A group of migrants gathers near a section of border construction, after U.S. border agents deployed tear gas. / Photo by Vito Di Stefano

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week.

1. Border Report: The Problem With Blaming Tijuana’s Violence Solely on the Drug Trade

After Tijuana experienced its most violent year on record, one border expert explains why writing off all the city’s crimes as related to the illegal drug trade could actually be making things worse. (Maya Srikrishnan)

2. City, County Officials Are Making Moves to Shelter Asylum-Seekers

City officials plan to explore housing migrants seeking asylum at a shuttered juvenile facility in Alpine, and county officials will explore options next week. An especially chaotic holiday season highlighted the need for more resources, shelter space and coordination to serve the thousands of asylum-seeking families federal officials are releasing in San Diego. (Maya Srikrishnan and Lisa Halverstadt)

3. SANDAG’s New Director Is Sketching a New Vision for Transit in San Diego

From a hyperloop to self-driving cars to charging drivers for every mile they drive, SANDAG’s new executive director, Hasan Ikhrata, is willing to talk about transportation in a way that hasn’t been seen at the powerful regional agency. But he’s been careful not to commit to anything concrete. (Andrew Keatts)

4. There Is a Crisis at the Border – But it Doesn’t Involve Illegal Immigrants

To the extent that a crisis does exist at the border, as the president has suggested, it’s not one involving a surge in illegal crossings or terrorist threats. Local officials, nonprofits and activists have been increasingly raising the alarm that a humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by Trump administration policies surrounding asylum claims, is brewing. (Maya Srikrishnan)

5. The Spike in City Spending on Homelessness Aid Is Clear, but the Results Are Murkier

Over the last year, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other city leaders dramatically increased city spending to aid homeless San Diegans. But just a fraction of those helped by the new city-funded services have moved onto permanent homes, underscoring the need for more long-term solutions and strategies. (Lisa Halverstadt)

6. Faulconer and SANDAG Unveil Their Airport Transit Vision

Regional leaders will ask the U.S. Navy to let them redevelop the Old Town property currently occupied by SPAWAR into a transit station with a rail connection to the San Diego International Airport. (Andrew Keatts)

7. Six Years and $1M Later, the County Still Doesn’t Have a Plan to Fight Climate Change

A county that has talked for years about building more housing on undeveloped land is hampered from doing just that until it overhauls county environmental policies — or can find an appellate court that will agree with its repeatedly rejected arguments. (Ry Rivard)

8. Styrofoam Ban Exposes a Tension Between Democrats

City Council Democrats all voted to ban Styrofoam food containers Tuesday but in doing so exposed a possible limit on environmental activists’ ability to win support from low-income communities for certain policies. (Ry Rivard)

9. How a Strange Accusation Caught Fire and Took Down an Assembly Candidate

The woman who accused Republican Assembly candidate Phil Graham of battery just before the June primary admits she told one of his GOP rivals about her claim. Labor groups and a Mexican company amplified her charge even after authorities determined it never happened. (Jesse Marx)

10. Opinion: It’s a New Year, and Time for a New Approach to Homelessness in San Diego

In the New Year, there is far more that San Diego leaders — and residents — can be doing to address the homelessness crisis. (John Brady)

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