Feedback on Housing
Readers also have something to say about poop, Hayward, and Montclair dining.
The Airbnb Effect
It is extraordinary, that in a lengthy piece about Bay Area housing [“Can We Solve the Housing Crisis,” March], there is no discussion about the effect Airbnb is having on this shortage. Many are aware that good rental housing has been co-opted so as to avoid rent stabilization and rent control, by these “disrupters” of the hotel/motel industry.
I did a search today for properties available to rent on May 1. Airbnb offered me 300-plus places to rent in Oakland. This doesn’t include those that have already been reserved for that day.
With thousands of units available and totally unregulated by the city, how can we even begin to determine the needs for new housing, when no one is looking into existing housing that has been pulled from the rental market?
Philip Weingrow, Oakland
Thanks for your feature on bikes on EBMUD trails [November 2015]. A subsequent letter from Margo Wixsom of Inverness complains of horse and dog waste on trails, calling it a hazard. A similar complaint was registered at Mount Diablo State Park. Their 2016 Road and Trail Management Plan addresses this as follows: “No one wants to encounter feces on the trail. However, dog feces and horse feces are not similar. Horse feces is closer to wild animal feces in that it is mostly vegetative matter, biodegrades easily, and carries very few harmful pathogens. Dog feces, however, is full of harmful pathogens and can take many months to break down. It is also impractical for riders to stop and scoop up horse feces because the necessary tools and additional weight of the waste can be very cumbersome to riders. There are also additional safety concerns regarding riders dismounting and remounting along the trail.”
Gary Fitts, Berkeley
Brews & Brats
“Hayward Is Chic, But Not Too Chic” [March] was a great story, but you forgot Brews & Brats. They have a great lineup of microbrews and delicious house-made sausages and barbecue. They’re two doors from the theater.
Thank you very much for the terrific article about Brand X Huaraches in the April issue [“A Treat for Your Feet.”] We greatly appreciate it.
Ronn and Marcela Simpson, Brand X Huaraches
Why does your listing of Chowhaus, closed in less than one year, include the dismissive comment, “For too long, Oakland Hills residents have had to settle for what we could call ‘Montclair good’? Looks more like paid advertising than a legitimate review. You obviously have not tried the 72-hour sous-vide short ribs at our longtime favorite, Italian Colors. Please do.
Phillip Francis, Oakland