Trustee Peraza calls for resignation of SUHSD chief Ed Brand

DrEdBrand

As the Sweetwater Union High School District careens toward a possible March 18 teachers strike, Southwestern College Trustee Humberto Peraza called for the immediate resignation or termination of the district’s superintendent, Dr. Ed Brand. “This superintendent should be fired right away,” said Peraza. “We should not wait and just sit there for his contract to run out (in November)when he’s completely destroyed this district and continues to do damage to it on a daily basis.” Peraza said he is “disgusted” by Brand’s handling of the negotiations with the district teachers and his use of threats and bullying tactics. “Ed Brand was supposed to come in to help fix the situation from what was a corrupt regime,” said Peraza. “I don’t…

Alioto pleads guilty

BIG ROLLOUT — Nicholas Alioto backs away from the Chula Vista Courthouse in a new Mercedes Benz following his guilty plea. He was represented by a public defender. 

Balkis Nasery/Staff
A lawyer for former Southwestern College Vice President Nicholas Alioto convinced the judge in the…

Faculty okays new contract, COLA increase

An often-tense 18 months of labor negotiations ended with a new deal for Southwestern College faculty when its representatives accepted a 1.57 Cost of Living Adjustment. Faculty were initially asked to take a five percent pay cut, but an improved California budget turned a sizable give back into a small raise. Faculty are expected to vote to ratify the contract, according to Professor of Communication Eric Maag, president of the Southwestern College Education Association. Acting SWC Vice President of Human …

Student Success Act takes effect

California community colleges have historically been platforms for students to explore the depth of themselves and experience new educational endeavors. Students fresh out of high school, returning students and community members seeking to better themselves have found a welcome at California’s two-year colleges for more then 50 years. No more. State leaders are “narrowing the gate” and working to push students through in two years. The Student Success Act of 2012 (SB 1456) was passed with the intent to push more students to complete Associate’s degrees or transfer to four-year universities. At Southwestern College about 43 percent of students transfer or complete a degree and the average time is six years, according to college research. Proponents argue that the legislation …

Jaime Pronoble/Staff

Gov. board’s top accomplishments

Governing board members make hundreds of decisions though the course of a year and 2013 was no exception. In the third year of the post-Chopra, post-probation period, SWC’s reformist board has driven a number of innovations on campus. Trustees were asked to list what they thought were the board’s top 10 most important achievements of 2013. Here is what they said: Humberto Peraza • Veterans Resource Center opened • Labor negotiations • Center status for Otay Mesa and National City …

ONE FOR THE BOOKS — CSEA President Bruce MacNintch, a 21-year veteran of the SWC Library, will retire in August. 

Karen Tome/Staff

CSEA president says he will retire in August

Bruce MacNintch is one for the books. Southwestern College’s outspoken California School Employees Association president and library technician recently announced his retirement effective in August. After 21 years, he said he felt like it was time, especially with a campus smoking ban looming. “There is a proposal to ban smoking on campus,” he said. “This would make it so you could not have a cigarette inside the sidewalks (that circle the campus). Same with electronic cigarettes. I’m a smoker and …

Steps

New priorities for enrollment in Fall 2014

When students line up for fall classes later this spring there is going to be a whole new order. Southwestern College has unveiled its new Enrollment Priority System for fall 2014 and the times they are a-changin’. California’s Student Success Act of 2012 shuffles the desk. First-year and returning students are now required to go through a matriculation process that includes online orientation, assessment testing and a Student Education Plan. There are four groups. First priority goes to military veterans, …

PLEADING OUT— Four more Southwestern College officials charged in the South Bay Corruption Scandal pleaded guilty. (clockwise) Nicholas Alioto, Jorge Dominguez, John Wilson, Yolanda Salcido.

Photos by Marshall Murphy and Serina Duarte/Staff

Alioto, Dominguez, Salcido, Wilson plead guilty

Four more former Southwestern College officials pleaded guilty to felonies and misdemeanors in the South Bay Corruption Case. Former administrators Nicholas Alioto and John Wilson along with former trustees Yolanda Salcido and Jorge Dominguez all likely avoided prison sentences by admitting guilt to one count. They joined former superintendent Raj. K. Chopra as former college officials guilty of crimes related to Proposition R funding.   College employees expressed disappointment over the lenient sentences approved by Judge Ana España and the …

Ricasa

Ricasa pleads guilty, resigns board position

SWC EOPS Director Arlie Ricasa pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor in the South Bay corruption case and resigned from her position on the Sweetwater Union High School District Board of Trustees. Ricasa, who faced 33 criminal counts, including 16 felonies, will avoid prison by admitting to a single count of filing a false instrument. Deputy District Attorney Leon Schorr said Ricasa made the following admission of guilt: “I received, reviewed, understood and biannually voted on Sweetwater’s conflict of interest code …

ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH — Jerry Bartow is set to retire after nearly 40 years of coaching baseball for the Southwestern College Jaguars. A national sports figure, Bartow was SWC’s 2012 honorary degree recipient.
Dianna Innocencio/Staff

Iconic baseball coach announces retirement

In 1976 Rocky Balboa graced the silver screen for the first time. Elton John was the world’s biggest rock star. Gerald Ford was president.  And in 1976 Jerry Bartow took over as head coach of the Southwestern College baseball team. This season, his 39th, will be his last. “It’s always sad when you have to give up something,” he said, “but it’s time for somebody that’s probably got a lot more energy than I do now. I don’t move as …

Faculty sick over healthcare negotiations

Negotiations over healthcare are giving faculty union leaders and college administrators headaches, stomach pain and hot flashes. Talks so far have been prescription for heartache and hurt feelings. Representatives of employees and the college are not anywhere close to agreement on healthcare and benefit costs, according to faculty union president Professor Eric Maag. Healthcare talks can be as complicated as the nervous system and raise blood pressure like sodium, he said. Healthcare prices are determined by the Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA). Faculty union vice president Professor Frank Post said there are 10 tiers. Tier One contains the highest costs and Tier 10 the lowest. SWC is on Tier One¬¬, the most expensive. Maag said there were three factors that …

SWC student creates online book selling alternative

All across America students are howling about the prices of textbooks. Felipe Dominguez is trying to do something about it. His website is the first shot in a revolution the Southwestern College business major is trying to ignite. Other students are enlisting. SWC students can sell or purchase textbooks and calculators at swcpinpost.com, cutting costly middleman out of the equation. “The point of the website is to help the students that are already posting their ads around school and craigslist,” Dominquez said. Upon entering the website there is a list of classes and images of books for sale. Frightening stories about dangerous encounters on craigslist are driving thousands of students back to the campus bookstore and Otay Books for safety …