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These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6.
1. ‘We Do Not Owe Them a House in Poway’
In Poway, a veterans housing project was rejected over fears of low-income housing and the people who would live there. (Maya Srikrishnan)
2. He Tried to Follow the Rules – and He Lost His Business
Jerry Williams self-reported stormwater pollution from his business to the state, as required by law. Environmental groups sued over the reports, and as the legal fight dragged on, Williams closed shop. Meanwhile, other businesses flout the law, don’t do the monitoring and likely make more in profit. (Ry Rivard)
3. California’s Stormwater Regulations Are Themselves a Toxic Mess
Across California, there could be thousands or even tens of thousands of businesses dodging environmental rules and sending pollution into the state’s waters. Though an entire regulatory system exists to police businesses and keep water safe for residents and wildlife, the state doesn’t know how many unpermitted businesses are out there, or how much damage they’re doing. (Ry Rivard)
4. Big Year Coming for Balboa Park
The coming year promises lots of conversations about Balboa Park funding and needs, plus some new projects. (Lisa Halverstadt)
5. Developers Win Plenty in San Diego
Developers have the inside track both to staff and elected officials in numerous jurisdictions, often using (and sometimes abusing) their connections and their significant campaign contributions for their personal gain. (Everett DeLano)
6. In the Absence of State Enforcement, Private Attorneys Have Become Pollution Police
The state system for monitoring and punishing stormwater pollution is a mess: For years, regulators weren’t even reading businesses’ reports about how much pollution was flowing into local waterways. Other businesses evade the system altogether. It’s all given rise to a private police force of local attorneys and environmentalists who comb through government records, looking for businesses to take to court. (Ry Rivard)
7. San Diego’s Arts Scene Has More Leading Ladies Than Ever
This fall, Kathryn Kanjo stepped in to her new role as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, joining the growing ranks of women leading major arts organizations across the city. Several institutions now have a woman at the helm for the first or second time in their history. Many still see ways the arts community could embrace diversity even further. (Kinsee Morlan)
8. DA’s Office Is Investigating Former Poway Superintendent
John Collins’ past compensation as superintendent of Poway Unified is being investigated by the San Diego County district attorney’s office, according to court documents. (Ashly McGlone)
9. Yes, Veterans Would Most Likely Have Lived in Rejected Veterans Housing Project
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus defended the rejection of a low-income housing project for veterans by saying the project never guaranteed veterans would live there exclusively. (Maya Srikrishnan)
10. School District Can’t (or Won’t) Say What It Spends on Areas Potentially Facing Cuts
San Diego Unified officials earlier this month announced they’d need to cut at least $116.6 million in spending to balance next year’s budget, and identified three broad areas where the cuts would come from. But the district can’t say what those three areas currently cost. If the central office can cut $44 million, what is that $44 million from? (Ashly McGlone)