Letters to the editor: Fairgrounds stadium is a home run; curtailing police stops

Stadium would benefit economy

Re: Arlene Martinez’s Jan. 31 guest column, “Fairgrounds stadium is off-base”:

Ms. Martinez’s column opposing the much-needed Ventura County Fairgrounds redevelopment proposal is off-base and misleading. She correctly points out that publicly funded single-use sports stadiums are an economic drain not a benefit.

However, stadiums that are part of a larger project and privately funded (as is the case here) are quite successful. Look to our south as the city of Inglewood is benefiting greatly from SoFi Stadium and the surrounding development. San Diego’s Mission Valley is also being reinvigorated from San Diego State’s Snapdragon Stadium and the surrounding redevelopment.

The Fairgrounds baseball stadium will host more than just 70 baseball games (concerts, other sporting events, etc.). The Fairgrounds quonset huts are old and tired, and the proposed convention center will be a welcome replacement to World War II-era buildings.Ms. Martinez is worried that a Fairgrounds restaurant threatens local businesses? So, no new restaurants should be allowed in town? The current Fairgrounds facilities are long overdue for replacement and upgrade, that will benefit the city of Ventura’s economy. Time to move on.

Greg Smith, Ventura

Don’t encourage police pullovers

As January ends and yet another senseless, brutal beating by police is brought to light, I’m left reflecting on recent letters to The Star by Mark Hancock and Linda Calderon (Jan. 3 and Jan 9). Both writers express what is probably well-intentioned concern about the purported scourge of tinted car windows across California, and how police need to “crack down” on this lawlessness. Mr. Hancock even explains the value of such a crackdown in terms of the extra revenue that local governments could collect from those dark-windowed hooligans.

It may be worth remembering that Tyre Nichols, a California son who died in Tennessee from the extensive injuries he suffered at the hands of five officers, was originally stopped for some sort of traffic infraction that now appears to have never even occurred.

Why would anyone think it’s wise to arm police with even more encouragement to pull citizens over and put them at risk of the type of violence that law enforcement is famous for? Maybe it’s time we head the other direction entirely, eliminating police discretion to stop and then interrogate, search, and even arrest people for insignificant trifles — pretexts, really — like loud music, dim taillights, or tinted windows.

Mr. Nichols’ death was an anomaly, yes, but the acts that led to it were not. Police frequently beat people up, and only since body cameras became ubiquitous have we had much evidence of just how unprovoked and unwarranted so much of that routine violence really is. No one can say they don’t know anymore, so perhaps no one can justify calling for increased cop/public interaction anymore, either. Not when filling coffers is evidently so likely to fill coffins as well.

Dymitr Harashevsky, Ventura

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Letters: Fairgrounds stadium is a home run; curtailing police stops