Shane goodman headshot
Posted 01/10/2024

Staring at the sky, laying on my back, flat on the grass. Or the leaves. Or the snow. Or whatever covered the dirt that time of year. This is where I found peace as a child. By myself. With nature.
I thought about heaven, and the angels and God. I thought about what I did right and what I did wrong. I thought about my grandparents and others who died too young. I simply thought. A lot.
While doing so, through the moonlight, I would watch the branches from the old trees dancing slowly in the air. I would listen to the wind whistle its way around the neighborhood homes. And I would smell the recognizable scents of each season.
Wintertime was especially memorable. I would bundle up in my snowsuit, hat, mittens and boots and plop down on the snow in our neighbor’s large backyard. It was close enough to home to hear my mother’s call but far enough to feel like I got away. I enjoyed the cold snowflakes colliding on my face, the brisk air freezing in my nostrils, and, most of all, my mind wandering aimlessly. I didn’t feel the need to be with other people. I appreciated the solitude.
Years later, I hesitantly shared this experience with my friend, Tommy. It was awkward, as most things are with newly teenage boys. He didn’t seem to connect with it like I did. At least I didn’t think so. A few years later, when struggling with some issues, Tommy showed up unannounced at my home and said, “Let’s go lay in the grass.” And we did, mostly to complete silence.
Not too many years later, Tommy died. I struggled greatly in dealing with his death. I couldn’t find peace with it, until I remembered staring at the sky with him. So, as a young man in my twenties, I walked out to the open grass by the apartment where I lived, and I lay on the grass. Flat on my back. Staring at the sky. And, after some time, I smiled.
Today, my joints hurt. My bones ache. I don’t appreciate the cold weather like I used to. As a result, I don’t lie on the ground much anymore. But I do enjoy soaking in the hot tub. When I do, I turn off the jets and stare at the open sky, remembering those peaceful moments of my youth and searching for new ones today.
It’s a humbling experience for me, as it helps me realize how small one person is in this vast world and how today’s problems, however troubling they may be, are miniscule in the big picture. The branches still dance. The wind still whistles. Each season still brings its scent. And my mind still wanders. Aimlessly.  
Have a great January, and thanks for reading.

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

Learning to live with the deer population at Lake Panorama.

Posted 01/10/2024
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

“Watch out for deer” is common advice in Iowa, often said both as a cautionary reminder to drive carefully and as a way of indicating, “I care about you.” As more roads and homes are built, encounters with deer are inevitable. But it wasn’t always this way.

Iowa’s history with deer
When settlers were first arriving in the territory that would eventually become Iowa, deer were plentiful, according to data shown on the Iowa DNR website. But throughout the 1800s, the deer population was hunted extensively, and the population plummeted. In 1898, the 27th General Assembly provided complete protection for deer by closing the hunting season year-round. By this time, deer were nearly extinct in most areas of the state.
Deer were re-established in Iowa through the escape of animals from captive herds, trapping and transplanting programs of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the immigration of animals from neighboring states. In 1894, 35 whitetails escaped from a captive herd in Avoca, which provided the nucleus for future herds in western Iowa. In the early 1920s, about 60 deer escaped from a farm in Washington County and became established along the Skunk River. Another herd was established in Boone County at Ledges State Park in 1928 when two deer, purchased from Minnesota, were released. In 1947, the first statewide population estimate was made with deer herds reported in 58 counties containing an estimated 1,650 animals. Deer herds were reported in 89 counties in 1950, and the population estimate was expanded to 13,000. In 2020, the statewide estimate was 445,000.

Hunting as a solution to deer overpopulation
The rapid rise of Iowa’s deer population has led to concerns of crop damage when deer feed on corn, soybeans or other crops. Deer also cause damage in gardens and yards. Because of the swelling population and lack of natural predators, hunting is considered the best means to control the population. Without adequate hunting, the number would be balanced only through disease, starvation and roadkill incidents.
Local DNR officer Jeremy King pointed out that, although some people oppose hunting, animals harvested through hunting generally do not suffer long, whereas some of the natural diseases that arise in overpopulated herds lead to animals undergoing a long, painful death. The latest statewide harvest data shows that, for the 2019-2020 season, hunters harvested 109,544 deer in Iowa.
The whitetail deer situation at Lake Panorama mirrors the statewide status. Lane Rumelhart, project manager for the Lake Panorama Association, provided information on efforts to control the local deer population and minimize related problems.
“We have a hunting program for controlling the population, and we strongly recommend our members do not feed the deer,” Rumelhart said. “Obviously, feeding the deer is going to attract them to your house, and they’re going to stay in that general area more frequently, and you’re going to anger your neighbors. It’s best to just let the deer roam freely and find their food on their own.”
Rumelhart also discourages residents from putting out salt or mineral blocks for the same reason.
According to Rumelhart, the LPA and DNR have teamed up to develop specific hunting zones at the lake. The zones are changed periodically based on deer population changes, so Rumelhart encourages interested hunters to log onto the LPA website and then check in the Hunting folder for the current map of approved deer hunting zones.
“You have to be a member to sign up, or a guest of a member. It’s free for members but costs $50 for guests to register, and you have to sign up under a member who is registered to hunt,” Rumelhart said. Each member can have up to three non-member guests sign up under the member’s name.
“We typically get around 100 members signed up every year, and they shoot anywhere from 120 to 150 deer, so that program continues to be really successful for us,” he said. “We’d like to harvest over 100 each year. That number doesn’t seem to fluctuate much, and we’re really happy with it.”
Rumelhart notes that residing at Lake Panorama doesn’t offer any special permission. Hunters are still required to have a tag to hunt a deer and must be within one of the designated hunting zones. Deer tags can be obtained from any approved vendor in the state, including the LPA office.
Iowa has a variety of deer hunting seasons. For the 2023-2024 season, these include: Youth, Sept. 16 - Oct. 1
Disabled Hunter, Sept. 16 - Oct. 1
Archery, Oct. 1 - Dec. 1 AND Dec. 18 - Jan. 10
Muzzleloader Early: Oct. 14-22, Late: Dec. 18 - Jan. 10
Shotgun First: Dec. 2-6, Second: Dec. 9-17
Nonresident Holiday Dec. 24 - Jan. 2
Population Management, January Antlerless, Jan. 11-21
Excess Tag January Antlerless, Jan. 11-21.
Shooting hours for all deer seasons are one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.

Dealing with dead deer
Rumelhart says he receives questions at times about how to deal with a dead deer on an LPA member’s property.
“If a deer dies on your property, then you need to call one of our Animal Nuisance control specialists,” he said. “We have those listed on our vendor list. Those folks can remove that animal for a fee.”
Rumelhart says, if feasible, the property owner can drag the deer to the nearest edge of the timber and let nature take its course.
“There are a lot of animals and critters around here that will take care of a dead deer rather quickly,” he said. “Some folks may find that a bit gruesome, but that’s just nature, and that’s where we live.”
And if a deer is seen in the water?
“If there’s a deer in the lake, just call the office, and either security or maintenance will go out and try to get that deer out of the lake with our barge equipment.”
Rumelhart said if a sick or wounded animal is seen to always call the DNR.
“They’re legally responsible for taking care of those animals,” he said.

Deer population trends at the lake
According to DNR officer King, the trends in the deer population at Lake Panorama are difficult to determine.
“People can drive around and see more deer than they did last year and assume the deer population is up. And, at the same time, another person might not see many deer and assume the population is down,” he said. “Really, the basis the DNR uses is harvest registrations. Anytime a hunter harvests a deer, they’re required by law to report the harvest by midnight the day after they kill it. Then we can look at that data and see what our harvest trend is like, and we can compare that to our hunter numbers as well.”
King said he worked with the DNR wildlife department and the LPA two years ago, and they came up with the deer management zone around the lake so that they were allotted their own number of tags.
“Prior to that, anytime a member of Lake Panorama wanted to hunt Lake Panorama ground, they bought antlerless tags, and those would come out of the countywide quota,” he said. “Two years ago, we established a quota just for Lake Panorama.”
Taking all factors into consideration, King feels the deer population around Lake Panorama is relatively steady. In determining what is a “proper” number of deer, King stressed that it depends on the observer. He said, for some citizens, even a few deer are too many, while for hunters, there may never be enough.
“Trying to find that social balance is a really difficult thing,” he said.

Nuisance deer
King said that, if a deer is eating your plants, you are not allowed to shoot it.
“There are processes to try to reduce or eliminate deer damage to property,” he said. “We have a deer biologist who specifically focuses on how to help landowners and homeowners deal with nuisance deer problems.”
King lives at Lake Panorama, and he is familiar with the many interactions with deer that happen regularly here.
“They like bird feeders,” King said, “They like going where there’s an easy meal. They are animals of survival. If people are having issues with deer around their house, maybe remove those bird feeders or elevate them high enough where deer can’t get to them.”
He added that deer will sometimes stand on their back legs to reach food, so they can reach as high as 8 feet. Other suggestions for preventing deer damage to plants and trees include putting a wrap or chicken wire around trees and installing a high fence around gardens. Also, some plants are known to emit scents that deer don’t like to approach. These include lavender, sage, yarrow, daffodil and marigold.
“Another simple thing you can do that usually works pretty well is add a dryer sheet with a paper clip or something attached to the plant or the area,” King said. “A lot of times, that will ward them off.”
King stresses that deer are quickly getting used to being around people.
“I’ve driven around Lake Panorama and seen deer literally lying against houses underneath the dryer vent where the warm air is blowing on them in the winter,” he said. “A number of animals have learned to become very adapted to humans. Whitetail deer is one of them, along with raccoons and Canada geese. Deer have just learned to live with humans.”
In addition to dealing with live deer, King acknowledges, as Rumelhart did, that occasionally a deer carcass needs to be removed. He said the standard practice for dealing with dead deer on a roadway is to drag it into the nearest ditch.
“If a landowner finds one, absolutely, they’re more than welcome to drag it off somewhere,” he said. “If you find a dead deer and you want the antlers, the way Iowa’s laws are, if the antlers are still attached to the skull, then you have to get a salvage tag before you can take them.”
King said the salvage tag is free and can be obtained through him by calling or texting his work cell phone number of 712-250-0061.

Deer and disease
King says Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Guthrie County has not been a problem.
“There are about seven to nine counties in Iowa that have it,” he said. “The nearest one is Greene County, where one deer has been sampled in the last two years that had CWD. This issue that we have is EHD, which is also known as ‘blue tongue.’ ”
EHD, which stands for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, is common in the county’s deer.
“It’s a disease the deer get by being bitten by a midge bug,” he said. “It basically causes their tongue to swell, and they run a fever, so they go to water. And usually within three to four days after they’ve been bitten, they die.”
Deer infected with the EHD virus will often be found dead in the water. King said over the past year, three deer carcasses were found at Lake Panorama from suspected EHD virus. He asks the public to inform him of any such carcasses so the DNR can use accurate data to help adjust hunting tag numbers to best balance the population.

Enjoy the deer
In summarizing how to deal with wildlife nuisance issues, King said, “We do have a federal biologist that we work with, and our local biologist can help you come up with solutions if you have a major issue going on. And I think a lot of folks need to remember that we have a beautiful lake…and we’re going to have wildlife that’s going to be around there. We built homes in their home.”
King encourages everyone to remember that the natural beauty of the lake area includes geese, deer, raccoons, foxes, mink, bobcats and other animals. His best advice?
“Pour an extra cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy it.”

At least a dozen trees along the west entrance have been removed with both storm damage and disease as culprits.

Posted 01/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

In 2012, the Lake Panorama Association conducted a fundraising campaign to plant trees along Panorama Road at the main west entrance to the lake. In the early days of the lake development, pine trees lined both sides of the road north of where a guard shack was originally.
As those trees reached the end of their life span, they were removed, but no replacements were planted. LPA members provided the impetus for the fundraising campaign, and a number of trees were planted to replace those that were lost.
Ten years later, the same situation exists. At least a dozen trees along the west entrance have been removed with both storm damage and disease as culprits. The trees planted in 2012 helped cushion the blow of these more recent losses, yet gaps remain where trees once stood.
Some members have contacted the LPA to ask if there are plans to replace trees along this iconic entrance to Lake Panorama. In 2012, Friends of Lake Panorama, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity, did not exist. Now LPA is working with Friends on a fundraising campaign that will give donors who itemize at tax time the opportunity to deduct their donations.
The LPA has partnered with Isom Tree Farm on a tree planting plan. It calls for 11 new trees to be planted along Panorama Road north of the guard shack. The plan also includes the addition of two trees near the sports court at Sunset Beach.
Five sugar maple trees would be planted with a tree spade with four along Panorama Road and one at Sunset Beach. Larry and Heather Isom, who live on Burchfield Cove and own Isom Tree Farm, plan to donate one sugar maple.
The plan also includes eight nursery trees — two red maples, three London planetrees and three autumn blaze maples. One autumn blaze maple would be planted at Sunset Beach, with the other seven along Panorama Road.
The average cost per tree is $400. Those interested in funding a single tree would make a $400 donation. Larger and smaller donations also are welcome. Once fundraising is complete, all donors will be recognized in a story in the LPA Prompt and the Lake Panorama Times. Donors of $500 or more can make their donation in honor or memory of someone and will be recognized on the Friends of Lake Panorama website.
The total cost of this tree-planting project is $4,500. It is hoped this goal can be reached by the end of March so trees can be planted as soon as spring conditions allow. The LPA will take care of watering, deer protection and fertilization.
Donations to Friends are tax-deductible; all donors receive a letter of thanks to use during tax preparation. Donations can be made by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama and mailed to Friends, P.O. Box 488, Panora, IA, 50216. Donations also can be made through Venmo @Panorama-Friends, or by credit card at friendsoflakepanorama.org.


Posted 01/10/24
Submit your questions at www.lakepanoramatimes.com or email

Q: Can Christmas trees be dropped off at the yard waste facilities?
A: Yes. According to the LPA, natural Christmas trees are welcome at both yard waste facilities, but the trees cannot be wrapped in plastic. The LPA also stresses NOT to place Christmas trees on the ice or in the lake, as trees do not make good fish habitat without special preparation and can become floating obstacles in the spring.

Q: Is there a fee to run obituaries in Lake Panorama Times?
A:  Yes. Starting in 2024, the advertising rate to run an obituary with a full color photo is $40. Your local funeral care provider can handle this for you and your family, or you can send directly to Shane Goodman at shane@dmcityview.com.

Q: Can I have a fuel storage tank on my property?
A:  Section 9.2c of the LPA Rules and Regulations addresses fuel storage tanks. It states that every tank for the storage of heating fuel or propane that is installed outside shall be buried below the surface of the ground or screened by fencing or shrubbery. It also states that no fuel storage tank larger than 20 gallons shall be installed, above or below ground, other than for the storage of heating fuel or propane.

Q: What are the rules on snowmobiles at Lake Panorama?
A: Section 4. 3 of the LPA Rules and Regulations addresses snowmobiles, stating that “all regulations regarding snowmobiles promulgated by the State of Iowa shall apply, including but not limited to age restrictions” and “the off road recreational vehicle regulations and laws of the State of Iowa shall apply to the Lake Panorama Subdivision.” In addition, it states, “Snowmobiles may be operated on member’s lot only, or on areas specifically designated by the Lake Panorama Board of Directors or LPA management as authorized by the Board of Directors.” For answers to more specific questions, reach out to the LPA office at 641-755-2301.

Q: I heard the Guthrie County Times Vedette newspaper is now available via email for free.
Is that true? If so,
how do I receive it?
A:  It is true, and you can receive the Times Vedette now digitally for free, sent to your email inbox on Tuesdays and Fridays during the lunch hour. Sign up at www.gctimesnews.com.


Posted 01/10/24
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

On Nov. 30, the Panorama High School Dance team danced their way to multiple trophies at the Iowa Dance Team Championships, which were held at Wells Fargo Arena and Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. The team includes Maci Bauer, Madelyn Carstens, Donovin Delp, Riley Gibson, Hadley Fitch, Zoey Hambleton, Tori Heckman, Jessica Randol, Lexi Wasson and Sarah Westergaard. The team is coached by Kristi Vance and Mikeely Denger.
Team awards won by the Panthers include Class I Lyrical Team (first place), Class I Contemporary (first place) and Class III Jazz (second place). The team was also awarded the Judges Choice Award, Community Service Award, ISDTA Cares Award-Food Shelter Donation, and Academic Excellence Award. Individually, Donovin Delp repeated as Class III State Champion Dancer. His average score from the three judges was 92.17, well ahead of the closest challenger’s 89.5 average.
The Iowa Championships are the nation’s largest high school dance competition with more than 250 teams and more than 5,000 dancers.

Royce Shaffer and John Rutledge share information on plans for 2024.

Posted 01/10/24
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The last Managers’ Coffee for 2023 was Dec. 15 at the Lake Panorama National conference center. Updates were shared by both Royce Shaffer, who was named LPN director of operations Sept. 1, and John Rutledge, who has been the Lake Panorama Association (LPA) general manager for more than 17 years.
This is the second event where Shaffer provided the LPN update rather than Rutledge.
“Since our last coffee in September, a good portion of my time has been spent planning for 2024,” Shaffer said. “This consists of budgeting and working on the 2024 restaurant lease. I am pleased that both of these items are now finalized.”
Shaffer said the LPA board of directors approved the proposed LPN budget, which includes projected revenue of about $1.8 million.
Earlier in the fall, the LPN food and beverage task force used a survey to gather input on the 2023 operation. A total of 490 responses were received. From this survey, Shaffer said the task force identified a list of items they wanted to work on with current tenants Nick and Lynn Kuhn.
Shaffer listed some of the responses that stood out in the survey, including 89% of LPA homeowners said it is extremely important or very important to have a restaurant at LPN; 83% of respondents want a casual full-service dining experience; when asked to choose between personal service and fast service, 82% chose personal service; 75% of respondents would like a server to take their order; and 60% of respondents felt it was important for a server to close out their order.
“These survey results were helpful in crafting a strategy for 2024, and I am pleased LPN has reached an agreement with Nick and Lynn Kuhn for 2024,” Shaffer said. “In this new agreement, they have agreed to add a table service option in addition to the QR code ordering. Look for this to start around May 1 when they can hire additional staff. Also, peak season hours will be expanded to include lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”
Shaffer encouraged continued support for The Links Lounge during the off season. Winter hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 4-10 p.m.
Regarding the golf portion of the LPN, Shaffer said everyone who was a season passholder at Panorama West or Lake Panorama National in 2023 has received 2024 passholder forms in the mail. Those who are interested in season passes at either course for the first time can find details on the LPN website at lakepanoramanational.com by clicking on the “season golf passes” link.
Shaffer said both the LPN events center and the Panorama West clubhouse are booking events for 2024. To inquire about these event spaces, complete the “contact us” form on the LPN website. The link for this is on the top right of the homepage.
Shaffer closed his report by encouraging anyone not receiving the LPN Resort Weekly email to get signed up. This newsletter typically is sent each Monday and highlights upcoming LPN events and other information. To sign up, go to the LPN website, scroll down to the “Get the Latest News” section, and enter an email address.
Rutledge opened his report by talking about the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ). He said the rip rap along the south shore was funded by RIZ, at a cost of about $850,000. Legal agreements are in place between RIZ and LPA that the area will be maintained as a green space and not a developed area.
“LPA allows the Panorama Community Schools to use the south shore trails for a portion of their cross country trail,” Rutledge said. “The start, finish, bathrooms, concessions and parking are all located at the school, so the impact on LPA is minimal. The disc golf course is ready for use, with signage to be added in the spring. The trails are great for recreational walking and hiking. Thanks to Friends of Lake Panorama for their efforts and leadership on this new recreational amenity.”
Expansion of the old CIPCO sediment basin, which has been renamed the 180th Trail Basin, continues. The project is expected to exceed $4 million in total cost once completed. This basin will be used for dredging spoils once the current basin is full.
RIZ operated a pilot program for cover crop incentives in 2022 and expanded the program with local producers in the lake’s watershed this fall.
“This addresses erosion vulnerability and nutrient runoff during the period between fall harvest and spring planting and emergence,” Rutledge said. “We currently have 1,320 acres enrolled, which includes 11 different producers and landowners.”
The 2023-24 RIZ fiscal year began July 1. Projected tax increment financing (TIF) revenues for this fiscal year are $3 million.
“Valuations for 2023, which will be taxable in 2024-25, were released late yesterday. An initial review indicates RIZ revenues will continue to grow, with 2024-25 TIF collections exceeding $3.5 million,” Rutledge said. “It is difficult to forecast this number precisely as the 2024-25 budget year represents uncharted territory due to a property tax overhaul by the Iowa Legislature.”
Rutledge said RIZ issued $9.7 million of debt certificates this fall.
“This sounds like a tremendous amount of money, but in the context of RIZ, it is not,” he said. “We will use these funds to replace the dredge and booster pump and continue advancing on our plans for sediment storage and preventative water quality endeavors.”
Legislative issues remain a top priority for LPA, Rutledge said.
“Property tax reform was one of the hot issues for 2023, and there are talks about the legislature revisiting that with another round of property tax reforms. TIF reform would impact RIZ. We’ve already been involved with key legislators and Gov. Reynolds’ office to set a foundation for future discussions and input to protect RIZ.”
In addition to RIZ, Rutledge said LPA is watching other topics at the legislature.
“These efforts ebb and flow; there are years in which I’m required to visit the Capitol only a couple of times, while other years demand multiple visits and daily monitoring of legislation and amendments,” he said. “2024 will be a busy year for me at the legislature.”
Turning to LPA business, Rutledge said no changes were made to the 2023 buoy map for 2024.
“There were some requests for expansion of no wake zones into the coves, but the water safety committee and LPA board opted to leave the map unchanged,” he said. “The committee is concerned creating more no wake areas would push boating traffic into a narrower and smaller footprint, creating safety issues.”
Rutledge also noted speed and wake are not necessarily the same thing.
“Some 10 mph areas are hot topics for member concerns, as they see a boat putting out a wake and want LPA to cite this boater. Often, the boater is traveling at 8 or 9 miles per hour and complying with the speed limit,” he said.
The LPA deer hunting program runs into January, but Rutledge said the majority of the harvest had been realized, with 95 antlerless deer harvested by Dec. 15. He said this is down from previous years and follows a local trend for reduced deer population.
Rutledge said the 2024 LPA budget has been approved by the LPA board and includes a 5% dues increase. Camping fees increased for the coming year, but there was no change to boat stickers and no change to water rates at this time.
There is one large capital project planned for 2024.
“This is fixing a scour that exists in front of the dam,” Rutledge said. “It likely developed over time, and we need to install large rip rap to ensure continued flow does not undermine the footings of the dam itself. This is not a short-term emergency, but rather a long-term proactive investment.”
Rutledge said LPA has ample salt on-hand for winter snow removal.
“Please remember this process does require us to ‘wing back’ snow from the road edge, which can shave some turf off the edge of the roadway,” he said. “This occurs because turf grows annually in height, and the road stays the same. Thus, periodic shaving occurs.”
Rutledge issued a reminder to follow the rules at the brush dumps.
“Most people follow the rules, but there are a handful who don’t and risk ruining this for the entire membership,” he said. “If you hire a contractor, please emphasize they need to follow the rules, as they are provided access to the facilities on your behalf.”
Phil Watson Jr. has purchased Coulter’s Panorama Marine. This was a voluntary sale that Lyn Coulter and Watson negotiated privately. LPA’s role was to consent to the new marina tenant. On Sept. 26, the LPA board of directors approved a 2024-2028 lease between LPA and Watson for operation of the LPA-owned marina.
Boat lines carried by Coulter’s will continue to be carried by Watson, and Coulter’s staff have the opportunity to work for Watson’s organization. Watson is developing a boat sales, service and storage facility on Highway 4 and is experiencing some construction delays. Rutledge said he has assured LPA he is moving forward, although he will likely occupy the existing sales and service building for a few months to accommodate delayed completion of his facilities.
Rutledge closed by sharing the date of the 2024 LPA annual meeting, which is Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. at the LPN conference center. He said to watch the LPA Prompt for dates of 2024 Managers’ Coffees.

The nonprofit’s mission is to improve recreational amenities at Lake Panorama.

Posted 01/10/24
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Throughout 2024, Friends of Lake Panorama will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office Nov. 1, 2013. The first meeting of the Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors was Dec. 3, 2013.
On Jan. 17, 2013, an application for 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation was submitted to the IRS. A letter from the IRS dated July 2, 2014, stated the Friends of Lake Panorama is exempt from federal income tax, and contributions to the public charity are deductible under federal law.
The nonprofit’s mission is to improve recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. The charity is governed by a volunteer, seven-member board of directors, which held its 2024 organizational meeting Nov. 29.
At the meeting, two board members — Jody Muench and Jim Tibbles — were reappointed to new three-year terms. Other board members are Galen Johnson, John Muenzenberger, Jan Reinicke, Jackie Wellik and Bill Winkleblack.
In officer elections, Reinicke was elected president, Tibbles vice president, and Muenzenberger secretary-treasurer. Susan Thompson is the non-profit’s executive director.
With the help of many donors and the Lake Panorama Association, Friends has had a busy 10 years. Sunset Beach playground opened in July 2016. Boulder Beach sports courts opened in June 2018.
Many other successful projects followed and include Shady and Boulder beaches playground improvements, Panorama West rain garden, dog park, Sunset Beach sports court, Panorama West Nature Trail, LPN Shade sails, and 20 new benches at beaches and golf courses.
In August 2017, Friends received a $473,700 estate gift from Jim and Joyce McLuen to be used at the Panorama West Golf Club. That estate gift turned an already good golf course into something truly special.
The current priority project is a package of 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 into it, is marked and open.
Also complete are a fenced driveway to a parking lot that provides walk-through access to the recreation area, and a small shelter near the parking lot. The disc golf course is open for play, with signage to be added in the spring. Also in the spring, a picnic table will be added to the shelter, informational signs will be installed, and benches and bluebird houses will be placed throughout the recreational area.
More than $7,500 was donated to Friends of Lake Panorama in the final two months of 2023. Currently, donors giving to Friends can designate their gift to the Lake Panorama south shore recreation area, a tree planting project on the lake’s west side (see related story), and the Friends general fund.
Donations can be made by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama, and mailed to Friends of Lake Panorama, P.O. Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. Direct donations can be sent via Venmo @Panorama-Friends. Donations also can be made by credit card on the Friends website at friendsoflakepanorama.org.
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, as are direct IRA qualified charitable distributions.
Details on past, present and future projects can be found on the Friends website. Friends also has a Facebook page. Those interested in keeping up-to-date about Friends activities are asked to “like” and “share” the Friends page. Those with questions or comments about Friends of Lake Panorama can send an email to staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.


Posted 01/10/24

Included with the annual 2024 dues mailings is information for LPA members to review as the new year gets underway. Some key items are summarized here.
Dues and assessments are due May 1, 2024. To sign up for automated electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments, contact the LPA office at 641-755-2301 or dkrambeer@lakepanorama.org. The EFT form is available on the LPA website under the Forms folder. Complete, sign and return this form to the office with a copy of a voided check.
Members who used amenities in 2023 received amenity statements for 2024 with their dues notices. Inform the office if there are amenity changes for 2024. All dues and assessments must be paid prior to receiving boat or camping stickers.
LPA’s website has lots of useful information. Members who have never signed up should go to lakepanorama.org and click on “Resident Sign Up.” Request a login and LPA staff will grant access. The website has up-to-date documents and details for building permits, rental forms, boating, and much more. It also is used to communicate with the membership through the weekly LPA Prompt and special announcements. The official LPA website is lakepanorama.org. The official LPN website is lakepanoramanational.com.
In 2021, LPA created a water safety video to help members review and understand rules while operating on the lake. The link to this video is on the public side of the LPA website under the Helpful Links tab. It also is available on YouTube by searching “LPA Water Safety Video.”
Current DNR registration copies and invasive species forms must be on file prior to boat sticker issuance. If a member doesn’t have any change in vessels from 2023 and all information on file is current, no new invasive form is necessary. RESIDENT boats will retain the previously issued green sticker. NON-RESIDENT boats will be issued a new red 2024 sticker.
All owners of non-resident boats must contact LPA Security for inspection prior to launching their boat in 2024. Refer to the LPA website for more information. Any changes to vessels registered and new DNR registrations need to be emailed to boat@lakepanorama.org.
Maximum length for non-pontoon type boats is 24 feet, including swim platforms. Stern drive or inboard engine displacement may not exceed 6.2 liters. Outboard motors may not exceed 300 hp. Maximum length for pontoons is 27 feet, including swim platforms. Outboard motors and jet powered motors may not exceed 200 hp. Stern drive motors may not exceed 299 hp. For personal water craft (PWC), no 2-cycle PWC shall exceed 130 hp, and no 4-cycle PWC shall exceed 185 hp.
All docks must be registered with Iowa DNR, including floating docks. New members should update dock permit information with the Iowa DNR. The dock sign application form is on the LPA website.
Phil Watson Jr., owner of Panorama Marine, is LPA’s new marina tenant. Watson purchased Coulter’s Marine from Lyn Coulter in 2023. Panorama Marine has the same phone number as Coulter’s did. Members with questions can call 641-755-2920.
Building permits and land disturbing permits are required for any project. Contact the LPA office prior to a building project, new driveway, or projects including land disturbance. Planning ahead will save costly corrections later. Owners, not contractors, must sign all permit applications. Members requesting variances must pay a fee and make the request by 4:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month.
Members need to be familiar with LPA’s rules and regulations. These can be found on the public or private side of the LPA website under the Documents tab (public side) or Governing Documents folder (private side).
To reserve a beach shelter, fill out the beach reservation form that can be found online or picked up at the office. All beaches have water, electricity and restrooms available May 1 to Sept. 30. To reserve the Panorama West Clubhouse community room, call 641-755-2250.
Two yard waste sites are open Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The sites are closed Monday and Tuesday for maintenance. Natural materials less than 12 inches in diameter are accepted. Construction debris, root balls, stumps, plastic leaf bags and other materials that do not grow on a member’s lot are prohibited.
Campgrounds are open March 1 to Oct. 31. Water is available May 1 through Sept. 30. Spots are only available to members or guests of members who currently have a camping spot. There is a waitlist; call the LPA office to check availability.
The LPA office needs current member information, which includes mailing address, phone numbers and emails. LPA does not use the website to update member information; members need to call or email LPA with any changes. Those who are unsure if LPA has up-to-date information should send an email to lpa@lakepanorama.org.
LPA board meetings for 2024 will begin in March. Normally, meetings are the fourth Tuesday of the month. Open forum is at 5 p.m. on meeting nights. Board agendas are linked to the weekly LPA Prompt prior to each scheduled meeting.
The LPA Security department cooperates with local law enforcement, regularly patrols the entire lake and enforces LPA rules, traffic and other regulations. Security responds 24/7. Call Security at 641-757-9035 to report issues. Call 911 or 641-747-2214 for fire or ambulance.
LPA office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the office by calling 641-755-2301 or emailing lpa@lakepanorama.org.

Shane Gliem’s business started with mobile detailing in 2015 and is now located at 108 S.E. Sixth St. in Panora.

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Posted 01/10/2024
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Shane Gliem’s business in Panora is shining, which many boat owners on Lake Panorama will attest to. Detailers Eye is the name of his vehicle cleaning service, and he started out in his parents’ driveway, then later worked in his garage. With his recent purchase of the former Panora Service Center building, Gliem now has enough room to expand his services. The building is located at 108 S.E. Sixth St. in Panora, across from Guthrie County State Bank.
“When I originally started was 2015,” Gliem explained. “And then when I bought that house, it became what it is now. It grew slowly, and then I was able to purchase this building. Now that I have this location, I can hopefully start growing it a little bit quicker, with employees and stuff.”
Over the years since he first started detailing vehicles, Gliem has gradually been buying equipment that would be of use once he obtained a large shop. Now those items are ready to be put to use. Detailing vehicles means vacuuming and wiping down the interior and washing the exterior, but there’s much more to it than that.
“It’s extracting the carpets, getting all the dirt out, cleaning under the seats, between the seats,” Gliem said. “Some customers might not want all the bells and whistles; some do. So I have different packages to fit as many customers as I can.”
Detailers Eye does detailing differently than many of the similar businesses he’s seen in urban areas.
“The way they do it is with very harsh chemicals, and very quick,” he said. “The goal here is to clean stuff the best you can while maintaining the finish. Everything that’s manufactured on a vehicle has protective layers or coating. Even your carpet has protection on it.”
Gliem’s attention to detail is evident when he talks about washing cars.
“I use different processes to get stuff that is embedded,” he said. “It’s stuff that you maybe can’t see, but you can feel it with your hand. The more stuff that’s in the paint and on the paint, the duller it looks. The dust slowly will get into the paint and dull it down over time.”
Since every customer has a different preference about how much cleaning is to be done, Gliem’s business model is to cater to exactly what the customer wants.
“Most interiors take four to six hours,” he said. “Most whole vehicles take six to eight. But it depends on how far the customer wants me to take it.”
Another difference between Detailers Eye and other detailers, according to Gliem, is that he also works on boats. 
“A lot of people don’t realize I do cars and boats,” he said. “Originally, when I started, I was mobile, so all I did was cars. And then, as more and more people asked me to do boats, I added that on. Occasionally, I get a tractor or something, but the main focus is cars and boats.”
The busiest seasons for Gliem are spring and fall, as boaters are getting their boats ready for the boating season or preparing them for the winter. But the demand for detailing cars runs steady throughout the year. As word of mouth has spread that he details boats, that portion of his clientele has grown.
“This year, the No. 1 service was a full boat detail,” he said. “This was the first year that the boats surpassed cars, just by a little bit. But it’s about 50/50.”
Although some customers only come in once in a blue moon, others are regulars.
“It’s a pretty good split,” he said. “Probably about 80% of the boats I do are returning customers. With cars, I do have maintenance customers, monthly or bi-monthly or whatever they want.”
Asked about unusual finds during his cleaning processes, Gliem said, in cars, he occasionally discovers documents or money that the owner is glad to have back. With boats, he encounters a different type of surprise.
“The craziest stuff on boats is animals,” he said. “Tons of mice — and raccoons, every once in a while.”
Gliem’s plan for the future of his business is to add employees and services to meet the needs of the community.
“The goal right now is to start hiring next spring, a little bit before boat season, get them trained,” he said. “Maybe one or two people, and see how that goes. I’ll probably end up selling some cars here, too, but I want to see how all of this goes first. I don’t want to spread everything too thin.”
Gliem said his immediate plan is to offer Paint Protection Film, or PPF.
“I couldn’t do it at my prior location because the film is clear, and it has to be really clean, and doing it in a really small garage wasn’t ideal,” he said. “But now that I have more space, the goal is to try to get that going. That’s my first big push, to try to grow that.”
When asked about a favorite moment in his work, Gliem said, “I’ve had a lot of older people who have had their car for a while. They’re used to just the quick vacuum and wipe down, and they can’t clean it themselves. The joy when they see it. A lot of them maybe didn’t realize just how far I can take it.”

Paula Hansen and Galen Redshaw appointed.

Posted 01/10/24
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

While the Lake Panorama Association has owned the LPN golf course since 1977, it only has owned the LPN conference center since 2005. At the time the conference center was purchased, the LPA board established the legal corporate entity known as LPN, LLC to manage this wholly owned subsidiary.
As a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, LPA is required to pay taxes only on gains from land sales. Revenues from dues and assessments are not taxable. Keeping the LPA and LPN, LLC operations separate is necessary to protect the nonprofit status of the LPA.
To keep this separation, the LPA board of directors created and appointed the LPN board of managers, which held its first meeting in October 2015. The LPA board provides oversight of the LPN, LLC board. The LPN, LLC board oversees LPN policies and direction.
At the LPA board’s Dec. 12 meeting, two new people were appointed and one reappointed to the LPN board of managers. Board terms are three years, and members can serve two consecutive terms.
Sue Merryman had served her two-term limit, and Paula Hansen was appointed to fill that position. Kathy DeLucca has served one term and was reappointed to a second three-year term.
John Coghlan, who was appointed to the board in August 2018, stepped down from the board with one year remaining on his term. Galen Redshaw was appointed to fill the final year of Coghlan’s term.
Others on the seven-member board are Greg Steffen, Barry Monaghan, Shanell Wagler and Chris Duree. Wagler currently serves as president, with Monaghan as vice president and DeLucca as secretary/treasurer. Officer appointments for the coming year will take place at the board’s March meeting.

Trustees Doug Hemphill and JoAnn Johnson are both re-elected.

Posted 01/10/24

The Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) board of trustees election was held Tuesday, Dec. 5 with 65 total ballots cast. Trustees Doug Hemphill and JoAnn Johnson were both re-elected to three-year terms. Other trustees are Bill Dahl, Larry Petersen and Corey Welberg.
The trustees are responsible for administering the RIZ, which includes the platted portions of the Lake Panorama development. The Lake Panorama RIZ is a local government entity designed to manage erosion control and water quality at Lake Panorama and within its watershed.
The RIZ was formed in 1997 by the initiative of the LPA through legislation in Des Moines. The tax increment financing district allows tax growth dollars to stay within the Lake Panorama development for water quality purposes.
The board of trustees oversees the annual budget and associated expenditures. Estimated revenue for the 2023-2024 fiscal year is nearly $3 million. These funds are used exclusively to fund improvements allowed under IA Code 357.H, which includes dredging operations, erosion control practices and water quality improvements. For more information, visit www.lakepanoramariz.org.

Agrees to start the process of designing a new district website starting in July 2024.

Posted 01/10/24
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

The Panorama School Board met on Dec. 11 in regular session. Outgoing board members Cale Kastner and Lee White were recognized for their service to the district, and recently elected board members — Heidi Clark, Clint Deardorff, Deb Westergaard, and Damon Crandall — were sworn in. Deb Westergaard was selected as the board president and Heidi Clark as vice president.
The board agreed to start the process of designing a new district website in July 2024.
“We are trying to make communication a little more efficient and streamlined for all parents,” Superintendent Kasey Huebner said. “A Panorama mobile app will also be refreshed during this process.”
The board also approved using the company Monkey This to be the content manager to help tell the story of what is happening in the classroom.
In the “Good News” portion of the meeting, it was mentioned that girls wrestling is seeing success in the initial season as an independent school after last year’s co-op. The program was able to get new uniforms that meet the new requirements from the IGHSAU. There has been more participation, as well as interest, in younger girls participating in wrestling now that they have seen the opportunity opened for them in the district.
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Posted 01/10/2024

Our greatly beloved Cindy Strahan went home to her Savior the Lord Jesus Christ on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023.
Cindy and Reid Strahan had their first home on Lake Panorama in Horseshoe Cove from 1999 through 2008. They began construction on their second lake home in 2015 at 5147 Panorama Drive. This home has been the place of many family gatherings and celebrations, including the wedding of their granddaughter, Sabrina DeGroote, and Grant Thompson in May of 2021. Reid and Cindy enjoyed time at their lake home nearly every week Monday through Wednesday year round until Cindy was unable to come any longer due to her battle with advanced colon cancer in the late summer of 2023.
Cindy received Christ at an early age and trusted Him alone for forgiveness of her sins and the hope of Eternal Life. She was zealously devoted to the interests of Christ in her life and in the lives of everyone around her. Someone asked her once, “What can I do to encourage you?” She said,“Start obeying God and start being faithful to church!” She was on her way to the Heavenly City, and she wanted to take everyone else with her.
She taught, she exhorted, she shared quotes and she loved people deeply and cared about their souls. She led a woman’s Bible study for decades. She stood rock solid by her husband, Reid, through the joy and struggles of pastoring a church.
She loved the Bible, listening to sermons and great quotes about living for God. She loved the gifts of the Spirit and exercised a remarkable spiritual gift of praying in the Spirit, interpreting and speaking powerful, encouraging messages to those she prayed for.
Cindy had a previous battle with cancer in 1983-84 discovered during her pregnancy with her and Reid’s third child, Luke. Abortion was recommended by her doctor, but she chose to keep her baby and take on any additional risks to her life in so doing. Luke was born safely and without predicted deformity from her chemotherapy. After six months of chemotherapy in the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, her cancer had spread through her body, and they could do no more for her. She was on pain medications and given two weeks to live. The Lord promised her healing in a vision, and shortly thereafter, Dr. Cross and Dr. Shreck from Iowa Methodist knocked at the door of her home and asked her to try one more round of a different chemotherapy. She went to the hospital that day, had an emergency colostomy, and Dr. Shreck began the new treatment. Her cancer quickly disappeared, and within a few months, she was cancer free, her colostomy was reversed, and she went on to live nearly 40 years full of life.
Cindy delighted in being a grandmother. Every Thursday for years, her home was filled with her grandchildren, laughing, playing, reading, cooking and doing crafts. Although the work and cleanup was substantial, it was the highlight of her week.
Cindy helped start Strahan Construction with her husband, Reid, in the late 1980s. She was a gifted salesperson and home designer. She knew how to create an awesome floor plan, front elevation, and how to decorate a home. Due to her ability to design home fronts with street appeal, the early sales slogan “Who Built That?” worked for the company.
To her husband, Reid, Cindy was a faithful loving wife of 47 years. She was his best friend, lover, and fellow soldier in the battles of life. She stood behind him, encouraged him, loved him, and made life fun through it all. They had a date day every Tuesday and enjoyed lunch together at the Cafe in Ames for years. They had pizza every Friday night and watched a TCM movie. Pastries and coffee on Saturday morning finished up the week. Reid has many friends but says he enjoyed being with her most of all.
She knew how to fight the good fight of faith and how to press on when life got painful. Obedience to God, doing the right thing no matter the cost (and regardless of her feelings) was her way of life. And it served her well. She knew the kind of dying to self for Jesus’ sake that leads to a flourishing soul and an abundant life.
Cynthia (Cindy) Lorraine Ellgren was born March 18, 1954, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The family moved to Humboldt, where Cindy was raised with two brothers, Scott and Todd. She graduated from Iowa State University in 1976. Reid Strahan asked her to marry him on their first date, and she said, “Oh, Reid, I’ve always loved you! Yes!” Reid and Cindy were married June 12, 1976. They had three children, Justin, Alissa and Luke. Cindy stayed home with them, loved them and home-schooled them.
Cindy is survived by her husband, Reid. Her brother, Todd Ellgren, and his wife, Amy. Her son, Justin, and his wife, Melissa, and grandchildren, William, Weston, Sam, Everett, Lucy, Harrison, Ocean and Jack. Her daughter, Alissa DeGroote, and her husband, Josh, and grandchildren, Sabrina Thompson and her husband, Grant, and other grandchildren, Olivia, Isabella, Eden, Silas and Grayson. Her son, Luke, and his wife, Elizabeth, and grandchildren Cedric, Christian, Peter, Gwendolyn and Johnny. Her sister-in-law, Brenda Ellgren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth and Lorraine Ellgren, and by her brother, Scott.


Posted 01/10/2024
Special to Lake Panorama Times

The 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County held their final meeting of 2023 on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Twin Vines Winery in Panora. Fifty-eight women attended in person and 17 members attended via Zoom. The group added four new members.
Three organizations made presentations for consideration. Kathy Miller and Julie Tibbles presented for Panora P.E.T.S, alongside volunteer Michelle Doran. Cindy McCarty presented for Timber Creek Charities, alongside board member Carrie O’Brien. Kristen Crouthamel presented on behalf of Dani Fink for the Guthrie County Sheriff K9 Fund. The group announced a lump sum $14,800 donation to Timber Creek Charities. Additional donations and employer matches were collected from the group members after the photo showing $13,600 was taken. The $14,800 amount is the largest donation to date for the 10 Squared Women’s group and consists of member donations and employer matches.
Timber Creek Therapies was created in 2001 to help individuals using innovative tools not seen in many other outpatient centers. At the same time, Timber Creek Charities was created to help individuals receive therapies when they lacked adequate insurance coverage and/or financial resources to do so on their own. Timber Creek Charities is a 501c3 nonprofit entity and is governed by a board of directors.
The next meeting is Feb. 27 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall in Guthrie Center. To learn how to get involved, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/10squaredwomengc, or email them at 10squaredgc@gmail.com.
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Posted 01/10/2024
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Ten Squared Plus Men of Guthrie County presented their last check of 2023. Ryan Albers presented for the Little Panther Day Care and Preschool during their November meeting, and they were declared the winner of the check for $20,200, the largest single donation to date.
Little Panther, which serves more than 70 young people, will use the funds to replace two aging furnace and air conditioning units. Since the initial gift of $11,100 to the elementary schools for the backpack programs in 2016, the philanthropic group has given $357,350 to Guthrie County entities without a dime of expense. Ten Squared Plus Men will meet next in April of 2024. For information on how to be part of the group, email B.monaghan@gcsbank.com.

Raccoon River Valley Carving Club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-11:30 a.m. in the Conference Center at Lake Panorama.

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Posted 01/10/2024
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

A recent meeting of the Raccoon River Valley Carving Club found four of the members present at their workshop in the Conference Center at Lake Panorama. The room included a variety of machinery, tools and books related to wood carving, but the centerpiece was the four artists and friends sitting around the tables. Dennis Shepherd, Terry Sprague, Tom Schaefer and Dave Beidelman each worked on a current carving project as they socialized. Members not present were Ted Reeve, Rich Schumacher, Jim Sievers, Mike Halupnick, Tom Loeck, Jerry Armstrong and Frank Teale.
The group meets regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-11:30 a.m. and has been doing so for several years.
“Tom Jeschke gets the accolades for the group,” Shepherd said. “He started teaching classes in the community a long time ago, and he had a lot of students. This group hasn’t been here all that long, as far as meeting in this location.”
Dr. Jeschke passed away in March of 2023, and the four carvers agreed that he was a skilled instructor who helped each of them improve techniques and know-how.
In describing how Jeschke first started carving, Sprague said, “The story was that (Jeschke’s wife) Conni saw something that she liked, and Tom wasn’t going to pay that price for it, so he just decided to make it himself.”
Each of the four shared examples of how carving is a learning process and that mistakes are inevitable, but valuable, moments.
“(Dr. Jeschke) was very patient as a teacher, and meticulous,” Shepherd said. “He let you do your own thing, and he kept an eye on how you could improve.”
As the members talked, they showed what they are currently working on. Many of the projects are planned to be given to grandchildren or other family members. Figurines and Christmas tree ornaments are first carved, then sanded and painted. Most of the objects are carved from basswood, since it’s a soft and tight-knit wood with few cracks in the grain.
Although each member pointed to Jeschke as his instructor, the four have also become teachers to new carving enthusiasts. Shepherd told of introducing a Girl Scout group to carving.
“I introduced them to carving a yam, as Tom did with us,” he said. “It’s a lot softer and easier to carve than wood.”
The group keeps safety in mind, since the power tools and even the hand tools can easily cut deeply into flesh. The four also said they welcome anyone interested in carving to come visit them for advice and help in getting started.
The four chatted and joked as they worked on their projects and gave each other suggestions when asked. It soon became apparent that the friendship is at least as important as the craft.
“The group is kind of about fellowship,” Shepherd said.

Melissa Merical is the proud owner of a 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Posted 01/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The phrase, “Like father, like son,” is well known. But in the case of Melissa Merical, the phrase, “Like father, like daughter,” fits. That’s because her love of Corvettes reflects the love her father had for Corvettes.
“I always wanted a Corvette when I was younger,” Merical says. “My father was a Corvette collector and had many Corvettes through the years. He was president of the Corvette Club of Iowa. He collected Corvettes and Dodge Vipers. He would take me with him to club meetings, parties and racing events.”
Now, Merical is the proud owner of a 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The name of the car’s color is as fancy as the car itself — Hypersonic Gray Metallic.
“When the new C8 Corvette was introduced, I knew I had to have one,” Merical says. “I purchased it from Joel Hester at Karl’s Chevrolet in Stuart. I ordered it in 2020, and because of COVID delays, it arrived in 2022.”
When she was a child, Merical’s parents, Jim and Sandy Strong, had a condo on Lake Panorama’s main basin. Later, they had a home on the west side near Shady Beach, so she spent many years of weekends and summers at the lake. She grew up in homes in West Des Moines and Ankeny and graduated from Ankeny High School.
Merical has lived full-time at Lake Panorama since 2006 when she built a house on Donahey Drive. Merical’s father passed away in 2008. Her mother has a log cabin across the street from her, and her sister lives in a home nearby. Her three children and five grandchildren all live within an hour’s drive.
She is a self-taught artist and interior designer. Her website, Merical Creations, features a gallery of original paintings and large design projects. Beginning in 2012, Merical developed a portion of her family’s farm west of Panora that now is Twin Vines. She planted the vineyard and designed the house, barn and other structures. For a time, she had her art studio in the house.
Merical’s 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray features removable hard tops, an engine in the back, and a “frunk” in the front, where the engine is found on most cars. Online specs show the C8 Corvette can go from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds and has a top track speed of 194 miles per hour.
This isn’t the first notable car Merical has owned.
“I had a 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T powered by a 5.7 Hemi,” she says. “That was a fun car to drive. I owned it four years and sold it when I got the Corvette.”
Merical’s Corvette is in a cozy garage attached to her home. It is climate controlled with geothermal and in-floor heating with a shiny epoxy floor that is kept as clean as the Corvette.
“My daughter Nicole says my Corvette is a ‘garage queen’ because I rarely drive it. She did convince me to drive her to the Jelly Roll concert in Omaha last year, and I even let her drive it back home,” Merical says. “I have been to the Guthrie County Cars and Coffee meets a few times. I’ve also been to several parades and area car shows. I really enjoy being with other car enthusiasts and talking cars and car-related topics.”
Does Merical plan any updates to her Corvette?
“I ordered the car fully optioned and have not made any additional improvements,” she says. “I am planning to have Detailer’s Eye in Panora give the car a ceramic coat in the spring, which will help protect the paint.
“I don’t consider myself a gearhead,” Merical says. “But I do enjoy driving a car with more than average horsepower. My dad was a pilot and enjoyed flying in the air as well in his Corvettes. I share that same passion.”
The vanity license plate on Merical’s Corvette references the word Mistletoe.
“My dad used to call me that when I was a little girl,” she says. “I thought this would be a good remembrance of him, because this is the kind of car he loved.”
As they say, like father, like daughter.

Nick and Lynn Kuhn will continue to operate The Links Lounge and Spikes, plus manage events.

Posted 01/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times
For a second year, a contract has been signed between the Lake Panorama National Resort and Nick and Lynn Kuhn to operate The Links Lounge and Spikes, plus manage events.
The LPN kitchen closed in July 2022 after the departure of several key kitchen personnel. A task force reviewed several options and recommended the best long-term strategy would be to lease the LPN food and beverage operation to a third-party vendor.
The Kuhns own The Beerhouse in Urbandale, The Hall DSM in Valley Junction and also lease the Sun Valley Lake Clubhouse Bar + Grille. They opened The Links Lounge + Events in April 2023.
Since 2020, there has been a nationwide shortage of wait staff, which caused the Kuhns to rely on technology to fill the service personnel void. This business model has worked well at their other establishments. Rather than having a server bring menus and take orders, QR codes are on the tables. Customers review menus and place their orders using their smart phones. Orders show up on screens in the kitchen and at the bar. Bartenders deliver drinks to tables and are notified when food is ready to deliver.
At The Links, the lack of personal service proved to be a sticking point for many customers. This past fall, at the request of the Kuhns, the LPN food and beverage task force used a survey to gather input on the 2023 operation. A total of 490 responses were received, and survey results were used to help craft the 2024 lease.
When asked to choose between personal service and fast service, 82% of survey respondents chose personal service, and 75% said they would like a server to take their order. The 2024 lease includes offering a table service option in addition to the QR code ordering. The Kuhns also plan to deploy a large QR code at the Boulder Beach docks so customers can order food and drink from The Links directly from their boats. Orders will be delivered to the dock area.
“Through feedback directly from customers, we have been able to glean information we can apply,” says Lynn Kuhn. “The two service models is an example of that. Customers will have the option of placing their order with a server or by using the QR code. We plan to start offering the table service option in May, once we have hired additional staff.”
The 2024 lease agreement also 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.
Kuhn says customers can expect some changes to The Links menu and specials in the coming months.
“In addition to the great pub fare, we’ll be adding regular entrées to the menu,” she says. “Foodie Friday has worked well as a fall option and gives Chef Bryan Manning an opportunity to try new things. As we head into early spring, we plan to offer weekly dinner specials on other days of the week, too.”
Pizza also may appear on the menu in 2024.
“We are known for exceptional pizza in the Des Moines area and are exploring this option; however, the kitchen is currently not equipped for this menu item,” Nick Kuhn says. “We are working on this and hope to be able to offer pizza sometime this spring.”
Beginning May 1 and running through September, The Links will be open each Monday 3-10 p.m.; Wednesday 3-10 p.m.; Thursday 3-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A limited menu will be offered on Sundays. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m., except on Wednesdays.
Between now and April 30, hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 4-10 p.m. Those hours will return Oct. 1.
Another change in the restaurant operation will be the removal of the surcharge on credit card payments. There will continue to be a 3% surcharge for credit card transactions for events and at Spikes.
Some changes in event pricing also are in place for 2024. LPN and LPA events will be charged a single $250 facility fee. Use of the banquet room for corporate, community and personal events will cost $750, and use of the dining room will be $300-500, depending on the day. Golf events that include food and beverage purchases will receive a 50% discount on the room rental fee. Nonprofit charities will receive a 10% discount on the facility fees. 
Lynn Kuhn coordinates events scheduled at Lake Panorama National.
“We’ve learned about so many wonderful events that are part of the fabric of Lake Panorama, and it’s fun to be a part of those traditions,” she says. “We invite more dinners, receptions and corporate events. We can accommodate groups of any size and offer some great food and beverage options to make the occasion memorable.”
To discuss an event for the 2024 LPN calendar, email lkuhn@lakepanorama.org.
Spikes and the beverage carts are included in the lease agreement. Deb Douglass will manage the snack shop and beverage cart operation again for 2024.
Beginning April 1 and running through April 30, the 2024 agreement calls for Spikes to be open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with adjustments made for weather and tee times. Those hours will return Sept. 3 through the end of October.
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 all scheduled golf events of at least 24 players and both men’s and women’s golf leagues.
“In 2023, Nick explored new ways to get food and beverages to golfers using QR codes on golf carts,” Lynn Kuhn says. “This will help make LPN an even better experience. Be on the lookout for that option this spring.”
“We have enjoyed getting to know the Lake Panorama community. We also have enjoyed ‘throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks’ as far as menu options and processes,” Nick Kuhn says. “We have learned quite a lot and look forward to implementing some new ideas and processes in the coming year.”
Plans for an Easter brunch are in the works. The Links Lounge + Events Facebook page and the LPN Resort Weekly will provide updates on this and other offerings throughout 2024.
“We invite the entire Panora community to come enjoy what The Links Lounge + Events has to offer,” Nick Kuhn says. “And a shout out to the staff at Spikes and The Links. We have some fantastic people. Although facing a challenging local labor market, we look forward to growing our team in 2024.”
Taylors juniper 3 1024x1024

And a few planting tips.

Posted 01/10/2024
By Lynn Kuhn
Special to Lake Panorama Times

I can’t think of a better time of year for this topic. As I write and gaze across the landscape, it’s mostly gray. Thank goodness for conifers, fruiting shrubs and ornamental grasses adding much desired winter interest. You might think most conifers struggle in Iowa due to the number of browning trees in private and commercial landscapes. However, there are several conifer trees that grow well in our state including a couple of deciduous conifers. For now, let’s focus on the conifers that are considered “evergreen.” Below I have highlighted four underused conifers based on performance, beauty and overall usefulness in the landscape.

a.k.a. Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Canadian hemlock is native to the Chicago area and eastern United States.
Hardy to zone 3 (northern Minnesota).
Growth rate is moderate at 1-2’ per year.
Mature size is 40-70’ tall by 25-35’ spread.
Somewhat deer resistant depending on what else is available.
Somewhat shade tolerant.
Intolerant of heat, drought, strong wind and poorly drained soils.

Fun Fact: There is an herbaceous plant also called Hemlock (Conium maculatum) that is deadly. The famous Greek philosopher, Socrates, met his maker after being given Hemlock at his execution. (Source: wildlifetrusts.org) For more info go to How to Identify and Remove Poison Hemlock (thespruce.com).

Designer’s Tip: Sprinkle hemlock trees through a shady treed area for winter privacy. Don’t be afraid to plant them tightly. Due to their loose open habit, hemlock knit together nicely without suffocating adjacent trees.

a.k.a. Rocky Mountain White Pine
(Pinus flexilis)
Native to Rocky Mountains, western United States and Canada.
Hardy to zone 4.
Full sun to part shade.
Mature size is 30-50’ tall by 15-35’ spread.
Tolerates dry soil, is more disease and pest resistant than other types of pine, and more tolerant to alkaline soils than Eastern White Pine (Source: Morton Arboretum).

Fun Fact: Limber Pine gets its name from its very flexible branches, especially when young, giving it the ability to live many years. A tree was discovered in Idaho that lived to 1,650 years. (Source: U.S. Forest Service)

Designer’s Tip: Instead of planting the straight species, try one of these two cultivars due to their fast growth rate, tight form and improved bluish color.
Pinus flexilis “Extra Blue”
Pinus flexilis “Vanderwolf’s Pyramid”

(Picea omorika)
Native to southeastern Europe, Serbia, and Bosnia (Source: Morton Arboretum)
Hardy to zone 4.
Mature size is 40-60’ tall by 20’ spread.
Tolerates air pollution.

Designer’s Tip: Instead of choosing Colorado Blue Spruce, which has several disease and pest problems, plant Serbian Spruce. Its graceful slender form is ideal for tight spaces and it is a gorgeous workhorse in the landscape. Serbian Spruce works well as a hedge, staggered grouping, or a specimen. You’ll love the silvery blue green coloring of this special conifer.

(Juniperus virginiana “Taylor”)
A columnar form of Eastern Red Cedar, which is native to Iowa.
Hardy to zone 4.
Mature size is 15-20’ tall by 3-4’.
Tolerates heat and dry soil.
Designer’s Tip: This tree is a designer’s best friend due to its versatility. It grows in less than desirable conditions, stays narrow, and provides year-round privacy. It’s parent plant is rather unruly, but Taylor is well-behaved, refined and tough as nails.

A few more tips…
If you are poised to plant conifers this coming year, be sure to avoid planting them too low. Unfortunately, this is very common, and they do not like wet feet. Instead, dig a saucer-shaped hole 2-3 times the width of the rootball and keep the hole shallow. Plant them so the top of the rootball is 4-6” above grade and bring soil up around the rootball to prevent it from drying out. Add 3” shredded bark mulch and water slowly and deeply.
If you happen to own conifer trees of any type, especially Colorado Blue Spruce, have them checked regularly by a certified arborist. Look for indications of fungal issues, such as a pale purple foliage, which is an indication of Rhizophaera needle cast.
Iowa only has five native conifers: white pine, eastern red cedar, balsam fir, common juniper, and yew. (Source: ISU Extension) This is a very short list. Thankfully, there are many non-natives that are available in the nursery trade that will perform well in our state.
The best way to decide which conifer tree is right for you is to observe them at a local arboretum or public garden. I recommend the Brenton Arboretum just south of Dallas Center and Iowa Arboretum near Madrid. We are so fortunate to have these beautiful places where trees are tested and grown for our enjoyment.

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.


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Posted 01/10/2024
By Jolene Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

Each year, I choose a word. It’s kind of like a New Year’s resolution, but simpler. The word guides me through the year, keeping me focused on what I want to work on. My word for 2024 is healthy. I am an admitted sugar addict, so I am working to cut down the consumption while adding more greens into my daily menus. This asparagus scramble is delicious, and you will have a serving of greens before you leave the house for the day. Asparagus intimidates me, but this recipe keeps it crisp and provides great flavor. So, if you are an asparagus lover, you’ll thank me for this simple and easy recipe. As well, the bits of green provide a great presentation when served. Broccoli and sweet potatoes work well, also.
Here’s to a healthy new year. Happy cooking.

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

Asparagus Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut to 1/4” pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1.5 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Add olive oil to a pan warmed at medium heat. Heat for one minute. Add asparagus and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook and stir for 4 minutes until tender. While asparagus cooks, whisk eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsp chives. When asparagus is tender, turn heat to low. Add egg to pan. Cook and stir slowly, scraping eggs from the bottom of the pan. When eggs are almost set, but slightly wet, turn off heat and remove pan from burner. Continue to stir until eggs are not wet and mixture is creamy, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and pepper.


John rutledge
Posted 01/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

John Rutledge is halfway through his 17th year with Lake Panorama Association. At its July 2007 meeting, the LPA board of directors voted to hire Rutledge as LPA general manager after he spent three months in a sort of apprenticeship under then-manager Roger Dunlop.
Rutledge grew up in Guthrie Center, where he graduated from high school in 1992. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Northern Iowa in 1996. He spent a year at Principal Financial in Des Moines before returning to Guthrie Center to join his father’s business, Rutledge Construction.
In 2004, Rutledge ran for the position of Guthrie County auditor. He won the election and served in that position for two years before resigning to join the LPA. John and his wife, Tricia, have two children and live in Panora.
In this month’s Q&A, Rutledge answers questions he and others in his office are asked about the Lake Panorama Association.  

Q: The LPA has a lot of personal information on each association membership. Does that information ever get shared with third parties?
A: No, LPA does not share personal or contact information with third parties. The information isn’t even available to fellow LPA members. One of LPA’s core values is to protect the privacy of our membership. If a member has been contacted by a third party or a solicitor, that information came from some other source, not LPA staff.
It is worth noting that the concept of privacy in 2024 is substantially different than it was 20 years ago. Back then, it took a lot of legwork or a mutual connection to gain someone’s personal contact information. Now that information is readily accessible through a variety of online sources. Websites like Guthrie County Beacon (GIS) provide a wealth of property data. In addition, most of the apps we use on smartphones are designed to gather data for marketing goods and services to us.

Q: It’s easy to see how busy the LPA staff is spring through fall. But what does LPA staff do to stay busy in the off-season?
A: The nature of LPA’s work is a year-round endeavor. Although membership traffic coming to the LPA office or contacting us via phone calls and emails tends to be heaviest in the spring and summer, the work of the association continues steadily throughout all seasons.
Winter work for our field crew involves a wide variety of tasks. Snow removal and water system repairs are top priorities, but there are a number of other projects for when time allows. Examples include routine maintenance on LPA equipment, tree removal and roadside trimming, general cleanup of LPA work areas and recreational areas, and assembly and repair of picnic tables from LPA’s beaches. From an administrative standpoint, staff is involved with RIZ budgeting, legislative advocacy, the annual LPA and LPN financial audit, and preparations for the 2024 season.

Q: Does LPA have a role in determining property tax assessments and property tax bills?
A: LPA is not directly involved in the process by which member’s property tax assessments or property tax bills are established. The only exception to this is LPA’s support services to the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ), as RIZ receives Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues to manage erosion control and water quality at Lake Panorama.
LPA does advocate at the local level on behalf of the association. But this advocacy is general and certainly not specific to the individual tax assessments and bills received by LPA members. Our advocacy encourages responsible fiscal management, continued quality of services and infrastructure, and transparency of local government decision making.
Members interested in providing input on property tax assessments and levy rates should remain involved throughout the year by engaging county supervisors and school board members to discuss issues and concerns in a productive and ongoing manner. Iowa’s local government system is extremely accessible and is truly governed by our friends and neighbors. I have yet to meet a local government representative who is unwilling to listen to the concerns of their constituents. This doesn’t mean every request can be satisfied and every concern can be resolved, but they are willing to listen and provide follow-up and feedback.

Q: The availability and affordability of technology has increased the number of cameras in use at Lake Panorama. How does this impact LPA operations?
A: First, let’s discuss cameras owned and operated by the association. LPA has cameras at the brush disposal facilities, at the boat ramp, in our LPA security vehicles, and in the form of officer body cameras. The cameras at the brush disposal facilities and the boat ramp are there to ensure we can enforce our rules in areas where it is not feasible to station an officer at all times. These cameras are very effective at catching dumping at the brush facilities and also help us ensure all boats being launched have a current sticker and are following invasive species regulations.
The cameras in the LPA patrol vehicles and on the officers’ chests help to protect both LPA and the membership. These cameras allow security, management, the LPA board and the LPA appeals committee to review incidents as these happened. These are in use for both traffic stops and boating violations.
The other context in which we discuss cameras is privately owned cameras. Members often have security systems, or smart doorbells with a camera feature. LPA encourages members to remember there are a number of different entities that have a legitimate purpose to be on member lots as a function of their work. This includes LPA staff, utility providers, licensed land surveyors, government agencies (assessor and sheriff) and delivery companies.
Members are encouraged to be discerning before they call LPA security or the Guthrie County Sheriff regarding suspicious activity on their cameras. If a crime is being committed, or repeated trespassing is occurring, then it is appropriate to call the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office and report this concern. However, if you see isolated incidents of utility workers or land surveyors on camera, this is not a reason to contact the Sheriff’s office or LPA security.

Q: As we enter 2024, do you have any suggestions for LPA members who have questions?
A: As we look ahead to the coming year, my No. 1 tip is to take an active interest in the association. Each new year brings exciting opportunities and elements of change to Lake Panorama. Here are some ways to stay up to date on those developments.
If you are not receiving and reading LPA’s weekly email bulletin, I strongly recommend you make that part of your New Year’s resolution list. This is LPA’s official means of communicating with the membership. The LPA Prompt generally is distributed each Thursday, and contains important information throughout the year.
LPN, LLC, also has a weekly email that focuses on the golf, dining and lodging elements, which are managed by our wholly owned subsidiary. The LPN Resort Weekly typically is distributed each Monday. If you’re not receiving this, go to the LPN website at lakepanoramanational.com, scroll to the bottom of the home page, and complete the online form.
The LPA launched a new website in February 2022, which replaced one that had been in place since 2009. There are public and private sides to the website, and a wealth of information is available on both. If you’re not receiving the LPA Prompt, go to the LPA website at lakepanorama.org and click on the “Resident Sign-Up” link in the upper left corner. LPA staff will confirm your membership and grant access to the private side of the website. Taking this step also will get you signed up to receive the LPA Prompt.
Local newspapers continue to provide great coverage of events relevant to Lake Panorama, as well as surrounding communities and throughout Guthrie County. Support these local publishers with your readership and your patronage. Support their advertisers through shopping local, whenever you can.
LPA holds a number of informational meetings throughout the year, in the form of both the official annual meeting and periodic managers’ coffees. Attending these meetings and getting involved is a great way to learn what is going on, and also a great way to share thoughts and concerns with association staff. Dates for these meetings will be publicized as we approach spring. I can tell you now the LPA annual meeting is Saturday, May 11, beginning at 10 a.m., at the LPN conference center.
Social media and online forums continue to be popular platforms for member connections. LPA encourages you to celebrate good news together on these platforms. Social media sites also are fantastic for sharing lake-related tips and photos of your time spent at Lake Panorama. However, please remember these social media platforms and online forums are not official LPA sources of information. Those who have a question about something related to Lake Panorama or the LPA will get the answer they’re seeking faster if they contact LPA staff by calling 641-755-2301 or emailing lpa@lakepanorama.org.

The Neel family has a long history in the lumber business.

Posted 01/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

After 32 years, Sharon Neel’s last day on the job at Lake Lumber was Dec. 28. At an open house that afternoon, customers and friends joined the Lake Lumber family in wishing Sharon well as she retired.
The Neel family has a long history in the lumber business. In 1900, George Neel and Sons purchased a lumberyard in Rippey. One son, Leonard, started Neel Lumber in Grand Junction in 1927. His son, Bob, took over the business in 1954. Bob and Dorothy Neel purchased Lake Lumber in 1977, and continued to operate the Grand Junction location until it closed in 1982.
Bob and Dorothy’s son, Tom, joined the business in 1984. When Tom and Sharon married and moved to Panora, Sharon worked for Midwest Landscaping. She joined the lumber business Jan. 2, 1992, taking over management of the hardware line. The Neels sold Lake Lumber to Kelvin Hafner in July 2021 and have continued to work there since the sale.
“I have greatly appreciated having Sharon stay on since I purchased Lake Lumber,” says Hafner. Hafner’s wife, Stephanie, joined the business in May 2022. She oversees the retail operation and manages the hardware line.
“Sharon is a wealth of knowledge,” Stephanie Hafner says. “She has been a valuable asset throughout the transition. Sharon has built an amazing hardware store for our community, with the goal of providing homeowners and contractors the resources to repair any project. She has graciously passed down her meticulous notes on products, vendors, tips and tricks for every department of the store.”
Sharon says while she is ready to retire, she will miss the relationships that have formed.
“We have the best customers, who have become friends. It’s like a reunion every time our seasonal friends return to say hello, shop and catchup on family,” she says. “I will miss my people, and that includes coworkers and salespeople. So many people supported and helped me during my 32 years at Lake Lumber.”
Neel places relationships at the top of her list of things she liked about working at Lake Lumber, but there is more.
“I also enjoyed the creative process of building displays and promoting amazing new merchandise,” she says. “Plus helping customers find what they came into the store to buy.”
Tom Neel continues to work four days a week with no set date for his retirement. Tara Rooney, who Sharon mentored for several years, now oversees the paint department. Brenda Wilson and Jessica Hein joined the Lake Lumber team in 2023, and also will help fill Sharon Neel’s shoes.
Neel’s retirement plans are extensive.
“First is to simply enjoy time at home and complete some furnishing and decorative projects. I also plan to unpack boxes to find lost items from our move to Lake Panorama from Panora five years ago,” she says.
Next up are travels to visit friends and family, volunteering, organizing years of photos and memories, crafting, watercolor painting, and perhaps picking up her guitar again. She might even consider a seasonal job at a greenhouse, nursery or floral shop to take her back to her horticulture roots.
Asked for a final comment, Neel returns to her customers.
“It was my privilege and a blessing to have met, known and been allowed to help so many awesome customers who chose to shop Lake Lumber,” she says.
Img 4687


Posted 01/10/2024
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Pearl
Age: 2
Breed: Corgi
Owners:  Steve, Jillian, Posey and Wesley Ortner

Pearl’s hobbies are chasing the kids, Wesley and Posey, and her dog sister, Scotch. She also loves to swim, chase birds and chew up things she shouldn’t. She’s really good at begging for belly rubs. She loves her dual farm/lake dog life.
Img 4689


Posted 01/10/2024
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Aloe
Age: 2-3 years old
Breed: Tortoiseshell
Available at: Panora Pets

Aloe adapted to the shelter rather quickly but has been waiting for her furever home for more than a year now. She is curious, playful and energetic but not so much a fan of other kitties. Aloe loves human attention and interaction. She has a beautiful tortoiseshell coat and stunning eyes. Aloe has been vaccinated, altered and microchipped.


Male blue jay
Posted 01/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

This month’s nature photos shared by Trish Hart are for those who mourned the lack of a white Christmas this year. Colors are tough to find outdoors during Iowa winters, and that’s made worse by a snowless landscape. To help us remember how snow makes a difference, Trish gathered a few photos she took last winter that feature colorful birds against a snowy background. Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


Jolene  family july 2023 43
Posted 12/13/2023

I like going to movie theaters. Comfortable seats. Big screens. And plenty of popcorn and candy. If you are looking for nearby theaters to visit during these cold winter months, you can find them in Stuart, Perry and Jefferson with many more in Des Moines and the suburbs. But, unfortunately, that list is dwindling.
Like many of you, Jolene and I used to go to a movie most every weekend during our dating years. That changed. Once married and with kids, when the discussion of new movies came up with others, I would sarcastically ask, “Did Disney make it?” At that stage in our lives, if Disney didn’t make it, we likely didn’t see it.
We all enjoyed those family movie outings, but as the kids grew older, they didn’t think it was cool to go to movies with Mom or Dad anymore. Jolene and I understood (kind of) and eventually started venturing out for movie date nights again, just not nearly as often as we used to. Blame it on streaming. Blame it on high costs. Blame it on a bad selection of movies. You can point the finger of blame in a variety of places, but as the old saying goes, when you point one finger, three more are pointing back at you.
When we lived in the small town of Nebraska City, Nebraska, a few decades ago, we had a wonderful movie house in town called the Pioneer Theater. It didn’t have reclining seats, craft beer or pepperoni pizza back then, but it did have charm, and we were fortunate to have it. My friend Scott O’Neil is a dentist in town and a regular at the theater. He told me years ago that he tries to go to a movie every week — whether it is a show he wants to see or not — to support the theater and help to ensure it will be there for years to come. When I last looked, it’s still there, which is better than can be said in Johnston, or in Urbandale, or at Southridge Mall in Des Moines where theaters have closed.
Truth be told, we haven’t supported our local theaters like my friend Scott does. And the recent closures are not-so-subtle reminders that we need to support all our local businesses or they simply won’t be here — and not just movie theaters. We have a number of wonderful businesses in the area, many of which advertise their goods and services in the pages of this publication. Amazon and other online shopping sites will be just fine without your purchases. For that matter, so will Netflix and Hulu and Disney Plus. But the local merchants rely on all of us to at least consider their offerings, especially this holiday season. I am going to make an even more concentrated effort to support them this season, and I hope you will, too.
Merry Christmas to you all, and thanks for reading.

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

MJ Brown estimates she has more than 300 versions of jolly old St. Nicholas.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The Santa collection that fills a Lake Panorama home each Christmas season began with just one. MJ Brown says that first Santa belonged to her grandmother, who loved Christmas as much as she does.
“It was special to me from the time I was a little girl,” she says. “I remember looking lovingly at it then, even though it sat on a shelf out of my reach. I began adding Santas when my children were small, and decorating for Christmas took on a whole new meaning. Each year, more somehow appeared.”
Brown isn’t sure how many Santas now live in the home she shares with her husband, Dave.
“I suppose if you counted all the Santa ornaments on our three Christmas trees, the number would probably be over 300,” she says.
It was the late 1980s when the Browns purchased two lots on Briar Cliff Court on the east side of Lake Panorama. They began building their home in 1994 and moved in spring of 1995.
“He wanted the water, and I wanted the woods, so we both had our wishes granted,” she says. “We were able to buy the adjoining third lot a year later from our good friends and next-door neighbors Dave and Mary Ann Ostrem, who, along with a group of other friends, finally persuaded us to leave West Des Moines and enjoy lake life.”
At the time, the Browns were putting in long hours in Des Moines each day at their family business, Critchett Piano and Organ Co. Bert Critchett, who founded the company in 1922, was Dave’s grandfather.
“The move to Lake Panorama meant an additional two hours commuting, but the inconvenience was well worth it,” MJ says. “Panora is about the size of the town I grew up in, which was Central City in eastern Iowa. When we moved here, I felt as though I was coming home and found it easy to settle into the community.”
Brown usually starts decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend.
“I have been fortunate the past few years to have friends willing to spend a day or two helping me unbox my Santas,” she says. “Before that, it would take me at least two weeks to get things in order by myself.”
Brown has a wide array of Santas.
“My collection consists of smaller collections grouped together in their own displays, primarily Fitz and Floyd, Pipka, Lenox and Lladro,” she says. “The living room tree features many Radko ornaments, and the tree in our bedroom is decorated in Wedgewood ornaments.
“Some of my other favorites are two intricately hand-painted Russian Santas we purchased while on a trip to St. Petersburg and others from Rothenberg and Cologne, Germany,” Brown says. “Several House of Hatton Santas are from the former House of B store in Panora.”
Brown says a whimsical Sticks Millennium Santa welcomes guests as they enter the house.
“Speaking of whimsical, I have a 4-foot-tall Santa frog purchased in Leavenworth, Washington,” she says. “He has a big round belly, red and white striped pants and is trimmed in white faux fur. No matter where the Santas came from, Victorian to whimsey, I love them all.”
Since it takes so long to get her Santa collection in place each year, Brown says she likes to keep everything in place “well into January. Last year, our daughter’s family from Seattle wasn’t able to get here as planned due to the blizzards the entire country experienced over the holidays. I left one tree standing, and we celebrated Christmas on Mother’s Day weekend when they could fly back.”
Finding a place to store the Santas when they aren’t on display is an issue.
“All of my special pieces are in their original boxes, which is why it takes so much room to store them,” Brown says. “When we did an addition onto our current home on the golf course, we added two large built-in cabinets in the garage that we thought would be sufficient. It still wasn’t enough room, so we’re using additional garage space in a large storage closet.”
Brown says for the past few years, Dave has threatened to rent space on Panora’s Main Street to set up a retail Christmas store, since he believes they have enough inventory to open a business.
“That’s not going to happen,” MJ says.
The Browns have six grandchildren. Four are adults now. Two 14-year-old twin granddaughters are in West Des Moines.
“My grandchildren grew up with the collection and ask about the history behind their favorites,” Brown says. “Within my Fitz and Floyd collection are five large, beautifully detailed Santa cookie jars, of which three of my granddaughters have already laid claim to. However, I can’t part with them just yet.”
To share her Santa collection with others, the Browns have opened their home twice for the annual Women for Panora’s Future holiday home tour. Once was at the home they built on Briar Cliff Court and then again in the home they moved to on the fifth hole of the LPN golf course in fall of 2019. When Brown is asked to make a presentation to area groups about her collection, she takes about 20 Santas along.
The Browns plan to host the Panora Methodist Church chime and vocal choirs for what MJ says will be an “after-Christmas Christmas party” in early January. “I have been the choir director for 20 years and wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their diligent work,” she says. “Plus, it gives me an excuse to leave the decorations up a little longer.”

Estimated cost to develop this new recreational area is $35,000.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Both the disc golf course and the trail system on Lake Panorama’s south shore now are ready for visitors. The plan for these low-impact recreational amenities was developed by Friends of Lake Panorama and approved by the LPA board.
A fenced driveway begins at 5501 Chimra Road and leads to a parking lot that allows walk-through access to the recreation area. A small shelter near the parking lot is in place; a picnic table will be added in the spring. Beyond the shelter are two markers. One points right to the first hole of the golf course, and the other points left to the trail system.
The disc golf course features nine concrete tee pads with nine metal basket targets. Tee box signs showing hole distance and layout, plus hole sponsors, will be in place next spring.
The Lake Panorama disc golf course now is listed on 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 trail system has brown fiberglass trail markers located at trail system junctions marked on both sides with colored arrows. There are five trail options, each designated with a different color. Those who start at the trailhead and do the full loop to the shoreline and back up through the meadow area to return to the parking lot will walk two miles. Other trail options offer shorter distances.
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. Members and their guests who have registered with the LPA can hunt deer on the south shore from Nov. 1 through Jan. 10. The area is restricted to bow hunting.
Next spring, 18 bluebird houses will be installed along the trails. If funds allow, four backless benches also will be installed along the trail, with two near the shoreline and two in the meadow area.
The estimated cost to develop this new recreational area is $35,000. Over the past two years, Friends of Lake Panorama has received $11,000 in private donations for projects on the south shore. Another $4,000 has been donated this fall. Some funds are available from the 2023 Beach Ball and disc golf course tee box sponsors.
Additional donations are being sought. A welcome sign near the shelter will be added in the spring. It will include a Lake Panorama map, general information about the south shore recreation area, and a list of donors who have given $500 or more to this project by Dec. 31, 2023.
Tax-deductible 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.
Rutledge (cropped)

Total of 1,050 walleye, 1,400 smallmouth bass, 1,500 largemouth bass and 2,500 perch released.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

About $18,000 worth of fish were added to Lake Panorama Nov. 2, funded by Fin and Feather. Fish stocking for 2023 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 this year.
The long-time supplier for the fish-stocking program is North Star Fish Hatchery, a third-generation, family-owned business in Montour, Iowa. North Star brought the fish to Lake Panorama, where the fish were introduced into the lake at Boulder Beach.
Fin and Feather stocks fish that range from 3 inches to 15 inches in length, depending on the species, to promote high survival rates. Fingerlings and fry are less expensive but have much lower survival rates. Stocking larger fish is a good investment, as more quality fish have been caught in Lake Panorama in recent years. This year, both species of bass were above the 3-inch mark and the perch and walleye were larger than usual.
Volunteers in the non-profit Fin and Feather group have been stocking fish and working to improve fishing conditions in Lake Panorama since 1984. When the dam was closed in 1970, the only thing natural to the lake were crappie, largemouth bass, carp and catfish.
Besides stocking fish, the group helps improve fish habitat and sponsors an annual fishing derby for children during Panorama Days. Fin and Feather raises its money through annual memberships and a fundraising banquet each spring.
The 2024 banquet is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, the same date as the LPA annual meeting. The event will be held at the Lake Panorama National conference center, with social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

Anna Miller, owner of Mitzie Rue’s Canine Corral, named the business after her first dog.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Mitzie Rue’s Canine Corral, LLC opened in July 2019. Offering overnight boarding and day care for dogs, the facility is located on Highway 44 between Panora and Guthrie Center. Owner Anna Miller says she is a dog lover living her dream job.
“Dogs are my passion and my calling,” Miller says. “I’ve had dogs my whole life. After college when I was having to pay for and board my own dogs when I couldn’t take them with me, I began to plan my dream job. I wanted a fun and affordable place where everyone would want to board their dogs, feel comfortable leaving them in good hands, and where the dogs would enjoy being while their owners are away.”
Miller grew up in Denison and graduated from high school there before attending DMACC in Ankeny to study commercial art. She met her future husband, Ian, in 2008 at an auto auction where she was working. He grew up in Adel and went to WYOTECH in Wyoming. He has worked as a mechanic for almost 20 years and now manages a shop in Grimes. The couple married in 2012 and have two children, Alice, who is 7, and Victor, who is 4.
The Millers lived in Earlham their first four years of marriage.
“I always loved driving through Guthrie County from Earlham to visit my parents in Denison,” Miller says. “The countryside is beautiful. During one trip, I told my husband I wanted to move to Guthrie County. He said it was too far of a commute to where we were currently working, which it was.”
Yet, once the couple got serious about opening a dog boarding facility, and it was time to start looking for an acreage, Guthrie County reentered the picture. They found a nearly 8-acre property with a house for their future family and a shed that could be turned into a dog kennel.
“We knew this acreage was the perfect spot for what I had in mind,” she says.
The Millers purchased the acreage in 2016. There were lots of legal steps that required working within county, state and federal regulations to become a licensed facility. Ian Miller started work on the kennel building in spring 2017, and the facility opened in July 2019.
Anna Miller grew up with Brittany spaniels, but the first dog she owned was three-quarters wolf and one-quarter husky. Its name became Mitzie Rue.
“I got her my sophomore year in college. She was one-and-a-half years old and rotten, but she quickly became a devoted, well-behaved companion. She was so loyal,” Miller says. “I dreamt of a day when she could be beside me, working my dream job.”
A year after adopting Mitzie, Miller added a bird-dog mix named India, and the two dogs became pals.
“Both were able to move here with us and enjoy some life on the farm,” she says.
Mitzie Rue is the face of the business.
“All my signs and logos are ones I designed of her,” Miller says. “She passed away at 14 years old in 2017. My father passed away a month before her, to the date. After losing two of my best friends, I realized there isn’t always tomorrow, and it was time to start building this dream. The day we buried Mitzie was the day we started drawing plans and making phone calls.”
Mitzie Rue’s has 14 kennels but is licensed to hold more if there are multiple dogs from the same household sharing a kennel. Miller says, when boarded, dogs are rotated out to the play yard and run area.
“There is no limit on how many potty breaks they get; it’s just a constant rotation,” she says. “Potty breaks can range from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of dogs we have and if they are in a kennel with access to the indoors.”
Doggie day care is available Monday through Friday, by appointment, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“Day care gives your dog the opportunity to socialize with other compatible dogs and enjoy play time,” Miller says. “I have a few that come every Tuesday and Thursday. I am very flexible with the duration and times, and I charge accordingly. As long as we have a kennel open, we can fill that spot with a day care dog.”
If more than six months old, Iowa law requires day care dogs be spayed or neutered. The dog also needs to pass a temperament test before being placed with other dogs.
Miller says most dogs that come for boarding are from Lake Panorama, Panora and other Guthrie County locations.
“We get some from out-of-state who come here to visit family. We have customers from Carroll County, Denison and several small towns ranging from 30 to 50 minutes away,” she says. “We also get a lot of customers from the Des Moines area who travel here, looking for a small-town environment.”
Weekends, holidays, summer months and spring break for area schools are Mitzie Rue’s busiest time.
“We usually book up for Thanksgiving and Christmas a month in advance, but it’s always worth a call to be put on the wait list in case of any cancellations,” Miller says. “Most times we can accommodate last minute bookings, as long as we aren’t full.”
Miller decorates for each holiday. Dogs booked during Thanksgiving receive a complimentary feast that includes home-grown green beans, sweet potatoes and squash from the family’s garden. Dogs booked at Mitzie Rue’s during holidays always go home with some kind of goodie.
It isn’t just the holidays when visitors get the royal treatment.
“All dogs staying with us get bedtime snacks, and I play doggie lullabies at bedtime,” Miller says. “We are a family oriented, family-owned small business. Many of our customers have become like friends and family, always thinking of our kids during the holidays and on vacations. Along with their dogs, they have become loved by our family.”
Miller says the business has been more successful than she ever expected, and she is quick to give credit to others for that success.
“If it weren’t for my husband saying ‘yes, you can do this; your dream is possible’ and physically building it, and for my late father always believing in me and putting his family first, this dream would never have become reality,” she says. “I wish Dad and Mitzie were here to see it, but I trust in God’s plan and know they are a part of it in so many ways.”
Miller says Mitzie’s legacy lives on, because her customers know her name and her face.
“And I get to talk about her almost every day,” she says. “This truly is my dream job, and I enjoy every single day. I believe that shows through in how much we care for and enjoy our customers. Without our customers, who have loyally stuck with us since we first opened, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Mitzie Rue’s has a Facebook page, plus a website at www.mitzierues.com. Contact Miller by calling 641-755-3793 or emailing mitzierues@outlook.com.

Both Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners can purchase season passes.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A good way to stave off the winter blues is to purchase 2024 season passes to play golf at Lake Panorama National or Panorama West, or both.
Lake Panorama National is an 18-hole course located on the east side of Lake Panorama. Panorama West is a nine-hole course on the west side of the lake. Both courses are owned by the Lake Panorama Association and managed by Lake Panorama National.
Those who had season passes in 2023 at either course will receive 2024 season pass details by mail. Purchase forms also are available online and in the LPN pro shop.
Both Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners can purchase season passes. There are several options, with all options including free use of the Lake Panorama National driving range.
A Lake Panorama National 2024 season pass for LPA property owners is priced at $2,795 for families, $2,375 for couples, $1,815 for an individual, and $466 for junior golfers under the age of 18. An LPN season pass for non-LPA property owners is $3,073 for families, $2,655 for couples, $2,096 for individuals, and $466 for juniors.
For LPA property owners purchasing a season pass at Panorama West, fees are $817 for a family, $642 for a couple, $467 for an individual and $117 for a junior. For non-LPA property owners, Panorama West season passes are $934, $759, $583, and $117 for those same four categories.
Those who have never had a season pass at Lake Panorama National can purchase a “special first time” pass. The cost for a family is $1,782, for a couple it is $1,467, and for an individual, the cost is $969. LPN 2024 passholders who refer a “first time” person who purchases a season pass will receive $50 in LPN pro shop credit.
Those who do not own a home at Lake Panorama, and who live more than 18 miles from Lake Panorama National, can purchase LPN season passes for $2,376 for a family, $1,957 for a couple, and $1,292 for an individual.
Season pass details for the LPN swimming pool and fitness center also are on the 2024 forms.
Those using private carts on either golf course must pay a trail fee. At the LPN, members have the option of a cart lease, which entitles one person to a seat on an LPN cart for the season.
Other services listed on the 2024 forms are cart storage at both courses and a USGA handicap at the LPN. Those who play in the LPN’s leagues and handicap tournaments must pay the $35 handicap fee. This fee is not required for Panorama West leagues.
All season pass purchases made by Dec. 31, will be entered into a drawing. Prizes awarded will include LPN Pro Shop shopping spree, $500 value; Scotty Cameron putter, $450 value; custom Titleist golf bag, $250 value; one-nNight condo stay at LPN, $249 value; 2024 family pool pass, $190 value; 9-hole playing lesson with Rob Riggins, $150 value; 2024 LPN men or women league entry fee, $105 value; and $100 gift card for The Links Lounge.
Forms to complete when purchasing season passes are online at https://www.lakepanoramanational.com/season-passes.


Posted 12/13/2023

Submit your questions at www.lakepanoramatimes.com or email shane@dmcityview.com.

Q: How thick should ice be on Lake Panorama before people should be ice fishing?
A: Some people have steadfast rules about how many inches ice should be to make it safe to fish, but the reality is that no ice is 100% safe ice and any journey across it comes with risks. In other words, safety depends heavily on the quality of ice — not just the thickness. Even so, most people agree that less than 4 inches of ice is not safe to walk on. According to outdoors.com, 4 inches can generally support one person on foot, provided it’s just a person and a tent. Five to 7 inches can support a snowmobile or small ATV. Nine to 10 inches can support a small car. Thirteen inches can support a medium truck. Sixteen to 17 inches can support a heavy-duty truck. And 20-plus inches can support a heavy-duty truck with a wheelhouse shelter.

Q: What does it mean when lake water is said to “turn”?
A: According to U.S. Geological Survey, many lakes experience a “turning” of water layers when seasons change. In summer, the top of the lake becomes warmer than the lower layers. Since warm water is less dense than colder water, it stays on top of the lake surface. But, in the winter, lake surfaces can get quite cold. When this happens, the surface water becomes denser than the deeper water with a more constant year-round temperature (which is now warmer than the surface), and the lake “turns” when the colder surface water sinks to the lake bottom.
Q: Does Lake Panorama follow the Iowa DNR regulations for hunting? What about trapping?
A: According to section 6.3 of the LPA Rules and Regulations guide, all rules and regulations regarding fishing, hunting, and/or trapping promulgated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are adopted by the Lake Panorama Association. Hunting within the confines of Lake Panorama Subdivision is prohibited, except in such areas and under such conditions and regulations as may be designated and established from time to time by the Lake Panorama Board of Directors. Trapping is generally prohibited but may be allowed under certain controlled situations with special permission by the Lake Panorama Association. Contact the LPA office with any specific questions.


Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Guthrie County Auditor Dani Fink provided results of the Dec. 5 special election to elect two members (trustees) to the board of the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ). Trustees JoAnn Johnson and Doug Hemphill were both running for re-election to the board. Johnson received 65 votes, and Hemphill received 64. No other votes were tallied. Johnson and Hemphill will have three-year terms and will continue to serve with fellow trustees Bill Dahl, Larry Petersen and Corey Welberg.

Only 80 books remain in stock.

Posted 12/13/2023

Looking for a holiday gift for family or friends, or perhaps new neighbors at Lake Panorama? Consider purchasing one or more copies of “Lake Panorama – The First 50 Years.” The book, authored by Susan Thompson, arrived at the Lake Panorama Association office July 19, 2019.
The full-color, hardcover 112-page book includes both historic and contemporary photos. Chapters in the book describe six decades of planning and development. There are special topic chapters on Lake Panorama’s golf courses, infrastructure and water quality efforts. Sidebar stories highlight various groups and activities such as Lake Panorama ski team, Fin and Feather, Fourth of July fireworks and more.
The LPA financed the book’s production. About 1,000 books were printed, and now just 80 books remain in stock. The book’s cost is $25, which includes tax. LPA will ship at an additional cost of $5 per book. Once ordered online, books will be shipped from Panora in seven to 10 business days.
Books are available for direct purchase at the LPA front desk Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and in the Lake Panorama National Resort pro shop during business hours. Purchases can be made at the LPA and LPN via cash, check or credit card. The book also is available at the Panora Library, with purchases cash or check only.
Here is the link to order online and have one or more books shipped: https://lakepanorama.formstack.com/forms/order


Kuhn lynn 1365x2048
Posted 12/13/2023
By Lynn Kuhn
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Tis the season to dream about a landscaping project. That’s right! Winter is the perfect time. The best way to ensure your dream becomes a reality is to avoid these common mistakes.


This is at the top of my list due to the stress it may cause for the client, designer and contractor. Avoid this stress by doing the following.
Start the design process one or two seasons before you want the project completed. For example, if you want a project completed in spring, then start planning late fall/early winter. Meet with your designer and/or contractor before the snow falls so you can walk around the property and see the existing landscape.
The design and quoting process takes more time than you think. To have a meaningful quote, you need to start with a solid design. Most projects require one or two revisions to end up with a design solution that meets your needs and your budget.
Speaking of budgets, if you have a budget, share it with your designer and contractor during the first meeting. However, most people do not have an understanding of what landscaping features cost and, therefore, don’t know what level of investment to budget for. The best way to handle this is to collect images of landscape features you are interested in, bring them to the initial meeting, and ask the contractor for a range of what they may cost, which an experienced contractor will likely be able to do.
Lastly, communicate your priorities to your designer by ranking them. This guides the design process and material selection, too. The more information you provide, the better. An experienced designer will take that information and explore design solutions that you may or may not have considered.


It is very common for landscaping to be out of scale with the house or the property as a whole. This shows up in various ways. Here are a couple of examples.
A two- or three-story house should have wider landscape beds and taller trees to make it look nestled into the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately, it is all too common to see narrow beds alongside tall homes, making the plants appear as if they are pushed up against it. Keep in mind the taller the house, the taller the plants should be. This can be a challenge in neighborhoods with narrow side yards. Plants with columnar form can help in these situations.
The overall size of the property should inform the amount of landscaping that is appropriate. It’s all about balancing positive and negative space. An acreage may require tree groupings and broader sweeps of vegetation in certain spots to enhance the property while a townhome may require compact plants in smaller groupings.


Thoughtful plant selection is the key to avoiding this very common mistake. It starts with knowing what role or function you want from the plant. For example, on the front corner of the house, you may need an anchor plant that does not exceed 15’ tall, loves full sun, tolerates clay soil, provides winter interest, and won’t rub up against the house. That’s a lot of boxes to check.
The next step is to make sure the beds are wide enough to accommodate the plants. Many homeowners make the mistake of creating beds, THEN deciding what to plant. This often leads to creating a high-maintenance situation resulting in an overly pruned landscape, which is not aesthetically pleasing unless you are at Versailles.
If you start with a solid landscape design created by a designer with plant knowledge, this can be avoided.

Structure, often referred to as the framework, is very apparent this time of year. It’s the foundation of the entire landscape. It consists of structures (deck, pergola, fire pit, walls, etc.) plus woody plants (trees and shrubs) and how these elements are arranged. For example, are the trees planted in groves or in lines?
When elements are haphazardly placed in the landscape, it looks unorganized. There is no flow or connection between the spaces. There is no logic. It feels chaotic. Lack of structure and organization may be apparent in the framework, as well as the softer elements within the framework, such as herbaceous plants (perennials, annuls, ornamental grasses).


The landscape is so dynamic as it is growing and shifting constantly. Your lifestyle and values may also change over time. Down the road, you may end up with something you simply don’t like. These shifts make it challenging to know what elements to include and what level of investment to make in your property. Alignment between the landscaping project and what is truly important to you requires a deeper dive into what you value and how that shapes your landscape project. I recommend starting with defining your WHY. Ask yourself…
Why do I want to make this investment? How do I want to use my outdoor space? How do I want to feel when I’m in it? How do I want others to feel? What are my goals? Perhaps you’d like to connect with your grandchildren, entertain friends, or simply unwind after a long day.
Once you’ve reflected on what’s truly important, you can create an outdoor environment that you will love for years to come.

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.


Image5 1
Posted 12/13/2023
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Women For Panora’s Future (WFPF) held its annual Holiday Tour of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 1-4:30 p.m. Four homes were on the tour, as well as Twin Vines Winery. The home tour usually raises enough money to award $500 scholarships each spring to two graduating Panorama Community School students. The tour is the group’s largest annual fundraiser with other key fundraisers being an annual raffle for a monthly plate of cookies or a pie and a can collection drive in May and June. Homes that were on the tour are owned by Paula Wachholtz, Troy and Stephanie Reinhart, James and Julie Tibbles, Kenny and Sonya Pierce, and twins Brad and Ben Hayes, owners of Twin Vines. The first Christmas home tour was in 1978 with 70 people attending.


Image87 (cropped)
Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

For many years, Kandi Meinecke has operated Britches N Bows Country Store and Boutique from her home in rural Panora. With the recent closing of the Quinnebago/Lexie Lou’s store, Meinecke saw this as an opportunity to move her business into a downtown lot that will provide the space she needs as she works to expand her offerings.
Meinecke was the winning bidder when the Quinnebago building was recently auctioned.
“We just want to expand our business,” she said. “We’ve been out here for 25 years.  We’re going to offer some additional services that we don’t offer now.”
Meinecke said the business will be a full-blown floral shop, providing florals for every occasion, and making deliveries.
“And we’re going to have a coffee bar with specialty coffee drinks and treats,” she said. “We will be selling home décor, gifts, cards, a variety of items like that.”
She also stated that the business will set up displays in the basement area, as they also decorate for weddings and have wedding rentals.
Meinecke said the official opening day for the new location is uncertain, but she said she hopes by March 1. She currently employs a few part-time employees but said, “I will have to have way more staff in there. Three full-time and probably three part-time.”
Some type of grand opening event will be held, but Meinecke said she does not yet have an official date or details.

Q&A: Royce Shaffer

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

This month’s Q&A is with Royce Shaffer, who was appointed LPN director of operations Sept. 1 after being operations manager for nearly five years. He has been with the LPN/LPA organization in various roles since 2003 with the exception of a year-and-a-half beginning in 2006 when he managed the Majestic Hills golf course in Denison.

Q. What are the various operations within the Lake Panorama National Resort?
A. Lake Panorama National Resort consists of the Lake Panorama National golf course, the Panorama West golf course, The Links Lounge + Events, lodging, swimming pool and fitness center. After the closure of the Links Lounge In 2022, a food and beverage task force of LPA and LPN board members, plus volunteers with experience in the food and beverage industry, reviewed all options and recommended the best long-term strategy would be to lease this portion of the LPN operation to a third party vendor. In 2023 a one-year agreement was signed with Nick and Lynn Kuhn who operate The Links Lounge + Events. The Kuhns also own and operate The Hall in West Des Moines, The Beerhouse in Urbandale and The Clubhouse Bar + Grille at Sun Valley Lake. This task force remains in place today to oversee the success of this arrangement.

Q. What is the status of The Links Lounge + Events for 2024?
A. This past September the food and beverage task force gathered input on the 2023 operations via a survey. A total of 490 responses were received. From this survey, the task force identified a list of items they wanted to work on with our current tenant. Eighty-three percent of respondents expressed wanting a casual full-service dining experience. When asked to choose between personal service and fast service, 82% chose personal service with only 18% choosing fast service. Seventy-five percent of respondents stated they would like a server to take their order, with only 60% of respondents feeling it was important for a server to close out their order. This information has been helpful in crafting a strategy for 2024. LPN has reached a tentative agreement with the Kuhns that will address this feedback and modestly expand hours during our busy season.
If you are looking to schedule an event in 2024 or have questions regarding an event already scheduled, send an email to lkuhn@lakepanorama.org. Lynn can answer any questions you may have and get your event on our 2024 calendar.
I encourage you to continue to support this operation during the off season. The Links Lounge has transitioned to winter hours. Winter hours are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Watch their Facebook page for updates on hours, menus and special events.

Q. What seasonal golf pass options are available for the 2024 season?
A. In 2023, a total of 242 seasonal golf passes were sold at Lake Panorama National, with 126 at Panorama West. By now, anyone who purchased a seasonal golf pass at either golf course in 2023 should have received 2024 forms in the mail.
Seasonal passes are available at both courses for Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners. LPA property owners are eligible for discounted passes at both golf courses. In 2023, 153 LPA property owners purchased an LPN season pass, with 109 purchasing passes at Panorama West. Family, couple, single and junior passes are available.
In an effort to grow golf at Lake Panorama National and promote Lake Panorama, a distance pass category is offered to singles, couples and families who don’t own a home at Lake Panorama and don’t have a residence within 18 miles of LPN. In 2023, 38 distance memberships were sold.
Season passes come with many great benefits including unlimited rounds of golf, pass-holder-only golf events and tournament entry fee discounts, 20% apparel discounts in the LPN pro shop, unlimited driving range privileges, pass-holder-only golf leagues, discounted guest fees rates, and 30-day advance tee time booking. Lake Panorama National pass holders also have access to discounted rates at other Iowa golf courses through reciprocal agreements negotiated annually by the pro shop.
Passes paid by Dec. 31, 2023, will be entered into a drawing. Prizes awarded will include a $500 LPN pro shop shopping spree; Scotty Cameron putter valued at $450; custom Titleist golf bag valued at $250; one night condo stay at LPN valued at $249; 2024 family pool pass valued at $190; nine-hole playing lesson with Rob Riggins, LPN head golf professional valued at $150; 2024 LPN men’s or women’s league entry fee valued at $105; and a $100 gift card to The Links Lounge.
The final pass category at Lake Panorama National is for those who are interested in golf and have never been a pass holder at Lake Panorama National golf course. This special first-time season pass is a great opportunity to try out the LPN at a discounted price. To learn more about this and all other pass options, visit our website at https://www.lakepanoramanational.com/season-passes.
If you have questions, call the Lake Panorama National pro shop at (641) 755-2024, and Rob or Michael will help you.

Q. Explain the role of the LPN Board of Managers and how it functions.
A. The LPN board of managers keeps separation between the LPA and LPN, LLC, which was created to manage this LPA wholly owned subsidiary. Keeping the LPA and LPN, LLC operations separate protects the nonprofit status of the LPA. The LPA board provides oversight of the LPN, LLC board. The LPN, LLC board oversees LPN policies and direction.
This seven-member board consists of Sue Merryman, Kathy DeLucca, John Coghlan, Greg Steffen, Barry Monaghan, Shanell Wagler and Chris Duree. Merryman and DeLucca’s terms expire at the end of 2023. Merryman has served her two-term limit, whereas DeLucca is able to serve another three-year term. John Coghlan, who was appointed to the board in August 2018, also will be stepping down from the board at the end of this year. Coghlan has served three years as president. The LPA board of directors will appoint new members to the LPN board of managers at their December meeting.
Wagler currently serves as president, with Monaghan as vice president, and DeLucca as secretary/treasurer.

Q. The LPN also has a variety of lodging options available. Give us details on the options.
A. Lake Panorama National Resort lodging is located along Karen Drive, just south of the LPN conference center. All units are privately owned, then managed and operated by LPN. Resort lodging currently includes five two-bedroom, two-bath townhomes, two studios, and 27 guest house units. The number of townhomes and studios sometimes varies as unit owners come in and out of the program.
Overnight guests of the resort have access to the fitness center and pool at no additional cost. Townhouse guests may purchase a temporary boating permit for Lake Panorama during their stay. These units are perfect if you have people visiting from out-of-town or family reunions. These units also are important to LPN because it makes it easier to sell golf packages, golf outings and other clubhouse events such as weddings.
Lodging reservations can be made by visiting www.lakepanoramanational.com/resort or by calling guest services at 641-755-2080.

Q. Any closing thoughts?
A. I want to thank the Lake Panorama Association membership for their support during 2023. As a wholly owned subsidiary of LPA, your support of Lake Panorama National Resort benefits Lake Panorama. I am optimistic we are in a good position for a great 2024.
To stay up to date on what’s happening at Lake Panorama National Resort, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LPNResort, or keep an eye on our website at www.lakepanoramanational.com. If you don’t already receive the LPN Resort Weekly newsletter, you can subscribe by visiting our website, then scroll down to the “Get the Latest News” section and sign up with your email address.


Board also opens grant application period for 2024.

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Posted 12/13/2023
By Shane Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

The Guthrie County Foundation held its fall reception on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Panora Community Center. Members of the various organizations that received grants for 2023 each gave a short presentation showing what they used the grant funds for.
The foundation is also now accepting 2024 grant applications until 12 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Organizations applying must be a 501(c)3 or have the same tax-exempt qualifying status and located within Guthrie County or providing services to Guthrie County residents. The application link and instructions for applying are available at www.GuthrieCountyCommunityFoundation.org.
The 2024 grant application process will use a single streamlined online application form with additional questions included for grants requesting more than $25,000. The foundation will award approximately $200,000 in 2024 for projects benefiting Guthrie County.
The Guthrie County Community Foundation is governed by an advisory board with members from across Guthrie County. Current board members are Ryan Albers, Andrew Arganbright, Susan Belding, Tamara Deal, Joni Dvorak, Mary Ebert, Diane Flanery, Carla Hilgenberg, JoAnn Johnson, Kirby Klinge, Regina Lloyd, Ben Smith, Bret Wedemeyer and Julie Zajicek.
The mission of the Guthrie County Community Foundation is to foster giving, strengthen service providers, and improve the local conditions and quality of life. If you are interested in serving on the board, visit www.GuthrieCountyCommunityFoundation.org. Questions may be directed to GCCFoundation@gmail.com.



Obit chris reynolds
Posted 12/13/2023

Christopher C. Reynolds, 67, passed away on Nov. 28, 2023, at his home in Panora.
Chris wished to be cremated with a celebration of life for friends and family, which will be planned for a later date.
Chris was born on Dec. 11, 1955, the son of Audrey and Garnet (Hansen) Reynolds. He grew up in Panora and graduated from Panora-Linden High School in 1974. Chris was an outstanding four-sport athlete for the Panora-Linden Hawks. He was also crowned Homecoming King. After graduation, Chris went to work for Burgess Construction. Shortly after, he started his own business, R & C Construction, with his good friend, Aaron Christofferson. For more than 40 years, Chris and Aaron built many homes and condos at Lake Panorama and the surrounding areas. They had a gift for their trade and were well known for building dreams from the ground up.
In his early years, Chris enjoyed many fun weekends with friends as he played a mean third base for the Panora Merchants fast-pitch softball team and later played slow-pitch with the Branson Decorating team. Chris enjoyed fishing, jeeping, woodworking, and entertaining his friends and family in his shop. He would never let you forget his passion for the Iowa State Cyclones. You never left his place thirsty.
Chris did not know a stranger. He always had an opinion to share. His infectious laughter and heartfelt conversations effortlessly created bonds that lasted a lifetime. He had a heart of gold, and his fun-loving nature not only touched his family, but everyone who knew him. The last 15 years, his struggles with multiple sclerosis finally took a toll. He had many friends just a phone call away willing to help when his pain required assistance. We will all miss his big smile, his laughter, his jokes and, most of all, his company.
Left to cherish his memory are his brother, Ron (Kristie) Reynolds of Panora; nieces, Ashley (Steve) Schable of Carroll, Chaille (Damon) Crandall of Panora; and nephew, Cole (Emily) Reynolds of Clive. Great nieces and nephews: Cade, Camryn, Chase and Colt Schable, Cruz and Cacen Crandall, and Drake and Ande Reynolds. His special friend, Vickie Kirtley, her son, Cody (Ruth) Hayes of Altoona, and their children, who knew Chris as Papa, Aiden, Emma, Rylen and Kayson; many cousins; and countless good friends.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents, Audrey and Garnet Reynolds, and his son, Reid Carlton (1992).



David rutledge
Posted 12/13/2023

David Rolan Rutledge, 74, passed away peacefully at his Guthrie Center home Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, where he spent his final days in the company of loved ones. David was born July 14, 1949, to Rolan and Mary (Klecker) Rutledge in Dubuque. David grew up in Dubuque and graduated from Wahlert High School in 1967. He attended Loras College, then Iowa State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in design.
While at Iowa State University, David met Trudy Jane Garrett. They married on May 29, 1971. David and Trudy briefly lived in Kansas City, Missouri, before relocating to Trudy’s hometown of Guthrie Center. They moved to Guthrie Center during the April Blizzard of 1973 and began their family shortly thereafter. To their marriage, three sons were born — John, Robert and Thomas.
David spent the majority of his career in construction, first working for his father-in-law, John Garrett, and later working independently. He enjoyed challenging projects and embraced the opportunity to be creative. In retirement, he owned and operated a gun shop in Guthrie Center, where he enjoyed conversations with friends and customers as much as he enjoyed buying and selling guns. David was an active member in the community, serving on the Guthrie Center Volunteer Fire Department and the city council. He was an elder and deacon at the First Christian Church.
David had a lifelong passion for hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. A highlight of every spring was his fishing trip to Trout River Lodge in northwest Ontario. He looked forward all year to sharing this annual adventure with family and friends. In autumn, David could be found in the Iowa timber bowhunting for whitetail deer. He cherished the solace of the wilderness, as well as the camaraderie he enjoyed sharing outdoor pursuits with family and friends.
David was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by Trudy, his wife of 52 years, who lovingly cared for him during the final chapter of his life. Also surviving David are sons John (Tricia) of Panora; Robert (Danelle) of Longmont, Colorado; and Thomas (Amy) of Guthrie Center; grandchildren Kael and Emma (John); Drew and Eden (Robert); Jalen (Thomas); siblings Connie (Earl) Rohr of Clermont, Florida; John Paul (Lynn) Rutledge of Webster Groves, Missouri; and Gary (Lori) Rutledge of Castle Rock, Washington; plus several nieces and nephews.
Visitation was held at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, Guthrie Center, on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. Funeral services were at the First Christian Church, Guthrie Center, at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, with burial following the service at Union Cemetery, Guthrie Center. Twigg Funeral Home was entrusted with his services.
Memorials may be left to the discretion of the family.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

The annual Reshape 5K Turkey Trot run was held on Thanksgiving morning at Twin Vines Winery, just west of Panora on Highway 44. A brisk but sunny 30-degree morning didn’t chill the enthusiasm, as the event drew a record 107 registrants. According to event director Sue Bump, the event has a longstanding challenge in which, if registration reaches 100 or more, Ben Hayes, co-owner of Twin Vines Winery, will run as well. As a result, Ben went the distance.
Jonah Niedermeier was the overall first-place finisher in 18:16. Lacey Fulton was the first female finisher, clocking in at 24:33. Although most participants were from Guthrie County, results show finishers from Chicago and New York. Bump said fun was enjoyed by all, and participants had a healthy start to the day, prior to Thanksgiving feasting.

Three farmers near Yale participated in a 2022 trial program to fund the use of cover crops on row-crop land in the Lake Panorama watershed.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Since 1998, the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) has made it possible for Lake Panorama home and lot owners to use a portion of their property tax dollars to fund erosion control and water quality efforts. RIZ funds an annual dredging program that removes silt from Lake Panorama and portions of the Middle Raccoon River north of the lake.
In recent years, some RIZ funds also have been used to slow the flow of sediment into the lake. Three wetlands on streams that lead into Lake Panorama are in place to help protect water quality, and two more wetlands are in the planning stages.
In late summer 2022, Tamara Deal, a Lake Panorama resident, made a presentation to the RIZ board of trustees about the potential impact the use of cover crops on farmland upstream could have on the lake’s water quality. Deal had studied the use of cover crops as a way to improve soil health and profitability on her family’s farm. That led to her becoming an advocate for cover crops and making presentations to groups about the link between soil health and improved water quality.
Following her presentation, the RIZ board did some additional research. The result was a one-year trial program to fund the use of cover crops on row-crop land in the Lake Panorama watershed. Three farmers near Yale participated in that 2022 trial. This fall, the Lake Panorama RIZ Cover Crop Program is open to all producers who have row-crop land in Guthrie County that is within the Lake Panorama watershed.
Cover crops are grown in addition to primary cash crops such as corn and soybean. Cover crops can reduce soil erosion, increase soil organic matter and fertility, improve soil structure and promote water infiltration.
Aerial seeding of cover crops can be done with airplanes or helicopters, either before or after the cash crop is harvested. Another option is to use a drill to plant seed directly into the ground. Cover crops protect the soil in the late fall, winter and early spring.
Lane Rumelhart is the Lake Panorama Association (LPA) project manager and oversees the RIZ cover crop program.
“Lots of farmers have been flying it on, so they aren’t running over their crop right before harvest,” he says. “This gets them better germination and a longer growing season.”
Producers enrolling in the program must commit at least 25 acres to cover crops and have those acres verified as meeting all other requirements. The RIZ program reimburses producers up to $15 per acre for cover crops.
It can cost up to $40 per acre to plant a cover crop. There are both Iowa and federal programs that offer farmers financial incentives for planting cover crops and other water quality and conservation efforts. Farmers enrolled in the RIZ program also can participate in these other cost share programs.
“Cover crops are good for Lake Panorama because they hold soil in place in late winter and early spring so there is less silt runoff,” Rumelhart says. “Cover crops help keep nutrients in farm fields rather than allowing those to escape and lead to water quality problems, such as blue green algae blooms. The idea is that with more cover crops upstream, Lake Panorama will slowly gain improved water quality.”
Dave Deardorff of Yale is one of the three producers who participated in the RIZ trial program in 2022. He is a member of the Guthrie County Soil and Water Conservation District Commission and has been planting cover crops on 240 tillable acres for the last seven years. He enrolled those 240 acres in the RIZ cover crop program both last year and again this year.
“This gives some additional coverage to the ground,” Deardorff says. “I’ve been using no-till for more than 25 years, which keeps soil in place. Adding a cover crop helps reduce overall soil and wind erosion. I see more people in our area using no-till or minimum tillage. This, along with a cover crop, is one of the best ways to conserve the soil.”
Deardorff uses aerial seeding of rye for his cover crop.
“Last year we didn’t have enough moisture to get a good stand, but this fall was better,” he says. “We got a good stand, and I’ve been able to graze my cows this fall. Often rye will green back up in the spring and give another chance to graze cattle before row crops are planted.”
Brothers Kevin and Kendall Kipp of Yale also participated in the 2022 trial program and enrolled the same acres in the RIZ cost share program this fall. Kendall says there wasn’t enough soil moisture last year to get a good stand, but this year was different.
“We had it flown on right after Labor Day and then got some good rain,” he says. “By the time harvest happened, there was probably 4 inches of growth. It’s pretty even, and we have been able to graze our cattle on it this fall.”
Lake Panorama RIZ owns 235 acres of tillable ground. In 2022, the Kipp brothers leased that ground on a one-year contract. This year, a half-dozen bidders vied for the chance to rent the RIZ ground. Heidi Kipp, the 20-year-old daughter of Kendall and Teresa Kipp, was awarded a three-year farm lease for the RIZ ground.
“My brother, Walker, is 25. We both were born and raised on the farm and have helped any way we could since we could walk,” Heidi says. “This is my first year having land of my own to farm.”
One requirement of the three-year lease is that all the RIZ tillable acres be protected by a cover crop.
“I’m interested to see how the cover crops work,” Heidi says. “I think erosion control and improvements to soil health are two important factors, and I hope to see improved yields in the future. There are 45 acres of fenced land, so being able to graze cattle is another benefit for me. I think the RIZ program will result in improved water quality.”
Keith Buttler has owned and operated Buttler Agronomy Services in Guthrie Center for 30 years. He provides agricultural inputs, services and recommendations to area farmers. He uses cover crops on his own farm and applies what he has learned to help others.
“I started it more as an erosion control tool. I have some land with steeper slopes, where a hard rain can cause a lot of erosion,” Buttler says. “I’ve always used no-till but added the cover crops 14 years ago. The practice slows erosion, helps capture nutrients in the soil, increases biological activity, and soil health steadily improves each year. On my farm, yields have improved 15-20% because of the combination of both cover crops and improved genetics.”
Buttler can help producers arrange seeding either into standing crops with an airplane, or after harvest with grain drills.
“Most farmers use rye,” he says. “It’s winter hardy, so it can go dormant in the winter, then grow again in the spring.”
Buttler says incentives such as the RIZ cover crop program make a difference.
“This year I’ve had three times the amount of people putting in cover crops than last year,” he says. “I think the early harvest caused by drought conditions encouraged some to give it a try, plus there are several cost share programs.”
Randy Glade’s farm operation is on both sides of Redwood Road just west of Lake Panorama. He’s been using no-till for more than 30 years and planting cover crops after harvest for more than 15 years.
Most research shows after three continuous years of cover crops, farmers will see better yields, and that’s been the case for Glade. Over time, his soybean yield has increased nine to 12 bushels per acre and his corn yield more than 25 bushels an acre by not tilling his farm ground and planting cover crops.
This year, Glade doubled the number of acres where he planted a cover crop for a total of 111 acres. He enrolled in the RIZ cover crop program and is pleased with this year’s results. Iowa Cover Crop of Jefferson aerial applied rye into standing corn on his farm Sept. 15.
“The timing was excellent because, over the next three days, we had a half-inch of rain. That helped get a better than average stand,” he says. “This has provided good grazing pasture for my feeder cattle.”
“The combination of cover crops and no-till results in looser planting-depth soil, which leads to better soil-to-seed contact,” Glade says. “I also get better water infiltration, which allows the soil to catch and hold more rain.”
By early December, there were 10 producers with 1,279 acres approved for funding as part of the 2023 Lake Panorama RIZ Cover Crop Program. It’s expected additional participants will be approved in December. For more information, contact Lane Rumelhart by calling the LPA office at 641-755-2301 or email him at lrumelhart@lakepanorama.org.


Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Blue Jays are found year-round at Lake Panorama. Photographer Trish Hart, who lives with her husband, Scott, in a home on Andrew’s Cove, says Blue Jay numbers at their feeders increase in the winter.
“We feed them a mixture of black oil sunflower seeds, fruit and nut wild birdseed, and peanuts,” Trish says.
These large songbirds are present from Florida to southern Canada and as far west as Montana. They thrive in a variety of habitats but prefer wooded edges and oaks. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.
Blue Jays have brightly colored plumage of blue, white and black. The black bridle across the face, nape and throat varies and may help these birds recognize one another.
Blue Jays are known for their intelligence. They are monogamous, and pairs may stay together for life. Nesting occurs during spring or early summer, and young jays fledge about three weeks after they hatch. The Harts enjoy seeing the same Blue Jay couples and their babies each year.
The Blue Jay frequently mimics the calls of hawks. These calls may provide information to other jays that a hawk is around. Or a Blue Jay may be trying to trick other birds into believing a hawk is nearby to clear out a birdfeeder for itself.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Breaker
Age: 11.5 years old
Breed: German Shorthair Pointer

Breaker adopted Denny and Ruth Rowedder as his humans. He came to live at the lake in 2013 from Great Plains Pointer Rescue. Breaker enjoys greeting the neighborhood kids on walks, sleeping in the sun and, especially, playing ball at the dog park.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Quentin
Age: Almost a year old
Available for adoption at: Panora Pets

Quentin is healthy, happy and just a general joy from the first moment he came in to Panora Pets. He is easy-going and so charismatic that you’ll stop whatever you are doing just to engage with him. Quentin gets along well with the other kitties, and nothing seems to phase the kid. Quentin should be an excellent addition to any home and family, even the most active. He is neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Adoption fees are $25 throughout the month of December. Visit www.panorapets.com to fill out an application and view all of the profiles.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Jolene Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

We like to surround ourselves with good friends who are also good cooks.
We moved to our current home at Lake Panorama a few years ago. We love our place, and we love our neighbors. And, as with many of you, these great neighbors have become great friends. These are people we can borrow an egg from, share treats with, and call to close the garage door when we’ve forgotten. They collect the patio umbrella that blows off our deck and put it back, maybe telling us of the good deed another time. We have dinner together. We share recipes. We drink good wine. Simply said, we enjoy our time together and make long-lasting memories.
Recently, Paula and Lyle Hansen invited us over for dinner. Paula keeps food simple with incredible flavors. Her menu included pork tenderloin, roasted vegetables and homemade bread (a recipe for a later column). There is nothing quite as easy or delicious as grilled pork tenderloin. This dry rub and glaze is simple enough for a weekend meal or fancy enough for company.
Thanks for sharing your recipe, Paula.

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

Grilled Honey-Herb Pork Loin
1-1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Honey glaze
4 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup honey
3 TBSP low sodium soy
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP olive oil

Pat pork dry with a paper towel. Mix together sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and pepper. Rub mixture all over pork tenderloin. Place pork in a zip lock bag and place in refrigerator for several hours, up to overnight. Preheat grill to medium-high heat or 425 degrees using half of the burners. Prepare honey glaze by mixing ingredients. Sear the tenderloin on the lit grill side for 5-6 minutes on one side with the grill lid closed. Turn it over and sear the other side for 4-5 minutes with the grill lid closed. Then, move the tenderloin to the unlit side (using indirect heat). Baste with honey glaze every so often. Continue cooking until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Continue basting throughout the cooking time. Let meat rest on a plate covered loosely with an aluminum foil tent for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Group formed in 2017 after accepting a
challenge by 10 Squared Men of
Guthrie County organizer Barry Monaghan.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

The 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County group proves that whatever men can do, women can also do.
Member Kristen Crouthamel shared details on how the group formed and how it functions.
She said both the men’s and women’s groups share the same basic gameplan. Members meet several times per year, donating $100 each at each meeting, and vote on a local charitable group to be the recipient of the funds raised. The name “Ten Squared” indicates the goal to have at least 100 members and the $100 donation each member gives per meeting.
Crouthamel recalled that shortly after the Ten Squared men’s group began, Barry Monoghan put out a local challenge, asking area women to form a similar group.
“I think we started in 2017,” she said. “The ringleader was originally Shannon Neff-Muell. She worked at the bank, and she came to a few of us and asked us to accept Barry’s challenge.”
Describing the functioning of the group, Crouthamel said, “We’ve always kind of hovered around 100 members, but in the last two or three quarters, we’ve gained at least 35 new members. We meet four times a year, and the men meet three times a year, so it ends up being about an equal amount of money being given out over the year.”
Crouthamel says another difference is the women’s group allows members to join the meetings via Zoom. She said this is helpful for members who are busy with other commitments such as work and childcare.
According to Crouthamel, each member is welcome to nominate local charitable groups to be considered as a recipient of funds. Currently, the women’s group has more than 20 community groups “in the hat,” and three are randomly drawn at each meeting to be voted on. The top vote-getter then receives the entire amount raised at that meeting.
“If a group has gotten money from Ten Squared Women, they have to wait two years to be eligible again,” she noted.
As with the men’s group, Ten Squared Women gives 100% of the funds directly to the recipients. Crouthamel said the only “overhead” was when the group formed and purchased the large novelty check that is used in photos of the funds being given to recipients.
Crouthamel welcomes any women in the area to join Ten Squared if interested. To learn more, individuals can visit their Facebook page or email them at 10squaredgc@gmail.com.


Jolene  family july 2023 43
Posted 11/09/2023

If you are a regular reader of my columns, you know I am not much of a golfer. In fact, I have often stated that I would rather go to the dentist than golf. To be fair, I do enjoy my dental cleanings. Cavities? Not so much.
I will find a lot of excuses not to golf, starting with having a full-time job. Having said that, I have enjoyed an occasional game of disc golf on the weekends through the years, and I was looking forward to our feature on the new course that is being installed at Lake Panorama. Be sure to check out the story and the related pieces in this month’s cover story.

With the ease of streaming, Jolene and I don’t make our way to the movies on the big screen very often. But when a movie really captures our interest, we do make the time. Our youngest daughter and I used to catch a movie most Tuesday evenings in the summers on daddy/daughter dates, and I miss those times. I am looking forward to seeing a movie or two or three over the holidays, and Michael Woody shares several to consider in this month’s film reviews. 

Have you had a flu shot this year? Or another round of COVID vaccinations? Or both? Or neither? We share some thoughts from Guthrie County Public Health in a story this month, and you might be surprised to know that fall is considered to be the best time for vaccinations.

You will certainly be impressed after reading the latest installment of our business stories, this time on Lexi Blakeley and her Sapphire Skin Co. & Spa in Panora and Guthrie Center. This 24-year-old entrepreneur continues to amaze. See this story and all past business features at www.lakepanoramatimes.com.

More lake humor
I have five for you this month. These should keep you from talking politics around the Thanksgiving table.
One of my lake friends was cooking in a wok on the back of his boat. He was making a stern fry.
What do you call a boat full of mean potatoes? A dictatorship.
Where did Bugs Bunny decide to park his boat? At the “What’s-up dock!”
When the bottom of a boat had a hole, it was one hull of a problem.
And finally, I’m not one for buoyancy, but you know, whatever floats your boat.

Have a great November, and thanks for reading.

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

LPA member John Worth volunteered to design a nine-hole course for Lake Panorama and help guide its construction.

Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A nine-hole disc golf course on Lake Panorama’s south shore soon will be a reality. The course is one part of a package of low-impact recreational amenities developed by Friends of Lake Panorama and approved by the LPA board of directors at its July 25 meeting.
Building a disc golf course at Lake Panorama has been discussed for more than five years. In April 2019, the Friends board of directors conducted a survey to gather input from Lake Panorama Association members and help prioritize future projects. Ten possible projects were proposed for consideration.
As a result of that survey, the Friends board, in cooperation with the LPA, has completed several projects that ranked high on the survey. These include new playground equipment at Shady and Boulder beaches, Panorama West Nature Trail, a dog park and a sports court at Sunset Beach.
The survey results also showed interest in a trail system on the south shore and a disc golf course somewhere within the Lake Panorama community.
In the comments section of the survey, LPA member John Worth volunteered to design a nine-hole course for Lake Panorama and help guide its construction. After meeting with the Friends board and LPA staff, he scouted several locations and found the south shore to be ideal.
“My interest in disc golf goes back to my high school days in Atlantic in the late 1970s when Frisbees were common amongst the young crowd,” Worth says. “We used to practice our fancy throwing and catching skills in parking lots along the main drag for all to see. We heard people were using Frisbees to play a golf game, so we gave it a try in the local park. We laid out a few holes, using trees as targets, and I haven’t quit playing since.”
In 2007, one of Worth’s good friends became the Atlantic Park and Recreation director.
“We were quick to start scheming how to get an official disc course in Atlantic,” Worth says. “Thanks to some very dedicated and persistent individuals, a new course was installed within the next two years. I was able to provide some input on the course layout and volunteered many hours to help install and groom the course.”
Worth and his wife, Angie, lived in Atlantic most of their lives, pursued their careers and raised three children.
“As we became empty nesters and started thinking about retirement, we moved fulltime to Lake Panorama in 2016,” Worth says. “The lake is a very special place to us. We love the relaxing environment and have made many dear friends here. We also enjoy making memories with our three children and five grandchildren.”
Worth retired in January 2022 from a career in manufacturing, where he worked initially as an engineer and then in management. With their move to Lake Panorama, Angie Worth started a new career in real estate and is part owner of Sunset Realty.
Construction on the Lake Panorama disc golf course began Oct. 4. “The course is literally cut out through the wooded area on the east side of the south shore,” Worth says. “Each hole is a Par 3, bringing the total par for a round of nine holes to 27. The holes range in distance from 155 feet to 320 feet long.”
Though John Worth did much of the course design, he got some help from his son, Jesse Worth.
“Jesse cut his disc golf teeth on the makeshift course we had in the Atlantic park,” Worth says. “When he headed to Iowa State in 2006, he discovered two 18-hole disc golf courses in Ames. That’s when Jesse and I switched our disc gear to the smaller diameter, official golfing discs. Jesse was very helpful in thinking through how a new course would best fit into the south shore area.” 
Jesse now lives in Ames with his wife, Leah, and their daughter and works for Hawkeye Molding in Roland. On a visit to Lake Panorama in mid-October, he and his dad spent a sunny afternoon testing out the course.
“It was fairly surreal to experience the course for the first time,” Jesse says. “The mix of shots through nine holes play well and feel balanced. It’s exciting to think of the course really establishing itself in the coming years. I know it’s going to be well received by the community.”
Another experienced disc golfer played a practice round at the Lake Panorama disc golf course in October before the tee boxes and baskets were installed. Josh Tuggle and his wife, Mariah, live in Bloomington, Minnesota. Mariah’s parents, Paul and Marcia Cates, have a house on Lake Panorama.
Tuggle grew up in Norwalk, attended Iowa State University, and graduated with a construction engineering degree. He works as a design manager for a company that builds utility scale solar plants across the country.
“My brother, Ryan, got me hooked on disc golf a few years ago, and I got Mariah into it as well,” Tuggle says. “I have played 120 courses in 21 states but mainly in Minnesota and Iowa. I’m a member of the Professional Disc Golf Association and now play at the highest level. The past few years, I’ve played in about 10 tournaments each year.”
Tuggle has followed the development of the Lake Panorama disc golf course. When tee box sponsors were being sought for each of the nine holes, he decided to sponsor the sixth hole. The sponsor sign on that hole will be “Tuggle & Cates Family.”
What did Tuggle like about the course in his exploratory round?
“The course has a variety of shots and fun lines,” he says. “It may be on the shorter side but still is a great challenge with the wooded holes.”
Tuggle offered this advice to those who might be trying the sport for the first time because of the Lake Panorama course.
“It can be overwhelming to pick some discs as a beginner. I recommend going to a store and picking a nice putter and midrange that feel good in your hands,” he says. “Most people go after the drivers when picking some first discs, but it’s better to start slow.”
The other eight tee box sponsors for the Lake Panorama disc golf course are: No. 1 -Sunset Realty; No. 2 - State Farm Insurance, Robert Carr; No. 3 - Panora Fiber; No. 4 - OvaEasy; No. 5 - Hawkeye Molding; No. 7 - Aaron & Mindy Poldberg Family; No. 8 - Martin-Flanery Ace Run; and No. 9 - Lake Panorama Realty.
John Worth has played more than 30 disc golf courses in Iowa and a few out of state.
“It’s such a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise,” he says. “There is a concrete tee pad on each hole, which is used to throw your first shot from. From there, you simply throw your next shot from where your ‘drive’ or last shot landed. Keep going until you land your disc in the target, which is a metal wire basket that uses hanging chains to deflect the disc into the basket.”
Worth encourages the interested and the curious to walk the course.
“I think many will return with a disc in hand to give it a try,” Worth says. “You can use any flying disc you have at home. Once you are hooked, you will want to purchase official disc golfing discs. These come in three categories — drivers, midranges, putters — each intended for different throwing distances. Having one of each type is a great starting point and are readily available at sporting goods stores.”

The timeline
The course will be playable once tee pads are poured and baskets have been installed. Information on the opening date will be provided in the LPA Prompt and on the Friends of Lake Panorama Facebook page.
Signage won’t be in place until next spring. There will be a tee sign adjacent to each tee box showing the hole distance and layout, a hole sponsorship sign on each hole, and a large sign near the first tee box. The large sign will include a map of the disc golf course and general information about the course. There also will be separate signs for disc golf course rules and the UDisc app.
Disc golfers use the UDisc app on their smart phones to keep score and navigate interactive maps of disc golf courses. UDisc, LLC, was co-founded in 2012 by Matt Krueger and Josh Lichti, two computer engineers who bonded over coursework and disc golf at Iowa State University. UDisc has grown from a hobby project to a tool that covers more than 14,000 courses worldwide.

By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Beyond the disc golf course, other portions of the Friends of Lake Panorama plans for the south shore also are progressing. A fenced driveway at the south end of Chimra Road and a parking lot that provides walk-through access to the recreation area is complete. A small shelter near the parking lot is in place, and a picnic table will be added in the spring.
The Lake Panorama trail system with a variety of distances is complete. Those who start at the trailhead and do the full loop down to the shoreline and back up through the meadow area to return to the parking lot will have walked two miles. In addition, four places where the riprap contractor widened existing trails to get to the shoreline are offered as trail options.
Brown fiberglass trail markers have been installed at each junction of the trail system and are marked on each side with colored arrows.
There are five trail options, each designated with a different color. The original two-mile loop is the “green” trail. People who start at the trailhead and choose the first option they reach, the “red” trail, will walk sixth-tenths of a mile. The other three options offer distances of 1.1 miles (blue), 1.6 miles (yellow), and 2 miles (orange). This final loop results in walking the same distance as the original loop, but the terrain and views provide a different experience.
Next spring, benches and bluebird houses will be installed along the trails throughout the recreational area. Three large metal signs also will be in place by spring. One will be near the shelter and include a Lake Panorama map, general information about the south shore project, and a list of donors who give $500 or more to the project by Dec. 31, 2023. Other signs will be posted near the first hole of the disc golf course and the Lake Panorama trailhead.
The estimated cost of these recreational amenities is $35,000. Over the past two years, Friends has received $11,000 in private donations for projects on the south shore. Some funds also are available from the 2023 Beach Ball and disc golf course tee box sponsors.
Tax-deductible donations for south shore projects can be made 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 through Venmo @Panorama-Friends, or by credit card on the Friends website at friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Many other types of shots are used in disc golf; it’s up to each player to find what works best.
By John Worth
Special to Lake Panorama Times

This introduction to the Lake Panorama disc golf course is for those who’ve never played the sport and those who are expert players. There are nine holes on the course, and all are par 3s. Much like tennis, there are two main shot types when throwing a disc. The most common is the backhand shot, which probably is how everyone learned to throw a frisbee. The other is the forehand shot, again, think tennis and the arm motion used. Also, how the hand grips the disc is different for each of these two shot types.
When a right-handed person throws a backhand shot, it will typically fade to the left near the end of its flight. When a right-handed person throws a forehand shot, it will typically fade to the right near the end of its flight. For a left-handed person, the direction of fade would be the opposite. The Lake Panorama course was designed to use both right and left fading shots. There are many other types of shots used in disc golf; it’s up to each player to find what works best. Here’s a hole-by-hole look at the Lake Panorama disc golf course.
Hole No. 1 — 290 feet. As you reach the first tee pad, there is a beautiful view of Lake Panorama’s main basin. This hole was designed with a wide fairway and a tree in the middle of the fairway. This allows the player to choose either a backhand or forehand shot to fade around the tree and into the basket from either direction. Wind off the lake may be a factor as you throw off the tee pad.
Hole No. 2 — 165 feet. This hole is a dogleg right, so a right fading shot is required. Most right-handers will use a forehand shot and left-handers will use a backhand shot. The hole is blind, meaning you can’t see the basket from the tee pad, so walk down the fairway a few feet to get a view of the basket. The hole includes a large tree that hangs over the fairway, which creates a “tunnel” to throw your shot through. Some players may choose to throw a very high, strong right fading shot over the tree. Called a Hyzer, this shot is thrown at a sharp angle to get a strong fade.
Hole No. 3 — 190 feet. A right fading tee shot is required on this hole. The basket is barely visible from the tee pad on the right side of the fairway. The tee pad is positioned so players will throw over a small waterway and between trees on either side. The tree gap is somewhat intimidating but a fun challenge.
Hole No. 4 — 180 feet. This hole is a very enticing, slight downhill shot that is straight on. The fairway is just wide enough to use a mild right or left fade to get to the basket. This hole begs to be aced (hole-in-one), so most players will throw a mid-range disc straight at it. Beware of the wind coming off the lake. The lake view from the No. 4 basket is fantastic.
Hole No. 5 — 155 feet. There is an uphill hike to get to the tee pad. Once you arrive, the view of the basket from the tee pad is both humbling and exciting. The shot is straight and narrow, through a mild ravine to the basket on the other side. The hole is characterized by many trees and a tight fairway choke point of about 10 feet wide. Most players will throw a mid-range disc straight at the basket and hope to clear the narrow fairway gap.
Hole No. 6 — 230 feet. A short, uphill hike will get you to the tee pad. The basket is visible from the tee pad on the left side of the fairway, and a left fading shot is required. Right handers who love the backhand shot will feel right at home on this hole. There are a couple of trees in the middle of the fairway that players will need to navigate as they approach the basket.
Hole No. 7 — 245 feet. While this hole is similar to the last one, in that it is a left fading shot, the hole is blind. Players will want to walk a few feet down the fairway to get their bearings on the exact shot required to reach the basket. The fairway is narrower than No. 6, but there are no trees in the fairway to avoid. So, as they say in disc golf, grip it and rip it.
Hole No. 8 — 155 feet. This hole is a short and sharp dogleg left. The fairway is straight with the basket in a carved-out pocket on the left side. While most players will choose to play a sharp left fading shot, there are other shot type opportunities here for those who want to be creative.
Hole No. 9 — 320 feet. The longest hole on the course requires a long, right fading shot as the fairway curves to the right. The hole is blind so it will pay off to walk up the fairway the first few times to get your bearings on the basket location. The basket is framed by large, overhanging trees at the far end of the fairway.
As you finish your round, you’ll find the course layout has looped you around, and you are on one of the main walking trails that will take you a short distance back to the parking lot. Your only decision now is whether to play another nine now, or later?

By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The addition of a disc golf course on Lake Panorama’s south shore comes at a time when the sport continues to grow in the United States and around the globe. There currently are 14,048 disc golf courses worldwide with 9,465 in the United States.
Iowa is considered the seventh best disc golf state in the country, with 377 disc golf courses. Iowa is No. 1 as far as disc golf courses per capita in the U.S.
The COVID pandemic of 2020 and 2021 brought many new players to the game. Players who started in those two years reported in an October 2022 survey they are just as enthusiastic about disc golf as players who found the sport before the pandemic.
Ed Headrick was an American toy inventor who worked for Wham-O. He is most well-known as the father of both the Frisbee and of the sport and game of disc golf.
Headrick redesigned Wham-O’s flying saucer to create the Frisbee design, which received a U.S. patent. He marketed the Frisbee by promoting trick throws and games that could be played with this new disc. Target shooting with Frisbees became Headrick’s focus, and he saw potential in Frisbee Golf as a legitimate game and sport with courses where people could play and compete in tournaments.
Wham-O wasn’t interested and wouldn’t allow a license of the Frisbee trademark to be used for Frisbee Golf. In 1975, Headrick left Wham-O and trademarked the words “Disc Golf” to use for the game and sport he envisioned.
In 1976, Headrick and his son, Ken, started the first disc golf company, DGA, which is an acronym for Disc Golf Association. The purpose of DGA was to manufacture discs and targets and formalize the disc golf game. In 1977, the father-son team developed and patented the modern catching basket for disc golf.
To develop the rules and standards for the sport and game, plus create a dues-paying membership base, Headrick began the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) in 1976. Through the PDGA, Headrick and fellow disc golfers developed the first disc golf rules and standards.
Headrick headed the PDGA until 1982, when daily operations were turned over to an elected board of disc golf players. PDGA continues to be the overseeing body for the sport of disc golf. In 2022, the PDGA gained more than 40,000 new members and sanctioned more than 8,900 events worldwide. There currently are more than 103,000 PDGA active members.
Headrick passed away Aug. 12, 2002. As he requested, his ashes were incorporated into a limited number of discs, which were given to friends and family.