The Hi-Lite 30 is an old drive-in theater about 1 kilometer from our home. It stands in disrepair, mostly because the owners of the land have only leased it one year at a time for the past ten years to the current theater operators; they have had no incentive to renovate property that they did not own. Despite it's current condition tens of thousands of residents still flock to see movies each summer as they have for the past 50 years. But not this year.
The story is exceptionally convoluted, but it now appears that the theater will be torn down in the name of "money for schools." School District 131 stands to benefit if (and that's a big IF) they can sell the 8 acres donated by Bigelow Homes. Not coincidentally, Bigelow Homes is also the developer who proposed to expand it's existing
communist commune HomeTown Aurora by 240 homes where the theater stands today. Big surprise.
You can follow all the drama at the excellent Aurora-based blog OpenlineBlog, specifically this entry which talks about the public hearing Shannon and I attended last night (you might have been able to see us in the picture if it were not blurred).
The whole situation makes me ill. I feel bad for all of the "concerned parents" who were fooled into believing that the hypothetical 1.3 million dollars the donated land was claimed to be worth could help their schools. The problem is that this estimation comes from the developer (who gets a tax write-off for the "value" of the land) and there are no current buyers for the land (in fact there are multiple parcels of land in the area that are currently on the market and not being sold, much less for the per-acre cost used to estimate the land's value). Money is not going to solve their problems: the East Aurora High School (the only in District 131) already spends $2,000 more PER STUDENT than the surrounding districts. City Hall is not who they should be protesting - they should be protesting outside of their own school board's meetings. Besides, with the addition of 240 homes and the accompaning children that come along with that influx of people, do they really think that's going to help their already over-crowded schools? Morons.
I am against violence, but these people need to get their faces smacked with a heavy gauntlet of truth and common sense. About 85% of the people who spoke at the meeting supported the Drive-In, many passionately and with excellent supporting arguments backed by facts. The other 15% lived in HomeTown and appeared to be ignorant of the actual issues surrounding the drive-in. They spoke, for the first time in this months long debate, "because we care about our kids education." Great! But this wasn't the place to do it, you naive wastes of carbon, and you sure as hell don't have a clue about what damage you did last night to you, your children's, and Aurora's future.
To the moronic few: Thanks for destroying a wonderful landmark (something unique in the western suburbs), removing cheap family entertainment (now we have to drive elsewhere to spend our money), and driving our property values down with shoddy housing and cheap strip malls (which will go unsold if they have the same luck as the half-empty strip mall 2 kilometers down the road).
This is why I hate stupid people.
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