Eugene/Springfield - The Bad News (Portland, Salem: appointed, foreclosures, townhouse)
Eugene areaEugene - Springfield metro area
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Well, I moved here from Bakersfield, California which is roughly twice the size with more crime and more of a sense of being in dnager. There are a lot of homeless people here and you cannot stop and any red light without having someone stare at you waiting for a handout. The rain is something that can be a problem especially with kids because it is often too cold and too wet to easily let them out to play. There are traffic problems due to the increasing population and lack of funding for road repair and improvement. Car break is are frequent but I have not had a problem perhaps because of the alarm system that my vehicle has. There also seems to be a lot of small crimes like theft. I live in a relatively nice area and have heard of instances of things coming up missing after being left out which is something I avoid doing. Allergies are certainly a problem. I have heard that Eugene has the largest accumulation of seasonal allergens. I never experienced seasonal allergies until I moved here but taking Allegra resolved this. There is grass field burning here in the summer which can cause some problems but I think the county is trying to reduce that. This is all I can think of at the moment. I am very, very, very happy living here, the people are amazing and the surroundings are beautiful, we are close to mountains and tons of outdoor activities. good luck
It's true that Eugene does have a fair amount of property crimes. This is especially true around the holidays, and now that the economy is suffering property crimes are unlikely to go down anytime soon.
That said, though, many property crimes can be avoided by taking simple precautions. The main one that I would suggest is to not leave your in-car electronics out in plain sight. I've seen several news stories about car breakins being prevelant around the shopping malls, probably because theives know that you are not going to be back to your car for a while. A lot of people have portable GPS units, MP3 players, cameras, etc. that they carry in their car. Put them in your center console, glove box, trunk, or carry them with you. Also, hide the charger cables - thieves will see those and know that there is something else in the car. Also, from what I've read, a lot of auto thefts are more about getting the small electronics, which are more easily sold for cash, than about getting your
Mostly it's common sense stuff, like stay away from the shady neighborhoods at night, keep your personal property out of sight, lock your doors and windows at night, and lock up your bike if that is your chosen mode of transportation.
Okay, you asked....I moved to Eugene from Seattle 14 years ago. That would be 13 years 364 days too darn long. I'm relocating back to Washington this summer - can hardly wait! Many people who come to Eugene from otherwhere discover to their dismay that Eugene is pretty bad - details to follow - only the economy here is so dire that once here it is tough to make/save enough money to get back OUT again. I've had it described as a vortex, and that's not far off. First - weather - summers are glorious if you can stand heat indexes in August and September that rival Atlanta's (e.g., you will need prescription strength antiperspirants and a good drycleaners). There is A LOT of street crime, homelessness - Lane County has not figured out how to deal with the homeless problem and these people, mostly mental misfits of one type or other, are in horrible straits from the municipalities' failure to help them and the local churches can do only so much. Many "affordable" neighborhoods - well, first you'd have to question the term "affodable" and then look at what they are built on - in Bethel-Danebo for example there is groundwater contamination and soil contamination from previous decades of industrial development. The very air here is BAD - check the statistics on LRAPA (air pollution agency). Cars are not "smogged" here which means NOX, CO2, carbon monoxide, and particulates. Mills within city limits are somewhat controlled but factually most mills are outside city limits, and the particulate matter and ozone contamination rival Los Angeles. Temperature inversions here are frequent both summer and winter and if you have any inclination toward lung problems you will be guaranteed visits to the local hospital when the fifth...or eighth....or tenth day of freezing fog in december has trapped the filthy air right at breath level. The police here profile for race and the Eugene Police Department and Lane County Sheriff Department are well known for corruption and ignoring the more abusive types of police behavior (for example, please google the Juan Lara case--'ats what I'm talkin' about). It is very, very difficult to get a job here and when you do, you will not be paid anything close to (a) what you were making where you came from or (b) what you are worth. For example, I was making MORE THAN DOUBLE in Seattle in 1992 (15 years ago) than I am today in Eugene. True - we are just beginning to have traffic problems as far as congestion and there are some infamous albeit short corridors where you sit...and sit....and sit....and oh by the way the highest percentage of accidents are caused by substance-abusing drivers (Oregon being the meth capital of the US and Lane and Douglas Counties being the highest in Oregon). Plus here there is a strong, unshakeable belief in the right to (a) engage fully in road rage, (b) tailgate in the slow lane just for fun, (c) travel at speeds exceeding 85 if you're a triple hauler truck or oil tanker, (d) never, ever use turn signals, (e) run merging cars off the freeway at entrances just for giggles and grins. I could go on but no doubt you get my point. Now - do you have dogs? Do you have a horse or two? Well - prepare to shell out enormous dollars to have your pet treated by a vet. Oregon State University vet school has one of the highest tuition/fee structures in the country and Oregon thinks very pooly of higher education and has a decades long disinvestment in same, so vets coming out of OSU are over a hundred grand in debt for student loans so they charge pet owners accordingly. If you have a horse, be advised that according to their stated policy, the two main clinics in this area REFUSE to treat laminitis or founder and will ONLY euthanize the horse - if you have a laminitic horse or - perish the thought - a foundered one, you'd better be prepared to import your vet from somewhere else. Keep in mind - even the first people here, the native Americans, called this the Valley of Death. The chamber of commerce tries to spin that and admits to only "valley of sickness." Well - either way - if you were physically healthy before you won't be once you live here - the area has more than quintuple the number of asthma and allergy cases of almost any area of the country. And the local grass seed farmers (Lane, Linn and Benton counties are the world's larges producer of grass seed) still engage in the barbaric practice of field burning in August and September, guaranteed to fill the local emergency rooms; a newscast in 1999 detailed how during one 24-hour period at Sacred Heart the emergency room overflowed into the parking lot and they ran out of oxygen there were so many desperate patients! Well, I know that some forum posters will react with anger at me for spilling the ugly beans about Eugene and say "good riddance" moving back to Washington. But there are some very, very serious problems here that cut across all areas - financial, employment, taxes, political, health, neighborhoods and services. Please think very, very carefully before moving here, I can pretty well guarantee you will regret it. If you do move here be SURE to keep enough money in the bank to fund a move away - or you truly will be in "the vortex."
In all honesty, if those are the only problems, I'll take them! I am retired so employment is no issue for me. I mean, compare what you say to what goes on elsewhere........
you said~There are lots of churches throughout Eugene and Springfield for Christians like myself. But, most of Eugene and parts of Springfield is very liberal.
I think that was rude. Are you trying to say that ONLY right wingers go to church? I think you should keep your obvious hate of others to yourself
Hey Kim - I am interested in checking out some liberal churches in the area. I hope this doesn't sound offensive to anyone, but I'd like to be involved in a church more for the sense of community and positive work they do than for any religious reasons... I'm actually not religious at all, but would be open to listening and learning what I could from an experience with a church. I just wouldn't be comfortable in a situation where they make their Christian God the reason for and solution to everything. Is there a church you might know of which is liberal and not too "churchy" in the Eugene or Springfield area? One who welcome's all kinds of people - religious and not? I'm not opposed to driving a little ways out, either.
I maybe should have PM'd this question... but I'm in a hurry and not sure how to do that yet! Thanks!
Tiff your posts crack me up sometimes. Or should I say "quack" me up, as I'm a Eugenian (transplant - not native, but it's my adopted home).
I'm 32, you know, and I'm still hot (according to my husband) so what's your excuse lady? Just kidding with you... 32 is so not old. You just have to sleep and exercise more and cut out some bad stuff from your diet is all.
Anyway - it took me like 2 years to figure out how to drive here. Seriously. I can get anywhere on a bike and not get lost, but in a car well, that's a whole 'nother thing. The highways/roads/whatever change names and veer this way and that way and it's the craziest I've ever seen and I've lived and been in more than a few places.
And oh my... the whole "O" thing on everybody's car.... WOW! I have never seen anything like Duck Fever!! I have for years been wanting to put "A, E, I,_, U and sometimes Y" on the back of my car... it's like "O" is the only vowel that matters in this town. I thought I'd do my part to remind people that there are 4 and sometimes 5 other vowels which deserve our attention as well. Since we're transplants, and we're not into sports really at all, it took us a long time to understand what the "duck" was going on!
I envy anyone who lives at the beach. That's our dream for retirement, my husband and I... but for now we must live where the job is at - so we're here. You, Tiff, are so lucky!!
LMAO!!! OMG..I JUST saw this! That would be why im only now responding. lol
Ya, I live at the beach...I rock. lol come on over my friend, we'll be here when youre ready.
it always cracks me up about Eugene too, Its where the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics is, and they have sent more girls onto the OREGON STATE team in Corvallis than any other city/town in Oregon! UofO has no gymnastics..boo!!! lol I just think its funny that a gym in Eugene has to send their best gymnasts off to the rival collage. lol
But ya, its funny to go around town and see all those big green/yellow Os everywhere. Drives my little diehard Beaver fan nutso!
My friend, if i cut out any more happy food from my diet, Im gonna be a sad cranky girl! lol and sleep??? i have three kids...what the heck is sleep?!?! lol
See, even you who lives there and loves it gets lost....theres hope for me yet! but darn it, i was gonna call on you the next time I was in town to help me navigate...you know, my own personal GPS. lol
Have you all found the Monster Cookies place yet? That'll be then end to anyones diet...now you know the REAL reason I cant live in Eugene! lol.
I love it there though, for the shopping, and for the parks. both are pretty darn ample!
When my partner and I moved there, he was warned to stay away from the Whitacre neighborhood in Eugene or risk being murdered. (I'm exaggerating a bit.) I was quite surprised the first time I went there and discovered a very quirky, but not very dangerous "hippie" type of neighborhood. Sure, I imagine there is some drug dealing and there is property crime, but I never felt unsafe there, and never had anyone hassle me.
Maybe I was lucky but I never had my rather nice bike stolen while I was in Eugene. However, I was always careful to know who was around me, and always used common sense. I can't think of anything really bad that happened in my two years there, except sitting next to a really smelly person on the bus one day.
I guess the worst thing that happened to me was when Peninsula Bakery closed. I had to go to Whitacre to find the source of the great coffee I had been drinking there (Wandering Goat Yrgicheffe).
The one thing that bothered me was the smoke from all the fireplaces in winter. I used to ride my bike up a very steep hill, and the smoke wasn't really good when you're doing intense aerobic activity. And, as someone mentioned, just when it gets nice in the summer, the grass farmers start burning their fields. Typically the smoke is not so bad in Eugene, it's farther north, around Junction City that it can be pretty bad. Allergies are definitely a problem most of the year though.
What I miss the most were the walks up in the hills around Eugene, even in the residential neighborhoods where you could get views of the valley. I miss the walkways along the river where you could see baby geese and thousands of daffodils while you are riding your bike or walking. It was nice being only 90 minutes from the ocean and close enough to Portland that you could go there for a day or a weekend.
Wandering Goat is good! Cafe Mam and Sisters is good, too. Eugene is always surprising me. We have some of the best brew, chocolate, coffee, and food stuffs here. The availability of locally grown organic foods is mind-boggling as well. Whenever we travel anywhere else, I can't wait to get back home so I can eat real food again. I'm always missing the food.
A pizza place here just received this really amazing certification that is super hard to get. La Perla Pizzeria Napoletana on Pearl St. is "Verace Pizza Napoletana-certified". It's a pretty rare honor, and they were the first ones in Oregon to receive the certification.
My favorite pizza place, though, is PRI! Pizza Research Institute. Yum.
Is there a church you might know of which is liberal and not too "churchy" in the Eugene or Springfield area? One who welcome's all kinds of people - religious and not? I'm not opposed to driving a little ways out, either.
Check out the Unitarian church.
477 E 40th Ave
Eugene, OR 97405
I don't live in Eugene (though I'm scouting out a couple places as possible retirement destinations and friends who live there think I might like it), but I've gone to several Unitarian churches in various places I've lived in the last 40 years, and always found a welcoming, non-judgmental community of like-minded folks there.
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