Neighbors, join Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Facebook group!


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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News November/December 2016


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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. HNA Planning Meeting for 2017: Sunday, 12/4/16, 5:30-7:15 p.m.

2. HNAÕs Annual Fundraising Appeal!

3. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, 1/29/17

4. 20th Anniversary Thank-Yous

5. Halcyon Commons Candlelight Vigil CANCELED, Thurs. 12/8, 7 p.m. RESCHEDULED TO JANUARY DATE TBA!

6. Link to Newsletter from Councilmember Lori Droste

7. Whole Foods Market News: Holiday Schedule & Next Drop-in Meeting Fri., 2/3/17, 8:15-9:00 a.m.

8. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles



EditorÕs Introductory Note:


Like many of you, IÕm doing my best to move through shock and sadness at national election results and to continue working to create the kind of world I want to live in (see item 1 on our HNA Planning Meeting for 2017, and item 5 for information on a community candlelight vigil). IÕm glad that no matter what, we have a strong basis for continuing to nurture community here in the Halcyon neighborhood. Having a strong community is an essential ingredient for the kind of resilience weÕll need to move forward during the next four years.


Thanks to all who attended and helped with our 20th anniversary celebration of Halcyon Commons in October (see item 4 for a more complete thank-you to all who helped with the big event), as well as the dedication of the sculpture of our halcyon bird of peace. I also want to extend gratitude to the four neighbors who managed our work party in the park with Berkeley Project volunteers in October: Neighbor Mary Stoker, who coordinated, as well as neighbors Anitra Grisales, John Harvey, and Mary Green. Thanks as well to neighbor Lynn Richards for allowing student volunteers to use her restroom. Taking good care of our community commons, including but not limited to our neighborhood park, will be all the more important in coming times.


HereÕs to the season of light in the darkness! Happy Thanksgiving to all!


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






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1. HNA Planning Meeting for 2017: Sunday, 12/4/16, 5:30-7:15 p.m.


EditorÕs 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. Given our great information infrastructure and willing volunteers, it doesnÕt require much time on your part to make a big difference as a lead convener (or co-lead) for an event. So much is possible in our neighborhood, but we depend on new neighbors getting involved to help keep us 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 (weÕll likely have just two Steering Committee meetings in all of 2017). We would very much welcome your participation!


Please email if you want more information. All neighbors willing to work in the spirit of HNAÕs Guiding Principles (see item 8 below) are welcome to join the Steering Committee. WeÕre very much open to new projects (for example, in the past a couple of neighbors came forward to organize play dates for neighborhood children; another organized a neighborhood singalong, etc.). So if you have an aspect of the neighborhood youÕd like to see addressed, please step up! And we especially need your help if you have an interest in disaster preparedness or kid-friendly activities (most of our current Steering Committee members donÕt have children at home, so we need you to help us tune in). For a modest investment of time, you can make a big difference right here where you live.


HNA Planning Meeting for 2017

Sunday, December 4, 5:30-7:15 p.m.

Meeting will take place at a home on Webster 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 HNAÕs Guiding Principles (again, see item 8).


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2. HNAÕs Annual Fundraising Appeal


EditorÕs note: Your contributions are crucial to realizing HNAÕs 2017 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 peripherals (the City provides most of the materials)


And in 2017 we have some special, one-time projects that require financial support:

            * Small projects in Halcyon Commons in the aftermath of the parkÕs 20th anniversary in 2016 (including refurbishing the mural on the backside of our bulletin board, plus adding some paver stones at common crossways into the park).

            * Installation of plaque to accompany the halcyon bird sculpture we installed for the parkÕs 20th anniversary.


We also use the 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).


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.


(1) Make a financial contribution directly to HNA (not tax-deductible, but allows us maximum flexibility) by writing a check made out to ŅHNAÓ 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 ŅBerkeley 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!


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3. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, 1/29/17


EditorÕs note: Hosts are needed for our popular post-holiday progressive potluck. (And please be sure to mark your calendars for this fun annual event, which will take place on Sunday, January 29, 2017!)


Our January Post-Holiday ŅProgressive PotluckÓ is one of our favorite events; thereÕs always a great turnout, and itÕs a great way to meet our neighbors and enjoy the community we so value in the Halcyon neighborhood. We start at 5:45 and ŅprogressÓ from house to house for four courses, ending at 8:45; some neighbors attend all four courses, some just one or two.


If you havenÕt hosted before or if youÕve enjoyed hosting in the past, please consider being a host for one of the courses this January. We have likely hosts for Salad and Dessert courses (though they need to confirm). We still need hosts for Appetizers and Main Course.


Hosts usually provide paper plates, cups, napkins, etc. They are not expected to provide food for the whole course; itÕs a potluck, with last names determining which dish neighbors bring. For hosts, course assignments are made based on the route 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 youÕre one of the hosts.)


Please respond to if youÕre interested in hosting one of the courses on January 29 or if you want more info. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2017!


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4. 20th Anniversary Thank-Yous


EditorÕs note: HNA Co-Chair John Steere, who coordinated the Celebration for the 20th Anniversary of Halcyon Commons sent out the following note of thanks to those who helped make it such a special occasion.


ŅTwenty years ago a neighborhood created a park . . . that continues to make a neighborhood.Ó


Dear neighbors and friends:


IÕm still basking in the warm light and fond memories of our parkÕs 20th anniversary celebration and dedication of the halcyon bird sculpture, which was a wonderful success thanks to your creative and conscientious efforts that made it truly memorable.


To recap highlights and an appreciation of who was responsible for them: In anticipation of the celebration, neighbor Mieko Swartz did a superb job doing program layout in with evocative logo/graphics, as shown in the image from the program cover. Husband Bill Swartz did an equally creative and interesting job in making a visual timeline history of our park, which now graces the bulletin board in the park. Dale LaForest, a friend visiting from Mount Shasta, made a wonderful Ņvision boardÓ to encourage sign-ups for future stewardship activities. Even before the event began, there were folks helping to cook and prepare and deliver the food and drink. A huge debt of gratitude goes to Whole Foods Market and notably Melody Mestemacher, its Team Leader aka store manager, for making several dishes for us to enjoy. A new business partner, Starbucks, was represented by Sevana Massih (East Bay District Mgr.), who brought several coffee jugs of coffee for us all. Whole Foods MarketÕs big spread was delivered to my house for preparation by neighbor Mary Stoker. Much appreciation goes to my wife, Michelle Thelen-Steere, and to Dale for cooking and preparing the various dishes.


The event was book-ended by lovely music: Neighbor Rob Lyons set the sweet tone of the event with his lounge jazz ensemble sound, plus the Berkeley Community Chorus regaled us with a few of their songs thanks to Hank AbronsÕs invitation, and the Trichomes, invited by Aundre Special from the CBCB, were a dynamite closing band. We had almost 150 people in the park during the course of the afternoon. They began to collect at 3 p.m., when the music began and the kidsÕ activities and bird messages were happening. A shout-out to neighbors Lynn Richards and Janice Greenberg, who did a phenomenal job in creating the clever bird feather name tags and helped greet people when they arrived and did the equally lovely bird cut-outs for offering messages to the new bird sculpture being dedicated in the park that day.


Another big thanks to those who helped with the kidsÕ activities: Lex Sonyx of the CBCB (who brought beads and helped participants in their stringing), and neighbor Bethena Javacheri. who led in storytelling. Friends of Lex and Kody from the CBCB also helped set up the chairs and tables, along with George from Model School. Speaking of chairs, IÕd like to thank Dr. Daisy MantŽ, the Model SchoolÕs director, for loaning us over fifty chairs and a few tables, and the help of George in getting them out. WeÕre very grateful to Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Lori Droste, who represented the City Council, coordinating the completion of and the signatures on the City CouncilÕs Proclamation honoring the parkÕs 20th anniversary, which that they so artfully read (and even sang) together!


The sculptor of our north gateway to the park and the celebrationÕs featured speaker, Amy Blackstone, gave a moving tribute to the park and our neighborhood. Then there was the dedication of our halcyon bird sculpture, which was beautifully fashioned by Nina Lyons, and of Bruce WicinasÕs Ņtree of lifeÓ pedestal and nest for it to sit on. Many thanks also to neighbors Susan Hunter and Stephen Pitcher, and friend Michelle Reddington, who helped us out in cleaning up after the event and putting away chairs, etc. And a special thanks goes to Nancy Carleton, for helping me to hold together, troubleshoot, and think through the myriad pieces of this event. She was tireless and ever so conscientious in resolving issues and helping with publicity for the event.


Again, my sincere appreciation to all of you for making the celebration of our beloved park, Halcyon Commons, truly sing. I canÕt tell you how thrilled I am by all of your help before, during, and after the celebration. 





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5. Halcyon Commons Candlelight Vigil CANCELED, Thurs. 12/8, 7 p.m.


EditorÕs note: In the immediate aftermath of the election, two neighbors organized a candlelight vigil at Halcyon Commons held that Wednesday. Even though the gathering was only announced in the afternoon, over forty neighbors, including many children, attended. Given the clear need for neighbors to come together and support one another in community at this time, four neighbors are organizing a second candlelight vigil, to be held on the one-month marker of the election.


Neighborhood Candlelight Vigil

Holding Light in the Darkness

Thursday, December 8, 7 p.m. [CANCELED DUE TO RAIN FORECAST; will be rescheduled to January date TBA]

Halcyon Commons (Halcyon Court at Prince Street)


Bring a candle if youÕre able (votive candles in containers work well); some extra candles will be available. This is a gentle nonpartisan gathering of mutual community support. Depending on the turnout, it will last 30-60 minutes, with time for each person present to share briefly, followed by a closing song. Children welcome. Wheelchair accessible. Rain will reschedule.


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6. Link to Newsletter from Councilmember Lori Droste


EditorÕs note: Lots of good ideas in the newsletter received from Councilmember Lori Droste (representative for the part of our neighborhood Deakin and east); follow the link to read it all!


Still We Rise




Over the past week, many of you have shared your deep sadness. Some of you have asked how the national election will affect our community. In the face of divisive rhetoric and the reopening of old wounds, what can Berkeley residents do to find solace, open our arms, help and love as many people as possible? How can we talk to our children? How can we unite to make our community a better place?


After a few days of misery-soaked soul-searching, I know one thing — self-indulgence or shocked impassivity wonÕt cut it. Angry finger-pointing posts on social media sites wonÕt serve anything except for a temporary reprieve from our collective reality. Instead, letÕs finish grieving and harness this anger and fear into something beneficial. DonÕt get me wrong — we will face trying times ahead. As an LGBTQ married woman with a non-traditional family, IÕm all-too-familiar, as many of you are, with the prejudice that has always been present. There are serious times ahead, particularly for disenfranchised and marginalized communities. Now more than ever, we need to consider what can we do to make a real difference in peopleÕs lives and fight the forces of intolerance and ignorance.


So, what can we do? LetÕs work together to make a difference.


1. Volunteer or donate money at one of the many local and national organizations listed. This by no means is an exhaustive list. Starred* organizations have volunteer opportunity for kids. Email me if you have other suggestions. We will update it on our website continually . . . [rest of newsletter, including many useful links, at LoriÕs website].


We Rise,

 Lori Droste


Councilmember Lori Droste į 2180 Milvia Ave, 5th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704, United States 


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7. Whole Foods Market News: Holiday Schedule & Next Drop-in Meeting Fri., 2/3/17, 8:15-9:00 a.m.


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


Holiday Schedule


Turkey trailers delivered, 11/14 7:30 a.m., reefers to be facing Telegraph. Other major deliveries that week. Store hours 11/22: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., 11/23: 7 a.m. -11 p.m., 11/24 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. 12/22: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., 12/23: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., 12/24 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., 12/25: Closed, Zarah or Mel will do store check in afternoon. 12/31: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., 1/1/17: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Please note that there will be additional activity/team members working at a variety of early morning and late night hours to access the trailers and get Thanksgiving orders underway!


Next Drop-in Progress Meeting, Friday, Feb. 3, 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.





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8. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles


EditorÕs note: Given our upcoming Planning Meeting for 2017 (see item 1), this is another good time to highlight HNAÕs 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 HNAÕs primary goals and guiding principles.


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