They say actions speak louder than words, but in 2018 some words were said that became quite notable across San Diego County. Take a look back at 10 quotes that made a local difference:
1. “California better hold on tight. They're about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the state of California. If the politicians in California don't want to protect their communities, then ICE will,” then-acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said on Fox News (Jan. 2).
2. “I have no pain and do my exercises every day. And have my beer. Eat my potato chips. That's about all,” said 100-year-old Matilda Curcia about the secret to a long life (March 4).
3. “We have a lousy wall over here now but at least it stops 90, 95 percent. When we put up the real wall we're going to stop 99 percent, maybe more than that,” said President Donald Trump when touring the border wall prototypes in his first official visit to San Diego (March. 13).
4. “You’re watching too much movies,” an unnamed ICE agent told an 11-year-old girl while storming her home to arrest her father (May 8).
The girl and her mother recorded the incident, both asking to see a warrant. The 11-year-old said, “We have to see the warrant,” to which the ICE agent responded with this notable quote. The agent later said, “We’ll show you the warrant when we’re done,” according to the recording.
5. “I bought a pool pump, so I could help fight the fire myself,” said Alpine resident Jeff Thomas, as the West Fire inched dangerously close to his neighborhood (July 7).
6. “I'm not resigning… I've done nothing wrong and I say bring the trial now. Let's do this,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter (Aug. 22).
Hunter was indicted on charges of using more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use in late August. He denied the claims and continued to run for re-election for California's 50th congressional district.
About a month later, Hunter made explosive remarks at a small meeting with constituents. “Why do you think you deserve to come here? The answer is you don't. Sorry that you were born in Africa or somewhere bad,” he said. Hunter managed to keep his seat, winning the election by about 10,000 votes.
7. "The fairgrounds board has lost all moral authority,” said gun rights advocate Michael Schwartz following a shooting at the Del Mar Fairgrounds before an Ice Cube concert (Sep. 4).
A gun rights group calls out the "hypocrisy" of the officials who approve events at the fairgrounds. Schwartz went on to describe Ice Cube as an artist with a history of glorifying gang culture and violence. The shooting re-sparked the debate over the location’s Crossroads of the West Gun Show, which was eventually canceled at the fairgrounds location in December.
8. “The proliferation and sale of guns and ammunition does not belong on public property,” said Rose Ann Sharpe, a Del Mar resident against the gun show (Sept. 2).
But Schwartz said that this isn’t the end, “What we’re going to do is find a new location on private property, and we’re going to make sure that the gun show continues, and that it's bigger and better.”
WARNING: this video contains graphic violence.
9. “This abuse was magnified by the leadership of the Church that placed fear of scandal and the culture of clericalism ahead of the protection of young people,” said Bishop Robert McElroy with the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego after the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury (Oct. 1).
The report implicated hundreds of Catholic clergy members of sexually abusing thousands of young victims over many decades. It detailed rape, abortions, confessions, and cover-ups. In San Diego, the local diocese held eight listening sessions to hear its community’s reactions to the report.
10. “Once in a while, they call me the mayor or the Godfather,” said Nick Pecoraro, a long-time Little Italy resident (Oct. 21).
Little Italy has its very own Godfather. The silver fox dons his dark black sunglasses, gold chain, and Italian leather shoes as he sits in front of his famous yellow house on India Street. He’s lived in that house for more than 50 years, refusing countless offers to sell, even one offer surpassing $8 million. “We are not going to sell. Not even my kids can sell this property. I have it in writing.” Pecoraro said he enjoys people and will talk to passersby from his porch on the busy street.
11. “We are not criminals! We are international workers!” chanted many migrants in the on-going caravan during a protest that ended in tear gas being thrown by border agents (Nov. 25).
The migrants were carrying hand-painted American and Honduran flags as they chanted. Agents reacted by throwing tear gas and shutting down border crossings to San Diego after some migrants attempted to get through the fencing and wire separating the two countries.
"[The Department of Homeland Security] will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons," said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. President Trump tweeted, “Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border.”
NBC 7 created a timeline of the clashes between the migrant caravan and U.S. Border Patrol agents.
1. “The police did do a sweep with a canine, and I’m sure that kind of upset the bunnies but when I got here they were fine,” said Patricia Mulcahy, Co-Chapter Manager and Treasurer at San Diego House Rabbit Society (Jan. 15).
2. "Please don’t let developers convince city council of a shiny carrot when Oceanside’s Ag community could possibly provide a larger and more long-term return through managing and protecting our agricultural resources," said singer Jason Mraz about Oceanside's potential North River Farm (Aug. 22).
Mraz made a name for himself in San Diego, and he now owns a farm in Oceanside. The plan he is against would create a 177-acre "agrivillage development," full of 700 homes, a boutique hotel, and 30 acres of farmland.
3. “Crunch, chomp.” In not so many words, Gao Gao expressed his happiness at his new home by devouring an oversized carrot (Nov. 24).
The giant panda lived at the San Diego Zoo for 15 years before he moved to the Chinese Center for Research and Conservation for the Giant Panda in China in October. The San Diego Zoo shared an adorable video of his safe arrival.