No lion

As part of his Sacramento food safari, SN&R’s Jonathan Mendick discovered lion burgers on the menu locally (see “Feed me weird things,” SN&R Arts&Culture, February 24).

But turns out the Sacramento Kings’ mascot Slamson is not the only endangered lion around. Africa’s lion population has been reduced by about half in the last 20 years, says The New York Times.

This week, several wildlife groups asked the Department of the Interior to list lions under the Endangered Species Act to prevent lion parts from being imported.

And in a letter to SN&R, Monica Engebretson, an associate with Born Free USA, says most lion meat in the United States has been sourced back to a butcher shop in Chicago. That owner was reportedly convicted in 2003 of selling meat from rare tigers and leopards.

“[A] major concern is that once animals are skinned and slaughtered, it is difficult if not impossible to tell the species of origin,” she said.

Food for thought before ordering up that lion slider …

Compiled from Cull-de-Sac.

A house is not a home

It’s been nearly three months since the story about my ongoing house saga was published (see “Default!” by Rachel Leibrock; SN&R Feature; December 16, 2010). In the days and weeks since, I’ve received countless phone calls and e-mails from people.

Most people want to share their own stories—horrible tales of bureaucratic inefficiency. Some just want to check in and see how things are going. “Did it work out? Did you save your house?”

The short answer is no.

After the story ran, someone from Fannie Mae contacted me—she’d seen the article and wanted to see if she could help. Now, instead of having to deal with a different person every time we make a phone call, we just talk to the same counselor every time.

Unfortunately, that’s about all that’s changed. We’re still mired in a mountainous sludge of confusing details, numbers that don’t add up and the threat of foreclosure.

And the house I’ve lived in for five-and-a-half years has become just that: a house. Not a home.

We still live there, and when we are cozying up on the couch with a fire and snuggly cats and bad TV or good books, then it feels like home. But when I look at its deflated value and then I look over at the inflated bill the bank keeps trying to shove at us (on top of the increasingly inflated mortgage payment), I think: “Four walls and a roof. It’s not much more at this point.”

Maybe there’ll be an 11th hour miracle play, a beat-the-buzzer save to win the game. But I’m not holding my breath.

Compiled from Popsmart.