At first it was just a few vague mentions on social networks. Then it was confirmed in the Alibi with a full-page posting, but I was shocked to hear about Michael Henningsen’s passing. It’s always shocking when someone your age passes unexpectedly.
I remember Henny most clearly as the music editor of the Alibi in the ’90s. In particular, I remember getting my first letter published in the Alibi in response to one of his columns. I wasn’t particularly happy with him and rambled for a good couple pages, which all boiled down to basically saying, “Shut the f**k up.” I still remember fondly how many people responded to that letter, some shaking their heads with consternation and others cheering me on, but the effect was still the same. Suddenly, in one quick publication, I was part of the conversation about what sort of city Albuquerque was and should be. We didn’t share tastes, but I always respected his desire and belief that Albuquerque was a great city, a great music city. Henny was a champion of all things ABQ and couldn’t help but weigh in on the conversations that the Alibi helped drive.
We need more writers like Henny: writers who aren't afraid to step on toes, call it like they see it and champion what they value. And while I rarely liked the bands he championed as much as he did, I recognized that he didn’t want Albuquerque to be another Austin or Portland. What we create here in Downtown, Uptown, the University area, Nob Hill, the Heights and even Rio Rancho can stand up next to any city in America. We need to embrace our uniqueness and sing its praises loud and often. So as people move on to greener pastures and write letters about what Albuquerque could become, we need to hold Henny in our hearts and say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Now go out and support a local band.
In Webber’s camp
CC BY DonkeyHotey
I've recently been saddened to see how few people in my demographic (business owner, early 30s, registered Democrat, former Green Party member) are aware of the fact that we currently have an election going on that is critical to the future of New Mexico. This Democratic primary will yield the candidate who will take on Susana Martinez for the Governor's seat in the fall. We need the Alibi to provide strong coverage of this primary to drive voters to the polls because the DNC has already abandoned us due to the strong Republican national interest in Susana Martinez. Only a strong voter turn out in the primary will change their minds.
It seems like Albuquerque has all the potential to be the next Portland or Austin with our high ratio of artists, PhDs and independently minded citizens. Yet, unless we get a change in state government, things are only going to continue to decline. We need a strong candidate with vision, practical but creative ideas and love for New Mexico. For this reason, I am hoping we will get more registered voters out to vote for Alan Webber. Webber is not only refreshingly specific in his answers and positions on water, education, job creation and tax reform; he's also the strongest candidate to make Susana Martinez a one-term governor. Webber has received the endorsement of Latino community leaders from across the state. He is the most eloquent and comfortable in front of television cameras, and he has the national connections necessary to take on Martinez’ Koch brothers-funded campaign. There is little doubt that he is the candidate that poses the greatest threat to the establishment. I hope you will give thorough coverage to the primary and that more registered Democrats will come out to vote.
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