The Week in Review

Highlights from the week that was on

may 23, 2007  03:49 pm
Mayoral madness in Philly: The Democratic primary that the city of brotherly love had been gearing up for finally happened -- as Michael Nutter claims victory, Philadelphia Weekly all but proclaims him the new mayor of the heavily Democratic city. Meanwhile, Philadelphia City Paper profiles the elephant, so to speak, in the room: Al Taubenberger, the GOP's nominee for mayor.

Legislating fundamentalism: The Texas Observer sits down with State Rep. Warren Chisum, who wants Bibles in schools, abortions outlawed, and state-backed marriage counseling for couples wanting to take the plunge. He's currently the head of the state's House Appropriations Committee.

Textbooks and checkbooks: It's been known for some time that higher education has turned into a very big business, as we've see proven yet again with the recent scandals involving student loan companies' insider access. Fort Worth Weekly looks at another aspect of the higher-ed racket -- the too-frequent updating of textbooks, which leaves college students able to sell fewer and fewer books back, and also reduces the number of used books on the market for next year's crop of students.

The sub-prime of life: In many communities, foreclosures have become a way of life. The Houston Press notes "the market is a constellation of dubious lenders, brokers, servicers and investment trusts," and takes a closer look at one such lender, Litton Loan.

Jane & Jill still not quite Jack & Jill: As Oregon passes its Domestic Partnership bill, Willamette Week runs down the many ways in which gays remain second-class citizens.

The war continues: Theoretically, for Adrian Jimenez, the hard part is over. After all, the marine made it back to the U.S. from a tour in Iraq. But now the recovering alcoholic medicated on anti-depressants is living at a VA hospital and fighting to make it the rest of the way home. Monterey County Weekly tells his story.

Farming for the future: Seven Days spends some time with two Vermont carbon farmers to find out just what the hell carbon offsets are.

Death proceedings: Last week, we mentioned Philip Workman, who was recently executed in Tennessee despite new evidence suggesting he was innocent. This week, the Nashville Scene's Sarah Kelley files a dispatch from the execution and recaps the case.

Greening your green: Sacramento News & Review writer Jennifer Davidson took a one-week self-taught crash course in sustainable investing, and breaks down what she learned in this diary.

Breaking the automotive addiction Louisville Eccentric Observer writer Stephen George recently gave up his car for a month to see if he could get around the small city without it, and to see how it changed his life. He reports on his "unscientific study" this week.

Canvas might not be enough: The damage caused by plastic bags is becoming common knowledge, and we're seeing more and more canvas totes lugging groceries, beer, and whatever else people are buying. In this week's Ecoholic column, Adria Vasil clues us in on which ones are not only earth-friendly, but also sweatshop-free.

Goin' postal: So, the Postal Service raised first-class postage rates again, to 41 cents. Baltimore City Paper's Mr. Wrong wonders: "Why, oh why, my sweet Jesus H. Christ of Latter-Day Saints Inc. do they raise the price of stamps to not-round numbers? And you know who They are, seriously, with the Star Wars R2-D2 mailboxes? Who asked for that?"

Steal this story idea: The Chicago Reader's annual "These Parts" issue "sends correspondents out beyond the city limits to explore the region around us," and once again, they prove you can find some pretty interesting topics when you leave the metropolis. This year's topics include Hot Dog University, the world's only black Neil Diamond impersonator, and "the Pompeii of the midwest."