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

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

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

Economic development group is full of PRIDE

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

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

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

OBITUARY: Jerrold Stratton Ross

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


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

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

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


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

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times

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


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


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

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


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


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

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

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

Manage mosquitoes to better enjoy your outdoor space 

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

By Melinda Myers

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

Orientation sessions planned for new Lake Panorama owners

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

By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two new benches honor long-time Lake Panorama resident

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

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times 

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

PRIDE group meets in person again

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

LPA Schedule of Fines
Lake Panorama Association

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


Annual festival set for Aug. 6-8.

By Susan Thompson 

Lake Panorama Times  
Posted 5/11/21

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

Boulder Beach playground now open

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

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

Volunteers handle spring cleanup at Panorama West

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

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

LPN swimming pool to open Memorial Day weekend

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

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

Property value assessments increase – here’s why

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

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

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

Registration opens for July 30 Beach Ball

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

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

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

2021 boating season brings improved buoy visibility 

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

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

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

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

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

Posted 5/11/21

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

Rip rap to be added to Burchfield streambank this summer

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

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

Little Panther Daycare & Preschool plans expansion

Posted 5/11/21

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

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

Local businesses struggle to find employees

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

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


Posted 5/11/21

Trish Hart is an amateur photographer who specializes in pictures of birds and other wildlife at Lake Panorama. She recently agreed to provide a monthly nature photo for this publication.
Many of Trish’s photos are of birds, which she captures digitally as they sit on feeders on the deck of her home or in nearby trees. This month’s photo is of four male American Goldfinches enjoying the feeders she and her husband Scott keep filled with sunflower seeds and other goodies.
Goldfinches are common across most of the United States, yet Iowans know the goldfinch as our state bird. New Jersey and Washington also claim the goldfinch as their state bird.
An American Goldfinch is the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year, once in late winter and again in late summer. The brightening yellow of male goldfinches each spring is a welcome sign of warmer months ahead.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. For more information, visit NaturesCanvasPhotos on Facebook.


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

Corey Larsen was named the Lake Panorama Association’s new security officer the last week in March. Larsen has been on the LPA staff in a part-time capacity since 2018, working both days and nights, and on both land and water. He has served as a public law enforcement officer for 27 years. In this month’s Q&A, Larsen talks about boating on Lake Panorama.

Q: Please explain the navigational buoys and hazard buoys on Lake Panorama.
A: Centerline buoys mark the channel of the lake, with boaters travelling on the right-hand side of the buoys. This is easy to remember because it is the same as driving on the highway. Centerline buoys are marked with a flashing white light so these are visible at night.
Hazard buoys are placed in areas that are known to be shallow or hazardous. These buoys are not a guarantee of exact hazard location, but rather a warning to steer clear of that general area. Some hazard buoys are marked with a flashing amber light to ensure boaters steer clear of these areas.
Remember, when boating at night, avoid amber lights, and stay immediately to the right of white lights.
In 2018, a new buoy map was proposed by the water safety committee and approved by the LPA board. Last year and again this year, buoys have been placed according to that map. No changes to the map will be made this year unless there is a correction of a hazard buoy. The buoy map is online here: https://lpaw.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6d5e17f715fd41a7b08c18776337ce8d
Also in place is a rule adopted by the LPA board concerning the moving of buoys by members. The rule reads: “Intentional vandalism or unauthorized relocation of buoys shall result in an automatic 3rd offense under LPA rules 5.1(f)(3). In the case of vandalism, the offending member shall pay both the stated fine and damages.”
A 3rd offense fine is $500 and loss of the member’s boating privileges for the season.
Another rule restricts towing through the Narrows during busy times. LPA Rule 5.1(n)(4) states “The Narrows will be limited to no towing (tubes, skiers, or any other towed devices) or wake surfing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.” Two new platform signs will be added to the Narrows this year to remind boaters of this towing restriction.
The reason for no towing allowed in the Narrows at certain times is to promote safety. This is the narrowest part of the lake. During times of high boat traffic, we need to keep people safe. If boat traffic is especially heavy at times beyond those already designated, security officers have the authority to put the flags on the markers to show no towing is allowed. If security officers see you towing in the Narrows during the regular hours, or other times when it is deemed unsafe to tow in the Narrows, they can issue a warning or a citation.

Q: What are some common mistakes made by boaters?
A: One common mistake is the misunderstanding about boat capacity. Most boats are rated for a maximum number of persons and a maximum total weight. Boaters must remember they are not allowed to exceed either of these numbers. This is especially relevant with young people who weigh less than adults. Regardless of how small the passenger is, everyone counts as one passenger in the boat capacity limit.
Another common mistake is that even when anchored, at least one person must be on board the water vessel at all times. This goes for personal watercraft as well as boats. This becomes important when boaters decide to anchor and take a swim, or tie together with another boat.   

Q: What items should boat owners have in place before they launch their boat this spring?
A. Fire extinguishers and floatation devices are both priorities for DNR and LPA, as both are key safety items. Boats with greater than 10 horsepower are required by Iowa law to have at least one Type B-I fire extinguisher onboard the vessel. Some larger boats are required to have one B-II fire extinguisher, or two B-I fire extinguishers, onboard the vessel. Boat owners should check the extinguishers periodically to make sure these are in a good, useable condition.
All vessels are required to have at least one United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jacket for each person on board. In addition, vessels over 16-feet in length must have a throwable floatation device (excluding kayaks and canoes). Iowa Law requires children under 13 years of age wear their life jacket while the vessel is underway.
Boaters are ultimately responsible to comply with all Iowa State Law and can find more information at the DNR’s boating website: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Things-to-Do/Boating

Q:  Final thoughts for the 2021 boating season?
A: The Iowa DNR has an online licensing system for hunting and fishing license needs. This can be found at the website GoOutdoorsIowa. It is easy to purchase, store and renew your licenses, view hunting and fishing regulations, and report harvests. The GoOutdoorsIowa app can be downloaded via the AppStore or Google Play. Please plan on using this app in 2021, as the LPA office has temporarily suspended the sale of licenses due to COVID-19 restrictions regarding walk-in traffic at the LPA office.
Be mindful of invasive species regulations. Any boat leaving any lake (including canoes, kayaks, etc.) should be cleaned, all compartments drained, and the vessel should dry at least five days prior to re-entering Lake Panorama, or show they have not been on an infested lake, have no water in compartments, no plant debris or mud, or any other sign of potential contamination. This is an Iowa law and is enforceable with a $500 fine. The LPA also has set fines for violators and for falsified information on questionnaires.
All boaters should practice safe boating. Make sure to stay far enough away from other boats and people being towed or wake surfing. There needs to be a plan in place for the boating party. Have a sober person operating the vessel. Make sure to follow all buoys and markers.
Members need to make sure their guests are familiar with the different types of buoys, plus DNR and LPA rules and requirements, before they are allowed to operate the member’s vessels.
I am making it a priority to get security boats out on the water. We will do our best to make sure the security boats are enforcing the rules and keeping people safe. You will even see me in the boats at times.
Boating is one of the most enjoyed activities at Lake Panorama. We strive to keep everyone safe. Security has the right to check a boat and make sure all equipment is aboard. Security officers have the ability to issue warnings and tickets.
The Water Safety Committee recommended a new boating fine schedule in 2020, which was adopted by the LPA Board of Directors for the 2021 season. That schedule includes $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 plus loss of boating privileges for the season for a third offense.
LPA Security’s phone number is 641-757-9035. Please double check your mobile phone contacts to make sure you are using this number. Contact LPA security with any questions or concerns related to LPA’s rules and regulations. Members are reminded to call 911 in the event of a fire, medical or police emergency. Be safe and enjoy your 2021 season at Lake Panorama!

Try going to bed with a mosquito

Shane goodman headshot
By Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Posted 5/11/21

I have learned much in the past year about the many good things that many good people are doing at Lake Panorama and throughout Guthrie County. We are often reminded — sometimes abruptly — of what living is really all about. Baseball star Jackie Robinson may have summed it up best when he said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
I experienced this “impact” recently when I joined the Ten Squared Plus Men and saw firsthand how donations from 150 local men can, and do, make a significant impact. The concept is quite simple. The group meets three times per year, and the members write a $100 check each time. Although $100 may not sound like much, multiplied by 150 members at three times per year, the total is $45,000. We heard presentations from three organizations that are making a positive impact on Guthrie County and could do even more with additional funding. We also heard from three organizations that shared how they recently benefited from this funding.
The entire evening was casual, fun and, most importantly, heartwarming.  I saw several familiar faces and met some new friends as well. I want to thank John Rutledge for inviting me to join the group. John has yet to steer me wrong, so when he tells me I should do something, I do it.
I also want to thank Barry Monaghan, who leads this group and keeps it on task, for seeking me out and making me feel welcome. He is clearly the driving force behind this.
The group had a tough decision to make, but each member cast his vote. The top choice was the Panora Avenue of Flags. Look for more details on the check presentation and how the funds will be used in a future issue of Lake Panorama Times.
The next Ten Squared Plus Men meeting will be in August. If you are interested in joining us, please reach out to me or any member, as we would welcome you as a guest.
In this great big world, sometimes you may wonder if you can really make a difference. That’s a fair question, and the short answer is absolutely. As British businesswoman Anita Roddick said, “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”
Thanks for reading. 

Weather… or not

Shane goodman headshot
By Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Posted 4/16/21

Ever wish you could predict the weather? I do. It would make editorial planning for monthly publications like this one a lot easier. For example, publishing stories on snowmobiling and snow hiking seemed liked a  good idea for our March issue when we talked about them in February. We certainly were not anticipating 70 degree days in March, like it was when last month’s issue mailed to homes. Meanwhile, as I write this column on March 31, temperatures are below freezing again. It’s Iowa, right?

Years ago, I managed a weekly newspaper in Grimes that was delivered to homes on Thursdays. We would publish the weekend weather forecast on the front page. I assigned this task to a young reporter and provided him with sources on where to collect the forecast data. This was at a time when we didn’t have weather apps at our fingertips or personal digital assistants to tell us if it was going to rain or not.

After a few weeks of publishing this weekend forecast, I received a call from a reader who asked where we were getting our data, pointing out that we were nowhere close on the forecasted highs and lows. “You were off 20 degrees last week,” he shared.

So when I went back to this “reporter” and asked where he was collecting the data from, he told me, “I make it up. I can do it as well as those dopes on TV.” I then quickly pointed out how those “dopes on TV” had it correct last week and that he was 20 degrees off. And, of course, I pointed out that I didn’t hire him to predict the weather forecast.

Meanwhile, the caller who shared this all with me called back and thanked me for listening and responding, and I thanked him for pointing out the problem. I then learned that he worked for Freese-Notis, a weather forecasting corporation headquartered in Des Moines. He offered to provide the forecast to me, faxing (yes, faxing) me the data each week before press time.

Years went by, and that young reporter caused many additional problems, ultimately ending in an ugly split. Yes, I should have seen that one coming. Our family also moved to a different home about that same time, and I learned that the helpful caller from years prior was now my backyard neighbor. Although we don’t publish weather forecasts in monthly publications for obvious reasons, I can’t help but wonder if he could have predicted the unusually warm weather we had in early March. Oh, well. In the meantime, you better keep those snowmobiles and snow hiking gear ready — just in case. 

Retirement allows artist to follow his dream
Everywhere you turn in the Badd Bones gallery, you see something unique.

Posted 4/6/21
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The City of Bagley, located 14 miles north of Lake Panorama, seems an unlikely location for an art gallery. Yet that’s exactly where Dan Badding is enjoying every minute, fulfilling his dream of opening a gallery where he can create, display and sell his own art pieces, while providing a creative space for other artists to also sell their work.

The Badd Bones Gallery & Studio is located on Highway 141 on the west edge of town. It’s easy to spot. Just watch for the round red signs hanging on metal cables attached to a pole. Or the brightly painted Partridge Family school bus parked in a grassy area with a firepit and chairs nearby.

“The Iowa DOT says 2,500 vehicles pass this building every day,” Badding says. “When I was still working, I would drive by this building and think this was the perfect spot, mostly because of those big windows.”

Those who know the Badding family know their name is pronounced with a long “a”— as in the word “babe.” But Dan Badding has always signed his artwork with Badd — as in “bad.” The family’s boat is named “Badd to the Bone.” The business logo incorporates a skeletal fish. Badding’s favorite holiday is Halloween because it gives him an excuse to decorate with skeletons. Add it all up, and Badd Bones is the obvious name for this new venture.

Badding retired at the end of 2020 from the family construction business, based in Carroll. His father, Robert Badding, started the business in 1954. Eventually, Dan and his three brothers all joined the business as part owners. The company’s focus is on commercial construction, but it hasn’t always been that way.

“My love for Lake Panorama began when I was just a kid, as Dad was one of the original investors and contractors at the lake,” Badding says. “I can point out a few of the homes he built, as well as the ‘ski lodge’ on the west side that now is part of the St. Thomas More Center.

“I spent more than 47 years as a finish carpenter and job site superintendent, working side by side with some of the best people I’ve ever known,” Badding says. “I’ve always had a need to be creative, but with the business now almost exclusively commercial construction, there were fewer times when I had the opportunity for creative input. Now in retirement, I’m having the time of my life.”

Dan’s wife Sue grew up on a farm near Templeton, and the pair were high school sweethearts at Carroll Kuemper.

“I was the band nerd, and he was the guy who liked fast cars,” Sue says.

They’ve been married 46 years. As a high school graduation gift, Dan designed and built a cedar chest for Sue. Once they got married, his next gift was bigger. It was a house he designed and built in Carroll at the age of 22, including handmade cabinets, all while working full-time for Badding Construction.

“We raised our three kids in Carroll and had a wonderful life in the house that Dan built,” Sue says.

Sue began working part-time at a county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. She applied for and was accepted into the FSA management program, then hired to manage an office in western Iowa.

“We found a beautiful home on 40 acres outside of Denison,” Sue says. “This was a good fit since Badding Construction had a branch office in Denison. We raised miniature horses and hosted many family events and live house concerts there.”

Another promotion sent Sue to the Iowa FSA headquarters in Des Moines. The couple discussed getting an apartment to stay in during the week, but Dan suggested they move closer and split the commute. They both always loved Lake Panorama and remembered fun dates they enjoyed there in their youth.

In 2008, they started looking for a house with Dan insisting on a view and Sue insisting on a yard. They chose a house on a finger of water on the west side of Burchfield Cove that has both. In the yard, Dan displays some of his own art and some he has purchased. They bought an old 16-foot fiberglass boat, which Dan turned into a tree house play area.

As they settled in, they both fell even more in love with Lake Panorama.

“What’s not to love,” Sue asks. “The boating, the fishing, the skiing and tubing, the beaches. It’s a perfect place for our kids and grandkids and other family members and friends to visit us.” 

Sue retired from the FSA seven years ago. The couple has a son and two daughters. All are married, and each has four children. Tony works for Badding Construction and took over Dan’s share of the business when he retired. Robyn and her family live on a farm near Bayard. Keri and her family are in Grimes.

For many years, Badding’s art creations often began as a construction project, using items he salvaged from demolition projects.

“I love to start with something that has been salvaged and find a way to repurpose it into something creative,” he says.

As with his art, the building that houses Badd Bones started as a salvage project. It had been empty for years, and Badding wasn’t sure what he had until he started renovations.

“There was a dropped ceiling in the west part of the building. Once I started to remove it, I discovered a full-sized garage door had been lifted into place and hidden by the ceiling. It took me quite a while to cut it down from there,” he says.

The building got a new roof and more insulation. Badding built a dividing wall to separate the gallery from two studio areas. About one-fourth of the building is a woodworking shop. Cabinets were installed, the concrete floor was polished, and the walls and the exterior were painted.

The gallery is about 700 square feet.

“I love all the windows in the front,” Badding says. “I built four revolving art displays, one inside of each window. I can display at least 10 large art pieces there, which are lit up at night.”

Everywhere you turn in the Badd Bones gallery, you see something unique. The countertop at the front entrance is made of dry erase material, so the Baddings’ 12 grandchildren can draw and leave messages. Underneath are mannequin legs, covered with fluorescent paint to glow in the dark.

Nearby is the Cedar Fridge, which consists of strands of wire on a cedar wall. This is where the 12 Badding grandchildren have their artwork displayed. Other children and grandchildren of featured artists also can display their art.

The main part of the gallery features art on almost every inch of wall, plus on and in display cases. A leather loveseat, two comfy chairs and a colorful round table with four chairs give patrons a place to sit and enjoy the view. Music from the 1970s plays throughout the building.

“It helps the creativity,” Badding says.

He is connecting with other artists, and plans to have pieces from several on display. While he says he personally doesn’t “get too crazy with colors” and prefers to “do things no one else is doing,” his gallery includes colorful paintings and sculptures.

About 20 years ago, and for the first time, Badding displayed a piece of his art in a Valley Junction gallery.

“When the gallery owner called and told me he had sold my piece to the lead singer of the band Slipknot, who was an avid art collector, I was so excited,” Badding says. “But when I went to collect my money, I was told the gallery was keeping 40 percent of the $800 total. I was kind of devastated. Even after all these years I often wish I could buy that piece of art back. That was the last piece I ever displayed in a gallery.”

Since then, he’s never actively tried to sell his art. Sometimes friends would see something in the Badding house and ask if they could buy it or if he would duplicate it for them.

After his experience with the Valley Junction gallery, Badding decided if he ever had his own gallery, he would cut the sales commission in half.

“I believe if you truly love art and the people who create it, you need to take better care of those people,” he says. “I’m not in this for the money; I just love art.”

All of Badding’s art pieces in the gallery, plus the work of artists he invites to place items in the gallery, will be for sale.

“The problem with most artists is they create more than they can store in their home, so they just stop creating, or they hide their pieces away,” Dan says.

“We want to give artists the opportunity to show and sell their work,” Sue says. “So far, most of our artists are from central Iowa, but we also have some in Nebraska and Kansas.”

“Being a contractor, I’ve seen a lot of beautiful homes and businesses where I can’t help but think there are certain rooms or walls that are crying out for a big piece of art,” Badding says. “People spend a lot of money on their homes and businesses, but are a little tight when it comes to their walls. Displaying an original piece of art tells the world you’re an original, too.”

“The thing I love most about art is that there are no rules,” Badding says. “Your imagination and courage are the only things that limit what you can do. There is an endless supply of materials to chose from when someone wants to create art.” 

“Whenever we travel around the country, I am intrigued by the local art scene in each place we visit. I love seeing what other artists are creating and buying pieces to bring home,” he says. “I always get so inspired by what I see, and can’t wait to get back to my studio and try to apply different techniques and styles to my work. Art gives me energy, and feeds my soul.”

The gallery isn’t open regular hours, but the couple is planning to hold monthly Badd Bones Event Nights, starting sometime this spring or summer. Each will feature a visiting artist, or live music, or a special theme. They have talked with representatives of Tori’s Angels, a local non-profit that pays expenses for children with life-threatening illnesses, about that group providing food and drinks during event nights.

Badd Bones Gallery & Studio is on Facebook, and news of upcoming Event Nights will be posted there. Badding says he’s happy to set up appointments with people who want to visit the gallery. Call his cell at 712-830-6802. Or if you’re driving by, and the “open” flag is stuck in the boulder outside, walk on in. Dan will likely be creating something out of salvage, or just enjoying some 1970s music amongst the art. 

Armstrong retires, new LPA security chief  hired
Corey Larsen has been on the LPA staff in a part-time capacity since 2018, working both days and nights, and on both land and water.

Posted 4/6/21
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

You might say “there’s a new sheriff in town.” But in this case, the Lake Panorama Association has a new security chief. Jerry Armstrong, who held that position since October 2016, retired March 26. The new LPA security chief is Corey Larsen.

“Jerry’s retirement is bittersweet,” says John Rutledge, LPA general manager. “Jerry has provided consistent and steady leadership to the LPA security department, which the LPA staff, membership and board greatly respect. He’s always a positive and encouraging person who will be dearly missed. But I know Jerry is looking forward to playing lots of golf and enjoying his well-deserved retirement.

“I am pleased to welcome Corey to our LPA management team,” says Rutledge. “Corey’s professional experience and personal demeanor make him the perfect fit for the position of LPA security supervisor. I could not have asked for a smoother transition from Jerry and Corey, and I believe Corey is positioned to be very successful in his new role.”

Armstrong was born and raised in the Panora area. In 1969, he was Lake Panorama’s first security officer for one year and still carries the badge he was issued in his wallet. Soon he began selling Lake Panorama lots.

Then he took a position as national sales manager for Harper Brush in Fairfield. That led to 22 years visiting 165 distributors throughout the country during the week and returning to his wife Nancy and their two children in Panora each weekend. The couple now has six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

When Armstrong retired from Harper Brush, he agreed to work part-time for LPA security. That soon turned into a full-time position covering the night shift, which he did for 10 years, before stepping into the LPA security chief role. Now after nearly 14 years, he’s decided to retire from full-time work. The good news is he will continue to work part-time in the security department.

“I’m 77 years old and have been thinking about retirement since last fall,” Armstrong says. “But in the past 14-plus years, I’ve never thought I didn’t want to go to work that day. Lake Panorama is a wonderful community, filled with good people who have become my friends.”

Larsen has been on the LPA staff in a part-time capacity since 2018, working both days and nights, and on both land and water. He has served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years.

Larsen’s father was a police officer for 30 years.

“Growing up in a law enforcement family, I just always knew this is what I wanted to do,” he says.

Larsen was raised in the Atlantic area, graduating from Anita High School. He enlisted in the Air Force, where he served four-and-a-half years. He returned to southwest Iowa and was hired as the Fontanelle police chief in the spring of 1997. Next came a stint in the Greenfield police department, before joining the Audubon County Sheriff’s department in 2001. He moved to the Cass County Sheriff’s office as a deputy in 2009, and recently retired from there.

He and his wife Jessica have two daughters, Faith and Gracelyn. Jessica teaches third grade in the Atlantic school system, and the family lives in Atlantic. In 2016, they purchased a condo at Lake Panorama and began spending much of their summers here, golfing and boating. This past winter, they sold that first condo and purchased a larger one.

“We love the lake,” Larsen says. “Jessica and I talked for several years about making this our retirement home. Owning our first condo here made me realize it would be a great place to work, too, so I took the part-time position. When Jerry started to talk about retiring, I told him I’d be interested in the security chief position.”

Armstrong says his successor has the right personality for the job.

“He’s a good guy,” Armstrong says. “He has 27 years of experience in law enforcement, and knows how to relate to people. He is a homeowner here and will fit right into the community.”

In retirement, Armstrong plans to enjoy more golf, which will include playing in three men’s golf leagues — Wednesday at Lake Panorama National, Tuesday and Thursday at Panorama West. He’s also looking forward to more fishing and time with his great-grandchildren. A retirement event for Armstrong will be planned later in the year, when concerns about large gatherings due to COVID-19 ease.

Nancy Armstrong works part-time at the LPN conference center front desk and doesn’t have any plans to retire in the near future. Jerry gives Nancy credit for making his work in LPA security possible.

“Sometimes the schedule can get crazy, and you have to have a supportive spouse,” he says. “Nancy has always been there for me.”

The Larsens will remain in Atlantic until their girls graduate from school, while also enjoying what Corey calls their “home away from home” at Lake Panorama. “Eventually we will move to Lake Panorama full-time,” he says.

The Lake Panorama Association Security Department is a 24/7 operation, providing many valuable services to the LPA community on both land and water. The security chief is a full-time position. The other full-time employee is Randall Rogers, who works the night shift. On both the day and night shifts, there are 27 checkpoints the officers visit twice during each shift.

Another dozen people work part-time shifts, with more in the summer and fewer in the off-season. Three patrol boats are used during the summer months to monitor lake activity.

Larsen says he welcomes interest from qualified individuals who would like to be considered for a part-time role in the security department, especially for water patrol.

Both Armstrong and Larsen say LPA is lucky to have good support from the Guthrie County Sheriff’s office, the Panora Police department, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“We don’t have arrest powers,” Larsen says. “But we can write tickets and assess fines if needed. My goal is to make sure Lake Panorama members and guests are safe, and doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Safety is always top of mind for me and the other security officers.”

The Security Department phone number is 641-757-9035 and is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

PHOTO: Jerry Armstrong, on the right, retired March 26 after working full-time for the LPA security department the past 14 years. His replacement as LPA security department supervisor is Corey Larsen. Armstrong and Larsen are shown with one of the familiar Lake Panorama security department trucks.

LPN golf pro offering group clinics, private lessons special
Two, three-day clinics will be offered — one for women only and one for beginners.

Posted 4/6/21
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Entering his third month on the job as LPN’s head golf professional, Rob Riggins is making good on his promise to grow the game of golf at Lake Panorama through clinics and lessons.

“Everyone learns differently,” Riggins says. “Some people like to get technical and understand every movement of the swing, while others don’t want to be overwhelmed with technique. I work to find a happy medium and give each player a unique learning experience.” Riggins says he also emphasizes teaching how to “play golf”— not just how to swing a club.

The cost of a 45-minute private lesson for adults is $60. Riggins is offering a special price of $90 for those who purchase a package of three private lessons by May 31.

Because Riggins says some players prefer a group setting, this spring he is offering two, three-day clinics, one for women only and one for beginners. The women’s clinic dates are April 17, April 24 and May 1. These are all Saturdays, with the one-hour sessions beginning at 2 p.m.

The clinic for beginners also is on Saturdays at 2 p.m. The dates for this clinic, which will cover the fundamentals of golf, are May 15, May 22 and May 29. Both clinics will be held at Lake Panorama National and cost $60 per person. 

Turning to junior golfers, Riggins is continuing the summer junior golf school that has been a fixture at Lake Panorama National for more than 20 years. There are two sessions to choose from, with one hour of instruction beginning at 10 a.m. every Wednesday in either June or July. The cost is $55 for these junior golf instruction group sessions, which are open to juniors ages 5-16. Riggins also offers private 30-minute lessons for junior golfers at $20.

To sign up for either of the spring clinics or the junior golf sessions, call the LPN pro shop at 641-755-2024. Payment must be made by the time the first session begins for each clinic. To get the private lesson package at the reduced rate of $90, call the pro shop no later than April 30 and finalize the purchase before scheduling your first lesson. The private lesson package can be used anytime this year.

More details are available at www.lakepanoramanational.com/instruction.

Beach Ball planned for July 30 at LPN
Funds from last event made it possible to purchase $70,000 worth of playground equipment for Shady and Boulder beaches.

Posted 3/9/21
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Friends of Lake Panorama will host its fourth Beach Ball fundraiser on Friday, July 30 at Lake Panorama National. The format for the event will be similar to the 2020 Beach Ball, with seating available either in the LPN banquet room or outside under tents on the grass between the conference center and the golf course.

The 2020 Beach Ball had a profit of $30,000. Those funds, along with many direct donations over a year’s time, made it possible to purchase $70,000 worth of playground equipment for Shady and Boulder beaches. The equipment at Shady Beach was installed last fall. The Boulder Beach playground equipment is scheduled to be installed in late April.

A Beach Ball in 2016 raised money for the Sunset Beach playground, while the 2017 Beach Ball helped finance the sports courts at Boulder Beach.

The Friends board of directors discussed plans for the 2021 Beach Ball at their spring meeting March 15. Rather than having a single project to which funds will be directed, the board plans to offer several options.

The board will make a final decision at its May meeting on what projects to promote at the 2021 fundraiser, but the plan is to have information on a handful projects available. This will allow donors interested in a particular project to make a direct donation to that project.

The nonprofit charity’s current priority is the Lake Panorama dog park, which will be one of the projects those attending can learn more about and to which they can make a direct donation. By the end of March, $34,000 had been raised toward the park goal of $50,000.

Other projects being considered by the Friends board are improvements to the trail near Panorama West, a disc golf course, a basketball half-court at Sunset Beach and other beach amenities.

Projects chosen by the Friends board to promote at the Beach Ball will receive a percentage of pooled funds raised at the event, plus all direct donations designated to a specific project.

The 2021 Beach Ball will feature live music, a 50/50 raffle, both live and silent auctions, and other fun, and fundraising, events. Prices for table sponsorships and admission tickets are being finalized with event registration beginning in early May.

Details on all past and current projects are available on the Friends website. Friends of Lake Panorama also has a Facebook page. Those interested in keeping up to date with Friends activities are asked to “like” and “share” the Friends page.

Tax-deductible donations can be made at any time by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama, and mailed to Friends of Lake Panorama, P.O. Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. Donations also can be made by credit card on the Friends website at friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Anyone with questions or those interested in donating auction items for the 2021 Beach Ball can email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

2021 LPA annual meeting postponed to June 26
Three people are running for three seats on the LPA seven-member board.

Posted 4/6/21
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The 52nd annual meeting of the Lake Panorama Association will be Saturday, June 26, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Lake Panorama National conference center. The meeting was originally scheduled for May 8 but was postponed due to COVID-19 prevention measures.

The new date was set by the LPA board of directors at its March 23 meeting. LPA bylaws provide the annual meeting shall be held no later than the last Saturday of June. To accommodate this scheduling change, the board also exercised emergency discretion to extend the board terms of Larry Babcock, Emily Donovan and Rich Schumacher by one month.

Newly elected board members normally begin their terms at the May board meeting but will instead begin their terms at the June 29 board meeting, three days after the annual meeting.

Each year, the LPA annual meeting provides a formal statement of the association’s financial position, plus reports on activities during the past year and plans for the coming year.

Reports will be given by Mary Jane Carothers, LPA board president; Gary Evans, LPA board treasurer; and John Rutledge, LPA general manager and LPN, LLC director of operations.

The results of the annual election for the LPA board of directors will be announced at the end of the meeting, and there will be time for audience questions and comments.

An official announcement of the meeting will be sent to all LPA members in early June. Included in this mailing will be a ballot, plus a numbered envelope in which to return the ballot. Ballots must be returned in the numbered envelopes to ensure ballot authenticity. If an envelope is lost, contact the LPA office for a replacement.

There are no issues this year that require a special vote. The 2021 ballot is simply for electing three members to the LPA board of directors.

Members will be asked to deliver or mail their completed ballot in the numbered envelope to the LPA office before Friday, June 25. This allows the majority of the ballots to be counted in advance of the annual meeting. Ballots also can be brought to the annual meeting.

Three people are running for three seats on the LPA seven-member board. Both Emily Donovan and Rich Schumacher are completing their first, three-year terms on the board and are running for a second term. Julie Fulton is seeking a first term on the board.

The director elected with the third-most votes will complete the unexpired term of the late Neil Wright, who was elected in 2019 and resigned because of health reasons in July 2020. Wright’s seat was temporarily filled by the appointment of Larry Babcock. The remaining year of this term will end in May 2022.

LPA bylaws require each board candidate to provide a 100-word statement. This year’s candidate statements are printed here in alphabetical order.

Emily Donovan
Emily Donovan has been a school social worker for Heartland Area Education Agency since 2005 and serves six school districts. She assists districts with developing system-wide social emotional behavioral and mental health services, as well as providing individual support to students with challenging behavior. Donovan has been an active member of the community with 10 Squared Women, Panorama Days 5K committee, helping with her kids’ 4H club, and the Lutheran Church of Hope, Panora, local site team leader. She has served one term on the LPA board in the role of secretary and is seeking a second term.

Julie Fulton
“As a full-time resident of Lake Panorama, I am interested in serving as an LPA board member. Keith and I moved to Panora five years ago after living in the Quad Cities area for over 15 years. We have two sons, Derek and Seth, a daughter-in-law, Lacey, and four grandchildren. Our family loves everything Lake Panorama and this wonderful community of Panora has to offer! Currently, I work with my husband on our business, Heartland Proteins, and I am co-owner of Reshape Fitness Studio, where I share my love of yoga with the Panora community.”

Rich Schumacher
“Deb and I have owned a home on Burchfield Cove for 23 years and enjoy lake life. Three years ago, I received the opportunity to serve on the LPA board. My 45 years in the insurance business has helped me in this capacity, and I’ve served three years on the land sales committee, three on the building codes committee and two as vice-president of the board. It’s a pleasure to have worked on the water plant and maintenance facility improvements. With your support, I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the association members of the LPA.”

RECIPE: Vegetarian stuffed peppers

15691 a
By Jolene Goodman
Posted 4/6/21

Spring is the time to get back into your yard and garden to prepare for the growing season ahead.  My mother is the one I thank for nurturing my love for gardening. Her green thumb turned our yard into a patchwork of blooms, color and texture that we all admired and enjoyed. However, she was never interested in a vegetable garden. Although, we did grow strawberries and rhubarb, which explains the sweet tooth I battle today.

A produce garden has always intrigued me, growing and caring for plants that would produce food we can eat. How satisfying!  However, it has only been in the last 10 or so years that I have been successful in cultivating plants that produce something my family will enjoy. I just planted butter lettuce and spinach and look forward to adding in larger plants like tomatoes, peppers and herbs in May. This month’s recipe caught my eye as I look forward to the peppers we pick in July.

Going back to my sweet tooth, I have two amazing rhubarb crisp recipes that I will share next time.

Jolene Goodman is the advertising director for Lake Panorama Times and resides with her husband Shane on Lake Panorama.

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: about 1 hour
Servings: 4

4 red bell peppers
1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, vegetable oil, divided
1 cup white onion (about 1 medium), 1/4-inch diced
4 cups cremini or brown mushrooms (about 1 pound), 1/4-inch diced
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Real California Oaxaca cheese, shredded
cooked white rice, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 F.
    Rub bell peppers with 1 tablespoon oil then use grill, broiler or gas stovetop burner to cook peppers, turning occasionally, until well charred, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cover and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
    In large skillet over medium heat, warm remaining oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic salt and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and liquid is almost entirely evaporated, 7-10 minutes.
    Rub charred skin from bell peppers. Slice off tops and remove seeds. Fill bell peppers with mushroom mixture, top with cheese and arrange in baking dish. Replace bell pepper tops and bake until cheese melts, 8-10 minutes. Serve with cooked rice.


Posted 4/6/21

Stephen “Steve” Harold Moline, 60, husband of Kathryn “Kathy” Mary Moline of Panora, passed away on March 14, 2021, surrounded by family in his home after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer.

Born Aug. 23, 1960, in Fort Dodge, along with his twin brother Scott, he was the son of the late James and Margaret Moline.

Steve grew up on the farm in Rolfe, which played a major role in what shaped him during his formative years. Steve would be the first to credit his parents in helping to mold him into the wonderful man, husband, parent, brother and friend that he became. After graduating from Rolfe High School, Steve attended Iowa State University where he left with a degree in Agricultural Economics and went on to earn his law degree from the University of Iowa. Steve spent a short period of his professional career in the private law sector before spending the bulk of his career at the Iowa Attorney General Office’s Farm Division as an Assistant Attorney General. Steve spent the last part of his career as the Division Director for the Iowa Department of Agriculture. He took great pride in being a public servant and devoted his career to “helping the good guys.” His colleagues will remember his intellect, wit, humor and directness in helping navigate the State of Iowa through many difficult situations.

Steve met the love of his life, Kathy, at the AG’s office where they both worked and would go on to be married in 1988. They moved to Dallas Center in 1991 where they would raise their two sons, Jake and Adam, who would go on to be Steve’s greatest accomplishments. Steve and Kathy made a great team and will forever be remembered as such. Nothing was more important to Steve than his family and his faith. Steve became a fixture of the community in Dallas Center through coaching his boys and their friends in baseball, basketball and football on countless teams. He served on the DCG school board and helped to move the school district forward during some trying times.

Steve had many passions in life, but few superseded his love for golf and the Iowa State Cyclones, both of which can let you down more often than not, but the good times always keep you coming back. Steve and Kathy moved to Lake Panorama in 2010 where they built their dream home and were able to enjoy 10 years of building new friendships and playing in golf outings together. Steve and Kathy won the last tournament they played in together, the “Divorce Open” at LPN, while Steve was battling cancer.

Steve was a great example of how a person can be both hardworking and empathetic. His kindness and humor will be missed by everyone who knew him. He had no major regrets in life other than what he will miss. We will miss Steve every day but know that he is already watching over us and will continue to live on through those who knew and loved him.

Steve is survived by his spouse, Kathy of Panora; his sons, Jake (Maddy) of Adel and Adam (Angie) of Minneapolis, Minnesota; his two grandchildren, Hazel Mae and George Stephen of Adel; his brother, Scott (Jayne Tabor) of Indianola; and many nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Margaret, and his infant brother (Baby Moline).

A service for close friends and family was held Saturday, March 20, 2021, at the Dallas Center United Methodist Church in Dallas Center. A private burial will be held later this spring.

To make a contribution in memory of Steve, please visit GiGi’s Playhouse at https://gigisplayhouse.org/desmoines/. Arrangements by Iles Brandt Chapel - Dallas Center.


Posted 4/6/21

Doug Hemphill, president and CEO of Farmers State Bank of Yale (FSB), retired as president on March 17. His successor is former vice president, Scott Stanley. Hemphill will continue as the bank’s CEO.

Hemphill has been with FSB for more than 46 years. In his time at the bank, he has overseen a number of changes including building updates, regulations and new banking products and services. The biggest changes at the bank have occurred in the area of technology.

“Technology has had such an effect at the bank. When I started, all of the bookkeeping was done manually with posting machines,” Hemphill said. “Now the bookkeeping is done with computers in the cloud. It’s amazing. Every employee has a computer on their desk.”

Hemphill cites his biggest accomplishment as growing FSB from $5.9 million in 1975 to $60 million in 2021.

“Helping drive the bank growth over the years has been what I’ll be most proud of,” he says. “It really has been a wonderful career.”

As far as his successor, Hemphill has nothing but positive comments.

“After working with Scott for over 11 years, I know that he has the skills to manage the bank and to continue providing FSB’s customers the same high quality, trustworthy service that they have come to expect.”

Stanley graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in finance in 2006. He was hired by FSB in 2009 as a loan officer and was promoted to vice president in 2015. On his promotion to president, Stanley is excited about the future at the bank.

“FSB’s foundation has been, and will continue to be, built on customer relationships, trust and community,” he states. “We take great pride in providing excellent customer service and supporting our community. Our customer service is how we differentiate ourselves amongst other financial institutions.”

On his predecessor, Stanley is thankful and complimentary.

“Doug has been a tremendous leader for this organization. It would be tough to find anyone else who is more professional or knowledgeable in banking. I can’t thank him enough for his 46 years of dedication to FSB. He’s taught me many of these traits, and I look forward to utilizing them for the years to come.”

Stanley goes on to say, “I want to sincerely thank Doug and the board of directors for giving me the opportunity to lead FSB. I look forward to continuing FSB’s legacy, deepening customer relationships and growing the bank. Our customers’ financial interest has always been and will always be our first priority.”

Farmers State Bank serves customers in Yale and the surrounding communities. It offers checking accounts, certificates of deposit, loans, commercial services, mortgages and a variety of additional banking services. For more information, visit www.yalebankiowa.com.


Posted 4/6/21
If you’ve got questions, we’ll find the answers.  Submit your questions at www.lakepanoramatimes.com/contact-us or email shane@dmcityview.com.

I understand that I can’t have a fuel tank on my dock, but can I elsewhere on my property?
According to the LPA Rules & Regulations handbook, 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.

I have heard various comments about what can be burned and what can’t be burned on my private lake property. Can you set the record straight?
Yes, the policy is quite clear in the LPA Rules & Regulations handbook, which states that the burning of household refuse and other materials is not permitted. Burning of materials such as leaves, branches, trees or other items that grow on one’s property is permitted.

What is the speed limit on the roads around Lake Panorama?
Lane Rumelhart, LPA Projects Manager, offers these rules pertaining to LPA’s streets, parks and other controlled areas. A 25 mph speed limit is imposed on all designated residential streets. A 35 mph speed limit is imposed on roads designated as service roads. All vehicles shall be subject to the traffic rules and regulations posted. All vehicles are subject to State of Iowa Laws for equipment and operation if not superseded by specific Lake Panorama Association regulations. Iowa State laws apply for motor vehicles.


Posted 4/6/21

Submit free cards of thanks at www.lakepanoramatimes.com/contact-us

Perhaps you sent a lovely card
or sat quietly in a chair.
Perhaps you sent a floral piece
if so, we saw it there.

Perhaps you spoke the kindest words
as any friend could say.
Perhaps you were not there at all
just thought of us that day.

Whatever you did to console our hearts
We thank you so much, whatever the part.

Love all who you hold dear.
Precious is the time you share.
Do not wait for tomorrow
for tomorrow may not be…

Thanks for keeping us in your
thoughts and prayers.

Jolene Wright
Nichole Campbell and family
Buddy and Joell Herrick and family
Danny and Gina Cunningham and family


Posted 4/6/21

Trish Hart was featured in a story in the March edition of Lake Panorama Times along with vibrant photos she has taken of Lake Panorama wildlife. Response to that feature led us to ask Hart if she’d provide a monthly nature photo for this publication, and she heartily agreed.

Many of Hart’s photos are of birds, which she captures digitally as they sit on feeders on the deck of her home or in nearby trees. This month’s photo is a male American Robin, perched in a tree, enjoying some winter berries.

According to the Audubon Society, robins winter as far north as Canada. With the breakup of flocks prior to the nesting season, when we here in Iowa see our “first robin of spring,” it may be a bird that has wintered only a few miles away, not one that just arrived from southern climates.

Hart launched “Nature’s Canvas Photography” on Facebook in January 2021, offering custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Visit NaturesCanvasPhotos on Facebook.


Posted 4/6/21
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Lane Rumelhart is in his second year as project manager for the Lake Panorama Association. He graduated from Central College in Pella in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and minors in biology and business management.

As LPA project manager, Rumelhart is responsible for managing the LPA building codes. He also has taken over management of some projects financed by the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) and assists with LPA communications, the annual deer hunt program, and campground and beach management. In this month’s Q&A, Rumelhart highlights the LPA building codes, plus talks about some upcoming 2021 projects.

Q. How many building permits were issued by the LPA in 2020?
A. In 2020, LPA issued 93 building permits and 70 land disturbing permits. Twenty-six of the building permits were new homes. I am starting to see a trend of members demolishing old homes and building new homes over the existing areas. Members are limited by the size of the lot and the septic field required for the home. More and more lots are maximizing septic and lateral field areas for homes. I work closely with the Guthrie County Sanitarian, Mike Stringham, to ensure all homes have the required space for their lateral field.

Q. What projects require a building permit or land disturbing permit?
A. New homes, additions, garages (both attached and detached), storage sheds, decks, gazebos, fences, swimming pools, permanent docks, shoreline shelters and any other structure that would require adequate footings to be built all require building permits. Remodel projects inside the home, redoing a roof, or anything that doesn’t change the footprint of the home or structure does not need a permit.

Any kind of excavation that is closer than 100 feet to the lake or disturbs more than 1,000 square feet of land requires a land disturbing permit. If a homeowner wants to pave an existing driveway, they don’t need a land disturbing permit. But if a member is creating a new type of walkway or driveway, a permit would be required. Lot clearing, basement repairs, and most new landscaping projects require a land disturbing permit.

Bottom line – if you have questions whether you need a permit for a planned project, it’s always best to call me and ask. When in doubt, give LPA a shout.

Q. For those who want to do their own research, how can people view or get a copy of the LPA building codes?
A. We have all the necessary forms on the LPA website — lakepanorama.org. We have a direct link to the codes on the main page. I also can email the codes. Send requests to lrumelhart@lakepanorama.org. During these COVID times, members also can schedule a time to stop by the office and pick up a copy of the codes, rules and regulations, etc. by calling 641-755-2301.

Q. What is the process members should follow if they are thinking about building something?
A. The process is a bit different for each project and depends on both the nature of the project and the permit applicant’s level of preparedness. The first step should always be to contact me. I will get members and contractors all the necessary information on what I need to be able to approve a permit.

Between the months of March and October, members should expect a longer wait time. If a member and/or contractor has everything in order, we can process larger permit requests (homes, additions, garages) in seven to 10 days. Smaller projects usually take three to five days. Once I have everything I need, it doesn’t take long to check lot stakes and a few other things to get members approved. The key to a smooth permit process is working well ahead of your planned construction schedule to ensure all paperwork is completed in advance.

Q. What are the responsibilities of the volunteer building codes committee?
A. The Building Codes Committee (BCC) has an important job. Their two main functions are to recommend any updates to the LPA building codes and to hear variance requests from members. The main goal of the committee is to uphold LPA’s aesthetic integrity and protect the quality of the environment around the lake.

I do my best to give the committee a clear interpretation of the LPA codes and rules along with a description of each member’s request for a variance. The committee members decide which variances to recommend to the LPA Board of Directors for granting. The BCC meets the second Monday of every month at 6 p.m. to review member requests.

The committee needs a specific reason to grant a variance. For example, the LPA Building Codes state homes shall be built with a roof pitch that is 6/12 or steeper. Lately, many home designs have incorporated a more “modern” look with a shallower pitch, like a 4/12 pitch. These homes are still designed with acceptable aesthetics to LPA. The committee has approved many requests for a shallower roof pitch. If the BCC does not grant a request, the group does their best to offer alternative options that would be acceptable to LPA.

This committee also offers sound advice on changes made to the building codes and permit forms. Last year, I worked with the members to add language to our codes about renewable energy sources being added to homes. As times change, necessary adjustments are made to keep new ideas in line with LPA’s goals. The Building Codes Committee is a great starting point for these modifications.

Q. Last year you guided work on a water safety survey. Has anything happened because of that?
A. The survey showed LPA needed to emphasize two key areas leading into 2021 — buoy readability and water security. I worked with Jerry Armstrong, who has been the LPA security chief the last four years and recently retired, to tackle buoy readability. We ordered new stickers for all buoys that had Hazard, Dam, Keep Right, No Boats, and Ski Area verbiage.

These new stickers now have the wording placed at the top of the buoy. The old verbiage had half of the phrase on top, and the other half below the symbol. This was an issue as summer progressed because algae and other scum would accumulate on these words and make the language unreadable. These stickers are vinyl wraps that have been wrapped around the top of all the older buoys.

LPA also took a hard look at which buoys caused most concern from the membership. The “Slow No Wake” and “10 MPH” buoys were talked about quite often. LPA ordered all new “No Wake” and “10 MPH” buoys that are 20 inches taller than the previous buoys. The previous buoys were 60 inches tall, and these new ones are 80 inches tall. We also added two 80-inch buoys to replace the “Keep Right” buoys in the Narrows. We will be adding signage to these buoys regarding the towing restrictions in the Narrows on weekends and holidays.

Q. The Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) has been instrumental in the construction of three wetlands that help protect Lake Panorama from sediment. What are your responsibilities for the ongoing operation and management of these wetlands?
A. Helen’s Wetland was built in 2016 and is on the east side of Sage Trail, northeast of the LPA East Campground. Hughes Wetland was built in 2017 and is north of 200th street, north of the Fin and Feather building. The Smith Wetland was built in 2019 and is on the north side of 180th, north of Burchfield Cove.

Managing the wetlands is one of my favorite parts of this job. I adjust the pool levels according to the time of year. I try to get a higher pool elevation from March through October to catch more silt during the time period we are likely to receive rain. I lower the level in the winter months to put less stress on the grouted riprap by the wetland overflow structure.

I also look at the vegetation around each wetland to make sure native flora gets established. Right now I am trying to get a better establishment of native plants on the Smith Wetland, as it is our newest management area. It often takes three to five years for a wetland to get a healthy establishment.

We have plans to add a fourth wetland north of the Smith Wetland in the future. We have encountered some additional regulatory hoops to jump through for this project, so it has set our timeline back a bit. We still plan to get it accomplished.

LPA RIZ’s No. 1 goal with these wetlands is to stop silt from entering Lake Panorama. There are secondary benefits, too, such as the reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water. These chemicals are part of the reason blue algae blooms occur in the summer. LPA has previously conducted some sampling of the wetlands to measure nitrogen reduction of the impoundment and had results consistent with other wetlands across Iowa.

Q. As LPA project manager, one of your responsibilities is to oversee and assist with new projects, often at Lake Panorama’s three beaches. What will be new in 2021?
A. Members will notice a new retaining wall at Boulder Beach this summer. Whether you are driving by on your boat or playing in the sand, you cannot miss this new addition. The old retaining wall was overgrown and started to fail. During the fall of 2020, LPA decided it was time for an upgrade. Now parents can easily sit behind the wall and see their children playing without being blocked by overgrown shrubs. We have discussed adding some benches behind the wall to make time at the beach more enjoyable. Some planters will be added later this spring to add some color to the area, while remaining easy to maintain.

Some projects I’m involved in are funded by donations to Friends of Lake Panorama. I helped coordinate the new playground installation at Shady Beach last fall and am doing the same thing now with the new playground at Boulder Beach, with installation planned in late April. As they did at Shady Beach, the LPA maintenance staff will handle the ground preparation by digging out the area for the equipment. Boland Recreation’s team then will install the pieces and LPA staff will come back to fill in the area with mulch. I’m also assisting with plans for three new memorial benches this spring.

Fundraising for a dog park continues through Friends and is just starting to take shape. I adjusted our agreement with the tenant on the LPA hay ground that will be used for the park. I have flagged the area so members can see the rough size and shape of the park and will be working to finalize construction estimates soon and hopefully break ground in August. The construction likely will be done in two phases. The first phase will include the fencing installation and turf establishment. More of the amenities like signage and water hookup will take place next spring.

Q. You’ve described your position as project manager as being a utility player in sports, meaning you handle a variety of things rather than specializing in just one thing. Were you a utility player in high school sports?
A. I played four sports all four years of high school — football, wrestling, golf and baseball. I stuck to just wrestling for four years at Central College. I now help coach wrestling at ACGC High School. When I’m not on the mat, I enjoy pursuing whitetails and helping my family manage our farms for better wildlife. I also have a close group of friends I enjoy spending time with. We usually get together to watch sports, golf or play yard games. I enjoy reading personal development books and am always taking recommendations for some new reading, so feel free to send your ideas my way!


Posted 4/6/21
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times


Name: Rory
Age: 2 years old
Breed: Cavapoo (King Charles Cavalier/poodle)
Owners: Sherri and Scott Miller
Rory enjoys walks and rides in boats, golf carts or cars. Just say “ride,” and her ears perk up.  She even has her own car seat in the boat and in the cars so she can find just the right viewing spot. Rory jumps in it herself and waits to be buckled in. She is owner Sherri’s shadow and enjoys spending time with granddaughter Ellie (pictured), too. Rory likes to play fetch but doesn’t appreciate the squirrels or geese so much.


Name: Hailey Jo
Age: 13 years old
Breed: Mixed Calico
Owners: Joan and Bill Fisher
Hailey Jo, a seven-toed cat, enjoys having her tummy rubbed, sitting on the deck and following the sun around to the west side to look at the lake. When the boats are in, she naps on them under the lift canopy. Hailey Jo is an outdoor kitty, but she has a heated “condo” in the garage and is closed in the garage every night for safety. She does come in the house and has been trained to only lay on strategically placed towels. When she wants to go outside, she comes to find you and walks to the nearest door to be let out. She’s very sweet and seems to love everyone. Even non-cat people can’t resist her sweet charms.

Suggest Lake Panorama residents and their pets for us to cover on the Lake Panorama - Lake Dogs and Cove Cats Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LakePanoramaDogsAndCats

A wrestler who left his mark... snowmobiles... and a few thank yous

Shane goodman headshot
By Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Posted 3/9/21

Growing up in north central Iowa, my friends and I spent a lot of time on snowmobiles. Snow was in abundance, and we had no fear. Snowmobiles in the 1970s and 1980s don’t compare to what can be found today, but we were still in heaven. Of course, our 1972 and 1973 Sno-Jets were broken down much of the time, but, thankfully, my brother Steve enjoyed fixing them. I just liked to ride. The need for speed was exhilarating with the feeling of snow hitting our faces, the sound of the engines humming and the smell of fuel in the air. I have great memories of snowmobiling in my youth, but I have not had many chances to re-live those experiences as an adult. Snow has typically not been in abundance in this neck of the woods, and bouncing on snow drifts doesn’t sound as appealing to this 52-year-old today. Even so, this month’s feature on snowmobiling brought back a lot of great memories, which brings me to my next subject.

A few thank yous
I want to share a few thank yous to some folks who contributed to this month’s issue. Darren Tromblay has been a longtime co-worker and friend who I first met at Waldorf College in 1987. We have worked together at newspapers including The Tri-County Times, The Nevada Journal, The Dallas County News and, in recent years, CITYVIEW and our Iowa Living magazines. He continues to do freelance writing for us today, and he wrote the snowmobiling and hiking features in this issue, as well as the ice fishing story last month. Thank you, Darren.

I also want to thank Trish Hart, who is featured in a story this month along with her incredible photography, which we also used as our banner photo this month. We hope to feature more of her work in months ahead.

A PHS wrestling legend
Congratulations are in order for Panorama High School’s Wyatt Appleseth, who reached the finals of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s state wrestling tournament in the Class 2A 160 pound weight class. He dropped a 7-2 decision to Solon’s Hayden Taylor in the championship match. Appleseth is Panorama’s only four-time state tournament qualifier and logged an incredible 170 career wins. He is the son of Ann and Mike Appleseth.

Looking forward to summer
As winter winds down and warmer months start creeping in, we will all be itching to get back to summertime activities at Lake Panorama. And we look forward to sharing your stories.
As always, thanks for reading.

Snowmobiling around Lake Panorama
Near-record snowfall totals kept the trails busy this winter season.

Posted 3/9/21
By Darren Tromblay
Lake Panorama Times

This is the time of year when Lake Panorama’s Mike Patten rues.

As winter outdoor sports wind down around Lake Panorama in direct proportion with the rate in which temperatures go up, the president of the Raccoon Valley Snow Chasers snowmobiling club looks back on what has been an outstanding couple of months of “sledding.”

Central Iowa was blessed with record-breaking snowfall totals in 2020-21. And while most people stayed inside and complained about Ol’ Man Winter, Patten and his group of 30 to 35 members were outside taking full advantage of it. As were others. The Lake Panorama area and surrounding trails are a perfect combination of beauty and fun for snowmobilers of all ages.

Area snowmobilers have been chomping at the bit for the last five years to get out, throttle up, and put some miles on their sleds.

“In the mid 1990s, we had good snow, but had no grooming machines,” Patten said. “We just kind of freelanced around. Ironically, the last five years, the machines have been better, but the snow has been spotty. This was the first season in which a trail could be ridden for more than a week.”

Like its summer brethren the waverunner, snowmobiling can be a great winter outdoor activity for young and old alike. That is, if the snow falls. Here in Iowa, that’s touch and go. One big snowfall does not necessarily mean weeks and weeks of great riding.

“One of our biggest problems is that we get a blizzard, and then it takes a couple of days to get the snow settled down to where we can enjoy it,” Patten said. “And then we have a day or two before it melts. When it snows, we have to hit it hard.”

Being a part of the club
Raccoon Valley Snow Chasers Media Director Jim Wyckoff said the popularity of snowmobiling reached a peak in the 1970s and has tapered off ever since. Former President Eric Chrystal helped jumpstart the club, bringing in new members, sponsorships and, most importantly, renewed interest in the sport. Now that baton has been passed to Patten.

The Chasers became involved with the Iowa State Snowmobile Association (ISSA) in 2009 and won the ISSA Club of the Year award in 2011.

In the ISSA, the state is divided into 10 regions, with individual clubs within each. The Raccoon River Valley Snow Chasers is in Region 7 and includes members from Guthrie, Greene and Dallas counties. Everything within the club is done on a volunteer basis, Patten said. Each club applies for grants through ISSA, which allocates funds to the clubs, covering costs such as fuel and repairs for groomers.

Wyckoff said the efforts of the Patten family have made a great deal of difference, not only in keeping and recruiting new members, but in helping acquire the grooming machines that have made riding much more pleasant.

“They do a great job of keeping the club active,” Wyckoff said of the Pattens’ efforts. “We currently have about 120 miles of groomed trails, and it makes the riding really nice.”

Overall, nearly 8,000 miles of snowmobile trails exist in the state of Iowa for riders to enjoy.

The club gathers the second Thursday of each month, November through March, at the Lake Panorama Conference Center.

“They provide us a good menu, good wait staff, good food, and we really enjoy holding the meetings there,” Wyckoff said.

At the meetings, members review finances and take care of business like most clubs do, but most of the time, Patten says, it’s just about getting together with friends.

“Most of the time, we just get together, have fun, and talk about what we’ve done, where we rode, and how the trails are looking,” Patten says.

Yearly membership dues are $40. It is $10 more for a Raccoon River Bike Trail pass, which riders must possess if they plan on taking the trail.

Looking back
Both men have long histories in snowmobiling, dating back to when they were young children. For Patten, his love of the sport extends beyond just getting outside with some friends.

“I grew up doing it, and I like the family aspect of it, but I also like that when it’s cold and snowing out, and everyone is complaining and moaning, you’re the one who is excited,” he said. “You get to go out there and have a great time.”

Wyckoff remembers the days in which he’d have his sled parked in the garage as much as he’d have it outside and running properly.

“Back then, you worked on them more than you rode them,” Wyckoff joked. “Technology has greatly improved over the years. They are so much better ergonomically, and they’re more reliable. Modern snowmobiles are considerably safer than those of decades past. They’re much more expensive, too, but it’s a greater pleasure to ride them these days.”

His father turned Wyckoff on to snowmobiling when he was 10 years old. His first sled was a 1969 Galaxy, followed by a 1971 Ski Doo Nordic. Wyckoff said he got away from the sport once he graduated from high school and moved on to other things in life. But the itch was still there. His decision to scratch it was one of the best he’s made.

“About 20 years ago, I was trying to figure out where I was going to take my family on vacation in the winter, and we decided to go to Yellowstone for a snowmobile tour through the park,” Wyckoff says. “That was an awesome experience. We got to go down snow-covered roads right in Yellowstone Park, rode right next to buffalo that were walking beside the road. That kind of got me back into it, and I’ve been doing that for the past 20 years or so on a regular basis, including several trips to Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

The rules of law
Snowmobiling rules are similar to those for cars, only you’re not riding on the road, Patten says. He offered the following tips for snowmobilers:

Make sure you know the area or go with someone who does.

Stop at the stop signs along highways and watch out for cars.

Never ride alone, which is probably the most important tip.

Speed is mostly common sense. “I think 50 mph is a good number. We put low speed limits in town to help keep the noise down.”

Wear good gear. “It was so cold this year, and people would ask how we could snowmobile in that weather. If you have good gear, you’ll be all right. There’s no such thing as poor weather, just poor clothing.”

Snowmobilers must have an updated registration as well, Wyckoff added, which can be obtained from your local county courthouse. Riders also have to have a state trail pass, including for the Raccoon River Bike Trail, which riders have to obtain as well.

LPA rules
According to John Rutledge, general manager of the Lake Panorama Association, snowmobilers are required to follow LPA rules and guidelines:

All regulations regarding snowmobiles promulgated by the State of Iowa shall apply, including, but not limited to, age restrictions.

The off-road recreational vehicle regulations and laws of the State of Iowa shall apply to the Lake Panorama Subdivision.

Snowmobiles may be operated on a 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.

Rutledge says the bottom line is people can snowmobile on the lake and on the marked route that is maintained by the Raccoon Valley Snow Chasers organization.

“As long as they are on the marked trail and are doing things safely along that trail, we’re fine with it,” he says.

Rutledge encourages people to be especially vigilant now as the season winds down.

“The rapidly increasing temperatures, along with rainfall and snow melt, can make the ice variable and unsafe,” he says. “We encourage people to use a lot of caution as we move into the thaw period.”

Raccoon Valley Snow Chasers Board Members
• Mike Patten - president
• Craig Flack - safety director
• Jim Wyckoff - media director

For more information, email Mike Patten at mjpat76@aol.com or Jim Wyckoff at jim@jimwyckoff.com. To join the club, email Patten or call him at 515-669-0473. The club meets the second Thursday of each month.

Take a hike!
It’s been a great year for snow lovers.

Posted 3/9/21
By Darren Tromblay
Lake Panorama Times

Perennial snow-lovers Coop and Tim Rickert of Lake Panorama left town in mid-January for the warmer weather of the west, thinking Iowa might be in for another snow-shy winter.

Boy, were they wrong.

“We love Iowa snows and were bummed this year that we left just when the Iowa winter was firing up,” Coop laughs. “We love to have a fire inside, but we also have been known to have a fire in the fire pit outside in the middle of winter. All our friends in Iowa kept telling us how much snow they were getting, and we were wishing we’d stayed!”

Normally, the Rickerts can be found around Lake Panorama doing one of the things they enjoy most in the winter: hiking.

“We hike a lot on the par-3 golf course in the snow and on the nearby cross country trail,” she says.

The wooded area just outside of the 9-hole Panorama West golf course normally used for high school cross country meets during the fall provides a spectacular winter backdrop for the pair, who have been hiking together since 2003.

“It’s 2 miles, maybe a little more, and it’s where we really enjoy hiking; it’s just gorgeous,” Rickert says. “You’ll see wildlife like deer, fox, owls — and it’s just peaceful. The wildlife is simply amazing.”

The man-made trail near Panorama West is groomed, with no gravel used in the process. Just the way they like it.

“We like it because it’s natural,” Rickert says.

Both will bring walking sticks and have learned to layer up over the years.

“Even if it’s below 0, we’ll go,” Rickert says. “We just make sure we have enough layers on our feet, hands and face, especially.”

 The walking sticks have been more of a benefit than she could have imagined.

“Tim bought them for me for Christmas one year and saw how quickly I could walk and how much easier it was,” she says. “I don’t know how I even did it without them in the past.”

Rickert says they always carry a backpack with them to store necessities. Even though it’s cold, they pack water and the requisite hand and feet warmers. In the backpack is also a first aid kit, and the pair have bandanas tied to their walking sticks to help with any watery eyes and/or runny noses that frequently happen during walks in the winter. Phones are kept in an inside pocket in their jackets and near their bodies to avoid battery drain in the cold.

All in all, it’s a winter wonderland for Rickerts and others alike.

“That’s one of the things we like about Lake Panorama — on both the east and west sides — is that there are no sidewalks,” she says. “It’s just a real natural setting; it’s a little oasis in itself. We often go on what we call ‘deer patrol’ in the evenings in our golf cart on the Lake Panorama roads in the spring, summer and fall, and we count the deer. There have been a couple of times where we’ve counted more than 80 deer in less than an hour.”

Rob Riggins comes from the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, where he was a golf professional, tournament director and golf instructor for nearly three years.

Posted 3/9/21
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Rob Riggins is the new head golf professional at Lake Panorama National Resort and has been on the job since early February. Riggins has extensive experience in various aspects of the golf industry and has a passion for growing the game of golf with both juniors and adults.

“I am excited to welcome Rob to Lake Panorama National,” says Royce Shaffer, LPN operations manager. “He brings years of experience to LPN. As he settles in, I believe Rob will create an experience that our membership will be proud of. His passion for teaching will grow the game, which ultimately will increase membership at Lake Panorama National and Panorama West.”

Riggins comes to LPN from the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, where he was a golf professional, tournament director and golf instructor for nearly three years.

He got his start in golf at a young age.

“I grew up in southern California in a town called Saugus, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. My uncle would drag me to the course when I was a kid. He would just hand me a club and say ‘I’ll meet you at the green.’ I was hooked from the first moment,” Riggins says. “Other times my aunt would drop me off at the course on her way to work and pick me up on her way home. I would spend all day playing and practicing.”

While in California, Riggins was a tournament player for 10 years on multiple golf tours.

“I played a few professional golf tours over the years. For instance, the Asian Tour, Canadian Tour, a few Korn Ferry events and some professional mini tours in the U.S.,” he says. “The hardest part about playing golf for a living is being on a different golf course all the time and expecting to play great.”

He was the tournament director and golf professional at the Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Santa Clarita, California, for four years. He also worked at four other golf courses in Valencia, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles.

Riggins moved from California to Iowa eight years ago.

“For those of us not born in Iowa, it seems we find our way here for either love or a job. I moved here for love, then also found a job,” he says.

He was hired as the general manager and director of golf instruction at Jester Park, a position he held for four years before moving to the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. He currently lives in the West Des Moines area. After settling in Iowa, Riggins played in the Iowa Open a few times when it was at Lake Panorama.

“I have always admired the Lake Panorama National Resort,” he says. “I’m so pleased to be here and look forward to helping our members and guests in any way I can.”

Riggins says golf instruction is a passion of his.

“I enjoy helping people advance their skills as a golfer. Seeing positive results in their game reflects directly on their desire to play,” he says. “I plan to develop and grow golf clinics and group lessons, because the group atmosphere seems less intimidating. The feeling everyone is watching you is a big fear to those just beginning, and the group environment seems to help players get past that.”

Riggins says he prefers to work with smaller groups.

“Five or six people is my comfort zone to ensure enough attention is given to everyone,” Riggins says. “Private lessons also will be available by appointment.”

Lake Panorama National has offered a junior golf school for more than 20 years, and Riggins plans to build on that to further advance the game of golf at the LPN.

“Growing up, I was involved in a great junior golf program,” he says. “I love to see juniors excited about playing and getting better. The current program will remain, and I will do everything I can to grow the junior program further.”

Riggins says his first few weeks on the job have been spent “getting my head wrapped around the operation. I don’t like change just for the sake of change. I like to evaluate first,” he says. “I’m sure there will be some changes as we move forward. All 2021 tournaments and special events on the calendar will remain in place. I would like to add some new, fun events and am putting ideas together.”

Riggins plans to play a key role in all LPN golf leagues, and also is eager to help at Panorama West in any way possible.

“I want everyone to feel welcome and wanted,” he says. “I have been involved with all the different leagues at the courses I have been at, and I expect to give everyone the same attention here.”

Michael Kleinwolterink started working at the LPN as a teenager in the cart barn, moved to the pro shop, and was the first assistant pro there for many years. Beginning in 2016, he spent two years as manager of the Links restaurant. In 2018, he returned to the pro shop as manager, a position he continues to hold.

“Michael is a big part of the operation. He has been involved for a long time, and I will lean on him throughout the season,” says Riggins. “Michael does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work at the club, and LPN is very lucky to have him.”

In terms of merchandise offered in the LPN pro shop, Riggins says much of that has already been ordered for the 2021 season. But, as he gets more familiar with current vendors and sees what members and guests like, some merchandising changes may occur.

“I want the shop full of merchandise that members of the club can be proud of,” he says.

Riggins is eager to get the 2021 golf season underway.

“I understand what drives golfers to do what they do and relate to the enthusiasm as well as the despair that this game can bring,” he says. “I want members at both Lake Panorama golf courses to know I am always available. They can stop by, call or email me with any questions or concerns. I am here to help.”

The Lakeside Village director receives Community Impact Award
Amanda Creen recognized for making a positive impact on society through her own volunteerism and philanthropic efforts.

Posted 3/9/21

Amanda Creen, director at The Lakeside Village, a senior living community located on Lake Panorama, recently was awarded the 2020 Community Impact Award by Jaybird Senior Living. The Lakeside Village is managed by Jaybird Senior Living, which has more than 60 properties in its portfolio and is the largest operator of senior living communities in the Midwest.

The Community Impact Award is given to an individual who has made a positive impact on society through his/her own volunteerism and philanthropic efforts.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an already precarious staffing pipeline to plunge into dangerous waters. Guthrie County lacked opportunities for area citizens to further their education and gain employment.

When she learned of the Future Ready Iowa Earn & Learn and Employer Innovation grants, Creen dove head-first into passionately lobbying for the funds that would present opportunities for local residents. Her efforts paid off, and the community was awarded more than $245,000 to assist with programming, compensation, training accommodations and educational materials.

“Over 200 people have taken CNA classes, and all will go on to be advanced CNAs. Fifty people have become ServSafe certified, and 15 have taken the Iowa assisted living manager course. None of this would have been possible if it would not have been for Amanda working so hard to help others advance their lives,” says Marla Hammer, hospitality coordinator at The Lakeside Village.

The annual Jaybird Achievement Awards were announced in the fall of last year. This was the inaugural award cycle with 11 awards given in the following categories: Community Director of the Year, Community Nurse of the Year, Community Team Member of the Year, Jaybird Team Member of the Year, Dare to Dream of the Year, Innovation Award, and Community Impact Award. As appreciation for their dedication to providing red carpet service, each winner received a cash prize and award.

For more information, call (800) 366-6716, or visit www.jaybirdSL.com