PROBE: March 12, 2001

March 12, 2002

QUESTION: Four years ago my driver's license was suspended for driving under the influence. Since I didn't have a car I didn't renew my license.

Finally I got a settlement for a disability claim. Two days ago I bought a car. For the past two weeks I had been working at the fair. On Sunday a friend drove me to the fair in my car to pick up my check.

I didn't get my check because I had left my identification badge and jacket in the car, so I had to go get it.

When I got back to the car there was a cop there. He said the car was illegally parked. He wrote me up for no driver's license, no insurance and illegal parking.


I told him I was not driving. How could he say I was driving when the car was parked? I told him I would go get my friend who drove me to the fair. He said if I moved he would arrest me and take me to jail. I didn't move and they towed my car to the impound yard.

They said I can't get my car out for 30 days. The storage fees are $25 a day When you add up the towing charges, it will cost me $1,000 to get my car out!

I just had my car two days and they stole it! — Still Walking, El Centro

The good news here is the above gentleman still has some of his settlement money left so he can bail his car out of the impound yard in 30 days. In the meantime, he can get a new driver's license and buy insurance.

That's not the case with many lowly paid workers. It would be interesting to know what percentage of impounded cars are never reclaimed because the owners can't get the money to bail them out.

The way we treat poor people is a crying shame. One of these days an attorney with a social conscience will take the state to court for depriving poor people of their property without due process.

QUESTION: I moved to Texas a year ago. I recently heard a Calexico street was named after my father, Ramon M. Tamayo, a Calexico native. Is that true? — Proud Daughter, Angleton, Texas

Yes, in a new subdivision in Calexico is a new street, R.M. Tamayo. It's a fitting memorial for a man who made a dramatic arrival in 1915.

Tamayo was born during a 7.9 earthquake in the parking lot of the Super Shopping market. Actually, he was born in a midwife's house on the site of the present-day parking lot, according to his daughter, Cuca.

QUESTION: I am a single mother of three. My 18-year-old refrigerator quit and can't be fixed. Our food is spoiling. I don't know how I am going to replace it. Do you think a PROBE reader would have a working refrigerator stored in a garage? — Desperate, Niland

You never know what's in the garages of our readers. But OK. Readers, if you have a refrigerator you don't want, give us call and we'll pass your call onto the above family.

NEW CAP POLICY — The El Centro Elementary School District board tonight will get its first look at a proposed new policy that would allow students to wear caps or hats to school.

The policy would bring the El Centro district into compliance with a new state law that says students must be allowed to wear sun-protective clothing. The law specifically mentions caps.

Caps have not been popular with educators because they create disputes when one kid grabs the cap of another kid.

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