A Good Start for the International Institute for
Philosophy & Ethics (IIP&E)
On February 5, 2004, during the IIP&E project design review by the Mendocino County Planning Commission, six commissioners listened to our attorney, Ms. Geraldine Rose, and Ms. Sandy Mendler of our architectural firm, Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK) report on the site plan. It will include a court in front of the assembly hall. The assembly hall will be 50 feet high and will accommodate up to 2,800 people. Behind the assembly hall there will be a dining hall, and behind the dining hall there will be a library and Precept Hall, with male and female dormitories on each side. HOK showed the general shape and appearance of the buildings and related information.
When the Planning Commission asked for public comments, two families of neighbors spoke in opposition to the project, and one neighbor—Prof. Ron Epstein—spoke on behalf of other neighbors who supported the project.
Satisfied with how our design will save trees and the wetlands, be energy-efficient, and be friendly to environment, the six commissioners voted unanimously to approve the design. The next step will be to refine our design and then we will be ready to break ground this year. Our opponents have just filed an appeal to the Board of Supervisors, as expected. It will take a few more months to set up a day for another public hearing before the Board of Supervisors. The project is still going forward as planned. HOK has already presented the general shape and appearance of the project to the government. In the future only minor changes in design can be made on the site plan.
Report on Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU)
On February 8, 2004 at the Dharma Realm Buddhist University Building, about 40 people of the fourfold assembly from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) and the Institute for World Religions in Berkeley met to discuss DRBU’s performance and its future. During the morning, we assessed how DRBU has been functioning, and in the afternoon the meeting focused on DRBU’s future and its mission statement.
The participants agreed that DRBU is an important part of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA), serving the educational needs of DRBA and CTTB. It also makes a positive contribution to our public relations, providing educational programs for the academic community, including Humboldt State University (HSU), Graduate Theological Union (GTU), University of San Francisco, and Stanford University. However, during the past ten years, enrollment, finances, and planning have been major issues for DRBU. We need the assembly’s concern, input, and collective wisdom to realize the Venerable Master’s founding vision and enable the university to function more effectively. Therefore, on April 4, there will be a big DRBU meeting at CTTB open to all students, faculty, members of the board of directors, and anyone else who wants to offer their advice and help…Please come to join us!
Candidates’ Night at CTTB
On February 11, at the Dharma Realm Buddhist University Building, CTTB conducted a Candidates’ Night for the election on March 2nd. CTTB invited all candidates who are running for our district supervisor to meet with us, including: Mr. Joe Louis Wildman, Ms. Irma Turner, and the current supervisor, Mr. Michael Delbar, who was not able to come. After the first two candidates introduced themselves, about 40 people of the fourfold assembly asked lots of questions, including their opinion on CTTB’s IIP&E project. Both Wildman and Turner said that they welcome CTTB’s presence here and believe that the IIP&E project will be very beneficial to the local community.