Noe Valley Voice November 2011

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

THE VOICE welcomes your letters to the editor. Write the Noe Valley Voice, P.O. Box 460249, S.F., CA 94146. Or e­mail Please in­clude your full name and contact information. (Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication.) Be aware that letters may be edited for brevity or clarity. We look forward to hearing from you.


Don’t Weigh the Blueberries

Dear Lynn Thompson:

Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experience at Whole Foods Market Noe Valley [“Read the Fine Print,” Letters, September 2011 Voice]. I apologize for the confusion regarding the size/weight of the blueberry containers. Here’s the scoop on pints and quarts: Pints and quarts are measures of volume, not weight.

I apologize that the Team Member you spoke to while shopping was unable to explain this to you and eliminate the confusion from the get-go.

Please come by Customer Service next time you’re in the store, where we have a gift card for you in gratitude for sharing your experience.

Melanie Holt
Store Team Leader

Whole Foods Noe Valley

3950 24th St.


In Defense of Vacation Rentals


I would like to clarify some items in the editor’s note that was posted in response to John Bartleby’s Letter to the Editor (“Are Guest Rentals Legal?”), in the September 2011 Voice.

First of all, the editor’s note says that current regulations “would seem to preclude,” or prohibit, short-term rental of a room in a house.

I have not seen any regulation to this effect. It is my understanding that the San Francisco Municipal Code on this matter (Sections 41A.4 and 41A.5) applies to apartment buildings with four or more units. As far as I can see, it does not mention, and therefore does not prohibit, rentals for rooms in a house.

Second, the editor’s note referred to the Noe group of vacation home owners as an “association,” but we are in fact called the Noe Vacation Home Owners Organization (NVHOO).

I would also like to address John Bartleby’s claims of vacation rental guests being a public nuisance.

First, we are providing a great service to the families of Noe Valley, as many of our guests have been the parents or grandparents of our neighbors. Many of our neighbors are young parents living in the typical Noe Valley flat, with very limited space. For these neighbors, Noe Valley vacation rentals are a blessing.

Furthermore, our vacation rental guests couldn’t be better behaved. In fact, we have several vacation home owners in Noe Valley who have been operating for many years, and even their nearby neighbors have no idea that they exist.

Don’t forget also that vacation rentals bring more people into Noe Valley, people who are available during the day to go shopping and to visit local restaurants and cafes. Vacation rentals benefit the local community in many ways. By contrast, many long-term renters are indeed a public nuisance. For months, we put up with a long-term renter in a neighbor’s building, who often blasted rap music (complete with curse words) all evening long! Such a thing would not be a problem with a short-term renter.

Short-term renters don’t have tenants’ rights; they know they can be asked to leave at any time, if they create a nuisance of any sort. They also know to treat the furnished apartments very gently, as they will be charged for any damages upon checkout.

The other part of John Bartleby’s question was with regard to the hotel tax and tourism fees. Yes, these taxes are required by the city, to be levied on any stay of 29 days or less. Those of us who accept short-term rentals should be getting a gold star and a key to the city because we are responsible for generating typically $4,000 per unit in extra yearly revenue for the city! How wonderful that we can contribute so much to the ailing economy of San Francisco.

Rachel Donovan


Speak with a Noe Valley Accent?


I was intrigued to read in Irene Barnard’s obituary of 100-year-old Albert Gibeau [October Voice] that “he spoke with a now rare Mission/Noe Valley accent.” I suspect it must have been Irish-based. Is there anyone around who can describe the accent—or provide examples?

I’d be interested in learning a bit more about this...before it totally disappears. Thanks.

Steven Short


KALW Radio 91.7 FM

San Francisco


P.O. Box 460249

San Francisco, CA 94146

The Noe Valley Voice is an independent newspaper published monthly except in January and August. It is distributed free in Noe Valley and vicinity, on or before the first Friday of the month. Subscriptions are available at $30 per year ($25 for seniors) by writing to the above address. The Voice welcomes your letters, photos, and stories, particularly on topics relating to Noe Valley. All items should include your name, address, and phone number, and may be edited for brevity or clarity. (Unsigned letters will not be considered for publication.) Unsolicited contributions will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The Noe Valley Voice is a member of the San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association.


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December/January Issue: Nov. 19, 2011

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Sally Smith, Jack Tipple


Olivia Boler, Other Voices Editor

Corrie M. Anders, Associate Editor

Heather World, Associate Editor

Heidi Anderson, Karol Barske, Helen Colgan, Chrissy Elgersma, Jan Goben, Liz Highleyman, Laura McHale Holland, Florence Holub, Tim Innes, Jeff Kaliss, Doug Konecky, Pat Rose, Roger Rubin, Shayna Rubin, Karen Topakian, Nicole Wong


Pamela Gerard, Photo Editor

Beverly Tharp, Senior Photographer

Najib Joe Hakim, Senior Photographer


Karol Barske


Sally Smith, André Thélémaque, Jack Tipple


Jack Tipple, Misha Yagudin


Jon Elkin, Elliot Poger


Steve Steinberg, Advertising Manager

Jack Tipple


Contents ©2011 The Noe Valley Voice