CAROLE SMITH’s taking a little summer vacation of her own—then quitting.

The superintendent of Portland Public Schools made a surprise announcement July 18 that she’ll retire after a 90-day vacation, not at the end of next school year as she said in June.

The abrupt departure’s got a pretty clear origin in a report unveiled moments before Smith’s release. That document, written by a pair of attorneys hired by the district, laid bare a non-existent strategy for ensuring school children aren’t drinking lead-tainted water.

The district continues to battle fallout from an ongoing lead crisis. DIRK VANDERHART

THE CITY’S got a new public plaza. Over the weekend, the Portland Bureau of Transportation removed 11 angled parking spots near the downtown location of Voodoo Doughnut. Instead of cars, that pavement will now host planters, café seating, and a large bike share kiosk—expanding seating in the existing Ankeny Alley. (Eight of the parking spots have been replaced parallel to the street.)

The project is notable because it’s a better use of the space, but also because of its origins: PBOT got the idea for the new plaza from volunteer group Better Block PDX, which uses short-term demonstrations to show how city streets might be improved. Go check it out. DVH