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

What’s New!

  • 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.

  • Montessori teacher shapes ‘Future Minds’ in Brea

    1 year 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.

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

    1 year 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!

  • Wacky Whole Foods Market Meetup

    2 years ago by

    Just another Wednesday at WFM Brea!!


      Time to fuel UP!

        Ralph the Rex arriving at Whole Foods Market Brea!

        Ralph the Rex arriving at Whole Foods Market Brea!


          CLICK here to watch the video!

            Arriving in what else -- but a Jurassic Jeep, Ralph the Rex met his neighbor and new sidekick cartoon Charlie the Clock. What fun they had frolicking through the humongous store with a checklist of food to divide and devour!

              Many thanks to the "fun crew" at Whole Foods Market Brea, our friend Ralph_the_Rex, Dino Doctor - ranger_kevin, and Charlie_the_ Clock cutout performer --Austin Zemlo!

                Those of you on Instagram: Coming soon Charlie the Clock-- Time Travel Celebrating 100 Years in Brea!

  • Make It Happen: Love Brea Day

    2 years ago by

    Hi Everyone,


      Please see the information below and share this with your contacts. Laurel is still looking for a lead for their projects and I know most of the schools still need volunteers for their projects. I am heading the Fanning site and would love more help. Please let me know if you have questions. This is a great way to have some upgrades done at the schools without a cost involved.

        We are in full swing preparing for our first annual “Love Brea” event! Love Brea is a city wide day of service which will be held on April 30, 2016. It is our hope that this event will bring people from all over the city to work on a common goal: volunteering our time, talent and treasure to help make our community a better place to live, work and raise our families. We are in the final stages of preparing for this exciting day and I hope that you can be a part of it.

          Our day will start off with a rally which will be held from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. at the Brea Civic and Cultural Center. Following the rally, volunteers will venture out to work on service projects throughout the entire city, including one at each of our local public schools. Some of the other projects that have already been confirmed include:

            Beautifying our local schools

              Graffiti removal

                Sprucing up local parks and trails

                  Ministering to our homeless residents

                    Collecting and packaging food for delivery to local food banks

                      Conducting a blood drive

                        Helping our senior citizens with projects around the Senior Center

                          LOVE Brea will be an amazing day! Surrounding cities have learned of the success of this event and similar events are being held this year in La Habra, Fullerton, Buena Park, Placentia, and Anaheim on the same day. Each city will host their own projects then all of the cities will go to Fullerton High School for a celebration lunch courtesy of our local businesses.

                            It is incredible to see what may be accomplished when local businesses, churches, service organizations, schools, city staff, and residents work together for a common purpose.

                              Please visit our website Love Brea to find out more information and sign up for a project. You can also watch a short video introducing Love Brea!

                                I look forward to seeing all of you at Love Brea!

                                  Jack Conklin | Chief of Police | Brea Police Department

                                    #1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, CA 92821-4732 | T: 714-990-7634 | F: 714-990-7641

                                      jconklin@cityofbrea.net

  • On track with the Tracks at Brea Trail

    2 years ago by

    Until 2007, trains regularly chugged through Brea, crossing Lambert Road, State College Boulevard and Brea Boulevard. Only one track that crosses Berry Street is still somewhat active.


      Like many cities throughout Southern California, Brea ended up with a lot of ugly, abandoned railroad tracks that carried nothing but weeds, trash and rodents.

        But no longer.

          Back in 2009, the first community meetings were held to find a way to convert the abandoned rails to trails for walking, running and biking, instead of places people dumped trash or old mattresses after dark.

            Through good planning, many grants and keen determination by residents and city staff, The Tracks at Brea is nearly completed. But it hasn’t been an easy task.

              When the project began, Brea was flush with Redevelopment Agency funds. According to Brea’s economic development manager, Kathie DeRobbio, $11 million in redevelopment funds were used for property acquisition and early project planning. Then the California legislature voted to end redevelopment agencies and Brea had to pursue other sources for the project. The city started applying for grants.

                At present, $17.5 million in grants has funded much of the project, including the extensive and expensive soil remediation, design, engineering construction and landscaping.

                  “The council has authorized $1,258,000 in Park Development Funds,” DeRobbio said about the city’s contribution toward the price tag. She added that, depending on the actual costs to be incurred, the city might not spend that entire amount. Those funds are restricted for use only for new recreational facilities.

                    There will be six segments of the 4-mile trail at completion. It starts with Segment I through Arovitsa Park and presently ends behind the west parking structure downtown where Segment 2 will someday begin.

                      But the really big news is the grand opening at 9:30 a.m. on March 26 when Mayor Christine Marrick leads the community through the newly completed Segment 3, a three-quarter-mile jaunt starting by Fire Station No. 2 on Brea Boulevard and meandering east to State College Boulevard.

                        The trails are wonderfully landscaped, park-like paths for strolling with the kids or whizzing through on your bike.

                          Bikers use the two-way, paved paths while walkers and runners use the tan-colored paths made of decomposed granite that is often used for playgrounds.

                            There are no restrooms or drinking fountains yet in Segment 3, but there are public restrooms nearby in the downtown. Go before you go and carry water, especially for the kids. There are disposal stations for dog waste.

                              The next segment nearing completion is No. 5, which wanders through Birch Hills Golf Course. It will have an interpretive historical display, rest area and food and restrooms available. And, you won’t have to duck when someone yells, “Fore!” because the golfers will be playing away from the trail.

                                Segment 4 will continue across State College and travels under the 57 Freeway to Kraemer Boulevard, where Segment 6 will run nearly parallel to Birch Street, ending at Valencia Street.

                                  If you plan to break in Segment 3 with the mayor, DeRobbio suggests parking in east parking structure downtown. Or, you could do what I’m going to do and walk there.

                                    The trail is open daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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

  • City of Brea’s 99th Birthday Giveaway on BBON

    2 years ago by

    Brea's 99th Birthday Giveaway: A taste of what's coming up ! Brea Art in Public Places sculpture: Just a Taste, located in Brea Union Plaza

    Brea's 99th Birthday Giveaway: A taste of what's coming up!
    Brea's Art in Public Places sculpture: Just a Taste, located in Brea Union Plaza

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