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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Alternative Energy
3:11 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Progress In Turning Woody Debris From Northwest Forests Into Biofuels

Slash piles of woody debris in Northwest forests are seen as a promising new source of feedstock for low-emission biofuels.
Potjie photo Flickr via Compfight

In 2011, biofuels in the Northwest got a huge boost. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $80 million in grants to researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University. It’s meant to help turn woody biomass into environmentally-friendly fuels for cars and jets.

Now they’re at about the half-way point in their research, and several hundred are attending a conference on wood-based biofuels in Seattle.  

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:15 am
Fri April 25, 2014

More April Showers This Weekend, But Saturday Will Bring Sunbreaks

C4Chaos Flickr

Don’t put your parkas away just yet. 

It’s classic April weather this weekend with lots of showers but plenty of sunbreaks, too, according to KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

Saturday, in particular, is going to be nice, says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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Transit Funding
4:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

With Prop. 1 Failing, Group Plans Ballot Initiative To Save Bus Service In Seattle

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County's Proposition 1, which would have raised sales taxes and car tab fees to preserve Metro bus service, is failing. Initial counts show 55 percent of voters rejected the measure, leaving low odds of passage.

Still, Seattle transit advocates are down, but not out of ideas.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Gregoire's Earth Day Message To College Kids: Puget Sound Health Depends On You

A southern resident J pod orca whale swims in Puget Sound in view of Mount Rainier and downtown Seattle, as seen from a federally permitted research vessel Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Forty four years ago, the modern environmental movement was born with the celebration of the first Earth Day. At massive teach-ins around the country, people called on industries to stop polluting.

Now the messages have become more personal, says former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is speaking at Pacific Lutheran University Tuesday night.

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On Resilience
4:59 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Washington's Own Bill Iffrig A Reluctant Hero Of Boston Marathon Bombing

Bill Iffrig
Jessica Robinson

An elderly man from Lake Stevens has become a reluctant symbol of resilience in the face of terrorism. 

An image of 79-year-old Bill Iffrig, blown off his feet in an orange singlet near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, went around the world. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and interviewed for a 12-minute online documentary titled "The Finish Line." 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:40 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Mass: April Showers In The Forecast, But Easter Sunday Will Be 'Pretty Good Day'

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 16, 2014, flowers and plants removed from a tulip field are tossed in a truck near Mount Vernon, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

If you’re planning any outdoor fun this weekend, Sunday’s your best bet, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The famous Puget Sound convergence zone has been dumping rain in the greater Seattle area, with some places in the foothills of the cascades getting as much as 4 inches in the space of just six hours on Thursday afternoon. Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says there will be a break from that today, but not for too long.

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Alternative Energy
5:01 am
Wed April 16, 2014

PUD Changes Course; No Dam for Skykomish River’s Sunset Falls

Skykomish River
Courtesy Andrea Matzke

Plans to put a dam on one of Washington’s most scenic rivers have been called off.

The Snohomish County Public Utilities District says it has a better plan for the area on the Skykomish River near Index. But opponents of the project say it’s still too early to declare a victory. 

Snohomish County PUD was planning an inflatable weir for the bend in the river near Sunset Falls, not far from Index. The utility said it had a design that would rise and fall with the river, making it safe for endangered fish runs and minimally disruptive to the scenic value of the area.

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Oso Slide
5:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Slide Survivor: I Called County 3 Times Before Buying Home, But No One Warned Me

What's left of Robin Youngblood's property is seen in the wake of the mudslide.
Courtesy Robin Youngblood

Former Oso resident Robin Youngblood calls the mudslide she survived last month “devastating, horrific and totally unnecessary.” Thirty seven people are confirmed dead, and seven remain missing as crews search for remains. 

Youngblood was pulled from the ruins after her mobile home was flattened. She’s now on a mission to get laws changed to prevent people from building or remaining in slide-prone areas once the danger is known.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:23 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Weekend Curse Broken: Saturday The Start Of 'Extraordinarily Nice Period,' Says Mass

Tim Durkan

Get out your shades and sunscreen: this weekend promises to be mild and very sunny, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It’s gonna be quite good,” said Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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Endangered Fish
5:01 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Scientists Monitoring Oso Slide’s Effects On Stillaguamish Fish Runs

Turbid waters at the confluence of the Stillaguamish River after the mudslide present challenging circumstances for endangered fish.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

As the search for victims of the Oso mudslide continues, scientists are monitoring its effects on endangered fish runs.

The cloudiness of the Stillaguamish River due to sediment washing down after the slide is a big concern. But it looks like initial fears of devastation are giving way to optimism. 

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Data Security
2:11 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Audit: State Gave Away, Sold Computers Containing Sensitive Personal Data

Mikkel Ronne Flickr

State agencies have likely given away or sold hundreds of surplus computers without removing confidential data from their hard drives, according to the state auditor.

A performance audit released Thursday says a spot check of more than a thousand remaindered machines found about 9 percent of them still contained sensitive data, such as social security numbers and medical information.

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Oil Trains
5:01 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Sen. Murray Calls Federal Hearing On Risks, Procedures For Rail Shipment Of Crude Oil

AP Photo

Less than four years ago, there were virtually no shipments of crude oil by rail car through Washington state. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see the dark-gray tanks at crossings all over the state.  

U.S.  Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., held a hearing with top transportation and safety officials to discuss potential safety measures to protect communities in the face of more growth.  

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:45 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Weekend Won't Be All Sunshine, But Monday Will Be Glorious

Freshly blooming daffodils frame the Space Needle against a blue sky background following days of rain and clouds Tuesday, March 11, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Got outdoor plans this weekend? You’ll want to make use of your Saturday morning, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

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Environment
4:46 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Seattle Council Mulls Supporting Ban On Routine Feeding Of Antibiotics To Livestock

File image
Jeff Roberson AP Photo

Seattle may join several other cities in a campaign calling for a federal ban on the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms. A resolution on the issue has passed out of committee, and will be considered by the full council on Monday. 

The resolution calls for an end to routine feeding of antibiotics to animals, which critics say is leading to drug-resistant superbugs that harm human health. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:09 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Rain This Weekend Could Make March Our Wettest On Record In W. Wash.

Wet weather in western Washington is expected to get wetter over the weekend.
Photo by Neil Banas Flickr via Compfight

Friday's steady rain is contributing to what may become a record-breaking March for total rainfall in many places in the Northwest.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says a wet front is coming through western Washington.

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