These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Nov. 19-Nov. 25.

1. School District Retroactively OK’d More Than $200K for Foster Investigation
When the San Diego Unified school board opened an investigation into then-trustee Marne Foster, it capped the cost of the probe at $40,000. In the end, the district never made the report public — but it paid $228,000 for the effort. (Mario Koran)

2. Opinion: No Excuse for Father Joe’s Toussaint Academy Failure
Father Joe’s made a commitment to protect the teens living at Toussaint Academy. It has a moral obligation to ensure a safe, well planned and transparent transition into new housing. (Angela Santora)

3. National City Keeps Lowering the Bar to Building, But Developers Are Unmoved
National City has increased the density developers can build to and sped up the time it takes to get a building permit. But even combining those regulatory incentives with the area’s low land costs, bayfront views and proximity to downtown San Diego, the freeway and the trolley hasn’t made a difference. (Maya Srikrishnan)

4. Homelessness Is Exploding Downtown: What We Know (and Don’t) About Why
By all measures, homelessness is spiking and tent cities downtown are proliferating. (Lisa Halverstadt)

5. Across the County, Taxpayer-Funded Turf Fields Are Falling Apart After Just a Few Years
At least 20 artificial turf fields at schools across San Diego County have deteriorated while still under warranty. Yet instead of getting a free replacement, some schools shelled out even more money for another new field. Without much pushback from public school officials, taxpayers have been left holding the bag for a private company’s admittedly defective product. (Ashly McGlone)

6. San Marcos’ Looming Water Shortage Might Be a Mirage
The Vallecitos Water District, which provides water in and around San Marcos, told state regulators that demand for water will soon exceed its supplies. The state believes the district messed up the numbers by overestimating demand, but the report is threatening new development around San Marcos and worrying residents. (Ry Rivard)

7. 5 Takeaways From Our FieldTurf Investigation
San Diego County’s public schools funneled tens of millions of dollars to an artificial turf company that spent years installing a defective product, and then demanded schools pay more money for a sturdy replacement. (Ashly McGlone)

8. New Fire Stations in Hillcrest and Mission Valley Will Be Artless
Hillcrest and Mission Valley are getting new fire stations, but neither community will get the public art that typically comes with those type of city projects. In 2011, former Mayor Jerry Sanders temporarily suspended a policy requiring 2 percent of the cost of city construction projects to be spent on public art, and San Diegans are only just now seeing the effects of that decision. (Kinsee Morlan)

9. How a Turf Company With High Prices and a Defective Product Cornered the SD Market
FieldTurf USA managed to convince several public school districts to give all their turf jobs to the company, claiming it offered a superior product and warranty – all while grappling with a defective product installed at as many as 3,000 schools. (Ashly McGlone)

10. The Consummate Salesman
FieldTurf USA turned failure into opportunity when dozens of its artificial turf fields quickly fell apart at public schools across San Diego County. No one held the turf company line and wrung more money from local customers than regional FieldTurf salesman Tim Coury. (Ashly McGlone)

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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