Created with flickr slideshow.

April 1, 2019   

President Sandy opened the meeting wearing, not a hat, but a Zulu mask.  He said it was from the country that won the 2007 World Cup in rugby.  Other facts about this country:  it is where the oldest human remains in the world were found – 160,00 years old; it is where the highest bungee jumping bridge in the world is located; it has the second largest production of fruit in the world; and it is the only country to host the World Cup finals in three sports:  soccer, rugby and cricket.  The answer was South Africa.


January dues are overdue!!  President Sandy urged members who have not paid to get in their dues.  We have already had to pay Rotary International and District Dues on your behalf.

Major awards nominations are being accepted by the Executive Committee for: the Will J. Griswold Club Service Award; the David C. Morse Sr. Community Service Award; the Michael K. Mischaikow International Service Award and the Karen W. Morse Vocational Service Award. They will be presented at our  Changing of the Guard June 24th. Turn in nominations to Executive Committee members Past President Teri Treat, President Sandy McIntire, President-Elect Cathy Buckley and VP Gary Goldfogel.  Details are available by  Click Here

Catherine Riordan announced an evening 'invitation only' informal conversation  with Paul K. Chappell to which all RCOB members are invited.  Because there is food involved in the 6-8pm event, Catherine need an RSVP as soon as possible.  The event is co-sponsored by this club, the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center and WWU. This will be held in the new DRC facility at 206 Prospect Street on 10 April, 4:00-6:00 pm. Please RSVP to 360.676.0122 or ASAP     Click here for additional information.

Rise Against Hunger - April 27th 
Bob Morse  gave an update of the International Projects Committee. He announced that the committee has designated a dollar-for-dollar match of membership donations by the committee’s funds up to a limit of $5,000 going to the Rise Against Hunger project. He said the goal was to produce 88,000 meals that day.  To do that we need money and volunteers.  The first order of business is to raise the funds to buy the meals.  We are currently only 2/3 of the way there.  He urged people to donate if they haven’t already, and to volunteer on the 27th.
Catherine Riordan reminded people of the talk by Paul Chappelle on April 10 at 4:00 p.m. on dispute resolution and anti-bullying, and the informal Q & A from 6:00-8:00 afterwards.  She urged people to RSVP for either or both events.  RCOB is co-sponsoring the presentation.
Lynda Hinton reminded everyone of the work party on April 13 for the Boys and Girls Club to work on the baseball fields at the Smith Road athletic complex to get them in shape for the season.  They need donations and volunteers.
Guests of Rotarians:  
Lynda Hinton introduced Zach von Schneidau with Harris Company (formerly Diamond B)
Felicity Dye brought Reece Carpenter former Exchange Student now a student at WWU
Paula McCandlis introduced our speaker Elizabeth Li
Paula McCandlis introduced today’s speaker, Bellingham attorney Elizabeth Li.  She has practiced in Bellingham for 20 years, specializing in immigration law.  Elizabeth was born in Taiwan, but immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was 5, living in South Carolina.  She went to Cal-Berkeley and then to Loyola (Chicago) Law School.  She later moved to Alaska where she met her future husband, an immigrant from Hungary.  They got married and moved to Bellingham in 1999.

Elizabeth opened her remarks by clarifying that she was a transactional lawyer, not a trial lawyer.  She assists people who are already in the country in applying for a status where they can remain here legally.  She does not represent people who have been picked up and are threatened with being deported, which is an entirely separate area of the law.

Elizabeth said there are four main ways to come into the country legally: (1) Reunite family members; (2) Admit foreign nationals who have skills needed to help the U.S. economy; (3) Protect refugees; and (4) Promote diversity.  By far the largest group is (1).  She said that foreign national family members can be sponsored by U. S. citizens and permanent residents.  There are from 225,000 to 400,000 applications of this type every year.  The first preference under immigration law is for immediate relatives (spouse, unmarried children under 21 and parent of someone under 21).  Those applicants have the best chance to become a permanent resident and obtain a green card.  Of lesser priority are applications for unmarried adult children, and siblings of the sponsor.  Other sponsors are churches, primarily for religious workers. 

The second category is foreign nationals with job skills.  The first priority is for aliens with extraordinary abilities such as outstanding researchers and professors sought by universities, multi-national executives and managers, owners, directors and CEOs.  These folks don’t depend on testing the U.S. market to see if they are needed.  However, people with lesser skills who don’t fit in this “extraordinary” category trigger a review of the U.S. market to see if people with those skills are needed.  These people include members of a profession holding an advanced degree, people with a four- year degree with skills, and lesser skilled people.

The third category is refugees and those seeking asylum.  Refugees are people outside the U.S. who have been displaced from their country because they are fleeing from persecution on the basis of race, religion, gender, political affiliation or status with a particular group.  In 2019, so far 30,000 people have applied for admission based on refugee status.  In contrast to refugees, people seeking asylum are already in the U.S.  There is no limit to how many may be approved in one year.  They must apply within one year of being admitted to the U.S.  There were 428,000 pending asylum docket applications at the end of 2018.  The list keeps growing.

The fourth category is to promote diversity.  This is done through a visa lottery, where 55,000 people are admitted each year if they qualify for the lottery.  To qualify, those seeking admission must be from identified countries that are underrepresented in the U.S.

There is also a fifth, but very rare category, which is an employment creation investor.  To qualify, the foreign national must invest at least one million dollars in a business in the U.S. and generate at least ten jobs in one year.

Elizabeth closed her remarks by noting that her whole family is immigrants:  her parents who escaped Communist China for Taiwan in the late 1940s, and then to the U.S.; she and her siblings; and her husband who immigrated from Hungary to Alaska, worked illegally for 12 years and eventually married her, a naturalized U.S. citizen.  She loves the U.S.  Not only is it a beautiful country which protects nature, but it is a land of laws where if someone does something wrong, you can obtain redress in the courts.
Apr 22, 2019
Pacific Northwest Opera's - The Ring of the Nibelung
Apr 29, 2019
Family Lawyering
May 06, 2019
Harmony from Discord Series
May 13, 2019
My Musical Journey
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rise Against Hunger meal packing - Rotary Work Day
St. Lukes Health Education Center
Apr 27, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
2019 Sunnyland Memorial Park Clean-up
Sunnyland Memorial Park
May 18, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
RCOB Social Hour
Debbie Ahl & Bill Ziels
May 21, 2019
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Whatcom Memorial Day Parade
May 25, 2019 9:00 AM


Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide
Editor:  Yvonne Cartwright
Reporter: John Moffat
Invocation:  Megan Stanfield
Greeter:  Rob Olson
Greeter & Announcer: Tom Grinstad
Raffle:  Scott Wallace
AV:  Scott Wilson
Music:  Rick Kaiser
Photographer & Social Media: Lynda Hinton
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Executive Secretary
Vice President/Program Chair
Past President
Director/Vocational Service & Membership
Director/International & Youth Service
Director/Community Service
Director/Club Service & Meetings
Website Administer