Southwestern College Stories

Southwestern College president to be fined

Political watchdog nails two South Bay officials and San Diego lobbyist

The president of Southwestern College's governing board is set to pay a $3000 fine to California's political watchdog agency for chronically ignoring campaign disclosure laws. Teresa “Terri” Valladolid, whose day-job is as labor-relations advocate for ...

Quinones, Ricasa, Cartmill, Cabello weigh pleas vs. fighting

Annie Malcolm loans a crucial $5000

No one can estimate the cost to taxpayers for the South Bay scandal that involved pay-to-play charges and millions in Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union High School District bond money. But the costs continue to ...

Judge España goes easy on Southwestern College VP

Nicholas Alioto's felony reduced to misdemeanor

South Bay residents expressed disenchantment with decisions being handed out in judge Ana España’s South Bay courtroom on January 30; then, España reduced former Southwestern College vice-president of business affairs Nicholas Alioto’s felony to a ...

Taco Shop Poets take it to the campus and the corner

Poets to perform at Southwestern College

The Taco Shop Poets, legends in the San Diego area, will be giving a rare reading at Southwestern College on October 24. The group’s name telegraphs the nature of their work: words written not as ...

Southwestern College Foundation's Nathan Fletcher connection

Lorena Gonzalez, Humberto Peraza, and Machiavelli?

The Southwestern College Foundation held its annual gala on September 21. The cost for a seat ran from $200 to $15,000. The keynote speaker for the event was Nathan Fletcher, candidate for mayor of San ...

Nobody hurt at Southwestern College

Accidental shooting by police

On August 23 a Southwestern College campus police officer’s weapon went off accidentally. An anonymous source reported that two people were almost hit. The Southwestern daily crime log for that day reported that at 10:02 ...

Alliant University leaves Sweetwater school district property in National City…sets up at Southwestern College?

Trustee is not happy

Many are still perplexed by the vaunted opening of "Alliant International University at Sweetwater" in National City. A couple weeks ago (July 20), an Alliant sign was hung over an office door, and Alliant counselor ...

Southwestern College trustee resigns in protest

“Another of many sad days”

The latest at Southwestern College is the sudden resignation of trustee William Stewart, who gave an exclusive interview to the student newspaper, the Sun, on March 1. He told news editor Thomas Baker that he ...

Southwestern faculty questions college’s education plan

Is inaccurate data guiding the way?

Members of Southwestern College's faculty are concerned that the college’s master education plan is based on inaccurate data that may inform the administration’s pink-slip plan or presage the closing of programs integral to student needs. ...

Southwestern College may trim faculty to reduce costs

Teachers’ group resolves to fight

The threat of pink slips has reared its head at Southwestern Community College District for the first time since l987. Only a few months ago, when voters passed Proposition 30, a tax to fund K-12 ...

Southwestern College professor Philip Lopez dies

Heart attack befalls teacher/activist/accordionist

Friday, December 14, on the eve of his 65th birthday, on the last day of the fall semester, Southwestern College English professor Philip Lopez suffered a heart attack and died. Many people consider Lopez an ...

Questionable Contract for Southwestern College?

Southwestern College has gone through a series of upheavals in the past few years and is still the subject of a San Diego County district attorney investigation. Southwestern’s former vice president of business and finance, ...

New Southwestern Affidavits Released

The district attorney’s office raided two more homes March 22 in connection with the South County school district’s scandal. Affidavits, signed by district attorney investigator Vincent Giame, provided the basis for searching the homes of ...

Results of Southwestern College Investigation

Southwestern College’s long-awaited forensic investigation was released last week. The report focused on the awarding of Proposition R contracts and the activities of the Southwestern College Foundation. The report is remarkable in what it does ...

Reforms in Progress at Southwestern College

Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union High School districts have been engulfed by bond-construction scandals and district attorney investigations. Many anticipate a fresh round of indictments in the near future. Southwestern superintendent Melinda Nish and trustees ...

Southwestern College Foundation Under Investigation

In a closed session on January 11, the Southwestern College board suspended their Proposition R program manager, Seville Construction Services. The board also suspended BCA Architects, which was hired to design Southwestern College’s now-infamous corner ...

More Contractor Coziness with Southwestern College Officials

There is a connection between the Sweetwater Union High School District’s alleged corruption and Southwestern College’s. Affidavits recently unsealed by the San Diego County district attorney’s office help make those connections. Paul Bunton, CEO of ...

Secret Coziness Between Seville Construction Services and Southwestern College Revealed

Affidavits were released on December 28 that detailed the San Diego DA’s motivations for the December 20 raids on former and current trustees of the Sweetwater Union High School District, contractors associated with them, and ...

Former Southwestern College VP Alioto Linked Again to Contractor?

The legacy of former Southwestern College vice president Nicholas Alioto is not a closed chapter, as attested to by the following: Alioto’s house was searched by the San Diego district attorney’s office on December 20 ...

Southwestern College Leery of “Pay for Play” Perception

Southwestern College issued a statement on December 22 that calls for “procedures and protocols…to ensure the integrity of the contract selection process.” The statement continued, “No employee associated with construction or general acquisition shall accept ...

Southwestern College Names New Superintendent

The trustees of Southwestern College named a new superintendent on October 12. The selection of Melinda Nish came as a surprise to some who felt that interim superintendent Denise Whittaker was a shoo-in for the ...

Southwestern College Seeks New Superintendent

Southwestern College has conducted a nationwide search to replace former superintendent Raj Chopra, who resigned from the institution last November. Five finalists have been selected: Dr. Williard Lewallen, president of West Hills College in Coalinga; ...

How Did We Get in This Mess at Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union?

On June 21, Sweetwater Union High School District bought out superintendent Jesus Gandara’s contract for $416,675. Last November, Southwestern College paid superintendent Raj Chopra $100,000 to walk away from his contract. Prior to the buyouts, ...

Sweetwater Education Foundation Pays for Volunteer Board Positions?

Education foundations have historically been groups that assist students with scholarships. However, last year’s revelations about Southwestern College’s foundation and recent exposés on Sweetwater Education Foundation raise the question, who are these organizations serving? The ...

Southwestern College Vice President Nicholas Alioto Resigns

In an email to faculty and staff, on February 8, Southwestern College vice president Nicholas Alioto resigned from his position. Two months ago the president of the college, Dr. Raj Chopra, resigned. Alioto wrote in ...

Personnel Changes at Southwestern College

A rumor began to circulate this week on the Southwestern College campus that Henry Amigable was no longer managing the $389 million construction and reconstruction projects generated from Proposition R. In November 2009, Seville Construction ...

Southwestern College Superintendent Raj Chopra Resigns

It came as no surprise November 30 when Southwestern College’s superintendent Dr. Raj Chopra announced his resignation, effective the same day. Chopra’s contract was not due to expire until June 2012, but according to a ...

Southwestern College's Mariachi Major

At 6 p.m. on a Monday evening, an ex-rocker named Bob Bell, along with 18 other music students, tune various instruments in classroom 801 at Southwestern College. Music 157, also known as Mariachi Garibaldi, is ...

Southwestern College School Board Calls Special Meeting

Three days after election day, when Southwestern College school-board incumbents Yolanda Salcido and Jorge Dominquez were voted out of office, the board called a special meeting. The meeting — called for by the board only ...

Public Records Suggest Southwestern College Used Public Funds Frivolously

Southwestern College held a social gathering in May of this year at Frida’s, a Mexican restaurant in Chula Vista. The event was well attended by many local dignitaries, a plethora of contractors, and most of ...

The Blur Between Southwestern College and Foundation

On September 27, Southwestern College vice president Nicholas Alioto organized a golf tournament for the Southwestern College Foundation. The tournament raised a great deal of money while utilizing the resources and prestige of the college ...

Prop R, for Rewards at Southwestern College

When big business was selling the public on the need to approve multimillion-dollar school bonds, whose needs were they talking about? In 2008, a majority of South Bay voters agreed to open their wallets for ...

Isolate, Expose, Avoid

What does it mean when a public lobbying firm says that a key objective is to “isolate and expose extremists”? Public records recently obtained from Southwestern College offer a rare peek into the strategies of ...

Southwestern Suitors

In 2008, voters approved Proposition R, a $389 million bond for Chula Vista's Southwestern College. As construction plans begin to take shape, contractors, subcontractors, and consultants are lining up before the Southwestern Governing Board. Some ...

Southwestern College's Proper Snack Bar

Like many community colleges, Southwestern College, located in Chula Vista, had to severely cut course offerings in the spring and summer of this year. At a June 2010 press conference, California Community College chancellor Jack ...

Clowns of the GOP

How much does it cost to harass Mike Aguirre? San Diego County’s Republican Central Committee forked over $375 on the 16th of this month to pay for a “Protest clown to oppose Mike Aguirre for ...

Disobey the Master

On June 10, FM-94/9's Independence Jam will be held at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. It will be the first time in 11 years that Devore Stadium will be used as a rock concert venue. ...

Visit Chula Vista's Rice Canyon for an instructive look at South Bay's native vegetation.

On the scrub-covered slopes overlooking eastern Chula Vista's Rice Canyon, hardy coast chollas raise their asymmetric arms in what seems a gesture of defiance against the surrounding phalanxes of cookie-cutter, pseudo-Spanish-style homes. The yellow-centered, magenta ...

Bloody Business

"He arrived at the UCSD Medical Center having lost one-third of his blood from 15 knife wounds to his head, neck, face, arms, and torso," says Lourdes Ayon Jimenez. Her brother, musician Fernando Ayon, was ...

The Way Christian Church

"More than nine out of ten people go to counseling because they do not have a close meaningful relationship in church. Many people will go their entire life and struggle to find a good friend. ...

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