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Mayor Don Schweitzer

  • Brea War Memorial: Army Colonel Christopher LaNeve delivers heartfelt keynote speech

    5 years ago by

    Army Colonel Christopher C. LaNeve was the keynote speaker. He is pictured with his brother (left)Dave LaNeve Brea photographer (courtesy photo)

    Brea

       The dedication of the Brea War Memorial in front of the civil center on Birch street was attended by nearly 1,000 people on Veterans Day. The patriotic and solemn ceremony recognized the 19 Brea fallen heros of past and present wars.

         Retiring Mayor Don Schweitzer led the program which included a flyover, comments by Congressman Ed Royce, and an inspiring and moving keynote speech by Army Colonel Christopher  C. LaNeve, who will be taking command of the 3rd Infantry Brigade combat team of the lst armored division in Afghanistan. The Colonel, the brother of Brea photographer Dave LaNeve, related how he came close to death on 7/11 when his office in the pentagon was destroyed  by the impact of the crashing hijacked  airliner just moments after the Colonel, then a major, had turned his desk over to another officer who was there upon killed.

         Members of North Hills Church passed out water bottles and cookies engraved with the branches of the five services after the program. The dedication is probably the best event I have ever attended in Brea.

    Susan Gaede

  • Statement from Mayor Don Schweitzer: Brea War Memorial

    5 years ago by

    Master of Ceremonies, Mayor Don Schweitzer. Photo courtesy of Jon Gaede

    The Brea War Memorial is now open following a community ceremony on Veterans Day, November 11, 2012. The crowd of approximately 1,000 spectators included families of some of Brea's 19 fallen heroes, veterans and their families, City Commissioners, Scouts, members from the faith community, and many other Brea residents.

    Large crowd gathered at Brea War Memorial Ceremony. Photo by Jon Gaede

    I served as the Master of Ceremonies, opening with a welcome, followed by the Brea Police Department Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Council Member Ron Garcia, and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by singer Denise Stefanie.

    Pastor Dave Radar from Brea Baptist Church presented the invocation. I then followed his remarks recalling the inspiration for the Memorial, honoring veterans, active military and recognizing the families of the fallen and recounting the story of the first Brean that died for his country in World War I.  He was Private First Class Joe Reiniche, U.S. Army, killed on May 29, 1918 in the trenches of France during WWI. He had enlisted just eight months earlier and was excited about fighting in the War to end all Wars. Joe, a Brea oil fields worker, was 28-years old. 23 years later another war began in Europe and more Breans gave their lives for freedom. More wars followed, with more stories and more names for the Memorial's Wall of Remembrance--19 Breans to-date.

    Brea Police Department Honor Guard, photo courtesy of Jon Gaede

    Inspiring words from U.S. Congressman Ed Royce, Memorial artist Susan Narduli, and keynote speaker Colonel Christopher C. LaNeve, U.S. Army, who underscored the importance of such recognitions, spoke of the history of Veterans Day and his own life-changing experience on the fateful day of September 11, 2001. Commander Kendal Webb, Brea Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5384 read the names of Brea's fallen, while Commander Kevin Duncan, Brea American Legion tolled a bell marking each death. Colonel LaNeve and I lead the families down the Walk of Honor to lay a memorial wreath at the Wall of Remembrance, where the names of the fallen are etched in glossy black granite. Taps played solemnly in the background.

    Photo courtesy of Jon Gaede

    "From this day forward, generation after generation, we will remember the 19 Breans that paid the ultimate price and hope and pray no more names need to be added in the future." --Mayor Schweitzer--

    Following the event, spectators toured the site, taking photos, wiping away tears, telling stories, and making new memories.  The dedication was truly a community event that won’t be soon forgotten. The Brea War Memorial will stand as a testament that Brea will never forget the sacrifices made by the men and women whose names are etched on the Wall of Remembrance and the Walk of Honor.

    Vintage aircraft fly over to salute war veterans. Photo by Jon Gaede

  • Brea War Memorial dedication on Veterans Day

    5 years ago by

    Brea War Memorial will be dedicated November 11: Mayor Don Schweitzer and the Brea City Council will dedicate the new Brea War Memorial this Veterans Day, November 11, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Brea Civic and Cultural Center. The war memorial is dedicated to those Brea citizens who were killed in action in past and present wars. In addition, all veterans will be recognized for their service.
    Susan Gaede

  • Take the Mayor’s One Ton Challenge – Make a difference

    5 years ago by

    2012 Mayor's theme: Make a Difference

    Have you heard about the Mayor’s “One Ton Challenge?” Mayor Don Schweitzer is challenging the residents of Brea to do their part in reducing carbon emissions by making small changes such as turning off unneeded lights, recycling or shopping with reusable bags and lowering the thermostat by two degrees.  Learn the facts, know the sources, get involved and find out what the City of Brea is doing to make a difference by visiting the Mayor’s Web site: www.brea2012.com

  • Mayor Don Schweitzer talks about Brea projects on Time Warner Cable Local Edition

    5 years ago by

    Time Warner Local Edition with Mayor Don Schweitzer

    Architect/Artist Susan Narduli commissioned to build the Brea War Memorial. (Narduli Studios rendition)

     

    Mayor Don Schweitzer discusses Brea “going green” and a new War Memorial with Time Warner Cable Local Edition host Leslie Leyton.

    “Proud of what we have done to conserve energy” says, the Mayor mentioning “19 Breans will be honored on the memorial wall, we actually start breaking ground next week.”

  • Celebrating 11 years of History Days in Brea

    5 years ago by

    For the past 11 years third grade students from Brea’s elementary schools celebrate History Days in Brea.  On May 23 and 24, BOUSD students will take a two-day field trip around town to learn about Brea’s history.

    With every significant project implemented, there is a story.  Over a decade ago, Mayor Don Schweitzer's eldest daughter, now in the second year of college, came home from her third grade class and told her dad that her teacher said they were going to learn about Brea’s history.  Don figured the teacher was going to take her students to our little history museum/store located where Guitar Center is now situated. So he contacted his daughter’s teacher and was surprised, when the teacher said she did not know Brea had a museum.  At that point, Don offered to take the children to the museum, the teacher agreed, word traveled, and all the third grade classes wanted to participate.  And so History Days in Brea began!

    Today it is a well organized event.  The two day event will consist of three busses per day taking students on a history tour to locations such as Craig Park and Brea Canyon.  They will also stop for 45 minutes at the Brea Museum, Brea Civic Center, and Olinda Oil Museum and Trail. Brea Olinda High School ASB students and museum staff will meet the children dressed up in historical garb wearing costumes such as oil workers, baseball players, school teachers and aviation workers. The kids enjoy the added effect of role playing while learning the story of Brea’s rich history. Over at the Civic Center, a mock council meeting is held to give the children an understanding of what goes on in a city council meeting.  Right down to needles and thread, everyone does a great job to add to History Days in Brea, as ASB students make the costumes needed for the occasion.

    One teacher’s idea, one person’s action and 11 years later, a wonderfully fun history lesson is given to area students!

     

     

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    31st Annual Brea Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

    5 years ago by

     

    This morning was the 31st Annual Brea Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast held at Embassy Suites in Brea.  Reverend Dave Rader, President of the Brea Ministerial Association, said it was a record breaking attendance. The room was filled with so many members from the city of Brea, local churches, schools, non-profit organizations and businesses. The order of program included special entertainment from The Darden Family, BOHS Choir Masquerade and Mike O’Brian.

    Mayor Don Schweitzer noted that today’s kids call us the Brea Bubble! Further elaborating on Brea’s small town feeling and how we keep reinventing ourselves, making us a well contented bubble! Schweitzer said, “It is the Brea citizens who join clubs, volunteer, and work hard to make our schools and community the best, saying that both Fanning and Mariposa Elementary were named 2012 California Distinguished Schools."  "We’re not just paving streets and pumping water, we are building a cathedral, where families can grow and flourish,” said Schweitzer.

    Keynote Speaker Dr. Barry Corey, President of Biola University, concluded the event with a thought-provoking speech.  It was about being receivable.  He spoke about a 2012 BOHS grad named Tessie. Tessie was a neglected child with a father in prison and a drug addicted mother. She was adopted by her aunt who told Tessie, a junior in high school, to find somewhere else to live. Devastated, she was comforted and received by many including BOHS Guidance Counselor Becky Marchant, church members, and Officer Dan Moon. Tessa found a loving home with Scott and Jodi Pace. Today with the help of many, she has plunged forward in every direction.  Her GPA ( grade point average) went from less than 2.0 to 3.6, she volunteers at the Brea Art Gallery and Family Resource Center and will be a recipient of the 2012 Mayor’s Youth Award!  As Dr. Barry Corey said, there are a lot of Tessie’s out there, we need to be receivable in order to embrace and support these individuals.

    It was a well organized and meaningful event with focus on maintaining the connection that serves as the lifeline of the city.

     

     

  • Local Eagle Scout’s project makes a historical impact

    6 years ago by

    The Brea Bowl commencement held this morning went well; it was a great event, according to Scott Neal, Board Member of the Brea Museum and Heritage Center.  Mayor Don Schweitzer was on hand to congratulate local Boy Scout, Matt Breneman, who did an excellent job in creating the Brea Bowl plaque as an Eagle Scout project to commensurate the famous baseball game played on October 21, 1924, featuring Brea’s famous baseball player Walter Johnson facing Babe Ruth at the Brea Bowl! Scott, a former Eagle Scout from Brea, showed his “Scout Spirit” by dressing in his Boy Scout uniform.  Scott’s daughters, Samantha and Angelina, were in the moment, too!

     

     

  • The Schweitzer Family: A Long Legacy of Serving Brea, Pt. 2

    6 years ago by

    "The Schweitzers, clockwise L to R; Frank, Jr, Charles, Don, Ruth, and Jim"

     

    Previously, BBON was pleased to provide a history of one of Brea's pioneer  families, the Schweitzer's, Part 1. We now proudly present, the second  installment...

    Most Breans are familiar with the name "Schweitzer", not  just for scientifically relevant reasons (Albert Schweitzer), but for a more  contemporary reason, Brea Mayor and Councilman Don Schweitzer. Those who  attend city events or view the council meeting broadcasts are familiar with  Don's easy smile and affable demeanor. But like his father and grandfather,  before running for and winning a council seat, Don was involved in the community, volunteering at the Brea Historical Society and serving on their board, as well as donating time and fundraising for the Lions Club, where he  was awarded the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship.

    A third-generation  Brean, Don attended schools, played in, and grew up with Brea, much like his  father, Frank Jr. After graduating from BOHS (at the old Birch Street  location), Don attended San Diego State College, served in the Army National  Guard, traveled  extensively, and eventually ended up in Bozeman, MT, where he  attended Montana State University, studying architecture.

     

    While  attending school in Bozeman, Don saw an opportunity and, with a friend, opened  one of the first submarine sandwich shops  in the city, across from the  university dormitories. The sandwich shop was converted from an old barbershop, and to  memorialize his entrepreneurial venture, Don kept one  of the old barber chairs that is still in his home today.

    Eventually,  the sandwich shop was sold and, after forty years, is still a popular gathering  place for students and teachers at the University.

    After graduation,  on a trip back to California, Don got the idea for a coffee, tea and spice shop.  Taking the idea back to Bozeman, he opened one of the first shops of its type  in Montana, even purchasing coffees from a little coffee importer in Seattle,  WA called Starbucks...long before Starbucks ever opened their own retail coffee  shops!

     

    "Don and Janis at a Lions Club Event"

    Eventually selling the coffee shop, Don decided to return to  Southern California and the Orange County area, where he started working with  an architectural firm. He landed the job to design the Scout Center in Brea, so  he, along with his new wife Janis, began looking for a home in his hometown.  By turn of a happy coincidence, a friend told him about a home for sale that  happened to be located right next door to the home his father, Frank Jr., had  built back in the late fifties. The house, at one time, had been the home of  his best friend, who had been the best man at his wedding.

     

    After settling  into his new home, another old friend and long-time Brean, Al Tremaine,  suggested Don get involved in the Brea Historical Society. It was while  volunteering with the Historical Society that Don learned of  preliminary plans to turn the old American Legion Building, at City Hall  Park, into the new Boy's and Girls Club. Don saw an even better use for the  building and became the driving force, organizing support for his proposal, to  turn the building into the Brea Museum and Heritage Center. After presenting  his proposal to the City Council to a favorable vote, the Historical Society  Board of Directors named Don to the voluntary position of Museum Director, where  he oversaw the building's renovation process before it could assume its new  role.

     

    Don says he never intended to run for city council, but that his  experience with the museum convinced him that he wanted to accomplish more to  secure the future of Brea and Breans. Among the accomplishments he is most proud  of since serving on the council is retaining the Brea Firefighters contract  with Brea; the Sports Wall of Fame at the Brea Sports Park on Birch Street,  honoring notable Breans who have achieved national recognition in various sports; and the Brea War Memorial, honoring Breans who have given their lives  to preserve our freedoms since WWI, currently in process with artist Susan  Narduli.

     

    Each year, Brea's Mayor chooses a signature theme to mark their  current tenure. This year, Mayor Schweitzer's theme is "Make a Difference,  Green Brea", to educate and promote awareness on ways to save energy and help  reduce carbon emissions.

     

    Don is very excited about the results of the  recently completed Civic Center Solar Project, that has already seen  a savings of 50,000 kilowatt hours, which is an approximate savings of $1  million, or enough energy to provide electricity for 40 homes.

     

    Along  with the theme, the website www.Brea2012.com was created for Breans as a resource for tips on what we can do as individuals and a community to reduce our energy consumption. Be sure and visit the website and watch for various educational events that will be presented throughout the  year.  Story courtesy of Kathy Cannon.

    "Don and Janis Schweitzer, with their daughters"

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    Bob Farrell comes to Brea!

    6 years ago by

    Brea has had a treat this past week, as Bob Farrell, the founder of Farrell's, has been visiting and helping out with operations at the Brea location! Farrell's installed a plaque in his honor also at the front today and Mayor Schweitzer was on hand to give a proclamation from the city. Many helped unveil the plaque in front of Farrell's, along with Brea management staff and Brea community members, Paul Kramer, President, and Michael Fleming, CEO of Parlour Enterprises, Inc. Bob and his wife Ramona were at the ceremony and posed for pictures with customers and staff members alike after the ceremony. Bob said that he loves Brea Downtown and that this is his first visit to the location. He said that Farrell's is "customer oriented." Kramer said that Farrell's is living up to the standards Bob put in place almost 50 years ago, in fact, which is evident by the line that was waiting outside to come in.

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