These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of June 23-30.

1. The Untold Story Behind the Sweetwater Schools Scandal

An investigation into the Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent eventually snowballed into a massive scandal that resulted in convictions for several school leaders and dominated the news for years. Missing from most of those stories was the small, devoted group of parents and community members who set the whole thing in motion. (Ashly McGlone)

2. SANDAG Bet Against Big Banks — and Taxpayers Are on the Hook for Millions

In 2005, SANDAG was looking to maximize the possibilities for Transnet, its newly passed tax measure. So it did what other public agencies were doing: It played around with sophisticated financial arrangements that few understood. Now it has a roughly $100 million liability hanging over its head. Agency leaders say the deal is working as intended. (Andrew Keatts and Ashly McGlone )

3. Culture Report: The Horton Plaza Park Problem

Anger builds over Chinese Historical Museum director’s ouster, neighbors aren’t fans of the Observatory North Park, Suzie’s Farm calls it quits and more in our weekly roundup of the region’s arts and culture news. (Kinsee Morlan)

4. Court Ruling Throws a Wrench in Two Big Upcoming Water Decisions

At very least, an appellate court ruling this week is a momentary setback for the San Diego County Water Authority at crucial time in California water policy and politics. The Water Authority has two major decisions to make by the end of the year and the ruling plays some part in each of them. (Ry Rivard)

5. Fact Check: San Diego Unified Has More Staffers but Fewer Students

Compare district staffing with district-run school enrollment and the trend is clear: The district budgeted more staff for fewer students in recent years. (Ashly McGlone)

6. Marten: Hundreds of Teacher Layoffs Might Be Rescinded

San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten said Tuesday that teacher layoffs for the 2017-2018 school year may drop below 200, down from 952 notices this spring. Marten offered no other explanation, and district staff said this week final layoff numbers are not yet available.(Ashly McGlone)

7. There’s a Quick Way to House the Homeless

In the short term, city and county leaders should take steps to get homeless people as many resources as they can as quickly as possible. (Lori Saldaña and Martha Sullivan)

8. Border Report: Border Wall Construction Hits … a Wall

There’s a familiar player at the heart of a bombshell New York Times report on Mexican government spying, last-ditch efforts to save the vaquita continue and more in our biweekly report on news from the border. (Brooke Binkowski)

9. New Regional Leader Tasked With Unifying San Diego’s Homeless-Fighting Efforts

Gordon Walker, a crucial player in Utah’s efforts to reduce chronic homelessness, is now leading the countywide group coordinating San Diego’s fight against growing homelessness. (Lisa Halverstadt)

10. Four Takeaways on the South Bay’s Hidden Homelessness Crisis

If you take one high-profile count of the region’s homeless at face value, you’d assume homelessness in the South Bay is dropping. But a closer look reveals many homeless families there are hidden out of sight, a reality that has real implications for some of the most vulnerable populations in the South Bay. (Maya Srikrishnan)

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