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Old 04-20-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Wherever I happen to be at the moment
1,229 posts, read 1,250,070 times
Reputation: 1836

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
What about the college student who was shot and robbed at a bus stop? Was she out late at night? Where was the bus stop--downtown? Near/on campus?
There are always outliers.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:47 AM
 
30 posts, read 79,240 times
Reputation: 27
I don't know much about Santa Rosa, but can compare Santa Cruz and SLO. Tough decision between the two based on what you are looking for.

- Santa Cruz is larger and busier, with more activities. Closer to Bay Area and all the benefits that involves. Probably a better job market, but if you have to drive over the hill to San Jose for that job, the benefits of living in Santa Cruz will diminish. Bad commute.

Santa Cruz is more liberal. Also more diverse. I would expect more alternative education opportunties there. It seems kids grow up faster there, with drugs, gangs, etc., but still probably less so than much of CA. I'd bet that stuff can be avoided.

Santa Cruz gets a lot more rain and foggy weather. The surf is much better, but damn the crowds are bad. It really detracts from my enjoyment of the surf in town.

-SLO is off on its own and in a bubble. Pretty slow paced, but the university does provide opportunities for activities. Jobs can be tough to come by.

SLO itself is moderate, but many of the surroundng areas are conservative. It is also not very diverse at all. People are very accepting, but there just aren't a lot of people of color compared to most of CA.

Great place to raise kids. Very wholesome and plenty to do, with lots of outdoor activities. Good schools are available, from preschool on up.

The weather in SLO is great. Close enough to the ocean to get some of the cooling influence without the constant fog and wind. I really enjoy surfing SLO County. Lots of room and lots of places to explore. The surf is not of the quality of the points in Santa Cruz but the lack of crowds makes up for it.

Happy deciding!
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
90,672 posts, read 86,831,328 times
Reputation: 97505
I'd love to get an update when the couples decides, and hear how they like their new community.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:45 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,551 times
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We enjoyed Santa Cruz a lot, but we lived in Aptos. I saw a naked woman dancing at a drum circle in the Farmers Market parking lot one day, she did not get arrested, but that is the closest we got to crime while living there. The traffic on the 1 is a pain, nothing like big city traffic, just congestion because there's not enough lanes. Sometimes people drive awfully slow too, when I first moved there I blamed it on pot, but now in Humboldt county I'm not seeing the same thing. I think it must be the eco-conscious getting optimal gas mileage for better emissions! Eco conscious, yes, bicycles everywhere- lookout for all the bike lanes. Boulder Creek is very pretty, tucked into the redwoods. There are quite a few interacial couples. The parks are AMAZING. If your child was picking, between the boardwalk, the beaches, and the parks, she'd pick SC. Best parks. Great variety of public charters, many offer homeschool options. I'd bet there are charters that offer language enrichment. There are private Montessori schools. Not sure about Waldorf. I liked how close we were to Monterey (aquarium) and San Jose (great kids museum in SJ.) Farmers markets in every locality, locally owned grocery stores and cooperatives, but there are still Whole Foods, Trader Joes. SC library system is slowed down by the CA budget crisis, more limited hours, no interlibrary loan. See the Monarchs winter at Natural Bridges park. Drive up the coast and see the baby seals. We found it very child friendly. Moving from Phoenix, I'd guess that the crime rate is way lower than what you are used to there. HTH
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:45 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,716 times
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Thanks for all the responses...we are still about 9 months to a year out from a move, but planning to visit a number of places in California, Oregon, and possibly Washington. We are probably ruling out San Luis Obispo, simply for the fact it is too far from an international airport and I travel about five to six times a year. It seems the commute to San Jose kind of kills some of the appeal of living in Santa Cruz, weighing slightly on our decision. We are currently researching the job market in these places, but honestly, our daughter's education and our quality of life is most important. Additionally, we both have wide networks in our fields with connections in all of these areas.
As for the drugs and crime, we are mostly looking to steer clear of areas with high gang/cartel crime, white supremacist/nativist activity and large meth problems. I have had a couple altercations with tweakers in nice areas of both Downtown Tempe and Downtown Phoenix (during the daytime) that scared my wife and daughter. I have worked with at risk youth in crisis situations as a volunteer peer outreach coordinator so I am not easily ruffled by this type of stuff, but I don't want my kid around it. The school my wife teaches at has been on lock down once already this year due to a drive by shooting twp blocks away that ended in the death of one of her students grandmothers...sad. She loves working at underserved schools because she really feels she makes a difference in the lives of the kids she works with...and they respond to her teaching philosophy, but I hate worrying about her safety.
Anyway, I was hoping someone could inform me on good neighborhoods to rent/buy home in Santa Cruz or Santa Rosa. We are looking for something middle income relative to the respective city. Things in a neighborhood we are looking for are decent parks, decent schools (either public or private, but non-denominational), non-HOA communities. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:28 AM
 
345 posts, read 941,830 times
Reputation: 298
For Santa Cruz, I really encourage you to look at neighboring Aptos or Scotts Valley. Unless you, for whatever reason, feel like you need to be in the City of Santa Cruz. I think the two aformentioned small towns would have a lot of what you're looking for. And they both have their own small (by most CA public school standards) high schools in Aptos and Scotts Valley High. Scotts Valley has a supermarket and various places to eat including a movie theater etc. For the beach and mall; Santa Cruz and all it offers is minutes away. Good luck
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:00 AM
 
Location: California
1,028 posts, read 1,259,035 times
Reputation: 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingSunDevil View Post
Thanks for all the responses...we are still about 9 months to a year out from a move, but planning to visit a number of places in California, Oregon, and possibly Washington. We are probably ruling out San Luis Obispo, simply for the fact it is too far from an international airport and I travel about five to six times a year. It seems the commute to San Jose kind of kills some of the appeal of living in Santa Cruz, weighing slightly on our decision. We are currently researching the job market in these places, but honestly, our daughter's education and our quality of life is most important. Additionally, we both have wide networks in our fields with connections in all of these areas.
As for the drugs and crime, we are mostly looking to steer clear of areas with high gang/cartel crime, white supremacist/nativist activity and large meth problems. I have had a couple altercations with tweakers in nice areas of both Downtown Tempe and Downtown Phoenix (during the daytime) that scared my wife and daughter. I have worked with at risk youth in crisis situations as a volunteer peer outreach coordinator so I am not easily ruffled by this type of stuff, but I don't want my kid around it. The school my wife teaches at has been on lock down once already this year due to a drive by shooting twp blocks away that ended in the death of one of her students grandmothers...sad. She loves working at underserved schools because she really feels she makes a difference in the lives of the kids she works with...and they respond to her teaching philosophy, but I hate worrying about her safety.
Anyway, I was hoping someone could inform me on good neighborhoods to rent/buy home in Santa Cruz or Santa Rosa. We are looking for something middle income relative to the respective city. Things in a neighborhood we are looking for are decent parks, decent schools (either public or private, but non-denominational), non-HOA communities. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
Have you ever considered Santa Barbara? That would be one of my choices. Has all the great liberalness and surf of Santa Cruz without the meth/crime problems. Even areas of south orange county and north San Diego county I believe have a lot of what you are looking for too.

As for the Santa Cruz commute to San Jose, it's not that bad at all depending on where you live. The closer you live to Highway 17 the better. If you have to drive on highway 1 for a while just to get to the 17 then yeah, it can be annoying. I did that commute for years from Scott's Valley which is right on the 17 and it's one of the easiest commutes I've ever had, took me 25 minutes from door to door. Granted, I had a flexible work schedule and was able to do stuff from home so I was usually at the office only from 10-3, missing a lot of the traffic.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,003 times
Reputation: 10
Default Looking at Oregon and WA

I have lived in both WA and CA and I can tell you that if given my choice I would live in WA or OR before CA without a doubt. I am not rich but I am professional that makes decent a decent living between 65-80K/year as an example range. Some of the many reasons to choose the pacific Northwest over California are many:
.Natural beauty, trees mountains waterways etc.
.lower cost of living, WA no state income tax. Oregon no sales tax. Overall goods and services much more affordable.
. Friendly people with a sense of community
. thriving economy
. Low crime
. great schools
. progressive. WA initiated charter schools, legalized gay marriage, and legalized marijuana.
those things don't effect me directly, but do show that people here are accepting of one another, and intelligent enough to see a drug war is failing, and only creating more gang violence and overcrowded prisons, but I digress.
I live approx an hour from Seattle in a town called Gig Harbor. this a beautiful place with a waterfront down town thriving businesses and great parks and schools. the town is growing and thriving, and we are a short trip across the Tacoma narrows Bridge, a bridge almost as lovely as the Golden gate with views to match,same designer I think. there is an amazing growing trail system right through town. and we have views of the gorgeous mountain(Rainer) Summertime this is the most beautiful place with mod temps hovering around 70 80 degrees. concerts in the park festival galore all over the are and settle a quick trip away. Seattle (the Emerald city) is the most beautiful city west of the Rockies. It has beautiful skyline, restaurants world class entertainment, museums and Parks. This is a great sports town people love to go downtown Seattle and see the Mariners, Seahawks and the Sounders. The ball parks are right next to each other right downtown. This is a very vibrant and family oriented area. Portland is also very nice and living within two hours of either of these cities is a much better choice than anywhere in California. The one detractor is the overcast weather. We do get a lot compared to California, but the mild weather and change of scenery from an ever present blue sky is very nice too. it takes a while to adjust, but once you have adjusted you never want to leave. the beauty alone makes people happier healthier. The trick to living here is to be close to the cities and live where nature and city blend together, because otherwise its easy to get isolated and succumb to the SAD. its Easy and cheap to live on the water have beautiful views and there are a lot of great lake living options close to the City(Seattle) like Kirkland. I wouldn't live any farther than an hour from the City in any direction, and that includes Portland, because of the access to airports and amenities. unfortunately I have to move back to California for Family reasons, but as soon as I can Ill be back up here. And I am considering the same places you are in California. I cant tell which area seems better to me. If I could I would be in SLO, but too far from my family in Sacramento so SC and SR are both on my short list. considering Davis too, but heat is still a factor there.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,451 posts, read 13,358,144 times
Reputation: 12462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbell13 View Post
I have lived in both WA and CA and I can tell you that if given my choice I would live in WA or OR before CA without a doubt.
Dbell, looks like you spent a lot of time on your post, but did you notice that you are replying to a post that is 4 months old? Just a hint, and welcome to the forum
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:12 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,376 posts, read 14,591,338 times
Reputation: 11800
That last paragraph looks daunting.
Was it any good?
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