Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: Home Prices Skyrocket in the Bay Area; Oakland School Board Zeroes In On New Superintendent

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Home prices soared throughout the Bay Area last month, jumping 29.2 percent in Alameda County compared to last year, the Mercury News$ reports. The median home sales price was $575,000 in Alameda County. Prices rose by 22.8 percent in Contra Costa County, with the median at $425,000. The huge price jumps were fueled by an extreme shortage of inventory. The number of home sales in March was the lowest in six years, as buyers engaged in feeding frenzies, outbidding each other for a small number of properties.

Antwan Wilson
  • Antwan Wilson
2. The Oakland school board has zeroed in on a single finalist to become the district’s new superintendent — Antwan Wilson, an assistant superintendent in Denver public schools, the Trib$ reports. Board members plan to travel to Denver to conduct a final a background check on Wilson, and then could vote on hiring him as soon as next week. Oakland has been without a permanent superintendent since Tony Smith left last year and was replaced by Interim Superintendent Gary Yee, a former longtime school board member.

3. California voters overwhelmingly support — 69 percent — a plan to reform Proposition 13 by closing a tax loophole that allows corporations to pay lower property tax rates than homeowners when a property is sold, the SacBee$ reports.

4. The five-alarm fire that destroyed three buildings last weekend in West Berkeley, including a storage facility for Wooden Duck furniture, appears to have been accidental, Berkeleyside reports. The owner of Wooden Duck did not have insurance on the storage building.

5. And disability rights activists strongly criticized the layout of new BART cars that the agency unveiled yesterday, saying that the new interior design makes it tougher for people with physical disabilities to maneuver on trains, the CoCo Times$ reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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