Getting smart ain’t cheap

vidently, backhoe crime also doesn’t pay.

vidently, backhoe crime also doesn’t pay.

Higher tuition isn’t the only bad news for Sacramento’s hard-hit community-college students. With California facing large budget cuts, students are unlikely to get much in return for the newly raised tuition fee of $36 per unit. The increase will be in place for the fall semester (summer classes still will be $26 per unit).

“The important thing to understand is that enrollment fees don’t go back to community colleges,” said Susie Williams, spokeswoman for the Los Rios Community College District. “[The fees] become part of the state’s general-fund revenues, and the state can spend those revenues any way they want.”

And the hits could keep coming.

“If the state’s budget situation doesn’t improve,” Williams said, “it is possible that the state Legislature could act to increase fees again next year.”

With the increase, the average cost for a 60-unit, two-year associate degree in California will be $2,160. But, Williams points out, compared to two-year schools in other states, California is still relatively cheap. According to the College Board, a higher-education nonprofit, the average cost nationally of a two-year degree is $2,713.

So for now, higher education in the Golden State is “still quite a bargain,” Williams said. (Hugh Biggar)

New Second Saturday rules?

At last month’s Second Saturday, police officers on 20th Street in Midtown shut down an impromptu show by 25 UC Davis Samba School drummers. The cops said the percussionists were not allowed to perform outdoors without a permit. Turns out, the cops were wrong. Sorta.

According to officials with the city of Sacramento, there is no formal policy that regulates nonamplified street performers during Second Saturday. That said, if your group makes a lot of noise, you’re gonna have to apply for an amplified-sound permit anyway, which costs $25. Confusing? A little.

But city officials and police have a history of cracking down on street artists: Back when Thursday Night Market thrived on the K Street Mall in the late ’90s, the city sparked controversy by banning buskers and performers. City code, meanwhile, allows nonamplified musicians, mimes and singers to perform outside without a permit, although they must comply with other laws pertaining to noise levels and blocking sidewalks—which is likely what triggered police to silence the UCD drummers last month.

This month’s Second Saturday is on April 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. (Nick Miller)

ATM fail

While it didn’t make for a good getaway car, thieves thought it might make for a good accomplice. Enterprising robbers in March stole a construction-site backhoe and drove it to an ATM on Arden Way. They then used it as a battering ram, damaging the building, tripping an alarm—and without stealing any cash. The thieves took off, and the backhoe isn’t talking. If anyone happened to see a backhoe in the early morning of March 21, it wasn’t a hallucination. Instead, call the Sacramento Police Department at (916) 443-4357 or text in a tip to 274637. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. (H.B.)