Friday Must Reads: Bay Area Home Sales Soar; Wells Fargo Locks Out Richmond’s Mayor



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Home sales in the Bay Area reached an eight-year high last month as the number of homes on the market soared, the Mercury News reports. The number of homes sold in July was the highest since 2005 with sellers coming back onto the market as prices skyrocket. The median sales price in the Bay Area was $562,000 last month — a 33.5 percent increase over a year ago. In Alameda County, it was $570,000, and it was $450,000 in CoCo County.

Gayle McLaughlin
  • Gayle McLaughlin
2. Wells Fargo officials locked the doors of the bank’s headquarters in San Francisco yesterday to prevent Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin from talking to company executives about the lawsuit they filed against her city, the CoCo Times reports. Wells Fargo and other banks sued Richmond to block its groundbreaking plan to seize underwater mortgages and refinance them so that residents can stay in their homes.

3. Legislation that would restore some of the powers of redevelopment for cities is moving through the state capital, the LA Times$ reports. The proposed law would allow cities and counties to use property tax revenue to seize land through eminent domain and give it to private developers. The bill is facing stiff opposition from private property rights advocates and from farmers who fear that their land will be taken to build tract housing.

4. The California Coastal Commission has launched a probe of offshore fracking, following an investigative report by the Associated Press that revealed that oil companies have been fracking wells off the coast for decades with little or no federal oversight (via Rough & Tumble).

5. Bay Area transportation officials voted to open the eastern span of the Bay Bridge during the Labor Day weekend after all, following approval of a temporary seismic fix of the span by federal officials. The bridge will be shut down for five days to make the transfer. A permanent fix for broken steel rods is expected to be completed by December.

6. Governor Brown’s plan to move two giant water tunnels proposed for the Delta region would endanger an important habitat or migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway, the LA Times$ reports. Brown wants to move the tunnels to appease landowners in the Delta.

7. And the state Senate approved a bill that would outlaw revenge porn — the practice of posting nude photos of ex-partners on the Internet following nasty breakups, the SacBee$ reports.