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  • Brea Police Department to wear badges commemorating city centennial

    8 months ago by

    Brea Police Department will be wearing commemorative centennial badge in 2017 similar to the historic constable shield style.

    Brea Police Department Officers will be wearing a commemorative centennial badge in 2017, similar to the historic constable shield style shown. Collage photo courtesy of Brea Historical Society


      “I don’t know where the original historic badge is. I haven’t seen it myself,” said Brea’s historian Officer Celmer. The image of the nostalgic badge has been used in various departmental printing such as their annual report (shown in the bottom photo.)

        Everyone in town is getting geared up for our centennial year in 2017 including Brea Police Officers, who be sporting a full size constable shield badge. In the place of CAL will be the City of Brea seal. 1917 will be on the left side and 2017 on the right, marking 100 years, along with a rank and ID number on the bottom.

          The Brea PD's centennial badge will surely be a special one as its style will be similar to the Deputy Constable Brea Township Badge back in the day.

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

    8 months 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

    9 months 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

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

    9 months 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!

  • California is the first state to teach LGBT history in schools

    9 months ago by

    With a unanimous vote by the California State Board of Education in July, California public schools will now teach LGBT history. The State Board will implement a 2011 state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown which requires schools to include LGBT history as early as second grade. This decision will make California the first state in the nation to teach LGBT history in school textbooks.


      According to Peter Tira, information officer for the California Department of Education, the policy will go into effect immediately across California elementary, middle, and high school history classes, in time for the 2016-2017 school year. Tira also adds that there is a 2017 deadline for school textbooks to include LGBT content.

        At BOHS, the Social Science Department has not developed new plans as of yet to implement the new curriculum, according to Matt Rainwater, department head. However, Rainwater, along with fellow history teacher, Brian Schlueter, already include LGBT history as part of their civil rights unit, as both believe inclusion of the LGBT community is essential to teaching American history. Regarding the deadline, Rainwater notes that a majority of current history textbooks at BOHS are “almost as old as the students who study them” as many date back to 2002.

          However, at lower schools, such inclusion is not as. According to Trish Walsh, Country Hills Elementary School principal, the school currently teaches the curriculum adopted by the BOUSD School Board of Education, but no plans have been made to adopt new social studies textbooks as of yet.

            “Our students will enter college classrooms and the workplace in the next few years and they’re going to come across people of many different backgrounds. To assume that a place of higher education or any workplace is purely a heterosexual workplace would be very wrong. We have not just people of different ethnic backgrounds, but people of different gender identities and sexualities amongst us. And to pretend that they don’t exist is not just doing a disservice to them but a disservice to them as global citizens,” Eugene Lee, history teacher, said.

              From second grade, students will learn about diverse family structures, such as families with LGBT parents, to help students “locate themselves and their own families in history and learn about the lives and historical struggles of their peers,” according to the text of the framework.

                The BOHS Gay-Straight Alliance Club president Alisa Fang, junior, believes this addition is a huge step for the LGBT community. “For California to implement LGBTQ history into school textbooks is...amazing, for lack of a better word. LGBT youth are more likely to suffer bullying in school, suffer from depression, and commit suicide. This is not okay. People are substituting something as innocent and pure as love with hate and intolerance. I hope that with the aid of LGBTQ history into schools, this vicious cycle can be broken. By including LGBTQ history in our history books, we are not only acknowledging the sacrifices made, but we are also changing the perspective of future generations to a more open-minded one (hopefully).”

                  Tom Torlakson, California Superintendent of Public Instruction, believes that the inclusion of LGBT history is “a big win for our students.” “This document will improve the teaching and learning of history and social science. It will give our students access to the latest historical research and help them learn about the diversity of our state and the contributions of people and groups who may not have received the appropriate recognition in the past,” Torlakson said.

                    Critics of the state decision, such as the National Association of Scholars and Breitbart News, believe the ruling is “absurd” and “the height of political correctness”. But others applaud the move, noting that this furthers California’s history of progressivism.

                      “This is a small world, this is an ephemeral life, a temporary life we live,” Lee said. “And for us to exclude people based on their gender identity is not only wrong -- it’s going to push us behind. There are many [LGBT] people who serve in the military, who are in the entertainment industry, who are teachers, who are students, and they all deserve a voice. And I think California as a progressive state is doing an outstanding job leading the nation once again in what a progressive state looks like.”

                        Author: Anabel King

                          Anabel King is a student reporter for Beautiful Brea Old and New. You can contact this writer at anabelking7@gmail.com.

  • Grand Slam – Brea Centennial Angels Night!

    11 months ago by

    Special Announcement:


      In commemoration of the city’s momentous 100th birthday, please welcome City of Brea Centennial Angels Night!

        Save the date: City of Brea Centennial Angels Night on Tuesday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m.

        Save the date: City of Brea Centennial Angels Night on Tuesday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m. 2017


          Many of us may have heard about "The Big Game" held on Halloween in 1924 in Brea between Brea’s baseball hero, Walter Johnson aka “The Big Train” and his friend, Babe Ruth aka "The Sultan of Swat.” At the time, the city’s population was approximately 1,500 people, but due to the popular game they had to accommodate 5,000 fans!

            Fast-forward to 2017 and mark your calendars to attend Brea Centennial Night to be held at Angels Stadium on Tuesday, July 18, Angels, VS, Washington Nationals (interleague), 7:00 p.m.

              Lots of fun things are in the planning stages such as a tailgate party (awesome), exclusive ticket offer to include centennial memorabilia (cool), selected seating (yay), Play Ball kid (unforgettable), Steal Third, 7th inning stretch (an experience), Game Ball Delivery (sweet), and pre- and post event history videos (pride)!

                We hope to see y'all there!

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

    11 months 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

    11 months 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.

  • Montessori teacher shapes ‘Future Minds’ in Brea

    12 months ago by

    Sashi Salgado, who migrated to the US from Sri Lanka in 2001 has realized the American Dream in a very short period of time by passionately pursuing her dream career of teaching preschoolers. “I was totally influenced by my mother who was a teacher for 35 years and the junior school principle of the same school in Sri Lanka. I saw how a committed and loving teacher can shape lives of students early in their lives, as my mother was an epitome of a ‘true teacher’ in every sense.” Said Sashi in an emotional tone reminiscing her parents who live thousands of miles back in Sri Lanka.


      Pictured is Shashi Salgado inspiring her students to reach their potential with a well-rounded and individualized education method.

      Pictured is Shashi Salgado inspiring her students to reach their potential with a well-rounded and individualized educational method.


        Sashi obtained her Diploma in Montessori and Child Psychology and Development in Colombo. Subsequently she worked as a kindergarten teacher in a leading private international school in Colombo for over a decade prior to relocating to the US.

          In the US, she made Brea California her home and continued pursuing her passion of ‘teaching kids’ for the next eleven years, by starting her own home based Montessori Daycare in 2011 in Placentia, California. With the demand increasing rapidly, she found her home based day care was fast needing expansion with parents urging her to enroll more and more kids, predominantly in the Orange County.

            Staying true to her lifelong passion and dream, she opened her own Montessori School in Brea California under the name of Future Minds Montessori in 2015. Sashi is now the proud owner/director of her own school. She is 100% involved in the curriculum and the Montessori program to ensure highest quality of education for her Future Minds, blossoming under her love and care.

              Sashi is married to her childhood sweetheart, who she says is her ‘rock and soul-mate’ supporting her each and every endeavor in true partnership for the last 23 years. Their only son is now a college student and is also a strong admirer of his ‘mum’s achievements’ she says with a giggle!

                “The importance of simplicity, integrity and family values that my parents imbibed in us as children is what has helped me in this journey of courage and determination. These are some of the values I try to pass on to my little Future Minds in the best way I can” quipped Sashi as her parting shot to us.
  • Strike 3! Q&A with Sophia Williams – Little League Baseball

    1 year ago by

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


      Sophia Williams, 12, is an outstanding pitcher on the Brea Little League team with all the boys. She has been selected as an all-star for three years.

        Sophia Williams loves to strike out the boys, She is a pitcher on a Brea Little League team.(Courtesy Anthony Pai)

        Sophia Williams loves to strike out the boys, She is a pitcher on a Brea Little League team.(Courtesy Anthony Pai)


          Susan: Why did you get into baseball and not softball?

            Sophia: I watched my older brother, Jared, play and it looked like a lot of fun. The softball looked too big; I never wanted to play with the girls.

              Susan: How do the boys treat you on the field?

                Sophia: My teammates treat me like one of the guys. I don't think about being a girl on a boys' team. I just love to play.

                  Susan: What is your favorite part of the game?

                    Sophia: Striking out other players and getting hits.

                      Susan: Do you want to play in high school?

                        Sophia: It would be fun to play in high school; I would love to be the first girl to play in the big leagues.

                          Susan: How did you get the nickname "Syclone?

                            Sophia: My dad starting calling me that because he said I was full of energy like a cyclone, but with an "S" for Sophia.

                              "Sophia's unshakable approach to baseball not only makes her a fierce competitor, but is the foundation for the Brea Little League Indians. Whenever we are in a tough spot, Sophia pulls through for her team” said Chad Guss team manager.

                                We look forward to seeing Sophia as the first girl in Major league Baseball.

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