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 .
Lead poisoning hits LA County It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein faces an angry town hall crowd Senator Dianne Feinstein faced an angry crowd at her town hall in Los Angeles Thursday. The anger came from her would-be supporters -- people on the left. Also, a new bill wants to make it illegal for local police to cooperate with the feds who are targeting marijuana growers.
'A Square Meal,' a kosher slaughter and Ukrainian Easter eggs Historian Andrew Coe explains how the Great Depression altered the 1930s’ food landscape, and contributor Sam Brasch witnesses a kosher slaughter. Artist Sofika Zielyk shows us how to decorate Ukrainian Easter eggs, Sandor Katz discusses his latest fermentation projects, and Dana Cree introduces her new book, “Hello, My Name is Ice Cream.” Plus: Laura Avery finds Swiss chard at the market, and Jonathan Gold dines at Kismet.
Scathing audit finds UC President's office hid $175 million A state audit says the Office of the President at the University of California has kept secret more than $175 million. The report says salaries are a lot a higher in that office than in comparable offices. The audit comes just months after the UC system won approval for its first tuition hike in six years.