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

Who’s Who

  • Eve’s tour – a dancer’s dream come true for 2009 BOHS grad

    1 year ago by

    Congratulations to Nadine Olmo! The 2009 BOHS graduate who will be dancing with Grammy-Award-winning hip-hop recording artist Eve, the opening act for Gwen Stefani in her upcoming "This Is What The Truth Feels Like Tour."

      Nadine Olmo, a 2009 BOHS grad, is dancing with Eve on tour as the opening act for Gwen Stefani.  Courtesy of Vince Trypsin

      Nadine Olmo, a 2009 BOHS grad, is dancing with Eve on tour as the opening act for Gwen Stefani. Courtesy of Vince Trupsin

        Nadine said she has been dreaming about this day for years, and her hard work paid off. More than a thousand women submitted dance videos of themselves, hoping to be chosen; One hundred were picked to audition. Following rounds of grueling cuts, she was one of just four chosen!

          Nadine started dancing at age three at the Brea Dance Center with the Boyd sisters (also BOHS graduates), Christine, Stephanie and Jenny. After graduation, Nadine moved to New York City and trained at the Broadway Dance Center and with the Dana Foglia Dance Company. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

            The tour opened July 9 at San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina as part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend. It will travel to 28 cities in the United States and Canada.

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

  • 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

      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

    1 year 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!

  • Sharing a piece of history: 100 years in Brea

    1 year ago by


      The first photo I ever took for the Brea Progress was of Brea Olinda High School’s 1973 homecoming (and later prom) queen Karyn Fox.

        Karyn Fox, 1973 Brea Olinda High School homecoming queen, wipes away a tear. (courtesy Susan Gaede)

        Karyn Fox, 1973 Brea Olinda High School homecoming queen, wipes away a tear. (courtesy Susan Gaede)

          In honor of Brea’s centennial in 2017, from time to time I will be sharing photos from the community over the years.

            I had just started working for the paper and no one was on the field taking a picture. I told my husband I was going to run down and take a photo of the queen. He suggested I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t be stopped. Ironically I think it was the first and best photo I ever took, but then it was a pretty good subject.

              Karyn’s Aunt Rose had made her gorgeous dress. The dress was taken out of the box again when the queen’s mom, current Planning Commissioner Pat Fox, wore it to President Nixon’s Inauguration .

                Karyn still looks like a prom queen. She works as assistant director of case management at a psychiatric hospital. Attending USC football games is something she said she really enjoys.

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

  • Centennial Celebration Honoring the People of Brea – Steven Vargas

    1 year ago by

    Brea Councilman Steve Vargas.

    Brea Councilman Steven Vargas was elected twice and is one of the youngest council members in the history of Brea.

      Similar to this website, Brea Old and New…my perspective on the 100 years of Brea Leaders has an old account (1998-2002) and a new account (2014-Present). I have lived in Brea since 1989, moving into a Redwood Avenue condo where I met my wife; Lisa Malin, a Sonora HS graduate. Living next door to Laurel Elementary enabled us as a family to quickly become part of the local community which is why I am a passionate advocate for the soon to be renovated Lagos de Moreno Park.

        I was elected in 1998 in a sweep of two eight year incumbents thanks to the brilliant campaign mantra of Roy Moore who stumped “Eight Years is Enough” walking twice around the entire city. At the time, I was the youngest elected councilmember in the history of Brea and one of the youngest in Orange County.

          Being a part of the decision making process for the actual construction of the Brea Downtown after 10 years of property acquisition for the 50 acre core will stand the test of time as an accomplishment of us all for our patience and perseverance.

            I had some great public policy debates with established policy leaders which I usually lost but not without gaining a solid reputation for transparency and looking out for the best interest of Brea taxpayers.

              The most important decision was my 4-1 stand against the pension spiking formula known as 3% at 50 (percent of pay times years served) which has led to the financial demise of a number of California government entities. Another memorable stance was my decade long position against Redevelopment Abuses where I joined a local Brea teacher who fought for the restraint of Redevelopment Agencies throughout California freeing up millions of dollars to support public safety and teachers statewide.

                Those early days of huge public policy debates, against all odds proved too much to sustain an uncontested reelection. My youthful exuberance did not last long as the grind of small town politics took its toll, I lost the 2002 election but did not go away bitter. The character of a man and/or elected official is not measured by yes votes or election victories; it is measured by consistency and a passion to serve.

                  When I found myself without an opportunity to serve locally, I joined the Navy Reserves as a Seabee; CB’s - short for Construction Battalions were in high demand at the time as the US began the build up to the invasion of Iraq and continued operations in Afghanistan. I used my civilian skills as a General Contractor to become a planning and estimating expert eventually earning the honorable rank of Chief Petty Officer.

                    Since my 2008 Iraq deployment I have been activated two additional times and currently serve on Active Duty as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CWO3), Assistant Facilities Director, Navy Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona.

                      I am very proud to be able to continue to serve the Navy and my community as your Brea Councilman. The Navy activated me December 3rd, 2014 the day before (Dec. 2nd, 2014) I was sworn in for a second time as your Councilman after a 12 year hiatus. Again, in a historic shift in public representation where Councilman Roy Moore led a clean sweep of the existing council to give me a second chance to build a better Brea.

                        I am wasting no time….the long stalled parking structure behind the Tower Record’s building is nearly ready to break ground and the decade long stall of improvements to Lagos de Moreno Park is being pushed for completion within a year. We are moving forward on a number of fronts, I am glad to be serving our community once again and looking forward to the February 23rd, 2017 Centennial. Building a Better Brea will continue to be my motivation to represent our community and vision for our future.


                            Steven Vargas

  • Metallica by request played Super Bowl Pre-Show

    2 years 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

    2 years 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.

  • Centennial Celebration Honoring the People of Brea – John Beauman

    2 years ago by

    John Beauman's City Hall portrait.

    John Beauman's City Hall portrait.

      As we countdown to our centennial year in 2017, Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON) is celebrating the people of Brea and those who are responsible for moving Brea forward while maintaining our charming atmosphere, we are known for.

        Our guest writer featured this evening is former Mayor, John Beauman, who served nine years on the Brea City Council.

          It isn't often I get an opportunity to reflect on my tenure on the Brea City Council. December 7, 2010, was my last Council meeting concluding nine-years of service to the community, being appointed in November 2001 to fill the final year of Lynn Daucher's term following her election to the California Assembly. I was elected to a four year term in Nov. 2002 and reelected in 2006, serving as Mayor in 2004 and 2009. Both of those years were economically challenging for the City. 2004's challenges were due to the State's efforts to balance its budget at the expense of California’s cities, and 2009 because of the national recession. It was a time of learning and a time of doing. A number of bold steps were taken to balance our budget, cutting expenses and exploring opportunities to generate new revenue. Installation of solar panels at the Civic and Community Centers and water/maintenance facilities, resulted in an estimated energy savings of $42 million over 25 years, with $1/2 million annually to the general fund budget. Another source of revenue came from negotiations with Orange County, Brea being the host city for the Olinda Alpha landfill, which generates about $30 million in new revenue to Brea over the life of the landfill, with $10 million paid up front. Former City Manager Tim O’Donnell and I served on the O.C. Waste Management Commission, gaining insight and knowledge of landfill operations that benefited us in the negotiations.

            My last Council meeting on December 7th, 2010 was a memorable sendoff—a full house with Brea residents, friends and family in attendance. I’m pleased at what we accomplished during my nine years on the Council. One memorable project is the Brea Sports Park, a long-standing community dream. Brea obtained mineral rights to the land with oil revenues paying up to 70% of the Sports Park maintenance cost. Councilmember Don Schweitzer and I negotiated the contract for installation of the City’s solar panels, with guaranteed minimum savings for the first five years. Brea has consistently exceeded those savings. Other projects that helped give Brea a fresh look included renovation of the Brea Plunge (pool), Brea Lofts on south Brea Blvd, and La Floresta, serving as our east-end gateway. The new Fire Station 2 on Brea Blvd heightened community safety. I was blessed to serve with council members who shared a similar vision and believed as strongly as I did in those projects. We were blessed with competent and forward-thinking-staff who did the leg work in bringing them to fruition.

              My most memorable year was as Mayor in 2004, with former Police Chief Bill Lentini serving as Mayor Pro-Tem. He often referred to himself as my "wing man." I appreciated the “wing man” reference, but I especially appreciated his friendship and dedication to the community. Bill and I spent time together just prior to council meetings soliciting God's blessings on our community and asking for wisdom and guidance to make the right decisions for the City and people of Brea. When Bill served as Mayor in 2005, he brought honor, integrity and respect to the office.

                Brea isn’t amongst Orange County’s largest cities, but has significant regional influence. Brea council members and staff have taken active roles in regional organizations and decision making. During my tenure on the City Council I served as Representative for Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda, and Placentia on the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG). Other broader regional involvements included the multi-county Four Corners Transportation Coalition (as Chair) and Wildlife Corridor Conservation Authority (WCCA). Many of those involvements I inherited from Bev Perry who was very active on Brea's behalf, when she left the Council. I participated in the establishment of the Hillside Open Space Education Coalition (HOSEC) to protect local open space.

                  My most noteworthy regional involvement was serving on the Board of Directors and as president of the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities. Both Bev Perry and Marty Simonoff had previously held that position. Each City Council must decide Brea’s role in regional affairs and leadership. Past Councils took that role seriously, opposing bad decisions that could have negative impact on Brea, and supporting good decisions that benefited Brea. My prior corporate experience served me well in each of these positions. I consider my council newsletter, first published and distributed via email in 2001, and my on-line blog created in Aug. 2005 as important accomplishments for providing transparency in keeping the people of Brea informed on issues and explaining why we voted as we did.

                    Prior to my appointment to the City Council, I served on the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC), which provided a wealth of information and insight into the complexity of the City and its operations that served me well as a member of the City Council.

                      When asked why I decided not to run for a third term, I frequently responded "8 is enough" In my case it was nine. The Council needs to be in tune with the community. I tend to believe lifetime politicians loss sight of that essential component of representative government. But, I think I can also make an argument for “let the people decide.” Thank you BREA for supporting me. It was an amazing part of my life serving you.


                          John Beauman

  • Celebrating People and their Connection with Brea

    2 years ago by


      Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that in just over a year Brea will be turning 100-years new on February 23, 2017. Very exciting-- as the eighth oldest of 34 Orange County cities and one of its smallest!

        In mid June of 2010, BBON was created to support and raise awareness about Brea, a charming North Orange County destination noted for shopping, dining and entertainment.

          Let me tell you how excited we are! Two years thereafter, we changed our logo to reflect Brea’s milestone celebration.

            We believe the soul of the city is its people and want to include everyone in telling the story of Brea, as we countdown to our centennial year.

              About three months ago, we asked BBON followers to send us their story and photo to share on a BBON Facebook album named “Celebrating People and their Connection with Brea.”

                We received and posted information about Doug Troxel, a 1986 BOHS grad and owner of State Farm Agency in Brea for over 36 years. We’d love to hear from you, too.

                  Your Brean family story may have been told over and over again, but remember there are many of us who haven’t heard it and would find it very interesting!

                    People make the city. Past or present, there are many people responsible in making Brea the charming place we know and love. To feature your Brean adventure, please message us on our website or Facebook. Tell your story of "old" and "new" Brea in 200 words or less.

                      We can’t wait to share your story!