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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Portland’s #1 Patrol Towing Horror Story Revisited, Part 2


A month after Hacienda CDC's towing contractor began trespassing on my property and stealing my vehicles, I received this letter from Hacienda's Board Chair Bertha Ferran and Executive Director Pietro Ferrari (see below), absolving themselves of all responsibility and declaring a series of steps they would take to correct the problems, none of which they actually performed.


To refresh the reader's memory, I am one of the neighbors unfortunate enough to live next door to an absentee, disinterested landlord who allows a predatory patrol towing outfit to conduct its vehicle harvesting operations on its apartment properties.


As of this writing, Hacienda's various patrol towing contractors have trespassed on my property and stolen my vehicle from my own driveway FOUR TIMES, breaking my transmission in the process.


Hacienda's "leadership" continues to this day to disclaim any knowledge of or responsibility for the towing, despite the fact the City of Portland towing records indicate that Hacienda's NE Portland properties are an absolute cash cow for predatory patrollers.


Back to the letter:


Hacienda outlined four courses of action they would take to "remedy" the situation that did not exist prior to their patrol towing onslaught:


"We believe that the measures we are taking will restore the peaceful environment that we intended to create for the low income residents that we serve and the surrounding neighbors."


"Besides the towing incident, you also expressed concerns about the ongoing presence of the towing truck near the site, which you deem disruptive to the residents. In response to your concerns and to foster a peaceful residential environment at Cedros and its neighbors, Hacienda CDC will take the following steps:


1. Will look into assigning a parking space (for their Plaza de los Cedros residents) per occupied unit and other alternatives.


2. Will issue you a parking tag to lessen any confusion for the towing company.


3. Will discontinue random sweeps of the parking lot (behind your home) and violators will be towed when necessary.


4. Will instruct Property Manager to establish system for tenants to report parking violations."



Looks fine in print, doesn't it?


But more than two years later, nothing has actually changed for either the residents or the neighbors.


The towers are still conducting random sweeps.


Hacienda never did provide me with the promised parking tag, which presumedly would have prevented their towing contractor's most recent trespass and theft of my vehicle. But those parking tags have made little difference to the towers who haunt the lot, as the Cedros residents will tell you.


Hacienda made no changes to anything at all back there as far as parking is concerned.


And the transmission breakage that the letter refers to as "the towing incident" is still unrepaired.


Seeking to minimalize the issue, Hacienda's letter describes the three separate occasions of trespass and vehicle theft out of my own driveway in March 2005 as "the towing incident."


The fact is, I have seen the patrol towing contract that Retriever used back then (Hacienda's current towing partner is Sergeant's) and there are places in the form that identify vehicles not to be towed.


Vehicle descriptions and license numbers of vehicles not to be towed. Imagine that.


Hacienda continues to disclaim knowledge and responsibility, but the facts speak for themselves.


Those facts include the illegal towaway zone that Hacienda created for their staff and Bertha Ferran's own personal use in the public right of way on 42nd Street (see earlier post, with photos).


Hacienda's letter places the blame squarely on Retriever Towing, but Retriever insisted that they did nothing wrong, blaming QMS (Hacienda's property manager at the time), and QMS insisted in turn that the fault was not theirs.


Well, damn it, the fault must have been mine, parking in my own driveway.


What a system!


As I explained to Hacienda staff prior to the 2007 legislative session, that system is going to change dramatically, and Senate Bill 116 and Senate Bill 431 will accomplish that, beginning on January 1, 2008.


Both of those bills earned "aye" votes from all 90 legislators.


One of those changes is already visible: patrol towers must post warning signs at each and every entrance to any property they are patrolling. No more hidden signage allowed in Oregon.


Also beginning on January 1, patrol towers must post the actual dollar amounts they intend to extract from whoever, and landlords must provide the same information to their tenants.


What I saw happening to my neighbors at Plaza de los Cedros was--and is--an extortion scheme that relies on disinterested property owners and managers, low-income tenants whose greatest asset is subject to seizure and sale at auction, and drivers motivated by commission who are also empowered to make all of the on-the-spot decisions.


None of the four trespassing and theft incidents that I have had to deal with--so far--would have occurred without these factors at play.


I have demanded a formal apology from Hacienda and from Bertha Ferran, who as Hacienda's Board Chair told me to either "wait until Monday or call the police" on that first Saturday, when their patrol towing contractor had both vehicles in custody and was demanding a ransom of almost $ 400 for their release.


I have also retained an attorney, whose job is to obtain closure on the "incident" that has now lasted more than two and a half years.


That closure includes:


1. The aforementioned apologies.


2. An end to patrol towing on or around my home.


3. $ 500 liquidated damages for each incident of all future trespasses and vehicle thefts from my property resulting from their patrol towing operations.


4. My attorney's fees.


5. $ 15,000 to cover the hell of the last two and a half years and to put my van back into the condition it was in before they stole it the first time.


Hacienda's response so far is to hire a high-powered corporate attorney, who claims that Hacienda bears no responsibility for towing in any manner or form.


We'll see about that.


Coming soon to a blog near you: Portland’s #1 Patrol Towing Horror Story, Part 3


Here's the letter, more to come:




Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oregon - Washington - Utah Kidnapper Kory Wright Kalls the Kops to Komplain

Talk about irony, the kidnapping bastard Kory Wright went to the Vancouver Police Department to complain about the email I sent to Columbia Ultimate after I found him hiding in plain sight through a Google search.

Here are the links:

http://www.columbiaultimate.com/about/press/112106.aspx

http://www.columbiaultimate.com/about/kory_wright.aspx


A year after Kory Wright and his Washington County associates, David Holiday and Evelyne Taylor, had “taken, enticed and kept” my four children and concealed them in Utah, my son Aaron’s despair was so complete that at the age of 15 he was cutting both of his arms with a knife.

I didn’t see those scars until Aaron was comatose in 2005, and for five days I was at his bedside before they pronounced my son dead, plenty of time to count them and reflect on the pain and hopelessness he suffered—for years.

Kidnapped children lose their access to health care, as the desire of the kidnappers to cover their crimes and escape justice outweighs all else.


Back to the present story, in four parts:


#1—having found the bastard, I wanted him to know, and sent this email to the Columbia Ultimate website:


Kory Wright:

I found you, you bastard.

Sometimes justice never comes, sometimes it takes more than ten years.

A decade after Kory Wright and his associates kidnapped Aaron Cruz and my other three children from their homes in Oregon and sent them out on the road in the middle of the Great Storm of 1996, justice is well on its way.

On April 7 and 8, 2006, the Oregon Judicial Department and the State Family Law Advisory Committee held its 4th annual family law conference in Bend, Oregon.

Co-sponsored by the Oregon State Bar and the Juvenile Court Improvement Project, the conference was attended by judges, court administrators and family law attorneys from across the state.

These conferences are an essential part of the ongoing training and certification programs for the bench, the bar and for administrators. Aaron's Law was featured at this conference, and its 360-page resource guide is now a permanent part of the bar's continuing education program. In short, everyone in the court system is going to see this.

Workshop #6, "Encountering Family Abductions in the Legal Setting", is described in the guide as follows: "This workshop will offer information about family abductions, including international abductions and the Hague convention, prosecution of custodial interference, and statutory approaches to preventing and dealing with abduction cases including the new Aaron's Law (SB 1041, Ch 841, Oregon Laws 2005).

The panel presenting the workshop included a psychologist who testified to the devastating effects abductions have on the child victims (Aaron is proof), a Marion County judge who testified to the fact that virtually all abductors claim that they are fleeing from abuse of some sort, and two family law attorneys who are taking leadership roles in educating the bar and the public to the problem and devising solutions.

The workshop also covered cult abductions. People abduct their own children for any number of reasons, but the most common reason that people abduct other people's children (children that they know personally and exert influence over) is related to membership in some sort of religious group.

All of the people who participated in abducting the Cruz children were members of the same church group. Those people committed Class B and Class C felonies, as the workshop material clarifies.

Aaron's Law is landmark legislation, first in the nation, and many of the people working on the issue are working across state lines.

Coming to a courthouse near you, Evelyne Taylor (Hillsboro, Oregon), David Holliday (Hillsboro), Tony Micheletti (Salem), Cynthia Anderson (Rainier) will be the first application of Aaron's Law.

Since Aaron's Law applies if a minor child is "enticed, taken or kept" out of the state of Oregon, the law will reach to the states where kidnapped children are being held.

So to Chris and Kory Wright, Steve Nielson, and the rest of the Utah abduction team--justice is coming to you bastards too.

You will all have the opportunity to explain in public why you put the Cruz children at risk in that storm, and why you chose to knowingly violate the lawful joint custody order that kept my children safe and their lives orderly and secure.

If only Aaron was alive to see it.

Sean Cruz
Portland, Oregon


#2—shortly thereafter, I received this email from the Vancouver Police Department:

Mr Cruz,

My name is Steve Donahue and I’m a Police Officer with the Vancouver Washington Police Department. I had contact today with a Mr Kory Wright. Mr Wright contacted the Vancouver Police today after received an e-mail from you that was sent to his place of employment. Mr Wright told me that he feels that the e-mail you sent was threatening and possibly harassment.

I read the e-mail and did not feel there was any direct threat. However if you continue to send other e-mails to Mr Kory, that possibly could fall under RCW 9A.46.020 which is the crime of Harassment in the state of Washington. Mr Kory requested that I try to contact you and advise you that he does not want any more e-mails sent to him or any contact by you. If you would like to talk to me regarding this e-mail, you can respond or call me at 360-xxx-xxxx. This number is my work cell phone. I would be more that happy to talk to you if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Steve Donahue
Vancouver Police Department
West Precinct
Vancouver, Washington
Department Phone # 360-696-8292

#3—my reply to Officer Donahue:

Officer Donahue:

Thank you for your letter. I want to assure you that I have no intention of contacting Mr Wright or his employer beyond the email you are referring to.

There was no intent on my part to make any kind of a threat, but to state the facts as they are and as they have been since Mr. Wright and his associates kidnapped my children in 1996.

During the intervening years I have made no attempt to contact any of the kidnappers directly, have made no threats, and will not do so in the future.

If Mr. Wright believes that anything I have written or published regarding his criminal participation in the kidnapping is untrue, then he is doubtlessly aware of his legal options.

My sole intention is to tell the story of how four children disappeared on February 12, 1996 during a major storm, why their abductors made that happen, and to state the consequences of their actions, which includes the passage of Senate Bill 1041 in 2005.

SB 1041 is otherwise named "Aaron's Law" in memory of my late son.

The joint custody order that Mr. Wright violated was issued in Clark County. You will also find Kory Wright's sworn affidavit, identifying himself as a major player in the kidnapping, in the same file.

Mr. Wright's affidavit was written while my children were being concealed in Utah in locations provided or arranged by Mr. Wright.

In 1997, he appeared as a witness (along with other co-conspirators) in the 1st degree Custodial Interference case heard in Washington County. The jury was not made aware that these witnesses were criminally involved in the kidnapping, and the judge was not made aware that these witnesses made contact with jurors outside of the courtroom.

The jury subornation information was provided to me in 2001 by one of the participants.

Should you have further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Again, I will make no further attempt to contact either Mr. Wright or his employer directly.

Sincerely,

Sean Cruz

#4—Officer Donahue’s reply:

Thank You, I consider this matter closed. S.Donahue

---------------------------------------------
More on this later, believe me, MUCH more….

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sean Cruz for Oregon Senate District 23 campaign to kick off after November 6 election!

Support Measure 49 and Measure 50!

First things first. One election at a time.

All of our political energy should be focused on passing Measure 49 and Measure 50—and ending the war in Iraq.

There is plenty of time to mount a campaign for the May primary.

Look for a Sean Cruz for Senate District 23 campaign kickoff event announcement after we pass these two vital measures.

Get out the vote! Yes on M 49! Yes on M 50!

And bring the troops home!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

KBOO declared Cesar Chavez' birthday a New National Holiday in 1999


Cesar Chavez--Official Mexican-American Hero


A perspective on honoring Cesar Chavez, "a treasured American...."

As the drive to create a permanent, tangible remembrance in Portland honoring the great American hero Cesar Chavez gets under way, it is a good time to reflect on how Oregonians have or have not honored him in the past.


“We draw our strength from the very despair in which we find we have been forced to live. We shall endure.” –Cesar Chavez***


In 1999, KBOO community radio was one of the first entities in the nation to declare March 31, Cesar Chavez’ birthday, a national holiday (see related posting).


“It’s ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest fruits and vegetables and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves.” --Cesar Chavez


That’s right, the KBOO Board of Directors voted to declare a National holiday, and it was my proudest moment as a member of that Board.

Woodburn High School hosts an annual Cesar Chavez Day celebration each Spring, although the local school board refused to name a new middle school after him.


“There is so much human potential wasted by poverty, so many children are forced to quit school and go to work.” –Cesar Chavez


In 2005, the Oregon State Senate passed Senate Resolution 1, honoring the late civil rights leader. Senate President Peter Courtney, Senator Majority Leader Kate Brown and Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli sponsored this bill.


“My motivation to change these unjustices came from my personal life… from watching what my mother and father went through when I was growing up; from what we experienced as migrant farm workers…” –Cesar Chavez


Legislative leaders traditionally reserve low-numbered bills for issues of particular significance, or to convey a sense of elevated honor and respect, hence the number one designation for the Cesar Chavez legislation. For example, Senate President Peter Courtney could not have made his commitment to the issue of mental health parity plainer than he did, by designating this legislation as Senate Bill 1 in both the 2003 and 2005 legislative sessions.


“Our mother used to say there is a difference between being of service and being a servant…mother taught us not to be afraid to fight—to stand up for our rights. But she also taught us not to be violent.” –Cesar Chavez


The day in 2005 that Senate Resolution 1 came to the floor was a proud moment for Oregon, for Oregonians, and for those of us who keep the memory of Cesar Chavez alive in our hearts.

Senate Resolution 1 encourages Oregonians to undertake a day of voluntary service to others to honor “Cesar Chavez, a treasured American….”


“There is plenty of love and good will in our movement to give energy to our struggle and still have plenty left over to break down and change the climate of hate and fear around us.” --Cesar Chavez


While not officially in remembrance of Cesar Chavez, the 400 or so volunteers who turned out for Project Homeless Connect on Tuesday September 18, certainly captured that same spirit of voluntary service to others.


“When you have people together that believe in something very strongly, whether it be politics, unions or religion—things happen.” –Cesar Chavez


Here is the text of Senate Resolution 1:


SENATE RESOLUTION 1 (2005)

“Whereas Cesar Chavez, a treasured American, was born near Yuma, Arizona, on March 31, 1927, and built a creditable legacy of achievement and service by working for economic and social justice for farmworkers; and

“Whereas Cesar Chavez, working with the Community Service Organization in California, led voter registration drives that helped register native born Latinos; and

“Whereas in 1962, when the Community Service Organization refused to create a farmworkers' union, Cesar Chavez resigned and founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America, bringing national attention to the plight of farmworkers through nonviolent protests, including fasting; and

“Whereas Cesar Chavez led boycotts calling attention to health problems farmworkers suffered due to the use of certain pesticides on crops; and

“Whereas Cesar Chavez was recognized by the United States and Mexico with each country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Aguila Azteca respectively, for his enormous contributions to ending injustice; and

“Whereas in 2003 the United States Postal Service commemorated the life of Cesar Chavez with a postage stamp because he was a man of strength and conviction whose life serves as an example of determination and humility to all of us (see related posting); and

“Whereas Cesar Chavez's example has motivated thousands of Oregonians to take up and to support causes that he championed and popularized, making a positive and lasting change for Oregon farmworkers; and

“Whereas Cesar Chavez's work and legacy have been recognized by Governor John Kitzhaber via his proclamation on March 31, 2001, as well as by the Woodburn School District, the City of Woodburn, the City of Medford and other entities that have declared special observances; now, therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Oregon:

“That we, the members of the Senate of the Seventy-third Legislative Assembly, encourage all Oregonians to undertake a day of voluntary service to others in honor of Cesar Chavez and encourage all Oregon counties, municipalities and school districts to join in recognizing Cesar Chavez's life and legacy through proclamations, observances and community and educational activities.”

--End of Senate Resolution 1


“There is no turning back. We are winning because ours is a revolution of the mind and heart.” –Cesar Chavez


Eight states have declared Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning an official holiday, with a call for voluntary service to others in his memory: Wisconsin, Michigan, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California and Texas.


“Our struggle is not easy. Those that oppose our cause are rich and powerful, and they have many allies in high places. We are poor. Our allies are few. But we have something the rich do not own. We have our own bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons.” –Cesar Chavez


In addition to his work as a civil rights leader, it is important to remember Chavez’ legacy as an environmentalist of the highest caliber regarding the use of pesticides and exposure to poisons by farmworkers and their families, and his role in banning the backbreaking, crippling “short hoe.”


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged Cesar Chavez’s unique methodologies:


“You and your valiant fellow workers have demonstrated your commitment to righting grievous wrongs forced upon exploited people. We are together with you in spirit and determination that our dreams for a better tomorrow will be realized.” --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Cesar Chavez’ worn-out body gave out on April 23, 1993 in San Luis, Arizona.

More than 40,000 mourners came to Delano, California to honor Cesar Chavez when he was laid to rest on April 29.

But his spirit endures, and many Oregonians seek a permanent, tangible, physical presence in Portland.

The honorings listed in the Senate Resolution do not quite get us there, and the historic 37-cent US Postage stamp honoring Chavez has largely gone to the Land of Outdated Postage stamps.


“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducated the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the person who is not afraid anymore. We have looked into the future and the future is ours.” --Cesar Chavez



….bringing us to the present day and the discussion about renaming Interstate Avenue, and one more Chavez quotation, titled “Prayer of the Farm Workers’ Struggle,” by Cesar Chavez:


“Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
So I will know my people’s plight.
Free me to pray for others;
For you are present in every person.
Help me to take responsibility for my own life;
So that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve others;
For in service there is true life.
Give me honesty and patience;
So that I can work with other workers.
Bring forth song and celebration;
So that the spirit will be alive among us.
Let the spirit flourish and grow;
So we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice;
Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world.”


May the words of the great man himself guide us through this local process.

Viva Cesar Chavez!

Meanwhile, if there’s a street in Portland that’s crying out for a name change, it’s Killingsworth.

I have no doubt that a proposal to rename Killingsworth can meet the standard set in Portland’s city ordinances.

2,500 signatures? No problema.

The phone book indicates only one business on the entire street that bears the name, indicating its low desirability among business interests.

At the eastern end of Killingsworth are the large populations of Latino apartment dwellers.

The #72, busiest bus line in Portland, runs through much of its length.

The educational nexus of N-NE Portland is located on Killingsworth, between Portland Community College Cascade and Jefferson High School.

Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard (or Avenue) signs would appear on both I-5 and I-205.

…And at the Interstate Max station….

This is a good time to expand the discussion, involve the larger community, invoke the spirit of Cesar Chavez, and avoid locking ourselves into positions that will serve to prolong the effort and increase bitterness.

Sooner or later, there will be a permanent, tangible, physical tribute to Chavez and the Spirit of Chavez in Portland. No question about it.

The question is how we as a community will get there.

(originally posted on www.blogoliticalsean.blogspot.com and www.loadedorygun.net)

Updated September 21, 2007


***Quotations thanks to the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sean Cruz on Measure 49 - Measure 37: "A broad protective policy should be declared and maintained...."


I simply cannot improve on the phrase I happened upon during the last (2007) Legislative Session, while prowling around the Capitol:


“In the administration of this God-given trust,
a broad protective policy should be declared and maintained.

"No local selfish interest should be permitted,
through politics or otherwise,
to destroy or even impair this great birthright of our People.”

---Governor Tom McCall (caption of McCall portrait
located in Oregon State Capitol near House Chamber,
referencing the Beach Bill)


There it is: Oregon’s beaches, agricultural and resource lands, watersheds, wilderness, quality of life, opportunities for adventure, the salmon, the salmon….


One more time, for clarity:


“In the administration of this God-given trust, a broad protective policy should be declared and maintained.

"No local selfish interest should be permitted, through politics or otherwise, to destroy or even impair this great birthright of our People.”

---Governor Tom McCall (caption of McCall portrait located in Oregon State Capitol near House Chamber, referencing the Beach Bill)

I’m supporting Measure 49.

Sean Cruz

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oregon kidnapper Kory Wright located via Columbia Ultimate website!

The last thing I ever expected to see displayed on my monitor was probably this:

A photograph of Kory Wright, one of the core group of kidnappers who caused my four children to disappear from their homes in Aloha and Hillsboro in Washington County on February 12, 1996.

My children had a home in Hillsboro with their mother and her third husband, and a home a bike ride away in Aloha, with me and my mother, Olive Cruz.

I was my mother’s sole caregiver at the time. She was frail, elderly and had been housebound for years.

But that was another life, other lives, in a faraway place and time.

My mother passed away four years later without seeing or hearing from her grandchildren again.


Back to the present:

A hunch, expand the search from Utah, Google….

And there it was….the face of the Devil himself, aka Beelzebub, Old Stinky, Diabolus….

Thank you, Google, and a hunch….

I never thought Kory Wright would ever want to leave Utah, much less move to the Kidnap Zone, where the crime began.

Some people think, apparently, that once the statute of limitations runs and no criminal prosecution is possible, the crime is forgotten.

But kidnappings stretch out into infinity, take my word for it….

Kory Wright arranged for the housing in Utah used to conceal my children, executing a plan that had been in the making for some months, and later committed perjury in the misdirection campaign the abduction team ran to shield themselves from criminal prosecution.

One crime begets another…and another…

This plan also required the assistance of two of Kory Wright’s associates, whose part in the crime was to help get the kids out of school and on the road: David Holiday and Evelyn Taylor, both of Washington County.

Those who were living anywhere in the Pacific Northwest on February 12, 1996 will recall that day as one of the worst ever, with roads closed and more than 500 mudslides active in the Portland area alone.

On that day, these people had had my children out of school for ten days already, bouncing them from place to place.

My last contact with my children was by phone the evening before.

I asked my son if he knew if they would be going to school in the morning and where.

He said he didn’t know.

They vanished into the storm that next morning, the storm now commemorated in Portland with the “Worst Day of the Year” bicycling event.

Three weeks later, I still had no information about my children.

But Kory Wright and his associates knew exactly where they were.

Months went by. My children’s former schools in the Hillsboro School District received no requests for records from anywhere.

Later, I received a copy of Kory Wright’s sworn affidavit, dated March 2, 1996, (written at a time when I had no information about my children's whereabouts or condition) which states in part:

“I, Kory Wright declare under penalty of perjury of the laws of the State of Utah that the following statements are true and correct….

“In the short period they have lived here the children have increased their circle of friends, been involved in numerous activities and made a home for themselves. The schools they children attend are among the best in the state of Utah…. Clearly, the move here has been a tremendous benefit to both Gina and her children.

“If Shaun (sic) is truly seeking that which is best for his children, then let them live where they are the happiest. The economic boom in Utah would afford Shaun (sic) ample opportunity to provide for him as well as his support obligations. Since he currently has no employment restrictions keeping him in the Northwest, a relocation would not be difficult for him.”

That last paragraph has always had me wondering. I was fired from my job at Vic Alfonso Cadillac two weeks after my children disappeared, a week before Kory Wright wrote this statement.

….And at that moment, 800 miles away, in the mountains east of Ogden, Kory Wright contemplates my employment opportunities in Utah, extends an invitation to relocate via the Clark County Courthouse.

He offered no indication of what the group of kidnappers thought I should do with my invalid mother, other than to swear under oath that "...a relocation would not be difficult for him."

My employer was very explicit about the reason for terminating me: I didn’t have my mind on my job.

No doubt about that point; no argument at all. My mind was on nothing but my missing children and how to care for my mother. My job was definitely not in the top two.

I had told my supervisor, Gil Fuchs, about the disappearance of my children the day it happened.

He said, “Are they with their mother?

I said, “I don’t know. She’s missing, too.”

He told me not to worry about it, that they would be fine.

As a parent, you know with absolute certainty that your children are not “fine.”

You try to get through the grief, the shock, the unbearable pain….

Ten days later, Gil walked into my office and said, “You’re out of here.”

That was it. Someone came over to watch me clean out my desk, make sure I didn’t pocket a stapler on my way to the bus line.

Meanwhile, all of my children’s mail was secretly being forwarded to Evelyn Taylor in Washington County, mere blocks away from the abduction site, instead of wherever they were holding my children.

They tried to think of everything. Months of planning, secret meetings, budgeting, lying, coercing….

In legal terms: taking, enticing, keeping....

Here’s what Oregon law has to say about kidnapping, as should have been applied to every participant in the series of crimes:


163.245 Custodial interference in the second degree. (1) A person commits the crime of custodial interference in the second degree if, knowing or having reason to know that the person has no legal right to do so, the person takes, entices or keeps another person from the other person’s lawful custodian or in violation of a valid joint custody order with intent to hold the other person permanently or for a protracted period.

(2) Expenses incurred by a lawful custodial parent or a parent enforcing a valid joint custody order in locating and regaining physical custody of the person taken, enticed or kept in violation of this section are “economic damages” for purposes of restitution under ORS 137.103 to 137.109.

(3) Custodial interference in the second degree is a Class C felony.

163.257 Custodial interference in the first degree. (1) A person commits the crime of custodial interference in the first degree if the person violates ORS 163.245 and:

(a) Causes the person taken, enticed or kept from the lawful custodian or in violation of a valid joint custody order to be removed from the state; or

(b) Exposes that person to a substantial risk of illness or physical injury.

(2) Expenses incurred by a lawful custodial parent or a parent enforcing a valid joint custody order in locating and regaining physical custody of the person taken, enticed or kept in violation of this section are “economic damages” for purposes of restitution under ORS 137.103 to 137.109.

(3) Custodial interference in the first degree is a Class B felony.


It boils down to this:

[] Take, entice or keep a child in violation of a valid joint custody order: Class “C” felony.

[] Take the child out of the state of Oregon OR expose that child to a substantial risk of illness of physical injury: Class “B” felony.

Guilty on both counts, guilty as Sin itself. All of them, Kory Wright, Evelyn Taylor, David Holiday....

But no law enforcement agency could be motivated to investigate the Cruz abduction, and while these criminals drained the innocence and childhood out of my four children to the last drop, the statutes of limitations expired on the crimes.


To this day, I have no information as to how long Kory Wright and his associates kept my children out of school or the route they took in removing my children from the state.

I do know that my children never recovered academically from the abduction, that they were denied access to competent health care while they were on the run in Utah, and I learned earlier this year (2007) that both of my sons dropped out of high school five years after arriving in Utah.

Kory Wright identifies himself in the affidavit as functioning in the capacity of a counselor or mediator, using both words to suggest to the Court some form of professional capacity or relationship.

But according to the Columbia Ultimate website, the company’s mainstay is “collecting money.”

And it looks to me that Kory Wright’s job at the time the abduction of the Cruz children began had more to do with scraping chewing gum from the undersides of movie theater seats in a highly economical and successful fashion than anything remotely resembling counseling or mediation.

But you be the judge. Here’s the link:


http://www.columbiaultimate.com/about/press/112106.aspx


More on this later.

Count on it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oregon Kidnapper Kory Wright located in Vancouver, Washington

Portland--Years, long years after the statutes of limitations have expired on the crimes Kory Wright, Evelyn Taylor, David Holiday and others committed in the course of kidnapping my four children from Oregon and hiding them in Utah, a simple Google search has turned up one of the kidnappers.

Nearly 13 years later, the Cruz family remains shattered and my son Aaron is dead.

The kidnapper’s name is Kory Wright. He is employed at Columbia Ultimate, according to the company website, right across the river in Vancouver.

Kory Wright committed a Class “B” felony under Oregon law when he and his wife Chris participated materially in the abduction, violating a valid joint custody order.

Later, he committed perjury along with the others.

Their motive in the beginning was a good, old-fashioned shunning, but once they started the scheme in motion, once they crossed that line into felonyville, they had both their criminal behinds and their reputations to protect, and my children to use as weapons.

"When you set in motion a chain of events, a perpetrator of a crime is responsible for every single thing that follows from that chain of events no matter how distant." (said a Philadelphia District Attorney in a recent case where a police officer died from his wounds 40 years after they were inflicted, and now its a murder case)

No statute of limitations on murder cases.

But in Oregon the statute of limitations for child abduction, in cases where one or more of the abductors are known to the child victims, expires three years after the crime first occured.

This is the law even if the kidnappers keep the children longer than three years. All they have to do is make it through the first three years without getting caught.

Even if the police never bother to follow up and investigate the crime, after three years the kidnappers are home free.

A kidnapping is not like a holdup. A kidnapping runs 24-7, and it runs forever.

Kory Wright made the Utah arrangements. He was in charge of where my children were taken to.

Evelyn Taylor and David Holliday used their postions through their church offices and through their church seminary program in the Hillsboro School District to influence my children directly.

And they definitely knew about the joint custody order.

They played their roles in the taking of my children from the state.

I later learned that all of the children's mail was forwarded from their former home in Hillsboro to Evelyn Taylor, and not to where they were holding the children in Utah.

My children disappeared on February 12, 1996. Aaron's birthday was March 21. I had no firm information where my children were, who had them, or where they might be headed next, not even an address to mail my son a birthday card.

I mailed Aaron a card to his last known Hillsboro address, but the card went to Evelyn Taylor instead.

Class "B" felonies.

More on this later.

In my next post on this issue, thanks to scan technology and the internet, I will post Kory Wright’s sworn affidavit along with some explanation for the benefit of the reader.

This is what he looks like now, according to the Columbia Ultimate website:

http://www.columbiaultimate.com/about/kory_wright.aspx

Kory Wright Vice President of Associate Excellence

As vice president of associate excellence, Kory oversees recruitment and human resources as well as internal training and learning initiatives for the company. He also served as a new business development manager in early 2006.

Bringing over 20 years of sales management and operations experience, Kory was previously the chief operations officer for Simply Right, a movie theater cleaning business in which he was responsible for revenue and expenses for a $6 million business with operations in eight states with over 300 sub-contractors. He has served as president for Wright Angle Ventures, Inc., and Healthware, Inc. He also served as a consultant for The Intelitech Group and was previously with Columbia Ultimate in the mid-1980’s spearheading sales.

Kory has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Brigham Young University.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Portland's #1 Predatory Towing Horror Story Revisited, Part 1

The new Oregon patrol towing laws embodied in Senate Bill 116 and Senate Bill 431 go into effect January 1, 2008, providing long-overdue protection from theft-by-tow-truck and other towing-related abuses.

The fact that recently I’m seeing patrol tow trucks sneaking into the small parking lot behind my house in the early hours of the morning more frequently, stalking the low-income neighbors housed in one of Hacienda CDC’s “affordable” housing projects, also has me looking out my window first thing every morning to see if my car is still in my own driveway.

Until the new laws go into effect, my neighbors and those like them, who live in apartments with small parking lots having spaces for under ten vehicles, have no protection due to a loophole in state law.

SB 116 and SB 431 fix that problem, removing the exception from the law.

The stepped-up patrols may signal an effort on the part of the patrollers to get the money while they can.

I take the position that whatever happens to my neighbors, who inhabit two triplexes immediately behind my home, is also happening to tenants in similar properties elsewhere.

The canary in this coal mine is a small parking lot with designated spaces for seven tenant vehicles and no nearby onstreet parking permitted. I have seen two tow trucks in that lot at the same time.

In fact, Hacienda’s current towing contractor has once again stepped up the patrolling without notifying neighboring property owners of the increased risk, even after Hacienda has promised in writing (one more among a long list of unkept commitments) not to patrol the lot.

My daily routine has become: (1) wake up; (2) look out window, verify my vehicle is still in my driveway; (3) make coffee, read the paper.

The fact is, if you are starting your day without your vehicle, you need to know that as soon as possible, and experience informs me that even under the best of circumstances, it will take most of the day to get your vehicle back.

The patrol towers think they are doing you a big favor if they give you your own vehicle back, even if it has clearly been wrongfully towed, the mistake is entirely theirs, somewhere in their food chain, and they have cost you time and peace of mind, if not actual property damage.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them protest that they gave me my vehicle back free of charge (although with a broken transmission), so what’s the problem?

And Hacienda remains adamant to this day in refusing to apologize for the depredations of its towing contractors and the laxity and negligence of its property managers, even after they have trespassed on my property and stolen my vehicle FOUR TIMES since they began patrolling my neighbors’ parking in 2005.

In fact, they recently hired a big-time Schwabe Williamson corporate lawyer to speak for them on the towing issues. More on this later.

In fact, MUCH more on this later.

I intend to tell the full Horror Story, and thanks to scanning technology, with real documents to illustrate key points. Portland’s #1 Patrol Towing Horror Story, being an ongoing Horror Story, will therefore be told in several parts.

Some essential facts and themes that will be more fully developed as the Horror Story unfolds:

Key fact: I’ve lived in my home here for about five years, watched the two triplexes get built and have an easement to drive through Hacienda’s small parking lot to get to the rear of my house, where I park on my own property.

Not once, during the years that there have been tenants living back there, have I had occasion to complain about a tenant or a tenant’s vehicle occupying my space, or needed a tow truck to haul someone’s car away. Not once. The tenants have all been fine with me.

Embedded in the arrangement between Hacienda and its various property management and towing contractors, whether or not it is expressly in writing, are the understandings that:

(1) Hacienda pays nothing for the “service;”

(2) The tow drivers are paid on a commission/bonus basis, and may or may not have health insurance and other benefits, so the drivers are under a great deal of pressure when they slide into the parking lot in the dawn hours. If they drive out of there without a vehicle, the drivers are working for free.

(3) This is an essential feature of the patrol towing business model, unique to Oregon: property owners and managers pay nothing on the one end, the drivers face the dual threat of working a hazardous, stressful job and coming home at the end of a patrol with empty pockets.

(4) Hacienda’s tenants are subject to differing towing rates, depending on the size of the parking lot that serves (!) that particular property, according to however the towing contractor wants to handle it.

(5) If the towing contractors are going to make a profit from burning fuel 24 hours a day, they are going to have to shake the cash out of Hacienda’s low-income tenants directly or through the sale of their confiscated vehicles;

(6) Hacienda (the absentee landlord) defers the towing decisions to its property management company (the offpremises manager), which defers the decision making to the towing company, which in turn sends drivers out at early dark 30 to earn a commission taking vehicles before their owners wake up.

(7) It is common knowledge that the fees patrol towers charge are beyond deterrence, beyond punitive, and are often actually confiscatory.

(8) During the 2007 hearings on SB 116 and SB 431, the patrol towers testified that there are three basic patrol rate scales: (a) the fleet, business or government rates; (b) the rates negotiated between private parties; and, (c) the rates that towers arbitrarily impose on the public through patrol towing, or Private Property Impound (PPI) operations. The PPI rates are by far the highest.

(9) A subtext to this is the fact, once the patrol towers have hooked a vehicle, they control all the financial matters from then on, including the “anger” or “attitude” fees they demand from the public as a predicate to releasing the vehicle, to the valuation of the vehicle itself.

(10) The valuation of the vehicle is the critical piece of information that determines how quickly the tow company can auction it off. The lower the value the tower assigns to the vehicle, the quicker it can be liquidated. And, of course, if it sells for less than they say you owe them, you still owe them.

Meanwhile, they pile on the storage and whatever charges, but you already knew that…are you starting to feel like you’re in the wrong business? Who else in business assumes these powers?

(11) Regardless of whether a person has purposefully or negligently or mistakenly parked in the wrong place, the end result can be actual loss of the vehicle. That penalty is completely out of scale in relation to the offensive parking.


(12) The morning that Portland’s #1 Patrol Towing Horror Story began, Hacienda’s towing contractor stole two vehicles from my home.

In retrospect, it was a godsend, because if I hadn’t had the opportunity to compare two invoices of cars parked side by side and towed under exactly identical circumstances, we may still not know about the dual patrol towing invoicing systems.

Same company, same morning, same absurd justification for trespass and theft, two different drivers, two completely different rate schedules, two different printed invoices. More on this later, but for now, consider this:

Driver #1 invoiced me $ 10 a day for storage, and driver #2 $ 20 a day. Hello?

The drivers took the vehicles to different storage lots, one nearby, the other clear across town, invoicing me for mileage and the fuel he claimed he burned in the process of stealing my van and dragging it to NW 15th and Quimby.

One driver invoiced me for $ 10 for taking a picture of my vehicle, which in this case showed it being stolen by the picture-taker. The other missed the opportunity, apparently.

None of the other charges imposed by the drivers matched one another, either.

There are multiple reasons for that, and we’ll get into that in future installments.


Coming soon to a blog near you: Portland’s #1 Patrol Towing Horror Story, Part 2

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A warning regarding child abduction

Child abduction is far more common than one would think. Only a small fraction of abductions make the news or receive an Amber Alert.

But those postcards from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children keep coming in the mail. Those are real people, real children and real parents who years later are still looking, still hoping, still praying for the return of their child. Looking right now, looking for years.

Children are particularly at risk during the first five years following a divorce proceeding.

The following information is available on the Utah Department of Public Safety website at www.utah.gov/main/index

The policy is clear and correct, but in real life, if your child is taken to Utah , you are on your own.


PARENTAL ABDUCTION

Each year hundreds of children fall victim to family abductions.

Many believe these children are perfectly safe because they are with a family member; however, nothing could be farther from the truth.

It is common for the child victims to have their names and appearance altered, to experience medical and physical neglect, unstable schooling, homelessness, and frequent relocations.

These children are often told lies about the abduction and the left-behind parent; even that the left-behind parent is dead. Most of these children live as fugitives: taught not to trust anyone, told to keep secrets about their past; unable to establish relationships with friends; and always on the run from the law.

As a result of this form of serious child abuse, many child victims of family abductions experience psychological consequences and emotional distress.

Children involved in family abductions are usually taken by the non-custodial parent as an act of revenge against the ex-spouse/custodial parent.



Empower Your Children

Help your children help themselves. Be as honest as you can about the potential abduction.

Custodial parents should inform their children to never go on a trip without them.

Let your children know they should ask law enforcement for help if they are in an airport or traveling without your permission.

When instructing your children about how to use the telephone, make sure they know how to make long-distance and international calls. Teach them to dial “0” for an operator or “911” in an emergency.

Additional resources can be found at www.missingkids.com.


Taking these important steps may help prevent the abduction of your child. Children are particularly at risk during the first five years following a divorce proceeding.

Obtain legal custody of your child.

Specify in the custody order exact times and locations for visitation.

Ask for special prevention provisions.

Consider counseling or mediation to work toward resolving problems.

Always keep current information of your child on file.

Notify schools, daycare centers, and babysitters of custody orders.

Keep current names and addresses of relatives or friends that the potential abducting parent might travel to.

Keep on file certified copies of your custody order

If you have custody papers from a state other then Utah, you MUST file them with the Utah State Courts.

If Your Child is Abducted

File a missing person report with your local police and request an investigation.

Request your child be entered into the FBI's National Crime Information Center computer. (NCIC)

If you suspect the child has been taken out of the country, call the U.S. Department of State.

Contact the state Missing Children's Clearinghouse.

Contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

Consider asking the police or prosecutor to file criminal charges against the abductor.