Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, January 10, 2003

Trooper's actions raise questions, leave victim's family devastated

I am Carly Porter. Casey's stepmom. I want to know what the procedure is for stopping a car. Is the trooper trained to shoot and kill the driver in order to stop a car? Wouldn't that be kind of stupid? I think the car would continue moving whether the driver was alive or not.

Another thing: My stepson was crippled. He couldn't get out of the car fast enough to suit them, because he was a paraplegic. They pepper sprayed him because he wasn't getting out fast enough to suit them, and he was shot for being a scared kid who tried to run.

I can guarantee that the kid wasn't trying to hit a trooper. He was scared and he had pepper in his eyes. He was trying to run away and they killed him.

According to your paper, his car hit the trooper's car anyway. The trooper had enough time to kill my kid and then get out of the way before his car ran into the trooper car. Something is definitely wrong with this picture.

Casey was the last Porter male who left no sons. He left behind a 3-year-old daughter and no siblings. Needless to say, my family is devastated.

Carly R. Porter, Kenai

Job requires law enforcement officers put their lives on line

I don't believe there could be any tougher job than that of a law enforcement officer. Theirs is one of a few different professions in this community that routinely involves confronting situations that are potentially dangerous. Imagine yourself, whether alone or with a coworker, being called to a suspicious circumstance involving an unknown individual, who is in an unknown state of mind, in the middle of the night, with no one else around, in the middle of nowhere.

What decisions have to be made, must be made in a matter of seconds, balancing the safety and the needs of everyone in the situation, all at one time. Making matters even worse, the job is made all the more difficult because there is not sufficient funding to ensure that there are enough officers on duty at any one time to do as

thorough of a job as we all want.

How many of us, who may be critical of their performance, have a job that requires us literally to put our lives on the line, as a part of our routine duties?

Our officers must often operate in unfriendly, if not overtly hostile, situations that are highly emotionally charged. We rarely go to their office for their help; they come to our homes in the middle of a crisis, walking into unknown environments, usually dealing with individuals who are entirely unknown to them. They routinely perform duties that most of us could not even imagine ever having to do, much less having to do it alone and in the dark and far away from other people. We demand efficient, effective, rapid responses from them when they are needed, but give them very little support when they do intervene to protect effectively. Instead,

we are quick to judge and criticize and look for wrong in their own actions.

I am grateful for the presence of law enforcement in our community. I can't imagine going to sleep at night, not knowing that there is someone out there (even if far down the road at the moment) who is keeping an eye on things for me. Let's not be quick to judge, or to jump to conclusions. We should count our blessings in the central Kenai Peninsula area for the fine level of

protection we are afforded, and be sure that we show support for the men and women who risk their lives for us every day.

Bill Galic


Why didn't Casey Porter's friends stop him from driving?

To the armchair detectives who would second-guess the troopers' actions toward Casey Porter: I think if they knew him (Casey) as well as they say, they were civically and morally obligated to stop him from driving.

If as stated, he had to use a cane to push the accelerator, had to lift his palsied leg off the brake, then any vehicle he drove was an accident looking for a place to happen. Look at all the motorists he put at danger by driving, and by extension, so did his friends.

Instead of trashing the troopers who had reason to think their lives were in danger, the friends of Casey should think of their own inaction as one of the reasons for the tragic results. If they would have talked him out of driving and if that wasn't possible then called the cops and reported him driving -- Casey would still be alive.

George Coma, Kenai

Mr. Porter's condition should have prevented him from driving

I agree with Bob Grant (letter to the editor of Wednesday) that the investigators of the Sterling incident be allowed to do their work. We were not there.

However, I would like to comment on Mr. Porter, his family and friends. I am basing my view on the reports appearing in the Clarion, including quotes from family and friends.

I have often wondered about the condition of some of the drivers I meet on the highway. Now I have people stating in print what I have feared. If Mr. Porter's condition was as reported, he should have never been allowed to drive. He was slated to hurt or kill someone.

The family and friends knowing Mr. Porter's condition should have taken action to prevent him from driving. No such actions were reported. They should do some soul searching as to what they could have done to prevent the problem that developed.

William L. Hightower, Sterling

Early-run kings are in trouble; are guides part of the problem?

On Sunday, the letter to the editor from the Kenai River Professional Guide Association amazed me. The KRPGA is now against mandatory catch and release of early-run kings on the Kenai River, saying "The pre-2002 plan met escapement goals in all of the previous 12 years since its inception."

Plus, KRPGA wants to get along with the "unguided fishermen" (Joe Sportsman?), commercial fishermen and all the fish and game boards.

Why does this move unnerve me? The early-run kings on the Kenai are in trouble; otherwise, if escapement goals were reached, there would be sufficient kings such that catch and release should not be required. Could it be there are too many guides?

Can it be the moratorium on the number of guides has KRPGA worried? What is the old saying, "beware of a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Also, it I don't see any KRPGA concerns about their overfishing effects on the Kasilof River. Is the new cooperative effort a smokescreen?

Just wondering.

Joe Harris, Kenai

Letter writer meant no harm

A letter was printed in Tuesday's Clarion from Robert L. Correia in regard to the Casey Porter incident. While Robert's family and friends know that he is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivor, many Clarion readers do not.

I don't believe Robert intended to harm or offend anyone with his comments in his letter and I hope that none were.

Bob Correia , Kasilof

Vandals should knock it off and leave snowpeople alone

Well, I'm sure glad a Clarion photographer liked our snowpeople. We were spending all our time trying to keep their heads on and do our regular jobs to think about taking pictures.

We have had several people comment on the snowman and snowwoman -- some even saw Grampa Carrol and three of his grandkids making them shortly before Christmas. Lots of people enjoyed looking at them as they guarded our entrance.

But some people just enjoyed knocking their heads off. In fact, the picture on the first page of Tuesday's Peninsula Clarion showed head number three.

First time, they just lost their heads; next time it was heads and arms. Now, you will notice as you drive by just round piles of snow.

The kids had a great time building them, and, of course, the activity was a highlight of grampa's winter. But enough is enough.

Repeated vandalism by young kids, not held accountable for their actions, can lead to more serious vandalism, thefts or other crimes. Were these destructions done by different groups or did one group do it at least three times?

If any parents have an idea it might be their children, they should attempt to put a stop to it and take action to help their children become more responsible before they are involved in more serious criminal activities.

JoAnne Martin, The Diamond M Ranch

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