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EDITORIAL: SAG & WAG strikes remind power of unionization

It was just announced that the SAG-AFTRA union has gone on strike. This follows the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, which has lasted now over 70 days, according to the New York Times. This massive labor strike should serve as a reminder of the power of a labor movement and the treatment people deserve in employment. The last time writers and actors both went on strike was in the 1960s, when unions were at their peak in the 1950s; one-third of the labor force was unionized. Currently, amidst nationwide unionization movements, coverage of unions has been on the rise. In 2022, the number of people represented by a union grew by approximately 200,000, according to NPR.

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UNM’s Challenge Course brings the community together

The University of New Mexico offers a multitude of resources for its students, faculty and alumni. One resource is based on growing a foundation to the skills taught at UNM: teamwork. UNM’s Outdoor Activities Center is located outside Johnson Center and is a part of the University’s Recreational Services. The OAC has a program called the Challenge Course and Leadership Development initiative which consists of the Challenge Course.

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Horror Fest finds value in continuity

With the goal of becoming an annual event, Jeff Sedden – owner and promoter of the Morgue and Krypt Horror Fest – planned the first one t in Albuquerque two years ago. A trustworthy team, Sedden said, has been the most important part of the Horror Fest’s success. Albuquerque has other conventions, but the overall goal of the horror convention, Sedan said,  is to ensure that it becomes a staple in the community.

The Bear Review

“The Bear” making television bear-able

The landscape of television seems bleak at the moment. Prestige shows are ending at a rapid rate; HBO’s ”Succession” and “Barry,” Hulu’s “Handmaid's Tale” and Netflix’s “The Crown” all end this year. There seems to be little left for television at the moment. The ongoing writers strike by the Writers Guild of America seems to not spell well for the future either. Contant cancellations by Netflix and Warner Brothers does not support the audience’s fatality. What's left for TV? Are we standing in the cemetery of the once great age of TV? FX’s “The Bear” is here to disprove that. “The Bear” is electric, addictive TV that seems to disprove any fears about the end of peak TV.


New Mexico Law protects reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare

In February, a bill protecting reproductive and gender-affirming health care was signed into law in New Mexico. The Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care Act protects patients seeking reproductive and gender-affirming health care in every part of New Mexico, according to Representative Linda Serrato (D) – a sponsor of the House Bill. “This is especially important in rural communities that have historically lacked access to care,” Serrato said.  Frankie Flores, Education Specialist of the LGBTQ Resource Center, said that greater access to gender-affirming health care will further protect New Mexico’s trans and non-binary community.   

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UNM gains a photography professor

Sara Abbaspour – the new assistant professor of photography –  completed her bachelor's in urban planning and design at the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran; she picked it because it was the closest STEM major related to art. The research that the major required introduced her to photography – a passion that she ultimately followed. “We had to study different neighborhoods to be able to design for the people, and photography was a major part of it — to study the environment, to know the environment better or to study the behavioral patterns of people who are using that urban space … my love for photography started there,” Abbaspour said.

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LETTER: UNM professors stance on the repeal of Affirmative Action

New Mexico educators suffered a major disappointment by the Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down Affirmative Action in college admissions. That ruling, combined with the cancellation of the student loan forgiveness plan, signals the beginning of a reversal in economic progress for diverse students in higher education.  As committed educators, we feel obligated to ensure that all New Mexico students have access to quality education despite any obstacles that we may encounter, including the repeal of Affirmative Action.


The Suika Circuit track is revving its engine

  EDITORS NOTE: A previous version of this story said that Andrew Sanford was the new owner of the Suika Circuit. This has sense been changed, and as The Suika Circuit is owned by Dan Brockett, Jim Guthrie and Mike Ossell since Feb. 2023, according to the Rio Rancho Observer. The article has been updated with the corect owner.  Just outside of Albuquerque city limits is the Suika Circuit, formerly known as the Sandia Speedway. It's now under new ownership of Dan Brockett, Jim Guthrie and Mike Ossell and is starting to bounce back and start racing. July 1 was the first one-day event to kick off the refurbished pavement track. Members of Southwest Motorsport Inc. came out with their racing cars for their monthly races. The original Sandia Speedway location hosts events throughout each month on the 1.7 mile long pavement or the slightly smaller dirt track. On July 1, the modified street cars were put on the 14 turn pavement – a tricky course.

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Joy in resistance against The Fourth

Local Albuquerque community found joy in resistance at Mesa Verde Park – gathered to eat, provide resources and build connections on the Fourth of July in protest of the holiday. In 2022, 1.2 million people were incarcerated in the United States, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Based on a survey, the ACLU administered about 24,000 incarcerated people – 76% reported being forced to work or facing punishment. Selinda Guerrero, a local organizer, spoke about the event's intent to resist state exploitation in prison systems and by police on the Fourth of July – the nation's Independence Day, a celebration of freedom and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

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Fall Out Boy, a reflective remake

A newly released remake of a song from the ‘80s has successfully sent me down a rabbit hole of deep thought. The last 28 years I have spent on this planet, I realized, have been quite traumatic. Released on June 28, the Fall Out Boy remake of Billy Joel’s, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” has gone viral with over one million views on YouTube. Within the first three days of its release, the song quickly became a trending topic for TikTok creators. The original song by Billy Joel was released in September of 1989. It covered newsworthy topics spanning nearly 40 years starting in 1948, referencing Joseph Stalin, Marilyn Monroe, the H-bomb, Einstein and many more influential people.

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Opinion: Albuquerque should be a target for WNBA expansion

The Women’s National Basketball Association season is in full swing and nearing the league’s All-Star game on July 15. While the league celebrates their top talent, it is a good time to recognize what the gauntlet athletes have to endure to reach that point. With only 144 roster spots across the 12 team league, talented players are waived before they get a chance to develop. Just 15 players from the three round draft made the roster for the team. In the cutthroat league, prospects have to help their teams win from the jump. With limited spots, teams will opt for players with no weaknesses, which leaves players like Brea Beal without a team.

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Risolana encourages community-focused art

An evolution of screenprinting, called Risographs, mixes a specific amount of four colors to create the artist's desired color. The risograph printer uses premixed ink and lays one color at a time. The process allows for vibrant and fluorescent effects as well as unique mistakes.  Risolana – a community risograph studio in the South Valley – aims to educate on this process. In an effort to introduce risograph printing to the community, Risolana holds 30 Under 30 events on the 30th of every month; participants sign up, bring in any art work and create 30 risograph prints for $30, co-founder Karl Orozco said.

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OPINION: “Fourth Wing” is the book of the summer

I have been in a massive book slump for the past month and a half, leaving me searching for my next read to finish out the summer. After several hours of scrolling through BookTok, the same book, “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros, came up again and again. After devouring this book, I can confidently say anyone looking for their next summer read should look no further. “Fourth Wing,” a fantasy novel, follows twenty year-old Violet Sorrengail as she is forced by her mother, the commanding general, to enter a war college for dragon riders instead of her lifelong plan of entering the scribe quadrant.


Curanderismo course at UNM dives into the culture of traditional healing

During the summer, the University of New Mexico offers a two week in-person class called “Curanderismo: The Art of Mexican Folk Healing” to allow students to connect more closely with cultural and spiritual healing.  The class takes a holistic approach to healing, Eliseo Torres said — the professor of the course. The class has many guest speakers from all over, including Mexico and Peru. Some of those guests are curanderas who specialize in the traditional healing methods of Curanderismo.  One such curandera is Tonita Gonzales who has worked with the class for many years and sees it as an opportunity to give students a perspective on medicine and healing in other cultures outside western medicine.

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EDITORIAL: Ocean Gate, a slap in the face

The media and public’s response to the Titan submersible tragedy – as well as the ongoing romanticization and obsession with the Titanic – forces a harsh light on our priorities: our fixation with the rich and the apathy toward the classism and violence that affects immigrants and people of color. This past week, an OceanGate submersible lost contact and all passengers died. OceanGate is a privately owned company that provides tours to see the Titanic shipwreck. The tours start at $250,000 a person. Multiple millionaires were present on the ship, according to the New York Times. More and more people from the Mediterranean region have sought migration as an alternative to unsafe living conditions caused by Western-influenced wars and corrupt governments.

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Local News Fund creates opportunities for young journalists

The New Mexico Local News Fellowship and Internship Program has expanded its opportunities for aspiring journalists. The program was created to support journalism students and graduates from New Mexico public universities since 2019, according to the department of workforce solutions who partnered with the News Fund press release. With 125,000 in-state funding approved this past pay, the program will be able to double the amount of participants they have. The program is operated by the University of New Mexico’s Communication & Journalism Department where the program recruits, selects and matches journalism students to local newsrooms, according to the The Local News Fellowship and Internship website. 


Joe Franklin's final run with the Lobos

After 15 seasons with UNM’s Cross Country and Track & Field programs, Head Coach Joe Franklin has left on June 16. Franklin was named the Director of Cross Country and Track & Field at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Franklin came to UNM in 2007 and has had lots of success with the program; as a two-time national coach of the year, his athletes earned a total of 201 All-American Honors and multiple of his athletes have gone on to compete in the Olympics.

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Snell’s gallery combines Queer experience and empowering spirituality

Sam Snell – UNM alumni and artist – held the opening night reception of his first solo exhibition titled “Magical Thinking” on June 24. Snell’s idea of “Magical Thinking” is to merge Queer and spiritual identities to help people apply a spiritual lens to their life experiences. The exhibition is also the first solo show hosted by Tori Wilson, owner of Garagedoor Gallery and fellow artist. She immediately connected with Snell’s work and said she was excited to have the opportunity to share it with other members of the community. “When he contacted me to have this solo show here, it was an immediate yes,” Wilson said,  “because that means that I get to be surrounded by his art for a whole month.” 

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New Mexican high schoolers see Broadway shows at Popejoy

Having performed on local stages herself, the goal of newly appointed Popejoy Hall Director, Fabianna Broghese, is to give local teens an opportunity to see Broadway shows. Popejoy Hall’s Development Director and head of “Broadway for Teens”, Maryellen Missik-Tow, said that the program is a philanthropic effort. The previous year was the program’s first. This past May, it sponsored 80 students and 10 teachers to see Hamilton, Missik-Tow said.

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Green Earth Matters: eco conscious thrifting

“Green Earth Matters” was the original name of a newsletter Tara Ravishankar hoped to write – before there was an internet – about recycling resources in her local community. Now it is the name of her thrift shop, G.E.M. Ravishankar had always dreamt of opening a thrift store. She opened G.E.M. on Halloween of 2019 after a friend bought a house just north of 12th Street and Candelaria. She said she is primarily interested in keeping stuff out of landfills and creating a space for the community to donate the things they don’t want anymore.

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