These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Feb. 2-9.

1. Opinion: The County’s Outrageous Targeting of Reporter Who Exposed Jail Deaths

Taxpayer-funded attorneys are needlessly harassing a journalist who did her job and did it well. They need to knock it off. (Randy Dotinga)

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. 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)

4. 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 shops. (Kinsee Morlan)

5. Pension Bills Are Soaring and San Diego School Districts Are Bracing for More

State trustees changed how they calculate the amount districts owe. That, combined with local early retirements and raises, means the resulting bills are big. (Ashly McGlone)

6. 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)

7. 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)

8. The County’s Climate Plan Promises a New Land Use Battle

San Diego County’s climate action plan is meant to control the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the county. As written, the plan will let suburban sprawl projects offset their carbon footprint by planting trees on the other side of the world. (Ry Rivard)

9. Good Schools for All: Poway Unified’s New Leader

Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk to Poway Unified Superintendent Marian Kim-Phelps about the district’s past turmoil and how she plans to move forward. (Kinsee Morlan)

10. Pot Legalization Brings ‘The Resistance’ to San Diego’s Top Law Enforcement Races

The Democratic candidates for San Diego County’s two law enforcement positions are promising to accommodate legal marijuana markets in unincorporated communities — even if it means confronting the federal government. (Jesse Marx)

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