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Old 10-03-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasw98 View Post
I was hoping to find semi-rural, working-class people who can keep their houses and yards neat and tidy. Can I assume from your comment that this is not possible?
Usually well-kept neighborhoods are the domain of the upper-middle class.

Far northern California has been terribly depressed economically for over 20 years... perhaps you weren't aware of that?
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassberto View Post
Usually well-kept neighborhoods are the domain of the upper-middle class.

Far northern California has been terribly depressed economically for over 20 years... perhaps you weren't aware of that?
Not sure why working class people can't keep their neighborhoods clean. But anyway...we'd better not say anymore for fear of being lynched by the unruly mobs.

I was aware of the depressed economy. That didn't bother me. And I did not foresee any link between a depressed economy and unkept front yards.

We need a sociologist to sort this out...in the meantime, I just wanted to give my own firsthand report as an outsider for others to consider. Or they can make a trip to check it out for themselves.

Last edited by thomasw98; 10-03-2008 at 06:17 PM.. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:15 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
6,414 posts, read 10,504,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassberto View Post
Usually well-kept neighborhoods are the domain of the upper-middle class.

Far northern California has been terribly depressed economically for over 20 years... perhaps you weren't aware of that?
Especially now that our fishing industry has pretty much collapsed and so has the logging here. The county has made a few rebounds in the past 10 years with the influx of people from the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The crime here is much lower than the state average, except for Eureka. Trinidad is very very safe crime wise. Many of the people here are still farmers and ranchers, they live by a different clock then the 9 to 5'ers.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:25 PM
 
Location: am currently attending ucsb for my ba in french
4 posts, read 15,121 times
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Exclamation humbolt

beautiful, but no jobs. if you dont need one, i suggest checking out land on the eel river where you can have some solitude, relief from the rain, and close access to eureka, etc. .

unfortunately, the cities, except arcata arent very prosperous. i half grew up there and on returning two years ago saw that there's been a serious decline in places like eureka.

i hope this helps. i love the coast, but i would seriously consider the financial situation before you move there.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasw98 View Post
I was hoping to find semi-rural, working-class people who can keep their houses and yards neat and tidy. Can I assume from your comment that this is not possible?
That depends on where you're looking, and what your standard of comparison is.

And there are some of us who are professional class, and while we may not have the abandoned car in the driveway, we don't conform to what you're accustomed to either. By choice. My Victorian garden isn't exactly a standard issue monoculture of a lawn, for example.

There are some places, especially in certain areas of Eureka and a few of the rural backwaters, that I agree are pretty run down. I see places like that in many parts of the U.S., it apparently just won't go away.

But there are a couple of things to consider when looking at the rest of the area. First, we're living in, essentially, a temperate rain forest. That means that in the spring, at the end of the rainy season, and a short time into the early summer, the vegetation grows faster than we can keep up with it. Leave town for a week, and the lawn and garden have tried to take over the house. By June it's back under control.

Then, in late summer, in the total absence of rain, things get a little dry and brown. Not as bad as in the south, because we still have our morning fog. Unlike in the bigger places, we mostly let it go. No sprinklers, no Chem-Lawn. The rains will come in October, we can count on it.

The winter rainstorms also fade house paint on the mostly wooden buildings faster than in many other areas, so at any given time some percentage of the houses will be at that almost-ready-for paint stage.

But you know what really is different? We're not as hung up on materialism as most of the nation. We don't need to impress anyone.

The late Hobart Brown, a well-known local artist, once said "if we ever tried to change everything we complain about, it wouldn't be the place we moved here for." I think he was right. We're not interested in being just like everyplace else, because... everyplace else is already like that. We're the outlier, the eccentric place, the place that certain kinds of creative individuals love, and that certain kinds of conformists will never understand. Some of them try, and they mostly move away two years later.

I actually find some of the "it isn't just like my tidy suburb" comments above disturbing. There are already plenty of identical car-culture suburban subdivisions in this nation. Please, leave us at least a few little remote pockets with character and architectural diversity, OK?
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassberto View Post

Far northern California has been terribly depressed economically for over 20 years... perhaps you weren't aware of that?
This may have been true 20 years ago as the transition from a resource-based economy got underway. It may still be true for some other counties in northern California. It may still be true for small pockets of individuals and families locally who have been left behind by recent changes.

But I'd argue that today, and for at least the last 7 years, things are pretty good in Humboldt County. The unemployment rate is right around the state average. We're growing, slowly and sustainably. The median income is still below the state average, but so is the cost of living. While the glory days of logging are gone forever, in the long run that's a good thing. It's forced economic diversification. The fastest growth areas are in higher-paying fields, and those areas are growing faster than the state average.

A county of 130,000 would not have just attracted a third major airline if it were "economically depressed" (and I happen to know firsthand that Delta looked closely at the latest numbers before making that decision). The recent enrollment increases at Humboldt State University are also a good sign. Tourism has been strong this past summer in spite of (possibly because of) high gas prices. The local BMW dealer recently moved into a larger stand-alone facility. And some of those scruffy-looking old guys in cowboy hats that you see on the Main Streets of some of the smaller towns, the ones driving the really beat up and dirty pickup trucks, some of them own hundreds of acres of dairy land.

We're not growing at the pace of say, the Inland Empire. But we're growing. That sustainable growth means we have time to plan, to attempt to get it right. I have my frustrations with some of the old-time ways of doing things here, but over the past seven years I've come to believe that those kinds of checks and balances are good in the long run. Certainly, it's prevented some short-sighted mistakes. As a result I've become more tolerant and understanding of those older ways.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:57 PM
 
81 posts, read 357,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowplay View Post
I actually find some of the "it isn't just like my tidy suburb" comments above disturbing. There are already plenty of identical car-culture suburban subdivisions in this nation. Please, leave us at least a few little remote pockets with character and architectural diversity, OK?
I think you have placed me in the wrong mental box in your mind...but anyways, I think it's a nice area, just not right for me.
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasw98 View Post
I think you have placed me in the wrong mental box in your mind...but anyways, I think it's a nice area, just not right for me.
It wasn't aimed specifically at you, more at the general tone of multiple responses combined with the fact that I've heard this before while driving guests in from the airport... in fact it just happened a few weeks ago. It's interesting that I wouldn't willingly choose to live in that particular guests carefully maintained and spotless suburban home, but that's simply a matter of differing tastes and lifestyles. There's no right or wrong, just different.

It does make me aware that we're facing a perception problem in Humboldt. Curiously, I have mixed feelings on whether we should address that or not... the people who will be happy here seem to find us.

I'll take the opportunity though to address the individual communities in more detail, based on my seven and a half years here, and knowing a fair number of community leaders, and having discussed a lot of things with them.

Arcata: Stereotypical liberal university town. I looked when first considering the move here, and decided against Arcata on the basis of two things. First, there are signs on the Plaza that say "No..." with a list of about 10 things. A little too command-and-control for my taste. The obvious question was, what's it like to get a building permit in this town? My subsequent experience has only reinforced that. Citizen involvement and layers of regulations translate to, sometimes, near paralysis. The second thing was the Plaza shopkeepers negative attitude to the "travelers," the homeless dudes on the plaza. Having lived in Chicago and San Francisco, I thought the skraggly kids on an adventure in Arcata were cute compared to the older hardened ex-felons of the big city. Seven years later, I find the Arcata travelers to be an eyesore but harmless. The attitudes of the shopkeepers bother me more than the travelers do, because many of them are ex-hippies who did the same thing when they were kids. I'm also surprised that despite years of discussion, the city has done pretty much nothing either way on the issue, for example creating someplace less visible for the travelers to hang out... a good example of the above-mentioned paralysis.

Eureka: Diverse. The homeless problem is more severe than in Arcata, and it's centered on an encampment behind Bayshore Mall in the southern part of the city, and various nearby dive residency motels along 101... most of them owned by the same slumlord, I'm told. The problem spills over into petty crime in some nearby neighborhoods, but minor by big city standards. Unfortunately almost everyone drives by this area, so it's very visible. There are nice quiet neighborhoods inland... Hendersen Center (F and Hendersen) is a calm tidy working-class neighborhood with a vibrant shopping district and reasonable real estate prices; the ravines around the medical offices near Harris and Harrison are full of upscale doctors homes. Oldtown has gentrified nicely in recent years, although it's been slowed by city governments seeming lack of a clear policy and more recently by the economic downturn. A proposed mixed-use development at the west end of Oldtown, if it happens, will speed the process. Arts Alive (first saturday of each month) is a vibrant street party.

McKinleyville: I'm less familiar with this area, which is unincorporated but heavily developed. Lots of entry-level residential inhabited by younger couples, and a relative lack of urban planning because of the unincorporated status. I've heard some refer to this as "Oklahoma-by-the-Sea" and am not sure if that's a reference to the junk cars mentioned in a post above, or the fact that there really was an influx of Okies in the dust bowl years. In any case it's the closest thing we have to the suburbs in the world beyond, one of only two local communities that is friendly to big box stores.

Fortuna: The other big-box friendly town, although they don't have one yet... actually the attitude is more like we'll take any kind of development, unconditionally, which is a very un-Humboldt attitude (we're the folks who told WalMart where to stick it). It's hard to characterize; Main Street was trashed in the mid-60s when the old buildings were replaced with structures that have not stood up well to the test of time. The nice houses are up the hill (the doctors associated with the hospital) or on the outskirts of town on larger lots; the flats are mostly smaller houses and some are a little run down. There's still a visible contingent of logging-friendly good old boys, and they still pretty much control city politics.

Ferndale: The Victorian Village, all of Main Street on the National Historic Register, still reliant to some extent on tourism as well as on the local dairy industry. Cute and well above other regional towns for real estate value, not much affected so far by the recent downturn. Not the most exciting place in the world, with a population of only 1400 (or 3,000 counting the surrounding dairy lands), simply not enough people; there are plenty of events, but except for the kinetic sculpture race they don't draw huge crowds. The locals tend to avoid Main Street on peak tourist weekends. Economically doing pretty well, storefronts almost all full, etc. It's a unique mix of libertarians and crazy artists and ranchers and professionals and ordinary people.

Trinidad: Upscale ocean view fancy houses on top of the bluff, not hard to spend $800K here. But only about 800 people. A fairly low-key place, a cute coastal town.

Rio Dell: A former logging town in transition, with a sophisticated new city manager. Small basic inexpensive houses but larger/fancier new developments just under way. The recent takeover of Palco by Humboldt Redwood Company has revived talk of annexation of the company town of Scotia just over the bridge. Main Street needs a kick but is handicapped by a scarcity of good quality commercial buildings.

Blue Lake: 15 minutes inland from Arcata, quite a bit warmer in summer, a unique nice small town handicapped for now by the recent police scandal, which will blow over now that the chief has been convicted. Home to world-renowned Dell Art'e Theatre.

Fieldbrook: Unincorporated, between Arcata and Blue Lake; upscale and discrete, almost unknown to the outside world but home to some of the local CEOs.

Willow Creek: 45 minutes inland on 299. Hot summers, Trinity River recreation opportunities, reasonable real estate, but I don't know a lot else about it.

Still pretty basic, but hope that helps a little.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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Nice area, in general.
Be careful where you go hiking though....
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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Default Eureka is evil!

Eureka California is a nasty ****hole. It has a HUGE drug population particularly for methamphetamine and I have never seen a town with worse teeth in my life! With that brings an out of control crime rate, not just theft, but acts of violence like murder, which largly go unsolved. Thats because the law enforcement is inept and corrupt. One law enforcement officer got caught with a meth lab in his house, but conveniently blamed it on his ex-wife and did no time for it!
I thought Eureka would be full of environmentally friendly tree huggers and pot heads. I found only the latter to be true, with Humboldt county and surrounding counties growing huge crops, the area is flooded with it.
There is a pulp mill there whose former owners were completely criminal in its dumping of toxic waste, and there are areas that still to this day have creek beds lined with an orange oily goo that will stay forever. That same mill pumps out toxic fumes, and during certain times of the year, the breeze from offshore wafts it right into downtown eureka and as far as King Samon. I am convinced it causes cancer.
These are all verifiable details. The surrounding areas of Blue Lake and McKinleyville are very pretty and you can find very nice places to live with room to stretch, but don't think the tweekers aren't there!
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