Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 11/3/14


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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. HNA’s Big Berkeley Project Work Party in the Park, Saturday, Sat. 11/8, 9:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m.

2. HNA’s Annual Fundraising Appeal!

3. HNA Planning Meeting for 2015: Sunday, 12/7/14, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

4. Disaster Prep: Act Now for Neighborhood Bulk Discount for Gas-Shutoff Devices!

5. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, 1/25/15

6. Crime-Watch Update

7. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., Nov. 7, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

8. Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Guiding Principles


Editor’s Introductory Note:


Many thanks to all who volunteered and attended the Halcyon part of the citywide emergency exercise on October 18; forty-nine neighbors participated! Whole Foods Market supplied delicious treats, and Mokka Café once again provided fresh hot coffee. Special thanks to Susan Snyder, who organized the effort and who also once again set in motion a fun kids’ parade at the park on Halloween. Please see item 4 for a special bulk discount offer on gas-shutoff devices, which you can participate in even if you missed the emergency exercise.


There are so many ways we can support one another in creating a safer and more convivial neighborhood. Please see items 2 and 3 to find out ways you can help us move forward in 2015. We hope some of you will consider joining us to plan neighborhood activities for the coming year by joining our HNA Steering Committee (item 3).


Finally, don’t forget to vote tomorrow (you can drop off your by-mail ballot at any Alameda County polling place if you didn’t get it in the mail in time)! In addition to the council race in the District 8 portion of our neighborhood, there are many important local measures on the ballot, and your vote matters.


Happy voting and happy and safe holidays to all!


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


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1. HNA’s Big Berkeley Project Work Party in the Park, Saturday, Sat. 11/8, 9:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m.


BIG Work Party in Halcyon Commons & Surrounds

Saturday, November 8, 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (rain or shine!)

Meet at Halcyon Commons (Halcyon Court at Prince Street)

Delicious refreshments (& water) courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Fresh coffee courtesy of Mokka Cafe (Telegraph at Dowling)


Chat with neighbors & UC student volunteers from Cal’s Berkeley Project while we weed, mulch, pick up trash, and remove graffiti in the park and surrounding neighborhood. Please bring weeding and trimming tools (with labels) if you have them (extra tools will be available if you don’t). Let’s get our precious common space ready for the winter months!


Note: If there’s a public area in the larger neighborhood where you’d especially like to see trash picked up or graffiti removed, please consider volunteering for an hour to lead a student crew out to clean it up!


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2. HNA’s Annual Fundraising Appeal


HNA doesn’t 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 peripherals (the City provides most of the materials)


And in 2015 we have some special, one-time projects that require financial support:

            * Refurbishing the top three inches of the d.g. (decompressed granite) pathway in Halcyon Commons (Whole Foods Market gave a generous donation that covers about half the cost; we still need to raise another $1,000 and we’ll also need lots of volunteer help next June)

            * 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 park’s 20th anniversary in 2016, but we need to raise more funds now for its continued development and eventual production and installation.


We also use funds we raise to enable us to supplement and 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).


We’re 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 especially 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 “HNA” and mailing or dropping it off in an envelope to HNA Treasurer Susan Hunter, 3044 Halcyon Court, Berkeley, CA 94705;


(2) Make a tax-deductible financial contribution by writing a check made out to “Berkeley Partners for Parks” (BPFP, our nonprofit fiscal sponsor), earmarked Halcyon, and mailing or dropping it off in an envelope 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. HNA Planning Meeting for 2015: Sunday, 12/7/14, 5:30-7:00 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. This year we’ll also be planning some fun fundraising events for our halcyon bird sculpture project. So much is possible in our neighborhood, 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 2015). 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 8 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 2015

Sunday, December 7, 5:30-7:00

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. Disaster Prep: Act Now for Neighborhood Bulk Discount for Gas-Shutoff Devices!


Editor’s note: Many thanks to neighbor Katrin Wehrheim for arranging for a special discount on gas shutoff devices, which is available through January 19, 2015. Much of the loss of life and property damage after a big quake is because of fire rather than the quake itself; safeguard your family and your property by taking advantage of this special offer!


Update from Katrin Wehrheim:


Gas-Shutoff update: I just had a super quick & easy installation of an excess flow valve and would like to urge everyone to make use of our special neighborhood program -- full info at


In particular: They’re looking to fill up their schedule for next Friday, Nov.7. So if you just needed this reminder, fill out the attached questionnaire, snap a picture of your gas meter, send it over to, and just under $400 gets you one of the best “earthquake insurances” I can think of.


Some more highlights/comments:


* The discount will be available through January 19, 2015, but please order as soon as possible to make sure we reach 25 orders.


* are specialists -- they usually just work for insurance, so this is a rare opportunity to get what the experts recommend (and usual plumbers don’t offer) -- an excess flow valve, which triggers by any larger gas leak (earthquake or not) and requires no relighting of pilots.


* The cities “free valve” program ( has sadly turned into a bad joke . . . unless you’re so low-income that you can get the plumbing permit fee waived. (I got multiple assurances that permits aren’t needed; yet the city requires permit and CERT training with the application for a “free” valve, at which point you’ll have spent way more money and time than the valve is worth.)


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5. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 25, 2015


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 25, 2015!)


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 25 — 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 2015!


Tory Finn at


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6. 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!


From Prince Street neighbor Mikel Delgado (thanks, Mikel!), a list of some recent crimes in our neighborhood and nearby (the “nearby” crimes are there to alert us to be mindful in the larger area):


9/9 larceny theft, Telegraph & Dowling

9/12 felony theft, Shattuck & Essex

9/16 larceny theft, Telegraph & Ashby

9/17 larceny theft, Woolsey & Shattuck

9/18 larceny theft, Webster near Deakin

9/21 commercial burglary, Essex & Shattuck

9/22 larceny theft, Telegraph & Ashby

9/23 Armed robbery (with knife, 4 a.m.), Alcatraz and Telegraph

9/23 Assault, Telegraph & Ashby

9/23 Larceny theft, Shattuck & Ashby

9/24 residential burglary, Woolsey & Wheeler

10/3 sexual assault, Woolsey & Shattuck

10/4 vehicle stolen, Woolsey & Shattuck

10/9 larceny theft, Woolsey & Shattuck

10/11 larceny theft, Woolsey & Shattuck

10/13 Armed robbery (gun, 8 p.m.), Telegraph & 65th

10/15 commercial burglary, Shattuck & Ashby

10/16 Armed robbery (with knife, 11 a.m.), Woolsey & Telegraph

10/17 vehicle stolen near Alta Bates

10/19 vehicle break-in, Woolsey & Shattuck

10/20 vehicle break-in, College & Ashby

10/22 robbery, College & Ashby, 2 p.m.


Also, if you want to know what the “crime map” looks like, you can go to yourself and select your address, what types of crimes, etc.


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7. Whole Foods Market News: Next Drop-in Progress Meeting Fri., Nov. 7, 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, Nov. 7, 8:15-8:45 a.m.

Whole Foods Market (check in at Customer Service)

Please note change in date and day of week!


Editor’s note: The November meeting will give neighbors a chance to discuss the store’s plans to minimize noise during the holiday season.


“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, Carlisle, 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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8. Halcyon Neighborhood Association’s Guiding Principles


Editor’s note: Given our upcoming Planning Meeting for 2015 (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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