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Top Stories: July 6-13

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

Chula Vista High School’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

1. Alumni Say Chula Vista Choir Teacher Crossed the Line With Students for Years

When longtime Chula Vista High School choir teacher Anthony Atienza was found responsible for harassing female students in 2017 and removed from the school, he said the claims came from “the imaginations of three troubled high school girls.” Now, several graduates of Atienza’s class over the years and a former volunteer assistant director say some of the behavior reported last year was not isolated. (Ashly McGlone)

2. San Diego Unified Will Face Millions More in Budget Cuts Next Year

San Diego Unified School District trustees expect to grapple with nearly $41 million in budget cuts next year, plus at least $35 million more the year after. Where the money will come from is still unclear. (Ashly McGlone)

3. One Group That Wasn’t Shocked by the Primary Upset in D4: D4 Residents

Council President Myrtle Cole’s second-place finish in the June primary shocked political observers. But residents of the southeastern neighborhoods that comprise District 4 say upstart Monica Montgomery’s victory reflects decades of frustration with City Hall. (Andrew Keatts)

4. Solana Beach Is Misleading Residents About New Energy Program

The city’s entry into the energy business is being billed as a greener and cheaper alternative, but the facts tell a different story. (Louise Abbott)

5. Some Residents’ Water Bills Jumped 500 Percent or More in the Last 14 Months

Numerous water customers saw radical jumps in water bills from one bill to the next from January 2017 through February 2018, a VOSD and NBC 7 analysis shows. (Ry Rivard)

6. Politics Report: The Other, Other Homelessness Measure That Could Be Headed to November’s Ballot

There could be yet another local homelessness measure on the ballot this November, a legal challenge looks to force Councilwoman Lorie Zapf off the ballot and more. (Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt)

7.  The Airbnb of Camping Presents Many of the Same Issues for Regulators

Californians have found a new way to camp — and like short-term vacation rentals and ride-sharing companies, it’s presenting a new challenge to government regulators. (Kinsee Morlan)

8. City Water Department Resisted Oversight, Downplayed Smart Meter Problems

Amid hundreds of complaints of water bill spikes and problems with new smart water meters, the city water department has resisted public records requests, dodged its oversight board and misled the public about the extent of the issues, VOSD and NBC 7 found. (Ry Rivard)

9. Sacramento Report: A New Twist in the County Election Reform Saga

San Diego County Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric and Luis Vargas are asking a court to step in to stop a provision within a state budget trailer bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown from going into effect. That provision included a retroactive fix that would have helped qualify a San Diego County election reform measure for the November ballot. (Sara Libby and Ry Rivard)

10. A Major Piece of Faulconer’s Housing Plan Is on Hold

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan to encourage developers to build more homes for middle-class residents is now on hold. The postponement followed concerns from unions and affordable housing advocates that the proposal wouldn’t serve the middle-class San Diegans it’s intended to benefit and that it could hamper efforts to build homes reserved for low-income residents. (Lisa Halverstadt)

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