The Home Front: Lew Gaiter, who ran for governor this year, has ‘died after a long battle with cancer’

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

“Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter died after a long battle with cancer, spending his last days doing the things he loved best — being with family, leaning on his faith in God and working on behalf of the citizens until the very end,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Gaiter, who has served as a commissioner for nine years, died at home Tuesday just before midnight. ‘Lew passed away peacefully late Tuesday night with his wife, Jeannette, dog, Hope, and family by his side,’ his family said in a written statement. ‘Many of his children spent time with him over the last couple days, sharing their last moments with him.’ ‘Lew died like he lived,” the statement continues. ‘After completing two very specific goals, he was excited and ready to go home and be with his Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. As a family we are very saddened by his passing but, we are very happy that he has received the ultimate healing and is in heaven.'”

“Lissa Taylor and her husband received a message one day from a family that kept getting their mail,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “‘We’ve got a package from someone in your name,’ the family told Taylor. ‘He’s like, ‘I’ve got tons of stuff for you guys.” It’s a common problem. But for Taylor’s family, it happened all the time. When they received the call about the package, they had been waiting for a cellphone. Just a few minutes into the conversation about the cellphone, they realized the mistake kept happening for a reason: The families were just one word away from having the same address. Taylor’s family lives on 23rd Avenue Court in Greeley. The other family? 23rd Avenue. They had the same house number.”

“Western Slope water interests received verbal assurances but nothing more formal from the Colorado Water Conservation Board Wednesday in regard to concerns about interstate drought-response negotiations and the implications for agriculture west of the Continental Divide,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “CWCB staff and board members sought to ease Western Slope worries that Colorado and other states are moving toward agreement about creating a dedicated account or pool in Lake Powell or other reservoirs for storing water saved through a potential demand management program. Those worries arise from a lack of any rules that would govern such a program in Colorado.”

“After receiving a number of complaints last week, a woman who made a makeshift camp near Golden Ponds Park agreed with Longmont police to move her belongings into a storage unit,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The camp, which was “in the face of the public,” is indicative of a rising trend of transients choosing to live in less secluded areas of the city, according to Master Police Officer David Kennedy. While it might prompt complaints from the public, Kennedy said he thinks it’s a good thing. “As a community, we kinda need to know what exactly is going on,” he said. Kennedy said police worked with a CORE team — a new police program that partners officers with mental health clinicians and an EMT — to talk with the woman at Golden Ponds and tell her about available resources.”

“One year after Yampa Valley Medical Center merged with the UCHealth system, CEO Frank May said he frequently hears one question: ‘Are we still a community hospital?'” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “‘Yes, we are,’ May said during a presentation in front of about 75 people at a town hall meeting Tuesday night. “We are part of a bigger system, but there are still a lot of decisions made locally,” he said. “I’m not going to tell you everything is rosy and great. There are challenges, but I will tell you we made the right decision for the good of the community.”

“A true champion of Native American art and a trailblazer for the way these pieces should be presented and appreciated, Nancy Blomberg died on Sept. 2 in an accidental choking at her Breckenridge home,” reports Summit Daily. “She was 72. Blomberg was the longtime chief curator and Andrew W. Mellon curator of Native Arts at the Denver Art Museum, where she worked for more than 28 years. Since her death, Blomberg has been widely admired for her work in full-length feature articles appearing in art industry publications, like Westword and even The New York Times.”

“On Nov. 6, voters in Michigan will consider whether to allow the sale of recreational marijuana and, like with many communities that are deciding on the issue, officials from the state have sought input from Pueblo leaders who have been at the forefront of legalization,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Officials from Kalamazoo, Mich., traveled to Pueblo last week to meet with Sheriff Kirk Taylor, Police Chief Troy Davenport and others about the impacts recreational marijuana legalization has had here.”

“There are three statistics that clearly illustrate the housing challenges in Eagle County,” reports Vail Daily. “The average home sales price in Eagle County in 2017 was $1,082,400. Last year’s average local median income was $86,000. A resident earning an average wage can afford around a $300,000 home. That means there’s a $700,000 gap between the average sale price and what an average person can pay. Add to that issue a shortage of affordable rental properties and the challenge of saving money for a down payment when housing costs zap family budgets, and a proverbial perfect-storm environment emerges.”

“When Alex Lloyd’s paycheck didn’t arrive on time, she had to ask for help to pay her rent and missed another payment deadline,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Lloyd is a fourth-year philosophy doctoral student at the University of Colorado, and this semester she is teaching two sections of an undergraduate philosophy writing class in addition to her course work. Her first paycheck for her work as an instructor, about $1,320, was due Aug. 31 but didn’t arrive until Sept. 7. She asked her boyfriend to pay the $1,400 rent for their Boulder apartment. Also, because she had no paycheck from which to take the first installment, she missed the deadline to sign up for a university payment plan that would have allowed her to pay more than $1,000 in fees throughout the semester, rather than as a lump sum, she said.”

“The checkbooks are wide open in the oil and gas industry, which poured nearly $7.9 million over a two-week period alone into its main committee for influencing the vote on two Colorado ballot measures for November,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “All told, nearly $17.5 million flowed into campaign committees from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12. Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy, aka Protect Colorado, raked in the big bucks for the most recent reporting period, according to a check of the secretary of state’s TRACER campaign finance system. Almost $4 million of that came from the Colorado Petroleum Council, an industry-backed association which doesn’t have to report its donors.”

“A House District 47 candidate is being accused of making an ageist remark in a fundraising email that was recently sent out,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “In a recent press release, Gregory Carlson, the chairman of the Fremont County Republicans, condemned remarks made by Democrat House District 47 candidate Bri Buentello. In the letter, Buentello made the statements in a fundraising appeal that Carlson said mocked Republican HD 47 candidate Don Bendell’s age.”

“Katie Lacz ruminates over her Catholic faith, wondering if she’s finally hit a breaking point strong enough to tear her from the religion she’s wrapped herself in her entire life,” reports The Denver Post. “’I know how much is wrong with the church, and yet I love it because of its tradition and history,’ said the 34-year-old Lacz, who lives in Louisville. ‘I am in this institution that I know is really, really sick and sinful, but, at the same time, I feel like it’s so important to stay and fight for what I think is good about it.’ As another round of sexual abuse and coverup allegations cloud the church, young Catholics in Colorado like Lacz are grappling with whether they can stay devout within an institution that continually defies their faith and its own foundations. A grand jury report released in mid-August found that hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children, possibly more, since the 1950s, with senior church officials covering up the abuse. Less than two weeks later, a former top Vatican diplomat claimed in a letter that Pope Francis helped cover up the clerical sexual abuse scandals. The letter called for the pope’s resignation.”

“The Fort Collins City Council gave its unequivocal support Tuesday to Larimer County’s proposed sales tax to support behavioral health services,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins.

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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