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

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


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 2/4/14


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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. Neighborhood Watch Community Meeting, Weds., Feb. 19, 2014, 7-8:30 p.m.

2. Reminder: HNA Annual Fundraising Appeal!

3. Light the Night for Neighborhood Safety!

4. Crime-Watch Updates & Links

5. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, March 12, 8-8:30 a.m.

6. Public Hearing on Use Permit for Large Café at Ashby & Telegraph, Tues., March 11, 7 p.m.

7. CERT News: Free Classes, Cache Application, and CERT Volunteer Meeting



Editor’s Introductory Note:


Thanks to the four hosting households for our Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, thanks to all who attended bringing delicious food offerings, and thanks to Tory Finn for organizing the event last month. It was a great evening, and about 70-80 neighbors attended one or more of the courses. Special thanks to those who remembered to bring financial contributions to HNA (it isn’t too late! See item 2).


Hope to see many of you at our HNA Neighborhood Watch Community Meeting on February 19 (see item 1), a great chance to ask the Berkeley Police Department your questions concerning recent robberies and other crimes in our neighborhood. Let’s keep working together to improve neighborhood safety (Karl Reeh’s suggestions in item 3 represent a great step forward)!


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


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1. Neighborhood Watch Community Meeting, Weds., Feb. 19, 2014, 7-8:30 p.m.


Editor’s note: In the wake of the robberies in South Berkeley/North Oakland in the first half of December, the HNA Steering Committee scheduled a neighborhood watch meeting in February.


Neighborhood Watch Community Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7-8:30 p.m.

Chochmat HaLev Social Hall (Prince at Fulton)


Members of the Berkeley Police Department will be present to update us on current crime trends and what we can do to help prevent crime; our city councilmembers are invited, and there will also be a brief segment on disaster preparedness. Please join us for this important meeting. The meeting will start and end on time.


* In addition, if you haven’t already donated this year, PLEASE bring along a check or cash contribution to HNA of whatever size (no amount is too small or large — see item 2; your contribution will help us upgrade our neighborhood disaster supply cache, maintain Halcyon Commons, and continue to duplicate flyers in 2014)!


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2. Reminder: HNA Annual Fundraising Appeal!


Editor’s note: One more time, with feeling: Your donations allow those of us who put in many volunteer hours to keep HNA alive to have the resources that allow us to take our neighborhood efforts to the next level (keeping the park and nearby landscaped features in good shape, enhancing our disaster preparedness efforts, communicating with neighbors through flyers, etc.). Please show your appreciation in material form!


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 to “HNA” and mail or drop it off 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 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. Light the Night for Neighborhood Safety!


Editor’s note: The Berkeley Neighborhoods Council, or BNC, puts out a monthly newsletter at The latest issue included a letter from Karl Reeh, president of Le Conte Neighborhood Association, with boundaries overlapping HNA’s. His ideas on lighting are well worth noting and putting into practice! 


Hi, Neighbors:


Here is one way to help reduce crime and provide a cheerier residential neighborhood, particularly in these dark winter nights, but at other times too. . . .


Lighting the way to a brighter, safer neighborhood:


1. Leave some lights on ALL night -- on porches and driveway. Have house number illuminated (especially important for emergency responders), use motion-activated lights, and,


2. Leave indoor lights on with on/off timers.


3. Become a “Torch Bearer” by always carrying a bright LED flashlight. Use it when walking or going outside at night. This signals to neighbors and others that you are paying attention and, very importantly, helps drivers see you when crossing streets. You can find many models under $5 at local hardware stores. Keep this flashlight with you for keys, dark theaters, and for seeing passersby and uneven sidewalks. Remember, criminals do not want to be seen so they will avoid picking victims with flashlights.


4. Indoors: Store a working flashlight in every room. Install automatic backup lights in bathrooms and bedrooms.


5. Indoor/Outdoor: Garden beds, walkways -- use solar, low-wattage LED lights. Leave a light on in one or more rooms visible from the street signifying that people are home and possibly awake.


6. Consider these examples of extra lighting that have been done on my block, and make what you do on your block even more effective and interesting:


* Outline an entry archway with lights

* Leave strings of LED holiday lights on front bushes on all winter

* Put LED or solar lights on tall poles

* Have holiday lights in your living room visible from outside


7. Balance the additional energy you’ll be using with these additional lights, look for ways to save, see if you can change “appliance bulbs” in your refrigerator over to lower 15-walt bulbs that provide less heat and enough light, change lamp bulbs all over your house to energy savers, use solar lighting outside, turn off electronics when not in use.

(LED lights, which last for 25 years, are now available for under $10.)


Get your block or neighborhood to discuss these ideas and come up with more actions that will result in a more attractive AND safer neighborhood. (Copies of this information as a flyer will be a good way to start!)


Karl Reeh, President Le Conte Neighborhood Association


Editor’s note: Karl Reeh, President of Le Conte Neighborhood Association, also noted recently on the Le Conte Chat, in response to a neighbor who pointed out that the City’s lighting needs to address the pedestrian level (not just what’s necessary for drivers):


“Berkeley has started replacing the current hi-pressure yellow lights with lower-wattage LED fixtures. (So far Telegraph south of campus and parts of San Pablo have been converted, I understand.) This is in the bid stage, however, so it may be months before the big conversion starts. At a recent meeting, our Police Chief suggested that residents let the BPD know if they feel that there are problems with current lighting in their neighborhoods. Lights that are burned out and/or being shaded by overgrown trees, for instance. (You should call 311 to report problems.) In the meanwhile neighborhoods should encourage everyone to leave their porch lights on ALL NIGHT and carry flashlights whenever you go outside -- to your car, to take the garbage out, etc. It is especially important to use a bright flashlight when walking anywhere at night! Criminals do not want to be seen, so carrying a bright light will discourage them from picking you as a victim.


Editor’s note: When calling 311 to report streetlights that are out or that are dim or flickering, please have the number on the tab on the light pole available — these numbers are found on yellow or white tabs on the poles and make it much easier for the city to get someone out promptly to fix lights.)


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4. Crime-Watch Updates & Links


Editor’s 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!


HNA Steering Committee member Mikel Delgado submitted the following summary of recent crimes in or near the neighborhood. Thank you, Mikel!


1/8 burglary, Prince & Halcyon

1/8 commercial burglary, Telegraph & Dowling

1/9 robbery, Russell & Deakin

1/11 burglary, Webster & Deakin

1/13 vehicle stolen, Russell & Wheeler

1/13 robbery, Tremont & Woolsey

1/14 robbery, Tremont & Woolsey

1/17 vehicle stolen, Shattuck & Oregon

1/18 burglary [of bicycle shed, described below], Halcyon
1/19 burglary, Woolsey and Wheeler
1/19 assault, Shattuck and Prince
1/20 felony theft, Prince and Deakin
1/21 disturbance [incident described below], Halcyon
1/21 larceny theft, Prince and Wheeler
1/31 vehicle break-in, Fulton and Ashby


A Deakin Street neighbor Street submitted the following report:


“Stolen bicycle, Deakin Street, Jan. 11, 2014. A black tandem bicycle (Santana brand) was stolen by cutting our basement lock during the night of Jan. 11, 2014. The Berkeley police were notified.”


A Halcyon Court neighbor submitted the following report to our HNA Facebook group:


“I was coming out the door of the back unit [late morning on Saturday, January 18]. I saw a man walking down our driveway with my bike. I ran after him and said, “Give me back my bike.” He left the bike and took off. Then the two painters who were working next door came out and assisted me. They chased the guy down Telegraph Ave. Meantime I called the police. I think [the thief] cracked open the lock [to my bike shed] somehow. He was not caught. My only small frustration is when I called the number of questions I got were taking up precious time. I know why they ask these, but a few minutes more and they may have been able to catch him. After the lengthy questioning, she finally said to the officers “Suspect headed down Telegraph.” But it was too late. [Editor’s note: See note on Police Dispatch below.] The painters chased him for quite some time. He pulled a knife at one of the painters [to get them to release him]. Thanks to those guys for being so helpful. Description of thief: Older African American male (possibly late 60s) medium build, 5'4", short curly hair, light skin, salt-and-pepper hair. Was wearing dark green slacks, muted wool plaid jacket, and tan painters cap.” [Another neighbor chimed in that this description matched that of the thief who stole and rode off on her bike, stolen last October.]


A Bateman neighbor posted an account of the second part of the incident on Nextdoor Bordertown:


A little after noon [1/18], I was riding my bike east on Prince towards Telegraph and witnessed [what appeared to be a robbery in progress, but turned out to be the aftermath of the attempted bicycle theft, including the chase]: Three men were tussling, then a black man of small build got away and ran up Prince toward Telegraph with a large black backpack, and other two men started to chase him but then fell back. They told me to call the police, as one of them got into his truck, and the other followed the backpack thief on foot. I called the police and saw the chase on foot continue south on Telegraph and then west on Woolsey. Two police cars showed up shortly thereafter. After coming home and dropping my son off (he was riding in the babyseat), my husband took a walk and found the police taking a report from the two men near Halcyon Commons.”


A Halcyon Court neighbor submitted the following report to our HNA Facebook group:


“I returned home about 9:30 [on January 21] and noticed a tall [later described as six-foot-tall] black man about 40 with a mustache, walking back and forth in front of my house and looking at me. Fortunately, I had my large dog in the back of the car -- I immediately took the dog out of the car and tried to approach my house. I don’t want to go into more details due to outcome, but this fellow after a few words threatened to kill me if I came near my house. I walked away from the house and two kind strangers called the police for me, and protected me until he left, my amazing neighbor XXXX came out to see what was happening and brought me into his home to wait for the police, who did catch the man who threatened me. I want to commend Officer David Marble of the BPD for his professionalism, his calm, and his walking me through the process of what to do next. I did run into the same problem with Dispatch as [another neighbor] did with the man who stole her bike out of her property -- however, the dispatch person reassured me after I protested that as she was asking all these questions, he was getting away, that although she had to ask questions, the police were already on their way. It would be so helpful to any of us who are in the same situation if Dispatch could reassure us of this fact up front. It was terrifying but I am so grateful for those kind strangers, my neighbors, and Officer Marble and his colleagues who caught the person. I’m writing this to let neighbors know about the situation in case he should return to our neighborhood.”


Editor’s note: “Police responded and found Robert Lee Jackson, 42, of Berkeley, nearby. He was detained and arrested on suspicion of making threats and probation violation. He remains in custody, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department,” according to a Berkeleyside article on January 28 that covered the incident.


Armed robbery at Tremont & Woolsey (near the Ed Roberts Campus), as reported on Nextdoor Bordertown:

“My husband was robbed at gunpoint at Tremont & Woolsey at 8:07 p.m. last night (Tuesday 1/14]. I believe it was the same assailants who hit Patton Street. Came up from behind him walking away from Ashby BART. Two of the guys grabbed his arms while the other one took his backpack, wallet, and iPhone. They told him to walk away or they would shoot. As he was walking away, the guy with the gun came back and yelled for his wedding band. Sadly, that was taken too. My husband yelled to give back his keys at least so he could get into his home. Oddly (and fortunately!) they threw them back towards him! He then yelled to borrow a phone from a passer-by and called 911. Berkeley police responded within 1-2 minutes. Officer Singh was incredibly helpful and thorough. Backpack was recovered at San Pablo and 54th by a good Samaritan on a bike. Officer Singh went to talk to her about the backpack as this appears to be linked a string of other robberies in the area. When Officer Singh returned backpack, the “Find my iPhone” feature was activated. Turns our Oakland PD had turned it on when phone was found in abandoned crashed car in what I believe is what Chris is referring to in above post. The car was around Blaine Street by 87th and San Leandro Ave (according to Find my iPhone--we didn't confirm exact location with police) in Oakland. Please be mindful of walking with earbuds, especially in the dark. Best to not have any distractions. One side of the street on Woolsey by Tremont is dark because the trees block the street lamp. Try to walk on other side. My husband said he thought something was amiss when the huddled group of guys was whispering as he passed by. Listen to your gut. He said perhaps he should have run. I’m just glad he is safe. Police advised us to stay in groups when leaving BART especially in the dark. While backpack and phone have been recovered, the wedding band was of sentimental value to us. Hammered metal with inscription of “My Podmate.” Please contact if found. Thank you, and be safe, neighbors!”


Link on mid-January Robbery Near BART:


About Police Dispatch


Editor’s note: Since the question/concern has been raised by a couple of people, I want to reiterate what one neighbor said in a recent post to our HNA Facebook group: “Just because Dispatch is still asking you questions doesn’t mean the officers aren't already on their way! In fact, with anything currently taking place, they’re almost certainly in transit while Dispatch continues to question you. Marcy McGaugh, a Bateman Neighborhood Crime Watch Captain, put it this way: ‘Something we learned in the Citizen Academy: Dispatch is collecting info from those reporting crimes in progress that is meant to protect officers arriving on the scene, but those officers are en route the minute we report the crime. If citizens don't know that, they’re frustrated and think the Dispatch officer isn't responding appropriately or doing anything in response to the report.’ ”


Neighborhood Response to Wave of Armed Robberies


Editor’s note: HNA Steering Committee member Mikel Delgado submitted the following thorough report. Thank you, Mikel!


On January 13, 2014, leaders from five neighborhoods south of campus (LeConte, Willard, Bateman, Halcyon, and Claremont-Elmwood) met with Berkeley Chief of Police Meehan, along with our Area Coordinator Jessyca Nabozny and Lt. Upson, Community Services.


The purpose of the meeting was to express community concerns about the recent increase in robberies in the neighborhood and to brainstorm on ways to increase communication between police and the community. 


Berkeley experiences an average of 1-2 robberies per day (about 1/3 of these are known to be armed robberies). One of the major takeaways from that meeting is that criminals target their victims; the victims most often chosen are those who are not paying attention to their surroundings and are visibly displaying valuables (small electronics). Please remind your neighbors and friends that “distracted while walking” accounts for a good percentage of street robberies and that to prevent being victim to crime it’s very important to stay alert to the environment.


In response to the recent robberies, the BPD is doing joint patrols an increasing communication with UC Berkeley and BART police. Berkeley and Oakland police also monitor each other's radios.


Berkeley BPD is examining how other agencies use social media, and is very interested in using these tools to communicate with the public. They encourage neighborhoods to continue organizing (they are always impressed with HNA) and using email and social media to share information. 


Resources you can use to learn more about crime in Berkeley:


The Berkeley Police Scanner radio feed, and other municipal feeds, can be found on this website:


You can sign up for email crime alerts here:


You can also go to the BPD website and see the “Daily Calls for Service” log:


And here is the website where you can do your own searches on crimes based on address, date, crime type etc.


This website is synced with city data once a day. Crime-information availability also depends on when the crime is reported.


The BPD are also willing to train people in how to use these tools, and will perform safety walk-throughs or trainings on request; they are also happy to communicate with public works about other safety concerns (such as dark streets/broken streetlights); they just need to know about it!


Lighting Issues on Woolsey near Tremont


HNA Co-Chair Nancy Carleton passed on to Jim Hynes in the City Manager’s office and the offices of Councilmembers Max Anderson and Kriss Worthington comments from Nextdoor Bordertown concerning lighting issues near the corner of Tremont and Woolsey where multiple robberies have occurred since last fall (at least seven at just this one corner!). Jim Hynes met on the site with various staff members that week to begin to address some of these lighting issues. Thank you, all!


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5. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting on March 12, 8-8:30 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


Hi folks:

We are installing 3 electric car charging stations in partnership with City of Berkeley, PG&E, and NRG Energy. . . .

*The three spaces will be located on the Ashby side of the store, close to the receiving dock, adjacent to the stairwell that comes down from the roof of the store over there.

*They will be available for charging cars during store hours only -- no overnight parking. Cars will still need to comply with our parking rules which state 2 hour parking while shopping at WFM.

*Preliminary work begins [January 28] -- this preliminary work will be focused on the area behind the store with the transformer and main electrical supply to the building. We do not expect any work to be happening back there prior to 8 a.m. for the duration of the project.

*There will be work happening in the back area of the store closest to xxx's house frequently through the next few weeks as new electrical stations and equipment to support the charging stations is installed. Most of this will not involve heavy noise like jackhammering but I will update as needed.

*Estimated duration of the project is three weeks; however, rain is possible later this week, which might slow the project. I will update as needed.

Thanks all -- I hear there is quite a lot of excitement in the community already about these charging stations, and I am looking forward to providing that service to our customers! Please let me know of any questions.

[Store Team Leader, Whole Foods Market]


[Neighbors can also contact:]
Lizzie Robillard Brimhall, Marketing Team Leader, Whole Foods Market
510-649-1333, ext. 260,


Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Wednesday, March 12, 8-8:30 a.m.

Whole Foods Market (check in at Customer Service)


“These meetings are held at the Community Table at the front of the store, and the purpose is to share our plans for ongoing changes in the store, street litter control, and progress on any of the ongoing issues we discuss [with HNA reps and nearby neighbors]. The Store Team Leader is usually present, and anyone is welcome to join us. Of course there will be complimentary coffee, 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.”


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, Carlisle, Curt, OR Donna will be in the store, so always feel free to swing by, too, if you’d like to have a word with us. Call the store during business hours (8am-10pm) at 649-1333 and ask for a Shift Manager:

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6. Public Hearing on Use Permit for Large Café at Ashby & Telegraph, Tues., March 11, 7 p.m.


Editor’s note: As reported previously, the City Council agreed to hold a public hearing on Bateman Neighborhood Association’s appeal of the 5-4 ZAB decision granting a use permit for a Starbucks at the corner of Ashby and Telegraph that includes a waiver of the usual parking requirements. Since there are a range of views among neighbors, HNA hasn’t taken a position on this issue but encourages neighbors to inform themselves and to express any strong views directly to decision makers (in this case, the City Council); you can find a contact list of decision-makers’ emails at our HNA website:

Public Hearing on Use Permit for 2,000-foot-plus Café at 3001 Telegraph (at Ashby)

City Council Meeting, Tues., Mar. 11, 7 p.m.
Old City Hall, 2nd Floor (MLK & Allston)


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7. CERT News: Free Classes, Cache Application, and CERT Volunteer Meeting


Editor’s note: Letter received from Khin Chin, CERT Program Manager with the City of Berkeley. (Please let us know at if you’re aware of a location that could host another neighborhood disaster supply cache either midneighborhood – i.e., around Fulton -- or west of Shattuck up to the Ed Roberts Campus. The size of our neighborhood and its disaster preparedness plan would certainly justify our obtaining additional caches, but this will only happen if we have someplace to host them!)


Hi CERT Community,


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class schedule is now available on the Berkeley CERT website. In addition to the CERT Academy scheduled for April 4-6, individual modules are available throughout February and March. Sign up now for classes! Check back as we add additional classes to the schedule. See


The Community Emergency Supply Program (Disaster Caches) application period is now Open. This program awards a limited number of qualifying groups an initial emergency cache of equipment and a container for storage. The application period is open through May 23. See the application on the Office of Emergency Services website for more information: Community Emergency Supply Program Application v2.pdf


Reminder that our next CERT Volunteer Meeting is on February 13 at 7 p.m., 997 Cedar St. Come join other CERT Volunteers who are working to improve the CERT program and disaster preparedness and response community wide. Planning is underway for the Berkeley Emergency Prep Fair scheduled for April 26, and more volunteers are needed! The focus for 2014 is children and pets and the fair will be filled with activities for kids, pet owners, and families to help build our community readiness for emergency. To volunteer to help make this great community-wide event possible, sign up with this form ( or call me at 510-981-5506.


Thank you,


Khin Chin

CERT Program Manager

Berkeley Fire Department

Office of Emergency Services



2014 Berkeley Emergency Prep Fair - Kids and Pets!


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