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.
 

Want to know more about prostate health and disease? These online resources can help.

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 03, 2017, at 6:57 a.m.
Here are some online resources for learning more about prostate health and prostate disease.
This multi-parametric MRI system at Maine Medical Center in Portland allows physicians to better visualize the prostate, leading to more precise diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancers.

Can this emerging technology improve screening, treatment for prostate cancer?

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 03, 2017, at 6:56 a.m.
Second only to skin cancers, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men, with an estimated 180,890 cases diagnosed per year.
VIDEO
Jess St. Louis, a representative for the transgender community, talks about how many people are "going back in the closet" in response to changes in social attitudes during a recent interview in Bangor. St. Louis came out as transgender about three years ago.

Maine’s LGBTQ community concerned about a potentially stormy future

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 01, 2017, at 6:16 a.m.
“People are starting to go back in the closet,” Jess St. Louis said. “They’re fearful of attacks by hate groups and individuals.”
A sign that highlights that there is a safe and inclusive place for the LGBTQ community can be seen recently in Bangor.

Need help with LGBTQ issues? These organizations are here to help

By Meg Haskell on Feb. 01, 2017, at 6:14 a.m.
There are many organizations that support and advocate for the interests of Maine’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning population.
LIVING IT FORWARD

Don’t let political differences define our relationships or divide our communities

on Jan. 27, 2017, at 8:06 a.m.
Elaine Murak, a resident of Phillips Strickland House in Bangor, enjoys a visit from Baron, a greyhound owned by Laurie Qualey of Orono, as Bangor Humane Society volunteer Emily Egan looks on.

How two online certificate programs are helping improve care of older Mainers

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 26, 2017, at 6:10 a.m.
“They’re typically so lumped together, like ‘these are our seniors,’ but this program really shows the diversity and differences within that population.”
A living room can be seen in this undated stock photo. Timeshare owners in Maine are among the victims of scammers targeting people who are trying to sell their vacation units.

Scammers target Mainers eager to sell their timeshare units

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 22, 2017, at 7:40 a.m.
Mainers trying to sell timeshare vacation units should be on the lookout for scammers intent on taking advantage of them.
LIVING IT FORWARD

It’s getting harder to turn off the screens and tune in to real life

on Jan. 19, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.
POLL QUESTION
Michelle Sherbak relaxes as a mask dries on her face during an "Anthony's Classic" facial at Anthony John's Day Spa in Bangor on Tuesday.

Go ahead, enjoy that facial. Taking care of your skin at midlife has some major health benefits

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 19, 2017, at 6:37 a.m.
Despite the many critical roles it plays, many people don’t take care of their skin.
Kathy Zeman, 66, of Bucksport lifts a weight over her head during the Bone Builders class exercise at the The Heritage apartments in Brewer. The program is intended for area seniors to have a regular exercise routine.

Older Mainers build bone strength and camaraderie in this free, volunteer-led program

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 16, 2017, at 9:57 a.m.
“It turns out you don’t really want that much time to yourself when you retire.”
LIVING IT FORWARD

An old children’s cookbook stirs up sweet memories

on Jan. 13, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.
Gloria Guyette (left) and Rose Melvin discuss a word puzzle during the meeting of the Belfast Senior Center at the Belfast Boathouse Tuesday. The participants of the group would like to have a permanent home for the Senior Center and have been discussing what people would like for activities. The city is allowing the use of The Boathouse through March of this year.

Midcoast residents turn out in support of a senior center

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 11, 2017, at 1:51 p.m.
“We need a place for people to come together, a place to be with each other and share activities,” Carol Good said. “It needs to be safe, free and welcoming to all.”
Volunteers helped staff mass vaccine clinics, like this one at the Bangor Civic Center, during the H1N1 influenza outbreak of 2009 and 2010.

Online registry seeks Maine health care volunteers, including retirees, to serve in disasters

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 09, 2017, at 9:55 a.m.
“The reason people go into health care is to help others. When we see an acute situation where people are suffering, we want to help.”
Maryanne Mattson (center) plays a drum during a peaceful protest on Bangor Mall Boulevard in November. In light of the recent violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock, Maine tribes and their allies held a flash mob round dance. For a few minutes a group of over 100 people blocked traffic at the intersection near Toys R Us to pray, sing and dance.

For activists and others, nonviolent strategies against harassment and assault

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 05, 2017, at 7:34 a.m.
Bangor-area organizations will offer trainings this weekend in “bystander intervention” to teach people of all ages who witness such incidents to intervene safely and effectively.
LIVING IT FORWARD

Dump your clutter: a strategy for creating order out of chaos in 2017

on Jan. 04, 2017, at 10:21 p.m.
Phil Gouzie, 94, tells stories of his days in the Civilian Conservation Corps on the couch in his South Portland living room. He left Westbrook High School in his sophomore year to join the corps.

How the Civilian Conservation Corps helped Maine families survive the Great Depression

By Meg Haskell on Jan. 02, 2017, at 6:44 a.m.
Phil Gouzie said it’s important that the lessons of the Civilian Conservation Corps not be lost as the CCC generation ages. “If you don’t take care of your natural resources, you’ll lose them,”
LIVING IT FORWARD

How I braved my fears about skating on wild ice

on Dec. 29, 2016, at 4:32 p.m.
POLL QUESTION
South Portland Food Cupboard volunteer Sharon Shearer sets out acorn squash donated by Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth in 2015.

This ancient New Year tradition could transform your community

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 28, 2016, at 11:57 a.m.
As one year ends and another begins, many Mainers will contemplate making a New Year’s resolution.
Hal Owen, 92, toasts Sally Davis with a glass of water before taking his morning medication at the Camden Hills Villa senior living facility Wednesday. Davis, a caregiver, visits Owen twice daily and helps him with his medication and other minor chores.

How some Maine families find trustworthy, committed help for aging parents — at a price

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 26, 2016, at 10:52 a.m.
All across Maine, families struggle with keeping elderly parents and other loved ones safe in their own homes. Each situation is different, but in many cases, bringing in a professional caregiver is part of the solution.
LIVING IT FORWARD

Welcoming a good old dog into our lives

on Dec. 21, 2016, at 8:23 p.m.