Voice of San Diego Podcast

Voice of San Diego Podcast

This is Voice of San Diego’s weekly spitfire roundup of news. We cover local and regional politics, the environment, education, the border and more. This show features our investigative reporting and interviews with lawmakers and other special guests.


September 22, 2023 47 mins

Last month, students at Correia Middle School in Point Loma reported seeing a classmate brandish a gun.

The following week, more allegations surfaced about the classmate in question. School Facebook groups blew up; parents spun. And in the aftermath, families demanded answers about San Diego Unified’s discipline policies.

In this episode, host Jakob McWhinney clarifies the messy story.

Plus: More arguments on the City Attorney j...

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There's an election for San Diego City Attorney in 2024. Current City Attorney Mara Elliott is termed out. Running to replace her are Deputy City Attorney Heather Ferbert and Assemblyman Brian Maienschein.

The 2024 ballot could ask voters to choose not only who should be City Attorney — but what the City Attorney should do.

On the show this week, our crew discusses the unique role of the San Diego City Attorney, its tumultuous hi...

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This week, San Diego City Councilman Kent Lee joined us for a live show in North Park.

Cozied up to the beer fermenters in Original 40 Brewing, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Jakob McWhinney spilled the tea on local public affairs. Because that’s what the people came for, right?

Talking points: Civic Center redevelopment project. The housing crisis. The cost-of-living crisis. Nudists. And audience games!

Support t...

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September 2, 2023 51 mins

Senior investigative reporter Will Huntsberry joins us to discuss his new investigation. He revealed a fake nonprofit that 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, we review the story — including the nature of non...

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August 26, 2023 45 mins

San Diego’s men’s soccer team — San Diego Loyal of the United Soccer League — announced this will be their final season.

In May, a coalition of investors bought into Major League Soccer and had their own announcement: a new team is coming to town. They have squeezed out San Diego Loyal.

This week, KPBS's Andrew Dyer — a local soccer nut and host of the San Diego Loyal Locals podcast — joins us to review the recent history of loca...

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August 19, 2023 45 mins
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August 12, 2023 45 mins

This week, environment reporter MacKenzie Elmer explains some of the drama going down in water politics.

It all started when a couple farming communities tried to divorce the San Diego Water Authority. Now, rural districts seek to change the whole voting structure — with the help of state lawmakers.

Plus: How to be a great composter. A Southeastern San Diego nonprofit loses community support. The last week before the special elec...

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Few joys in life match a breezy summer night gossiping with good friends over cold drinks. And in this first-ever “Happy Hour” special episode, that’s what we’ve got for you.

Hosts Scott Lewis and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña chat with guests Alain Stephens, reporter from The Trace, and Greg Moran, investigative reporter formerly with the The Union Tribune.

Our stories:
"Selling Sunset" star tied to landlord who tried to burn tenant...

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August 5, 2023 61 mins

Monday was the first day San Diego police could enforce the homeless camping ban — made to crack down on specific areas of the city where street camping has proliferated.

Voice reporter Lisa Halverstadt has been following this ban since its inception. This week she surveyed common camping areas to see how the city and police curbed campsites and affixed new warning signs. She shares all the latest details on the city's homeless ef...

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A few weeks ago, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria asked a question — daring reporters to find out, "What other jurisdictions are applying for Homekey dollars?"

"Homekey" is a state project doling out big money for new housing. Local municipalities can apply for funds to help boost permanent supportive housing projects. San Diego has applied for more than $105 million of this funding, chiefly to convert motels to permanent rooms.

And d...

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July 22, 2023 50 mins

"Mailers are like the core concentrate of local politics. If you boil down politics, you're left with mailer content."

This week, our hosts discuss political mailers. While mailers are objectively annoying inbox filler that most people throw, they are created by strategists who have a lot of data about who they're targeting. Therefore, in addition to the argument for or against any given candidate, the postal padding also serves...

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July 14, 2023 52 mins

Los Angeles' richest man, Patrick Soon-Shiong, sold the San Diego Union-Tribune and the LA Times to MediaNews Group, owned by Alden Global Capital. 

The U-T has had six owners since 2009. Soon-Shiong at the start of his tenure promised "stability." Now it seems there's anything but.

This week on the show, we discuss how the news came trickling out at the start of the week — followed quickly by staff reduction notices and buyout o...

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This week, we've got updates from the highly anticipated safe camping site put in place by the city of San Diego.

The city opened the site to provide unhoused residents a safe place to camp, made to be more attractive than sidewalks. The first of two such sites, it precedes stricter enforcement to get tents off city streets and away from sensitive areas like schools.

On the show, reporter Lisa Halverstadt details the amenities an...

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San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and other city leaders announced the opening of a safe camping site for homeless residents. It's first of two in the coming months — along with a new ban on camping, which narrowly passed the City Council last week. The ban expands current restrictions with further attention to sensitive areas such as schools and is now set to take effect in late July. Another, larger camp site is on tap for the fall.


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June 23, 2023 49 mins

This week's co-host, Jakob McWhinney, shared in this episode a framework he often uses to consider San Diego's present state and future: "It's gonna blow."

The Padres are going to acquire huge stars and take off. San Diego's going to be a hot new music scene. Democrats are going to transform county government. The big thing is always going to happen.

McWhinney and hosts Scott Lewis and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña review this week's ne...

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June 16, 2023 61 mins

After hours of public discussion and debate, the San Diego City Council narrowly approved a law that would ban camping on public land. 

The ban would bar homeless camps in public spaces at all times when shelter is available. And when shelter isn't available, tents would still be banned within two blocks of schools or shelters, as well as in canyons and along transit hubs and waterways. 

The pod crew gets into what it all means. 


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Days before the San Diego City Council voted on a camping ban pushed by Mayor Todd Gloria, he joined us in the Voice of San Diego studio to discuss his approach to homelessness. 

Host Scott Lewis had a lot of questions for him. What does the ban do that laws on the books don't do? How will it be enforced? What about this is different than what former mayor Kevin Faluconer did? 

Note: The City Council narrowly approved the ban on ...

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The new point-in-time count numbers are in. The annual homeless census showed a record surge in homelessness, reaching its highest point in 12 years.

On the podcast this week, we review the new data and particularly distressing increases among the senior population and in chronic homelessness.

We also have a story this week about the old data: According to a report by our Will Huntsberry, before the 2023 figures came out, the reg...

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June 3, 2023 50 mins

A bill that passed quietly last year, signed by the governor with no meaningful opposition, has completely upended campaign finance and is causing confusion across the state.

This week, we unpack SB 1439, which requires elected officials to recuse themselves from votes involving anyone who gave them more than $250 in campaign contributions.

Also a year ago, a San Diego city ordinance went into effect to curb street vendors. Vendo...

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Last week, we brought in KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen to talk about his new podcast, "Freeway Exit," dedicated to the past, present and future of freeways.

This is the full unabridged version of that interview — where Bowen and host Andrew Keatts are free to unleash their unbridled passion for freeways and transportation.

Here, they dig into the archival footage Bowen found to inform his series. They discussed a freeway decommissio...

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