City Manager's Report November 5, 2021

The Great Shakeout

On October 21, the Brea Civic and Cultural Center participated in the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill followed by a full evacuation of the Civic Center. Employees and tenants all practiced “Drop, Cover and Hold On” and shortly after, the Brea Police Department’s Watch Commander initiated an evacuation.

Brea Firefighters Successfully Promoted

Brea Firefighters Greg Harris (left) and Kyle Smith (right)

After a competitive testing process, Firefighters Greg Harris and Kyle Smith have both been promoted to Fire Engineer. Congratulations on their success and their new positions with the Brea Fire Department.

The Brea Fire Department Awarded Fire Prevention Grant

The Brea Fire Department was awarded a Cal Fire Prevention grant for $436,462. The grant will fund one full-time Wildfire/Prevention Specialist to carry out risk assessments, analysis of structure ignition potential, development of written educational materials, and code enforcement in the wildland–urban interface (WUI) year-round. In addition, this position will coordinate road grading to improve emergency ingress and egress of fire access roads, firefighting capabilities, and fuels reduction by brushing back such access roads. This will enable the department to meet the needs for year-round fire prevention, risk assessment, and vegetation management efforts in accordance with the lengthening fire season in California and the renewed onset of drought conditions that further heighten fire risks.

Holiday Programming Returns to the Curtis Theatre

Patrons of the Curtis Theatre will be excited to hear that some fan-favorite artists are returning just in time for the holidays. To kick things off, Christmas with the Alley Cats will be back with performances November 26 – 28. America’s premiere doo-wop group puts its acapella spin on the holiday classics while showcasing its humor and heart-warming storytelling. Following that will be performances of It’s a Wonderful Life - The Radio Play. This beloved film is brought to life on stage, complete with costumes and live sound effects, from December 9 – 19. Produced in partnership with STAGEStheatre, this holiday tradition is immensely popular and is the perfect family-friendly wintertime experience.

New Seats and Carpet Installed at the Curtis Theatre

On October 11, work began to replace the carpet and seats in the lobby and house of the Curtis Theatre. The seats were last reupholstered in 2015, but the hardware was original to the building. The carpet was last replaced in 2015. The colors were specifically chosen to compliment the main curtain of the stage and to achieve a cohesive look throughout the entire venue. All work was completed ahead of schedule on October 21. Purchase tickets to an upcoming performance at CurtisTheatre.com and come enjoy the new, updated look.

The City of Brea is pleased to be hosting its annual Veterans Day Ceremony this year on Thursday, November 11 at 10:00 a.m. Please join us in-person as the community pays tribute to all military heroes, veterans, retired, and active-duty members. Additionally, those Breans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country will be honored. The ceremony will take place at the Brea War Memorial, located in front of the Brea Civic & Cultural Center, 1 Civic Center Circle.

Please plan to arrive early to the ceremony to find parking and a seat. Underground parking will be limited and street closures will occur prior to the start of the ceremony. Guests needing special assistance may park on the west side of the Civic & Cultural Center or may be dropped off in the semi-circle in front of the Civic & Cultural Center prior to the street closure. The exact time of the street closure will be posted on the City’s website closer to the event day. For more information, please call Brea Special Events at 714-990-7771.

The 27th annual City of Brea Nutcracker Craft Boutique will be hosted on Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20, at the Brea Community Center. This boutique is one of the largest in North Orange County and features a variety of different vendors selling one-of-a-kind holiday gift items. There will be over 250 vendors Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

This year’s City of Brea ornament will be sold at the boutique. The keepsake ornament will also be available for purchase throughout this holiday season. For more information on purchasing a City of Brea ornament, please call Special Events at 714-990-7771.

Grant Funds Awarded for The Tracks at Brea Trail Western Extension

In the fall of 2020, San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) announced a grant call through California Parks and Outdoor Access for All Act, Proposition 68. In an effort to meet a City Council goal to continue to apply for grants for the Tracks Western Extension, staff submitted a grant application earlier this year. The application scope of work was for community engagement, concept development, and permitting for the segment between Berry Street and the Brea Canyon Flood Control Channel. Earlier this month staff received the notification that the City of Brea was successful in their request and received grant funds of $225,000 with no matching requirement. Staff will bring the agreement to the City Council for consideration at a future meeting. This grant is a great support to expand the Tracks at Brea Trail to encourage more walking, cycling, jogging, and other outdoor recreation and fitness uses.

Birch Hills Golf Course Improvements

As part of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Capital Improvement Program, cart path and parking lot improvements were included as part of the scope of work for the golf course. New cart paths were added from holes 16 to 17, 17 to 18, and the path from holes 6 to 7 was widened to accommodate two-way traffic. A new cart path was also added to replace a missing gap along hole 16. Parking lot maintenance included crack sealing, two coats of a seal coat, and then restriping which included all the red fire lane curbs. The work was closely coordinated with the golf course operator and completed during their fall closure for aerating and overseeding to minimize disruption to golf course play.

Brea’s Friendship City Namyangju

On November 2, an eight-member delegation from Namyangju, South Korea visited Brea for the first time. The delegates were excited to learn more about Brea’s history and they had many activities planned during their half-day visit. The delegates were able to tour Brea’s Civic & Cultural Center, the Curtis Theater, the Art Gallery, the Police Department, and attended a City Council Meeting. Mayor Vargas mentioned he is eager to visit Namyangju in the near future. The friendship with Namyangju is valued and will continue to enrich both cultures, create opportunities, and allow for a bond between two sides of the world.

Chuseok with Brea’s Korean Sister City

On October 8, the Brea Senior Center welcomed the Brea Korean Sister City Association (BKSCA) to celebrate Chuseok, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving. With the help of their many volunteers, the entire BKSCA team served an authentic Korean lunch to 140 seniors, free of charge. Every senior in attendance was gifted a goodie bag, while raffle prizes like mini waffle-makers and heated blankets were randomly distributed to the crowd. BKSCA volunteers even hosted games for the seniors and helped teach them Korean words and phrases. Brea’s City Council members and local representatives were also in attendance. The Senior Center and its patrons were grateful to celebrate the Chuseok holiday with BKSCA.

Brea Gallery Opening Reception

The Brea Gallery was excited to host its first opening reception, since the 2020 pandemic shutdown, on October 9 for Drawn to Paper: Fresh Perspectives in Mixed Media. Approximately 150 visitors attended, people were enthusiastic to celebrate the premiere of the exhibit, as well as the artists, with light snacks and beverages. Visitors enjoyed a discount in the Gallery’s Gift Shop. Also, a few pieces of artwork, of the 72-original works on display, were sold. Several Cultural Arts Commissioners were in attendance to show their support of the Gallery and the event.

About Drawn to Paper: Fresh Perspectives in Mixed Media

This exciting new show invited back many of the talented artists who have previously shown their works at the Brea Gallery over the last few years. They have filled the space with fresh, new mixed media works on paper. Although the featured artwork can be made with any mediums, the artists were challenged to follow only one rule: create something on a single piece of paper and leave it unframed.

The Gallery has resumed normal business hours, Wednesday through Sunday, from noon to 5:00 p.m. now through December 10.