By: Bryan Cargill
EUGENE, Ore. – Within driving distance of the mountains, deserts of Bend, the coast, and large cities like Portland, location is the selling point for many residents of Jefferson Westside Neighbors. There is an abundance of beauty and perks to living in JWN, but there is always room for improvement.
“I moved to Eugene almost 11 years ago now from Utah, ” says mattress business owner, Nicki Miles. “One thing about Eugene that I love, is that you can go two hours in any direction and you have something different.”
Traveling from the JWN to various Oregon sites, going on short adventures seems to be the common trend among residents. However, traversing the local area can be a bit tricky, as it is filled with one-way streets.
“The downtown transportation could use a little bit of work… I hate the one way streets,” says Miles.
Fortunately, once navigation is mastered on the streets of Eugene, residents have access to many locations to volunteer their time and passion. There are plenty of opportunities to give back to the community.
“I’ve volunteered at a couple places…” says biology major, Rachel Moreno. “I think there is a really good community of people doing good stuff for the environment and everything.”
Though some volunteer to give back to their community, there are those in the area that are more than will donate their time to take your new iPad or plasma television. Residents of JWN must be careful displaying precious belongs in the window or leaving a door unlocked.
“I think there are a lot of break-ins. I like the houses and everything, but we have a neighborhood watch that regulates,” says Moreno.
Theft is not the only thing looming over this neighborhood. The divide between the University and local residents of Eugene is palpable. Resentment towards those who have “given into the system,” and vice versa, is noticeable as nothing is being done to suture this divide.
Pro audio salesman and audio engineer, Dan Reyhle says, “…There is this kind of thing where [locals] don’t care about the ducks and there’s the stuff at U of O and a like ‘Oh, we don’t care about Eugene.’”
But optimism is in the atmosphere. Perhaps a shift or little push could align these two rebellious groups.
“…[if] the locals and the students, were to kind of come together; getting more students down town, getting more locals on campus, I think we would definitely see some improvements,” says Reyhle.
The JWN neighborhood looks and feels like a rose, but can they clip those thorns?