Meg Haskell

Senior writer

I am second-career journalist with an idealistic commitment to the power of the Fourth Estate. I have a professional background in health care and 60-plus years of life experience that inform my work. I’ll be writing about a variety of issues for the Bangor Daily News, both in this blog and as a reporter, with a focus on matters of interest to readers in the “sweet spot” of their maturity: those productive adult years from 50 to 70 when (maybe) we have the time to pursue our personal interests, the energy to contribute to our communities and the wisdom to steer clear of needless drama.
Aaron Pyle (left) and Shawn Lefevre work to install the work of New York-based artist Jason Bard Yarmosky at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor Thursday. Yarmosky's show features large, realistic paintings of his elderly grandmother, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer’s turns into artwork at upcoming Bangor exhibit

By Meg Haskell on May 19, 2017, at 8:22 a.m.
The show will hang through September 2, serving as the catalyst for a summer series of free noontime talks and workshops aimed at educating family caregivers about age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Peter Werner talks about the 1961 reprints of the Gutenberg Bible he is in the process of binding for a customer. Werner of Blue Hill is a master bookbinder who learned the craft from his grandfather, Arno Werner.

‘Understated elegance’: Inside the world of a Blue Hill bookbinder

By Meg Haskell on May 18, 2017, at 6:35 a.m.
“I love producing something beautiful and functional that you can hold in your hand,” said Peter Werner, a master bookbinder in Blue Hill.
Members of a tennis team at the Ellsworth Tennis Center pose on a balcony overlooking the city of Florence, Italy. Left to right: Melissa Hale, Teri Green, Anne Dentino, Sarah Maxwell, Andrea Maloney, Sandy Johnson, Anne Gibson and Karen Robidoux.

Red clay, rolling hills and risotto: Maine tennis team takes game to Tuscany

By Meg Haskell on May 13, 2017, at 1:09 a.m.
Elizabeth Johns, a social security expert, poses for a portrait in Bangor Tuesday. A number of changes in Social Security took effect at the beginning of 2017, most people don't know about them. By 2034, it is estimated that the system will be able to pay only about 75 percent of its obligations unless revenues increase and/or benefits decrease.

Midlife Mainers should know about these changes in Social Security

By Meg Haskell on May 10, 2017, at 12:47 p.m.
Social Security is stable and adequately funded, but it’s important that beneficiaries here understand how it changes from year to year as well as the forces that shape its future.
Ann Leffler, 70, administers a cannabis tincture while caring for her spouse, Dair Gillespie, 77, at their home in Orono. Gillespie, who has advanced Alzheimer's disease, is among the first Mainers to be certified to use marijuana to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's.

77-year-old using cannabis for Alzheimer’s is ‘much less fearful’

By Meg Haskell on May 05, 2017, at 6:39 a.m.
“I think that at that stage you try everything to help stop the suffering.”
Maine Coast Men, a group aimed at building camaraderie, conversation and relationships among men, will hold its yearly spring retreat this coming weekend, May 5-7, at Camp Tanglewood in Lincolnville. Late registrations are open at $100 and men who have not registered may come on Saturday for $30. Teens over 13 are welcome to attend if accompanied by an adult. This photo was taken at the group's fall gathering in 2014.

These Maine men gather to challenge cultural norms, consider their role in society

By Meg Haskell on May 03, 2017, at 11:57 a.m.
The men’s movement acknowledges the complex and changing role of men in a changing society and the deep need for thoughtful male companionship, modeling and mentoring throughout life.
Chuck Sim, 60, of Winterport in his shop where he rebuilds antique motorcycles. Sim specializes in Moto Guzzi bikes, but he has worked on many antique cars and bikes over the years.

Motorcycles aren’t just this Mainer’s passion, they’re his life’s work

By Meg Haskell on April 27, 2017, at 11:14 a.m.
Chuck Sim works on some of the most valuable and iconic vintage motorcycles you can imagine — BSAs, Nortons, BWMs, Ducatis, Moto Guzzis and others — and he owns more than a few himself.
Gay (left) and Phil work to pack the last bit of items in their home in Stockton Springs on Saturday. The Dions have lived many years in the town of Stockton Springs, where they have been very active in municipal governance, fire department, ambulance crew, business owners, etc. Now, in their 60s, they're moving back to Rhode Island to be closer to their family.

When involved Mainers leave the communities they helped build

By Meg Haskell on April 26, 2017, at 12:53 p.m.
“It will be hard to find others to do what they have done here.”
Lynne Hutchison and Norman Sykes of Bar Harbor were married in August 2015 on the lawn of the historic Blair Hill Inn in Greenville. Their elopement surprised friends and family members who expected a more traditional wedding celebration.

Midlife weddings take many forms in Maine, for better or worse

By Meg Haskell on April 21, 2017, at 7:35 a.m.
For some, a simple ceremony at home may be the most meaningful, along with being more affordable than a larger event. Some skip all the hoopla and elope. Others opt for an even simpler option and head for the town office. Here are a few of their stories.

Balancing life priorities in a season of transition

on April 21, 2017, at 7:15 a.m.

Balancing life priorities in a season of transition

on April 21, 2017, at 7:15 a.m.
Kay Davis, left, joined fellow volunteers on a recent climb up more than 300 steps to a scenic overlook near the Peace Corps training center in the Guatemalan province of Sacatepequez. Davis, 71 of Bangor, will soon travel to a remote mountain village for a two-year assignment as a maternal-child health worker.

World-traveling humanitarian from Bangor shows you’re not too old and it is not too late

By Meg Haskell on April 19, 2017, at 8:58 a.m.

Opening night is right around the corner

on April 14, 2017, at 1:06 p.m.
Lamoine resident Jude Lamb has launched a performance series highlighting little-known Maine women.  Among others, she portrays her great-great-great-great grandmother Eunice Lakeman Hoar, who settled in the Rangeley Lake area in 1817 with her husband and nine children.

The forgotten women of Maine have finally found a voice

By Meg Haskell on April 14, 2017, at 6:42 a.m.
For Jude Lamb, storytelling has become a deeply meaningful art form, enriching her own life experience while inspiring her audiences.
Dottie England, who leads monthly book discussions at the Eastern Area Agency on Aging, said in a recent meeting that she comes from family of wealthy southern cotton growers and read aloud from the will of a long-ago relative who bequeathed his slaves and their descendants to his children and their descendants

This senior book group grapples with race relations, the horror of war

By Meg Haskell on April 13, 2017, at 8:54 a.m.
Birds sang sweetly and warm spring sunshine filtered through the trees outside the Eastern Area Agency on Aging one recent afternoon when a dozen women in their 60s and older gathered in a conference room to discuss race relations, the American transcendentalist movement and the horrors of war.
Bette Hoxie, 70, is an advocate for grandfamilies in Maine and recently testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging about the impact of the opiate addiction problem on older Mainers who are now raising young grandchildren as a result.

A children’s classic inspired her to care for displaced children

By Meg Haskell on April 08, 2017, at 1 a.m.
“We kept telling ourselves, ‘This is the last one,’” she said with a laugh. “And then another one would come along.”
Doug Kimmel (right) is the executive director of SAGE Maine, a statewide organization that promotes resources, social events and advocacy for older LGBT Mainers. On April 22 and 23, SAGE Maine will host an educational symposium in Augusta. In this 2015 photo, Kimmel is shown with his husband, Ron Schwizer, at the couple's home in Hancock.

From sexual intimacy to aging in place, symposium will address LGBT issues

By Meg Haskell on April 07, 2017, at 11 a.m.
Sex and intimacy are important elements of adult relationships, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. But, according to educator Marilyn Gugliucci of the University of New England in Biddeford, “when it comes to the older adult population, it is really important that ‘sex’ is defined more broadly.”

Navigating April showers and tax time in a new(ish) marriage

on April 06, 2017, at 1:14 p.m.

We almost missed this cosmic sign that spring is here

on March 31, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.

We almost missed this cosmic sign that spring is here

on March 31, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.