Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Banks Sue Richmond Over Foreclosure Plan; Climate Change Already Impacting California

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank sued the City of Richmond, contending that its plan to help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages is illegal, the SacBee$ reports. Last month, Richmond launched its groundbreaking anti-foreclosure program, which seeks to use eminent domain powers to seize mortgages in which homeowners owe more than the property is worth, and then lower the monthly payments so property owners can stay in their homes. But the banks vigorously oppose the program because it will cut into their profits.

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2. Climate change is already wreaking havoc in California, causing larger and more frequent forest fires, more hot summer days, and rising oceans, according to a new study commissioned by the California EPA, the Mercury News reports. Three of the worst fire years in California occurred in the past decade, sea level at the Golden Gate has risen eight inches over the past century, and temperatures have increased by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1890s.

3. BART management and transit agency employees remain far apart in negotiations, with management offering a 9 percent raise over four years and the unions demanding a 15 percent increase over three years, SFGate reports. The two sides presented their proposals yesterday during a fact-finding hearing ordered by Governor Jerry Brown, who will decide this weekend whether to order a sixty-day cooling off period.

4. A one-year-old child was shot and killed while sleeping with his twenty-year-old father in East Oakland — the second killing of a sleeping youngster in the past month in the city, the Trib reports. Police believe the toddler’s father was the target of the shooting. Last month, an eight-year-old innocent bystander was killed in a home in which police believe the shooters were targeting someone else as well.

5. A detective for the federal Public Defender’s Office has gone missing from her North Oakland home, the Trib reports. Sandra Coke, 50, who investigates death penalty cases, has been missing for at least three days.

6. The City of Oakland has launched a crackdown on the illegal dumping of garbage — a problem that is rampant throughout the city and is especially bad in flatlands neighborhoods, the Chron$ reports.

7. And a refurbished pedestrian square near Oakland City Hall is scheduled to open next week, the Chron$ reports.

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