Newsletter: Essential California: Horrific allegations of abuse, cruelty emerge in Perris

Louise Turpin, left, and David Turpin, second from right, pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of torture, child abuse, abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment Thursday in Riverside County Superior Court.
Louise Turpin, left, and David Turpin, second from right, pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of torture, child abuse, abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment Thursday in Riverside County Superior Court.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, Jan. 19, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Horrific allegations

A grim story gets worse. Prosecutors say the siblings who were discovered this week living captive in a Perris tract home were tortured and abused by their parents for years, living in conditions that only grew more horrific over time as the family moved from Texas to California. The parents allegedly punished the children by beating and choking them, tied them to beds for weeks or months at a time, deprived them of food and forced them to stay up all night and sleep during the day. Authorities say they were not allowed to shower more than once a year. The two parents pleaded not guilty to all charges against them. Los Angeles Times


Plus: Experts weigh in on why the parents might have done it. The Press-Enterprise

Trump vs. California

State officials on Thursday blasted the Trump administration over reports of an imminent immigration enforcement sweep of Northern California and said new state laws will make such action more difficult. Los Angeles Times

More on immigration:


Will the Justice Department charge elected officials in “sanctuary cities”? New York Times

Sanctuary cities from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles are on edge. Santa Cruz Sentinel

How the Trump administration could use the U.S. Census, and questions about immigration, to hurt California. Politico

— The price of uprooting Salvadorans. Washington Post


Amazon’s headquarters search

Amazon said Los Angeles and 19 other places are the finalists for the $5-billion second headquarters the giant online retailer plans to build. Los Angeles is the only city west of the Rocky Mountains to make the list. L.A. officials are cheering, but experts still question the odds. Los Angeles Times


Opponents of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s problem-plagued recycling initiative launched a campaign Thursday to dismantle the program, saying they want voters to replace it with a simpler trash system. Los Angeles Times


The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson returned to Hawthorne High School, where he got some justice for a paper he wrote there decades ago. Said his music teacher: “Brian wrote a composition for me and it turned out to be ‘Surfin’.’ That composition got an F, but it made a million dollars.” Daily Breeze

Some in the north Westlake district fear that gentrification is coming and that the city’s new guidelines for development will push longtime residents out. Curbed Los Angeles

Publisher under investigation: The Los Angeles Times’ parent company, Tronc, said Thursday that it had opened an investigation into past conduct of Times publisher Ross Levinsohn following a detailed report by National Public Radio. Los Angeles Times

A sign of something: The New York Times travel section is now recommending Highland Park tourism: “Once a quiet and relatively unknown neighborhood, Highland Park is now seeing an influx of younger residents. Cool bars, restaurants and shops have followed.” New York Times



Coming soon? A proposed November statewide ballot measure could allow three of the nation’s biggest paint companies to hand California taxpayers a bill for the cost of cleaning up health hazards caused by lead paint. Los Angeles Times

Allegations in Sacramento: Foes of state Sen. Bob Hertzberg are jumping on accusations he gave women unwanted hugs. Sacramento Bee

Protesters arrested: With less than 36 hours to go before the possible shutdown of the federal government, seven Californians who were brought to the country illegally as children sat down in a U.S. Capitol hallway and began to scream. Los Angeles Times



Stick to soda: UCLA fraternities will no longer host parties with alcohol at their houses. Los Angeles Times

Allegations uncorked: An aide to the president of Goldman Sachs is accused of stealing more than $1.2 million worth of wine from his boss. Wall Street Journal

Rising rents: More allegations of price gouging by landlords after the wine country fires. The Press Democrat



Refreshed: Snow and rain are finally hitting Northern California, and that’s bringing waterfalls back to life. San Francisco Chronicle

Gnarly: Surfing could become the official sport of California under a proposal from a Los Angeles-area lawmaker. The legislation would declare surfing California’s official sport because the state is home to world-famous surf breaks, including Malibu, Trestles, Mavericks, Rincon, Steamer Lane and Huntington, and has a long history of hosting major international surfing events. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Sixty-foot waves for those Mavericks surfers. SF Gate



“Cool School” painter: Ed Moses, who died at age 91, will be remembered as an L.A. art world fixture, one of the city’s most productive and experimental artists of the last half-century. He had a restless romance with abstract painting that sparked a perpetually evolving body of work, leading him to dub himself “The Mutator.” Los Angeles Times

Not so boffo: Movie attendance in the United States and Canada fell even more than expected in 2017, capping a bad year for Hollywood. The number of tickets sold was 1.24 billion, down 6% from 2016. That’s steeper than the 4% decline studio executives projected in December and marks a 22-year low for the industry. Los Angeles Times

Cool: The jungle that hosts Disneyland’s jungle cruise is a marvel in itself. And it’s its own ecosystem. Orange County Register


Hot, hot, hot: There is boom in the luxury housing market for Midcentury Modern homes. Wall Street Journal

Blastoff: If all goes according to plan, this year could mark the first time since 2011 that U.S. astronauts will blast off to the International Space Station in an American-made spacecraft. It’s been a long process to get to this point. Schedule delays have pushed back the first crewed tests of the new astronaut transport capsules being built separately by Boeing Co. and SpaceX under NASA contracts. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles area: cloudy and 62. San Diego: mostly cloudy and 62. San Francisco area: partly cloudy and 52. Sacramento: partly cloudy and 54. More weather is here.



Today’s California memory comes from Robert Todd:

“A really old memory. We lived close enough to the San Diego Zoo to hear the peacocks screeching at night. But my best memory was during WWII. Much of the park and zoo was a Navy training center. I was about 8 years old and my brother was 10. We found a hole in the fence, and several times we went through the hole and went in to enjoy the evening outdoor movies provided for the young recruits. We usually got to wear a sailor’s hat and a Navy blanket for a disguise. I think it was a bit of diversion to the men to see a couple of kids there, sneaking in to see a free movie. That was more than 70 years ago!”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)


Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.