Here we go again…No more than a week after the Arlington Heights village board settles in at its new downtown palace, they now look at the police department next door and say “my goodness, how hideous next to our new house.” An architect is hired to look at the space needs for the police department and recommend expansion or a new building.

Now, granted, the department probably needs to expand. Like the village hall, the village has grown by leaps and bounds and is in need for some more room. But, there is a difference in increasing for functionality and going palacial. Who can look at the new village hall and say “My, that’s certainly functional!”

Let’s hope some sanity remains with the village in giving the police department what it needs without the opulence it gave itself.

Advertisements

I’ve been watching the construction of my town’s new village hall (Arlington Heights, IL) over the past year (I drive by it on my daily commute). And, as it prepares to open in a week, I can’t help but be amazed at how the new building stands in comparison to what is happening in aging suburban areas everywhere … that is, replacing good, functional buildings with expensive, opulent ones to present an “upscale” look.

Now, granted, the old village hall was in need of replacement. It was built in the 60s and, like most municipal buildings in it time, was a structurally sound, but bland looking building that served the purpose of the village business. The town has grown exponentially since then, and village services were squeezed by the constraints of the structure.

The new building is a three-story marvel that features high ceilings, a main courtyard and a third-story garden terrace. There is obviously more room to conduct business in, but the facade and amenities of the new structure now overwhelm the block it sits on.

Now, take a look at some of the original neighborhoods in town, where small but surely functional — and affordable — homes have been torn down to be replaced by opulent, multi-story, and much more expensive ones that overwhelm the houses surrounding them.

Yes, Arlington Heights has a new village hall big enough to handle its business. But I can’t help but look at it and think “Is this a monument to an unspoken philosophy to replace functional with opluent … and to turn away those who would like to live here but can’t afford it?”

After following last night’s New Hampshire primary, I have to wonder:

Do New Hampshire-ites really love John McCain more than the French love Jerry Lewis? Or do they think they’re voting for the guy from the “Die Hard” movies?

St. Petersburg Times media columnist Eric Deggans had a wonderful piece recently about the death of the memorable TV theme song.

He also lists an unofficial Top 10 list, which includes everything from “Sanford and Son” to “Those Were The Days.” Although the list was pretty complete, I was shocked that the theme to “Hawaii Five-O” didn’t make it. With that pounding percussion and uptempo brass. THAT was a theme that made you take notice, especially as the camera zoomed across town to the roof of the Illikai Hotel and well-coiffed Jack Lord. That easily could have replaced the “MASH” theme, which was more an elevator version of the poignant song from the movie.

Also amazingly missing was the wonderfully campy “Batman” theme. OK, you’re saying you hate it, but just how many times in your life have you found yourself in a situation when you’ve hummed “na na na na na na na na na na na na” to yourself?

And, not to mention “You’re gonna make it after all….” from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show?” What’s up with that?

Others worth mentioning were “Mannix” and “Rockford Files,” as well as the great adaptation of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” for “Crime Story.”