Corona del Mar Today: CdMHS club provides six vests for area police dogs

Members of Corona del Mar High School's Vest-A-Dog club have been fundraising all summer, and last week six police dogs were fitted with protective gear as a result of the club's hard work.

"I've just always loved dogs," said Jenny Conde, a CdMHS junior, founder and president of Vest-A-Dog. "I heard about the national program when I was a Brownie, and when I was in high school, I started a local one."

The Vest-A-Dog club's mission is to raise awareness about the dangers that police dogs face, and the dogs' need for bulletproof vests. Club members raise money by attending community events and selling stuffed dogs and collecting donations, and so far the group has been able to purchase vests for 10 area police dogs.

Two club members met with six canine officers and their dogs Thursday for vest fittings, one dog at a time, in the auditorium of the police station on Santa Barbara Drive. Louise V. Tully, vice president of the Police & Working K-9 Foundation, brought different sized vests that the officers tried on the dogs.

The vests cost about $1,300 apiece, Conde said.

Anaheim Police Department K-9 Officer Matt Sutter brought Jäger for his fitting.

"I can't believe it," Sutter said. "Anaheim is a very busy and sometimes dangerous city, so we'll get a lot of use out of it."

In March, an Anaheim police dog named Bruno was shot and seriously wounded — an incident that drew worldwide attention and demonstrated the need for protection for police dogs.

After the fitting, Tully asked what color vest Sutter wanted for Jäger.

Black, Sutter said, to match the Anaheim police uniform.

After Jäger was safely back in his car, Officer Ryan Johnson of the city of Orange arrived with his dog, Bosco, for the next fitting. Ten dogs have been provided vests by the CdMHS club, including Newport Beach K-9 dogs Jardo and Elko.

The Newport Beach City Council honored the club in 2013 for its work.


Massage parlor closes following arrest

The Secret Garden massage business, where a woman was arrested on suspicion of prostitution on July 30, has closed.

"They've actually vacated the office," said Matt Cosylion, a Newport Beach code enforcement supervisor. "They're gone now."

The business at 2721 East Coast Highway, with an entrance on Fernleaf Avenue, received a notice after an inspection on Aug. 6 revealed an alleged violation of the city's municipal code.

A notice was attached to the business on Wednesday, stating that it needed a minor use permit and could be fined $100, $200 or $500 a day unless the business stopped offering massage services.

A neighbor had complained to police about the business, which she said drew crowds of men, day and night. Police conducted a sting operation and arrested a 30-year-old Westminster woman on suspicion of prostitution.

The woman was charged Wednesday with a single misdemeanor count of prostitution, and her arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 11.

Cosylion said that massage businesses in Newport Beach must obtain minor use permits, which the Secret Garden business did not have. Business representatives told city staff that they were not going to try to obtain the permit from the city's zoning administrator and instead would close.

A company spokesman said in an email that they may reopen in another location in Newport Beach or in another city.

"I believe people need professional work," said Weihua Zhang, adding that the company employs 20 masseuses and aestheticians.

"They are nice and work hard," Zhang said. "We can't blame the worker who caused problem for us, but we will be strict with all the workers."


Meetings for CdM entryway

Two meetings have been scheduled this month to discuss a Corona del Mar entryway plan, City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner announced.

The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Room at the Civic Center and at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Bungalow Restaurant, Gardner said during Tuesday's Council meeting.

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District had been considering beautification plans for the East Coast Highway-MacArthur Boulevard entrance to Corona del Mar since the early 1990s, and in 2011, a citizens committee created a plan that would have moved the squeeze lane, where three lanes of East Coast Highway merge to two, from Carnation Avenue to Acacia Avenue. The $1.2 million plan then would have converted the former roadway to expanded sidewalks with landscaping and other features.

But the City Council in January 2013 rejected that proposal, specifically citing residents' concerns with a summertime traffic study.

The City Council discussed a scaled-down version of the plan during a study in May 2013. The smaller project would cost about $450,000.

The community meetings will let residents, business owners and others ask questions and gather information about the plan.

The Civic Center is at 100 Civic Center Drive, and the Bungalow is at 2441 East Coast Hwy.

Corona del Mar Today appears Sunday in the Daily Pilot. Read daily updates at

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