Your editorial of July 6 (“Elizabethtown Borough Is Wise to Regulate Home Lodging”), which attempts to draw a connection between the use of Airbnb in Elizabethtown and prostitution was both ludicrous and an insult to our intelligence. If there are valid reasons for the Borough to regulate the renting of rooms by homeowners, you have certainly ignored them all. Rather than address facts, you have instead stooped to silly scandal-mongering in an attempt to further your viewpoint. It hearkens back to the days of yellow journalism with its sensationalism and hyperbole. I’m sure that this type of journalism is great for propping up readership and encouraging back-fence chatter, but it does nothing to provide your readers with the fair and intelligent information necessary to understand the issue and its potential impacts. Shouldn’t that be your mission? Your “one bad apple” analogy attempting to connect Airbnb to prostitution is just silly. If prostitution is going to occur in Elizabethtown, it certainly won’t need or have any connection to the home lodging movement.
Your connection of the two is an insult to the nice people who open their homes to visitors to our beautiful area. It is an insult to the couple who use the service so that they can attend a wedding at Ironstone Ranch or the numerous other beautiful wedding venues in the area. It is an insult to the woman uses it when she travels from Vermont to visit her elderly mother at the Masonic Homes. It is an insult to the parents who use it when they come from New Jersey to participate in Homecoming and Family Weekend at Elizabethtown College. It is an insult to the young couple who use it as they visit Hershey Park and Lancaster County’s tourist attractions. It is an insult to the young man from Finland who used the service for an extended stay while he completed a watchmaking internship at RMG Watchmaking in Mount Joy or the young lady from New Jersey who used it when she first arrived in our area after accepting a job at the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia. Furthermore, it is a slap in the face to the local merchants who benefit when these guests spend their money in our local restaurants and businesses.
You call your paper The Advocate, but after this recent editorial, it makes one wonder if The Blabber might be more fitting. We’ll let your future actions answer that question. It’s time for you to advocate more responsibly.
JAN V. WILCOX
West Donegal Township