Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Grants Help For More Than Just Tuition

There's something missing from this story in the major Sacramento newspaper:

Michelle Upchurch was driving to math class at Sacramento City College when she slid into the car in front of her, damaging the 1995 Honda Civic she affectionately calls Bessie Lou.

With Bessie Lou out of commission, Upchurch couldn't get her kids to school. Without her kids in school, Upchurch couldn't make it to class. And if she missed class at City College, Upchurch wouldn't be able to transfer to Sacramento State for the degree in vocational education that she's been working toward.

"My car is mandatory," she said. "We need it."

The next day, Upchurch got a ride to school. During one of her classes, a professor announced that small grants were available for students in emergency situations.

"I looked up to the heavens and said, 'Wow. Were you reading my mind?' " said Upchurch, 36.

She applied to the Los Rios Foundation's new emergency student aid fund and was awarded $650. The Foundation paid the money directly to the auto body shop that is getting Bessie Lou back in running order.

There's no mention in this article about her car insurance, which is required to register and drive a car in California. Does she not have insurance?

It's not that I have any problem with schools' foundations helping students out--private organizations can distribute their money any way they see fit. But how can a responsible journalist write this article and not mention car insurance? Something just doesn't seem right.

Then I look at the reporter's name. I've posted about her, uh, inadequacy before. Mr. Chanman isn't too impressed with her, either. Now the missing important part of the story makes sense.


Ellen K said...

Our area just locally implemented a law where if a driver couldn't show financial responsibility via an insurance car, that the car would be towed. You would have though it was the end of the world. Protesters and screaming fights at city hall accused them of racism-which is puzzling to me because I thought EVERYONE who drives a car was REQUIRED to have insurance. Then LULAC got involved saying it was just another way to arrest illegals. Well, having been hit by an uninsured driver that gave a fake ID to the police officer and who never did pay for my deductible, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for them. The latest is that a landscape company was suing because they didn't like it that their drivers couldn't drive without legal licenses in Texas for six months. That's because the men were here on work visas. And frankly, if that's the cost of doing business, then that's the cost of doing business.

Forest said...

I believe California law requires drivers have liability insurance, which is insurance for damage they cause. Drivers are not required to insure their own car.

That said, I know what you mean about journalists doing a terrible job of giving the relevant facts of a story. I often finish an article and find myself with tons of obvious questions that the journalist either purposely left out or did not bother to uncover.

Anonymous said...

Forest is correct.

-Mark Roulo