Neither razor-sharp nor hip

We regret the (ginormous) error: OK, OK. So, last week Bites took The Sacramento Bee to task for slipping a bit of suburban slang into one of its food reviews. Writer Lisa Heyamoto, a recent McClatchy Co. transplant from Washington state, used the word “ginormous” to describe a patio seating area.

Local blog Heckasac expressed disgust at the slumping level of culinary discourse in the region’s daily paper, and then so did Bites, calling Heyamoto’s writing “cutesy” and congratulating the Bee for skating along “the razor’s edge of hipness.”

Wasn’t that flippant?

Problem? SN&R food writer Kate Washington, just 23 pages away in the exact same issue, described a large cobbler she ate for dessert at Mason’s Restaurant. Guess how she described it? Yep. Ginormous.

Eagle-eye Bill Holland, a mental-health specialist for the state, was the first reader to point out Bites’ gaffe. Holland’s a nice guy, so he called the incident “ironic.”

Paul Gerowitz, a reader way over across the causeway in Davis, also found both instances of the word before the newspaper had been in racks even 24 hours, and dropped Bites a note. He also dropped a bit of his own slang. “Before you start dissing the old Bee,” he wrote, “check out page 35 in your own rag.” And former Sacramento Bee pop-culture writer J. Freedom du Lac, now at The Washington Post, e-mailed all the way from D.C. to ridicule Bites for the double ginormous usage.

If Bites had cheeks, they’d be rosy red with embarrassment.

However, Bites also is excited to announce that the word ginormous is now considered not only acceptable, but also, thanks to Ms. Washington, radical.

Top dog gets it wrong: Sheriff Lou Blanas was wrong.

The lame-duck, journalist-averse Sacramento County top law dog ripped the Bee a new one late last month, calling its reporting “totally inaccurate” and demeaning to doctors and nurses who work in county jail facilities.

The Bee had printed a story about jail health care, in which it cited the number of times in 2004 that inmates had to be transferred out of the jail for medical services. More than 7,000 times.

In a letter to the Bee, which also was posted prominently on the sheriff’s department’s Web site, Blanas attempted to set the record straight and shame the paper into running a retraction. He described the article and subsequent editorial as “full of inaccuracies.” However, he listed only the 7,000 number.

Well, it turns out that the number came directly from his department. John O’Shaughnessy, chief of Correctional Health Services who works under Blanas, said his own staff supplied that number to a state board. However, the actual number is far lower.

It was the sheriff’s department’s error. However, the scathing letter from Blanas to the Bee’s editorial board remains (as of SN&R press time, anyway) in the top right corner of

So, Bites would like to request a correction of the sheriff’s department. It would be nice if Blanas would remove the “totally inaccurate” information from his agency’s Web site, because it “demeans the professionalism” of this city’s news reporters. Very truly yours, Bites.

King for a night: The new year brought with it one of the most unabashed displays of our society’s superabundance, thanks in large part to the Maloof family.

The Maloof family, which owns a controlling share of the Sacramento Kings basketball franchise, recently opened a new attribute to the Palms hotel and casino in Las Vegas. For $50,000 per night, you can stay in the Hardwood Suite, a room that looks exactly like a basketball court at your local YMCA, complete with a Murphy bed that folds out of the wall behind the hoop so that you can sleep directly under the net.

The room opened on New Year’s Eve and was profiled in Sports Illustrated. If you stay there, custom-made basketball jerseys for you and each of your guests will be hanging in the closet, and the strobe light in the shower—the shower with a built-in “stripper pole”—will be turned on and waiting for you.

Already, according to Sports Illustrated, Hulk Hogan, Carmen Electra, C-Webb and Dennis Rodman have stayed in the Hardwood Suite. The magazine didn’t say whether the four visited separately or together.