A Personal Story: Anthem Blue Cross Profits by Denying Prescriptions

January 16, 2014 by Brenda McFarlane
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It’s happened again. I have been denied coverage for Modafinil yet again, this time by the exact same company who has already approved it.

I’ve been on a prescription medication that treats my Ideopathic Hypersomnia for several years now. It’s an extremely expensive drug, even the generic form can be more than a $1000 a month. I have been diagnosed by a esteemed sleep doctor in San Diego and he confirms that the drug is both medically necessary and that no effective (and non-narcotic) substitute exists.

Without the drug I suffer from sometimes overwhelming sleepiness. Without it I get a band of sleep deprived headaches, driving may be either impossible or require pulling over to take naps, even after 5 minutes on the road. I grew up with this condition – undiagnosed – and lost years of my life to sleepiness. Smoking cigarettes or eating sugar were the two things I could rely on to help stay awake especially to drive.

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The Ocean Beach Christmas Parade of 2012 and Photo Gallery

December 3, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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UPDATE: New Photos Have Been Added!I couldn’t want much else for Christmas than what I got in the November election but for me, the OB Parade was that extra gift in my stocking. Of course, the parade is always one of the highlights of my season but this year’s parade was better than ever for me.

Not only did I get to celebrate Christmas with my fellow OBecians and the fans of OB again but this year I got to be in the parade itself!

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Burning Man 2012: The Journey Home to Ocean Beach

September 13, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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On Tuesday of last week, my husband and I, dusty, weary and battered returned to Ocean Beach from Black Rock City – a sort of desert Brigadoon, appearing and disappearing every year on a Nevada dry lake bed every end of August.

Going to Burning Man is more commitment than holiday and more journey than destination. For us, while the 2012 Burning Man pinnacle is complete, the journey is not. A pile of shoes covered with the almost-white alkaline powder of the Burning Man Playa wait to be wiped off with vinegar and repaired.

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Full Report on the Ocean Beach Planning Board General Meeting of August 1st

August 2, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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City Hopes to Install Doors to New Beach Comfort Station Stalls

For Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 6:00 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center , 4726 Santa Monica Ave., Ocean Beach.

Treasurer Report

Treasurer Barbara Schmidtknecht reports that there is 255 dollars in the Board’s coffers. It was decided to explore avenues to enhance revenue including approaching several government groups and the OB Town Council.

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TONIGHT: Ocean Beach Tackles San Diego’s Chronic Disregard

August 1, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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If you haven’t been to an Ocean Beach Planning Board Meeting, this is the one you want to attend. I sat in one the Project Review Committee’s meeting on July 27th during which the group discussed San Diego’s ongoing refusal to abide by the wishes of the Ocean Beach community as outlined in the 1975 Precise Plan.

Landry Wilson gave the “public” (myself and two others) a brief overview of the history of the issue, which is well outlined in yesterday’s article by Frank Gormlie here. Once again I was struck by the sheer professionalism and endurance of our OBPB. The service they do appears to me to be not only difficult, time consuming and extremely boring but thankless and, in the end, emotionally draining.

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Ocean Beach Street Fair 2012 – Vid Slide Show, Chili Cook-Off and Other Winners

June 25, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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It was sunny, it was busy, it was the best day of the year here in OB!

Pictures of 2012 OB Street Fair

As usual, the fair introduced the new with the best of tradition. Music was hoping with 6 free stages! The Big Main Stage, the 92107 Stage for OB local bands, three other stages featuring roots, rock, alternative and everything in between. This year, the beautiful Electric Ladyland venue also hosted a stage.

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Otay Mesa Border Crossing Criminally Long

April 23, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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Just got home from a grueling 4 hour wait in line at the Otay Mesa border crossing on Sunday, April 24th. We were coming in from a camping trip near Mexicali, chose to drive to Tecate and arrived at the entrance to the boarder crossing about 4:00 pm, but found that the border crossing was closed. No reason given and I can find no reason posted anywhere on the internet why the border crossing was closed. We drove over to Tijuana and got in line at the Otay Mesa border crossing at 5pm. We finally reached the customs booth at around 10pm.

Like my husband and I, there were hundreds and hundreds of people in line. There are no opportunities for the drivers to take a break, no public bathrooms, and no information on how long the wait will be. The whole system feels random and haphazard. It was difficult to know if we were even in the right lane. It was hot and horrible to be stuck breathing fumes for hours on end. Every bone in my body ached

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UCLA in Bed with The Heritage Foundation?

March 26, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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What does UCLA and the Boys and Girls Club have in common with anti-abortionists and the Heritage Foundation?

They all have been clients of Pursuant, a full service fundraising agency.

I was doing a little research on women’s reproductive rights when I came across a site called abortionhelpnow. (I haven’t given a link here because I don’t want to increase their traffic!)

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The Approvals and Denials of the Ocean Beach Project Review Committee

February 21, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane

Denials Include Proposed Gentrified 3-Story on West Point Loma

The Ocean Beach Planning Board’s Project Review Committee met on Wednesday, February 15th and opened with an agenda modification to withdraw item #4 as requested by applicant who explained that it was “premature to go in front of the project review committee with the item at this time.” The original item was for “Site development permit and variance for unpermitted development”. The committee agreed not to discuss it. Committee Chair Landry Watson took a moment to cryptically appeal to those involved to “try to work this out as good neighbors.”

Item #1: SANTA MONICA PROJECT (4689 SANTA MONICA)

Coastal Development Permit and Variance to construct 4 single family residences on 0.08 acre sites with a 2,196 sq ft and 4 detached 2-car garages with setback deviations at 4689 Santa Monica Ave in the RM 1-1 Zone within the Ocean Beach Community Plan.

This project proposes a Setback Deviation with a zero setback

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Why it’s important for OBceans to attend our Planning Board meetings.

February 15, 2012 by Brenda McFarlane
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Editor: A sub-committee of the full OB Planning Board has its monthly meeting tonight, the Project Review Committee. There are four action items on the agenda and Ragster Brenda McFarlane is down for going and urges other OBceans to attend these meetings.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board is only as strong as we, the people who care about OB’s future, make it. If we show no interest or concern and express no opinions, then the OBPBs recommendations to the city have no teeth.

It is important to understand that the OBPB has very little power unless we give it to them by our actions. So we must attend meeting, and, if we can’t, we must contact the OBPB members-in writing-to express our opinions. That way, when they go to the city to recommend a certain course of action, the city will hear them.

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Video: Road Work Creates Hazardous Ocean Beach Intersection

December 3, 2011 by Brenda McFarlane
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It’s been several weeks since road work on Cable Street in Ocean Beach was either completed or waiting for another phase.

However, on at least one intersection at Narragansett Ave. and Cable St., the road paint has yet to be replaced. This seems to have created a bit of a traffic hazard as hopefully the quick video grab I took yesterday morning shows.

Come inside to see the video…

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Occupy San Diego: 99% Includes Middle Class Matrons

November 14, 2011 by Brenda McFarlane
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A facebook post caught my eye on Friday, November 11th, it was an announcement of a rally and press conference held by “middle-class women” in support of Occupy San Diego. This intrigued me because a couple weeks ago I went down to the Civic Center and found it a bit difficult to see how I could fit in.

While hanging out in front of the “information” table, another woman about my age (but lacking the vanity to dye her hair) approached and asked: “Is there going to be a march tonight?” The young, long haired gal shrugged distractedly – she was keeping a worried eye on a conversation going on with the police behind us – and answered that she didn’t know but “you could start one if you want”. The gray haired woman seemed as likely to start her own march as she was to move to the Civic Center.

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Occupying America: Taking Our Power Back

October 8, 2011 by Brenda McFarlane
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Who Owns America? Americans or Corporations?

Right now, judging by who wields the most power, I’d say corporations own America. But they say possession is nine-tenths of the law and maybe the Occupy Movement is a chance for all of us to step up and take our country back.

As a person struggling to make a living in the arts, I never had the opportunity to witness the workings of a corporate structure until recently when I became a member of the inner sanctum of board meetings and company decision making processes. This experience gave me an inkling of extensive corporate ethical and moral decrepitude.

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Ocean Beach’s Water Quality at Dog Beach Good Enough?

June 27, 2011 by Brenda McFarlane
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Party Pooper – A Call to Prevent Dog Feces From Reaching Our Water

An OB Rag article on May 27th reports that “Ocean Beach beaches all get “A’s” in water quality tests – not so all Mission Bay.” This is great news and, while I am proud of our beaches for receiving this grade, I’ve got to be a party-pooper (pun intended). As a dog owning activist for picking up dog poop, I looked at the Heal the Bay site to find ammunition arguing for even greater effort in pollution prevention, specifically dog poop.

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Why I Don’t Buy Organic

May 25, 2011 by Brenda McFarlane
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Lured by the Romance of Shopping at the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market

Buying locally grown, organic produce from the Farmer’s Market has always seemed like a romantic thing to do until I realized it was also an outrageously extravagant activity too. Whenever I try to participate, the cost of the produce quickly tarnishes the experience for me.

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Hate Homeless People? Love Them?

January 17, 2011 by Brenda McFarlane

Hate homeless people loitering  on the streets?  Staunch defender of the right to be homeless? Doesn’t matter.  Be part of the solution, even if we don’t agree on what that is.  Give just a few hours this one single day; Friday, January 28th to count homeless people.   Right now the Regional Task force On the […]

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The Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association’s Website Investment

December 16, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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If you haven’t visited the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association website lately, I urge you to visit it and bookmark it or place it in your favorites. Like our own website, it’s been growing substantially over the years and every time I visit, more information is added. It’s become a good and reliable reference for Ocean […]

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Socks for the Homeless

October 12, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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My Experience Volunteering to Help the Homeless

I’m not very grateful for socks, sorting and matching them are the worst part about doing laundry, I often leave them unsorted at the bottom of the basket and match them as I go. I recently learned the value of nice clean fresh socks by volunteering for 1st Saturdays, an informal group of people who gather to help the homeless on, …

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OB Oktoberfest 2010

October 2, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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I love an outdoor party; there’s nothing better than enjoying good music, sun, an ocean breeze, dancing, fun people and beer at the same time and OB is the ultimate outdoor party town. There’s a party for every season and then some, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Next Saturday is OB’s Oktoberfest.

I managed to grab one of organizers of this year’s OB homage to German beer drinking the other day …

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Getting to Know the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, Part 1: The Founders and the Power of Idealism

August 23, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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I dropped by the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA) the other day to learn more about the group that organizes my favorite event of the year, the OB Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off. It turns out that this active organization is not only a rich source of news about their own activities but have some great stories to tell from the past.

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Cheap Thrills Satisfy on Newport

July 24, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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Damn! Another reason never to leave Ocean Beach. 2 Dollar Thrill is a tiny little store making a big bang on Newport.

When I first wander in I admit I’m a bit confused. I ask the friendly sales clerk “So, not everything is two dollars, is it?”

“Yes it is.” she answers and adds; “Everything is 2 dollars, that’s all.” I’ll hear her repeat a version of this litany several times to other people while I’m in the store. Why is this question necessary when the store is called 2 Dollar Thrill and there’s signs everywhere saying “Everything Two Dollars?” Because 2 Dollar Thrill is too good to be true.

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More Newport News: Soap Store and Hydroponics

July 9, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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It smells good for success at the Pine Tree Road Soap Shop

Having a passion for her products is an understatement when it comes to describing Jackie, the owner of the new Pine Tree Road Soap Shop.
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Passion and Hydroponics Promise Growth for Greenlady

The co-owners of the new Greenlady Hydroponics are passionate about their product. It’s a good thing because, as every successful small store owners knows, a shop is a demanding mistress.

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Newport News – Cottage Antiques and Stuff 2 Puff

July 5, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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Cottage Antiques Closing

Cottage Antiques is closing its doors to focus on ecommerce, private sales and antique shows after 22 years contributing significantly to the antique scene on Newport Avenue. Ocean Beach will sorely miss the presence of Cordelia and Bob who have contributed so much to the commercial ambiance of Newport for 22 years. Cordelia is quick to let me know that the choice to close the shop is a very positive move for the pair as they are eager to focus on their online business without being tied down to the demands of the store. They are looking forward to their new found freedom to travel and do select antique shows “And,” Bob throws in with a smile, “some golf.”

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OB Voter Registration – Right to Vote for Ex-Convicts and the Homeless

July 1, 2010 by Brenda McFarlane
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By Brenda McFarlane / July 1, 2010

Have you seen the tent set up on the grass at Newport and Abbott with a bunch of scrawled signs along with one official sign reading: “Republicans Register Here”? I wouldn’t think of OB as a bastion of unregistered republican voters (despite one or two retailers who treat our town as just another exploitable resource)

I admit to being a bit frightened of die-hard — correction — all Republicans, so I was a bit worried …

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