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Gerry O'Brien, H&N Editor

Gerry O'Brien, H&N Editor

Despite a booming economy, pleasant climate and natural treasures, nearly two-thirds of Bay Area residents say the quality of life there has gotten worse in the last five years, according to a new poll in a recent story by Louis Hansen of the Bay Area News Group.

“They cite a litany of reasons: high housing prices, traffic jams, the cost of living and homelessness. It’s so bad that about 44 percent say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years, with 6 percent saying they have definite plans to leave this year,” Hansen writes.

Given what San Francisco and nearly all of Northern California has been through, it would behoove the good folks of Klamath Falls to put on a unified front to lure those downtrodden San Franciscans north.

It might be hard to imagine that there would be such dissatisfaction in a booming arts and cultural area that has top-of-the-line tech jobs and a high quality lifestyle. Yet, there’s drawbacks; traffic for sure and crime, the other.

“San Francisco residents showed the most displeasure, with 72 percent saying life in the Bay Area has soured in recent years. Pessimism spread across ethnic groups, with black voters most often reporting a drop in the quality of life. More than 7 in 10 respondents cited the high cost of housing and living, traffic congestion and homelessness as the region’s top problems,” Hansen writes.

“About two-thirds of blue collar workers said they were likely to leave the region, far more than white collar professionals (43 percent) and service workers (44 percent). And more than half of the Latino residents and 7 in 10 black residents polled said they planned to move in the next few years.”

The fires that have devastated Paradise, Hornbrook, Redding and places in between. While Oregon suffers during the fire season too, its climate is a little more tolerable than the high deserts of California.

The key is to get the message out about Klamath to those who may want to pick up stakes and relocate here.

Discover Klamath is doing its part with a pair of newly revised tourism guides that highlight all there is to see and see in the area. They’re professionally done and I’d encourage you to pick one up at the Discover Klamath visitors center off Riverside Drive. In fact, pick up a handful and pass them out to folks you know may want to relocate there.

By comparison, we have low rents, affordable housing and an open and outdoorsy lifestyle here. But we have our issues too. Appearance can be 99 percent of the battle. With winter giving way to spring, the snowmelt is revealing just how much we all need to clean up our yards, alleys, parks and playgrounds.

Klamath needs a community-wide cleanup day much like many of the other communities that spiff up for the spring.

So do your part or lend a hand to a neighbor to make our town presentable.

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