These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of July 9-July 15.

1. Why Poway Unified Fired Its Superintendent
The Poway Unified school board could ask a court to force former Superintendent John Collins to pay back as much as $345,000 – the amount forensic auditors flagged as unauthorized pay. In the district’s charges, the board lays out the myriad ways it believes Collins engaged in illegal self-dealing, unprofessional conduct, dishonesty and misappropriation and gifting of public funds. (Ashly McGlone)

2. Lawsuit Claims County Superintendent Took Thousands in Illegal Pay
Since Randy Ward negotiates with the teacher’s union and helps decide what raises teachers get, his actions could be considered self-dealing. If deemed illegal in court, at least $70,000 in payments could be voided and ordered repaid to the County Office of Education. (Ashly McGlone)

3. The People Who Want to Develop the Waterfront Are Framing the Debate About the Waterfront
By the end of the summer, Port commissioners will make decisions about the future of Seaport Village and Harbor Island. Neither of those decisions will be bound by a long-term master plan for all the land the Port governs. In fact, they will shape that master plan as it goes forward. (Andrew Keatts)

4. What’s Gone Wrong – and Right – at San Diego High
The best case for what’s gone right at San Diego High is the School of International Studies. That school continues to act as a magnet for high-performing students in central San Diego neighborhoods. But the thing that’s gone right at San Diego High is directly related to what’s gone wrong. (Mario Koran)

5. North County Report: 3 Unanswered Questions After Poway Supe’s Firing
Poway Unified’s superintendent was fired this week for allegedly taking at least $345,000 from the district, much of it through improper vacation cash-outs and longevity pay. The school board plans to sue John Collins to try to recover the money, and his attorney has vowed that Collins will fight the claims. While district documents detail its reasons for ushering Collins out, some questions remain. (Voice of San Diego)

6. For the Chargers, Every Vote Will Count
Now that the Chargers’ plan for a downtown stadium has made the November ballot, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith must do a legal analysis of the measure. That’s a problem, since no one is certain whether the measure needs a simple majority, or a two-thirds majority to pass. The California Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the issue, but that might not happen until after the vote. (Scott Lewis)

7. The Big Decisions Facing the Port
The Port will need to decide whether it has any reservations giving two prime sites to a single developer. On one hand, doing so could provide consistency between two major pieces of Port land. On the other, the agency would have a lot riding on the one company’s performance, and wouldn’t benefit from competing ideas. (Andrew Keatts)

8. McKinley Elementary’s Transformation Mirrors a Changing Neighborhood
It’s hard to believe that just 10 years ago, McKinley was the school the neighborhood parents avoided. The McKinley of today has an engaged parent community and has to turn away many folks from outside the neighborhood. (Mario Koran)

9. There’s More to Drought-Proofing Than Water Mandates
Extreme mandates aren’t the only way to achieve water savings. The Water Authority has worked to increase water-use efficiency statewide and to ensure a diverse, drought-proof supply of water. (Mark Weston)

10. Chula Vista, At Long Last, Is Ready for Its Own Public Arts Program
Chula Vista has shown a renewed interest in the arts. In April, it hired Lynnette Tessitore-Lopez to head up the cultural arts program. And its latest plan to fund public art projects stands a good chance of getting approved at Council on July 26. The plan makes public art fees voluntary and is more comprehensive than a plan that failed a decade ago. (Kinsee Morlan)

Tristan is Chief Strategy Officer at the News Revenue Hub. You can follow the Hub on Facebook or Twitter or reach Tristan by email at

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