Metro Retro

25 years ago this week in Metro Times: Associate editor Herb Boyd analyzes a three-way clash between Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, the police officers union (the Detroit Police Association) and an African-American officers group (the Guardians). Boyd describes a calamitous circle: “To improve the racial composition of the Police Department, the mayor launches an affirmative action program; the affirmative action is challenged by the DPOA in court and, through state arbitration, wins a $51 million settlement; the city, already facing a budget deficit of over $100 million dollars, is forced to lay off police officers ... the majority of the officers to be laid off had to be those most recently hired — blacks and females.” What was happening: Sun Ra brings his Famous Arkestra to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

19 years ago this week in Metro Times: Exiled radio host Mike Halloran writes in from San Diego with an “exit interview” of sorts, explaining that off-air politics resulted in his departure, and offering an astonishing list of artists that stopped in on his show on WDTX (99.5-FM), Radios in Motion: “Peter Case, Black Flag, OMD, Nick Ronson, Del Amitri, Phranc, Camper Van Beethoven, the Cult, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modern English, Tuxedo Moon, the Pogues, Dwight Yoakam” and many more. What was happening: The Psychedelic Furs at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium.

12 years ago this week in Metro Times: Monte Paulsen follows a group of Greenpeace “commandos” as they hang an anti-incinerator banner on the 250-foot-tall smokestack of the Lafarge cement plant in Alpena. The story covers loopholes in environmental law that allow 90 percent of the country’s chemical waste to be burned in large cement plants rather than in specialized hazardous waste incinerators. What was happening: Paul Westerberg at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.

Nine years ago this week in Metro Times: Peter Werbe interviews William Julius Wilson, author of When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. Asked why suburbanites should care about urban problems, Wilson says, “Research clearly indicates the suburbs that experienced significant increases in income during the 1980s were invariably those that surrounded thriving central cities. We all have a vested interest in saving our central cities.” What was happening: In-store appearance by GWAR at Record Time in Roseville.

Six years ago this week in Metro Times: News editor Curt Guyette follows a five-month union organizing campaign at Peerless Metal Powders and Abrasives on Detroit’s southwest side. The roller-coaster experience for workers includes allegations of pressure tactics on the part of the company and the firing of the main subject of the report, a union advocate. The union drive is ultimately defeated. “If nothing else, the Peerless ordeal serves as a cautionary tale for organized labor,” Guyette writes. What was happening: Susie Bright, author of Full Exposure: Opening Up to Your Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression, speaks at Wayne State University.

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