Sierra Christian School to rebuild — differently?

After closing in January as a full-fledged school and now operating as a “home school,” Sierra Christian School in Nevada City plans to rebuild and grow into a K-12 school.

This time around, the approach seems decidedly more fundamentalist.

“The situation in public schools got progressively more hostile toward God, with the passage of gay rights supported SB117, forcing the public schools to teach their agenda as ‘normal,'” reads a letter being sent out to generate support.

It adds: “If you get a chance to participate in ‘The Truth Project,’ please do so. This Focus on the Family produced series clearly illustrates how the atheistic agenda has reached into our families, our jobs, our government, our schools, our science and every aspect of lives to promote alternatives to biblical principles.”

Wow. I was disappointed in this marketing approach. I thought religion was about teaching tolerance. To each his/her own, I guess.

I prefer the “glass is half full” approach in teaching children about the complexities of life, not such a negative one.

It will be interesting to gauge the demand: The demographics of our county is changing. Or is it? This will be an interesting barometer.

Sierra College, local highs benefit in 500K grant

Here’s an economic bright spot: Sierra College has won a $500,000 grant to draw local students to technical careers.

There’s nothing like people with skills in science, technology, engineering and math to help sustain and fuel our area’s economic growth.

Among other high schools, Nevada Union High is teaming up with Sierra College to offer more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.

This is a cool way to train our young people and help keep them here, filling jobs in the tech and science sector. They can begin learning the skills in middle and high school and further hone them at local Sierra College campuses.

Is KNCO’s Web site ‘pooping out’?

Some time ago, KNCO radio rolled out a “new and improved” Web site that offered high hopes.

But I’ve been losing interest. Sometimes when I look, hasn’t been updated for hours — or even days. Today is a good example: The last local story is dated April 3 at 6:15 p.m., but today is April 6 at noon.

I do notice more ads on the site: “Monetizing” Web traffic is always a good thing. But the real-time content is pooping out. Do advertisers know? If it’s a technical glitch, somebody ought to hop on it.

I don’t listen to AM radio too much, but I assume this morning’s newscast is more current than what’s on the Web site. Can’t you at least just roll the information onto the Web after the newscast? If you’ve invested in a Web site, you should maintain it.

Census work gets underway here, with GPS

You may not have heard yet, but census canvassing got underway here on Sunday, putting people to work and verifying addresses in the first major effort of its kind since 2000.

Census workers will be visiting every home in the county in the next two months to update address lists and maps for the U.S. census. In a cool technology twist, many census workers will be equipped with hand-held GPS devices to increase accuracy.

All told, the Census Bureau will verify and update more than 145 million addresses nationally, with more than 140,000 census workers. The work is being conducted out of 151 local census offices.

You’ll get a courtesy knock on the door and explanation for the visit. Census information has remained private for 72 years, so don’t get alarmed. Workers who violate the law are subjected to a fine and prison term.

I hope the “get off my land” types in our county understand the need to collect this information. I’m also glad the workers aren’t out during the pot harvesting season, a bad time of year to go randomly knocking on doors.

Accurate census data is valuable for all of us to help guide our public policy. Let’s applaud the effort.

Silicon Valley: egos vs. exit strategies

A $7 billion deal for IBM to buy Sun Microsystems collapsed over the weekend, reversing the stock market’s 4-week rally.

I can’t imagine why Sun’s board wouldn’t have embraced an acquisition at twice the price of where its stock has been trading. Sun has struggled for years.

This reminds me of Yahoo’s board rejecting a buyout from Microsoft last year at a similar premium.

Both examples are a reminder that business people need an “exit” strategy. What better one than selling to a competitor such as IBM or Microsoft? Too often egos get in the way.

Co-founder Scott McNealy of Sun always has had an inflated sense of his company — understandable but not productive. At this point, it would be best for Sun and its shareholders that McNealy — a great father and golfer — moved on.

I think that was the lesson learned from co-founder Jerry Yang at Yahoo, who was instrumental in rejecting Microsoft’s offer. In both cases, the other board members should have played a more active role.

A birthday ‘valentine’ for Grass Valley Group

The Union has a sweet package on the Grass Valley Group in Monday’s paper, pegged to the 50th birthday.

It’s more of a P.R. approach than many journalists would take, given that the company is *up for sale* and video-hardware makers are *struggling* with a new business model, not just the recession. None of this was explored. The multimedia effort was noble, but key links were/are broken. (I tried to shrug off the full-page ad from Grass Valley Group that ran with the news package).

I was hoping for much more analysis. For example: How is Grass Valley Group re-inventing its business to survive for the next 50 years? What’s being done by government and civic leaders to keep Grass Valley Group here? I also know a management-led buyout has been floated. Is that “doable” in an era of tight credit?

I noticed when Huntington Labs decided to move here the other day, the owner said Bend, Ore., and Reno were more competitive cost-wise but we had a better lifestyle. I’m glad they came, but why not offer some tax or other business incentives?

This would be good fodder for a newspaper, blogger or new publication to explore.

‘The boys — and girls — of summer’

Wow. What fabulous weather this weekend. Hope you enjoyed it.

Besides going for a long walk with our puppy, we grilled up some hot dogs (a 2-for-1 special on Hebrew National), whipped up some potato salad (dill adds a good kick), swung open the doors and turned on the Dodgers/Giants exhibition game.

Spring and summer is the best season: the first mow in your yard, and Opening Day for baseball and later trout fishing in the high Sierra.

I grew up as a Dodgers fan but have rooted for the Giants for years. Even if you’re not a Dodgers fan, read “Dodger Stadium” by Mark Langill. Great history and images, going back to opening day in April 1962.

One of my favorite baseball books also is “Sandy Koufax” by Jane Leavy. It’s about religion, not just baseball, and chronicles the transition of baseball from America’s favorite pastime to too much commercialism.