2010 in quotes


"Boom, there they go."

-- Maria De La Vega, superintendent of the Ravenswood City School District, on charter schools drawing students away from traditional public schools.

"People heard gunshots and had no reaction -- that was normal."

-- David Woods, East Palo Alto's mayor, speaking about how the culture of crimes has changed in recent years.

"There's no one being held accountable."

-- State Sen. Joe Simitian, on how high-speed rail would be funded.

"It will be dramatic."

-- Catherine Martineau, head of the nonprofit Canopy, on the expected results of January's replanting of trees on California Avenue.

"It takes much more time to resolve an issue when you have 100 voices participating."

-- Paul Bains, pastor of St. Samuel Church in East Palo Alto, on Palo Alto's new police Community Advisory Group.

"We're attempting to close the barn door after the horses have left."

-- Arthur Keller, Palo Alto planning commissioner, about the city's efforts to discourage new housing around East Meadow Circle.

"There was fire everywhere."

-- Benita Brown, eyewitness to Wednesday's fatal small-plane crash in East Palo Alto.

"We may never know. It was pretty instantaneous."

-- Joshua Cawthra, lead aviation accident investigator, on what caused the fatal crash of a small airplane in East Palo Alto last week.

"It's a different day, but the emergency isn't necessarily over."

-- Harold Schapelhouman, Menlo Park Fire Protection District fire chief, on meeting the needs of East Palo Alto plane-crash victims.

"We treat it as national security -- top secret."

-- Jim Kamenelis, Palo Alto Census Office manager, about the confidentiality of 2010 Census interviews.

"We may very well be shooting ourselves in the foot."

-- Sid Espinosa, Palo Alto City Councilman, on the recommendation to postpone adoption of a $284.5 million contract for renewable energy.

"You're Asian; you must like math and science."

-- Chirag Krishna, a junior at Palo Alto High School, on the stereotypes he and other Asian students have faced.

"It's a banner year for lambs."

-- Marc Sidel, major-gifts officer for the nonprofit Hidden Villa, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary as an environmental-education facility.

"We're going to have to shed that baggage."

-- James Keene, Palo Alto city manager, on cutting "bureaucracy" in order to close an upcoming $8.3 million budget gap.

"Snow down to 2,500 ft? It's almost April. Darn groundhog."

-- Park ranger Curt Dunn, aka "RangerCurt" in a tweet from Foothills Park.

"Who do they want to perform the study, a shipbuilder?"

-- Tony Spitaleri, president of the firefighters' union, on hearing Palo Alto officials scrapped a Fire Department study when they learned the study was to be done by a firefighter.

"I'm not a big fan of phone banks. ... But they work."

-- Tracy Stevens, Measure A campaign co-chair, on the use of phone banks to help the school parcel tax pass in June.

"They had no reason to be here, but they stayed."

-- Eden Diaz, a senior at Phoenix Academy in East Palo Alto, on two teachers who stayed until 11 p.m. one night to help him apply for a summer program.

"We're losing ground."

-- Martha Kanter, U.S. undersecretary of education, on the fact that the U.S. ranks toward the bottom in math literacy and science compared with other developed nations.

"Just because a hamburger calls itself caviar doesn't make it so."

-- Arthur Keller, Palo Alto planning commissioner, regarding Stanford's proposed 1.3 million-square-foot expansion.

"We were totally steamrolled."

-- John O'Neill, resident of Stanford Villa apartments, on hearing about nine trees being removed as part of the Alma Plaza renovation.

"We're on a roller-coaster ride."

-- Kevin Skelly, Palo Alto Unified School District superintendent, on how school enrollment trends could influence the district's desire to retain ownership of Cubberley Community Center.

"I wanted to see with my own eyes how success is created."

-- Dmitry Medvedev, president of Russia, regarding his June tour of Silicon Valley.

"If it doesn't represent business people, it shouldn't exist."

-- Abraham Khalil, owner of A.K. Insurance Services, regarding the Palo Alto Business and Professionals Association.

"Companies have options; they don't just come to you."

-- Jean Snider, managing director of Stanford Research Park, on encouraging teleconferencing juggernaut Skype to relocate to the Park.

"Counting up your friends on Facebook pages is not the same."

-- Debra LaVergne, a member of the Palo Alto Rebekahs, on the value of belonging to a service group.

"Instead of thinking in millions, I'm thinking in billions."

-- Martha Kanter, former Foothill-De Anza Community College District chancellor, now U.S. undersecretary of education, on her new, national role.

"We're double paying."

-- City Manager James Keene on paying to operate the landfill and for contracts with SMaRT station and Kirby Canyon.

"Be relentless but polite."

-- David Carnoy, on marketing self-published books.

"We don't have $150 million lying around."

-- Larry Klein, Palo Alto City Councilman, regarding the cost of adding 3,000 parking spaces in order for the city to host a high-speed rail train station.

"The duck is on our payroll."

-- Ducky's Car Wash manager Karen Nockolai, referring to the "human directional" sign waver out front on El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

"This isn't my vision of Palo Alto."

-- Larry Klein, Palo Alto city councilman, regarding building a high-speed rail station in the city.

"It's time for us to recognize what the facts of life are and to act accordingly."

-- Councilman Larry Klein, chair of the High-Speed Rail Committee, on a city council committee's "no confidence" resolution on the project.

"We know we can live together peacefully."

-- Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth, who joined leaders of different faiths in Septemberin decrying bigotry against Muslims.

"I don't recall David and Goliath doing a lot of negotiating."

-- Larry Klein, Palo Alto city councilman, on advocating for strong action against the state high-speed rail project.

"Having time together is a lost art."

-- Dianne Giancarlo, founder of The 3rd Door, whose business aims to bring people together for fitness, food and friendship.

"It's not an experiment to her; it's her life."

-- Tekla Nee, mother of three students in the district, on switching first-semester final exams from January to December.

"The airport is solvent and capable of making money and supporting itself."

-- Ralph Britton, president of the Palo Alto Airport Association, on takeover of the Palo Alto Airport by the city.

"This is putting a hole in the canoe while we're bailing water."

-- Karen Holman, Palo Alto City Councilwoman, on why she opposes Measure R, the firefighters' initiative.

"We're chugging up this hill, and the hill seems to be getting steeper."

-- Superintendent Kevin Skelly on rising enrollment in the Palo Alto Unified School District.

"Why should I have to live like I'm coming down with the flu each and every day?"

-- De'Lois Turner, a Lytton Gardens resident on why second-hand smoke bothers her.

"Palo Alto voters are a pretty smart lot."

-- Dena Mossar, who led the campaign opposing Palo Alto's Measure R, which was defeated.

"Integrity means if someone's being bullied, you should stick up for them."

-- Phoebe James, a Walter Hays fifth-grader, on the definition of "integrity."

"I don't like holding hard-cover books in my hand anymore -- they're too heavy."

-- Greg Scharff, Palo Alto city councilman, on why he reads e-books rather than print books.

"Sometimes school can almost get in the way of learning."

-- Rachel Mewes, co-editor of Paly's "Campanile," on author Blake Boles' presentation on "un-schooling" at last weekend's TEDx conference.

"If there were a heavenly school district, I've died and gone to it."

-- Jocelyn Garcia-Thorne, Addison Elementary School principal, on the levels of support, collaboration and resources in Palo Alto.

"The report is a black eye for the city."

-- Tony Spitaleri, president of Palo Alto's firefighters union, on preliminary findings of consultants studying the Fire Department.

"Palo Alto is a very tech-savvy city. It's unrivaled in the number of smart-phone users."

-- Lane Kasselman, AT&T spokesman, on why AT&T needs more cell towers.

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