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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 8/2/10

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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. National Night Out Against Crime, Tuesday, August 3, 6:00–8:30 p.m.

2. Crime Watch Update: Car Break-ins & Gas Siphoned

3. Extended Hours at West Campus Pool (Friday evening & weekend afternoons)

4. Free Monthly Tai Chi Practice in the Park, Sunday, August 22, 11 a.m.

5. Flower Pears Heavily Trimmed on Halcyon Court due to Fire Blight

6. Work Party in Park & Surrounding Neighborhood, Tues., Aug. 24, 1:30-4:30 p.m.


Editor's Introductory Note:


I'm having computer problems and thus having to compose this on my laptop rather than my usual computer. My regrets if something you submitted isn't included — I simply didn't have access to everything and had to simplify or summarize in some cases. So other items will have to wait until the next edition! But I wanted to be sure to get something out since a very important annual neighborhood event is taking place this Tuesday evening: National Night Out Against Crime. As mentioned in item 2, we've been experiencing a wave of car break-ins and burglaries, so this year's National Night Out event (see item 1) is as important as ever. By showing up, we demonstrate to City staff from the Police and Fire Departments — as well as to our elected officials — that we neighbors are committed to doing our part to help stop crime and get prepared for disasters. Please do your part by showing up for a fun potluck in the park (delicious Mediterranean appetizers donated by Whole Foods Market will start us off right), followed by a neighborhood safety walk.


Finally, I want to thank Amy Blackstone for adding a beautiful finishing touch to the archway at the north end of Halcyon Commons (over time it too will rust and mesh with the rest of this beautiful piece of art), as well as neighbors Susan Hunter and Bruce Wicinas who helped with the installation. Check it out the next time you're in our neighborhood commons! And Bruce also receives our sincere gratitude for speedily fixing the broken glass in the bulletin board in Halcyon Commons.


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



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1. National Night Out Against Crime, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 6:30–8:30 p.m.


HNA is once again participating in National Night Out Against Crime! Please join us! Your participation in this fun evening is crucial to our efforts to create a safer, healthier, and friendlier neighborhood!


Tuesday, August 3, Halcyon Commons Park (Halcyon at Prince)

6:00-7:30 p.m.: Community Potluck in the park, with visits from the Police Department, Fire Department, and City officials (including a commitment to stop by from Councilmember Kriss Worthington)

7:30-8:30 p.m.: Neighborhood Safety Walk to include the Oakland border and Ed Roberts campus area and identify any problem spots or issues


Delicious Mediterranean appetizers courtesy of Whole Foods Market!

Paper plates, cups, and napkins courtesy of HNA.


Neighbors: Please bring a food item (and, if possible, beverage) to share:

Main Dish: P-Z * Salad: A-H * Dessert: I-O

[If not obvious, kindly attach a label with ingredients for your dish to alert those with vegetarian and other diets. It's helpful if many of you can also bring a beverage to share.]


This event is a great chance to ask questions and introduce yourselves and your children to police officers and firefighters. It's also an opportunity to show representatives from the City that we're concerned about crime and are willing to work in partnership to help address it.


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2. Crime Watch Update: Car Break-ins & Gas Siphoned


Editor's note: I don't have access to a couple of reports neighbors have submitted, but from memory I know that one person experienced having gas siphoned on Prince Street, and from reports and observation of broken car glass, there have been at least eight instances of car break-ins (two on Halcyon, three on Prince Street, two on Webster street, one on Woolsey). Given that not all car break-ins get reported to me at the E-News, that means we're really experiencing a wave of them. I've urged before that people be careful and avoid leaving anything valuable in your cars (that includes change in obvious places such as ashtrays). Also be aware that some car break-ins are happening in broad daylight. We will only stop this wave if we become even more proactive in calling the police when we notice any suspicious behavior, including possible casing, people carrying tools that could be used for break-ins, etc. In addition, I've heard that many burglaries continue to take place. So please: Call the Police nonemergency number at 981-5900 to report suspicious behavior, or call 911 from a landline for crimes in progress, or 981-5911 from your cellphone (be sure to program this emergency cellphone number for Berkeley into your call list). Finally, come on out on Tuesday night for National Night Out Against Crime (see item 1), and be part of the solution!


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3. Extended Hours at West Campus Pool (Friday evening & weekend afternoons)


Editor's note: Bateman Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Marcy McGaugh forwarded the following information after valiant efforts to save Willard Pool on the parts of Councilmembers Worthington and Wozniak failed to get more than four votes on Council. Marcy writes:


To make up for closing Willard Pool, City Council voted to put in place extra swim hours at West Campus pool. So here's the schedule:


Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day: Public Swim, 1–4 p.m.

Friday night swims through Labor Day: 7–9 p.m.


Note that Friday night swims will be called Lap Swim Hours, but the lifeguards will always let kids in to swim in the shallow end, so it's really Family Swim. There are a few lap lanes open for lap swimmers, but the shallow end, and sometimes even another lap lane, remain for families.


All of this is conditional. If we don't get enough patronage, then these hours will be cut. So take advantage of this opportunity so as not to lose it.


West Campus pool is almost exactly the same build as Willard. But it's actually better — cleaner and solar-heated, functional showers and lots of them. It's located at Addison and Browning, a block south of University Avenue where Addison dead-ends into Browning.


Please circulate this news to your neighbors so that we can keep this facility open and it can be enjoyed!


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4. Free Monthly Tai Chi Practice in the Park, Sunday, August 22, 11 a.m.


Free monthly Tai Chi Chih Practice (fourth Sundays at 11 a.m.)

Halcyon Commons (Halcyon at Prince)

Facilitated by Prince Street neighbor Judith Schwartz, 510-843-2062;


[Editor's Note: Judith also offers ongoing classes to teach the Tai Chi forms in her peaceful Prince Street gardens; you can contact her for more information.]


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5. Flowering Pears Heavily Trimmed on Halcyon Court due to Fire Blight


Editor's note: I have to summarize here as I don't have access to the email where I received a full and well thought-out explanation from a Webster Street neighbor and the City of Berkeley's Forestry Department regarding uncharacteristically heavy pruning of flowering pears on Halcyon Court.


Neighbors on the east side of Halcyon Court had contacted the City of Berkeley's Forestry Department due to a blight they noticed on the flowering pear street trees on their side of the block. These trees were planted by us neighbors with City cooperation as part of the lead-up to the creation of Halcyon Commons in the early 1990s. The wet season unfortunately helped spread the blight on the trees. Their only chance of survival was for tree trimmers to trim off all blight-infected areas, meaning that the trees received quite heavy pruning. We won't know until next season whether this will allow the trees to survive and regrow their canopies or whether the trees will ultimately have to be replaced. Halcyon neighbor Caleb Dardick expressed his appreciation to City staff members for their excellent communication with neighbors as well as the care they showed in pruning the trees branch by branch. Similarly affected trees on Webster will also need such heavy pruning to have the best chances of survival.


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6. Work Party in Park & Surrounding Neighborhood, Tues., Aug. 24, 1:30-4:30 p.m.


Work Party in Halcyon Commons (Halcyon at Prince) & Surrounding Neighborhood

Tuesday, August, 24, 1:30–4:30 p.m.

With volunteer help from students with UC Berkeley's School of Public Health

Refreshments courtesy of Whole Foods Market


We're having a rare work party on a weekday! While the bulk of the labor is being provided courtesy of student volunteers from UC Berkeley's School of Public Health (a community service as part of their orientation week), neighbors Nancy Carleton and Susan Hunter would appreciate a few neighborhood volunteers so we can send out some crews to weed nearby planted features as well as to remove graffiti in the larger neighborhood (as far down as the Ed Roberts Campus if we get some neighborhood team leaders). So if you're not often able to make one of our Saturday or Sunday work parties, or if you have a free Tuesday afternoon, please email to let us know you can help out. We're able to utilize student volunteers most effectively when we have the help of a few neighbors who know the area. And if you know of a problem spot on your block or nearby with graffiti or trash, this is a great chance for you to receive a few young, strong, and idealistic student volunteers to help you get it taken care of!


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