Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 3/7/13


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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 EditorÕs introductory comments express her personal viewpoint.

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1. Work Party in Halcyon Commons & Surrounding Neighborhood, Sat. 3/16, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

2. Register for the 4/27 Citywide Disaster Prep Exercise! (You DonÕt Have to Be Physically Present at the Exercise to Participate!)

3. Disaster Prep: Take Thirty Seconds to Help Berkeley Be Better Prepared!

4. Crime-Watch Updates

5. Whole Foods Market News: Community Meeting, Weds. 3/13, 9:15 a.m.

6. February Issue of Neighborhood Update from the BPD Available for Downloading

7. Owl Box on Prince and Link about How the Barn Owl Became BerkeleyÕs Official Bird

8. Neighbor Featured on NOSH (Berkeleyside Feature)

9. BORP Winter News

10. Mokka Cafˇ Seeking Neighborhood Support to Stop a Starbucks at Ashby/Telegraph



EditorÕs Introductory Note:


A few simple ways to support our neighborhood efforts are included in this edition of the E-News: Please come out on Saturday March 16 (even twenty minutes help) and help us weed, mulch, and remove graffiti (see item 1), and please follow the very simple steps to increase our neighborhoodÕs and our cityÕs level of disaster preparedness (items 2 and 3). And send out some good vibes for a barn owl family to move into the new owl box on Prince Street (item 7)!


Have a great March!


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


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1. Work Party in Halcyon Commons & Surrounding Neighborhood, Sat. 3/16, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.


Location: Halcyon Commons (Halcyon at Prince)

Time Frame: Come anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sat. 3/16 (even twenty minutes helps!)

Goals: Weed and mulch in the park and nearby planted areas; remove graffiti & 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 Cafˇ 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. If you can help, just show up at Halcyon Commons. Bring your own weeding tools, or weÕll loan you some. Children welcome!


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2. Register for the 4/27 Citywide Disaster Prep Exercise!
(You DonÕt Have to Be Physically Present at the Exercise to Participate!)


EditorÕs note: HNA Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Susan Snyder sent the following notice. Please mark your calendars to participate in the neighborhood portion of the exercise on the morning of Saturday, April 27, but whether you can join us in person or not, there are still some simple ways to participate, as Susan points out below! Follow the link, and youÕll find it takes only a minute or two to sign up. No excuses! (Also see item 3 for the BENS sign-up link, which you can do in about 30 seconds!)


Register for the Citywide Earthquake Exercise on April 27th!


HNA is registered to participate . . . and now we need you! Please go to for information and then register at can register to participate even if you wonÕt be able to join the neighborhood part of the drill on the morning of April 27th! (At-home participation can be checking your earthquake supplies, texting your out-of-state contact, or listening to radio 1610 to hear the announcement.)


Also, if you are interested in volunteering to help plan or set up our neighborhood exercise (9-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27), please contact Susan at


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3. Disaster Prep: Take Thirty Seconds to Help Berkeley Be Better Prepared!


EditorÕs note: Did you know you can help make Berkeley better prepared for a big earthquake or other disaster simply by registering to receive communications from the City of BerkeleyÕs Emergency Notification System (BENS) in the event of a disaster? Again, no excuses, please take thirty seconds and sign up today!


Background information:


The 30-second sign-up process:


And another 30-second action: Like the Berkeley CERT page on Facebook!


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4. Crime-Watch Updates


EditorÕs note: Our HNA Facebook group at!/group.php?gid=292160762499 often shares breaking crime reports in between E-News editions. If youÕre a neighbor who isnÕt yet part of this closed Facebook group, youÕre missing out! Remember, we rely on neighbors to fill in the details of crimes in our neighborhood, so, in addition to being sure to file a Police report, 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 crimes in or near the neighborhood. Thank you, Mikel!


1/25 Burglary, Webster at Halcyon
Larceny theft Deakin at Woolsey
1/28 car break in Webster at Telegraph
1/29 felony theft Telegraph at Ashby
2/7 theft Deakin at Woolsey
also in the outlying area - there have been a few car thefts, an armed robbery (2/7 at 65th and Telegraph) and three assaults along 65th and Alcatraz between Shattuck and Telegraph over the last few weeks.


A Webster Street neighbor reported:


ŅBetween 10 a.m. and 12 noon, burglars came through latched side gate (and left it open), and came into house through dog door. Typical house [burglary] -- everything gone through and spilled out, all electronics, antique gold jewelry taken. I saw six African American teenagers walking past my house as I was leaving this a.m., and I wondered why they werenÕt in school. We have filed a Police report. Pretty bummed about car stolen three months ago [at BART] and now a home burglary.Ó


A Prince Street neighbor reported to our Facebook group:


ŅI just [February 14] called the police because I saw two suspicious looking young men putting things into their car in front of my house. If anyone's house has been burglarized, it was them! They drove off as I was giving the 911 dispatcher their descriptions . . . in their twenties; a heavy-set white man with a Camaro jacket on, a slight, smallish black man with dreadlocks and sagging pants, driving a white Chevrolet, probably a Camaro, with broad red stripes on the roof and back. They headed up Prince Street toward Telegraph Ave.Ó


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5. Whole Foods Market News: Community Meeting, Weds. 3/13/13, 9:15 a.m.


EditorÕs note: News from Whole Foods Market. Note the change in time for the drop-in meeting (things are in flux following the promotion of Jim Hallock to the regional office, so watch the E-News for updates).


Drop-In Progress Meeting, Wednesday, March 13, 9:15-9:45 a.m.

(community meetings are typically held on the first or second Wednesday of each month)

Whole Foods Market (check in at Customer Service)


ŅThese 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.Ó


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6. Next Issue of Neighborhood Update from the BPD Available for Downloading


EditorÕs note: The Berkeley Police Department has recently put out a multipage newsletter full of useful information (see excerpts below; the newsletter itself includes great graphics). ItÕs available at


ŅCan I Borrow Your Cell Phone to Call My Mother?Ó


Since December, the Berkeley Police Department has noticed a pattern of cell phone thefts through the use of a ruse. In the majority of the cases, the suspects are taking advantage of peopleÕs willingness to help others. As a ruse, the suspect(s) will ask to use a victimÕs cell phone -- usually claiming the need to contact a sick family member. Once the suspect has the cell phone, the suspect(s) drive off in a vehicle -- stealing the phone.


BPD would like to remind and encourage people to employ a few crime-prevention measures that can help reduce your risk as well as discourage those who commit these types of crimes:


* Do not talk on cell phones or listen to iPods when alone outside as they significantly limit awareness.

* Do not lend your phone to anyone you do not know or take it out of your purse, pocket or bag to give someone the time, if asked. If you must, keep possession of your phone and place the call for them.

* Do walk with purpose: Project an assertive image that conveys you know where you are going.

* Do avoid isolation: Avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages, and alleyways; stick to well-lit,

high-traffic areas.

* Do keep a safe distance: Do not let people get too close, even if they appear to have a reason, such as asking for the time.

* Always trust your instincts: Trusting your own instincts that a situation seems ŅwrongÓ can be the best personal safety tool you have.


What to Do When Someone Unexpected Knocks at Your Door: Acknowledge, Verify, Take Action!




Verbally answer the door first, DO NOT automatically open it -- acknowledge that someone is home and aware of what is going on in/around the house.




* If the person claims to be the police, ask to see their identification if you cannot already see their uniform. If you are unsure, you can always call our dispatch center (981-5900) to confirm.

* If the unexpected person claims to be a utility service provider (PG&E, etc.), ask them to show you their company-issued identification.

* If the unexpected person claims to be a solicitor, ask them to show you their solicitorÕs permit and business license.


Take Action!


In the event the person does not appear to be there legitimately, please call BPD immediately to report the suspicious person. Remember, if the suspicious person is a problem for you, they will probably be a problem for your neighbors as well.


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7. Owl Box on Prince and Link about How the Barn Owl Became BerkeleyÕs Official Bird


EditorÕs note: Years after we first broached the idea and got the enthusiastic support of Deputy City Manager Jim Hynes, an owl box has been very securely installed on the palm tree on Prince Street at the Model School between Telegraph and Halcyon. At least one neighbor has noticed an increase in our neighborhood roof rat population this winter season, so having some additional natural predators would help restore balance. And barn owls, in addition to be beautiful, are known for their ability to hunt roof rats and mice (from the article linked below: Ņone [barn owl] family can consume 600 mice in 10 weeksÓ). Note to those with cats: Barn owls are too small to pose a danger to your family pets; though they might try for a very young, unattended kitten, there are many other reasons not to leave an unattended young kitten on its own outdoors! Thank you, Bruce, for constructing and installing such a beautiful owl box (if you have questions about the box, Bruce wrote his phone number on the bottom -- very visible if you look up). It make take months or even years for an owl family to find the box, so I hope a few neighbors will send out some positive vibrations to invite one to move in! Follow the link for a bit of the history about how the barn owl became BerkeleyÕs official bird, and please refrain from using rat poison for the sake of raptors and cats in the neighborhood who consume the rats!


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8. Neighbor Featured on NOSH (Berkeleyside Feature)


EditorÕs note: A Deakin Street neighbor submitted the following link.


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9. BORP Winter News


EditorÕs note: BORP at the Ed Roberts Campus has new classes and other information posted.


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10. Mokka Cafˇ Seeking Neighborhood Support to Stop a Starbucks at Ashby/Telegraph


EditorÕs note: The owners of Mokka Cafˇ at Telegraph and Dowling have alerted us to a possible use permit for a large cafˇ -- apparently a Starbucks, though their name isnÕt on the application -- that is being proposed at the corner of Ashby and Telegraph, in the newly constructed building across from Whole Foods. One of MokkaÕs concerns is that having a Starbucks so nearby, when Whole Foods Market is already offering a coffee cart, could drive the small locally owned Mokka out of business. And Mokka has been a great asset to the community, actively supporting BerkeleyÕs schools and many other worthwhile community groups, including HNA (they cheerfully provide fresh coffee for our work parties and disaster prep exercises). While HNA rarely takes a position on land-use issues given our Guiding Principles, occasionally an issue comes along where thereÕs a near-unanimity (in the 95% category) among neighbors (for example, we opposed the eviction of Ashby Flowers a few years ago). HNA Co-Chair John Steere and I (Nancy Carleton, the other HNA Co-Chair), along with our Steering Committee, will be weighing whether this is such an issue (there are many potential detriments to the proposed use, including lack of parking and added trash from another quick-use business in an area thatÕs already saturated with them). And in any case, weÕre likely to at least pass on neighborsÕ concerns that are called to our attention. We would welcome hearing back from neighbors who have strong feelings pro or con or in between on a use permit for a Starbucks-style cafˇ at that corner. Email with your comments. And if you want to support Mokka, which has always supported our neighborhood and serves delicious hot beverages of all kinds, please stop by soon and check in with them to see how you can help.


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