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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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

May Day events
7:00 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

No show of violence as thousands gather for May Day rally, march

A speaker is seen addressing the crowd at Judkins Park.
Justin Steyer

A planned rally and march for workers and immigration reform progressed without interruptions by anarchists Wednesday, easing fears of another violent May Day.

Thousands of people gathered at Judkins Park, behind St. Mary's Church, for the Rally for Workers and Immigrant Rights at 1 p.m. Several unions were present, as were some representatives of the Occupy movement. Many people were displaying the flags of U.S. and Mexico, as well as signs urging comprehensive immigration reform. 

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Water safety
3:44 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

With boating season comes risk of cold water shock

Wearing a lifejacket might not be a reflex in Washington, but authorities say it should be. Last year, 32 people died from drowning. Cold water shock response is thought to be the cause of many nearly immediate deaths.
sea turtle photo Flickr

Boating season opens this weekend and the weather forecast predicts mostly clear skies and temperatures in the upper 70s.

The warming temperatures have authorities concerned about water safety and the potential for deadly drowning incidents. Last year, 32 people died from drowning, and more than a third of them in the spring.

Wade Alonzo with the State Parks Boating Safety Program says Washington certainly sees cold water, even when the weather is fair.

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shopping green
4:14 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Want to be green? Have your groceries delivered

Amazon Fresh is one of the grocery delivery options in Seattle. Others include Safeway.com and the new Seattle startup, Geniusdelivery. Google is testing a service in the San Francisco area. FreshDirect serves New York City.
leff Flickr

Having your groceries delivered might seem like a self-indulgent luxury.

But researchers at the University of Washington have found that, most of the time, you can feel good about doing something for the environment when you order your groceries online and have them delivered instead of making a trip to the store.

“We like to call it 'the bus for groceries,'” said Anne Goodchild, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at UW.

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toxins in fish
1:41 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

How much fish is healthy? Wash. tribes push for updated standard

jpellgen Flickr

How much fish should you eat? The state Department of Health recommends two meals of fish a week. But the Department of Ecology assumes people eat far less, about the equivalent of one meal per month.

That’s because it uses those assumptions to calculate how much water pollution can be legally allowed in Washington—pollution that ends up in the fish we eat.

Efforts to change that standard have stalled, and Washington's tribes, fed up, are calling on federal authorities to intervene.

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Light Rail expansion
5:01 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Tacoma City Council favors Hilltop area for light rail extension

City of Tacoma

Tacoma is on the brink of more than doubling the length of its Sound Transit Link Light Rail line.

Under a plan just recommended by the Tacoma City Council, the current starter line between the Tacoma Dome and the city's downtown would extend north into the Hilltop neighborhood. 

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Marijuana Legalization
8:01 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

4/20 a special day for pot fans

JosephAdams Photo Flickr

Fans of recreational marijuana are expected to light up in record numbers Saturday. That’s because the date—April 20 or 4/20—is also slang for the time of day when many pot-users like to get high.

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urban planning
10:48 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Micro-housing boom has some Seattle neighborhoods up in arms

DarthNick photo Flickr

New buildings packed with dorm-like rooms for rent have been popping up in Seattle’s densest neighborhoods.

A grey area in the law is allowing these so-called “micro-housing” projects to go up without neighborhood comment. A brown-bag discussion on the issue of takes place at City Hall today.

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wastewater settlement
1:35 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Seattle, King County to spend $1.5 billion on wastewater upgrades

Concrete culvert with street sewer water draining from an embankment into Seattle's Carkeek Park.
Wonderlane photo Flickr

The city of Seattle and King County will spend $1.46 billion on upgrades to public sewer systems aimed at reducing the amount of polluted water entering the Puget Sound and other waterways, according to a federal settlement filed under the Clean Water Act. 

Under the agreement, the city and county will also pay $750,000 in fines for dumping raw sewage into the Sound and several lakes. 

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