San Diego’s Lincoln High School may be named after you-know-who, but former presidents aren’t the focus on a wall in the classroom of economics and government teacher Kiki Ochoa. Instead, it highlights posts of Che Guevara and Cesar Chavez. Also on the walls: Malcolm X.

At least one parent has cried indoctrination and complained that Ochoa is challenging white privilege. But Ochoa is still a notable part of one of the region’s most troubled schools.

In a Q-and-A, Ochoa talks with VOSD’s Mario Koran about why he embraces such controversial figures from history: “Everything that’s promoted in this classroom is love, justice, treating each other with dignity and respect.”

Ochoa also talks about how Lincoln High and its students has been hurt by turnover among teachers and administrators.

• Our call for a new conversation about charter schools topped the list of VOSD’s most popular stories over the past week. The full list is here.

Governor Signs Bill to Boost Interpreter Services

The governor has signed a bill designed to make it easier for non-English speakers to access interpreters when they get health care. “Patients are more likely to seek care if providers understand the cultural and linguistic needs of the communities they serve,” one of the bill’s co-writers, a City Heights advocate, writes VOSD’s Megan Burks. “So it will help us in understanding what the needs are. For example, are we seeing in San Diego that we don’t have any Somali speakers or that we don’t have enough Latino nurses?”

• “Most California counties, including San Diego, are working to assist people in jail or on probation to apply for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act,” the U-T reports.

A New, Nonprofit U-T?

Could the U-T become a nonprofit newspaper that’s not owned by hotel magnate Papa Doug? Possibly!

Veteran real estate mogul and local mover-and-shaker Malin Burnham tells the Reader that he’s organizing a nonprofit corporation to buy U-T San Diego. According to Burnham, U-T Publisher Doug Manchester is on board with the idea, which would allow Manchester to keep valuable property in Mission Valley where the U-T office sits.

It’s not clear when a deal might be completed, nor what challenges that Burnham & Co. might face in converting a for-profit company to a non-profit status.

There’s only one major non-profit newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times (formerly known as the St. Petersburg Times), and it’s in the midst of a financial crisis. The Christian Science Monitor is also non-profit, but it’s subsidized heavily by the Christian Science church and has gone through major cutbacks of its own.

DeMaio Drops Aide Over Offensive Tweets

That didn’t take long. Just a few hours after congressional candidate Carl DeMaio announced that he’d hired a San Diego State student as a “regional political director,” the aspiring aide was, as they say, no longer with the company.

DeMaio didn’t really have a choice. Journalists and the opposing campaign quickly discovered that the aide, Blaise Hahs, had made racist, sexist and anti-Semitic remarks on his Twitter feed. CityBeat has a rundown of the offensive tweets — and the U-T has details on the firing.

A DeMaio spokesman quickly shifted blame to DeMaio’s opponent, telling the U-T that his attempt to “smear Carl with what a college student tweets before he started his employment shows how desperate Scott Peters is to distract voters from his record.”

VOSD Radio: Cop Exodus

The president and vice president of the San Diego Police Officers Association appear on the VOSD Radio Show and Expanded Podcast this week to talk shop about cops. The union honchos are trying to drum up support for more hiring of police officers and better pay to combat the loss of cops to other departments.

That’s not all they have to say. One of the union officials takes issue with a pair of VOSD Fact Checks.

Cost, Not Facilities, Make Conventioneers Pause

With a few exceptions, you’re not likely to find anyone in San Diego public life who’s willing to bash plans to expand the Convention Center. Business types like it because they think it’ll bring more conventions to town, and unions like it because it’ll create plenty of construction jobs.

Now, KPBS reports, a new report is throwing cold water on the idea that San Diego won’t be able to compete with other cities unless it has a much bigger convention center. Fifty-seven planners reported on why they’re not holding conventions here: 16 blamed high costs, but only two said there’s not enough space. (Twelve said their dates were booked.)

Ironically, one thing that would make San Diego even more expensive: Hotel taxes. The city will actually be a cheaper convention destination if they aren’t boosted to raise money for the Convention Center expansion.

Quick News Hits: 50-Minute Hours for County?

• As the county decides whether to dump its ultra-expensive financial adviser and possibly go for cheap-and-reliable old-style investing, the U-T’s Dan McSwain says “getting there may require painful sessions of civic group therapy.”

• The U-T has a message for the pope.

• Why are our sports teams always so lousy? The U-T is on it.

• A young San Diegan says he’s been hanging out in 500-600 dumpsters over the past few months. But he’s not poverty-stricken. Rob Greenfield is on a “four-month, cross country bicycle journey in which is trying to bring attention to the food Americans throw away.”

During a recent visit to Lancaster, Pa., he actually found a lobster in a dumpster along with shelled peanuts, organic figs and chocolate-covered craisins.

Guess there is a free lunch after all. And it sounds delicious.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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