Issue: January 10, 2013

The number of Sacramento emergency-room visits soared over the past five years. According to a 2012 Sierra Health Foundation report, more than 40 percent of ER patients in 2010 probably didn’t need to visit an emergency room. SN&R went inside three local emergency rooms to find out what's going on with our health care safety net. Do patients have patience for Obamacare, which hopefully will remedy the state's health-care crisis? More in this week's feature. And in Frontlines, Christopher Arns asks, "Will Sacramento finally ban plastic bags?"

Just when you thought the craft brew field couldn't get any more trendy, here comes something new: cider. Made from apples. Alastair Bland examines the boom in Northern California craft and specialty ciders. Also in the arts section: Gregg Wager on violinist Rachel Barton Pine and Jonathan Kiefer on Zero Dark Thirty.

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