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brea mall

  • Brea’s former mayors set the pace for our future

    3 months ago by

    Did you know Brea has 14 living former mayors, all appointed by their peers, 10 who still live in Brea?


      They have presided over Brea during different eras and often under challenging conditions, but I am only highlighting former mayors not currently on council.

        Mayor Lynn Daucher is seen in this 1998 photo at the helm of a bulldozer for the groundbreaking of Brea Downtown. (Courtesy of Lynn Daucher)


          Our living former mayors date back to 1964, when then 28-year-old Thomas Speers was appointed mayor for a two-year term. Speers now lives in Colorado, and recalled how he and his council were successful in changing the position of city administrator to a full-time city manager and other professional staffing needed for a growing city.

            During Rex Gaede’s turn as mayor in 1977, he was instrumental in changing the mayoral term from two years to one year so more council members could serve in the center seat. Gaede’s most memorable mayor moment was presiding over the opening of the Brea Mall, a very big deal for the community.

              Ron Isles, who now lives in Arkansas, served on the council two times, and as mayor in 1982 and again in 1992. He said he worked with the city manager and finance manager to set minimum budget constraints to assure that Brea would always have money and be able to pay its bills. That seems to still be the case today.

                A big change came in 1984 when Norma Arias Hicks Buckeye, now of Fallbrook, was appointed mayor. She was the first woman and first Hispanic to be elected to Brea’s City Council. She was instrumental in getting Sacramento bigwigs to create Chino Hills State Park, and also fought the landfill expansion.

                  Carrey Nelson, our oldest living mayor at age 90, served as mayor in 1984 and 1990. He served 14 years on council, and the downtown’s huge transformation came under his watch.

                    Mayor in 1990, Wayne Wedin said working with a strong team of staff, council and the community was successful as was developing a strong relationship with the school district. He was also instrumental in starting Brea’s Art in Public Places.

                      Burnie Dunlap became mayor in 1992, 1993 and 1996. A highlight of being mayor was the completion of the Brea Community Center. He now lives in Anaheim Hills, but says he still loves Brea!

                        Bev Perry, mayor in 1995, 2000 and 2003, became mayor in 1995 and the next day Orange County declared bankruptcy. She spent much of that year in meetings with other O.C. cities who also had money invested with the county. In the end, she said, they were able to craft a deal that returned nearly all of Brea’s money back to the city.

                          Lynn Daucher, mayor 1997-98, said her most memorable mayor moment was at the downtown groundbreaking in October 1998. She said it was culmination of years of hard work by several city councils, but the best part was Daucher at the controls of the bulldozer. Something I doubt she has repeated.

                            John Beauman, mayor in 2004 and 2009, especially enjoyed commemorating the Brea Sports Park opening in 2008, and also serving as president of the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities.

                              Former police chief Bill Lentini was mayor in 2004. His goal on council was to help bring civility back to our local government and finally make the sports park a reality. During his mayoral year, he saw the revitalization of South Brea Boulevard and safeguards set for the hillsides.

                                Don Schweitzer was mayor in 2008 and 2012, following in the mayoral footsteps from the past of his father and grandfather. His favorite accomplishment as mayor was presenting the idea of a Brea war memorial, getting it funded and finally built.

                                  Ron Garcia served as Brea’s mayor in 2006. Unfortunately he did not respond to my requests.

                                    Brett Murdock served as Brea’s mayor in 2014 and worked hard on the Lagos de Moreno Park rehabilitation project at Laurel School. “It will be an incredible addition to our great city and school district,” he said.

                                      Murdock is the only former mayor who stated he is seriously considering running again for office. Which one? He didn’t say.

                                        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 daxoncomm@earthlink.net.

  • 25th Annual Brea 8K Classic

    1 year ago by

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      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.
  • What’s new at Brea Mall!

    1 year ago by

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      Brea Mall is bustling with new stores, remodels and reopenings!

        *Sprint, the popular cellular service provider, is now occupying a 980-square-foot store next to Lenscrafters.

          *Supreme Day Spa will open in spring, featuring a variety of skincare and cosmetic products. At 1,000 square feet, its location will be on the lower level, near Macy’s Women’s store.

            *Nature Republic, a South Korean-based cosmetics company, will follow Supreme Day Spa with a second cosmetic store opening. The store featuring natural cosmetics products will be located in a 1,300-square-foot space near Nordstrom.

              •Jack Monarch, a local Newport Beach-based jewelry retailer, is scheduled to open a 1,200-square foot space on the upper level near Center Court, offering handmade and hand-assembled unique gem collections.

                *Express is in the process of remodeling, updating the interior and exterior of the store. The store will remain open throughout the remodel, later opening upon completion in late spring.

                  *Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma are relocating within the mall. Pottery Barn will be reopening this spring in their new 5,000-square-foot location on the upper level near Nordstrom, and Williams-Sonoma will be reopening on the upper level near Lenscrafters in a new 3,400-square-foot space.

  • Daxon: Local spending funds summer events and fills potholes

    1 year ago by

    We hear “buy local” everywhere, but does it really make a difference to our city’s coffers?


      It certainly does.

        “Sales tax makes up 42 percent of the city’s revenues,” City Manager Bill Gallardo said.

          That 42 percent is approximately $21 million for fiscal year 2015-16. But, which businesses in Brea are the biggest sales tax revenue generators?

            “Brea Mall is a large contributor,” said Alicia Brenner, Brea’s senior management analyst via email, “and roughly represents 30 percent of the sales tax revenues.” That is significant, especially because four of the city’s top-10 sales tax generators are located in the mall.

              In fact, the city rakes in the most sales tax revenue from the mall’s Apple Store. All of us iMac, iPhone, iWatch and iPad fans can now take a bow.

                Following Apple in second place is Beckman Coulter, which is also one of Brea’s top employers. In third place is Home Depot, Macy’s comes in fourth place, then Nordstrom’s, Russell Sigler (HVAC distributors), Target, Tesla, wholesale distributor Walter’s Electric and in the 10 spot is Walmart.

                  I am surprised that Tesla isn’t higher on the list. That cool $80,000 Tesla you’ve been eyeing will have $6,400 in sales tax tagged on to it. I find it amazing that all the Apple iStuff sold at the Brea Mall store beats out a year’s worth of Tesla sales tax revenue at the same location.

                    And where does the tax revenue go?

                      First, it goes into the general fund and is then disbursed to support many city programs and services, including police and fire, according to Gallardo. Those taxes also go toward the many amenities that make Brea a nice place to live.

                        Do you enjoy driving on pothole-free city streets? Thank the guy down the street wearing an iWatch and driving his new Tesla while wearing clothing recently purchased at Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. Nice.

                          Besides helping fund pothole repair and other city maintenance, those sales tax dollars help keep the Community Center and Senior Center in operation and the free senior bus on the road.

                            Brea’s tax bucks also help fund the Family Resource Center, Tiny Tots, the Community Center’s Teen Zone, the fitness center, the annual Wellness Festival, the Nutcracker and Spring boutiques, the annual bridal show and other Community Center events.

                              The city-sponsored summer activities, such as Concerts in the Park, Family Film Night in Arovista Park, the July 4 Country Fair and Brea Fest, all receive funding generated by sales tax revenue. The Curtis Theatre, Brea Art Gallery and Art in Public Places also enjoy the benefits of Brea’s healthy sales tax revenue.

                                Another recipient of funding thanks to sales tax revenue is the Tracks at Brea Trail, Brea’s long-awaited rails-to-trails project. The largest segment of the paved and landscaped trail, between State College and Brea boulevards, is scheduled to open in March for walkers, runners and bike riders too. A portion of 4-mile the trail meanders through the Birch Hills Golf Course.

                                  So much of what we enjoy in Brea comes from sales tax. That’s my excuse for shopping more.

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

  • Centennial Celebration Honoring the People of Brea – Rex D. Gaede

    1 year ago by

    BEING A PART OF THE BEGINNING


      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.

  • Santa Ralph is waiting for you at Brea Mall

    2 years ago by

    From Brea Mall, Santa Ralph says hello!

    From Brea Mall, Santa Ralph says hello!


      Christmas is not complete without a visit to Santa--especially with Santa Ralph, a very familiar face, who has been bringing joy to all the girls and boys at the mall for 11 years now! Stop by to say hello:

        November 27th-28th 10:00AM-8:30PM

          November 29th 11:00AM-7:00PM

            November 30th 10:00AM-8:30PM

              December 1st-3rd 10:00AM-8:30AM

                December 4th 10:00AM-9:00PM

                  December 5th 8:00AM-9:00PM

                    December 6th 11:00AM-9:00PM

                      December 7th-10th 10:00AM-9:00PM

                        December 11th-12th 9:00AM-9:30PM

                          December 13th 10:00AM-8:00PM

                            December 14th-19th 9:00AM-9:30PM

                              December 20th 9:00AM-8:00PM

                                December 21st-23rd 9:00AM-9:30PM

                                  December 24th 8:00AM-6:00PM

  • Improv plan could be a windfall

    2 years ago by

    A huge opportunity was placed in the City Council’s lap. Now what will they do with it?


      At the May 5 City Council study session, Stu Schreiberg of the Improv Corporation and Dwight Manley, a major Brea Downtown property owner, gave a brief presentation of a proposed Brea Improv that has little resemblance to the present one on Brea Boulevard.

        The new Improv would move to the corner of Brea Boulevard and Birch Street, presently housing Old Navy. Manley Fanticola, owners of that property plan to spend more than $10million to tear down and replace that building with a 41,000-square foot, two-story Improv.

          “The Improv will invest heavily in the interior buildout,” said Manley via email.

            This new Improv would have a commanding and exciting exterior and feature large theater auditoriums on both floors, two fine dining restaurants and outdoor seating on both levels. Besides comedy, this Improv would feature live plays and musical productions. It would be, according to Schreiberg, an entertainment destination.

              He also said that Improv Corporation plans very soon to open five of these mega Improv theaters around the country in such places as San Francisco, Nashville, New York and Brea Downtown.

                It would put Brea on the SoCal entertainment destination map and add a new level of sophistication and excitement to the downtown.

                  Quite a windfall for Brea, right? But the air could quickly blow out of that windfall if another parking structure is not built on the eastside of Brea Boulevard, behind the very vacant former Tower building. Without it, the Improv will go elsewhere. Their present lease ends in 2016.

                    This is a huge opportunity for Brea and it all hinges on securing a new parking structure. You can’t build an entertainment venue with theater seating for nearly 600 people plus the restaurants without adequate, convenient parking. Such a parking structure will benefit not only the property owners, but also all of us who will benefit from the tax dollars the Improv Entertainment Center brings to Brea, and it can’t hurt our own property values either.

                      Our city leaders made the right decision in the 1970s with the very successful Brea Mall that could easily been built in another city along 57 Freeway. Do we want to see the new Improv be built in Fullerton or elsewhere in Orange County, when it could be built in Brea? I sure don’t.

                        What I am sure of is if you missed the fourth annual “Celebration of Brea’s Sister Cities” at the Curtis Theatre at the Brea Civic Center on May 3, you missed an evening of outstanding entertainment.

                          Presented by the Brea Korea Sister City Association, it featured a wide variety of music and dance representing Korea, Japan, Mexico and the USA, including the terrific the Brea Olinda High School Jazz Band. Also terrific was the very talented Korean American Youth Performing Artists who did amazing drum dances. All of the other dancers and singers were also outstanding.

                            Proceeds from the celebration will help Brea students to travel to our sister city of Anseong, Korea.

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

  • Egg-citing Easter events at Brea Mall

    2 years ago by

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      Gather the kiddos, the Easter Bunny is at Brea Mall through Saturday, April 4. You’ll find Mr. Easter Bunny on the lower level near the JCPenney wing. Kids will get the opportunity to interact with the Bunny and take home a treasured keepsake photo. To avoid long lines, book your family’s reservation with the Easter Bunny online at Follow the Bunny.

        But the fun doesn’t stop there as a special Kidgits Easter Hop Into Spring event is just around the corner. Hosted by The Simon Kidgits Club, the event is scheduled on Saturday, March 14, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Bunny Photo Experience set. There will be various Easter activities and games for the kids, and participants will receive a special Easter keepsake to take home.

          Below are the dates and times to visit the Easter Bunny at Brea Mall:

            3/06/2015 Friday 5pm – 8pm

              3/07/2015 Saturday 10am – 7pm

                3/08/2015 Sunday 11am – 6pm

                  3/09/2015 Monday 11am – 8pm

                    3/10/2015 Tuesday 11am – 8pm

                      3/11/2015 Wednesday 11am – 8pm

                        3/12/2015 Thursday 11am – 8pm

                          3/13/2015 Friday 10am – 8pm

                            3/14/2015 Saturday 10am – 7pm

                              3/15/2015 Sunday 11am – 6pm

                                3/16/2015 Monday 10am – 8pm

                                  3/17/2015 Tuesday 10am – 8pm

                                    3/18/2015 Wednesday 10am – 8pm

                                      3/19/2015 Thursday 10am – 8pm

                                        3/20/2015 Friday 10am – 8:30pm

                                          3/21/2015 Saturday 10am – 7pm

                                            3/22/2015 Sunday 11am – 6pm

                                              3/23/2015 Monday 10am – 8:30pm

                                                3/24/2015 Tuesday 10am – 8:30pm

                                                  3/25/2015 Wednesday 10am – 8:30pm

                                                    3/26/2015 Thursday 10am – 8:30pm

                                                      3/27/2015 Friday 10am – 9pm

                                                        3/28/2015 Saturday 10am – 7pm

                                                          3/29/2015 Sunday 11am – 6pm

                                                            3/30/2015 Monday 10am – 9pm

                                                              3/31/2015 Tuesday 10am – 9pm

                                                                4/01/2015 Wednesday 10am – 9pm

                                                                  4/02/2015 Thursday 10am – 9pm

                                                                    4/03/2015 Friday 10am – 9pm

                                                                      4/04/2015 Saturday 10am – 7pm

  • Simon Youth Foundation Seeks Local Applicants for Scholarship Program

    2 years ago by

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      For 16 consecutive years, the nonprofit Simon Youth Foundation awards Simon Youth Community Scholarships to at-risk high school students. College-bound students, who will be graduating in the class of 2015 and live within 50 miles of a Simon property, are eligible. Applications are available and being accepted until February 25, for Brea Mall, Westminster Mall and The Shops at Mission Viejo.
  • BBON 2,000 Facebook Followers Giveaway

    3 years ago by


      Ask and YOU shall receive! You chose your favorite Brea businesses to participate in our BBON 2,000 Facebook Followers Giveaway, and we delivered. It couldn't have happened at a better time. You really are a great group of people and we thank you for your continuous support!

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