By January 2, 2018 Read More →

Big View – The Next Bright Idea!

The BigView
By Chris Murphy

Do you see that spark? Is it lightning? Is a lightbulb exploding?
No, it was another great idea that will help us spark a new era in our city. We can’t let up. It seems like we try some of the same things, maybe get frustrated when things don’t work the way they should, but one thing we do know, is to never stop trying something new. You know the story about Thomas Edison’s quote about the invention process for the light bulb? Edison, when queried by a reporter about the seemingly incredible difficulties associate with his work on the lightbulb rebutted, “I have not failed 700 times. I’ve succeeded in proving 700 ways how not to build a lightbulb.” It is no different today. Inspiration, perspiration and some flashes of brilliance are needed.

So here we are Modesto, at the threshold of a new year, loaded with experience and we are all set to try something new. But what exactly? There are so many different projects that need attention, so we reached out across our entire community to see what the next big idea could be. Who knows, one of these may be a big deal. Let’s get to know our community and start the sparks flying. We asked simply, “What’s your big bright idea?”

Earl Matthews – Blues Singer – Big Earl and The Cryin’ Shame & Poorhouse Millionaires
I say vote. Pick up a piece of trash. Go to a concert or a live show of any kind once a month. But a piece of local art. Take care of yourself. Feed your family fresh food from this bountiful valley of ours. If you see something you don’t like it you think is missing in our community, be the one to fix/bring it here. Let’s make 2018 the year we all engage and make it out responsibly to do the right thing.

Tony Madrigal – Modesto City Council
I think downtown would be very beautified if there were bistro lights hung up on 10th St. between K St. and I Street, have them hung in a way where they are crisscrossed from streetlight pole to streetlight pole. Same for J St. between 9th Street and 17th St., have lights be crisscrossed from building to building, assuming building owners would give permission and agree to allow it. I believe it would beautify the area and make it inviting people to walk down and dine or shop downtown.

Lonny Davis – Hope Haven West, Davis Guest Homes
Provide compassionate structured custodial care for the tsunami of severely mentally ill suffering on our streets. This initiative must serve as a prelude to other strategies for development, entertainment or other attempts to improve our city – otherwise, our effort will be in vain.

Ken White – Author – Getaway Day and Life and Times of Modesto
To paraphrase Sylvester the cab driver in The Bishop’s Wife: “People don’t know where they’re going and they want to get there too fast.” In 2018, let’s slow down and figure out where we’re going. Here’s to a compassionate and informed New Year. (Photograph by Philip Johnson.)

David Darmstandler – Data Path CEO
“For years we’ve let those outside our community define who we are. It’s time as a community that we decide who we are and tell our own story.”

Brandon Brush- Social Media Manager Downtown Improvement District
I would like to see fewer people complaining about Modesto and more people getting involved to make a difference. Join a service group, volunteer, stand up for a cause, organize a social event or just share a smile with a stranger. Let’s all do things to make a positive impact on our community whether it’s big or small.

Jenna Sivils-Treasurer The Shire Community Space
In 2018, I hope to see a stronger web of support woven into Modesto. I’d like to see solutions for mental health and economic struggles. I ‘d like to see people caring for one another and working together to enhance the quality of life in our area. I’m doing what I can to make that happen through The Shire Community Space, and hope to work with other individuals and nonprofits to realize this.

Ed Flores – Community Volunteer
Riverwalk and parks being used more by the community and city! Nonprofits and afterschool funds, putting on benefit concerts and dinners! And more smiling faces out and about in our neighborhoods!

Laurie Smith- City of Modesto Economic Development
I have to say I think we are on the right path. The growing community interest and involvement in planning and shaping Modesto has already made a difference. Porchfest, Modshop, Rockin Holiday, Artwalk, First Friday…these are just a few of the great things happening in Modesto. The best idea to make Modesto a better and more vibrant place to live is for people to get and stay involved.

Keith Boggs – Deputy CEO Stanislaus County
Tech Hub in the downtown!

Michael J. Mangano – Professional Photographer & ModestoView Photo Director
It has been great to see new businesses opening up downtown, but I still see empty buildings and just think of the waste of space and missed opportunity. What Downtown is missing is retail, so one idea I had is use one of the buildings and have a rotating consignment store, one month sell old books, baked goods, then clothing and art. Maybe have different high schools run it. The kids will learn valuable retail skills and money goes back to school. Instead of the cheerleading squad having a bake sale in front of a grocery store, they will have use of the space. A football team runs an ice cream shop and so on!

Efren Martinez – Quake Mobile DJ
Let’s make our Modesto a better place to live in. Friends, look to the night sky for the Stars that are ever so bright. If you can’t see them on any given night. Think before you light up your fireplace at night for a brighter, cleaner air so those bright Stars continue to eliminate the our future.

Elliott Begoun – Principal, Intertwine Group
Create a downtown living environment that attracts young professionals and empty-nesters. A living environment that includes, great condos, nightlife, recreation, and community. Make J street a place to stroll, explore, eat, and meet your friends.

Sue Richardson – Exec Director State Theatre
Let’s celebrate “us” with a party that encompasses all of downtown! That’s right. Let’s designate one warm spring evening as “Downtown Parties” night and put music on every corner, bring in performers and pop-ups, make sure every business is open and throw ourselves a party. We’re a hardworking bunch of incredibly dedicated people and we deserve this!

Amy Vickery – Stanislaus County Public Information Officer
How to make Modesto better in 2018 (a recipe)

1. Preheat – Ignite your compassion and spirit of generosity. Set to broil.
2. Preparation- Chop up and discard the negative rhetoric you hear about Modesto. It’s entirely useless.
3. Combine- Spend time with people doing remarkable work and get actively involved in these efforts, don’t wait for them to find you. Modesto belongs to us! The measure of how great this town can be is directly proportional to how much creativity, compassion and generosity we bring together.

Hard Work
Enjoy with friends!

Eric Benson – Music Promoter & Keyboards Ultra Lounge Band
Chris; I think we need to try from a grassroots movement revitalize the Downtown, too many cities let them fall into disarray while people go to the Mall in droves to the detriment of our community. It is beginning to happen and will continue to do so but we the people need to get together and make things happen sooner, more arts, more music and more support of our downtown businesses so they can continue to thrice. Peace out Eric Benson

Sam Pierstorff – MJC English and Poetry Professor & Ill List Founder
My hope for Modesto is simple: don’t doubt yourself anymore. Quit saying, “Tonight felt like a night in SF.” Instead say, “Wow, what a great Modesto night!” We are awesome, but not everyone believes that, so I hope for a cultural shift in attitude. From that positivity comes even greater events, entertainment, and a boost in morale that will carry us into the future.

Joe Swain – Swain Financial and Modesto Volunteer
My hope for Modesto in 2018 is that our civic leaders come to the realization that handing out bad food and warehousing homeless people is neither humane nor an answer. We need compassionate help for the mentally ill and a reality check and consequences for the addicted. Helping people barely exist is punitive and purposeless.
That and more great rock shows at the Gallo.

Kristi Ah You – Franklin & Downs Funeral Home, Modesto City Council
How about some high fashion on J street? Think Mary Tyler Moore, or Jackie “O?” I ask back to the community, What are you hopeful for, for 2018? If you were going to dream big for Modesto, what would your New Years wish be?

Aaron Rowan – Director of Programming, Modesto Unplugged Music
One thing I’ve long thought would be fun is to partner with all of Modesto’s sister cities – we have seven around the world – to produce a cultural-exchange music and arts fest. Musicians from each could even join one of our best to perform as an ensemble with different ethnic flavors.

Ruhi Sheikh – Co-Founder ModShop
You want our city to be brilliant? Be an ambassador of Modesto! Create positive change! We are growing, we are on our way to becoming a destination location to live. There are so many incredible creative people working hard to make our city unique and vibrant. Continue to support them. Attend their events, buy their craft, hire local bands, shop and eat local. Keep your dollars local. Sustain our brilliant city by believing in it and give our city opportunities to shine.

Chris Ricci – Chris Ricci Presents
Take the police impound warehouse on 10th Street and change it into a farm to fork, fresh, and local market that includes a local butcher, baker, fishmonger, coffee, produce, flowers, home-kitchen produced products, creamery, etc. Tenets of the market would pay rent to the city that would both pay for the building and fund weekly marketing and events to support the endeavor.

Chris Murphy – Founder ModestoView, President Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group
Change the dialog. Teach civic pride. Engage our residents at the 3rd grade level with Modesto history. If people don’t know the good about their community, the conversation can never be changed. We need to teach our American Graffiti, Classic Car, Rockabilly, George Lucas, Gallo Wine, Royal Robbins, Jeremy Renner history so that we have can all claim our true authenticity. It is mission critical that we understand, celebrate and build on our past to plan the future. People young and old are craving authenticity, and Modesto has plenty to go around. There is a reason all of the hipster bars are some sort of craft makery or factory, as people want do know where things came from and how they are made, the more local the better. This is a match made for Modesto that will bring us together.



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.