COSTUME COUNTDOWN: Business is good, but it...

COSTUME COUNTDOWN: Business is good, but it won't reach haunting levels for a few more days, says Lennie Goldman of Halloween Adventures, which has stores in Ventura, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. . . . Many boys this Oct. 31 will be dressed as characters from Mortal Kombat, Power Rangers or Batman. Girls want to be those old favorites, Cinderella or Snow White. "Little girls want to be pretty," Goldman says. "Boys want to be adventuresome."

ACADEMIC CHALLENGE: The Oxnard elementary school district is considering joining a state program that would free it from nearly every rule in the Education Code and expand its authority in return for higher academic standards, tougher campus security and more parental participation (B1). . . . Local educators say the move would expand local autonomy while allowing them to beef up programs. "This is the way to go," Trustee Mary Barreto says. "We have to be progressive and embrace the future."

SHIPSHAPE: The most striking exhibit at the Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme is a replica of the statue in Arlington National Cemetery that depicts a Seabee holding his hand out to a Vietnamese child, museum Director Vincent Transano says. . . . The museum, which turns 48 years old today, has thousands of artifacts displayed over 24,000 square feet. The public is welcome to visit the facility, the second-largest in number of exhibits after the Navy Museum in Washington, D.C. Call 982-5163 for information.

CIVIC DUTY: The Moorpark City Council needs to replace Scott Montgomery, who resigned recently after pleading guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. But its options may be limited (B1). . . . Normally, the council could appoint a new member until an election is held. But state law prohibits a majority of the council from being appointees, so it may not be able to in this case. Three of the four remaining members are appointees.

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