If you’re a neighbor, join Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 2/1/12

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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 Editor’s introductory comments express her personal viewpoint.

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1. Disaster Preparedness for Pets, February 8, 7-8:30 p.m. (rsvp by 2/5!)

2. HNA Annual Fundraising Appeal (You Know You Meant to: One More Chance!)

3. Satellite Disaster Prep Class on Radio Communications in Our Neighborhood, Mon. 2/13, 7-8:30 p.m.

4. Crime Watch Updates: Reward Offered in Emerson Homicide Case; Catalytic Converter Thefts

5. Volunteers Needed: Neighborhood Flyer Distribution 4x a Year; Crime Watch, Disaster Prep, Neighborhood Work Parties, Community-Building & Family-Friendly Teams

6. World Happy Day Event on Webster, Sat. 2/11, 4-8 p.m.

7. Longtime Neighbor Seeking Housing for Herself & Daughter Willing to Trade Elder Assistance or Other Tasks

8. Website Resource for Neighborhood Adults 50 and Over

9. Whole Foods News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Weds. 3/7, 8:30 a.m.

10. 3-1-1: The Place to Call for City Services


Editor’s Introductory Note:


Thank you to the hosts at four households who welcomed neighbors into their homes for our fabulous post-holiday progressive potluck last Sunday — Lynn, Leslie & Carla, Sarah & Rich, and John & Michelle! This was certainly our biggest turnout ever; I’m estimating at least 150 neighbors attended at least one of the four courses (though never that many at any one house)! In light of the recent homicide on Emerson Street, it was a great opportunity for people to pull together in a positive way. And we appreciated the sensitivity and presence of two representatives of the Berkeley Police Department at the first course, Lieutenant Randolph Files and Officer J. Singh, both of whom were available to answer neighbors’ questions while respecting the social nature of the evening.


Reflecting on the homicide, I recognize that while we can’t necessarily prevent bad things from ever happening in our neighborhood, we have a great capacity to pull together and bring about healing and greater safety in the aftermath. Within days, three different community members offered their services free of charge to those most immediately affected, including Megan Gould from the Yellow Emperor Community Acupuncture Clinic; a Wheeler Street neighbor who offers acupressure and other healing modalities; and a Webster Street neighbor who offers hypnotherapy. All of these were announced through the HNA Facebook group; if you’re on Facebook but haven’t yet signed up for our neighborhood page, you’re missing out! (Request to join at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=292160762499; this group is for neighbors and known friends nearby only so you’ll be asked for address, phone number, and email if we don’t already have them). We also have a community meeting with a neighborhood-watch focus on our 2012 calendar in March; there’s a chance it may be moved up to February given recent events, and one neighbor is looking into scheduling an Interfaith Service of some kind. If either of these are scheduled in between regular editions, I’ll be putting out an E-News Update to let you know. And if you’re interested in participating in a Crime Watch Committee currently being assembled to help plan the neighborhood watch meeting, please email halcyon92@gmail.com and I’ll pass your information on to the conveners.


Here’s to a healthy, safe, connected community! Please find a way to get involved in 2012.


—Nancy Carleton, HNA Co-Chair and E-News Editor, halcyon92@gmail.com




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1. Disaster Preparedness for Pets, February 8, 7-8:30 p.m. (rsvp by 2/5!)


Editor’s note: Neighbors Shael Barger and Mikel Delgado (both on the Disaster Preparedness Committee and HNA Steering Committee members) have agreed to host a disaster prep module on disaster preparedness for our companion animals. I know many of you love your cats, dogs, and other animal friends as much as I do mine, and you want to make sure you’ll be prepared in case the big one strikes. Please reply asap to the email listed if you’d like to attend this informative evening that will help you get and stay motivated.


Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets

Wednesday, February 8, 7-8:30 p.m. in our neighborhood (rsvp required by 2/5!)

The primary focus of the prep will be on information sharing; most of the discussion will focus on cats and dogs. Shael and Mikel have requested that if you have exotic companion animals or birds that you contact your veterinarian for instructions, etc., for disaster preparedness care for your animal species that you can share with the group at the time of the meeting. 

Location in our neighborhood TBA to those who rsvp by Sunday, February 5 (this will allow time to find a larger location if necessary depending on interest)

Email for more info or to rsvp: HNADisasterPrep@gmail.com


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2. HNA Annual Fundraising Appeal (You Know You Meant to: One More Chance!)


Editor’s note: Thank you to the couple dozen neighbors who responded to our fundraising appeal by sending in checks or dropping off cash at the potluck last Sunday. But there are hundreds on this list, so I know there are even more of you out there who meant to do it, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Here’s one more chance. If you value our neighborhood efforts, please contribute today!


HNA doesn’t have a formal membership structure or require annual dues because we wanted to keep participation as broad as possible. Our current focus is raising 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; they do not replace the personal household preparedness items you need to store for yourself).


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 halcyon92@gmail.com to arrange to drop them off.


No contribution is too small (or too large!). Our neighborhood association’s 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. Satellite Disaster Prep Class on Radio Communications in Our Neighborhood, Mon. 2/13, 7-8:30 p.m.


Editor’s note: The following note is from Wheeler Street neighbor Susan Snyder, who’s been working hard not just to increase our disaster preparedness in the Halcyon neighborhood but to help the City of Berkeley do more outreach citywide, especially to neighborhoods that are currently underrepresented in the City’s cache network. Because of Susan’s participation, our neighborhood is receiving the great opportunity described below. Thank you, Susan!


Hello, Neighbors!


Our neighborhood has been chosen for the first pilot class of the CERT Neighborhood Training program! The registration for Neighborhood CERT classes are through the neighborhoods, and the classes will all be taught by city CERT volunteers. Our hope is that more folks will get the training if they only need to commit an hour or so and can do it close to home.


The class is Radio Communication, and we need to have 15 neighbors sign up in advance for it to go.


The class will be on Monday February 13th, 7 p.m. (approx. an hour, but as it’s the first time it’s being done, I’d say plan an hour and a half). Location TBA (in the neighborhood).


We’ll have extra equipment (i.e. radios) from the Fire Department (as well as those from our neighborhood supply cache), and it will be hands-on practice. These skills (using the hand radios efficiently and effectively) are especially crucial for our large neighborhood. Also, the citywide drill on May 19th will be focused on communication and the more of us who have basic training, the more effective our drill can be (and of course, the better prepared in case of actual emergency).


Register by Thursday, Feb 9th (earlier appreciated) by sending an email to me (Susan) at hnaprepared@gmail.com


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4. Crime Watch Updates: Reward Offered in Emerson Homicide Case; Catalytic Converter Thefts


Press Release: Reward Offered For Information About City of Berkeley's First Homicide of 2012

From Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, Berkeley Police Information Officer

Monday January 30, 2012 - 05:05:00 PM


The City of Berkeley is offering a $15,000 reward, and Bay Area Crime Stoppers (BACS) is offering an additional $2,000 reward, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for the City of Berkeley’s first homicide of 2012. On Thursday, January 26, 2012, at about 6:50 p.m., the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) got a flurry of calls from community members reporting gunshots in the area of Shattuck and Ashby Avenues, Shattuck and Emerson and around Essex Streets. Officers found Kenneth Allen Warren, 35, of Hercules, who had sustained gunshots wounds and was on Emerson Street east of Shattuck Avenue. City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) Paramedics transported Warren to a local Hospital’s Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead by physicians there.  

BPD Homicide detectives and a complement of other BPD personnel began the investigation immediately, and have been working throughout the weekend. The crime is being investigated as a homicide. Thus far, BPD has not made any arrests or confirmed a possible motive in the case. BPD does not believe that this was a random shooting. 

BPD is urging anyone who may know anything about this homicide to call the BPD Homicide detail at (510) 981-5741 or the 24 hour BPD non emergency number of (510) 981-5900. If a community member wishes to remain anonymous, he/she is encouraged to call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at (800)-222-TIPS (8477). Any information may be critical to solving this crime. Sometimes the smallest or seemingly insignificant detail can be the key to arresting the suspect or suspects in any crime  


Editor’s note: Recent crimes in the neighborhood FYI (from Mikel Delgado):

Recent crimes in the Halcyon neighborhood:

1/6 home burglary wheeler between Prince and Woolsey

1/9 robbery at Woolsey and Adeline

1/9 and 1/10 home burglaries near 66th and Irwin (a little outside the neighborhood but very close to Woolsey)

1/14 Theft Woolsey & Wheeler

1/14 Robbery Prince & Fulton

1/21 Residential burglary - Emerson & Tremont


Editor’s note: A Wheeler Street neighbor reports about a catalytic converter theft in late January. I have also seen several reports on the Le Conte chat about catalytic converter thefts just north of Ashby (i.e., very nearby!), so this does indeed seem to be part of a series.


I do not know how much information has been disseminated yet, but at least one catalytic converter theft occurred overnight Friday [January 29] involving an SUV parked between Essex and Prince on Wheeler. My guess is this was one of a series, again.


Editor’s note: A neighbor on the Le Conte chat (just north of Ashby from our neighborhood) noted:


Theft of catalytic converters continues. Two were taken from near Ward and Fulton in mid-December, as well as the one reported on Le Conte chat from near Parker and Ellsworth sometime in mid-January.  All of these were from trucks. The converter is on the exhaust pipe, so the thief has to be down on the ground under the car. Trucks are easier because they’re higher off the ground. Usually the converter is bolted on. If it has been welded on, the thief has a harder time, and will probably use a cutting torch that will throw a lot of sparks, or some other kind of cutter that will throw some sparks. Replacement runs around $300. Please keep an eye out for this kind of activity. Your neighbors will appreciate you.”


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5. Volunteers Needed: Neighborhood Flyer Distribution 4x a Year; Crime Watch, Disaster Prep, Neighborhood Work Parties, Community-Building & Family-Friendly Teams


Flyer Distributors Needed: HNA’s Flyer Distribution Coordinator, Jay Migliaccio, let me know that a few more flyer distributors are needed to fill in gaps. Our Halcyon flyers come out quarterly, and we have a team of a couple of dozen neighbors who help with the distribution so that no one person is unduly burdened. Each stretch of a block or two takes 35 minutes or less, and is somewhere within easy walking distance in the Halcyon neighborhood (between Telegraph and Tremont, and Ashby and Woolsey). This is an easy volunteer task that really helps us maintain communication in the neighborhood and allows us to reach out to new neighbors (we live in a high turnover area with many tenants, and we want everyone to have a chance to find out about the ways we create a safer, friendlier neighborhood) and to those who don’t have easy access to the Internet, as well as to remind all of us of HNA’s bigger events and disaster preparedness plans. Please email halcyon92@gmail.com if you’d be willing to become a regular flyer distributor four times a year or if you’re willing to serve as an occasional alternate (Jay recruits alternates to fill in when regulars are out of town or otherwise unable to help with a particular flyer). Many thanks!


Team Members Needed for Our Crime Watch Team, Disaster Prep Team, Neighborhood Work Parties Team, Community Building Team & Family-Friendly Team: We welcome neighbors to join our HNA Steering Committee and participate in one or more of these areas to improve and strength our neighborhood. As we approach HNA’s twentieth anniversary later this year, it’s a great time for new participation and involvement. Please email halcyon92@gmail.com if you’d like to find out more about how you could get involved. We need you!


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6. World Happy Day Event on Webster, Sat. 2/11, 4-8 p.m.


Editor’s note: HNA Co-Chair John Steere and his wife Michelle passed on the following invitation.


Dear Neighbors:


We would like to take this opportunity to invite you all to come to our home on Saturday, February 11 @ 5-9 p.m. to participate in the internationally celebrated “World Happy Day.” [rsvp required by 2/6]


We will be featuring a free showing of the famed documentary filmmaker Roko Belik’s most recent opus, “Happy” (see information below), a Mocktail Happy Hour, a potluck diner to be provided by all, and an interactive exercise for all to take part in — a highly effective way to increase one’s H.Q. (Happiness Quotient) called Laughter Yoga, pioneered by Dr. Katan Madaria, M.D. and his wife.


Since 1995, Dr. Madaria has trained thousands of teachers in this joyful practice of facilitating playful techniques in varied-sized groups, which are designed to stimulate authentic laughter. As the neuroscientists in the movie “Happy” concur, regular communal laughter causes significant biochemical health improvements, which are tangible and measurable on all levels of being (i.e., physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually).


Currently, there are Laughter Clubs in over 80 countries. In India, where it originated, there can be anywhere from 10 to 200 people at any given club meeting. However, there need not be more than a handful of folks for the techniques to increase positive neurotransmitter activity for endorphins, seratoni, dopamine, and norepinephrine, to name a few, which increase the body’s innate healing potentialities.


We are confident that you will have the time of your life and hope that you will take the time to come and prove-out that old adage, that “laughter is the best medicine.”


When:  Saturday, February 11, 2012, 5-9 p.m.


Where: “HappyHaven,” 2329 Webster St., Berkeley (near Telegraph & Ashby Aves.)


Program: 5-6:30 p.m. Socializing with a “Mocktail Happy Hour”* and Potluck Dinner.
Please bring an entree/side dish/finger food and
your favorite bubbly or plain juice to add to the mocktail mix that will make everyone happy. (Whole Foods is a 60-second walk from our home.)

* Please bring only your inner spirits to the table.


6:45-8:00 Showing of the “Happy” movie


8:15-8:45 Laughter Yoga Participatory Demonstration by John and Michelle


8:45-9 Q&A/ Laughter Club Sign-Ups for Future Meetings


Note: Because of limited space, please rsvp by no later than February 6th to ensure that there will be room for you. For more information contactMichelle: 510-649-0991 or email michelle@igc.org or John: 510-849-1969 or email: jsteere@igc.org  


Happily hoping to see you at the “HappyHaven,”

Michelle & John Thelen Steere


Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us “Happy,” a 

film that sets out to explore the meaning of happiness; by taking us to 14 countries, from the bayous 

of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa. Belic

interviews happiness experts from neuroscientists exploring the biochemistry of happiness to a rickshaw driver in the streets of Kolkata, India. The movie reveals remarkable truths about the nature and cultivation of happiness. “Happy” leads us toward a deeper understanding of how we can pursue more fulfilling, healthier and happier lives.  


After watching the “Happy” Movie, John and Michelle Thelen Steere, Certified Laughter Yoga Instructors, will lead a laughter session. Laughter Yoga is a unique practice combining playful laughter exercises that simulate and stimulate laughter with yogic breathing. Unlike a sense of humor, which is an acquired subjective response to personal life perspectives, laughter is a universal innate ability. Anyone can choose to laugh anytime, anywhere, and for no particular reason. The great news is that the body doesn’t know the difference between “real” laughter and simulated laughter, so you receive all the health and mood-lifting benefits either way! 


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7. Longtime Neighbor Seeking Housing for Herself & Daughter Willing to Trade Elder Assistance or Other Tasks


 Editor’s Note: Longtime Halcyon neighbor (20-plus years), our former Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Dawn Trygstad (formerly Rubin) needs to find a new living situation due to changed life circumstances. She and her daughter Mariah would love to find a way to stay in the neighborhood or somewhere nearby, and we’d love it if they could. If you know of anyone in the area who might find her offer appealing, please contact her.


Dear Neighbors:


My main inspiration is to find an elder who would like to continue living at a home large enough to include my daughter and me, but who may need some help to do so. I’m thinking that in exchange for 2 bedrooms (13-year-old Mariah half-time and me full-time), I would offer 10-15 hours/week of assistance. Mariah and I both enjoy the company of elders; we appreciate and honor their wisdom and are compassionate with the challenges they face. My nature is to be a caretaker throughout life. Although it is my job to be somewhat biased, I can also say that Mariah is one of the most charming, gentle, intelligent, warm, and empathetic young ladies I have ever met.


The form(s) of exchange will depend on the needs and desires of the elder. Possibilities that I can imagine include: ensuring they take medications and eat properly every day, acupressure sessions, shopping for and cooking healthy food, gardening, light cleaning, driving them to appointments and on errands, preparing for an emergency such as an earthquake, helping them find additional needed resources, and also keeping them company. If they have other needs/wants we could certainly discuss almost anything. I have quite a bit of anatomy and physiology knowledge from my acupressure training and from being part of a medical family (my dad is a doctor and my mom a nurse), although I do not have “medical” training and am not qualified to work as a medical aide, nor do I seek that kind of work.   


My schedule is that I have Mariah every Thursday, Friday and Saturday plus alternate Wednesdays. My regular office hours are Sunday and Monday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., but I can and do take breaks during the day. A few weeks in advance I have total flexibility to schedule in an hour or two of whatever assistance someone may need during those times plus before and after. I also teach a class Tuesday evenings. During the day Tuesday through Friday I do acupressure out-calls to homes and businesses, but again these can be scheduled around another person’s needs.


Thanks in advance for your consideration!


Dawn Trygstad (formerly Rubin)

Healing Facilitator





Certified Acupressure Massage Practitioner

Ren Shen, Reflexology, Tui Na, Reiki 



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8. Website Resource for Neighborhood Adults 50 and Over


Editor’s note: While I don’t often include items from outside our immediate neighborhood, this one from a relatively new nonprofit includes many possible areas of interest nearby. It was submitted by Anne Ferguson of Bay Area Older Adults. And many of the topics covered could actually be of interest to neighbors of any age.


Explore the treasures of your local community with a free, easy-to-use website: Did you know that surfing the Internet can be good for your health? Scientific studies have shown that being able to easily find important information on the Internet about news, health, travel, and hobbies offers a sense of freedom and empowerment that promotes psychological well-being. Combine this with the fact that regular mental and physical activity can reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, reduce medication usage, and lower incidence of disability. This means that pursuing activities like volunteering, yoga, gardening, walking, and attending art and dance classes can improve your quality of life. This is why we built an easy-to-use website www.bayareaolderadults.org that offers information about outdoors, fitness, social, and cultural activities for active adults age 50 and over in the San Francisco Bay Area. The website is a wonderful resource for fun and healthy adventures right in your own community. It has over 1500 activities covering the rich cultural and natural diversity here in the Bay Area, including the oldest Japanese garden in the Western hemisphere, and the science museums that are home to high-powered telescopes enabling views of planets and stars. 


So what is so special about this website? All of the information about each activity is carefully collected by hand and has all the details you need to venture out with confidence.  Here is an example of information about the Hakone Garden. Try clicking on “GET FULL REVIEW” at the bottom of the page.


We invite you to join our community. Membership is FREE, easy, and gives you access to member only discounts on products and services as well as a monthly newsletter that lists fun and healthy group events so you can explore new places in your community and meet new friends with similar interests.


We hope you try www.bayareaolderadults.org. We designed it to make it easier and more fun for you to be physically and mentally active.  Enjoy it!



Anne Ferguson, PhD, President

Bay Area Older Adults, a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization



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9. Whole Foods News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Weds. 3/7, 8:30 a.m.


Editor’s note: Here’s this month’s news received from Whole Foods Community Relations Team Leader Jim Hallock.


Drop-In Progress Meeting (first Wednesday of each month)

Wednesday, March 7, 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 [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.


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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10. 3-1-1: The Place to Call for City Services


Editor’s note: I picked up this item from Le Conte Neighborhood Association President Karl Reeh’s post on Le Conte chat. It’s a good reminder that you only need to remember one simple number to call if you have issues related to City services or infrastructure.


A number you should remember and use often is 3-1-1
This is the Customer Service number for the City of Berkeley. Anytime you want information or service, this is the number to call: 3-1-1
Missed garbage pickup, broken streetlight, sidewalk repair, tree branch down, etc. It’s easy to use and remember, and usually the services are fast.


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