Aug. 23, 2023, Letters to the Editor

Seeking end to parking at cemetery


The owners of the Genoa Cemetery and their governing association, known as the GCA send greetings to all our friends in Douglas County. The surrounding area of the county and the cemetery have been neighbors for over 170 years. The association owners possess deeds to the burial plots they or their families have purchased.

The overwhelming majority of the GCA owners are reaching out to you all with a sincere and heartfelt request. For too many years, the Genoa Cemetery has been improperly used as a parking lot for local Genoa events. In addition to parking vehicles, portable toilets have been placed on the property during the events. As recent as last year, tire tracks were seen on top of tribal burial sites and graves after the Genoa Candy Dance as their coordinators for parking management did not assure keeping vehicles out of burial areas. The vast majority of GCA owners believe this a desecration of the graves within this sacred property.

GCA owners want to continue to be good neighbors to all of Douglas County. Please know, this cemetery is in Douglas County and not within the town limits of Genoa. The current GCA board of directors brazenly state these cemetery parking events are fundraisers. The cemetery does not exist to financially benefit the special interests of the town of Genoa or any other entity through parking revenue. In fact, the GCA By-Laws state the cemetery’s singular purpose is for the exclusive handling and burial of human remains. There are no other purposes for this property within the governing documents.

The GCA owners were recently made aware of the extent of this problem as the current board of directors have not been performing their fiduciary responsibility of keeping the owners apprised with information or keeping them involved in the voting and decision making processes in the direction of this association. The current board of directors wrongfully believe they can make all decisions relating to cemetery business without any input or involvement from the association owners. As the owners have now become fully aware, they have expressed their anguish, their heartbreak and overwhelmingly want the parking of vehicles in this cemetery for any special interest events to stop immediately.

The GCA owners are asking you, the people of Douglas County to join us in stopping this illegal and unauthorized use of the cemetery. Please notify your leaders in Douglas County asap to stop the unjust use of the cemetery for any further event parking. More than adequate parking has been made available within the pastures along Genoa Lane which is much closer to the center of Genoa than the cemetery. The few spaces that could be utilized within the cemetery is more about generating parking revenue for the special interests of Genoa rather than any need for additional parking. The misuse of this property is reprehensible and cannot be allowed to continue.

Please stand with us and demand action be taken now by our leaders to help restore the integrity and dignity this sacred property deserves. Thank you for standing with these families, both past and present.

Wally Adams

Mark Saliba


Board focusing on the wrong thing


Admittedly, I have no dog in this fight, my offspring are adults. But the current school board appears to be about verbally and through policy attacking those that aren’t like them, be they minors or adults than that of appropriate staffing levels in the school district.

Pamela Beatty 


Colleges and Universities have plenty of money


The current debates about our schools are missing a very significant issue. 

U.S. colleges and universities literally own some of the largest endowments in the world. These financial funds consist of assets that are invested in financial securities, real estate, and other instruments. The investments yield a return that is used for the benefit of the institution or its members while the principal exists in perpetuity.

With such tremendous incomes why is it necessary to charge extreme tuitions yielding income far beyond that which is more than reasonable? The terms “price gouging” and “profiteering” come to mind.

Individual college income and tuition fee systems are so varied and complex that a synthesis or analysis of data easily becomes jumbled and meaningless. However, simple averages do tell a revealing story.

As of fiscal year 2022, the total invested in endowments by U.S, educational institutions was in excess of $807 billion. There were 129 U.S. universities each with endowments over $1 billion. Of these 79 were private universities and 50 were public. The list includes such schools as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Notre Dane, and Universities of Texas, California, Oregon, Arizona, Perdue and Iowa.  The mean individual endowment was in excess of $2 billion. There were 20 universities with an excess of $1 million per student. 

An excise tax of only 1.4% on endowment income is levied on universities that have at least 500 tuition-paying students.

In addition to endowment income there is the income from sports attendance, television rights to sports, book and supply sales, student housing and meals, indorsement products, et. al. 

Government student loans come from the American tax payer and the money ultimately goes into the pockets of colleges and universities. The balance on these loans is supposedly to be repaid to the gov’t by students. If the balance on these student loans is considered excessive and unfair to simply forgive all or a portion of the loans allows the schools to keep the monies, forgive the student of the loan and thus cause the American tax payers to bear the cost of subsidizing profit gouging by colleges. It seems far more equitable for the schools to rebate portions of the tuitions to the government as payment on the loans.

Using the average student body of 45,210 for the 50 largest institutions in the United States and the average annual tuition, $39,400, for private schools brings these individual school’s average gross annual income from tuitions alone to in excess of $1.7 billion for each school. 

Using the average number of class-room hours per college year, the average number of students per class, and the average private-school tuition means that the average student is paying $82 in tuition for each hour they are in class. And, each school is receiving $1,970 in tuition for each single classroom hour.

Are our higher educational institutions simply following the laws of supply and demand or are they being exploitative, greedy, and unethical? 

Ben Justus



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