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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018 14:13

Weird National Briefs (06/13/2018)

Too real

NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Police in New Jersey say they found a lost pet pig wandering near a local Dunkin’ Donuts and nicknamed it “Pork Roll.”

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 16:38

Criminal Mischief - (06/06/2018)

PRCC to answer Bangor 911 calls 

BANGOR – A new entity is now answering emergency calls for the City of Bangor.

Effective May 30, the Penobscot Regional Communications Center (PRCC), located in Bangor, began answering 911 calls for the City of Bangor. The City is retaining its dispatch center at the Bangor Police Department for all other calls. The City of Bangor worked with the PRCC on the changeover for several months to ensure a seamless transition and guarantee the highest quality of service for Bangor citizens. 

The transfer of the City’s 911 calls was precipitated last fall when the City was informed of additional protocols when handling 911 calls. The protocols required the dispatcher to ask a series of questions before dispatching an emergency responder, which increased the length of the call. The additional time for each phone call would have made it necessary for the City to hire additional dispatchers and could have resulted in diminished service levels, particularly for non-emergency calls. 

After careful consideration, the City determined moving 911-call handling to the PRCC would result in higher service levels, by freeing up City dispatchers to handle all non-emergency calls and concentrating the expertise in emergency protocols in one location at the PRCC. In response to the changeover, the PRCC has increased their staffing to handle the additional call volume.

“A quick and skilled response to those seeking emergency assistance is always our priority,” said Mark Hathaway, the City of Bangor Police Chief. ”PRCC is equipped with the necessary resources to answer the City’s 911 calls. Our partnership with PRCC will allow for a seamless change while still providing the same level of professional and experienced service callers have received in the past.”

The transition of 911 calls from Bangor Dispatch to the PRCC will happen in two phases.  The PRCC began answering all 911 calls from a landline on May 30. Beginning June 13, the PRCC will answer all cellular 911 calls as well.

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 16:34

Red Sox Report Card - May 2018

The conventional wisdom says that post-Memorial Day is when we can really start taking seriously the statistical trends that we’ve been watching play out on the field. And so, with the month of May in the rearview, it’s starting to look like this Red Sox team might actually BE this good.

May was certainly kind to the Red Sox. No American League team managed more wins than the 18 Boston put up. Nor did any AL squad top the team’s whopping 50 home runs for the month. Or the 295 strikeouts from the pitching staff. There was a bit of a power outage at Fenway last season, but the lights are definitely shining so far in 2018.

Yet even after two exceptional months, Boston’s 39-18 record is a mere 1.5 games ahead of the 35-17 output of the Yankees. So there you have it – May may have been a monster month, but the Sox are going to have to keep it going to stave off their division rivals.

But yeah – it was a good month to be a Red Sox fan.

On to the Report Card.

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 16:24

‘The Glitch’ leans in

There are few segments of our current society as ripe for satire as the world of Silicon Valley. There’s a lot to unpack in the high-tech realm – lots of precepts and personalities and perceptions that beg to be looked upon by the satirist’s eye.

The latest author to take a swing at that particular target is Elisabeth Cohen, whose debut novel is “The Glitch” (Doubleday, $26.95). It’s the story of Shelly Stone, a tech CEO whose life is turned upside down by a series of events involving her lost daughter, a product crisis and a mysterious young woman who may or may not be a younger version of Shelly herself.

It’s also an at-times biting look at the stark realities of corporate life and what it means to be a woman in a position of power in a male-dominated industry. It’s about the sacrifices necessary to achieve at that high level … and whether those sacrifices ultimately prove worthwhile.

By the time you read this, the 2018 Major League Baseball draft will likely be in the books. The latest wave of players from the high school and college ranks will have been selected, from the blue-chip stars-in-the-making to the bench-riding organizational depth.

Next week, we’ll be doing a look at the entirety of the Boston Red Sox draft class, but for now, it seemed like it might be fun to introduce you to some of the guys from the very tip-top of this year’s crop. These first-rounders will be expected to make an impact at the big-league level.

Of course, that might not be for a few years. MLB is unique among North America’s big four pro sports leagues in that its massive minor league infrastructure (not to mention its service time rules) encourages extended development of players. In the NFL, NBA and to a lesser extent the NHL, top picks are expected to perform at the highest level immediately. Meanwhile, it might be a while before we see any of 2018’s baseball draftees in the bigs.

So there isn’t the urgency accompanying these guys that there is in other sports. So why not learn a little bit more about the players who made the top-10? For instance, it’s the first time in over a decade that the first five players selected all came from the collegiate ranks. Seven of the 10 are position players, with just three pitchers. And one of them is going to be playing football on Saturdays this fall.

Let’s check it out.

There’s truth in the old adage that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. However, I would argue that in some cases, you CAN judge a book by its title.

For instance, take Raymond A. Villareal’s new novel “A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising” (Mulholland, $27). That is one judgeable title – evocative and provocative at the same time, offering a tantalizing and crystal-clear description of what you’re about to experience.

This book is exactly what its title purports it to be – a complex and engaging sort of future history that follows the gradual appearance and assimilation of vampires into modern society. It follows a disparate cast of characters from both sides of the divide, offering first-person accounts from key players while also interspersing interview transcripts and news articles and other secondary and tertiary materials throughout.

What ultimately emerges is a thoughtful and finely-crafted work that reads as particularly insightful pop history – the title’s allusion to Howard Zinn’s seminal book isn’t an accident. It’s got a lot of Max Brooks’ “World War Z” in its DNA as well (though, it should be noted, not in a derivative way). It bears its influences proudly, but is very much its own beast.

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 15:51

Come sail away – ‘Adrift’

Ever since humans have been telling stories, some of the scariest have been born of the idea of being lost. Of being stranded, held at the whim of the elements with no one to help us and no one to hear us scream.

And few of those stories are as harrowing as the lost in sea stories, the tales of people whose attempts to challenge the ocean are met by her unrelenting, unforgiving power.

“Adrift” tells one such lost at sea story. Based on the book “Red Sky at Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea,” the film tells the story of Tami Oldham, who in 1983 was sailing in the Pacific Ocean when she and her boyfriend ran into a hurricane. It’s a tale of battling through the worst kinds of adversity for the highest possible stakes – survival. But while the movie does have some solid qualities, it ultimately can’t quite manage to stay completely afloat.

I’ve always had an affinity for watching people get hurt in ridiculous ways. It’s the teenaged boy in me; slapstick, physical humor has always been a favorite of mine. It’s why I have a soft spot for Johnny Knoxville and “Jackass.” The sheer abandon with which those degenerates approached their work (such as it was) … admirable, really.

But such degeneracy is a young man’s game. Truly, in the end, time leaves no man’s balls unkicked.

This brings us to “Action Point,” a film about which I held the exact right degree of low expectations, yet was disappointed nevertheless. It’s a lazy, largely unfunny comedy that spastically flails about and fails to make any real impact, despite an enthusiastic performance by Knoxville (including a couple of stunts sure to delight his longtime fans).

Once again, summer’s arrival is upon us. The weather is warming up and the days are approaching their greatest length. People near and far are going to descend on our state’s beaches, mountains and forests; people are going to swim and hike and boat and generally experience the outdoors in a fashion that one can only achieve in Maine.

But there are other summertime perks, too.

For those who love live theater, there are loads of options. Companies near and far are bringing exciting work to stages all over the region; no matter where you might be, there’s a good chance that you’ve got some excellent theater happening nearby.

Some of these companies are stalwarts of the scene, having been around for decades. Others are relative newcomers, bringing a new energy to the proceedings. Bangor, Belfast, Bar Harbor – they’ve all got something for you; Orono and Ellsworth and Stonington too.

It’s well worth your time to experience some of what our area’s summer stages have to offer. Here’s a look at just some of what’s to come.

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 15:09

Celebrity Slam - Even beefier

Since Celebrity Slam is a weekly feature, sometimes we have issues with timing. The truth is that while we’re always on the hunt for celebrity nonsense to scorn, deride and/or mock, we occasionally have to jump in on something a little early. We have to take a swing despite feeling fairly confident that further developments are just around the corner.

Last week, we talked about the Drake/Pusha T beef. Some diss tracks had volleyed back and forth and Drake had submitted an invoice to Pusha requesting payment for exposure deemed key to Pusha’s career. It was one of those situations where we were pretty sure there was more to come, but we wanted to get after it anyway.

If you’ve been following this thing at all, you know that we grossly underestimated just how much sizzle was going to spring from this particular steak.

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