Brea Old and New: The go-to source for all things Brea and beyond!


  • Discovering Cuba – a country of contrasts

    1 year ago by

    Terri Daxon, pictured third from the left, poses with her North Orange County Chamber of Commerce group during a trip to Cuba.

    Terri Daxon, pictured third from the left, poses with her North Orange County Chamber of Commerce group during a trip to Cuba.

      It was an opportunity not to be missed: Seven days visiting Cuba before throngs of American tourists and companies invade it.

        Our group of 37, booked through five Chambers of Commerce across the country, met in Miami for our “people-to-people” Cuban visit. Seven of us came from the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce to see and experience that intriguing island, once the playground of America’s rich and famous.

          Cuba of 2016 is a muddle of contrasts and often stuck in the past. We traveled in a modern Chinese-made touring bus, but I felt like we’d entered the 19th century. Our fancy bus whizzed down the highway, passing horse-drawn wooden wagons. Other times, we’d see oxen pulling a plow, or a goat-drawn wagon. Not everyone in Cuba drives a ’52 Chevy, or a Yank Tank as the old American cars are called, and many Cubans don’t own cars.

            While I expected to see Yank Tanks, I also expected a heavy military and police presence, including armored trucks and tanks, but did not. I’ve seen heavier police presence in New York’s Times Square than in Havana. We had no restrictions where we could go, and were only advised not to photograph at airports or military facilities.

              At Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s mausoleum and museum soldiers were present. My friend and I had our photo taken with a soldier on guard. He had a small, holstered pistol, no Uzi or bullet bandolier. And he smiled for the photo. Che’s image is everywhere on buildings, T-shirts and statues, especially in Havana.

                We learned from our Cuban guide, Yarni, that only recently were Cubans allowed at the beach resorts were we stayed for a few days. But the cost is prohibitive since Cubans earn about $20 a month. Yarni’s doctor husband earns $60 a month.

                  While the beaches are postcard beautiful, valleys breathtaking, Havana’s sleek, modern structures are often next to old, crumbling buildings.

                    The Rolling Stones gave a free concert in Havana weeks before we attended a park concert where musicians played beautifully with very old instruments. Contrasts everywhere.

                      Even their currency is a contrast. Visitors use Cuban Convertible Pesos, or CUCs. Cuban nationals are often paid in both CUCs and CUPs, or Cuban Pesos. CUCs are more valuable. And American credit and debit cards are not accepted, but are expected to be soon.

                        While Cubans are still issued ration books for buying staples, and often face shortages, we were served cruise-line quality cuisine at our hotels and paladars, or family-run restaurants.

                          Our hotels had cable television with CNN, not available to the locals. Internet service is spotty, but many Cubans have cell phones and gather around a hot spot.

                            Cuba is a country of contrasts and is in transition; slowly working its way into the 21st century with friendly people who have a glimmer of hope for a more open, brighter future that I hope includes freedom of press.

                              Terri Daxon, a freelance writer, is the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at

  • Historic Timekeeper: Charlie the Clock children’s book celebrating 100 years in Brea

    1 year ago by

    Tic, Toc, where do I begin to tell the story…


        It all started when I contracted 2006 BOHS and recent CSUF grad Artist Heather Ashlyn Collins to design a fun, whimsy version of Brea’s historic icon Charlie’s Clock. I renamed it Charlie the Clock because it’s friendly and implies Charlie belongs to everyone in the community ☺

          Charlie the Clock caricature cutout was made in February 2015 just in time to celebrate Brea’s 98th birthday, with The Face of Brea contest held at Edwards Brea Stadium West 10. “It was a hit,” said West 10 GM, Stephen Moehle!

            Brea Edwards Stadium West 10 GM, Stephen Moehle and his team!

            Edwards Brea Stadium West 10 GM, Stephen Moehle, and his team!

              Charlie the Clock continued to spread awareness within the community about Brea’s upcoming centennial year in 2017, by appearing at community events and schools. For a while Charlie the Clock was on exhibit at the Brea Museum & Historical Society.

                As time was ticking away it became evident that charming Charlie the Clock was well liked and should now start telling the timeline story of Brea’s history.

                  Enter, longtime Brean Kathy Cannon. Former president of the Brea Historical society, a lover of Brea’s history and a phenomenal writer, Kathy and I will blend whimsy and education in partnering on a children’s history book featuring Charlie the Clock in time travel, celebrating 100 years in Brea. And of course, the book will come alive with eye-catching illustrations by Heather!

                    Oh and there will be community characters in the book such as Laurel Elementary Teacher Jill Berrner and former student Valeria Zavala, who made history in town last year by being named National History Day champion for California!...and did I say, yup, our local news reporter "Newsy Suzy," too!!

                      Geez--I know I said more than a mouthfull!

                        What's time traveling without interactive feedback!

                          NOW — We Need Help From You! Where should Charlie the Clock and Valeria go first? What era?

  • The 25th Annual Brea 8K Classic marks another year of success

    1 year ago by

    Brea 8k results 1444191595128

      It was another beautiful day in our city at the 25th Anniversary Brea 8k Classic. What an incredible race day, resulting in a record breaking 3,334 participants!

        The volunteers began to arrived at 3:00 a.m. at the Brea Mall and the set up process began. The course was constructed, finish line created, and the T-shirts and Goodie bags were ready!

          The sponsors arrived by 6:00 am setting up the wonderful food court and expo area. Then the fog rolled in with a crisp cool mist (which runners love by the way). Such excitement was in the air. It was the beginning of a wonderful event for families, teams, athletes, and friends.

            The participants were comprised of many age groups, who came from all over the land and met the challenge of this course. They crossed that big blue Brea 8k finish line knowing that they had succeeded once again or for the first time. It must be similar to the feeling our 8k Board members have when we finally pack up the 8k after months of preparation and put everything away for yet another year, thinking we did it! We really did, even better than last year and I can't wait till next year.

              Please join us Sunday February 26th 2017. It will definetely be another exciting year with a special weekend anniversary celebration of Brea's 100th year!

                Thank you Brea Mall and all our sponsors for another very successful event! Thank you City of Brea and our wonderful Police and Fire Dept for keeping us all safe.

                  On behalf of the Brea 8K Board , GITA (Global IT Academy), Academic Booster Club, Instrumental Music & Color Guard Boosters and Choir Music Boosters, we thank you for your continued support year after year of this wonderful fundraiser!


                      Jimini Ohler, Brea 8k Classic

                        Goodie Bag and Sponsor Chair

                          BOHS Band and Color Guard Historian

  • 25th Annual Brea 8K Classic

    1 year ago by


      Brea 8K is celebrating its 25th year! It's hard to imagine that just 68 people took to the streets in the first Brea 8K Classic. Since that small start in 1992, this race has grown into a favorite community event, one which is expected to draw over 2000 runners/walkers, 600 volunteers, and almost 100 paid and in-kind sponsors.

        This will also be our third year hosting two races, the other being the USA Track and field Masters Championships 8K which brings about 200 participants from across the nation. I have been involved since 2011 and enjoy working with this wonderful, all-volunteer board of dedicated parents and advocates.

          Many of our volunteers no longer have children benefiting directly from the proceeds of this race, but continue year after year because they feel a strong sense of satisfaction that comes from the rewards it brings to the Brea Olinda High School students. It's a wonderful group of people working together for one goal. Our support from the community is phenomenal.

            Our hosting sponsor, the Brea Mall, is fantastic and without their sponsorship, we simply would not have the same event it is today. It definitely is a heartfelt, hometown fun event focused on fitness that raises funds for enriched academic and music programs at BOHS. The focus of these groups are academic achievements, scholarships and the music arts.

              We want to thank the whole community, the Brea Olinda Unified School District and board members, the City of Brea and Brea Police Department, the many fabulous restaurants that provide food in our food court, businesses and non-profits, such as the Scouts, that support and sponsor the race every year.

                Lastly, we appreciate all the participants that come out on the last Sunday in February year after year to challenge themselves to run/walk the Brea 8K Classic through the beautiful hills of Brea. Truly, the Brea 8K is a gem in our city and something to be proud of. On behalf of the Brea 8K Board , GITA (Global IT Academy), Academic Booster Club, Instrumental Music & Color Guard Boosters and Vocal Music Boosters we thank you for your continued support.

                  Jimini Ohler

                    Brea 8K Classic

                      Where: Begins on East Birch Street and Brea Mall Road and winds through the surrounding streets.

                        When: 8 a.m. Feb. 28; 1K Fun run begins at 9:15 a.m.

                          Fees: $40 for adults 19 and older and $30 for students 18 and under; $12 for the 1K Fun Run for children 10 and under.
  • Metallica by request played Super Bowl Pre-Show

    1 year ago by

      1981 BOHS grad and Metallica guitarist and lead singer, James Hetfield performs at Super Bowl 50 pre-show concert at AT&T Park. (Courtesy of Daniel Hale)

      1981 BOHS grad and Metallica guitarist and lead singer - James Hetfield - performs at Super Bowl 50 pre-show concert at AT&T Park. (Courtesy of Daniel Hale)

      James Hetfield joins his family to celebrate half brother, Daniel Hale's retirement party. (Courtesy of Daniel Hale)

      All smiles, James and Francesca Hetfield along with their children and family members strike a pose in celebration of James half brother, David Hale's retirement party. (Courtesy of Hale family)

        1981 BOHS grad James Hetfield, co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, main songwriter and lyricist for the American heavy metal band Metallica, played at the pre-Super Bowl festivities held at AT&T Park, Febuary 6, the night before the big game. All thanks to Metallica's devoted fan base!

          Jason Long, staunch fan of Metallica, started a petition to get the American pioneers of Rock, and one of the most popular bands in the San Francisco area, to be the musical act for Super Bowl 50. His petition started with a single signature, which garnered 63,925 supporters!

            Though Coldplay got the primetime show, Metallica played CBS Radio’s “The Night Before” concert-- captivating their fans with a two-and-a-half long set!

              In a December 2015 interview with, James relayed that he's not retiring anytime soon and is working on a new album. James and his family recently made the trek into town to celebrate the retirement of his half brother, David Hale.

  • Centennial Celebration Honoring the People of Brea – Rex D. Gaede

    1 year ago by


      By Rex D. Gaede
      Rex D. Gaede, former school board and former mayor.

      Rex D. Gaede, former school board president and former mayor.

            In 1969, nearly fifty years ago, I entered the public service in Brea as an elected and later re-elected school board member of the then newly established Brea Olinda Unified School District, which had recently replaced the former separate high school, elementary schools, and Olinda school boards. Over the next six years we organized and developed a contemporary and united education program for the children of Brea including the addition of Fanning Elementary School to the system, providing separate temporary district offices on the high school property, participating with the city in their sister city program with Lagos De Moreno, Mexico and improving the positive outcomes of the business and educational functions of a growing school district. As president of the district board on behalf of the common interests of the district, I advanced a close relationship with the city as they began planning for a futuristic civic center designed to accommodate both city and district offices and other related activities within a single complex.

          In 1975, I was appointed and later elected to the Brea City Council. I joined the city team in their final financial requirements, plans and eventual construction of a shared site featuring a large retail complex, the Brea Mall, and additional space for housing local governments and related community services at the Brea Civic Center. On September 28, 1977, as mayor of Brea, I had the honor of representing the city and the people of Brea at the opening ceremony of the mall.

            In 1978, upon being appointed to the Orange County Planning Commission, I was required to resign from the Brea City Council after serving the community for ten years and taking part in the history of the first major growth of the schools and the city in the modern era.

  • Bang! The Curtis Theatre presents Bonnie & Clyde

    1 year ago by

    Trevor Shor and Courtney Daniels in Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical at the Brea Curtis Theatre.

    Trevor Shor and Courtney Daniels in Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical at the Brea Curtis Theatre.

      The notorious Bonnie & Clyde, known for their crime, adventure, and love story, making the characters appealing and the story intriguing, will lure you into the Curtis Theatre to see the musical Bonnie & Clyde, which opens Friday, February 5, and runs for three weeks, closing Saturday, February 20.

        The show will be performed with a seven-piece orchestra; and will feature Brea Olinda grad and former BOHS Choir member, Taiana Alvarez, as well as a stellar cast from all parts of Orange County. The compelling musical combines the monumental sound of Broadway with blues, gospel, country and rockabilly in a score that celebrates the roots of American music and history.

          Shows are at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. Get an adult ticket for only $25 by using the code: WANTED. A special preview performance on Friday, February 5, offers tickets for only $15. Attend the Opening Night Gala Saturday, February 6, and enjoy pre-show refreshments and a post-show reception.

            Regular price adult tickets are $30, seniors: $27 and children: $24. The Curtis Theatre Box Office is located at 1 Civic Center Circle in Brea. Hours are from noon - 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and one hour prior to shows. Phone orders are accepted at (714) 990-7722 or, you can place an online order at the

  • BOHS Drumline treated to a day at NAMM

    1 year ago by

    Christopher Halon and Jay Wanamaker in the middle of the group. Courtesy Jimini Ohler.

    BOHS Drum Line students with Vice President of Marketing at Roland Corporation U.S., Christopher Halon, and President of U.S. Roland Corporation, Jay Wanamaker in the middle. Courtesy of Jimini Ohler.

    Left side: Tony T Nyugen instructor with the BOHS Drum Line students. Courtesy Jimini Ohler.

    Left side: Tony T. Nyugen instructor with BOHS Drum Line group. Courtesy Jimini Ohler.

    The 2016 Winter Drumline was excited to receive the invitation from Roland Corporation to attend the 2016 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants Trade Show) this past Saturday January 24th. Christopher Halon, vice president of marketing for Roland Corporation, has a son in the program and was happy to invite these great students. He was excited to plan the outing for the BOHS drumeline students because of all the vendors and instruments they would get to see related to percussion and music.

      BOHS Band Percussion Instructor Tony T. Nguyen planned the event along with Mr. Halon to have the entire drumline group attend with donated t-shirts and passes for the day.

        Tony was excited to give his students the opportunity to see the music trade show and how the industry has so much to offer with the different career's in music out there. A total of 26 students attended and were able to meet the President of U.S. Roland, Jay Wanamaker.

          The percussion and drum-line are fortunate to have such a committed Band Director, Joseph A Bartell, dedicated instructors like Tony, and parent volunteers. They are excited about their upcoming season of indoor drumline competition scheduled to start March 5th in San Diego. This season is sure to be one to remember with the purchase of three new large front ensemble instruments to accommodate the growing group along with a new floor mat, uniforms and drum wraps to match the theme, purchased by the BOHS Band and Color Guard Boosters.

            Stay tuned for an update this spring as we see what these dedicated students accomplish. Thank you Roland Corporation and Mr Christopher Halon.

              Jimini Ohler

                Mom, band booster Board member, and Historian.

  • 2015-2016 PTA Reflections Program creative results!

    2 years ago by

    Helen Newland and Rosemary Kleiser co-chaired the Brea PTA Reflections program. The contest is a national arts competition. Winners were awarded a medal and certificate.

    Some of the award winners of the Reflections PTA contest included (left to right) Devin Hall, photography, Dominique Chen, literature, and Alexander Telly, film.(Courtesy Rosemary Kleiser)

    Some of the award winners of the Reflections PTA contest included (left to right) Devin Hall, photography, Dominique Chen, literature, and Alexander Telly, film.(Courtesy Rosemary Kleiser)

      “The PTA Reflections theme this year is Let Your Imagination Fly,” Helen said. “Wow, did the students from Arovista Elementary, Brea Country Hills Elementary, Brea Junior High, Brea Olinda High School, Laurel Elementary, Mariposa Elementary and William E. Fanning Elementary do just that.”

        Some 171 students entered the judged contest, which includes arts from dance choreography and film production to literature and visual arts.

          “It was a wonderful way students could express their talents and imagination,” Rosemary said. She thanked Brea Woods seniors who were the judges.

            Winners included Lexi Alives, Evelyn Burt, Dominique Chen, Nathan Doh, Devin Hall, Si Woo Kim, Alexander Telly and Nolan Witt.

              Honorable mentions went to Steve Clark, Andrew Gandora, Esmeralda Garcia, Danielle Kim, Novelly Torres and Dominique Zenzola.

                Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at 714-529-8561 or email her at

  • A Brea Christmas Fable

    2 years ago by

    This is a Christmas fable. A story about something that, maybe in another world or another time, could be true.  We may never know the truth behind the myth...


    many Christmases ago, when the Gabrielino Indians and Spanish settlers were calling the La Habra Valley home, the Gabrielinos told stories of a star that fell from the night sky and bathed the Valley in a soft glow. Few Spanish settlers had actually witnessed the event, and those that did rarely spoke of it, lest they would endure the taunts of disbelief from their neighbors and friends.

    Many Christmases passed and the story became legend...the legend became lore...and just as the lore was turning to myth, the hills above the valley were once again bathed in a luminous light. The Basque shepherds, who had since claimed the hillsides for their sheep, were the first to see the glowing arc. Farmers in the valley, who were out late tending their fields, could only gaze in awe at the receding glitter of the path in the sky.

    They watched it fall; farmers and shepherds alike. Hearing it land somewhere in the hills with an imaginary softness they only heard in their minds. Surely something so radiant, so beautiful could make only a hushed sound that would barely disturb the slumber of hare or deer.

    The hills glowed throughout the night, and the next morning dawned a clear and crisp Christmas Day. Some of the shepherds and farmers who had witnessed the event trudged to the area they had seen glow. Either daylight camouflaged the unearthly light, or it had dissipated overnight, but neither shepherd nor farmer could find the place where the piece of star had landed. Later, the families in the valley gathered to celebrate the Christmas holiday, but nary a thought nor word did not refer, somehow, to the marvel that had streaked over the sky the night before.

    Many more Christmases passed, while more settlers moved into the La Habra Valley. The hills presided over the homesteads at Petrolia, Olinda, Puente Wells, Randolph, and finally, Brea. Shepherds and farmers gave way to orchards and oilfields. The town became a city and Brea became a thriving home for families of citrus growers and oil workers.

    The riggers were working late one Christmas Eve; the derricks like giant monoliths against the velvet darkness of the night sky. Suddenly, shouts went up from the men as the valley was lit from above by a brilliant light streaking across the sky. Some of the riggers had heard stories of stars falling from the heavens and setting the hills aglow. Could this be happening again?

    Weary eyes became bright with wonder as they watched, following a necklace of starlight as it silently drew its dividing line in the sky.

    Someone shouted, "It's coming down!", and they watched as it came closer. Some of the men began scrambling down from the derricks, ready to run to where it landed...or from it. Then, the valley heard a muffled clatter. A curious noise that it hadn't heard before. The riggers began the race towards the glow in the hills, to where the clatter occurred. The first to reach it could scarcely believe their eyes. The jackhouse above Olinda was softly glowing from the inside. And a bright column of light erupted from the roof, where the piece of star had crashed through. Stunned, the old wildcatters stood and watched as the piercing light became less intense, and then slowly began to fade until, finally, the darkness was complete again and the wondrous sight began to become a memory.

    The following morning, in the light of Christmas Day, some of the more courageous went up to the jackhouse to survey the damage or maybe just to see if what they had witnessed was real. What happened was clear. Even today, the jackhouse still bears its own memory of that night, so many Christmases ago, when the valley heard a clatter and witnessed a glow in the sky.

    This is a fable, based only on conjecture and imagination. But, no one knows how the hole in the roof of the jackhouse happened...