By December 2, 2015 0 Comments Read More →

InterView – Best Things that Happened in 2015

By Chris Murphy

This has been a busy year and so much has happened in Modesto and our surrounding cities. Each month, we interview someone that is making a difference in our community in some really cool way. As we look back on 2015 and make our plans for next year, we wanted to check in and see how it all went. Here are what the people in our community thought went great this last year. We asked them all: What do you think was the best thing that happened in Modesto during 2015?

For me the best thing in Modesto in 2015 was the ongoing success of the Gallo Center for the Arts. The entire community is buying into it as an important venue of culture and entertainment. It is an anchor for growth in our downtown, which needs to be the area that defines our unique community spirit.
Gary C. Nelson, Attorney/Musician

Best thing of 2015 ? I would take look at the Elephant in the room. Who’s wellbeing or interests are classed in the best category? That my friends depends ones class or social economic standing. Looking in particular to our downtown core district with all its nooks and crannies, the ” Finding our Way Home Summit”, a gathering of over 500 community members engaged in conversations about finding solutions that may impact Stanislaus County’s homeless and vagrancy epidemic was a highlight.
John Black CEO, L.E., Peer Recovery Art Project Incorporated

The camaraderie that is developing/emerging between community leaders, government, non-profit and faith-based organizations. The communication that has fostered many community based initiatives, including those led by Stan Risen CEO and Ruben Imperial to address homelessness and other community concerns.
Lonnie Davis, Hope Haven West/Uncle Lonny Presents

Modesto On Ice! To have ice skating in Modesto, on real ice, for the first time in 40 years, and to have it in Downtown Modesto attracting the entire cross-section of our community to the heart of our city… It’s hard to think of a more exciting happening in 2015 than this truly monumental event.
Reggie Rucker, Engaged by Reggie Rucker

The improvements on 10th St and the passing of the Community Benefit District. I realize not everyone approves of the CBD but I believe it’s the only way we will be able to transform downtown into a place that is vibrant, safe, lively, clean and beautiful. We have so much potential!
Lynn Dickerson , Gallo Center for the Arts

My vote would be getting the Community Benefit District passed for Downtown Modesto. That may seem like a simple thing but it’s something that will make a huge difference in the future in my opinion. The Community Benefit District will secure the resources needed to help make Downtown safe, clean and enjoyable to our residents.
David White, Stanislaus Alliance

I had a hard time picking one thing so I made a list of a bunch of great stuff and found themes. For me, 2015 in Modesto was about collaboration and partnerships. From amazing cultural and musical events to tackling important social issues, I feel like our community is getting better and better at remembering we’re all in this together. That came alive for me more than ever in 2015.
Kate Trompetter, Center for Human Services

I’d say the Elvis tribute show in June was one night to remember. Triple D teamed up with the fabulous Sensations singing group and played to a packed house at the State theatre! So many talented friends came together that night to make it a success.
Doug Robinett, Musician/Tile Contractor

The planetarium at Modesto Junior College along with the new location of the Great Valley Museum. I love the planetarium shows with one of the newest and most state of the art projectors in the United States. On science night they are able to show the sky in real time. All the shows I’ve been to have started with a laser show with Beatles music who can beat that?
Kelly Gregerson, Modesto Commerce Bank

The music scene in Modesto is the most important thing to me and the youth of Modesto are the future of that scene. At the beginning of 2015 Benz engineering made the rock ‘n’ roll warehouse available to the Valley Music Institute/VMIRocks youth rock music program. This helped these young musicians be able to rehearse and perform in two highly professional rehearsal facilities. Hundreds of young musicians were able to experience the excitement, Camaraderie, confidence and skill building of a music program in a state of the art performance environment. An important milestone in preaching the gospel of rock ‘n’ roll!
Darin Morris, Musician, VMI Rocks

One of the best things that happened in Modesto during 2015 was music. Don’t get me wrong, this happens all the time but this year was exceptional. The variety, the venues, not to mention the caliber of artists should be recognized and celebrated. Whether it was Gallo Center for the Arts, Fat Cat, X Fest, Barkin’ Dog Grill or 10th Street Plaza, Modesto attracted nationally known musicians, in addition to showcasing local artists. It was an impressive year for music in Modesto and I am eager to hear what is on tap for 2016!!
Dana Ferreura , Congressman Jeff Denham’s Office

The 2015 event is the opening in of the Stanislaus County Boys and Girls Club on Modesto’s West Side, at the King Kennedy Center. There are more children on waiting lists for after school programs on the West Side than such programs have space. We desperately need to engage more youth on the West Side. The West Modesto Club opened this summer with a soft opening that expected 30 to 50 children. Over 175 have signed up and that number is growing. The West Modesto Club is in the process of securing a 3500 sq. ft. modular building to accommodate the demand. They have already produced positive results – improved behavior in many of the children and a safer Mellis Park.
Dave Gianelli, Attorney, Community Volunteer

If you have room
To me, the Focus on Prevention Summit was the best thing that came out of 2015. Modesto’s growing concern over the plight of homelessness brought 500 people together for an entire day to focus on what can be done immediately and how we can prevent homelessness in the future. The County and City are working on a ten year plan to meet local needs Many cities in California and all over the globe are looking at creative solutions to address the issue. What made the Focus on Prevention Summit stand out was the fact that the conversation wasn’t the typical “what they are doing” or “what government and nonprofits should do” but “what WE can do together” across sectors and belief systems. This will take a huge amount of energy and a lot of time but I have hope that we can change our situation.
Amy Vickery, City of Modesto

This is just a few of the responses we were able to include in the Magazine. More answers are featured on and we will continue to collect answers all month. If you want to send in yours, please email to> We want everyone to be a part of this.



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.