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  • BREA BACK THEN by Jolita Penn McDaniel

    12 months ago by

    Back then was 1938. I was three years old that year, and my very earliest memories began in Brea California. Brea, the little tar town whose hills in my memory were covered with pumping oil wells. Somewhere back in time, I remember those sounds of the rhythmic pumping whoosh of the wells that was both soothing and sleep inducing for me as a tiny girl. I only lived in Brea a few short years before we moved to the adjacent town of Fullerton, but those early years in Brea were rich and memorable and set the foundation for my path in life.

      Brian Penn with his daughters. Left, JoAn and Jolita Penn.

      Bryan Penn with his daughters. Left, JoAn and Jolita. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws

        Nine years before, my young farmer parents, Bryan and Ann Penn, dedicated, hard-working, God-fearing people, had moved from the poverty of their life in Arkansas to California with my older sister JoAn (then just a baby). After a five-day trek in their Model T Ford, they arrived with barely a dime in their pocket but filled with the treasure of their dreams for a new life in the beautiful “golden state”. After working a short time in the Olinda oil fields, Daddy landed a job with Shaffer Tool Works in Brea and worked there about two years. Mr. Shaffer invented the huge steel gate that was placed over oil wells to control the oil gushers when the oil came in while drilling, and that is what the company produced and mainly what my father made on his enormous lathe. I remember Mama telling me that she and Daddy rented a little house somewhere adjacent to Shaffer Tool Works when they were so young and fresh from Arkansas and Daddy was so eager to learn his craft and make a living for his family. She said that she would make yummy sandwiches for his lunch, and that Daddy's coworkers began to remark on his lunches and asked if Mama would make lunches for them. So, Mama said for a couple of years, some of Daddy's coworkers would come across the street to their little rental house and she would have prepared a good lunch for them. Money was so scarce in those days that she added a little pin money to their income that way. This would have been around 1929 and 1930. The depths of the current country's depression caught up and hit them personally. He was laid off, and he found himself jobless along with thousands of others across the nation. Since there were virtually no jobs (he did manage to pack pickles in a man's garage for 50 cents a day briefly), he and Mama still had eighty acres of land back in Arkansas where at least they could farm and eat, and prudently, back they went. I was born in 1935 there on the farm, and then wonder of wonders! In 1936, Shaffer called Daddy back to work, and beautiful California, the “land of opportunity”, became our permanent home.

          Mr. Shaffer at work.

          Mr. Shaffer at work. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws

            Daddy started at Shaffer Tool Works in 1929 and retired there in 1974. He was recruited to work for Vultee Aircraft in Downey, CA for a short time during WWII. We were extremely thankful for this job for it meant he would not be drafted into the military since he was doing national defense work. Daddy was well respected at Shaffer Tool Works advancing as a machinist, years later becoming supervisor. But he also was always wonderful to help at home, juggled finances, and, every chance he could, worked with my Uncle Bert Pyland in the butcher shop of the grocery store he and Daddy's sister, my Aunt Addie, now owned. Of course Daddy and Mama had lifelong experience on the farm raising and butchering their own hogs and calves. I remember him bringing home delicious sausage from the butcher shop that he and Uncle Bert made themselves. Daddy was a gentlemanly meticulous man who came home every night covered in oil and smelling strongly of kerosene with which he used to clean up his tools and himself, too. During the War, he grew a Victory Garden and all of his life satisfied the farmer in him by maintaining pristine yards and gardens full of flowers and beautiful vegetables. Every night, listening to the radio, I watched him clean his nails with his pen knife until they were clean and white again.

              Just this week, I checked with my cousin, Christine Kercheville who still lives there in the same house she and her husband bought over sixty years ago and where she raised her children. She lost her young husband at an early age, and remarkably she very capably raised and educated her four young children and was always a vital part of Brea's community and the Church of Christ. She tells me her parents' store was named Pomona Drive-In Market located on the corner of Date and Pomona Ave. Many called the store Pyland's Market. Pomona Avenue eventually became Brea Boulevard by which it is now known. Uncle Bert and Aunt Addie raised their two daughters in a little home on Madrona. Both girls raised their big families in Brea also - Christine as I mentioned, and Frances Lee Quinliven and her family, all of them attending the Brea Schools. My cousin Christine's son Mark Kercheville eventually returned to Brea to teach at Arovista School in Brea. My Aunt Addie when I was a girl was a tiny, quick-moving, quick-talking angel of an auntie, and she used to scoop me up in a huge hug, cover my face with kisses, and then push a lollipop into my hand. Of course I loved her!

                Shaffer Tool Works  logo. Courtesy of Joan

                Shaffer Tool Works logo. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws

                  From time to time, Daddy would take his little family to visit “the shop” at Shaffer’s, eager for us to know exactly what he did. To a small child, it was an immense building, the ceiling rising into darkened heights that held a bewildering array of huge overhead equipment lit by rows of stark electric bulbs that emitted a weak inadequate light for such a cavernous space. The floor felt thick and sticky with years of accumulated grease, dirt and the grit of metal dust. The smell was sharply distinctive, a strong hot aroma of steel shavings, oil and solvents, and the general atmosphere was one of enormous hunks of iron in dark shades of pewter, steel grey and black with a cold light filtering through dirty windows. The vibrating cacophony of tortured metal was deafening as it screeched and screamed turning on the many lathes that slowly delivered the final shining steel product. We always stood watching, all with our hands over our ears while Daddy demonstrated his quick and sure skill at his lathe. I surely wish I had the photos Daddy once owned of the entire Shaffer group circa 1930 or maybe late thirties. There is my very young father, probably in his twenties, and Mr. Shaffer and the whole group that Dad worked with for years. The company had a bowling team, and in Dad's younger days, a softball team, and later several of the men played golf together, and my athletic energetic Daddy was always right there, My father had lifelong friends from his career, and Elvin Wilson is one man I remember as being an especially close friend. Don Shaffer, son of the founder of the company became a good friend, and when Daddy died, I remember reading a touching hand-written letter to my mother expressing the personal respect he had and loss he felt for Daddy.

                    At the time Brea Grammar School was the only elementary school now Brea's only middle school, Brea Junior High.

                    At the time Brea Grammar School was the only elementary school, still similar in presence today as Brea Junior High. Courtesy of JoAnn Penn Haws

                      While living on Laurel, my sister JoAn began taking flute lessons from the band leader, Mr. Lee Auer, the music teacher at her elementary school. A fellow classmate, Martha Kitaoka of Japanese descent and quite a shy girl, took lessons, too. She enjoyed being with Martha and often invited her over. Only once did Martha invite JoAn to her house, and JoAn felt overwhelmingly intimidated as if she had stepped into a foreign land with exotic red ornate Japanese furnishings and a strange spicy fragrance. Martha's mother did not speak English and was obviously not happy to have JoAn in the house, and she was not invited to come on in, and indeed stood close to the door until time to leave. Shortly after this, our parents read in the newspaper that Martha's father and brother had been arrested as spies. They were geologists, and according to the paper, were caught with a short-wave radio in their basement sending vital mapping information to Japan. This was shortly before WWII, and quite disturbing in the little town of Brea on this very small block of Laurel. In another incident later, Mama and Daddy had farmer acquaintances, the Yamaguchi family that sold their wonderful farm vegetables from their roadside stand. Daddy enjoyed exchanging farming tips with Mr. Yamaguchi and Mama visited with his wife while purchasing produce. The whole Yamaguchi family (along with all Japanese-American families) was moved from their land and interned during WWII for fear of spying. My mother was incensed and I heard her say, “Bryan, the Yamaguchis are no more spies than we are!”

                        The winter of 1939, my younger sister Jan was born, and though I was only four, I well remember a storm that Mama called “a cloud burst”. This little rented house on Laurel Street was conveniently less than two blocks away from Daddy's work so that he could always walk. It sat right at the bottom of the V formed by the hilly street, and backed up against a dry, sandy riverbed that I loved to run barefoot in. There were no light fixtures except for a porch light, and as I remember, each room was lit by a light bulb hanging on a cord from the ceiling and there was a chain to turn the light off and on. There were two small bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room that looked out on the front porch facing the street, and a small bathroom that was the delight of the family. An indoor bathroom!! With running water, a bathtub, and best of all, a flush toilet. This rather marvelous rental sat on a very small sloping lot, and the tiny one-car garage sat downhill at the back of the house, but it was our little home and Mama and Daddy were wonders at making our homes livable and cozy.

                          I actually remember that storm for it frightened me. The wind threw enormous raindrops at the windows that bounced off the glass sounding like handfuls of gravel being pitched against them. The noisy, rattling, hard-hitting wave after wave of water finally reached flood stage. When Mama stepped to the side of the porch and looked at the garage down the driveway, she was aghast to see boxes floating in four feet of water out the open door. She was just sick to realize many sentimental memories in her big trunk including precious letters and baby clothes and photos were ruined that day. Thank goodness Daddy's relatively new car, a 1936 Chevy that I think I remember he paid $400 for, was parked out front instead of in the garage. The “dry” riverbank spilled into our backyard and water lapped at the back steps. It was only a few years until an enormous flood control program installed “barrancas” and alleviated most of the flooding problem for Brea and Fullerton.

                            September, 1939 (the same year and month my little sister was born), I began Kindergarten at the Laurel Street Elementary School at the tender age of four years, eight months. I was so eager, and the memory of that first day is so sharp, I even remember the little new school dress my Mama made me. It was off white with puffed sleeves and printed with little red apples all over it. Mama said “apples for your teacher!” I loved it and loved my class and especially loved Miss Elder, my Kindergarten and First Grade teacher, and as little as I was, I've never forgotten her kind influence. I was like a sponge I was so ready to learn.

                              Writing these remembrances of Brea brings back memories of people with whom my family interacted, and Dr. Curtis comes to mind. He was the Pyland's family doctor for maybe thirty years or more and was wonderful to them. He and Mama were friends, for Mama often helped her sister-in-law through some tough illnesses and Uncle Bert's terrible fall.

                                Dr. Ed Steen in Fullerton was our family doctor, and saw us safely through our illnesses including my sister Jan's Caesarian birth more than seventy-five years ago. Jan was a miracle baby for Mama should not have been able to carry her, but God granted life to both my sister who is a true gift to the world, and to my Mama long blessed years At age six, I vaguely remember seeing Dr. Steen sitting asleep in a chair across from my bed when he spent the night to support us through a scary time afraid I may not live from pneumonia. Our family was attended by him and his beautiful nurse, Veda Wade for many years. Miss Wade's influence was the reason I eventually went into medical assisting, for she made terrifying doctor visits bearable by her serenity and soothing hands and lovely voice. He was our physician until his untimely death by car accident, taking this gifted man from us far too early.

                                  Brea Grammar School 6th grade class of 1923. Sitting far right JoAn Penn. Courtesy JoAn Penn Haws

                                  Brea Grammar School 6th grade class of 1938. Sitting far right, JoAn. Courtesy of JoAn Penn Haws.

                                    Mr. Jaster was a teacher at JoAn's school, and became the principal. He became lifelong friends of my parents, and he sold a product named “Selrodo” that dispensed an epinephrine liquid to help open breathing passages for hay fever and asthma. My mother had hay fever and she swore by Selrodo, because when I was struggling to breathe with pneumonia, she used it on me and always thought it saved my life. I remember Mama buying Selrodo from Mr. Jaster and laughing and talking with him on the phone when she was in her sixties at least.

                                      Mr. Barnes of Oilfield National Bank comes to mind, also, and Daddy and Mama admired and respected him as a professional who also became a good friend. Daddy said Mr. Barnes took a chance on him as a very young man recently transplanted from the farm in Arkansas, and my parents had their bank account with Oilfield National Bank for most of their lives. I remember my mother calling Mr. Barnes when she was unhappy with a mortgage on a house they bought in Fullerton, and within twenty-four hours, she and Dad paid off that bad mortgage and had a new good loan from Mr. Barnes.

                                        I recently asked my sister JoAn (who is seven years older), if my memory was right about Brea then, for I remember beautiful rolling hills and pristine blue skies before smog when you could easily see the snow-covered San Gabriel mountains. There were lovely mild days when I rode my tricyle up and down the small hilly street. She said it was a lovely little town, and her memory, too, is one of a quiet pretty place to live. It seems there was an enormous archway over the entrance to Brea on what would eventually become Brea Boulevard, and on the right was a pretty park with swings and slides and teeter-totters and a city swimming pool called “The Plunge”. I thought the plunge an awesome privilege, and my Mama and sister JoAn often swam there with me.

                                          And that is the jist of what I remember of the little Brea I knew as a small child. We moved only fifteen minutes away to Fullerton the summer before I started Second Grade, but Brea remained a constant in our lives. Family still lived there, Daddy and Mama banked there, and most importantly, Daddy worked there. I always had the feeling of stepping back in time when we drove back as a teenager and young adult, for I believe real growth in Brea did not begin until maybe the fifties. The pumping oil wells on the lovely rolling hills would welcome us first, then we'd drive under the old graceful Brea archway, and the pretty park and pool and beautiful tree-lined streets would greet us. I always loved the smell of oil and kerosene and even gasoline for I associated it with hugging my loving father in his dirty work clothes. How this somewhat shy, meticulous man would fuss at us, for he didn't want us to get oil on us. But we got the oil anyway, good oil remembrances down in our spirits from the loving years we spent in the beginning of our lives in California, and it didn't hurt us a bit.

                                            From those humble beginnings, our family grew to include doctors, a dentist and hygienist, dental assistants, medical assistant, electrician, scholars, teachers, physicists, artists, musicians, ministers, CHP, a policeman, and even a beauty queen! JoAn just recently reminded me that after high school, as a young woman before she married, she too, worked for a short time as a secretary for Shaffer Tool Works right next to Don Shaffer and his father's offices. Now I am an old lady, and perhaps my memories are jaded and softened by time, but to me those years were halcyon years. Our precious Jan was born during that time, our mother lived to become a feisty vibrant continuing part of our lives, Daddy was able to buy lovely homes and enjoy the California he loved, and my sisters and I were given the gift of two loving parents providing the very best life they could possibly give us. We have a treasure of humble yet loving memories of those sweet early years and they are locked in my heart always.

                                              Jolita Penn McDaniel

                                                June 2016

  • BOHS officer Dan Moon to retire after 16 years of service

    1 year ago by

      Campus officer Dan Moon will retire after 16 years at BOHS. (photo source:

      Campus officer Dan Moon will retire after 16 years at BOHS. (photo source:

      A fter 16 years of service, Dan Moon, police officer, will retire as the BOHS campus officer at the end of this year.

        “I’m going to miss the day-to-day fun of getting to work with [the students] and getting to participate in school activities. It has been a tremendous blessing for me to be in this position and to be able to do it for 16 years and to know all the people that I’ve gotten to know and to see all the kids that I’ve been able to see progressing through the years,” Moon said.

          Moon graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1983 where he earned his teaching credential. He then became a student teacher at BOHS, and eventually an academic teacher and coach for swimming and water polo. However, when the campus relocated from the Brea Marketplace, many teachers were forced to find another job, and Moon was assigned to BOHS by the Brea Police Department to curtail and stop drug use.

            “When you think of what the term a ‘school resource officer’ is, Moon really fits the bill. He worked with us in a direction that ensured we did not do anything to violate anybody's rights. Moon was always there as a safeguard, and he was always an extra set of eyes by keeping us updated with the pulse of the community,” Jerry Halpin, principal, said.

              In the future, with his Master’s Degree in Christian Theology and Doctrine from Talbot Seminary in Biola University, Moon plans to apply to Orange Luther to lead theology classes. As for his family, Moon is excited to visit his four children who are scattered across the world as well as possibly move to Colorado.

  • BOHS sweethearts reunite after decades

    1 year ago by

    Love story:

      Mike Jaromscak, Brea Olinda High School class of ’78 and Faris Whitesell Class of ’80 dated in high school. They are soon getting married. (Courtesy of Faris Whitesell)

      Mike Jaromscak, Brea Olinda High School class of ’78 and Faris Whitesell Class of ’80 dated in high school. They are soon getting married. (Courtesy of Faris Whitesell)

        Mike Jaromscak, Brea Olinda High School Class of ’78, and Faris Whitesell, Class of ’80, had a group of friends who did everything together. Included in that group were Susie Leyton, Darlene Esposito, Jackie Smith, Susan Nykaza, Rhonda Kozumplick, Fran Contrares, Kayleen Hopkins, Mike Jaromscak, Cody Moree, Richard Donk, and Frank Mueller. After a group river trip, Mike drove Faris home in 1982 and they started dating. At the wedding of his sister, his beloved grandmother, Ida, told Mike that Faris was the one.

          “I made the mistake of breaking up with Mike, and moved to Tennessee following my sisters, Emily, Fran, and Fern," Faris said. "I lost touch with many Brea friends. Fast forward to 2004, I was single and carrying the knowledge that Mike was the one I let go, and should have made better decisions. I started searching for him on the Internet, spelling his name wrong.

            "Our friend Kay was killed in an auto accident. At her funeral, her mom gave me her photo's," Faris said. In Kay's pictures, there was one of our old gang, and she had a Post-it note listing everybody in the picture. And there it was, Mike Jaromscak. I immediately went to Facebook and found him."

              "There were many challenges to face, mainly geographic. He lived in Oregon. I lived in Tennessee. We took a trip to the Redwoods to figure it out. The end result was a road trip, from Oregon to Tennessee. "I am a RN and Mike is a retired masonry. His dream was to live in a cabin in the woods, so that is what we did. We built a cabin in the woods," said Faris.

                "Finding true love at this stage in life is beautiful. We have both made mistakes and we both have made accomplishments," Faris said. "But one thing for sure, this last chapter of our lives will be the best. Thanks to growing up in Brea, the best place in the world to grow up. I don't know what it's like now, but the friendships of Brea are forever.”

                  They will be getting married soon.

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

  • 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!

  • Annual Brea SummerFest Giveaway on BBON

    1 year ago by


      It’s a “Thriller” to announce our annual BBON Brea SummerFest Giveaway, but first….

        MoonWalker the reflection of Michael.

        MoonWalker the reflection of Michael.

        You can’t beat it, beat it, beat it! The Annual 29th Brea SummerFest is coming on June 1-3, with a variety of entertainment tribute bands performing mimicry, creativity, and showmanship of many legendary bands such as Michael Jackson, Led Zepplin, No Doubt, U2, Huey Lewis and the News, and Fleetwood Mac. Plus, more family-fun on the carnival side with nearly 20 rides and no one ever goes hungry or thirsty at this festival!

          No need to “Ramble On.” Just enter our BBON Brea SummerFest Giveaway to win -- starting on Monday, May 30 through Wednesday, June 1!

            UPDATE: TWO ADDITIONAL WINNERS FOR A TOTAL OF LUCKY 7 -- Thanks to The Absolute Wurst!

              SEVEN Lucky Winners will receive gifts from favorite local eateries:

                *Jimmy's Famous American Tavern Brea --$25 Gift Card

                  *Mendocino Farms Brea-- $35 Sandwich Voucher good for 2 Mendo Sandwiches and 2 Puck’s Fountain Sodas.

                    *Mammalucco's-- $25 Gift Card

                      *Dog Haus Fullerton gifts valued at $180. (4) people to win: Combo Meal Gift Cards – choice of drink, fries or tots, burger, hotdog or sausage dog. Retail value per four promo cards: $45

                        Winners announced on BBON Facebook on Thursday, June 2.

                          Good LuCk and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

                            Get it? Got it. Good.

  • 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

  • Historic Timekeeper: Charlie the Clock children’s book celebrating 100 years in Brea

    1 year ago by

    Tic, Toc, where do I begin to tell the story…


        It all started when I contracted 2006 BOHS and recent CSUF grad Artist Heather Ashlyn Collins to design a fun, whimsy version of Brea’s historic icon Charlie’s Clock. I renamed it Charlie the Clock because it’s friendly and implies Charlie belongs to everyone in the community ☺

          Charlie the Clock caricature cutout was made in February 2015 just in time to celebrate Brea’s 98th birthday, with The Face of Brea contest held at Edwards Brea Stadium West 10. “It was a hit,” said West 10 GM, Stephen Moehle!

            Brea Edwards Stadium West 10 GM, Stephen Moehle and his team!

            Edwards Brea Stadium West 10 GM, Stephen Moehle, and his team!

              Charlie the Clock continued to spread awareness within the community about Brea’s upcoming centennial year in 2017, by appearing at community events and schools. For a while Charlie the Clock was on exhibit at the Brea Museum & Historical Society.

                As time was ticking away it became evident that charming Charlie the Clock was well liked and should now start telling the timeline story of Brea’s history.

                  Enter, longtime Brean Kathy Cannon. Former president of the Brea Historical society, a lover of Brea’s history and a phenomenal writer, Kathy and I will blend whimsy and education in partnering on a children’s history book featuring Charlie the Clock in time travel, celebrating 100 years in Brea. And of course, the book will come alive with eye-catching illustrations by Heather!

                    Oh and there will be community characters in the book such as Laurel Elementary Teacher Jill Berrner and former student Valeria Zavala, who made history in town last year by being named National History Day champion for California!...and did I say, yup, our local news reporter "Newsy Suzy," too!!

                      Geez--I know I said more than a mouthfull!

                        What's time traveling without interactive feedback!

                          NOW — We Need Help From You! Where should Charlie the Clock and Valeria go first? What era?

  • Make It Happen: Love Brea Day

    1 year 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


  • Laurel Elementary Students Receive Recognition for Orange County National History Day

    1 year ago by

    Many of Laurel Elementary Schools students received recognition at the Orange County National History Day Award Ceremony held last week.

      In the Performance Category, the Runners-up for their project: Siege of Los Angeles were Brandon Rodriguez, Jonathan Mejia, and Sergio Rendon. Honorable mention to Andrew Castaneda for his website on Rocketry.

        Junior Finalists (Left to right)  Brandon Rodriguez, Jonathan Mejia, Sergio Rendon, and Eduardo Hernandez were Runners-up in the Performance Category. Their project was on The Siege of Los Angeles. Andrew Castaneda (Right) received Honorable Mention for his website on Rocketry.

        Junior Finalists (Left to right) Brandon Rodriguez, Jonathan Mejia, Sergio Rendon, and Eduardo Hernandez were Runners-up in the Performance Category. Their project was on The Siege of Los Angeles. Andrew Castaneda (Right) received Honorable Mention for his website on Rocketry.

          Roman Meraz and Jewel Serrano were recognized as County Champions in the Elementary Division. Roman and Jewel will advance to the California National History Day competition, just like Valeria Zavala, who was named California NHD Champion - the first student in Brea to receive the award under the guidance of Laurel Teacher Jill Berrner. Roman's project is about Walter Johnson, and Jewel's is about The Special Olympics.

            Roman Meraz and Jewel Serrano received recognition as County Champions in the Elementary Division.

            Roman Meraz and Jewel Serrano received recognition as County Champions in the Elementary Division.

            Jason Choi  won the Brea's Kiwanis Essay contest entitled "A Caring Representation." ​

            Jason Choi won the Brea's Kiwanis Essay contest entitled "A Caring Representation." ​

            Three more Laurel students also received Judges Choice Medals. They were Antonio Alas and Jason Choi (for their project about Bill Gates, and Anna Riley Boozer who researched Dian Fossey. Jason Choi also won the Brea's Kiwanis Essay contest last week with his essay entitled "A Caring Representation" ​