Bride Katharine Raley dreamed of a perfect wedding day with a reception at Fusion International Arts Center, and she paid a $500 deposit to secure the venue.
That was before Gayliene Omary had to quickly move her multicultural center out of the building at 501 Arden Way, once home to the Limn furniture store.
"The expenses on that building were over $4,000 a month, plus rent," Omary said. "Every six months, my rent was going up. I was having a hard time making the expenses in general. It was a lot more expensive than I ever expected."
Omary moved Fusion on April 1 into a new building at 2030 Del Paso Blvd., where she said a landlord agreed to give her free rent for four months. She told Raley she would no longer be able to accommodate her wedding reception.
The bride's father, Scott Raley, called me after requests for a refund went unanswered: "She (Omary) said she had no money to refund the deposit. I've reminded her every time that a deposit is basically held against expenses for the services someone hires you for."
Omary said she'd like to refund the money, but she doesn't have it.
"I have a couple of them (deposits) that I have to refund," she said, "but I have not generated income here yet. I'm able to do that now because I'm leasing here for the first four months for free, so I am working on getting that generated up."
Raley said he's considered taking the matter to small-claims court, but he feels it's unlikely a judgment would be enforced. Meanwhile, his daughter's reception is now booked for Clunie Community Center at McKinley Park in east Sacramento.
Orthopedist's got game
Sacramento's Dr. Stephen Weber can't take down Kobe Bryant on the basketball court or Tiger Woods on the golf course, but he came out on top in the annals of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Now he hopes consumers will listen to him rather than trying to emulate famous athletes.
You see, weekend warriors around the nation flocked to Weber and other orthopedists after reading sports articles about how Bryant, Woods and other elite-level athletes were all using injections of a substance called platelet-rich plasma to help their injuries or worn-out joints heal faster and better.
"PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, involves taking blood from an individual and then you spin the blood down and take out a portion of the blood that should have what we call growth factors, things that may help you heal," Weber explained.
Because it comes from your own body, he said, the Food and Drug Administration does not have to regulate it. While companies usually must prove a drug works more times than it does not, he said, PRP sailed through a crack in the system.
Faced with patients who wanted the injections, Weber went online to research it. He could find no peer- reviewed studies.
He decided to do one. Sutter Health also wanted to know whether the procedure worked, and contributed the $30,000 he needed to get the research done. Weber identified 60 patients from his practice, 30 of whom received PRP and 30 who did not. After 18 months, he had an answer.
"There was really no difference," he said. "There was no difference in the amount of pain patients had. There was no difference in outcome, and there was no difference in the way the tendons looked at follow-up. If anything, the patients with PRP had slightly more pain than the ones who didn't."
Weber has practiced at Sacramento Knee & Sports Medicine for 27 years. He's received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons. He's on the board of directors of the California Orthopedic Association. He led a webinar on his study that drew 1,000 medical professionals. He urges buyers to beware the latest, greatest, newfangled treatments.
Ups and downs
Rick Ameil didn't pull any punches when he called to talk about the hectic first day of business at his Giant Orange hamburger stand at 1407 Howe Ave. in Sacramento. "We had a disastrous lunchtime," he said, "so I've closed. We probably won't go full steam until next Monday." Ameil said he's striving to improve turnaround time and quality.
Sacramento jazz singer Beth Duncan wowed the judges in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards, taking top honors in the cabaret category for "Comes The Fall." Duncan wrote in an email: "I won the judges' vote! YAY! YAY! YAY!" Duncan and her family paid for production of the CD out of pocket to try to attract wider appreciation for her talents. She can't travel and build a fan base, she said, because of her work as a radio broadcaster.