|Berkeley Urban Coop Block Newsletter - Townhouse Open House Sunday||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Judy Lightstone (judylmftcomcast.net)|
|Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 22:31:15 -0700 (PDT)|
Dear all, For those who want cohousing in Berkeley, but can?t work for years hoping it will eventually happen, here?s an update from the Halcyon Commons Neighborhood Assoc (HNA), just to give you all an idea what ?Urban Cooperative Block? means. Also, the Townhouse that is for sale has a website that has finally been fixed up with pictures and the relevant information, including directions and announcing the Open House this Sunday from 2-4PM. To learn more about the townhouse, the cooperative 5-plex, and the Urban Coop Block go to http://www.psychotherapist.org/BerkeleyHome.htm * * * * * * * * * * * * Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-Newsletter* * * * * * * * * * * * * In This Newsletter 1. HNA Wins UC Chancellor's Community Partnership Grant to Rejuvenate Halcyon Commons! 2. Help Plan the 9/24 Park Party Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Halcyon Commons! 3. Nighttime Dog Walks to Increase Neighborhood Safety 4. Updates from Councilmember Kriss Worthington: News You Can Use 5. Willard Community Peace Labyrinth Walk, Sunday, August 20, 3 p.m. 6. Kitchen Democracy: Free Wi-Fi in Berkeley? 7. Crime Watch Report: Converter Stolen from Truck Over 60 neighbors attended HNA's National Night Out Against Crime event in Halcyon Commons Park a week ago, along with representatives from the fire department, Mayor Tom Bates, Councilmember Kriss Worthington, and other city officials. See item 3 on an exciting idea that grew out of the event: nighttime "dog" walks (you don't have to have a dog to participate) to increase neighborhood safety. Thanks to everyone who came to the event -- and to flyer distributors for getting the word out! -Nancy Carleton, HNA Co-Chair and E-Newsletter Editor * * * * * * * * * * * * 1. HNA Wins UC Chancellor's Community Partnership Grant to Rejuvenate Halcyon Commons! Tuesday the UC Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund announced the first of its annual grants to be awarded to neighborhood and community groups with UC partners. After two planning meetings noticed to the community through this E-Newsletter, HNA submitted a three-part proposal to rejuvenate Halcyon Commons Park on the occasion of its tenth anniversary (see excerpts from the grant application below). We are thrilled that two of the three elements included in our application were selected to receive funding in the amount of $13,640: (A) a gateway arch at the northern entrance to the park and (C) a redesign of the southeastern corner of the park (see more detailed descriptions in the paragraphs below). While item (B) did not receive funding in this round of grants (there were over $1 million of funds requested and 43 applications submitted, with $200,000 available), we are determined to realize the long-held dream of a halcyon bird sculpture, and will be seeking donations from a variety of sources to make it possible. Special thanks to the following groups and individuals who contributed to our proposal with letters of support and commitments of "sweat equity" or in-kind contributions of labor and/or expertise: Nancy Carleton and John Steere (HNA Co-Chairs), Berkeley Partners for Parks (our nonprofit fiscal sponsor), Kaye Bock (UC Partner, Student Affairs Officer for the College of Environmental Design, City and Regional Planning), Susan Hunter (UC Partner, neighbor ,and House Director of Delta Gamma Sorority), Jennifer Natali (UC Partner, neighbor, and graduate student in landscape architecture), Sarah Syed (UC Partner, graduate student in the Department of City and Regional Planning), Michael Lamb (neighbor and registered landscape architect), Karl Reeh (President, LeConte Neighborhood Association), Whole Foods Market, Amy Blackstone (craftsperson), Christina Bertea (sculptor), Livable Berkeley, and Bruce Wicinas (neighbor and volunteer extraordinaire). >From the application: PROJECT DESRIPTION: The Halcyon Commons Rejuvenation Project brings three new elements to this neighborhood-designed park in South Berkeley: (A) a gateway at the north end with the words HALCYON COMMONS and animal cutouts related to park history; (B) a bronze-cast sculpture of a halcyon bird (a kingfisher associated with peace); and (C) a redesign and replanting of the incomplete southeastern corner - all with community design input. Because of the significant contribution of professional and artistic skills and volunteer labor, the grant funds go directly toward implementation, helping to build community as well as adding beautiful new features to this unique neighborhood commons. (A) A Gateway at the North Entrance to be forged by craftsperson Amy Blackstone (who created the wrought-iron decorative gates to the Peralta Community Garden in North Berkeley and the Art Tech building in downtown Berkeley, and who is giving us a significant donation of her labor to keep costs down). This will comprise a pergola/arbor-style entry with the words HALCYON COMMONS and animal cutouts to be designed with community workshop input. There is currently no sign letting people know they are entering Halcyon Commons at this most used entryway to the park, so this project will help anchor a sense of place, as well as honoring the animal, bird, and insect life that shares this greenspace, including animals with special ties to the park (such as Emma, the neighborhood dog who was present throughout the park's planning process, the bees that swarmed in the park and were relocated to a nearby neighbor's yard, and the barn owl neighbors are hoping to encourage to nest in a nearby palm tree). This project will likely necessitate some revisions to the concrete work at the entryway, with the added advantage that that entry will come up to current ADA standards. (B) Halcyon Bird Sculpture (a halcyon bird is a kind of kingfisher) originally planned ten years ago for the oval in front of the "Father Sun" bench in the park's southwestern corner. The sculpture will be cast in bronze, and will be sculpted by local artist Christina Bertea, in collaboration with John Steere, both of whom are making a significant donation of their labor to keep costs down. It will be approximately three feet long and two feet high and sit on a pedestal in the middle of the existing planted oval. The bird will be shown on a nest, representing peaceful coexistence. The details will be worked out by the artists with additional input from a community design charette. (C) Redesign of the Southeastern Corner of the park through a new landscape plan and planting, with the inclusion of either large, flat boulders esthetically arranged that serve the dual function as sitting areas, or possibly a rustic bench (final decision pending community input), along with the completion of the irrigation system, and attractive, drought-resistant plantings. We are intending that this feature be designed at a hands-on community design charette under the guidance of Michael Lamb, the neighbor and registered landscape architect who drew up the initial plans for the park based on community design workshops, resulting in an award-winning design (honored by Berkeley Design Advocates in 1997). This feature will allow neighbors, UC students (a couple of whom are already committed), and other community partners to participate in many ways, from the design process through the "sweat equity" involved in installing the landscaping features and planting the plants. Keep an eye on the HNA E-Newsletter for announcements concerning community charettes to work out the details of these projects, as well as notices of our appearances before city commissions to secure approval of the final designs. * * * * * * * * * * * * 2. Help Plan the 9/24 Park Party Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Halcyon Commons! Join us in helping create a good time for our neighborhood on Sunday, September 24: This is a chance to get to know some of your neighbors while planning a great party to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Halcyon Commons Park (and the recent receipt of the UC Chancellor's Community Partnership Grant for selected rejuvenation projects). We need your assistance in finding musicians, planning activities for neighborhood kids, inviting a few speakers, and figuring out a fun and meaningful program to recognize the value of our park to the community. The celebration is planned for Sunday, September 24 , from 2 p.m. to 5:30. Just a few hours of your time over the next few weeks for a lot of satisfaction! Please call or email John Steere at 849-1969 <jsteere [at] igc.org>. * * * * * * * * * * * * 3. Nighttime Dog Walks to Increase Neighborhood Safety INVITATION TO ALL NEIGHBORS Mark your calendars for upcoming "dog" walks around the neighborhood: * Saturday night/Sunday morning, 8/13, 2:30 a.m. (start at Halcyon Commons Park, Halcyon Court at Prince Street) (RSVPs needed by email from five people for this walk to take place) * Friday night, 8/18, 10 p.m. (start at corner of Fulton/Prince) * Thursday night, 8/24, 9 p.m. (start at Halcyon Commons Park, Halcyon Court at Prince Street) * Friday night, 9/1,10 p.m. (start at corner of Fulton/Prince) NO DOG REQUIRED! Come meet neighbors, get some exercise, and make our neighborhood safer! Other dates are also planned or will be announced. Sign up to receive confirmation of dates (contact Pamela Dameron <usasleigh [at] sbcglobal.net>). As part of Halcyon Neighborhood Association's National Night Out Against Crime event, we took a walk around the neighborhood to identify "hot" spots (e.g. areas where garbage was dumped, lights were out, crimes had been committed). Some of us liked the idea so much that we decided to continue at least once a week. . . . We'll walk around the neighborhood - talking (quietly), getting to know one another, and building community. Being out will also let potential criminals know we care about our neighborhood and we're paying attention to what happens here. The idea is to have at least three people on each walk. Not having enough people may not be safe, so we won't go if there aren't at least three people. Under no circumstances will we do anything that would endanger us or anyone. We will greet everyone we see - these are all our neighbors, whether they live here or not. With youth, we will be particularly aware of the fact that these are "our kids" and our future - it's up to us to look after them in a loving way so that they don't take a dangerous path. People will bring dogs if they have them (for fun, dog exercise, and safety). NO DOG IS REQUIRED; you can be like me and just enjoy others' dogs for the walk. Our first "dog" walks were a huge success on Friday, 8/5. We had about a half dozen people at 8:30 on Friday and about ten people at 10 p.m. We were thrilled to see a police car drive by the park at about 10:15 as we gathered, although the officer was busy working and didn't have time to stop and chat. On our walk we met several "new" neighbors (who haven't been part of organized activities in the past) and cheered a street corner impromptu football game that some of our neighborhood youth were creating. Building on the idea of improving neighbor relations, we will invite people from Chochmat Halev to join us. Each first and third Friday of the month, we will start at the corner of Prince and Fulton at 10 p.m. Parking in the neighborhood on these Friday nights is an issue because that is when Chochmat Halev has their Celebratory Kabbalat Shabbat Services. If we have regular "dog walks" those nights, then we can walk the attendees to the BART station. This will make it safe for them to either take BART or just park in that lot. Coordinating our walks with Chochmat Halev will also help strengthen the relationship between this generous neighborhood resource (which is always willing to open their doors for us to have large meetings there free of charge) and our vibrant, diverse neighborhood. If you haven't been to one of Chochmat Halev's services, consider yourself invited. You don't have to be Jewish (I'm not) to enjoy the music, the service, and the wonderful Rabbis Sara and Avram Davis. In addition to the regular first and third Fridays at 10 p.m., we're also going to take some walks at irregular, less predictable times on different nights of the week. Most of the crime issues seem to occur Thursday through Sunday nights. To start with, next Saturday night/ Sunday morning we'd like to take a walk at 2:30 a.m. (since that's just after the bars close and when some past incidents have occurred). In this case, we feel a minimum of five people is necessary to make it safe for everyone. We also plan to walk Thursday night, 8/24, at 9 p.m. The police love this idea, so we'll also let the beat cops know the schedule. They'll stop by as often as possible. For more information and to get the schedule for the future (plus to confirm the dates listed here and let us know you're coming), contact Pamela Dameron <usasleigh [at] sbcglobal.net>. Come join us! We look forward to getting to know you and our neighborhood better! * * * * * * * * * * * * 4. Updates from Councilmember Kriss Worthington: News You Can Use District 7 Councilmember Kriss Worthington (who represents the portion of our neighborhood from the east side of Wheeler Street to Telegraph) sent the following news: NEIGHBORHOOD NOTIFICATION NETWORK (NNN) If you want our office to keep you informed of what we hear about upcoming zoning cases, planning policies, streets, sidewalks, storm drains, sewers, Alta Bates, UC development, streetlights, and traffic calming in your neighborhood, just sign up for one or all topics. Ideally this service should be available for the whole City, but since it is not we are trying to do it right here in District 7. Email or paper notification available. Sign up with Mike Sheen at 981-7170 or kworthington [at] ci.berkeley.ca.us or online at http://www.cityofberkeley.info/council7/ "COLLEGES MUST PAY LOCAL COSTS" According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the State Supreme Court decided a City of Marina case (S117816) by unanimously overruling the lower court and finding that public colleges "must pay surrounding communities for increased traffic, firefighting, and other costs caused by campus expansions." This dramatic decision MAY allow us to approach the University administration and/or the legislature to seek funds to mitigate significant development being done right here in Berkeley. REINSTATING AUTO PARKING ON TELEGRAPH (from Dwight to the Oakland border) The City Council on July 25, approved $65,000 to correct the colossal blunder which removed dozens of parking spaces on Telegraph in front of our small businesses, and stuck in so called motorcycle parking instead. After months of fighting to get this reversed, the money is there. Now we just need to get a date set to actually get the work done. TELEGRAPH AVENUE On June 27 in the City budget, with the help of Mayor Tom Bates, the City reinstated funding for social workers and police for Telegraph that had been removed in prior years' budget cuts. I voted against those cuts in the first place, and I am especially gratified to see these important services restored. The City is also beginning to go to the Planning Commission to fix the permit process just for Telegraph. I support making it easier for locally owned, neighborhood serving small businesses, but maintaining clear community involvement for controversial proposals. THANK YOU to those who participated in the important gatherings that occurred for National Night Out. I believe Crime Watch is so effective at building community and preventing crime that I have worked to expand it dramatically. This fall we will be kicking off an exciting New Neighborhood Watch in the Campus area, where we have our highest crime rates. Thank you to the folks from BPD and BFD, who are willing to risk their lives everyday to try to keep us all safe. Kriss Worthington Councilmember, District 7 City of Berkeley 2180 Milvia St., 5th Floor Berkeley, CA 94704 p. 510.981.7170 f. 510.981.7177 e. kworthington [at] ci.berkeley.ca.us http://www.cityofberkeley.info/council7/ <<News You Can Use.doc>> * * * * * * * * * * * * 5. Willard Community Peace Labyrinth Walk, Sunday, August 20, 3 p.m. Community Labyrinth Peace Walk, SUNDAY, August 20, at 3 p.m., Willard Middle School (Telegraph Ave. between Derby & Stuart, Berkeley). Everyone welcome. Wheelchair accessible. (Rain cancels.) Contact info [at] eastbaylabyrinthproject.org, 526-7377. * * * * * * * * * * * * 6. Kitchen Democracy: Free Wi-Fi in Berkeley? The Kitchen Democracy folks just sent the following announcement: Should the City of Berkeley provide free Wi-Fi to all residents? The City Council is evaluating whether to provide free Internet access to all residents. Wireless as well as fiber optic technologies are being evaluated. Do you think this is a good allocation of city resources? Go to http://www.KitchenDemocracy.org/issue/14 Learn what the experts and your neighbors are saying; vote and post your own opinion. Sincerely, Robert and Simona Kitchen Democracy P.S. Kitchen Democracy is a public service available to everyone in Berkeley. Feel free to tell us about an issue important to you. Whether it is a citywide issue described in the local newspapers, or an issue involving just your immediate neighborhood, email your proposed yes/no question to us. We will work with you to put your issue on Kitchen Democracy. * * * * * * * * * * * * 7. Crime Watch Report: Converter Stolen from Truck A neighbor reports: "I wanted to let you know - in case you would like to notify others in the neighborhood - that the converter was stolen from our truck last weekend, sometime between midnight and 8 a.m. Saturday night. Whoever stole it unscrewed all the bolts and left them under the car. It cost $250 to replace - Don's Muffler on Shattuck spot-welded the bolts to try and prevent it from happening again. Apparently there's a market for used converters, so neighbors might want to keep their eyes open for late night 'car repairs.' " * * * * * * * * * * * * The Halcyon Neighborhood Association E-Newsletter:
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