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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Environment
5:01 am
Mon June 10, 2013

FERC hearing on proposed Skykomish River hydro project

A view upstream from the site on the south fork of the Skykomish River, where an intake structure and underwater cavern would go for a new dam
courtesy Andrea Matzke

Federal officials will be in Index this week to hear from the public about a controversial proposal for a new dam on the Skykomish River.

Representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will tour the proposed dam site at Sunset Falls, and take public comments as part of the licensing process.

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Coal Exports
5:59 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Sierra Club sues BNSF over coal dust from trains

Coal dust mingles with grass in Wyoming.
Eli Nixon photo Flickr

A coalition of environmental groups led by the Sierra Club has filed suit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and five energy companies.

The plaintiffs say coal dust flying out of uncovered train cars is polluting Washington rivers and Puget Sound, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

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Environment
5:01 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Sediment health declining in central Puget Sound

Environmental specialist and lead taxonomist Kathy Welch examines a sediment sample pulled from Elliott Bay. A new study of the sediments shows a dramatic decline in the health of benthic invertibrates over a ten-year period, despite lower toxin levels.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Scientists examining the health of Puget Sound have uncovered a new mystery involving the very bottom of the food chain.

A new study from the state Department of Ecology shows toxins in sediments have declined over the past decade. But it also found declining health of the creatures that live in the sediment. 

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Business
5:19 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Fast-food workers walk out during job, demand better pay

Workers and their supporters rally for better pay and the right to organize,outside Qdoba on Broadway in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photos KPLU News

Workers at fast-food restaurants all over Seattle walked off the job Thursday and rallied outside, taking part in a national movement calling for better wages and the right to organize.

The workers walked out of Taco Bell in Ballard, Burger King in Lake City, Taco Del Mar in the U-District, and Arby’s in Georgetown. During the lunch hour on Broadway, dozens of workers and their supporters waved signs outside an empty Qdoba franchise, demanding a living wage of $15 per hour. 

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Global warming
4:36 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Promise of the Arctic conference points to opportunities and risks

A polar bear on one of the last ice floes floating in the Arctic sea in June 2008.
Gerard Van der Leun photo Flickr via Compfight

The Arctic is getting hotter faster than any part of the globe. Experts predict the region will be free of sea ice during the summer within about 20 years. 

That’s creating a gold-rush mentality among many shipping and energy companies eager to capitalize on new trade routes or tap new sources of oil and gas.

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Disease prevention
5:01 am
Tue May 28, 2013

State seeking volunteers for bird flu tests on backyard flocks

istockphoto.com

State officials are urging owners of backyard chicken to sign up their flock for bird flu testing.

The state is trying to prevent an outbreak of a new strain of bird flu like the one recently seen in China. At least 36 people have died of the disease since March.

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Could you do it?
6:14 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Exhibit inspires woman to try to avoid buying plastics for a month

A look at the accumulation of plastics that crept into Sam Porter's life, despite her pledge not to use or buy any new plastics for a month.
courtesy Burke Museum

Plastics have only been in wide use since the 1940s, yet they are everywhere, from sandwich bags to phones, to keyboards, to rain gear. Even the cans of soup in the grocery aisle are lined with it.

It's hard to imagine a world before these conveniences. What would your life be like without plastics?

Seattle resident Samantha Porter decided to find out. She works behind the scenes of the Burke Museum, which is hosting an exhibit titled "Plastics Unwrapped."

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green design
5:01 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Latest in 'living building' green design: Self-sustaining classroom

The lab area inside the new SEEDclassroom in Seattle, which is aiming to become the first portable to meet the strict sustainability criteria of the "Living Building Challenge."
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

A prototype of a self-sustaining portable classroom has arrived at a parking lot in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

The classroom is meant to set a higher bar for schools by demonstrating they can meet the highest standard of green building design, the Living Building Challenge, fairly quickly. 

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Seattle mayoral race
4:30 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Burgess exits Seattle mayoral race

Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess has bowed out of the mayoral race.

Burgess said recent polling showed his campaign lacked the sparkle he needed to win, and he posed a risk of splintering the vote in the crowded race.

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Environment
5:01 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Inslee issues greenest-yet budget pledge for Climate Solutions

Governor Inslee addressing the 2013 Climate Solutions fundraiser.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

As the special legislative session gets underway in Olympia, Gov. Jay Inslee says some of the most important parts of his two-year budget proposal are investments in clean energy.

During a fundraiser for the nonprofit group Climate Solutions on Monday, the governor said he is pushing for a state budget that includes funds to start a new research center at the University of Washington.

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Environment
10:59 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Greening up historic buildings: Seattle’s Town Hall as case study

Town Hall Seattle received Landmark status last year, but it's also embarking on a multi-million dollar green retrofit. Meeting requirements of both is the subject of a "design charette" Wednesday during the 2013 Government Confluence in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Seattle has been in the spotlight lately as the home to the world’s greenest new office building, the Bullitt Center. Also under construction is the headquarters of Brooks Sports in Fremont, which promises to be “deep green.”

But what about all the buildings that are already standing?

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northwest fishermen
8:04 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Pebble Mine opponents put value of Bristol Bay fishery at $1.5 billion

Sockey salmon in Bristol Bay support about 12,000 jobs annually in fishing and processing industries, according to a new economic impact report from the University of Alaska's Institute for Social and Economic Research
toddraden Photo Flickr

Though it’s thousands of miles away, a proposed mine for gold and copper in Alaska’s Bristol Bay threatens to destroy the livelihood of thousands of people in the Puget Sound area. 

Seattle’s fleet of commercial fishermen and seafood processors have been a big part of the opposition to the so-called Pebble Mine.

A new economic report puts the value of Bristol Bay’s salmon at $1.5 billion per year, and says more than a quarter of the jobs it generates are located in Washington state.

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Sustainability
5:01 am
Thu May 9, 2013

'Slow Flowers': Seattle author's case for sustainably-grown flowers

Debra Prinzing

Like many other holidays, Mother’s Day has become quite commercialized. Along with a Hallmark card often comes a perfect-looking bouquet of flowers that have traveled thousands of miles to get to your front door.

But for those who long for flowers with a local tie and fewer pesticides, there are other options.

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sequester
3:53 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Canceled open house latest effect of sequester on parks, science

Mount St. Helens is seen from Johnston's Ridge Observatory.
woodleywonderworks Flickr

A much-loved open house at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver did not take place over the weekend. The center is run by the U.S. Geological Survey, which had to cancel the program due to the federal budget sequestration.

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May Day stories
9:53 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Snapshots: Why people marched on May Day

Chris Gomez, 31, has temporary work papers and works as a pizza delivery man. "We—me, as a Hispanic, I don't consider ourselves as bad people, we're just here to try to get a better life, get better jobs, support our families. That's all we want," he said
Bellamy Pailthorp

Thousands of people gathered in Seattle for the May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights. So we asked some of them: What inspired you to march?

You can also view their photos and answers on our Pinterest page

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