Thank you for a brilliant article (“BoBnb, Anyone?” Oct. 5) on the effects of online rental platforms in West Marin. Over the past years, I’ve watched a few places like Bolinas go from a quiet sanctuary with a beautiful community vibe to something completely different and disturbing. Is Airbnb destroying communities? You bet. When long-time residents get kicked out, who is going to be there to sustain a community? Probably not people who pay $1,200 a night so they can have as much fun as they can buy. For months we’ve been wondering, who are all these dressed up people strolling our (very laid-back) street in Sonoma, until we discovered there is an Airbnb rental two houses down. But in case of West Marin, it seems to have gone to an extreme. I think it’s a combination of online rental platforms and social media that spreads the word, often to a crowd of perfect strangers about places that would benefit from staying what they used to be—local sanctuaries. Obviously Airbnb cash is great, and I know plenty of people who only stay at short-term rentals when traveling. Yet the stories of landlords asking tenants to leave the premises every now and then so they can generate some money, are extremely worrying. This whole situation should be regulated on a local level. Thanks again for raising awareness about this issue.
Some individuals are attempting to fool people into believing that environmental/land-use battles are vestiges of the past. One merely needs to conduct a perfunctory perusal of recent events to discover a radically different scenario. Those who espouse such inanity may not have the best interests of Fifth District voters in mind. Consider these: Dairyman Winery, Best Family Winery, coastal waters leases, Occidental Gateway plan, Spud Point Marina plan, Gualala River logging plan and development of coastal lands.
From a cursory review, it becomes clear that this is no time to place a novice at the helm who is long on platitudinal catchphrases, but short on specifics. We need a strong advocate with a proven track record who is unafraid to confront powerful interests. Leadership sometimes involves taking stances on issues long before public and legislative sentiment aligns with one’s own. Noreen Evans’ 2011 vote favoring overtime for farmworkers presents but one example of her political courage.
On Nov. 8, I will be proudly casting my vote for Evans to become our next Fifth District supervisor. I strongly urge others who share concerns about the preservation and future well-being of our beloved Fifth District to join me.
Thomas David Bonfigli
The Stein Way
I enjoyed reading Elizabeth Whitney’s letter “Cosmic Forces” (Oct. 5) in which she righteously trashed Trump’s materialism and then spoke admiringly (without naming) of “the female who has shown up at this moment in time to challenge the false power of materialism.” Ms. Whitney is obviously referring to presidential candidate Jill Stein of the Green Party, since the other woman on the ballot for president is a Goldman Sachs-sponsored war hawk who calls black teenagers “super predators.” Go Jill!
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