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

Terri Daxon

  • Historic “Charlie the Clock” character debuts at Edwards Theater for “The Face of Brea Contest”

    4 years ago by

    Live, Work, or Play in Brea...It’s Time for YOU to be "The Face of Brea."

      YOUR Chance to Win Great Prizes!

        It’s no mystery that Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON) has been fascinated with Brea's icon "Charlie the Clock" from way back, changing our logo over three years ago to reflect Brea’s centennial year -- using Charlie the Clock’s face for inspiration!

          Now is the time for our vision of ‘Charlie the Clock’ to come to life as a beloved character in showcasing our BBON “The Face of Brea” Photo Contest -- celebrating Brea’s 98th birthday on February 23, 2015.

            Our beloved "Charlie the Clock" is debuting at Edwards Brea Stadium West 10 as a an animated cutout for "The Face of Brea" Contest on BBON, celebrating Brea's 98th birthday!

            Our beloved "Charlie the Clock" is debuting at Edwards Brea Stadium west 10 as an animated cutout for "The Face of Brea" Contest on BBON, celebrating Brea's 98th birthday!

              Contest details: Starting Friday February 13, in the lobby of Edwards Brea Stadium West 10, you will have the chance to enter the contest by placing your face in “Charlie the Clock” cutout to be “The Face of Brea.”

                All you have to do is take a photo as 'The Face of Brea' and upload it onto Beautiful Brea Old & New Facebook, where your image will be placed in an FB album for VOTING purposes. Greg of Greg Voisan Panoramic Photography will choose 5 winners from the top 15 entries with the most votes/likes. Winners will be announced on BBON Facebook Saturday, February 28. Each winner will win gift cards from local community businesses.

                  Charlie the Clock cutout was so unique that Ric Clough and team at Printing Services LTD paid special attention to every detail in order to create a perfect handmade cutout. It's was a first for the print shop accomplishing an awesome job.

                    5 FAB Prizes for 5 Lucky Winners, valued at $50 each:

                      - $50 Gift Card to Lillie's Q Restaurant

                        - $50 Gift Card to D'Vine: A Mediterranean Experience Restaurant

                          - $25 Gift Card to BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse paired/w a $25 Gift Card to Frost My Cake

                            - $25 Two movie passes to Edwards Brea Stadium West or East paired/w a $25 Gift Card to The Butchery Brea

                              -$25 gift certificate to Cedar Creek Inn paired/w a $25 gift basket from Han's Beauty

                                "The Face of Brea" photo contest rules:

                                  1. All ages are eligible to enter the contest. The individual submitting the photo (giving consent) must be 18 years or older and will be considered the contestant eligible to compete for the prize.

                                    2. One photo entry per person.

                                      3. Upload your photo, name, and contact info to Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON) Facebook page. Your photo will be featured on The Face of Brea Facebook album, where voting will take place.

                                        4. Only one vote/like per person per photo entry. Comments will not count as votes.

                                          5. All photos must be owned by the photographer submitting them and may be used in BBON publicity efforts.

                                            6. Please note a brief description and title of entry photo.

                                              History of Brea's Charlie the Clock: Brea’s Charlie the Clock or Brea Clock now resides in Brea Downtown at the corner of Birch and Madrona Streets, across the street from Macallan’s Public House.

                                                The clock appeared on Brea Blvd. in 1975 to promote Charlie’s Clock Shop in the former Brea Hotel building.

                                                  For years it was known as “Charlie’s Clock” because it stood outside of the clock shop. When the shop closed, the City of Brea purchased the clock, by then a local and beloved landmark. During the transformation of the Downtown, the clock went into storage and stayed there until recent years when it was very carefully restored with an exact reproduction of the clock’s original clock face. A bit of neon was added so it is more visible at night. The casing around the face and post are all original.

                                                    Of final note: As a long time Brea resident and public relations professional, I commissioned Brea artist Heather Ashlyn Collins to create a cutout of the beloved Brea clock to help remind everyone of Brea’s 100th Anniversary in the Year 2017, and kicking off Brea’s 98th birthday with The Face of Brea Photo Contest! A special thanks to Terri Daxon of Daxon Marketing Communications.

                                                      We can't wait to see your fun photos with our dapper looking gent, Charlie!


                                                          Carolyn Campbell

  • Run-down Lagos de Moreno park may get makeover

    5 years ago by

    A better photo of "Preliminary Concept" of a Revitalized Lagos de Moreno park and Laurel lower playground that was presented at the forum. Even if you couldn't attend, you can still share your thoughts. Got feedback? email

      As posted on Revitalize the Heart of Brea: Lagos de Moreno Park - Laurel Elementary (Facebook).

      Is it a park or a school playground?

        Lagos de Moreno Park is also Laurel Elementary School’s lower grades playground and should receive a D for depressing.

          The 1.5-acre property at Laurel is owned by the Brea Olinda Unified School District, but was dedicated as a city park nearly 45 years ago when Lagos de Moreno became Brea’s first sister city.

            Until 2004, the school district and the city had a joint-use agreement for the park, but never renewed it. Regardless, Superintendent Skip Roland and Community Services Director Chris Emeterio indicated that the two entities still honor the former agreement and the public is welcome to use the park after school hours.

              A Google search shows Lagos de Moreno Park at Flower and Birch streets. The city’s website refers to it as a shared-used park at Laurel Elementary School.

                Diane Stites and Mary Martinez, Laurel PTA representatives, have worked for several years to bring attention and help in renovating the park/playground.

                  In 2007, Laurel’s PTA had $5,000 for playground equipment and began discussions with the school district and city about support and options. They applied for grants and sought community support.

                    Around 2010, the PTA joined an online Pepsi Grant Competition with other parks in need around the country, but they didn’t win.

                      In the meantime, the park/playground doesn’t look as if it belongs in a city noted for its attractive, modern parks. Years ago, there were barbecues and picnic areas in the park, instead of play equipment that looks leftover from the 1960s. There are no drinking fountains or restrooms. Even worse, it is not handicap-accessible from the Flower/Birch entrance with stairs.

                        On Aug. 21, a community meeting was jointly held by the city and school district. Approximately 50 people attended, including four City Council members, school board members and one council candidate plus a few Laurel teachers and their new principal, Heather Bojorquez.

                          Emeterio and Roland conducted the meeting. They showed a rendering of early concept plans for the park/playground and explained that although there was no district funding, the meeting’s purpose was to gather input on what the community wants for the park. Roland estimated that a first phase would cost between $90,000 and $120,000 and would include closing the present entrance and putting in an accessible one from the alley parking area.

                            Some attendees asked questions regarding the funding sources and made suggestions for amenities such as drinking fountains, restrooms and safer play areas with some type of shading.

                              “Recognizing the outreach meeting was the first chance for stakeholders to review preliminary plans for a new, improved park, I absolutely think this project provides a great opportunity for the city and the school district to partner together for the benefit of Laurel students as well as the entire community,” Councilwoman Christine Marick said.

                                The city and Brea Olinda Unified have other shared-use parks, such as Brea Junior High School, Country Hills Park and the Brea Sports Park.

                                  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

  • Councilman’s call for change has supporters

    5 years ago by

      This time it was Councilman Roy Moore who tossed the brick in the punch bowl, and the repercussions seem endless. It started with Moore’s July 24 newsletter. In it he announced he would not run for re-election and urged voters to dump the incumbents, Mayor Brett Murdock and Councilman Ron Garcia and elect three new people. He called the present council dysfunctional and to mend it with new folks.

        By the August 8 filing deadline, it was apparent that Garcia has chosen not to run.

          Moore referred to the No Incumbents movement as “Operation Clean Sweep.” And then it took off. Now people are even looking to purchase yard sign promoting voting out the incumbents. I have not seen such interest in a local election so early in the year.

            Moore’s announcement of his retirement from the council after 16 years and his urging constituents to not vote for his two colleagues made the local section of the Orange County Register and elsewhere. Soon messages supporting Moore’s stand popped up on, the local social network for neighborhoods, and in many conversations around town.

              “I’ve had my best response ever to a newsletter,” said Moore, who has published nearly 700 newsletters since 1999. “By email, telephone, in restaurants, Concerts in the Park and Home Depot, people tell me they agree with my stand,” said Moore, “and I’ve only heard from one person who disagreed with me.”

                In his newsletter, he urged voters to vote in three new people and charge them with changing the (negative) atmosphere in City Hall. Brea is a nice city with an abundance of amenities, but we need team players, not people who refuse to be civil to one another.

                  Maybe Moore’s “Operation Clean Sweep” is just the beginning of a move toward term limits for Brea’s City Council. Voters passed term limits at the city council level in recent years in several Orange County cities, including Santa Ana, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills and Fullerton. I’m not a fan of term limits and prefer limiting terms at the ballot box. Let’s hope Brea’s candidates are chosen for their ability to reach consensus and deal with the issues and not by who threw the most mud.

                    Still muddy for many of us is hydraulic fracturing or fracking. A Fracking Symposium at 6 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Cal State Fullerton, will have a panel of experts from both sides of the issue. It will address concerns of folks not only in Brea, but also in the other North Orange County cities. It is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP at

                      Also go to the website to post your questions about fracking and how or if it contributes to earthquakes, groundwater contamination, air quality and other concerns to be addressed by the experts.

                        At the last council meeting, City Manager Tim O’Donnell explained that Brea’s July 15 presentation by Linn Energy was just to prepare Breans for the CSUF symposium and to educate us about Brea oil operations. Linn made it seems as if there are no dangers or problems with fracking. Hopefully the symposium will educate us more thoroughly through more than one viewpoint.

                          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
  • Becoming part of the preparedness solution

    5 years ago by

    After the March 28 earthquake scared the stuffing out of me, I took the Community Emergency Response Team training. It was quite an experience and a very positive one. I now feel confident in the knowledge and skills learned to help others and myself when we again encounter an earthquake, wildfire or other calamity. The sessions took 20 hours of my time and none of my money. CERT curriculum and equipment is approved and funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

      Brea, Placentia and Yorba Linda partner in offering CERT classes for their residents and businesses. At the April 28 to May 14 class 76 people were enrolled and 73 completed the course. I thought it was a big class because of the earthquake, but Anna Cave, Brea’s emergency preparedness coordinator, said that the classes have been averaging from 50 to 75 people for a while.

        While most of the attendees in the class were from Brea, there were also a good share of people from Yorba Linda, Placentia plus Santa Ana and Buena Park. And they were not all residents. Several came from local businesses, including Embassy Suites, Brea Mall’s security force, property management companies and small business owners. Even a couple of Brea city employees were in the class. It was reassuring that the local business community is taking CERT seriously. When calamity strikes most likely we won’t all be at home.

          Fire, emergency preparedness and law enforcement personnel teach the classes in a way that makes learning about disaster preparedness interesting and fun. Seems weird, but Cave and her crew definitely added an entertainment element to the serious subjects.

            Over the 20 hours, we learned how to cope with and handle emergency situations, especially when the first responders may not be able to reach us for hours or even days. While the first five sessions were by lecture and video presentations, the last day was all hands-on experience. We worked in teams and pairs performing such tasks as triage, small fire suppression and splinting with cardboard. Hey, it works.

              The attendees ranged from 20-something to three ladies in their 80s. After graduation, Eileen Schafer said, “I am 88 this month and I feel I can still make a difference.”

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

  • Brea community seeks discussion on fracking close to home

    5 years ago by

    The oil- and gas-extraction technique that is used in Brea area is on the public’s mind.


        Are you aware that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is done near Brea’s city limits? I wasn’t, until the May 20 Brea City Council meeting when 13 people spoke during Matters from the Audience about fracking and the need for some public discussion on it. Many of the speakers were from the newly formed group Stop Fracking Brea and from the Brea Congregational Church.

          Hydraulic fracturing is a technique the energy industry uses to extract oil and gas from rock. They inject high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals deep into the ground.

            Another method employed by oil drillers is acidizing, a process that injects hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid into oil wells to dissolve underground rock and allow the oil and gas to flow up through the oil well.

              According to hydrofluoric acid corrodes glass, steel and rock. Imagine what it does to our air.

                Many authorities claim fracking causes earthquakes. According to Lucy Jones, U.S. Geological Survey Seismologist and Southern California’s renowned earthquake expert, fracking itself does not cause earthquakes.

                  Instead, Jones stated in a Ask Me Anything discussion after the March 28 La Habra earthquake, the polluted water and chemicals used in the process usually are pumped deeper into the earth, far below the water table.

                    She said that is what is setting off earthquakes on the East Coast. Could that happen in Brea?

                      Eric Nicoll, Brea’s director of Public Works, said Brea owns and leases 19 oil wells near the sports park but no fracking takes place at that site.

                        Fracking in the Brea area didn’t get much attention here until the La Habra earthquake.

                          Jennifer Hefner said she first learned about fracking near Brea and the possible connection of fracking and earthquakes through Brea’s a private social network for neighborhoods.

                            “I knew of fracking but did not learn that fracking was taking place in California or that it could be happening here in Brea,” Hefner said.

                              She and others started

                                Via email, Mayor Brett Murdock stated that he and Mayor Pro Tem Christine Marick have instructed staff to be prepared to place on the agenda a discussion and information item on fracking.

                                  “We have requested that the item be in the main council chambers so there will be plenty of room for all participants and the information will be recorded so that community members that cannot make the meeting can learn about the issue as well.”

                                    Councilman Marty Simonoff said he asked nearly two months ago that a town hall meeting on fracking be held.

                                      “I knew the issue would be coming up,” he said.

                                        Nicoll said this is a regional issue and a public meeting should include all of the north Orange County cities, experts from both the oil and gas industry, and those opposed to fracking.

                                          At the City Council meeting Tuesday, City Manager Tim O’Donnell said fracking would be on the Council’s July 15 agenda. It’s a start.

                                            Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. As a Local Opinion Columnist for the Orange County Register, She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at

  • Angel statue relocated to new home at Brea Downtown

    5 years ago by


      Many people say they haven't noticed her yet, even though she's been there since before Halloween and shared space with a huge Christmas tree and Santa. Maybe it's because there usually is a brown covered wagon, several trees, the revolving Brea sign and other distractions around her. Brea Angel isn't new to Brea Downtown. She used to hang out near the former Pane Vino Restaurant on Brea Boulevard. At that time, she was titled “Breaking Down the Orange Curtain” and surrounded by orange glass blocks. When 240 South wanted to move in, it needed more space for a front patio, so the angel left.

        She was gone for quite a while and ended up back at her creator's studio according to the artist, Cheryl Ekstrom, to give it a new look. Ekstrom said she has heard from many people over the past 10 years who really like the piece, took their Christmas photos by it in both its old and now its new location. Last year, Ek-strom redesigned the piece without orange blocks, added a raised base, some concrete stools for seating and renamed it “Brea Angel.” Then it was placed on the cluttered corner of Brea Boulevard and Birch Street.

          Cluttered isn't how Ekstrom sees it, though. “I love the new location, with all the interactive elements,” she said. “The Brea Angel is all about new possibilities, growth and change. It makes me very happy.” I've heard from several people who have definite views, so I did one of my unscientific email surveys of 45 Brea residents. Of 38 responses, 18 people like the Brea Angel and her location, and 20 prefer the original angel – though some thought the old location and the new one were both bad. Interesting that they were pretty much split even on which angel they preferred.

            Even more interesting was that nine people said they initially had not noticed the angel at her new location. One person said she drove by it three times before she finally spotted it among all the trees and stuff around her.

              “I definitely appreciated the original; it was artwork with a message,” said former planning commissioner Ralph Heinmann. “The current placement … does not have a sense of place, and there is no context.” Another person thought the orange blocks looked out of place at the former location and was glad they were gone but thought Brea Angel would look better in a park.

                All Art in Public Places pieces are owned by each location's property owner; the Brea Downtown Own-ers Association owns the angel.

                  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

  • Welcome to one-stop shop – City of Brea

    6 years ago by




            TERRI DAXON The wild and crazy shopping season has begun, and the best place to go is right here in Brea. Where else can you find such a wealth of shopping choices? There are the beautiful, recently Mall, our Brea Downtown, the Brea Marketplace across from the mall, Brea Gateway Center, plus several other shopping areas up and down Imperial Highway and elsewhere in our city.

              While Brea has many unique shops, there also are chain stores, including a few big-box ones such as Target, Walmart and Home Depot. Sure, you can shop the chains in many cities, but the sales tax dollars come back to Brea only if the merchandise was purchased here.

                Why is shopping in Brea so important? I asked Heidi Gallegos, the new executive director of the Brea Chamber of Commerce.

                  “Shopping Brea first keeps our dollars in the community in order to support public safety, capital improvements as well as retain programs that are unique to the culture of Brea,” Gallegos said via email. “We encourage shoppers to keep our dollars in Brea and shop Brea first.” Brea is definitely a shopping destination. Brea Mall is Orange County’s fourth largest mall in sales tax revenue.

                    Keeping those shopping dollars here makes a big difference. According to Brea’s June 2012 fiscal report, Brea’s sales tax revenue has increased 4.4 percent over the previous fiscal year, which is pretty good. Sales tax for general retail sales, such as department stores, apparel shops, home stores and other retailers , made up 46.7 percent of the increase.

                      According to Bill Gallardo, Brea’s administrative services director, in Brea you are charged 8 percent sales tax on taxable items. Of that 8 percent, only 1 percent stays in Brea. “The rest goes elsewhere, mostly to the state,” Gallardo said via email.

                        So how does that work? Gallardo said, for example, when you make a $100 purchase, you pay $8 in sales tax. Of the $8, Brea gets $1. That doesn’t sound like much, but in fiscal year 2012, it totaled $19 million. That’s a lot of buying in Brea, folks.

                          What about online sales, such as at Amazon, that include California sales tax? Does the city benefit from those sales? Yes, but it isn’t much. Amazon charges Brea and other Orange County customers the 8 percent rate, and the 1 percent is sent to the state. “Then the state divides that local money based on your city’s percentage of total sales in the county,” Gallardo said. What that breaks down to is that Brea gets a measly 3.5 percent of the 1 percent. So shopping locally, rather than online, makes better dollar sense for our city. And while you are shopping in Brea, visit the new Santa’s village on the lower level of Brea Mall. It is one of the most attractive I’ve ever seen in a mall. Plus, it gives the kids something to marvel at while Dad checks out the Tesla showroom a few shops away.

                            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  .

  • Three Orange County Register columnists meetup

    6 years ago by

    Terri Daxon and Susan Gaede met fellow Orange County Register columnist Mary Jo Fisher. Left, Terri Daxon, Mary Jo Fisher and Susan Gaede.

      Three Orange County Register columnists finally meet. This past Tuesday Maria Jo Fisher - staff writer - of the popular columns: Deals Diva and Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom invited all her fans to a social gathering meetup at the Cornery Bakery in Brea. Fellow columnists and residents of Brea -Terri Daxon and Susan Gaede - of the Orange County Register Brea La Habra Star-Progress, dropped by to greet her!

  • Official dedication of Brea’s Wildcatters Park set for July 1, 2013

    6 years ago by

      Join the Brea City Council, city staff and the representatives from Shea Homes and Standard Pacific Development for the official dedication to Brea newest park - Wildcatters Park - on Monday July 1 at 4:30 p.m.

        Below is a story about Wildcatters Park written by Local Opinion for the Register,Terri Daxon. Her assessment and details, published in April, make for an interesting read.

          Wildcatters Park preps for opening

            I recently previewed the new 16-acre Wildcatters public park on Santa Fe Road and Valencia Avenue, by the new Shea Homes' Blackstone homes and apartments. The park looks ready for people, but there are still a few finishing touches needed and landscaping that must be well established before it is people-proof by summer. Directly across the street is Wildcatters Dog Park, but it won't be welcoming pooches and people until sometime in the fall, said Chris Emeterio, Brea's community services director.

              Wildcatters was constructed, landscaped and fully equipped with a top-quality football-baseball field, a basketball court and two covered playgrounds, including a tot lot with the area's first handicapped-accessible swing. Shade for the playgrounds was something many parents requested. The adjacent older children's playground has cool climbing and playing elements plus some parts that make music. Hardly the park playgrounds most of us grew up with.

                A large grassy area with picnic shelters and barbecue grills also caught my attention.

                  "It is a passive park," Emeterio said of the area. That just means there are no playing fields or stationary play equipment in that area. But it looks like the perfect spot to sit back with a good book or toss a Frisbee until the burgers are ready.

                    Wildcatters Park is basically a gift to the city and its residents. It was constructed, landscaped and fully equipped by Shea Homes. Brea's Parks, Recreation and Human Services Commission, however, had much input regarding the park design, site use and various amenities, including the playing field for Brea's youth sports leagues.

                      Community Services Manager Sean Matlock said park maintenance will be covered by community facility district funds from the Blackstone development.

                        Often developers create private parks for exclusive use of their residents, but not this one. We all will be welcome to enjoy it. Community benefit was the term used most often to describe the park by both Emeterio and Matlock.

                          Expect plenty of on-site and street parking for both parks, plus a 0.6-mile bike and walking path. In addition, both parks will have handicapped parking and ramps for safe entry and exit.

                            Emeterio and Matlock emphasized that the city conducted much community outreach with residents to determine just what people wanted in a city park and a dog park. From what I saw, I think they listened, and we will all be pleased with the results.

                              Former Mayor Don Schweitzer gave me some interesting history on the original park in that area, circa 1950s and 1960s, on what was then Union Oil property.

                                "There was a picnic ground in that area before; Union Oil built and maintained it," Schweitzer said. He said he didn't believe it was open to the public but was available to companies and others for parties and picnics. "I have fond memories of company and family picnics there," he said.

                                  Schweitzer also recalled a shooting range in that area – something we won't find at the new Wildcatters Park. Emeterio also recalled memories of company picnics and fun times at the former park with his family while growing up in Brea.

                                    It's nice that new generations of Brea families soon will enjoy good times at the new Wildcatters Park and its long-awaited dog park.

                                      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