Very, very early this morning, GMT, I had an enjoyable talk with BBC Five Live's "In Short" about how pirates really talked and behaved. Here's a short excerpt (on walking the plank) from our longer interview.
The interview was occasioned by International Talk Like A Pirate Day yesterday. The UK edition of my history of Blackbeard and his pirate gang, The Republic of Pirates, was released earlier this year by PanMacmillan, so perhaps it will have attracted a few insomniac readers.
Also, in today's Portland Press Herald I reported on a surprising new development in Nestle Waters North America's effort to conclude a longterm, low-price contract with Fryeburg, Maine's (privately-held) water utility.
Staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission has recommended the proposed contract not be approved, in part because the local utility's charter doesn't permit it to sell water in bulk to Nestle, which then bottles and sells it under the Poland Springs brand. Could this derail Nestle's decades-long pumping operations in Fryeburg? It's all up to the PUC commissioners to decide.
Maine, home of the first statewide one-to-one computers in schools program, may have paid to much for the iPads that replaced Apple laptops in many schools a year ago.
In yesterday's Portland Press Herald, I reported on an analyst's detailed comparison of what Maine's Department of Education paid for its iPad package from Apple with what the Los Angels United School District paid for the same technology at the same time for a similarly sized program. Maine got half the discount against retail that LAUSD negotiated.
The LAUSD contract has since come unraveled because of allegedly inpappropriate ties between top district officials and both Apple and curriculum software provider Pearson. At issue is whether the district paid too much -- not too little -- for its iPad contract.
I have another significant development for readers of "Unsettled", the 29-part series on Maine's Passamaquoddy people that ran in the Portland Press Herald earlier this summer.
Last week, the tribe held their general elections. As I reported in Wednesday's Press Herald, at Indian Township controversial ex-chief Billy Nicholas won the chief's race. His brother, Leslie, won the vice-chieftanship and a third brother, Indian Township police chief Alex Nicholas, won a seat on the tribal council. The Nicholas brothers will have significant influence over tribal affairs for years to come.
Meanwhile, at the tribe's other reservation at Pleasant Point, voters tossed out their incumbent chief and vice chief in favor of Fred Moore III and Vera Francis. The story has more details.
I am an award-winning journalist and author of American Nations, American Character, Ocean's End, The Lobster Coast, and The Republic of Pirates. I'm a staffer at the Portland Press Herald, where I won a 2012 George Polk Award for my investigative reporting and was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist.