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Old 03-22-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Eugene, OR
231 posts, read 739,976 times
Reputation: 223

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We get endless babbling about the police in our local paper the Register Guard. 50% for everything the police do, and 50% against everything the police do.

From my perspective, the whole issue of crime is WAY WAY WAY blown out of proportion in these forums by:
a. people who believe one anecdote summarizes everything
b. people who run afoul of the police frequently and thus have an attitude about the police that invites more and more hassling by the police.

I think that most readers can simply ignore both types.

Instead, go look at the data that is easily available on this website under each city's description page. Compare them side by side. Not just the total crime number, but also the details of what categories get the most reports in each city.

For Eugene, you will see that the serious stuff (murder, rape, robbery, assault) are very low. The less-serious stuff is what pulls up Eugene's numbers...before you start typing, some caveats/explanations:

1. Yeah, I know that if one of these non-serious things happens to you, then it feels serious. I am speaking in general terms, from a macro perspective, so don't bother quoting any scary stories or whatever. Just cool down and think rationally.

2. The slightly high number of small property crimes occur in a very concentrated area (downtown and a few small pockets in north and west area). There are also a ton of bike thefts around the UO campus (as is typical of college campuses). If you don't live in those areas, then no problem. If you live in the South Hills, then you will never even feel the slightest hint.

3. Same issue for the auto-related crime. Stay out of those areas and no problem at all.

4. Keep in mind that these statistics are tending downward for Eugene over last 6 years. That's good news too.

5. Also keep in mind that compared to larger cities, Eugene looks like a star. Here are the comparative crime numbers for some other cities:
San Francisco 501
Seattle 470
Portland 497
Austin TX 467
Eugene 367!

-Take away the heavy skewing of small property crimes in Eugene, and it would look even better for Eugene.

So let's keep it all in perspective. Eugene is not perfect. But compared to many many other medium-sized cities, it is VERY safe and peaceful. Compared to the large cities, where crime is very under-reported, Eugene is extremely safe. Again, keep in mind that you need to have some common sense. Don't go downtown late at night and walk around the area where they hand out government checks...obviously, you will bump into some dicey characters. Don't leave a pile of Louis Vuitton packages in your back seat when parked at the slightly grungy mall in Springfield. Don't rent or buy a house in an area with run down homes and broken-down vehicles parked in the driveways. Be smart and spend a tiny amount of time thinking about your own safety, and you will discover that Eugene is one of the best places on the west coast in which you can live.

(The previous poster, SumGy, offered one example of the anecdote method of analysis. Not to pick on him/her, but to offer a little analysis to his police story:
It sounds shocking, but you have to think about it for a while. Do you seriously think the police would sit there watching you break into a car? Don't you think it is more likely that they had some other clue that you were the owner? Maybe they saw you earlier? There are many possibilities. In the end, one has to conclude that they were correct in not accosting you since you were, in fact, the owner of the vehicle. On the other hand, I can also imagine a post in this forum complaining about the police harrassing a poor motorist who had simply locked his keys inside his car...)
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:36 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,554,529 times
Reputation: 186
Default Eugene and Flagstaff

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawdler View Post
I'm also doing research on moving to Eugene in 2010, and I have to say, I was super excited when I first began, but after reading all of these posts about the horrible crime and useless government, I can't see how I'm any worse off staying in Houston.
I've read many of these posts, too, and substitute the word "Flagstaff" for my situation... The economy is really driving crime through the roof, in college/outdoors towns, w/o major technical occupations such as the very similar Flagstaff, and Eugene. I hope someone can provide evidence that Eugene is better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawdler View Post
I can't stand Texas and we really don't fit in here (Austin is wonderful, though),
For me, substitute my "Arizona" for your "Texas."

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawdler View Post
Are things at least improving in Eugene? Is there no way to oust the lackluster mayor and get a better one, or are the people of Eugene too laid back or too busy with activism in some other area that they can't be bothered?
That's a GREAT question because here in Flagstaff, things are not improving, even under the new mayor. The people are indeed too laid back (as you describe), and apathetic about local politics. I write suggestions to the on-line Arizona Daily Sun paper here, and am shouted down by the status quo far left wing socialistic* (*=see footnote) good old boys.

Many of my liberal* (*=see footnote) posts are deleted by the on-line paper editor. However, last week the City Council actually did pass the new homeless shelter (a liberal action, for a change!) (...now if they would only cancel the Impact Fees to get construction going again...raise the minimum wage...and pass the liberal gay rights protection ordinance...then construction workers, tourism workers, and gays would all be happy...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawdler View Post
We actually would prefer to live somewhere on the outskirts, maybe just purchase land and build a small house, and not in Eugene proper, but I have a feeling we'll be spending a great deal of time in your beautiful city anyway and all this bad news is making me think to look elsewhere.
I'm trying to find a nice place to buy a home or land, and can't find any perfect place - the major problem is cities with Smart Growth and Impact Fees -- such socialistic policies drive the cost of housing and land through the roof! The Willamette Valley is one of the nicest areas of the Pacific Northwest. Pro-smart growth: Smart Growth Online Anti-smart growth links: radio tom (radiotomk) on Twitter

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawdler View Post
I have heard that the Whiteaker community tends to be more "hippie", but it is also close to Skinner Butte Park, which I have heard from these forums is a scary place.
I'm sure I'd fit right into any liberal hippie area. As for that park, I guess I'd be safer walking to work at night in liberal Manhattan

(*=footnote: P.S. Historically, there's a BIG difference between Socialism and Liberalism. I'm an Adam Smith old fashioned liberal from the 1800's.

*Is Eugene Liberal or Socialistic? i.e. is it equal opportunity for all, pro-union, pro-disabled rights, pro-gay rights (liberal, i.e. Seattle, Albuquerque).

*Or, does the local government control what you can and cannot do with your land and business (socialistic, i.e. Boulder, Flagstaff)?

I've looked at Boulder, Colorado and it is socialistic, with way too many construction fees and land use restrictions...
Some people don't mind restrictions when it's for the common good; thank goodness this is America with the choice of hundreds of thousands of local governments!

Last edited by CCCVDUR; 04-15-2009 at 01:50 AM..
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,429 posts, read 13,916,887 times
Reputation: 3659
Greenspoint? He lives in one of the absolute worst (if not the worst) area of Houston. No wonder he hates it. Not representative of the rest of Houston. And, Austin has plenty of its own problems that often fail to be mentioned, but I could see how almost anything would be better after living in Greenspoint.
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:03 AM
 
Location: beautiful Oregon
10 posts, read 36,876 times
Reputation: 10
Default Eugene OR Springfield herein lies the problem EUGENE!!


Everybody complains about Eugene Springfield area. And then refers to Eugene being so bad. I have been in 37 states and guess what CRIME IS TERRIBLE All over the US. Eugene was built NEVER to get as big as it is. I have many problems with Eugene. BUT Eugene is NOT Springfield!!!! The towns are have only the freeway I-5 seperating them. But the 2 towns are worlds apart. As far as the Mayor. Well, tell you what. The exmayor came out of retirement just to help Eugene get back to where HE had the town.
Come on people a MAYOR runs for Mayor again ONLY because everything HE had built up was going to hell. And the reelect the KITTY.
DUMB STUPID PEOPLE from Eugene did not elect him. Springfield had it figured out. Some people moved out of Eugene after the election.
Again Eugene and Springfield are WORLDS apart. We have several hundred miles of bike paths. 2 major rivers that run right thru town. With some of the best sport fishing around.
Also there are15 lakes within 100 miles. The beautiful Oregon coast is just over and hour away. We have 8 ski resorts within 2 to 3 hours. And more beauty than any of the other states in the US. And I have been in or over 41.
As far as crime and things of that nature. Look at people per capita and the comparison of crime. The last time I compared numbers. Number of Crimes per population. We have much less crime than most. And if you have a problem. Ask your neighbor. If they can't help, I bet they know someone who can
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawdler View Post
I'm also doing research on moving to Eugene in 2010, and I have to say, I was super excited when I first began, but after reading all of these posts about the horrible crime and useless government, I can't see how I'm any worse off staying in Houston. I can't stand Texas and we really don't fit in here (Austin is wonderful, though), and while I don't care much for enforcers of any sort, at least I know the cops will respond here in a rather timely manner if something untoward happens. I am totally familiar with "Drag Rats" and homeless youth in a downtown area, Austin has tons of them, but they don't do much harm and tend to form their own families and stick together. They generally live close to the University, but I have never heard of any trouble with them either except that they are constantly asking for change.

Are things at least improving in Eugene? Is there no way to oust the lackluster mayor and get a better one, or are the people of Eugene too laid back or too busy with activism in some other area that they can't be bothered? Is it likely the real estate market will be somewhat back to normal again by 2010? We actually would prefer to live somewhere on the outskirts, maybe just purchase land and build a small house, and not in Eugene proper, but I have a feeling we'll be spending a great deal of time in your beautiful city anyway and all this bad news is making me think to look elsewhere.

I was also wondering if there was any way to find out more about Eugene's different neighborhoods? Here in Houston they are so large sometimes that they might have their own websites for the community, but I doubt that's the case there. I have heard people mention that West Eug. and downtown are areas to stay away from, and that south and north of downtown are generally pretty safe, but we aren't looking for a traditional suburban neighborhood, don't have children to think of, and don't have a heck of a lot of money, either. Is there a (relatively) safe AND affordable neighborhood in Eugene? I have heard that the Whiteaker community tends to be more "hippie", but it is also close to Skinner Butte Park, which I have heard from these forums is a scary place.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:15 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 14,075,355 times
Reputation: 7132
I've been spending time downtown again lately - the Saturday Market is open again for another season and I've been doing a few projects at Brush-Fire (paint your own pottery place) which is also downtown. I have to say, things feel better to me. A year ago I had stopped going downtown because it was beginning to freak me out. Now I'm seeing more businessy-looking people walking around, more police officers patrolling, storefronts looking cleaner, and today - I was in downtown for four hours, from 10am - 2pm, I didn't see a single "wayward youth" or weird druggie-looking person. Perhaps things are on an upswing? Dunno.

At my son's middle school they recently had a "sexting" issue. Evidently some 8th grade boys talked some 8th grade girls into sending them naked pictures on their cell phones. The kids were caught, and that's the big news story in our neighborhood right now. The school notified all the parents and are organizing meetings for all the students at the school on appropriate cell phone use. It seems these kinds of stories are happening all over.

I still absolutely love Eugene and - aside from living on the Oregon Coast - I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We as a family are very happy here. We're looking forward to another one of Oregons amazing summers. Summer is the best time here!!
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:02 AM
 
Location: beautiful Oregon
10 posts, read 36,876 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the positive fresh attitude. With all the bad things out there. And the size of our TWO towns (Eugene and Springfield). We have a very beautiful AND nice place to live. I think alot of the people look at the crime and don't realize that there are 2 towns here. Split by I-5. Thanks again for the postive input...
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:15 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 14,075,355 times
Reputation: 7132
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdeskd View Post
Thanks for the positive fresh attitude. With all the bad things out there. And the size of our TWO towns (Eugene and Springfield). We have a very beautiful AND nice place to live. I think alot of the people look at the crime and don't realize that there are 2 towns here. Split by I-5. Thanks again for the postive input...
Yes! And not to mention all the little towns which surround us... We are also a popular stopping place for travelers on I-5 seeing as how there really aren't very many decent-sized towns between Portland and Sacramento... very few, anyway! And of course, the population swells during the school-year... being a college town... and college towns do have those tricky college town issues...

Anyway... I also feel that a lot of what you enjoy about a place has to do with your frame of mind, and how you choose to allow yourself to feel. If you have a tendency towards always seeing or pointing out the negative, then that's where you're at. I try to seek the positive so that I enjoy where I'm at. There's negative everywhere, there has to be as all of life is a balancing act, but I try to focus on the positive. If there's something negative around me, and there's nothing I can do about it, I just try to accept it as a reality and move on. Move on to something positive and worthwhile. I find it's easy to do that when in Oregon. I've lived in other places where finding the positive wasn't as easy to do. In fact, it absolutely wore me out in a few other places I've lived. So happy to be home again!

Today was absolutely beautiful. I even heard several people - strangers on the street - saying this out loud in passing. What a day!
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:33 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,369 times
Reputation: 13
I lived in Eugene for 7 years and hated almost every day of it. The housing is overpriced and what you get for what you pay is garbage. The city is ugly with delapidated buildings and montrous potholes. Sure it has nice trees and there are a couple of universities (one of which i attended) but so what. So what its an hour from the coast? You can't get into the water for more than 30 secs without going into hypothermia. The city also claims to be diverse???? take a look at the stats listed right here in this app. 87% of one thing does not make it diverse. The job market is terrible. I had to move because of layoff. There is no industry. The people in Eugene think it is perfect and fail to see the faults. The empty urine soaked buildings and pits downtown, the terrible mismosh of architecture downtown, the ridiculous taxes. i.e. gas tax to fix the roads that never get fixed so lets add a sin tax to tobacco to fix the roads. The roads never get fixed. The inability of the city to attract employers to the market. The feeling of superiority to the neighboring city of Springfield that actually has a mayor that fights to make stuff happen for that town. Terrible air quality. Large number of toothless Meth abusers. An incredibly high unemployment rate. All the while the perfect little world of the U of O and its professors existing without even noticing the ills of the community. Eugene is a shameful and nasty place to live. But it does have nice trees and a beautiful river that runs through it. Hard to enjoy unless you want to join the 3500 plus homeless people that inhabit the underpasses and city parks. Enjoy.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:31 PM
 
857 posts, read 1,554,529 times
Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by ornomore View Post
I lived in Eugene for 7 years and hated almost every day of it. The housing is overpriced and what you get for what you pay is garbage. The city is ugly with delapidated buildings and montrous potholes. Sure it has nice trees and there are a couple of universities (one of which i attended) but so what. So what its an hour from the coast? You can't get into the water for more than 30 secs without going into hypothermia. The city also claims to be diverse???? take a look at the stats listed right here in this app.
87% of one thing does not make it diverse.

The job market is terrible. I had to move because of layoff. There is no industry. The people in Eugene think it is perfect and fail to see the faults. The empty urine soaked buildings and pits downtown, the terrible mismosh of architecture downtown, the ridiculous taxes. i.e. gas tax to fix the roads that never get fixed so lets add a sin tax to tobacco to fix the roads. The roads never get fixed.

The inability of the city to attract employers to the market. The feeling of superiority to the neighboring city of Springfield that actually has a mayor that fights to make stuff happen for that town. Terrible air quality. Large number of toothless Meth abusers. An incredibly high unemployment rate. All the while the perfect little world of the U of O and its professors existing without even noticing the ills of the community. Eugene is a shameful and nasty place to live. But it does have nice trees and a beautiful river that runs through it. Hard to enjoy unless you want to join the 3500 plus homeless people that inhabit the underpasses and city parks. Enjoy.
You write a great summary - I just visited Eugene and much of what you describe is similar to many highly charming Socially Liberal College and Tourist towns. I've seen and written about many of them over the past few years: Eugene, Santa Cruz, Seattle, South Lake Tahoe, Reno, Vegas, Albuquerque, Boulder, Flagstaff, Durango, Santa Fe, NM. They're all exactly the same for the reasons you listed.

The only one on this particular list that stands apart is Boulder, where there's no meth problem, and probably a lot more tax base and philantropy due to many rich scientists in town contributing to the tax base.

Mammoth Lakes .... and Ashland ??? I think they are cleaner cities, as is Boulder City, NV.

Perhaps if Eugene recruited some IT companies, then this would decrease unemployment and homelessness. I did notice large areas near downtown of vacant land, where there could be new buildings - even mixed use smart growth infilling would in my view help to bring high tech start ups into town.

Overall, Oregon's mentality is to increase taxes on businesses and individuals, charging high impact fees for businesses. Perhaps this will change, due to people such as you and I, if and when we decide to move to Oregon.

Eugene has tremendous potential; it could easily become another Boulder in another 5-10 years, given its strategic location near Portland and Seattle, and the presence of UO and a highly educated and diverse citizenry. Eugene also has a high creative class, and a high gay population, two factors that contribute to creativity and innovation (Richard Florida):

"The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida

The Raw Story | Study: 'Gay-friendly' cities enjoy more economic prosperity

  1. EUGENE: Revitalizing Downtown, How To Pay For It, City Council Discussing: (Eugene, Oregon): News: Local | "Council backs city center proposals" | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon 1:47 PM Feb 23rd via web

Last edited by CCCVDUR; 02-26-2010 at 12:12 AM..
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:26 PM
 
3,899 posts, read 5,784,097 times
Reputation: 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCVDUR View Post
Eugene also has a high creative class, and a high gay population, two factors that contribute to creativity and innovation (Richard Florida)
What are they high on??

If I move to Eugene I may add to the "high gay population," but not much in the way of creativity or innovation, I'm afraid.

Unfortunately once you find the "perfect place" it will be destroyed by all the people looking for a "perfect place," or you won't be able to afford to live there. I have lived in a couple of Richard Florida's "creative class" cities and did not find them particularly friendly, livable, affordable, or free of "urine-soaked buildings."
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