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FROM THIS EPISODE

It was an inauspicious official first day of service on the Expo Line after a drunk driver crashed through a fence and onto the tracks Monday morning. Will the commute chaos dissuade new potential riders? Commuters may have endured delays Monday, but it’s been a much longer wait for retired Metro worker Alan Weeks, who rode the last Santa Monica Air Line car from downtown to Santa Monica in 1953 before the line was abandoned.

Also, Bernie Sanders supporters filed a lawsuit in California demanding the state extend the voter registration deadline. What are voter registration rules so confusing?

Then, in his new book, Ron Miscavige writes about working in the Church of Scientology’s Sea Org, how he escaped, and how his son, David Miscavige, became the secretive leader of Scientology.

And finally, the ongoing migrant crisis and economic stagnation in Europe has boosted the popularity of right-wing, anti-immigrant political parties. Is something similar happening in the U.S?

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Laura Swisher
Sarah Sweeney

Car Crash Disrupts Morning Commute on the Expo Line 8 MIN, 56 SEC

At the height of the commute Monday morning, the first day of regular service for the new Expo Line, the optimism was quickly tamped down because a drunk driver crashed through a fence and onto the tracks near Western Avenue, blocking trains from running in both directions. An inauspicious start for the Expo Line to be sure, and one that threw a stick in the spokes for a lot of passengers this morning, including our very own Saul Gonzalez, who rode the Expo Line to KCRW’s studios at Santa Monica College.

Guests:
Saul Gonzalez, KCRW producer (@SaulKCRW)

More:
The Expo Line! (and what’s still missing from LA’s rail plan)

After More than 60 years, Rail Enthusiast Takes Train to Santa Monica Again 8 MIN, 7 SEC

Retired Metro worker and rail enthusiast Alan Weeks waited more than 60 years to ride the train to Santa Monica again. In 1953, he was one of just a few passengers who rode the last Pacific Electric Railway car – also known as the Santa Monica Air Line – to Santa Monica from downtown Los Angeles before it was demolished. Before World War II, Los Angeles had an extensive rail line, but as cars and buses took over, those lines were abandoned.

Weeks took thousands of photographs of LA’s streetcars in the 1940s, ’50s, and early ’60s before they were all deserted. And last Friday, the 84-year-old, was one of hundreds of excited Angelenos who rode the Expo Line out to the beach on opening day.

Guests:
Alan Weeks, Metro

More:
After more than 60 years, a rail enthusiast takes the train to Santa Monica once again

Sanders Supporters Sue to Extend Calif. Voter Registration Deadline 9 MIN, 10 SEC

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton visited Los Angeles Monday to try to gin up new voters and campaign contributions. May 23 is the last day for voters to register to be eligible to vote in the June 7 California primary. That deadline to register could be pushed back, however, if a group of Bernie Sanders supporters has its way. They’ve filed a lawsuit demanding an extension to the deadline, saying that independent voters in California planning to mail in their ballots are being shut out of the Democratic primary because of confusing registration rules. In California’s 2012 primary, 65 percent of primary ballots cast were cast by mail. So why are the requirements so confusing?

Guests:
Lonna Rae Atkeson, Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy

Ron Miscavige's 'Ruthless' Chronicles His Escape from Scientology, and His Son David’s Rise 14 MIN, 38 SEC

It was March 25, 2012 and Hemet residents Ron and Becky had loaded up their Ford Focus wagon to set out to start a new life in Wisconsin. It was not a typical cross-country move. In the months leading up to it, the couple had to slowly and surreptitiously mail most of their belongings to Becky’s mom. They couldn’t talk openly about their plans, they had to earn the trust of security guards, and then plot the best escape route to avoid a car chase. That’s because Ron and Becky were members of Sea Organization, or Sea Org, a militaristic religious order of the Church of Scientology. That’s Ron Miscavige’s personal story as he tells it in a new book, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me. In it, Ron Miscavige writes about working in Sea Org for nearly 27 years, how he escaped the church, and how his son, David Miscavige, became the secretive leader of Scientology.

Guests:
Ron Miscavige, Author of "Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me"

More:
Scientology Response

Ruthless

Ron Miscavige

The Popularity of Right-Wing Political Parties in Europe 7 MIN, 4 SEC

The ongoing migrant crisis and economic stagnation in Europe has boosted the popularity of some right-wing, anti-immigrant political parties. On Monday, a candidate with the far-right, anti-immigrant Freedom Party lost the presidential race in Austria, but only by a tiny margin. The election came down to mail-in votes. Why are groups like the Freedom Party, which was founded in 1956, catching on now? Is something similar happening in the U.S?

Guests:
Lara Jakes, Foreign Policy magazine

More:
How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?

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