Newsletter: Essential California: Allegations didn’t stop Pasadena obstetrician from practicing

John and Diane Vidalakis settled a lawsuit against obstetrician Dr. Patrick Sutton after they alleged he severely injured Diane during the delivery of their daughter at Huntington Memorial Hospital.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Dec. 10, and here’s what’s happening across California:


A Times investigation has identified more than 20 women who allege Huntington Memorial Hospital obstetrician Dr. Patrick Sutton mistreated them during medical care. Their allegations date back to 1989 and include unwanted sexual advances, the maiming of women’s genitals and the preventable death of an infant. He has denied each allegation. He continues practicing medicine. Los Angeles Times

Fear, entitlement and little accountability


CBS boss Les Moonves’ reign seems to be a throwback to an earlier era in Hollywood, when the town was ruled by larger-than-life bosses who demanded attention, extreme loyalty and sex. Moonves was a winner, making CBS a juggernaut. But it left him unaccountable to a corporate culture that looked the other way. Los Angeles Times

Grappling with a new reality

One month after of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting, officials and residents in Thousand Oaks are grappling with the tragedy’s aftermath, especially as developments emerge. On Friday, police revealed the news that the officer killed that night was wounded by the officer he stormed the bar with. Still, many people say they feel buoyed by the community solidarity that has surfaced in recent weeks. Los Angeles Times

-- Remembering the victims. Ventura County Star

-- Should Ventura County still host gun shows? Ventura County Star

A heart-wrenching story


Hector and Maria seemed to find some strength in talking about their 10-year-old son’s embrace of life and his courage in facing death. They fought tears, but they smiled a lot too and held each other’s hands. His death leaves them broke and broken, but they still have his love, Steve Lopez writes. Los Angeles Times

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Arena fight: Almost a year and a half after the Clippers and Inglewood signed an exclusive negotiating agreement to explore building an arena, the land involved remains at the center of a legal brawl setting Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the nearby Forum, against the franchise Steve Ballmer bought for $2 billion. Los Angeles Times

Lace ’em up: Downtown L.A.’s “Sneaker Row” is having a moment. Los Angeles Times

Mahmood Alfayoumi, center, and Justin Negash, right, visit the Jumpman L.A. rooftop basketball court.
(Ana Venegas / For The Times)

Gasp! For the first time in decades, Lawry’s the Prime Rib is changing its menu and adding vegetarian options. Los Angeles Magazine

“Just say no”: The L.A. Times editorial board (which is separate from the newsroom) comes out against a massive new development in the Tejon Pass, citing suburban sprawl and fire danger. Los Angeles Times

In conversation: Author Roxane Gay and comedian Hannah Gadsby talk about living in L.A. But the conversation quickly turns to the city’s homeless problem and how no one seems to care. The Guardian

“Cruelty has no boundaries”: A couple’s adoption nightmare. Orange County Register


The blue wave hit. Now what? The Democrats have won many of California’s Republican meccas. Now they have to fight to keep them. And they can be their own worst enemy. Orange County Register

House rich, cash poor: In a sign of the times, Stanford University drops home equity from its financial aid calculations. Wall Street Journal

Working on the railroad: Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom calls for a “fresh start” on high-speed rail. ABC 30


Amazing tale: Despite the devastation all around him from the Camp fire, this dog waited for his owners to return home. Los Angeles Times

Something else to cheer about: How the Paradise High basketball team has give a devastated town reason for hope. NBC News

Paradise lost: Surveying the devastation of Paradise had a “60 Minutes” team “wondering how anything could be worse.” CBS News

Worth 1,000 words: Free portraits offer something for Paradise refugees to hold onto. Chico Enterprise Record


A story of compassion: A family tries to find forgiveness, not hate, in an unspeakable crime. San Diego Union-Tribune

On the move: Spotify is moving out of San Francisco’s struggling mid-Market district, citing employee safety. The city has been trying to revive the area known for homelessness and crime. San Francisco Chronicle


What is funny now? As Roseanne Barr, Kathy Griffin and Kevin Hart know, not everything goes. In a charged climate, where is the line? And in the era of #MeToo, our ideas of who deserves to be a punchline have changed. Los Angeles Times

-- Hart’s swift demise as Oscar host shows how much and how quickly American views of homophobia have changed. Washington Post

-- Who should replace Hart as Academy Awards host? Los Angeles Times

Victory: A triumph for the first transgender male boxer in U.S. history. Los Angeles Times

The dusty trail: A very long, satisfying hike. California Sunday Magazine


Los Angeles area: Cloudy, 70, Monday. Sunny, 67, Tuesday. San Diego: Mostly cloudy, 67, Monday. Sunny, 66, Tuesday. San Francisco area: Partly cloudy, 56, Monday. Sunny, 57, Tuesday. San Jose: Scattered showers, 58, Monday. Sunny, 60,Tuesday. Sacramento: Scattered showers, 57, Monday. Partly cloudy, 57, Tuesday. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Rep. Mark Takano (Dec. 10, 1960), state Sen. Kevin de León (Dec. 10, 1966), Rep. Anna Eshoo (Dec. 13, 1942) and L.A. City Councilman Curren D. Price Jr. (Dec. 16, 1950).

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.