Showing posts with label Highland Lake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Highland Lake. Show all posts

Friday, April 26, 2024

Windham author publishes second children’s book

By Masha Yurkevich

Jeanine Faietta Eastman is not your typical children’s book author. Along with her books being entertaining, fascinating, and captivating to young eyes, they also add a historical element for young minds.

Windham author Janine Faietta Eastman will be
available to meet the public and sign copies of
her new children's book called 
'Blizzard the Ice-Harvesting Horse' at Sherman's  
Maine Coast Book Shop in Windham on June 8.
She was born and raised in Maine and currently resides with her family on Highland Lake in Windham, where generations of her family have spent summers together.

“I have fond memories of my grandfather’s stories of ice harvesting that took place on the lake during the early 1900s,” says Eastman. “I wanted to share the story to the younger generation of today so that they would have an idea of what life was like during that time. And, how the frozen lake garden provided such an important commodity to so many families. Everyone worked together; life certainly was very different then compared to our lives today. After all, walking two miles to school, every day, uphill both ways during a snowstorm was a thing!”

Prior to writing a book, Eastman says that she does research to make sure that her books are not only interesting, but also factually correct. When writing her most recent book, “Blizzard the Ice-Harvesting Horse,” Eastman researched the history of ice harvesting in Maine, the process used, and the tools involved.

“And of course, I had all the stories told to me about the harvest,” she says.

Her motivation for writing her most recent book “Blizzard the Ice-Harvesting Horse” was all about the importance of history to be shared.

“I hope that children will learn about the past in an informative and fun way,” she said. “With Blizzard the horse telling his story straight from the mouth of the horse, I also hope that it will also be a fun read for adults as well.”

Although there are so many wonderful children’s books and authors, Eastman says that she wanted to add to the genre with a story about ice harvesting in Maine. She also wanted to present children with something new to learn about and have lots of smiles while doing so.

“I love when the story comes together, how a story flows when writing it, along with the perfect illustrations that help tell the story and move it along,” says Eastman.

She prefers to write pen to paper and then type her manuscripts when the pen to paper process is complete and the manuscript is ready to be submitted to her publisher.

So far, Eastman has written two children’s novels and plans to write more books in the future.

Her first children’s book, “The Very Same Moon” was published in 2023 by Page Publishing, Inc. Her second book, “Blizzard the Ice-Harvesting Horse” was published just last month.

“When you read ‘The Very Same Moon,’ you will know that every boy loon sings a different tune,” reads the summary from the back of the book. “It’s true! They even have their own boy band and perform for the very same moon. So come hang out for a while, as the very same moon leads the way with a glowing light. Just like it has since the very first night. Meet all the animal friends and neighbors that have been guided through the lake waters and forest trees. Then, you will surely know why Maine is the way that life should be.”

All of Eastman’s books are available online at Amazon and from Barnes & Noble Booksellers. They can also be purchased at Sherman’s Maine Coast Bookstore in Windham.

“I encourage everyone to support local, small Maine business and purchase my book there,” says Eastman.

Here’s a sneak peek into the summary of her most recent book, “Blizzard the Ice-Harvesting Horse.”

“Blizzard is the ice harvesting horse. Isn’t it so cool that ice was harvested from the frozen waters of Highland Lake? That’s how it was done during the early 1900s, so many years ago! Saddle up as Blizzard shares his adventures while he and his neighbors work together during the frigid Maine weather. With the cold wind blowing, it messes up his long mane. Oh well, lake hair, he doesn’t care. After all, Blizzard’s mane keeps him warm. He can make it through any storm! Neighbors helping neighbors, you will surely see why Maine has always been the way that life should be!”

Eastman will have a book signing for Blizzard the Ice-Harvesting Horse at Sherman’s Maine Coast Bookstore in Windham, scheduled for Saturday, June 8, with the time of that event yet to be determined. <

Friday, June 4, 2021

Windham author drawing national attention for her inspired storytelling

Windham resident Kristine Delano's unpublished short story
'Glimpse of Lace' has been chosen as a finalist for the 2021
Cascade Awards for literary work. Delano also has written
three novels since retiring from a high-powered Wall
Street career and moving with her family to Maine.
By Ed Pierce

A Windham author is about to make a splash nationally for her writing, but Kristine Delano’s own life story is nearly as compelling as the stories and novels she hopes to tell. 

Delano’s new short story, “Glimpse of Lace,” has just been selected as a finalist in the Short Story category for the Cascade Awards, a writing competition open to any author nationwide. She’s also working on three different novels she hopes to publish while appreciating family life at home on the shores of Highland Lake in Windham.

Life these days is vastly different and somewhat slower from the hectic 20-plus years she spent as working for Wall Street companies before retiring, giving up her panoramic view of New York City and moving north to Maine to pursue her passion for writing.     

Growing up as a military dependent, Delano became a voracious reader as she frequently had to pack up and relocate as a child with her family and having to make new friends wherever the family moved to. It left her with many untold stories in her head she always wanted to tell, but as she progressed in her financial services career, finding the time to devote expressing herself creatively through her writing posed a problem.

“When I worked on Wall Street, I used my writing in more of a technical way,” Delano said. “When I retired, my family was surprised with what I wanted to do because they expected me to go into consulting or to open a small business.”

While working for financial companies, she often mentored young staff members about their careers, but paid attention to what they had to share with her about their lives. It became the inspiration for some of her future stories.

“They spoke to me about their fears and their lives,” Delano said. “They shared their experiences. It was a good genesis for me as a writer.”  

Married to an architect and the mother of three children with one in college, one starting college in the fall and the other a freshman in high school, Delano also continues to sit on the global board of a 6,000-member financial services organization focused on women’s empowerment. She also is active as a speaker, mentor, and strategic planner for many businesses, churches, and parachurch organizations, but writing and developing ideas for stories is now front and center for Delano.

“I typically get four or five ideas a day and then have to figure out which one can stand the test of time,” she said. “I kind of write it in my head and before putting pen to paper I’ve already kind of worked out the character’s voice.”

She says that she’s found that writing is a world away from her former Wall Street career.

“It’s surprising for me. I thought I had a thick skin. I worked on Wall Street and always succeeded,” Delano said. “Writing is very different. Sometimes you don’t know that you don’t like what you’ve done. It’s overly complicated or pedantic or subjective. I’ve found though that you can’t write to please everybody.”   

The ability to connect with readers though is what inspires and motivates Delano’s writing.

“The best impact I can have on one person is through their eyes or how they see themselves with what I write,” she said. “I’m trying to find an authentic voice that will speak to somebody.”

The plot of her short story selected as one of three finalists for the 2021 Cascade Awards is as genuine as it gets and Delano’s keeping her fingers crossed for when the award recipients are announced in August.

In “Glimpse of Lace,” Annabelle has a unique blessing, or perhaps it’s a curse. For almost five years, since 10th grade, she’s gotten glimpses of the end of her romantic relationships before they’ve even begun. This has made her weary of men. While sipping hot chocolates before their last runs on the mountain, Brian, a recent finance graduate from Bates, brushes up against Annabelle. She glimpses herself in lace and Brian next to her in a tux. Brian is exactly the kind of guy Tara, her best friend, would choose for her, so why can’t Annabelle believe this glimpse got it right?

According to Delano, the reactions she’s received so far about her storytelling keep her motivated to write more.

“In the beginning my goal was to get stories out of my head and onto paper,” she said. “Now I want feedback about my writing. I want to get better at my craft.”

Writing her first novel gave Delano great practice of the discipline, patience and time required for writing.

“I had a misconception that as soon as you finish a novel you should publish it,” she said. “To gain the attention of an agent is a long process and now I believe you shouldn’t publish anything until you know that it’s the best that you can do.”  

She’s just completed writing a second novel and a third one while she continues looking to get them published.   

Her writing regimen for a short story is a bit quicker.

“I can finish a first draft of a 2,000-word story in about three hours,” Delano said. “It can then take weeks and months though to work through the voice of the story and pieces of the plot.”

On any given day, Delano can be found finding ideas for stories or sitting down at her computer to write. Compared to the hustle and bustle of her Wall Street career, her new lifestyle evolves at a slower pace, but she’s able to derive a great amount of satisfaction from turning an idea into a literary expression and in much different surroundings.   

“We live in such an amazing place and Maine’s life is sometimes hard,” she said. “There are beautiful people and families here and great stories to tell. I’m available to listen.”

If you would like to follow her writing journey, like her on Facebook at <

Friday, July 13, 2018

Students from Bolivia visiting Windham are part of an exciting science revolution by Lorraine Glowczak

The four students from Bolivia with their instructor
Four high school students from Bolivia arrived in Windham on Thursday, July 5 to participate in a 16-day independent, experiential learning program developed and led by Adam R. Zemans, a summer resident of Highland Lake. The environmental educational experience will focus on citizen lake science and conflict resolution, with the intention to learn ways to increase lake stewardship participation and collaboration in the context of climate change.

But perhaps just as important, is the knowledge the students will gain as they become international leaders in water and environmental science; bringing the two countries together to work collaboratively on an important natural resource.

The students, who attend Hughes School in Cochabamba, Bolivia (a private school that provides quality education with emphasis on English, university level science and math as well as training in music and dance), will make their home base at Highland Lake while they explore and learn the various waterways in Maine.
“The present situation facing Highland Lake is a perfect learning experience in environmental stewardship, collaboration and conflict resolution for these students,” explained Zemans. “The way the Highland Lake Association and the towns of Windham and Falmouth have come together to work on solving the picocyanobacteria issue is very cutting edge.”

Zemans, who lives most of the time in Cochabamba with his two sons, is a lawyer turning professor. As a doctoral student in Conflict Resolution Studies from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, part of his own academic studies includes the development of this educational and experiential curriculum. He, along with the following students: Leandro Jose Villabo Prado, Natalia Siles Choello, Abril Adriana Nina Mollo, Ana Lucia De La Fuente and co-leader Ivon Adela Ramirez D’Alencar have all worked together to make this educational expedition happen.

“I presented a lecture on citizen science at Hughes School”, explained Zemans. “Leandro approached me about the possibility of creating a program for he and [the] other students to participate and receive credit. After much thought and discussion with the faculty, staff and students at the school, what was just an idea became a reality and is what brings us here today.”

The curriculum not only includes exploration of Maine waters, there are daily required readings and quizzes as well. It also includes meeting local and state experts in the fields of water quality, aquatic biology, limnology, watersheds, water monitoring, invasive plant species, conflict resolution, weather and climate change, to name just a few.

Dr. Williams of Highland Lake
The day after their arrival, the students met with Dr. Keith Williams, Aquatic Biologist and Civil Engineer who leads the lake monitoring program at Highland Lake. Other syllabus activities include, but are not limited to, learning to ocean kayak at L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School, receiving certificates in lake and Secchi disk monitoring from Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program), exploring Acadia National Park and meeting with Dr. Bridie McGreavy, Environmental Professor at the University of Maine at Orono, to discuss environmental conflict analysis. The students will also paddle through Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to learn about invasive plant species.

The students are eager to learn all they can about water quality, collaboration, citizen science as well as environmental participation and then apply their knowledge at home in Bolivia, a country that experienced a water crisis in 2016 after a 25-year drought.

“Our town, Cochabamba, literally translates into ‘eternal springs – a place where the springs of water meet together underground,’” stated Ana Lucia referring to the drought. “My grandfather remembers digging in the ground and the waters would flow up freely. But that does not happen anymore, and it makes my grandfather very sad. I want to help my country have healthy waters again.”

Leandro states that he also wants to take the tools he learns here and apply them in Bolivia “I want to create healthy lakes at home, using what I have learned on this trip.”

Not only is there a water shortage in Bolivia, but the lakes and streams are very polluted due to the mining industry. The extraction of natural gas and zinc dominates Bolivia's economy, and this is the major contributor to water and environmental pollution.

“The lakes in our country are very bad,” explained Abril. “We want to talk about it to make some sort of change, but people turn their heads and will not listen because mining is so important to Bolivia’s way of life. Money is more important to people than the environment and our waters. It can be very frustrating.”

“People defend nature more here [in Maine], and that is so good to see,” Ana Lucia added.
Despite the dire situation, the students remain positive and hopeful. “I am here to learn how to take our lakes back and make them healthy again,” Natalia said. “We all want to make a difference, and maybe we will actually be able to make a difference this time - in Bolivia and across the world.” co-leader in the environmental experiential program is also learning something of great value. “I only swim in a pool,” Ivon explained, referring to the inability to swim in Bolivian lakes due to pollution. “Swimming this morning in Highland Lake was my first time in a lake and I feel very fortunate and happy with the experience.”

“She even saw a fish for the first time,” the students laughed. “And she was calling them mermaids in Spanish.”

All four students and the co-leader are enjoying their stay in Maine as well as participating in the different culture and foods they experience. Ice cream, they all agree, is among their favorite.
Although the 16-day educational program is packed with valuable learning opportunities, time has also been set aside for recreation, including a trip to Portland Headlight and an American meal made for the students by Zemans’ aunt who lives in Portland.

“The whole point to this educational experience is to keep our spirits high,” Zemans explained. “As things get more difficult in terms of water quality and quantity, we must look at our strengths rather than what we lack. This will provide impetus for positive collaboration, conflict resolutions and solutions. And these students have just what it takes to make that happen.”

As Zemans put on the top of the students’ syllabus, “There is a revolution happening in science. And now, more than ever, you can be a part of it.”

Friday, March 30, 2018

Public Form educates and engages lake area watershed residents by Lorraine Glowczak

Dr. Wilson Powerpoint showed 2018 summer plans
The Highland Lake Association hosted a Public Forum for Highland Lake residents and the Lake Region communities on Wednesday, March 21 at the Windham High School Auditorium from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The primary purpose was to discuss what is currently known about the lake, to address the issues faced regarding the lake and ways for area residents to be actively engaged in the health of the watershed. A question and answer session followed. Approximately 80 people attended the event.

The Forum was facilitated by Craig Freshley, founder of Good Group Decisions, Inc. and Makeshift
Coffeehouse. It included a panel of four area experts in the field of water quality who each presented up to date information. The presenters for the forum included Wendy Garland of the Maine Department of Environment (DEP), Dr. Karen Wilson of the University of Southern Maine (USM) as well as Gretchen Anderson from the Town of Windham and Heather True of Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD). was the first to present, providing background information of the lake. She shared that Highland Lake has experienced a gradual decline in water quality over the past four years as a result of an increase in algae; the cause due to the excess input of phosphorus. This growth is referred to as Pico cyanobacteria bloom (also referred to as picoplankton bloom.) 

The lake has a high phosphorus level due to camp road runoff, soil erosion, fertilizer use, pet waste, septic issues and development. The phosphorus in the atmosphere also plays a role. 

Dr. Wilson, who has worked with the Highland Lake watershed in her role as associate research
professor with USM’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy discussed the unknowns. She is an expert in the field of Limnology – the study of the biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes and other bodies of fresh water. 

Wilson stated that that Highland Lake has the most households in comparison to other Maine lakes. She discussed the importance of the food web and how the Pico cyanobacteria bloom can potentially harm that web. She explained that the bloom occurs at the same time every year, late July and most of August.

Wilson explained that scientists don’t fully understand or aren’t able to identify the source of the Pico cyanobacteria bloom. In an attempt to do so, surveys and studies will occur this summer, 2018. The focus will include, but is not limited to, the physical structure of the lake. 

Keeping soil out of the lake is imperative because soil easily binds to phosphorus. With that in mind, both Anderson and True identified ways for residences to protect the lake. This includes the goal of mimicking the natural shoreline by establishing a vegetative buffer, planting native trees and shrubs in the upland areas, explaining that root structures hold the water in place that prevents excessive runoff. 

Installing a dripline trench to absorb roof runoff, installing rain barrels, planting a rain garden and repairing roads and driveways were other suggestions.

Most residents who attended the event gained a deeper understanding of what is occurring and are ready to act to help rectify the problem. 

“Having just moved into the community this summer, the Forum provided my fiancĂ© and I with a lot of background information and context for what has been happening with the health of the lake in the past, and plans going forward,” stated Richard Qualey. “Between the information presented, and the information available at the door, there was a good amount of material available as to what sources contribute to the pollution of the lake, and what we can do as homeowners and community members to reduce our impact.”

The Public Forum inspired some residents to engage and act immediately. “I learned that dog feces (not picked up) runs into the lake and the phosphorus from their feces hurts the lake,” stated Barbara Jessen “The next morning after the meeting I explained to three dog owners on my road about their dogs’ feces. Even kicking the poop into the woods does not stop the feces from entering the lake rain storm, etc. On Sunday I went on a mission: to find dog pick-up bags. After some research, I found that Dollar Tree sells 80 bags for $1.  I bought seven packages, brought them home and gave one to each of the dog owners on my road.”
during a

Resident, Tonya Heskett stated that she plans to participate in the volunteer efforts as well as do their part to protect the shoreline. “Our goal is to take advantage of the information provided about the buffer zone to protect the shoreline and runoff into the lake at our property,” Heskett stated.
Qualey and his fiancĂ© have plenty of landscaping plans also. “Our plans should help reduce the impact on the lake our property, and hopefully help with some of the runoff from surrounding properties as well.”

Mike Fasulo, a former Highland Lake Association board member, was most impressed with the involvement of the towns of Windham and Falmouth. He stated he was very happy to see the municipalities’ dedication to the issue. Fasulo highly recommends all lake residents to become members of the association and to get involved.

What can you do to create a healthy watershed?
There are many ways an individual can become engaged. One way is by volunteering, with many options to choose from. They include the following:

Watershed Survey – Forty people are needed to complete a survey on Saturday, May 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No experience necessary. Contact Chantal Scott at 207- 899-7641 or

Water quality sampling transportation volunteers – Drivers are needed to drive samples to University of New Hampshire. The roundtrip to UNH is about 140 miles. Contact Chantal Scott for more information.

Buffer Protection Volunteers – This includes planning shrubs, bushes, perennials, cleaning out ditches and helping with the road improvements. Again, contact Chantal Scott for more information

Alewives counting volunteers – From May to June, Alewives that come up the fish ladder into the lake need to be counted. Contact Rosie Hartzler at 207-415-3727 or at

Lake Depth Calculation Volunteers – Volunteers with boats are needed to re-calculate the depths of the lake. Equipment and training provided by Lakes Environmental Association. Contact Rosie Hartzler for more information.

The health of Highland Lake is not only a concern to its residents and the towns that are part of the lake but is an overall concern for maintaining the health of all lakes in the Lakes Region. Whether or not one is a resident of Highland Lake, the information that was offered at the Public Forum can be used by all area watershed residents.

For more information, contact Highland Lake Association President, Rosie Hartzler at 207-415-3727 or at