State AG to SES Foundation: Accounting dates were wrong for five years

Dr. George Rebane, the research director of the Sierra Economics and Science Foundation (whose name has been Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation but is being changed to better reflect “our education and economic mission” — details here) likes to wax eloquent about “numeracy” — the ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts.

The group’s TechTest is a grueling test for young people headed for technology-based careers. And its new TechForum is a “value-added conclave” for the county’s business, government and institutional leaders that features world-class speakers talking about current and coming technologies. Cisco’s Vice President for Innovation, Rick Hutley, will speak on Friday.

As it turns out, however, state Attorney General Kamala Harris’ department had to teach the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation a thing or two about getting their own numbers correct when filing reports — something so basic as how to calculate a fiscal year.

In August 2011, Harris’ department sent a letter to the group that its annual report filed with the state was “incomplete.”

PO BOX 1895

The Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report submitted on behalf of the captioned organization is incomplete for the following reason(s):

1. The dates of the accounting period (fiscal year) are incorrect for fiscal years ending 06/30/06, 06/30/07, 06/30/08, 06/30/09 & 06/30/10. Please provide the correct beginning dates. The fiscal year begin and end date cannot be on the same day of the same month. If your fiscal year ends on 06/30 it must begin on 07/01 (example fiscal year begins 07/01/05 ends 06/30/06.)

In order to remain in compliance with the filing requirements set forth in Government Code sections 12586 and 12587, please provide the requested information, together with a copy of this letter, to the above address, within thirty (30) days of the date of this letter.

Registry of Charitable Trusts
Attorney General

The letter is 00000159-1.

As a result of this error, the group’s registration status with the AG’s office has been listed as “delinquent,” according to public documents on file. (Go to , go to left column to the Registry Search and type “Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation” in the name box).

To be sure, we all make mistakes — including groups that tout “numeracy” and the value of critical thinking.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

3 thoughts on “State AG to SES Foundation: Accounting dates were wrong for five years”

  1. It does seem odd, because the test they offer is straight math. There are typically four problems, and all are solved by math. There are no questions from the life sciences, no questions about chemistry, and minimal participation with physics. I think it should simply be , “The Math Test.” as that is all it appears to test. Advanced story problems, and that’s about it.

  2. I like your thinking here, Doug. Have you seen the new California Common Core Math Standards enacted fo 2013? They include these general practices below.

    Mathematical Practices
    1. Make sense of problems and persevere
    in solving them.
    2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
    3. Construct viable arguments and critique
    the reasoning of others.
    4. Model with mathematics.
    5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
    6. Attend to precision.
    7. Look for and make use of structure.
    8. Look for and express re

  3. I find it funny that Woodsy / Rebane commented that he’d taken several statistics and upper level math and science classes, but he can’t manage to get a date right.

    Wasn’t it Forest Gump who said: Stupid is as stupid does

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