Community not supportive of water-throwing incident

Voices of the Peninsula

Posted: Friday, May 16, 2003

Mayors Dale Bagley and Dave Carey agree that throwing water on peace protesters is wrong!

This incident has attracted more attention than it should have. Jeff Webster was wrong to do what he did, and the courts will now have the final say on his actions. We understand that Mr. Webster has a son in the military, but that still doesn't justify his actions. The fact that he videotaped the incident makes us wonder what his real motives were.

This incident has reflected poorly on Soldotna and the Kenai Peninsula. There have been many news columns and letters to the editor that have been critical of the local community. There have been some who are sympthetic of Mr. Webster, but the overwhelming majority of people that we have talked to have not been supportive of his actions.

Recently, we waved signs in support of our troops. Just down the street we encountered a group of people who were peacefully protesting the war. Peacefully, this is the way it should be.

In America, we are allowed to peacefully assemble to show our support or to protest.

Mayor Bagley served four years in the Marine Corps and is a proud veteran.

During the combat missions in Iraq, Mayor Carey handed out yellow ribbons in support of our troops. He was instrumental in the naming of the David Douthit Memorial Bridge, helped to see that the fire hydrants in the city of Soldotna were painted in patriotic colors and he has been vocal in his support of our troops, even before the war with Iraq began.

Mayor Carey's father, a Navy pilot, was killed during Operation Deepfreeze in Antarctica in 1956. He did not die to oppose freedom of speech or any of the Bill of Rights.

The water-throwing incident was wrong. The vast majority of city and borough residents also believe it was wrong. We want to make it clear that the community does NOT support the actions of Mr. Webster.

Dale Bagley is the mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Dave Carey is the mayor of the city of Soldotna.

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