Passionate supporter of the Santa Barbara area’s heritage and arts, Kenny Slaught recently publicized his support for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s “The Image More” campaign, promoting it on his blog at KennySlaught.com. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art plays a vital role in the local community, as it offers educational programs while also connecting residents and visitors to truly astounding works of art. The museum is undergoing a major renovation project that will receive funding from the Imagine More campaign, an ambitious initiative that will provide for better gallery space, more community space, necessary updates to the building, and a better overall museum experience. The campaign aims to raise $50 million in capital to achieve these goals.

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Professor David Low from UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project titled “Strategy for development of enteric pathogen-specific phage”. Low’s research focuses on a ground-breaking way to deal with serious bacterial pathogens that are evolving to become resistant to many once-powerful antibiotics. “He will engineer phage to selectively target and destroy several pathogenic bacteria to prevent enteric diseases in infants,” notes Kenny Slaught.

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Other factors affecting the current situation are particularly Californian in nature and are the result of a general scarcity of land in desirable locations. Undeveloped land is priced prohibitively high, especially within the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas. Kenny Slaught notes regular setbacks in construction of new projects, resulting in many owners choosing to stay put and renovate, as Proposition 13, the 1978 amendment to the state’s constitution, makes relocating a daunting choice. Though the law caps future property tax increases at 2% based on 1975 assessments, an exorbitant exception takes place when a sale happens and a property is reassessed based on its current value. Ultimately, yearly totals are framed by purchase figures that vary monthly, as real estate demand in California shifts seasonally with most homes moved in June and a small increase in sales at year’s end. Also having an affect on yearly totals are asking prices, interest rates, consumer confidence, negative equity status, quantity and quality of homebuyer jobs, disposable income, saving rates, and elements such major foreign investments.

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A major pillar of Santa Barbara’s exceptional community, notes Kenny Slaught, is the region’s widespread commitment to philanthropy. The county’s civic leaders, business professionals, and residents maintain a deep tradition of nonprofit activity and generous giving, seen today through numerous charities, volunteer organizations and community initiatives. The area’s history of giving dates back to the creation of the Santa Barbara Foundation in 1928. Thriving local nonprofits eliminate mean that public officials do not need to seek assistance from national foundations, and can provide immediate attention to the needs of the community.

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