News from San Francisco and the Bay Area for Monday, December 28

Average Home Prices Up Year-Over-Year in Bay Area

Average home prices in all nine Bay Area counties were up last month compared with a year ago, according to research firm CoreLogic. The largest increase was in San Mateo County where the median home price jumped from $843,000 to $960,000 or 13.9 percent, CoreLogic officials

The second largest increase was in Alameda County where the median home price leapt from $580,000 to $650,000 or 12.1 percent, according to CoreLogic officials.

The median or average price among all nine Bay Area counties was up 6 percent to $649,000 last month, CoreLogic officials said.

 FEMA To Reinburse State $39 Million for Firefighting Costs

The State of California will receive $39 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover some of the state’s costs to extinguish the Valley Fire, which burned parts of Napa and Sonoma counties in September and October, FEMA officials said Friday.

California will receive $37.9 million to pay for firefighting costs, such as personnel and equipment, according to FEMA officials. The state will also get about $1 million to pay for the operation of the Valley Support Base Camp in Lake County. The camp provided meals, housing and other support for first responders, according to FEMA officials.

The Valley Fire burned 76,067 acres across Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties between Sept. 12 and Oct. 7, Cal Fire officials said. The fire killed four people and injured four firefighters, according to Cal Fire officials.

Swimmer Transported to Hospital in Critical Condition After Rescue Near Sutro Baths

A 55-year-old swimmer is in critical condition after San Francisco firefighters found him face down in the waters of Ocean Beach near the Sutro Baths Saturday morning.

The incident was reported at 9:22 a.m., and firefighters arrived on scene by 9:27 a.m., according to dispatchers. A swimmer from Engine No. 34 reached the victim around 9:35 a.m., a dispatcher said.

The victim had water in his lungs, so firefighters administered CPR as he was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center with an intermittent pulse.

As of 12:51 a.m., a spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department announced via Twitter that the victim had survived the near-drowning but he remained in critical condition.

Protesters Demand Charges Against SFPD Officers Who Fatally Shot Mario Woods

Community members rallied at San Francisco’s Hall of Justice on Friday to call for the firing of San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr and to urge San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and California Attorney General Kamala Harris to file criminal charges against the officers who fatally shot 26-year-old San Francisco resident Mario Woods earlier this month.

“Suhr, no sir,” dozens of protesters chanted Friday on the steps of the Hall of Justice.

Protesters said that the police chief blindly defended the five officers believed to have fired roughly 20 rounds at Woods on Dec. 2. Woods’ memorial service was held Thursday and was attended by family, friends, civil rights attorneys and invited members of the media at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church on Third Street, just a few yards away from where Woods was shot on Dec. 2.

The medical examiner’s office said Friday that they are still working on the autopsy report and didn’t have an estimate of when it would be released.

Attorney John Burris, who filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city on behalf of Woods’ mother, Gwendolyn Woods, said that Woods’ body had at least 20 gunshot wounds. Burris said he didn’t know how many gunshots were fired or exactly how many bullets caused the wounds. At least two of the officers who fired at Woods faced previous allegations of excessive force, according to court documents.

On Friday, concerned citizens, including San Francisco supervisors John Avalos and David Campos, as well as NAACP San Francisco president Rev. Amos Brown, said the police department needs to change.

Arab American Community Calls for End to Bay Area Islamophobia

Members of the Arab American community and their allies rallied outside San Francisco City Hall Friday calling for an end to a resurging Islamophobia in the Bay Area and across the country.

A crowd of well over 100 people, comprised of Arab and non-Arab community members, gathered together on the steps of City Hall Friday, chanting their demands: “dignity, liberation, self-determination.”  Many attendees said they have been on the receiving end of racism and xenophobia. With the rise of the Islamic State, they said more and more people here in America have been treating them with disrespect and appear to be confusing Islam with ISIS.

Protesters carried signs Friday that read “Arab Lives Matter,” “Muslims Against Racism” and “Jews Against Islamophobia.”

Weather Forecast for SF Bay Area

Today will likely see rain in the morning, followed by rain in the afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 50s and south winds will reach 10 to 15 miles per hour, becoming southwest winds reaching around 20 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight will see rain, with heavy rain at times. Lows will be in the mid 50s and west winds will reach around 20 mph. Tuesday will likely see showers. Highs will be in the lower 60s and west winds will reach 15 to 20 mph.

(News by Bay City News)