Roller Girls Need New Home

By the Numbers: $20,000

The South Bay’s last standing roller rink, San Jose Skate, will close by the end of the month, leaving a club of derby girls without a place to skate.

After seven years at the rink, Silicon Valley Roller Girls plan their final bout on closing day, May 31. Meanwhile, they’re trying to raise $20,000 to pay for a new place to skate. So far, they’ve raised a third of that goal and found temporary digs at Silver Creek Sportsplex and Roosevelt Park.

Money raised will pay for new flooring, building repairs and permit applications once they land a new space, says Roller Girls' Vice President Stephanie "Luna Chick" Drews. Closure, she says, "will be bittersweet," since the rink is home to so many memories. But she looks forward to the possibilities of a new space.

The team, a nonprofit led by a five-member board of directors, was founded in 2007 and has become an established part of the community, hosting events and fundraisers and spawning several more squads.

What was once just a handful of members has evolved to a full-blown business with three adult league teams that compete against other leagues. There is an A-team, the Dot.Kamikazes, which travels around the country to vie for rankings, and a junior derby for younger players. Here’s a video introducing some of its members:

Developer Don Imwalle, who bought up the San Jose Skate property earlier this year, said the fading popularity of skating has made it tough for business.

Councilman Johnny Khamis managed to muddle up a subsequent planning decision with a touch of controversy when he authored a memo for its rezoning after inquiring about leasing the space with his family. He later recused himself from a vote on his own memo. To make things more interesting, he then made up several different stories about the details of his inquiries.

(H/T Peninsula Press)

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