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


  • Sparkle & Glitz – Bessie the Brea Beader

    2 years ago by


      I wonder how many local people remember former Brea resident Bessie Nelson (known to many as the Brea Beader), who gave glitz to so many entertainment and political stars?

        Bessie Nelson, known to many as Bessie the Brea Beader, gives glitz to many entertainment and political stars. She is shown with daughter Bessie.(Courtesy of Vita Zol)

          Bessie’s talented touch added the gleam of rhinestones, sequins, bugle beads and more to Michael Jackson’s glove, Neil Diamond’s jackets, Liberace’s capes, Joan Rivers’ blouses and Cher’s evening dresses, not to mention Nancy Reagan’s and Hillary Clinton’s inaugural ball gowns.

            We remember one year when Bessie’s daughter, also known as Bessie, was involved in Brea Olinda High School’s dance production program and her mom volunteered to hand bead costumes for all the girls – at the same time she was running back and forth to Hollywood doing beading for top designers! Bessie moved to New Jersey several years ago to be closer to family, and once word got out, Broadway came calling. She did beading for shows from “Dreamgirls” and “Sunset Boulevard” to “Miss Saigon,” “Wicked” and “The Boy From Oz,” but her biggest project of all was embellishing 31 costumes for the national tour of “A Chorus Line.”

              Now 86 years young, Bessie keeps her needle busy, recently beading dresses for Bette Midler and her understudies for the Broadway production of “Hello Dolly!” and adding glam to the outfits of all the Radio City Rockettes for a Chase Bank TV commercial. She’s currently working on costumes for “Frozen,” which is expected to open on Broadway next spring.

                In a world filled with labor-saving devices, beading is one thing that still must be done by hand, one tiny piece at a time. Bessie, who learned the art from her aunt at the age of 9, said she is sad that, even though demand remains high, beading seems to be a dying art. “They haven’t found a way yet for a machine to do it,” she laughed. Which is fine, as long as folks like Bessie the Brea Beader are still there to keep people in stitches.

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

  • 2003 BOHS grad Araz Pourmorad proud to serve under the Obama administration

    3 years ago by


      “Only in this great country of ours can a 13-year-old immigrant who arrived knowing just three words in English (yes, no and monkey) grow up one day to work for the President of the United States.” So said Araz Pourmorad, 2003 Brea Olinda High graduate.

        President Barack Obama has departure photos taken with Araz Pourmorad, Deputy Director of Operations and Continuity, WH Operations in the Oval Office, Oct. 31, 2014. (Official White House)

          “It was a great honor and the privilege of my life to serve the Obama administration in the White House, but now my nine-year journey has come to an end,” Araz wrote as the administration wound down this past winter.

            Araz first served at the White House as deputy director of operations and continuity, and later was promoted to State Protocol. During his years in that post, he managed the visits of heads of states and governments to the United States.

              Travel was also part of his “amazing experience,” as his work took him all over the world.

                Not one to forget his roots, Araz expressed special thanks to his parents, Fereydon “Fred” and Fatemeh Pourmorad of Brea, for making the sacrifices they did so he could have this special opportunity. While serving in Washington,D.C., he also invited three of his Brea Olinda High teachers, Barbara Arcyznski, Janet Chapluk and Marjorie Sepulveda, all of Brea, to visit the White House.

                  A USC graduate with a degree in political science, Araz said he particularly loved the First Family’s dogs, Bo and Sunny, and adored acting as the Easter Bunny in the 134th White House Easter Egg Roll.

                    Asked what he thought of former President Barack Obama, he said he believed him to be “one of the greatest presidents in history.”

                      Though sad to say goodbye to his friends in D.C., Araz has landed on his feet and now works on public policy at Google.

                        We knew him when…

                          Susan Gaede has cast her eye on local news for more than 40 years. Contact her at 714-529-8561 or e-mail

  • BOHS GITA Club to build Charlie the Clock centennial children’s website

    3 years ago by

    What did the unwound clock say to its owner? A: It’s about time!

      Update on Brea’s historic iconic Charlie’s Clock aka Charlie the Clock caricicature:

        Today, I met with Mr. Salesky, the creator and sole instructor of BOHS GITA (Global IT Academy), and three of his students, Anjali Patel, Zoya Kahn and Kyle Tam, who are working on building a Charlie the Clock website -- showcasing the city of Brea's first children's book, celebrating its centennial year in 2017.
  • BOHS officer Dan Moon to retire after 16 years of service

    4 years 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 students participate in California primary

    4 years ago by

    An increasing amount of young people participated in the California primary, even some from Brea Olinda High School.

    An increasing amount of young people participated in the California primary, even some from Brea Olinda High School.

    Over a dozen students from Brea Olinda High School volunteered as a student poll worker for the California primary on Tuesday, many of them too young to vote. And while the California primary witnessed many surprising (and some not-so-surprising) results on Tuesday, an increased participation among the youth demographic this year follows a growing national trend.

      “I wanted to volunteer because I finally started to pay attention to politics this year,” Rianne Paracuelles, junior, said. “Even though I can’t vote, I still wanted to fulfill my civic duty by helping out. Also I learned a lot about how official the process is and how important it is that every single person votes because it really does matter.”

        BOHS student poll workers were placed all over Orange County, arriving at their assigned poll location at 6 a.m. and ending as late as 10 p.m. All poll workers are required to undergo a training session where they learn how to process voters, how to set up their location site, and how to prepare for various scenarios. At the training, volunteers were told to expect a high voter turnout this year, considering the high election turnouts across the country. In addition, poll workers learned how to set up the electronic voting booths, as Orange County is one of the two counties in California that is allowed to use them.

          “It was a really cool experience. My team worked around a 15-hour day, so it was definitely exhausting, but I got to learn a ton about what kind of things constitute a voting day,” Hannah Towbin, junior, said. “So many different kinds of people came out to vote, which I thought represented our modern American culture, and each person for the most part was really nice. We had a couple of frustrating ones though, like a man who showed up with a Bernie shirt on. Unfortunately we had to ask him to come back with a new shirt because it’s policy that he couldn’t represent any one person or party, but everything else went really smoothly.”

            Prior to the primary, many students and teachers at BOHS took part in electioneering on campus. History teacher Eugene Lee was known for his advocacy of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and decorated his room with campaign buttons and posters. History teacher Jeff Sink regularly discussed the election in his classes, educating his students on not only the political issues and candidates, but the political process as well, such as the difference between a primary and a caucus or the purpose of superdelegates. Some students went to campaign rallies, such as in April, when a group of students took off during a school day to attend a Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles. The group was invited to stand behind the senator, and at one point, senior Kyle Kirk fainted during the rally.

              And in early May, workers from the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign came to BOHS during a lunch period one day, encouraging eligible students to register to vote and recruiting volunteers for the campaign. During the California primary, the high voter turnout matched the 2008 election turnout as early as 10 a.m., according to Neal Kelley, the Orange County Registrar of Voters. And from there, voter turnout continued to increase among all demographics.

                “Working at a polling place was definitely worth doing despite the long hours. Seeing how voting works today will make me a more well-educated voter in the future, I hope,” Towbin said.

  • 25th Annual Brea 8K Classic

    4 years ago by


      Brea 8K is celebrating its 25th year! It's hard to imagine that just 68 people took to the streets in the first Brea 8K Classic. Since that small start in 1992, this race has grown into a favorite community event, one which is expected to draw over 2000 runners/walkers, 600 volunteers, and almost 100 paid and in-kind sponsors.

        This will also be our third year hosting two races, the other being the USA Track and field Masters Championships 8K which brings about 200 participants from across the nation. I have been involved since 2011 and enjoy working with this wonderful, all-volunteer board of dedicated parents and advocates.

          Many of our volunteers no longer have children benefiting directly from the proceeds of this race, but continue year after year because they feel a strong sense of satisfaction that comes from the rewards it brings to the Brea Olinda High School students. It's a wonderful group of people working together for one goal. Our support from the community is phenomenal.

            Our hosting sponsor, the Brea Mall, is fantastic and without their sponsorship, we simply would not have the same event it is today. It definitely is a heartfelt, hometown fun event focused on fitness that raises funds for enriched academic and music programs at BOHS. The focus of these groups are academic achievements, scholarships and the music arts.

              We want to thank the whole community, the Brea Olinda Unified School District and board members, the City of Brea and Brea Police Department, the many fabulous restaurants that provide food in our food court, businesses and non-profits, such as the Scouts, that support and sponsor the race every year.

                Lastly, we appreciate all the participants that come out on the last Sunday in February year after year to challenge themselves to run/walk the Brea 8K Classic through the beautiful hills of Brea. Truly, the Brea 8K is a gem in our city and something to be proud of. On behalf of the Brea 8K Board , GITA (Global IT Academy), Academic Booster Club, Instrumental Music & Color Guard Boosters and Vocal Music Boosters we thank you for your continued support.

                  Jimini Ohler

                    Brea 8K Classic

                      Where: Begins on East Birch Street and Brea Mall Road and winds through the surrounding streets.

                        When: 8 a.m. Feb. 28; 1K Fun run begins at 9:15 a.m.

                          Fees: $40 for adults 19 and older and $30 for students 18 and under; $12 for the 1K Fun Run for children 10 and under.
  • BKSCA Runs Campaign To Establish Korean Class at BOHS

    4 years ago by

    Nancy Lee, president of BKSCA, is getting signatures for the petition [Image Credit: Korea Daily]

    Nancy Lee, president of BKSCA, is getting signatures for the petition [Image Credit: Korea Daily]

      BKSCA, Brea Korean Sister City Association, started the campaign to establish Korean class at Brea Olinda High School. On Dec. 1, BKSCA members introduced their campaign and received signatures needed for the petition at seminar held at Brea Community room.

        Nancy Lee, president of BKSCA, will formally petition of the establishment of Korean class at BOHS by March the latest.

          “There are an increasing number of Brea citizens of Korean heritage. Also, Brea City Hall wants to have an opportunity to communicate with people of Korean heritage in Brea through BKSCA,” Lee said.

            Carrie Flanders, Board of Education in BOUSD, stated during seminar, “There is no reason to reject the establishment of Korean class if financial problems are solved. It will contribute to the diversity of our community.”

              Regarding the diversity, participants of seminar shared their hope to establish Korean class, as Japanese class is already established despite less number of students of Japanese heritage.

                Aside from the petition, during the seminar, Kelly Kennedy, principal of Brea Junior High School, explained about educational environment and curriculum of Brea. In addition, JNJ admission shared their information on admission to college especially for high school students. You can contact 714-222-9955 for more information.

                  Choha Kim/junior at Brea Olinda High School,

  • BOHS’ Model United Nations club competes at the UCLA MUN conference

    4 years ago by

    photo source: BOHS MUN members will compete at the UCLA MUN conference.

    photo source:
    BOHS MUN members will compete at the UCLA MUN conference.

    Brea Olinda High School’s Model United Nations club will attend the 23rd Bruin Model United Nations conference at UCLA today and tomorrow, competing against other high school students from all around the world. BOHS will be sending delegates Charlotte Kim, Stacy Uhm, Jane Lee, and Ashley Kim to represent the country of Vietnam along with club advisors Eugene Lee and Amanda Hefner.

      Junior Jane Lee and sophomore Ashley Kim, both club co-presidents, will compete as one of the four Crisis committees, a level typically designed for seasoned delegates who apply their knowledge of history and critical thinking skills.

        “I’m excited to attend the conference, but I’m also nervous because I have no idea what to expect at such a big conference,” Lee said.

          Juniors Charlotte Kim and Stacy Uhm, the latter joining the team this year, will compete at the beginner level committee, which are smaller in size and designed for novice delegates.

            “I’m really excited to go to the conference this year. I think it’s a great opportunity, especially since it’s at UCLA, and I’m so grateful to get the chance to be a part of it,” Uhm said. The students have been preparing for the conference by working on their position paper and researching about Vietnam. They have also rehearsed their opening speech for the conference, a speech that they must present under one minute.

              This is the first time that the BOHS Model United Nations club has attended the UCLA conference, last competing in two small conferences in 2013. In 2013, the club won several awards in the past, such as Best Delegate, Outstanding Delegate, and Commendations. Last year, however, the club did not compete in a conference, mostly due to lack of interest.

                This year the club hopes to win awards again and relies on the team’s hard work and dedication to get them through the conference.

                  “My goal is for all of us to win awards at the end of the year, and I’m confident that we will,” Lee said.

  • BOHS installs new safety measure for classrooms

    4 years ago by

    Brea Olinda High School recently installed Lock Bloks on classroom doors, a safety measure that will protect students and staff from dangerous threats, such as intruders, on campus.

      The Lock Bloks device enables the user to lock the door from the inside, requiring the teacher to keep the classroom door locked on the outside at all times. The door remains open throughout the day due to the Lock Blok’s retractable feature that prevents the door from shutting all the way. But the device can also quickly allow the user to dismantle the door-prevention feature in the event of a dangerous situation that would require a locked door.

        The Brea Olinda High School installs Lock Bloks on all classrooms, a device that will help with campus safety

        The Brea Olinda High School installs Lock Bloks on all classrooms, a device that will help with campus safety

        “Anything [we] can do to give [ourselves] a few more seconds in the case of an emergency will come in handy,” Bob Parish, BOHS Assistant Principal, said. “It’s a simple process to set it up in the door, so having the Lock Blok’s will come to great use if ever in an emergency situation. And though we wish to never have to use the Lock Blok’s, we truly believe that if ever in an emergency, they will come to great use and protect our student body”.

          In the past years, BOHS has had to use metal pieces to slide under the hallway doors to protect against intruders. But according to Parish, these metal pieces presented several safety concerns, such as the time it takes to set up the metal pieces and the fact that a person would have to go outside to lock the door and would be unable to come back inside.

            “I think the new Lock Bloks features are amazing in terms of campus safety,” Nadia Fox, French teacher and school safety advocate, said. “It’s definitely more reassuring as a teacher to have this safety measure for my students.”

  • BOHS Homecoming Dance was a “A Night to Remember”

    4 years ago by

    Students donned in corsages and boutonnieres prepare for #Homecoming2015

    Students donned in corsages and boutonnieres prepare for #Homecoming2015

    The BOHS Homecoming Dance kicked off last night at the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach. With the theme “A Night to Treasure,” students were free to bust some moves at the dance floor, relax on an evening boat tour aboard the Balboa riverboat, and enjoy the rest of the night at the beach’s Fun Zone where they could ride the ferris wheel, the bungee assisted trampoline ride, and even play in some arcades.

      Once again, the Dance was hosted by the BOHS Girls’ League, who worked hard to organize the event. And all their hard work paid off as the students were buzzing with excitement throughout the night.

        “This year’s dance definitely had that carnival-vibe to it,” Amaris Salas, junior, said. “I think that’s part of what made it so fun--there was just so many things to do and I wanted to do them all!”

          The BOHS Homecoming Dance was held at the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach. Photo credit:

          The BOHS Homecoming Dance was held at the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach. Photo credit:

          The night before the dance, the senior Homecoming queen was announced at the BOHS Homecoming football game. Libby Williams, senior, took home the crown, along with the other Homecoming princesses, junior Hannah Towbin, sophomore Jennie Pendergast, and freshman Amanda Acaba.

            All in all, the BOHS Homecoming Dance of 2015 seemed to be a “true success” and it was definitely “A Night to Treasure.”