RE: "Sick Burn" [Letters, Nov 25], in which a self-described Christian criticizes the Mercury's Design a Starbucks Cup contest, and One Day at a Time [Nov 25], in which columnist Ann Romano expresses dismay at the news of air travelers of Middle Eastern descent whose recent trips were disrupted due to fellow passengers' complaints.

DEAR MERCURYI love how you condemn some Christian girl in the letters section as intolerant due to her "religion of choice," only to cry on the next page about "Islamophobia."

Mike Kearney-Justice


RE: "A Heartfelt Letter Convinced One Family to Sell Their Home. Now It's an Airbnb" [News, Nov 25], a report on one Portland house that was sold to a family who won the bid, in part, with a personal letter to the seller. The house is now being used as a short-term rental while the owners are living in California.

If this type of thing is super important to you, then put that in your sales contract.

posted by booyah25

The Browns are coffee roasters, and if they are sincere they can prove their sincerity by selling the house to a family. I believe that their reputations are damaged by this incident, and that they should repair the damage by selling the home before we start picketing. BTW—sincerity and kindness would manifest itself in (1) respect for Portland's laws. (2) Respect for our housing crisis. (3) Respect for the neighbors. (4) Respect for the truth. (5) Respect for the Morris family. If you guys are trying to be the next Starbucks, well, you have just angered Portland. Good luck with that.

posted by Reverend Bite Me

I think the local real estate agent, who is managing the property in question, should be accountable for ensuring the place is properly permitted and abides by city codes. But if they don't live there it's not really an "Airbnb rules" situation they're violating—it's no longer an accessory short-term rental. There's a pretty good chance they won't need that Airbnb permit at all, and since the service pays the lodging taxes this could all be within code.

posted by jonesrich

Doesn't anyone see that sometimes situations change, and life isn't linear, and things happen without us knowing it will happen? So you buy your dream house, things change, do you sell it? Airbnb is pretty terrible for a lot of reasons, but this doesn't seem like one of them. This "article" has about as much credibility as a GOP candidate at a rally, and all you commenters are like screaming hordes in the audience allowing fear-mongering rhetoric to get your juices flowing.

posted by joeseph

If they want to rent the house, they can. If they want to run a bed and breakfast, they can apply for conditional use and see if it flies with the city. I can't believe how many Portlanders do not know you cannot Airbnb a home you do not live in at least nine months of the year. Airbnb isn't the law. They are snot-nosed dude-kids who made a website. Ethically, these pricks are making our housing situation that much worse for their personal benefit. Love Portland? Stop treating her like a damned gold rush.

posted by SoutheastEva

In a hot market, buyers are going to write love letters. I sold a house to a Californian in 2006 who described wanting to move here to be closer to family. Needless to say, he never lived in the house, and sold it in 2012 for $60K less than he paid me for it. Love letters are eye roll-inducing bullshit, but choosing to illegally rent your house short-term rather than complying with the law is the real issue here. I hope the city uses the Browns as an example that it doesn't matter how well meaning you are, the laws apply to everyone.

posted by TWSS

TWSS, LET'S LET the wisdom of the law guide our path, calmly and surely. What could go wrong? Meanwhile, you get this week's Mercury letter/comment of the week, which earns you two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you can enjoy distraction from these troubles, if only for a time.