By July 2, 2016 Read More →

CommunityView – Beautiful to Be a Neighbor

By Maryann Spikes

It’s a beautiful day to be a neighbor.
In my neighborhood, we talk about a lot of issues in our Facebook group and on, but we also do something about them. Rather than whining that another mailbox was broken into, we petition the postmaster to go back to steel community mailboxes. We bring it up to the MPD Chief, and he agrees to talk to the postal inspector about it.

Rather than just complaining about the mess people leave in Orchard Park, we do Love Modesto in it once a year, and take our walks there to help pick up some of the trash. We raise funds for a park bench that should be coming soon. We look forward to seeing the medallions in the bench thanking St. Joseph’s for their generous donation, and featuring the Orchard Park Alliance logo designed by our generous and artistic neighbor, Jesse Werner. We work closely with Modesto Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhoods to help bring this to fruition.

Rather than just griping about illegal fireworks, we request an MPD armadillo that is scheduled to be stationed in the park around July 4, and meet with fire marshal Mike Payton to educate ourselves on how we can help our neighbors avoid the $1000 fine for illegal fireworks use and possession.

Rather than just merely telling each other there was something loud in the usually quiet park, we call it in to the non-emergency number (552-2470) – unless something’s actually on fire. We are ready to show up to a Nextdoor Urgent Alert when necessary.

Rather than just moaning and groaning about people using our streets for a racetrack, we request traffic units to patrol and set out flashing speed radars to help slow things down for a while, like great neighbor, Bryan Crawford.

Though we do talk a lot online, we also talk at coffee, or in the park. We’ve participated in Love Modesto and National Night Out together the past two years (NNO is coming up again August 2 and after that, Halloween). A few of us went Christmas caroling together. We enjoy the MPD Town Halls and Coffee with the Cops. We were there for Standing with You.

The good old days when neighbors actually knew each other – these are becoming those days again in Modesto. We can go out and breathe in the fresh air and enjoy life together. We can walk each other through a tutorial of the GoModesto! app when our trees need trimming. We can walk over some brownies or chicken soup when a neighbor’s status update is a huge bummer. We can be neighborly and warm. Won’t you be a neighbor?

Learn more about Orchard Park Neighborhood Alliance. We’re under the umbrella of Modesto Neighborhoods, Inc, and your alliance can be, too:


Keith & Clareen Christensen (husband & wife), Otto & Jesse Werner (father & son)

Posted in: community, news, outdoor

About the Author:

Maryann Spikes holds an Associate of Arts degree in Humanities through Modesto Junior College, manages the Positive Modesto News page on Facebook, and enjoys coordinating Orchard Park Neighborhood Alliance under the umbrella of Modesto Neighborhoods Inc. Her favorite local coffee shop is the Queen Bean, and she calls Redeemer home. Maryann and her husband, Lee, are very proud of their young men, Ethan and David. Email Maryann at with CommunityView story ideas.