Richmond Roundup

Meadow re-named
Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park was renamed to honor Warren Hellman, a philanthropist who passed away in December. Hellman put on the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in the park.

The SF Recreation and Park Commission unanimously voted to approve the change at its Dec. 15 meeting, just days before Hellman passed away due to complications from leukemia.

Hellman was a big supporter of the SF Free Clinic, a health care facility on California Street in the Richmond District that serves low income and uninsured patients. His daughter, Trisha Hellman-Gibbs, and her husband run the clinic.

Hellman Hollow is located off John F. Kennedy Drive, at about 22nd Avenue.

New Star of the Sea mural
University of San Francisco (USF) student artists recently created a new mural at the Star of the Sea School, located at Ninth Avenue and Geary Boulevard.

According to Claudine Van Delden, the parent of a first grade student at Star of the Sea, USF artists met with the first graders in September to brainstorm ideas for the mural and came up with the theme "underneath the sea."

"It was a wonderful collaborative project between the university students at USF and the first-grade students at Star," Van Delden said. "The kids had a wonderful time seeing the mosaic come to life and getting dirty in the process."

In October, the artists held community work days in which all members of the community were invited to help mortar, set tiles and grout.

Restoring Balboa Theater's facade
The restoration of the Balboa Theater's facade started in December. With a grant from the City and money raised from a SF Neighborhood Theater Foundation benefit, the project was kicked into fast gear. Aside from the facade, the theater, located on Balboa Street at 37th Avenue, also got a new heater, which was replaced by Atlas Heating, the same firm that installed the original heater in 1926.

Baby Bison arrive at Golden Gate Park
Seven baby bison were delivered to the bison paddock in Golden Gate Park on Dec. 6. They help replenish a herd that has been reduced due to aging bison.

The baby bison are quarantined in a secured location near the main bison paddock in Golden Gate Park.

The health and welfare of the bison is managed by the San Francisco Zoo, in partnership with the SF Recreation and Park Department (RPD). There will be an official "welcome ceremony" in early 2012 when the young bison are ready to be released in the paddock to join the rest of the bison herd.

To celebrate the arrival of the bison, RPD, in partnership with the SF Zoo, is launching a naming contest for one of the seven baby bison. The general public can submit names through mail, e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. The link is: A panel of judges will select a short list, which the general public will then get to vote on. The winner will be announced at the official welcome ceremony.