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.”

Pages

Preventing Urban Flooding
5:01 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Seattle Park is Giant Storm Drain

The stormwater holding area at 30th Avenue East and East John can hold nearly two million gallons of stormwater during very large storms. Its expansion was completed in December 2009.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Recent summer storms have many locals concerned about urban flooding, or fast-flowing water overwhelming storm drains.

In Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood, outdated infrastructure led to a tragic death in 2006, but the city says the chronic flooding there should be fixed now.

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Habitat restoration
5:01 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Partnership Aims to Improve Green-Duwamish River Watershed

Duwamish River Park in Georgetown is currently one of the only places people can go to experience the river
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

A local watershed is the first in the Northwest to participate in a federal program that aims to connect people with their waterways. 

As of today, the Green River-Duwamish watershed is a part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, which focuses on revitalizing urban waterways. Formed in 2011, the federal group aims to unify and direct the efforts of 13 federal agencies working to improve water quality.

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climate change
5:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

White House Council Chair to Visit Area, Discuss Climate Change

Skagit River Valley

A special guest will tour sites in the Skagit River Valley today. Nancy Sutley, the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality will be in Mount Vernon to discuss the impacts of climate change on communities in Washington state.

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minimum wage
10:57 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Judge Nixes Signatures from SeaTac Living Wage Measure

Supporters of the living wage initiative use signs to get their message across to the SeaTac City Council.
Ashley Gross KPLU

A King County Superior judge has thrown out a few dozen signatures for an initiative that would bring up the minimum wage in SeaTac, Wash., to $15 an hour.

But the group behind the initiative has submitted another 250 signatures to replace the ones thrown out.

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sounds of snails
9:29 am
Mon August 26, 2013

This is What Snails Sound Like When They Eat

When snails chow down, they make some noise, says Washington snail farmer Ric Brewer.

We can hear the snails eating with their toothed tongue, as well as the “squoosh” of their slime, Brewer says. Here's his brief explanation, followed by the sounds of the snails themselves. 

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Protecting Puget Sound
6:01 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Freshmen Congressmen Convene Puget Sound Recovery Caucus

Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Puget Sound lost a champion when Congressman Norm Dicks retired last year. Two freshman U.S. Representatives have formed a special caucus to fill the void. 

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Food Labeling Campaign
3:17 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

I-522 Supporters for GE Labels Outraising Opponents 4 to 1

Damian Dovarganes AP Photo

Washington voters will decide this fall whether foods that contain genetically-engineered ingredients must carry a special label.

Initiative 522 is similar to a California measure that failed last fall. But so far, the race for political contributions is shaping up quite differently. 

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Snail Whisperer
9:49 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Quilcene Snail Rancher Raising 'the Original Slow Food'

Ric Brewer

Ric Brewer spends his weekends hunched over his garden, tending to what he calls “the original slow food.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:03 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Mass: Typical Seattle Summer Weather to Make Glorious Return

Hang in there—the feel of Seattle's great summers is coming back this weekend.  

The autumn-like weather we’ve been having this week will yield to more typical summer fare, with blue skies in the afternoons and temperatures in the 70s, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

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renewable energy
5:01 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Renewable Natural Gas from Landfill Fueling Local Buses

Pierce Transit has signed an agreement to use renewable natural gas produced at nearby Cedar Hills Regional Landfill.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Natural gas from organic waste is gaining momentum as a renewable energy source, and a local transit agency is already on board. 

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climate change
3:05 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Sea Level Rise Map Shows 30 Wash. Towns Inundated

Update: The original version of this story incorrectly summarized this study as showing populations to be displaced by 2100 if current trends continue. Author Ben Strauss sent the following correction: "by 2100, we would most likely be *locked in* to such an outcome in a more distant future, time unspecified, but essentially inevitable." We have updated the story accordingly. 

The warming climate is causing sea levels to rise as oceans expand, and, combined with more frequent storms, the effects could be devastating.

A new map shows more than 1,400 towns in the U.S., 30 in Washington state, where half the population will be displaced  if current trends continue through the end of this century.

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Alternative Energy Art
2:57 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

'Sonic Bloom' Showcasing Solar Power at Seattle Center

Courtesy Pacific Science Center

It looks a bit like something you might find in a book by Dr. Seuss: five huge sculpted sunflowers with striped green and orange stems.

The new installation outside Seattle’s Pacific Science Center is meant to draw in and educate the public about solar power. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
1:01 pm
Sat August 10, 2013

Strange Clouds a Work of Mother Nature with Help from Mankind

Gary Batie

Did you see them?

A line of unusual triangular-shaped clouds resembling prayer flags draped over us earlier this week.

“We call these mare's tails or fall streaks in the business,” says Cliff Mass, KPLU weather expert and professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

The clouds were the work of Mother Nature, but with a little help from mankind.

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P-Patch Culture
3:34 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Seattle Setting Example for Community Gardens Nationwide

Courtesy City of Seattle

Seattle started its first city-sponsored P-Patch program 40 years ago. To help mark the anniversary, the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is holding its national conference here. Gardeners from more than 30 states and six foreign countries are attending.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
1:41 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Mass: Oh, the Smell of Rainfall on Hot Concrete after a Dry Spell!

Half Man Half Ape Flickr

Cliff Mass has a soft spot for the smell of rain, more specifically rain showering down on hot concrete after a long dry spell.

“This is something I’ve noticed for years,” said Mass, KPLU weather expert and professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. “After a dry period, you have the first rain and there’s this smell. I kind of like the smell myself.”

The technical name for the smell is “petrichor,” which Mass describes as “sweet, musty.”

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