23 years ago in Metro Times: Doug Ross, director of the Michigan Commerce Department, hopes to prevent a second Michigan recession in the '80s by using some of the state's pension funds to invest in entrepreneurship in Michigan. Ross hopes that through these investments, new jobs will be created for the 71,000 employees of the Big Three observers expect will be laid off over the next two years. The auto industry, and Michigan's unemployment woes are still with us today as we find ourselves in the worst recession since the 1930s, never mind the '80s. The state's workforce has shrunk by more than 100,000 over the last two years, and doesn't show signs of improving yet. What was happening: Boston at Joe Louis Arena, Erebus at Blondie's, and Suzanne Vega at Chene Park.
19 years ago in Metro Times: The first ever Great Lakes Renewable Energy Fair, sponsored by the Great Lakes Energy Association (GLEA), is coming up, to be hosted in Traverse City. When asked why they decided to have the fair in Michigan, GLEA secretary Phil Thiel said that "the whole state is behind in its commitment to renewable technology," thus making it an important place to start a green revolution. According to writer Anne Fracassa, "all seemed to agree that Michigan could become a leader in the inevitable conversion to renewable energy." Sadly, even though going green is more popular than ever, the move away from fossil fuels hasn't proven "inevitable" yet. (Though one can hope that the BP gusher will give people a clue.) What was happening: Gang of Four at Chene Park, Ronnie Earl at the Majestic, and Bob James at Meadowbrook.
13 years ago in Metro Times: The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) loses its director of 12 years, Sam Sachs II, who ushered in a period of relative financial stability by focusing on maintaining the building and making massive cuts to the museum's performing arts exhibits. With Sachs gone, the DIA is now, to use the Metro Times headline, "In search of a vision," namely a vision of how to improve the museum, and how to become more in touch with its community. It's a daunting task, considering that many Detroiters see it as a white institution in a majority-black city. In 2007, the DIA completed a $158 million renovation and expansion, and is now one of Detroit's most popular and modern attractions. What was happening: Gordon Lightfoot at the Power Center, Boston at Pine Knob, BRAD at St. Andrew's.