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

Alioto pleads guilty

A lawyer for former Southwestern College Vice President Nicholas Alioto convinced the judge in the South Bay Corruption Case to reduce his original guilty plea from a felony to a misdemeanor. Alioto, the last of the SWC defendants to be sentenced, escaped prison time in exchange for a $8,000 fine and community service. Alioto was originally indicted on 12 counts, including bribery and perjury. He pleaded guilty to one felony count, but his Public Defender Danesh Tandon asked Judge Ana …

Ricasa

Ricasa should go, poll shows

  Arlie Ricasa escaped a possible prison term when she pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor in the South Bay Corruption Case after originally facing 33 counts, including 16 felonies. Part of the deal included her resignation from her position as a trustee of the Sweetwater Union High School District.   Ricasa’s plea, however, did not require her to surrender her position as EOPS director at Southwestern College and she has indicated that she does not intend to resign. Now …

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 …