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Valley View Casino Center / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week Jan. 26-Feb. 2.

1. It Looks Like San Diego’s Preparing Its Vast Sports Arena Land for Redevelopment

San Diego owns many acres of land in the Midway District and it appears to be reluctant to extend leases around the Valley View Casino Center, and at the arena itself, beyond 2020. City planners are also finalizing new zoning rules for the area. It’s all heading toward a major redevelopment. (Lynn Walsh)

2. How Police Stumbled Onto a Human Smuggling Ring — At a House They’d Been Called to 53 Times

Neighbors called the cops 53 times on a home in Chula Vista. But it took pure dumb luck for Border Patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s to find out a human smuggling ring was operating there. (Adriana Heldiz)

3. Reluctantly, Chula Vista Is Going All-In for Pot

San Diego’s marijuana permitting system is up and running, while South Bay communities are still ironing out the details and taking vastly different approaches. In Chula Vista, the marijuana industry’s threats of forcing the issue onto the ballot have worked. (Jesse Marx)

4. Politics Report: Sports Arena Intrigue

We got a hold of a new poll. The DA and former DA go to the Women’s March. Labor Council goes with Fletcher for county supervisor. (Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts)

5. 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)

6. Facing Budget Cuts, San Diego Arts Head Steps Down

Dana Springs is stepping down as the executive director of the Commission for Arts and Culture, a city agency that funds local arts nonprofits and directs the city’s public art program. (Kinsee Morlan)

7. Opinion: San Diego County’s Ban on Cannabis Is Cruel and Misguided

Despite the support of San Diego County residents, the Board of Supervisors is denying patients the ability to safely and easily access their medicine. (Jason Sclar)

8. The Problem With San Diego’s Business Subsidy Program

San Diego’s business subsidy program is a mess. The city doesn’t track it well, or have a good system of determining who deserves special assistance, and the benefits rarely go to the city’s poorest communities. (Andrew Keatts)

9. Special Education Costs Are Rising, But Money From State and Feds Isn’t

Special education costs are increasing across California, but the state hasn’t changed how much money it gives to school districts to help special education students. (Maya Srikrishnan)

10. Construction Groups Mull Opposing Hotel-Tax Hike

San Diego’s Associated General Contractors chapter and the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction fear that a hotel-tax measure includes a backdoor attempt to allow a controversial project labor agreement. That could spell trouble for the tourism and labor coalition behind the measure. (Lisa Halverstadt)

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