The VLA is not being closed, it has been substantially upgraded and is now known as the EVLA, E for expanded. The array being constructed in Chile ALMA the Atacama Large Millimeter Array operates at higher frequencies 88GHz to ~700 GHz whereas the EVLA operates between 74MHz and 50 GHz. They are complementary facilities, in addition, ALMA is a multinational project, Europe, Japan, and the US. Arecibo has been under discussion for closure for many years; however, to restore the site to its natural state (as required by contract) would cost much more than keeping it running.
Science is popular; however, progress comes slowly these days and a lot must go on behind the scenes before something of broad interest comes out. The new facilities like the EVLA, ALMA, and the Large Hadron Collider are able to make ground breaking discoveries that are difficult to achieve with more limited instrumentation.