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If you ever had the notion that artificial turf was sturdier than grass, put that aside: Schools across the region paid thousands of dollars to upgrade fake grass that was falling apart.

Now that upgraded fake grass is also falling apart, our Ashly McGlone writes in a follow-up to her multi-part investigation about FieldTurf.

As she reported then, customers that spent $400,000 to $900,000 for “the best” turf shelled out another $25,000 to $300,000 just a few years later to replace faulty fields still under warranty.

FieldTurf officials declined to say how many fields were affected by the manufacturing problem, though McGlone finds and chronicles a turf replacement saga at Torrey Pines High School.

Sewage Spill Might Have Been Larger Than Thought

A group of officials from the United States and Mexico say as many as 256 million gallons of sewage came across the border in January and February, according to an inconclusive report the International Boundary and Water Commission released on Monday.

The bi-national group was supposed to get to the bottom of a spill earlier this year that sent millions of gallons of Mexican sewage north through the Tijuana River and closed beaches from Imperial Beach to Coronado.

But report is unclear about who is to blame for that. It says at least 28 million gallons of sewage were the result of a sewer line that collapsed in Tijuana on Jan. 1 and was not fixed until Feb. 23. The report does not blame the whole spill on that collapsed line, though. It says an extremely wet winter and other problems, like a trash-filled storm drain system, could have contributed. Instead, it says, “It is difficult to determine individual flows and all point sources, as well as the source of the strong odors that were noted in the river valley in the U.S. on February 6 through February 17, 2017 period.”

The spill, thought to be the largest in a decade or more, drew outcry from people who live along the coast and also attracted media attention to the long-running problem of cross-border pollution in the Tijuana River Valley. The report has several recommendations, including a call for better communication between Mexico and the Unites States.

In Other News

• Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Monday rallied to hike the hotel take so the city can pay to expand the convention center, road repairs and fight homelessness. If you think that sounds easy, well, of course not: The city is already being sued by a company that wants to block the expansion because it would interfere with the company’s plans to put a new hotel on the same site, the Union-Tribune reports. We profiled the company, Fifth Avenue Landing, back in December — it’s two guys with a little piece of land that everybody wants.

• If you don’t want your bus route scaled back or even eliminated, you better tell the Metropolitan Transit System before they make a final decision. (KPBS)

• The Union-Tribune published a slideshow of proposals for the new border wall that President Donald Trump wants. (Union-Tribune)

• Trump’s proposed budget cutsworry education officials who help homeless students. These officials join a fairly large crowd of people hoping to avoid cuts to their pet federal programs, including people in law enforcement, environmental protection, public broadcasting and public health. (inewsource)

• The new state courthouse in downtown San Diego is facing more delays before it opens, NBC 7 San Diego reports.

• Finally, check out this wild story by the Union-Tribune’s Jeff McDonald on people who received legal threats after they posted negative Yelp reviews about a dentist in Clairemont.

Ry Rivard

Ry Rivard was formerly a reporter for Voice of San Diego. He wrote about water and power.

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