Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock


  • 1985 BOHS grad Vanessa Arevalo Mathison and husband, actor Cameron Mathison, to attend class reunion

    5 years ago by


      Vanessa Arevalo Mathison, a 1985 Brea Olinda High grad, and Cameron Mathison, former All My Children star, will be in attendance at the high school class's upcoming reunion.

      Vanessa Arevalo Mathison, a 1985 Brea Olinda High grad, and Cameron Mathison, former All My Children star, will be in attendance at the high school class's upcoming reunion.

        Vanessa Arevalo Mathison, a 1985 Brea Olinda High School grad, has modeled for 18 years around the world. You may have heard of her husband, Cameron Mathison, who was cast as Ryan Lavery on the soap “All My Children,” was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, has been a correspondent for Good Morning America, continues to act in the Hallmark Channel series, and host of a web show called “Game of Homes.”

          Last month it was announced Cameron has now joined the team of the television show "Entertainment Tonight" as their new full-time correspondent and weekend co-anchor. Entertainment Tonight is the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world.

            The couple enjoy spending time with their two children, photography, volunteering at their kids school and their meditation center, movie nights and other fun stuff, according to Vanessa.

              Cameron and Vanessa are looking forward to the 1985’s 30th Brea Olinda High School reunion. Vanessa is on the reunion committee along with Greg Dixon, Jeff Blankenship, Valerie Napoli, Carol Buck, and Diane (Riscol) Reafsnyder.

                The reunion is on 8/1/15 from 7:00 11:00 p.m at the Brea Community Center. The tickets are on pre-sale right now for $50.00 each, all inclusive (all you can eat and drink, etc).

                  Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at (714) 529-8561 or e-mail her at

  • Fanning back to being home

    5 years ago by


      Last February I had a tour of the under-reconstruction Fanning Elementary School; Superintendent A. J. “Skip” Roland and Principal Susan Metcalf led me through a sea of drab, gray concrete with girders and wires hanging down from the bare ceilings.

        It showed little resemblance to the colorful classrooms that were part of the school prior to the 5.1-magnitude earthquake on March 28, 2014.

          Although the earthquake was centered in La Habra, Brea got its share of shaking and Fanning suffered major damage, including the release of encapsulated asbestos that I referred to as toxic fairy dust. It was a mess and grades two through six and their teachers were quickly moved to extra classrooms at Laurel Elementary School.

            It also became an opportunity to finally update the 44-year-old school.

              But that is all in the past and this week Fanning’s upper grades returned to completely renovated, and asbestos-free classrooms and it looks like a new school.

                Last week, Metcalf gave me a preview tour of the pod-shaped classrooms that open into a central area. The entire school is now has Wi-Fi. Every classroom has energy-saving, bright LED lighting, LCD projectors, wheeled cabinet room dividers and wipeable bulletin boards. They replaced the cloth-covered room divider/wall panels compromised by the asbestos shower.

                  Most of the classroom furniture pieces are modular units, although the original teachers’ desks were cleaned, certified and back in the classrooms.

                    A new state-of-the-art computer lab, much larger than the previous one, has very cool modular wheeled tables and chairs that can be configured numerous ways to accommodate solo or team tasks. The lab also has the ability to offer interactive video conferencing. Somewhat like Skype, but on a much larger and more sophisticated level.

                      Many of us when in elementary school had pen pals in foreign countries. Imagine Fanning students interacting with video pen pals in Norway, Italy or Korea. Pretty cool.

                        The Brea-Olinda Unified School District, said Metcalf, is providing Chromebooks for the students, but not every student will have their own. She also said that all students at Fanning will have Gmail accounts, but the email will be on a protected service that basically is limited to communication with the teacher, including turning in homework and other projects. I guess that means the old excuse of “the dog ate my homework” just won’t cut it any longer.

                          While the pod classrooms, stage and other areas all have new carpeting, paint and lighting, and much that was damaged is now gone, the colorful and delightful mural that wraps around the library interior was carefully preserved and looks as beautiful and bright as ever.

                            The entire project took more than a year, much of it due to a huge amount of asbestos abatement. The cost was approximately $6.1million dollars, according to school board President Bill Hall. He added that another $1million was spent on earthquake repairs at Brea Olinda High School.

                              Fanning’s theme for this school year was “There’s No Place Like Home.” What could be more appropriate?

                                Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at

  • 2013 year-end review with Brea’s “Newsy Suzie”

    6 years ago by


    Our Susan Gaede, a.k.a. “Newsy Suzie,” is a longtime Brea resident and newspaper columnist covering Brea and La Habra for more than three decades.

      Here's a wrap up of column highlights throughout the year:

        - Biggiest and most interesting scoops:1998 Brea Olinda High School grad Aaron Sittig helped in the design of Facebook. He created special features including the ability to tag photos and the "like" button.

          Aaron Sittig, Brea Olinda High School grad, helped in the design of Facebook. He created special features including the ability to tag photos and the "like" button. (courtesy Brea High School)

            - Ann Herbert was the first women to join Brea Lions Club in over 91 years.

            Ann Herbert was the first woman to join the Brea Lions Club in over 91 years. (courtesy Susan Gaede)

              "BREA" was an answer in the New York Times crossword "City next to Fullerton was the clue".

                -2000 Brea grad Shae Winker (Shae Casamento) and husband, Ray, had triplets e.g. Evan, Ava, and Ryden on September 16, and former councilman Steve Vargas and wife, Lisa, are the proud grandparents of the trio.

                  Raycen and Mikayl Winker hold their triplet siblings (left to right) Evan, Ava and Ryden. (Courtesy Two Little Feathers Photography)

                    -Whitney McMurtrie was on Wheel of Fortune and won $3,800.

                      Sachiko White, Brea Olinda High School graduate, currently serves as a Disneyland Ambassador.

                        -Buffalo Wild Wings shot their national campaign commercial in Brea. The theme was for the NCAA playoffs...and brought over 200 people to the downtown from Hollywood...dozens of crew trucks, etc., etc.

                          -1997 BOHS alum Reymundo Perez is the art supervisor for the 3 “Avatar” movies. He has been working with James Cameron for 8 years.

                            -Home Goods drew the most response of any column item, Lots and lots of calls asking when it was going to open.

                              Biz news: Lots of new restaurants opened this year: Lazy Dog, Bruno’s , Burrissimo, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Grafcio’s are among them.

                                -School board trustee Joe Rollino opened his fourth Subway in Brea and it is open all night. He owns 14 others throughout Orange County.

                                  -Campitelli Cookies closed after being in town since the 1980’s.


                                      - Fritz Coleman, Channel 4 weatherman and comedian, performed at the Curtis Theatre in a hilarious one man show. He also did his Channel 4 broadcast from Eagle Hills in Brea and featured some of the decorated holiday homes.

                                        -Mark Kercheville has taught for 40 years at Arovista Elementary School and retired this year. He was in the first Kindergarten class at Arovista in 1956!

                                          -Gil Basbas delivered his last letter July 23 after delivering the mail in Brea for 30 years.

                                            -Elegant Elsie Bergman was given 6 different parties in her honor celebrating her 100th birthday.

                                              -Elizabeth Anderson, 32, ran the Boston Marathon in three hours and 41 minutes. She was in the family reunion area when she heard the explosion.

                                                -19 year Brea Olinda school trustee, author of Brea-Celebrating 75 Years: An Illustrated History, and co-chair of the 8 K race for many years, Teresa Hampson, resigned because she and her husband, Gary, were moving to Santa Rosa.

                                                  -Connie Allred is the second highest in sales nationwide selling Cookie Lee Jewelry, and has won sales awards netting her a Mercedes and 11 vacation trips.

                                                    -Jenna Lambourne was named BOHS homecoming queen.... Rayne Meeks was named Prom Queen and Jake Flowers, Prom King.

                                                      -John McEntee and Corey Leyton chaired and foot the bill for the 1973 Brea Olinda High School Class Reunion. All classes in the '70s were invited to attend.

                                                        BOHS Reunion attendees, from left Cindi Palmer, class of 1976, Kelly Smith Wilcott, class of 1976 and Lori Barber Schiller, class of 1977, have fun with the wax lips that were among the favors at the reunion. (courtesy Susan Gaede)

                                                          -Araz Pourmorad, 2003 BOHS grad is currently the Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Continuity for the White House. He was the Easter bunny for Obama at the traditional White House Egg Roll in 2012.

                                                            -Alyson J. Davidson, 2005 BOHS grad, has returned from two years in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and is now studying medicine at Georgetown University.

                                                              -Kylie and Kendall Jenner debuted their new line of clothes at Pac Sun at the Mall. Dennis Rodman popped in to say “hello” to the girls. Dwight Manley was Rodman’s Sports agent and Rodman stayed at his Brea home.

                                                                -Kendall Rodriguez, was signed to play professional Women’s basketball at GiroLive Panthers in Germany

                                                                  -Sharon Wagner resigned as Chamber Executive director. Sylvia Bianci resigned as exectuive director of the Brea Downtown.

                                                                    -Crystal ball: The crystal ball revealed Dwight Manley and partner Tony Fanticola are the new owners of the Brea Gaslight Center.

                                                                      -Honors: Hands on Mariposa principal Dr. Helene Cunningham, a 2013 National Distingushed Principal for the state of California, was honored at the White House on October 24-25. -BOHS alum Sachiko White, is a Disneyland Ambassador.

                                                                        -The Brea-Olinda High School Guidance Department has earned a national award, making BOHS the most highly decorated and recognized high school guidance department in the United States.

                                                                          -The BOHS choir and cheerleaders won on a national level.

                                                                            First for Brea: The first ever district-wide school play took place November 16-and 17 at the suggestion of Fanning PTA. Approximately 165 students from all Brea elementary schools participated.

                                                                              The Brea Olinda School district put on their first ever district-wide school play Aladdin. Shown (l-r) Carley Noller and Nathan Matthews (courtesy Jon Gaede) Brea 2013 column review

                                                                              -Club news: All of the service clubs outdid themselves. For example Brea Lions Club raised over $50,000 & distributed close to $30,000 to several charities, high schools & youth groups who participated in ticket & ad sales. Brea Rotary raised $65,000 on their Orange County Food and Wine Festival with proceeds going to Choc and local needs.

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

  • Ending storyline of ‘Friends,’ comes to life for Brea Alums

    6 years ago by

    Two sisters will marry two best friends all Brea Olinda High School 1999 graduates shown (l-r) Erin Sweeny, Andy Drakowski, Matt Winkler, and Erika Sweeny(photo courtesy Suzanne Sweeny)

      Class of ’99 Brea grads to marry -- Two sisters will marry two best friends: Erin and Erika Sweeny and best friends Matt Winkler and Andry Drapkowski all knew each other while at Brea Olinda High School. Erin and Andy even went to a formal dance together. They all graduated in 1999 and went on to college. Who knew their paths would cross and Erika and Matt and Erin and Andy would be planning to make their relationships permanent. Of course, the girls’ parents Ed and Sue Sweeny are elated, as are Chet and Carol Drapkowski and Brent and Bobbie Swenson.

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

  • John McEntee and Corey Leyton foot the bill for BOHS 40th reunion

    6 years ago by

    ALL GRADUATING CLASSES FROM 1970-1979:Click to RSVP & purchase tickets easily online.

      Can you top this? John McEntee and Corey Leyton are chairing the 1973 Brea Olinda High School Class Reunion on August 17 at the Embassey Suites in Brea at 7 p.m. until midnight. They are inviting all classes in the 70’s to attend the 40th reunion. Corey and John are paying for everything out of their own pocket except the food. There will be 6 food stations. Party includes DJ Tony B and live entertainment. The batmobile will be there and everybody gets a free batman tee shirt. Former American Idol winner Casey Abrams will introduce a surprise guest. Please go to your web browser and type in or go to to learn more about this reunion and how to RSVP. Any questions call Thomas Kinmartin at 714-693-9300.

        Any news?Give me a jingle (714)529-8561 or e-mail

  • Brea Resident Elizabeth Anderson passes Boston Marathon finish line before tragedy hits

    7 years ago by

    Elizabeth Anderson,32. of Brea ran in the Boston marathon in 3 hours and 41 minutes. She is shown crossing the finish line (courtesy Boston marathon)

        Two residents of Brea ran the Boston Marathon. Elizabeth Anderson, 32, ran the marathon in 3 hours and 41 minutes. The runner said she was in the family reunion area when the bomb exploded. She said it sounded like a cannon was going off and everybody said what was that? Nobody seemed to know. She and her husband went out to lunch. “NO ONE knew what had happened at that point, just lots of therories/assumptions. We found out that the sounds we heard were explosions when the restaurant manager approached our table during lunch. The other problem was that due to the number of people trying to make calls, we could not get cell phone service so were unable notify our loved ones that we were safe until we got out of the city.” Elizabeth said.

          Elizabeth was thrilled she got to finish the race and felt terrible for the one’s who were unable to. She said “Running the marathon was a dream for many.” Reno Backer of Brea also participated in the marathon, but I have not heard from her as yet.
          Any local news give me jingle (714)529-8561 or e-mail

  • BOHS 1980-1986 Multi-Class Reunion

    7 years ago by

    2nd "Kind of Annual" Brea Olinda Music Department Reunion

    1983 BOHS grad John Bryden is coordinating the 2nd “Kind of Annual” Brea Olinda Music Department Reunion, inviting alumni from 1980-1986!  John says, “Everyone is invited even non-music alumni.” The reunion will take place on Friday, September 21, 2012 at Joe’s Restaurant Café at 6:00 p.m. in Fullerton.

  • BOHS Class of 2002 -10 year reunion at Embassy Suites Brea

    8 years ago by


    BOHS Alumni - Class of 2002

    It’s the year 2002, when many BOHS senior classmates were swept away with Kelly Clarkson’s first number-one single "A Moment Like This."  A decade later they are about to celebrate their 10 year reunion! Time flies but the fun is just around the corner, as classmate Courtney (Patino) Morabito is taking charge of organizing the special event.  Courtney has booked the reunion celebration at the Embassy Suites Brea on Saturday, June 9.  Don’t worry if you are traveling far, the Embassy Suites is offering special rates for BOHS alumni along with a hosted cocktail hour and breakfast for hotel guests.

    Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.