A speaker addresses the Sweetwater Union High School District board during public comment. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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

1. Docs, Interviews Show Sweetwater Officials Ignored Budget Warnings

For months, Sweetwater Union High School District officials have insisted no one knew anything was wrong with the budget until $30 million in overspending came suddenly to light last September. But it’s now clear that multiple workers raised alarms months earlier. (Will Huntsberry)

2. Social Media, Texts Have Fueled Numerous Instances of Teacher Misconduct

Despite numerous misconduct cases in which employees had inappropriate contact with students via texts or social media, most school districts in San Diego County still don’t have policies addressing such behavior. (Kayla Jimenez)

3. San Diego Can’t Hit State Climate Goals Without Major Transportation Changes

San Diego isn’t a trolley line here, a few improved bus routes there and a new highway lane over there away from meeting the requirements. The status quo, or modest alterations of it, won’t work. The region needs a new vision entirely. (Andrew Keatts)

4. The Plaza de Panama Plan Is on Hiatus

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a group of major philanthropists are shelving a plan to remodel Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama after bids for the project came in way over budget last month. (Lisa Halverstadt)

5. Border Report: The U.S. Is Sending Asylum-Seekers Back to Uncertainty in Mexico

The Trump administration’s new policy of returning asylum-seekers to Mexico while they await court hearings has renewed questions about safety and legal representation. In the meantime, discussions over border security are breaking down in Washington D.C. (Maya Srikrishnan)

6. Politics Report: Can Republicans Hold Their Safest SD Seat?

One D5 candidate can’t start raising money yet, another prospective one says the new salary hike made a run possible. Plus: The state might force Encinitas to finally solve its housing plan debacle. (Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts)

7. Costs for Pure Water Project Are Rising – by Billions

Back in 2015, the city estimated construction costs for the Pure Water project, which could eventually provide the city a third of its drinking water, would be $3 billion. Now, the city is looking to spend no less than $4.8 billion and perhaps as much as $9 billion on the project, according to city financial documents. (Ry Rivard)

8. The Legal Maneuvering That Put Strippers at the Center of the Gig Economy Debate

Two cases involving strippers and how they’re treated by their employers have made San Diego ground zero in the fight over how to classify workers.

9.  Labeled Disabled at an Early Age, a Former Student Looks Back With Regret

Michelle Cortez, who entered kindergarten as an English-learner, was diagnosed with a learning disability in second grade — a designation that was precarious from the start. By high school, it had robbed her of a quality education. (Maya Srikrishnan)

10. Newsom Backs One Water Tunnel, Curbing Brown Family Legacy

In his first State of the State address, Gov. Gavin Newsom scaled back plans for a project that would deliver water from Northern California to Los Angeles and San Diego. In the process, he capped a 60-year effort of two governors Brown. (Ry Rivard)

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