News and notes: Tuesday 7.15.14

News, notes and observations from LA Observed and selected media sources. Sometimes daily, often in the morning.

Top of the news

NPR news chief Margaret Low Smith is leaving at the end of the month to take a position as president of The Atlantic’s live events business. Chris Turpin, executive producer of "All Things Considered," will step in as acting head of news. Via memo from NPR's Kinsey Wilson:

Her departure will be felt as profoundly as any in recent memory.

Margaret has devoted nearly her entire professional career to NPR and in that time has become its most determined and eloquent champion. She is the best partner I’ve had in nearly 20 years of news leadership.

And for many, she is the soul of the organization – in her compassion, her generosity, her optimism; equally in her intelligence, drive and ambition for NPR. She is our head and heart.

And so this will be a hard parting.

Prominent New York hotel developer the Sydell Group has purchased the long-vacant Commercial Exchange building at 8th and Olive in DTLA. Brigham Yen

The hand recount in 15 counties sought by former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez could last until after the November election. Bee

Columnist Jim Newton suggests the names of three Democrats who could succeed Jerry Brown as governor when the time comes. LAT Op-ed

Total waste of time and media attention: Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper will submit petition signatures Tuesday to place his Six Californias measure – a plan to split the Golden State six ways – on the November 2016 ballot. Chronicle, LAT

City Attorney Mike Feuer says his office will request a temporary restraining order to stop the marijuana farmers market in Boyle Heights, calling it an end-run around the voters' intentions in passing Measure D to crack down on so-called medical marijuana outlets. LAT, LA Weekly

Authorities are trying to figure out why a Federal Protective Service agent fired his gun during a tense clash Sunday between Israeli and Palestinian demonstrators outside the Westwood federal building. LAT

Thumbnail image for prosser-sidewalk-jg.jpgD.J. Waldie writes, "The state of the city's walkways makes laughable the claim that Los Angeles is about to become one of the nation's most 'walkable' cities." KCET

Julia Turner, the new editor of Slate, explains her plans and outgoing editor David Plotz says goodbye.

Freelance writer Amy Westervelt vows she won't take gigs to produce "content" any more, especially for white men. Medium

One writer's guide to "the 35 Writers Who Run the Literary Internet." Flavorwire

VH1 stages a promo for "Dating Naked" in Little Tokyo. The video is pixellated.

Before the 110 Freeway, Figueroa Street Ran Through These Tunnels. KCET

KCRW's new billboards around town, some featuring Chicken Boy. Daily Billboard

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