Kilpatrick wows at Hip-Hop Summit, KKK rally turns violent 

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

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CORRECTION 2:20 p.,m., Wed., May 21: We may have left careful readers scratching their heads with last week’s Metro Retro about the Midland Cogeneration Venture. To clarify, Consumers Energy stopped building its Midland nuclear power plant in 1984, but finished the project as a gas-fired plant in 1991. There is no nuclear plant in Midland.

10 years ago in Metro Times: Metro Times covers how chic and suave Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Russell Simmons were revving up to host the Hip-Hop Summit. The summit was headlined by the likes of Eminem and 50 Cent, and the event boasted the heading “Taking Back Responsibility.” Kilpatrick mentioned that keeping it real meant anything from community contribution to being proud of the city you live in, and that “the time has come for the hip-hop generation to stand up to its responsibility.” Well, that time had come and gone by the time a defiant and remorseless Kilpatrick landed himself in federal prison, but the rest of the hip-hop generation had a rousing time at the summit and has stepped up when called.

What was happening: The Cardigans at the Magic Stick, the Strokes at the Fillmore, Machine Head at Harpos.

16 years ago in Metro Times: Jennifer Bagwell covers a Ku Klux Klan rally that turns violent in Ann Arbor. On one side is the Klan, spewing racist and anti-Semitic propaganda, barricaded behind an 8-foot-high chain link fence and a squad of police officers clad in riot gear. On the other side is a crowd of protesters, opting for a “militant” approach against the Klan. In the eye of the storm, more than 100 volunteer peacekeepers attempt to mediate the situation. Violence erupts when the protesters begin hurling rocks and bottles at the Klan, resulting in the crowd being tear-gassed by the police protection. A principal target of Klan criticism is the University of Michigan, and a Klan member identifying himself to MT as Grand Dragon Johnny White accuses the school of favoring African-Americans. That issue is still very much in the news in 2014, with the recent ban on affirmative action by the state, which no longer requires U-M to maintain certain levels of racial and ethnic diversity in its student body.

What was happening: Vans Warped Tour at Phoenix Plaza Amphitheater, Bobcat Goldthwait at Joey’s Comedy Club, Rent at the Fisher Theatre, Sonic Youth at the State Theatre, Slayer at Harpos.

30 years ago in Metro Times: Joanna Montgomery documents the crisis surrounding the Consumers Power Company and its crumbling plan to activate twin nuclear reactors in Midland, an effort that plummeted the company deep into debt. Because of rising electrical demand, the abandonment of the endeavor will cross Michigan taxpayers in an ugly way after billions had already been spent on construction, which slowed to a crawl. MT reports that Consumers Power spent an undisclosed amount on a nostalgia campaign to gain customers’ trust after the failed plant. Consumers Energy would go on to finish the project (following a multi-year construction hiatus) in 1991 as a gas-fired plant instead of a nuclear plant. According to the facility’s website, the plant generates 15 percent of Michigan’s electrical energy supply. These days, with the nightmare at Fukushima still unresolved, the nuclear power industry is on the defensive, but it’s still working on a lobbying effort including Spencer Abraham, a former Republican Michigan senator and U.S. secretary of energy, dubbed “Nuclear Matters,” hoping to calm public fears on the issue.

What was happening: The Clash at the Fox Theatre, the Cramps at St. Andrew’s Hall, the Violent Femmes at the Michigan Union Ballroom, the Motor City Break Dance Competition at the Fox Theatre.


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