Petco Park on Aug. 16, 2023 in downtown San Diego.
Petco Park on Aug. 16, 2023 in downtown San Diego. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

This week on the VOSD Podcast, we’re joined by senior investigative reporter Will Huntsberry. And he brought what we in the Voice of San Diego newsroom call “a banger.”

Huntsberry’s new investigation revealed a fake nonprofit operated concession stands in Petco Park for nine years, earning a cut of the profits.

A snapshot of the earning potential just this year shows the nonprofit, “Chula Vista Fast Pitch,” worked enough concession stands to pull in $370,000.

On the show this week, VOSD Podcast hosts Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Jakob McWhinney and I review the story with Huntsberry — including the nature of nonprofit vendor work at Petco (and Snapdragon Stadium), how this fake nonprofit came to be, who was behind it, who’s ultimately responsible and the fallout after the story broke.

Kindergarten Calamity

Chronic absenteeism has always been at its worst in lower grades. That’s the metric that says when a child misses more than 10 percent of the school year.

Since the pandemic that rate has exploded for kindergarteners in San Diego Unified: 47 percent were chronically absent in the 2021 – 2022 school year.

Kindergarten is not a legally required grade. But as McWhinney found, this figure has major consequences for kids, San Diego Unified’s budget and education at large. This week, McWhinney broke down what experts are saying about this trend and delivers his chronic absenteeism Public Service Announcement.

Plus: Homelessness has changed in downtown San Diego since the mid-summer passage of a camping ordinance. Encampments are less visible. But shelter data shows those once living on the street are not all in new beds. On the pod, we talk about how things have changed in the city of San Diego. And across the region, mayors are wrestling with solutions and which homeless residents they want to serve.

See You in North Park

Get your tickets before it’s too late. Our crew will be at Original 40 Brewing in North Park on Wednesday, Sept. 6 to host our next live show.

Hosts Scott Lewis and Lopez-Villafaña will talk with San Diego City Councilman Kent Lee, play audience games and rabble-rouse.

Get your tickets here.

Listen Now

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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