Wayne State expansion had local businesses crying foul 

A look back at what was happening this week in Metro Times...

13 years ago in Metro TimesMike Zelinski, owner of a popular tavern and eatery on the corner of Woodward and West Warren avenues, felt particularly screwed when he found out he’d be forced to close due to the $18.5 million Welcome Center being built by Wayne State University, which was set to corral various student services, such as financial aid, advising, and admissions, under one roof. This wasn’t the only expansion WSU was making; a 705-space parking structure was also being constructed, and a new dorm building wasn’t far off. Some local business owners cried foul, arguing that the university was overtaking the city around it. Wayne State announced in February of last year that it was planning to spend $170 million in building projects by 2015, including a new vehicle technology center, parking lots, and updated classrooms, further increasing its footprint in the mid-city area.

What was happening: Rammstein at Clutch Cargo’s, Alkaline Trio at St. Andrew’s Hall, Blink 182 at DTE Energy Music Theatre.

18 years ago in Metro Times: Public education was under severe criticism nationwide in the ’90s, with Michigan at the forefront, largely driven by politicians who said that privatizing education might be the state’s next big step. Proposed plans involved the issuance of vouchers within school districts, or radically changing the system by allowing private, for-profit firms to take over. Public school teachers were starting to sweat, saying that this would make education too much of a business. Eighteen years later, the privatized-school culture has grown and charter schools have proliferated, though it’s been found that charter schools in Michigan fared no better than public schools. 

What was happening: The Cowboy Junkies at Meadowbrook, Beck at the Sanctum, Bile at The Majestic Theatre.

27 years ago in Metro Times: Judith Frey, a conservative from Grand Rapids, began speaking for the People’s Campaign for Choice, a coalition of more than 40 statewide organizations mobilized to electorally stop Michigan Right to Life, which succeeded in ending all state-funded Medicaid abortions. At the time, Michigan Republicans for Choice had nearly 1,000 members. Recently, with support from Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan budgeted $800,000 in support for faith-based nonprofit group called Real Alternatives, which what supporters call “life-affirming pregnancy centers” — and what critics call “anti-choice propaganda centers that lie to women” — throughout the state. 

What was happening: The Cure at Cobo Arena, At War at Blondie’s, Peter Gabriel at Pine Knob.

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