BigView – What’s Going to Happen in 2017?

The BigView
By Chris Murphy

The future is one big question mark. Maybe even a question mark blended with an exclamation point. (I think that this was called an “Interrobang” back in the 70s) This year more than ever begs the question about what will happen, what may happen and my favorite of all, what could happen.

2016 ended with the passing of Star War’s Carrie Fisher and it feels like we were dumped out of a blender onto a frying pan. How exactly will we navigate forward? How do we turn 2017 in a great year? Who is our front line? Where are our opportunities? I am optimistic. I think chaos breeds opportunity. If we blaze a positive trail, people will come along with us and you, our amazing readers of ModestoView are just the people that can do this. So we reached out to a cross section of our community, movers, shakers, agitators, leaders and friends. It is up to us to make our community better. I think we will make bold steps in creating new civic pride. I wish that we would take our classic history and use that to craft a message that celebrates our past to make our future brighter, leading to more live music venues, bright and walkable downtown, with urban housing and the buzz of creativity.

We invite you to comment on this article at

Sheriff Adam Christiansen
THINK: We will continue our work together, in partnership with the community, to promote a healthier, safer Stanislaus County. Our early intervention, prevention and education programs for at risk young people will remain one of our many priorities.

WISH/HOPE: That we make a significant positive impact in our Focus on Prevention efforts, breaking cycles of addiction and violence while helping those who need mental health care services.

Kate Trompetter
Communications Director – Center For Human Services
THINK: The circle I am involved in will experience profound emotional and physical health and wellness. I’m willing it to happen.
WISH: My hopes for 2017 include increased collaboration and goodwill among our community and it’s members. More music. More culture. More Modesto love.

Dave “Da Drummer” Rogers
Musician, Sales Manager-Express Employment
THINK: Within my circle, I believe that in 2017 there will be more opportunities to see/play live music. Without giving away any details, I think we will see some very creative live music “venues”.
WISH: What do I hope will happen in 2017? I hope that we will continue to support the arts. Especially local music.

“Uncle” Lonny Davis
Hope Haven West, Davis Guest House
PREDICTS: Forbes magazine will reveal the identity of the anti-christ and claim that he is a resident of Modesto, California. Researchers will break the code on almond hulls, creating an ethanol alternative – clean burning fuel – that will end dependency on foreign oil (resolving the middle east crises) and reverse global warming (hey, it could happen). Modesto will be the new Saudi Arabia.
WISH: We could find a solution to the problem of homeless mentally ill in Modesto. Find a way to provide compassionate custodial care for those who are suffering as a result of psychosis, paranoia, and altered states of consciousness that prevent and preclude their receptivity to medication and treatment.

Keith Boggs
Deputy CEO, County of Stanislaus
THINK: Stanislaus County Employee Mentor program will complete a fantastic 19th consecutive year connecting w young people in our community.
WISH: I hope to see more and more public and private sector champions joining this mentor army. Join the Army, the youth mentoring army!
It’s easy
It’s rewarding
It makes a difference.
(Note to editor: January is National Mentor Awareness Month:)

Cindy Birdsill
Director of Economic Development, City of Modesto
THINK: We definitely will be doing our first Art in Public Places project in the downtown in 2017. Leadership Modesto is fundraising to put artistic crosswalks at I and 10th and I and 11th that will have a music theme. We expect they will be installed by the end of April, prior to the Amgen race. Of course Amgen is also a big event for Modesto, putting us on the national stage. As you know, they are now operated by the same group that does the Tour de France.

WISH: I hope that we move forward with an Ace train station in the downtown. It will be a game changer for us

Kole Siefkin
General Manager, Doubletree Hotel
Think – Stanislaus County will see growth in overall Tourism numbers in 2017. The segments of Tour, Sports, Corporate Group and Individual Business Travel will have the most impact.

Wish – I would like a major new company and the Ace Train Hub to locate downtown leading to planned residential. I would like a no train horn zone established and (2) major new Festivals.

Chris Ricci
Founder Chris Ricci
What will happen: X Fest will return to Modesto!
Wish: I wish the music community will continue to come together to create strong artists and a vibrant environment to create.

Brian Friend
Laser Voodoo
THINK: I think there will be allot of changes in Modesto this year. I think we will be grouping more together as a community to take on needed tasks like dealing with homeless and diminish crime making Modesto even more beautiful and more of a happening town full of love and compassion for our people and visitors alike.
WISH: I’d love to see that fountain in the plaza get moved. Homeless use that fountain as a urinal. I have seen it first hand. I’d love for the city to create more needed open space and room for our community events such as farmers markets, art walks and such.

Laurie Smith
City of Modesto Economic Development
THINK: Citizens, government agencies, and private business will continue to work together to find new ways to move forward on many of the important economic and social issues our community faces. It’s hard work and progress can be slow, yet it’s a critical part of all that makes a community successful.
WISH: My wish is that the citizens of the world unite as members of the human race and reject those leaders that seek power through division and hatred.

John JB Black
Peer Recovery Project
THINK: I think before 2017 ends in its best beat ever Dave Lopez will at his Sam and Dave’s Market location 1111 I St. will host his first 3rd Thursday Art Walk debut show featuring local artist and music makers.
WISH: That the charismatic spark that so many of us downtown dwellers have fanned for years will finally turn into a flickering flame. Small businesses such as Sam and Dave’s will pop up throughout those empty properties in the “Heart” of our fair city. But my wish (prayer, chant, silence) will be directed to Modestans who will support every day in everyway downtown so our city can become greater.

Dave Gianelli
Lawyer, President of Downtown Partnership Board of Directors
THINK: Downtown will continue to develop with at least three new retail spaces opening up and 2-3 new restaurants. Construction will start on the 10th Street design by the end of the year.

WISH: ACE commits to stop at Modesto with 10 trains going to and from the Bay Area throughout the day. Courthouse construction gets funded and begins. New Mixed Use Development – residential, office and retail gets underway on J St. and on Ninth across from the courthouse. Remodeling begins for a Wine Tasting and Restaurant at old Bank Building across from Gallo. Construction on Entrance to Downtown on G and I begin with Webs and adjacent property becoming a museum and celebration of American Graffiti. Entrances become very welcoming to visitors. Downtown is crowded, vibrant, safe and fun for all ages!!! TRRP Gateway Parcel gets developed. Entrance down 10th street with parking for the park and a trolley from Doubletree down J and down the to the park. J is redeveloped for walkability with diagonal parking, etc. Boys & Girls Clubs are thriving at multiple locations throughout Modesto serving 1500 children everyday with 5000 members.

Ashley Weaver
Manager Modesto Parks and Neighborhoods
THINK: 2017 will be another great year for our community to continue to work together to enhance Modesto by creating a safe, inviting and fun place to live, work and play!
WISH: Is for 2017 to bring expanded collaborations and partnerships to continue to meet one of the City’s strategic commitments of building great and safe neighborhoods and I look forward to bringing Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods resources to the community as part of the cause.

Kenni Friedmann
Community Volunteer
THINK: The Christmas Angels will win the 2017 Kettle Kick-Off
WISH: The Boys & Girls Club of Stanislaus County will have over 1500 members

Victoria Boyington
Musician, Mom, Teacher
WISH: On thing I think will happen in our music community is the creation of collaborations which will lead to more events in our area.
WISH: we could increase the creation of green spaces and outdoor play spaces in our community so that people would want to spend more time outside.



Posted in: news

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.