“The professionals at Hospice of Santa Barbara strive to provide the highest level of service to clients by offering effective, cutting-edge therapies,” Kenny Slaught writes, recognizing the work of the organization. “Dealing with grief and loss is extremely difficult, but a new therapy has emerged to help individuals through difficult times.” Individuals with PTSD experience overwhelmingly painful emotional reactions whenever they remember a past trauma. Those dealing with loss and grief often have similar experiences when remembering emotional triggers. With EMDR, these painful emotions can be mitigated. The process involves the use of dual stimulation—both bilateral eye movements and tones or taps, as patients recall past traumas in a safe environment while focusing on an external stimulus. Practitioners then help their patient to find insight about the difficult emotions and make more positive associations with current triggers.

Read more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/kenny-slaught-santa-barbara-bowls-235900501.html


The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction held its 13th Annual Gratitude Luncheon Honoring its Mentorship Program, Wednesday, March 8 at the El Encanto Santa Barbara. The luncheon was founded by Anne Smith Towbes to celebrate the mentor program, which is 28 years strong.

This year, the CADA honoree mentor is Kenny Slaught. He was born in Los Angeles, attended UCSB and was a founding board member for the Storyteller Children’s Center. A father of six children with wife Elizabeth, he volunteered seven years ago to be a mentor at CADA after his kids went off to college. He has been a mentor to two students for that time, one of whom was recently accepted into Loyola Marymount University to study law. Slaught is a member of the Santa Barbara Dream Foundation Board and the UCSB Board of Trustees.

The luncheon program commenced with CADA Director of Major Gifts Catherine Remak as emcee. She introduced the program highlights and the 2023 Teen Star winner, Andrew Diffenderfer, a Dos Pueblos High School student. He sang, “You Lift Me Up” while a slide show of the mentees played.

The CADA Executive Director Scott Whiteley spoke next. He quipped, “Five years at CADA… not bad for a temp job!” He thanked CADA’s first President and CEO Penny Jenkins, and the community treasures who attended the luncheon, including Rona Barrett and therecently retired SB Zoo President & CEO Rich Block; President of the James S. Bower Foundation Jon Clark; President & CEO of CALM SB Alana Walczak; Executive Director of New House SB Adam Burridge; City of SB Councilmember Eric Friedman; Erin Graffy;Chairman & CEO Montecito Bank & Trust Janet Garufis; and Remak for her years of service with CADA. Whiteley remarked that CADA has matched over 1,000 kids with mentors in its 28 years, and many are the first in their families to attend college.

Next, Towbes introduced the keynote speaker, Joe Lambert. She said, “I am grateful to once again celebrate CADA’s mentor program. I know the room is filled with friends and mentors who have affected each of us. Let’s take a moment to thank them for their importance in our lives. Joe and I met 15 years ago over coffee. We share a love of music and the arts. We know how important the arts are in raising self-esteem, teaching camaraderie, learning how to focus and being willing to do the hard repetitive work to get it right. Joe has deep roots in SB and has lived here for 60 years – looking good Joe, just sayin’! [with a laugh] His true passion is bringing out the best in young people through music, and he founded Teen Star 14 years ago. Thank you, Joe, for giving our young people a way to share their talent.”

Lambert began by saying, “Anne I disagree with you, you look better than me!” He then shared his personal journey, where at eight years old he lost his mother to cancer, and his dad became an alcoholic. A track coach encouraged him to join and another to be the Student Body President. He had a scholarship for college, built a successful business, invested in his church, and rebuilt a childhood he never had. Lambert encouraged his kids to go for their passion, and he did the same for himself when he founded Teen Star. He showed a video of students in the Teen Star program. He provided his grateful thanks to Virgil Elings of the renowned Elings Family, Remak who is a celebrity judge for Teen Star, Michelle Apodaca, Bob Bryant, and Earl Minnis.

Garufis and Remakled the ask, drawing in approximately $23,000.

Noted attendees were Rinaldo and Lalla Brutoco, Jon Clark, Carol-Anne Lonson, John and Marti Daly, Andria Kahmann and John Raymont, Melody Taft, Perri Harcourt, Gordon Auchincloss, Cynder Sinclair, and Jill Nida.

Source: <https://www.montecitojournal.net/2024/03/19/cadas-13th-annual-gratitude-luncheon/>


Storyteller Children’s Center, which provides early childhood education and much more to children living below the poverty line, has been struggling for months to obtain the city’s approval to install a toddler playground it procured with grant funding. Despite best intentions and efforts, its attempts to move forward have been stymied, and with the old, dated equipment demolished, the children are left with an empty playground.

When Storyteller removed the old playground equipment and began installing new play equipment last August at its 2115 State Street location, neighbors complained that the shade screen poles could be seen from behind the fence. A couple neighbors claimed the equipment needed to be more muted in color.

Even though the playground area is in the rear of its property, not visible from the street, Storyteller paused the work. Shortly thereafter, the city red-tagged the property and on September 12 posted a Stop Work Notice, which stated that the playground was being altered without a permit.

Storyteller — led by board members, including real estate investor Kenny Slaught — had not sought a permit because from the board’s reading of the city’s code, one was not required. This was confirmed by its playground vendor, Play & Park Structures, which does removals and installs across the country and advised the board that a permit is never required for a replacement toddler playground. The equipment is for children 6 to 23 months in age.

When presented with the Stop Work Notice, however, Storyteller was eager to comply and immediately inquired what type of permit is needed, but according to Storyteller representatives, the city would not specify.

In the meantime, Storyteller sought to remove the shade screen poles because of concerns voiced by neighbors. However, the city would not allow the removal without a demolition permit, which in turn Storyteller was not allowed to apply for until the city issued a Notice of Violation.

On October 20, the Notice of Violation was issued, stating that a building permit is required to install the new equipment. While Storyteller hired a consultant to work through permit needs, the city communicated that accessibility requirements must be met and recommended that Storyteller hire a Certified Access Specialist to assist them with this.

According to Storyteller’s project team, there are no accessibility requirements for toddler playgrounds, but given the city’s insistence, Storyteller hired a Certified Access Specialist to prepare an assessment. The report, obtained on February 28 and submitted to the city the same day, confirmed that because the playground is for toddlers under the age of 2, there are indeed no accessibility requirements. The permit planner and Access Specialist added nearly $20,000 to the project.

What Storyteller seeks to do, according to Executive Director Dr. Gabriella Garcia, is replace an inaccessible sand surface with an accessible, resilient, and safe play surface. Each structure and the surfacing of the new playground are accessibility improvements from the old, sand-based playground.

One of the many positive outcomes of the playground, she shared, is that it will not only be fun and joyful, but also easier for all people to move around in. “There’s a science behind this, with the equipment designed to develop a host of skills through play — physical, social-emotional, sensory, cognitive, and communications skills,” added Garcia. “Even the colors are rooted in trauma psychology research.”

When asked about the accessibility requirement for this story, the Community Development Department Building & Safety Code Compliance Supervisor handling the matter stated that he did not realize until he received the accessibility report on February 28 that occupancy of the playground would be by toddlers under the age of 2. Given this, he stated, the proposed install will not trigger accessibility requirements.

According to him, two more issues still need to be resolved: the removal of small trees and bushes and any issues related to the shared easement status of the land on which the playground sits. Storyteller has submitted information regarding these issues and is hopeful that this will satisfy the city.

What’s needed, according to Slaught, is for everyone to get together and work together so that the children can have a playground. Slaught related that he is used to encountering obstacles in the development process, but what’s different here is that the terrible harm is borne by disadvantaged preschool children, who are left with an empty playground.

Storyteller, which has been at this site for 25 years, is a therapeutic preschool where all children come from families living below the poverty line. Last year, 82 percent of the children had single parents, and some were homeless. Storyteller also provides comprehensive support services for families.

“Storyteller has been a beacon of social change at this location for nearly three decades,” emphasized board co-chair Erinn Lynch. “It is our hope that the city process is not misused by a few neighbors who may not want to coexist with the normal operations of a school. These young children already endure challenges and adversity. Many face housing insecurity and a lack of place to call home. To attempt to limit their play spaces and the joy of outdoor play — it’s shortsighted. It’s not what this community is about.”

A dedicated, well-intentioned board and staff, a generous funder, and parents all hope that these toddlers, all living below the poverty line, will be able to get their new playground equipment soon.

Source: <https://www.independent.com/2024/03/15/permit-process-leaves-low-income-toddlers-with-empty-playground/>