eighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 12/1/14


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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 Editor’s introductory comments express her personal viewpoint.

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1. HNA Planning Meeting for 2015: Sunday, 12/7/14, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

2. HNA’s Annual Fundraising Appeal!

3. Hosts Still Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, 1/25/15

4. Disaster Prep: Act Now for Neighborhood Bulk Discount for Gas-Shutoff Devices!

5. Crime-Watch Update & Holiday Safety Tips

6. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., Jan. 9, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

7. District 7 and 8 Election Outcomes

8. Last Chance to Participate in Resilient Cities Questionnaire Online by 12/2

9. Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Guiding Principles


Editor’s Introductory Note:


Many thanks to all the neighbors and students who volunteered at HNA’s Big Berkeley Project Work Party in the park on November 8th. Whole Foods Market supplied delicious treats, and Mokka Café once again provided fresh hot coffee. Special thanks to the Berkeley Project volunteers from Cal, who were amazing throughout the day in weeding, removing graffiti in the surrounding neighborhood, and, last but not least, making sure that the two cubic yards of mulch were distributed by the end of the day! In addition, HNA Co-Chair John Steere and his sister-in-law, Mary Jade Green, sanded the Father Sun bench and returned to stain it a couple of days later. We also appreciate the efforts of City staff, who made sure we got the mulch and also picked up the weed pile from the park and nearby landscaped features and trash volunteers had picked up around the neighborhood.


There are so many 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 move forward in 2015. We hope some of you will consider joining us to plan neighborhood activities for the coming year by joining our HNA Steering Committee (item 1).


Here’s wishing happy and safe holidays to all!


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


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1. HNA Planning Meeting for 2015: Sunday, 12/7/14, 5:30-7:00 p.m.


Editor’s 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. This year we’ll also be planning some fun fundraising events for our halcyon bird sculpture project as well as a big volunteer work party to refurbish the d.g. pathway in the park. So much is possible in our neighborhood, 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’ll likely have just two in all of 2015). We would very much welcome your participation!


Please email halcyon92@gmail.com if you want more information. All neighbors willing to work in the spirit of HNA’s Guiding Principles (see item 9 below) are welcome to join the Steering Committee. We’re 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 you’d 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 2015

Sunday, December 7, 5:30-7:00

Meeting will take place at a home on Wheeler Street. Email halcyon92@gmail.com 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 HNA’s Guiding Principles.


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2. HNA’s Annual Fundraising Appeal


Editor’s note: Your contributions are crucial to realizing HNA’s 2015 priorities! Please give generously.


HNA doesn’t 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 2015 we have some special, one-time projects that require financial support:

            * Refurbishing the top three inches of the d.g. (decompressed granite) pathway in Halcyon Commons (Whole Foods Market gave a generous donation that covers about half the cost; we still need to raise another $1,000 and we’ll also need lots of volunteer help next June)

            * 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 park’s 20th anniversary in 2016, but we need to raise more funds now for its continued development and eventual production and installation.


We also use 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).


We’re 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 especially 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 “HNA” 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 “Berkeley Partners for Parks” (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 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. Please pitch in!


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3. Hosts Still Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 25, 2015


Editor’s note: HNA Potluck organizer and Steering Committee member Tory Finn says a couple of hosts are still needed. (And please be sure to mark your calendars for this fun annual event, which takes place on Sunday, January 25, 2015!)


Dear neighbors:


Our January Post-Holiday “Progressive Potluck” is one of my favorite neighborhood events; there’s always a great turnout, and it’s a great way to meet our neighbors and enjoy the community we so value in the Halcyon neighborhood.


If you haven’t hosted before or if you’ve enjoyed hosting in the past, please consider being a host for one of the courses this January. We have 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; it’s 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 you’re one of the hosts.)


Please contact me if you are interested in hosting one of the courses on January 25 — even if you’re not sure whether you can or if you want more info. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2015!


Tory Finn at halcyon92@gmail.com


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4. Disaster Prep: Act Now for Neighborhood Bulk Discount for Gas-Shutoff Devices!


Editor’s note: Many thanks to neighbor Katrin Wehrheim for arranging for a special discount on gas shutoff devices, which is available through January 19, 2015. Much of the loss of life and property damage after a big quake is because of fire rather than the quake itself; safeguard your family and your property by taking advantage of this special offer!


Update from Katrin Wehrheim:


Gas-Shutoff update: Last month I had a super quick & easy installation of an excess flow valve and would like to urge everyone to make use of our special neighborhood program -- full info at http://tinyurl.com/halcyon-gas. Fill out the questionnaire, snap a picture of your gas meter, send it over to larry@homesafety1st.com, and just under $400 gets you one of the best “earthquake insurances” I can think of.


Some more highlights/comments:


* The discount will be available through January 19, 2015, but please order as soon as possible to make sure we reach 25 orders.


* homesafety1st.com are specialists -- they usually just work for insurance, so this is a rare opportunity to get what the experts recommend (and usual plumbers don’t offer) -- an excess flow valve, which triggers by any larger gas leak (earthquake or not) and requires no relighting of pilots.


* The city’s “free valve” program (http://cityofberkeley.info/GasShutoff) has sadly turned into a bad joke . . . unless you’re so low-income that you can get the plumbing permit fee waived. (I got multiple assurances that permits aren’t needed; yet the city requires permit and CERT training with the application for a “free” valve, at which point you’ll have spent way more money and time than the valve is worth.)


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5. Crime-Watch Update & Holiday Safety Tips


Editor’s note: Our HNA Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/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: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/onlinereport/), please email halcyon92@gmail.com to pass the word on to your neighbors, or share it on our Facebook page, so we can all stay aware and vigilant!


A neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


“STOLEN BICYCLE ALERT. Sometime last night [Nov. 30] or early this morning [Dec. 1], my bicycle was stolen from the corner of Prince Street and Halcyon Court. It had been locked to the street sign [exact address omitted], but the U-Lock was cut by bolt cutters. I have filed a police report and will be checking Craigslist and local flea markets for it, but if anyone sees it, would you please let me know? [Photo on our HNA Facebook page.]


“Bike details:
2011 Women's 13" Trek hybrid bicycle (7.3 FX WSD) in coastal blue, serial number SWTU117C1415F (found on the underside of the bike near the bottom bracket). There is bright blue handlebar tape on the grips (I was too cheap to buy new grips), and attached accessories include a black Planet Bike bike rack in the back, a kickstand, a bottle cage, a bell, and a holder for a front light. The wheels have been locked into place with pinhead skewers and a thin cable and padlock locks the bike seat to the frame. If anyone sees it, they can email me at [neighbor’s email omitted, but if you email halcyon92@gmail.com, we will forward].


“Please share this post with locals if you can! Thank you very much, and remember to store your bikes carefully. I was silly to think it would be safe left out in the open (when I locked my bike in the back of our building, it was stripped). In the future, I will need to store it inside my building, I guess.

Thank you for your time and kind understanding!”


A Tremont neighbor (near the BART parking lot) reported the following on Nextdoor Bordertown:


“On Sunday morning [Nov. 23] at 4 a.m., I was awakened by my car alarm going off. I went outside and saw a thief leaving my car. The car alarm (which has a delay) scared him, not to mention my coming out of the house yelling stay the f*** away from my car. He ran down the street towards 65th. Not having my glasses on, I remember an African American male, with a brown jacket on and about 6 ft tall. He did not get anything -- as I mentioned, the alarm scared him. As a reminder to my neighbors, I [tend to] live out of my car, with shoes, boxes, etc. A word to the wise, this weekend I will be cleaning my car out as not to tempt a would-be thief.”


A neighbor reported on behalf of another neighbor to our Facebook group:


“As I was walking my dogs around midnight, I surprised a young man who seemed to be trying to get into the apartment under construction on Webster. I did not see his actions, but I heard thumping noises and saw him come around the corner back onto the sidewalk, where I confronted him. He tried to explain that they had ‘lied to me on Craigslist -- they said it was ready for me to move in.’ I called him on the fact that it was midnight, and told him that he had five seconds to start walking before I called the cops. He said ‘So I’ll just go. I’ll just go home, then.’ And started walking toward Telegraph & Webster. I called 911 and a responding officer came by within minutes. Rough description of the guy: Caucasian or Hispanic, fair skin, brown hair & eyes, around 5'7", mid-20s, carrying a backpack, and most likely intoxicated when I saw him (slurring speech, unsteady gait).”


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.

* Don’t 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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6. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., Jan. 9, 8:15-8:45 a.m.


Editor’s note: News from Whole Foods Market. If you’d 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 lizzie.brimhall@wholefoods.com.


Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

Whole Foods Market (check in at Customer Service)

Please plan to confirm the date the week of the meeting.


“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. If it’s between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Melody, Kelly, or Ross will be in the store, so always feel free to swing by too, if you’d 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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7. District 7 and 8 Election Outcomes


Editor’s note: It’s easy to miss local election results given the emphasis on national outcomes. Two City Council races have a direct effect on who represents our neighborhood on City Council. First, since Measure S passed, the district lines redrawn by the Council majority are official. No part of Halcyon neighborhood is left in District 7, so as this December, Kriss Worthington is no longer one of our representatives. He was reelected within the newly drawn District 7, so he remains on Council. Thank you, Councilmember Worthington, for showing up at so many HNA events over the years and for always being responsive when we approached you and your office with issues!


The eastern part of our neighborhood is now officially part of the redrawn District 8, not only for this election but until future redistricting after the next Census. Four candidates ran in District 8: Jacquelyn McCormick, Mike Alvarez Cohen, George Beier, and Lori Droste, and all graciously participated in the candidates forum sponsored jointly by HNA and Bateman Neighborhood Association. According to Certified Results from the County Registrar, the cliffhanger race was decided in Lori Droste’s favor (go to http://www.acgov.org/rov/rcv/results/226/rcvresults_8282.htm to see the Ranked-Choice Voting rounds; in the end Droste prevailed over Beier by 2,072 to 2,056 votes). Congratulations, Councilmember Droste! HNA looks forward to seeing you at some of our HNA neighborhood events in 2015.


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8. Last Chance to Participate in Resilient Cities Questionnaire Online by 12/2


Editor’s note: The following announcement was received from Councilmember Max Anderson’s office.


As you [may] know, in 2014 the City of Berkeley was one of 32 cities selected by the Rockefeller Foundation from a global pool of over 400 applicants to participate in the 100 Resilient Cities (100 RC) initiative (an additional 68 cities will be selected over the next 2 years). The purpose of 100 RC is to help cities prepare for and bounce back from acute shocks, such as earthquakes, and slower-moving stresses, such as drought and sea-level rise, in a manner that creates multiple co-benefits for our community.


As part of participation in 100 RC, staff is conducting a survey to gather input on factors that affect our community’s resilience, meaning the ability of our community to not only prepare for a specific disaster or challenge, but to be prepared for whatever disaster or challenge comes our way. 

Responses can help inform Berkeley’s resilience-building priorities moving forward.


The survey is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ResilientBerkeley


We deeply appreciate your responses. It is anonymous (unless respondents voluntarily provide contact info) and should take about 10 minutes to complete. Survey responses are due by December 2, 2014.


For more information, please contact Timothy Burroughs at tburroughs@cityofberkeley.info


Timothy Burroughs

Chief Resilience Officer

Office of the City Manager

City of Berkeley

p 510.981.7437



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9. Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Guiding Principles


Editor’s note: Given our upcoming Planning Meeting for 2015 (see item 1) and many new neighbors, this seems like a good time to highlight HNA’s 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 HNA’s primary goals and guiding principles.


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