Endangered species

Safe shopping: The media is rapidly making the all-important transition from WARS to SARS, as headline writers strive to keep the panic level high enough to sell stacks of newspapers. So, even when an article makes some attempt to restore sanity and reason—as did The Sacramento Bee’s medical writer last week in a piece countering unfounded rumors that an area Asian market had been hit by the respiratory disease—it may just end up helping to spread such rumors even farther.

Fortunately for Sacramentans, the government is stepping in to finish a job the media could only start. On Monday afternoon, Vice Mayor Dave Jones sent out a press alert letting the world know that he—along with Assemblyman Darrel Steinberg, Sacramento County public-health officer Dr. Glennah Trochet and Council of Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Advocacy and Leadership general counsel Jerry Chong—would go shopping at a local Asian supermarket Tuesday morning.

“We are here today to show the community that this store is safe,” proclaimed Jones, presumably sans respiratory mask. While saluting the good intentions of our community leaders, Bites has decided not to mention at which market the shopping expedition occurred, so as not to further perpetuate any such rumors. We also want to state for the record that all rumors regarding Sac Bee mascot Scoopy being stricken by the illness are, at this point, completely unfounded.

Whatever happened to baby joey: Kangaroos don’t get to wear Adidas, but they do get to be turned into soccer shoes. That’s the word from an animal-rights group protesting a new bill activists fear will change the penal code currently prohibiting the sale of kangaroo, crocodile and alligator skins here in California. Viva!, an international group with a chapter in Davis, has joined with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and 13 other animal-protection organizations to oppose Senate Bill 233, recently introduced by Senator Dennis Hollingsworth. “Viva! believes it is no coincidence that at this strategic time in its campaign against Adidas, this bill is introduced, which directly benefits Adidas and encourages the destruction of wildlife,” argues Viva’s Lauren Ornelas.

Now, normally Bites would defend to the death the right of every local soccer mom and pop to shod little junior in the best quality shoes imaginable, even if that does mean the extinction of six kangaroo species while 17 others wait on the endangered-species list. But all that changed once Viva! played the nationalism card with the provocative headline: “German company seeks to undermine California law?” Do we see a pattern here? First Germans oppose our war, and now they’re going after goddamn Kangaroo Jack. Bites says: First, conquer the Middle East; then, on to Europe!

What the world needs now is interspecies love: And because Bites has every intention of shooting for the record of “most anthropomorphic animal references in a single column,” we cannot help but comment upon the absence of Slamson, the Sacramento Kings’ feline mascot, from an otherwise mascot-infested birthday celebration last week. OK, so maybe Slamson was busy in Philadelphia helping coach Rick Adelman win his 600th game, but surely there’s some way he could have been part of the pre-game “birthday extravaganza” for Golden State Warriors mascot Thunder last week in Oakland. An inside source with the Warriors cites the appearance of Thunder’s numerous mascot friends: Sourdough Sam of the San Francisco 49ers, Lou Seal of the San Francisco Giants, Stomper of the Oakland A’s, Miles of the Denver Broncos, Rocky of the Denver Nuggets, Champ of the Dallas Mavericks and, of course, Britney Spears.

In times like these, Bites believes, unity between team mascots is more important than ever. Couldn’t Slamson at least have done one of those satellite-hookup tribute messages? Or couldn’t he have just sent someone out in a Slamson suit? A concerned Bites called the mighty mascot at the number he gives out for booking parties, bar mitzvahs and such, but Slamson has yet to reply.