A walk around Panora and a plan for the future

Shane summer 2021
Posted 7/6/2021
By Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher

Part of what makes living and playing at Lake Panorama so appealing is the fact that we are fortunate to have an attractive community next to the lake. Panora certainly isn’t Okoboji or even Clear Lake, but that’s OK for most property owners here who prefer less of the traffic congestion and party atmosphere. On the flip side, talk with lake residents at Sun Valley Lake or Diamondhead Lake, and you will certainly hear about how they miss having a city with real amenities. And rightfully so.
This leads me to the results of a recent report from an Iowa Downtown Resource Center Walk Around conducted in Panora. The report offers many observations and recommendations, stating that “Downtown Panora is enticing for visitors driving through town.” It says the sidewalks around the square are “well maintained,” and “attractive amenities such as plantings, lights, benches, and decorative sculptures enhance the pedestrian experience.”
It also says the downtown buildings and architecture are “unique with a combination of one, two and three-story buildings.”
The folks from the Iowa Downtown Resource Center say they find the inner square in downtown Panora especially interesting with the historic auditorium building, library, community center and city hall. They point out the green space, gazebo and stamped concrete area in the square as “an excellent event venue.” More on that later.
So what could make Panora even better, according to the report? They suggest more downtown business signage from a “visitor’s” point of view including “attractive entrance/welcome signage,” bike trail signage to Panora destinations, and in-town signage directing people to the historic business district, schools, library, etc.
The report also says a focus is needed on some of downtown Panora’s largest buildings that “need more than just a façade treatment.” It also suggests adding awnings to Panora’s downtown that can “provide color, vibrancy, and functionality.”
In regards to apartment living, the report recommends creating “active upper floors, especially with housing,” noting that “half of downtown Panora’s upper floors are occupied by apartments – some high quality and some substandard.”  It also suggests developing a “parking opportunities map” to identify current and potential parking spots for apartment dwellers.
The report recommends sweeping the vacant buildings, repairing broken glass, cleaning the windows and then placing “Business Opportunity” or “This Space would Make a Great Bakery” type signs in them.
Now back to the event venue space I mentioned previously. The report says Panora lacks “entertainment-based businesses and consistent events that would give residents more options for entertainment and enhance quality of life.” They recommend developing a “promotional series with a common theme, time, and location (in the existing event space around the gazebo).” They suggest starting small with activities that can draw 100-200 people like a local performer, a car show, an outdoor movie, a pet parade, food/beverage garden, etc.
And after all these recommendations are accomplished, they suggest a longer-term goal in improving “the rears of your downtown buildings” and potential parking areas.
There is no doubt that a look from the outside is helpful, and that’s exactly what this report offers, as well as some ideas on how to pay for some of it.
So what do you think? Do you agree with the recommendations? Have some of your own?  Think things are fine just the way they are? Shoot me an email and let me know your thoughts.
In the meantime, give thanks for what we have and be sure to support our local businesses.
Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
515-953-4822, ext. 305

Armstrong retirement party July 16

Posted 7/6/2021
Jerry Armstrong, who was LPA’s security chief beginning in October 2016, retired March 26. In 1969, he was Lake Panorama’s first security officer for one year, before moving on to selling Lake Panorama lots, then 22 years traveling the country for Harper Brush.
When Armstrong retired from Harper Brush, he agreed to work part-time for LPA security. That soon turned into a full-time position covering the night shift, which he did for 10 years, before stepping into the LPA security chief role.
A retirement party honoring Armstrong is open to all and will be Friday, July 16, 3-6 p.m., in the banquet room at the LPN Conference Center. The room will continue to be available for guests who want to stay later.
Both hot and cold appetizers will be served, including veggies with ranch dip, soft pretzels with pepper jack cheese sauce, BBQ meatballs, spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips, and salsa and queso with chips. There will be cake and a cash bar. Iced tea, lemonade and coffee also will be available.
In retirement, Armstrong is playing more golf, fishing, and spending time with his wife Nancy and their four great-grandchildren. He also continues to be a member of the LPA security department, working some part-time shifts, both land and water patrol.


Posted 7/6/2021
Two golfers had holes-in-one within days of each other at the Panorama West golf course in mid-June. Sherry Miller aced the eighth hole on June 15 during the Tuesday morning women’s league. She used a driver for the 110-yard feat, which was witnessed by Karen Eby.
On June 18, Dick Sheets scored a hole-in-one on the fifth hole, which is 144 yards. This was witnessed by Garrett Young, the Panorama West golf superintendent who was waiting for Sheets to pass before he started to mow the green. This is Sheets’ fourth career hole-in-one.
Each year, those who get a hole-in-one at Panorama West have their name added to a sign in the pro shop and receive a handmade plaque in recognition of their achievement. 


Posted 7/6/2021
One of the few good things that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was several lakefront property owners at Lake Panorama hosting live music events from their back decks, yards or docks.
Two such events were scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend. A third has been set for Friday, July 23. A few residents of the Sunset Ridge Condo Association, which is on the main basin south of The Port, have joined together to host this event.
Mike Tiedeman of Des Moines will play guitar and sing for two hours, beginning at 8:45 p.m. Boaters are encouraged to anchor lakeside near the Sunset Ridge Condos. From land, the address is 5447 Chimra Road. 


Posted 7/6/2021
Reshape Fitness Studio will be hosting the Panorama Days 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 8 a.m. There will also be a Kids Warrior Run, which will start at 9:15 a.m. Kids ages 10 years and younger will run obstacles on Main Street in Panora.
Donations are being accepted for the participants for the 5K Run/Walk. Items in need are Gatorade/Powerade, one-gallon water jugs for the two water stations provided during the race, bananas or other fruit, and granola bars for the participants after the race. The kids will receive popsicles/freezer pops after their event.
The Run/Walk had 64 participants in 2019. The goal for this year is 80-90.
Volunteers are also needed to help at registration from 7-7:45 a.m. @ Start Line and for water stations set up at The Port and the Historical Village.
Contact Trudy Hastings at 309-337-1579 or Sue Bump at 515-321-8521 with your donation by Friday, July 23. 

Panora Chamber welcomes new members

Posted 7/6/2021
The Panora Chamber of Commerce welcomes new members, Clear Mortgage – Chip Hansen and Carrie Hansen; BHHS First Realty – Rod Robson; Kozy Home – Shanna Jenkins; Rustic Goddess – Shay Derry; and Lake Panorama Pizza. A total of 11 new members have joined in 2021.
In other chamber news, volunteers are needed for the Chamber Information booth during Panorama Days, and nominations for Citizen of the Year will be available the first week of July.
The next chamber meeting is Monday, July 19 at Twin Vines. 


Posted 7/6/2021
The June 24 morning downpour did not stop 144 women from showing up ready to compete in the LPN Ladies League Annual 4-Gal Tournament. This year’s annual tournament attracted 107 non-LPN members and 37 members to the course and is the largest fundraiser for the LPN Ladies League.
The theme this year was “Live Laugh Love Golf.” And from the players’ reviews, the tournament lived up to its tag line. As usual, the Panora community stepped up in support of the tournament with local businesses willingly providing products for the raffle. In addition, many private residents and league members donated their time and talents to help plan, decorate and provide in-demand raffle items. The LPN Ladies League is truly indebted to every volunteer and contributor.
In addition, the tournament would not be possible without these generous corporate donors:
Hole-In-One Sponsors: Guthrie County State Bank/GCSB Investment Center; Iowa Trust and Savings Bank-Panora
Birdie Sponsors: Lake Panorama Realty-Lee Howe, John McDermott, Dee Powell, Julie Wykoff, Realtors; Lake Panorama Association; Panora Telco; Sunset Realty
Par Sponsors: Farmers State Bank-Yale; Peoples Bank-Guthrie Center
The planning committee already is looking ahead to the next LPN Ladies League Annual 4-Gal Tournament, scheduled for June 23, 2022.


Posted 7/6/2021
The Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation (PWCF) proudly awarded 10 Guthrie County students funds to continue their education after high school. The Bennie F. Hall Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation Scholarships, totaling $5000, were awarded to AC/GC senior, Jorja Hoover; Panorama seniors Wyatt Appleseth, Paige Cmelik, Ruby Hummel, Kinze Labbs, Lauren Soll and Shey Storesund; West Central Valley senior Sabrina Becker; graduating senior Kael Rutledge and college sophomore Brooke Halterman.
The Bennie F. Hall PWCF Scholarship Program aims to provide Guthrie County graduating seniors and existing college undergrads who show an interest in pursuing careers in conservation, agribusiness or a similar field with scholarship money to continue their education at a two or four-year college or vocational school. Each award recipient met the required academic criteria, completed and submitted an application for review and wrote a comprehensive essay about conservation in Guthrie County.
“The PWCF members were beyond impressed with the number of applicants this year, and the overall caliber of students who applied for this award,” mentioned PWCF Chair, Maggie Armstrong. “The foundation’s hope is that conservation continues to be a top priority in Guthrie County, and this scholarship program helps reinforce these efforts through its award recipients.”
The Bennie F. Hall Prairie Woodland Conservation Scholarship is awarded each spring and students in Guthrie County are encouraged to complete and submit an application. For more information about the scholarship, visit www.gccb.org or speak with your schools’ guidance counselor.

About the Bennie F. Hall Prairie Woodland Conservation Scholarship:
In 2001, long-time Guthrie County resident, Bennie Hall, left his estate to the Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation for conservation purposes. Mr. Hall was an avid hunter and trapper and had a great respect for wildlife, habitat and conservation in general. The following year, The Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation created a scholarship program in Mr. Hall’s memory. Each year, the PWCF awards funds to graduating high school seniors and college undergraduate students who qualify through the scholarship application process.

About the Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation:
Established in 1986, the Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation is a five-person board appointed by the Guthrie County Conservation Board and maintains a 501 C 3 Iowa non-profit corporation status. The general purpose of the PWCF is to request and accept gifts from people or organizations for the development and enhancement of environmental, educational and conservation projects in partnership with the Guthrie County Conservation Board. 


Posted 7/6/2021
The next coffee is scheduled for July 29.

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Since April 2015, “Coffee with the GM” events have been held several times each year in an effort to improve communications between the Lake Panorama Association and LPA members.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, none were held in 2020. Now that in-person meetings are possible, two coffees have been set.
John Rutledge, LPA general manager and LPN director of operations, invites LPA members to join him for coffee and other refreshments at these informal gatherings.
The next two coffees are scheduled for July 29 and Sept. 2. Both dates are on a Thursday. These will be at the Lake Panorama National conference center, begin at 10:30 a.m., and last about an hour.
At these coffees, Rutledge provides an update on current happenings and takes questions from members in attendance. A third coffee may be added later in the year.
If members have questions or items they would like covered about LPA policies or developments, they can email lpa@lakepanorama.org to give Rutledge an opportunity to prepare in advance. LPA members with questions specific to their own membership or property should call the LPA office during regular business hours at 641-755-2301.

Panora Citizen of the Year nominations now being accepted

Posted 7/6/2021
The Panora Chamber of Commerce has recognized an outstanding member of the Panora/Lake Panorama community since 1989. The year 2020 was the only year the recognition did not take place.

Criteria for Citizen of the Year:
• Any service performed for the betterment of Panora that the nominator deems worthy.
• No restrictions on the number of years a person can be nominated.
• Winners cannot be considered again for 10 years.
• Nominees must be a citizen of Panora or Lake Panorama.
• Nominees must be nominated in writing, signed by nominator.
• Paid city employees are eligible but their nomination must not be for their regular duties.
The following statement applies to all nominees: Anyone who works for the promotion and betterment of our community rather than excellence in profession or job. 
Nominations must be received by July 16, 2021.  Please mail nomination letters to the Panora Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 73, Panora, IA 50216.
The 2021 Citizen of the Year will be announced at Panorama Days, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021.

Maytag’s Four-Cheese Mac with Fig-Balsamic Drizzle

Img 2368
Posted 7/6/2021
By Cyd Koehn
Cyd’s Catering

Makes 6 servings.

For the macaroni and sauce:
1/2 pound dried elbow macaroni
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups grated Maytag White Cheddar Cheese (8 ounces), divided
2 cups cubed Havarti cheese (8 ounces)
1/4 cup Maytag Blue Cheese (1 ounce)

For the panko topping:
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Fig-Balsamic Drizzle
2 tablespoons fig jam
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar reduction

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 9 baking dish. Cook pasta in boiling salted water just until al dente (do not overcook). Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, for the sauce, in a heavy 3-quart saucepan melt the 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir until a smooth paste forms, about 30 seconds (do not allow this mixture to brown). Slowly pour in the cream while stirring. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Add 1 1/2 cups of the Maytag White Cheddar, the Havarti, and the Maytag Blue. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the cheese sauce to the cooked pasta; stir to coat evenly. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of Maytag White Cheddar.

3. For the panko topping, in a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs, melted butter, and the 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle panko topping evenly over macaroni mixture. Bake about 20 minutes or until the mac-and-cheese is bubbling and the crumbs are golden.

4. For the Fig-Balsamic Drizzle, whisk together the fig jam and balsamic vinegar reduction. To serve, divide macaroni and cheese among six shallow bowls. Spoon a little Fig-Balsamic Drizzle over each serving.

Note: To reheat the prepared casserole, cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350°oven about 25 minutes or until heated through (165°F). If the macaroni noodles are dry, to add more moisture, use milk or cream.


Posted 7/6/2021
New this year is the Friends Beach Club.

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times

The Friends of Lake Panorama’s fourth Beach Ball fundraiser is Friday, July 30 at Lake Panorama National with tables available either in the LPN banquet room or outside under tents between the conference center and the golf course.
There will be 30 round tables with seating for eight at each. As of July 1, all 30 tables have sponsors. An estimated 50 tickets for those purchasing only event tickets are available at some of the sponsored tables.
New this year is the Friends Beach Club, with many of the table sponsors joining at either the Premier or Sponsor level. These levels include an additional contribution to the nonprofit charity while getting some tickets in the 50/50 raffle and names in the 2021 Beach Ball program.
Those interested in purchasing some of the remaining 50 tickets have two options. They can join the Friends Beach Club – Couple for $200, which includes two dinner tickets, five tickets in the 50/50 raffle, and their name in the 2021 Beach Ball program. Individuals also can join the Friends Beach Club for $100, which includes one dinner ticket, two tickets in the 50/50 raffle, and the person’s name in the program.
Besides the Beach Club options, just dinner tickets can be purchased for $50 each, with half of that going to Friends, the other half to the LPN. The planned dinner menu includes charcoal-grilled 10-ounce NY strip steaks, chicken kabobs, pasta primavera, fruit bowl, dinner rolls, and desserts of strawberry shortcake cups and triple chocolate Ghirardelli brownies.
The 2021 Beach Ball will feature live music, a 50/50 raffle, and both live and silent auctions. Registration is 4:30-5:30 p.m., with dinner served 6-7 p.m. Cash bars will be available both in the LPN banquet room and outside. The silent auction will close at 7 p.m., with the live auction beginning at 7:15 p.m.
A wide variety of items will be offered on both auctions. Kurt Johnson is donating a set of custom bags/cornhole boards. Michael Kleinwolterink is donating one of his photos of Fourth of July fireworks over Lake Panorama, printed on metal. Danny Cunningham, Lake Panorama Barge, is donating two dock bumper pads. These are a few of the items that will be offered during the live auction.
The silent auction will include a wide variety of gift cards, home décor items, wine, several gift baskets, a selection of jewelry items, several golf-related items, and Jody Muench’s Guthrie County Tapestry Afghan. While a good number of items has been donated so far, there is room for more quality donated items for both the live and silent auction.
Anyone interested in purchasing Beach Ball tickets or donating an auction item, can contact Susan Thompson, thomcomm@netins.net, or 515-240-6536.
Three projects will receive funds from this year’s Beach Ball. One is the Lake Panorama Dog Park. The goal is $50,000 to construct the park and provide all desired amenities, with nearly $42,000 in donations so far.
Another project that will receive Beach Ball funding involves enhancements to an existing trail near the Panorama West golf course, that is estimated to cost $5,500. Plans include marking a 2.5-mile trail, which will include a 1.5 mile out-and-back section, and an optional 1-mile loop. A trail map will be on a kiosk at the trail head. Directional signage, distance markers and two benches will be installed.
Three swings added to the Sunset Beach playground is the third project that will receive Beach Ball proceeds. These will be the same swings as the ones now at both Boulder and Shady beaches. The budget for this project is $8,000.
The Friends board of directors will meet in mid-August to decide how to divide the 2021 Beach Ball proceeds among these three projects.
Tax-deductible donations can be made at any time by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama, and mailed to Friends of Lake Panorama, P.O. Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Donations also can be made by credit card on the Friends website at friendsoflakepanorama.org. 


Posted 7/6/2021
The Panorama West women’s golf league hosted a 2-gal best-shot tournament Tuesday, June 8. A total of 36 teams participated with players from Panora, Guthrie Center, Jefferson, Audubon and surrounding communities. The tournament theme was “Prickly Pairs and Pars.”
The theme was carried out with attire worn by committee members, plus three husbands of committee members. Twelve centerpieces, which were given away as door prizes, were Talavera style pots filled with colorful paper cacti.
Katie Richardson of Jefferson won the special event, which involved hitting her drive closest to the cardboard cactus in the middle of the ninth fairway.
Cash prizes were awarded to the top three teams in five flights. Winners of the championship flight were Carla Fitzgerald and Susan Thompson, with a score of even par 27. They won a scorecard playoff against Connie Hamilton and Nancy Scheffers, who also shot a 27, for second place. Paula Hansen and Sherry Miller placed third with a score of 29.
The tournament was followed by a buffet luncheon at the Panorama West Clubhouse, catered by Lake Panorama National.
Tournament committee members were Emily Spradling, Mary Kay O’Grady, Coop Rickert and Julie Wykoff.


Janeterickson bw
Posted 7/6/2021
Janet Lee Erickson, 84, daughter of Sam and Louise (Devine) Monroe, was born March 16, 1937, in Des Moines. She passed away June 20, 2021, in Panora.
 Janet graduated from Des Moines Lincoln High School in 1955. In 1958, she married Leslie “Eddie” Dorsett. To this union, two sons were born: Bill and Brian. They later divorced. She started working at Equitable Life Insurance Company and then Preferred Risk Insurance for about 10-12 years. She also worked at 3M. She married Ted Erickson on Aug. 15, 1970, in Des Moines. They made their home in Des Moines before moving to Lake Panorama in 1973. She was a volunteer at the Guthrie County Hospital in Guthrie Center where she helped with the Hospital Foundation Board for six years with five of those years working with Jody Sutton. She also worked in the Pro Shop at Lake Panorama National Golf Course.
 Janet was very involved in golf. She was past president of the ladies league along with holding various other board member offices for the league. She was tapped as co-chair of the ladies Solheim Cup and volunteered tirelessly for the Iowa Open while it was held at Lake Panorama.
 Janet enjoyed traveling, spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and her monthly lunches with Cindy and Carol, also with Kay and Jeanette. She also volunteered at the 3 C’s in Panora for many years.
 Janet is survived by her husband, Ted Erickson; sons, Bill (Denise) Dorsett and Brian (Beth) Dorsett both of Panora; step-children, Ted (Cindy) Erickson, Kim (Lynn) Clayton, and Kathy (Mike) Woods all of Des Moines; 6 grandchildren, Bailey (Brody), Abbey (Michael), MacKenzie (Josh), Dalton (Tiffany), Laura (Chad), and Nate (Heidi); 12 great-grandchildren with 2 more on the way, 1 great-great-granddaughter; 8 step-grandchildren, William (Jacque), Alec, Daniel (Kat), Kyle (Staci), Branden, Sarah, Eric (Amanda), and Lauren (Chico); and 11 step-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Jeanne Ware.
 Funeral services were June 24, 2021, at the Twigg Funeral Home, Panora. Burial was in the Brethren Cemetery, Panora.

OBITUARY: Louise K. Brown  

Louisebrown bw
Posted 7/6/2021
Louise K. (Gleason) Brown, age 85, of Indianola, passed away Thursday, June 17, 2021, peacefully at home, surrounded by her family. She was born Oct. 1, 1935 in Audubon.
She was raised by her parents Lois and George Gleason to be a strong woman. In 1953, she graduated from Audubon High School with the nickname “Deed,” a childhood name given to her by her little brother Richard. She was an accomplished soloist and went to Morningside College, in Sioux City, majoring in music.
Louise worked at Corky’s Drive-In as a carhop in Audubon where she met Everett. They were married June 24, 1956, in Audubon.
Throughout the years, Louise worked for AT&T as a switchboard operator and a telephone operator.  Her most rewarding job was working as a special education teacher’s aide, which she did for many years in Ralston, Nebraska, and Missouri Valley. In life, though, her most cherished moments were raising their three children and caring for her family, (this often came in the form of cookies). Louise was a talented cook and baker, and she loved entertaining family and friends. She was active in church and community activities in the many towns they lived in. Panora and Mesa, Arizona, were two of her favorite communities to live, shop and entertain in. Music and playing cards were always a part of her life. Louise loved to travel. She especially enjoyed family vacations to Galena, Branson and Lake Tahoe. She and Everett traveled with friends to many national parks and presidential libraries. Other special places were Hawaii, Alaska, Belgium, Denmark, Lake Louise in Canada and several cruises.
Louise is survived by her husband, Everett, and their three children: Anthony Brown (Kris Jacob) of Lidderdale; Rachel (René) Engelhardt of Alexandria, Ohio; and Curtis (Cherie) Brown of Belle Plaine. Her eight grandchildren Timothy (Jordan) Brown of Cedar Rapids; Peter (Jess) Brown of Carroll; Ben (Rebecca) Engelhardt of Columbus, Ohio; Marie Engelhardt of Westerville, Ohio; Heidi Engelhardt of Fort Collins, Colorado; Nolan (Madison) Brown of Tiffin; Holly (Dustin) Kriegel of Hartwick; and Austin Brown of Belle Plaine. Her nine great-grandchildren Titus, Logan, Jensen, Mia, Emma, Lillian, Roosevelt, Cameron, Zoe and one on the way. Her brother Richard (Lela) Gleason of Audubon, and her sister-in-law Margery (Roy) Middaugh of Glidden.
Louise was preceded in death by her parents, George and Lois Gleason of Audubon; her in-laws Peter and Marie Brown of Brayton; her sister Norma Jean (Tootie) Davis and brother in-law Marvin Davis of Warrenton, Mississippi; in-laws Marilyn and Frank Smith of Brayton; and in-laws Earl and Jean Brown of Amana.
A Celebration of Life service was held June 26, 2021, at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Indianola. Graveside committal of cremains was in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Audubon. Memorials may be given to Wesley Life Hospice or the Louise Gleason Brown Scholarship Fund for a scholarship to be awarded at Audubon High School Graduate C/O Audubon State Bank P.O. Box 149 Audubon, IA 50025. To sign an online condolence, visit www.overtonfunerals.com.


Johnseward bw
Posted 7/6/2021
John Wendell Seward passed to heaven on June 8, 2021. His family lovingly cared for him at the end of his life with the assistance of Wesley Life hospice and staff from Brio of Johnston. Prior to Brio, John and his wife Marilyn had homes in the Glenstone neighborhood of Grimes; Lake Panorama near Panora; Tucson, Arizona; Victoria, Minnesota, and West Branch, Iowa.
John (Jack) was born March 27, 1936, on a farm near New Providence, Iowa, to Wallace Wendell Seward and Verma Lois Whitehead Seward. He had two older brothers, Irwin and Lyle Seward. John was raised on a farm, was active in 4-H, and participated in multiple school activities before graduating from Melbourne High School in 1954. John graduated from Iowa State University where he majored in agricultural education. He held various leadership positions as a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. While at ISU, John participated in ROTC and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. He received Scabbard & Blade and Alpha Zeta honors. John started his career with Cargill, Inc. in June 1958. He served in the military from September 1958  to August 1960, stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and then Fort Riley in Kansas. Following his military service, John returned to Cargill. John’s career with Cargill spanned 38 years. He started in sales and held multiple positions including general manager for Nutrena Feed Division (West Branch), director of marketing and research for Animal Nutrition Division, area supervisor for businesses in United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. He retired as a senior vice president in September 1996. He met many of his closest friends through Cargill, and they continued to gather socially to travel, golf, share a meal and catch up with each other long after John retired. 
On Aug. 11, 1957, John married Marilyn Kay Smith. Together John and Marilyn raised three daughters: Laurie, Peggy and Jody. John and Marilyn moved frequently throughout their 62 years of marriage. They lived in Oklahoma, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Arizona, but Iowa was always “home.” They extended their time in West Branch to allow the girls to finish high school. While in West Branch, John was a member of the West Branch City Council, president of the chamber of commerce, and taught Sunday School at the W.B. United Methodist Church. 
John loved traveling, golf, his dogs, the United Methodist Church, ISU football and basketball, Jack Daniel’s, the daily newspaper, a good game of cards or cribbage, and teasing family, friends and strangers. John especially loved his family and spending time with them. He created memories through visits to extended family, family vacations, homes on the lake, touring Green Valley, family holidays, and the annual “Grandchildren’s Week,” where a new adventure was planned for each day.
John had a keen sense of curiosity and enjoyed both learning and teaching. As the family patriarch, John especially enjoyed teaching his daughters and grandchildren. He taught us the value of education by insisting we read every owner’s manual cover to cover. He taught us to make decisions (you can have ketchup or mustard but not both), and that sometimes children just need an answer (even if it’s not accurate). He taught us about car maintenance as we rotated his tires while he watched from the lawn chair with beer in hand. Each grandchild received a certificate for graduating from “manners camp.” With a twinkle in his eye, John could be both witty and silly, and he left us with so many stories.
John was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, a son-in-law, and a great-grandchild. He deeply missed his wife and best friend Marilyn, who passed away May 2020.
John leaves behind his children Laurie and Neil Barrick, Peggy and Randy Pierce, Jody and Mark Holmes. He will be missed by his grandchildren Jon (Tanya) Pierce, Megan Woody, Jenna Hoffman, Jennifer (Tom) Spurgin, Rachel (Mikael) Gustafson, Ben (Allyson) Holmes and Andrew (Alizabeth) Holmes, nine great grandchildren, eight nieces and nephews, and many friends. 


Posted 7/6/2021
More than 100 people attended, representing 57 voting members.

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times 

The 52nd annual meeting of the Lake Panorama Association was June 26. It was postponed from its usual date in early May to allow for more people to get vaccinated and for concerns about meeting in large groups to ease.
More than 100 people attended, representing 57 voting members. It was announced the LPA currently has a total membership of 1,725, with 21 of those inactive because 2021 dues have not been paid. A total of 419 ballots were cast in the election for three people to serve on the LPA board of directors.
Re-elected for another three-year term were Emily Donovan and Rich Schumacher. Newly elected was Julie Fulton. Fulton will serve until May 2022, completing the final year of the unexpired term of the late Neil Wright, who was elected in 2019 and resigned because of health reasons in July 2020.

Financial and audit report
Gary Evans, LPA board treasurer, provided the 2020 financial and audit report for the LPA and its subsidiary, LPN, LLC. For 2019, Evans said the LPN operation showed an operating loss of $395,377, with overall revenue down $462,093 from 2019.
“The LPN was faced with many challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19,” Evans said. “In spite of these challenges, LPN management made quick adjustments to capitalize on all available avenues to continue business. Although LPN’s financial performance suffered due to COVID-19, LPN did successfully apply for SBA’s Payroll Protection Program. This loan of $229,212 was fully forgiven and was very important in keeping LPN running through 2020.”
Turning to the LPA, Evans said the 2020 net income was $580,488, which included $264,504 that was the auditors’ adjustment for land sales expense.
“This is an accounting adjustment for tax purposes and does not represent new money coming into the organization,” he said.
Evans said the LPA board decided a 5-percent dues increase should be applied for 2021.
“The board’s budgeting process focuses extensively on cash flow,” he said. “Cash balances are targeted for 20 percent, with the possibility these will be in the 17 to 18 percent range if non-budgeted expenditures are approved by the board as a midyear budget amendment.”
Evans said it’s important to remember the LPA board does not set its annual operating budget with the expectation of selling land. All operating expenses are covered by LPA’s recurring operating revenues.

President’s remarks
Mary Jane Carothers, completing her second year as LPA board president, chaired the meeting. In her report to the membership, Carothers said 2020 brought many challenges to LPA.
“Just as in your world, COVID outbreaks, quarantines and vaccinations posed new questions and trials as the association staff worked hard to keep all the amenities and services you expect as a member available, even in the midst of one of the longest economic shutdowns that I can recall in my lifetime,” she said. “I am proud to report the challenges of 2020 proved we have a strong board, management team, staff and a great deal of membership support.”
Carothers talked about the new LPA water plant that came online in the fall of 2020.
“Members have been enjoying a tremendous improvement in water quality,” she said. “LPA water previously had a hardness of 615 parts per million or 36 grains per gallon. The new system is providing water that is 120 parts per million or 7 grains per gallon. The DNR completed their final walk-through inspection on June 4 and the project passed with flying colors.”
Another point of pride for the LPA is the new maintenance facility, Carothers said.
“I think it is vital we support those who serve the association with such dedication. Being able to give these staff members a great place to work and maintain equipment was the right thing to do.”
Carothers thanked the LPN management team and staff for weathering an extremely difficult year.
“Very few industries were hit as hard by the pandemic as food and beverage operations. This challenge has continued into 2021 with widespread staff shortages in the industry,” she said. “Despite these challenges, LPN has added new faces to the management team, and they are positioning the organization for a bright future.”
Carothers also expressed her appreciation to the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) board members for their continue efforts to protect and improve water quality in Lake Panorama. And she thanked Friends of Lake Panorama for raising money for additional recreational amenities.
“I am grateful for their continuing effort to improve the quality of life at Lake Panorama and urge you to generously support their fundraising efforts,” she said.

Challenges, golf, timeshares
John Rutledge, LPA general manager and LPN, LLC director of operations, began his report with a look at the LPN.
“The LPN, LLC operation continues to be a great benefit to our community. But it also continues to be a challenging business model to perfect,” he said. “This was certainly true in 2020, and I’m proud to say our staff and board continues to pursue an improved guest experience and also the best financial outcome possible.”
Rutledge said staffing in the food and beverage industry continues to be a challenge.
“The good news is our staff works extremely hard so you don’t know how short-staffed we are,” he said. “But we’re concerned about burnout, and we’re working to address this issue.”
This year has seen 28 additional golf memberships at Lake Panorama National over 2020, and one additional membership at Panorama West.
“Golf continues to provide a solid foundation for the LPN business model, and key transitions in turf and pro shop staff have gone very well in 2021,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge said the Clover Ridge Timeshare dissolution has been completed. All 22 units were sold, and several have entered into lodging agreements with LPN. LPA and all other creditors were paid from the proceeds of the unit sales.
Water infrastructure 
Shifting gears to the LPA, Rutledge said a highlight of 2020 was the completion of the LPA water infrastructure project.
“When you go into a project of this size, there is always the chance of a surprise,” he said. “It was a relief to get through this project without any significant hurdles, and I am pleased to report the finished product met the expectations of all involved.”
In addition to the well and reverse osmosis system, LPA has completed a scheduled water main replacement on the west side of the lake, installed a replacement main under Burchfield cove, and completed some planned work on 200th Road.

Rutledge said several improvements have occurred at the lake’s three beaches. LPA replaced the retaining wall at Boulder Beach with a poured concrete wall, which is a substantial upgrade from the deteriorating landscape timbers that were previously there.
“Friends of Lake Panorama made an outstanding impact at the three beaches, with benches and swinging benches being added at all three locations,” Rutledge said. “Playground upgrades at Boulder and Shady beaches are both a marked improvement above what we’ve previously been able to offer.”

Water safety
Water safety and boat density became topics of focus in 2020 due to the surge in lake usage during the pandemic, Rutledge said.
“A water safety poll was conducted in the fall, with buoy readability being the primary concern. In response, LPA invested in 80-inch tall buoys for all SLOW 10 MPH and NO WAKE locations,” he said. “The remaining 60-inch tall buoys have been re-stickered to ensure the messaging is as high up on the buoy as possible.”
Zebra mussel veliger (larvae) testing was implemented in 2020 and will be conducted annually, Rutledge said. “The 2020 test was negative. We are doing everything we can to prevent zebra mussels from entering Lake Panorama,” he said. “If LPA ever discovers the presence of veligers, we will at least have some lead time to prepare.”

Next Rutledge turned his attention to RIZ. Dredge America was hired in 2020 to remove more than 700,000 cubic yards of silt from the river channel. This supplemented LPA’s work and made use of County Basin easements that are set to expire within the 2020 decade.
A new and larger debris skimmer was delivered in 2020. This was a $400,000 purchase that replaced the skimmer LPA purchased over 20 years ago.
“Debris events have been limited over the past two years, due to drought conditions, but we are ready when the rains return,” Rutledge said.
Perhaps the biggest endeavor for RIZ has been land acquisition. Rutledge said land has been acquired for expansion of the CIPCO basin, which will serve the lake once the County Basin is exhausted. Also acquired are the sites for two additional wetlands, as well as a site for a future sediment basin.
Rutledge said RIZ is slated to generate $2.6 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“These funds are critical to maintaining water quality and sustaining our ongoing effort to ensure Lake Panorama addresses sedimentation,” he said.

Property values
“The results of this effort are apparent when you look at Lake Panorama property values. The assessed valuation of the Lake Panorama Subdivision was $489 million for 2020, based on Jan. 1, 2020 values,” Rutledge said. “I expect the Jan. 1, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022, values to be substantially higher, and our community will pass the half-billion-dollar mark.”
For comparison, Rutledge said all cities in Guthrie County have a combined value of $280 million.
“In other words, Lake Panorama is nearly twice the value of all cities combined,” he said. “I see these increases in property valuations as a barometer for our community, which shows we’re moving the right direction. The LPA, LPN and RIZ are all pieces of this puzzle, and all point to Lake Panorama being a huge economic driver in Guthrie County.”
After a brief question-and-answer session, the 52nd annual LPA meeting adjourned at 11 a.m.
Shortly after the LPA annual meeting adjourned, the LPA board of directors convened a special meeting to elect officers for the coming year. A slate of officers was nominated, and elected unanimously to take office upon adjournment of the special meeting. LPA board officers now are Rich Schumacher, president; Emily Donovan, vice president; David Finneseth, secretary; and Gary Evans, treasurer. 

Q&A: Event co-chair Dale Hochreiter answers a few of our questions.

Dalehochreiter bw
Posted 7/6/2021
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

The first Lake Panorama Day was Aug. 2, 1969. It was originally scheduled to celebrate the completion of Lake Panorama’s dam, but weather and other delays meant that didn’t happen until the summer of 1970. Yet the party went on as planned.
Now more than 50 years have passed, and what began as a single day stretches over three days. Panora Chamber board members Marla Hammer and Dale Hochreiter are co-chairs for the 2021 community celebration. In this month’s Q&A, Hochreiter talks about plans for this year’s event.

Q. Tell us about the theme for the 2021 Panorama Days.  
A. This year’s theme – “Come Together” – was settled on during a brainstorming session where Chamber members were discussing options. So many of the things we were talking about involved how divided the country has become politically, and the struggles caused by COVID-19. We wanted a theme that would reflect our desire to have a fun weekend together, in Panora and at Lake Panorama, and put aside some of the worries of the past year.

Q. Let’s take a look at the events day by day. What’s on the schedule for Friday, Aug. 6? 
A. The annual cribbage tournament, sponsored by Stine Seed, begins at 2 p.m. in the community center, with registration at 1:30 p.m. The usual Friday evening farmer’s market will be on the west side of the square, beginning at 4:30 p.m. At the same time, there will be a Chalk the Block event for all ages in the town square park.
Cruise the Loop, with all types of cars welcomed, and hosted by Retro LUX, will run 6:30-8 p.m., with the starting point the NAPA store on the west edge of Panora. A cake walk for kids, sponsored by the Women for Panora’s Future, will be in 7-7:30 p.m. in Vet’s Auditorium.
Members of the Main Street Dance Studio will perform 6-7 p.m. on a stage in the town square park, followed by the Bill Riley Talent Show. Little Miss and Mister Panorama Days also be announced.
Crue Nation and Villains Dance will wrap up the first day with three hours of music from the 1980s, beginning at 8 p.m. Villains Dance’s goal is to make everyone attending feel like they just attended a real 1980s arena rock concert. Crue Nation will follow with a tribute to Motley Crue. Admission to this show is free, courtesy of sponsor Crystal Freeze Dry, and will take place in the town square park.

Q. Sounds like a busy start. What’s in store for Saturday? 
A. Saturday starts early with a bass fishing tournament on Lake Panorama beginning at 5:30 a.m. and running to 1:30 p.m. Registration begins at the marina at 5 a.m. for this event sponsored by Lake Panorama Fin and Feather.
The traditional pancake breakfast will be available in the Community Center from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Panorama Days 5K Run, sponsored by Reshape Fitness Studio, begins in front of the library at 8 a.m. The Kid’s Warrior Run for ages 10 and under is at 9 a.m.
Parade registration starts at 9 a.m. at the Panorama Elementary School, with the parade at 10 a.m. One of the features of this year’s parade will be a Belgian Horse team.
The Panora Citizen of the Year and parade category winners will be announced in the gazebo following the parade. Local live music will be available in the gazebo 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cutest baby contest, sponsored by Lakeside Village, will begin at 12:30 p.m.
An escape room, sponsored by Panora Auto Parts, will be offered from noon to 8 p.m. Cost will be $15 for a half-hour and $25 for an hour. Location is yet to be determined.
A kid’s zone will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., sponsored by Panora Telco. A classic car show at P.J.’s Drive-In will be open the same hours. A bags tournament, sponsored by Active Health Solutions & Key Mortgage Group, will be on Main Street 1-4 p.m., with registration at 12:30 p.m. Bingo will be in the community center 1-3 p.m., hosted and sponsored by Guthrie County State Bank. The Panorama alumni banquet will begin at 5 p.m. at the community center.
The Lake Panorama ski team show will begin at 2:30 p.m. The Port will offer live music beginning at 9 p.m., and the Lake Panorama Association will present its annual fireworks display from the south shore at dusk.

Q. That leaves us with Sunday. What’s on tap to wrap up 2021 Panorama Days? 
A. At 7:45 a.m. Sunday, a non-denominational community church service will be conducted on the south shore. Those attending can come by boat or vehicle. A breakfast at the Community Center will be served 8 a.m. to noon.
The kid’s fishing derby, sponsored by the Lake Panorama Fin and Feather, will be 9-11 a.m. at the Lake Panorama marina, with registration at 8:45 a.m. A golf tournament to raise money for the annual alumni banquet will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Panorama West golf course.
At 5 p.m., there will be a gospel music festival at the Panora Church of the Brethren, followed at 6 p.m. by sandwiches and an ice cream social.

Q. I know the Panora Chamber has been working on fundraising for the 2021 Panorama Days. How has that been going? 
A. Our community really has been “coming together” — just as this year’s theme says, with individuals contributing money, and businesses stepping up to sponsor many of our planned events. Direct donations to Panorama Days continue to be welcomed. Donations can be sent by check to P.O. Box 73, Panora, Iowa, 50216, and should be marked as a Panorama Days donation. Donations also can be made electronically using Venmo@panora-chamber.
Plans may continue to evolve between now and Aug. 6. Check the Chamber’s Facebook page and panorachamber.org website for more details. There also is an ad elsewhere in this publication that lists the current schedule. Anyone with questions can call me at 641-757-0605.
Blue satin rose of sharon

Design your gardens for year-round color and protect your investment

Posted 7/6/2021
You will look forward to the change of seasons as your landscape transforms throughout the year.

By Melinda Myers

Create a colorful year-round garden filled with flowers, greenery, colorful fruit, fall color, winter interest and a few surprises. Consider seasonal interest when planning a new garden or landscape. Adding a few key plants to existing gardens can help boost your landscape’s seasonal appeal.
Include a variety of plants with multiple seasons of interest as well as bird and pollinator appeal. You will look forward to the change of seasons as your landscape transforms throughout the year.
Use trees and shrubs to provide the framework and longevity in your landscape. Serviceberries, crabapples, dogwoods, and many others have flowers, fruit, pollinator, and bird appeal and add winter interest with their bark or form. Look for those with colorful exfoliating bark like paperbark maple, heptacodium, and river birch for a beautiful statement in the winter garden.
Include a few summer blooming shrubs like St John’s wort, buttonbush, panicle hydrangeas and Rose of Sharon. They add an unexpected fresh look to your summer landscape.
Perennials combine nicely with trees, shrubs, and annuals, adding seasons of color and texture. Include those that also attract songbirds, bees, and butterflies by creating a beautiful habitat. Blue star (Amsonia), Siberian iris, sedum, Rudbeckia, coneflower, and grasses are just a few that can brighten any garden with several seasons of color, provide homes for beneficial insects and food for the birds.
End the season with fall bloomers like goldenrod, asters, and hardy mums. These provide food for late season pollinators.  Leave healthy plants stand, providing homes for many beneficial insects, winter interest in the garden, and food for the songbirds.
Use annuals to fill any voids, add season long color and yearly changes in the landscape. Containers on steps, decks and patios help bring the garden to your front and back door.
Include spring flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths planted in fall for a colorful welcome to spring. These and many of the earliest bloomers like winter aconites, grape hyacinths, and crocus provide needed nectar for early season pollinators.
Evergreens are always a welcome addition to any landscape. They provide shelter for the birds and year-round greenery.  Find new and interesting ways to include them in your landscape.
Use taller evergreens for screening bad views, buffering traffic and other noises, or creating privacy.  Use evergreens with interesting form and texture to create a focal point in a garden bed or landscape. Combine them with perennials and flowering shrubs for added seasonal interest.
Then keep your landscape looking its best by protecting key plants from hungry critters like deer, rabbits and voles. Skip the fencing and scare tactics by applying a rain resistant, organic repellent like Plantskydd (plantskydd.com) at planting. You will need fewer applications and the odor-based repellent sends animals dining elsewhere before taking a bite out of your plants. Apply repellent before animals start feeding and follow the label directions for best results.
Continue to gather ideas with visits to public gardens and partaking in garden tours. Be sure to take notes and pictures that you can reference later. Creating a year-round landscape is an ongoing process that is part of the fun and adventure of gardening.

Melinda Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Tree World Plant Care for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ website is www.MelindaMyers.com.

Fin & Feather Banquet raises nearly $20,000

The Lake Panorama Fin & Feather Annual Banquet was held on Saturday, June 25 at the LPN Conference Center. Total funds raised at the banquet approached $20,000.
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Lake Dogs & Cove Cats

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Zoey: 8 years old
Ella: 1 year old
English Springer Spaniels
Owners: Ken and Stacey Brown

Zoey and Ella are sweet dogs and loyal companions that rarely leave their owners’ sides.  The lake is their favorite place, and their favorite thing to do is swim. A close second are rides on the boat and golf cart. Their pet peeve is when you have a ball or Frisbee in your hand and aren’t throwing it.  They also don’t like it when they are sitting on the golf cart expecting a ride and don’t get to go.
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Solita, on the left, is a 3-year-old female
Diego, on the right, is a 1-year-old male
They are Ragamuffins
Owners: Dave and Tammy Schwartz

Ragamuffins are lovingly called puppy cats because they follow their owners around from room to room. They are very curious and hate to be alone. Ragamuffins were bred as an alternative to the ragdoll breed to allow more variety in coat colors.


Posted 6/8/21
Lana Leander didn’t know Bob White but heard a lot of good things about him from company employees who had worked with him.

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Des Moines-Winterset Memorials is ranked 15th on the list of the 20 oldest businesses in Des Moines. The company’s roots are traced to 1878 with the founding of Winterset Monument. That company purchased Capital City Monuments in Des Moines in the early 1950s, and the name was changed to Des Moines-Winterset Memorials.
Two separate owners of the company have homes at Lake Panorama.
Bob and Betty White have lived on Lake Panorama’s Christmas Tree Point for more than 30 years. Their first house on Andrews Terrace was purchased in 1987, and they split time between there and Urbandale. By 1992, they were living fulltime in a waterfront home they built nearby.
Bob was born in Guthrie Center, and his family moved to Winterset a year later. His father was a partner in the Winterset Monument company beginning in the late 1920s. Bob started working summers during high school in the family-owned granite finishing plant. He and Betty were high school sweethearts and married in 1948.
Bob was drafted into the Army in 1952 and discharged in 1954. He returned to the family business and began selling monuments. In 1958, the couple moved to Des Moines, and Bob became president of Des Moines-Winterset Memorials. Over the next 30 years, the couple purchased controlling interest in the company.
During Bob’s time with the company, he designed and placed more than 200,000 granite and bronze memorials and other granite pieces such as church altars and war memorials. Two of the most well-known are the Korean and VFW memorials at the Iowa Capitol. In 1992, the couple sold the company, and Bob retired. The same year, Atlantic Memorials was added to the business.
Lana Leander started her career in 1998 as a sales support person at Atlantic Memorials in Atlantic, which was her hometown.
“This industry was new to me,” she says. “But I soon learned I enjoy helping families create a memorial for a loved one.”
In 2000, the company was sold to Rock of Ages in Barre, Vermont, the largest granite quarrier in North America. Leander worked as a regional sales manager for the company, which continued to operate under the same names.
In 2008, Leander and her husband Ryan Gruhn purchased Des Moines-Winterset Memorials and Winterset Monuments and Atlantic Memorials. At the time, Gruhn was working in a different industry before joining Leander in the monument company. They purchased a home at Lake Panorama six years ago.
In 2019, they sold the monument company to Rayser, an employee stock ownership plan holdings company in Cedar Rapids. Leander now is general manager for the company, and Gruhn runs a plastic manufacturing company the couple purchased this year.
“We do all types of cemetery memorials, using both granite and bronze,” Leander says. “We offer granite urns and mausoleums. We focus on telling the loved one’s story in stone because personalization is important. We also do granite signage in neighborhood developments, granite pavers for school projects and churches, and natural boulder-style granite that can be used for signage.”
Leander hadn’t met Bob White but heard a lot of good things about him from company employees who had worked with him.
“Years ago, Bob contacted me about a granite bench for one of his friends to be placed on the Panorama West golf course,” she says. “Then more families became interested in doing the same thing.”
Over the years, Bob’s continued connections with Des Moines-Winterset Memorials helped make it possible to add four granite benches to the Panorama West golf course. In the spring of 2019, Bob and Betty were surprised when their children had a granite bench installed near the par 4 tee box on the second hole.
Years ago, Bob helped create par 4 tees on some holes at the course. On the second hole, he mowed, cleared trees and bushes, and then planted shrubs. The couple has maintained the shrubs and sometimes flowers near the par-4 tee box ever since. They added a wooden bench, which stood for many years until the wood rotted away.
The bench their family purchased for them was the fifth granite bench on the golf course. This spring, the sixth such bench was installed on the ninth hole, in memory of Courtney Allen Sr.
Leander offers a discounted price for the Panorama West benches.
“Lake Panorama is special to me,” she says. “I own a home there, and with Bob living on the lake as well, it just makes sense to offer a discount for families who want to purchase a memorial bench for their loved one. These are nice additions to the golf course.”
The Whites celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2018. In 2019, they both turned 90 years old. Their bench is inscribed with the couple’s names, and states it is “in recognition of their many contributions to Lake Panorama and the Panorama West golf course.”
Bob was elected to a three-year term on the LPA board of directors in May 1995 and served as board president his final year. He was instrumental in getting board approval to build the Panorama West clubhouse, which was completed in 1997. The couple guided the decision-making process on many of the finishes, kitchen equipment and furnishings for the clubhouse.
Bob served for more than 15 years on the Panorama West advisory committee. He also has served for many years on the Guthrie County board that oversees the Lake Panorama On-site Wastewater Management District.
For at least the past 25 years, the Whites have kept the Panorama Road entrance to Lake Panorama looking good by trimming bushes, painting signs and planting flowers. They relinquished that volunteer job this year, when Jim and Emily Spradling, who also live on Andrews Terrace, offered to take it over. The Spradlings got help this spring with advice and plants from JoAnn Johnson.
Leander and her husband recently moved from West Des Moines to Ames. When they have time, they escape to their second home on Helen’s Cove.
“We like Lake Panorama’s proximity, and that the lake is private,” she says. “Relaxing at a small, friendly lake community is very nice. This is where we plan to retire.” 


Posted 6/8/21
Festivities will kick off Friday, Aug. 6 with an emphasis on family-friendly activities.

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Members of the Panora Chamber are working on plans for the 2021 Panorama Days, which will be held Aug. 6-8. Chamber members have formed several committees to help organize specific events.
Panora Chamber board members Marla Hammer and Dale Hochreiter are co-chairs for the 2021 community celebration. Hochreiter says this year’s theme — “Come Together” — was settled on during a brainstorming session where Chamber members were discussing options.
“So many of the things we were talking about involved how divided the country has become politically and the struggles caused by COVID-19,” he says. “We wanted a theme that would reflect our desire to have a fun weekend together, in Panora and at Lake Panorama, and put aside some of the worries of the past year.”
Panorama Days will kick off Friday, Aug. 6, with an emphasis on family-friendly activities. The usual Friday evening farmers market will be on the west side of the square. There will be special music in the gazebo beginning at 5 p.m., followed by performances from the Main Street Dance Studio and the Bill Riley Talent Show on a stage in the town square park. A kid’s cake walk will be in Vet’s Auditorium. Plans are being finalized for special entertainment to wrap up the evening.
Vendors offering a variety of items also will be in the town square beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday and again at 10 a.m. Saturday. Anyone interested in being a vendor at this year’s Panorama Days can contact Hochreiter at 641-757-0605 for details.
Saturday starts early with a bass fishing tournament on Lake Panorama beginning at 5:30 a.m. The traditional pancake breakfast will be available in the Community Center from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Parade registration starts at 9 a.m. at the Panorama Elementary School, with the parade at 10 a.m. One of the features of this year’s parade will be a Belgian horse team.
The Panora Citizen of the Year and parade category winners will be announced in the gazebo following the parade. A kid’s zone will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a variety of musicians will entertain from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The annual beefburger lunch will be at the First Christian Church 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a classic car show at P.J.’s Drive-In throughout the afternoon. The Panorama alumni banquet will begin at 5 p.m. at the Community Center.
The Lake Panorama ski team show will begin at 3 p.m. The Lake Panorama Association will present its annual fireworks display from the south shore at dusk.
At 8 a.m. Sunday, a community church service will be held outside of The Port. Those attending can arrive by boat and stay in their boats to participate, or come by land. A breakfast at the Community Center will be served 8 a.m. to noon. The kid’s fishing derby, sponsored by the Lake Panorama Fin and Feather, will be 9-11 a.m. at the Lake Panorama marina. A golf tournament to raise money for the annual alumni banquet will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Panorama West golf course.
Plans are evolving so check the Chamber’s Facebook page and panorachamber.org website to keep up-to-date as events are added to the schedule.
Panorama Days is expensive to put on, because many of the activities are free or low cost. To help raise money, the Panora Chamber sponsored a golf tournament May 2 at Lake Panorama National. A total of 28 teams competed in the four-person, best-shot event, which raised more than $4,000.
Direct donations to Panorama Days are welcomed. Donations can be sent by check to P.O. Box 73, Panora, Iowa, 50216, and should be marked as a Panorama Days donation. Donations also can be made electronically using Venmo@panora-chamber.

Economic development group is full of PRIDE

Shane goodman headshot
Posted 6/8/21
By Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher

About a year ago, I joined the Panora and Lake Panorama Area Economic Development group, known as PRIDE, which serves as the principal economic development organization in the area. PRIDE began in the 1980s as an informal group of business leaders “looking to attract, support and grow area businesses and promote housing.” That’s what economic development organizations do, and this one follows suit — but it is also unique.
I have belonged to other economic development groups through the years, and they are usually a bunch of bankers and me. Don’t get me wrong, the bankers are essential, and this one has its fair share as well. But there are folks from all other walks of life in PRIDE, too.  Insurance agents. Lawyers. Financial planners. Retailers. School superintendents.  Realtors. The list goes on.
I attended my first meeting last year right before the pandemic hit, and we did not meet again in person until last week. John Rutledge reminded me that they did not have any attendance problems prior to me joining. Coincidence? Maybe.
Seeing as how June is national PRIDE month and honors those who were involved in the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, you might wonder if the name of this economic development group has any tie-in. It doesn’t. Prior to 1987, the group was an unincorporated entity known as “Panora Regional Industrial Development Enterprise,” which is where the name PRIDE was derived. And it stuck. Now you know.
With nearly 40 businesses represented, this diverse economic development group is filled with brilliant minds to help keep our economic engine rolling. That’s important to the residents of Guthrie County and Panora, as well as all the property owners of Lake Panorama. I am glad to be part of it. If you would like to join us, please reach out to me, any PRIDE member, or board president Curt Thornberry of Panora Telco. And to learn more, simply visit the PRIDE website at http://panora.org/about/.
Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
515-953-4822, ext. 305

OBITUARY: Jerrold Stratton Ross

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Posted 6/8/21
March 28, 1951 - May 25, 2021
Jerry Ross of Ames, 70, died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease on Tuesday, May 25.
Jerry, the son of J.C. and Joyce Ross, was born in Bethany, Missouri, and spent his childhood years in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Iowa.  He graduated from Keokuk High School in 1969. He then attended Iowa State University where he met his wife, Mary Noethe, while working at Cave Inn Pizza. The couple married at St. Ann’s in Vail, Iowa, in 1973.
Jerry and Mary then moved to Moscow, Idaho, where they worked for Karl Marks Pizza. They returned to Ames so Jerry could complete his degree in industrial administration. Jerry had many jobs throughout his life including: slinging pizza, selling Fuller Brush, working on the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, and Bonanza Steakhouse. After graduating from Iowa State, he began his career in computers with Burroughs Corporation selling computers to city and county governments. At the time, computers were just being introduced to the mainstream, and there was much resistance and little support. In 1981, Jerry and friends branched out on their own to start a computer business that included customer support, which was much needed in this new environment. Computer Management Services went on to supply the counties and municipalities of Iowa and surrounding states with software and hardware systems, the first of their kind. They sold the company to Tyler Technologies in 1998, and he continued working until his retirement in 2016.
Jerry loved sports, especially his Cyclones. He was a proud supporter of Iowa State athletics and had season tickets for football and basketball (both men’s and women’s) for many years.
There was nothing he enjoyed more than being with friends and family at tailgates and the Big 8/Big 12 Basketball Tournament. He spent many a Saturday watching nieces and nephews play soccer. He also enjoyed boating and spending time at Lake Panorama with the people he loved. He was involved in many community and church activities and helped those in need without being asked. He was generous and kind, with a sly sense of humor… and always ready to smile.
He is preceded in death by his parents and parents-in-law, Ed and Marcella Noethe, and many good friends lost along the way including his best friend and business partner, Dan Lehman, his fellow Cyclone enthusiast, Curt Lindholm, and former boss/employee/friend, Karl Gilbertson.
He is survived by his loving wife Mary, his daughter Kate Ross and Chris Lucht. His siblings: Jim and Janet Ross, Jeanette and Roy Adcock, John and Sharon Ross, and Amy and Robert Vaughn. His in-laws: Nancy and Melvin Bobo, Edward and Julie Noethe, and Rose “Duck” Miller. His nieces and nephews: Julia Ross and Tom Boyle, Jeff Ross, Jerome Bobo, Matt and Krista Bobo, Megan and Jayson Pope, Michelle Dickerson, Clare Noethe and Jackson Noethe, and nine great nieces and nephews.  Jerry has a countless number of friends and extended family who will miss him greatly.
Parkinson’s Disease is a horrible thing that you would not wish on anyone you love. Jerry fought hard but lost his battle.  In lieu of flowers or gifts, please help the family keep fighting by donating to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. 


Posted 6/8/21
Displays are the result of dedicated volunteers who not only purchase and plant flowers, but also weed, water and decorate. 

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Lake Panorama National and Panorama West boast flowers throughout the golf season on tee boxes and other locations. Most of these colorful displays are the result of dedicated volunteers who not only purchase and plant flowers, but also weed, water and decorate.
Lake Panorama National has volunteers who help clean flower beds and add flowers on many of the golf holes and some areas near the conference center. Volunteers confirmed for 2021 include Julie Tibbles and Sherri Miller along the pro shop walkway, and Sue Merryman and Mare Langel on the east side of the conference center.
On the first tee, Barb Wollner and Becky Rolfes handle the “flag side,” and Rolfes and Carolyn Koberg handle the tee side. Trish Steffen manages the landscaped area on the back tees on the second hole. Doug and Dee Eckley and Lorrie Motsick team up to keep the tee box on the third hole looking good. On the fourth hole, Shirley Stephenson manages the back tee box, Danielle Navarro does the forward tee box, and Julie and Larry Wykoff manage the landscaped area around the bathrooms near the green.
A flower bed that runs along the rail fence behind the back tees on the fifth hole was adopted this year by Bill Winkleblack. Linda Reis has taken over the forward tee box on the sixth hole this year. Darwin and Janet Luing are overseeing the back tee box on the seventh hole, and Kathy Moline handles the front tee box on that hole. Sue Greiner plants annuals each year on tee boxes on the eighth hole. Several couples have adopted the ninth hole tee box, including Mark and Deb Jorgensen, Larry and Julie Wykoff, and Gary Soreide and Mary Ellen Perkins.
Moving to the back nine, Julie Clausen has the 10th tee, Lisa Grossman and Shanell Wagler have the 11th tee and Kim Kent has the 12th tee. Barb Wollner plants flowers behind the forward tee on the 13th hole. Gary and Mary Dusenberry manage the landscaping on the 14th hole, and Carla Fitzgerald has the 15th hole. Matt and Marilyn Schultes have the 16th tee, and Dee Tometich and Deb McDermott manage the 17th tees.
Volunteers are needed to complete a cleanup of existing beds around Spikes and the swimming pool. Other areas that need a summer commitment are the Irv Gerlich Memorial area north of the conference center, the perennial bed on the pond dam on the fifth hole, and around the restroom between the 12th and 13th holes.
If you are interested in volunteering for a summer commitment to a tee box or a one-time work session with others, contact Shanell Wagler at shanell.wagler@gmail.com or 515-371-0505. 
At Panorama West, there are raised brick planters on each tee box. Volunteers for 2021 are Virgil and Barb Hoehne, first hole; Bill and Karen Eby, second hole; Lyle and Paula Hansen, third hole; Jan Reinecke, fourth hole; Trent and Sheryl Crawmer, fifth hole; Dick Ellis, sixth hole; John and Cheryl Crawmer, seventh hole; Jim and Emily Spradling, eighth hole; and Jay and Sue Merryman, ninth hole. Bob White cares for the par 4 tee box on the second hole. JoAnn Johnson planted annuals in the clubhouse flowerpots this year. Paul McCool manages the bluebird houses scattered around the course.
Maureen Lubeck, Panorama West clubhouse manager, coordinates volunteers there. Those interested in learning about 2021 opportunities can email her at mlubeck@lakepanorama.org or call the pro shop at 641-755-2250.


Posted 6/8/21
The annual fireworks display is now on a Saturday either before or after the official holiday. 

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times

This year’s annual “Fire in the Sky” display will be Saturday, July 3. This is the 26th year the Fourth of July holiday tradition has been organized by the Scheiring family. Joe Scheiring passed away in August 2014, but family members decided to continue to organize the event to honor his memory.
“The Fire in the Sky show is a family tradition, and what better way for us to honor Joe’s legacy than to continue to organize the Lake Panorama fireworks,” says Rita Scheiring, Joe’s widow. “The 2011 Fourth of July fireworks show was our last family holiday prior to Joe’s stroke. The holiday will always hold a special place in our hearts and wonderful family memories.”
Joe Scheiring moved to a Lake Panorama waterfront home north of Shady Beach in 1990. He and Rita had a small dog they named Pyro, plus Joe earned the nickname Pyro Joe, because of his fascination with fireworks.
In 1997, Joe asked the Lake Panorama Association board of directors for permission to set off a small fireworks display at Shady Beach. That location allows boats to anchor on either side of the “elbow” in front of the beach while keeping an area right in front clear. The LPA board gave its blessing, and Scheiring purchased the necessary permits and liability insurance. He drove to Missouri and brought home $850 worth of fireworks.
That first show went well, and the annual fireworks display grew steadily. Soon J&M Displays, a southeast Iowa company that supplies fireworks and licensed pyrotechnic specialists for special events, was hired to help plan and operate the annual show. Rita works with company officials to design the show.
“When Joe was alive, he would purchase fireworks in Missouri and do his own pre-show fireworks display,” Rita says. “If he was still alive, we are certain he would purchase in Iowa, now that it is legal to buy fireworks here, and continue that tradition.”
Rita moved to Polk City in 2017. Her daughter, Stephanie Hummel, and granddaughters, Maddie and Evelyn, have a home at Lake Panorama. Rita says the new tradition is for her and Stephanie to hit the switch for the first two fireworks of the show, then jump on their boat to watch the show from the lake.
The annual fireworks display used to always be on the Fourth of July, but the Scheirings heard from people who were disappointed they couldn’t attend when the holiday fell on a weekday. Now the display is on a Saturday either before or after the official holiday.
The main cleanup takes place immediately following the show, as the tubes and electronic equipment are packed up. The morning after requires additional cleanup at Shady Beach, gathering the thousands of small pieces of paper scattered there. The LPA uses its beach groomer to get the beach ready for families to use, but Rita and Stephanie also help, just as Joe did when he was alive.
“The lake has experienced so much growth, we thought the 10-year anniversary of Joe’s last year with the show was a good time to share the Fire in the Sky history,” Stephanie says. “The 4th of July holiday has always been an opportunity for families to gather and share in the experiences Lake Panorama and Panora have to offer. Generous community support and donations continue to make this one of the best fireworks displays around.”
Stephanie says, over the years, it has been a Mother’s Day weekend family tradition to mail requests for donations to LPA members.
“In the beginning, we would stuff envelopes with flyers, but now we design a postcard to be printed and simply add labels,” she says.
Donations for the 2021 Lake Panorama fireworks display can be sent to Rita Scheiring/Fire in the Sky, P.O. Box 605, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Or via Venmo at @Rita-Scheiring.


Fireworks 227383
Posted 6/8/21
The Fourth of July holiday brings two types of fireworks to Lake Panorama.
The annual “Fire in the Sky” fireworks sanctioned by the Lake Panorama Association, and put on by the Scheiring family, will be at dusk on Saturday, July 3. The fireworks will be set off from the traditional spot at Shady Beach. For safety reasons, the LPA Lake Patrol and the Iowa DNR require boats to be anchored and have running lights on during the show.
The other type of fireworks is consumer fireworks, which can be legally sold in Iowa because of a bill passed in the 2017 Iowa legislative session. In May 2017, the LPA Board of Directors passed a motion that states the LPA does not consent to the use of fireworks on LPA-owned property, such as beaches, campgrounds, parking lots, roads, the marina, golf courses and community areas.
Guests of Lake Panorama National Resort are being notified of this action. Both LPA members and guests can be found in violation of LPA rules if they use fireworks on LPA property and could be subject to a monetary fine.
LPA members also are reminded they are responsible to avoid any activity that could be declared a nuisance to their neighbors, and they are liable for any damage or injury they or their guests cause to neighbors and their property. 


Posted 6/8/21
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

Trish Hart is a local photographer who specializes in pictures of birds and other wildlife at Lake Panorama and provides a monthly nature photo for this publication.
While there is no denying Canada geese cause some problems at Lake Panorama, the sight of recently hatched goslings swimming with their parents can make even the most cynical person smile.
The Canada goose is naturally migratory throughout North America. However, populations have grown substantially in places like Lake Panorama. This problem is partially due to the removal of natural predators and an abundance of safe, human-made bodies of water near food sources.
During the second year of their lives, Canada geese find a mate. They are monogamous, and most couples stay together for life. The female lays an average of five eggs, and both parents protect the nest while the eggs incubate 24 to 32 days.
Hart says each year this pair returns to the cove where she and her husband Scott live. She named them Otis and Mable.
As soon as goslings hatch, they are able to walk, swim and find their own food. Parents are often seen leading them in a line, usually with one adult at the front, and the other at the back. Hart’s photo shows Otis and Mable are typical Canada geese parents, out for a swim with their four goslings.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. For more information, visit NaturesCanvasPhotos on Facebook. 


Posted 6/8/21
The book “Lake Panorama – The First 50 Years” will be available for purchase at the Lake Panorama 101 sessions. The LPA financed the book’s production, which was delivered to the LPA office July 19, 2019. Just over 1,000 books were printed, with less than 350 remaining in stock.
The book was authored by Susan Thompson, who will be at the LP 101 sessions to handle sales. The book’s cost is $35, which includes tax. Purchases can be made at the LP 101 events with cash or check.
The full-color, hardcover 112-page book includes both historic and contemporary photos. Book chapters describe six decades of planning and development. There also are special topic chapters on Lake Panorama’s two golf courses, infrastructure, and water quality efforts. Sidebar stories highlight various groups and activities such as the Lake Panorama ski team and Fin and Feather.
The book also can be purchased from the LPA office Monday through Friday during business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The LPA will ship books for an additional $5. Call 641-755-2301 to make arrangements.
Books also are available for direct purchase at the front desk of Lake Panorama National during daily business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Purchases can be made at the LPA and LPN via cash, check, or credit card. The book also is available at the Panora Library, with purchases cash or check only. 


Posted 6/8/21
The 2021 ballot is simply for electing three members to the LPA board of directors. 

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

The 52nd annual meeting of the Lake Panorama Association will be Saturday, June 26 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Lake Panorama National conference center. The meeting was originally scheduled for May 8 but postponed due to COVID-19 prevention measures.
Reports will be given by Mary Jane Carothers, LPA board president; Gary Evans, LPA board treasurer; and John Rutledge, LPA general manager and LPN, LLC director of operations.
An official announcement of the meeting will be sent to all LPA members in early June. Included in this mailing will be a ballot, plus a numbered envelope in which to return the ballot. Ballots must be returned in the numbered envelopes to ensure ballot authenticity. If an envelope is lost, contact the LPA office for a replacement.
LPA asks that members include ONLY their ballot in the ballot envelope. Do not use these special envelopes for other purposes, such as paying water bills.
There are no issues this year that require a special vote. The 2021 ballot is simply for electing three members to the LPA board of directors.
Members are asked to deliver or mail their completed ballot in the numbered envelope to the LPA office before Friday, June 25. Ballot envelopes can be deposited in the tan drop box near the LPA office at any time. This delivery deadline allows the majority of the ballots to be counted in advance of the annual meeting. Ballots also can be brought to the annual meeting.
Three people are running for three seats on the LPA seven-member board. Both Emily Donovan and Rich Schumacher are completing their first, three-year terms on the board, and are running for a second term. Julie Fulton is seeking a first term on the board. The LPA will distribute a special email to members in early June that includes additional information on the candidates.
The director elected with the third-most votes will complete the unexpired term of the late Neil Wright, who was elected in 2019 and resigned because of health reasons in July 2020. Wright’s seat was temporarily filled by the appointment of Larry Babcock. The remaining year of this term will end in May 2022.
The results of the annual election for the LPA board of directors will be announced at the end of the meeting, plus there will be time for audience questions and comments.
Newly elected board members normally begin their terms at the May board meeting, but instead will do this at the June 29 board meeting, three days after the annual meeting.

Manage mosquitoes to better enjoy your outdoor space 

Posted 6/8/21
Using a combination of mosquito-managing tactics will allow you to enjoy and benefit from your time outdoors. 

By Melinda Myers

Dine, play and enjoy your outdoor spaces more than ever this year by managing annoying and disease-spreading mosquitoes. Use a multifaceted approach to boost your enjoyment and help keep mosquitoes away.
 Plan your outdoor activities when mosquitoes are less active. Females are the ones looking for a blood meal and are most active at dusk and dawn when looking for warmth and food.
 Screened-in porches add a layer of protection but only when they are intact and properly sealed. The same applies to your home. Check screens and seals around doors and windows to help keep these pests from entering your home.
 Use bug lights in light fixtures by entryways and in outdoor entertainment spaces. These emit yellow light that is not as attractive to mosquitoes and other insects. Bug lights will not eliminate every unwanted insect but will reduce the number visiting your lights at night and finding their way into your home.
 Enhance the ambience and reduce mosquito issues when entertaining outdoors. Use a fan to create a cooler space and keep these weak flyers away. Provide fragrant subtle lighting with citronella oil and scented candles. Scatter them throughout the area and within a few feet of the guests for short-term relief.
 Reduce the overall mosquito population in your yard by eliminating their breeding grounds. Empty water that collects in items left outside. Change the water in your birdbath at least weekly or whenever you water your container gardens. Add a bubbler or pump to keep water moving in fountains and ponds so mosquito larvae cannot survive.
 Toss an organic mosquito control like Mosquito Dunks and Bits in your rain barrel, pond or other water feature. Mosquito Bits quickly knock down the mosquito larval population, while the Mosquito Dunks provide 30 days of control. The active ingredient is Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, a naturally occurring soil bacterium that kills the mosquito larvae but is safe for children, fish, pets, beneficial insects and wildlife.
 Keep your landscape looking its best by managing weeds and grooming neglected gardens. This eliminates some of the resting spaces for hungry adult mosquitoes.
Always protect yourself whenever outdoors. Cover as much of your skin as possible with loose fitting, light colored clothing. Mosquitoes are less attracted to the lighter colors and cannot readily reach your skin through loose clothing.
Further protect yourself by using a personal repellent approved by the EPA. For those looking for DEET-free options, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has approved products with the active ingredient picaridin, IR3535, and the synthetic oil of lemon and eucalyptus. Check the label for a list of active ingredients and safety recommendations when shopping for mosquito repellents. Avoid products that contain both sunscreen and insect repellent since you need to apply sunscreen more often than the repellent.
Spending more time outdoors is good for our mind, body and spirit. Using a combination of mosquito-managing tactics will allow you to enjoy and benefit from your time outdoors. n
Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series  and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Summit for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ web site is  www.melindamyers.com.

Orientation sessions planned for new Lake Panorama owners

Posted 6/8/21
Topics covered will be the Lake Panorama Association, Lake Panorama National, perks and amenities available to LPA members, and resources for learning more and getting involved. 

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

The Lake Panorama community changes each month, with people who have been here for a few years, or a few decades, selling their property. New people buy that property and then find themselves with lots of questions.
In 2019, a few people who have been through this process started to think there should be an organized way to welcome new property owners to Lake Panorama. The result is a new program titled “Lake Panorama 101.”
Two sessions originally were planned in 2020 but had to be canceled because of concerns about COVID-19. Now the group has set two new dates for these informational sessions.
The first will be Friday, June 18, 5-6 p.m. The second will be Saturday, Aug. 14, 10-11 a.m. Both meetings will last one hour and be held in the dining room at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center.
Topics covered will be the Lake Panorama Association, Lake Panorama National, perks and amenities available to LPA members, and resources for learning more and getting involved. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.
Refreshments will be available. Special invitations are being mailed to new property owners who have purchased at Lake Panorama within the last 18 months. However, the Lake Panorama 101 sessions aren’t limited just to those who receive invitations or who are new property owners. Any LPA member interested is welcome to attend.
One of the organizers is Sue Merryman, who moved to Lake Panorama with her husband Jay more than six years ago.
“We did not know one person here,” Merryman says. “We just wanted a large private lake, big enough for skiing, and within an hour of Des Moines and Ames. We had no idea what the Lake Panorama Association had to offer. I like to exercise and play bridge, but I had to search that out. After that it was a domino effect for me, and I was lucky to have a good neighbor who gave me some information. I would have loved attending one of these meetings.”
Merryman now serves on the Lake Panorama National board of managers and is in her second year as president of the Panorama West women’s golf league.
Julie Wykoff, who served on the LPN board of managers for a time, will be the main presenter at the orientation sessions.
“We were part-timers when we first bought here,” Wykoff says. “It took us a long time to figure out how things worked. I continue to meet people who feel the same way, or don’t know about some great feature of our community. It’s my hope that anyone who attends this session will have a better understanding of what a great decision they made when they chose Lake Panorama.”
Those planning to attend one of the Lake Panorama 101 sessions are asked to RSVP by calling the LPN front desk during daytime business hours at 641-755-2080.

June 2021 offers a brighter outlook than June 2020, but 2021 is not without its own challenges.

Posted 6/8/21
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

In this month’s Q&A, John Rutledge, LPA general manager and LPN, LLC director of operations, provides an overview on several topics of interest to LPA members.

Q: How has the 2020-2021 drought impacted Lake Panorama?
A: Despite recent rains, Lake Panorama and its watershed remain very dry. Lake Panorama’s water level was normal as of Memorial Day, but that cannot be guaranteed throughout the entirety of the 2021 summer. We are entering the 2021 summer with the continued impact of drought conditions and the ground has an unseasonably high “carrying capacity” for the summer rains our watershed does receive.
LPA will do everything we can to maintain a full pool level for lake users, but it is not unreasonable to think the lake level could drop by a few inches over the course of the 2021 summer. Boaters will need to be especially cautious as the summer progresses. Please remember hazard buoys do not mark a single, pinpoint area of concern. Instead, hazard buoys mark a general area of concern that should be given a wide berth by boaters.

Q. What can you tell us about the LPA water plant?
A. LPA’s contractors are essentially finished with the water plant project. A few minor items are being wrapped up, but the improvements are otherwise completed. I’m happy to report this was a successful capital project with no major challenges being experienced during the construction process.
From a technical standpoint, all aspects of the plant are performing as expected. We value all the positive and supportive member comments about our greatly improved water quality. We recognize this was a substantial investment and appreciate the trust the LPA membership placed in the board of directors and staff to proceed with this course of action. This investment will serve our community for decades into the future.

Q. 2021 is proving to be a much different year than 2020. What opportunities and challenges does this dynamic present to Lake Panorama?
A. I think I speak for most people when I say June 2021 offers a brighter outlook than we experienced in June 2020. But 2021 is not without its own challenges.
Property values are on a steep climb upwards, and home listings rarely last very long. This is a good dynamic for sellers, but buyers are forced to act quickly or risk losing an opportunity. This can create a situation in which buyers have time to focus only on the major components of their due diligence and are subsequently surprised by the fine print of LPA’s building codes, boat length regulations or home rental rules. LPA encourages all prospective buyers to become familiar with BOTH the property they are buying AND the Covenants, By-Laws and Rules/Regulations of the association.
2021 also has caused widespread availability challenges and price inflation on everything from building materials to mechanical parts. Members are encouraged to understand much of this is beyond the control of local vendors, who are doing their best to operate in this unprecedented environment.
For example, both Coulter’s Panorama Marine and Lake Panorama Barge have advised boat lifts and associated repair parts are in short supply, and prices are on the way upward. Boat and lift prices are projected to be up 20 percent higher this year, with parts and accessories increasing by 30 percent. Boat trailers are up as much as 45 percent.

Q. How is LPA doing with regards to invasive species?
A. LPA places an extremely high priority on invasive species prevention. We installed a 24-hour security camera at the marina and are able to track any boats that come and go after hours. We are pleased to report this has not unveiled any problems or concerns, but we will continue to monitor this carefully.
The scarcity of boat lifts has caused members to make purchases on the used market. LPA’s rules on this topic are scheduled for review by the LPA water safety committee at their June 2021 meeting. Members should know they are strictly prohibited from bringing any water-related equipment (docks/lifts) to Lake Panorama without first having these inspected by LPA security and following a quarantine period.
LPA performs an annual test of our waters for Zebra Mussel veligers. This test theoretically will provide LPA advance notice of one to three years if Zebra Mussels ever make their way into the lake. The 2020 test confirmed no presence of Zebra Mussel veligers in Lake Panorama. The 2021 test will be performed later this summer.

Q. Final thoughts?
A. I want to recognize Friends of Lake Panorama for their continued efforts to enhance LPA’s three beaches. In the last year, Friends of Lake Panorama and their donors have funded playground additions and new benches at all three beaches. If you have not yet had the opportunity to see this for yourself, I suggest a tour of the beach facilities to experience all of the good things happening. Thanks to Friends of Lake Panorama, their many donors and the LPA maintenance staff for pulling together to make these improvements possible.
I also encourage those interested in additional recreational amenities to consider attending the Friends of Lake Panorama Beach Ball, which will be Friday, July 30 at the Lake Panorama National resort. Donated items for both silent and live auctions are being sought, and seats still are available but are filling up. Funds raised this year will support the dog park, swings at Sunset Beach, and signs and benches for an existing trail near the Panorama West golf course. For more information, email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org

Two new benches honor long-time Lake Panorama resident

Posted 6/8/21
Courtney P. Allen Sr. had a long history at Lake Panorama. 

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times 

Courtney P. Allen Sr. passed away Oct. 11, 2020. Three days later, a Celebration of Life gathering was held at the Panorama West clubhouse. Burial of his cremains was Oct. 19 at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter.
Allen had a long history at Lake Panorama. He was a stockholder in Mid-Iowa Lakes in about 1965, bought his first lot in 1969, and traded it in 1971 for the one near Sunset Beach where he and his wife Dilma built a home in 1980. They moved to Lake Panorama permanently in 1984.
After his death, many Lake Panorama friends donated money for a future memorial. That money was used to provide two new benches honoring Allen — one at the Panorama West golf course, another at Sunset Beach.
The bench at Panorama West is located on the ninth tee box. The granite bench is engraved with these words: “Golf is a beautiful walk spoiled by a little white ball.”
Courtney Allen Jr., who moved to the Allen home at Lake Panorama more than a year ago to help his parents, says much of the financial support for this bench came from Courtney’s golfing buddies at Panorama West.
“He loved and so looked forward to his Thursday morning league play, and any other chance he had to play a round of golf,” Allen Jr. says.
Allen Sr. turned 93 on June 25, 2020, which was a Thursday. He said at the time he thought it would be fun to have a party for himself with his best friends. He celebrated with the Panorama West Thursday morning men’s golf league by throwing a surprise party for himself. He brought pastry items for league members, then paid for ice cream, candy and drinks for anyone else who played at Panorama West that day.
“One consolation for our loss is that he enjoyed a life well-lived,” says Allen Jr. “We placed that bench on the golf course so his memory and presence can live on to celebrate his full life of love, laughter and kindness.”
A dedication of the bench at Sunset Beach was held May 25 with friends from the neighborhood attending. Courtney Allen Jr. said his father “wasn’t all about himself. He was about everyone else.” He handed helium-filled balloons to several people in the crowd.
Dilma Allen, sitting on the new bench, was the first to release her balloon. Allen Jr. then called on others, one at a time, to release theirs.
“It’s each of you, and the people you represent, who make the Lake Panorama community what it is today,” he said.
Several in attendance told stories about their connections to Courtney Allen Sr. There were nods of agreement when one person said,“They broke the mold when they made Courtney.”
The bench at Sunset Beach is positioned near a small jetty of land protecting the beach area and was chosen because Courtney Allen Sr. loved to sit and watch the lake, especially at sunset. The memorial plaque on the bench calls Allen “One of Lake Panorama’s First Friends” because of the many friends he had and his long-time involvement in the community.
The Panora and Lake Panorama Area Economic Development Group, known as PRIDE, met in person at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center on June 3 after a year of video conferencing due to COVID-19 restrictions.  

PRIDE group meets in person again

Posted 6/8/21
The Panora and Lake Panorama Area Economic Development Group, known as PRIDE, met in person at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center on June 3 after a year of video conferencing due to COVID-19 restrictions.  


Posted 6/8/21
After hearing three presentations, the group announced a lump sum of $10,500 to be presented to St. Thomas More Center. 

The 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County held their second quarter meeting both live and with the option of virtual attendance and voting. Three worthy organizations were presented to the group.
First, Kristen Crouthamel spoke on the Guthrie Center Revitalization Group, a 501(c)3 whose current project is rehabilitating and renovating the Williams Building in Guthrie Center.
Next, Laura Robson presented for the Guthrie County 4H Foundation. The Guthrie County 4H Foundation is the 501(c)3 fundraising arm that helps the local 4H youth with their current projects and goals such as improvements to the 4H Horse Barn and a Social Media Photo Backdrop at the static exhibits building at the County Fair.
Last but not least, Kim Patrick spoke on behalf of the St Thomas More Center. After hearing all three presentations, the group announced a lump sum of $10,500 to be presented to St. Thomas More Center. This consists of 10 Squared Women member donations and several employer matches. The group expects more member donations and matches to come in as well.
During the summer, the St. Thomas More Center is home to Catholic Youth Camp in Panora but accepts all campers, regardless of religious beliefs. The Camp is an oasis for young people to leave behind the difficulties of life to discover adventure, community and true joy. The center combines dynamic spirituality with the fun and activities of camp. Every day features adventure activities that are designed to challenge campers and create memories. The team at CYC is committed to making the summer camp experience available to all families through their robust sponsorship program. Every year the center dedicates $30,000 of its operating budget to sponsorships, and no child is turned away.
During the year, the St. Thomas More Center hosts more than 30 retreats and events from September to May. These events include many day-long leadership and confidence building retreats for middle and high school students. Other groups that commonly use the facility are the boy scouts, bereavement retreats, addiction therapy groups, Hispanic youth ministry teams and young adult groups. When the conservation center at Springbrook closed, the St. Thomas More Center worked to fill the void and provide outdoor education opportunities for school groups.
The center welcomes the chance to serve the county. They encourage participants to patronize local businesses and be active in our communities. They have paid staff positions along with volunteer and community service opportunities that our county residents benefit from.
The donation from 10 Squared Women will pay to get water run to the “big field” — an area containing a confidence course, zipline, crate stacking and high ropes as part of an outdoor education and activity area. Many activities go on there, and a source of water will help not only avoid dehydration but also open opportunities for outdoor science experiments and art projects during retreats.
The St. Thomas More Center Executive Director, Alex Kautzky, along with the staff and board of directors expressed their sincere gratitude to the 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County for their generosity.
“Ever since we purchased the Center in 1983, this is a project that has needed to be done,” said Kautzky. “You have stood in the gap between what we could have done on our own and what we needed to do to move our mission forward. So many people will be blessed by this gift. Thank you.”
The 10 Squared Women’s group holds meetings quarterly at Lake Panorama Conference Center the fourth Tuesday in February, May, August and November, subject to change. Upcoming meeting dates are Tuesday, Aug. 24 and Tuesday, Nov. 16 (held a week earlier due to Thanksgiving). Members in attendance hear from three nominated organizations, drawn from “the hat” of member-nominated organizations at random, and vote on the winning cause that night.
10 Squared Women is focused on helping and donating to local organizations that vow to put those charitable funds to work right in our back yards. The funds are used in various projects to benefit Guthrie County community’s residents.
The group currently has approximately 96 members and 22 organizations nominated. They strongly encourage additional philanthropic organizations and new members to come forward. Since 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County was formed in January 2017, they have contributed more than $196,000 toward various causes in the county. These have included Cities of Yale and Jamaica park improvements, City of Bagley (Library project), Daycare & Preschool programs in Adair and Guthrie Center (KidZone) and Panora (Little Panther), Guthrie Center and Panora Fire Departments, School Backpack programs a AC/GC, West Central Valley and Panorama, as well as programs that benefit residents from all corners of Guthrie County: Guthrie County Helping Hands (habitat for humanity projects in Stuart, Casey, Guthrie Center, Adair, Panora, Yale, Menlo, Jamaica, and Bagley), New Opportunities, Panora P.E.T.S., Guthrie Activity Center, Tori’s Angels Foundation, Guthrie County Sheriff’s Chaplains, Guthrie County Historical Village Foundation, Guthrie County Hospital Foundation, Guthrie County Arts Council, and now, St. Thomas More Center.
10 Squared Women members are encouraged to talk to their friends, neighbors and family about the group and to share the group within their social circles. Members are not required to attend meetings, however, in order for their vote to count, they must be in attendance at the live meeting or virtually. All members are expected to write their donation checks whether they can attend the meeting and vote or not.
The group is continually looking for new members who are excited about helping their communities and Guthrie County. To learn how to get involved, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/10squaredwomengc, or email 10squaredgc@gmail.com. Membership Forms and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on their Facebook page or by contacting them through Facebook or email. 


By Cheryl Temple 
Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 6/8/21

Meet Scotch, a chocolate and white Border Collie. Scotch is almost 9 months old. She splits her time between the family’s farm in northwest Iowa and here in the narrows. Her family is the Ortners — Jillian, Steve, Wesley and Posey. Being new on the lake, Scotch is not so sure of the water. She barks at the waves. In the winter, she enjoyed walks, and she has made friends just down the lake. She enjoys chasing birds, ice cream, Frisbees and balls. Her pet peeves are the heating and cooling vents and hearing dogs bark on podcasts on the drive to the lake, when she barks back at them. Scotch has been a great fit for the Ortner family, and they are enjoying watching her grow.

Little Bit is a 2-year-old Calico. Her owners are Deb and Rich Grunsted. She entertains with her crazy antics, like trying to stalk deer and chase bugs. She also enjoyes sitting in the woods and looking for creatures.  Her pet peeves are closed doors, and she lets everyone know it with loud and vocal meows. 

Lake Panorama Association Board of Directors Meeting
April 27, 2021
Lake Panorama Association

Posted 6/8/21
The Lake Panorama Association Board of Directors met April 27, 2021, at 5 p.m. at Lake Panorama National Conference Center. Board members in attendance were Larry Babcock, Mary Jane Carothers, Emily Donovan, Gary Evans, David Finneseth, Rich Schumacher and Jim Spradling.
LPA Staff in attendance: Danna Krambeer, Corey Larsen, Lane Rumelhart and John Rutledge.
Visitors in attendance: Gary and Mary Dusenberry, Lori Whiton-Damron, Kay Kjergaard, Paul Mueller, Paul Nagel, Howard Natzel, Mark Reese, members, and Julie Fulton, BOD candidate/member.
President Carothers called the meeting to order at 5 p.m.
Agenda Item 1 – Approval of the Agenda – 
Schumacher moved to approve the agenda. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Agenda Item 2 – Open Forum – Gary & Mary Dusenberry, Lori Whiton-Damron, Kay Kjergaard, Paul Nagel, Howard Natzel, Mark Reese.  
Dusenberry spoke on behalf of the group concerned about the Panorama Drive / Bean Bend intersection, pointing out safety issues with increased traffic and walkers in this area. There is also increased housing starts in this area and this has added to increased traffic. Possible solutions offered were – a three-way stop sign and / or speed bumps. Mark Reese asked if there was a possibility of striping lines on the road. Rutledge also read an email from Galen Redshaw that recapped the same concerns regarding safety in this area.
Carothers moved to agenda 4a.
Agenda Item 4a – Intersection of Bean Bend and Panorama Drive    
Rutledge advised the board the LPA management team had reviewed the concerns and agrees the intersection of Bean Bend and Panorama Drive is worthy of further study. Since 2018, five homes have been built on the north of Bean Bend. (Two of these were 2018 construction, while three are currently under construction.) The increased amount of traffic and development in this area has generated consistent concerns from the neighborhood.
Rutledge noted LPA does not employ staff who are professionally qualified to study this intersection from an engineering standpoint. Rutledge presented a proposal for review by Shive Hattery Engineers and recommended the board authorize Shive Hattery to proceed.
The Board asked several questions of the members present and discussed options on how to proceed with a study of this area.
Spradling moved to approve authorization for the immediate hire of Shive Hattery for the formal study of the Panorama Drive and Bean Bend intersection. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Agenda Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Donovan moved to approve the consent agenda. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Consent agenda to include:
a) LPA General Manager’s Report
b) Approval of minutes from 03.23.2021 LPA Board Meeting
c) Acceptance of 03.31.2021 consolidated financial report – LPA & LPN, LLC
d) Set date for next board meeting – 05.25.2021
e) Accept minutes from 03.22.2021 LPN LLC Board of Managers meeting
f) Accept minutes form 04.12.2021 Building Codes Committee Meeting
Agenda Item 4b – Variance Request – Lot 6005, Roof Pitch Variance Request
Excerpt from the Building Codes Committee minutes:
Mark Main with Mainbuilt Construction requested a variance for a 4/12 roof pitch on a new home at 4643 Panorama Drive (lot 6005). The committee reviewed the plans for the home. Based on the fact that the proposed home met all other requirements, held aesthetic integrity of LPA, and was similar to many previous requests, Brown made a motion to grant the request. Evans seconded, and the request was unanimously approved.
Donovan moved to approve variance for a 4/12 roof pitch for new home construction, per the plans submitted, lot 6005, 4643 Panorama Drive. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Agenda Item 4c – Variance Request – Lot 854, Roof Pitch Variance Request 
Excerpt from the Building Code Committee minutes:
Emily Stevens from 6010 Dougan Drive (lot 854) requested a variance for a 1/12 roof pitch on a proposed new home. The committee reviewed the plans for the home. Based on the fact that the proposed home met all other requirements, held aesthetic integrity of LPA, and was similar to many previous requests, Powell made a motion to grant the request. Miller seconded, and the request was unanimously approved.
Evans moved to approve variance for a 1/12 roof pitch for new home construction, per the plans submitted, lot 854, 6010 Dougan Drive. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Agenda Item 4d – Variance Request – Detached Garage Variance Request, Boulder Cove Condo Association
Excerpt from the Building Code Committee minutes:
Brian Harper and Heather Soener of Boulder Cove Homeowner’s Association requested a variance to build a pole-built detached garage instead of a stick-built detached garage, and a variance to build a detached garage with an exterior that would not match the existing dwellings on lot 9006. Westercamp led the discussion by starting with the pole-built construction request. Westercamp asked Harper and Soener why they preferred a pole-built over stick-built structure. Harper explained this style of building would save the association money. Westercamp noted that no variance has ever been granted for the sole purpose of saving money. Miller added that pole buildings are built in agricultural related communities, and Lake Panorama is a residential community. With no further discussion, Miller made a motion to deny the request for a pole-built detached garage. Brown seconded, and the request was unanimously denied.
Brown asked Harper why the garage needed an exterior that would not match the existing condo units. Harper explained the condos were built with a very light colored, vinyl siding. Harper and Soener worry that light colored siding would make the building stick out and become covered in scum, as it is going to be built in a very wooded and shaded area. Harper also mentioned the closest condo would sit at least 80 feet away from the garage. Soener had a color that resembled a dark brown chosen and showed the committee. After further review of the color, Brown made a motion to accept the request to allow the detached garage to be built with a color previously approved by the committee that resembled an earth tone shade to help the building remain aesthetically pleasing. Gebard seconded, and motion carried unanimously.
Evans moved to confirm the request for a pole building detached garage was denied and moved to approve variance request for the color of the stick-built detached garage to be an earth tone shade for the Boulder Cove Condo Association, variance granted based on the location distance from the other units. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Agenda Item 4e – Land Sales Submission Deadline and other feedback from Land Sales Committee
The Land Sales Committee met in-person on April 20. The group appreciated the feedback from the LPA board of directors and remains on-track with their efforts to review all offers. Two items of note resulted from that meeting:
1. The $20k minimum lot price was in-line with their viewpoint, although they noted many lots will exceed the bare minimum value. The board can expect the committee’s recommendation to frequently be above $20k for any buildable properties.
2. The committee and LPA staff recommend a submission date of the 10th of each month for offers. The committee will then strive to have their feedback returned to LPA management by the 15th of the month. This will provide time for LPA management to convey a counteroffer and include the materials in the monthly LPA board packet.
Finneseth moved to establish a monthly cutoff date of the 10th of the month for lot purchase offers. Offers received after the 10th of the month will be processed the following month. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Agenda Item 4f – Adjustment to LPA Fine Schedule – Include removal costs of brush dump violations. (No verbiage was deleted. Italicized verbiage added re: 8.01 Brush and Tree Disposal.)

LPA Schedule of Fines
Lake Panorama Association

Rules and Regulations Schedule of Fines
8.01 Brush and Tree Disposal
1st Offense $100
2nd Offense $250
3rd Offense $500
In addition to the above listed fines, the cost of removing any improperly disposed materials will be the responsibility of the member and may be assessed to the member by LPA.
Schumacher moved to include removal costs of brush dump violation to be assessed to the member to the fines schedule. Motion seconded, carried unanimously.
Agenda Item 5 – Old Business
Rutledge updated the board on Friends projects that are being researched. Walking trails is one of the topics being considered.
Agenda Item 6 – Closed Session – The board entered closed session at 5:59 p.m. to discuss legal matters. Board existed closed session at 6:33 p.m.
Agenda Item 7 – Other Business - None
Adjourn - With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:34 p.m.  n


Annual festival set for Aug. 6-8.

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 5/11/21

Like so many other special events planned for 2020, Panorama Days was cancelled last year because of COVID-19 concerns. This annual celebration is organized by the Panora Chamber, which recently announced Panorama Days will return for 2021.
The dates are Aug. 6-8. Plans for this year’s festivities are being led by Panora Chamber board members Marla Hammer and Dale Hochreiter. Several committees have been formed with other Chamber members helping organize specific events.
Old favorites such as the Friday night fireworks sponsored by the Lake Panorama Association and the Saturday morning parade will be joined by new activities. Plans are evolving so check the Chamber’s Facebook page and panorachamber.org website to keep up to date as events are added to the schedule.
Panorama Days is expensive to put on, because many of the activities are free or low-cost. To help raise money, the Panora Chamber sponsored a golf tournament May 2 at Lake Panorama National. A total of 28 teams competed in the four-person, best-shot event. Hole sponsors and the sale of mulligans helped make the tournament a fundraising success.
Direct donations to Panorama Days are welcomed. Donations can be sent by check to P.O. Box 73, Panora, Iowa, 50216 and should be marked as a Panorama Days donation. Donations also can be made electronically using Venmo@panora-chamber.
Besides Panorama Days, the Panora Chamber is busy with several other projects. In an effort to bring more attention to Panora’s business district, three new signs have been ordered and will be erected on roads leading into town. The City of Panora, PRIDE and donations from five Chamber businesses are paying for the three signs.
A four-page insert that features information on the more than 80 members of the Panora Chamber is being developed by Big Green Umbrella Media. It will be the center four pages in the Guthrie County Guide, which will be mailed June 3 to all Guthrie County residents. While promotions often are geared to bringing in out-of-town visitors, this is an effort to better familiarize Guthrie County residents with Panora businesses.
A new website also is in the works. The goal of the site is to enhance content, while adding features that allow site visitors to interact more easily with the Panora Chamber. The new site will make it possible to do such things as buy the Chamber’s annual “Be Local” discount cards and register and pay for the annual golf tournament online. 

Boulder Beach playground now open

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 5/11/21

New play equipment at Boulder Beach was delivered and installed the third week of April. Two days later, LPA maintenance staff removed the orange fencing and added mulch to the playground areas, which now are open for business.
Two larger pieces in the existing playground remain, and have been joined by two spring riders — a two-seater bumblebee and a single-seat frog. A new playground footprint to the south includes three swings, a multi-faceted play set that features two slides, the Big Kahuna fish climber, and several other pieces of climbing equipment geared to older kids.
Friends of Lake Panorama raised $70,000 to purchase new play equipment for both Shady and Boulder Beaches. The new playground at Shady Beach opened last October. It features a multi-faceted play set with two slides, three swings and a two-seater bumblebee spring rider. Signs recognizing all donors of $500 or more will be added to the playgrounds this summer.

Volunteers handle spring cleanup at Panorama West

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 5/11/21

About 20 volunteers arrived at the Panorama West Clubhouse at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday in April with gloves, rakes, clippers and more. Their goal was to complete a spring cleaning of the landscaped areas surrounding the golf course’s clubhouse in one hour. Goal accomplished.
JoAnn Johnson organized the volunteer group, making suggestions on what small teams of three to four people could do in each section. One group cleaned the nearby rain garden, which was installed in 2017 as a Friends of Lake Panorama project. The rain garden catches water runoff from the clubhouse parking lot. Native plants in the garden use the water and filter out pollutants, before the water percolates down through the soil.
Two other groups worked their way around the clubhouse perimeter, cleaning out leaves and trimming back shrubs and rosebushes. Others cut back overgrown evergreens that blocked more than half of the Panorama West sign south of the clubhouse. Two small landscaped areas at the corners of the approach to the clubhouse were cleaned, fertilized and mulched, in preparation for new flowers to be planted when warmer temperatures arrive. 

LPN swimming pool to open Memorial Day weekend

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 5/11/21

Lake Panorama National is targeting a Memorial Day weekend opening for its swimming pool. Once open, public swimming will be available starting at 10:30 a.m. seven days a week. Plans are to have the pool remain open until Sept. 30.
All members and guests of the swimming pool must check in at the LPN pro shop counter where they will sign in and pay their daily fee, if they do not have an annual pool membership. After checking in, everyone will be given a wristband to wear in the pool area.
A variety of annual membership categories are available including single, couple, family and grandparent. Memberships are available to LPA property owners starting at $125 for a single, $150 for a couple and $175 for a family. A fourth membership category is available to adults 55 and older with grandchildren up to the age of 12. Grandparent memberships are $225.
Non-LPA members also can purchase annual memberships in the same categories for an additional $15 for any of the four memberships.
The pool membership form is available online and can be mailed or dropped off with payment to the LPN. The form is here: https://lpnresort.com/36kV7e5

Property value assessments increase – here’s why

Total assessed value of all Lake Panorama property in 2020 was $490 million. The 2021 valuations are projected to exceed $550 million. 

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 5/11/21

In early April, all Guthrie County property owners received an envelope from Nikki Carrick, the Guthrie County Assessor. In it was a statement showing the 2021 assessed value of their property, plus the 2020 value for comparison.
Since property value assessments are based on actual sales in the past year, and there have been more sales in all sectors across Guthrie County, more property owners saw an increase in their 2021 assessments.
“Across Guthrie County, we had more sales in 2020 than most years, and sales prices have been higher,” Carrick says. “We’re in a very interesting real estate market right now, something that couldn’t have been predicted.”
Iowa law requires all property to be revalued every two years to reflect changes in market value and to keep up with market trends. The assessed value shown in the assessment notice Guthrie County property owners received represents the value of their property as of Jan. 1, 2021.
Carrick says all sales information for Guthrie County is sent to the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) every year.
“This year, many residential property owners may see an increase in their property value because the median of all residential sales is not within tolerance with the IDR,” she says. “Many of the properties that were sold in 2020 went for significantly higher prices than the last assessed value. These high sales prices in 2020 are driving up the 2021 assessed values.”
If a county assessor does not increase or decrease property values as indicated by the market, the IDR will make these changes by issuing an equalization order and direct the county auditor to apply the order.
“Equalization orders are given in lump percentages straight across the board, countywide,” says Carrick. “That could mean some towns or townships or neighborhoods could increase or decrease in value without the necessary sales to support that change.”
Carrick says property owners should ask themselves if they could sell their property for the amount of the 2021 assessment.
“If the answer is yes, then the value probably is correct,” Carrick says. The new values are the first step in the calculation for property taxes payable in the fall of 2022 and the spring of 2023.
At Lake Panorama, the total assessed value of all property in 2020 was $490 million. The 2021 valuations are projected to exceed $550 million.
Carrick says total residential values at Lake Panorama increased about 13 percent from 2020 to 2021. Diamondhead Lake property increased around 16 percent. Stuart residential property was up about 12 percent, with Panora at 9 percent and Guthrie Center about 7.8 percent.
John Rutledge, LPA general manager, says, for many property owners, the increase in valuation is simply an accurate reflection of exploding market values.
“We’re on the cusp of across-the-board inflation, which is especially evident in the categories of real estate, building costs and recreational items, such as boats,” Rutledge says. “The assessor’s sales ratio is really relevant. They are largely handcuffed to stay between 95 percent and 105 percent. If they have a house valued at $400,000 and it sells for anything outside the $380,000 to $420,000 window, then it is outside of IDR tolerance.”
 Rutledge says he considers property growth a sign the Lake Panorama community continues to appeal to buyers.
“I would be losing sleep if our valuation was dropping by large percentages every year. Property values are increasing in general, and we’re not immune to that,” he says. “In fact, the pandemic has driven up the desirability of developments like LPA because more people worked from home, had no travel options, and found the lake provided a great opportunity to weather the COVID-19 storm.”
Julie Wykoff, Lake Panorama Realty Broker, closely follows the selling prices of area properties. One of the things she notes is the trend of properties selling for more than the assessed value has been fairly consistent across various property types — waterfront, off-water and City of Panora properties.
“While the strong market is driving high sales prices, buyers are concerned about overpaying for properties, especially when financing their purchase,” Wykoff says.
One encouraging trend noted by Wykoff is that home inventory is starting to increase in May.
“It’s great to see more properties coming on the market, and we continue to see a steady stream of buyers,” she says. “My advice to anyone who has plans to sell their property in the next couple of years is to consider accelerating their timeline and listing now to take advantage of the great market.”
Dave Wagler, Sunset Realty Broker, says, in recent months, there have been as few as two homes for sale in the Lake Panorama subdivision at any one time.
“Vacant lots, both waterfront and offshore, have had limited availability as well,” he says. “Looking at Lake Panorama sales over the last five years, there have been an average of 39 waterfront home sales, eight waterfront condo sales, 18 offshore home sales, and 10 offshore condo/townhome sales per year.”
For those planning to sell, Wagler says pricing your home at market value is still important, even in a seller’s market. That’s because, ultimately, buyers determine the market value, by what they are willing to pay for a property.
“We are finding homes that are priced closer to market value are selling within days to just a few weeks, sometimes with multiple offers,” says Laura Kemble, Sunset Realty Broker Associate. “We are seeing an increase in average sales price for all properties over the last couple of years. Real estate analysts are predicting this trend will continue throughout 2021, perhaps leveling out somewhat. When prices will begin to ‘normalize’ is anyone’s guess.”
 Kemble says property owners should consider the help of a real estate professional to maximize their return.
“Realtors can help negotiate a higher price, on average, handle any multiple offers, coordinate inspections and handle challenging situations,” she says. “Realtors are the buffer between buyers and sellers in addition to having market knowledge that will help a home sale go smoothly.” 

Registration opens for July 30 Beach Ball

New this year is the formation of the Friends Beach Club. 

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 5/11/21

On April 29, the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) received bids and held a public hearing on a project planned for Burchfield Cove this summer. The project involves modifying the silt basin immediately downstream of the Burchfield Bridge to accommodate long-reach excavator access and rip rap some bare shoreline. JNC Construction, Clearfield, Iowa, had the winning bid of $269,338.50.
Lake Panorama RIZ hired engineering firm Shive-Hattery to put plans together to have a contractor rip rap the entire west shoreline of the old silt basin. The contractor also will dig out a pit running parallel to the channel for long-stick excavation to keep the channel dredged out.
The old sediment basin is located on the west side of the channel between Panorama Drive and the stream that flows into Burchfield Cove. About 1,700 feet of rip rap will be added to the west shoreline.
The pit the contractor will create parallel to the channel is where the material dredged with the long stick excavator will be placed.
John Rutledge, LPA general manager, says this project will ensure the Burchfield Creek channel remains accessible and serviceable into the future.
“LPA crews previously have used a long-reach excavator to dig sediment from this area,” Rutledge says. “However, our access has always been uncomfortably tight for this size of equipment, and our ability to effectively dewater sediment has been marginal. These improvements will create a safer and more accessible bench for the excavator, while also improving LPA’s ability to dewater the removed sediment.”
Work is expected to begin mid-summer and take about two weeks. The project should not impact nearby property owners or boaters.

2021 boating season brings improved buoy visibility 

New stickers are vinyl wraps that have been placed around the top of the older buoys.

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times
Posted 5/11/21

During the summer boating season, 85 buoys are scattered across Lake Panorama. Each is marked with important information to help keep boaters safe, while following rules established by the Lake Panorama Association. For instance, most coves and the marina feature “no wake” buoys. Some coves also have areas where there are 10-mph speed limit buoys.
“No Boats” buoys are posted near the debris trap at the north end of the lake and beside swimming areas at the three beaches. Buoys warn of underwater hazards in numerous areas. There also are warning buoys near the dam, center buoys reminding boaters to stay to the right, and buoys that mark the area where the Lake Panorama ski team practices.
A member survey was conducted by the LPA last fall to gather input on how to improve water safety on Lake Panorama. There were 515 respondents to the survey, with 97 percent of those saying they participate in some sort of water recreation on Lake Panorama.
Sometimes boaters are on “auto-pilot” because they have a longstanding familiarity with the lake, or sometimes people driving boats or personal water crafts simply disregard the rules.
But the survey showed buoy readability could be part of the problem.
Jerry Armstrong, who was the LPA security chief for four years before retiring recently, came up with the idea of purchasing new stickers that have the wording placed at the top of the buoy.
The old stickers had half of the phrase on top, and the other half below the symbol. This was an issue as summer progressed because algae and other scum would accumulate and make the words difficult to read. The new stickers are vinyl wraps that have been placed around the top of the older buoys.
Armstrong and other LPA staff also took a look at which buoys caused most concern from the membership. The “No Wake” and “10 MPH” buoys were talked about the most. A decision was made to purchase new “No Wake” and “10 MPH” buoys that are 20 inches taller than the previous buoys. The previous buoys were 60 inches tall, and the new ones are 80 inches tall.
Two of the 80-inch buoys also will be used in the Narrows. LPA Rule 5.1(n)(4) states “The Narrows will be limited to no towing (tubes, skiers, or any other towed devices) or wake surfing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Special navigational buoys will be used to notify boaters.” Two new platform signs will be added to the Narrows, along with the new buoys, to remind boaters of this towing restriction.
Buoy placement has been a hot topic among some waterfront owners the past couple of years. Yet when members were asked in the water safety survey to rate LPA’s current buoy placement for the overall lake, 76 percent said they think the current placement is either good or excellent.
“Very few topics have generated as much feedback as LPA buoy placement. It is important for members to know LPA has devoted a great deal of effort and study into the placement of these buoys,” says John Rutledge, LPA general manager. “One challenge we continue to face is human nature to accelerate early or decelerate late. As with roadway speed limit signs, the buoy marks the point at which boats must be fully decelerated, when coming into a cove, or may begin to accelerate, when going out.”
“Boaters who push the limits by decelerating late or accelerating early fuel the debate for setting buoys further back into coves to offset this human nature,” Rutledge says. “Please know LPA security will be making this topic a priority in 2021.”
LPA’s policy to keep a consistent buoy map was met with 80 percent satisfaction in the 2020 membership survey. The current map, which was adopted by the LPA board in September 2018 and used the past two boating seasons, remains in place for 2021. It is online here: https://lpaw.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6d5e17f715fd41a7b08c18776337ce8d

Emmett King of Panora and AJ Draper of Linden win Fairlife Yup! Junior Series at Lake Anita

Aj draper emmett king fish weigh in
Fishing conditions were tough and presented many challenges for the 32 student anglers.

Posted 5/11/21

Southwest Valley student anglers Joey Oathoudt and Owen Wilkinson of Corning captured the top spot in thePowerade High School Series at the McDermott & Son Roofing Company SAF SWIFT bass tournament at Lake Anita on April 17.
The team’s total of five fish, weighing 7.51 pounds, gave them a 2.74-pound margin victory over the second-place team of Drey Newell of Atlantic and Braden Smith of Atlantic, who brought five bass to the stage weighing 4.77. Third went to Dylan Comes and Cooper Jipsen, both from Atlantic, with one bass, 4.38.
Emmett King of Panora and AJ Draper of Linden scored the win in the Fairlife Yup! Junior Series with five bass weighing 4.61 pounds. Second place went to Hunter Quist of Atlantic and Adien Smith of Elliot, hauling in three bass at 4.56 lbs. Rounding out the field in third place was the team of Jake Wailes of Wiota and Brentyn Hoover of Anita. Their total was five bass at 3.97 pounds.
Fishing conditions were tough and presented many challenges for the 32 student anglers, but the students launched their boats at 7:30 a.m. and navigated across 159-acre Lake Anita for 7.5 hours on the hunt to put a five-bass limit in the boat.  At the official weigh-in, a total of 35 were caught, and all bass were safely returned to the lake. Cooper Jipsen from Atlantic earned the AM Cohron & Sons Big Fish of the tournament with his bass weighing in at 4.38 pounds.
For complete details and updated information visit www.southwestiowafishingteam.teamapp.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow on SWIFT’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Rip rap to be added to Burchfield streambank this summer

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times
Posted 5/11/21

On April 29, the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) received bids and held a public hearing on a project planned for Burchfield Cove this summer. The project involves modifying the silt basin immediately downstream of the Burchfield Bridge to accommodate long-reach excavator access and rip rap some bare shoreline. JNC Construction, Clearfield, Iowa, had the winning bid of $269,338.50.
Lake Panorama RIZ hired engineering firm Shive-Hattery to put plans together to have a contractor rip rap the entire west shoreline of the old silt basin. The contractor also will dig out a pit running parallel to the channel for long-stick excavation to keep the channel dredged out.
The old sediment basin is located on the west side of the channel between Panorama Drive and the stream that flows into Burchfield Cove. About 1,700 feet of rip rap will be added to the west shoreline.
The pit the contractor will create parallel to the channel is where the material dredged with the long stick excavator will be placed.
John Rutledge, LPA general manager, says this project will ensure the Burchfield Creek channel remains accessible and serviceable into the future.
“LPA crews previously have used a long-reach excavator to dig sediment from this area,” Rutledge says. “However, our access has always been uncomfortably tight for this size of equipment, and our ability to effectively dewater sediment has been marginal. These improvements will create a safer and more accessible bench for the excavator, while also improving LPA’s ability to dewater the removed sediment.”
Work is expected to begin mid-summer and take about two weeks. The project should not impact nearby property owners or boaters.

Little Panther Daycare & Preschool plans expansion

Posted 5/11/21

Nonprofit organization receives $184,000 in grants and $250,000 in revolving loans.

Little Panther Daycare & Preschool of Panora will soon break ground on a 1,440-square-foot expansion of its existing building to accommodate 15 more children and two additional full-time employees. The expansion is needed to accommodate a long waiting list for childcare at the center and was made possible through a combination of public and private loans and grants. A capital campaign for matching grant funds is underway.
“Quality childcare is in high demand, and we have had waiting lists in every classroom for several years,” said Page Arganbright, director of Little Panther. “However, as a nonprofit, we are very fiscally responsible, and the upfront investment was the challenge. The grants and zero interest loans have made this expansion a reality and we will soon be able to open 15 additional childcare slots and provide two more full-time jobs.”
The State of Iowa announced the formation of the Child Care Task Force on March 10, 2021, in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce and families. As part of that initiative, more than $13 million was made available for existing daycare centers to expand creating 4,000 new childcare openings. The Future Ready Iowa Child Care Challenge Awards provided a grant of $184,674 to Little Panther which included $10,000 that needs to be matched by community investment and fundraising.
In addition to the grant funds, two local cooperatives have stepped up to provide 0% interest loans to provide the capital for this expansion. Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) agreed to provide a $150,000 loan, and Panora Telco will provide a $100,000 loan. This will allow construction to begin immediately.
According to Cozy Nelsen, chief executive officer of the Guthrie County REC, Little Panther was one of the original recipients of the REC’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).
“When our RLF was established in 2001, this daycare was one of the initial projects,” said Nelsen. “To see its continued success is a testament to the commitment of its board members, employees and the community to Little Panther Daycare. Guthrie County REC is proud to stay involved and lend our RLF funds to Little Panther Daycare for this much needed expansion.”
“Panora Telco is very excited about the opportunity to use its Revolving Loan Fund to support this project for Little Panther,” said Andrew Randol, general manager, Panora Telco. “The purpose of the fund is to inject capital into worthwhile community economic development projects. We’ve supported Little Panther from the beginning and know the important role it serves in our community.”
Little Panther is kicking off a capital campaign to raise the necessary matching funds for the state grant as well as to purchase the required equipment for the new addition. Community members and businesses who would like to support this important business asset can contribute through Little Panther’s Go Fund Me account or mail contributions to Little Panther Daycare & Preschool, P.O. Box 567, Panora, IA 50216.
“Our board has recognized the need for this expansion for several years, but we wanted to make sure the time was right,” said Emily Albers, president, Little Panther Daycare & Preschool board of directors. “Our board includes families served by Little Panther as well as a business people in the community, so we know how essential quality childcare is to economic vitality and we are so appreciative to Guthrie County REC, Panora Telco and the State of Iowa Department of Human Services and Workforce Development for this funding. We hope to see businesses and community members step up to support our capital campaign.”
Little Panther was founded in Panora in 2002 by a group of parents and community advocates who recognized the need for additional quality childcare in Guthrie County. Today, the center serves 39 families and an average of 54 children per day from ages 4 weeks up to 12 years old. Little Panther employs 11 full-time and nine part-time employees including teachers, assistants and foodservice professionals.
For more information about Little Panther Daycare & Preschool, visit their website at littlepantherdaycare.com or call 641-755-3003. 

Local businesses struggle to find employees

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times
Posted 5/11/21

Long before the Casey’s corporate office announced it plans to add 5,000 employees in the 16 states where it operates, the Casey’s in Panora had help wanted signs posted. And it isn’t just Casey’s that is using signs, print and online advertising, and social media in attempts to recruit new employees.
In March, the National Federation of Independent Business reported 40% of its small business members had job openings they could not fill. Iowa’s March unemployment rate stood at 3.7%, compared to the national average of 6%. The Guthrie County unemployment rate that month was 4.4%.
There are many theories floated to try to answer the question why local businesses can’t fill empty positions. Some say the problem is unemployment pays more than working. Others say wages offered are too low, or people believe they don’t have the skills required for a particular job. Or people who lost their jobs when small businesses had to close because of COVID decided to find a new occupation.
The Lake Panorama Pizzeria (LPP) in Panora is owned by Ryan Smith and his wife Alena. The business opened in August 2019 and quickly found its niche with its wood-fired pizza oven. Since then, a wide variety of food items have been added to the regular menu or offered as specials.
In the past few months, Smith made multiple postings on the pizzeria’s Facebook page, looking for employees for a variety of jobs and shifts. On April 24, he used that same Facebook page to announce a change.
“Due to a lack of help, The LPP will be diversifying its business model. Starting today we will be takeout only, no dine in. Many times we must stop taking phone orders because we are overwhelmed with dine-in and takeout at the same time. We do about 90% takeout orders already, and we just don’t have the staff to accommodate both,” Smith wrote.
“There isn’t a strong workforce to support our busy restaurant, and I don’t see any change coming. Instead of beating our heads against a problem with no solution, we are going to diversify our business model by offering takeout, selling frozen pizzas, chocolate pies, bottling our homemade ranch and marinara sauce,” he said.
Smith now has connected with Sheeder Cloverleaf Dairy in Guthrie Center. This family-owned dairy offers home delivery of its milk and ice cream across central Iowa, plus food products from other businesses. Soon LPP frozen pizzas will be available in the home delivery inventory on the dairy’s website.
“I’m really excited about this,” says Smith. “This is a great opportunity for us to expand our business in a new way.” Once he has this online frozen pizza delivery option with Sheeder’s Cloverleaf Dairy established, he hopes to work on direct sales of Alena’s fresh chocolate pies and bottling and selling their homemade ranch and marinara sauce.
Smith said he feels this is a unique opportunity to make his products reach more people in more areas.
“It is a scary transition, but hopefully people will soon be able to purchase our food at grocery stores instead of having to fight for a table, then wait for it,” he says.
The business has always been closed on Mondays for family time. It now is closed Tuesday and Wednesday, as Smith creates stacks of frozen pizzas. LPP is open for carryout Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Lake Panorama National Resort has been using seemingly every avenue possible to get the word out about its need for employees. While some positions have been filled recently, the LPN continues to advertise for both full- and part-time line cooks, part-time and seasonal dishwashers, part-time restaurant and banquet servers, and a seasonal laundry attendant.
“For servers, we need more than college students who can work this summer. Especially for banquet servers, we need people who can help into fall and beyond,” says Royce Shaffer, LPN operations manager. “We are willing to train, and we offer competitive wages. Plus, we are able to offer some fun perks not available to most restaurants.”
For instance, part-time and seasonal team members can play free golf at Panorama West seven days a week, and at the LPN on Mondays. The LPN fitness center can be used seven days a week, and the swimming pool is available at no cost on Mondays. Meal discounts of 50% are available once during each work shift.
Full-time employees get full access to the resort golf course, pool and fitness center for them and their family. Benefits for full-time employees include health insurance, company-paid life insurance, flexible spending accounts, a 401K with company match, and paid vacation.
Shaffer says he doesn’t know why hiring essential employees this year has been more of a struggle than usual.
“Maybe it is due to the federal unemployment, or maybe the lack of a workforce in Guthrie County. When it comes to hiring full-time employees, I know the distance from the Des Moines area hurts us. The drive is not for everyone,” says Shaffer, who, ironically, has been commuting from Grimes to Lake Panorama National for more than 14 years.
In early April, Joe Weisz, owner of PJ’s Drive-In in Panora, used the restaurant’s Facebook page to plead for help.
“URGENT!!!! We have officially come to a point where we need to adjust our serving hours drastically due to lack of staff until we can find enough staff willing and wanting to work,” Weisz wrote. “Our patrons deserve the best food with the best service, and with limited staff we struggle making this a reality.”
Weisz said servers make great tips, and cooks are well compensated. And he offered an answer to those who may not feel they have the needed skills.
“If you have always wanted to learn to cook and have a positive attitude and willingness to learn, I’ll teach you personally to cook,” he said.
Weisz has owned PJ’s since January 2012. He and his wife have four children, and their income from PJ’s isn’t enough to sustain the family. So Weisz is in his fifth year working in a local school district operating its food nutrition program.
By early May, Weisz says PJ’s Drive-In still is short two cooks and three servers.
“If we can just get through May, we have some high school employees who will be able to work more hours and some graduating seniors who will be here for the summer,” Weisz says. “But we’re always on the hunt for good, reliable employees who are willing to work hard.”
Employee shortages also are prevalent in the health care industry. Last year, The Lakeside Village was awarded two Future Ready Iowa Grants totaling $246,800. The funds were used to assist Iowans obtain certifications within applicable long-term care career paths. More than 200 people took CNA classes and will go on to be advanced CNAs. Fifty people became ServSafe certified, and 15 took the Iowa assisted living manager course.
Amanda Creen, The Lakeside Village director, said those educational opportunities helped her own staff grow their skills, stay engaged, and earn more money with each certification.
“We can’t just increase our wage to compete with other desperate employers. We want to see effort put in by the staff as well,” she says. “We offer fun, and hopefully a sense of belonging. Our team is close, and we have gotten even closer isolating together during the pandemic.”
Creen thinks employee retention is improving because of the extra efforts.
“We are celebrating one year of service with more than a dozen staff members this year,” she says. “Our core staff members have all been here more than two years. I’m so proud of the progress we made with retention during the pandemic.”
Now Lakeside Village has been awarded $48,000 through Future Ready Iowa for the Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program Grant. This grant allows the senior living facility to offer a six-week paid internship to 10 local youth between the ages of 16 and 19.
The internships are offered in management/marketing, maintenance, nursing and culinary with supervisory career path focuses. The internships will provide on-the-job training, management job shadowing, and certificate programming in each category with a focus on care throughout the community.
“I believe strongly that in order to secure a healthcare workforce for the future we need to build our own locally,” Creen says. “Starting with elementary students at events like Stemfest, moving to internships and career fairs with the high school. We need to engage these students, sparking an interest so they dream of being in the medical field. Then hone their skills and mentor them through internships and education reimbursement with clear career paths.”
Teens interested in applying for one of the 10 summer internships can contact Creen at 641-757-9993 or director@thelakesidevillage.com.