These were the most-read stories for the week of July 4-10, 2011.

  Money for Needy Kids Wasn’t Spent on Them

San Diego Unified has long warned its schools not to spend money meant for disadvantaged students on medical or athletic supplies. But they repeatedly have, raising a red flag about how closely the district watches the funds.

  A Culture Clash Where Three Neighborhoods Meet

When a vacant lot popped up on El Cajon Boulevard, plans for its future underscored the divide between the thoroughfare’s more affluent residents to the north and its poorer, minority residents to the south.

  Key Decision Looms for Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama

A July 19 vote by the San Diego City Council could decide the fate of a plan to remove cars from one of Balboa Park’s central plazas and reclaim it for pedestrians. A $25 million funding commitment from billionaire philanthropist Irwin Jacobs is at stake.

  Fact Check: Distorting the 401(k) Ballot Measure’s Savings

Statement: “A groundbreaking pension reform ballot measure would save San Diego taxpayers up to $2.1 billion, according to a comprehensive financial analysis released today,” Lani Lutar, president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, in a press release June 30. …

  Schools’ Financial Watchdog Stripped of Powers

The principal oversight over local school finances has been pulled back at a time when more and more districts are weighing financial peril against the yearning to cancel painful, unpopular cuts.

  Morning Report: Misleading Math on Pension Reform

Pension reform savings claim’s misleading, finding a future for Fairmont and El Cajon, supermarket labor strike looms and debating libraries.

  San Diego Explained: Fire Pits

Why the fire pits are threatened and what’s being done to save them.

  Mayor’s Race: Fletcher Nets $300K

It’s a big fundraising total in the campaign’s first month for the Republican Assemblyman.

  Fact Check: 401(k)s’ Short-Term Costs

Statement: “The supporters are admitting that the short-term costs outweigh the savings even if the measure is found to be legal,” Evan McLaughlin, political director for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, wrote in a June 30 press release. Determinatio…

  Designing Homes for the Back of a Donkey

Jacky Vel explains how she’s trying to innovate basic, affordable homes for people in Mexico, Haiti and beyond.

I’m Grant Barrett, engagement editor for Drop me a line at, call me at (619) 550-5666, and follow me on Twitter @grantbarrett.

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