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<b>Santayana's warning</b>

EDITOR: George Santayana wrote: "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." No more salient example of this oft-repeated but seldom practiced phrase can be found than in the recent media and public excoriation of Supervisor Efren Castillo.

Two weeks ago, we saw another example where media and public vitriol against an individual were found wanting in the George Zimmerman trial. However, he was found not guilty.

Not guilty — yet convicted in the press and in the court of a public seemingly incapable of critical thinking.

It's happening here now. Unquestioning belief in police "allegations" — not evidence — leading to a barnstorm of condemnation and calls for resignation being pitched by a disgraced former public servant unquestioningly reported by your paper.

Will we ever learn? It's doubtful, as sensationalism and emotion drives so many to dispense opinion as truth.

If the evidence finds Castillo responsible for these acts, be assured I will be as condemnatory as the public thus far. Until then, this thinking man will wait for the process to play itself out. I refuse to convict this man, or any man or woman, on the basis of what someone else tells me.

RICK GROFF

Healdsburg

<b>Plan Bay Area</b>

EDITOR: The biggest thing to hit the Bay Area in decades happened Thursday, and it went totally unreported here in Sonoma County. I wonder why? I am referring to the passage of the controversial regional plan called Plan Bay Area by the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

There have been articles pretty much every other day for weeks leading up to this vote in the Marin Independent Journal. Conversely, The Press Democrat only printed two opinion pieces a couple of months ago, and those were one-sided. I know first-hand that The Press Democrat refused to print a rebuttal to those articles. Why is The Press Democrat suppressing the information like this? Must I continue to look elsewhere for news of any importance?

PHAEDRA GLIDDEN

Santa Rosa

<b>Racial tension</b>

EDITOR: I would say that, for sure, President Barack Obama was correct when he remarked that, "Thirty-five years ago it could have been me," regarding the case of Trayvon Martin. If he was straddling some guy, punching him senseless and slamming his head into the concrete, then, yes, he probably would have been shot and killed if his opponent had a gun.

If Martin had been gunned down by another black man (as are literally countless thousands each year), there would have been no bugles, no drums, no media coverage, no rallies all over the country for justice and definitely no Al Sharpton involved.

Presumably, Eric Holder's Justice Department is planning something (anything) to bring federal charges against George Zimmerman to appease the mob mentality of a certain segment of our population.

What would be next afterwards? The world court at The Hague? What part of not guilty do some not understand? To place Martin on par with Emmett Till is the highest order of historical insanity and the real cause for racial tension over this case, not the verdict. False information usually is at the core of social tension.

JERRY CAINE

Santa Rosa

<b>Carrillo's courting</b>

EDITOR: It amazes me that no local politician at any level, from city councils to Congress, has spoken out against falling star Efren Carrillo and called for his immediate resignation.

It doesn't matter how the legal process resolves this issue. He is unfit to serve. The Democrats are as guilty as anyone this time, with Press Democrat owners and kingmakers surrounding Carrillo with kind words and entreaties to sympathize with poor Efren.

I thought this was the safest county in the nation for women's rights, safety and diversity; what gives?

This county needs real leadership, not kowtowing phonies who are more concerned with their next campaign contribution than the safety and well-being of the victim of Carrillo's version of courting.

KEITH RHINEHART

Santa Rosa