The More Things Change

By Paul Scholl  |  2019-04-23

Terri Perrin receives a special resolution of thanks for her years of service. Photo by Paul Scholl

Retirement leads to new management

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) – Under the serene shade of the trees and upon the calming paths that wind through the tall, well cared-for grasses of the Fair Oaks Cemetery, change has been in the air.

With the retirement of Terri Perrin, District Manager, a new team has been placed to guide the cemetery patrons for the future.

Terri retired a couple of months ago, sharing the celebration at an open event held at the Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse. Many friends, family members and former business associates to the cemetery district were in attendance. A dozen or so offered their personal stories of working with Terri over her 26 year career, some that remembered even the earliest years and how their relationships had grown into friendships.

“I want to thank all those who attended this event and for all their comments and well-wishes”, Terri said. I also want to thank my former staff for all their hard work. Thank you to those on the board of directors for all their support. I am grateful for the years I spent with the Fair Oaks Cemetery District. After 26 years in the cemetery I am glad I made it out alive.”

Commenting on the gifts she received from friends at the event “And I plan to enjoy all the wine I received!”

New District Manager Guillermo Barron said in a recent interview, "We will continue to help our families that come to us in their most difficult time, with compassion and understanding to provide the best possible service"

One of the latest additions to the cemetery staff is Mysti Lingenfelter, Administrative Assistant. She said "I am so excited to work with such a great team. We are truly a family."

The Fair Oaks Cemetery District is now planning their annual Memorial Day event for Saturday, May 25. If you have never attended this event before, please come by this year. You will find a new appreciation for what they provide this community. 

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Playmakers to Host Annual Fundraising Dinner

By Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-04-13

(Left to right) San Juan Unified School District Athletics Director Ron Barney, Rio Head Coach Sam Stroughter, El Camino Head Coach JP Dolliver, Playmaker Founder Greg Roeszler, and Playmaker Director Phil Dubois plan to bring rival teams together through community service. Photo by Shaunna Boyd.

Proceeds Fund Free Summer Program for Local At-Risk Youth

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Playmakers Organization is a local non-profit that coaches character through leadership and provides free programs to underprivileged and at-risk youth. The Playmakers Organization is hosting their 10th annual fundraising dinner on Saturday, April 27 at Divine Savior Church, 9079 Greenback Lane in Orangevale.

Playmakers founder Greg Roeszler (known as Coach Roz) said the goal of the organization is “to serve extremely at-risk kids and support them in the development of character, academics, sports and recreation — and to create a bond that the kids and their families can depend on.”

Roeszler said the upcoming fundraiser dinner “is a very inspirational evening; it’s very kid-driven.” Roeszler explained that kids who are involved in the Playmakers program speak at the event and “they will bring you to happy tears.” The dinner is an opportunity for the kids “to tell their story.”

The event will honor Playmakers sponsor Harrison Phillips of the Buffalo Bills and will celebrate Playmakers civic group participants — Rotary, Optimists, and Lions. Playmakers will also be welcoming Stanford defensive linemen Michael Williams and Joe Swahn as honored guests. The keynote speaker will be Phil Oates, part-owner of the Sacramento Kings.

Players from the Rio Americano and El Camino football teams will be serving together at the dinner, helping to set up the event and serve food throughout the evening. Their service is part of an effort to reconcile the teams after a brawl last season that forced them to forfeit the final game.

 Food will be provided by Chicago Fire, which will be serving pizza, wings, and salads. The event includes a live auction, DJ, and no-host bar.

Proceeds from the event will fund the Playmakers Summer Academy, an all-day program that is completely free for families that can’t afford childcare during the summer months.

Tickets are $40 and are available for purchase at

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Celebrating 50 Years

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-04-13

Carmichael Pride: The 12U Carmichael Pride team celebrates opening day.

Carmichael Girls Softball League to Host Alumni Game Story

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael Girls Softball (CGS) is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. In honor of the occasion, CGS is hosting an alumni softball game on Saturday, May 11 on Field 2 at Carmichael Park, 5750 Grant Ave. in Carmichael.

The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a preview of the evening’s silent auction items, featuring baskets of goodies assembled by each of the 22 teams in the league. At 4:00 p.m., the alumni game will commence with the first pitch. A celebratory dinner will begin at 5:45 p.m., catered by Texas Roadhouse. The winners of the raffle and silent auction will be announced at 7:30 p.m.

The public is invited to watch the exhibition alumni game, which is free to attend. Tickets for the dinner are $15 for adults and $6 for kids. Tickets can be purchased by visiting and clicking on the “For Parents” link above the anniversary event details.

Founded in 1969, CGS is a non-profit organization 100% staffed by volunteers. CGS welcomes players of all skill levels and any girl between the ages of 4 and 17 can participate.

CGS states that they strive “to teach character, confidence, and courage in a fun environment through quality instruction using the principles of Positive Coaching. Our mission is to provide opportunity for every player to develop her softball skills, have respect for her teammates and competitors, and achieve her individual goals. We will strive to teach life lessons along the way.”

Corey Papais, head coach of the 12U Team, said, “We teach the girls good sportsmanship, camaraderie, and friendship. The girls are the most important aspect of the league, so first and foremost, we want to ensure they enjoy the game.”

“It’s an amazing accomplishment to last 50 years, and to be able to sustain such longevity,” said Papais. “I’m really happy to be involved and excited to celebrate this milestone. I am also very proud of our Board for keeping the league going throughout the years. And special thanks to Rhonda Stefko, the 50th Anniversary Director, who is coordinating the entire event.”

Anyone who played in the league in the last 50 years (excluding current players) is encouraged to sign up to play in the exhibition game. If you would like to participate, email Rhonda Stefko ( or Jen Leavitt (

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DMV Office serves members of the Legislature

SACRAMENTO, CA - Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced Assembly Bill 862 today that would prohibit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from operating a secret DMV field office that only serves a select group of individuals in state government, including Members of the Legislature and their staff.

“At a time when the DMV is failing to adequately serve Californians, it is unconscionable that lawmakers tasked with keeping the department accountable do not have to wait in the same lines as the people they represent,” Kiley said. “We’ll see if there’s more interest in fixing the DMV once all California Legislators are required to endure the same experience as their constituents.”

Multiple news reports and audits in recent months have highlighted the DMV’s deficiencies, including:
Over 6-8 hours wait times in many locations; Mishandling of 23,000 voter registrations since passage of Motor Voter law; Incorrectly registering over 1,500 ineligible voters, including non-citizens; Preventing over 500 eligible voters from registering due to failure to submit paperwork on time; Employee sleeping on the job over 2,000 hours; Dozens of technology outages disabling operations for hours at a time; Failing to comply with federal law regarding Real ID identity verification; Resignation of DMV director responsible for mismanagement.

Most recently, an audit by the Department of Finance uncovered a number of concerning findings at the DMV including an outdated organizational structure, poor performing IT systems, and a failure to properly train employees to meet the needs of customers.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes the Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado County communities of Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Granite Bay, Lincoln, Loomis, Orangevale, Penryn, Rocklin, Roseville, and Sheridan.

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Dogtopia is Barking Up the Right Tree

By David Dickstein  |  2019-04-13

Terri and Mike Wilson own Dogtopia in Rancho Cordova. Photo by David Dickstein

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Mike and Terri Wilson’s pet project turns a half-year old on April 19 – a puppy by dog standards, and a bona fide fledgling enterprise in business circles. But how long Dogtopia has been open is of no concern to the self-appointed boss. Tanner, a year-old, 80-pound husky-border collie mix, acts like he runs the place. Indeed, belonging to the owners of a doggie daycare facility has its advantages. Like having a bed to lay on in an office near where furry friends are released to their owners.

“Tanner, come back here – you know you can’t do that,” Mike barked in a half-serious voice as Noah, an Australian shepherd mix, was going home – not that a full-serious voice would have made any difference to the curious canine, one of the younger daytime residents of Dogtopia. Tanner and his more composed 7-year-old brother Boomer, a 90-pound English cream golden retriever, are cute as heck, but furry freeloaders. All employees get comped daycare for their pooches. Of paying guests, about 70 percent are regulars, not unlike daycare facilities for human children.

With dozens of dogs having a ball on any given day, Dogtopia has certainly brought life to 7,455 square feet that had been dead since stores selling furniture and kayaks pulled out. The first Dogtopia franchise in the Sacramento Valley is part of a renaissance for the newly remodeled Nimbus Winery. Over the past year, long-time tenants Tommy T’s and Old Spaghetti Factory have also welcomed Fort Rock Brewery and Red Door Escape Room.

Like a cat entered in a dog show, Dogtopia doesn’t seem to belong in a mall dominated by restaurants and amusement centers, Monster Golf included. But when you think about it – as a dog – it actually makes complete sense. The animals are served food and entertained in an open-play environment. Think Chuck E. Cheese’s for canines, not that the mouse mascot would stand a chance against the anti-rodent instincts of a pack of dogs.

Well, there’s one alpha male at Dogtopia who wouldn’t hurt a mouse, let alone a flea. Milo is the alpha due not to strength – he’s a sweet Shih Tzu – but seniority.

“Milo was Dogtopia’s very first customer,” said Lisa Henslee, a vice president at VSP Global who finds the facility’s location off 50 and Hazel Avenue as ideal between her El Dorado Hills home and Rancho Cordova workplace. “Dogtopia is a great doggie daycare option for my dog and for me. Milo gets to enjoy socializing with other dogs and I get peace of mind knowing that he’s in a safe and fun environment.”

Henslee, a former Gold River resident, made the switch from another daycare facility when she learned Dogtopia has webcams in each of the playrooms.

“I can check in on him, see him playing, and know that he’s having a blast!” she said.

A full day costs $33, $20 for a half day, and prices go down with multiple-day passes and memberships.  Other services include dog boarding starting at $47 per night, and “spa” treatments that range from ear cleaning and teeth brushing to a nail trim and bath.

The playrooms are set up like supervised indoor dog parks, complete with a plastic fire hydrant on a patch of artificial grass large enough for dogs to, well, do what they do around real fire hydrants. Each playroom has compressed rubber flooring that promotes safe play and easy clean-up, along with a powerful HVAC system to maintain fresh air. Named “The Beach” and “The City,” each with a theme-supporting motif, the environments are under the watchful care of certified dog handlers, which here are called “canine coaches.” Dogs in each room are separated by size and temperament, and if one gets a bit, too rambunctious, crates are nearby for a well-deserved “time out.” Full-out chaos is rare, according to the Wilsons, thanks to an extensive evaluation process each pooch goes through before being welcomed beyond the free first day.

Fortunately for the Wilsons, their dogs were not among the 5 percent that don’t pass. That would be like the school principal’s kid being expelled. Tanner actually benefits from his brother having doggie daycare experience. After seeing the value of this type of service with Boomer when the Wilsons first got him, the idea of investing in the fastest-growing pet franchise made their decision for Mike to leave corporate America after 30-plus years a little less crazy.

“I was unhappy at my job, and we wanted to do something where we’d have a steady stream of money so we can take elaborate trips when we retire,” said Mike, who before his professional life went to the dogs, was director of planning for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Rancho Cordova. From managed care to pet daycare, one could say. If you like that, how about from white collar to dog collar? No doubt, Mike has heard them all. His wife, not so much. Terri has kept her 9-to-5 job at VSP, where she’s senior vice president and general manager of International Vision Care. On weekends and after hours, she dons the franchisee hat.

Among Dogtopias 13 months and younger, Rancho Cordova’s ranks among the highest in the categories of customer satisfaction and staff retention. In fact, 16 of the original 20 employees are still there as of this printing, led by general manager and Citrus Heights resident Nickole Fiola, who worked previously for Mike when both were at First Health.

Being a top dog within the Phoenix-based company is a tasty treat that the Wilsons don’t take for granted. It’s dog-eat-dog in the growing doggie daycare business, and just a few miles away are Folsom Dog Resort and Waggin’ Tails in Citrus Heights, among other places where the area’s dog-owning population can park their pooch.

“Bringing a high-end daycare and boarding facility to the Sacramento area is one motivator for us,” Terri said. “Another is that we enable more families to experience the joy of dog ownership, just as we did when discovering the value of dog daycare with Boomer.”

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Capitol Pops Concert Band will celebrate its 22nd anniversary with a free, open to the public concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019, in the Rusch Park Auditorium, 7801 Auburn Blvd., in Citrus Heights.

Under the baton of Director Judith Steinle, the CPCB will perform a fresh program of pops tunes reflecting the band's "Take Me Away" theme -- a musical journey designed to please a wide variety of listener tastes. The two-hour concert includes a 20-minute intermission.
This performance is co-sponsored by the Sunrise Recreation & Park District and the City of Citrus Heights.

Longtime band supporter Eisley Nursery in Auburn will provide a special rosebush for the band’s student scholarship raffle. Other raffle prizes will be available to attendees making voluntary donations. Spring flowers grown by Eisley Nursery will be available for purchase at the conclusion of the concert.
Started in 1997, the CPCB has performed a diverse portfolio of high-quality, well-prepared music heard by thousands of concert-goers throughout Northern California. The Citrus Heights-based, self-supporting, nonprofit community band of about 50 musicians represents a wide cross-section of the Sacramento area.

More information can be found on the band's Facebook page or at

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Had Expressly Stated He Wouldn't Interfere with Doctor-Patient Relationship

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - State Senator Richard Pan, the author of SB 277, a law that requires kindergartners to get twenty-seven different doses of medication and fifteen different shots or forego a public education, has introduced SB 276, a bill that would require government permission for a doctor to opine that certain vaccines could harm a patient.  This is an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship, likely violates doctor's free-speech rights, and contradicts Pan's own public promises from just a few years ago. 

Pan has claimed there is a problem with “medical exemptions” – i.e., official opinions by a doctor that if a child is vaccinated, that child could suffer harm. Medical exemptions are extremely rare, and doctors grant them only if a child or a family member suffers from things like a debilitating disease (such as leukemia), or if a child or a family member had a well-documented negative reaction to a vaccine or one of its ingredients. Just 0.7% of students obtain such an exemption, up from 0.2% before the passage of SB 277, a change that is not statistically significant. The total number of children exempt from the state’s vaccine requirements (i.e., including those 1.1% exempt due to disabilities) has actually dropped since the passage of SB 277, going from 2.6% to 1.9%, indicating that Pan’s plan is a solution in search of a problem.

Pan's legislation would require doctors to get permission from a government department -- the state Department of Public Health, before issuing an opinion for a patient on this issue.  Such interference in the doctor-patient relationship is unprecedented, and the only analogous laws have been in state's requiring state approval of abortions -- something that has been universally deemed improper. 

Pan’s planned attempt to crack down on doctors would almost certainly get in the way of a doctor making an evaluation based on empirical, scientific evidence. “Imagine being the parents of a child who the federal government concluded was injured because of a condition that made them susceptible to vaccines, and then your family doctor tells you she is too terrified to exempt your younger child from those same vaccines, because the thought police might take her license,” said Christina Hildebrand, President and Founder of A Voice for Choice Advocacy, a non-profit that advocates for medical freedom. “I can’t imagine what good would come from the government regulating a doctor’s free will to diagnose as he sees fit – it starts to resemble regulation of free speech,” Hildebrand concluded.

Pan, a politician representing the Sacramento region, is a regular beneficiary of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, averaging just shy of $100,000 from it every legislative session. He is the top recipient of such funds in the state legislature, and the pharmaceutical industry, in turn, is his largest contributor. 

“Any legislation or action on behalf of drugmakers that interferes with a doctor’s individual judgment will be hotly contested,” said Hildebrand. “We cannot let government determine what is in the best interests of any individual, overriding the doctor-patient relationship. Every doctor and patient in the state should be alarmed if such action is brought forward. If this can be done with vaccinations, what medical treatment will be next? Patients need to be able to trust their doctors and not worry that they are being pressured or worried that their honest, scientifically based medical judgement will be overruled by a legislatively appointed official who has never met them.”

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