I hope you have found Birch Bay News and Views entertaining
Patrick Alesse
The C Shop

   Not All The News
- But It's Fit to Print-

Birch Bay
State Park

Birch Bay Business
Phone List


If You Have to Move from Birch Bay You May Want to Move to Anacortes.


Map of Businesses Ready to Serve You at Birch Bay


Tides & Activities for Birch Bay 

Fire 21 News Letter

Blaine Birch Bay Park & Recreation News Letter


Birch Bay Water Sewer District News Letter


Birch Bay Warm
News Letter

The Northern Light
Northwest Citizen

Whatcom Watch

Coast Salish Teachings

The Earth is Alive


Interesting Reads
Human Capital


Climate Change Used to Be a Bipartisan Issue.
Here's What Changed

Why Math Education in the U.S. Doesn't Add Up

Free Trade in America

Part 1: The harsh downside of free trade – and the glimmer of hope
Part 2: 
The surprising truth about American manufacturing
Part 3: 
What 'good' free trade looks like
Part 4: 
Why, this time, free trade has hit American workers so hard
Part 5: 
What can be done about free trade's 'victims



Jean Jacobs & Cities
A Tail of two Planners


Health Benefits of Coffee
Why we will need
oil and gas in the future



What If Children Should Be Spending More Time With Screens?


How a raisin can predict a toddler's future academic ability


This is an article in Vox it reminds me of a similar article in The Wall Street Journal several years ago.


History News Network

Links to Organizations
that effect Birch Bay

Birch Bay Water Sewer
Board Members
Meeting Times
Meeting Minutes

    Birch Bay Chamber
of Commerce
Board Members    
Board Meeting Dates 
Meeting Minutes  NA

   Blaine Birch Bay
 Park & Recreation
Board Members
Board Meeting Dates
Meeting Minutes

Blaine School District
Board Members
Board Meeting Dates
Meeting Minutes

Fire 21
Board Members
Board Meeting Dates
Meeting Minutes

Whatcom County
Council Members
Meeting Dates

Meeting Minutes



Link to The Bearn Project
Link to Project


Links to neat articles
 on Birch Bay








Nexus connects us (or it should)
Patricia & I are on our 3rd  set of NEXUS passes.

Birch Bay Square - Building 1 - Suite 104
8115 Birch Bay Square Street
Blaine, WA  98230


Book your appointment online.







  Birch Bay
News & Views 
Online All The Time
News & Views



Like many of us here in Birch Bay, Ray Anderson loved nature. Only Ray loved it more. He talked to the birds and moles, and he liked bats. “They catch us bugs," he explained. He was so relaxed in the environment around Birch Bay that even the bees left him alone.


Ray used to paddle his canoe far out in the bay where the water was colder to go swimming. He didn’t like the warmer water by the shore that the rest of us enjoy. It’s a mystery to me of why he preferred this icy deep water. Yet we all have rational reasons for what appears irrational to others. Perhaps taking a dip in the deep is a leftover habit from the sixties and early seventies when our shoreline was polluted. Perhaps Ray simply wished to avoid the polluted shallow water for the deeper, cleaner—but colder—water off shore. Perhaps it became a habit.


Today, Ray Anderson is no longer with us. If you wish to take a moment to remember him, stroll down Lora Lane. You’ll spot his canoe and paddle on the left, a fitting memorial of a man who remains part of the turning tide here at Birch Bay.


History & Mystery
of Blaine and Birch Bay
(A work in progress)

A link to many links

Moving in at Birch Bay?

This link may help.

What to Consider Before You Buy a Vacation Home

A second home can mean endless headaches, unexpected costs and shattered plans.
 Here’s what you need to know before you buy.
This link to a Wall Street Journal may help. I do like the idea of a shared economy. It is work and It can work well or it can drain your energy and resources down the well.
Here is a link to rentals avaible in our area.






It's a good Idea to let the children plan the family vacation





 June Views
Here is a property that should be purchased for a public parking lot in the central part of Birch Bay

See the property


 June Views

After reading these you will probably come to the same conclusion I have on Birch Bay Drive.

General Information on Bike - Pedestrian Lanes and automobile -Truck lanes

The Truth about Lane Widths - Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center

Lane Width - National Association of City Transportation Officials

Let's Talk About Lane Width - Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Lane Width - National Association of City Transportation Officials

The Truth about Lane Widths - Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center

Birch Bay Information
Typical Cross Section without Parking

Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Grant Application Form ...

Through The State Park to the entrance of Birch Bay Village the driving lanes should be reduced to  10 feet each and the rest of the space be allotted to the Bicycle/Pedestrian lane.
Patrick Alesse
e-mail me with your thoughts.

More on Bikes

 by Strong Towns, October 18, 2016

 by Eli Damon, October 19, 2016

 by Josef Bray-Ali, October 19, 2016

 by Alex Pline, October 17, 2016

 by Spencer Gardner, October 20, 2016











Exchange Rates, Border
Crossings and Retail Sales
 in the Cascade Gateway

If you are in biasness or you have a Canadian connection. You will find this of interest.

Read this article on transportation from Smart Growth.
Bike Lanes Can Be Built Without
 Clogging Car Traffic




Public Parking at Birch Bay

There is public parking at much of Birch Bay. And more will be added. Just not where it is really needed. The patrons of businesses at Alderson Road and Birch Bay Drive face dilemmas. They visit one business and would like to walk a few yards to visit another. Yet they know that parking is extremely limited in that area.
There are three public parking spots at Alderson Road end but they are for the rest rooms at that location. To give you an idea of how much demand there is for public parking in the area, check parking in the area when a business or two are closed. You will find cars parking in those business’s parking area.


Where Are Your Favorite
Ice Cream Shops
 in Whatcom County?

by Hilary


Google's Mysterious Red Dot

If you go to Google Earth and type in Birch Bay, Washington, you will see Birch Bay, Washington. You will see a red dot appear on the map.  Why that spot at Birch Bay you ask? You  can ask Google Earth to find other places at Birch Bay. 

Here are some:

Harborview Road, Birch Bay, WA
Anderson Road, Birch Bay, WA
Shintaffer Road, Birch Bay, WA

You will see red dots appear in the middle of these roads. That is what happens.

 The red dot appears in the middle of Birch Bay.   A couple of local guys have turned the red dot into a red heart in the heart of Birch Bay.

Swallow Bridge

Patricia and Patrick moved The C Shop to its present location in 1979.  The building was a favorite nesting spot for Barn Swallows. The Pats did not mind the swallows nesting in the back and sides of the building, but they were bothered by the fact that some of the swallows insisted on nesting in front of the building on the lower porch. Patrick tried to encourage more swallows to nest in the sides and in back of the building by supplying them with swallow nest boxes. The Pats found they had some success with the nest boxes even though now and then a nest would show up on the porch. Then in 1987 house sparrows moved into the swallow nest boxes. Patrick was bewildered. The sparrows had taken over all the nest boxes in the back and sides of the building. Were the Barn Shallows forced out?  Where did they go to nest? The truth eventually revealed itself. The swallows moved their nests under the new concrete bridge built in 1986 to replace the old wooden one. The county calls it Terrell Creek Bridge.

Do you know how many bridges are on Terrell Creek? I don't.  I do know the swallows return to their bridge every May for nesting, so I and others call it Swallow Bridge.

 Natural Capital at Birch Bay

 Natural Capital: Birch Bay has a lot of it, but what is it? We walk along Birch Bay Drive and breathe the fresh air, we see the birds and the trees, we enjoy the sunsets and we marvel at the coming and going of the tides. We marvel at the coming and going of all that surrounds us. We see a guy picking up his dog’s poop and we know he values our natural capital. We see a jogger; we have seen her before, as a little girl at Birch Bay. Now as an adult she stoops to pick up a piece of discarded litter and drop it in a receptacle near the beach. Where did she get the idea to do this? Was it from a lady that walked up and down Birch Bay Drive who used to pick up litter along the beach when the jogger was a child at Birch Bay? Hopefully we take care of things the best we can and pass it along as well as the responsibilities for taking care of it. 
We pay taxes and fees to maintain our natural capital and we pay to improve our access to it. We use our natural capital, and as long as we use it and don't abuse it, it is ours forever.
We could lose it. We could trade it for jobs, or we could lose it to improper development that does not enhance natural capital, but rather uses it up.


Urban Services at Birch Bay:

Here are some urban services which people have expressed their desire for in Birch Bay. If you are interested in being involved in one, e-mail me and I will pass your information on to a group that may be working on it.

Natural Environment
at Birch Bay:

Here are some natural things people are enjoying and doing that involve the Natural Environment at Birch Bay.
If you are interested in these pursuits, e-mail me and I will pass on your information to a group that may be involved.


Bird Watching

Protecting the Environment

Dog Walking

Sunset walks at Birch Bay

Right of Way
Along the Bay

England, which is the size of Oregon, has 140,000 miles of walking paths. Many go through people’s front yards, back yards and farm land. If there is a fence to keep the sheep or cows in, you open the gate, go through, close the gate after you and proceed down the path.

At Birch Bay it is a little easier. On both sides of Birch Bay Drive there is a bike and pedestrian lane that is marked and should be free of obstructions at all times. Now and then there is a person that has not caught on yet and will leave a sign or park a car in the bike path.

We owe the success of the pedestrian walk and bike path to Raven Whitewolf when she worked as a county engineer. She went up and down Birch Bay Drive and made arrangements with property owners; Raven arranged the whole thing. After the pedestrian and bike lane was established, we saw an increase in property values at Birch Bay. Why? It was because the assessed values were beginning to catch up with the Natural Capital Values that resulted from the establishment of the pedestrian & bike path.

That takes care of Birch Bay Drive. Now the tougher part--which is walking up and down the beach which is open to the public. Now just where you can walk, I can’t tell you. It would be good to have a discussion here. Just e-mail me with your thoughts and I will post your responses.
            e-mail Pat



Acreage near Blaine and Arnie Road may  be to added to the Birch Bay Urban Growth area. It was taken out several years ago.


See News from the Past
Further down this column

The Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce
 received $70,465 in tax money to promote tourism at Birch Bay for 2016. What kind of tourism promotion do you want to see at Birch Bay? It is your tax money. It is  your Birch Bay. Let the Chamber know what you think.
e-mail the Birch Bay Camber

Birch Bay is a Great Place
to visit off season
. You have more time to relax, more time to read and more time for ideal conversation. You can spent more time to watch the birds come and go and the tide come and go and what is very nice is that your money does not come and go very fast.
 Article in Northern Light.
New Link on the web site for this time of the year.
Birch Bay Fun

Birch Bay
Dogs in the Park
    The dogs around Birch Bay are hoppin' happy that the New Park is open to them for an off leash area.
       Jack the dog had a great time entertaining his cohabitant, Tory. Bobby showed up and threw some spectacular pitches for Jack to retrieve and Pat enjoyed the event. It can't be said the park is actually opened, but the fence is down that has been blocking the access.
      Marley the dog has pointed out that the area is a fenced place and this place would be a great spot for local and visiting dogs. Marley has pointed out that most all dogs have trained their human companions to retrieve dog divots and there is a doggy doo station nearby.

Birch Bay Drive
Probably should have

    More narrow lanes for cars and wider lanes for walkers and bikers

Read this article on transportation from Smart Growth.





Sandcastles at Birch Bay
 (70’s. 80’s, & 90’s)

As I have said before, about 1971 or 72 Paul Gaudette (who had been doing sandcastle contests at Birch Bay for several years) handed the responsibility of organizing and conducting the sandcastle contests at Birch Bay over to me.
As I organized the sandcastle contests, they evolved. We did not have sand castle contests on week-ends or holidays. Businesses were already busy and at capacity on these days. Having an event midweek encouraged people to come when it wasn't so busy and made sense (& dollars) by boosting a mid-week gross. We did not choose first place, second place and third place castles. My argument was that you get mediocrity by choosing a first prize, because then everyone copies it and that’s the mediocrity. Actually it is a little presumptuous of me to think I could pick a first, second and third best of anything. But even more importantly, it meant we didn't have to require the contestants to be in one spot so the judges could compare castles.
Participants could build anywhere between Shore Acres Resort (now Jacob's Landing) and Bay Center Resort. (I always believed in a decentralized Birch Bay.) We did go through the beach in an organized fashion so we knew which areas of the beach we had covered. The judges carried a pole with a flag (big blue trash bag) on it so the participants could see the judges coming. If there was a large crowd, there were 2 sets of judges, one going north from the lanes area and one going south from the Bay Center area. When they met in the middle they knew all the castles had been covered.
We did not limit the number of people building each castle. (That way we did not have to police it.) Larger and better executed castles got more valuable prizes which were sometimes shared by their builders. Every castle got at least one prize (even a little kid with a pile of sand in front of him), but nobody got a huge prize and there were no money or trophy prizes. Even though we did not assign a specific area for the castles, we did keep a count of each castle or sculpture and how many participants built it .We did talk to the participants. We particularly worked to encourage the children to tell us about their castles or sculptures. Each participant got a couple of prizes--usually a small toy and a coupon for an item at a Birch Bay business. The businesses chose what to give. They might give 1 or 2 larger prizes (especially for groups) and several smaller prizes. Either they provided the coupons or I made the coupons for them.
It was a fun way for families to enjoy the beach. The Chamber (originally the Resort Association) did spend some money for the small prizes and the event was not a fundraiser except for the added sales it brought to the businesses.




The idea was an instant reward that would last, and a reward that the participant got by going into a Birch Bay business. After all we wanted to promote the business at Birch Bay.

Ethiopia and Sand Castles

This summer I met a man and woman from Ethiopia on the porch of The C Shop. I was excited to meet them. Because, back in the early days of The C Shop when I took over Birch Bay's sand castle contests from Paul Gaudette, it resulted in a challenging experience that involved royalty from Ethiopia. The C Shop was in our third year at Barb and Ernie Jacobs' Shore Acres Resort which was located where Jacobs Landing now stands. I had done one sand castle contest with Paul’s help so I knew how they worked. I was ready to do another. The idea was to do the contest in the middle of the week when things were not that busy at Birch Bay. With Paul’s help I picked a low tide and I also made a 3 by 3 poster saying “Sand Castle Contest Tuesday.” I also made badges for most employees at Birch Bay that said, "Sand Castle Contest Tuesday. Ask Me.” When that Tuesday arrived Patricia was sick. I took our two small boys to The C Shop so they could be in the sand castle contest. I opened the shop. I had my prizes for the sand castle contest in a bucket. Things were going OK at the shop. Then we had surprise visitors. A small bus pulled up in front of The C Shop. Patricia’s older cousin, Gladys, piled out of the bus with 21 grand children of Emperor Haile Selassie. Gladys had brought the children from Ethiopia and she was showing them the North West. The children were excited to tour The C Shop and I was excited to show it to them. Their eyes danced with excitement as we moved quickly about the small shop. I had to move quickly--judging time was near and I knew I was cutting it close on the tides. It was the second Sand Castle Contest of the season and the tide would be coming in faster than the first contest two weeks earlier. I had sent our two young children to build their castle. I ushered Haile Selassie’s grand children out to their bus, gave Gladys a couple of bags of candy for the children, bid them farewell and turned my attention to the beach. The beach was packed with people and sandcastles. I felt it was like a mall at Christmas time packed with people. I threw myself into the fray. I was judging sand castles left and right fighting against the rising tide and ignoring Keith’s and Burton’s castle until the last. The tide made it to my boys' castle before I did. Their eyes were awash with tears. I felt completely inadequate as a father. On top of that a well dressed lady on the beach reprimanded me for allowing those two little boys' castle to be swept away by the tide. I sent the boys up higher on the beach to build a second castle which I judged. That Sand Castle Contest was a learning experience for me.


What is the most achievable need at Birch Bay?


How Swim Suits Evolved
Over Time
Evan at Birch Bay



New Park

The dogs around Birch Bay are hoping that the New Park, until it becomes a park could be an off leash area. Marley the dog has pointed out that the area is a fenced place and this place would be a great spot for local and visiting dogs. Marley has pointed out that most all dogs have trained their human companions to retrieve dog divots and there is a doggy doo station nearby.



The mysterious RED DOT from Google’s surch of Birch Bay has appeared. It is for you to figure out what it means. Sometimes the dot it is blue but it is always near the same area. And on occasion the blue dot appears as small blue letters.


Nexus Should Connect Us.

Patricia and I are on our third Nexus Pass. They are avaible at the place that calls itself Birch Bay Square. A Nexus Pass cost fifty dollars and are good for five years. Canada is a great escape for anyone just as Birch Bay is a great escape for our Canadian neighbors.



Here are some things that people are saying.

And some more that is being said.


Read This

The Northern Light
Wooden Nickels Helped Blaine
 Weather The Great Depression


Local News
The Northern Light

Bellingham Herald

Ralph Schwartz
Political Blog
Bellingham Herald


Whatcom Watch

Brenda Wilbee
Writer of Sweet Briar Novels
writes about her family history in this blog.

View This


The Great Gray Heron’s Decree for 2015
The Great Gray Heron is one of our local birds.

Click Here



 Now and Then
 And Maybe Never Again


News & Views

Birch Bay Kite

 May 26 & 27 

Birch Bay dogs have been putting up a stink.
Here is the Scoop on the Poop.


Whatcom County received a shipment of defective doggie bags last month. The new bags arrive in Birch Bay on Thursday the 8th.
The Mutt Mitt Stations are effective. How do we know this? Since, the Mutt Mitt Stations, have been out of bags,
dog poop is showing up in places we have not seen for years. The neighbors are putting up a stink.
The dogs have started a new campaign. Their slogan is "Step on it, not in it." They want everyone to pick up any dog poop they see for a week or two, so we can get back our clean, enjoyable Birch Bay.


One of our local Artists
Gary Giles
Presentation on UTube
You don't want to miss this.

(We should have had it up last mouth.)



Good-by Yarn Shop

Well, the news is, and I'm not happy about it. Birch Bay has lost the Yarn Shop. Max, Mary's husband, is extremely ill. The business has been up for sale, but with no real takers. Counting back, we lost Vonna's, Dirty Dog wash (Now replaced by Canine Devine.) and the Willow.

It Does matter who said it.

“The value of an education in a liberal arts college,” said Albert Einstein, “is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.” Or, I might add, the internet. 

It Doesn't matter who said it.

“If you don’t control growth, growth will control you.”

Surch this one
"The only constant is change"

The law locks up the man or woman. Who steals the goose from the common. But leaves the greater villain lose. Who steals the common from the goose.




Birch Bay



Come for Lunch
Enjoy Birch Bay
Stay for Dinner
(Why would you want to
 eat franchised food? )

Businesses that are ready
to serve you.

At Birch Bay
(Presented from
 North to South)


Starvin Sam’s Gas

Birch Bay
 Box Facility & Recycling

9:000-4:30 Sundays
4297 Birch Bay – Lynden Road

Toad’s Chevron

Water Slides

Miniature World

Birch Bay
Family Medicine

 Physical Therapy

La Petite Mobilite
Beauty Salon

Bay Center Market

Birch Bay Teriyaki
& Chinese Cafe

Edgewater Trailer Park

Visitor’s Center

C. J.’s Beach House

The Beach at Birch Bay

Shores Restaurant

Paddle & Pedal

(Close for the season)

Birch Bay Liquor
&  Wine

Canine Divine

Essence Spa

Fringe Benefits
Hair Studio

Hair by Dawn

Beach Basket Yarns

Bay Cafe

The C Shop
(Close for the season)

Beach Shack
(Close for the season)

Kate’s Corner

Escape Day Spa

Sometimes Books
(Close for the season)

Primrose Lane
(Close for the season)

Galloping Horse Equestrian


Park & Recreation

Beachwood Store & Gas

Birch Bay State Park


Semiahmoo Resort




Home Services Phone List


 Birch Bay Tax Dollars

Birch Bay Water Sewer

Birch Bay Census 2010