Susana Garcia is embarrassed that her son is not bilingual.
“I think we should be proud of our language and we should keep it. We know that when you have two languages, more doors open in the future,” she says.
Garcia can teach him Spanish, but it’s not the same as sending him to school. It’s not academic, she says in our weekend Q&A.
We talk to her about why she’s fighting for bilingual education at San Diego Unified, how her two girls did get that education previously and how she continues her activism even as she confronts cancer.
What We Learned This Week
Investing in Mumbai’s Landfills Could Be Trouble: It wasn’t a spam e-mail. The city of San Diego had a chance to partner in a business to run an Indian landfill, and former city administrator Elmer Heap signed the city up. Now, he’s departed. And city officials confronted with the deal say they didn’t approve it and they don’t know what he’s doing. For his part, Heap isn’t saying anything.
SD’s Biotechs Were a Winner in Health Care Reform: There were certainly plenty of worries about what health care reform would mean for our local biotech industry. In the end, they faired pretty well.
The UT’s New Editor Is Active: Jeff Light is a bundle of energy and he’s making the rounds. The Union-Tribune’s new editor went on KPBS this week to talk about the task at hand. Give a listen. What makes this even more interesting: One of the tangible criticisms of the paper’s previous editor was that she didn’t have a public persona.
School Board Stalwart John de Beck Faces His Biggest Challenge Yet: He’s been on the school board for decades and is known for his sharp tongue and wild ideas. Now, the former teacher and union leader is at odds with labor — so much so that teachers endorsed a Republican with a history of anti-union rhetoric. Just how much labor wants de Beck out will soon be clear: Will they invest a lot of money to the effort or is it just symbolic?
Only You (and, Apparently, Utilities) Can Prevent Fires: State regulators and SDG&E agreed to a $14.8 million settlement over accusations that poor line maintenance by the company led to three massive wildfires in 2007.
A juicy tidbit from the U-T story: In the settlement, SDG&E admitted that it didn’t give investigators the information they asked for and didn’t let its workers talk to the investigators, as required by law.
Cox Communications also agreed to a related $2 million settlement.
The Earthquake Fallout Continues: Members of the Ejido Luis Encinas Johnson in rural Mexico are still too afraid to return home after the Easter earthquake and are living under tarps and tents in the desert. (U-T)
You’ll Get a Schoobrary, Whether You Like It or Not: There’s still no new price estimate. And there’s no property identified for collateral. But getting the school district to pitch in on a new downtown library took a step forward when the City Council this week approved a lease with the district for a school in the library.
The Week in Fact Checks
This is what people claimed: The Chargers stopped running the ball, the living wage would put the Sports Arena out of business, San Diego has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation and the supervisors have a $2 million-a-year slush fund.
Were those statements legit? Check it out.
The Coffee Collection: Stories That Will Give You a Buzz
The Parolee Influx: The new wave of parolees, combined with fewer support services, has southeastern San Diego talking. Find out what’s being said.
County Food Stamps Takes Another One on the Chin: Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The county does a poor job of connecting residents with food stamps. The USDA was the latest to voice that concern, and they also worry that workers aren’t being trained properly in civil-rights issues. The county says a) the report was outdated and b) they’ll look into it.
Quote of the Week
“They’ve already done the hardest part. They made it here.” — teacher Viraj Ward, on the teenage English-learners in her unique class for newcomers.
— ANDREW DONOHUE