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Old 09-18-2013, 11:38 AM
 
4 posts, read 70,716 times
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Hi,

I'm looking for some information from people who live in the Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend areas.

We are looking to relocate to the area next year. We have visited the area a few times and really like it but it's time to decide which place is the best fit for us to actually live. We are in the Midwest now and are a married couple (late 30's) with 2 elementary school age kids. The job situation is not a problem as I work from home and can do it from anywhere as long as I have a high speed internet connection. She is an RN so doesn't usually have a problem finding employment whether at a Hospital or Nursing Home. Although it wouldn't be a necessity that she'd need to find a job quickly.

We would like to be in area close to the coast and beaches, and to National Parks. Within an hour or two to a major city is fine and the climate doesn't bother us. Although we'd prefer to be in the 'Rain Shadow'. I guess the big issue is schools - In your opinion which of the 3 places has the best schools and family neighborhoods?

Also I notice when I look at the crime figures that the areas seem to have fairly bad ratings in that regard - which is not something we've particularly found when we've visited but just wonder what you locals actually think of the crime situation. The figures only go up to 2011 so maybe things have gotten better in the last couple of years, I don't know! And if the crime figures are accurate, is anything actively being done to reduce this?

The 3 places I've mentioned are just to give you an idea of the area we're looking at. If any of you know a small town near these areas which you think may suit us then please let me know.

I am new here but would appreciate hearing from anyone who has an opinion on the matter.

Thanks in advance for your help

SM
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:22 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,585 posts, read 81,243,006 times
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I have family in the area between Sequim & PA, and am there often. I would be more concerned about schools than crime. Other than the crack houses in the more rural areas like Joyce, the crime is not as bad as bigger cities like Seattle, but the schools are mediocre, with Port Angeles being a little better than the other 2. For rain shadow, water and good schools look at the south Whidbey Island District, in the Langley area. Sequim has become a retirement community for California transplants, so schools have become less priority, while Port Townsend is more of a starving artist community. Port Angeles has lost a lot of jobs in the last 20 years and what's left is not attracting the well educated and higher income people that support schools financially. In our state the affluent districts have the best schools, because the state budget is not enough so they depend on parental contributions. If you don't mind the additional rain, I would suggest Poulsbo or Bainbridge Island as better alternatives, and also much faster access to Seattle.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:09 AM
 
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Thanks for the reply. Although we did prefer the Olympic Peninsula it's not a definite. I'll check out Whidbey Island too. So you only recommend South Whidbey? not somewhere like Oak Harbor or Coupeville!
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,585 posts, read 81,243,006 times
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Oak Harbor is close to the naval base with fighter jet noise and the other problems associated with a partially transient population. Coupeville is sort of in between, OK, but I don't like it as well as Langley.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
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We live in PA and moved here from the mid-west two years ago. I really love the area in regards to natural beauty, because this is the last real town you will see before the beaches or the rain forest, but we are finding now it is time to move on. We are going to be heading to Poulsbo area as economically that area is very strong and then we are just a quick trip to the ferry to Seattle. The biggest reason though for the move is the schools. People here are DIFFERENT, which we knew before we moved, but I was a little taken aback by the way the kids act. They are not friendly, and are very cliquish, which that part we did expect as it was a small town, but there is just alot of crap that goes on from the elementary school to High school I just never expected, and never had to deal with in the mid-west. As far as the school handling it, they have a very touchy-feely approach which doesn't work. Out of your three choices though here is my take from what I know and we have experienced:

1: Port Townsend--schools are VERY liberal and have a HUGE drug problem that they seem to refuse to recognize. And I do not mean your usual, as we used to call them, "stoner" kids, I mean it just seems to be what the kids all do. I work in PT and i was kind of shocked by this.
2: Sequim- Though school is not the priority for much of the town due to the older population it is still semi-decent, and parents are very involved. The city itself is cleaner that Port Angeles and you do not find the homeless population we have here and drugs there do not seem as bad.
3: Port Angeles --schools have slightly higher scores that Sequim but the parents do not seem to be near as involved, the kids just kind of seem to do as they please. I don't think drugs WITHIN the school are any worse than they would be in Sequim but in town they are getting really bad. Unless you live in town I don't think people realize how much. Home invasions and property crime are through the roof and you can walk around town any time of day and easily see people doing drugs. It was not like this when we first moved here it seems the last 6-9 months there has been a huge downward spiral and is one of the reasons we are moving.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:56 AM
 
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Thanks for your input. I think we'll have to head over there again and check out the areas more thoroughly. I will add the Poulsbo and South Whidbey Island areas to my list.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:50 AM
 
115 posts, read 227,829 times
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Glad to read this thread, as I may find out today if we are moving up to that area. I'm on pins and needles!! Found a wonderful little private school in Sequim called 5 Acres that we will be checking out. Love the nature in that area. We'll see if we can deal with the other aspects. I have a good feeling...
sm1974...good luck finding your area
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Great Falls, Montana
4,002 posts, read 3,906,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm1974 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Although we did prefer the Olympic Peninsula it's not a definite. I'll check out Whidbey Island too. So you only recommend South Whidbey? not somewhere like Oak Harbor or Coupeville!
um .. they've got "real" stores in Anacortes and Oak Harbor - It's quiet there and you're still within rock throwing distance of Seattle .. I've never been too keen on the southern portions of Whidbey Island, but that's just me I guess ..
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Seattle
458 posts, read 958,708 times
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There is a wonderful Waldorf school right outside of PT on a 100 acre farm..I believe it has K-8...tuition much less than the Waldorf schools in Seattle.

Graduated tuition decreases for more than one child. Just an option when looking at places that may not have the best public schools.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:48 PM
 
510 posts, read 889,442 times
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Each of the three areas is nice but has a slightly different flavor from the other.
Port Townsend tends to be very liberal and kind of comes off a little strong. The hippies in PT seem to be into marijuana and mushrooms, but the areas adjacent to PT are heavily involved with meth. A little bit of random weird crime in PT (mostly from the Chimacum area and Quilcene).
Sequim has lots of transplants and many retired...most are very friendly and easy to talk to, even the locals in Sequim tend to be approachable. The criminals in Sequim tend to favor heroin over meth, and the crime tends to follow more of a trend---usual burglaries, car prowls and metal theft, etc.
Port Angeles seems to have lots of folks that trace back a generation or two and can be a bit clannish if they suspect you're not local. PA also has lots of homeless, many with drug (heroin) problems. And a lot of the crime is theft, burglary, shoplifting.
The cops in the area have said that most of the meth tends to be centralized in the Port Townsend/East Jefferson County area, the heroin in Sequim/PA, and Forks and the west end tend to use prescription drugs like oxycontin/vicodin.
The 2012 crime stats will be higher in a few areas, but that will be kind of an anomaly....usually barely have one homicide annually, but in 2012 had seven.
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