Extra, Extra: We're Not in Alaska Anymore

2365674934_5731e022f4.jpg"little green leaf," by LAist Featured Photos Pool on Flickr

  • For those who thought oil spills only happened when big tankers in Alaska collided with icebergs, may I point you to the South Bay? Crews were busy Saturday cleaning up about 5,500 gallons of oil that spilled into the wetlands area around Machado Lake. The oil apparently overflowed from an oil-and-water separator at the Cooper & Brain Oil Co. field near PCH at the 110 Freeway. You might remember Machado Lake as the former home of Reggie, the beloved alligator who now lives at the zoo. Good thing, because I've never heard of a black alligator before.
  • A mysterious crash in Sherman Oaks early Saturday left one person dead that CHP officials said might have been a burglar being chased by the people whose homes he allegedly robbed. The motorist died when he skidded into a concrete wall on the Sepulveda Boulevard offramp after being chased by the CHP. Four others were hurt.
  • For the first time in its history, the SWAT training unit has accepted a woman into its program. Jennifer Grasso, 36, is one of 13 officers selected for the department's 12-week training school, which starts Monday. Congratulations, Grasso. Just remember what Tom Hanks advised another female who was competing in a man's world: there's no crying in SWAT school.
  • According to Paid Content, pop culture-focused social media site Buzznet has acquired indie-music blog Stereogum for $5 million. What this means for the future of Stereogum is unclear, but its owners are reportedly staying on to run the site. Now that's what I call indie.
  • A change for Disneyland's It's a Small World ride are reportedly in the works. Disney apparently plans to add its name-brand characters to the anonymous cast that currently populates the ride. It has caused a huge uproar among the original artist's family. There is something so poetic about controversy at the so called Happiest Place on Earth.
  • Jazz lovers in Long Beach are praising a judge's decision to open the Backstage jazz and blues supper club. An apartment owner had sought an injunction to halt construction, saying the music would force tenants to move. Noise studies did not bore out the owner's claims as the judge kind of blue jazz owners away with his decision.
  • Add cantaloupe's to the list of food items being recalled. On Friday, Dole asked consumers not to buy or eat their beige melons picked in Honduras for fear that they were contaminated with salmonella.
  • Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he will not pay his California baristas more than $100 million in tips a San Diego judge said is owed to them after several employees sued the company. Schultz said there is no money to be refunded from the tips that are usually shared with shift supervisors. Last year, Starbucks was named the 16th best company to work for. Hundreds of disgruntled employees might disagree.