Quotes of the year
"In my 29 years, we haven't had a robbery string like this when people are coming up to you with guns."
— Palo Alto police Lt. Scott Wong, regarding a series of armed street robberies that had residents on alert.
"His silence is damning. His silence is deafening. His silence yells louder than anything he could've said at the witness stand: 'I murdered Jennifer.' "
— Deputy District Attorney Charles Gillingham, during the closing argument in the Paul Zumot murder trial. Zumot was found guilty Feb. 11 of murdering his girlfriend, Jennifer Schipsi, and setting their Palo Alto cottage on fire.
"Despite the evidence and in the face of a crisis, the (Palo Alto Unified School) District steadfastly refuses to deal with the core issue of academic stress."
— Ken and Michele Dauber, Palo Alto parents, in a Guest Opinion in the Palo Alto Weekly calling for new leadership in the Palo Alto school district.
"We have to do something about our waste."
— Carolyn Curtis, a leader of the petition drive that placed Measure E — undedicating 10 acres of Byxbee Park for possible use as a composting facility — on the November ballot. Voters later passed the measure.
"Frankly, a great many of our constituents are convinced that the (California) High-Speed Rail Authority has already wandered so far afield that it is too late for a successful course correction. We hope the Authority can prove otherwise."
— State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, in a joint statement. The lawmakers proposed using Caltrain tracks for high-speed rail, a proposal the Authority later adopted in its business plan.
"If we can create a two-week relatively carefree (winter) break for our students, that's a benefit that's worthwhile."
— Palo Alto school-board member Barbara Klausner, upon casting a tie-breaking vote to shift the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years to begin earlier in August and end the first semester before winter break.
"It's a night for celebration in Palo Alto."
— Councilman Greg Schmid, just before the council approved expansion of Stanford University Medical Center, the largest development in the city's history.
"If we didn't have binding arbitration, decisions would've been made earlier, and we'd have a budget that works."
— Councilman Greg Scharff, after the council voted 5-4 to place a repeal of binding arbitration on the November ballot. Voters approved the repeal, and the city is no longer required to enter binding arbitration with its public-safety unions.
"I always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."
— Steve Jobs, upon resigning as CEO of Apple. Jobs died Oct. 5.
"This is a reminder of what a rarefied world our students live in intellectually."
— Superintendent Kevin Skelly, on announcing that nearly a quarter of the Gunn and Palo Alto high school senior classes had earned honors as 2012 National Merit Semifinalists or Commended Scholars.
"I'm surprised people weren't out there sooner."
— U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, expressing her support for Occupy Wall Street protesters.
"In a (school) district with the resources we have ... to still have the vast majority of black students failing is disgraceful. I consider it a crisis."
— Palo Alto parent Kim Bomar, on the fact that only three of this year's 20 black Paly and Gunn graduates had completed entrance requirements for the University of California and California State University.
"Unfortunately, it's the mood of the country,"
— Tony Spitaleri, president of International Firefighters Association, Local 1319, upon voters' overwhelmingly support for repealing binding arbitration to settle city labor disputes.
"This particular project as it's going right now is not what I voted for in 2008."
— Councilmember Nancy Shepherd, before the council unanimously voted to call for "termination" of California's $98.5 billion high-speed-rail project.