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Old 01-05-2008, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Irvine, CA to Keller, TX
4,829 posts, read 6,931,664 times
Reputation: 844

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnzo View Post
I was born and raised in Santa Ana, i seen it fall.. and fall... and still falling.
I grew up in apartment called "Townsend" and i must tell you, this city is nothing but illegal criminals. I went to Valley High School, which i have to admit has a bad reputation, and that reputation does not lie. Kids being young as 13 are joining gangs. Also teen pregnancy is unbelievable or maybe the illegal immigrants are just fat. If you're looking for a nice and safe home, Santa Ana isn't the place. I mean, at night i couldn't even sleep, all these people would race, with their loud engines, and they would always bump loud music all through the night. And the gangs are easily spotted throughout Santa Ana, and the graffiti is just horrible. I don't even think the city cares enough to clean up the graffiti, or maybe they just do new graffiti everyday. I myself has witnessed shooting, drug dealing and others. Don't let the City Crime Ratings online fool you, It shows less crime rates then what it should be, maybe the criminals just don't caught for it to be recorded. I hope you don't go through the hell-hole called Santa Ana or "Little Mexico"
I have to say that I grew up in SA also and it is not the same SA as I knew it. I went to Lowell, Jefferson Elementary, McFadden Jr. High, and Saddleback HS.

For the most part the schools were pretty safe and had a normal ethnic mixed. I like diversity when the people are good people. In my senior year of HS the gang problem crescendoed and we almost had a major race riot of Black/White vs Hispanic.

From what I have heard things have become pretty bad in the schools I went to. The neighborhood I grew up in is pretty run down and it was a great neighborhood growing up. That being said there are pockets of SA that are pretty nice. Unfortunately you will still be surrounded by some seedy areas no matter where you go.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Irvine, CA to Keller, TX
4,829 posts, read 6,931,664 times
Reputation: 844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrotpaul View Post
I sub teach in the Irvine system...what schools have kids walking to them? Not the high schools...at least not Uni or Northwood. All those kids either have their own cars or get parental delivery.

That said...Irvine is a great place to raise kids and enjoy a lovely family life...wait until the Great Park comes to life.

Santa Ana is for illegals.
All of my kids walked to school, Meadow Park, Southlake, and Woodbridge HS.
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:57 PM
 
3 posts, read 16,846 times
Reputation: 12
If you plan to move to Santa Ana, and have kids in High School, you should avoid these schools. Valley High School, SaddleBack High, Community Day, and Santa Ana High School. These schools have a really bad reputation for Gangs, I even heard a a Student as shot by another Student in Santa Ana High, due to gang affiliations.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:34 PM
 
Location: San DiFrangeles, Ca
489 posts, read 1,914,878 times
Reputation: 256
Thumbs down A sad story

My grandparents lived in Santa Ana while I was growing up. It's amazing how downhill the city has gone. I love old character filled buildings and the sad thing is that Santa Ana is one of the only places in OC you could have found that. Take a look at the pics below:










Where did that city go? The really sad part is that everyone is quick to blame it on the illegal aliens that have come to the community, but I think there is equal blame on the people who gave up and turned their backs on this once beautiful city. It goes to show that any of the beautiful cities we have in Orange County can become what Santa Ana is now. Believe me if I had the money to restore some of the old buildings and bring back the "glory" days of Santa Ana I would be the first to step forward.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,820,680 times
Reputation: 39453
Very few people know anything about Santa Ana. Not even a lot of the people who live or lived there. People live in fear with the "lock your doors" attitude because they cannot see beyond the terrible reputation that Santa Ana had and deserved 15-20 years ago. Santa Ana has made an incredible revival from what it was in the 1980s. It is sliding a bit recently, but it is no where close to bad again. It is still safer than a lot of other OC cities. (Look up the statistics).


Santa Ana has been ranked in the top ten safest cities of its size in the united states several times. In the past five or so years it dropped to the middle. The problem areas are concentrated. Stay out of them.

We lived right downtown (French Park) from 1996 through 2005. We walked to restaurants/clubs downtown on a regular basis. We walked to grocery stores, convenience stores, movie rentals, and even a movie theater (movies were subtitled in Spanish, but still enjoyable). When we were ambitious we walked to museums and Main Pace mall (an excellent mall). I walked downtown to work every day and walked home every night. I often came home at 10 or 11 p.m. We parked our car on our streets in our neighborhood and the only issue we ever had was someone trying to siphon gas out of our car once. I did have my car broken into by a homeless guy when I left it in a parking lot downtown for three months. (He actually lived in my car for a week).

My wife went jogging or speed walking daily. Our daughters sometimes rode the public bus home from school and walked the last ten blocks.

It is a city and has crime like any other city. If you pay attention and stay out of obvious trouble areas you are reasonably safe.

We sometimes saw drug deals. We occasionally heard gunshots, or heard about someone firing shots within a mile or so away. However we saw drug deals in Orange and especially in ritzy Newport Beach when we lived in those places. Once or twice we were approached by prostitutes with bizarre offers while walking home at night. Homeless people occasionally asked us for money.

Santa Ana is the only city in Orange County with a downtown. It is a lively place. Yes there are a lot of Hispanics in Santa Ana. Very few that we met were illegal, but there are illegal immigrants there. A large number of them are very nice people.

Santa Ana has some wonderful neighborhoods. Floral Park, Park Santiago, French Park, Wilshire Square, and Henniger Park are all decent neighborhoods.

Schools there are generally not very good for the most part, but there are some excellent schools if you look hard enough. In fact, the fourth best public high school in all of Orange County (OCHSA) is located right downtown.

There are some new condos/apartments right across the street from Main Place Mall and across another way from Santiago Park. If you like condo living, that is not a bad place to be. It is right at the edge of orange, and you can walk to a lot of things.

The people in Santa Ana are wonderful, especially if you get involved. If you are bigoted, you will have problems there. If you can accept Hispanics as your neighbors, you can become immersed in a wonderful and fun culture. If you get acuainted with your neighbors, you will find that people in Santa Ana look out for one another. It is the friendliest place that we lived in California (We lived in 6 different OC cities).


Do not write Santa Ana off as a place to live. The shorter your commute is, the better your life will be. We loved a lot of what the City has to offer. We miss a lot about Santa Ana
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,164 posts, read 27,231,957 times
Reputation: 10428
We lived in an apartment in NE Santa Ana, on the border of Tustin in '96-'99. In the beginning, it was a nice, quiet, well-kept complex with an easy commute to work in Irvine and decent rent at $700 for a 2 bdr. unit. But in '98, it was sold and new landlords came in. Rent started climbing with $100 increases or more every 6 months. The new landlords rented to illegal immigrants from Mexico, and soon the occupancy rate soared. 1 and 2 bdr. units were overflowing with people and kids. The unit next door had 9 people living there on a regular basis, with others coming and going. Old time residents started leaving, replaced by illegals and overcrowding. Within about a year and a half, life went from pleasant to having to get up at 4 a.m. just to get hot water in the shower, overflowing garbage dumpsters with coyotes digging through all the trash at night, gang tags on the buildings, shopping carts everywhere, trash everywhere, people fighting outside my bedroom window in the middle of the night, parking became impossible on the street, the laundry rooms were so packed that I had to start going to a laundry place a mile away, unsupervised kids everywhere, the pool was packed all weekend with more people than it was meant to serve, no peace and quiet, etc. It was a total NIGHTMARE! By the time we left in 1999, our rent was up to $1200! Then I found out that the reason the landlords were renting to illegals was because they paid in cash and they were charging them $200 a head. So if 9 people lived next door, they were getting $1800 a month in cash for a $1200 apartment, skimming $600 off the top for themselves. So they could care less about the condition of the place and the owners were oblivious, being out of state. I've heard this situation is a very common occurrence in Santa Ana.

Floral Park and surrounding neighborhoods are beautiful, but overall the city is an overcrowded dump that only caters to Mexicans. I know they started to create an "artist's village" in a little piece of downtown, but I don't know if that really took off. At the time, a city councilman (Ted Moreno, I think) tried to stop the artist's village, claiming it would "attract gays" to the city. He went to prison for something, but that sums up city government in Santa Ana. I'd avoid the city at all costs.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,820,680 times
Reputation: 39453
Ted went to prison as the result of a sting operation that involved taking money in exchange for help with a liquor license or something like that. I do not remember the details. His supporters claim that he was set up. (but he did take the money). In my opinion, Ted is rather bizarre. The SA government always seems to have some bizarre people. They keep things entertaining, but hinder the City's efforts to accomplish anything. The council is far from perfect, but a lot has been accomplished to improve the city in the past 20 years. There are a lot of activists living in Santa Ana. Council meetings can be lively at times.

The apartment problem that you describe sometimes occurs when gang members get hired as rental management. They invite their buddies and the place becomes a gang hangout. The overcrowding and skimming is an easy way for them to make some extra money. We had a converted house in our neighborhood start to go that way, but with enough people calling constantly the City pressured the landlord into putting a stop to it. You do have to be vigilant and persistent to keep things nice. one solution is to threaten the landlord with a "Safe Streets Now" action. that gives them a wake up call. If you just tell them what is going on, many landlords do not care as long as they are making money. If you offer to hit them where it hurts (their wallet), they suddenly take notice.


The artists village is struggling. A bad landlord bought one of the principal buildings and pretty much ruined the effort by chasing a lot of artists away. However there are still a lot of neat shops and restaurants in the village. The UCF graduate art school is located there. Three nice restaurants are there (Gypsy Den (Hippy food - no meat), Memphis (soul food/southern), and Pangea (really good food with low prices). They have an opening once a month or so. The big openings are really fun. Big openings are where UCF or the city brings in a well known artist to display their work. There are also some independent theaters there. One is called the Angry Gorilla theater or something similar. We saw one show. It was surreal. I did not understand it at all.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:58 PM
 
566 posts, read 1,939,988 times
Reputation: 335
Lived in Santa Ana for 35 years (still keep a house in Floral Park for occasional visits). I can understand the old-timers staying put - it's hard to move when you've lived in one place all your life. But why on earth would a newcomer move there? It has changed completely over the years from a charming city to a dirty and dangerous place. Heck they even stole the uncut Haloween pumpkins from our doorstep two years in a row. Many more house break-ins in Floral Park these days than there used to be. Scary at night.

As for Orange County High School of the Arts - it is not a conventional high school in the usual sense. Unless your kids play the piano, aspire to be an artist, or want to learn dance the school is of no use to them. Too bad the rest of the miserable CA school system can't reinvent itself so kids could do well on academics like those at OCHSA without having to go to an art school.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,820,680 times
Reputation: 39453
"As for Orange County High School of the Arts - it is not a conventional high school in the usual sense. Unless your kids play the piano, aspire to be an artist, or want to learn dance the school is of no use to them."

This is an utterly absurd thing to say. the school with superior academics is of no use because the kids also develop a talent in an art related area? So you are saying that an engineer cannot play the clarinet?

Sorry, but an excellent school is an excellent school.

Why would a newcomer want to move to Santa Ana? how about because it is the only real city in Orange County? It is the only lively downtown. it is the only place in OC where you can find historic charm (except possibly Orange).

Yes cities have break ins and even stolen pumpkins. However on a per capita basis, crime in Santa Ana is better than in a very considerable number of cities of its size. If you want a bedroom community, rural living or cookie cutter subdivisions, then it is not the place for you. If you want to live in a city, it is nto a bad choice.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,164 posts, read 27,231,957 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Ted went to prison as the result of a sting operation that involved taking money in exchange for help with a liquor license or something like that. I do not remember the details. His supporters claim that he was set up. (but he did take the money). In my opinion, Ted is rather bizarre. The SA government always seems to have some bizarre people. They keep things entertaining, but hinder the City's efforts to accomplish anything. The council is far from perfect, but a lot has been accomplished to improve the city in the past 20 years. There are a lot of activists living in Santa Ana. Council meetings can be lively at times.

The apartment problem that you describe sometimes occurs when gang members get hired as rental management. They invite their buddies and the place becomes a gang hangout. The overcrowding and skimming is an easy way for them to make some extra money. We had a converted house in our neighborhood start to go that way, but with enough people calling constantly the City pressured the landlord into putting a stop to it. You do have to be vigilant and persistent to keep things nice. one solution is to threaten the landlord with a "Safe Streets Now" action. that gives them a wake up call. If you just tell them what is going on, many landlords do not care as long as they are making money. If you offer to hit them where it hurts (their wallet), they suddenly take notice.


The artists village is struggling. A bad landlord bought one of the principal buildings and pretty much ruined the effort by chasing a lot of artists away. However there are still a lot of neat shops and restaurants in the village. The UCF graduate art school is located there. Three nice restaurants are there (Gypsy Den (Hippy food - no meat), Memphis (soul food/southern), and Pangea (really good food with low prices). They have an opening once a month or so. The big openings are really fun. Big openings are where UCF or the city brings in a well known artist to display their work. There are also some independent theaters there. One is called the Angry Gorilla theater or something similar. We saw one show. It was surreal. I did not understand it at all.
Thanks for the memory refresh! I used to watch the city council on cable once in a while just for the entertainment value!

The downturn of our apartment complex prompted us to buy a condo in Orange, and the mortgage/taxes/insurance and HOA fees were actually less than what we were paying for rent at the dumpy apartment complex. Little did I know that the condo would nearly quadruple in value in 7 years. We sold it at the top of the market in 2005 for a huge profit.

I forgot about the Gypsy Den. I had meant to try it sometime. If that area spread to more of downtown, it would be great. I know downtown SA has an urban feel, but it all caters to Mexican immigrants. I don't need to send money to Mexico or buy a dress for my daughter's quincenera, so I never went there.
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