Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Bay Area Housing Market Remains Red Hot; Oakland Council Shelves Plan to Audit the City Auditor

By Robert Gammon
Thu, May 16, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Bay Area housing market remained red hot in April, as the median home sales price soared to $510,000 — its highest point in five years and a 30.8 jump over the same month a year ago, the Chron$ reports. A relatively small number of homes on the market are continuing to spark fierce bidding wars. However, the region’s median home price is still short of its peak of $650,000 in the summer of 2007. The low point was $375,000 in March 2009 during the height of the foreclosure crisis.

Larry Reid
  • Larry Reid
2. Oakland City Council President Pat Kernighan has shelved a proposal by Councilman Larry Reid to hire an outside auditor to audit an audit by City Auditor Courtney Ruby that concluded that Reid and Councilwoman Desley Brooks violated the city’s separation-of-powers law, the Trib reports. Reid, Brooks, and the local NAACP had claimed that Ruby’s audit was racially motivated because Reid and Brooks are black, and thus should be investigated. The move to shelve Reid’s proposal also apparently means that the council plans to not address the results of the audit.

3. Despite objections from environmental groups, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation co-authored by California Senator Barbara Boxer that would speed-up flood-control projects proposed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the SacBee$ reports. Environmentalists oppose the bill because the Army Corps has a track record of harming the environment.

4. US Senator Dianne Feinstein is refusing to condemn the Justice Department for seizing phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, Roll Call reports (via Rough & Tumble). Feinstein has a record of pushing for a crackdown on government leaks to journalists.

5. And the Obama administration ousted acting IRS director Steven T. Miller in the wake of revelations that the agency had targeted Tea Party-related nonprofit groups, the Washington Post reports. Miller, however, appears to be a scapegoat because he was not in charge of the IRS when the alleged abuses occurred.

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