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
12:50 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Rent a living X-mas tree

You can avoid this scene and help a non-profit restore the riparian zone along local streams by renting a living tree.
Photo by by Sappymoosetree Flickr

What’s the best way to have a Christmas tree…and not feel like you’re killing it?

The Adopt-a-Stream Foundation in Everett says if you don’t mind something that looks a bit scrappy, you can have your tree and plant it too.

The foundation says it rented out 100 trees over this past weekend…and they have about 100 more available. They’ll be open 9-5 through Friday.

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Coal Exports
9:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Coal opponents outnumber proponents at Seattle hearing

Concern about air pollution and ocean health inspired hundreds to rally in Seattle against the proposed coal terminal near Bellingham.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

It was one of the biggest outpourings of environmental activism that Seattle has seen since the WTO protests more than a decade ago.

At Freeway Park, a giant balloon shaped like an asthma inhaler floated above a sea of red shirts and banners from the Sierra Club. There was also a giant salmon puppet accompanied by schools of ailing herring and a sad-looking polar bear. And a white-haired lady dressed like Santa held a sign that said, "SAVE MY NORTH POLE." 

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Coal Exports
5:00 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Crowds gearing up for Seattle hearing on Bellingham terminal

Should more long coal trains like this one from Wyoming be allowed to run through western Washington?
railsr4me flickr

Seattle is bracing for a big hearing.

Thousands of people are expected to turn out Thursday for a chance to testify about the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, north of Bellingham.

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Business
5:00 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Cashless trade between small businesses brightens giving season

One of the newest members of BizXchange's bartering network is a gift shop owner who has two storefronts near Pike place Market. Clare Fisher of Pacific Rain Gift Company was selling excess inventory including Ikebana supplies at the BizX Holiday expo.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

It’s giving season, so there are loads of parties going on this time of year.

But a recent holiday bazaar in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood is the work of a unique entrepreneur, with a special spin on networking.

He has helped thousands of small companies to survive and even grow during the Great Recession.

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Air travel
2:14 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

FAA approves commerical flights for Paine Field

Vacationers wanting to fly from the Seattle area to destinations such as Hawaii and Phoenix may soon have another option. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved commercial flights out of Paine Field, near Everett. It’s a proposal that’s been in the works for years.

Despite concern from some neighbors about noise and other environmental factors, the FAA issued a “finding of no significant impacts” for the proposal to allow commercial flights from Snohomish County airport.

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Environment
4:26 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

FAA approves commericial flights for Paine Field

Vacationers wanting to fly from the Seattle area to destinations such as Hawaii and Phoenix may soon have another option. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved commercial flights out of Paine Field, near Everett. It’s a proposal that’s been in the works for years.

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Transportation alternatives
4:07 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Could you eat your car?

A snapshot of menu cards handed out to bloggers at Ford's "Fusion meets Fusion" food event in Seattle.

Seattleites care about the climate. So much, in fact, that the Ford Motor Company chose to target consumers in the Pacific Northwest with an event celebrating the sustainable elements of its latest car designs.

And it’s not just about the tailpipe emissions. It’s about the interface of food and car parts.         

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Ocean Health
2:49 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Gov. Gregoire announces next steps on ocean acidification

One of Gov. Gregoire's parting shots is the signing of a new law about ocean acidification. Her roots as a lawmaker are in the state Department of Ecology. State and tribal officials were on hand to witness the signing.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed an executive order directing state officials to work on the problem of ocean acidification.

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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon November 26, 2012

San Fran’s popular Sidecar is the latest ridesharing app for Seattle

Online apps that track riders' whereabouts make this scene safer. Sidecar is the latest such service in Seattle.
sivinjski danijel flickr

Did you get stuck in traffic during the Thanksgiving weekend? Or: worry about your kids getting dicey rides home from holiday parties?

Those are two reasons you might be interested in a relatively new,
alternative form of transportation: ridesharing.

It's really just a new spin on hitchhiking. Only, when you add in cell phones with an app to download, it’s quicker and more convenient to find the right ride.

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Earthday founder reflects on environmental activism in Obama’s second term

Denis Hayes, one of the region's most sought-after speakers on environmental policy, says activists must mobilize people to keep pressure on the Obama administration.
Courtesy of The Bullitt Foundation

Though they say it’s better than any Republican alternative, many activists have been disappointed in the environmental policies of the Obama administration.

Now that the election’s over, we caught up with one of the state’s most prominent environmental thinkers to get his take on what’s in store for the next four years.

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520 Floating Bridge
7:30 am
Thu November 15, 2012

WSDOT says cracks in new SR-520 pontoons are par for the course

Construction on on the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington, just north of the old bridge. WSDOT says it wants to show more transparency as the repair process on cracked pontoons continues.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

You may have heard about some issues with the large concrete pontoons being built for the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington. Several of them sprung leaks and cracks after the cement set in Aberdeen.

But the state Department of Transportation says drivers don’t need to worry; the situation is under control.

Click the "play" icon below to see video of State Construction Engineer Jeff Carpenter describing how pontoon cracks are being patched to ensure they will last 75 years, as stipulated in the design plan:

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Transportation
5:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Defunct Kingston ferry could improve reliability for King County’s passenger-only service

This ferry is costing the cash-strapped Port of Kingston thousands of dollars a month for insurance and maintenance costs. King County wants to take it over.
Credit Courtesy Port of Kingston

Their loss is our gain. That’s one way some folks are looking at the
failure of the Port of Kingston’s passenger-only ferry service.

The last sailing of the shuttle between downtown Seattle and Kingston was
September 28th.

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon November 12, 2012

County commissioners call for mediation in Skagit Valley water fight

In Skagit County, a decades-old fight over water rights has come to a
head.

County Commissioners are walking away from an agreement they say
was originally intended to allocate water permits fairly, while
protecting endangered salmon. But now they say that agreement has
caused nothing but lawsuits, so they’re seeking mediation instead.

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Environment
12:03 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Oil spill scare off coast of Port Angeles shows readiness pays

Mike Cahill WA Department of Ecology

A small oil spill this week in Port Angeles turned out to be a lot less severe than originally feared.  Clean-up crews are still working to get sticky residue out of the the harbor. But the incident shows how preparedness can pay off.

Washington state put laws in place six years ago that did just what they were intended to do early Wednesday morning, according to the Department of Ecology.

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2012 Elections
7:06 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Inslee readying transition team

Jay Inslee at a press conference on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. He says he wants to hit the ground running, so he is assembling staff before he officially wins the race to become Washington's next governor.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Democrat Jay Inslee is still ahead in the race for Washington governor. The tally now stands at 51% for the former Congressman.

Inslee says he’s waiting for a call from his opponent, Attorney General Rob McKenna, before he’ll declare victory. But, that didn’t stop him from holding a press conference Wednesday to talk about his transition team.

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