Quotes of the week
"For those legislators who are enamored with the shiny object (of) expanding gaming in Illinois, that has to wait until we get the important priority of pension reform done. If we don't buckle down and focus on pension reform, we will truly regret it. We really need to keep everybody's attention on public pension reform in these next 11 days. There can be no real advance on gaming and all that, unless we do pension reform."
— Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, warning state legislators that their most important duty is to pass legislation addressing the state's public pension woes before the May 31 recess.
"It's a mystery to me. If it were my world, there would be 30 people at a football game and 70,000 at a Donnie Heitler show."
— Mark Rubel, a local musician, teacher and studio producer, lamenting the fact that talented local musicians don't draw big audiences. The 55-year-old Rubel will be moving to Nashville, Tenn., this summer.
"We are at the mercy of Mother Nature. If we have lots of rain, that's not good for doing things like pouring concrete and laying tile."
— Dana Mancuso, a spokeswoman for the Urbana Park District, discussing delays in the construction of the new $9.1 million Crystal Lake Pool. The target date for the pool's opening is June 20.
"When you consider the levels of charity care and community benefit, the economic impact of jobs and local spending, and the effect of thousands of people visiting our community each year for health care services, the total benefit to the community far outweighs the property tax exemptions. That's the true Carle effect."
— Carle Hospital chairman Phil Blankenburg, responding to criticism from Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing because the hospital's property tax bill is canceled out by the charity medical care it provides. Prussing has used the phrase "Carle effect" to describe the loss of property tax income from Carle on the city's budget.
"They made us pick a sport we could play with each other so we couldn't get bored."
— University of Illinois tennis player Melissa Kopinski, recalling how her parents, Jan and Zofia Kopinski, insisted that she and her twin brother, Tim, both learn to play tennis. Now the sophomores both play for the UI's men's and women's tennis teams and competed this week in the NCAA Championships at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.
"Oh, my gosh. Isn't it crazy?"
— UI graduate Bridget Evans, reacting to the Internet sensation caused by a graduation photograph of her and her service dog, Hero. Evans and Hero, a 6-year-old chocolate Lab, both clad in graduation caps and gowns, participated in graduation ceremonies. A photograph of them was posted online and quickly captured nationwide attention.