Best quotes of 2010

In an annual feature for the newspaper, I compile the most pithy, silly or colorful quotes from the news pages of the Daily Bulletin that year. You can read the 2010 version here.

I type up the quotes and explanatory copy as the year progresses. At the end of the year I winnow out half or more to get to a reasonable number, usually 18 to 20. This year, rather than toss the remainder, I’m — why not? — presenting the outtakes on my blog. Read ‘em and weep … or gape, chuckle or cheer.

***

“This was like the pager of 1915.”

– History buff Ryan Moore, referring to siren atop Upland’s 1915 fire station, which sounded to call volunteer firefighters to a fire. Moore and his group, E Clampus Vitus’s Billy Holcomb chapter, restored the long-unused siren for free as part of the rehabilitation of the station, which will be used as a fire museum.

***

“He is literally an evergreen. He continues to sell year after year.”

– Nick Croce, president of NJ Croce Co., a La Verne company which since 2000 has had the worldwide exclusive right to distribute Gumby bendable figures. Gumby is ever green, all right.

***

“I think she’s going for the record. We’re thinking she’s like 112 in human years. It’s that darn coffee.”

– Mary Cannevas of Rancho Cucamonga about her dachshund, Rosey, who was 16 years old. Rosey insists on a small serving of Costco coffee each morning with cream.

***

“So far, the feedback has been really appreciative of the fact it’s been put into a written form and pictures tell a thousand words.”

– Upland Mayor John Pomierski on his state of the city address, which was mailed to residents as a brochure in May in lieu of the usual gala where the speech would be read.

***

“Although the bicyclist ran into me and was cited, I cooperated fully with the CHP because it was the right thing to do.”

– Chino Councilman Earl Elrod on June 30 after being sentenced to 24 months of probation and $710 in fines stemming from a Feb. 14 traffic collision in which Elrod’s vehicle was struck by a bicyclist and the councilman left the scene of the accident. Highway Patrol officers went to his home but Elrod refused to answer the door or the telephone. He contacted the CHP the following day, too late for them to test him for sobriety.

***

“Many have never heard of Ontario or think it’s in Canada. But Pasadena, it’s known, which doesn’t hurt us.”

– J. Derek Halvorson, president of Providence Christian College, about the small college’s move west in August after five years in Ontario.

***

“It’s time to declare this issue dead on arrival. Close the lid, pray over it and bury it.”

– Pomona resident Deborah Clifford, speaking to the City Council on Aug. 2 against contracting with the Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement. The council voted 7-0 to abandon the idea.

***

“It was great. It was just kind of like ‘Did I really do this?’ Especially driving back, you see how far it is.”

– Joseph Machado, 13, the Upland teen who rode his bicycle nearly 3,000 miles to Washington, D.C., from June 5 to July 13 to raise money for children’s charities. His parents followed him by car and they drove back home together.

***

“I don’t try to fill his shoes. I try to fill his spirit.”

– Tony Sheets, son of Millard Sheets, the late muralist and watercolorist from Claremont, about his job as exhibit director of the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts at the L.A. County Fair. The elder Sheets ran the Fine Arts Exhibition, as it was then known, from 1931 to 1956.

***

“I worked very hard to put this together and I get no support from anybody. Not even something like ‘you’re doing a great job’ or ‘we know it’s a lot of hard work.’ But now that I don’t want to do it…everybody wants to help out.”

– Sandy Coglietti, owner of the Village Grille in Claremont, about the monthly Cruise Night for classic cars downtown, an event she and her late husband founded in 1995. The October cruise might be the last.

***

“Our kids can’t wait for Congress.”

– Beverly Speak, CEO and director of the Kids Come First Community Clinic in Ontario, which serves children whose parents don’t have health insurance.

***

“We can’t legislate courtesy.”

– Claremont Councilman Sam Pedroza, before council members April 27 rejected a proposal to ban smoking in some public places such as outdoor dining areas.

***

“He’s asking voters to make the decision he’s not willing to make. I’m curious why someone would do that.”

– Political scientist Douglas Johnson about Christopher Agrella, who was a candidate for seats on both the Montclair City Council and the Ontario-Montclair School District board in the November election. The offices were incompatible and Agrella, had he won both seats, would have had to give one up.

***

“I’ve worked in homicide for a long time. And few investigations, if any, touched me the way this one did.”

– Pomona police Detective Dan Kono, commenting June 14 on the arrest of a suspect in the 2006 slaying of 3-year-old Ethan Esparza, whose death in his front yard in a drive-by shooting galvanized the community. Kono was retiring later that week after 30 years.

***

“He’s undoubtedly the best mayor we’ve ever had. All you have to do is look at the progress the city has made in the last decade and you’ll see what Mark has accomplished.”

– Fontana Councilman Frank Scialdone, speaking of Mark Nuaimi, who resigned June 30 after eight years as mayor, and six years as a councilman, to become city manager of Yucca Valley.

***

“Don’t get in the water if you don’t have a boat.”

– Johnny Gonzalez of Ontario on Jan. 19, the second day of a four-day storm. Gonzalez was using his Jeep Wrangler to pull stalled cars out of the flooded intersection of Francis and Grove, where water was up to 3 feet deep.

***

“It (the marijuana initiative) doesn’t provide much guidance on the form those taxes would take. Regular sales tax? Excise tax? What would the unit of the excise be? The joint? The ounce? The Cheech? The Chong?”

– Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, on the voter initiative that would have legalized the possession and sale of marijuana in California. It failed in the November election.

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