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Of Mouse and Men

Are Napa County's restaurants making the grade when it comes to health inspections? That's the question the Napa Register is asking after a San Francisco couple filed suit against V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena, alleging that last July the winery's deli served them a turkey focaccia sandwich laced with a nice, fat juicy‹rat! Responding to the allegation, owner Daryl Sattui downgraded the rodent to a field mouse and claimed that out of hundreds of thousands of sandwiches the deli has sold over the years, this is the only such complaint it has received. In a separate story, the Register recommended that the county adopt the public display of health inspection report cards now required by law in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Might such a measure reduce the chances of rodent repast? Perhaps. According to county health inspection records, V. Sattui's food preparation area has received A grades for the past several years. However, the deli sales area received a D grade as recently as last December. The alleged rodent's origin remains a mystery.

Never Furget

As reported previously in these pages ("Animal Pragmatism," Jan. 12), the fur just keeps flying in Guerneville. The river resort community has remained divided since December, when local resident Alex Bury, a conference planner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), organized protests against two local thrift stores for selling used and new fur. Last week, the Russian River Eagle, a popular local leather bar, threw a "Furrr Ball," a counterdemonstration against Bury and company. However, when the bar attempted to donate the proceeds to a noble cause, Pets Are Loving Support (PALS), a local nonprofit that cares for animals belonging to AIDS patients, PALS turned the money down. So the Eagle donated the proceeds to a slightly less noble cause, the National Animal Interest Alliance. What's that? According to PETA, it's "a front organization that promotes and defends the interests of those who exploit animals." Its board members include "Joan Berosini, wife of orangutan abuser Bobby Berosini, who was forced to repay PETA hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees as a result of a suit brought against PETA for showing videotape of him beating the helpless orangutans" and Ed Walsh, whose infamous experiments on the brains of kittens at Boys Town National Research Hospital were halted after a PETA investigation. What's next on the agenda? Expect the fur to keep right on flying. "One of the big national [animal rights] groups will be staging an event in Guerneville on Monday, Feb. 28," Bury promises. Could PETA be coming to town? Mum's the word as this issue heads to press.

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From the February 23-March 1, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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