whats washougal really like? (Camas: living in, safe, friendly)
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This of course is no reflection on the city government or employment position referred, just 'Life in Washougal'
As previously mentioned, the Clark and Skamania County Sheriffs can better elaborate on precautions / expectations for responding to Washougal area. The countryside is a marked level more intense in encounters. A very talented co-worker packed up and moved his family to Corvallis, specifically due to unpleasant (dangerous) neighbors in Rural Washougal. Errant gunfire is very frequent. This guy's wife was home with small children and had a few armed, drunk, and unemployed loggers who insisted on daily visits to their property. This behavior was less than comfortable for her. YMMV (I hope so)
Drive times from Washougal (w/ no traffic issues)
10 minutes: east Vancouver
20 minutes: PDX / Downtown Vancouver
30 minutes: downtown Portland / Clark County Fairgrounds / WSU-V / South Ridgefield / Battleground
45 minutes: Woodland / Beaverton / Wilsonville, Molalla, Sandy, OR... Stevenson, WA / Bridge of the Gods
1Hr: Longview, Forest Grove, Newberg, N Salem, Mt Angel, Zizag, Hood River, White Salmon,
Small towns, big egos. Washougal has a particularly tense fire district challenge 3 rather than the usual 2 warring fire depts, all trying to power grab for tax base. One of which built and owns an abandoned fire station within the boundaries of another district. It is zoned only for a Fire Station and was built against the advice of taxpayers and officials. This same district did almost the identical thing by building another new station directly in the expansion boundary of the 3rd district. These are both urban based stations built by a rural based district. The intent is fairly obvious and not to the value of the district tax payers.
Fire is just one of many issues, lets not get started on the internal legal struggles of Washougal and the tarnished history of past officials (charges pending) or even the record of the existing Mayor (impersonating a Police Officer, via WSP charges...) this stuff is not fairy tales, You can easily find adequate content by searching CW Watch of the local rag (Camas Post Record)
(just in case someone reads this who is interested in Not much different than other small towns, but Washougal certainly has an identity of its own, ask the Clark County and Skamania County Sheriffs, they each have to deal with us.
This sounds exactly like rural Southern Oregon. And from what my girlfriend (Washougal native) describes to me, and my experience in small-town-Pacific-Northwest, I'd believe it all... These small, rural fire departments (especially the private ones we used to have in S.O.) often don't care about anything other than whether your burning house is their jurisdiction or the other guys' or the money or their ego, like you said...
My sister is considering applying for a job at the city of washougal, but I don't have any clue about it. Can anyone give me the 411 on it? she's from california. Woudl she do good in washougal? can you compare it with anything like? portland? seattle? vancouver? if she worked in washougal could she live in vancouver? are winters worse there? how long of a commute from Portland?
Washougal is Small Town, USA. Compared to Portland or Seattle, it's a tiny, little hick town. Compared to Vancouver, it's still kind of a tiny, little hick town. It's a beautiful area though and folks are pretty friendly and the town itself isn't too bad. Economically depressed, yes, and therefore a little depressing and dead, but it's still a decent place. Personally, I'd rather live in neighboring Camas or East Vancouver. East Vancouver is, by and large, a VERY nice area with all the big city amenities close at hand.
It's definitely easy to commute to Portland (though it takes a while and traffic can get really bad at rush hour going into PDX in the morning and to WA in the evening), and almost no trouble at all to commute between Vancouver, Camas, and Washougal--at least in town. If you go up in the mountains it might be colder.
Winters are going to be about the same in any of these places. In fact, anywhere west of the Cascade Mountains from Vancouver, B.C. to far Northern California are going to be the same, with minor variations in temperature. Winters are cold and rainy in Eureka, CA, Eugene, Astoria, Seattle, Washougal, Bellingham, etc... If it's raining in Seattle, it's probably raining in Southern Oregon. If it's 40°F in Portland, it's probably 38-42°F in Washougal.
Wait...what? Camas/Washougal are pretty damn nice. There is a reason people move here to commute to portland. Yes, its a rather small town. Yes, there are a few bad places (ie, addy street). But honestly, its relaxed and chill out here.
I don't know what the other guys issue is, but I've seen plenty of politics being that my dad has gotten involved in lots of land stuff out here. Nice parks, generally nice people (like usual). And that waste transfer station...damn dude, its on the edge of the industrial park area...in a small space between the industrial park and some wetlands...and it doesn't stink. And I honestly think that 4 people might be to many. No business would want that small plot anyways, so everyone wins. Hell, visit it sometime. Its sweet having that there, I can take my truck there instead of driving 20 miles into vancouver to use the dump there.
And yes, we had a mayor who was honestly a twit....OH MY GODS NO! TOWN HORRIBLE!....or not....she wasted some money in a stupid way (I believe vegas was involved actually).
And that gunfight...ye gods, I am sad to say it but i was on work crew with an ex-camas cop while that was happening. Some dude went bug nuts is the short story and then fried his ass and house while spewing random bullets. Other then that, I can honestly say I don't actually recall any big major crime things out here.
You can drive down to downtown camas and browse along tiny old town main street, easily get to hiking on the washington side, almost as easy hiking on oregon side. Its a pretty nice place to live actually, having lived here...oh my..10 years or so myself. And that road narrowing of the main drag too two lanes is good, it was never really used heavy enough for 4 lanes, and its much nicer now (I lived literally a house off it, so I know this). And they are widening the freeway right now, in an effort to remedy the traffic flow problem (which is one reason they went ahead and narrowed the main drag through town).
I say she should just live in town here or in camas. Not really any reason not to. Avoid the crime in vancouver...avoid the commute...easy paced relaxed town...why not move here!
And crime.....considering that any town has problems with crime I would be lying if I said there was none. But I swear to god that most people here smoke weed, so nobody is really motivated to do anything truly heinous crime wise. I think in my parents neighborhood there where some 'gang' (and I use the term laughing my ass off) kids tagging a fence a couple times....
Firefighter crap : Yes, the county fire department out in the east of town was having difficulties, they where a COUNTY fire department that got surrounded by town. They where not happy about that (my dad helped that happen...oops...). They have a shiny new station out of town now days and are much happier about not having to worry about jurisdiction issues with the city. I honestly know some of the cops here and in camas, have talked to some firefighters here and camas too. All that stuff is beyond me, I have heard nothing about it.
Slightly rambly, sorry. Had a few drinks before posting! Good luck to her though, and she should come visit and look around!
*edit* I should add something that tells you a great bit about washougal. We have a park on the river...it was known as ba beach for years...as in ba for 'bare ass'...because it used to be a nude beach way back when. After the parks foundation ran a campaign with banners and everything trying to get people to call it 'lewis and clark memorial park' or whetever....they gave up....nobody really cared that much to call the nice river park anything other then ba beach
Longtime lurker. I never had a reason to join before but I had to come back and chime in.
StealthRabbit it's easy to say bad stuff online and throw out a "verify it for yourself" challenge to imply legitimacy. As a relatively recent arrival to the area I admit you had me quite alarmed O_o.
Without getting into specifics that I now see would light you up, I actually DID some digging into more than one source (CRESA, the 911 center, was a little slow to give me their info, though). Before I threw out the BS flag that CarawayDJ accurately threw down right away, I waited until I had my stuff back. Sure, ECF&R certainly had their line, but what I got from the county and the two cities didn't contradict anything of note. I found that much of what you claim about the fire department is combinations of ignorance, misinformation, and probably slander.
Nobody is perfect and I can second-guess some things I found with the luxury of hindsight, especially when it comes to taxes and government, lol! That said, your accuracy percentage is so low that I have to conclude that you have a personal grudge going on. Did your spouse leave you for a fireman or something? Maybe you legitimately believe what you are saying. Either way, discussing it is a waste of time because whack views like yours are not changed with facts.
This post is for the benefit of anyone else who might read this nonsense and assume it's true. Looking back, I am embarrassed that I actually ran some of this nonsense by some county and city employees. They must have thought I was a hack or very gullible.
I'll make it easy for anyone else who wants to check this stuff out, here's some numbers.
CRESA 911: 737-1911
Washougal FD: 835-2211
County Fire Marshal: 397-2186
County Land Use: 397-2375
Camas FD: 834-2262
I was talking to the wife about this thread and she looked it over, pointed out I gave no facts to back up my backtalk. I did some math with the excel sheets the 911 center gave me and got this.
In March, ECF&R had 64 calls. 23 of them (a third! O_o) were out of their area to the 'Couve, Camtown, the 'Shoug, and even a handful to Skamania. Out of those 23, they were canceled 8 times by the other fire engines.
On the other hand, another 8 of those 64 calls included fire engines called in from other areas to help ECF&R fire engines. Guess how many times ECF&R canceled the other guys?? ZERO!!! Yep, all of March ECF&R never ONCE canceled help from outside.
Rabbit, you said they abandoned a station, I guess you're talking about the one by Safeway, right? I stopped there today and peeked in the windows. There are three fire trucks there, two from Washougal and one from ECF&R. And the sign says it is a Washougal fire station. I don't know what that's about but it sure doesn't look "abandoned".
Wow. Just wow.
I saw in the paper that a commissioner just quit, pretty sure he was one of the ones just re-elected. If he knew he was going to move maybe he shouldn't have run, that's fishy. But hey, there's a spot open now. You got problems with the fire department, here's your chance to step in there and "fix" it, right?
... I actually DID some digging into more than one source ...
Ah, April 30th, a perfect time to respond as I drop my 6 month Property tax check for $7,330 into the mail. (of which nearly $1000 goes to our totally inept fire protection district, which I do not have to elaborate; IS NOT a service provider...).
I'm glad you did the research and got the sanitized"suitable for public consumption" story from our austere leadership. This effort will pay great reward for you as soon as our next 'hostage' levy comes up. (if history repeats itself...). You will have a direct line to those making failed management decisions that result in a need for additional levies.
My sources come from 30 yrs of paying these taxes, & from many personal friends with boots on the ground (in 6 local adjoining districts) and under the authority of bogus incident commanders, + plenty of actual statistics, & nearly 20 yrs of sleepless nights during the reign of the current chief who should statistically have hung up his hat at least 10 yrs ago. (and certainly after his 5th 'FAILURE' at a proposed consolidation) So sad....
No personal vendettas on my part, just disgust at having to fund and consider the local travesty of public service a viable AND ONLY alternative.
And yes, people die and structures are lost here and many other places due to warring public agencies and prideful (inept) leadership. Being threatened my minions under this leadership is very real and potentially dangerous, as said 'public servants' have a very high incidence of arson violations. (It's the adrenalin thing coupled with very careless and demanding authoritarian leadership who recognizes and cares little of the health of their staff, as long as THEY (leaders) are portrayed as the heros they once felt as grunt workers.)
This is what Washougal is really like (At least for last 30 yrs, and foreseeable future).
To say nothing of the C/W PORT... where hundreds of thousands of vacant and derelict Sq Ft lie wasting, while THOUSANDS of commuters daily ply the employment route to 'taxing' Portland. (who gains significantly by C/W retail $$ flowing there along with the 'employment commute' traffic)
An interesting 'next task' would be a statistical report on area per capita 'living wage employment' of CW Port / local employers circa 1990 vs. 2010. Not pretty, but at least there is plenty of potential
Sanitized? Suitable for consumption? From the 911 center? From the marshal's office?
What are you smoking?
The answers I got from those two places essentially matched up with what the cities and ECF&R gave me where it mattered.
Are you suggesting that 911 and the county fire marshal are in cahoots with the fire department to cover up nefariousness? Really? LOL wow dude. This county is crooked here and there, but not that crooked.
You must be on special stuff to say they have a high incidence of arson violations. I called them again today. The marshal's office said that arson out here in the east is pretty light. "High incidence" sounds like "epidemic", but the call stats and investigations don't agree with you at all.
Oh and she also pointed out that arrest and court records are public, so it should be easy-peasy to match up all those arson arrests and convictions with member rosters, right? I'll leave that research to your expert abilities, since you're dialed in and know everything and everyone. Let us know what you find. Really.
So the only alternative to you being a whackjob making crazy libelous claims is that the county fire marshal and cities either cover up for local arsons, or can't do their job at all to tell what is or isn't arson. Or the county courts and sheriff's office has all those fireman arsonists in witness protection or something. So which is it?
Dude you really should cool your hater jets. Whatever case you have for being a malcontent about some fireman peeing in your Cheerios is way marginalized by your totally bogus claims of danger, death and ineptitude. Even if you're right about any of it, no one can take you seriously because of the excess bogus crap on top of your pile.
Now, to the end of "hostage" levies, I hear that Camas is doing something to raise funds for the ambulance on the ballot, and I am not a fan of that at all. I doubt it passes. Hope not, anyway. If it does they'll probably push it on the 'Shoug and the ECF&R, where it will get beat for sure. Then what, guys? Money ain't free, make it work with what you got.
Honestly SR isn't really the only person who talks about this sort thing. I've heard this from many people down there and they've pretty much all said either the same or similar things (depending on which part of Vancouver they're from).
The issue with Vancouver and the area is the lack of transparency with public officials and that's pretty much what SR is talking about. Even my husband says that area has more corrupted judges than anywhere in the state (though, he will say the one honest judge he ever had was from Washougal... and that people who got him were glad). You can choose to believe him (and the people I know) or not, but they've been around for awhile and knows how the system works.
I'm not saying corrupt crap isn't around here, it certainly is, but his stories just don't add up, and he conveniently ignored responding to the obvious easy to catch BS he got flagged for in the first place.
He said, and I quote, "The MA is for the fire depts to call off 'mutual aid' as soon as they are out the door.", which I found was not true. The stats I got show that this happened a small fraction of the time, and that about lines up with how many times it probably actually make sense. 100% would be a false statistic. This doesn't ring like it is anyone's "MA". Cue the gong, please.
He said, and I quote, "obviously you haven't checked the 'structure loss' record of our pathetic dept... my insurance rates reflect it pretty clearly." I think it is clear he's talking about the ECF&R. The stuff I got from the county fire marshal shows they had 12 true structure fire calls in 2011. Of those 12, they lost one house (a gasoline-soaked jilted lover arson, good luck with that), and two sheds. The other nine structures were saved with minor to minimal damage. 75% with the three losses being what they were is not "pathetic"! And doesn't everybody know that fire insurance rates are based on a funky insurance industry tests about water supplies? It has zippo to do with a so-called "structure loss" record. And if it did, 75% looks good for rural coverage. Gong.
He said, and I quote, "One of which built and owns an abandoned fire station within the boundaries of another district". It has fire trucks in it, it is not abandoned, this is beyond debate. Gong.
Obvious OBVIOUS lies or at least massive ignorance, what else can you call it??
If he's supposedly got that many personal friends with boots on the ground who are surrounded by this much corruption and crime in six adjoining districts, I want to know why those apparently good-guy friends aren't washing out the criminal fireman arsonists. Either everyone's in cahoots or they aren't. Which is it?
And just laying down that places burn down and people die is all because of agencies fighting each other or screwing up doesn't play. If we fix the so-called problems does nothing burn down again and no one die? Yeah, that must be it.
CarawayDJ had it pegged right off.
Originally Posted by CarawayDJ
OK, I have to throw the BS flag on this one. Sorry, but you come across as just being clinically paranoid.
SR is not going to be extracted from his happy bunker cave. Moving on.
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