A charter school twice shunned by school authorities in San Diego has finally won approval from the state and will open its doors in the fall. Mario Koran reported on the proposed beginnings of Thrive Public School back in January, when it was mysteriously shot down by the San Diego Unified Board of Trustees. The school appealed the decision to the county, and found many of the people who had previously endorsed its bid were now staunch opponents.

Thrive’s last appeal to the state was successful, despite Superintendent Cindy Marten’s opposition (she originally supported Thrive). The school will be overseen by the state, and won’t be a part of San Diego Unified.

When ‘Minimum’ Doesn’t Apply

Any new minimum wage law, whether local or statewide, comes with numerous exemptions. You have to exempt people who work at homeless shelters, and people who are physically or mentally handicapped, for example. It’s also common to exempt the newest of workers, often young people working entry-level food jobs in the first months of their employment. But you won’t find that exemption in San Diego’s proposed new minimum wage. “The current proposal to hike San Diego’s minimum wage to $11.50 over three years would close the workers-in-training loophole to businesses in the city,” Lisa Halverstadt reports.

The State of Drones

If you noticed something floating in the sky during the recent Fourth of July fireworks show, you weren’t alone. Drones were out and about to record the fireworks shows from an aerial perspective, and they got noticed. Nobody’s quite sure how prevalent drones are in San Diego or how much their local production might impact the San Diego economy, but they have some guesses. Lisa Halverstadt joined NBC San Diego’s Catherine Garcia to find out what’s going in San Diego’s drone industry in our most recent San Diego Explained.

The Day in Immigration Dysfunction

Border Patrol said Thursday it would no longer be sending flights full of Central American migrants from Texas to San Diego for processing. They say they cleared enough of their backlog to stop transferring the migrants.

Meanwhile, Huffington Post looked into the “train of death” that carries, and sometimes maims or kills, migrants who are on their way from Mexico to the U.S. border.

Finally, the L.A. Times noted that the Minutemen Project, volunteers who claim to patrol border regions to assist law enforcement, are getting back into recruiting mode.

News Nibbles

• The feds want to know what California is going to do about a sudden backlog of 300,000 applicants for Medi-Cal coverage that suddenly sprang up in the wake of Obamacare. (KPBS)

• Building sidewalks that don’t crack and break in confounding ways is apparently a terribly complicated task in San Diego. Now, the brand new airport terminal has been bitten by the same problem. (NBC 7)

• Chalk up one win for “business improvement districts,” organizations that are given tax dollars taken from businesses by the city to spend on neighborhood improvements. Cory Briggs had sued, arguing that voters and not businesses should vote on the taxes. A judge disagreed. (U-T San Diego)

• San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System is drowning in the information it has collected and has reached out to “big data” organizations to help make sense of everything they’ve been tracking. Those efforts are starting to bear fruit. (Information Week)

• The San Diego Society of Professional Journalists on Thursday gave their top award to KPBS Editor Mark Sauer and the KPBS team that covered the downfall of San Diego’s former mayor.

• A pestilence of flies has overtaken Mission Beach, and residents are scheming up ways to fight back against the swarm. Any plague of frogs or blood that follows should probably be carefully considered. (U-T)

Grass Is Green Where You Paint It

As state officials start to mull the possibility of fining water wasters, one company is doing gangbusters business with their creative workaround. Is it all rock gardens and succulent plants? Nope. These folks will come out and spray-paint your dead grass and make it look nice and green again. The paint is safe for contact with the skin and lasts three months, according to NBC San Diego.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at voice@s3th.com or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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