Letters for March 10, 2011

No to lion’s meat

Re “Feed me weird things” by Jonathan Mendick (SN&R Arts&Culture, February 24):

Readers of this article might be interested to know that the sale and consumption of lion meat raise serious animal welfare, conservation and human health and safety concerns.

The fact that African lions are not yet listed on the Endangered Species Act seemed to be used by Flaming Grill [Cafe] owner Jose Silva as a way to assuage guilt. However, one major concern is that once animals are skinned and slaughtered, it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify the species or its origin.

While the African lion currently is not listed as an endangered species, it should be. The population and range of the African lion are in alarming decline. Just this week a coalition of wildlife conservation groups, including Sacramento’s own Born Free USA, filed a petition with the Department of Interior to list African lions as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Also of concern, lion meat is virtually unregulated. Lions raised for consumption in the United States are most assuredly not protected by the Animal Welfare Act and are completely omitted from the Humane Slaughter Act. Lion meat is largely ignored by federal authorities unless there were to be an illness-related complaint.

There is no good reason to keep lion meat on any restaurant menu. We should be saving lions in the wild, not eating them in Sacramento!

Monica Engebretson
senior program associate
Born Free USA

Hit and miss

Re “Butterflyman” by Hugh Biggar (SN&R Feature, March 3) and “Unsafe ground” by Bob Slobe (SN&R Essay, March 3):

Consider this letter a trident with two barbed and one smooth prong. Let me start with the smooth.

Hugh Biggars’ article “Butterflyman” is, to my knowledge, the best thing SN&R has ever published. Professor [Arthur] Shapiro is one of a number of highly able people who resides in the Davis/Sacramento nexus and whose thoughts, though internationally respected, are locally ignored. He is, in my experience, and like his contemporary pairs worldwide, generally hesitant to express his opinions for fear of how they may be distorted for public consumption. Thus my applause for Mr. Biggar.

My second prong, barbed, concerns Bob Slobe’s essay, “Unsafe ground.” First, I admired the article because Mr. Slobe was able to put his thoughts to paper clearly. I am grateful for his insight into what North Sacramento once was.

As a resident of North Sacramento, I was surprised at his allusions to the Woodlake Reach. I regularly walk this part of North Sacramento, and I have never been threatened nor I have come across any drug users’ needles or any pornographic material; moreover, human excrement is certainly as common in Mr. Slobe’s home as it is anywhere inhabited by man. On the Reach, one is more likely to meet with a veteran whose pension is inadequate to pay the rent for an apartment in one of the buildings that developers like Mr. Slobe own. These sorry people can’t afford heroin and needles; crystal meth, the odd joint or bottle of beer seem to provide their pleasures. Might I suggest that Mr. Slobe take a stroll down Sacramento’s K Street some afternoon? The Sacramento Housing Authority has poured about $20 million into North Sacramento over the past decade, and today there are more vacancies on Del Paso Boulevard than there were when they started. Planning for 1950 will help none of us, Mr. Slobe; look around you.

My last barbed prong is intended for [The Sacramento] Bee, which, having long ago abandoned the interests of the community, never publishes anything that might raise the hackle of an advertiser, and the other publications that seem to follow this pattern for success. All of what is today seen as tragic in North Sacramento and Sacramento has resulted from bad political decisions taken with advocacy from the Bee. Is it not time for some portion of the media to raise issues of controversy and give the public some alternative truths? Would this not have a positive impact and make our communities a better place to live?

Giles Lauren


Re “Sex and sustainability” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, March 3):

Jeff vonKaenel says it all so eloquently and sums it up well with, “Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the Republicans’ proposals create neither a sustainable health-care system nor a sustainable world. Planned Parenthood offers us the opportunity to do both.” Amen!

Jessie Cockeram
via e-mail

She’s poppin’ smart

Re “‘Who cares about the Kings?’” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, March 3):

Thanks so much for the timely article in today’s SN&R. It seems like there’s a certain sentiment that without the Kings, everything would remain unchanged in this area.

I am a Kings fan, as well as a music fan and member of a Sacramento-area band. What people don’t see that’s going on already is how many acts don’t come here because of venue issues. Fresno and even Reno pull in consistently better acts than Sacramento because they have modern venues. Occasionally, an up-and-coming hot act will pass through, but more often than not they will bypass Sac for greener pastures. This will only get worse if (when?) the Kings skip town.

Thanks again for the great article!

Troy James

The neighbors will be armed

Re “Secede! That’ll work” (SN&R Letters, March 3):

Although Mr. [John] Downs’ idea of secession sounds appealing (we are, after all, “the California Republic”), one thing that would happen if we did would be that the U.S. government would gather up all of its military equipment and personnel, move them across our borders and immediately turn around and point everything back at us and say, “Hello, neighbor.”

No more oppressive federal-tax burden. No more federal-government interference. We would be free to spend our great surplus on whatever we wish. Very simple solution—too simple.

John W. Borsdorf

Great memories

Re “King’s last roll” by Kimberly Brown (SN&R Scene&Heard, February 24):

This was a great article by Kimberly Brown. This makes a lot of us who grew up in Rancho Cordova sad. We literally grew up at King’s [Skate Country]. Great, great memories.

Cynthia Dines

Trim the lawn

Re Advertisements (SN&R Advertisements, March 3):

Let me first say that I love SN&R and its articles, which tend to be interesting and informative, or at the very least entertaining.

However, more and more, I can’t ignore the page after page of “Wellness Center” ads. I don’t mind a few ads for “massages” and pot, and I realize it’s the ads that keep the SN&R free and chuggin’, and I’m all for medical marijuana (hell, it should be legal, period)—but it’s really starting to get over the top. The loud ads with coupons, price advertising and matching are a bit coupe d’oeil, and it’s starting to drain your credibility. Please trim the lawn a little.

Matt Wong