A great quote can really make a news story sing. A bunch of them strung together is a particularly fun read.

So here you go, the best quotes of 2016:

“I will be direct with you. Donald Trump was not my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh choice.”

— House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, on then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, adding he was sticking with his pledge to support the party’s pick for president.

"It was like Jesus rose from the dead.”

— Bruce Irvin of the Oakland Raiders, after teammate Derek Carr, the team's quarterback, emerged from the locker room to loud cheers on Nov. 27, just minutes after leaving the field with a grotesquely (and painfully) dislocated pinky finger.

Felix Adamo / Californian file/
Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall makes sure everyone knows who his team is with his yellow slacks and blue sweater courtside at a Cal State Bakersfield basketball game in February 2016.

“He will be a tough act to follow. I don’t know of anything he wasn’t willing to do to help Bakersfield and help its citizens.”

—Kern County Supervisor David Couch on Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall, who hung up his ribbon-cutting scissors after 16 years.

THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Bakersfield attorney Kyle Humphrey. After the sentencing of three U.S. Marines who beat a man for carrying on a romantic relationship with one of their wives, he said: “You don’t want to be sniffing around another man’s wife.”

“You don’t want to be sniffing around another man’s wife.”

— Defense attorney Kyle J. Humphrey, after the sentencing of three U.S. Marines who beat a man for carrying on a romantic relationship with one of their wives.

Casey Christie / The Californian
Family law attorney Bobby Cloud unsuccessfully sought to unseat Ward 6 Bakersfield City Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan in November. Still, he said of her: "A saint, I'm told. A saint, indeed. She's a pretty great lady.”

"A saint, I'm told. A saint, indeed. She's a pretty great lady.”

— Attorney Bobby Cloud on Ward 6 Bakersfield City Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan — whom he was trying to unseat.

Casey Christie / The Californian
Bakersfield City Council member Jacquie Sullivan. When Bobby Cloud, her opponent in the November election, said he'd seek to name a street after her if elected, she responded with: "Oh, my goodness, I never heard of that. I’m very touched.”

"Oh, my goodness, I never heard of that. I’m very touched.”

— Sullivan’s response to hearing Cloud would seek to name a street after her if elected. (Sullivan won.)

“All we say is God gave you these parts — go to the restroom where you were born to go.”

— Community member Jeffrey Burns, during a Kern High School District board meeting debating transgender bathroom laws. It was met with applause.

Derek Thorn works on Buddy Shepherd's car. “Let’s go in circles, let’s get this thing on,” he said a couple of days before a Spears Southwest Tour race on Oct. 29 at Kern County Raceway Park. Thorn went on to win the race.

“Let’s go in circles, let’s get this thing on.”

— Bakersfield’s Derek Thorn, a couple of days before a Spears Southwest Tour race on Oct. 29 at Kern County Raceway Park. Thorn won the race.

Ken Mettler sought unsuccessfully this year to unseat House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He said of the electorate in general: “I think the anger is even more today than it was two years ago. It’s anger against the establishment.” He was right, evidenced by the election of Donald Trump as president.

“I think the anger is even more today than it was two years ago. It’s anger against the establishment.”

— A prescient Ken Mettler, who was running in the primary to unseat House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. McCarthy won re-election.

Felix Adamo / The Californian
In this file photo, Clinica Sierra Vista CEO Steve Schilling listens as doctors from Kern Medical Center speak on the issue of moving the Kern Medical Center Family Practice Residency program to Clinica. Schilling said in November he had no idea what was going to happen with Obamacare and Medicaid expansion after Donald Trump takes office, saying, “There are a ton of extremely confusing and mixed messages coming out of Manhattan and Washington. I have no idea what’s going to happen on Jan. 20.”

“There are a ton of extremely confusing and mixed messages coming out of Manhattan and Washington. I have no idea what’s going to happen on Jan. 20.”

— Clinica Sierra Vista CEO Steve Schilling on the future of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion given Donald Trump’s election as president.

“WELL OF COURSE! YOU TWIT!”

— An angry caller to Columnist Lois Henry when Henry pointed out that activists aren't concerned about the safety of produce grown with recycled oilfield water, they just want to stop oil production.

TBC
KHSD Trustee Jeff Flores

“We do need a PR firm. We need support. We've had a very bloody year with the chicken suit, the guns, the bathrooms. We need the help. I want to make sure we get the right help.”

— Kern High School District Trustee Jeff Flores, who objected to offering a $387,000 contract to Providence Strategic Consulting, for which former Trustee Chad Vegas’ nephew works.

Felix Adamo / The Californian
Bill and Cookie Coughran of Squirrel Valley lost several vehicles in the Erskine Fire, including this ski boat and 1977 Mercedes roadster, but fortunately their home was saved.

“God had his hand on this house.”

— Bill Coughran, whose home in Squirrel Valley wasn't touched during the deadly Erskine Fire. Several of his neighbors' homes were burned to their foundations.

FELIX ADAMO / The Californian
In this file photo, CHP Officer Kelley Walker wrestles with 72-year-old Joe Palme after Palme refused to stop at a checkpoint while returning to his Squirrel Valley property following the Erskine Fire. With this entry, photographer Felix Adamo won first place in the News Photo category at the 29th annual Gruner Awards in Fresno Thursday.

“I got my one and a half blows in and then it went downhill for me.”

— Squirrel Valley resident Joe Palme, who got into a fight with a CHP officer a few days after the fire when he sped past a barricade to go to his house, which had been destroyed. Palme is now facing misdemeanor charges.

TBC
Ahron Hakimi, the executive director of the Kern Council of Governments, said of roads throughout the nation: “Our parents paid for this amazing infrastructure system in the U.S. and we’re letting it deteriorate before our eyes. Our children and grandchildren sooner or later will need to pay for it. Maybe it’s time for us to pay for it.”

“Our parents paid for this amazing infrastructure system in the U.S. and we’re letting it deteriorate before our eyes. Our children and grandchildren sooner or later will need to pay for it. Maybe it’s time for us to pay for it.”

— Ahron Hakimi, executive director of the Kern Council of Governments, on the poor condition of roads.

“A lot of eyes are out there looking for this bug.”

— Victoria Hornbaker, citrus program manager for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, on efforts to eradicate the Asian citrus psyllid.

Felix Adamo / The Californian
Standing in the doorway of her south Bakersfield home, Alicea Wallace said “my heart goes out to the mother of every child who got shot” after 14 people suffered gunshot wounds at her daughter's party in July. To the perpetrators she said: “Turn yourself in and get help. There’s help for you still.”

“Turn yourself in and get help. There’s help for you still.”

— South Bakersfield resident Alicea Wallace, speaking to whomever shot up her home during a party, injuring 14 and — it turned out later — killing one.

Casey Christie / The Californian
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood speaks to a community group in this file photo. After a shooting at a Bakersfield party that wounded 14 and, as it turned out later killed one, he said: “I'm sick and tired of law enforcement being blamed for what parents can't do. We can't do everything in law enforcement. We simply can't.”

“I'm sick and tired of law enforcement being blamed for what parents can't do. We can't do everything in law enforcement. We simply can't.”

—Sheriff Donny Youngblood, responding to the mass shooting. He blamed parents for allowing such a party.

Casey Christie / The Californian
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to a group of several thousand people at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield in May. When told at an earlier town hall that thousands of local people don't drink their tap water because of contamination he said: “I don’t think anybody in America knows this stuff.”

“I don’t think anybody in America knows this stuff.”

— Vermont Sen. and then-presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in Bakersfield after hearing thousands of local people can’t drink their tap water because of contamination.

Henry A. Barrios / The Californian
Responding to new federal guidelines on transgender bathroom use, Kern High School District Trustee Chad Vegas said he would not enforce already existing state legislation on the topic. He said at one point: “I have no intention of complying with this law that's harmful to these children. I would never enforce this law that California has given. I will do everything in my power to fight letting males walk into our girls restrooms or girls showers or girls locker rooms or play on a girls team.”

“I would never enforce this law that California has given. I will do everything in my power to fight letting males walk into our girls restrooms or girls showers or girls locker rooms or play on a girls team.”

— Then-Kern High School District Trustee Chad Vegas on state-imposed anti-discrimination laws. He chose not to run for reelection because he said enforcing them would violate his religious conscience.

“When someone shoots themselves in the head, it’s hard to identify who it is.”

— Sheriff's watch commander Steve Williams on why sheriff’s officials maintained an hours-long standoff in Oildale with Christopher Gray, who they believed was barricaded inside a home but instead had killed himself hours earlier a few miles away.

MARK NESSIA / FOR THE CALIFORNIAN
Condors captain Ryan Hamilton races to the puck in front of Tucson defender Brandon Burlon and goaltender Aidin Hill in the first period of an October 2016 game at Rabobank Arena. On making his home in Bakersfield this summer Hamilton said: “(Getting the two-year contract) played a huge factor, but we also knew what a great city it is. There are so many friendly people, and we were starting to meet people outside of hockey as well. Plus, the California living. It was a special opportunity to be so close to so many things.”

“(Getting the two-year contract) played a huge factor, but we also knew what a great city it is. There are so many friendly people, and we were starting to meet people outside of hockey as well. Plus, the California living. It was a special opportunity to be so close to so many things.”

— Condors captain Ryan Hamilton on why he made Bakersfield his home over the summer.

Felix Adamo / The Californian
In this file photo, Michael Turnipseed, along with others in the group "Kern4HMF," speak of their desire to have the high-speed rail maintenance facility located in Kern County. When the County of Kern was discussing a possible new county tax to fund public safety and transportation in 2016 he said: "You have not scrubbed the budget. You, as the Board of Supervisors, cannot tell the taxpayers of Kern County that you've looked under every rock."

"You have not scrubbed the budget. You, as the Board of Supervisors, cannot tell the taxpayers of Kern County that you've looked under every rock."

— Michael Turnipseed of the Kern County Taxpayers Association opposing a county tax measure to fund public safety and transportation.

“In one instance, the meal was partially consumed as served, however when salt and pepper were added it made an overall improvement to the taste of the food.”

—Kern County grand jurors when they investigated the quality of school lunch programs.

“We felt he was very qualified. Well, not qualified — scratch that. He has a lot of potential.”

— Lamont Elementary School District Supt. Ricardo Robles on his assistant superintendent, Jose Cantu, who was earning $144,000 annually despite not holding an administrative credential.

Henry A. Barrios / The Californian
Kenny Graham can't help but laugh as he recalls the life of a professional football player in the late 60s and early 70s. He started his career with the San Diego Chargers in the American Football League.

“He went ‘Uuuhhhhhhhnnn’ and he’d look up and say, ‘Kenny, you son of a b****!’ And I’d say, ‘Oh get your ass up, you ain't hurt that bad.’” 

— Kenny Graham, former Chargers strong safety about sacking famous Jets quarterback Joe Namath back in the late 1960s.

Felix Adamo/ The Californian
Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, was the speaker at the 30th Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture. He told the crowd: “For a while I’d go to the cemetery and I’d just struggle with him not being there.”

“For a while I’d go to the cemetery and I’d just struggle with him not being there.”

— Tracy Martin on his son Trayvon, whose death polarized the nation and helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement, before speaking at CSUB in April.

Felix Adamo / The Californian
Don Thompson of Buttonwillow was named Kern County's first poet laureate by the Arts Council of Kern in 2016. The public position will be a bit of a change for the typically reserved poet. “I’ve been drawn out more the past few years, and eventually you get noticed. It’s better than not getting noticed. Now (as laureate) all bets are off. I have to be public now, and I’m kind of excited about it.”

“There are fewer people who are seriously interested in poetry than collect miniature jade carvings of vegetables. Having a poet laureate shows more people, 'Oh, such a thing exists.’”

— Don Thompson, Kern County's first poet laureate.

“I don’t know if there are five, six or seven people.”

— Lamont Elementary School District trustee candidate Ernesto Garay, referring to the number of trustees who serve on the board. He won his seat. He’s one of five members.

“When I talk about teachers being lazy, it’s not because they’re clocking in at 7:45 a.m. and drinking coffee all day. It’s because they’re not taking advantage of opportunities. They’re not giving 100 percent to their profession.”

—Vineland School District Supt. Matthew Ross, who publicly called his staff lazy in the middle of stalled contract negotiations, spurring 13 to resign en masse.

“I should have asked him if his mom knew what he was doing here.”

— Voter Dedre Brodbeck after 18-year-old West High senior Perrin Swanlund, who was running against Republican Vince Fong for 34th District assemblyman, asked for her vote. Swanlund lost to Fong in a landslide.

Henry A. Barrios / Californian
Young and older members of what is now Shafter's Orthodox Independent Missionary Baptist Church greet each other as they attend Sunday morning service in May. The church celebrated 80 years of sharing the "Good News" in 2016. Said parishioner Mary Stark of what first was First Southern Baptist Church of Shafter: “Do you know why we started this church? None of the other churches in town wanted us.” 

“Do you know why we started this church? None of the other churches in town wanted us.”

— Mary Stark, a Dustbowl immigrant and early member of First Southern Baptist Church of Shafter, while celebrating its 80th anniversary in May.

Felix Adamo / The Californian
Mitch Carter holds a photograph of himself taken shortly after he was beaten at a Bakersfield High School pep rally in 2010. Carter, who suffered a brain injury, reached a $10.5 million settlement deal with the Kern High School District. He said at one point: “No matter what, I'd trade everything just to have a full functioning brain.”

“No matter what, I'd trade everything just to have a full functioning brain.”

— Former Bakersfield High School student Mitch Carter after receiving a $10.5 million settlement in June over a brain injury he suffered when a mob of students pummeled him at a pep rally.

April Massirio
Kern High School District Trustee Mike Williams, who said of kids of anti-vaxxers: “These kids, of what you could call stupid parents, could have a right to an education, and we have an obligation to protect their right to make dumb decisions.”

“These kids, of what you could call stupid parents, could have a right to an education, and we have an obligation to protect their right to make dumb decisions.”

— Kern High School District Trustee Mike Williams, on whether to provide protections to students whose parents object to immunizations.

MIKE GRIFFITH
Adam Sorokin goes wheels up off the starting line in his his semifinal race against Jim Murphy at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in March. Sorokin had to lift off the throttle to get the car to settle down, he was already a winner at that point as Murphy had a foul start. After an engine explosion and flash fire at the end of a qualifying run during the 25th annual California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in October he said: “It was engulfed in flames for a while, more than normal. It was pretty hot. It took the windshield out.”

“It was engulfed in flames for a while, more than normal. It was pretty hot. It took the windshield out.”

— Nostalgia Top Fuel driver Adam Sorokin after an engine explosion and flash fire at the end of a qualifying run during the 25th annual California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in October.

April Massirio
Kern High School District Trustee Mike Williams, who said of kids of anti-vaxxers: “These kids, of what you could call stupid parents, could have a right to an education, and we have an obligation to protect their right to make dumb decisions.”

“It has nothing to do with politics, and the idea that we’re railroading an idea through to me is just not genuine. There’s nothing political about a school board. We’re not political.”

— KHSD Trustee Mike Williams, after allowing teachers with concealed carry permits to bring guns to campus.

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