Tased and Confused
I’m starting off this week’s news roundup with all the important artistic, scientific and intellectual news, but I want those of you with short attention spans to know that later in this column there’s stuff about PHOTOS OF NAKED WOMEN. I’m not the type to exploit the story about PHOTOS OF NAKED WOMEN by putting it first, ahead of many more significant items, in a blatant attempt to suck in more readers. That wouldn’t be in the Down East tradition. Rather, it would be pandering to the lowest common denominator. If you prefer lurid material, such as PHOTOS OF NAKED WOMEN, I suggest you try some other Web site with far lower standards.
Or you could just scroll down a few paragraphs.
Wait! Anyone left? They’re going to miss the final epic confrontation between the Waterville Police Department and … a little pig. For a month, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig had been roaming around the Colby College campus and vicinity, ever since it escaped from a student barbeque. (It was there for laughs, not as the main course.) The pig was attracted to a nearby home by offers of French fries, but efforts to grab it were unsuccessful. So, on June 21, the cops used a Taser.
(No bacon jokes, please.) The porker was captured and is headed to a new home at a preschool in Casco, where there’s another pig, as well as goats, llamas, ducks and donkeys.
Barely had the ham on the lam been put in the slam, when word came down that about 60,000 bees from Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport had made their own bid for free-range status.
Farm officials said the swarm was probably within a five- or six-mile radius and posed no threat to humans, but needed to be re-captured and returned in short order, or the bees would die. To date, police with Tasers have not been deployed.
Also making a bid for freedom, Portland Police Chief Tim Burton, who announced on June 27 that he’d accepted the chief’s job in Odessa, Texas.
Put down the Taser, bro. After almost three years as the low-key leader of Portland’s cops, he’s allowed to depart in peace.
Enough with departures. Let’s talk arrivals. Unfortunately, many of those arriving in the Biddeford-Saco area of late have been drug dealers from Connecticut.
Police say cocaine traffickers from southern New England have targeted southern Maine because that’s where they can sell their illicit product for higher prices. The cops recently busted 13 people there and charged them with being part of an interstate dope-dealing conspiracy.
Poland Spring got almost as cool a reception when it tried to close a deal to buy water from the Kennebunk Kennebunkport & Wells Water District. More than 100 protesters showed up at the district’s board meeting on June 25 to protest the agreement, claiming the company’s plans to extract up to 250,000 gallons a day from a local aquifer would deplete supplies.
Poland Spring has promised to pay the district as much as $500,000 a year, which would be used to offset rate increases. Board members decided to delay the deal for a month and have an independent study of the impact conducted.
While all the protesters were busy in Kennebunk, the Lewiston City Council on June 24 approved the sale of the Colisee (formerly the Central Maine Youth Center) to Firland Management of Veazie for $1 million.
Not bad, since the city paid only $250,00 for the place in 2004. Not good in that Lewiston also had to eat $4.7 million in debt on the ice arena. Not bad in that the city got rid of a facility that was losing $500,000 a year. Not good in that Lewiston won’t start getting paid until 2013 and then only at the rate of $50,000 per year. Whoops, the protesters just noticed. They’re starting a petition drive to put the sale out to public referendum.
To do that, they’ll have to convince almost 1,000 Lewiston voters to go to City Hall to sign up in the next 60 business days. Not likely.
Isn’t it about time I got to those PHOTOS OF NAKED WOMEN? Not yet.
In Bangor, the new Hollywood Slots racino opens on July 1. Besides 1,000 slot machines, the state’s largest buffet restaurant and a night club, it features a giant polyptych. Probably should have a colonoscopy and get that removed. No, wait, it turns out a polyptych is a multi-panel piece of art depicting stones, mussel shells and a lobster claw. It’s called “Just Add Water” and was created by Maine artist Brenda Ferguson of Dixmont.
Hollywood Slots paid Ferguson $116,000 for the artwork. Jackpot!
Also striking it rich, the Millinocket Town Council. Its members received a free five-day vacation in Cancun, right after they agreed to help a local call center specializing in Cancun vacations with $20,000 in financing for startup costs.
Councilors said they felt compelled to turn down the gift, because it had the appearance of, well … you know.
The Council’s ethical behavior shouldn’t be seen as a sign Mainers are more concerned about the fate of their souls than most Americans. The opposite seems to be true. According to a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released June 23, residents of this state aren’t particularly religious.
Less than 25 percent of Mainers attend worship services weekly, compared to 39 percent nationally. Over 25 percent of locals told pollsters religion was unimportant to them. Across the country, just 16 percent gave that response.
Nevertheless, in Madawaska, immorality and lewdness had best not show their faces. Or any other parts of their anatomy. When Mike Corbin, owner of Café de la Place, put up an exhibit of photographs by Charles Laurier Dufour called “Au Naturel,” it prompted complaints from patrons and a visit from a local cop.
That’s because Dufour’s works are all PHOTOS OF NAKED WOMEN. Tasteful, artistic PHOTOS OF NAKED WOMEN, but as the cop noted, there’s a “fine line between pornography and art.” And between criticism and censorship. Corbin covered all the PHOTOS OF NAKED WOMEN with sheets of paper that read, “Censored.” That seemed to make everyone happy, even the artist, who said, “Any publicity is good publicity.”
And it beats being Tased.
Al Diamon can be e-mailed at email@example.com.