"It's exciting to be back because you...

"It's exciting to be back because you get to see your friends and new teachers. You get tired [of summer vacation]."

Vanuhi Khdryan, an eighth-grader at Toll Middle School, on returning to school this week.

"Everyone has had a really good attitude, and there's been a really collaborative spirit out there."

—Glendale Unified spokeswoman Elena Heimerl on the district's first day of school, which had been complicated by staffing and budget constraints.

"We all care, and I really thought this was important."

—White Elementary School fifth-grader Lilia Vasghanian said after state Supt. Jack O'Connell and Glendale Unified officials called on state leaders to release emergency federal funding to school districts.

"We've enacted regulations that will restrict sales to youth and give us cleaner air, but because we still have a lot of smokers in the city, they've actually come to the city to ask for help because they don't know where to turn."

Guadulesa Rivera, a community advocate for Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

"It's a great bill, and we are very excited it got through with such bipartisan support. Let's hope the governor signs it."

— Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) on legislation he cosponsored that would offer tax breaks for properties damaged during natural disasters.

"It turned into something much larger. It was really raised to the international level."

— Mayor Ara Najarian on a recent weeklong visit to Glendale's Korean sister city where he was courted by both frontrunners in the nation's upcoming presidential election.

"We have many artists in our community and many arts organizations in our community … but it hasn't been a city priority. It has been important to me to help make that change."

— City Councilman John Drayman.

"I am so pleased and proud of their efforts because it wasn't an easy road to follow. Certainly along the way, they encountered denial and even some degree of resentment for going down that path, but yet these community leaders believed in the information that our police officers were generating and they made an accurate assessment to the potential risk to the community and the community's youth and they decided to do something about it."

—Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa of the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition receiving a five-year federal grant.

"Our debris basins are a vital component of our system. They serve as the first line of defense protecting communities from mudslides and debris flows."

— Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich on the recent to move to expand foothill-area debris basins.

"I was shouting in my helmet. I was pretty excited."

Rachel Keown, a Harley-Davidson of Glendale worker who broke the speed record for a 1,000 cc motorcycle at Bonneville Salt Flats.

"I dipped into savings, dipped into checking, then kept dipping til there was no more dipping to be done."

— Former Glendale resident Alexandra Kael on the financial hardship that forced her to sell her home for less than she paid for it in an increasingly common short sale.

"What was most horrifying was to hear, 'Ma'am, you have to get ready for the mudflow.'"

Janet Blake of La Crescenta, recalling the aftermath of the Station fire during a community brush-clearing effort Aug. 28.

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