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Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-News 11/3/11

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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. Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Meeting, Wednesday, November 9, 7:30 p.m.

2. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 29, 2012

3. HNA Planning Meeting for 2012: Sunday, December 4, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

4. Crime Watch Updates: Burglary on Halcyon; Aggressive Behavior at Corner of Telegraph/Prince

5. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles


EditorÕs Introductory Note:


Thanks to everyone who helped out with a very successful Berkeley Project Day on October 15, which was coordinated by HNA Co-Chair John Steere, who said it was one of the nicest, hardest working group of student volunteers ever. DoesnÕt the park look great with its layer of mulch, all ready for the wet months ahead? John will be posting some photos to the HNA Facebook page sometime soon, so please be sure to join the group if you havenÕt already.


This E-News will be brief. While I had some interesting links and forwards of neighborhood-related announcements set aside, my time for compiling the newsletter is limited this month, and I want to be sure everyone has some advance notice about the important (and timely) Disaster Preparedness Discussion next week, on 11/9 (see item 1), so IÕve focused solely on our HNA announcements in order to get this out today. 


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



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1. Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Discussion, Wednesday, November 9, 7:30 p.m.


EditorÕs note: I was out of town for the first few of the recent series of quakes on the Hayward Fault, but back in time for a few more. Consider those jolts, and then contemplate one hundreds of times bigger. What better time to upgrade our personal, household, and neighborhood preparedness? Thanks to neighbor Susan Snyder for organizing this upcoming discussion to help us take next steps forward.


Disaster Preparedness Discussion

(for Halcyon neighbors only)

Wednesday, November 9th, 7:30 p.m. (60-90 minutes)

Respond for address.


Has the recent earth shaking got you thinking about disaster preparedness? Then come join in a neighborhood discussion! WeÕll have brief presentations about the state of our neighborhood preparedness, whatÕs happening at the city and county level, and Berkeley CERT. WeÕll also have time to share our knowledge and brainstorm ideas for how we, as a community, can support one another and increase our preparedness. Plan for 60-90 minutes. Please respond to Susan at for the address and updates.


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2. Hosts Needed for Post-Holiday Progressive Potluck, Sunday, January 29, 2012


EditorÕs note: HNA Potluck organizer and Steering Committee member Tory Finn sent the following announcement.


Dear neighbors,


My name is Tory Finn, and I live on Wheeler Street. Our January Post-Holiday ŌProgressive PotluckĶ is one of my favorite neighborhood events. Unlike the rest of our quarterly potlucks, we move from house to house for each course; itÕs a great way to meet our neighbors and enjoy the community we so value in Halcyon.


If you havenÕt hosted before or if youÕve enjoyed hosting in the past, please consider being a host for one course this coming January 29, 2012. WeÕve had the chance to go to some houses many times, and it would be nice to involve more people. We need a total of THREE or possibly FOUR hosts (Appetizers, Salad, and Main Course need hosts; Dessert will be at John and MichelleÕs house unless someone else would really like to do it). Hosts usually provide paper plates, cups, napkins, etc., but other people can help with those resources if needed.


Please contact me if you are interested in hosting one of the courses on January 29 — even if youÕre not sure whether you can or if you want more info. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2012!


Tory Finn




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3. HNA Planning Meeting for 2012: Sunday, December 4, 4:30-6:30 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 and nearby planted features plus remove graffiti neighborhood-wide, 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 would very much welcome your involvement! Please email if you want more information and are interested in participating. All neighbors willing to work in the spirit of HNAÕs Guiding Principles (see item 5 below) are welcome to join the Steering Committee. WeÕre 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, etc.). So if you have an aspect of the neighborhood youÕd 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 2012

Sunday, December 4, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Location to be determined. 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.


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4. Crime Watch Updates: Burglary on Halcyon; Aggressive Behavior at Corner of Telegraph/Prince


EditorÕs note: A Halcyon Court neighbor submitted the following report.


ŌHi all. We just got back from vacation tonight [October 5] and found that our house had been broken into. We live on the west side of Halcyon. The person(s) broke into a side window into our bathroom, removed the side jamb. They took a five-year-old iPod and emptied a can of change, yet left our TV, stereo, and many other things of value. Seems like they were going for small things or in a hurry. This happened sometime between Monday night [October 3] and tonight [October 5]. The Berkeley Police just left — they sent a forensics person to dust for prints.Ķ


EditorÕs note: A Prince Street neighbor submitted the following report.


ŌI want to let you know that the situation [behind and next to the church at the corner of Prince and Telegraph] is getting worse, and lately I have been noticing a very weird guy hanging out behind the church. He acts very strangely. He runs back and forth from the back of the church to the stairs on the side and then to the street. Two weeks ago I parked my car and when I was locking it I saw him coming from the back of the church and standing in the street looking at me. I got back in my car and drove around until I found a police car on Ashby and asked the police officer to drive back with me so I could park my car and get home safely. Two days after that, I saw . . . the same guy with another man and a bike — both African American. I called the police but they took too long to show up and by the time they arrived both men had left. I went to talk to the police officer, and he told me to keep calling 911 until they can see the men and find out who they are.Ķ [EditorÕs note: Subsequent emails outlined other disturbing behavior, including drug use and drinking and aggressive approaches to neighbors returning home late at night. Someone from our Steering Committee will be joining with this neighbor to meet with the principal of the Model School, whoÕs in the process of purchasing the church property, to discuss possible steps that could be taken, including improved lighting. Discussions with the Police are ongoing to attempt to resolve this situation.]


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5. Halcyon Neighborhood AssociationÕs Guiding Principles


EditorÕs note: Given our upcoming Planning Meeting for 2012 (see item 3) and many new neighbors, this seems like a 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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