Issue: September 29, 2011

Dear SN&R reader!

News: In an age of blogs, tweets, hacks, and piles of beans spilled by Wikileaks, the notion of media censorship may seem dated. But the stories Project Censored calls attention to this year serve as a reminder that mainstream media outlets continue to favor the superficial over the substantive. Also this week: STDs are on the rise in Sacramento County, fingerprinting requirements impact food-stamp access, and your Comcast box might be the largest energy suck in your home.

In this week's feature story, it's all about the money. Student loan money, that is. Just before the start of this academic year, Moody's Analytics, a wing of the behemoth Wall Street credit-rating agency, released "Student Lending's Failing Grade." This study suggested that tuition hikes, record student debt and unchecked lending are fostering conditions that alarmingly parallel the real-estate bubble and bust of the 2000s. "Fears of a bubble in educational spending are not without merit," Moody's warned. So is it true? Is there a college bubble? Nick Miller investigates.

On the arts beat, let's talk Second Saturday, which is always busiest during the summer months. So, was the summer of Second Saturday 2011 a boom? Or a step down a notch? Contributing writer Lovelle Harris chats with artists, gallery owners and Midtowners on the state of the neighborhood's flagship event. Also this week: the 20th annual Sammies award winners, Greg Lucas goes for Mexican and margaritas in Carmichael, and crocheted zombie dolls take over.

SN&R Staff