Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Facebook group!


* * * * * * * * * * * *

Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 3/2/16


* * * * * * * * * * * *

Items appearing in the HNA E-News are deemed to be of general interest to neighbors but do not necessarily reflect the views of Halcyon Neighborhood Association (HNA), its Steering Committee, or the Editor. The EditorÕs introductory comments express her personal viewpoint.

* * * * * * * * * * * *



1. Do Your Part: HNAÕs Annual Fundraising Appeal!

2. Work Party in Halcyon Commons & Surrounding Neighborhood, Sat. 3/5, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

3. Deakin Neighbor Injured in Bike Accident; Request for Help to Make Fulton Bike Lanes Safer

4. Event Planning for 20th Anniversary Celebration, Tues. 3/8, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

5. HNA Steering Subcommittee Meeting, Tues. 3/29, 7:30-9 p.m.: Halcyon History & 20th Anniversary Special Projects

6. Survey on Street Lighting in District 3: Please Respond ASAP

7. Crime-Watch Update

8. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., 3/4, 8:15-9:00 a.m.

9. BHS Walking Tour of Ashby BART Neighborhood, Saturday, 4/23

10. Getting Ready for El Ni–o


EditorÕs Introductory Note:


Though I had to miss it due to bad timing on the part of a virus, I hear this yearÕs post-holiday progressive potluck in January was another great success! Thanks so much to all who helped organize and publicize it, as well as to the hosts who opened their homes and helped build community. Despite some additional donations at the potluck, we still havenÕt reached the level of contributions in prior years, and this year we have some small 20th anniversary projects weÕre hoping to fund in Halcyon Commons and the larger neighborhood. If you havenÕt yet given, even five or ten dollars from a larger number of neighbors would really help (see item 1).


ItÕs been great to a stretch of sunny days, made even better knowing that more rain is on the way. ItÕs been lovely getting to enjoy some of the touches of early spring we get in Berkeley, from tulip blossoms to cherry blossoms and daffodils, before we head back into a period of more rain. HereÕs to more of both rain and sun!


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



* * * * * * * * * * * *

1. Do Your Part: HNAÕs Annual Fundraising Appeal!


EditorÕs note: Your contributions are crucial to realizing HNAÕs 2016 priorities! Please give generously.


HNA doesnÕt have a formal membership structure or require annual dues because we wanted to keep participation as broad as possible. At the same time, we incur various expenses during the course of a year, including:

            * 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 supplies (to supplement what the City provides)


And in 2016 we have some special, one-time projects that require financial support:

            * Small refurbishing projects in Halcyon Commons as part of the parkÕs 20th anniversary in 2016

            * Installation of 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 parkÕs 20th anniversary in mid-2016. All funds have been raised for the sculpture itself (thank you, neighbors, for your strong support at last summerÕs fundraiser!), but we still need to raise a bit more for the installation supplies and final steps in the process.

            * WeÕre planning a gala celebration for the 20th anniversary of the park in September 2016; although most supplies will be donated, there will be some incidental costs, such as special features for kids to make the event more fun for all ages.


We also use the funds we raise to enable us to 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).


WeÕre 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 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 ÒHNAÓ and mailing or dropping it off in an envelope to HNA Treasurer Susan Hunter, 3044 Halcyon Court, Berkeley, CA 94705.


(2) Give to HNA online! Go to to make your contribution. (Again, contributions to HNA arenÕt tax-deductible but allow us maximum flexibility.) PayPal keeps a fee of approximately 3 percent.


(3) Make a tax-deductible financial contribution by writing a check made out to ÒBerkeley Partners for ParksÓ (BPFP, our nonprofit fiscal sponsor, which charges a 7 percent overhead fee), earmarked Halcyon, and mailing or dropping it off in an envelope to HNA Treasurer Susan Hunter, 3044 Halcyon Court, Berkeley, CA 94705.


No contribution is too small (or too large!). Our neighborhood associationÕs health and vitality depend on your ongoing support! And in the event of a big earthquake, some of our lives may very well depend upon it. Please pitch in!


* * * * * * * * * * * *

2. Work Party in Halcyon Commons & Surrounding Neighborhood, Sat. 3/5, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


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

Time Frame: Come anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sat. 3/5 (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 CafŽ at Telegraph & Dowling


Once again weÕll enjoy the help of volunteers from the Berkeley Project as students from UC help us weed in the park and spread mulch. Note given the forecast of rain: WeedingÕs easier when the groundÕs wet! If you can help, just show up at Halcyon Commons. Bring your own weeding tools, or weÕll loan you some. Children welcome!


* * * * * * * * * * * *

3. Deakin Neighbor Injured in Bike Accident; Request for Help to Make Fulton Bike Lanes Safer


EditorÕs note: Neighbors who are part of the HNA Facebook group are likely already aware of the serious bike accident that severely injured our Deakin Street neighbor Meg Schwarzman (see Another Deakin Street neighbor, Claudia Polsky, has been helping to organize support for Meg and her family as Meg heals from her injuries. Claudia sent this update on Meg with a request for neighbors to help lobby for safer bike lanes on the stretch of Fulton where the accident took place. Thank you, Claudia. And best wishes to Meg and her family.


Meg is making a remarkable recovery from multi-site injuries that ranged from internal organ damage to multiple broken bones. Although she presently has stitches, wraps, a sling, and new bodily hardware, and must take constant medication to cope with the extraordinary level of pain, it is now clear that she will make it, with brain and mobility intact. Last week she moved to acute rehab for the long process of rebuilding her body, piece by piece. On the other side of this process, MegÕs one-year-old baby boy — whose first birthday passed in her absence from home — eagerly awaits his momÕs return. This is the most enormous motivator for Meg as she pushes through her difficult recovery. We have enough data about the dangers of the intersection and stretch of road where this accident occurred. LetÕs not make any more families go something through this. Please consider taking action by writing to BerkeleyÕs City Manager to call upon her to fast track the project to make Fulton Street safer. Full information at the link:


* * * * * * * * * * * *

4. Event Planning for 20th Anniversary Celebration, Tues. 3/8, 7:30-8:30 p.m.


EditorÕs note: HNA Co-Chair John Steere is convening a committee to help plan a gala party in the park on September 18 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the parkÕs dedication in 1996. In addition to the neighbors who already expressed an interest in helping out, heÕd welcome a neighbor or neighbors with children to help make sure the event is kid-friendly and fun for all ages. Please email John at with questions or if you canÕt attend but would like to help out.


Event Planning Committee Meeting for 20th Anniversary Celebration in September

Tuesday, March 8, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

John Steere's house, 2329 Webster


* * * * * * * * * * * *

5. HNA Steering Subcommittee Meeting Tues. 3/29, 7:30-9 p.m.:

Halcyon History & 20th Anniversary Special Projects


EditorÕs note: At HNAÕs Steering Committee planning meeting in December, we formed a subcommittee to move forward on some special projects in celebration of this yearÕs 20th anniversary of the completion and dedication of Halcyon Commons park. In addition to the halcyon bird sculpture project already underway, other special projects could include in-fill planting in the park and nearby landscaped features to replace plants that have died; a street-tree planting initiative in the wider neighborhood; refurbishing the mural in the park; weather-treating the cut-out metal archway at the north end of the park; repainting light poles and benches in the park; adding slate at key informal walk points in the park; a possible history-of-the-park panel to go in the bulletin board; and other possibilities you might like to bring to the table. If youÕre interested in helping to gather and present neighborhood or park history or work on special projects in the park or larger neighborhood in celebration of our 20th anniversary, please contact for meeting location.


Halcyon History/Special Projects Committee

Tuesday, March 29, 7:30-9:00 p.m.


* * * * * * * * * * * *

6. Survey on Street Lighting in District 3: Please Respond ASAP


EditorÕs note: Councilmember Max AndersonÕs office sent this request for community feedback on street lights in District 3 (in our neighborhood streets from Deakin to the west).


Hello District 3 Constituents: 


Our office is taking a quick survey from our constituents about street lighting that is needed in our District 3! Email me the following:

1. Address of any block that needs street lighting

2. Address where a tree is blocking street light so it can be trimmed

3. Address where thereÕs a light that is burnt out


There will be a D3 community meeting scheduled with Public Works at the South Berkeley Senior Center after we receive the results from you! Please give your feedback to me ASAP so we can move forward with getting our district well lit!!


Thank you in advance,


Councilmember Max Anderson and Charlene Washington


Charlene Washington, Legislative Aide, District 3

Councilmember Max Anderson

2180 Milvia Street, 5th Floor , Berkeley, CA  94704

Tel: 510.981.7130/Fax510.981.7133


* * * * * * * * * * * *

7. Crime-Watch Update


EditorÕs 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 to join). 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. We donÕt want to engage in profiling, so if you include a description, please make it as detailed as possible and avoid generalities.


A Halcyon Court neighbor reported on Nextdoor Bordertown on Feburary 15:

ÒWe were the unfortunate victims of package theft from our front stoop on ValentineÕs Day evening around 6:30 p.m. yesterday. It was two sets of window draperies and I hope the thieves make lots of money selling them on the home furnishings black market. Just wanted to let everyone in the surrounding area know to be on the lookout so similar incidents donÕt befall us. Also, someone returned the empty Amazon box to our front door, which was found on the edge of Halcyon Commons and to whomever it was, I wanted to say thank you! We were suspicious when the tracking number said our package had arrived and wasnÕt in our possession and seeing the box returned allowed us some closure and a reason to contact the seller. Again, thank you to whomever that was and everybody watch out for your deliveries.Ó


A Deakin Street neighbor reported to our Facebook group on February 18:

ÒIt looks like another neighbor had a package theft. Around 2 p.m. I found an open box from Amazon on the ground at the corner of Deakin and Webster. I returned the empty box to the recipientÕs address (on Halcyon Court, so I find it extremely unlikely that this was trash).Ó


A Woolsey Street neighbor reported to our Facebook group on February 10:

ÒA bike was stolen from our back yard last night. Though we lock the gate at night, someone was able to open the bigger gate and get in. We live on the 2100 block of Woolsey Street.Ó


* * * * * * * * * * * *

8. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., 3/4/16, 8:15-8:45 a.m.


EditorÕs note: News from Whole Foods Market courtesy of Store Team Leader Melody Mestermacher.


Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Friday, March 4, 8:15-9:00 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 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. We have new shift leaders being trained, so please send an email to the group below so we can follow up appropriately. Always feel free to swing by too, if youÕd like to have a word with us.


* * * * * * * * * * * *

9. BHS Walking Tour of Ashby BART Neighborhood, Saturday, 4/23


EditorÕs note: Neighbor Lynn Sherrell submitted the following item.


Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tours

Saturday, April 23: The Ashby-BART Neighborhood.

Led by Janet Byron


The Ashby walk is in the area around the station of an early steam train line that ran from Oakland to Berkeley. There is a wealth of varied historic architecture as well as culture and history from the Buggy Bank to the Berkeley Bowl, the home of a famous writer, churches and Buddhist temples, a storybook funeral home and more. The 2.5- to 3-mile walk is fairly flat, mainly on sidewalks along tree-lined streets.


To sign up for one or more walks, see the BHS website for a printable flyer at with an order form.


Tours start at 10:00 a.m. and end at approximately 12:00 noon. Sometimes they are slightly longer, so some extra time should be allowed in case the walk meets an informative passerby or dwells at an interesting site. Tours are limited to 30 paying participants unless noted otherwise. Pre-paid reservations are required and tickets are not refundable. Tours are conducted in rain, shine, or Berkeley fog and are wheelchair accessible unless otherwise noted. Keep a record of your order. E-mail addresses and telephone numbers are very important for last-minute changes and confirmations. You will be sent an email or we will phone confirmations with starting points. For last-minute reservations, call 848-0181 between 1 and 4 p.m. on the Thursday or Friday before the tour to determine meeting place and sign up if there is an opening. The BHS, a volunteer organization, appreciates your support.


* * * * * * * * * * * *

10. Getting Ready for El Ni–o


EditorÕs note: The City of Berkeley is being proactive about possible El Ni–o complications. IÕm running this item again since we have some big rain fronts moving through in March and possibly in April as well (the links embedded in this announcement donÕt come through so you'll have to follow the master link to find them).




With El Ni–o storms expected to bring a barrage of rains and heavy winds this winter, the City of Berkeley has been preparing. So should you.


* Clean on and around your property as needed: gutters, rain downspouts, driveways, culverts, trash and debris around fences and gardens, and clear basement drains.
* Check submersible pumps and sump pumps to make sure they are operating properly.
* Ensure you have flashlights or portable lamps and batteries on hand in case of a power failure.
* Berkeley residents with identification can pick up sand bags at the City Corporation Yard on 1326 Allston Way, Mon - Fri, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents must show I.D.


For further guidance on how to prepare, the City's Community Emergency Response Team has prepared guides on how to prepare for your petsÕ safety, power outages, as well as a guide for floods and landslides.


Public Works staff will be working throughout heavy storms, day and night. City staff will be available to deal with downed trees or flooding affecting local homes, businesses or streets. In an emergency, they can be reached by dialing 311 on a mobile phone or landline. If outside the city, call 981-2489. Crews will be dispatched and respond as quickly as possible.


If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.


If you experience an outage, PG&E advises people to unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.


The City works year round to mitigate the impacts of the rainy season, such as Public WorksÕ ongoing maintenance of approximately 7,000 storm drains, including inspections, cleanout, and repair. The department prepares for winter rains by having Òall storm daysÓ that remove leaves by hand and with mechanical sweepers and cleans storm drains, culverts and trash rack cleaning.


The City has also installed a number of green infrastructure projects, which temper storm water to reduce flooding while also reducing pollutants or beautifying neighborhoods.


The CityÕs Forestry Division prunes trees throughout the year to prepare to keep them healthy, which is critical for events like the coming storm.


EditorÕs note: See also for information on the CityÕs Adopt-a-Drain Program.


* * * * * * * * * * * *