Posted 06/12/2024
Special to Lake Panorama Times

The Panora Square Market will be Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Panora City Square. Look for farm fresh products, baked goods, art, crafts, flowers and more. Organizers encourage attendees to come for the market but stay in town for a while. Grab something to drink and check out all the great shops on the square and in town. Additional dates include:
  • July 6
  • July 20
  • Aug. 17
  • Aug. 31
  • Sept. 14
  • Sept. 28
  • Oct. 5
  • Oct. 19


Shane june 2022
Posted 05/07/2024

Our mission in publishing Lake Panorama Times is two-fold. First, we strive to create content that each of you want to read and will seek out month after month. Second, we encourage you to buy products and services from the advertisements seen in this publication. I am asking for your help with both of these.
In this day and age, most all of us are overwhelmed with data and, often times, are not sure what to believe. Those of you who place marketing or advertising buys for businesses know this to be true. Paid subscription newspapers brag about having the most subscribers in the area, despite reaching fewer than one in five households. Radio stations claim to be No. 1, even if it is a narrow market such as left-handed 43-year-old females who were born in Nebraska. And digital and social media marketers fail to explain that more than half of their traffic is not from people but from bots. Yes, marketing can be confusing.
This is why we have the circulation and readership of our publications audited by Circulation Verification Council (CVC), an independent, third-party reporting audit company. CVC audits thousands of editions nationwide with a combined circulation of more than 55 million, covering printing, distribution, circulation, websites, digital editions, mobile, email, social media and readership studies to give an accurate picture of a publication’s reach and market penetration.
CITYVIEW and our 14 Iowa Living magazines are all audited by CVC and have been for years. We will soon begin the process of having Lake Panorama Times and our other publications in Guthrie County audited as well. Why is this important? A credible audit verifies that what we claim to be our circulation and readership is true. It also provides us with basic information on our readers like age, sex, education, income and purchase intentions, which we can share with those who want to market their goods and services with us.
If you read my columns regularly, you know how I value personal privacy and how concerned I am with the information that the Big Tech companies like Facebook and Next Door are stealing from each of us. With that in mind, I want you to know that all data CVC collects is done so in anonymous ways and is not tracked back to any individual. And, even more importantly, that data is not shared or sold to anyone else, including us.
So, what does this mean to you? Over the next few months, CVC will be polling the readers of this publication through a variety of methods, and we will also be asking you to participate in a simple questionnaire. I hope you will participate in this process, as it will provide us with accurate and reliable market data that we will also be sharing with you.
More details will come soon. In the meantime, I thank you being part of our surveys, and, as always, I thank you for reading.

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


Gary Youngberg is among those who enjoy the challenge hickory golf offers.
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The game of golf was born in Scotland in the 15th century. In the beginning, golf club shafts were made out of various materials, including any kind of wood, iron and even bones. During the late 19th century and into the early 20th century, the preferred material for club shafts became hickory wood.
In the last few decades, interest in playing with hickory-shafted golf clubs has increased. Gary Youngberg is among those who enjoy the challenge hickory golf offers. He also enjoys the hunt for hickory clubs, which he then refurbishes and either sells or gives away.  
“Hickory golf is played with pre-1935 hickory shaft golf clubs and is rapidly expanding across the country,” Youngberg says. “It speaks to the soul of golf and lets people see how the game was played 100 years ago.”
Gary and Karen Youngberg own Ames Silversmithing in Ames, which they opened in August 1976 with $1,500 from Gary’s savings account. While their primary home is in Ames, they have owned a house on Lake Panorama’s Horseshoe Cove since December 2016.
Both Gary and Karen are accomplished amateur golfers. They grew up in Davenport and both made their school’s varsity golf teams as sophomores.
“We played a lot of golf together and fell in love,” Gary says.
When Gary started golf at the age of 14, he found some hickory clubs in his parents’ basement. “I never thought much about them,” he says. “After we moved to Ames and joined Ames Golf and Country Club, I learned some of the older members held the Hickory Hacker every year, which was played with hickory shaft golf clubs. I introduced myself and became part of the group.”
After a few years, some of the older members passed and the tournament ended.
“I mentioned to Karen and our two sons I wanted to start the event up again,” Gary says. “With their blessings, the Ames Silversmithing Hickory Classic was born 14 years ago. Our first year, we had 28 players, and, at times, have had as many as 80. Our usual turnout is around 70.”
While modern golf has a limit of 14 clubs a player can use in a tournament, there isn’t a limit in hickory golf. When competing in hickory tournaments, Youngberg usually carries 12 to 14 clubs, plus a left-handed club “just in case.” Another difference between modern golf and hickory golf is the unusual names used for hickory clubs, such as brassie, cleek, mashie and niblick.
“I have a mashie-niblick in my bag I have had for a long time,” Youngberg says. “It is the equivalent of an eight-iron. I use it to chip around the greens and from 100 yards or closer to the green. I typically carry two woods, a brassie for teeing off and a cleek for fairway shots. I also have a driving iron, a mid-iron, a strong mashie, which would be like a five-iron. Also a weak mashie, like a six-iron, a spade mashie, like a seven-iron, and two more lofted niblicks.”
Youngberg is a member of the Society of Hickory Golfers, which was formed in 2000. The group established rules for tournaments and promotes hickory golf play in the United States and other countries. The group allows the use of replica clubs for tournament play. These are new clubs that must meet the standards and designs of hickory clubs made prior to 1935.
“From the purist standpoint, I’m not in favor of replica clubs, but I understand the reasons the organization made the decision,” Youngberg says. “In fact, my two most lofted niblicks, as well as my cleek wood, are modern hickories. There is little doubt modern hickory clubs are more consistent and easier to play with than originals.”
Youngberg is continually on the lookout for original hickory clubs, which he repairs and refurbishes in a basement workshop in the family’s Lake Panorama home. Asked to guess how many hickory clubs have passed through his hands over the years, he estimates more than 500.
“It varies from time to time but, conservatively, I have 250 or so at the lake house that are part of the group I will repair and refurbish. I probably have 50 to 60 at home in Ames that people can buy,” Youngberg says. “I’ve been pleased to refurbish and donate 20 sets of clubs to friends and acquaintances who have expressed a desire to learn and play hickory golf. I only have a few collectibles. Most I have are not especially rare, so they are called commons.”
Most original irons need to have the heads removed and “re-pinned” by driving a small nail through holes on each side of the iron and the hickory shaft. This makes the clubs solid enough to hit. Youngberg also refinishes hickory shafts. And he replaces worn grips with strands of buffalo hide, capped off with a sticky thread called whipping, which is made especially for this use.
“Even though I have a lot of clubs, I’m always looking for more to fix up and donate to younger players,” he says.
Youngberg says about half of his time on the golf course is spent with modern clubs and the other half with hickory clubs.
“I tend to ramp up hickory play if I have an upcoming event and vice versa,” he says. “Karen and our two sons all play with modern clubs as well as hickory. Karen dabbles, but the boys and now three of our grandchildren truly enjoy playing hickory sticks.”
In late April, Youngberg traveled to Austin, Texas, to compete in the 20th Onion Creek Classic hickory tournament.
“The event was 36 holes of stroke play. I’m old enough to play in the senior division but competitive enough to play in the open division. I’m pleased to say I won the championship by a single shot.”
Youngberg had back-to-back wins in 2022 and 2023 at the Mid-American Hickory Open held at the Soangetaha Country Club in Galesburg, Illinois. He’s had multiple wins in both the Heart of America championship and the Iowa Hickory Classic, both held in Des Moines. He placed second in the United States Senior Hickory Open in Omaha a few years ago. Last year, he and Karen flew to the Houston area and won the Houston Area Team Hickory Classic.
Youngberg is no slouch with his modern clubs, either, having won the Ames city tournament eight times in the open division and three times in the senior division.
“As a golfing family using modern clubs, we have notched numerous best-shot wins around the area,” he says. “Karen and I won the Iowa Wife-Husband tournament in Burlington one year. Perhaps our most gratifying win was the 2016 International Husband-Wife golf tournament held in the Dominican Republic over three days. We beat the defending and four-time champions by four shots.”
Youngberg is a proud ambassador for hickory golf.
“I’m always spreading the word about hickory golf,” he says. “No matter where I play them, hickory clubs garner a lot of interest so I’m happy to share information, let people hit my clubs, and often give a club to someone who is interested.
“I love to focus on the younger players, because it helps them better understand where the game started, as well as appreciate the technology behind modern clubs. When I was in Austin in April, I met a 30-something player on the range who was very interested in my clubs, so I let him hit some. We spent about 20 minutes together, and, when we parted, I gave him one of my hickory mashies.”
Youngberg says he loves golf…period.
“It is, as Bagger Vance said, ‘a game that can only be played and never won.’ Of course, people win tournaments, but one can never master the game. Ask anyone who plays, even on their very best day, they look back and say, ‘If only…’ ”


LPA members and guests must check in at the LPN pro shop counter and pay a daily fee of $5 unless they have an annual pass.
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Lake Panorama National Resort will open its 1,500-square-foot heated swimming pool and eight-person spa on Friday, May 24, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. 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 a daily fee of $5, unless they have purchased an annual pool pass. After checking in, everyone will be given a wristband to wear in the pool area.
A variety of annual pass categories are available including single, couple, family and grandparent. Passes are available to LPA property owners starting at $125 for a single, $150 for a couple and $175 for a family. A fourth 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 pool passes in the same categories for an additional $15 for any of the four options.
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/3Uk8IAX


Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Registration for the 27th annual Lake Panorama National Junior golf clinics is open. Young people ages 5 to 17 are eligible to attend. Two sessions are offered with a limit of 24 students per session to ensure personalized attention and instruction.
All session dates are on Wednesdays and run from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Session One dates are June 5, 12, 19, with a registration deadline of May 26. Session Two dates are July 10, 17, 24, with a registration deadline of June 30.
The cost is $55 per junior golfer. Participants will receive instruction from Rob Riggins, LPN head golf professional, Mike Kleinwolterink, pro shop manager, and other LPN staff members.
For the first two days of each session, the junior golfers will meet near the LPN pro shop, where they will divide into age groups and walk to the LPN practice areas with instructors. The groups will rotate between the driving range, chipping area and the putting green. At the end of each day, the golfers can go to Spikes and pick out a drink and snack.
The third day of each session will be held at the Panorama West golf course. There the students will play a few holes on the golf course, with instructors helping them implement what they learned the first two days. After golf, pizza and drinks will be available in the community room.
Riggins says he and his staff are dedicated to growing the game of golf for juniors.
“Our junior golf clinics are conducted in a way that improves the skills of junior golfers, along with their life skills,” he says. “And while we will be focusing on fundamentals of the game, we also will be moving more towards getting kids ready to play the game.”
The LPN Junior golf clinics have two long-time sponsors — Lake Panorama Association and Guthrie County State Bank. For more information, call the LPN pro shop at 641-755-2024. To register, complete an entry form that is available in both the pro shop and online, then return it to the LPN pro shop with payment.


Posted 05/07/2024
Special to Lake Panorama Times

The Guthrie Center Lions Club, commemorating its 100th anniversary in 2024, announces its Centennial Celebration and Dinner scheduled for June 10 at the Guthrie County Events Center, situated at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds. Tickets for this event are available for $25 per person and can be purchased at Guthrie County State Bank (Guthrie Center branch), Peoples Bank, or from any Lions Club member.
The purposes of the celebration are to honor a century of dedicated service to the Guthrie Center community and to raise funds crucial for the construction of the new kitchen facility at the Little Charger Early Learning Center.
Quality day care is critically important to the future of Guthrie Center. Attracting and retaining young families in and around Guthrie Center is a pivotal step for the future of the Guthrie Center area. The goal of the Little Charger Early Learning Center is to create an asset that will aide local employers in attracting and retaining employees, create a stable workforce, drive community growth, and reverse a three-year trend of enrollment decline in the school district.
The cost of the kitchen is estimated to be $45,000, and the Lions Club has set a goal of raising $50,000 for this project. An anonymous donor has already gifted the Lions Club $10,000 toward this goal, and the Guthrie Center Lions club has matched that donation with $11,000. The Lions Club would like to challenge the Guthrie Center community (individuals, families, businesses and civic groups) to match this $21,000 committed.
Donations can be large or small and can be given at the Guthrie County State Bank in care of the Guthrie Center Lions Club, or mailed to Guthrie Center Lions Club, c/o GCSB, P.O. Box 8, Guthrie Center, IA 50115. Write “100thanniversary donation” in the memo line or supply a note with the donation. The Lions Club is a 501(c)3 organization. Receipts will be issued for donations $250 or more. Check with your accountant or attorney for information regarding the deductibility of your donation. n

Lions Club members:
  • Kelly Bast
  • Dale Behrends
  • Mark Benton
  • Larry Brandt
  • Kristen Crouthamel
  • Dennis Flanery
  • Diane Flanery
  • Joe Hanner
  • Ed Haver
  • George Hemmen
  • Darwin Hughes
  • George Hunt
  • Kris Langgaard
  • Melissa Loest
  • Barry Monaghan
  • Shannon Neff-Muell
  • Cozy Nelsen
  • Shawna Nelson
  • Jennifer Policky
  • Wes Policky
  • Josh Rasmussen
  • Gary Rees
  • Eric Reinhart
  • Rex Schoonover
  • Dwayne Seeck
  • Bill Sheeder
  • Ben Smith
  • Steve Smith
  • Craig Twigg
  • Mike Underwood
  • Roger Underwood
  • Ed Wright


A new auction item this year is two apple trees, delivered, planted and donated by Isom Tree Farms.
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Registration now is open for the Friends of Lake Panorama Beach Ball fundraiser Friday, June 21. The Beach Ball will be held at the Lake Panorama National Resort event center with all seating in the banquet room.
Registration will be 4:30-5:30 p.m. with a buffet dinner served beginning at 6 p.m. The menu includes pork loin, chicken, baked potato, garden salad, dinner rolls and dessert. Beverage service offering lemonade, tea and water is included with the meal. There will be a cash bar, which opens at 4:30 p.m.
There are several options for those interested in attending the event. Members of the Friends Beach Club provide additional financial support to Friends of Lake Panorama beyond the cost of the meal. Prices for 2024 Beach Club memberships remain the same as last year and are:
Friends Beach Club - Premier: $700 — includes table sponsorship, eight dinner tickets, name in the 2024 Beach Ball program; Friends Beach Club - Couple: $250 — includes two dinner tickets, name in the 2024 Beach Ball program; and Friends Beach Club - Sponsor: $150 — includes table sponsorship, name in the 2024 Beach Ball program.
A limited number of individual meal tickets will be available at $50 each. Attendance will be capped at 225, so those interested are encouraged to finalize their plans as soon as possible. To register, contact Susan Thompson at 515-240-6536 or staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.
At its April meeting, the Friends of Lake Panorama board voted to make the Lake Panorama National Golf Course Master Plan Priority 1 projects the focus of the 2024 Beach Ball. (See related story on page 17) This means the LPN Priority 1 projects will receive a percentage of pooled funds raised plus all direct donations designated specifically for the LPN project.
Funds will be raised with both live and silent auctions plus other activities throughout the evening. Those who want to donate auction items specifically for the LPN Priority 1 projects can do so.
For instance, two couples are donating an authentic Iowa barbecue dinner for 50 people. Chris and Brenda Duree and Mike and Kelly Faga are the donors and have asked the proceeds from this live auction item go to the LPN project. Their dinner menu includes baby back pork loin ribs; smoked, barbecued and shaved pork loin; bacon mac and cheese; baked beans; cornbread and coleslaw. Also provided will be iced tea and lemonade, plasticware and napkins. This event could be held at the home of the winning bidder, Boulder or Sunset Beach, or other suitable local venue.
Several other auction items are committed that have been popular at past Beach Balls. These include a set of four passenger car tires for any vehicle, donated by Scott Politte, president of Stivers Ford Lincoln of Waukee; a Cyclone football package for the Nov. 2 ISU vs. Texas Tech game, which includes four tickets in the ISU Athletic Director Suite with Jamie Pollard, food and soft drinks during the game, and a VIP parking pass; a piece of jewelry custom-made by Gary Youngberg, owner of Ames Silversmithing; Paradise Pad items, donated by Mike and Austin Hayden; and a six-course gourmet meal for six with wine pairings, prepared, served and donated by Bill and Karen Fitzgerald.
A new auction item this year is two apple trees, delivered, planted and donated by Isom Tree Farms, owned by Larry and Heather Isom. The winning bidder will be able to choose from several different apple varieties for their two trees.
Those interested in donating auction items for the 2024 Beach Ball are asked to email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Friends of Lake Panorama. A video loop available for viewing throughout the evening will feature photos of past projects. These include improvements to playgrounds at all three beaches, sports courts at both Boulder and Sunset beaches, dog park, recreational area on the south shore, enhancements to the Panorama West Nature Trail, more than 20 new benches at beaches and golf courses and several smaller projects.
Details on all past and current projects are available on the Friends website at friendsoflakepanorama.org. Friends of Lake Panorama also has a Facebook page.


The Friends of Lake Panorama board voted to make this effort the priority project for the 2024 Beach Ball fundraiser June 21.
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The stage is set for a fundraising campaign to pay for needed improvements at the Lake Panorama National golf course. The course first opened in 1971.
In the fall of 2023, the LPN board of managers began development of a comprehensive master plan for the golf course. This involved a thorough assessment of the course, with key personnel conducting a hole-by-hole golf course tour. The insights gained, combined with past planning documents, led to the identification and prioritization of key projects.
At its April 22 meeting, the LPN board approved a fundraising effort that focuses on Priority 1 projects identified in the LPN Golf Course Master Plan. Projects included in Priority 1 of the master plan include:
Forward Tee Boxes: Expand square footage, level, and sod with short variety Kentucky Bluegrass to accommodate increased play and allow for better turf recovery.
Main Tee Boxes: Level main Bentgrass tees and re-sod with Bentgrass. Final square footage will be based on construction bids and fundraising.
Railroad Ties and Landscaping: Remove all railroad ties surrounding tee boxes. Where necessary, replace with a block retaining wall. Remove landscaping surrounding tee boxes to simplify maintenance and mowing.
Driving Range: Replace railroad ties with a block retaining wall. Add a synthetic grass tee line to the back of the tee box to use when the natural turf needs time to recover.
Tee Signs: Install 18 cast metal tee signs with Granite Club sponsor signs and ball washers. Also, pour concrete pads on six holes for current and future memorial benches.
On April 8, Royce Shaffer, LPN director of operations, and Shanell Wagler, chair of the LPN board of managers, presented details of the LPN golf course master plan to the Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors. They asked if donations to the Priority 1 projects could be funneled through Friends, which would allow donors who itemize at tax time the opportunity to deduct their donation.
After discussion, the Friends board approved a motion to partner with LPN to raise funds for Priority 1 projects. The Friends board also voted to make this effort the priority project for the 2024 Beach Ball fundraiser June 21.
The LPN board of managers set a $500,000 target for the first round of fundraising. As funds become available, bids will be solicited for Priority 1 projects. No fundraising deadline has been set, as funds will continue to be raised until projects are completed.
Future projects included in the LPN golf course master plan include needed improvements to the maintenance shop and equipment storage, irrigation pumps and pump house, bunkers, the pond that impacts holes 12 and 13, the pond on the ninth hole, and cart paths.
There is precedence for raising funds for LPN golf course improvements. To build Spikes in 2008, approximately $128,000 in cash was donated, plus an estimated $64,500 in the form of materials and labor, for a total value of $197,500. In 2010, two on-course bathrooms were built with $28,000 raised from 125 donors, and $25,000 was donated by an individual to renovate the pond on the seventh hole. Fountains in ponds all were donated. These projects all were done before Friends of Lake Panorama was formed in 2013.
Fundraising for the LPN Priority 1 projects is underway. While Friends of Lake Panorama has committed a percentage of funds raised at the 2024 Beach Ball to Priority 1, LPN staff and board are developing additional fundraising strategies. Efforts will target Lake Panorama Association property owners, LPN seasonal passholders, LPN daily fee and stay and play golfers, and businesses.
A fundraising golf tournament is being considered, along with other special events. Because much of the cost of the Priority 1 projects involves construction, in-kind contributions from contractors willing to provide services at no cost or reduced rates will be sought.
Donors contributing $500 or more will be recognized on both the Lake Panorama National Resort and Friends of Lake Panorama websites. All donors receive a tax receipt.
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, as are direct IRA qualified charitable distributions for donors older than age 70½ that are required to take forced IRA distributions. There are potential tax-saving benefits when considering either of these direct donation strategies. Check with your financial advisor for details.
Direct donations can be made by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama and mailed to Friends, P.O. Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Donations also can be made through Venmo @Panorama-Friends, or by credit card at friendsoflakepanorama.org. 


Landon and Lindsey Loftsgard took the helm Jan. 1.
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

For many years, the tagline for Panorama Gardens has been “family owned since 1956.” George and Harriett Olson started the business that year, when their son, Dave, was a 1-year-old. George and Harriett operated the business as a husband-and-wife team for many years. In 1978, Dave began the process of buying the business from his parents. Soon, he and his new bride, Ilene, decided they wanted to do the same thing.
Now, a third husband-and-wife team has taken ownership of Panorama Gardens, and the “family owned since 1956” tagline continues.
New owners Landon and Lindsey Loftsgard took the helm Jan. 1, 2024. Their son, Brooks, is 2 years old, and daughter Annie is 8 months. The couple are high school sweethearts from Waukee. They both graduated from the University of Iowa in 2015, she with a degree in health promotion, he with a business degree. They married in 2018.
Lindsey has had jobs related to wellness and senior living. She currently works for a wellness tech company in West Des Moines. Landon’s focus has been on accounting and finance plus four years as a police officer in Clive and Dallas County.
Those don’t seem like jobs that would lead to owning a floral and garden center. Lindsey picks up the story.
“I have always had a side hobby of gardening and flowers, and Landon has always wanted to own his own business,” she says. “Landon’s parents, Rick and Dawn Loftsgard, moved to a home in Jones Cove three years ago. We’d driven by Panorama Gardens many times on our way to visit them and talked about how cool it would be to own it.”
In May 2023, a Panorama Gardens feature story appeared in the Lake Panorama Times. In it, Dave Olson said the business had been for sale for a while, and the couple hoped to retire. But he said they would keep the business open until it sold.
The Loftsgards read that story, reached out to the Olsons, and the rest is history.
“We took over in January and thought we’d have plenty of time to get our feet wet,” Landon says. “But, instead, we’ve been busy from the beginning. I like to be busy, and the days here fly by. Sometimes, I’ll look at my watch, it’s 3 p.m., and I can’t believe it. We’ve had great support from the community from that first day.”
Landon is at the business daily. Lindsey continues with her full-time job in the health care industry. For now, she’s there as much as possible.
“I love the opportunity to be creative and get my hands in the dirt. It’s good for a person’s mental health,” she says.
The couple did some early renovations before the busy spring season.
“In the flower shop, we painted, replaced the flooring and rearranged the customer counter and work area,” Lindsey says. “We had our customers and staff in mind and wanted to make things easier for both, while freshening up that area.”
The garden center building was rearranged, pulling the counter closer to the entrance, and organizing product displays into separate sections. Products featured in the garden center include racks of seeds, various types of potting soil and other materials, mulch, watering supplies, garden decorations and lots of pots.
Large bags of mulch, top soil and potting soil are stacked on the south side of the garden center, with some also inside.
“In this business, ordering for spring must be done each fall, so much of the product we have is what Dave ordered last fall,” Landon says. “We want to hear from our customers if what we have is what they want, or if there are different items we should be thinking about when we order for 2025.”
The Olsons were known for the annual vegetable and flower seedlings and plants they had growing in their greenhouses by the time spring customers arrived, all started from seed.
“We brought in more plants this spring than Dave and Ilene did,” Lindsey says. “Since we were busy with learning the business and renovations, we weren’t able to spend as much time planting. We hope to do more in the future.”
By late April, the retail greenhouse and two older greenhouses were filled with vegetable plants, annual and perennial flowers, green plants, and hanging baskets of flowers and giant ferns.
One new offering takes Panorama Gardens to customers. An annual Porch Pot Subscription costs $250 for three planted pot deliveries.
“Pots are handpicked to complement each home’s outdoor space,” Landon says. “The first delivery will come in May and feature blooming flowers and lush greens for the summer months. The second pot will come with fall flowers, and the last one will be a winter arrangement.”
While Panorama Gardens already had an active floral department, the Loftsgards are putting an emphasis on their fresh flower operation. For Valentine’s Day, they partnered with several area businesses to offer fresh flower bouquets onsite to be picked up with other gift items.
“We had a really good response to our bouquets and look forward to similar promotions and partnerships in the future,” Lindsey says.
The business website recently was revamped and includes lots of details on fresh flower options. Flowers can be ordered online, by phone or in person, with same-day delivery to surrounding area addresses. Panorama Gardens is an FTD member and can take orders for flowers to be delivered in other locations.
New to Panorama Gardens is the option to provide fresh flowers for weddings, whether it be for the ceremony, the reception, or all aspects of the event. Racheé Lombard began working part-time for the couple in January and was promoted to full-time floral manager in May. Those interested in talking about floral plans for a wedding can schedule a consultation with Lombard.
The Loftsgards also connect with customers through a Facebook page. They post a weekly featured plant and include a photo and simple details about how to care for the plant. All plants featured are available for purchase at Panorama Gardens.
In April, they hosted a Kid’s Fairy Garden Workshop that was so popular a second session was added. Earlier in the year, they conducted an ISU Extension workshop on flower arrangements.
The couple plans additional renovations later. Eventually one old greenhouse will be removed and replaced.
“We love the other two old greenhouses that are really old, with the glass walls and roof,” Lindsey says. “Those are really unique, and we want to renovate and keep those, if we can.”
An open area north of the building will be cleared with one old collapsed greenhouse removed along with downed trees and debris. The couple hopes to find ways to put this area to better use, perhaps moving large bulk items and some parking there.
They also plan to add areas where customers can enjoy time testing the made-in-Iowa outdoor furniture they now offer.
“I see us turning Panorama Gardens into a sort of botanical center for Guthrie County,” Landon says. “We want to set up seating throughout the grounds and buildings to showcase the outdoor furniture plus the plants and garden products we offer.”
The couple also is thinking of ways to use the retail greenhouse that is empty in late fall and through the winter months.
“We might rent the greenhouse out for special events,” Lindsey says. “We’ve also talked about a popup bar during the Christmas season and hosting other special events.”
The couple currently has three full-time employees and eight part-time employees. Gus, their golden retriever, is the operation’s full-time greeter. In March, they adopted a cat from Panora Pets and asked customers to suggest names for him. Sprout now spends most of his time sleeping in a box under the floral table.
The Loftsgards are thankful to Dave and Ilene Olson for their support.
“They stayed on full-time with us for about the first month,” Landon says. “They taught us so much. We still call them with questions, and they stop in sometimes. They’ve been very helpful.”
“We’re truly grateful to the entire community for the support we’ve received in our first few months,” Lindsey says. “We continue to learn, and we’re excited for the future.”
The couple lives in Adel, but the Loftsgards hope the future brings a move to Panora.
“Moving closer is definitely a goal,” Landon says. “We love the small-town atmosphere for raising our kids.”
With the busiest time of year at hand, Panorama Gardens now is open seven days a weekHours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Once things slow down, the business will once again be closed on Sunday.
Panorama Gardens is located on U.S. Highway 44 on the east edge of Panora. The phone number is 641-755-2225, and email is panoramagardensia@gmail.com. Search Facebook for Panorama Gardens to find their page. The business website is panoramagardensia.com.


Dr. Gerard “Jerry” Matysik is believed to be the oldest active slalom skier on Lake Panorama. 
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Dr. Gerard “Jerry” Matysik and his wife, Karen, have had a home at Lake Panorama since 1999. On April 27, Matysik celebrated his 70th birthday by slalom skiing with friends on Lake Panorama.
When weather conditions allow, Matysik, Dale Behrends, Dr. David Dwyer, David Stark and Matt Lukacs ski every weekend. Group members take turns using their boats. Everyone slalom skis but Lukacs, who prefers his two bare feet.
“I tell people I spent too much money on the boat and can’t afford skis,” he says.
For Matysik’s 70th birthday ski run, the group used Lukacs’ Malibu boat. Behrends drove, and Lukacs documented the occasion with his camera. Matysik is believed to be the oldest active slalom skier on Lake Panorama.
When Matysik isn’t skiing, he specializes in pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders at Pella Regional Health Center. In his previous practice, he conducted a pulmonary clinic at the Guthrie County Hospital for several years. Matysik says he plans to continue to ski and practice medicine for the indefinite future.


Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

This is the third year for the Panora Garden Club’s fundraising event that offers pontoon tours of Lake Panorama. This year’s twist is the tours will be held in the evening rather than mid-day.
“We’ve heard from quite a few people over the last couple of years who said they would like to participate, but they work during the day. Others said their spouses would be more likely to come if the tour could be in the evening,” says Paulette Chambers, co-chair of the Panora Garden Club. “It also should be cooler for these twilight tours.”
The event is planned for Wednesday, June 19. Five time slots are available between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. A total of 15 pontoons will be used with three leaving every 15 minutes from the Boulder Beach docks.
Another change this year is each tour is expected to last about two hours. In 2022, tours were just an hour long. Tours were extended to 90 minutes in 2023, which still meant pontoon drivers had to skip some coves or speed up to make it back in time for their next run.
“This year, each pontoon captain will make just one trip around the lake,” says JoAnn Johnson, who co-chairs the garden club with Chambers. “This will give our guests more time to relax and enjoy their time on the water. The number of people each pontoon can carry varies, and we’ll make sure pontoons aren’t crowded.”
A member of the Panora Garden Club will be on board each pontoon to answer questions and point out highlights. Signs along the tour route will mark the gardens and landscaping of garden club members. Maps showing Lake Panorama’s cove names and garden club member homes will be distributed to each guest.
The Panora Garden Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity, so donations are tax deductible. A minimum donation of $30 is required for each person who reserves a tour spot, and those interested in making an additional donation are welcome to do so. Advance payment is needed, and details will be explained when reservations are made.
Funds raised will be used to continue the many projects club members conduct to beautify the community. These include such things as the summer petunia trees near the gazebo, 28 street pots scattered throughout Panora with both summer and winter displays, and last winter’s giant gnomes installed for the Christmas season.
“We’ve been amazed by the wonderful community support we have for these projects,” Chambers says. “When we’re out with our cart watering the street pots and petunia trees, or putting in new displays, we often have people stop to thank us for our time and efforts.”
Johnson says the club spends about $2,000 each year to support these seasonal beautification efforts. “The pontoon tour is the only fundraiser we conduct,” she says. “We encourage those interested to gather a few friends and be ready to order a group of tickets together. Or for couples to plan a date night. We’ll be able to accommodate about 200 guests, and I think we’ll sell out.”
Besides the pontoon tour, a $30 per person donation will cover an individual charcuterie cup and bottled water. Guests are welcome to bring their own beverages.
To simplify the registration process, five club members agreed to each handle one of the five time slots. For instance, those interested in being on one of the three pontoons that launches at 6 p.m. should text JoAnn at 515-975-9407.
Other time slots are: 6:15 p.m., text Marcia, 712-249-2142; 6:30 p.m., text Rhoda, 712-249-3666; 6:45 p.m. text Paula, 402-699-2580; and 7 p.m., text Paulette, 712-304-0077.
A rain date of Thursday, June 20 has been set. If the tour needs to be moved to that day, tour times will remain as originally set. If weather prevents this event, money for tickets will be considered a tax-exempt charitable donation to the Panora Garden Club.


Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Rob Riggins is in his fourth year as the Lake Panorama National Resort head golf pro. He moved from California to Iowa 10 years ago and was the general manager and director of golf instruction at Jester Park for four years before moving to the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. There he was a golf professional, tournament director and golf instructor for nearly three years before taking the LPN job in February 2021.
In this month’s Q&A, Riggins looks ahead to the 2024 golf season.

Q. You’re entering your fourth year as the LPN head golf professional. What do you like about being at Lake Panorama?
A. Entering my fourth year as the head golf professional at Lake Panorama National Golf Course has been an incredibly rewarding journey. What I love most about being here is the opportunity to continually engage with our members and guests, fostering a vibrant golfing community. The scenic beauty of the course and the camaraderie among players create an environment that’s truly special.
Additionally, being able to share my passion for golf through teaching and coaching brings me immense joy. Each day presents new challenges and opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally, and I’m grateful to be a part of such a dynamic team and supportive community.

Q. How are 2024 memberships at the LPN and Panorama West coming in, and why should people consider getting a season pass to one or both of these golf courses?
A. Membership numbers for 2024 at LPN are seeing a slight decrease compared to last year, but I have noticed that, as the weather gets better, so do season pass sales. There are compelling reasons for people to consider grabbing a season pass to one or both of our fantastic golf courses.
First, a season pass offers unbeatable value for avid golfers. It grants unlimited access to the courses, allowing pass holders to play as much golf as they desire throughout the season.
Second, both LPN and Panorama West boast stunning landscapes and beautifully maintained facilities, providing an unparalleled golfing experience. From picturesque fairways to challenging holes, there’s something for every golfer to enjoy.
Plus, being a season pass holder comes with perks such as discounts on merchandise, free use of the driving range at the LPN, priority tee time bookings, and exclusive access to LPN member-only events and tournaments.
Overall, the allure of a season pass to LPN or Panorama West remains strong due to the exceptional value, quality of the courses and exclusive benefits offered. Season passes are available to both LPA and non-LPA members. Applications are in the LPN pro shop, or you can check out the options at www.lakepanoramanational.com/season-passes.

Q. The LPN Resort calendar is filled with golf events, some for couples, some for just men, some for just women, some for just members, some for anyone interested. Highlight some of the key events you think golfers should consider playing in during the upcoming season and how they can get involved. 
A. Absolutely. Let’s start with couples’ tournaments. These are perfect for golfing couples looking to enjoy a casual round of golf and have fun on the course together. They offer a fun and social atmosphere, with opportunities to bond over a shared love of golf. Whether you’re a seasoned duo or just starting out, couples’ tournaments provide a chance to compete and connect with other couples in a relaxed setting.
At Panorama West, Bill and Karen Eby do a great job organizing a Fore Fun Friday Night series. For more information, contact Bill and Karen at 515-480-4633. At the LPN, check out our Nine and Wine series on eight Monday afternoons, 18-hole tournaments on Memorial Day and July 4, and six Friday night nine-hole events.
We also host a number of tournaments specific for either men or women golfers, giving them the chance to showcase their skills and compete against peers in their respective categories. These tournaments are a great way to test your game, challenge yourself and maybe even take home some bragging rights.
LPN Resort hosts some special events exclusively for its members, providing them with unique opportunities to enjoy the course and connect with fellow members. We also host open events that welcome anyone interested in playing, regardless of membership status. These tournaments are a fantastic way to experience the resort’s renowned golf courses and meet new people from the broader golfing community.
To get involved in these events, interested golfers should keep an eye on the LPN Resort calendar for upcoming tournament dates and registration details. They also can register by contacting the golf pro shop directly. Overall, our tournaments offer golfers of all levels and backgrounds a chance to enjoy competitive and social golf experiences at the LPN Resort, making these a highlight of the upcoming season for anyone passionate about the game.

Q. There are four golf leagues at the LPN and three at Panorama West. Why do you encourage members to consider playing in one or more of the golf leagues available?
A. Participating in golf leagues at Lake Panorama National Resort and Panorama West offers numerous advantages, accommodating various schedules and golfing preferences. Regular league play provides a consistent opportunity to enhance golfing skills through practice and friendly competition. Joining a league also fosters connections with fellow golf enthusiasts, which provides a platform to meet new people and build lasting friendships.
Both courses offer men’s and women’s league opportunities. The men’s league at Lake Panorama meets on Wednesdays, featuring an 18-hole individual stroke play at 11 a.m. and two nine-hole team leagues at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The women’s league at LPN meets every Thursday. There is an 18-hole individual league starting at 2 p.m. and a two-gal team event that starts at 5 p.m.
Panorama West offers similar league opportunities, with a women’s league Tuesday morning, and men’s leagues Tuesday evening and Thursday morning. All are individual play, with weekly prizes and year-end recognition. Leagues at both courses are underway, but there’s still time to join the fun. For more information about LPN leagues, call the pro shop at 641-755-2024. For Panorama West, call the clubhouse at 641-755-2250.

Q. What’s available for both beginning and experienced golfers to help them improve their game in 2024?
A. Golf lessons remain a cornerstone for improvement, with options for private or group sessions that cater to all skill levels. Beginners can master the basics, while more advanced players can fine-tune specific aspects of their play. I offer lessons for both adults and juniors and welcome calls to the LPN pro shop to discuss options and get something set up.
Regular use of the LPN driving range, putting green and short-game area is crucial. These facilities help develop muscle memory and improve overall performance through consistent practice. Also, the simple act of playing more golf can significantly improve skills. Each round exposes players to new challenges and learning opportunities, especially when exploring different courses.
Engaging in league play and playing in tournaments provides valuable experience. These competitive environments test a golfer’s skills under varied conditions and pressure, fostering faster improvement. By focusing on these key areas, golfers can systematically upgrade their skills, whether they are just starting out or looking to polish their game.

Q. What’s new in the LPN pro shop in terms of merchandise for 2024? 
A.  For 2024, the Lake Panorama National Resort pro shop is showcasing an exciting array of new merchandise. Both men and women can expect to find the latest golf apparel trends. This means stylish and functional clothing from top brands, including shirts, shorts, pants and outerwear designed for comfort and performance on the course. We also have golf shoes in a new, nice variety of styles, including spikeless options for versatility and comfort during play.
For golf clubs, while LPN does not provide dynamic fitting options, we do offer static fitting. Or customers can obtain a custom fit from any of the Des Moines golf fitters. We are able to order any of the leading brands for you, with the cost of the fitting credited back to you.
We also offer exclusive Lake Panorama National Resort merchandise. From logoed apparel to accessories, these items make great souvenirs or gifts for friends and family. We hope you will visit us during your next trip to the resort to explore new arrivals and elevate your golfing experience.

Q. What has you excited about the 2024 golf season at Lake Panorama National and Panorama West?
A. The 2024 golf season at Lake Panorama National and Panorama West is brimming with excitement for several reasons. Both courses are renowned for their breathtaking scenery and beautifully maintained fairways and greens, providing an unparalleled golfing experience. Plus, the season promises a diverse range of events and tournaments catering to golfers of all ages and skill levels, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community of enthusiasts.
Whether it’s the thrill of championship-level play, the camaraderie among fellow golfers or the opportunity to hone skills with golf instruction, there’s something for everyone to look forward to. Overall, the 2024 golf season at Lake Panorama National and Panorama West holds the promise of unforgettable experiences and endless enjoyment on the fairways.


Hundreds of trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and annuals can attract various types of pollinators.
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Posted 05/07/2024
By Lynn Kuhn
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, wasps, ants, hummingbirds and bats all have two things in common. They are pollinators, and they are in decline. Those are big deals.
Did you know 75% of our crops depend on pollinators to some degree? One way to help is to add pollinator plants to your landscape, and now is the perfect time, as June is pollinator month.
Hundreds of trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and annuals can attract various types of pollinators. For now, we’ll highlight a few of the prettiest perennials that attract primarily bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Mix natives with showier cultivars for a display that is attractive to both pollinators and humans.
PALE PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea pallida)
WHITE CONEFOWER (Echinacea purpurea “Alba”)
PICA BELLA CONEFLOWER (Echinacea purpurea “Pica Bella”)
PIXIE MEADOWBRITE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea Pixie Meadowbrite™)
RUBY STAR CONEFLOWER (Echinacea purpurea “Ruby Star”)
ROCKY TOP TENNESSEE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea tennesseensis “Rocky Top”)
Designer’s Tip: Rocky Top Tennessee Coneflower is fairly short with blooms that nod to the east, so be sure to position it accordingly.

Liatris looks best when mixed with other liatris or with other perennials such as coneflower. Try these cultivars for best results.
KOBOLD GAYFEATHER (Liatris spicata “Kobold”)
FLORISTAN WHITE GAYFEATHER (Liatris spicata “Floristan White”)
MARSH BLAZING (Liatris spicata)
ROUGH BLAZINGSTAR (Liatris aspera)
PRAIRIE BLAZINGSTAR (Liatris pycnostachya)
Designer’s Tip: Plant liatris amongst ornamental grasses such as prairie dropseed, little bluestem and autumn moore grass.

So many monarda, so little time. It’s tough to pick a favorite, but I did my best. Look for these mildew resistant cultivars.
GARDEN VIEW SCARLET (Similar to Jacob Cline, but more resistant to powdery mildew)
Designer’s Tip: Pair monarda with Little  Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium dubium “Little Joe”). They both attract pollinators, love full sun, and tolerate moist soil.

I’m amazed at how the showy orange blooms of butterfly weed steal the show for about two months straight, but that’s nothing compared to the butterflies it attracts.
HELLOW YELLOW MILKWEED (Asclepias tuberosa “Hello Yellow”)
BUTTERFLY WEED (Ascelpias tuberosa)
COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias syriaca)
Designer’s Tip: Without common milkweed, there would be no monarch butterflies, so if possible let it grow if it pops up in your landscape. Be aware it can be aggressive and is not suitable for formal gardens.
For these plants and so much more, check out this local plant source: https://plantlifedesigns.com/native-and-pollinator-plant-sale
Celebrate Pollinator Month by adding these pretty perennials to your landscape, then sit back and enjoy the show. n

Written by Lynn Kuhn, author of “Conversation Gardens: Where Conversations Flow and Relationships Grow.” She is a landscape architect, speaker and owner of Conversation Gardens (formerly Outdoor Transformations). You can reach Lynn at lynn@conversationgardens.com or www.conversationgardens.com.


Harry condoleon do cropped
Posted 05/07/2024
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Dr. Harry Condoleon, DO, is a 1992 graduate of Des Moines University. He completed his general surgery residency in Des Moines and served as chief resident during his final year. He then obtained fellowship training in surgical oncology.
Dr. Condoleon is a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and a member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons.
General surgery services offered at Guthrie County Hospital will include, but not limited to, colonoscopies and upper GI endoscopies, hernia repairs, gallbladder removals, appendix removals, cancer-related surgeries, breast biopsies and mastectomies, and removal of skin lesions, cysts, or soft tissue masses. Patients can continue to self-refer or ask their primary care provider for a referral.
Approximately 20 years ago, while practicing in Las Vegas, Dr. Condoleon developed a passion for cosmetic medicine. In Las Vegas, he administered Botox Cosmetic, dermal fillers, and bioidentical hormone therapy. Dr. Condoleon returned to Iowa in 2009 and over the past seven years, in addition to general surgeries, he has also been performing cosmetic surgical procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck) and has further developed the reputation of a highly skilled surgeon who delivers the safest state-of-the-art treatment to his patients. He is the owner and medical director of SOMA Medical Spa and Wellness Clinic in Algona with a new location opening soon in Des Moines.
Dr. Condoleon will begin taking appointments on May 6 and will be here twice a week. To schedule your appointment, contact the GCH Surgery Department at 641-332-3858.


Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

On Wednesday afternoon, April 17, members of the Panora Women’s Service Organization (WSO) hosted their annual senior tea for Panorama Community Schools senior girls. The girls were encouraged to invite as many women guests as they wanted, and the group of about 90 included mothers, grandmothers and aunts.   
Toni Wright, WSO president, welcomed the senior girls and their guests to the Panora Church of the Brethren sanctuary at 2 p.m. Rev. Jane Shepherd, pastor at the Panora United Methodist Church, spoke about the importance of developing a relationship with God.
“God has a plan for you, and perhaps it is not the plan you have in mind,” she said. She shared examples of times God spoke to her about things he wanted her to do. These included becoming a pastor at the age of 50 and learning to draw images of women from a book she was reading. This resulted in her developing a series of spiritual meditations based on those women. She closed her comments with a prayer.
Next, Wright asked each senior to stand and introduce herself and her guests and tell something about her future plans.
WSO member Maureen Lubeck introduced the afternoon’s guest speaker. Lubeck was Maggie Gerlich Armstrong’s second-grade teacher and had asked her a year ago if she would speak at the 2024 senior tea.
Armstrong and her mother, Karen Gerlich, attended this same senior tea 24 years ago before she graduated from Panorama High School in 2000. She graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2004 and married her husband, Garret, in 2008. Together, they lived in Michigan and New York while pursuing careers in the outdoor sporting goods industry. They moved back to Guthrie County in 2015 and live in rural Panora with their dog, Nash. In 2022, Armstrong was the first woman ever to be elected to the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors.
Armstrong opened her comments by admitting she was nervous presenting to the group.
“I’ve been thinking about what I would say for the past year and just began to write two days ago,” she said. “I am intimidated by this wonderful group of young women, and I am in awe of you. You’ve broken records, you’ve reached goals. You have created bonds and lifelong friendships.”
Armstrong said, as she began to gather her thoughts, she went through files to find the photo of her and her mother at the 2000 senior tea.
“I thought, what would I want my 18-year-old self to know? I came up with four key points to share with you today,” she said.
Her first piece of advice was for the senior girls to write their own story and do so with their own voice.
“Give yourself some grace,” she said. “You will make mistakes, and you will learn from those. Don’t get caught up in negative self-talk. You must remain positive.”
Next was the importance of staying true to their personal core values and writing those down.
“I have my list of core values on a white board in my office, and I look at them often,” she said. “Your core values should guide you. You shouldn’t change your core values to accommodate someone else. If someone tries to get you to do that, it’s time to leave. Hold tightly to what you believe. And if you need help, call another woman to talk through things with you.”
Third was to “reserve your vulnerability for those who deserve it. I am all for sharing. But don’t open yourself to those who haven’t earned the right, that can do more harm than good,” Armstrong said.
The final piece of advice Armstrong shared was “dare to be brave. It’s hard to get outside of our comfort zone,” she said. “Yet being brave is the action you need to take to start your own journey.”
Armstrong said these four cornerstones helped her become the woman she is now and the one she strives to be each day. “The best lessons usually are learned the hard way,” she said.
She closed with a quote from the 1998 movie “Hope Floats”
“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it is the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up, and it will.”
Following Armstrong’s speech, photos of the seniors and their guests were taken as the WSO women made final preparations in the Fellowship Hall for finger sandwiches, cookies, candy, tea, coffee and lemonade. Once seated, WSO members served drinks, and the guests helped themselves to the food displayed on their tables.
This annual senior tea began many years ago and was hosted by the Panora Women’s Club and held at the Panora United Methodist Church. When that group disbanded, the WSO women’s club took over the event. The 2024 class of 26 senior women who attended was the largest in recent years. n


Posted 05/07/2024

Q: When do LPA dues need to be paid by? And what happens if my payment is late?
A: If you haven’t paid yet, you are late. According to the LPA office, the LPA dues were to be paid by May 1, and a finance charge will be implemented monthly on all unpaid dues starting on that date.

Q: Can I still buy tickets for the Fin and Feather banquet?
A: You better hurry. The Lake Panorama Fin and Feather Annual Banquet will be held Saturday, May 11 at the LPN Conference Center. Social hour begins at 5 p.m. with dinner and silent/live auction to follow at 6 p.m. All ages are welcome. Tickets are $50 each; kids 12 and younger are $25 each. Or join the Big Skipper Club for $150, which includes two fundraiser dinner tickets, Big Skipper raffle, and a family membership. See details at www.panoramafinandfeather.com/banquet.

Q: Can golf carts be legally driven on LPA roads? What about after sundown?
A: According to the LPA Rules and Regulations 4.5a, golf carts may be operated on LPA roadways during daylight hours. Golf carts with proper vehicle lighting (as for automobiles) may be operated on LPA roadways outside of daylight hours, according to 4.5b.

Q: What are the speed limits on LPA roads?
A: Generally, according to the LPA Rules and Regulations 4.1c and 4.1d, a 25 mph speed limit is imposed on all designated residential streets, and a 35 mph speed limit is imposed on roads designated as service roads.

Q: Will you publish birthdays or anniversaries in Lake Panorama Times?
A: Absolutely, assuming they are about property owners of Lake Panorama. Simply email your message and any photos to shane@dmcityview.com.  There is no charge for these special events or engagements, weddings, births, etc.

Q: I heard that the LPA could inspect my boat at any time, for any reason. Is that true?
A: LPA Rules and Regulations 5.1e states that private vessels may be inspected at any time by the Lake Panorama Association. Inspection may be for vessel specifications, vessel safety equipment, for evidence of invasive species regulation compliance and/or any other purpose regarding legal operation and usage of the vessel or its contents on Lake Panorama waters.

Q: I have been told that sailboards are not allowed on the lake, yet I see them from time to time? What’s the scoop?
A: LPA Rules and Regulations 5.2g states that registration of sailboards will not be allowed. Those members who previously registered sailboards will be grandfathered and the member can upgrade that vessel in the future, effective March 19, 1998.


Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Armed with rakes, clippers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers, 28 members of the Panora Garden Club gathered at the Panorama West golf course April 8 to spring clean around the outside of the clubhouse.
Club members cleared leaves and dead foliage from the rain garden along the southeast corner of the clubhouse parking lot. The rain garden, a project led by Friends of Lake Panorama, was installed in June 2017. The rain garden captures water runoff from the parking lot, which the plants and mulch filter before the water travels into a drainage tile.
Leaves and other winter debris was removed from landscaped beds that surround the clubhouse, the flagpole and the outdoor kiosk. Group members also trimmed evergreen trees, shrubs and roses near the Panorama West signs and clubhouse.
After the work was done, the club held its monthly meeting and enjoyed lunch in the clubhouse community room.
The Panora Garden Club currently has 45 members, and new members are always welcome to join. Details are available from any club member or the club’s Facebook page.


An original goal of $4,500 was set to plant 13 trees on the west side.
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

In the early days of Lake Panorama’s development, pine trees lined both sides of Panorama Road at the main west entrance to the lake, north of what was originally a guard shack. As those trees reached the end of their life span, they were removed, but no replacements were planted.
In 2012, LPA members provided the impetus for a fundraising campaign, and a number of trees were planted to replace those that were lost.
In recent years, at least another dozen trees along the west entrance have been removed with both storm damage and disease being contributing factors. The trees planted in 2012 helped cushion the blow of these more recent losses, yet gaps remained where trees once stood.
Now trees have been replaced in that area plus at both Sunset Beach and Boulder Beach. In January, the LPA partnered with Friends of Lake Panorama on a fundraising campaign. An original goal of $4,500 was set to plant 13 trees on the west side.
In March, donations reached $7,425. The extra funds made it possible to add more trees than planned to the west entrance and at Sunset Beach. Also, contacts were made with three donors who agreed to let their money be used for trees at Boulder Beach, where several ash trees recently were removed.
Larry and Heather Isom, who live on Burchfield Cove and own Isom Tree Farm, put together a plan for spending the donated funds.
During the last weekend in March, Larry Isom planted seven sugar maples with a tree spade. One was planted near the Sunset Beach sports court, with another in an open area at Boulder Beach. The remaining five were planted along the west entrance. The Isoms donated one of the sugar maples.
The last weekend in April, 16 nursery trees were planted with two at Sunset Beach — a London planetree near the northwest corner of the sports court and an autumn blaze maple near the northwest corner of the playground. Two autumn blaze maple, one red maples and one London planetree were planted at Boulder Beach. The remaining 10 nursery trees were planted along the west entrance.
Donors to Friends of Lake Panorama for this tree planting project included John Miller, In Memory of Karen K. Miller; Jay and Sue Merryman; Kevin and Jackie Wellik; Michael and Barbara Bahde, In Memory of Keith and Helen Nelson; Bob and Carol Bender, In Honor of the Art Bender Family; John and Jennifer Dilley, In Memory of Jackie Berguin; James and Vickie Meyer; Dennis and Joyce Pickering; Rusty and Angie H. Smith, In Honor of John and Margie Herold; Brian and Jill Thompson; Steve and Danielle Navarro; Charles and Christine Woods; and Gary and Tamra Muhlbauer.
The Lake Panorama Association has committed to weekly watering of the trees along Panorama Road as needed. Volunteers may be needed to water trees at Boulder Beach and Sunset Beach. Anyone interested in helping with tree watering at either of these two beaches is asked to contact Lane Rumelhart at the LPA office, 641-755-2301, or lrumelhart@lakepanorama.org.


Signs soon will be installed near the first tee that include a course map, rules and other details.
Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The disc golf course on Lake Panorama’s south shore has been open for play since last November, yet additional work is being done this spring. The course is one part of a plan for low-impact recreational amenities developed by Friends of Lake Panorama and approved by the LPA board.
John Worth, an LPA member who in 2019 volunteered to design a disc golf course at Lake Panorama, created the course to fit on land nestled between two sections of the Lake Panorama walking trails system.
“Due to the type of area the course is built on, all pretty deep woods, it is a non-typical course,” Worth says. “All the holes are shorter than an average course. The guideline is 200 to 400 feet, but the holes on this course run from 150 to 300 feet. This type of course is referred to as a ‘technical’ course, which means distances aren’t as long, and fairways are tighter, so your aim needs to be good.”
The course features nine concrete tee pads with nine metal basket targets. Worth recently installed tee box signs showing distance and layouts for each hole, plus hole sponsors, with one near each of the nine tee boxes. He also installed three “caution – flying discs” signs in locations where the walking trail and disc golf fairways are close together.
Signs soon will be installed near the first tee that include a course map, rules and other details. Also there will be a sign about UDisc, which is an app that lists more than 14,000 courses worldwide. Disc golfers use the UDisc app on their smart phones to keep score and navigate interactive course maps. The Lake Panorama course is listed on UDisc.
In early May, a chemical control for broadleaf weeds will be applied on the course fairways. Soon after, a seed mixture that is a blend of grasses and white clovers will be spread. This perennial mix is designed to quickly produce cover and grow in lower quality soils and areas with low sunlight. The goal is to eliminate weeds in the fairways, improve the turf and make the course fairways low maintenance.
Worth has plans for another improvement to the course. He has chosen secondary positions for baskets on four holes. This is typical on disc golf courses where extra “anchors” are installed, and the baskets can be moved to different locations. These additional basket locations were incorporated into the full course sign and individual tee signs. These optional locations could be available within the next couple of months.
Another part of the south shore recreation area plan yet to be completed is the addition of five benches. These are ready to be installed when conditions allow with two along the shoreline portion of the trail and two along the meadow portion. A bench donated by Lana Leander and Ryan Gruhn will be located near the fifth tee box on the disc golf course. That hole is sponsored by Hawkeye Molding, a business the couple owns.
Nine tee box sponsors donated $1,000 each to Friends of Lake Panorama last fall to help with the cost of establishing the disc golf course. Each sponsor is recognized with a sign on a tee box. The nine sponsors, in order from one to nine, are Sunset Realty; State Farm, Robert Carr; Panora Fiber; OvaEasy; Hawkeye Molding; Tuggle and Cates Family, Joshua and Mariah Tuggle; Mindy Larsen Poldberg Family; Martin - Flanery Ace Run, Jeff and Maria Martin; and Lake Panorama Realty.
To get into the recreation area, there is a fenced driveway that begins at 5501 Chimra Road and leads to a parking lot with walk-through access. Beyond the shelter with picnic table are two brown markers; one points right to the first hole of the golf course, and the other points left to the beginning of the trail system.
Two additional signs are on order and will be installed as soon as these are received. One is a welcome sign that will be near the parking lot. It includes a graphic of Lake Panorama, history, donor recognition, emergency contact details and other information. The second sign will be installed at the beginning of the trail system. It includes a map of the trail system, trail option descriptions and details on the native plants and wildlife along the trails.
The recreation area is open during daylight hours. Wheeled vehicles are prohibited. There are no trash receptacles, restrooms or running water; visitors should plan accordingly.


Joan staver
Posted 05/07/2024

Joan Kathryn Staver, 89, daughter of William and Agnes (Lynch) Breitbach, was born on Sept. 30, 1934, in Bankston. She entered into Eternal Rest on Saturday, April 6, 2024, in her home at Lakeside Village, Panora.
Joan graduated from high school in 1952 in Bankston. She moved to Dubuque, where she met Donald Joseph Staver; they married on June 23, 1956. They raised a family of five children. In 1991, they retired to Lake Panorama in Panora.
Her greatest joys were family and faith. She loved hosting family gatherings, spending time with friends, playing golf, games and euchre, and traveling.
Joan is survived by her daughters, Kathy (Don) Berryman, Lynn (Dave) Breitbach, Donna (Steve) Brody, Laurie (Jim) Knight, and son, Donald (Jenny) Staver, Jr; 12 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.  She is also survived by three of her seven siblings, Rose (Fran) Brune, Dorie (Wayne) Dodds and William (Jeanne) Breitbach.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Joseph Staver, and four of her siblings: Jim Breitbach, Ramona Kluesner, Edward Breitbach and Thomas Breitbach.
Memorial Mass services were Saturday, April 13, 2024, at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Panora, with visitation starting at 10 a.m. A luncheon followed the services at the church. Burial of her urn will take place in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery at a later date.
The family wishes to express their gratitude for the loving care provided by Lakeside Village and Hospice of the Midwest, the faithful guidance of Father Higgins of St. Cecelia Catholic Church, and the overwhelming support of family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Special Olympics Iowa at website: www.soiowa.org
Twigg Funeral Home, Panora, is entrusted with her services.


Posted 05/07/2024

Marilyn (Molly) Jane Gerlich, 96, passed away peacefully on April 4, 2024, at the New Homestead in Guthrie Center. She was the daughter of Paul and Gladys Adams and was born April 22, 1927, in Mt. Carroll, Illinois. Molly graduated from Galena High School in Galena, Illinois, in 1945.
On June 10, 1946, Molly was united in marriage to Irvin Gerlich in their hometown of Galena. To this union, five children were born. In 1964, The Gerlich family moved to West Des Moines. Molly was a homemaker and loving mother, always placing the needs and happiness of her children and family above her own. After Irv’s retirement, the couple moved to Lake Panorama where they made their home in 1979. They developed Boulder Cove Colony and Clover Ridge, then leased Lake Panorama National Golf Course to construct the Conference Center. Before his passing in 1997, Molly and Irv made significant contributions to the foundation of what Lake Panorama is today.
At age 78 and while at a 60th class reunion, Molly reunited with her childhood friend, Jim Hartman. Their friendship grew, and they were married on Dec. 31, 2005. They lived at Lake Panorama and then moved to a retirement community in West Des Moines for 12 years until Jim’s death in 2018.
Molly is survived by her son, Jay (Karen) Gerlich of Panora; daughter, Jule (Ted) Reynolds of Des Moines; daughter, Lonna (Kevin) Nauman of Panora; son-in-law Stan (Kim) Thornberry; special nieces Ellen (Dave) Elliott, Jane (Bob) Frazier; and nephews Jack (Jackie) Lickes and Keith (Donna) Gerlich; her deeply loved eight grandchildren, Ann Stutler, Curt Thornberry, Maggie Armstrong, Mari Brown, Erin Gerlich, Adam Reynolds, Liz Ratcliff and Wyatt Nauman; nine great-grandchildren; and her amazing life-long friends, Norma Clegg and Marilee Rice.
She was proceeded in death by her parents; her husband, Irv Gerlich; infant daughter, Lora Lee; daughter, Lynn Thornberry; second husband, Jim Hartman; sister, Carmen; and brother, Jack.
Molly was very active and enjoyed life to the fullest. There was seldom an empty day on her calendar. She loved dancing, big band music, golf, bridge and many long-lasting friendships. She was a member of PEO Chapter BY, Questers, United Methodist Church, and Lake Panorama Women’s Golf League.
Funeral services were Friday, April 12, 2024, at the Twigg Funeral Home, Panora. Visitation was one hour prior to the services at the funeral home. Burial followed at the Brethren Cemetery, Panora.
Memorial contributions can be made in Molly’s memory to the Panora United Methodist Church.


Fullsizeoutput 31d4
Posted 05/07/2024
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Names: Mia and Sophie
Breed: Border Collies
Ages: 4-year-old and 1-year-old
Owners: Robin and Jeff Conner

Mia enjoys riding in the pontoon and protecting their property from the deer, geese and squirrels. It’s all about the chase. Sophie’s favorite lake activity is watching the squirrels on the deck. If they don’t come, she gets Robin to find them. They both also enjoy Kubota and truck rides around the lake.


Posted 05/07/2024
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Caddie
Breed: Chocolate Tabby
Age: 9-10 months old
Available for adoption at: Panora Pets

Caddie is a quiet beauty with a stunning coat. She’s a bit skittish so would do best in a quiet, experienced cat home without children. She’s available for adoption at Panora Pets for an inside only home and must keep her


16808 vid taco mac
Posted 05/07/2024
By Jolene Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

The rainy days of April provided me with an opportunity to fill my freezer with a few make-ahead items that I can use this summer like cookie dough, muffins and marinated meats. The sunny days lure me outside to attend to weeds, clean out the dead of winter and lay down new mulch. But it’s not all work and no fun. This outside time also allows me to work on my golf game, ride my bicycle and spend time boating. You may notice that cooking is not on the “fun” list, which brings me to this month’s recipe. As much I love eating most anything homemade, my family craves the box macaroni and cheese. So, I sometimes give in, with a little taco twist.
Yes, macaroni and cheese is a beloved comfort food that’s easy to make. With just a few extra ingredients and steps, you can turn boxed mac and cheese into a filling dinner.
To make this Taco Mac and Cheese, simply prepare your favorite boxed mac and cheese according to the package instructions and stir fry the meat and vegetables together. (Hint: You can even chop vegetables the night before to make cooking the next day even easier.) Then add taco seasoning and combine for a better-for-you take on a classic dish. n

Jolene Goodman is the advertising director for Lake Panorama Times and vice president of Big Green Umbrella Media.

Taco Mac and Cheese

1 box macaroni and cheese
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground turkey
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
Prepare boxed mac and cheese with milk and butter according to package instructions.
In skillet, brown ground turkey over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onion. Add taco seasoning.
Stir turkey mixture with mac and cheese to combine.


Posted 05/07/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Spring-flowering crabapples are prevalent throughout the Lake Panorama community. In mid-April, Trish Hart snapped photos of budding flowers on crabapple trees at several locations.
Crabapples are most magnificent in spring. Buds and flowers line the tree limbs and act as profile pollinators for apples and other crabapples. The fragrant blooms give way to shiny leaves through summer and usually produce tiny colorful fruit in the fall.
Crabapples are native to North America and Asia. These trees generally grow 15-20 feet tall and live 40-60 years. Crabapple trees are fairly drought tolerant and low maintenance. Like many fruit trees, crabapples may take several years after planting before they start to flower. It’s best to plant at least two crabapples so they can cross-pollinate.
With their long-lasting fruit, crabapple trees are an excellent source of food for birds and the occasional squirrel, especially in the winter.
Hart specializes in nature photography. She offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


Shane goodman headshot
Posted 04/10/2024

Walt Longmire, the lead character in the television series “Longmire,” which is available on Netflix, rarely met a piece of garbage he didn’t want to pick up. The no-nonsense sheriff of fictional Absaroka County in Wyoming uses his skills to solve murders in this incredibly entertaining modern-day Western. He also uses his hands to keep his county clean. We could all learn from Walt.
With the snow melted at Lake Panorama, the ugly pollution of the prior months is now uncovered. Plastic is the main culprit. Plastic bags. Plastic cups. Plastic bottles. There is no doubt that plastic has made our world better in some ways, but it is a serious problem in others. Unfortunately, we too often overlook it. Take a glance at our roadsides, ditches and shorelines, and the problem is obvious.
Earth Day is Monday, April 22. I have written past columns urging readers to pick up one piece of garbage on Earth Day and explained how powerful that single effort could be if we all did it. But that’s just one day. We can do better at Lake Panorama.
So, here is my challenge. Starting today, and for the next 12 days, I ask that each of the 4,000 or so readers of this publication pick up two pieces of garbage off the ground each day. That would add up to 96,000 pieces between now and Earth Day. What a great effort that would be. And if you know anything about forming habits, you realize that, if you do this for 12 days, you will likely continue to do it.
To make this effort even stronger, I ask that you recycle as many of those materials as you can to avoid simply moving the trash from one part of our planet to another.
Together, we can make quite an impact and help make Lake Panorama an even more beautiful place to be. Most all of us would certainly be proud of this. Walt Longmire would, too.
Have a great April, and thanks for reading.

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


He’s not just a skier who loves to ski; he’s a skier who almost died doing it and lived to tell about it.
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The original idea was to write a story for this publication’s semi-regular feature titled “What’s in Your Garage?” Yet, start asking questions of Matt Lukacs, and you soon learn he’s got more to share than what’s in his garage.
“I was born in east Liverpool, grew up in Brazil, went to school in Poland and lived 15 years in Mexico,” he says.
Wow, this guy has lived all over the world!
“However, that’s Mexico, Missouri. Brazil is in Indiana, and the name of the county was Poland, so I went to Poland County elementary school. East Liverpool isn’t in England, but rather in Ohio. I graduated high school in Mexico, Missouri,” Lukacs says. “Then I moved to Iowa for college.”
OK, I’m hooked. Let’s keep going.
“I received a two-year degree for auto mechanics, then immediately went on to earn my engineering degree. I met Anette, and we got married as I was finishing college. I received engineering job offers at carmakers in other states, but Anette wanted to stay in Iowa to be close to her family, so we stayed in Iowa, which turned out well. People are great here,” he says.
Anette grew up on a farm near New Virginia and graduated from Interstate 35 High School. She was a health insurance underwriter for 12 years before the couple married.
“We met at a large church in Des Moines. The college and singles class had about 250 people in it. There was a singles retreat at Hidden Acres I signed up for. The church took a bus there, and Anette was sitting by herself on the bus,” Lukacs says. “We had never met, but she had a Tupperware container full of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I love sweets, so I sat next to her and ate all the cookies before we got to our destination. So, I asked her out on a date.”
The couple doesn’t have children of their own but worked with a large high school youth group for 25 years.
“I always told their parents the reason I did that was to remind me why I don’t have kids,” Lukacs jokes.
What brought them to Lake Panorama?
“It’s a long story,” he says. “I was happy boating and skiing at Saylorville Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. In 1999, I was hit by a drunk boater. The brief times I was conscious in the water and in the ambulance, there was blood all around me and blood coming out of my mouth. The three trauma doctors who worked on me told my family there was less than a 10% chance I would live.”
Lukacs had multiple broken bones, internal bleeding, a collapsed and infected lung, and a broken spine.
“The worst was my kidney and liver. They couldn’t even find my liver on the first CAT scan and had to do a second one,” Lukacs says. “All the broken ribs had ground it to a pulp. I was on life support. I found out later that hundreds of people came to the hospital and prayed for me. For some reason, God healed me without any surgeries.”
As he healed, Lukacs had to learn to walk again. Not surprisingly, he was afraid to go into water.
“I had to force myself to get over that fear. I did not want that to control my life,” he says. “We ended up at Lake Panorama the next year due to its family-oriented nature and it not having the drunken boater problems of other lakes.”
After one year at Lake Panorama, Lukacs joined the ski team, another step toward conquering his fear of being in the water. It wasn’t long before he became a featured act in the annual ski team show with his barefoot skiing plus other tricks.
“We went to a ski show in Florida, and I thought the barefooters were amazing,” he says. “I’ve now been to barefoot ski school many times over the years in Winter Haven, Florida, and in South Carolina. When you barefoot ski, your feet get hot from the friction on the water, so you learn tricks like butt sliding, tumble turns, one foots and more to give your feet a break.”
The couple built a house at Lake Panorama in 2004 and plan on retiring here soon. Most weekends, including the winter months, they leave their Urbandale home to spend time at the lake. They also own 160 acres of farmland near New Virginia.
Time to get to the point. What’s in your garage?
“Over the years, we’ve owned more than 100 sports cars,” Lukacs says. “That includes about 79 Mustangs, nine Corvettes and 20 Camaros, Firebirds, Trans Ams and others. You can throw in seven motorcycles the last 15 years, plus 12 boats and 10 jet skis in the last 26 years.”
Lukacs’ first car was a 1967 Mustang.
“I paid $400 for it from my parents. At the time, that was all it was worth. I fixed it up, which didn’t take much. The value went up the next year, and a guy asked if he could buy it for his daughter for $1,800. That’s when I realized a great part-time job would be fixing up classic cars.”
So, about 44 years ago, Lukacs started buying and restoring mainly 1965-1968 Mustangs.
“I did all the body work, welding, painting, upholstery and mechanical work on them,” he says. “I averaged six to eight restorations annually for many years. I stopped when I got to the point that working on cars all day, then coming home to work on a car, wasn’t a hobby anymore.”
He started his current business in 1982, while he was still in college.
“At Automotive Engineering, we specialize in diagnostic and repairs of electrical, computer systems and performance problems in cars. We also do other things like brakes, suspension and general maintenance,” Lukacs says.
The business is located in Clive. Two years after Lukacs started the business, Anette joined it.
“She has been a very big part of the shop,” he says. “She does customer relations and book work. Before parts stores delivered parts fast, she was our parts runner.”
What’s in Lukacs’ garage now?
The couple has two Corvettes. Anette drives the red 2023, and Matt drives the blue 2024. They recently sold a 2022 Mustang GT convertible and added the 2024 Corvette.
“The sport and muscle cars get driven until there’s snow on the ground,” Lukacs says. “We ordered both Corvettes with the Z51 packages, so the tires are summer use only. When the temperature hits 40 degrees, the tires become like hard plastic and dangerous to drive. During warm weather, they have a sticky feel to grip the road better. These cars usually are stored three to four months. This year, February was nice, so they came out early.”
Lukacs says when the Corvettes are in storage, the couple drives “two boring SUVs. A newer Ford Explorer and a Chevy Blazer. We also need those to pull the Malibu ski boat. Our home is on B lots, so we keep the boat in the lake garage and tow it to the boat ramp every week.”
So, besides two SUVs and a ski boat, anything else in your garage?
“One motorcycle. We bought the 2023 Indian Rogue motorcycle this past fall. It’s my seventh bike,” Lukacs says. “I got into bikes when a youth group student wanted to take the motorcycle class in Ankeny, but he didn’t have his driver’s license yet, so I took the class with him. I enjoyed the class a lot, so I bought a motorcycle. The Indian bike is made here in Iowa and has been around longer than Harley-Davidson.”
Surely there’s no more room in the garage, but anything else with an engine?
“One airplane. Dr. David Dwyer and I are partners, and we keep it at the Guthrie County airport. I always wanted to fly. It wasn’t until I was older that I got my license,” Lukacs says. “I really enjoy taking people up with me. I fly in the area and like taking photos of Lake Panorama. I also fly to Missouri and Wisconsin to air shows and to southern Iowa to look at our New Virginia farm from the sky.”
Dwyer also has a home at Lake Panorama and is on the ski team. Lukacs says Dwyer uses the plane to fly to Illinois to see family.
“David is an awesome guy to be partners with. He has a great attitude. We got our pilot licenses about the same time,” he says. “This is David’s second airplane and the first one I’ve owned. Before that, I belonged to two flying clubs in the Des Moines area, which was a great experience. My favorite plane is like the one I was certified in. It was a Mooney, which are built like a Corvette — fast and aerodynamic.”
Now when people see Matt Lukacs barefoot skiing on Lake Panorama, they’ll know the rest of his story. He’s not just a skier who loves to ski; he’s a skier who almost died doing it and lived to tell about it. He’s owned a car repair business for 42 years. He loves sports cars. He loves to ride his motorcycle made in Iowa. He is part-owner of an airplane he loves to fly.
Anything else he wants to share?
“I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without Anette,” he says.
He’s also a smart husband.


Funds raised at the banquet are used to stock fish in Lake Panorama, improve fish habitat and sponsor an annual fishing derby for children.
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times
The 2024 Lake Panorama Fin and Feather fundraising banquet will be Saturday, May 11, the same day as the LPA annual meeting. The event will be held at the Lake Panorama National Resort with social hour beginning at 5 p.m. A dinner and silent/live auctions will follow at 6 p.m. All ages are welcome.
Funds raised at the banquet, plus annual memberships and direct donations, are used to stock fish in Lake Panorama. The group also helps improve fish habitat and sponsors an annual fishing derby for children during Panorama Days.
The cost for fish stocking for 2023 was more than $18,000. Species stocked included a total of 1,050 walleye, with 300 of those 12 inches or more, and 750 in the 6- to 9-inch range. There also were 1,400 smallmouth bass, 1,500 largemouth bass and 2,500 perch released last year.
Dinner tickets to the May 11 banquet are $50 each, with children 12 and younger $25. Another option is to join the Big Skipper Club at a cost of $150. This covers two dinner tickets, Big Skipper raffle ticket and an annual family membership. The cost of just an annual family membership is $50.
Supporters can either mail a check or register online with a credit card or PayPal account at the group’s website: http://panoramafinandfeather.com/banquet/
If payment is made by check, make it payable to Fin and Feather and mail to Doug Hemphill, Farmers State Bank, P.O. Box 110, Yale, Iowa, 50277, along with a completed membership application, which is available on the website.
Those unable to attend who want to become members or make a donation can do so on the Fin and Feather website or by mail.
Members who pay in advance for the banquet will have their tickets waiting for them upon arrival. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for walk-in attendees.


Registration is expected to be available in mid-April.
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Friends of Lake Panorama will host its seventh Beach Ball fundraiser Friday, June 21 at Lake Panorama National. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Friends of Lake Panorama, a nonprofit charity dedicated to improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama.
Plans are being finalized for the event, and registration is expected to be available in mid-April. The Friends board is discussing how profits from the event will be used. Projects chosen will receive a percentage of pooled funds raised, plus all direct donations designated to a specific project.
Funds will be raised with both live and silent auctions plus other activities throughout the evening. Several auction items already are committed including some that have been the most popular in past live auctions.
One is a Cyclone football package for the Nov. 2 ISU vs. Texas Tech game, which includes four tickets in the ISU Athletic Director Suite with Jamie Pollard, food and soft drinks during the game, and a VIP parking pass; a piece of jewelry custom-made by Gary Youngberg, owner of Ames Silversmithing; and a six-course gourmet meal for six with wine pairings, prepared, served and donated by Bill and Karen Fitzgerald.
Anyone interested in donating auction items for the 2024 Beach Ball is asked to email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.
The 2023 Beach Ball had a profit of $25,000. That money has been used over the last year, in conjunction with private donations, to create low-impact recreational amenities on Lake Panorama’s south shore.
Funds raised at past Beach Balls helped improve playgrounds at all three beaches, install sports courts at both Boulder and Sunset beaches, create a dog park, enhance the Panorama West Nature Trail, add more than 20 new benches at beaches and golf courses, and several smaller projects.
Details on all past and current projects are available on the Friends website at friendsoflakepanorama.org. Friends of Lake Panorama also has a Facebook page. Details will be posted on Facebook when registration begins for the 2024 Beach Ball.


Three practices that are not compliant with Iowa law will need to be adjusted in the coming boating season.
Boatingbillsigned (cropped)
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

On Feb. 28, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the first piece of legislation passed by both the Iowa House and Senate during the 2024 Iowa legislative session. That bill was narrowly crafted to impact only the Lake Panorama Association and allows the LPA to continue to enforce rules and regulations regarding boating on Lake Panorama.
The need for this legislation was the result of two court rulings, one in January 2020, the other in October 2023. What follows is a summary of those court rulings and why LPA officials worked to find a legislative solution.
On Jan. 31, 2020, the Supreme Court of Iowa issued a ruling that confirmed the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has the authority to enforce Iowa boating laws on Lake Panorama.
On July 7, 2018, DNR officers patrolled Lake Panorama and made a number of stops, one of which was the focus of the case that reached the Iowa Supreme Court. It involved an LPA member whose boat displayed blue lights. Iowa Law states only emergency vessels may display blue lights on public water. DNR pulled over this member and subsequently cited him for boating while intoxicated.
The member’s attorney argued DNR had no probable cause to stop the member for blue lights, because Lake Panorama waters are not subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Iowa. The attorney argued all charges should be dismissed.
The court ruled Lake Panorama waters are technically under the jurisdiction of the State of Iowa, as Lake Panorama is accessible from the upstream portion of the Middle Raccoon River by kayaks and canoes. Thus, DNR had the authority to stop the member for displaying a blue light, and all charges stemming from that stop were upheld.
“Historically, Lake Panorama was marketed as a private lake based on the fact non-members cannot legally access the lake with vessels of substantial size,” says John Rutledge, LPA general manager. “Since the Supreme Court ruling, Lake Panorama has occupied a unique status in which we are technically public water, yet nearly all of our lake users are LPA members. The key result of the court ruling was confirmation DNR can cite boaters for Iowa boating law infractions.”
Rutledge says, for decades, LPA has cooperated with DNR for the enforcement of common sense, safety-based boating rules.
“This status quo has worked well with DNR handling enforcement of the most serious boating violations. LPA then supplements DNR’s efforts by implementing additional safety-based rules and restrictions,” he says.
That status quo of cooperative enforcement was disrupted by the Iowa District Court for Ringgold County ruling this past October in the case of “Sun Valley Iowa Lake Association vs Joe Romare.” The Sun Valley Lake Association had asked the court for a temporary injunction against Romare pending final resolution of their claims for breach of contract and trespass. The association claims Romare is a member of the association because he owns property in the Sun Valley Lake development. And that, as a member, he must pay dues and be subject to association rules and regulations.
Although the court affirmed Sun Valley’s authority to impose rules and assess fees upon their membership, they did not award the injunction based upon a question of authority over the lake itself. The court ruled that authority to govern a body of water was not a joint effort between DNR and the property owner association but rather a mutually exclusive authority; either the Sun Valley Iowa Lake Association could have authority on the lake or DNR, but not both. Because Sun Valley did not sufficiently prove Sun Valley Lake was a private body of water, the injunction was denied.
“We disagreed with this district court ruling that authority is mutually exclusive, but don’t have standing in this case to appeal. We determined our best course of action was to pursue legislative repair,” Rutledge says. “We contacted Rep. Carter Nordman, who is a lake resident and understands the situation well.”
Work on a legislative solution began in late October. Getting House File 2485 approved by both the Iowa House and Senate and to the Governor’s desk for her signature wasn’t easy.
“We worked through various versions of the bill and met some substantial resistance along the way,” Rutledge says. “The Legislature did not want to interfere with ongoing litigation between Sun Valley and Joe Romare.”
Rutledge says, once the new law went into effect, the status quo for Lake Panorama was preserved.
“Thankfully, the Sun Valley vs Romare ruling was issued in October rather than in the spring or summer. This gave us time to work on a solution. Had the district court ruling been the governing authority for our 2024 boating season, LPA would not have been able to implement any boating rules, regulations or buoys,” he says.
“LPA rules represent decades of research and hard work by countless committee members, staff members and board members. Included in the rules are the number of vessels per membership, the length of vessels, the horsepower of vessels, operator requirements of vessels, such as age of operator, invasive species requirements and over 80 governing buoys,” Rutledge says.
“LPA’s ability to maintain the right-hand rule for travel along the main channel is one critical element that would have disappeared had we not been granted authority to govern. Also in this category would be LPA’s ability to establish reduced speed areas, such as at the back of coves and in the marina,” he says. “LPA patrol would not have been possible, meaning the lake’s only governance would have been DNR patrols.”
Rutledge gave this example of how dangerous not being able to enforce LPA boating rules might have been. Under LPA’s rules, the youngest unsupervised operator of a vessel over 10 hp could be a 16-year-old who has passed Iowa’s boating certification course. That operator could be driving a 24’ wake boat and would be required to adhere to the right-hand rule in the main channel and reduced speed regulations in the coves and in the marina.
“Had this law not passed, a 12-year-old who had passed Iowa’s boating certification course could drive a 38’ boat with no requirement to adhere to the right-hand rule in the main channel, nor be required to observe reduced speed in the coves or the marina,” Rutledge says. “LPA believed this represented an imminent safety threat, and we appreciate the Legislature and Gov. Reynolds recognizing the urgency of this situation.”
Rutledge says there are many people to thank for getting this proposed legislation passed into law.
“Rep. Carter Nordman took the lead, helping get a draft started and working through proposed amendments throughout the process. He also managed the bill on the House floor. Carter was our champion throughout this process, and we couldn’t have accomplished this without his leadership. Other support came from Sen. Jesse Green, who is our senator, and Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink of Fort Dodge, who also owns a home at Lake Panorama,” he says. “And thanks to Gov. Reynolds for her visit to Lake Panorama last summer, which provided her with context for this bill.”
As part of this legislative effort, LPA and DNR reviewed Lake Panorama’s practices to ensure the legislation didn’t miss any key elements along the way. Rutledge says this review brought to light three practices that are not compliant with Iowa law that will need to be adjusted in the coming boating season.
“First is LPA’s use of blue lights for LPA water patrol. This is in conflict with Iowa Law, and we will be correcting this by changing from blue lights to red and white lights,” he says. “Second are slalom courses on Lake Panorama. These courses represent an obstruction on public water that is inconsistent with what is allowed on other lakes in Iowa. These courses will be removed this spring.”
Rutledge says the third item is members deploying a private marker buoy, or marker ball, by their dock.
“Although LPA has allowed one of these per membership, DNR officials have determined these are in violation of Iowa law. LPA rules regarding marker buoys will be updated this spring to ensure these are not in conflict with Iowa law, and members are advised to no longer deploy them,” he says.
Rutledge offered two key “take aways” for the LPA. “One is that legislators placed a lot of trust in us not to overreach,” he says. “Safety-based, common-sense regulation is supported.
“Two, this has been a lesson in working cooperatively with the LPA membership and not letting our disagreements lead to legal action. I am grateful our membership is respectful and reasonable, and our board believes LPA security’s primary role is to educate and correct dangerous behavior,” Rutledge says. “Our role is to communicate and enforce rules developed by the water safety committee, staff and board that are in the best interest of lake safety and property values.”


Key staff positions were filled with people who have worked at The Port and now have expanded roles.
Portstaff (cropped)
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The Port restaurant on the eastern edge of Lake Panorama’s main basin has a long history. In 1972, some lake property owners began discussions about a restaurant and lounge. A company was formed, and construction began in 1975. The restaurant opened in 1976 but closed at the end of the season because of steep losses.
David Garst took over the operation. Paul and Linda Wendl purchased The Port from Garst in 1982 and operated it for 12 years before selling it in 1994. The restaurant moved through several hands over the next 10 years before being purchased in 2004 by Dr. Mark Menadue.
In late 2023, it was announced The Port would be closing following a New Year’s Eve party Dec. 31. That led to rumors The Port had been sold.
“The Port has not been sold,” says Hannah Menadue Johnson, president of Menadue Development. “This is the 20th year of ownership by our family. During the winter, it’s difficult to anticipate how many guests will come out, which makes staffing and food orders difficult. Closing for a few weeks helps us manage costs, clean, make menu updates, and look at event scheduling, staffing and training before the busy season.”
Menadue Johnson says all staff were laid off during the closure but are eligible to apply for re-hire.
“Some chose to pursue different opportunities during that time,” she says. “We wish them nothing but the best.”
The Port restaurant doors reopened March 14 in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Menadue Johnson says key staff positions were filled with people who have worked at The Port and now have expanded roles.
Kayla Valentine is The Port’s new general manager.
“I started working at The Port in early 2015 as a front desk clerk. From there, I learned everything I could at both the hotel and restaurant. I began working as the event coordinator and soon took on the hotel manager position, too,” Valentine says. “As the general manager, I oversee the hotel and restaurant and will continue to run events. I’m very excited to begin this role. I have always loved The Port and the people we get to serve.”
Tory Thompson has worked in The Port’s kitchen for several years and returns in 2024 as the head chef.
“Tory is an excellent chef with extensive experience,” says Valentine.
Amanda Hemann is the front-of-house manager, and Amanda Rambo is the bar manager.
“Amanda Hemann worked with us as the lead bartender about 10 years ago and came back last year to help in the kitchen,” Valentine says. “She is a jack of all trades and loves the community. Amanda Rambo has worked with us for a few years and is an experienced bartender. She is very creative, and our patrons have really grown fond of her.”
A new menu for the 2024 season includes many of the dishes customers enjoyed last season, although Valentine says it will continue to be tweaked as the staff receives customer input this spring. The new menu offers six appetizers, nine entrees, six sandwiches, three salads and eight side dishes.
“We brought back some old favorites like Broccoli Alfredo, The Port Asian Stir Fry and the Atlantic Salmon,” she says. “We are excited about some new additions like our classic Caesar Salad, Tory’s Creamy Cheddar Penne and the pulled pork sandwich. All indoor seating, including the bar, will be served the full dinner menu. In addition, Amanda Rambo will be working on some fun drink specials and possibly a happy hour, but that is still in the works this spring.”
The popular tiki bar is set to open Memorial Day weekend. As was the case last year, a simple grill menu will be available during busy hours to take pressure off the kitchen. Entertainment will include one band each weekend. Bands that were booked prior to the winter closing are being considered for the upcoming season and will be announced on The Port’s Facebook page as dates approach.
A fire in October 2018 had the restaurant closed until the following summer. Reconstruction of the building resulted in a new layout, equipment and furniture. Menadue Johnson says this year will bring new paint for the tiki bar, and updates are in the works for the boat docks and parking lot.
On a side note, The Port hotel has had some recent upgrades.
“We got new paint in all rooms and hallways, new tile in the lobby and beautiful stone work on our fireplaces and hot tubs,” Valentine says.
Current restaurant hours are Thursday, 5-8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5-9 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon. Hours will expand in May.
“We look forward to serving old and new customers with great food, drinks and the best view this year,” Menadue Johnson says. “We hope locals and visitors to the lake feel welcome to join us for live music, drinks at the tiki bar, and casual, upscale dining inside.”
Valentine says The Port staff members are happy to be serving patrons again.
“Our goal is to be more family oriented and locally involved in the community, while still maintaining our fun and vacation-like atmosphere,” she says. “We are looking into more ways to connect and support our community. We hope to bring new activities to The Port, including during our off season. Stay tuned to our Facebook page to keep updated on our hours, plans and upcoming events.”
The Facebook page is “The Port on Lake Panorama.” The business website is experiencetheport.com and offers contact information, hours of operation, menus and online ordering. Event, wedding and other inquiries can be emailed to Kayla Valentine at kaylav@experiencetheport.com. The hotel and restaurant phone number is 844-888-7678.


Owner Kandi Meinecke opened her business March 11.
Bbemployees (cropped)
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

For 26 years, Kandi Meinecke operated Britches ‘N’ Bows Country Store at her farm home on Willow Avenue northeast of Panora. In early March, that business morphed into B&B Marketplace, now housed at 106 E. Main in Panora. The building had been home to Quinnebago Outdoors and, before that, Ben’s Five and Dime.
“I never dreamed of moving my business to town; it didn’t appeal to me,” Meinecke says. “I was happy in my own space and doing what I wanted in the country. But when the Quinnebago auction sign appeared in the window, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I figured, now or never, go for it and expand your business.”
Meinecke grew up on a farm near Yale and attended YJB High School, followed by retail management at DMACC in Ankeny. She married Tom Meinecke 33 years ago, and they moved to their farm on Willow Avenue 32 years ago. The couple has two daughters and one son, plus two grandchildren.
Britches ‘N’ Bows began as a partnership with her mother.
“We started with a small business loan of only $5,000. We started by crafting most of our inventory but accented with florals, candles and other home items,” Meinecke says. “As years went by, we started ordering more goods from vendors, including things like rugs, clocks and picture frames. Next, we added jewelry and, finally, boutique clothing, which was a huge hit.”
Meinecke says they even were involved in the Beanie Baby craze, which lasted almost four years. The store was located in an old granary, which was attached to their house. A garage was used for storage. Now B&B Marketplace is located in a building that offers 10,000 square feet over two floors.
The business opened March 11.
“My goal is to provide the community with a trendy marketplace shopping experience that includes a coffee, espresso and dessert bar; a fresh floral counter; boutique clothing; and home décor,” Meinecke says. “This also gives me space to display and promote my event décor and rental services.”
The business logo lists floral, coffee, décor.
“I have dreamed of having a flower shop forever, but my country location wasn’t big enough,” Meinecke says. “I had been offering fresh flowers for weddings the past several years and managed to do that from my garage. Now I can have a full flower shop and offer flowers for every occasion.”
Cash-and-carry fresh floral premade arrangements are in a cooler. In person, online and phone orders can be picked up or delivered.
“We have Brew & Bloom baskets that include a two-cup coffee carrier with a mixed vase of flowers and choice of brew, wrapped in a cellophane gift bag and a greeting card that can be picked up or delivered. We did a Valentine special with these, and I think it will become a staple item for us.”
Meinecke says the coffee and espresso bar is something new for her.
“I wanted to bring this to my customers for a more pleasurable shopping experience,” she says. “We offer daily baked goods, like brownies, cookies and mini bundt cakes. Our seating is limited to eight window seats. Our goal is for people to come in and order, then browse while enjoying their drink, or order takeout. Customers also can order online.”
Meinecke says she’s been asked if tables and chairs will be added near the coffee bar.
“I like the open concept we have there, so we won’t add more seating. I think the stools along the window provide what shoppers need,” she says. “However, if groups want to meet in the building after business hours, I will have some tables and chairs that can be set up.”
Those who shopped at Meinecke’s Britches ‘N’ Bows location can expect to find the same types of merchandise at B&B Marketplace, just more of it with a modern twist.
Near the coffee bar is a special section for infants and children that offers clothing, shoes, books, stuffed animals and more. Next is a display of accessories.
“Jewelry has always been a great item for us,” Meinecke says. “We also have hats, hair clips, sunglasses and many other fun accessories.”
Women’s clothing and shoes fill the southwest corner of the store.
“We’ve always tended toward casual clothing, with lots of jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts,” she says. “We have a wide range of sizes, from teeny tiny through extended. At my other shop, I didn’t have room to offer extended sizes, but now I can. The same is true for shoes. I used to have shoes occasionally, but now I have space to offer more shoes and more sizes.”
Another section of the store is dedicated to home décor.
“We have added more décor, because we now have the space to display more,” she says. “In addition to our fresh flowers, we have green houseplants and artificial flowers. Seasonal decor is our favorite, so customers can plan on seeing plenty of that.”
For seven years, Meinecke has been decorating for weddings and other special events.
“All of our retail operation is on the first floor. Later in the spring, we’ll move our special event rental décor into the basement to display. Customers will be welcome to browse that area, but if someone wants to discuss plans for an event, it will be best if they make an appointment,” she says.
The basement also will be used for special events. For instance, Meinecke plans to hold a “maker’s market” three or four times each year.
“We’ll invite local artisans to rent a table for the day to share and sell their creations,” she says.
During regular business hours, only the north entrance on Main Street will be open. The south door that leads into the basement will be locked, except for special events.
Meinecke says she didn’t make many changes to the building before moving in.
“The ceilings, walls and floors all were here. We did change all the light fixtures and had the coffee bar and window seating built,” she says. “Right now, the back part of the main floor is curtained off and used for storage. But as we grow, I hope to turn at least part of that into retail space and part of it into a work area.”
B&B Marketplace is open six days a week, with Tuesday as the one day it’s closed. Hours are Monday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Meinecke plans to be at the business most of the time when the doors are open. She’ll be assisted by three women who worked at her former location — daughters Kaylinn Smith and Jentry Meinecke, and daughter-in-law Miranda Meinecke — plus several part-time employees.
B&B Marketplace has a Facebook page. The business phone number is 641-755-4188, and email is shopbbmarketplace@gmail.com. Online shopping is available for clothing, shoes, jewelry, home décor, fresh flowers and coffee bar items. The website for online shopping and in-store updates is Shopbbmarketplace.com.


Starting in May, customers will have options of ordering with a staff member or by using the QR code.
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

April marks the beginning of the second year for Nick and Lynn Kuhn to operate The Links Lounge + Events at Lake Panorama National. The couple’s lease with the LPN was renewed for another year over the winter.
The 2024 lease agreement calls for increased days and hours of operation for The Links Lounge with Sundays and Mondays added to the schedule and lunch offered Friday through Sunday.
Beginning May 1 and running through September, The Links will be open each Monday from 3-10 p.m.; Wednesday, 3-10 p.m.; Thursday, 3-9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m., except on Wednesdays.
Starting May 5, The Links also will be open Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering a limited menu.
Between now and April 30, hours are 3-10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the kitchen open until 9 p.m.
Another change for 2024 is customers will have two options to order.
“Customers will have the option of placing their order with a staff member or by using the QR code. We plan to start offering this in May,” says Lynn Kuhn.
Kuhn says customers also can expect some changes to The Links menu and specials in the coming months.
“In addition to the great pub fare, we’re adding regular entrées to the menu,” she says. “Look for the new menu in mid-to-late April as the season ramps up.”
Another new offering for 2024 is custom dinners for groups of 8-16 people. No reservation fee will be charged, and Kuhn will work with group organizers to plan the menu and seating.
Kuhn coordinates all special events scheduled at Lake Panorama National.
“We have several options available for room spaces,” she says. “We invite more dinners, receptions and corporate events. We can accommodate groups of any size and offer some great food and beverage choices to make the occasion memorable.”
To discuss a custom dinner for a group of 8-16, or something much larger, email lkuhn@lakepanorama.org.
Spikes and the beverage carts are included in the LPN lease agreement with the Kuhns. Deb Douglass again will manage the snack shop and beverage cart operation for 2024.
During April, Spikes is open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with adjustments made for weather and tee times. Beginning May 1, Spikes will be open daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended evening hours Wednesdays and Thursdays to accommodate league play. Beverage cart service will be expanded to both men’s and women’s golf leagues and all scheduled golf events of at least 24 players.
The Links Lounge + Events Facebook page and the LPN Resort Weekly newsletter provide updates on hours, new offerings and special events.


Coreylarsen (cropped)
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

It won’t be long before Lake Panorama is filled with boats, jet skis and other watercraft. Again this year, the LPA security team is emphasizing the importance of water safety. Corey Larsen has been the LPA Security Chief since March 2021. In this month’s Q&A, Larsen talks about boating on Lake Panorama.

Q. What are some things boat owners should know or do before they take to the water this season?

A. A good place to start is to watch the LPA water safety video that outlines specific rules related to Lake Panorama. Go to the LPA website at lakepanorama.org and click on the Helpful Links tab to access this video. Also, information about Iowa boating laws is on the DNR’s boating website at iowadnr.gov/Things-to-Do/Boating.
Water safety needs to begin before a boat is launched for the first time each year. Members must have their Iowa DNR registration up to date and their current LPA stickers on the vessel before it goes in the water.
Since both fire extinguishers and floatation devices are key safety items, these are priorities for the Iowa DNR and LPA. Boats with greater than 10 horsepower are required by Iowa law to have at least one Type B-I fire extinguisher onboard the vessel. Some larger boats are required to have one B-II fire extinguisher, or two B-I fire extinguishers. Boat owners also need to check their extinguishers periodically to make sure these are ready if needed.
All vessels are required to have at least one United States Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board. In addition, vessels more than 16 feet in length must have a throwable floatation device, excluding kayaks and canoes. Also, Iowa law requires children younger than 13 years of age to wear their life jacket while the vessel is underway.
Boat operators often misunderstand boat capacity rules. Most boats are rated for a maximum number of persons and a maximum total weight. Boaters must remember they are not allowed to exceed either of these numbers. This is especially relevant with young people who weigh less than adults. Regardless of how small the passenger is, everyone counts as one passenger in the boat capacity limit.

Q. Once LPA members have their boats on the lake, what are some things they need to know?

A. When a watercraft is anchored, at least one person must be on board the water vessel at all times. This goes for personal watercraft as well as boats. This is important when boaters decide to anchor and take a swim or tie together with another boat.
Also, it’s critical for boaters to understand the various types of buoys deployed by the LPA staff each spring and obey rules related to these buoys. Centerline buoys mark the channel of the lake, with boaters travelling on the right-hand side of the buoys. These buoys are marked with a flashing or steady white light to be visible at night. Hazard buoys are placed in areas that are known to be shallow or hazardous. These buoys are not a guarantee of exact hazard location but are a warning to steer clear of that general area. Hazard buoys are marked with a flashing or steady amber lights to ensure boaters steer clear of these areas. Remember, when boating at night, avoid amber lights and stay immediately to the right of white lights.
In 2018, a map showing the type and location of all buoys was proposed by the water safety committee and approved by the LPA board. The buoy map is available on the LPA website. Go to the Documents tab, then the Boating Items tab to access the buoy map.
It is important for LPA members to make sure their guests are familiar with the different types of buoys, plus Iowa DNR and LPA rules and requirements, before they are allowed to operate the member’s vessels.
Boaters who don’t obey the rules related to buoys risk being stopped by a security officer and being given either a warning or a ticket. Also in place is a rule adopted by the LPA board concerning the moving of buoys by members. Intentional vandalism or relocation of buoys will result in an automatic third offense, which, under LPA rules, is a $500 fine and loss of boating privileges for the season.

Q. Review for us rules related to prevention of invasive species in Lake Panorama.

A. Any vessel leaving any other lake must be cleaned, all compartments drained, and the vessel should dry at least five days before re-entering Lake Panorama. The vessel owner must contact LPA Security to schedule an inspection. They must be able to show they have not been on an infested lake, have no water in compartments, no plant debris or mud, or any other sign of potential contamination. This is an Iowa law and is enforceable with a $500 fine. The LPA also has set fines for violators and for falsified information on questionnaires.
Another LPA rule related to invasive species prevention requires members who want to bring in used pieces of equipment like docks or lifts to have the equipment inspected by LPA security. From the date of inspection and pending the equipment has been cleaned, members must find an offshore location to store the equipment for a minimum of 30 days. This allows any potential invasives to perish before the equipment enters the lake. Members should always call the LPA office ahead of time if they are considering purchasing a used dock or lift.

Q. What is the rule regarding towing in the Narrows, and why was this implemented?

A. The Narrows is limited to no towing (tubes, skiers or any other towed devices) and wake surfing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. If boat traffic is especially heavy at other times, security officers have the authority to put flags on the markers to show no towing is allowed.
Two new buoys will be installed soon with one on each end of the Narrows. These are 19 inches in diameter and 33 inches tall with a collar that is 38 inches in diameter and 13 inches in height. These buoys state the 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. towing restrictions for weekends and holidays and when flags are displayed. As with other buoys on the lake, these new buoys are white and orange yet significantly larger. This change should make it easier for boaters to know and understand the towing restrictions.
Safety is the reason towing is not allowed in the Narrows at certain times. This is the narrowest part of the lake. During times of high boat traffic, we need to keep people safe. If security officers see you towing in the Narrows during the regular hours, or other times when it is deemed unsafe, they can issue a warning or a citation.

Q. What fines are in place to help enforce the LPA rules that promote water safety?

A. First and foremost, it is important to emphasize LPA Security’s primary goal is to educate members, promote safety and ensure unsafe behavior is corrected. LPA will issue fines, if needed, to accomplish our goals for safe boating, but our hope is that members conduct themselves appropriately and our need to issue fines is minimal.
The LPA schedule of fines includes $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense and $500 plus loss of lake privileges for third offense. LPA has a special section in our rules that provides for increased fines and penalties for any member who threatens or harasses an LPA officer. It is a violation of LPA rules to threaten or try to intimidate a security officer or to verbally abuse an officer in a profane manner. Members have the right to appeal any LPA fines to the LPA appeals committee, which is comprised of five LPA members appointed for this specific purpose.
LPA Security has the right to stop a boat at any time if a rule violation is suspected or to make sure all required equipment is aboard. The Security Department uses body cameras to help us monitor interactions between officers and people they come in contact with. It is our goal to ensure every officer interaction is professional and respectful for all parties involved.
While it may seem like the LPA has a lot of rules related to boating, much of it is just common sense and safety. All boaters should practice safe boating. Stay far enough away from other boats and people being towed or wake surfing. Have a plan for the boating party, which includes having a sober person operate the vessel.
I will make it a priority to get security boats out on the water again this year. We will do our best to make sure the water patrol security officers are keeping people safe by enforcing the rules.
LPA Security’s phone number is 641-757-9035. I encourage members to get this number in their cell phones and contact LPA Security with questions or concerns. In the case of a fire, medical or police emergency, call 911.


Ted erickson
Posted 04/10/2024

Theodore Eric Erickson, 86, son of Eric and Dorothy (Morlan) Erickson, was born April 21, 1937, in Des Moines. He passed away Saturday, March 16, 2024, at Lakeside Village, Panora.
Ted graduated from Des Moines Lincoln High School in 1955, where he played baseball, basketball and football. He married his high school sweetheart, Elaine, and three children were born to this union. They later divorced. Ted worked as a barber for more than 30 years on the south side of Des Moines. He also was a high school basketball and football official for more than 20 years. On Aug. 15, 1970, he married Janet Lee Dorsett (Monroe) in Des Moines. They made their home in Des Moines before moving to Lake Panorama in 1973.
Ted served six years on the Lake Panorama Association Board where he was a vice president, served on the Guthrie County Hospital Board, Lake Panorama Water Board, was a Lake Panorama Chairman, and volunteered at Timber Creek Charities in rural Guthrie Center. In July of 1999, Ted started working for Brokers International as a corporate driver for many years.
Ted enjoyed traveling, golfing and was an avid Hawkeye fan.
Ted is survived by his children, Ted (Cindy) Erickson, Kim (Lynn) Clayton, and Kathy (Mike) Woods, all of Des Moines; step-sons, Bill (Denise) Dorsett and Brian (Beth) Dorsett, both of Panora; along with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Janet; and sister, Jean Porner.
Per his wishes, cremation will take place and no services will be held. Burial of his cremains will be in the Brethren Cemetery, Panora.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to Timber Creek Charities, Panora EMS, or the Panora Fire Department.
The family would like to thank the staff at Lakeside Village and the nurses with UnityPoint Hospice for the wonderful care they provided to Ted.
Twigg Funeral Home, Panora, is entrusted with his services.


Orville leinen 0002
Posted 04/10/2024

Orville Joseph Lawrence Leinen, son of Zeno and Viola (Schwery) Leinen, was born on Aug. 13, 1934, on a farm near Panama, Iowa. He died on March 21, 2024, surrounded by family in his home in Panora at the age of 89 years.
Orville was baptized in Panama on Aug. 19, 1934, and attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Portsmouth, Iowa, for 12 years. He received First Communion and Confirmation at St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. Orville grew to adulthood on his family’s farm (Peter M. Leinen Homestead).
In 1957, Orville was drafted into the Army and stationed with Btry A, 485th AAA Msl Bn (NIKE) Montrose Beach Park, Chicago 13, I11. Orv was advised from the beginning to never volunteer. Almost immediately, the drill sergeant asked for soldiers who knew how to drive. Trying to follow the advice, he decided to not raise his hand while the other recruits around him did. Anyone who could drive was assigned to drive wheelbarrows. Then the sergeant asked for volunteers who were able to change the oil. The recruits were now hesitant to raise their hands because they did not know what the assignment would be. With a deep breath and a prayer, Orv raised his hand. The sergeant tossed the keys to Orv and from then on, his job was to drive and “keep it filled.” During his military career, he attained expert marksman with the M1 Carbine and 2nd class anti-aircraft artillery.
On Oct 3, 1959, Orville was united in marriage to Kathleen Schmitz at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church in Panama. The wedding was a double ring ceremony with Jerome Nabity and Marleen Schmitz (twin to Kathleen). The Leinen family began farming on land near Portsmouth. The following spring, they moved and eventually purchased the Msgr. Peter Schmitz farm. To this union, four children were born: Karla Ann in 1960, Cheryl Rose in 1961, Peter Joseph in 1963, and Jeffry Dean in 1964.
Orville was a hard worker. He grew crops and raised hogs and cattle. Along with farming, he worked on the Milwaukee Railroad and started custom disc sharpening, grinding and combining. He continually supported his wife in nursing and her custom-fitted bra company. Through this venture, they earned trips that allowed them to travel extensively and gain many friends. Additionally, Orville, Kathleen and sons developed the Harlan Country Club Estates.
Orville was a member of St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church and was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a lifetime member of the National Farmers Union. Orv enjoyed golfing, hunting and fishing (even caught a marlin!). He also enjoyed playing cards, especially pinochle and pitch. Arguably, his favorite past time was making jokes and teasing loved ones. When younger, he loved to play baseball and was a lifelong New York Yankees fan. Orville enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play sports.
Orville was preceded in death by his mother, Viola, and father, Zeno; his brother, Harvey Leinen; sisters, Ursula Bruck, Eunice Blum, Verlee Leinen and Linda Daoust; and brothers-in-law Michael Bruck, Ralph Blum and Gilbert Loeffler.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Kathleen Leinen; his children, Karla (Thomas) Dougherty of Barboursville, West Virginia; Cheryl (Tim) Schwery of Underwood; Pete (Pam) Leinen of Harlan; Jeff (Janell) Leinen of Panama.
His 18 grandchildren: Joshua (Jessica) Dougherty, Rachel (Aaron) Thomas, Sarah Mitchell, Zachary Dougherty, Abigail (Matt) Cornelison, Elizabeth (Ryan) Richardson, Annabelle (Chase) Wells, Benjamin Schwery, Alicia (Josh) Yoder, Courtney (Perry) Krager, Brittany Leinen, Brandon Leinen, Jenna Miller, Camden Leinen, Joshua Cheek, Jonathan Cheek, Jocelyn Cheek and Jonas Reynolds.
His 17 great grandchildren, plus a few on the way: Caitlin Dougherty, Bryson Dougherty, Eve Thomas, Callie Thomas, Elijah Thomas, Joel Mitchell, Emma Mitchell, Bailey Cornelison, Jemi Cornelison, Jaxton Cornelison, Gentry Cornelison, Quinn Cornelison, Elias Richardson, Audrey Richardson, Leo Richardson, Tate Richardson and Ryder Yoder.
His brother and sisters: James (Dorothy) Leinen of Denison; Mildred (Jerry) Brus and Zita (Gaylen) Smith of Portsmouth; sister-in-law, Charlotte Leinen of Harlan; brother-in-law, Mark Doust of Dunbar, Nebraska; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
He will be dearly missed but we celebrate knowing he is with our Heavenly Savior.
As Orv would say, “Now it is time to get to work.”
Funeral services were March 27, 2024, at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Panora. Burial was March 27, at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Panama, with military honors. Visitation was March 26, with a Rosary Service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to: Panora Volunteer Fire Department (P.O. Box 42 Panora, Iowa 50216) or Mary’s Meals (marysmeals.org). 


Effort ties into a learning project science teacher Mark Dorhout has conducted with his students for three years.
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A cooperative effort involving Panorama Schools, an LPA member and Friends of Lake Panorama led to the recent installation of 16 bluebird houses on Lake Panorama’s south shore.
Plans for low-impact recreational amenities on the south shore were developed over a two-year period by Friends of Lake Panorama and approved by the LPA board last summer. By the end of 2023, a disc golf course and trail system were ready for visitors. A small shelter and picnic table with a view of the main basin now are in place.
The plan also called for birdhouses throughout the recreation area. Steven Brannan, who has a home at Lake Panorama with his wife, Rita, volunteered to build and donate bluebird houses for the south shore. Josh Arganbright gave Brannan the material.
“The birdhouses all are made of a composite material, so they are low maintenance. It makes for cheap, affordable housing, and I hope the birds like them,” Brannan says.
Mark Dorhout, Panorama middle school science teacher, offered to choose suitable birdhouse locations. Last fall, he enlisted the help of all 146 of his sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.
“We looked at prominent places on the trail, if there was some short grass nearby, the amount of tree cover, and proximity to an additional perch. The males like to have a spot near the nest so they can keep an eye on things,” Dorhout says.
Funds donated to Friends of Lake Panorama for the south shore were used to purchase 7-foot metal posts. On a sunny Sunday afternoon in mid-March, Dorhout enlisted the help of Brannan and three eighth-grade students to install 16 posts and attach 16 birdhouses.
Dorhout says bluebird pairs usually produce three to six pale blue colored eggs.
“They start nesting around the first week of April, and it can continue until late June and into July,” he says. “The female is involved in the nest building and 18 days of incubation. They both are involved in feeding the young. They usually have more than one brood each year. Two is normal, but pairs can have three.”
This bluebird house effort ties into a learning project Dorhout has conducted with his students for three years. The first year, all middle school students were involved in building 20 birdhouses, which were installed on school grounds.
In the last two years, Dorhout’s seventh-grade students built a total of 105 birdhouses. These were sent home with students for installation along with a guide to help them choose good locations and how to do follow-up monitoring.
“It’s a citizen science project,” Dorhout says. “Using these birdhouses, the students learn about invasive species, such as house sparrows and European starlings, that will try to take over bluebird houses. They also learn about the biology of cavity nesters, do quality research and enjoy being outdoors.”
In March, Dorhout built three birdhouses himself and installed those on posts in front of three elementary classrooms. These are located on the nearby prairie he and his students helped establish over the past few years.
Students who take home birdhouses are given a check sheet to complete every two weeks through the spring and early summer. The students make notes about whether the house is occupied, number of eggs, chicks hatched and evidence of predators or unwanted birds and pests.
Dorhout and a couple of students will do those same regular checks for the 16 new birdhouses on the south shore and the three recently added to the school prairie. He and his students also will clean out the houses annually.
Prior to the birdhouse project, Dorhout introduced his middle school students to Lake Panorama’s south shore as part of his outdoor education efforts.
“We have done some longer walks there, looked at lake species, birdwatched and gathered water samples to do some rudimentary water analysis,” he says. “It’s been awesome to be able to incorporate outdoor education into our regular curriculum. Kids of this generation sometimes find it difficult to connect to the out-of-doors. With this program, they gain the benefits of, and appreciation for, the outdoors.”
Another part of the south shore recreation area plan is adding benches. Five benches are ready to be installed when conditions allow with two along the shoreline portion of the trail and two along the meadow portion. Another bench, donated by Lana Leander and Ryan Gruhn, will be located near the fifth tee box on the disc golf course.
To get into the recreation area, there is a fenced driveway that begins at 5501 Chimra Road and leads to a parking lot with walk-through access. Beyond the shelter are two brown markers. One points right to the first hole of the disc golf course, and the other points left to the beginning of the trail system.
The recreation area is open during daylight hours. Wheeled vehicles are prohibited. There are no trash receptacles, restrooms or running water; visitors should plan accordingly. 


Plant these instead.
Posted 04/10/2024
By Lynn Kuhn
Lake Panorama Times

As a recovering plantaholic, I’ve spent way too much on plants every spring, which is often followed by regret for not buying the right plant for the right spot, especially when I know rabbits and deer will frolic and feast on my garden additions. I should have known better, and now I do. I keep a list of deer resistant plants that survive in my own garden, my clients’ gardens, and other pros in the horticulture industry, and compare it to other lists from trusted sources. (My favorite list can be found at the recently renamed Yard and Garden page of Iowa State University Extension. https://yardandgarden.extension.iastate.edu/how-to/susceptibility-plants-deer-damage.) Some lists are almost too extensive, making it seem like there is a plethora of deer-resistant plants. While the listed plants may rarely get eaten by deer, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good performers and look great.
Here are a few plants that check all the boxes, and you can feel good about spending your money on them without regret.

Marigold - Did you know marigolds are the hottest trend in annuals? The color marigold is trending for interiors, too, according to Better Homes and Gardens (bhg.com).
Dusty Miller - I recall my grandmother and mother using this plant alongside geraniums and marigolds. It’s been around forever, and for good reason; deer hate fuzzy scented plants. Plus, the silvery foliage goes with everything.
Also try lantana, verbena and salvia.

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) - This Iowa native will tolerate full shade and looks like a carpet of green hearts.
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) - I recommend a cultivar named “Black Scallop.” The foliage looks like chocolate lettuce, and, when planted in a mass, it functions as weed prevention around other plants due to its tight growth habit.
Spotted Deadnettle (Lamium spp.) - This plant is so versatile due to the many colorful cultivars, such as “Golden Anniversary” and “Beacon Silver.”
Barrenwort (Epimedium spp.) - This is my go-to groundcover for dry shade. Plant it 12 inches on center for best coverage, since its growth rate is medium to slow.
Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides) – A fabulous early perennial with sweet gold blooms that easily transitions from sun to shade and discourages weeds at the same time.
Bevan’s Bigroot Geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Bevan’s Variety) – Not all hardy geraniums are deer resistant, however, I attest this one is. I love the way it pops up early spring, providing effective weed control around other plants. You’ll love the pink blooms, handsome fuzzy scented foliage, fall interest, drought tolerance, disease resistance, and tolerates sun to shade. What’s not to love about this plant?

Daffodils - Tired of the deer eating your daylilies? Try planting late-blooming yellow daffodils all around and throughout the daylilies.
Ornamental Onion (Allium spp.) - Try mixing white and purple cultivars such as “Mount Everest,” “White Giant,” “Gigantum,” “Purple Sensation” and “Ambassador.” Plant 1-3 bulbs/square foot for best results.

Good news… almost every ornamental grass will be unpalatable to the deer. However, certain grasses will reseed freely and become a nuisance. Avoid Fountain Grass and others with this tendency.

This list can get quite long, so I’ve limited to these hard-working unpalatable beauties:
Ornamental Onion (Allium spp.) – Allium “Millennium” was the 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year. Other great cultivars are “Big Beauty” and “Peek-a-Boo.”
Lamb’s Ear (Stachys spp.) – Due to velvety leaves, deer will leave this drought tolerant plant alone. My favorite cultivar is “Big Ears” a.k.a. “Helen Von Stein.” This plant is happy in hot, dry weather and just wants to be left alone.
Sage (Salvia spp.) - Another example of an unpalatable fuzzy scented plant. Look for cultivars like “Caradonna,” “Wesuwe” and “Marcus.”
Russian Sage (Perovskia spp.)
Catmint (Nepeta spp.) – So many fantastic cultivars to choose from! If you want big and billowy, look for “Junior Walker.” If you prefer a ground hugger, look for “Cat’s Meow,” “Early Bird” or “Blue Wonder.”
Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) – As the 2021 Perennial Plant of the Year, calamintha does not disappoint. Look for the straight species or a cultivar called “Montrose White.”
Fern - Almost every fern is deer resistant. Look for these cultivars: “Lady in Red,” “Ghost,” “Pictum,” Brilliance Autumn, Cinnamon and Christmas.
Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.) – The perfect substitute to hosta is lungwort. Look for these two cultivars and play with combining them for more colorful shade garden display: “Raspberry Splash” and “Trevi Fountain.”

Slender Deutzia (Deutzia gracilus) – This small arching shade lover is perfect for dry shade, and the deer don’t seem to like it one bit. “Nikko” is a long-standing cultivar that is especially graceful and has the best form. “Chardonnay Pearls” will add perky brightness to the shade garden with its chartreuse foliage, while Yuki Cherry Blossom and Yuki Snowflake have shown to be prolific bloomers and tolerant of a little more sun. Here’s the best part… there is no need to prune this compact plant, unless you want to tidy it up a bit.
Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) – This Iowa native is a true workhorse. If you need a good-looking shrub that attracts birds, this is it. My favorite cultivar is “Blue Muffin” because it is more compact at 5-7’ tall by 4-6’ spread. Other great cultivars are “Autumn Jazz” and “Northern Burgundy.”
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) – There are so many wonderful witch hazels to choose from that the Chicago Botanic Garden decided to embark on a six-year trial studying 36 cultivars. The trial won’t conclude for another four years, but don’t wait that long to experience this beautiful shrub. Look for these tried-and-true cultivars: “Diane,” “Jelena” and “Arnold’s Promise.”

Boxwood (Buxus) – When deer started to find yew shrubs tasty, the whole world switched to boxwood, making it the go-to foundation evergreen. However, boxwood blight, which made its way to the United States in 2011, has been spreading rapidly ever since. This fungal disease is exacerbated by moisture and lack of air flow. For this reason, keep an eye on this dutiful landscape workhorse and don’t prune it into tight green meatballs. That said, I still recommend this plant. Look for blight resistant cultivars such as “Green Velvet,” “Green Mountain” and shrubs from the new NewGen series of blight resistant boxwoods, although availability may be limited in 2024.
Threadleaf False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) – Gold-colored cultivars that will add a bright deer resistant focal point to the landscape include “Golden Mop,” “Aurea Nana,” “Sungold” and “King’s Gold.” This conifer will tolerate partial shade and will be slightly greener in the shade.
Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) – This reliable conifer tree was featured in the January issue and is worth mentioning as one of the most deer resistant conifer trees I’ve observed. As a bonus, it’s also shade-tolerant.

Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) – This amazingly adaptable deciduous conifer tolerates flooding, dryness and a variety of soils. The soft texture might be the reason deer leave it alone. The light green needles turn to a rusty cinnamon color in the fall before dropping. A lovely narrow cultivar is “Shawnee rave.”
Black Gum a.k.a. Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) – This underused and under-appreciated native tree is a slow grower but is absolutely stunning with dark green glossy leaves in summer turning to brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow and a bit of purple, at times. Look for mature specimens at Brenton Arboretum south of Dallas Center and ask your local nursery if they can get you one of these beautiful cultivars: “Firestarter,” “Wildfire” and “Tupelo Tower.”
Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) – This stately tree is worth planting if you’ve got the space. It’s known as the tallest hardwood species in eastern North American forests. The current champion lives in North Carolina and boasts 191 feet, 10 inches. Here in Iowa, plan on a mature size of 60 to 90 feet tall.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) – This tough yet gorgeous tree tolerates drought, heat, salt, pollution and deer. The unique fan-shaped foliage turns a pure gold color in the fall. What more could you ask for? (Reminder to only plant males as the female fruit has a horrific odor that develops upon maturity at about 20 years.)
Fun Fact: Ginko is considered a “living fossil” as one of the oldest plants on our planet and has remained basically the same for the past 180 million years. In China, Japan and Korea, there are trees that exceed 100 feet and are more than 1,000 years old. (Source: clemson.edu)
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it starts to show you that a beautiful deer-resistant garden is possible. As you plan your next landscaping project, avoid paying “deerly” for plants that will be devoured by these creatures that have such a presence in our community. Perhaps we can learn to live alongside and enjoy these magnificent creatures. 


Two candidates running for two seats on the LPA board of directors.
2 candidates
Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The 55th annual meeting of the Lake Panorama Association is Saturday, May 11 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Lake Panorama National Resort event center. Each year, the LPA annual meeting provides a formal statement of the association’s financial position plus reports on activities during the past year and plans for the coming year.
Reports will be given by Emily Donovan, LPA board president; Dennis Flanery, LPA board treasurer; and John Rutledge, LPA general manager.
An official announcement of the meeting will be sent to all LPA members in mid-April. 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.
On the ballot this year are two candidates running for two seats on the LPA board of directors. Emily Donovan and Rich Schumacher are completing their second three-year terms on the board and are ineligible to run this year. Rachel Waldo and Jackson Whiton are running for their first terms on 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, May 10. This allows the majority of the ballots to be counted in advance of the annual meeting. Ballots also can be brought to the annual meeting.
LPA bylaws require each board candidate to provide a 100-word statement. This year’s candidate statements are printed here in alphabetical order. In mid-April, additional information provided by each candidate will be distributed via email to those who are signed up to receive official LPA emails.

Rachel Waldo
“I chose to make Lake Panorama my home and raise my family here over 15 years ago. I graduated with a master’s in business administration from Drake University in 2008 and have worked in finance and leadership at Principal Financial Group for the past 20 years. I am mom of two amazing and talented girls who keep me busy. I want to give back to our community to grow it and to ensure it remains a great place to raise a family or retire for generations to come. I look forward to applying my skills and experience to this important role.”

Jackson Whiton
“My name is Jackson Whiton. I have lived on Lake Panorama my entire life, except for a short few years after college. I live on the lake with my wife, Jessica, and our two kids — Sadie and Luke. I am a litigation claims adjuster and have been in the insurance industry for the past 10 years. I believe my lifelong experience of the lake and my professional experience will serve well on the LPA Board. I intend to help navigate the complex financial and social aspects of serving and maintaining Lake Panorama.”


Posted 04/10/2024
Submit your questions at www.lakepanoramatimes.com or email shane@dmcityview.com.

Q: My neighbors have an enclosed utility trailer that is kept on their A-lot nearly all the time. I know this is not allowable on an undeveloped lot, but is it OK on an A-lot with a home on it? If so, what’s the difference?

A: Lane Rumelhart, projects manager for LPA, tells us LPA members may keep an enclosed trailer on a lot with a home whether it is an A, B or C lot. Undeveloped lots are only allowed boats, boat trailers, or non-enclosed utility trailers that are empty and less than 14’ in length. LPA restricts enclosed trailers on members’ undeveloped lots to comply with the covenants. The covenants ensure no camping/tiny home development takes place before a home is erected. The exact language reads as follows: “No motor homes, tents, or other similar structures shall be erected, moved onto, or placed upon said premises, except in specific areas designated for such use, prior to a home being erected on the lot.”

Q: Why don’t you charge a subscription fee for Lake Panorama Times? Just curious. I think people would pay for it.

A: Lake Panorama residents can get their news for free in many places today including radio, TV and on the internet, and we think you should be able to get your news for free in print, too. There was a day when it may have made sense to charge for subscriptions, but it no longer does — at least not to us.

Q: For the sake of the love of the lake, could someone please repaint the exterior of the LPA office? I’d sponsor the paint!

A: The LPA may take you up on that. What color do you think it should be? Maybe a nice shade of lavender or peach? Or maybe parfait pink?

Q: Can an airplane take off or land on the lake?

A: Section 9.2(d) of the LPA Rules and Regulations addresses this topic, stating that aircraft is prohibited. “No aircraft will be allowed to take off or descend upon the Lake in any manner except in an emergency.”

Q: How much stacked firewood is too much stacked firewood?

A: “Firewood beauty” may be in the eye of the beholder — and may depend on where it is stacked.
Section 8.02 of the LPA Rules and Regulations 8.02 states, “Upon designation by the General Manager, property owners will be required to remediate problems with plants on their lot including tree death, tree disease, poison ivy, thorned and hazardous plants or natural fire hazards where this situation can be shown to endanger person or property in the immediate area or otherwise be declared a nuisance.”
It also states, “Natural materials such as firewood may be stored on properties with homes if stacked and located outside of the front lot setbacks.”


Img 3315 (cropped)
Posted 04/10/2024
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Bogey
Age: 1
Breed: Golden Retriever
Owners: Ryan and Abby Manning

Bogey enjoys going to the dog park for his lunch breaks and runs his heart out up and down the fence line with other dogs. Bogey is a chill dog that loves retrieving golf balls, eating sticks and swimming. The lake is his slice of heaven.


Fullsizeoutput 31ce
Posted 04/10/2024
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Kiwi (Has waited more than a year to be adopted)
Age: 2 years old
Breed: Tuxedo/Black and White
Available for adoption at: Panora Pets, 114 W. Main St.

Kiwi is a darling, little Tuxedo kitty. He’s on the shy side, but once you start petting him, he loves it. He is playful and especially loves to play with his siblings. Since he is shy, Kiwi would do best in a home that has older children and also has kitties. All cats and kittens have been altered (spayed/neutered), vaccinated (age-appropriate) rabies and distemper combo, microchipped, tested for FeLV (negative unless previously noted), and treated for fleas, ear mites and worms.


Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The Women’s Service Organization (WSO) annual fundraising home tour for 2024 is Friday, June 7. Five Lake Panorama homes will be featured with four on the east side of the lake and one on the west side.
Tickets are $30 and include both the home tour and lunch at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center. Tickets will be available beginning May 6 and can be reserved by contacting Mary Beidelman at 641-757-0425. There will be a maximum of 260 tickets available, and organizers say they expect to sell out quickly.
WSO was formed in 1972 when women who worked together to help pass a school bond issue decided they could benefit the local community as a formal organization.
The first WSO home tour was in 1974, so this could be considered its 50th anniversary. However, the tour was “rained out” in 1975 and was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The home tour is the WSO’s major fundraiser. The first tour group leaves the LPN event center at 9 a.m. with three additional groups leaving on the half-hour through 10:30 a.m. Each group tours three homes before returning to the LPN for lunch, followed by tours of the remaining two homes.
Participants are asked to arrive at the LPN conference center 20 minutes ahead of their tour time in order to join the vehicle lineup and receive instructions and description sheets. Several vendors will be at the event center so tour guests can browse and shop during their lunch break.
WSO committees work in advance to gather information for a one-page description sheet and to determine the best order and route. The route isn’t always the most direct but is designed for safety and to accommodate the parking of many vehicles at each home.
Money raised by this home tour funds a renewable scholarship awarded to a graduating Panorama student each year, making four scholarships paid annually. Additional WSO donations go to the Panora Library, Food Pantry, Panora Garden Club, Guthrie County Historical Village, Heritage Park, Tori’s Angels, Relay for Life, Panorama prom and yearbook. Other contributions are considered as projects become apparent. 


Posted 04/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

This is the time of year when red fox babies, known as kits, start to venture out of their dens. Trish Hart is a local photographer who specializes in Lake Panorama wildlife. This month, she shares four photos she snapped last spring of red fox kits at the lake.
Mating season for foxes usually starts in January. Red foxes have a short gestation period with kits born at the end of February or early March. There usually are five to eight kits per litter. Baby foxes are blind when they are born. They also cannot regulate their temperature by panting, so the mother stays nearby.
The colors of red fox kits vary and can include black, silver, red, gold and tan. In about three weeks, their fur starts to transition to their primary colors. This also is when they start to be able to see.
By their second month, usually April, the kits venture to the den opening. They are extremely curious and begin to lay outside. They love to play and will growl, make noises and pile on top of each other. Both parents take care of their offspring until the next fall when the young foxes set out on their own.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


Shane goodman headshot
Posted 03/13/2024

Are you getting the summer itch? By the looks of what I am seeing around Lake Panorama right now, I am guessing you are. The unusually warm weather has most all of us thinking of swimsuits and flip flops as we debate whether or not to put the winter wear away for the season.
Meanwhile, boat lifts are starting to be installed now, which is always a sure sign of spring. Seeing the barges on the water puts a smile on my face.
Boats are being pulled out of storage and are getting polished up and ready to hit the water. Get out the wax.
Lawnmowers are being serviced so we can start cutting grass. All we need is for the grass to grow, which it will soon enough.
Outdoor furniture is being cleaned up and placed back on the decks and patios. Or, if you left them out in the recent wind, you may need to retrieve them from your neighbor’s lawn.
Yes, spring is close, and that means one thing — summer is getting closer, too.
In the meantime, you might want to keep a sweater handy.

Our cover story
Speaking of boats, we are pleased to bring you a story about the new owners of Panorama Marine, Phil and Cindy Watson. Be sure to read the story and learn about what they have in store. We should also thank Lyn Coulter for his years of dedication to the lake community and all he and his staff did to ensure we had the services we needed and wanted.

75 years of marriage
If you read our February issues of Panora Times and Guthrie Center Times, you learned about local couples who have been married for 50 years or more. They were heartwarming stories of love and understanding and patience. In this issue of Lake Panorama Times, we share the story of lake residents Bob and Betty White, who have been marred for 75 years. They offer advice for the rest of us who hope to make it to the 75-year mark.

Some Irish humor
With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I feel the need to share some Irish humor. And since I am Irish, I might be able to get away with these jokes a bit more than most. Just exchange the word “Irishman” with “Shane.”
Here we go. An Irishman checks into a hotel for the first time in his life and goes up to his room. Five minutes later, he calls to the front desk and says, “You have given me a room with no exit. How do I leave?” The desk clerk says, “Sir, that’s absurd. Have you looked for the door?” The Irishman replies, “Well, there’s one door that leads to the bathroom. There’s a second door that goes into the closet. And there’s a door I haven’t tried, but it has a ‘do not disturb’ sign on it.”
Here’s another one. A bartender says to his Irish customer, “Your glass is empty. Would you like another one?” Looking puzzled, the Irishman says, “Why would I be needing two empty glasses?”
And finally, a woman asks an Irishman, “If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you like most to be with you?” The Irishman says, “My uncle Mick.” The woman replies, “What’s so special about him?” The Irishman says, “He’s got a boat.”
Have a great March, and thanks for reading.

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


Phil and Cindy Watson are working to ensure a smooth transition.
Posted 03/13/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The Lake Panorama Association (LPA) began operating a small marina in 1970. Over the next few years, it was leased to four different operators, but none lasted. That changed in the summer of 1982 when Lyn Coulter and his brother, John, leased the gas dock from the LPA for $1. The agreement called for the pair to stock the dock with some basic marine accessories and keep consistent business hours.
Coulter Panorama Marine was founded in 1983 with the $7,000 profit from that first year running the gas dock.
“When it came time to pay the $10,500 rent in December 1983, we didn’t have the funds to do it,” Lyn Coulter said in a 2022 interview. “The LPA board decided to forgive the rent that year but made it clear they would never forgive it again. Luckily, the business took off in 1984, and we never missed, or ever were late, on a lease payment.”
For the next 40 years, the LPA leased its marina facilities to Coulter Panorama Marine.
“Lyn Coulter and the entire Coulter team have been a critical part of Lake Panorama’s success,” says John Rutledge, LPA general manager. “In many ways, Lake Panorama and Coulter Panorama Marine grew up together. I am grateful for the trusted relationship that existed between the Coulter team and our LPA staff.”
The 2024 season brings new marine owners and a new lease. Phil Watson Jr. and his wife, Cindy, purchased Panorama Marine from Lyn Coulter last fall. On Sept. 26, the LPA board of directors approved a 2024-2028 lease between LPA and Watson for operation of the LPA-owned marina.
“I think it’s essential for the LPA membership to know Lyn Coulter and Phil Watson worked hard to ensure a smooth transition for the LPA membership and the marina staff,” Rutledge says. “Transitions like this are complex and have the potential to be a bumpy ride. Thanks to Lyn and Phil for all their work to provide a seamless transition. LPA is very grateful.”
Phil Watson Jr. has a lifelong connection with Lake Panorama. His parents, Phil and Judy Watson, purchased a house at Lake Panorama in 1972, the year he was born. The couple still owns that home in Hughes Cove. While the family’s fulltime home is in Indianola, Watson has many fond memories of his time growing up on the water. Some summers, he even worked at the marina gas dock.
Cindy Watson grew up in Early in northwest Iowa and is a trained dental hygienist. In 2006, Phil was working at a boat show when one of the sales reps asked if he’d be interested in going on a blind date with Cindy. Two years later, he proposed to her on Lake Panorama in his parents’ 1985 Century Resorter boat. They soon married and now live in Polk City. They have three daughters, ages 14, 12 and 9, who attend North Polk Community Schools.
After high school graduation in Indianola, Phil Watson attended Southwest Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri. Springfield is also the location of the first Bass Pro Shop and where Watson got his start selling boats to customers. Next came a boat sales job in Kansas City.
In 1999, Watson took a sales job with Water’s Edge Marine, which was located in Johnston. He was the company’s sales manager for two years before purchasing the business and moving it to Polk City in 2011. Cindy Watson joined the business in 2017, helping with bookkeeping, benefits and other human resources duties. She now does the same at Panorama Marine.
In December 2022, the Watsons sold Water’s Edge to Hicklin Power Sports.
“My dream has always been to have a boat shop at Lake Panorama,” Phil says. “Last March, I started looking for property here and purchased 10 acres north of Lakeside Village along Highway 4.”
Construction began on the site last fall with three buildings partially completed before work was halted. Because of some technical and structural issues, those buildings were removed in late February, and reconstruction is underway.
The main L-shaped building will be 17,000 square feet and include both sales and service. The climate-controlled showroom will be large enough to have about 30 boats on display. A dock system will allow customers to browse among the boats without climbing up and down. There will be six service bays. Two boat storage buildings will be built this year, with additional storage buildings possible in the future.
Once the new buildings are complete, a service road will be built on Watson’s property that will lead to the marina. This will make it possible to move boats between the lake and the service and storage buildings without using Highway 4.
Watson thinks the 2024 boating season will be winding down before Panorama Marine can move into the new buildings. In the meantime, the Watsons have a month-to-month lease with the LPA for the current sales and service building near the gas dock.
No decisions have been made on the future of the existing sales and service building.
“LPA will review that with the Watsons once they have moved to their new location,” says Rutledge. “Any changes to the building will include plans to ensure boaters are provided a modern, indoor bathroom for their use while visiting the gas dock or slips.”
Boat lines carried by Coulter’s will continue to be carried by Watson and include Mastercraft, Four Winns, Godfrey pontoons and Kawasaki jet skis. A new line of pontoons, Barletta, will be added. Honda and Volvo motors will continue to be serviced, plus Mercury motors will be added to the service list.
Panorama Marine will continue to offer VW brand docks and Shore Station lifts.
“We’ll also offer all the same sorts of boating accessories Lake Panorama customers are used to, plus we’ll bring in new options as we get fully stocked,” Watson says.
All employees who worked for Lyn Coulter had the opportunity to join Watson’s organization.
“Everyone stayed, which is great and will help this be a seamless transition,” Watson says. “These guys have years of hands-on knowledge and experience here at Lake Panorama.”
Scott Kemble is the Panorama Marine sales manager. Brian Dorsett is the service manager. Mike Webb, Mike Mobley and Justin Boettcher continue as service techs. One new hire, Ethan Hawkins, will attend training to work on Mercury motors.
Nate Sheesley, who worked for the Watsons as service manager at Water’s Edge, has joined Panorama Marine as the service writer/parts manager. His wife’s parents, Dave and Ruth McNamara, have owned a home on Christmas Tree Point since the 1990s.
The sales and service building now is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed Sunday.
The Panorama Marine gas dock will be staffed Memorial Day to Labor Day with the same hours as past years. Watson plans to add a “pay at the pump” option that will make it more convenient for boaters to get gas during off hours or early spring and late fall.
Watson says those who had Coulter’s service and stored their boats last fall can count on Panorama Marine to get their boats out of storage and connect with their owners just as the case has been for many years. The same is true for customers who routinely have the marina staff remove lift canopies in the fall and reinstall those in the spring.
“We think communication is key,” Watson says. “We’ve increased the number of phone lines coming into the main office and have voice mail so, if someone calls after hours, they can leave a message and we’ll call them back.”
The phone number for Panorama Marine remains the same — 641-755-2920. A new website includes photos and information on all new and pre-owned boats, pontoons and personal watercraft. The website is panoramamarine.com.
“I’ve been in the marine business for 27 years,” Watson says. “We’re excited to be here, and we look forward to taking care of our customers. This is going to be a lot of fun.”


Friends of Lake Panorama will host its seventh annual fundraiser.
Beach ball
Posted 03/13/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Friends of Lake Panorama, a nonprofit charity dedicated to improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. To celebrate this anniversary, while raising money for additional projects, Friends will host its seventh Beach Ball fundraiser Friday, June 21, at Lake Panorama National.
Event registration will begin in mid-April. Funds will be raised with both live and silent auctions, plus other activities throughout the evening. Items for the auctions are being accepted now. Anyone interested in donating auction items for the 2024 Beach Ball is asked to email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.
The Friends of Lake Panorama seven-member volunteer board will meet April 8 to finalize plans for the 2024 Beach Ball. They also will discuss how profits from the event will be used. Projects chosen by the Friends board to promote at the Beach Ball will receive a percentage of pooled funds raised, plus all direct donations designated to a specific project.
The 2023 Beach Ball had a profit of $25,000. That money has been used over the last year, in conjunction with private donations, to create low-impact recreational amenities on Lake Panorama’s south shore.
The Lake Panorama trails system, with a cross country trail for the Panorama Community Schools incorporated, is complete, and the nine-hole Lake Panorama disc golf course is open. A fenced driveway begins at 5501 Chimra Road and leads to a parking lot that allows walk-through access. A small shelter with picnic table is near the parking lot. Finishing touches such as bluebird houses, additional signage and five benches will be added this spring.
Funds raised at past Beach Balls helped improve playgrounds at all three beaches, install sports courts at both Boulder and Sunset beaches, create a dog park, enhance the Panorama West Nature Trail, add 20 new benches at beaches and golf courses, and several smaller projects.
A current priority project is raising money for trees to be planted on the west side of the lake along the main entrance and at Sunset Beach and on the east side of the lake at Boulder Beach. These new trees will go in areas where older trees had to be removed because of storm damage or disease.
Details on all past and current projects are available on the Friends website. Friends of Lake Panorama also has a Facebook page.
All donations are tax-deductible. Donors of $500 or more are recognized on signs erected near specific projects they designate and on the donor page of the Friends website.
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 using VENMO @Panorama-Friends, or by credit card on the Friends website at friendsoflakepanorama.org.


Best of guthrie county (black)
Posted 03/13/2024

Best pizza. Best pastor. Best park. And 79 other categories. Those are the basis of the Best of Guthrie County poll that was recently launched by Big Green Umbrella Media, the publisher of Lake Panorama Times.
“Many central Iowans are familiar with the Best of Des Moines poll that readers of CITYVIEW magazine have participated in for more than a quarter of a century,” said Shane Goodman, editor and publisher of CITYVIEW and the president of Big Green Umbrella Media. “CITYVIEW’s Best of Des Moines certificates are proudly displayed in stores, restaurants, bars and offices, and the recognition provides an incredibly positive impact for the people, places, businesses and events that are deemed the winners.”
The CITYVIEW Best of Des Moines poll consisted of 271 questions with a whopping 22,969 votes — the most ever in the history of the poll.
“I have learned a lot in administering this poll and the related event that we have now hosted for 16 years,” said Goodman, who also serves as the editor and publisher of Panora Times.
A few years ago, Goodman implemented a similar effort with his 14 Iowa Living magazines called Residents’ Choice polls.
“The bottom line is that people want to know who local residents feel are the ‘best’ in a variety of categories,” Goodman said. “It is a fun competition.”
Goodman noted that whenever they do these types of reader polls, he stresses that the results are not his opinions or opinions of his staff but are the results of the votes from readers.
“That is a very important distinction,” he said.
With readers’ polls working in Des Moines and in the suburbs and nearby communities, Goodman decided to launch a similar effort in Guthrie County with the Best of Guthrie County poll.
“This is our inaugural effort, and the poll will certainly change in future years,” Goodman said.
Readers simply fill in the blanks in one category or all 82. The poll is being promoted in the company’s publications, emails, social media and mailers to encourage widespread participation.
“I hope everyone takes the time to vote and to also share the link with their family, neighbors, co-workers and anyone in Guthrie County and encourage them to do the same,” he said.
The poll results will show if any readers try to beat the system and vote multiple times.
“We catch the cheaters who try to vote more than once and throw those votes out, so don’t even try,” Goodman said.
Goodman says they make voting “incredibly easy.”
“You can choose to vote in just one category, or you can vote in all 82,” he said. “But, just like the political elections, once you submit your choices, you can’t go back.”
The poll rules and the link to vote can be found at www.gctimesnews.com/best-of.


Posted 03/13/2024
By Lynn Kuhn
Special to Lake Panorama Times

I often talk with other designers from Iowa and around the country about what clients are asking for in the design of their outdoor spaces, and the same themes keep coming up. They seem to reflect a shift in our values in a post-pandemic world.
  • Connecting with people outdoors, rather than indoors, and doing it at home
  • More emphasis on health, both physical and mental
  • Getting away in the backyard instead of going on vacation-staycation
  • Connecting with nature/biophilia as a way to manage stress and improve mental health
  • Functional outdoor spaces for recreation, entertainment, playing games, plus working and learning from home
  • More new gardeners, especially interested in growing edibles and pollinator-friendly plants
  • More emphasis on front-yard curb appeal and functionality
How these specific requests and overall themes are expressed in the landscape varies based on the client’s values, budget and overall desired outdoor living experiences. I am sharing the top three outdoor living trends for 2024 that might inspire your next landscape project.

This isn’t exactly a new trend, however, the reasons we seek to get away have shifted a bit. Clients want more than a beautiful garden to gaze upon out the window or while sitting on the deck. They want to feel like they are “getting away from it all” in their own backyard. For some, that means having activities to stay busy and entertained, such as vegetable gardening, outdoor checkers, movies, playing video games, swimming, ping pong, etc. For others, it means more relaxing activities such as outdoor cooking and dining, lounging by a fire, or stargazing. For garden enthusiasts, it may mean tending to garden plants, pulling weeds and pondering what you’ll plant next season, which takes us to trend No. 2.

The days of wrapping foundation plantings around the house and calling it “done” are over. In a post-pandemic world, the role of the garden has exploded in the most wonderful ways.
Edibles. People want to grow their own fresh herbs and veggies. It’s less expensive, more flavorful, healthier organic, which means fewer trips to the store plus the added benefits of getting fresh air and reducing stress.
Designer’s Tip: Rather than creating a dedicated veggie garden, tuck attractive edibles such as lettuce, onion, and peppers amongst ornamental plants in the planting border or in pots on the deck or patio.
Next Level Front Yard Gardens. During the pandemic, the front yard became a safe place to connect with neighbors and friends. This prompted larger and more beautiful planting beds and places to sit and socialize. Personally, I am thrilled to see a return to the social side of the front yard garden.
Designer’s Tip: Some front yard plantings look like they are pushed up tightly against the house. Instead, stretch the planting beds toward the street, along the driveway or out into the yard around a tree.
Biophilic Landscape Design. As humans, we have a biologically driven need to connect with nature and other living things. This is biophilia, which means “love of life.” Biophilic design principles are increasingly showing up in architecture, interior design and landscape design. One example is vertical gardening, which may be a planted green wall, vines climbing up a column, or using tree stumps and large stones as furniture. When we incorporate natural elements of all kinds in interesting ways, the space becomes more inviting, allowing us to immerse ourselves in nature. This is a broader way to think of the garden and outdoor living in general and is driving people toward growing houseplants and taking up gardening.

Many people desire spending more time outdoors but don’t due to conditions such as too hot/cold, too windy, too sunny, too dark or too buggy. There are ways to mitigate these natural conditions. Here are a few ways to remove barriers to spending time outdoors. These features can add functionality and beauty to outdoor spaces.
Too hot: ceiling fan misters, tree canopies, water feature
Too cold: fencing/hedging to block wind, fire feature
Too buggy: ceiling fan, emitters
Too dark: fire feature, outdoor lamp
Too sunny: tree canopy, pergola with vines, shade sails, umbrella
Too windy: fencing/hedging
It’s fun to stay on top of outdoor living and gardening trends and see how they vary from region to region, especially here in the Midwest. What trends are you seeing here in central Iowa? I’d love to hear from you. Email me at lynn@conversationgardens.com.

Written by Lynn Kuhn, author of “Conversation Gardens: Where Conversations Flow and Relationships Grow.” She is a landscape architect, speaker and owner of Conversation Gardens (formerly Outdoor Transformations). You can reach Lynn at lynn@conversationgardens.com or www.conversationgardens.com.


Img 2469
Posted 03/13/2024
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Once each month, Faith Bible Church in Panora offers a community meal. Senior Pastor Trevor Nunn said, although donations are accepted, it’s not a fundraiser but rather an opportunity to welcome everyone for food and fellowship.
The meals are regularly scheduled on the third Wednesday of each month, serving from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The next meal will be March 20 and will include baked potato bar and toppings, tossed salad, carrots, celery and cookie bars. On April 17, the meal will be sliced ham, cheesy potatoes, smothered green beans and cupcakes. Pictured are Jonetta Long, Ellen Betzer and Sharon Neel.