Skate Away Your Winter Blues at the Newly Reopened Roller King.

January 31, 2017.  Story by Heather Hay.  Featured photo by Wade Faast

Albuquerque’s only indoor roller skating rink has scheduled building upgrades and discounts to encourage college students to get in from the cold, exercise and release some stress according to new general manager and CNM alumni Blake Ballew.

Roller King, near Juan Tabo and I-40, offers all college students with an ID a discount of three dollars per person for a group of five, on Wednesday nights from 8 to 10:30 pm and you may rent skates for three dollars  if you do not have your own skates or roller blades according to Ballew.

General Manager Blake Ballew, shown here at the skate rental counter, said he plans to open a skate shop inside the rink where you can order skates, buy wheels, bearings and tools to fix skates.  Photo by Wade Faast

“Most people are surprised to find that when they come back to skating they had forgotten how much fun it was,” he said, and also added “many past employees will say that this was their favorite job that they have ever had.”

Ballew said he is working with two promoters to create after hours events, like the Pajama Jam Party scheduled for February 11, which includes seven DJs, a couple of bouncy houses and a special photo booth that will take pictures and automatically upload them to the web for you.

Ballew said that skating to good music in the large pillar free rink area can help people who are experiencing cabin fever, (feeling depressed from being inside a small space throughout the winter).

“It’s the only real positive place that parents can afford to take kids to for six hours at a time,” he said.

Ballew also said he is changing the food choices in the snack bar to include healthier recipes that utilize the pizza oven and new food displays and every week there will be new food specials.

He said “It will be just as much of a food experience as it is a fun skating experience.”

CNM Alumni and Chemistry major at UNM, Katie Pechin Thompson enjoys skating with her family at Skate City on weekends.  Photo credit Katie Pechin Thompson.  Photo courtesy of Katie Pechin Thompson. 

The rink had been closed since a sudden powerful wind current on June 6th tore off 10,000 square feet of the roof and the monsoon rains afterward flooded the skating floor he said.

He said he “went through months of 12 to 16 hour days,” and since the roof has been repaired he said he has installed lasers and a disco ball.

Ballew also said he started the toy shop for redemption games when he was 11 years old, but he will be changing the arcade games and they will include foosball tables and air hockey tables.

Improvements scheduled include a new parking lot by summer and RGB (red, green blue) lights and reflective paint on the exterior of the building that will allow the building to glow in 16 different colors and be seen from the West Side.

Ballew said he had taken classes at CNM, then TVI, when he was 16 years old because he had completed three years of high school at El Dorado in just two years.  He also said that after experiencing some health problems for seven years he came back to CNM to take classes more recently.

“Most other places have college night, but you have to be 21 to go to and this is an 18 and over event.  But if your younger, like me and you have a college ID if you are 16 we’ll still let you in,” he said.

Ballew said he also attended UNM as well, but that he learned more at CNM because of the personal attention from instructors, smaller class size and lower cost.

“One thing I noticed from school versus experience is school definitely helps you out.  One thing it does is it gets you familiar with the topic.  Even if you don’t understand it, it brings familiarity because when it come back up again in real life, you think ‘Oh I remember this,’ “ he said, “and you don’t think that you retained it at the time but you did and because you have a familiarity with it, it’s a lot easier to work off of that versus if you had never heard about that thing before.”

Ballew’s father Ken Ballew built it from the ground up in 1979, and Blake took over as general manager in July of 2016.

College Student Night: Wednesdays.  8-10:30pm. Show your college ID and groups of 5 will pay 3$ each. Regular admission is 5$. Skate rental is 3$.  Each week will be a new food special.

DJ Chill is scheduled to perform Wednesdays and Sunday nights (which are also adult night).

Feb 11. 10pm to 7am. Pajama jam party.

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CNM Community Requests a Sanctuary Statement

January 30, 2017.  By Hilary Broman

Senior Staff Reporter

Many CNM staff, faculty and students have signed a petition requesting a statement from CNM that clarifies how CNM intends to protect students, faculty and staff from threats, discrimination and harassment that they may face due to the most recent president-elect, as stated in the request.

Seamus O’Sullivan, CNM political science and sociology instructor, drafted the request, he said.

“Our primary interest is, if we see some rapid change in immigration policies, how might it affect our students,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan and other faculty and staff want to create a safe space, a sanctuary, for students who are vulnerable, he said.

“We are concerned that members of our community are at heightened risk of harassment and discrimination,” the request says.

The request for sanctuary agrees with a quote from an email that CNM President Katherine Winograd sent on November 18th, “CNM’s longstanding tradition of being a welcoming place for all” as well as its history of being “a safe haven for students of all backgrounds – including students who have been previously disenfranchised with education and their place in the world,” and then the request expresses concern for the safety of undocumented students.

“We believe a clear and emphatic statement that pledges specific supports and protections for vulnerable students is warranted,” the request states.

O’Sullivan is optimistic about the outcome of the petition, he said.

“Even though I expect opposition, I expect a lot more support than I do opposition,” he said, “Administration’s concern is the students, just like ours.”

Also, the fact that we are in New Mexico adds to O’Sullivan’s optimism, he said

Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico also have similar efforts underway, O’Sullivan said.

Brandon Morgan, a History instructor at CNM, signed the petition because he believes that it is important for CNM as an institution to make a clear declaration in support of undocumented students, he said.

“In the current political and social climate, it is imperative for us to directly and publicly side with the undocumented members of our community who we have welcomed, and who have given so much to make CNM and Albuquerque a wonderful place to live,” he said.

Morgan stated that several of his students have expressed concerns about the ability to continue taking classes or working if legal protections from deportations are removed.

“These students are hard workers who contribute to our classes, and who volunteer their time for the community,” he said.

“I love living and working in the CNM community,” he said, “I believe that as a community we espouse the stated CNM values, so I have high hopes that undocumented students will not face intensified harassment and discrimination here. Let us remember that no human being is illegal.”

125 people have already signed the petition.

Although O’Sullivan did not have a specific goal for the number of signatures obtained, he plans to turn the petition in soon, he said.


Read the request for sanctuary and sign the petition here.

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Published Poet Scheduled to Read Her Work at CNM

Jan 25, 2017 By: Hilary Broman

Senior Staff Reporter

Emmy Pèrez, a published poet, is scheduled to read her poetry this Friday January 27th at main campus in the SRC building, room 204 at 7 p.m., said Rebecca Aronson, who organized the event and is a CNM faculty member.

Pèrez will read and talk about her work then there will be a question and answer period, Aronson said.

She writes a lot about borderland issues and the impact of immigration policies on people, wildlife and the environment, Aronson said.

“Emmy is a bilingual poet, she is Chicana, she is really involved in the Latino and Latina writing community,” Aronson said, “I think that she has a lot to offer to our students here in particular and to this community.”

Pèrez is the recipient of the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry, Aronson said.

She has also received fellowships from CantoMundo, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, in previous years, Aronson said.

“Her poems are gorgeous, her attention to language is amazing,” said Aronson.

After the reading and Q&A, Pèrez’s books will be sold and she will be available to sign them and to chat, Aronson said.

The bookstore will sell Pèrez’s new book, “With the River on Our face,” for $16.95, as well as her previous book, “Solstice,” for $14.00, said Ann Heaton, CNM bookstore area manager.

Students will be able to use cash or card, Heaton said.

“I think that the reading has a really wide appeal, even for people who might not feel like a poetry reading is what they want to go to,” Aronson said, “Emmy is a really diverse, well rounded writer.”

This event will be sponsored by the Executive Council of Students, Aronson said.


First Day of Class Spring Semester

January 17, 2017

Warm weather greeted CNM students at the beginning of Spring semester. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
With the start of every semester comes crowded parking lots and a reminder to plan enough time to find parking before classes. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)
(Far left bottom) Jessica Brown an Integrated Studies student and (far left upper) Janina Valdenar a Nursing student, enjoy the warm weather as fellow students pass below. (Wade Faast/CNM Chronicle)

Surveying Student Fueled by Passion

By: Hilary Broman

Staff Reporter,   January 17, 2017

Anaissa Salgado has found her passion in the surveying program at CNM, she said.

The field of surveying combines Salgado’s love for math and her desire to have a job where she can work outdoors, she said.

“I didn’t know if there was a career for that,” she said.

Salgado discussed her career interests with one of her instructors who introduced her to Ron Forstbaur, a CNM surveying instructor.

Forstbaur introduced Salgado to the surveying program and showed her the equipment that they use as well as how they use trigonometry and angles out in the field, she said.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I knew that this was it!”

Salgado immediately decided to change her major, she said.

“She came into my office and said ‘I found what I want to do with the rest of my life,’ said Joe Schaub, an achievement coach for the school of applied technologies.

When Salgado decided to join the surveying program it had already been two weeks into the semester and Joe Schaub went above and beyond to help her get into the program, she said.

“As an achievement coach, I work with students to help them find what they want to do and Anaissa exudes what I hope every student will find and that’s doing something you love,” Schaub said.

After the first week in the program Salgado was already caught up because she was excited about what she was learning, she said.

Salgado regularly attends New Mexico Professional Surveyors meetings to network and gain experience, she said.

“She’s hanging out with professionals right now, she’s acting like one of them, she’s not walking in and acting like an intimidated student,” said Schaub.

Salgado is also the leader of the CNM team that is scheduled to attend the National surveying competition in Washington, D.C. this March, Forstbaur said.

“I want to lead,” Salgado said, “I was a little bit nervous at the beginning but it’s like being thrown into the water, that’s the best way to learn how to swim.”

Salgado recognizes that surveying is a male dominated profession but that inspires her even more to become a licensed surveyor, she said.

“Surveying is an excellent opportunity for women and to see a young woman getting in here and being excited about it is just wonderful for the profession,” said Forstbaur.

Salgado also is helping with the recruiting process for the program and hopes to get high school students excited about the surveying program at CNM, she said.


“I know when I was in high school I never stopped to think about what I wanted to do after high school I just wanted to be done. I hope that we can change that mindset for students,” she said.

The third major was the charm for Salgado, she switched from business to drafting and finally found her passion in the surveying program, she said.

Salgado is an excellent example of a student who goes after what they want and always gives one hundred percent, said Schaub.

Salgado has almost completed the surveying program at CNM and hopes to complete her four-year degree at NMSU and graduate as a licensed surveyor, she said.

“I want to be the new face of surveying,” she said.