News & Views » Local News

Detroit Water & Sewerage Department repeats history

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



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

Eight years ago in Metro Times: MT reported on a momentous local issue — increasing water bill rates. One woman specifically was featured, Nicole Covington, whose mall security career couldn’t keep up with her nearly $260 quarterly bill, and the $500 in fines she had acquired due to her debt with the city’s Water & Sewerage Department. Most residents were facing a $10 a month hike, at least. Also an issue? Nearly 40,000 Detroiters had had their water disconnected due to their failure to pay up. In March of this year, the DWSD repeated history, shutting off service to thousands of customers due to the city’s outstanding debt. Protests have ensued since, with residents saying the shut-offs — often coming without notice — are unfair. The average monthly water bill is $75 right now, according to the Free Press. Eight years ago, the average was $45.

What was happening: The Legendary Pink Dots at the Magic Bag, the Fray at Clutch Cargo’s, the Aquabats at St. Andrew’s Hall.

18 years ago in Metro Times: Curt Guyette, this rag’s former investigative reporter, trekked up for the annual Mackinac Policy Conference, a Detroit Regional Chamber-sponsored confab featuring mostly GOP movers and shakers from across the state. Tongue-in-cheek, Guyette wrote about shedding his lefty sensibilities for a proud Republican identity. Because, you know, it’s splendidly easy being a conservative when you have gold caviar and salmon fillets with capers to feast upon at your leisure. Nearly two decades later, this spring, MT sent current investigative reporter Ryan Felton up to the island to see if much has changed — if the conference is more than just a three-day cocktail party. The verdict: Not one bit.

What was happening: Patti Smith at Pine Knob, Groove Collective at the Majestic Theatre, the Specials at the Palladium.

28 years ago: George Maldonado told of his most recent ailment: searching and discovering his actual ailments on the Internet. At the time, he was downloading “fitness software” to his home computer, such as “Eat Smart,” which contained 136 of the most commonly eaten foods and analyzed them. The program competed against systems like Nutri-Calc for Apple computers, which would break down your diet into the seven nutrients you should be consuming. Exercise software was just hitting the obsessive-compulsive data-collecting scene, dubbed things like “Be Your Own Coach,” that allowed you to manually log miles run, speed, heart rate and your feelings. All of this cost $20-$100, and basically required more labor than it was actually worth. Now, iPhone apps like MyFitnessPal have come to the rescue, logging every calorie consumed, as well as nutrients, and alerting you when you’ve pulled a big no-no.

What was happening: Black Flag at Nectarine Ballroom, America at Pine Knob, New Order and the Cramps at Clutch Cargo’s. 


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.