The Home Front: ‘Sometimes Obamacare stories have happy endings, even in the mountain valleys of Colorado’

“Sometimes Obamacare stories have happy endings, even in the mountain valleys of Colorado,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent for the paper’s continuing series on healthcare in mountain towns. “The ACA has made it possible for 20 million additional Americans to be covered by health insurance. It is a boon to many. While the majority are still covered by employer insurance and haven’t seen big changes in their plans, it has been a godsend to those with pre-existing conditions who previously couldn’t find coverage, and to those at or just above the poverty level who previously couldn’t afford it but now enjoy generous government benefits. And as many resort town residents can attest, it’s at least bearable, if not affordable, for those who can stay inside 400 percent of the FPL and thus qualify for a tax credit.”

“The city of Durango will continue to fluoridate its water, with final election results showing the ordinance that aimed to stop the program failed overwhelmingly,” reports The Durango Herald. “Election totals showed about 1,735 people voted for an ordinance that would require the city to stop adding fluoride to its water system, far behind the some 3,094 voters who supported keeping the system in place.”

“On a snowy Election Day in Colorado Springs, ‘sea change’ may have come to council majority,” reports The Gazette. “Colorado Springs voters sent a surprise message during a big snowstorm Tuesday, electing a potential majority bloc of City Council members that could push a more liberal agenda, unofficial results showed.”

“George Brauchler, the prosecutor of the Aurora theater shooter, will announce his bid for Colorado governor Wednesday, entering as the early Republican front-runner in the high-stakes 2018 race,” reports The Denver Post. “Everything important in my life is here in this state … and what I see is a state that is in need of leadership,” he told the paper. “I think I can provide that leadership — not just for now, but for the future.” “The 18th Judicial District attorney named education and transportation as his top two issues, and he emphasized his military and public safety experience as qualifications for the job.”

“Grand Junction voters thwarted a measure to build a downtown event center and renovate Two Rivers Convention Center on Tuesday night, with nearly three-quarters of them rejecting a quarter-cent sales-tax increase to pay for the projects,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Vote tallies as of 9 p.m. showed 10,129 people — nearly 71 percent — turning away Referred Measure 2A, with 4,184 people favoring it. Proponents of the tax increase gathered to watch the returns come in, and the first round of results released by election officials prompted dejected expressions from the crowd and general disappointment.”

“Longmont will not be turning its malfunctioning outdoor emergency warning sirens back on, City Council members decided Tuesday night,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Nor will the city spend an estimated $500,000 or so to replace the current siren system with one manufactured by a vendor other than the company that made and installed the present system. Instead, the council directed Longmont’s city staff “to utilize new technologies to provide information to our community” when tornadoes or other severe-weather disasters are a threat. That may include using a local radio station, mobile-phone text messages, calls to homes’ landlines and messages via computers to warn residents. Council members voted 7-0 for that approach, although the full electronic warning system — along with other efforts to communicate the approaches of potential disasters — probably won’t be in place until sometime next year.”

“Steamboat Springs School District administrators said they did their best last week to quickly give the public accurate information about a threatening note found at Steamboat Springs High School, despite social media rumors that surfaced faster,” reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. “One of our largest challenges in this event, as will be in the case of all events, is the role that social media plays in fanning the flames of misinformation and rumor,” said Marty Lamansky, district director of teaching and learning, to the school board Monday. #At 2 p.m. last Wednesday, district administrators learned that a note reading “you were always nice to me so when the shooting starts you are safe,” was found on a table in a classroom shortly after a class period ended.”

“If it were up to me, I’d eliminate the filibuster completely,” says Bob Loevy, now an 82-year-old retired Colorado College professor in the pages of today’s Pueblo Chieftain. “The filibuster was used in a malicious way to protect racial segregation for so many years.”

The votes are in the Fort Collins local elections, reports The Coloradoan. “Incumbent Mayor Wade Troxell handily won a second two-year term in office, outdistancing challengers Kwon Atlas, Elizabeth Hudetz and Michael Pruznick with 57 percent of the vote.”

“Ivan Stoltzfus is driving his 1948 John Deere Model A tractor across the country to raise awareness for military men and women who have made sacrifices for their country,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “During a brief stop Monday in Cañon City, Stoltzfus, 69, talked about his mission and his “Johnabilt,” a John Deere that has a custom-built Peterbilt Cab. “I was never in the military, I just saw the need to help to help some of these (veterans) who are feeling despair and trying to adjust back into civilian life,” he said. “There are 22 suicides a day and 75 who are trying to commit suicide a day — there is such a need out there, and this is my one way I hope to make a difference.”

“The project to address issues of crowding at Boulder’s Chautauqua Park may apply on weekends only, see loosened time limits on paid parking and exempt locals from paying for parking in the area,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “During its weekly meeting on Tuesday night, the City Council floated these and a series of other changes to the pilot program proposed last month by city staff. None of the ideas introduced at the meeting are official, and a public hearing scheduled for April 18 will precede approval of any version of the pilot.”