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San Diego County Sheriff’s Department deputies raid an illegal dispensary in Spring Valley. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department deputies raid an illegal dispensary in Spring Valley. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week Jan. 19-26.

1. Illegal Pot Shops Are Opening Faster Than San Diego County Can Shut Them Down

San Diego County has banned pot dispensaries in its unincorporated areas, but the Sheriff’s Department can’t enforce the ban, because the locations that are shut down just re-open. Spring Valley has become the Wild West for illegal pot shops. (Kinsee Morlan)

2. Chadwick out, Michell in as San Diego City Hall COO

Kris Michell has been an influential player in City Hall politics before but her appointment as COO marks a major change for the role, which has generally gone to technocrats rather than political operators. (Scott Lewis)

3. Kristin Gaspar Is the Latest Republican to Seek Issa’s Seat

Congressman Darrell Issa’s sudden announcement not to seek re-election in California’s 49th District set off a frenzy of contenders on the right. Supervisor Kristin Gaspar has jumped in, too. The stage is set to divide GOP loyalties along county lines. (Jesse Marx)

4. A Reader’s Guide to S.D’s Deadly Flu Outbreak

As county deaths set a recent record, the local outbreak is making national news. Drugs are in short supply while overwhelmed hospitals ban visitors and try to cope. But the worst may be over. (Randy Dotinga)

5. Opinion: Can’t Find Housing? Thank the San Diego County Board of Supervisors

If they’re really concerned about the lack of affordable housing, they could reject on Wednesday plans for a proposed strip mall in unincorporated Lakeside. It’s located on a parcel zoned to accommodate moderately priced multi-family homes. (Jack Shu)

6. San Diego Unified’s Mysterious Budget Thermometer, Explained

San Diego Unified tried to clarify its budget picture with a visual aid. But the graphic itself was awfully confusing. (Mario Koran)

7. The Black Market for Weed Is Keeping the Legal Market Afloat

Industry experts say San Diego’s limited number of licensed shops can’t possibly meet the demands of consumers until the city’s supply chain is fully up and running. In the meantime, the people need options. (Jesse Marx)

8. County and City Pensions Still Underfunded Despite 2017 Bull Market

San Diego’s biggest funds posted huge investment returns thanks to 2017’s bull market, but that wasn’t enough to dig them out of their underfunded holes. (Ashly McGlone)

9. With COO Departure, Mayor Moves for More Control Over Bureaucracy

The mayor’s choice for COO, a veteran of City Hall politics, promises to bring alignment between the mayor’s goals and his workforce. But having all employees focused on the mayor’s political objectives has downsides, too. (Scott Lewis)

10. Escondido Agrees to Cooperate with Immigration Enforcement and It’s Probably No Big Deal

The Escondido Police Department applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and got it, with the caveat that the department had to certify it would cooperate with immigration agents. It did, and it doesn’t appear to be in conflict with new state laws. The department may not accept the grant if it can’t match the money with funds from elsewhere. (Maya Srikrishnan)

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