Living underground in Greater Portland

More on living underground in just a moment.

But first: People are buzzing about the new facial recognition software to be built into Apple’s forthcoming iPhone X.

Instead of recognizing your fingerprint, as the previous generation or two of the smartphones did, this one will see the user’s face and only open up for that person.

Or, if the technology is as accurate as Facebook’s, it’ll open up for that person’s kids, siblings and sometimes even vaguely face-shaped shadows and shrubs.

I’m not sure why the change was necessary. Did not enough people have fingerprints?

What we’re talking about

Sales of underground doomsday bunkers are on the rise in Maine, the BDN’s Lori Valigra is reporting. The political climate, natural disasters and the threat of war are all contributing to the bunker boom, including several buried near Portland, she wrote. One retired school teacher told Lori her bunker is about 1,000 square feet, with three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and living areas, as well as an air filtration system and plumbing.

A memorial service was held today for Kurt Messerschmidt, a Holocaust survivor who died this week in Portland at the age of 102. “He’d experienced and and witnessed humanity at its worst,” Michael Messerschmidt said of his father, “yet wanted to be a model of humanity at its best.”

Biddeford’s Lincoln Mill, one of the most recognizable buildings in the city, will be renovated to house 181 apartments, a restaurant and 10,000-square-foot fitness club, if the development team of Tim Harrington and Eric Chinberg get their way. A Biddeford city official told the Journal Tribune’s Ryder Schumacher that the proposed project is “a flagship development for our downtown.”

Portland’s new professional hockey team is taking deposits on purchases of season tickets. The new ECHL team, which begins play in Portland in October 2018, will have 36 regular home games in the city, and deposits of $50 are refundable until buyers select their seats in January. Vote for what you think the team should be named here.

The University of Maine System has a plan to pay students to teach other students how to avoid crushing debt. Step 1 will presumably be to convince the university system to pay you money to tell other people not to get into debt. Kidding. The $1.2 million plan involves expanding the Peer-to-Peer Financial Literacy Program to all seven university campuses, including the University of Southern Maine.

Portland engineering firm Colby Co. LLC won a federal contract worth up to $30 million to  design building renovations and new construction at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, the Journal Tribune’s Dina Mendros is reporting.

And Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the man who stormed into Sisters Gourmet Deli in late July and screamed homophobic things at the people working there. Security camera video of the incident was widely circulated on social media and touched off discussion in Portland about what more the city can do to address the problems of homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction.

Tweet of the day

From the Portland city account:

The Big Idea

Professional football, now perhaps the most popular sport in America (albeit with a notable recent drop in ratings), was in the early 1900s in danger of going extinct before it ever grew into the entertainment giant it is today. Parents and government officials were then, as many are now, concerned about debilitating injuries suffered by players and called for the game’s ban. But a series of novels by college football pioneer Walter Camp at the time sold the sport to wealthy, white Americans as a way to toughen up youngsters in danger of having to share their power with immigrants and people of color, Smithsonian magazine reports.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email us at jbleiberg@bangordailynews.com or skoenig@bangordailynews.com or tweet @JZBleiberg or @SethKoenig.

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