GreetingsView- Happy New Year Modesto

Happy New Year Modesto Friends!

Can you believe it is already 2014? What? You didn’t know either. I guess the fact that you are reading the January ModestoView magazine might give it away. It seems so cliché to be shocked that it is already 2014, but this year did in fact blow by. I am feeling the time warp as my oldest daughter is now off working for Adobe and living in Los Altos. My youngest is doing great at UC Berkeley and Becky is more busy than ever with her art and other projects.

We have just been through a couple of crazy years. The economy has been tough and it has really made living local more important than ever. I am optimistic that 2014 will be a year of new positive changes, a growing economy and most importantly, a new way of looking at what we want Modesto and the surrounding area to be. You realize that Modesto is US, WE are the change. What we do, where we go, where we eat and drink, where we shop and where we spend our hard earned dollars and our even more valuable time really makes a difference.

This year was exciting, we took our place as the Birthplace of Rockabilly Music and celebrated the living legend KC “Don Juan” Maddox. We honored our native son George Lucas and thanked him for creating American Graffiti and so much more (like this little thing called Star Wars). We gather for MoBand, fundraisers and community activities. We sometimes mourn those we lost, like Ramona Hansen-Saben of Salty’s Records and Peter Mah of Minnie’s. These are our friends, and they are a part of who we are.

This month, we ask what you want Modesto to be and we take some time to talk to Mitch Maisetti, who was so instrumental in bringing downtown Modesto back to life in 1994. We look back and we look forward with our classic American City optimism and want you to be a part of it.

Modesto is what you make it. So forget resolutions, we want your real ideas on how to make Modesto great. What do you think our goals should be? It is up to us. Politicians and civic bureaucrats are hopelessly inefficient without pressure and ideas from the community.

Are we the city of car theft or are we the home of American Graffiti drawing tourists and visitors from around the world? Are we the city of meth or are we the birthplace of Rock and Roll and Rockabilly? Are we the city of unemployment or are we investing in our downtown, rejuvenating 10th St and our core so that we attract new creative businesses? There are so many cities that have left their downtown to die, and the city crumbles. One thing we know for sure is that cities with energetic downtowns, vibrant art and music scenes, local 5-star dining are the places where jobs are created and where economy thrives. We need to get just a few of the 100,000 cars that drive through Modesto every day to pull off the freeway, spend some time and money and we need to tell the world what we are.

This is really easy, we just have to want it. Even Ceres and Merced have signs on the freeway encouraging people to visit. Why don’t we? We have so much history and we need places that can show it off and welcome people from near and far.

My 2014 community goal is that we have a bold vision and execute it. We know what to do. We know who and what we can be. We know the possibilities. We don’t need another study, or visioning. In the words of Nike, we need to JUST DO IT.

Ok, let’s go. Happy New Year.

Chris Murphy Published and Founder of ModestoView chrism@modestoview.com

On The Cover Our New Year’s sparkly princess is none other than Jennifer Chimerofsky, the high energy marketing manager for McHenry Village, our original mall, now loaded with some of our best locally owned businesses. Jen was brought to life as our 2014 princess by the talented Michael J Mangano. We have so much fun on our covers, we are so grateful for our local fun and talented people that want to make Modesto better.

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