Intel Corporation has their largest manufacturing facility just down the road from me in Hillsboro, OR. The company is generally well regarded in the area; they pay lots of taxes and employ lots of people in good-paying jobs. Intel employees raise significant money for local charities through the United Way and in-house programs, as well as volunteering countless hours in the community. So it was with surprise that the local schools found themselves burdened with some 400 Hebrew-speaking Israeli children after spring break; the result of an Intel training program for 300 Israeli employees who are in the area for five months.
In a stunning bit of corporate arrogance and incompetence, the company gave little notice to schools and cities that hundreds of people would be moving en masse to the area, and didn’t supply specifics about the number of children that would need to be accommodated. This has left schools scrambling to find space and instructional materials for hundreds of non-English speaking children. You’d think that the world’s largest chipmaker and a leader in microprocessor design would have managed this better.
In the newspaper story, when an Intel representative was questioned about the number of families moving to the area, his response was “For business reasons, I’m not in a position to disclose the precise number,” What, this is a state secret? I’m not on the Intel executive board, but I’m hard-pressed to think of a compelling ‘business reason’ to withhold information from the community that’s going to be significantly impacted by an Intel business decision. Bill MacKenzie, the Intel Communications Manager for U.S. Corporate Affairs, also stated that Intel spent $1.3 million on K-12 education in the state last year. This is true, but whatever the company may have done in the past doesn’t excuse ignorant behavior in the present.
Notably silent, or maybe the reporter didn’t think to ask them, has been the teacher’s union on the matter. For an organization that whines about every little perceived burden to their membership, they haven’t said anything about this very real imposition. I guess if they’ve shown a willingness to accommodate the non-English speaking children of illegal immigrants, they figure they can’t very well complain about having to teach the children of legal alien residents.
Someone Call Al Gore
I ran across this interesting weather forecast for the island of Hawai’i, HI. Sure, it’s for an elevation of 12,000 feet, but it’s not what you’d expect in Hawai’i in May.
Five Million Years to Earth
Or, actually, 750 million years of Earth history. This neat video shows the movement of the Earth’s landmasses over 750 million years. Besides the dramatic shifts in continents, the video also shows how the Earth’s climate has changed, notable by the ascension and recession of the ice caps.