as someone looking in the windows of multiple cars, immediately!]


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5. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles


EditorÕs note: Given our upcoming Planning Meeting for 2012 (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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6. Disaster Preparedness for Pets: Notes on Supplies to Have on Hand


EditorÕs note: As mentioned in the Introductory Notes, an evening presentation on disaster preparedness for our companion animals is in the works, likely to take place on an evening in January. If youÕd like to help the two neighbors who are putting the evening together, please email, and IÕll pass on your contact information to the organizers. Meanwhile, here are a few tips from notes that Halcyon neighbor Shael Barger took at a countywide disaster preparedness workshop last month. Thank you, Shael!


Disaster Preparedness Supplies to Have on Hand for Animals

* 2-week supply of your animalÕs prescriptions

* Anti-inflammatory

* Keep list/copies of current animal vaccinations for dogs and cats – in case they need to be put in a shelter.

First aid kit should include:

* Sterile eye wash – available in any drugstore

* Headlamp so you can see what youÕre doing if you need to bandage, clean, etc.

* Samsplint – available online

* Bandage scissors

* Quikclot – order online – comes as both sponge and powder (do not buy the powder; it sticks in wound and is difficult to clean out)

* Vetericyn VF – spray-on antibacterial ointment – available online or pet stores

* Water purification drops

* Thick leather gloves (the kind you get at a hardware store)

Create a cache and put these supplies somewhere secure and waterproof.


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7.  Free Disaster Preparedness Fair, Thursday 12/8, 7-9 p.m., South Berkeley Senior Center


EditorÕs note: The following announcement was received from District 3 Councilmember Max AndersonÕs office (which covers the western edge of Halcyon Neighborhood).


Please plan to attend: A Disaster Preparedness Fair: FREE

Sponsored by the South Berkeley Neighbors Group and Councilmember Max Anderson

Thursday, December 8, 2011, 7-9 p.m.

South Berkeley Senior Center, corner of Ellis & Ashby


How to prepare for yourself & all around you                                

*  How to get further tips & training

*  What to prepare (Go-Kits, Caches, etc.)

*  How to make your family/household safe


All ages are welcome, families especially.

Any questions please contact:

Frank Guter

Disaster Preparedness Workgroup Leader


Charlene Washington, Legislative Aide, District 3 Councilmember Max Anderson

2180 Milvia Street, 5th Floor , Berkeley, CA  94704 
Tel: 510.981.7130/Fax: 510.981.7133


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8.  Whole Foods News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Weds. 12/14, 8:30 a.m., plus Announcements


EditorÕs note: HereÕs this monthÕs news received from Whole Foods Community Relations Team Leader Jim Hallock. Thanks to Jim and Mel for working promptly to alleviate neighborsÕ concerns about extra noise related to holiday storage units. It makes a big difference to see that concerns are taken seriously and addressed quickly.


Drop-In Progress Meeting

Wednesday, December 14, 8:30-9:00 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 noise abatement, the store remodel project [now scheduled for 2012], street litter control, and progress on any of the ongoing issues we discuss [with HNA reps and nearby neighbors]. Mel [Store Team Leader] and I will meet, and anyone is welcome to join us. Of course there will be complimentary coffee, tea, and snacks. 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.


December Announcements


5% Day, Thursday, 12/8

On this day we will be donating 5% of our sales to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Simply shop on this day, and 5c of every dollar you spend will be donated to help families in need. To really help out, please place a non-perishable food item in the food donation barrel at our front door.


Santa Photo Op, Saturday, 12/17, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Bring the kids by for a free photo with Santa! YouÕll go home with your own print, and you can download more afterward. WeÕll have holiday cookies and treats, and a visit by a Berkeley Fire Department truck! Please bring a food item to donate to SantaÕs food drive!


Hanukkah Dinner Tasting, Saturday, 12/10, 2-6 p.m.

Stop by between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, 12/10, and try our prepared Hanukkah meal. WeÕll be serving samples of brisket, latkes, kugel, chicken liver, and apple sauce.


Jim Hallock

Community Relations Team Leader

Whole Foods Market Berkeley

3000 Telegraph Ave.

Berkeley, CA 94705


P: 510-649-1333 ext. 260

F: 510-649-1474


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9. Seismic Compliance Day of Action, Sat., 12/3/, Noon to 2 p.m., Sproul Plaza


EditorÕs note: Many in our neighborhood live in soft-story apartment buildings. This event/initiative may be of interest.

Saturday, December 3, 2011, 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Where: Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley

Dear friends and allies,

The recent seismic activity in the East Bay have been the latest events to highlight the importance of retrofitting Berkeley's apartment buildings. Unfortunately, dozens of landlords of soft-story buildings (buildings with unreinforced masonry and typically a garage underneath) are not yet in compliance with the bare minimum of Berkeley's code, which requires them to provide signage notifying their tenants that these buildings, until retrofitted, may not be capable of withstanding a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. Many of these buildings house students, senior citizens, and low-income tenants, who would be among the most vulnerable should the unthinkable happen.

This Saturday, you are invited to take action and let these tenants know that their landlord has not yet fulfilled his or her obligation to notify them - much less begun steps to seismically retrofit their buildings. We will be delivering letters to tenants' mailboxes or doorsteps, letting them know of the landlord's obligation under existing law, and providing helpful information, such as numbers to contact and what kind of supplies tenants should have on hand in preparation for a natural disaster.

Join us at the steps of Sproul as we kick off the event with a brief press conference and then hit the pavement!

Saturday, December 3, noon – 2 p.m.
Noon: Meet at steps of Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley Campus
12:20 p.m.: Departure to buildings surrounding UC Berkeley campus (if arriving late, please contact Igor at 510-295-8798 to find out where to meet)

Please contact for further information. We hope you will join us for this important action. Disaster preparedness and information cannot wait a moment longer!


*This action is not officially sanctioned by any public agency, including the Berkeley Rent Board


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