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FROM THIS EPISODE

Early this morning, a Metrolink commuter train derailed after crashing into a truck on the tracks in Oxnard, injuring 28 people. We look at Metrolink’s accident and safety records. Then, prices are up at Disneyland: We look at the economics of amusement parks, and an auction of Disneyland memorabilia happening next weekend. Next, in two recent, high-profile cases of police officers killing suspects -- in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York -- grand juries decided not to prosecute the officers involved. Is it time to handle these cases differently? We hear about a California State Senator’s new bill. And finally, the founder of Bikram yoga is facing sexual assault lawsuits. What are the cases alleging, and how did Bikram Choudhury turn an ancient discipline into a multi-million dollar empire?

Banner Image: Bikram Choudhury leading a class at Bikram's Yoga College of India in San Diego

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Metrolink’s Safety Record 9 MIN, 14 SEC

Early this morning, a Metrolink commuter train derailed after crashing into a truck on the tracks in Oxnard, injuring 28 people. Seven years ago, a deadly crash in Chatsworth prompted Metrolink to implement new safety measures. Congress also demanded more sophisticated safety systems be implemented across the country by the end of 2015.

Guests:
Robert Halstead, forensic railroad accident reconstructionist

Prices Up at Disney Theme Parks 7 MIN, 15 SEC

Disney announced this week that it would hike ticket prices at theme parks across the country. But Disney’s theme parks made $15 billion in revenue last year. They’re the second biggest money maker for the company, just behind its media properties division, the part of Disney that manages the Disney Channel and ESPN. We take a look at the economics of amusement parks.

Guests:
Christian Sylt, Forbes (@formulamoney)

A Disney Auction 8 MIN, 39 SEC

A book of eight tickets to Disneyland would have set you back $2.50 when the theme park opened 60 years ago. You can’t get original prices anymore, but you can buy one of those original ticket books, and whole lot of other Disneyland stuff, next weekend. There’ll be an auction of original memorabilia in a little storefront called the Van Eaton Gallery on Ventura Boulevard in Encino. The place is full of costumes, characters, signs, and props, all of it from Disneyland. Some of the souvenirs date back to the day it opened in 1955. We learn about what’s on sale.

Eric J. Lawrence poses with children from It's a Small World.

An opening day program signed by Walt Disney is also for sale at the auction.

This little devil from Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is Eric J. Lawrence's favorite item at the auction.

Two Disney fans, Kayla and David, pose with a skeleton from the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Photo Credit: Matt Holzman

Guests:
Eric J. Lawrence, KCRW DJ (@ericjlawrence)

Grand Juries and Police Shootings 14 MIN, 14 SEC

The police have a dangerous job. And when they kill a suspect, we tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s rare that officers are prosecuted for killing or harming a suspect. Just yesterday, Los Angeles’ district attorney refused to indict three officers involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man who lead them on a high speed chase. And of course there’s Ferguson and Staten Island: no indictments in those cases either. In those two, it was a grand jury’s decision not to indict. Now, California state senator Holly Mitchell has proposed a new law that would ban grand juries from hearing cases against officers accused of using excessive force. We hear from Mitchell and others with different takes on the issue.

Guests:
Holly Mitchell, California State Senate (@HollyJMitchell)
John Burris, civil rights attorney
Laurie Levenson, Loyola Law School (@LoyolaLawSchool)

Bikram Yoga and Sexual Assault Allegations 7 MIN, 41 SEC

There’s a new twist in a long-running sex scandal involving a Beverly Hills-based yoga guru. A sixth woman is suing Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga, over sexual assault allegations. Choudhury built an empire on his brand of hot yoga, which involves a 90-minute sequence of poses performed in 105-degree rooms. It has attracted celebrity followers and made Choudhury a millionaire. But, for the past two years, he’s been beset by accusations of sexual assault and rape from former students. Now Choudhury is facing a half dozen civil lawsuits. We hear about the cases, and how Choudhury built a lucrative cult of personality around an ancient practice.

Guests:
Jack Healy, New York Times (@jackhealyNYT)

More:
Schism Emerges in Bikram Yoga Empire Amid Rape Claims

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