"I was saddened and horrified by that car crash with the four teens. We're relative newcomers to New Mexico and, while we love many things about living here, DWI is a continuing and persistent and ugly problem. When young people's lives are taken in an instant, it's just devastating…Can I have two? We were delighted that Cormac McCarthy's vintage Olivetti typewriter sold at Christie's for [$254,500], and the proceeds are coming to the Santa Fe Institute.
—Valerie Plame Wilson, development and community relations consultant for the Santa Fe Institute

"Definitely the purchase of the College of Santa Fe. This will have more impact on our future in a positive way than anything that happened this year."
—Santa Fe City Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger

"The College of Santa Fe: its imminent demise and then the City of Santa Fe purchasing it. It was interesting to see a group of students who were so committed to the school, who didn't want to see its demise and were so active in the community too. I'm grateful the City of Santa Fe stepped in."
—Vicki Pozzebon, executive director of the Santa Fe Alliance

"All the effort that went into and culminated in saving the College of Santa Fe. I think it's particularly important not only because of the historical value of that educational institution in Santa Fe, but because of the way culture and arts play on that campus [and] the fact that the Santa Fe Art Institute is there too."
—Estevan Rael-Gálvez, director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center

"The budget situation. It's just affecting everyone in the state, no matter what area you live in, at a very personal level. It's giving us an impetus to be creative and do things in new and more cost-effective ways, but certainly we're all noticing the crunch."
—Sheila Ortego, president of Santa Fe Community College

"The virtual collapse of the speculative home construction market. It's just gone. That has a huge impact on our general economy."
—Kim Shanahan, executive officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association

"It was a story that would not go away: how the Great Recession has changed our lives…Locally, businesses, governments and the nonprofit sector have all had to reassess their priorities."
—Fred Nathan, executive director of Think New Mexico

"The economy is a universal challenge. Unemployment has more than doubled, the construction industry and the real estate industry and the mortgage industry have all been hit very severely and, to a lesser, extent tourism. I think you can talk to practically any businessperson in Santa Fe and they will have had a difficult year…"
—Simon Brackley, president and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce

"The opening of the New Mexico History Museum was the realization of a dream. Our museums have visitation of about 75 percent out-of-state and 25 percent in-state and, with the history museum, those numbers were reversed because New Mexicans were so interested in having this museum open and their story interpreted."
—Stuart Ashman, New Mexico secretary of cultural affairs

"Getting through tough economic times with grace. A bad economy gives you an excuse for bad behavior, but I feel like people have tried to offset that and still be present for people and mindful of situations. It's a daily thing. When just people are worried about their jobs or have less income or can't do the things they used to do: That's when you have to step up to the plate and be your better self."
—Robert Martin, executive director of the Lensic Performing Arts Center

"The biggest sleeper story of 2009: The city, on one hand, was doing this great cistern rebate program, but they weren't really talking to those in the Land Use Department who were basically preventing cistern [installation by requiring use of a licensed plumber]. It's already very expensive to install a cistern, and people are already very worried about their money, so to bring in plumbers at their $85-an-hour wages as opposed to cistern guys, who are paid more like landscapers, would've been prohibitively expensive. [The license is no longer required, Downey says, and the rebate program starts Jan. 1, 2010.]
—Nate Downey, president and owner of Santa Fe Permaculture

"The non-stories that keep being non-stories. There's a whole segment of the population that continually gets ignored, a whole group of kids struggling every day now in a community that's clearly designed for old people. [We don't] talk about what it is to grow up in a town where your high school fails you, you get in trouble, and then you have a neck tattoo and a felony—try and get a job when someone who has a master's degree is trying to get that job! There's all this talk about how [to] save our economy. Let's look at the most neglected piece: who we're going to be relying on in 10 years."
—Daniel Werwath, resource development manager of The Housing Trust