Bellamy Pailthorp

Environment Reporter

Bellamy Pailthorp joined the staff of KPLU as a general assignment reporter in 1999 and covered the business and labor beat for more than a decade. She now covers the environment beat. She was raised in Seattle, but spent 8 years in Berlin, Germany freelancing for NPR and working as a producer for Deutsche Welle TV after receiving a Fulbright scholarship in 1989. She holds a Bachelors degree in German language and literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and a Masters in journalism from New York's Columbia University, where she completed the Knight-Bagehot fellowship in business reporting in 2006.

Bellamy's most memorable KPLU radio moment: “Seeing the INS open a shipping container at the Port of Seattle that contained stowaways from China, three of whom died en route of seasickness. Harrowing stuff, with global economics and inequity at its root.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:06 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Summer Is Back! Dry Weather And Warm, Sunny Skies In the Forecast

The last week of July is historically the driest week of the year. And despite record-breaking rain last week, the forecast for the days ahead fits the bill for this time of year, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We’re going to have sun, warmth and virtually no precipitation,” Mass said of the week ahead.

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Rail Safety
2:41 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Oil Train Derailment Under Busy Seattle Bridge Highlights Safety Concerns

Derailed oil tanker cars beneath Seattle's Magnolia Bridge on Thursday, July 24, 2014.
courtesy Dana Robinson Slote Seattle City Council

Three tanker cars derailed at a Seattle rail yard early Thursday while carrying oil from North Dakota to a refinery in Anacortes.

No one was hurt and none of the oil spilled, according to Burlington Northern Santa Fe. But the incident spurred renewed calls from the city for a ban on oil train traffic near neighborhoods.  

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Oil Tankers
5:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Expansion Of 13-Year-Old Oil Terminal Just Now Getting Environmental Review

An expansion of the Northwest’s largest oil terminal will be the subject of a public hearing before the Army Corps of Engineers Thursday evening in Seattle. Environmentalists are calling for limits on oil tanker traffic at BP’s docks at Cherry Point, north of Bellingham. 

Environmental impact statements are usually heard before a project is built. But in an unusual twist, this hearing concerns a facility that’s been up and running for 13 years.

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Fish Consumption Rate
5:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Wash. To Host First Public Meeting On Inslee's Fish Consumption Rate Proposal

How much fish we eat — or the government's recorded assumption about our consumption — is one factor in an equation that determines how much water pollution industries are allowed to discharge.

Washington is slowly moving ahead with a long-delayed plan to update its water quality rules. Tuesday's will be the first public meeting on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to dramatically increase the fish consumption rate, which determines how clean discharged water must be. But some say the proposal doesn’t go far enough.

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Alternative Energy
4:16 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Germany Provides Inspiration, Potential Market for Wash. Clean Tech Companies

Solar panels on the roofs of houses in the Bavarian village of Eitting near Munich, Germany.
Riex Flickr via Compfight

A delegation from Germany recently paid Washington’s clean tech lobby a visit. At a meeting in Seattle, the delegation, whose country's emphasis on renewable energy has made it a global leader in the sector, presented some of the lessons local companies are learning from the German example.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:02 am
Fri July 18, 2014

On Tap: Cooler, Cloudier Weekend With Chance Of Showers

The summer sun sets over Elliott Bay.
Tim Durkan

If you love sunshine, Friday’s the day to get out and enjoy it.

The cooling trend we’ve been experiencing will continue this weekend and even bring some rain with it, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

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Layoffs
5:00 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Analyst: Microsoft CEO 'Seizing The Moment' Restructuring For Mobile World

Ted S. Warren AP Photo

More than 1,300 Microsoft employees in the Puget Sound region got their pink slips Thursday as part of announced cuts to the worldwide workforce that could total 18,000 by the end of the year — the biggest in the company’s history.

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Energy Exports
10:33 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Report Shows Coal, Oil Trains Would Quadruple Rail Traffic, Alarming Lawmakers

File image
AP Photo

Lawmakers are expressing concerns over an updated report outlining the combined impacts of coal and oil trains that would roll through the Northwest if plans for export terminals move forward.

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

UW Study: Urban Fumes Cause Pollinating Moths To Fly Like 'Stumbling Drunks'

A pollinating moth Manduca sexta, this one with a wing span of about 4 inches, feeds from a Sacred Dutura, or Datura wrightii, flower.
Courtesy of Kiley Riffell

As much as one-third of our food supply depends on pollinators like insects and birds that fertilize plants when they fly between blossoms.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:16 am
Fri July 4, 2014

A Lovely Fourth Of July Weekend On Tap With Chance Of Clouds Saturday

Doug Mahugh

Sunny skies on the Fourth of July are not something to take for granted in Seattle. But revelers can count their blessings this year, as the clouds are expected to burn off and give way to a decent day for picnics and fireworks displays, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Much better than some other Fourth of Julys,” Mass said.

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Fair Housing
8:34 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Tenants With Disabilities Filing Suit Over Sale Of Seattle Apartment Building

"We deserve better. We are human beings," said Theodora resident Harold Echtinaw, who says he moved there in November 2005. He is among the tenants who formed the Theodora Rescue Committee to file suit against its sale to a private developer.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

A group of disabled and elderly tenants being priced out of a Seattle apartment building are striking back.

Several residents of the Theodora Apartments in Ravenna have filed suit under federal fair housing laws. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:18 am
Fri June 27, 2014

A Dose Of June Gloom This Weekend, But Sunnier Outlook For The Fourth Of July

Tim Durkan

Keep your rain gear handy if you’re headed outside this weekend. KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we’re starting to pay for the drier-than-usual June we’ve had this year.

But Mass says sunny days are around the corner; things will improve by the Fourth of July weekend.

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Marine Life
12:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

This Is What Puget Sound Orcas Sound Like When They Talk To Each Other

An endangered female orca leaps from the water while breaching in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 from a federal research vessel.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Ever hear an orca speak? Ken Balcomb, who many regard as the godfather of whale conservation, captured their chatter using a hydrophone on San Juan Island: 

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Marine Life
5:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Key To Saving Endangered Orcas: Chinook Salmon, Says Local Expert

FILE -- In this file photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and shot Oct. 29, 2013, orca whales from the J and K pods swim past a small research boat on Puget Sound in view of downtown Seattle.
AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries Service, Candice Emmons

Following the release of a federal report on the state of endangered orcas, one local researcher says there's one factor that matters more to the whales' wellness than toxins and vessel traffic: fish. 

Ken Balcomb, who many regard as the godfather of whale conservation, is the director of the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor. For almost 40 years now, the center has been keeping track of every individual whale in the three pods that make up the southern resident population of the iconic orcas that live in Puget Sound.

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Environment
11:01 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Decade Of Research Reveals Iconic Orcas' Struggle

An endangered female orca leaps from the water while breaching in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Scientists studying southern resident killer whales for the past decade now know they are among the most contaminated marine mammals and prefer to eat Chinook salmon.

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