Classical Music in Panorama’s Auditorium

by Veronica Kessler

I just had another community member stop me in Panorama Hall to tell me how much they appreciated the wonderful classical music program that was presented this last Wednesday evening! Musicians, Paul Rosenthal, violinist and Doris Stevenson on piano, played a varied program highlighting Bach, Debussy, Beethoven, Janacek and Kreisler. The hour- long program included the artist’s insights into each work. These top-quality, internationally-known musicians created an evening of superb music for us. They brought the gift of live music to 190 community members in our new acoustically exquisite Panorama Auditorium. What a joy! The Piatigorsky Foundation, founded in 1990, presented this concert. We have been fortunate in being able to participate in this fine program since its inception.

Yes, You Can Still Retire

One would think that a picture of Robert Young would engender all of the trust necessary to calm one down and believe that “it’s going to be ok.” After all, didn’t we love him as Dr.Welby for so many years? He was the “father that knows best” prior to that. This is probably why U.S. News and World Report chose him or what would appear to be a Robert Young lookalike to be the face of their cover story, “Yes! You Can Still Retire,” in their October 2009 issue. Other articles inside this magazine addressed the retirement issue from various angles and viewpoints. Best places to retire; Making the Most of Frugal Living; Getting Ahead by Putting It in Reverse were just a few of these titles. It seems the point of this retirement-focused issue is that despite the dire consequences of the past year’s financial disaster, older workers will be able to retire with careful financial planning and smart decisions. Panorama represents one of the possible avenues to a comfortable, affordable and active retirement lifestyle. An important part of Panorama’s overall structure is its financial program and pricing structure, which allows a tremendous value for its residents. In fact, the large size of the community and the broad selection of homes and styles offer a broad range in entrance fees and monthly fees that make living at Panorama affordable for a large cross section of retirees. Although many at Panorama are financially comfortable, at least 20% of the residents’ annual incomes qualify as “low income” according to the county’s standards. Those residents, whose annual income is limited, find they can live quite comfortably at Panorama. This is possible because Panorama’s financial program allows residents a wide range of choices regarding how they live, allowing them to create their own customized financial plan. The entrance fee and monthly fee make possible long term financial planning that includes taking care of a broad set of basic housing needs. With these expenses taken care of, residents have a significant amount of control over other expenses that address their own interest and taste.

140 Acre one bedroom apartment homes a great value

The humorous ad that offered the “140 acre one bedroom apartment” at Panorama was meant to explain this value. A basic and affordable one bedroom apartment not only includes a fully equipped kitchen, full bathroom and spacious living room and utility room, but it also includes all of the common areas, amenities and incorporated activities that make Panorama one of the most comfortable and beautiful places to live in the Pacific Northwest; not to mention the most affordable for the active retiree. Currently available is an excellent selection of one bedroom homes that include special financial incentives to make “retirement possible” and comfortable. Yes, although the wait list for Panorama’s larger single family homes on Chamber’s Lake or McGandy Park continues to grow, there are desirable, smaller apartment homes and some garden court cottages available now. Some of these homes have detached hobby rooms and convenient covered carports as well. A Panorama one bedroom home represents a truly marvelous value because those who live at Panorama have available to them all the activities, associations and vibrant people that make this a great place to live.

Active Retirement Community

Yes, you can still retire and enjoy a wonderful retirement, that is, if you retire to Panorama.

Yes, you can sell your home and unlock precious wealth that can fund an active and secure retirement

The adjustment in the real estate market over the past 12 to 18 months has discouraged many people who would like to live securely in their retirement years. Many of those who have expressed interest in moving to Panorama will use the equity from their home to finance their retirement. Some have delayed this move out of fear that their home will not sell in this poor economy. As reported in the news, studies and analysis by realtors are telling us that when homes are priced right they sell quickly. For many of our new residents this has in fact been the case. Some may see this as a loss in income, but in reality, most of these homes have already greatly appreciated, and selling unlocks this asset to provide not only money for a home at Panorama, but increased savings that can pay interest income for years to come. So if you are interested in a richer, fuller retirement, selling your current home may be the solution, not the hindrance. Can Panorama help you achieve an active, comfortable and affordable retirement? Yes, we can.

Ruth Kirk

Written by Howard Burton

I knew of Ruth Kirk, but when I saw her recently on the PBS television series on the National Parks, I realized the impact she has had.

When Ruth Kirk moved to Panorama, it was suggested at that time that an article be written about her as an example of the interesting people that live here at Panorama.   The idea fell by the wayside, but when the television series aired, I realized it was time to share her story with everyone.

Ruth Kirk is the author of thirty-five books, including three children’s books. Ruth has also been honored with numerous awards including those of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Library Association, the Washington Governor’s Arts Award, the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Natural History Writing that blends personal observation with research, and nomination for the National Book Award in the science category.

Ruth was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her husband, Louis Kirk, was a National Parks Ranger and his assignments took the family all over, including Death Valley and the Dakotas. She never picked out a favorite place.   “Wherever I was at the time,” she said. Traveling and moving a lot, they developed the ability to say goodbye before they got to say hello.

Ruth has always been a writer. Her first book was entitled Exploring Death Valley. Ruth and her husband lived in the Valley during the early 1950’s and she felt that “the tourists needed a book on how to see what is there and how to understand what they are looking at.” Ruth called it the “Paper Ranger” and it was in print for 40 years.

It was while taking basket making lessons from the Panamint Indians in Death Valley that Ruth learned about photography. She borrowed her husband’s camera because he couldn’t take the pictures: “he would scare them.” With their Leica camera she tried her hand at photography. This experience pleased her and with the eventual success of these pictures and others, photography became a new skill which found its way into much of her work.

“We moved to Mount Rainier in the early 1950’s, transferred by the National Park Service from Death Valley and the tall cactus country of the Mexican borderlands. The van driver who brought our goods commented: ‘you’ve moved from the ridiculous to the sublime’”…  To Ruth, the Pacific Northwest was the perfect place to settle.  “To me, this is not the ‘other’ Washington mentioned in tourism ads as an oblique reference to Washington D.C.. This is the right Washington.” This statement reflects how many of us feel about our home here in Washington State.

Because of her connection with the National Park Service, Ruth was invited to participate in Ken Burns’ new National Parks TV series. She said they flew her to San Francisco where the interviews and taping were produced.

With the death of Mr. Kirk in 1992, Ruth moved to Olympia, Washington. In 1997 she married her friend of 40 years, Dr. Richard Daugherty, an archeologist, and moved to Panorama. Together, they combined their knowledge and skills in writing Archaeology in Washington.

The Better Business Bureau “ScamJam” at Panorama’s New Auditorium

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) teamed up with Panorama recently to offer Panorama residents and guests an insightful seminar on some of the many insidious scams being targeted at area seniors. The “Scam Jam’s” objective was to arm the participants with knowledge on how to “protect your community from identity theft and avoid becoming a target of marketplace fraud.” Speakers from the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s Office, the Department of Financial Institutions and the Better Business Bureau spoke on Medicare fraud and senior investment fraud and how the BBB can assist people in protecting themselves.

Photo of Ron House

Ron House of the Insurance Commissioner's office discusses ways to avoid becoming the victim of a scam.

What can we do to protect ourselves from scams, schemes and fraud?

  • Never give personal financial infor­mation to unknown callers or unsolicited mail.
  • Verify the address or phone numbers of unknown businesses.
  • If you need to hire a repairman or contractor check them out via the BBB Yellow Pages for accredited businesses.
  • Don’t yield to high pressure or emotional sales tactics.
  • Never pay the entire cost of a repair job up front.
  • Watch your bank and credit card statements…check for accuracy and shred documents before throwing away.
  • Have your social security or pension benefit checks direct deposited into your account to reduce the possibility of ID theft.
  • Do not leave out-going bill payments in an unsecured mailbox.