Brea Old and New: The go-to source for "All things Brea"!

City Guide

  • Brea’s First Children’s Book: Whimsy Centennial History Lesson

    1 year ago by

    I’m bursting with excitement as I write this update about Brea’s timely project, the city’s 1st children’s book featuring historic icon Charlie’s Clock aka "Charlie the Clock" in time travel – celebrating 100 years in Brea!


      Charlie the Clock as drawn by Illustrator, Heather Ashlyn Collins, 2006 BOHS grad and recent CSUF grad.

      "Charlie the Clock" as drawn by Illustrator, Heather Ashlyn Collins, 2006 BOHS grad and recent CSUF grad.


        Not only will this whimsy book serve as a learning tool in getting children interested in history, but also it will inspire the young at heart!

          Team "Charlie the Clock" is an independent project consisting of three book team members, community collaboration for book sub-projects, along with a whole lot of support from educators, and people in the the City of Brea and beyond! Thank you all!

            There will be community book characters such as many BOUSD grade school children! How cute is that!

              The book team members:

                Teresa Hampson author of Brea: Celebrating 75 Years is the author.

                  Heather Ashlyn Collins, 2006 BOHS and recent CSUF grad, who drew Charlie the Clock caricature, is the illustrator

                    And I am serving as the creative director and production manager.

                      When completed, we hope you will enjoy it and treasure it for years to come, as its takes a village and patience in producing a noteworthy wonderful project.

                        Team "Charlie the Clock" magical details to come soon!

  • Ode to the days of Brea Police Posse

    1 year ago by

    Giddy up! Born in the Old West, let's take a trot down Brea Pd's memory lane!

    Shown collectible and rare, Brea police posse badges.  Courtesy of  Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer

    Shown are Brea police posse badges, collectible and rare. Courtesy of Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer


      Founded in 1956 with eight members, the City of Brea had a police posse comprised of academy volunteers. The members were deputized if necessary, 21 years or older, possessed a horse and a trailer, and were either residents of Brea or neighboring cities.

        These men were dedicated to serve undergoing a rigid screening process by the governing board, after receiving approval from the police department.

          img_1612 They possessed the utmost horsemanship and marksmanship skills, purchasing their own uniforms and gear to get the job done. The members were skilled in first aid and required to respond 24/7 if needed.

            Separately charted and self-governed, the group worked closely with the Brea PD in coordinating functions such as search and rescue and assisting with traffic problems. They partook in monthly meetings and three shoots a year. Among other activities, they participated in the City of Brea 4th of July parades. And held social ride get-togethers once a month.

              But it wasn't always pleasant as these posse riders were ready for alarming situations such as in 1968, when Officer Nelson Sasscer, a Santa Ana police officer was killed while stopping a motorist. Posse members were summoned to assist in searching the canyons for the suspect’s car, which went out of control when the driver abruptly exited while being chased by Brea Police Officer, Jim Smith.

                According to Brea PD Officer Jason Celmer, police historian, the Posse ceased being an active element at the PD in the late 70’s/early 80’s.

                  Three photos of Police Posse member, Shannon Barnes, were sent to Officer Celmer from Shannon’s daughter-in-law Cecelia along with the News Tribune article titled, “Police Posse Seeks Members.” Courtesy of Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer

                  Three photos of Police Posse member, Shannon Barnes, were sent to Officer Celmer from Shannon’s daughter-in-law Cecelia along with the News Tribune article titled, “Police Posse Seeks Members.” Courtesy of Brea PD historian, Officer Celmer


                    Celmer is reaching out and asking anyone who has any items related to the history of Brea PD in their possession, and would like to donate them, to please contact him via email at JasonC@ci.brea.ca.us. Celmer notes: of particular interest related to this article would be the Badge, and the Brea PD horse blanket that is just barely visible beneath Shannon’s saddle in the close up photo.

                      Taylor, Dave "Police Posse Seeks Members" News Tribune September 1972

  • Country Hills Elementary 2nd Annual Color Run Fundraiser

    1 year ago by

    Country Hills Elementary School PTA's 1st Annual Color Run Fundraiser. Principal Trish Walsh poses as "The Face of Brea" with many of her students!! Charlie the Clock cutout is invited to the 2nd Annual Color Run Fundraiser!

    Country Hills Elementary
    School PTA's 1st Annual Color Run Fundraiser. Principal Trish Walsh poses as "The Face of Brea" with many of her students!! Charlie the Clock caricature cutout is invited to the 2nd Annual Color Run Fundraiser!


      Country Hills Elementary School PTA's 2nd Annual Color Run Fundraiser will be roaring fun on Friday, October 28, 2016. 100% of the proceeds will be used for the enrichment of every student in our school. The event is the school's biggest fundraiser of the year, supporting the PTA operating budget that includes, but is not limited to, art programs, music programs, assemblies, field trips, etc. Our school goal this year is to raise $25,000.

        The Color Run is not a race; it is a fun, fitness-oriented event at which all students may participate. TK through 2nd grade have a 15 minute heat beginning at 9:30am. 3rd through 6th grade have a 20 minute heat beginning at 10am. Aside from helping our school, there are many incredible prizes to be won! Go Cougars!

          Country Hills Elementary School -- Principal Trish Walsh

  • Brea PD Historian, Officer Celmer, to share historical collection with BBON

    1 year ago by

    Who knew Brea has a police historian? Officer Jason Celmer, the historian for Brea PD, preceded Officer Dennis Gray when he retired.


      Many of you longtime residents of Brea may know Jason Celmer, as his family has been residing in the city for many decades. Celmer attended Montessori of Brea, followed by Arovisita Elemenary School, Brea Junior High, and Brea Olinda High School, graduating in 1993. BOHS Class of 1993 was the first class to complete all four years at the new high school located on Wildcat Way, said Celmer.

        Can you find Officer Jason Celmer? In the picture dating back to February 17, 1996, Celmer poses along with fellow Brea Cadet Tac team. Courtesy of Jason Celmer.

        Can you find Officer Jason Celmer? In the picture dating back to February 17, 1996, Celmer poses along with fellow Brea PD Tac Team. Courtesy of Jason Celmer.


          While talking to Celmer at the police station in his office, he was taking down memory lane reminiscing about orange groves, old Brea Downtown with one lane in each direction, and the unique downtown Chinese themed Red Lantern Theater, which opened in 1922 and closed in the 1970’s.

            In his early teens, his longtime career with the city began 27 years ago working as a basketball coach in the community services division at the age of 15 1/2 years old. Current Assistant City Manager, Chris Emeterio, who is also a longtime Brean, hired him. Nineteen of those years, he has served as a Brea PD officer, hired in January of 1997.

              “I’ve been self-described a history geek my entire life.” chuckled Celmer. I especially enjoy touching history and going places and seeing things where I can lay my hands on it and be in the places,’’ he said.

                His predecessor, former Officer Gray, who lives nearby in Fullerton, often connect regarding police memorabilia. Way back then, Gray started writing history for the Brea PD, storing a lot of information. His history flyers are still given out, though not up-to-date, because his collection of history stopped in 2001-2002 when Gray retired, according to Celmer. “Everything that I have been trying to save for the last 10 or 15 years are things that he collected and essentially left to me, as being the local person who was interested in history,” replied Celmer.

                  Celmer became the go-to person taking over Gray’s presentations in the citizen’s academy for the department of history. He receives emails containing historical information; people drop things off at the front desk such as a retiree’s 1960’s badge, from the family of Chief Atkins. He also works with organizations such as the Brea Historical Society when they contact him.

                    Bin of Brea PD police memorabilia. Courtesy Jason Celmer.

                    Bin of Brea PD police memorabilia. Courtesy Jason Celmer.


                      Something’s are unidentifiable. On top of the memorabilia pile seen in his office, lays a wood frame of an unknown officer posed in front of a house. Celmer said, “Nobody on staff knows who is it.” There is not a description on the photograph, but he and his fellow officers figure it can be traced back to the 1940’s.

                        Celmer is very busy. He is the president of Brea PD Association and also the department’s liaison for the Brea PD Alumni, which he refers to as the “Old Fogies,” saying some of them don’t mind the title.

                          Although he wears many hats, he still manages his time well and is trying his best to carry the torch in preserving Brea PD's rich history.

                            A fun spirited person, it will be an honor and joy working with Officer Celmer in sharing our police department's history--as we celebrate 100 years in 2017!

  • Mother’s Market Brea to Celebrate 5-year Anniversary

    1 year ago by

    MMKlogo We Love Brea Businesses anniversary milestone parties!


      Put another candle on the birthday cake -- as Mother’s Market & Kitchen’s Brea store located at 413 S. Associated Rd. will be celebrating its 5th year anniversary this Saturday, September 17 from 10a.m.-1p.m.

        There will be FREE samples from Mother’s popular juice bar and deli will be served in addition to a celebration cake from their bakery! Several vendors will be on hand offering samples of the latest products as well.

          There will also be a drawing for giveaways, including various gift baskets and Mother’s gift cards.

            Free admission—Lots of Fun!!

  • Brea Kiwanis Club’s back-to-school shopping gets an A

    1 year ago by

    I love shoes and remember going shoe shopping with my mom and begging to wear the new pair home.


      I liked nothing better than seeing my old shoes placed in the box and looking down at the new pair on my feet. Pure joy for a 9-year-old.

        But there are kids in our community who don’t often have brand new pair of shoes, nor many clothes that are not hand-me-downs or thrift store bargains. No joy in that.

          But joy comes to the kids who are chosen by their school principals to partake in the Brea Kiwanis’ annual back-to-school shopping trip at JC Penney in the Brea Mall.

            Since 1998, the Brea Kiwanis Club has partnered with JC Penney ll to offer a special Saturday morning back to school shopping trip. Last year, Soroptimist of Brea/La Habra, of which I am a member, also donated funds and volunteers to help shop, as did Placentia Kiwanians. We all shopped for 64 children.

              This year, through funds raised by the Kiwanis, Soroptimist, Brea Citizens Bank and La Floresta/Chevron, about 70 children are receiving new clothes and shoes.

                The parents are not allowed into the store, but there is seating for them in the lower level parking structure. JC Penney even provides coffee and doughnuts.

                  Prior to the big shopping day, the children are given a letter for their parents explaining the program, a list to be filled out regarding sizes and colors for the child. Clothing bought can only be exchanged in the child’s size, not refunded.

                    Each child will have a shopper from the Kiwanis or Soroptimist or the Kiwanis’ Brea Olinda High Key Club, who will shop the children’s department with them and have $100 per child to spend.

                      I was a shopper last year and shopped with two different children. First was a 9-year old boy who headed first for the $75 famous name shoes. I guided him away from them and to the jeans, shirts and socks, where our $100 could go farther. He picked out some clothes he liked and Mom would approve of, and then we headed to the sale shoes where he found famous name shoes within our budget that fit and he loved. We had enough left over for new undies and pajamas too. Of course, if JC Penney had not put nearly everything in the children’s departments on sale, that $100 would not have gone as far.

                        Not only will lots of cool clothes be on sale, but the JC Penney’s staff work on their own time, and many of them prior to their regular Saturday shift. “Penney’s staff raise money themselves and donate to us to help more children,” said Dean Hall, Brea Kiwanis president, “this year they raised $500 for five children.”

                          Next Sept. 10 will be another Kiwanis’ back to school shopping morning at JC Penney. I can’t wait.

                            Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at daxoncomm@earthlink.net.

  • Full STEAM ahead: Brea district’s first magnet school nearly ready to open

    1 year ago by

    By Principal Heather Bojorquez of Laurel Elementary Magnet School of Innovation and Career Exploration


      Laurel Elementary gets a little TLC over the summer.

      Laurel Elementary gets a little TLC over the summer. Photo via Laurel Leopards Instagram account.


        Big things continue to happen in Brea and I couldn’t be happier to write about the opening of Brea Olinda Unified School District’s very first magnet school this fall. For nearly 95 years, Laurel School has been providing elementary education to students in Brea and this summer it is currently undergoing a an exciting transformation! This August, Laurel will reopen its doors as The Laurel Elementary Magnet School of Innovation and Career Exploration (I.C.E.).

          A magnet school is a public school with specialized courses or curricula. "Magnet" schools draw students from across the school boundaries, meaning the school is open to enrollment (pending space availability) to all families who reside in Brea and surrounding communities. Opening a magnet school has been an ongoing discussion amongst the school board and District for the past few years and we are thrilled to see the vision come to life!

            Just as its new name implies, Laurel Elementary Magnet School will emphasize innovation and career exploration. Brea schools are one of the strongest community assets the city of Brea has to offer our businesses, and we invite our community to have a part in the education and programming we provide to Laurel students. That being said, a main focus of the Laurel Elementary Magnet school will be partnerships with local businesses. Brea business leaders will sponsor classrooms and provide students the opportunity to solve real world problems that affect their industries and employees. Equally exciting, additional areas of focus for the school will include 1:1 technology for all students and project-based S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) lessons. Curriculum will be centered around a “hands-on, minds-on” learning approach to help give students the tools they need to address real world issues affecting them in the 21st century and beyond.

              Laurel teachers at work creating lessons for new Magnet school's intercommunication.

              Laurel teachers hard at work creating lessons for new magnet school. Photo via Laurel Leopards Instagram account.


                So far this summer, our dedicated teaching staff have put in hours of professional development working together as a collaborative team to build and develop student centered lessons. Additionally, the process to improve the overall appearance of campus has begun. Students will return to a freshly painted building, new asphalt on the upper playground, and we are most excited about the new flexible furniture that will allow for easy grouping and changing of the traditional classroom to mirror a collaborative work environment.

                  I am elated to be part of the Laurel Elementary Magnet School of I.C.E. community and am humbled and honored to hold the position of principal. My vision is to see students leave our school with an understanding of who they are, what they bring, and the limitless potential they have to impact the world. At Laurel, or students will explore, innovate, and create!

                    We have an amazing school community, knowledgeable and invested teachers, hard-working and caring support staff, dedicated and supportive families. On behalf of the entire Laurel Elementary Magnet School of I.C.E. family, we look forward to making this a successful inaugural year!

                      To learn more about Laurel Elementary Magnet School, please visit BOUSD website.

  • At last, new downtown parking structure coming soon

    1 year ago by

    Finally we can look forward to having ample packing in the Super Block 1 lot downtown between the old Tower Records building and Taps Fish House & Brewery.


      Construction on the long-awaited and urgently needed parking structure is scheduled to begin in late September.

        The cost for the design, engineering and construction is $10.3 million, not $12 million as previously estimated.

          Funding is coming from the city’s Fixed Asset and Replacement Fund, the Community Benefit and Economic Fund, proceeds from a 2011 bond, a $3.9 million loan from the landfill mitigation fund and a $2.9 million loan from the General Fund. No taxes will, or can, be raised to pay for the parking structure, and the money loaned from the landfill mitigation funds and the general fund are to be repaid.

            The structure would have cost much, much less if back in the 1990s the council had listened to Councilman Roy Moore who envisioned the future need of a parking structure on the eastside of Brea Boulevard.

              According to David Crabtree, Brea’s community development director, the construction of the four-level, 478-space garage will take about a year, and the entire parking lot will be fenced off during that time. Ouch.

                After the parking lot becomes a construction zone, there will be challenges for the Super Block 1 businesses, including Lillie’s Q, Buffalo Wild Wings, the military recruitment offices and Taps, which will all remain open for business, so do patronize them. Valet parking will be available.

                  What will not be available is Brea Downtown’s popular Jazz Festival.

                    Said major downtown property owner, Dwight Manley via email, “The Brea Downtown Owners Association has suspended the Jazz Festival due to the parking lot closure, as well as the money the BDOA is spending to subsidize the valet during that period.”

                      The Brea Downtown Owners Association and the valet company are finalizing a plan offering lower valet rates during the parking lot closure, thanks to the association’s subsidization. That plan will soon be submitted to the city for approval.

                        Crabtree said the valets would park cars at the Gaslight Center, in Super Block 2 and other spots in the downtown.

                          The building of parking structure, however, will not be the only construction zone in the downtown at that time. Manley said Old Navy will be leaving in January, and the new Improv’s construction on that site should begin in February 2017.

                            Maybe when Old Navy is demolished, the wrecking ball will swing wide and take down the very tired-looking Tower building. It has had only temporary renters since Tower Records and Books shut down in 2005. It was a showcase building back then, but not now. And it will only look worse across the street from the razzle-dazzle Improv Entertainment Center with two showrooms, fine dining spots and all the amenities to make it an entertainment destination. Surely it will attract other entertainment venues and new restaurants to the downtown.

                              All the construction will be a pain, but worth celebrating once it is done. Can’t wait.

                                Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications.

  • Brea’s centennial year will kickoff with a parade and picnic

    2 years ago by

    Centennial Countdown Update:


      To say the least, it's a process to plan a centennial celebration. Seven cities in Orange County have successfully executed their anniversary year. Twenty-six cities will follow us. 


        Our centennial kickoff will begin with a parade and picnic on Saturday, February 18, 2017.

          The plan is to bring the community together for a family-oriented fun day involving the whole town including hometown celebrities!

             Photo: From the Jones Family Collection
 Source-Brea: Celebrating 75 Years



            Photo: From the Jones Family Collection

            Source-Brea: Celebrating 75 Years



              1969 BOHS grad and 1976 Cy Young Award Winning Padres pitcher, Randy Jones aka "Junkman," will be back in town to participate!

                The parade will begin mid-morning at Birch Street and Associated Road, and end at Brea's Sports Park where Randy Jones' bronze plaque is hung on a wall among Brea's distinguished athletes. More to come!

  • Scouts honored for saving friend’s life after sudden cardiac arrest

    2 years ago by

    Brea


      Three Brea Eagle Scouts from Troop 801 helped save a life.

        The Brea City Council recently honored Eagle Scouts from Troop 801, second from left, Blake Wilson, Blake Perez, and John Evert, shown with Daniel Medina, left.

        The Brea City Council recently honored Eagle Scouts from Troop 801, second from left, Blake Wilson, Blake Perez, and John Evert, shown with Daniel Medina, left.

        Debbie Medina mother of Daniel Medina loves to tell the story of how the brave Scouts saved the life of her 25-year-old son, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest.

          Debbie Medina said her son collapsed at home in the kitchen at 8:30 p.m. February 28.

            "One of his friends heard a thump and approached the kitchen, finding Daniel face down on the kitchen floor," she said. "My husband and I were not home at the time. His friend quickly yelled for the other two friends who were watching TV in the living room, called 911, and with direction from the 911 operator, Tammy Ramsey, began CPR."

              Daniel was taken by ambulance to St. Jude Medical Center, where he was put on a ventilator, and into an induced coma.

                "The doctors in ICU said on several occasions that these brave and courageous young men saved our son’s life," said Debie Medina. We did find out all three young men are Eagle Scouts and one has taken the EMT training course. Again a miracle."

                  About 350,000 people go into sudden cardiac arrest each year, according to the American Heart Association. Of those, only 1 percent to 2 percent survive, and some with significant brain damage.

                    "Our heroes said to my husband and I that they knew CPR but never thought they would need to use it, and especially on a friend they love," Debbie Medina said.

                      Daniel is doing very well. Tests revealed he has a rare congenital heart defect that brought on the cardiac arrest.

                        The Eagle Scouts, Jon Evert, Blake Perez, and Blake Wilson, and the emergency responders Fire Captain Dave Schautschick, engineer/paramedic Randy McDaniel, firefighter/paramedic Travis Knabe, and firefighter Greg Harris, were honored at a Brea council meeting on April 19 with commendations for their valiant and steady handling of an unbelievable situation.

                          William Wojcaik suffered cardiac arrest during the Brea’s 8K race. Cesar Robles, Bradley Luna, Randall Parra, April Scwartz, Ryan Scwartz, Phillip Stephenson Randy McDaniel, and Stephen Davy were presented commendations at the May 3rd council meeting for saving his life.

                            Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at 714-529-8561 or e-mail her at suzgaede@aol.com

«

»