FROM Henry Lee
Undercover Agent U.C.E. 4599 This week, State Senator Leland Yee was one of two dozen people arrested by the FBI in a Bay Area sting. Most of the headlines have focused on Yee and his relationship with a one-time gangster known as Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow. But there’s another figure who played a big role in this story: “U.C.E. 4599.” Those initials are short for “Undercover Employee.” That’s all we know about the identity of the undercover FBI agent who cracked the case. But the details of his investigation are as surreal as everything else about this sting.
BART Officer Charged with Murder in Shooting On New Year's Eve in Oakland, a 22 year-old supermarket worker was pulled off a Bay Area Rapid Transit district train by police investigating a fight. Though unarmed, he was thrown face down onto the platform and shot in the back by a BART security guard, an event recorded and spread on the Internet by other passengers with cell-phone video cameras. Today the guard, Johannes Mehserle, was arrested and charged with murder. Henry Lee reports from Oakland for the San Francisco Chronicle .
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.