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Rail ridership dropped by half along San Diego's coast in 2023

 December 27, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Erik Anderson, in for Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, December 27th.


Rail ridership dropped by half this year along San Diego's coast.More on what could be a solution to the problem, next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


The holiday travel rush isn’t over yet.

San Diego Airport officials expect this Saturday to be very busy.

About 80-thousand travelers are expected daily through New Year's.

Airport officials urge travelers to plan ahead.

They suggest checking the flight status before coming to the airport, arriving at least two hours before take-off, and consider traffic congestion because of construction near the airport.


A high surf advisory will be in effect tomorrow morning through the weekend.

The National Weather Service is warning that it could lead to dangerous swim and surf conditions, and potential beach erosion.

Waves are expected to reach up to 15 feet.

And a look at today and tomorrow’s forecast… temperatures in the county’s inland areas and by the coast will be in the low to high-60s.

In the deserts, temps will be in the mid 70s, and in the mountains, it’ll be in the mid 50s.


The state’s minimum wage will increase in the new year.

Starting Monday, it will be 16-dollars an hour, up 50 cents from this year.

But some municipalities already have higher minimum wages than the state’s and the City of San Diego is one of them.

Their current rate is 16-dollars-and-30-cents, and that amount will increase to 16-dollars-and-85-cents in the new year.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


Mother nature brought lots of closures to North County rail lines this year.

Local leaders say that pushed ridership down.

North County reporter Tania Thorne says there are plans to fix that in the new year.

The 351 mile long rail line known as the LOSSAN rail corridor runs from San Luis Obispo, through Los Angeles, and South to San Diego. But landslides and cliff collapses brought major interruptions to the rail corridor along San Diego’s coast this year. the track around San Clemente was not functioning for almost 9 months. And so that means that people who wanted to take that that route. We're on a bus bridge which went from Irvine to so to oceanside. State Senator Catherine Blakespear is the chair of the LOSSAN rail corridor resiliency subcommittee. She says after the rail interruptions, ridership dropped by half— from 8 million passengers a year to 4 million. Even after the rail line reopened, ridership has not recovered. And Blakespear says it’s challenging to bring those numbers up again. TT KPBS News.


The Israel-Hamas war is history happening in real time… which means textbooks aren’t current.

So what is being taught about the conflict half a world away?

Education reporter M.G. Perez spoke with some students determined to learn the truth.

17 year old VEE TIE is a senior at the Pruess School on the UC San Diego campus…she is also co-editor of the newspaper…which has not shied away from covering the middle east conflict. She says they are not learning about it in class…with teachers limited to using only pre-approved curriculum…that’s not current. “It’s just confusing for us to not be able to talk more openly…about these controversial topics…because how are we going to become world leaders if we don’t go through these topics at this age “we’re supposedly taught history to not repeat it.” Huda Woldegiorgis is a junior at the Dimensions Collaborative School…which also has not included war discussion in history or current events curriculum. “this is our world that we’re living in and we don’t have a choice but to live in it…so if we can try to fix our own problems or resolve the issues that we have in our today…then the better.”  We have reached out to numerous school districts across San Diego County….to find out how this is being taught in classrooms. None of them would respond to our request. MGP KPBS News.


California’s Medicaid program is undergoing major changes in the new year, aimed at improving health care access and delivery for people enrolled in the safety net program.

But state regulators will need to rigorously enforce the improvements.

Stephanie O’neill of Kaiser Family Foundation Health News has more.

The changes are embodied in a new contract between California and the managed care plans that serve 99 percent of Medi-Cal enrollees. The state is tightening enforcement of certain quality measures. For the first time ever, the plans will be required to invest a portion of their profits into the communities they serve. They’re also required to report publicly on the performance of medical providers… and reveal the number of enrollees who don’t have access to primary care – then invest more to plug any gap. Additionally, the plans must better integrate physical and mental health care; respond to the cultural and language preferences of their members, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity.The contract includes key elements of CalAim, a 12-billion-dollar state initiative.


Coming up.... We’re looking back at the stories of 20-23...

“Well, I'm a great believer that you can approach anything through opera.”

That was the late Nicolas Reveles... who died before the premiere of his opera "Ghosts." We’ll have that story, just after the break.


Earlier this year, the San Diego Opera lost its longtime director of education... Nicolas Reveles.

About a month after his death, the Opera staged the world premiere of his work titled "Ghosts."

Arts reporter Beth Accomando brought us this story, right before opening night.

Last summer, nicolas reveles was debuting one opera at san diego international fringe festival and prepping another for a world premiere at san diego opera. nicolas reveles i'm very excited about that to be produced by my home company as well as it's a big professional opera company in the united states. and what delighted him even more was that the opera was in a genre he loved. nicolas the horror is up front and center. but last october reveles was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. he died just six weeks before this friday’s world premiere of ghosts,  an evening of three one-act, horror-inspired operas. but with a title like ghosts, perhaps he knew he would be haunting the rehearsal hall. emily fons oh, undoubtedly. that’s mezzo soprano emily fons. emily fons we joke about it. it's in the text. we can say, oh, that's nic right there for sure, that moment…it feels like somehow we're still exchanging ideas and asking for his blessing on the choices we make. john de los santos is directing the opera. john de los santos nick is definitely here with us, laughing, crying, getting very involved, and making sure that we're going to present an amazing premiere to commemorate him. clip and then total blackout. nic would love it. back in december, reveles was in hospice but still working with de los santos. nic reveles i just told him creepy. i want jump scares. i want everything a horror movie would have. reveles and de los santos bonded over some shared passions. john de los santos nic loved horror and i love horror but we also both loved opera. i think that something that both horror and opera have in common is they elicit strong emotions, strong feelings. nicolas reveles i'm a great believer that you can approach anything through opera. i absolutely believe in the genre. i think when you sing things, the story, the drama is more heightened, it becomes more important, it becomes bigger. and i like that. the bigness of that. that was reveles from may last year. in december the passion was still there but cancer was taking a toll. nic reveles it is an opera in black and white. and when i think horror, i think black and white. and when i say that, i mean that the sound colors, the colors from the orchestra, are even kind of black and white. clip lunatic… mad, mad, mad… for the opera eden, de los santo was also the librettist. john de los santos ghosts are not figures in sheets. they are memories. they are regrets. they are unknown and unanswered questions that we have that we have to confront. in the opera house, fons plays a mother. clip the children were strangely silent. emily fons nic and i did talk about how ghosts can be trauma, can be experiences, can be people who we aren't able to shed emotionally from our lives. david bennett, general director of san diego opera, saw ghosts as an opportunity to fulfill his goal of offering audiences a detour from traditional opera. david bennett so that's why it's really an honor for us to produce this, because there's so much in this work that's unusual and unexpected, but there's also so much in it that is in many ways traditional. reveles expressed hope that the opera would have a future beyond this weekend. and ghosts would be the perfect legacy for a man who devoted his life to being an ambassador for opera and whose heart always belonged to horror. beth accomando, kpbs news.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Erik Anderson. Thanks for listening and have a great Wednesday.

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Mother nature brought a lot of closures to North County rail lines this year, causing ridership to drop. Officials are suggesting solutions to the problem. In other news, the Israel-Hamas war is history happening in real time, which means textbooks aren’t current. We hear from students determined to learn the truth. Plus, we’re looking back at the stories of 2023. We’ll hear a story about the late Nicolas Reveles, who died before the premiere of his opera, "Ghosts."