Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 3/5/15


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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. Work Party in Halcyon Commons & Surrounding Neighborhood, Sat. 3/14, 9:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

2. Crime-Watch Update

3. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., March 20, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

4. RIP, Longtime Deakin Street Neighbor Allie Mae Robinson

5. Drop-In Office Hours with Councilmember Droste at Espresso Roma Café, First Thursdays, 9:30-11 a.m.

6. Black History Month Event at the South Berkeley Library, Sat. Mar. 14, 1-4 p.m.


Editor’s Introductory Note:


Perhaps with the influence of the drought and the fine weather, I’m noticing an uptick in reports of burglaries, car break-ins, and casing in the neighborhood compared to what’s usual in the winter months. See item 2, and please be observant and look out not only for yourself but for your neighbors! Given the extra police patrols, prompt calls from neighbors reporting suspicious behavior could really make a difference in turning things around.


While crime-watch reports are never fun, a good antidote is getting together with your neighbors and the ever-inspiring UC student volunteers from the Berkeley Project to give our neighborhood and our park some TLC. An opportunity’s coming up soon, on Saturday, March 14 (see item 1). Fresh coffee from Mokka and delicious refreshments from Whole Foods Market will keep you well fueled. Please consider joining us!


Here’s to a happy and safe spring in the neighborhood!


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


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1. Work Party in Halcyon Commons & Surrounding Neighborhood, Sat. 3/14, 9:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Location: Halcyon Commons (Halcyon at Prince) RAIN OR SHINE!

Time Frame: Come anytime between 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sat. 3/14 (even twenty minutes helps!)

Goals: Weed and mulch in the park and nearby planted areas; remove graffiti (if the weather cooperates) & trash in the larger neighborhood; enjoy the company of neighbors and student volunteers

Fuel: Refreshments & lunch courtesy of Whole Foods Market; fresh coffee courtesy of Mokka Café at Telegraph & Dowling


Once again we’ll enjoy the help of volunteers from the Berkeley Project as students from UC help us weed in the park and spread mulch. If you can help, just show up at Halcyon Commons. Bring your own weeding tools, or we’ll loan you some. Children welcome!


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2. Crime-Watch Update


Editor’s note: Our HNA Facebook group at!/group.php?gid=292160762499 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!


Thanks to HNA Steering Committee member Mikel Delgado for assembling this list of crimes (from in and near our neighborhood (Mikel is now including a broader territory in her reports, so take that into account when comparing this with prior reports). Thank you, Mikel!


“Recent crimes in the neighborhood -- I included a few robberies just outside of our neighborhood as they are (1) recent and (2) mostly during relatively early hours, FYI.”


12/6 two car break-ins, Webster & Telegraph

12/7 commercial burglary, Telegraph & Ashby

12/7 larceny theft, Shattuck & Ashby

12/9 stolen vehicle, Telegraph & 66th

12/12 larceny theft, Telegraph & Ashby

12/15 larceny theft, Shattuck & Essex

12/18 weapons possession, Shattuck & Woolsey

12/20 Larceny theft, Telegraph & Prince

12/20 car break-in, Essex near Shattuck

12/22 larceny theft, Shattuck & Prince

12/29 burglary, Woolsey & Shattuck

12/30 burglary, Wheeler & Emerson

1/2/15 commercial burglary, Telegraph & Ashby

1/2 strong-arm robbery (noon), College & Alcatraz

1/3 car break-in, Woolsey & Wheeler

1/3 strong-arm robbery (6:50 p.m.), Telegraph & Alcatraz

1/3 robbery (7 p.m.), Shattuck & Emerson

1/12 theft/larceny, Woolsey & Telegraph

1/14 theft/larceny, Shattuck & Prince

1/15 residential burglary, Ashby & Deakin

1/16 theft/larceny, Shattuck & Emerson

1/17 residential burglary, Prince & Shattuck

1/18 commercial burglary, Telegraph & Ashby

1/18 theft/larceny, Shattuck & Prince

1/20 residential burglary, Prince & Fulton

1/21 residential burglary, Shattuck & Woolsey

1/23 stolen car, Russell & Lorina

1/23 theft/felony, Woolsey & Deakin

1/24 residential burglary, Deakin & Webster

1/30 theft/larceny, Emerson & Tremont

1/31 stolen car, Prince & Tremont

1/31 robbery, Adeline (not far from BART) (7:30 p.m.)

2/3 robbery, Shattuck & Ashby (9:30 p.m.)

2/6 robbery, College & Russell


A Prince Street neighbor reported to our Facebook group on a pattern of recent burglaries on Prince Street:


“According to a Berkeley police officer on patrol on Prince Street: An African American Man in his 40s has been breaking into homes, especially on Prince Street (above and below Telegraph), often between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. Dark clothes, back pack, grayish goatee with some hair on side of face as well. The most distinctive aspect: He rides a new folding bike with very high handlebars. He is thin, not looking healthy, tall. The bike is very noticeable, unique.”


And another Prince Street neighbor reports on the added police patrols:


I just spoke to a police officer who was parked outside my house on Prince Street. He said there have been a rash of daytime [burglaries] in the neighborhood – someone’s casing homes and breaking in when they see the homeowner leave. They don’t have any suspects or descriptions, but the police are stepping up patrols in the area. Just wanted to warn everyone to keep their eyes out and turn on home alarms if you have them -- Berkeley Police have been great about responding immediately!”


A Halcyon Court neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


“Just went out to my car parked on Halcyon Court [on March 5] and found that it had been broken into and ransacked. One of the doors was ajar, trunk opened, glove compartment, etc. Not sure what was taken, but most everything seems to be there. Unnerving. I guess I should make a police report, but they said they won’t fingerprint in any case. I have a club on the steering wheel and didn’t hear the alarm. Not sure how they got in . . . maybe I forgot to lock! Stay alert although not sure what good it will do!” [Editor’s note: Reporting every crime helps the Berkeley Police Department track trends and allocate resources (the recent increase in patrols on Prince Street is in direct response to the documented trend of burglaries in the area).]


An Emerson Street neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


“I wanted to make you all aware that my neighbor informed me today [Feb. 17] that a gloved African American male was trying to break into the back door of my house last night at 4 a.m. I am on Emerson Street [near] Shattuck. Please be sure to lock up & be on the look-out tonight if you are near me.”


A Prince Street neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group:


“Our car was broken into last night [Feb. 24-25, Prince near Fulton]. We have footage but not a description of [the perpetrator], but it does show the person checked multiple cars on the street before finding ours unlocked (UGH!). Nothing of value was taken and no damage was done, but beware that the neighborhood continues to be a target. I spoke with the cop stationed outside my house this morning and he noted they are still working to find the person who has been [burglarizing] homes during the daytime as well.”


Another neighbor reported in response:


“Saw a suspicious person sitting in a car (African American, dark skinned, in a sky-blue beaten Honda/ Accord or Camry car with stickers on license plate saying Honda of Oakland; a damaged car saying Honda of Oakland made it more suspicious) and staring at houses on 2200 block of Woolsey Street, and my husband reported it to the police who were present on Prince Street at the time (I was dropping off my husband at the BART station and then returned home instead of running errands and chores). The police officer said he would check it out.”


And another neighbor report to our Facebook group:


“Around 2 p.m. I saw two African Americans in their early twenties casing houses on 2100 block of Woolsey. One guy was looking inside of the house from a window while the other guy was looking to see if anybody would find them. He saw me watching him. They left our block right away. I called the police and filed the report.”


A neighbor reported the following on Nextdoor Bordertown:

“While [on] the 2200 block of Prince Street in Berkeley today [Feb. 19], I noticed a man sitting on the sidewalk steps of a house a couple doors down. . . . He looked out of place, and I knew he didn’t live at that particular house where he was sitting, as I had met the owner of that house a while back. I continued what I was doing and also watched him. He was an older black male, thin, about 60 with short gray hair, smoking a cigarette, looking disheveled. Then I saw him walk up to the porch of that house, grab a package, and walk down to the sidewalk. I then turned and . . . started snapping photos of him. I walked toward him snapping photos of him, and as he saw me doing this, he yelled, ‘Don’t take pictures of me, I'll take your camera!’ I mentioned that I had just seen him take a package from the porch, and he became more threatening, saying, ‘I will kill you. I have a gun and Ill kill you.’ I didn’t take this threat very seriously, and thought he was mostly just upset I had photographed him as he was right in the process of stealing someone’s package, but I did back away, and went back to my car and locked myself in my car. Then he came and began pushing against my door, reaching in the cheap vinyl bag he had with him as if he was trying to find a gun in that purse, and continued to shout, ‘I’ll kill you!’ I started the engine, planning to drive off. At this point, he suddenly ran away, and then I saw a passerby across the street, and I got out and spoke to the passerby, who had seen what was occurring and bluffed, telling the man that the police were around the corner. The police took a report, asked me if I wanted to press charges against the man for threatening me, and knocked on the door of the man whose package had been taken (it was left lying by the sidewalk) and fortunately he was home and did get his package. . . .” [Photos of the suspect were posted on Nextdoor Bordertown.]


A neighbor reported on Nextdoor Bordertown:

“When I got home this evening [Feb. 20] I found my house had been broken into. They had pried open the locked window on the front porch, in plain sight. I’m in the [Woolsey/Tremont area]. It could have happened anytime during the day today (Friday [Feb. 20]) or in the evening.”


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3. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., Mar. 20, 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


Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Friday, March 20, 8:15-8:45 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 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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4. RIP, Longtime Deakin Street Neighbor Allie Mae Robinson


Editor’s note: Neighbor Shoshana Dembitz shared with us the news of the passing of a longtime Deakin Street homeowner and neighbor (since the 1940s), Mrs. Allie Mae Robinson (December 23, 1923 - February 12, 2015), at the age of ninety-four. Shoshana reported to our Facebook group about the beautiful funeral service held at the 23rd Avenue Church of God with a stirring eulogy by retired longtime pastor of that church, the Rev. Dr Cynthia James, celebrating Mrs. Robinson’s life. Thank you, Shoshana! And rest in peace, Mrs. Robinson.


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5. Drop-In Office Hours with Councilmember Droste
at Espresso Roma Café, First Thursdays, 9:30-11 a.m.


Editor’s note: New District 8 Councilmember Lori Droste, who now represents the eastern part of the Halcyon neighborhood, announced in her March newsletter that she will be holding monthly “office hours” at a local café. (To be added to the list to receive her newsletter, email Here’s an excerpt from the latest.


Office hours

Come introduce yourself! I’ll be at Espresso Roma Cafe, 2960 College Ave, on the first Thursday of every month from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., starting on March 5th if you want to stop by to talk. No appointment necessary.


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6. Black History Month Event at the South Berkeley Library, Sat. Mar. 14, 1-4 p.m.


Editor’s note: District 3 Councilmember Max Anderson, who represents the western part of the Halcyon neighborhood, also puts out occasional newsletters (To be added to the list to receive his newsletter and updates, email his aide, Charlene Washington, at  Here’s an excerpt from the latest.


Black History Month Is American History Month

South Branch Berkeley Public Library

1901 Russell St, Berkeley
(510) 981-6260

Saturday, March 14, 2015

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Book & discussion:

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isobel Wilkerson


In this epic story of America’s Great Migration, author Isobel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades long migration of Black citizens who fled the South for Northern and Western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970 this exodus of almost 6 million people changed the face of America.


Also film & discussion -- A 60-minute documentary Goin’ to Chicago explores the impact of the Great Migration on major cities throughout the United States. Related discussions regarding the Great Migration will follow based on the film presentation and the book The Warmth of Other Suns. The book is available at the South Branch Berkeley Public Library.


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