Halloween Display: 15th Street in Santa Monica is home to some of the area’s most decorative displays of Halloween haunts, including this abode adorned with skeletons. Scott Snowden

DTSM begins search for new security provider:

Following the news that private security firm Covered 6 pulled out of a contract to patrol the 3rd Street Promenade, the Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) board recently voted to conduct a Request for Proposal from similar companies. The contract with Covered 6 had been signed by all involved parties and the company was due to begin work the first week of October, but the company backed out and exercised an emergency escape clause in the contract. DTSM Operations Director Jeremy Ferguson said that 20 companies received the Request for Proposal, hoping that the new security company will be able to start within 30 days of official selection.

Santa Monica College sets its sights on the stars with new state-of-the-art observatory:

A new, permanent observatory is in the works for Santa Monica College’s new Engineering & Science Department building. The observatory, set to be operational on the building’s rooftop in 2025, will have a 20.6-foot diameter and a 27.5-inch telescope. Sea West Observatories was chosen as a contractor for providing consulting, as well as installing the dome, telescope and management system. Students and faculty at the college will be able to log in to the telescope over the internet to remotely collect data and host group stargazing sessions.

Art perfection commended by school board:

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District celebrated special student achievements during an Oct. 19 Board of Education meeting. Students were recognized for several feats, including two students who earned perfect scores on college-level Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the spring of 2023. Santa Monica High School senior Emmaline Thorpe and Malibu High School senior Molly O’Neill were just two of 337 nationally to earn every single possible point on the AP 2-dimensional (2-D) art and design exam, taken by around 49,000 students in all.

Clinical research critical in breast cancer fight:

Nadina Jose, MD, has dedicated her life to clinical research and is now sharing her journey through the American Cancer Society (ACS). Jose, who went through her own breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2016, gives back through the ACS Voices of Hope program, which includes community outreach events. She took particular pride in using the program to speak to underserved populations, such as the African-American community, stressing the importance of their involvement in clinical research trials. She has also given back through the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk, which took place Saturday at the Santa Monica Pier.

Restoring Wellness on Montana Avenue:

Restore Hyper Wellness on Montana Avenue is a “one stop shop” for wellness treatment options. Founded in 2015, the national chain has grown to over 200 unique locations, including in Santa Monica. Restore’s core components of wellness are core services, skin care and specialized treatment. They have developed a system that can be personalized to each individual, working with registered nurses and local doctors on the program.

Police investigating body found by 15th Street and Santa Monica Blvd:

A Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) advisory alert was sent out the morning of Oct. 24, warning residents to avoid 15th Street between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway due to SMPD activity. A body could be seen lying on the sidewalk on the west side of the Lexus dealership parking lot, opposite 15th Street Liquor. Most of the north half of 15th Street was taped off by SMPD and a forensics team could be seen collecting evidence and gathering information.

A new chapter of ‘Jungle Book’ opens at BroadStage:

Performances of Akram Khan’s “Jungle Book Reimagined” took place last week at BroadStage, a new take on the beloved story that sticks young Mowgli in a world devastated by the impacts of climate change. Along with Khan’s signature dance choreography, the show was enhanced by multimedia, using animation and sound design to bring the story to life.

When Cher Meets Gelato:

Cherlato, a gelato truck that delivers high quality and unique flavors around the city of Los Angeles, is a collaboration between music icon Cher and gelato “wizard” Giapo Grazioli. The menu includes Cher’s childhood comfort, Cher’s Moms cheesecake, and Giapo’s personal favorite, Stracitella. The use of local ingredients and brands, like Orange County pistachios and Alana’s coffee, emphasizes the pair’s love of California.

Tales of triumph tackle negative stigmas at showcase:

Over the weekend, the Santa Monica Playhouse played host to the second “Funny People Cry Too!” live show, an event focused on both the funny and serious side of area entertainers. Storytellers shared their experiences with mental health to help end negative stigmas on the subject, and a portion of each ticket sold went to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to stopping mental health stigmas.

A ‘foreign’ offering for Samohi fall play:

Santa Monica High School’s fall play offering is “The Foreigner,” a comedic tale that adds levity to themes of prejudice and xenophobia. After last year’s production of “1984,” Samohi Theater Director Katheryne Barraza wanted to switch to a comedy to give her students different and unique acting challenges. Performances were split into two casts, and Barraza noted that the students took to the material “instantly.”

Gardens get overrun with ghosts, ghouls, goblins and gravestones for Halloween:

Residents of Santa Monica offer impressive Halloween displays at their homes this year, particularly those in the neighborhood between Montana Ave. and San Vicente Blvd., between 14th and 26th Streets. Houses included displays of skeletal heads and bodies, clowns indicating a “psycho path” to a front door, and signs that say “please do not feed the zombies.”

Council approves zoning changes allow for the sale and delivery of adult-use cannabis:

During an Oct. 24 meeting of Santa Monica City Council, changes were made to the city’s zoning code to allow for expanded retail cannabis sales, acknowledging the opportunity it presents in assisting the city’s economic recovery. Council-approved changes allow for adult-use cannabis sales and delivery for the medicinal cannabis retailers with active Conditional Use Permits, including Local Cannabis Company. Council also approved an Interim Zoning Ordinance that would permit retailers within the city to deliver, cultivate, and sell adult-use cannabis products to persons 21 years of age and over. These products are subject to a business tax of 3% of gross receipts.

Nautical Nightmare comes to Canary for two worthy causes:

A Halloween celebration by the beach came together for good causes this past weekend. The Dead Man’s Luau, held at The Canary in Santa Monica, raised funds for Surfer’s Healing and Maui First Responders Fire Relief. Surfer’s Healing provides volunteer-staffed surfing camps for children with autism, taking over 4,500 children out into the water since the organization began in 1996. Helping the Maui fund after devastating wildfires earlier this year hits home for event organizer Wes Chiller, who dropped out of his job in music publishing to pursue being a firefighter paramedic.

Latest Samohi campus plan pitched to public:

Updates to the campus of Santa Monica High School were brought to the public last week, including progress on both construction and planning for “Phase 3” and “Phase 4” of the school’s campus plan. Phase 3 is the construction of the school’s new Exploration building and Gold gymnasium, while Phase 4 calls for a new student center, library, administration building and performing arts center on the campus.

Thomas Leffler has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Penn State University and has been in the industry since 2015. Prior to working at SMDP, he was a writer for AccuWeather and managed...