Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 11/4/13


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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 Editor’s introductory comments express her personal viewpoint.

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1. Disaster Preparedness Meeting, Sunday, 11/17, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Halcyon Commons

2. Walking Tour of the (New) Halcyon Neighborhood: Saturday, November 16, “Cultivating a Sense of Place and a Place for a Commons”

3. HNA Planning Meeting for 2014: Sunday, 12/8/13, 5-6:30 p.m.

4. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 26, 2014

5. Crime-Watch Updates & Links

6. Whole Foods Market News

7. A Few More Volunteers Needed: Adopt-a-Piece-of-the-Park-and Landscaping Project

8. Update on BNA’s Appeal of Permit for Large Café at Telegraph/Ashby

9. Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Guiding Principles


Editor’s Introductory Note:


Many thanks to all who volunteered to get Halcyon Commons ready for the winter by weeding and mulching at the work party at the end of October: Cal student volunteers from the Berkeley Project, neighbors, and a crew of Whole Foods Market team members all helped out. Whole Foods Market also supplied delicious breakfast and lunch treats, and Mokka Café once again provided fresh hot coffee. Thanks as well to Susan Snyder, who once again set in motion a fun kids’ parade at the park on Halloween.


There are so many ways we can support one another in creating a safer and more convivial neighborhood. Please see item 3 to find out how you can help us move forward in 2014. Also note the rising number of vehicle thefts in our neighborhood over the past month (see item 5). Please report suspicious behavior, and stay safe!


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


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1. Disaster Preparedness Meeting, Sunday, 11/17, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Halcyon Commons


Editor’s note: HNA’s Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Susan submitted the following announcement. Remember those warning jolts in October? Let’s use them as a motivation to get ourselves better prepared for the big one!


Disaster Prep Meeting, Sunday, November 17th, 2:30-3:30 p.m. (rain reschedules)

Halcyon Commons (Halcyon at Prince)


Please join us for a neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Meeting. We’ll review basic personal/household preparedness, and I’ll share some highlights from recent CERT trainings I’ve attended. There will be time for Q&A. Please bring an ordinary household object that could be useful in an emergency. We’ll meet in Halcyon Commons (our neighborhood disaster meeting place). Questions? Want to help plan the meeting? Contact Susan Snyder, Disaster Prep Coordinator at


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2. Walking Tour of the (New) Halcyon Neighborhood: Saturday, November 16,
“Cultivating a Sense of Place and a Place for a Commons”


Editor’s note: HNA Co-Chair John Steere will be leading this upcoming Berkeley Historical Society tour (tickets are $8.00 for BHS members or $10 for the general public).


Saturday, November 16

Cultivating a Sense of Place and a Place for a Commons: A Walking Tour of the (New) Halcyon Neighborhood.

Led by John Steere


Join us on a walking tour of one of Berkeley’s oldest neighborhoods and one of its newest as well. Learn how the Halcyon Neighborhood was born, in bringing neighbors together to create a commons out of a parking lot, in building micro-parks, and in planting over a 100 street trees. Find out about other hidden gems of artful houses and gardens and the fascinating residential lore of neighbors who’ve experienced the changes in Halcyon across five decades. Halcyon is a quiet, quirky, and paradoxical unknown neighborhood, tucked away between some of Berkeley’s best known and busiest streets of Ashby, Telegraph, and Shattuck. The tour will be led by John Steere, the co-chair of Halcyon Neighborhood Association, and a couple of long-time residents who will share intriguing stories of its human and natural history -- a place with a unique fabric, even by Berkeley standards.


BHS Note: 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. See to order a ticket.


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3. HNA Planning Meeting for 2014: Sunday, 12/8/13, 5-6:30 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. So much is possible, 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 2014). We would very much welcome your participation!


Please email 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 2013

Sunday, December 8, 5-6:30 p.m.

Meeting will take place at a home on Wheeler Street. Email 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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4. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 26, 2014


Editor’s note: HNA Potluck organizer and Steering Committee member Tory Finn sent the following announcement. (And please be sure to mark your calendars for this fun annual event, which takes place on Sunday, January 26, 2014!)


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 course in January. We need a total of THREE or possibly FOUR hosts for Appetizers, Salad, and Main Course; dessert is traditionally at John and Michelle’s house unless someone else would really like to do it. 


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 26 — 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 2014!


Tory Finn at


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5. Crime-Watch Updates & Links


Editor’s note: Please note that there appears to be a wave of vehicle thefts in our neighborhood, and thefts of catalytic converters have been on the rise elsewhere in Berkeley. Our HNA Facebook group at!/group.php?gid=292160762499 often shares breaking crime reports in between E-News editions (your home and email addresses are required to participate so we can be sure the group is kept safe for neighbors, and we must have your information on file 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!


9/29 larceny theft, Emerson & Wheeler

9/29 larceny theft, Telegraph & Woolsey

9/30 larceny theft, Telegraph & Ashby

10/1 larceny theft, Woolsey & Whitney

10/1 vehicle theft, Shattuck & Essex

10/2 vehicle theft, Deakin & 66th

10/6 larceny theft, Emerson & Wheeler

10/16 vehicle theft, Woolsey & Whitney

10/16 robbery with firearm, Telegraph & 65th

10/17 burglary, Prince & Wheeler

10/17 larceny theft, Telegraph & Ashby

Also, near Shattuck & Fairview, 3 assaults: 9/27, 10/2, and 10/12

10/21 vehicle stolen, Russell & Shattuck

10/21 vehicle stolen, Fulton between Prince & Ashby

10/21 vehicle stolen, Woolsey & Regent

10/21 vehicle stolen, 66th & Tremont

10/23 vehicle stolen, Alcatraz near Telegraph

10/23 burglary, Woolsey & Shattuck

10/24 vehicle stolen, Deakin at Prince


A Woolsey Street neighbor reported to our Facebook group:


“Robbery at gunpoint last night [11/2] on Woolsey: FYI, a young woman and her fiancé were just held up at gunpoint [just before midnight] in front of my house (2100 block of Woolsey, between Wheeler and Shattuck). She is giving her statement to the police in my living room now. She is describing 3-4 black males in their mid-twenties driving an early 2000 model sedan (Toyota, Lexus, or similar) who pulled up at the curb and jumped out with guns drawn. They took valuables and fled heading east. Please let everyone in the neighborhood know and stay alert.”


A Prince Street neighbor reported to our Facebook group:


“Just a heads up that my truck was stolen out of my driveway last night, some time after 10 p.m. last night [night of 11/2-11/3]. I live at Prince [near Halcyon]. My truck is a red Nissan pickup.”


Editor’s note: In response, Mikel Delgado, who helps collect crime data for us, noted: “This makes 12 cars stolen in our neighborhood and the surrounding area since October 1.”


A Halcyon Court neighbor reported to the Facebook group graffiti on the two doors of the bulletin board in Halcyon Commons two nights in a row (discovered mornings of 11/2 and 11/3). This was reported to the police and cleaned off both times.


An Emerson Street neighbor reported the following to our Facebook group on 10/20:


“Reward for stolen Neuvation bicycle. Black carbon bicycle, Ritchey wheels, size 53, 20 speed, Shirano Ultrega gear, blue cable lock around seat, also white helmet with my name on it. Stolen from my driveway about 6:30 Sunday 10/20 evening. No lights. Penal Code Sec. 487 Grand Theft Bicycle: Thief seen leaving on bicycle: 6:15 yesterday. Middle-aged black man with thin mustache.”


A Wheeler Street neighbor reported to our Facebook group:


“Yesterday around 4 p.m. [October 7] I was approached at my house (I was out front) by a man on a bike, who claimed to be a neighbor. He said his wife was locked out of her car at CVS and he needed money for the locksmith. He said his name was Michael, and he was friendly and believable. I’m mortified to admit that I fell for it and gave him $16, which he swore up and down he’d ‘bring right back!’ This man was older (late 50s?), African-American, medium complexion, tall, skinny, with very short salt & pepper hair, and cloudy eyes (irises). He was wearing a brown T-shirt and dark pants. His bike was shiny navy blue or black. On NextDoor Bordertown someone posted an almost identical incident that occurred on Whitney Street, with a description of the same guy, from around the same time yesterday.”


The next day, another neighbor reported something similar:


“Hi neighbors. Beware of fast-talking ‘Mike’ who says he knows YOU from down the street and is having an EMERGENCY and just needs $16.50 to pay for the locksmith -- that’s all he’s short to pay for it. His daughter is locked in the house and he’s got to get to work (Lucky’s) by X p.m. He’ll get the money back to you in 30 minutes he promises; well, he certainly did NOT. He had his bicycle with him. . . . Anyone else have this happen?”


A neighbor on Prince near Deakin reported:


“Just a heads-up: We’re on Prince near Deakin. Early this evening [10/5] we noticed one hubcap missing.”


Editor’s note: Here are some useful recent links on the crime situation. Again, be careful with your smartphones!


And I continue to recommend the Berkeley Police Department’s monthly newsletter: The October edition is full of useful information: 2013,Issue 9.pdf


2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
TEL: (510) 981-5900, TDD: (510) 981-5799, FAX: (510) 981-5744


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6. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting on January 8, 8-8:30 a.m.


Editor’s note: News from Whole Foods Market. Many thanks to the Whole Foods Market team members who helped out with our Berkeley Project Day work party in the park, including Store Team Leader Melody Mestemacher. We appreciate your help! Lizzie Brimhall, the Community Relations/Marketing Team Leader, followed up after our meeting on 10/31 with some notes, posted below, including action items in response to neighbors’ concerns. If you’d like to be added to the neighbor notification list that Lizzie maintains for these meetings (and to notify neighbors when work is being done at the store), please email her at


* There are some dead palm fronts in the back that Mel is going to contact Coastal Tree Service about having removed.


* There has been some very loud buzzing around 2:30 a.m. that is believed to be coming from the trash compactor. Melody says she can’t think why it would need to be compacted at that time as the only people here then are our floor crew. No trash is getting generated between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., so Melody will follow up with our overnight floor crew about the noise.


* Leaf blowing now starts at 7 a.m. in the front lot and will not start in the back lot until after 8 a.m.


* Neighbors say that vermin has not been an issue since the new Maintenance Team Members have been keeping the trash lids closed. Please let us know of any updates on this.


* An incident of someone urinating behind the bike shed in the back lot was reported. There should be nobody hanging out by the shed outside the hours of 8 a.m.-10 p.m. If anyone sees suspicious activity in the back lot, please contact the store shift manager immediately.


* Melody has noted an increase in bike theft from the front and side of our store.


* There has been some recent graffiti on the parking meters at the side of the store. Melody is going to take a look and see what we can do about it.


* Our regular hours are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. We do have special Holiday hours:
Nov 27: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Thanksgiving 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Christmas Eve 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Christmas Day: Closed

New Year’s Eve: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

New Years Day: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.


* There will be a Christmas tree lot, hopefully in the front of our store. However, if we are unable to unscrew the tables from the concrete in the front of the store, we may have to have the Christmas tree lot in the back parking lot like we did last year. There will be holiday trailers the week of Thanksgiving. Refrigerated trucks for the turkeys will be in the lot the three days leading up to Thanksgiving. There will be dry storage in the back lot (20 ft) from November 14 to January 6. There will be hours posted for Team Members that no loading or unloading should occur outside the hours of 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

* Our next meeting with neighbors will be at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 8th. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can speak with any member of the store Leadership Team: Melody, Carlisle, Curt, or Donna. 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:

Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Wednesday, January 8, 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.”


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7. A Few More Volunteers Needed:
Adopt-a-Piece-of-the-Park-and Landscaping Project


Editor’s note: Our Adopt-a-Piece-of-the-Park Project has gotten off to a great start, and the recent work party allows us to move into the late fall and winter months with the park starting out in good shape. We identified twenty-seven areas/tasks for the project, and we need just a few more volunteers to give us a chance to see how it works when all the pieces are in place. Here’s the idea: We’ve divided the park and landscaping into small, manageable chunks, and at your own leisure (perhaps when you’re there anyhow with your kids or dog), you can fit in five or ten minutes here and there to pull weeds in that area only. Can you help out? Email if so!


Areas where volunteers are still needed (the asterisks indicate relative levels of difficulty, with one easiest, three more demanding):

E) Redwood area, east side of park**

M) Southeast entry area**

N) Ceanothus area, south end of park**

O) Northeast entry area**

R) West of arbor / park entry***

S) East of arbor / park entry**

T) Chestnut tree & rosemary area*

Z) Planted Island Webster near Whole Foods, weeding**


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8. Update on BNA’s Appeal of Permit for Large Café at Telegraph/Ashby


Editor’s note: As some of you know, Bateman Neighborhood Association (east of Telegraph) filed an appeal of the use permit to allow a large café (reportedly a Starbucks) at the corner of Telegraph and Ashby. Because of the high threshold of unanimity required for HNA to take stands on land-use issues, and given that there’s a range of views among neighbors, HNA does not have a position on the use permit, but, as always, we encourage neighbors to make their individual opinions known to decision makers. Below is an update from the owners of Mokka Café; the contact list they provide will work whatever position you wish to take on the matter.


“Last JuneŁ the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) voted 5 to 4 to approve the Administrative Use Permit (AUP) with variances for the coffee café at Ashby and Telegraph. ZAB members voting against the permit noted the strong community support that identified critical congestion, parking, and fairness issues. The Bateman Neighborhood Association (BNA) immediately filed an appeal of the ZAB decision that will be heard before the City Council on Tuesday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m.


After the appeal was filed, BNA members have held fruitful meetings with various City Council members to discuss key issues. It has become clear that the BNA presentation on November 19 must be focused on the most pertinent issues with indications of strong community support.




A. WRITE LETTERS OR EMAILS TO THE CITY COUNCIL opposing the Administrative Use Permit. Even if you wrote to the Zoning Board for the first hearing, additional letters directed to each City Council member are essential. See below for a list of key points and Council Members’ contact information.


The Administrative Use Permit (AUP) was granted for a 2063 sq. ft. cafe at 3001A Telegraph, corner of Ashby. The permit has three waivers:


1. Only 3 restricted-access parking spaces are provided with no public parking (7 spaces are required for a cafe this size).

2. Quick-serve cafes are limited to 1500 sq. ft. in this area. This cafe is 2063 sq. ft.

3. Operations hours are extended to 5:30 a.m. (instead of 7 a.m.)



* The original permit for this building was granted with partial parking waivers for RETAIL businesses, not quick-serve cafes. Retail shopping does not generate the same levels of customer traffic. The use permit for the quick-serve cafe was quickly granted after the building was partially completed, without a hearing or any community input.

* A large, high-volume, national chain coffee cafe will cause parking and traffic problems at one of the most congested intersections in Berkeley. A cafe this size would be expected to generate at least 800 customers per day in order to break even.

* The residential neighborhoods surrounding this intersection are already heavily impacted by parking and congestion created by Alta Bates Hospital and existing businesses.

* A cafe at this location should be subject to the same parking requirements as other businesses in the area (7 off-street spaces would be required for a 2063 sq ft. cafe);


Mayor Tom Bates (510) 981-7100 P (510) 981-7199 F

District 1 Linda Maio (510) 981-7110 P (510) 981-7111 F District 2 Darryl Moore (510) 981-7120 P (510) 981-7122

District 3 Max Anderson (510) 981-7130 P (510) 981-7133

District 4 Jesse Arreguin (510) 981-7140 P (510) 981-7144

District 5 Laurie Capitelli (510) 981-7150 P (510) 981-7155

District 6 Susan Wengraf (510) 981-7160 P (510) 981-7166

District 7 Kriss Worthington (510) 981-7170 P (510) 981-7177

District 8 Gordon Wozniak (510) 981-7180 P (510) 981-7188

The Mayor and all Councilmembers may be reached by mail at:

2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704


B. ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON TUESDAY NOV. 19 at 7:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (at Allston). Community involvement is essential. City Council members must understand that the community is interested in this issue and is willing to take time to voice concerns.


You can receive updates at:


Thanks for your continued support and interest!”


Michael & Susan Iida (Owners, Mokka Café


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9. Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Guiding Principles


Editor’s note: Given our upcoming Planning Meeting for 2014 (see item 3) 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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