Modesto, California

Modesto, California

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Modesto is a city in, and is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of, Stanislaus County, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. With a population of approximately 201,165 at the 2010 census, Modesto ranks as the 18th largest city in the state of California.

Modesto is located in Northern California
Northern California
Northern California is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. The San Francisco Bay Area , and Sacramento as well as its metropolitan area are the main population centers...

, 90 miles north of Fresno
Fresno, California
Fresno is a city in central California, United States, the county seat of Fresno County. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 510,365, making it the fifth largest city in California, the largest inland city in California, and the 34th largest in the nation...

, 92 miles east of San Francisco, 68 miles south of the state capital of Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, in the United States of America.Sacramento may also refer to:- United States :*Sacramento County, California*Sacramento, Kentucky*Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta...

, and 66 miles west of Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States. The park covers an area of and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain...

. Modesto, a 29-time Tree City USA
Tree City USA
Tree City USA is a tree planting and tree care program sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation for cities and towns in the United States.- Requirements :...

 honoree, is surrounded by rich farmland, lending to a ranking for the county as 6th among all California counties in farm production. Led by milk, almonds, chickens, cattle, and walnuts, the county grossed nearly $2.5 billion in agricultural production in 2007.

Locally, Modesto is home to the critically acclaimed Gallo Center for the Arts
Gallo Center for the Arts
Gallo Center for the Arts is a performing arts center located in downtown Modesto, California. Opened in September of 2007, the arts center hosts dances, performers, and plays. It is located on 1000 I Street....

, Prospect Theater Project, The Modesto Symphony Orchestra
Modesto Symphony Orchestra
-History:When the Modesto Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert in 1931, Modesto had a population of 17,000 and was the smallest town in the United States to have a symphony orchestra.A letter sent to musicians in December of 1929 read:...

, The State Theater, the Modesto Nuts
Modesto Nuts
The Modesto Nuts are a minor league baseball team in Modesto, California, USA. They are a Class A - Advanced team in the California League and a farm team of the Colorado Rockies. The Modesto Nuts play home games at John Thurman Field. Opened in 1955 and renovated in 1997, the park seats 4,000 fans...

 (a Colorado Rockies MLB affiliate) and the Amgen Tour of California
Amgen Tour of California
The Tour of California is an annual professional cycling stage race on the UCI America Tour and USA Cycling Professional Tour. It began on February 19, 2006. The eight-day race covers 650–700 miles through California...

. The Xclamation Festival
Xclamation Festival
The Xclamation Festival or X Fest is an annual festival that takes place on the streets of downtown Modesto, California from 9th to 12th between J and H Streets, usually on the first Saturday in August...

 (X-Fest), has become the city’s largest entertainment and cultural gathering, recently celebrating its 10th year. The event in 2009 had an estimated 16,000 attendees enjoy music and food on the streets of downtown Modesto. Modesto also encompasses various cultural and social diverse schools. Among the oldest are Modesto Junior Collage (MJC), Thomas Downey High School, Grace M. Davis High School, and Modesto High School (MHS), being the oldest high school in Modesto. Embodies a rigorous academic and physical curriculum for students such as the International Baccalaureate program, AVID, and more.

Modesto was immortalized in the 1973 George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 film American Graffiti
American Graffiti
American Graffiti is a 1973 coming of age film co-written/directed by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford...

. The award winning film captured the spirit of "cruising" and friendship, on 10th and 11th Streets in 1962 and lead to the world-wide revival of 1950's nostalgia leading to the TV show Happy Days
Happy Days
Happy Days is an American television sitcom that originally aired from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life in mid-1950s to mid-1960s America....

and the other spin-offs. Ron Howard
Ron Howard
Ronald William "Ron" Howard is an American actor, director, and producer. He came to prominence as a child actor, playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later the teenaged Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days for six years...

, Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in...

 and Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Stakeout, Always, What About...

 starred in the film. The soundtrack was a huge success. Director George Lucas is a native of Modesto, graduating from Downey High School in 1962.

In February 2010, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which interviewed more than 353,000 participants and asked individuals to assess their jobs, finances, physical health, emotional state of mind and communities, ranked Modesto 161 out of the 162 cities surveyed. In December 2009, Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

ranked Modesto 48th out of 100 among "Best Bang-for-the-Buck Cities"; according to Forbes. In this ranking, Modesto ranked 8th in housing affordability and travel time but also ranked 86th in job forecast growth and 99th in foreclosures. In variety of other past rankings, Modesto has scored in the top ten worst places to live due to its high cost of living, high unemployment, long commutes and high crime rate.

History



Modesto, originally a stop on the railroad connecting Sacramento
Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...

 to Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, was founded in 1870 and was to be named for William C. Ralston, financier
Financier
Financier is a term for a person who handles typically large sums of money, usually involving money lending, financing projects, large-scale investing, or large-scale money management. The term is French, and derives from finance or payment...

 of many projects in early California. However, he declined the suggestion and a Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

-speaking railroad worker at the naming ceremony said that Ralston was "Muy modesto" (very modest). Thus, the town was named Modesto. It is unknown at this time if this story is mere folklore or actual fact.

The city was incorporated in 1884, at which time it had over 1000 people. With fields of grain and the proximity of the river (grain barges during the flood season) and railroad traffic, the town grew. Later, dams were installed in the foothills, irrigation water came, and irrigated fields of vegetables and fruit or nut trees prospered. By 1900, its population was over 4,500. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the area provided canned goods, powdered milk, and eggs for the US armed forces and allied forces. For the next few decades, Modesto's population grew at about two percent per year to over 100,000 in 1980, and over 200,000 in 2001.

Modesto's official slogan is "Water Wealth Contentment Health," which is emblazoned on a large downtown arch featured in local photographs and postcards. A contest was run in 1911 to determine the slogan. The original winning slogan was: "Nobody's got Modesto's goat". The second place entry was the final winner.

Tourism


Modesto is known for the following tourist attractions and historical sites.
  • McHenry Mansion
    McHenry Mansion
    The McHenry Mansion is a restored historic residence built in the Victorian-Italianate style and located in the historic downtown of Modesto, California.-History:...

    Built by hand in the early 1880s by Robert McHenry, a local rancher and banker. The mansion is included on the National Register of Historic Places
    National Register of Historic Places
    The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

    . Tours are given.
  • McHenry Museum Across the street from the McHenry Mansion. Filled with tidbits from Modesto's history.
  • George Lucas Plaza American Graffiti
    American Graffiti
    American Graffiti is a 1973 coming of age film co-written/directed by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford...

    -inspired bronze statue made in the honor of Modesto filmmaker George Lucas
    George Lucas
    George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

    , located at Five Points (the intersections of McHenry Avenue, "J" Street, 17th Street, Downey and Needham).
  • Gallo Center for the Arts
    Gallo Center for the Arts
    Gallo Center for the Arts is a performing arts center located in downtown Modesto, California. Opened in September of 2007, the arts center hosts dances, performers, and plays. It is located on 1000 I Street....

    , Center for performing arts recently opened and is located in downtown Modesto at 1000 "I" Street.
  • Downtown Modesto
    Downtown Modesto
    Downtown Modesto is the central business district and historic townsite of Modesto, California. The area is bordered by Needham and Downey Streets to the north, Washington Street to the west, Sierra Drive and Morton Boulevard to the south, and Morton Boulevard - Burney Street to the east...

    is known for having a variety of restaurants and night life. It also hosts a multi-venue Art Walk year around on the Third Thursday of the Month, free to view with maps available.
  • The State Theatre Dating back to the 1920s, it was recently renovated and serves as a local performance arts center and as a theater specializing in independent and foreign films.
  • John Thurman Field
    John Thurman Field
    John Thurman Field is a stadium in Modesto, California. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Modesto Nuts minor league baseball team of the...

    The stadium renovated several years ago, the home of the Modesto Nuts
    Modesto Nuts
    The Modesto Nuts are a minor league baseball team in Modesto, California, USA. They are a Class A - Advanced team in the California League and a farm team of the Colorado Rockies. The Modesto Nuts play home games at John Thurman Field. Opened in 1955 and renovated in 1997, the park seats 4,000 fans...

     baseball team (single "A" affiliate of the Colorado Rockies MLB team).
  • Graceada Park Neighborhood an area of representative old homes (circa 1920s and earlier) with streets lined with large city planted shade trees and a series of parks, a bandshell and other amenities. The name Graceada is based on two old local ladies that helped promote the idea of a park, Grace and Ada.

The 1973 movie, American Graffiti, starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss and Cindy Williams was set in 1962 Modesto; however, the scenes of weekend cruising were actually filmed in Petaluma, California.

Transportation


Modesto is served by one of the busiest rail corridors in the country. The Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 San Joaquins make ten daily stops on the route between Oakland
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

 and Bakersfield, and two stops daily on the route between Sacramento
Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...

 and Bakersfield.

Air


Modesto is served by the Modesto City-County Airport
Modesto City-County Airport
Modesto City-County Airport , also known as Harry Sham Field, is located two miles southeast of the central business district of Modesto, a city in Stanislaus County, California, USA.- History :...

 that lies east of California State Route 99
California State Route 99
California State Route 99 , commonly known as Highway 99 or, simply, as 99 , is a north–south state highway in the U.S. state of California, stretching almost the entire length of the Central Valley...

 within the city limits. SkyWest Airlines
Skywest Airlines
Skywest Airlines Pty Ltd is a regional airline company based in Perth, Western Australia, Australia; servicing key towns in the state of Western Australia, Darwin, Northern Territory and Melbourne, Victoria; as well as charter flights to Bali, Indonesia....

 (operating as United Express
United Express
United Express is a brand name under which eight regional airlines operate feeder flights for United Airlines. They primarily connect smaller cities with United's domestic hub airports and “focus cities,” although they offer some point-to-point service such as Sacramento to Eureka.As of Sept...

) provides air service to San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

. The airport is used for manufacturing and the shipping industries throughout California and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Highways and roads


Interstate 5
Interstate 5
Interstate 5 is the main Interstate Highway on the West Coast of the United States, running largely parallel to the Pacific Ocean coastline from Canada to Mexico . It serves some of the largest cities on the U.S...

 and California State Route 99
California State Route 99
California State Route 99 , commonly known as Highway 99 or, simply, as 99 , is a north–south state highway in the U.S. state of California, stretching almost the entire length of the Central Valley...

 provide major highway access to Modesto.
California State Route 132
California State Route 132
State Route 132 is a route in the Central Valley that leads to the Sierra Nevada foothills and the California Gold Country. It also connects the city of Modesto with the San Francisco Bay Area via I-580, although this route is discouraged due to it being a two-lane road between Modesto and...

 links the city to Interstate 580
Interstate 580 (California)
Interstate 580 is an 80-mile east–west Interstate Highway in Northern California. The heavily traveled spur route of Interstate 80 runs from San Rafael in the San Francisco Bay Area to Interstate 5 near Tracy in the Central Valley...

, providing commuter access to highways into the Bay Area. California State Route 108
California State Route 108
State Route 108, also known as Highway 108, is a numbered state highway in California. SR 108 runs generally northeast across central California from downtown Modesto near the SR 99/SR 132 interchange, crossing the Sierra Nevada at Sonora Pass, to U.S. Route 395 near the Nevada state line...

 connects to Oakdale, California
Oakdale, California
Oakdale is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was founded in 1871 when the Stockton & Visalia Railroad met the Copperopolis Railroad...

 and east to the foothills. The city has added many roundabouts in an effort to ease traffic congestion within the town with varying degrees of success.

Public transit


Three public transit systems serve Modesto: Modesto Area Express, START
Stanislaus Regional Transit
Stanislaus Regional Transit, marketed as StaRT, is the primary provider of mass transportation in the suburban areas of Stanislaus County, California. It serves more outlying regions of the county, while the Modesto Area Express runs public transit within the city of Modesto...

, and the San Joaquin Regional Transit District
San Joaquin Regional Transit District
San Joaquin Regional Transit District is a transit district that provides bus service to the city of Stockton, California and the surrounding communities of Lodi, Ripon, Thornton, French Camp, Lathrop, Manteca, and Tracy.San Joaquin RTD operates 36 fixed routes to the Stockton metropolitan area,...

 along the northern edge of the city on McHenry Avenue. MAX is the local system with additional connections to the Altamont Commuter Express
Altamont Commuter Express
The Altamont Commuter Express is a regional rail service in California connecting Stockton with San Jose....

 train station in Lathrop and the Dublin/Pleasanton
Dublin/Pleasanton (BART station)
Dublin/Pleasanton is a Bay Area Rapid Transit station on the border of Dublin and Pleasanton. The station is fed by twenty local and regional bus lines from five different providers....

 BART
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Bay Area Rapid Transit is a rapid transit system serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The heavy-rail public transit and subway system connects San Francisco with cities in the East Bay and suburbs in northern San Mateo County. BART operates five lines on of track with 44 stations in four counties...

 station. MAX also provides a paratransit
Paratransit
Paratransit is an alternative mode of flexible passenger transportation that does not follow fixed routes or schedules. Typically mini-buses are used to provide paratransit service, but also share taxis and jitneys are important providers....

 "dial-a-ride" service which specifically caters to seniors and the disabled. It is open to the general public only during certain times. StaRT connects Modesto to the county's other populated centers.Modesto will also serve the future California High Speed Rail.

The large industrial region south and east of the city is served by the Modesto and Empire Traction Railroad, a 5 miles (8 km) short line with a web of industry tracks and many customers.

At one time, Modesto was the operational center of the Tidewater Southern Railway
Tidewater Southern Railway
The Tidewater Southern Railway was a short line railroad in Central California in the United States. For most of its history, it was a subsidiary of the Western Pacific Railroad...

, which had its main line down the center of Ninth Street, a major north-south street. A city ordinance
Local ordinance
A local ordinance is a law usually found in a municipal code.-United States:In the United States, these laws are enforced locally in addition to state law and federal law.-Japan:...

 passed by the city council kept electric power
Electric power
Electric power is the rate at which electric energy is transferred by an electric circuit. The SI unit of power is the watt.-Circuits:Electric power, like mechanical power, is represented by the letter P in electrical equations...

 lines over this section of street activated long after the railroad had converted to steam power. In 2000, the last trains ran down Ninth Street. Now the railroad (owned by the Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

 since 1983) no longer passes through Modesto.

Climate


Modesto usually has cool winters and very hot, dry summers. Average January temperatures range from 54.0°F (12.2°C) in the day to 37.0°F (2.8°C) at night. Most of the rainfall occurs during the winter and averages 12.4 inches (31.5 cm) annually. Since the city does not have full storm sewer systems, many of the streets flood during the winter rain storms.

Average July temperatures range from 97°F (34.4°C) in the day to 64°F (14.4°C) at night. During the summer months there can be multiple days in a row with daily temperatures exceeding highs of 100.0°F (37.8°C). This can pose health risks for those with weak constitutions, or who ignore the dangers of heat stroke. Offshore breezes (locally known as the "delta breeze") moderate these high temperatures, with cooler air coming in sometime after 8 or 9 PM on summer nights, although this does not give much relief.

Water


Although the city is located on the Tuolumne River
Tuolumne River
The Tuolumne River is a California river that flows nearly from the central Sierra Nevada to the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley...

 and near the Stanislaus River
Stanislaus River
The Stanislaus River in California is one of the largest tributaries of the San Joaquin River. The river is long and has north, middle and south forks...

, it has no operating port for oceangoing ships due to the shallow depths of these rivers, and also due to a small dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

 on the Tuolumne River near Highway 99. In Modesto there is also a small creek aptly named Dry Creek, which although badly polluted by agricultural runoff, is adjacent to several parks in Modesto. Most of the rivers and stream
Stream
A stream is a body of water with a current, confined within a bed and stream banks. Depending on its locale or certain characteristics, a stream may be referred to as a branch, brook, beck, burn, creek, "crick", gill , kill, lick, rill, river, syke, bayou, rivulet, streamage, wash, run or...

s are otherwise not accessible to public use or view due to fences and private property rights. There are no public boat ramps or docks within the city limits. Although summertime brings high temperatures, swimming is prohibited by local ordinance in rivers, creeks, and the many irrigation canals. Rivers and lakes near Waterford are wide enough to be accessible for a kayak
Kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

, or small motorboat
Motorboat
A motorboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.An inboard/outboard contains a hybrid of a...

, and there are several points of public access. This access was given as part of a government plan when hydroelectric power dams were installed upstream for valuable flood control, irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

, and electric power
Electric power
Electric power is the rate at which electric energy is transferred by an electric circuit. The SI unit of power is the watt.-Circuits:Electric power, like mechanical power, is represented by the letter P in electrical equations...

 generation. The nearest large open seaport is the Port of Stockton
Port of Stockton
The Port of Stockton is a major inland deepwater port in Stockton, California located on the San Joaquin River before it joins the Sacramento River to empty into Suisun Bay, eighty miles inland. The port sits on about , and occupies an island in the San Joaquin Delta, and a portion of a...

, which is used for oceangoing ships that transport goods, particularly cement, fertilizer, and agricultural products, from California to overseas.

Future expansion of State Route 132



The city has had plans for decades to build an expressway
Limited-access road
A limited-access road known by various terms worldwide, including limited-access highway, dual-carriageway and expressway, is a highway or arterial road for high-speed traffic which has many or most characteristics of a controlled-access highway , including limited or no access to adjacent...

 that would expand State Route 132
California State Route 132
State Route 132 is a route in the Central Valley that leads to the Sierra Nevada foothills and the California Gold Country. It also connects the city of Modesto with the San Francisco Bay Area via I-580, although this route is discouraged due to it being a two-lane road between Modesto and...

's expressway status from Interstate 580
Interstate 580 (California)
Interstate 580 is an 80-mile east–west Interstate Highway in Northern California. The heavily traveled spur route of Interstate 80 runs from San Rafael in the San Francisco Bay Area to Interstate 5 near Tracy in the Central Valley...

 to State Route 99
California State Route 99
California State Route 99 , commonly known as Highway 99 or, simply, as 99 , is a north–south state highway in the U.S. state of California, stretching almost the entire length of the Central Valley...

. CalTrans purchased the land in the late 60's to build the new Highway 132, but the money was diverted to build the 120 bypass 18 miles north of Modesto on the outskirts of the city of Manteca, California
Manteca, California
Manteca is a city in , USA. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 67,096.- History :Manteca is a city in the Central Valley of California, 76 miles east of San Francisco. It was founded in 1861 by Joshua Cowell. Cowell claimed around and built houses on what is now the corner of Main...

. The planned expressway would parallel Kansas Avenue from the recently built Kansas-Needham Overpass and a planned new Hwy. 99 Interchange. The ramps were put in place decades ago, but never paved and the bridge for the off/on ramp never built. It is planned to later go out of Modesto and to Interstate 580. The city is also planning to add more ramps on the Central Modesto exit in SR 99 for less traffic coming in and out of downtown.

Industry


Modesto has a large agricultural industry which is based on the fertile farmland surrounding the city. Despite this the city has traditionally had above average unemployment rates. In July 2010, the Modesto Bee reported Modesto's unemployment rate at 17.3% while the rest of the U.S. was reporting an unemployment rate of 9.5%. Blue Diamond Growers
Blue Diamond Growers
Blue Diamond Growers is a Californian agricultural cooperative and marketing organization that specializes in almonds. Founded in 1910 as the California Almond Grower’s Exchange, the organization claims to be the world's largest "tree nut processing and marketing company"...

, a nearby almond factory in Salida
Salida, California
Salida is a census-designated place in Stanislaus County, California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 13,722. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. Cultivation of almonds has historically been a significant activity in the vicinity, including a...

, is a major nut
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

 supplier. Modesto is also home to the largest winery in the world: E & J Gallo Winery
E & J Gallo Winery
E & J Gallo Winery was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo in Modesto, California. E & J Gallo Winery is the largest exporter of California wines and is a large promoter of wines from Sonoma County.-History:...

. Founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo, the company continually revolutionizes the wine industry in America. The Gallo Glass Company, a company of Gallo Winery, is the largest wine bottle manufacturing company in the world. The company provides thousands of office and manufacturing jobs to Stanislaus County residents. Other major privately owned companies based in Modesto include Foster Farms Dairy
Foster Farms Dairy
The Foster Farms Dairy was founded in 1941 by Max and Verda Fosterin Modesto, California, a venture following the 1939 opening of Foster Farms. The company claims to be "the largest privately owned dairy in California."...

, Royal Robbins
Royal Robbins
Royal Robbins is one of the pioneers of American rock climbing. After learning to climb at Tahquitz he went on to make first ascents of many big wall routes in Yosemite...

, international award winner Fiscalini Cheese, Sciabica Olive Oil, Acme Construction, Aderholt Specialty, and 511 Tactical (formerly a part of Royal Robbins). A cannery downtown produces food which is usually shipped to Sacramento
Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...

 and Fresno
Fresno, California
Fresno is a city in central California, United States, the county seat of Fresno County. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 510,365, making it the fifth largest city in California, the largest inland city in California, and the 34th largest in the nation...

 for transfer to rail or ship. Ceres
Ceres, California
Ceres is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States. The population was 45,417 at the 2010 census, up from 34,609 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area.-General:...

 has a few cereal and snack factories in the area. Downtown there are several small steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

working companies. In mid-2008, a number of road projects were being constructed, repaved or repaired, with an estimated total cost of nearly $120,000,000.

Principal employers


Major manufacturing employers in the city include:
# Employer # of Employees
1 E & J Gallo Winery
E & J Gallo Winery
E & J Gallo Winery was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo in Modesto, California. E & J Gallo Winery is the largest exporter of California wines and is a large promoter of wines from Sonoma County.-History:...

3,308
2 Seneca Foods
Seneca Foods
Seneca Foods Corporation is a leading low-cost food processor and distributor headquartered in Marion, New York, USA. The company primarily produces canned, frozen, and bottled produce under private label as well as national and regional brands that the company owns or licenses, including Seneca,...

2,100
3 Foster Farms
Foster Farms (poultry company)
Foster Farms is a United States West Coast poultry company. The company has been privately owned and operated by the Foster family since 1939. The company is based in Livingston, California with operations throughout the West Coast and a few on the East Coast...

1,813
4 Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods is an American food production and distribution company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest producers, distributors and marketers of branded food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.6...

1,700
5 Stanislaus Food Products 1,500
6 Frito-Lay
Frito-Lay
Frito-Lay North America is the division of PepsiCo that manufactures, markets and sells corn chips, potato chips and other snack foods. The primary snack food brands produced under the Frito-Lay name include Fritos corn chips, Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips,...

700
7 Racor 700
8 Silgan Containers 440
9 Foster Farms Dairy
Foster Farms Dairy
The Foster Farms Dairy was founded in 1941 by Max and Verda Fosterin Modesto, California, a venture following the 1939 opening of Foster Farms. The company claims to be "the largest privately owned dairy in California."...

435
10 Pacific Southwest Containers 409


Other major employers are:
# Employer # of Employees
1 Stanislaus County
Stanislaus County, California
Stanislaus County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. As the price of housing has increased in the San Francisco Bay Area, many people who work in the southern reaches of the Bay Area have opted for the longer commute and moved to Stanislaus County for the...

4,764
2 Modesto City Schools 3,113
3 Memorial Medical Center
Memorial Medical Center (Modesto, California)
Memorial Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization that exists to maintain and improve the health status of citizens in the greater Stanislaus County...

2,682
4 Doctors Medical Center
Tenet Healthcare
Tenet Healthcare Corporation, an investor-owned health-care delivery systems company based in Dallas, Texas. THC owns and operates 49 acute-care hospitals in 11 states and 90 outpatient centers in 12 states, with a majority of these hospitals in California, Florida and Texas...

1,984
5 Modesto Junior College
Modesto Junior College
The Modesto Junior College is a community college located in Central Valley's Modesto, California.-Accreditation:Modesto Junior College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In January 2008, the Western Association Colleges and Schools notified the college that it had...

1,643
6 Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is an integrated managed care consortium, based in Oakland, California, United States, founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney Garfield...

1,500
7 City of Modesto 1,400
8 Walmart 1,244
9 AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

1,175
10 Sutter Gould Medical Foundation 1,100
11 Save Mart Supermarkets
Save Mart Supermarkets
Save Mart Supermarkets owns and operates supermarkets operating under the names of Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, and FoodMaxx located in Northern California and Northern Nevada.-Background:...

927
11 Sylvan Union School District
Sylvan Union School District
The Sylvan Union School District is an educational district in Modesto, California, USA. It has a total of 13 schools, comprising ten elementary schools and three middle schools:*C.F.Brown Elementary*Sherwood Elementary*Standiford Elementary...

739

Crime


Rates of both violent crimes and property crimes are higher in Modesto than the state average. Of particular note is that Modesto ranks among the top car theft cities in the US. As of 2008 Modesto ranked number 1 for car theft rate per 100,000 people. Modesto is also home to many street gangs. The Stanislaus County Gang Intelligence Task Force estimates there to be 7,000 to 10,000 gang members.

Planning and environmental


In the late 1980s Modesto embarked on an update to the city's General Plan
General plan
A general plan is the policy of acceptable land uses in each jurisdiction. Each city and county adopts and updates their General Plan to guide the growth and land development of their community, for both the current period and the long term...

 pursuant to requirements of the State of California. The result was a comprehensive evaluation of alternative population and land use projections along with associated environmental impact analysis. Some of the environmental factors technically assessed were air quality, water quality
Water quality
Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water. It is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need or purpose. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against which...

, environmental noise
Environmental noise
Environmental noise is the summary of noise from transport, industrial and recreational activities.The definition is pursuant to the directive 2002/49/EC article 10.1. This directive should give a common approach intended to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of environmental noise. The...

, soil contamination
Soil contamination
Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment....

 and visual impacts.

Much of the soils in Modesto are classified as part of the Hanford series: (HbpA) fine sandy loam, moderately deep over silt. These soils are well-drained, moderately coarse textured soils derived from alluvium from granitic rock. The Hanford soils are important for the production of a wide variety of irrigated orchard, field, and truck crops.

Vicinity watercourses include the Stanislaus River
Stanislaus River
The Stanislaus River in California is one of the largest tributaries of the San Joaquin River. The river is long and has north, middle and south forks...

, the Tuolumne River
Tuolumne River
The Tuolumne River is a California river that flows nearly from the central Sierra Nevada to the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley...

 and Dry Creek
Dry Creek, Stanislaus County
Dry Creek is a stream in Stanislaus County, California, that is a tributary to the Tuolumne River. This watercourse has been historically subject to flooding in the vicinity of Modesto, California...

 empties into the Tuolumne River. Area groundwater, which is the principal source of water supply in the city (Stanislaus, 1987), has been historically impaired in a fashion that is spatially variable. Water from the nearby Modesto Resovoir is now used to augment city water. In various parts of the city and its perimeter the following water pollutants have occurred from time to time: nitrate
Nitrate
The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion with the molecular formula NO and a molecular mass of 62.0049 g/mol. It is the conjugate base of nitric acid, consisting of one central nitrogen atom surrounded by three identically-bonded oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. The nitrate ion carries a...

s, dibromochloromethane
Dibromochloromethane
Dibromochloromethane is a compound with formula CHBr2Cl. It is a trihalomethane.Dibromochloromethane was formerly used as a flame retardant and as an intermediate in chemicals manufacturing. Today it is used only as a laboratory reagent....

, volatile organics, salinity, total dissolved solids
Total dissolved solids
Total Dissolved Solids is a measure of the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid in: molecular, ionized or micro-granular suspended form. Generally the operational definition is that the solids must be small enough to survive filtration through a sieve...

 and other pesticide
Pesticide
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.A pesticide may be a chemical unicycle, biological agent , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest...

s. (Torrey, 1989) Each of these contaminants is not present citywide.

The E.P.A. rates air quality in Modesto, CA as a 23 on a scale to 100 (higher is better), making Modesto an unhealthy place to live for those with breathing difficulties. This is based on ozone alert days and number of pollutants in the air. In May 2010, Forbes Magazine, in association with the American Lung Association, indicated that Modesto was one of the top 25 most polluted cities in the U.S.

Downtown revitalization


As of the 2000s, Downtown Modesto has been thoroughly modernized, including new attractions such as Gallo Center for the Arts and the new Downtown Plaza adjacent to Modesto Centre Plaza. Downtown Modesto has lost some of its old-time flavor with the loss of the Hotel Covell, The incredible art deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 Strand Theatre, and the Sears building but it has improved traffic flow considerably. The projects under feasibility planning stages are:
  • 7-story condo/commercial tower at 10th and H Streets

  • 8-story condo tower at 14th and J Streets

Entertainment and culture


The Modesto Nuts
Modesto Nuts
The Modesto Nuts are a minor league baseball team in Modesto, California, USA. They are a Class A - Advanced team in the California League and a farm team of the Colorado Rockies. The Modesto Nuts play home games at John Thurman Field. Opened in 1955 and renovated in 1997, the park seats 4,000 fans...

 Minor League Baseball Club of the class A California League
California League
The California League is a Class A Advanced minor league baseball league which operates throughout the state of California. Before 2002, it was classified as a "High-A" league, indicating its status as a Class A league with the highest level of competition within that classification, and the fifth...

 is the main attraction for locals between Easter and Labor Day. The Nuts are the Single A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

 and play 70 home games each season.

In the past 10 years, Modesto has hosted many music festivals such as SummerFest, the Downtown Summer Concert Series featuring Chris Isaak
Chris Isaak
Christopher Joseph "Chris" Isaak is an American rock musician and occasional actor.-Early life:Isaak was born in Stockton, California, the son of Dorothy , a potato chip factory worker, and Joe Isaak, a forklift driver. Isaak's mother is Italian American, originating from Genoa...

, Hootie & the Blowfish
Hootie & the Blowfish
Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band that enjoyed popularity in the second half of the 1990s. They were originally formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan. The band has recorded five studio albums to date, and has...

, The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band. The group has sold over 40 million units worldwide throughout their career. The Doobie Brothers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.-Original incarnation:...

 and Styx
Styx
In Greek mythology the Styx is the river that forms the boundary between the underworld and the world of the living, as well as a goddess and a nymph that represents the river.Styx may also refer to:-Popular culture:...

, and the most notorious of all, X-Fest.

X-Fest, deriving from its real name Xclamation Festival
Xclamation Festival
The Xclamation Festival or X Fest is an annual festival that takes place on the streets of downtown Modesto, California from 9th to 12th between J and H Streets, usually on the first Saturday in August...

, is a 21 and over music festival in downtown Modesto. Starting in 2000, X-Fest has evolved into a large outdoor event stretching 15 blocks and featuring the Worlds Largest Disco which covers four blocks on its own. In 2008 X-Fest featured 50 bands and a crowd of 15,000 people. Much of the profits end up in local non-profit charities. Some business owners and citizens of Modesto complain of rowdy and often drunk Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

 atmosphere exhibited at X-fest. Events like these may have helped propel Modesto to be ranked, in Feb. of 2010 by Men's Health Magazine, as the 12th drunkest city in America. Men's Health Magazine compiled its rating based on alcohol related deaths, DUI and other arrests.

Summers in Modesto are also marked by the revival of American Graffiti
American Graffiti
American Graffiti is a 1973 coming of age film co-written/directed by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford...

, the 1973 film and cult classic written and directed by Modesto native George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

. Lucas' film paid homage to teenage life in 1962 based on his own experiences growing up in the city of Modesto. The city council refused to let Lucas film Graffiti in Modesto so he was forced to make the film elsewhere. The City of Modesto has since realized the importance of our connection to the award winning film and the city is preparing new tourist attractions and events to welcome American Graffiti tourists. The Modesto Convention and Visitors bureau report that the leading request for information is American Graffiti related. The annual festival, Graffiti Summer, celebrates this event and lasts the entire month of June attracting thousands of visitors and car enthusiasts along with hundreds of classic and antique cars.

Located in downtown Modesto is the locally iconic State Theater, one of the many hot sports for music acts and independent films. Also located downtown is the Fat Cat Music House & Lounge, a nightclub dating back to the 1930s.

Downtown Modesto hosts a monthly Art Walk with local artists displaying art for sale, artist demos, local gallery shows, in a multi-venue map self guided tour. Downtown Modesto Third Thursday Art Walk venues include local galleries, nonprofits, restaurants and other local businesses; each featuring local artists 5 to 9 PM. Some stops include musicians from Modesto's vibrant music scene. Maps can be picked up at local businesses, and Downtown Improvement District office.

Music and performing arts


The Modesto Symphony Orchestra
Modesto Symphony Orchestra
-History:When the Modesto Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert in 1931, Modesto had a population of 17,000 and was the smallest town in the United States to have a symphony orchestra.A letter sent to musicians in December of 1929 read:...

, which finds its home at the Gallo Center, held their first performance when Modesto had a population of 17,000 in 1931 and continues to be a staple in the community. Not to be outdone by the Symphony, MoBand (Modesto Band of Stanislaus County), established in 1919, is one of the oldest, continuously performing bands in the U.S. The group performs a free 6-week summer concert-in-the-park series with its 130 volunteer musicians.

Modesto is also home to Townsend Opera, founded in 1983 by the late Modesto-born opera singer Buck Townsend, and Modesto Performing Arts, as well as the Gallo Center for the Arts. Modesto is also home to the area's leading pre-professional ballet company, Central West Ballet. The company was founded by Gretchen Vogelzang, and is now run under the direction of Artistic Director Rene Daveluy and Ballet Mistress Leslie Ann Larson.

Modesto shopping


Modesto offers more than 200 restaurants, cafes, coffee houses and other nightlife clubs. There is also a weekly farmer's market, located downtown on I & 15th Streets.

Vintage Faire Mall
Vintage Faire Mall
Vintage Faire Mall is a shopping mall located in Modesto, California. It is owned and operated by The Macerich Company and is adjacent to State Route 99.The mall is anchored by Forever 21, JCPenney, Macy's and Sears.-Anchors:...

in Modesto is an enclosed 2-level shopping mall with space for 125 stores and five major department stores. Notable retailers include Forever 21, Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears, Apple, Coach, Foot Locker, Abercrombie & Fitch, Foot Action, Champs Sports, Sephora, American Eagle, and H&M.

Vintage Commons is a shopping center close to Vintage Faire Mall, and it contains retailers such as Target, Best Buy, Borders (now closed), and Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Costco also has it's Modesto location nearby, as well as Pier One Imports, and Cost Plus World Market, among others.

The Plaza Parkway area features many stores including Wal-Mart, Kohl's, WinCo Foods, FedEx Kinko's, and John’s Incredible Pizza.

McHenry Avenue, also known as California State Highway 108, is home to numerous local businesses and nationally known chain stores. Some of the better known names include Burlington Coat Factory, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Sports Authority, Foot Locker, Marshall's, Ross, Target, and Walmart. In McHenry Village there are numerous retailers, such as organic grocer Sunflower Market, Village Baking Copmany, Paper Habit, Valley Sporting Goods, Bianca's Bridal and Yogafina. The northern portion of McHenry, locally known as Auto Row, features a series of car dealerships. Also, on nearby Kiernan Avenue there is a major regional automotive auction house.

Crows Landing Road in south Modesto, is known by locals as "Little Mexico". There one can find all sorts of authentic Mexican
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and Latin American foods, products, and spices. It plays home to Modesto's annual Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla...

 parade, as well as the largest flea market in Stanislaus County.

Demographics



2010


The 2010 United States Census reported that Modesto had a population of 201,165. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 5,423.4 people per square mile (2,094.0/km²). The racial makeup of Modesto was 130,833 (65.0%) White, 8,396 (4.2%) African American, 2,494 (1.2%) Native American, 13,557 (6.7%) Asian, 1,924 (1.0%) Pacific Islander, 31,244 (15.5%) from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 12,717 (6.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 71,381 persons (35.5%).

The Census reported that 198,210 people (98.5% of the population) lived in households, 1,189 (0.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 1,766 (0.9%) were institutionalized.

There were 69,107 households, out of which 27,152 (39.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 33,230 (48.1%) were opposite-sex married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 10,774 (15.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 4,904 (7.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 5,177 (7.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships
POSSLQ
POSSLQ is an abbreviation for "Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters," a term coined in the late 1970s by the United States Census Bureau as part of an effort to more accurately gauge the prevalence of cohabitation in American households....

, and 599 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 15,887 households (23.0%) were made up of individuals and 6,221 (9.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87. There were 48,908 families
Family (U.S. Census)
A family or family household is defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes as "a householder and one or more other people related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. They do not include same-sex married couples even if the marriage was performed in a state...

 (70.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.38.

The population was spread out with 54,012 people (26.8%) under the age of 18, 20,838 people (10.4%) aged 18 to 24, 53,116 people (26.4%) aged 25 to 44, 49,691 people (24.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 23,508 people (11.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

There were 75,044 housing units at an average density of 2,023.2 per square mile (781.2/km²), of which 39,422 (57.0%) were owner-occupied, and 29,685 (43.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.1%. 112,065 people (55.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 86,145 people (42.8%) lived in rental housing units.

2009



As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 estimates of 2009, there were 210,294 people, 65,788 households, and 48,767 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 5,566.3 people per square mile (2,037.4/km²). There were 67,885 housing units at an average density of 1,771.6 per square mile (743.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.4% White, 50.8% Hispanic or Latino, 4.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 7.2% Asian, 0.6% Pacific Islander. Spoken languages of the home were: 54.1 % spoke English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, 40.2% Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 as their first language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

, 3.0% Filipino
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

, 0.8% Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and 0.7% Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

 as their first language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

.

2000


As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 188,856 people, 64,959 households, and 46,640 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 5,277.3 people per square mile (2,037.4/km²). There were 67,179 housing units at an average density of 1,877.2 per square mile (724.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.6% White, 25.6% Hispanic or Latino, 4.0% African American, 1.2% Native American, 6.0% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander.

There were 64,959 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.1% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income
Income
Income is the consumption and savings opportunity gained by an entity within a specified time frame, which is generally expressed in monetary terms. However, for households and individuals, "income is the sum of all the wages, salaries, profits, interests payments, rents and other forms of earnings...

 for a household in the city was $40,394, and the median income for a family was $45,681. Males had a median income of $38,595 versus $26,989 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $17,797. About 12.2% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

In September 2010, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released a study indicating that 32% of the population was obese vs. a statewide average obesity rate of 22.7%. Poverty was one of the factors listed as contributing to the high obesity rates.

Unincorporated Islands


While the population of the city is officially 211,156 (as of April 2009), there are large unincorporated districts, locally known as unincorporated "islands" or "pockets", which are technically not part of the city but have Modesto mailing addresses. Statistics for these sections (population, income, education, crime, etc.) are included into Stanislaus County totals instead of Modesto. These areas, which include most of the Airport neighborhood in east Modesto, roughly a third of west Modesto, and most of south Modesto, are largely devoid of sidewalks, sewer service, parks, and until recently, street lights.

These neighborhoods were originally built in the 1930's and 40's to house Dust Bowl migrants on lands that were then beyond the edges of town. Due to the hopes of local officials that the housing would only be temporary, little oversight in the way of permits was the norm, and even today some homes have no foundation and many have septic tanks. These areas have since become permanent and today are populated largely by Latinos. Descendants of the original Dust Bowl migrants remain a small but sizable minority in these neighborhoods.

Incorporating these areas into the city of Modesto is thought not to be a priority of local government by many residents of these "islands" and has led to resentment by some. Making these places part of the city would require that services (city sewer) and infrastructure (sidewalks) be in place first, as well as approval by city residents in local elections. Efforts to incorporate some of these neighborhoods into the city have proved fruitless thus far.

Local government


Modesto is governed via the mayor-council system. The Mayor is elected by the entire City. The six members of the city council are elected from districts by the voters within the respective district.

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $325.7 million in Revenues, $268.0 million in expenditures, $1,126.9 million in total assets, $322.0 million in total liabilities, and $343.0 million in cash and investments.

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:
City Department Director
City Manager Greg Nyhoff
Deputy City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley
Director Finance Gloriette Beck
Director of Human Resources VACANT
Chief Information Officer Bryan Sastokas
Director of Public Works Dennis Turner
Police Chief Michael Harden
Fire Chief Michael Kraus
Director of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhoods Julie Hannon
Director of Community & Economic Development Brent Sinclair
Director of Utility Planning & Projects Nick Pinhey

Politics


In the state legislature
California State Legislature
The California State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of California. It is a bicameral body consisting of the lower house, the California State Assembly, with 80 members, and the upper house, the California State Senate, with 40 members...

 Modesto is located in the 12th and 14th Senate
California State Senate
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote...

 district, represented by Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Anthony Cannella
Anthony Cannella
Anthony Cannella is an American politician currently serving in the California State Senate. He is a Republican representing the 12th district, encompassing Merced and San Benito counties, as well as parts of Madera, Monterey, and Stanislaus counties...

 and Tom Berryhill
Tom Berryhill
Tom Berryhill is a Republican politician in the United States who currently represents the 14th district in the California State Senate...

 respectively, and in the 25th and 26th Assembly
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

 districts, represented by Republicans Kristin Olsen
Kristin Olsen
Kristin Olsen is an American politician currently serving in the California State Assembly. She is a Republican representing the 25th district, encompassing Calaveras, Mariposa, Mono, and Tuolumne counties, and parts of Madera and Stanislaus counties...

 and Bill Berryhill
Bill Berryhill
Bill Berryhill Bill Berryhill Bill Berryhill (born March 18, 1958 is an American farmer and politician. He currently represents the 26th district in the California State Assembly, encompassing parts of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties in California's Central Valley. He currently lives in Ceres...

 respectively. Federally, Modesto is located in California's 18th
California's 18th congressional district
California's 18th congressional district is a congressional district located in the U.S. state of California. The district is located in the northern San Joaquin Valley and includes the cities of Modesto, Stockton, Ceres, Atwater, Merced and Los Banos...

 and 19th
California's 19th congressional district
California's 19th congressional district is a congressional district located in the U.S. state of California that covers parts of Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus counties....

 congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs
Cook Partisan Voting Index
The Cook Partisan Voting Index , sometimes referred to as simply the Partisan Voting Index , is a measurement of how strongly an American congressional district or state leans toward one political party compared to the nation as a whole...

 of D +4 and R +9 respectively and are represented by Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Dennis Cardoza
Dennis Cardoza
Dennis A. Cardoza is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. The district takes in a large swath of the Central Valley, from Stockton to Fresno. He is a member of the Democratic Party...

 and Republican Jeff Denham
Jeff Denham
Jeffrey John "Jeff" Denham is the U.S. Representative for . He is a member of the Republican Party.He previously served two terms in the California State Senate, representing the 12th District, which includes Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito and Stanislaus counties. Denham was the second...

 respectively.

City schools


Modesto City Schools was established for students in the community in 1871.The current enrollment is approximately 32,000 students. The district operates 23 elementary schools (K-6), four junior high schools (7-8), seven comprehensive high schools (9-12), and an alternative education program which includes an opportunity and continuation school, independent study and adult evening high school. The seventh comprehensive high school, Joseph Gregori High School, was recently completed. Modesto's oldest high school, Modesto High School
Modesto High School
Modesto High School is a high school in Modesto, California, U.S.A. It offers the International Baccalaureate Program, and was the first public school to do so in the Central Valley of California.Modesto High School is the oldest high school in Modesto....

, also offers an International Baccalaureate program, and is the only high school in Stanislaus County accredited for this program. There are other elementary school districts within and adjacent to the limits of Modesto City Schools that feed into the high schools. They include Sylvan Unified (serving the eastern portion of Modesto), Stanislaus Union and Hart-Ransom.

Higher education

  • Modesto Junior College
    Modesto Junior College
    The Modesto Junior College is a community college located in Central Valley's Modesto, California.-Accreditation:Modesto Junior College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In January 2008, the Western Association Colleges and Schools notified the college that it had...

     is a two year junior college in Modesto and has over 20,000 students enrolled and 21 inter-collegiate sports teams.
  • Institute of Technology technical college in Modesto offering career training in a number of fields, including culinary arts, business, and health care.
  • Community Business College vocational college in Modesto providing vocational training and job placement services to the unemployed with non-profit tuition scholarships. Offers training in medical office, bookkeeping, property management, foreign languages, medical coding and solar technologies.

  • California State University, Stanislaus
    California State University, Stanislaus
    California State University, Stanislaus, also known as Cal State Stanislaus or simply Stan State is a campus in the California State University system which was established in 1957 in Turlock, California. It is also the only campus in the CSU system to offer a bachelor's degree in cognitive studies...

    , a liberal arts university, and part of the 23-campus CSU system, is located in nearby Turlock and serves the Modesto area, is part of California State University
    California State University
    The California State University is a public university system in the state of California. It is one of three public higher education systems in the state, the other two being the University of California system and the California Community College system. It is incorporated as The Trustees of the...

     system. As of March 2005, CSU Stanislaus reported a student population of 6,192 undergraduate students. The number rises to 7,858 when considering all students, including graduate students.

Television stations


As part of the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto television market, Modesto is primarily served by stations
Television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...

 that are based mainly in Sacramento, CA. They are listed below, with the city of license in bold:
  • KCRA Channel 3 (NBC
    NBC
    The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

     affiliate) Sacramento
  • KCSO-LP
    KCSO-LP
    KCSO-LD is a Telemundo affiliate licensed to Sacramento, California. It is owned by Sainte Partners II, L.P., former owner and founder of KUVS...

     Channel 33 (Telemundo
    Telemundo
    Telemundo is an American television network that broadcasts in Spanish. The network is the second-largest Spanish-language content producer in the world, and the second-largest Spanish-language network in the United States, behind Univision....

     affiliate) Sacramento
  • KMAX-TV
    KMAX-TV
    KMAX-TV, channel 31, is the CW affiliate serving the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, California broadcast area. The station is owned by CBS Television Stations along with the local CBS station, KOVR; the two stations are two of the 3 English network O&Os in the market, along with Ion Television...

     Channel 31 (The CW O&O) Sacramento
  • KOVR
    KOVR
    KOVR, channel 13, is an owned-and-operated station of the CBS Television Network located in Sacramento, California and licensed to Stockton. KOVR-TV shares its offices and studio facilities with sister station KMAX-TV in West Sacramento, California, and its transmitter is located in Walnut Grove,...

     Channel 13 (CBS
    CBS
    CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

     O&O) Stockton
  • KQCA
    KQCA
    KQCA is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for Sacramento, California, USA. Licensed to Stockton, the station broadcasts a digital-only signal on UHF channel 46. KQCA's transmitter is located northeast of Walnut Grove. The station is owned by Hearst Television as part of a duopoly with...

     Channel 58 (My Network TV affiliate) Sacramento
  • KTFK-TV
    KTFK-TV
    KTFK-DT is a Spanish language general entertainment television station owned by Univision and affiliated with Univision's younger leaning network called TeleFutura. It is licensed to Stockton and serves the Sacramento market. Studios and offices are shared with co-owned KUVS-DT at 1710 Arden Way...

     Channel 64 (TeleFutura
    TeleFutura
    TeleFutura is a U.S. Spanish-language broadcast television network owned by Univision with headquarters in Miami, Florida.-Overview:TeleFutura Is America’s #2 Spanish-Language Network in prime time...

     affiliate) Stockton
  • KTNC-TV
    KTNC-TV
    KTNC-TV, digital channel 14, is the Estrella TV affiliate in Concord, California, serving both Bay Area and Sacramento areas. KTNC is owned by New World TV Group and broadcasts at 40 kilowatts.-Station history:...

     Channel 42 (Estrella TV
    Estrella TV
    Estrella TV is a Spanish-language television network owned by Liberman Broadcasting. The network launched September 14, 2009.-Affiliates:-Former Affiliates:-Controversy:...

     affiliate) Concord
  • KTXL
    KTXL
    KTXL, channel 40, is a Fox Broadcasting Company-affiliated television station in Sacramento, California, owned by the Tribune Company. Its studios and offices are located in South Sacramento, and its transmitter is near Walnut Grove, California.-History:...

     Channel 40 (Fox
    Fox Broadcasting Company
    Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

     affiliate) Sacramento
  • KUVS Channel 19 (Univision
    Univision
    Univision is a Spanish-language television network in the United States. It has the largest audience of Spanish language television viewers according to Nielsen ratings. Randy Falco, COO, has been in charge of the company since the departure of Univision Communications president and CEO Joe Uva...

     affiliate) Modesto
  • KVIE
    KVIE
    KVIE is the local PBS Public television station in Sacramento, California, USA. Its transmitter is located near Walnut Grove, California. The station broadcasts from a 2000 foot tall tower owned by KTXL...

     Channel 6 (PBS
    Public Broadcasting Service
    The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

     affiliate) Sacramento
  • KXTV
    KXTV
    KXTV, channel 10, is an ABC affiliate television station in Sacramento, California. It is owned and operated by the Gannett Company. Its transmitter tower is located in Walnut Grove, California, and studios are located on Broadway, just south of Business Loop 80 at the south edge of downtown...

     Channel 10 (ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

     affiliate) Sacramento
  • KSPX
    KSPX
    KSPX is the Sacramento, Stockton, and Modesto area ION Television station. The station is owned and operated by ION Media Networks and has operations at 3252 Mather Field Rd in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova ....

     Channel 29 (ION Media Networks
    ION Media Networks
    ION Media Networks is an American television broadcasting company that owns and operates over 60 television stations in most major American markets. It is now a privately owned company.-History:...

     affiliate) Sacramento

FM Stations

  • KMPO
    KMPO
    KMPO is a radio station broadcasting a World Ethnic format. Licensed to Modesto, California, USA, it serves the Modesto area. The station is currently owned by Radio Bilingue, Inc.....

     88.7: World Ethnic
  • KLOVE 89.7: AC Christian
  • KAMB
    KAMB
    KAMB is an American radio station broadcasting a Contemporary Christian format. Licensed to Merced, California, United States, KAMB is an independent, commercial-free, listener-supported station.-Translators:...

     101.5 AC Christian
  • Air 1
    Air 1
    Air1 is a Christian music radio network in the United States, operated by the non-profit organization EMF Broadcasting. Air 1 is essentially a Top-40 station with Christian Music - so many of the rules that commercial Top-40 stations use for musical rotation apply.-History:In 1986, KLRD began...

     90.7 Christian (Alternative/Pop)
  • KOSO
    KOSO
    KOSO is a radio station broadcasting a Hot AC format. Licensed to Patterson, California, USA, it serves the Modesto area. The station is currently owned by Clear Channel Communications.-History:...

     92.9: 90's and Now
  • KBBU
    KBBU
    KBBU is a radio station broadcasting a Regional Mexican format. Licensed to Modesto, California, USA, the station serves the greater Modesto area. The station is currently owned by Bustos Media LLC and the broadcast license is held by Bustos Media of California License, LLC.-History:The station...

     93.9: Regional Mexican
  • KHOP
    KHOP
    KHOP is an FM radio station serving the Modesto/Stockton area withTop 40 format. It broadcasts on FM frequency 95.1 and is under ownership of Cumulus Media. KHOP refers to itself has KHOP @ 95-1 or All The Hits....

     95.1: Top 40 (CHR)
  • KMRQ
    KMRQ
    KMRQ is a radio station broadcasting an active rock format. Licensed to Riverbank, California, USA, the station serves the Modesto area. The station is currently owned by Clear Channel Communications.-History:...

     96.7: Rock
  • KWIN
    KWIN
    KWIN is an American commercial radio station located in Stockton, California, broadcasting to the Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Modesto, and Turlock, California, area on 97.7 FM. They simulcast an urban contemporary format with sister station KWNN, which is located in Turlock, California, at 98.3 FM....

     98.3: Mainstream Urban
  • KQOD
    KQOD
    KQOD is a station known as MEGA 100. It plays the same music as KISQ, KOCN, and KHYL.-History:The station @ 100.1 FM would Debut as KFMR. On November of 1994 it would Change it's calls to KQOD....

     100.1: Rhythmic Oldies
  • KMIX
    KMIX
    KMIX is a radio station broadcasting a Regional Mexican format. Licensed to Tracy, California, USA, it serves the Stockton/Modesto area. The station is currently owned by Entravision Holdings, LLC....

     100.9: Regional Mexican
  • KJSN
    KJSN
    KJSN is a radio station broadcasting an Adult Contemporary format. Licensed to Modesto, California, USA, it serves the Modesto area, though it can be sometimes heard as far west as Walnut Creek....

     102.3: Adult Contemporary
  • KATM
    KATM
    KATM is a radio station serving the Modesto/Stockton area of California with its country format. It broadcasts on FM frequency 103.3 MHz and is under ownership of Cumulus Media....

     103.3: Country
  • KHKK
    KHKK
    Not to be confused with KKHK.KHKK is the call sign of The Hawk, a radio station located in Modesto, California. The Hawk's frequency is 104.1 FM...

     104.1: Classic Rock
  • KHTN
    KHTN
    KHTN is a radio station broadcasting a Rhythmic Top 40 format. Licensed to Planada, California, USA, the station serves the Merced area. The station is currently owned by Buckley Communications,. KHTN has been a monitored Rhythmic reporter in both Mediabase and Nielsen BDS since their 1992...

     104.7: Hip-Hop
  • KQRP-LP
    KQRP-LP
    KQRP-LP is a low-power FM radio station broadcasting a news talk information format. Licensed to Salida, California, USA, the station is currently owned by Fellowship of the Earth.-History:...

     106.1: Local Community Radio

AM stations

  • KESP
    KESP
    KESP is an all-sports radio station in Modesto, California, USA. The station serves Modesto, Stockton, Lodi, and surrounding communities of the northern San Joaquin Valley. It is currently owned by Cumulus Media....

     970: Sports
  • KFIV
    KFIV
    KFIV is a radio station broadcasting a News Talk Information format. Licensed to Modesto, California, USA, it serves the Modesto area...

     1360: Talk Radio
  • KLOC 1390: Regional Mexican

Print Media

  • The Modesto Bee: Modesto's daily newspaper published by the McClatchy Company

Modesto Anarcho: the Valley's Insurectionary journal of Class Struggle www.modestoanarcho.org

Notable residents

  • Jack Angel
    Jack Angel
    Jack Angel is an American voice actor, who has worked on many children's television series, movies and video games.-Life and career:Angel was born in Modesto, California...

    , voice actor provided the voice of Teddy in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, AstroTrain in Transformers, Nikki in Balto.
  • Randall Behr, (born Randall Bare), resident conductor, chorus master, and head of music staff, Los Angeles Opera
    Los Angeles Opera
    The Los Angeles Opera is an opera company in Los Angeles, California. It is the fourth largest opera company in the United States. The company's home base is the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, part of the Los Angeles Music Center.-Current leadership:...

    , 1988–1995, graduate of Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School is a public high school located in Modesto, California. Established in 1959, the school serves students in grades 9-12...

    , Class of 1969.
  • Jose Luis Ayala, lead vocalist of the regional Mexican Group "Los Humildes Hermanos Ayala"
  • Tony Boselli
    Tony Boselli
    Don Anthony "Tony" Boselli, Jr. is a former American football offensive tackle. He spent nearly all of his professional career playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League ....

    , 2nd Pick in the 1995 NFL Draft
    1995 NFL Draft
    The 1995 NFL Draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 22–23, 1995 at the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City...

     by the Jacksonville Jaguars
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

    . 5x Pro Bowler & 3x First Team All-Pro. Born in Modesto.
  • Carol Channing
    Carol Channing
    Carol Elaine Channing is an American singer, actress, and comedienne. She is the recipient of three Tony Awards , a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination...

    , three-time Tony Award
    Tony Award
    The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

    -winning actress and singer.
  • Joe Dillon
    Joe Dillon
    Joseph William Dillon is a Major League Baseball player who is currently in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He is a utility fielder...

    , MLB player for the Florida Marlins
    Florida Marlins
    The Miami Marlins are a professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. Established in 1993 as an expansion franchise called the Florida Marlins, the Marlins are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Marlins played their home games at...

    , Milwaukee Brewers
    Milwaukee Brewers
    The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

    , and the Tampa Bay Rays
    Tampa Bay Rays
    The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in , the club has played at Tropicana Field...

    .
  • Jack Elam
    Jack Elam
    William Scott "Jack" Elam was an American film actor best known for his numerous roles as villains in Western films and, later in his career, comedies .-Early life:...

    , 1919 to 2003, actor, epitome of the bad guy in films. Elam once attended Modesto Junior College
    Modesto Junior College
    The Modesto Junior College is a community college located in Central Valley's Modesto, California.-Accreditation:Modesto Junior College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In January 2008, the Western Association Colleges and Schools notified the college that it had...

     and had a brother who taught there for many years.
  • Ernest Gallo
    Ernest Gallo
    Ernest Gallo was the American co-founder of the E & J Gallo Winery. He was ranked 297th on the 2006 Forbes 400 list of billionaires. With his brother they founded the E.&J...

     and Julio Gallo
    Julio Gallo
    Julio Gallo was one of the founders of the E & J Gallo Winery.-Biography:He was born on March 21, 1910 in Oakland, California to Joseph Gallo, Sr. He had two brothers: his partner in the wine business, Ernest Gallo; and his youngest brother, Joseph Edward Gallo. Joseph Gallo, Sr. died in a...

    , wine makers, philanthropists.
  • [David A. Gillum Jr.]] U.S. Army Veteran, Career avg vs Tony Graziani is over .500, General Manager of Star Mazda in Glendale CA.
  • Tony Graziani
    Tony Graziani
    Anthony Robert Graziani was an American football quarterback who played for the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League, and the Los Angeles Avengers and Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. Graziani played college football at the University of Oregon...

    , Philadelphia Soul
    Philadelphia Soul
    The Philadelphia Soul are an Arena Football League team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They began play in as an expansion team. The team plays in the Eastern Division of the American Conference. They won their first ArenaBowl in 2008, defeating the San Jose SaberCats 59–56 in ArenaBowl XXII...

     quarterback and graduate of Thomas Downey High School
    Thomas Downey High School
    Thomas Downey High School is a High School in Modesto, California. It is one of the seven high schools in Modesto. George Lucas, Tony Graziani, Laci Peterson and Olympian and American Discus Record Holder Suzy Powell, are some of its notable graduates....

    .
  • Chuck Hayes
    Chuck Hayes
    Charles "Chuck" Edward Hayes, Jr. is an American professional basketball player. He is 6'6", 238 pound center/power forward who last played for the Houston Rockets of the NBA...

    , Kentucky Wildcat
    Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
    The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, representing the University of Kentucky, is the winningest in the history of college basketball, both in all-time wins and all-time winning percentage. Kentucky's all-time record currently stands at 2058–647...

     and Houston Rocket
    Houston Rockets
    The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California for four years, before being...

     basketball player.
  • Lester Hayes
    Lester Hayes
    Lester Hayes is a former professional American football player for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League....

    , former American football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

     player.
  • Kirby Hensley, founder of the Universal Life Church
    Universal Life Church
    The Universal Life Church is a religious organization that offers anyone semi-immediate ordination as a ULC minister free of charge. The organization states that anyone can become a minister immediately, without having to go through the pre-ordination process required by other religious faiths...

    .
  • Ray Lankford
    Ray Lankford
    Raymond Lewis Lankford and grew up in Modesto, California where he attended Grace M. Davis High School. Ray was a former center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres from to . He was known for his combination of power, speed, and defensive...

    , St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and graduate of Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School is a public high school located in Modesto, California. Established in 1959, the school serves students in grades 9-12...

    .
  • Chandra Levy
    Chandra Levy
    Chandra Ann Levy was an American intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C., who disappeared in May 2001. She was presumed murdered after her skeletal remains were found in Rock Creek Park in May 2002...

    , intern at Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington DC, whose 2001 disappearance was a major news story.
  • George Lucas
    George Lucas
    George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

    , film director, producer, and screenwriter, graduate of Thomas Downey High School
    Thomas Downey High School
    Thomas Downey High School is a High School in Modesto, California. It is one of the seven high schools in Modesto. George Lucas, Tony Graziani, Laci Peterson and Olympian and American Discus Record Holder Suzy Powell, are some of its notable graduates....

    , and former student at Modesto Junior College
    Modesto Junior College
    The Modesto Junior College is a community college located in Central Valley's Modesto, California.-Accreditation:Modesto Junior College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In January 2008, the Western Association Colleges and Schools notified the college that it had...

    .
  • Jason Lytle
    Jason Lytle
    Jason Lytle is an American musician best known for his work in the indie rock group Grandaddy. He released a solo album in 2009 and is currently in the band Admiral Radley.-Biography:...

    , musician, songwriter of indie-rockbands Grandaddy and Admiral Radley
  • Roger Maltbie
    Roger Maltbie
    Roger Lin Maltbie is an American professional golfer and on-course analyst for NBC Sports and ESPN.Maltbie was born in Modesto, California and grew up in San Jose. He attended James Lick High School where he was a teammate of former PGA Tour player Forrest Fezler...

    , golfer and television announcer
  • James Marsters
    James Marsters
    James Wesley Marsters is an American actor and musician. Marsters first came to the attention of the general public playing the popular character Spike, a platinum-blond yobbish English vampire in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series, Angel from 1997 to 2004...

    , actor and graduate of Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School is a public high school located in Modesto, California. Established in 1959, the school serves students in grades 9-12...

    .
  • Shane Minor
    Shane Minor
    Shane Allen Minor is an American country music artist. Signed to Mercury Nashville Records in 1999, Minor released his self-titled album that year, and it produced three hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts...

    , country music artist
  • Boaz Myhill
    Boaz Myhill
    Glyn Oliver Myhill , more commonly known as Boaz Myhill , is a footballer who plays for Birmingham City, on loan from West Bromwich Albion, and the Wales national team as a goalkeeper.-Early life:...

    , West Bromwich Albion and Wales
    Wales national football team
    The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales , the governing body for football in Wales, and the third oldest national football association in the world. The team have only qualified for a major international...

      goalkeeper (birthplace).
  • Timothy Olyphant
    Timothy Olyphant
    Timothy David Olyphant is an American actor whose notable roles in television drama series include Deadwood as Seth Bullock, Justified as Raylan Givens, The Office as Danny Cordray, and Damages as Wes Krulik...

    , actor and 1986 graduate of Fred C. Beyer High School
    Fred C. Beyer High School
    Fred C. Beyer High School is a high school in Modesto, California, located in the San Joaquin Valley.-Facilities:Although when it was opened in 1972 to an enrollment of 975 students, mostly freshmen and only a smattering of upperclassmen who transferred from other schools voluntarily, Beyer was...

    .
  • Heath Pearce
    Heath Pearce
    Heath Gregory Pearce is an American soccer player who currently plays for Chivas USA in Major League Soccer and for the United States men's national soccer team.-College and Amateur:...

    , professional soccer player for FC Dallas
    FC Dallas
    FC Dallas is an American professional soccer club based in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States of America and Canada...

     in Major League Soccer and a graduate of Peter Johansen High School
    Peter Johansen High School
    Peter Johansen High School is two-story public school located in eastside Modesto, CA. The exterior structure of the school is made up of brick buildings and chain-linked gating, giving it a slight "prison-look" to those unfamiliar with the area and features an olympic-sized pool, two baseball...

    .
  • Lindsay Pearce
    Lindsay Pearce
    Lindsay Pearce is an American singer, actress, and reality TV personality. Pearce is best known for being one of the runners-up on The Glee Project, which gave her a recurring role on the TV show Glee.-Early life:...

    , contender on The Glee Project
    The Glee Project
    The Glee Project is an American reality television series from Oxygen. It serves as an audition for the FOX TV series Glee. Although originally planned to begin broadcasting in late May 2011, The Glee Project premiered on June 12, 2011...

    .
  • Laci Peterson
    Laci Peterson
    Laci Denise Peterson was an American woman who was the subject of a highly discussed murder case after she went missing while seven and a half months pregnant with her first child. Peterson was reportedly last seen alive on December 24, 2002...

    , murdered wife of Scott Peterson
    Scott Peterson
    Scott Lee Peterson , an American, was convicted of murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child in Modesto, California, in 2002. Peterson's arrest and subsequent trial dominated the American news media until 2005, when he was sentenced to death by lethal injection...

    .
  • Scott Peterson
    Scott Peterson
    Scott Lee Peterson , an American, was convicted of murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child in Modesto, California, in 2002. Peterson's arrest and subsequent trial dominated the American news media until 2005, when he was sentenced to death by lethal injection...

    , sentenced to death for the murder of his wife, Laci Peterson
    Laci Peterson
    Laci Denise Peterson was an American woman who was the subject of a highly discussed murder case after she went missing while seven and a half months pregnant with her first child. Peterson was reportedly last seen alive on December 24, 2002...

    , and unborn child. The case attracted national attention.
  • B.R. Pinedo, two-time Jeopardy!
    Jeopardy!
    Griffin's first conception of the game used a board comprising ten categories with ten clues each, but after finding that this board could not be shown on camera easily, he reduced it to two rounds of thirty clues each, with five clues in each of six categories...

     champion and poet. Graduate of Modesto High School
    Modesto High School
    Modesto High School is a high school in Modesto, California, U.S.A. It offers the International Baccalaureate Program, and was the first public school to do so in the Central Valley of California.Modesto High School is the oldest high school in Modesto....

    .
  • Suzy Powell-Roos, three-time track and field Olympian and American Record holder in the Women's Discus. Graduate of Thomas Downey High School
    Thomas Downey High School
    Thomas Downey High School is a High School in Modesto, California. It is one of the seven high schools in Modesto. George Lucas, Tony Graziani, Laci Peterson and Olympian and American Discus Record Holder Suzy Powell, are some of its notable graduates....

    .
  • Harve Presnell
    Harve Presnell
    Harve Presnell was an American actor and singer. He began his career in the mid 1950s as a classical baritone, singing with orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States...

    , actor. He was born in Modesto in 1933 and is a graduate of Modesto High School
    Modesto High School
    Modesto High School is a high school in Modesto, California, U.S.A. It offers the International Baccalaureate Program, and was the first public school to do so in the Central Valley of California.Modesto High School is the oldest high school in Modesto....

    .
  • Jeremy Renner
    Jeremy Renner
    Jeremy Lee Renner is a two-time Academy-Award-nominated American actor and musician. Renner appeared in films throughout the 2000s, mostly in supporting roles. He came to prominence in films such as Dahmer , S.W.A.T. , Neo Ned , 28 Weeks Later and The Hurt Locker...

    , Academy Award nominated actor.
  • Joe Rudi
    Joe Rudi
    Joseph Oden Rudi is a former left fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Kansas City & Oakland Athletics , California Angels and Boston Red Sox . He batted and threw right-handed...

    , professional baseball player, 3 time Gold Glove winning outfielder as a member of the 70's era World Champion Oakland A's
  • Joseph Sapien, United States Army, youngest veteran of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
  • Mark Spitz
    Mark Spitz
    Mark Andrew Spitz is a retired American swimmer. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, an achievement only surpassed by Michael Phelps who won eight golds at the 2008 Olympics....

    , 9-time Olympic swimming gold medalist.
  • Ann Veneman
    Ann Veneman
    Ann Margaret Veneman is the former Executive Director of UNICEF, a position she held from 2005 to 2010. Her appointment was announced on January 18, 2005 by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Previously, Veneman was the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the first and only woman to hold that...

    , 27th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Tisha Venturini
    Tisha Venturini
    Tisha Venturini-Hoch is a former American soccer player and current National Spokesperson for Produce for Better Health.-Career:...

    , member of the gold medal winning U.S. women's national soccer team at the 1996 Olympic Games; from Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School is a public high school located in Modesto, California. Established in 1959, the school serves students in grades 9-12...

    .
  • Ashley Walker
    Ashley Walker
    Ashley Walker was an English amateur first-class cricketer, who played nine games for Yorkshire County Cricket Club from 1863 to 1870, ten for Cambridge University from 1864 to 1866, and one match for the North of England in 1870. He also played for the South Wales Cricket Club from 1875 to 1876...

    , attended Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School
    Grace M. Davis High School is a public high school located in Modesto, California. Established in 1959, the school serves students in grades 9-12...

    . Was the star player on the UC Berkeley women's basketball team 2005-2009. Now plays professional basketball overseas.
  • Rust Epique
    Rust Epique
    Charles Lopez better known by his stage name Rust Epique, was an American guitarist and painter, who gained fame while performing with the bands Crazy Town and pre)Thing. A native Californian, he was also well known for his enthusiastic rock star lifestyle.-Biography:Epique was born in Stockton,...

    , aka Charles Lopez Rock Star.
  • Erin Cafaro
    Erin Cafaro
    Erin Cafaro is an American rower. She competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she won a gold medal in women's eight.-See also:* Rowing * Anna Cummins* Caryn Davies* Susan Francia...

    , Olympic gold medalist for 2008 Women's Eight Crew. Graduate of Modesto High School, Class of 2001.
  • Carter Williams
    Carter Williams
    Carter Lee Williams is an American kickboxer, boxer and mixed martial artist, who fights out of Modesto Power in Modesto, California. He is a former North American Muay Thai champion and K-1 World GP in Las Vegas tournament champion....

    , Carter "The Beast" Williams is a professional American kickboxer, boxer and mixed martial artist. He is a former North American Muaythai champion and K-1 World GP in Las Vegas tournament champion.

Sister cities


Modesto has five sister cities and one sister county:
Aguascalientes, Mexico
Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes
The city of Aguascalientes is the capital of the state of Aguascalientes in western central Mexico. It stands on the banks of the Río Aguascalientes, 1880 meters above sea level, at...

 Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine
Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine
Khmelnytskyi is a city in Ukraine in the region of Podillia. It is located on the Southern Buh River and about from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The town's original name was Płoskirów, later Proskurov, but in 1954 was renamed Khmelnytskyi. It is the center of the Khmelnytskyi Oblast in western...

 Kurume, Japan
Kurume, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka prefecture, Japan.The city has an estimated population of 303,277 and a population density of 1,319.51 persons per km²...

 Vernon, Canada
Vernon, British Columbia
Vernon is a city in the south-central region of British Columbia, Canada. Named after Forbes George Vernon, a former MLA of British Columbia who helped found the famed Coldstream Ranch, the City of Vernon was incorporated on December 30, 1892. The City of Vernon has a population of 35,944 , while...

 Vijayawada, India
Vijayawada
Vijayawada is the third largest city in Andhra Pradesh, India, located on the banks of the Krishna River and bounded by the Indrakiladri Hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North. The city is located in the Krishna District, about from the state capital Hyderabad.Vijayawada literally...


Laval, France
Laval, Mayenne
Laval is a commune in the Mayenne department in north-western France.It lies on the threshold of Brittany and on the border between Normandy and Anjou. Its citizens are called Lavallois.-Geography:...



These programs are run by Modesto Sister Cities International; a non-profit, community based, volunteer organization promoting international understanding, friendship, and peace between nations.

In popular culture


The the film 1985 Murphy's Romance
Murphy's Romance
Murphy's Romance is a 1985 romantic comedy film adapted by Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch from a story by Max Schott and directed by Martin Ritt...

with Sally Field and James Garner, James Garner's character asks Sally Field where she was from and her response was "This time Modesto, Ca"

In the animated feature Monsters versus Aliens
Monsters vs. Aliens
Monsters vs. Aliens is a 2009 American computer-animated 3-D science fiction film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures...

, the protagonist Susan Murphy comes from Modesto. Scenes of Modesto depicted in the movie bear no resemblance to the actual town. In the short film Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space, Susan says, "Modesto, why is it always Modesto?"

In Even Stevens
Even Stevens
Even Stevens is an American comedy television series that aired on Disney Channel with a total of three seasons and 65 episodes from June 17, 2000, to June 2, 2003...

a girl quotes her mom is from Modesto.

In The Glee Project
The Glee Project
The Glee Project is an American reality television series from Oxygen. It serves as an audition for the FOX TV series Glee. Although originally planned to begin broadcasting in late May 2011, The Glee Project premiered on June 12, 2011...

, Lindsay Pearce is a contestant and runner-up from Modesto, won 2 episode arcs in Glee Season 3.

In the video game Destroy All Humans!
Destroy All Humans!
Destroy All Humans! is a video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published by THQ. It was released for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 on June 21, 2005. The game is set in the late 1950s in the U.S. and parodies the lifestyles, pop culture, and politics of this time period...

, "Santa Modesto" is one of the playable locations.

In the video game series Wipeout, "Modesto Heights" is one of the race tracks in Wipeout Pure and Wipeout HD.

An episode of Bewitched
Bewitched
Bewitched is an American situation comedy originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972, starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York and Dick Sargent , Agnes Moorehead, and David White. The show is about a witch who marries a mortal and tries to lead the life of a typical suburban...

, one of Darrin's clients frequently mentions growing up in Modesto.

Brooklyn-based indie rockers The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady is an American indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2004. The band consists of Craig Finn , Tad Kubler , Galen Polivka , Bobby Drake , and Steve Selvidge...

 refer to the city in the song "Modesto Is Not That Sweet."

In the 1963 movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers...

the truck driver played by Jonathan Winters
Jonathan Winters
-Early life:Winters was born in Bellbrook, Ohio, the son of Alice Kilgore , a radio personality, and Jonathan Harshman Winters II, an investment broker. He is a descendant of Valentine Winters, founder of the Winters National Bank in Dayton, Ohio...

 refers to the load he is driving to Modesto.

The 1973 film American Graffiti
American Graffiti
American Graffiti is a 1973 coming of age film co-written/directed by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford...

is set in Modesto.

"Modesto" is the name of a song by Beck
Beck
Beck Hansen is an American musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known by the stage name Beck...

, from his Stereopathetic Soulmanure
Stereopathetic Soulmanure
Stereopathetic Soulmanure is the second studio album by American alternative rock musician Beck, released on Flipside in 1994, a week before the appearance of his Geffen debut Mellow Gold. The album comprises mostly home demos, live performances, and abstract noise experiments...

album.

"St. Modesto" is a song by Chris Walla
Chris Walla
Christopher Walla is an American musician and music producer, most notable for being the guitarist for the band Death Cab for Cutie. He is also a former DJ of KCWU, 88.1 The Burg...

 from his Field Manual
Field Manual
__FORCETOC__Field Manual is the second solo album by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, released on January 29, 2008 on Barsuk Records. The album is Walla's first under his own name...

album.

The 2009 film Janky Promoters
Janky Promoters
Janky Promoters is a comedy, re-teaming Ice Cube and Mike Epps who play as "janky" promoters who book rapper Young Jeezy to play at their concert, only to fail at doing it the right way and thus getting into more trouble than they bargained for.-Plot:...

is set in Modesto.

In the 1992 film starring Christian Slater
Christian Slater
Christian Michael Leonard Slater is an American actor. He made his film debut with a small role in The Postman Always Rings Twice before playing a leading role in the 1985 film The Legend of Billie Jean...

 entitled Kuffs
Kuffs
Kuffs is a 1992 comedy film directed by Bruce A. Evans and produced by Raynold Gideon. It stars Christian Slater and Milla Jovovich. The film also features Ashley Judd in her first movie role....

Slater's character mentions that he grew up in Modesto and went to the (in reality) fictional Fremont High School.

In the television show Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy is an American television drama series created by Kurt Sutter about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in Northern California...

, Season 3, Episode 7, Bobby Elvis asks Clay Morrow, "Where's Tig?" Clay responds, "Halfway to Modesto."

In the television show CSI
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is an American crime drama television series, which premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer...

, Season 5, Episode 10, Sara Sidle
Sara Sidle
Sara Sidle is a fictional character on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, portrayed by actress Jorja Fox. Sidle is a forensic scientist and one of the core characters of the show, which revolves around a crime scene investigation team from Clark County, Nevada that investigates...

 searches for the records of her mother's court case, which ultimately led to Sarah being put in foster care, from Modesto, CA.

On the Moshe Kasher album, "Everyone You Know is Going To Die, Then You Are," on the track, "An Open Letter to Modesto, California."

See also


  • The McHenry Mansion
    McHenry Mansion
    The McHenry Mansion is a restored historic residence built in the Victorian-Italianate style and located in the historic downtown of Modesto, California.-History:...

    , a Historic landmark in Modesto.
  • Central Valley (California) for general information about the region.

External links