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Corona del Mar Today: Overgrown dolphins need topiary expert

August 06, 2011|By Amy Senk
  • The dolphin topiaries, which are placed in the median of East Coast Highway and Marguerite Avenue, are in need of some maintenance.
The dolphin topiaries, which are placed in the median… (Amy Senk, Daily…)

The dolphin topiaries that have become Corona del Mar's center-of-town mascots are overgrown and shaggy and need professional help, the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District's board members decided Thursday morning.

"Are they anchors? Are they bombs? Are they manatees?" said C. Scott Palmer. "They just don't look like dolphins. I would like the B.I.D. to hire an expert to take them back to a dolphin-ary shape."

The dolphin topiaries, which are placed in the median of East Coast Highway and Marguerite Avenue, were planted in 1993. A group of volunteers decorate the dolphins for most holidays, and flags representing the branches of the military are added on patriotic holidays.

Over the years, landscaping crews regularly have trimmed the 12 dolphin-shaped bushes. But the landscapers aren't topiary experts and may be too cautious, not wanting to shape the dolphins for fear of harming them.

As a result, Palmer said, "they just swell and swell and swell."

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"You know what they look like," one board member said.

The board members agreed to research topiary experts, perhaps by contacting Roger's Gardens or the Disneyland Resort, which has several animal-shaped topiaries in front of the "It's a Small World" attraction.

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Activists plan to protest puppy store

A San Diego-based animal rights group expects more than 100 people to show up at the first rally against the I Heart Puppies store.

The protest will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, said Brenda Calvillo of the Animal Protection and Rescue League.

"We have signs and literature. We just need your presence to advocate for the animals," according to an event webpage. "We are asking them to change their business practices and to do adoptions instead of selling puppies. We need a strong showing at this rally so please join us and make a difference."

Protesters plan to target I Heart Puppies because they believe the shop's owners sell dogs that may come from puppy mills. They have asked the shop's owners to convert to a business model that sells puppies from local shelters instead of puppies from breeders, but the shop's owners maintain that they do not buy from puppy mills.

The owners of the shop at 2801 E. Coast Hwy. did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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