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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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:02 am
Fri March 16, 2012

We're stuck! Expect 10 days of off-and-on rain, even some snow

Spring is in the future, but so is the rain.
Steve Wall Flickr

Sure spring is coming next week, but KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass says we'll be seeing plenty of rain and even some snow this weekend and it doesn't get any better for days to come.

Mass explains on his blog: "Last winter we were securely in La Nina conditions and the region experienced a miserable, cold, wet spring that lasted into mid summer.   Horror to all soccer and Little League parents.

"This winter we have also been in a La Nina and since early February we have been colder and wetter than normal, with snowpack surging in our mountains. Yes, it appears we are dealing with  the revenge of La Nina."

Renewable Energy
1:48 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

An under-used resource in Washington: forest biomass

Slash such as the branches and stumps shown here in Wishkah, Washington could be used for sustainable biofuels. A new study from the Commissioner of Public Lands says market use of such biomass could double without any impacts to forest sustainability.
Photo by Hugo90 Flickr

Renewable energy is growing on trees in Washington – and right now, much of it is going up in smoke.

That’s the word from Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who has just released the results of a study on forest biomass.

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Environment
10:48 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Seen a wolf? Report it on state's new website

This Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife photo shows OR-11, a male pup from the Walla Walla pack, waking up from anesthesia after being fitted with a radio tracking collar in northeastern Oregon.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — People who think they've seen a wolf, heard one howl or found other evidence of wolves in Washington have a new place to share their story.

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Energy Efficiency
10:17 am
Tue March 6, 2012

LED streetlight test puts Seattle arterial in national spotlight

New LED lamps like this one on 15th Avenue NW in Ballard will be tested this week, with hopes of setting energy-saving standards for new lighting on major arterials. Officials say they can save millions of dollars once installed citywide.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Later today, road crews will shut down a 15-block stretch of a major arterial in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. For three nights, the city is testing the use of new LED lighting to replace old-fashioned street lamps.

The study is part of a regional effort that could set the standard for more energy efficient streetlights across the country.

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Washington politics
5:36 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Rep. Norm Dicks, 18-term Democrat for Washington, is retiring 

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. speaking on Capitol Hill last year in Washington.
The Associated Press

Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks, a former college football player who cast a huge presence over state and national politics for more than 30 years, announced Friday he'll retire at the end of the year after 18 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"I have been thinking about this for years. At some point you have to retire. I just decided this was the right time," Dicks told The Associated Press.

In an interview with KPLU, he  pointed out that he's been commuting to work in the other Washington for 44 years. 

"You know, eight with Senator Magnuson and 36 years in the house of representatives," Dicks said.

He said he also has a neck issue from football that's been bugging him recently. All of that added up to his conclusion that it's time to step aside and let somebody else be the Congressman from the 6th District.

"I hope a Democrat wins, but there's no guarantee. There was no guarantee that I was going to win," Dicks said.

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TRooper Memorial
4:22 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Trooper looking out for others, even after his death, says son

Police honor guard officers wait for the arrival of a motorcade procession before a memorial service for Washington State Trooper Tony Radulescu today in Kent, Wash. Radulescu was shot and killed Feb. 23 during a traffic stop in Gorst,
The Associated Press

“A trooper’s trooper.” That was a phrase used repeatedly to describe Washington State Patrol Trooper Tony Radulescu at a memorial this afternoon in Kent.

He was born in Bucharest and immigrated to the United States at age 14. He served in the US Army, spoke five languages and was well known for having a great sense of humor and a radiant smile.

His son Eric spoke at the memorial. He said his Dad was always looking out for others, adding that the tragedy of his killing seems to be pushing legislation forward that will continue to do so.

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Environment
7:18 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Spotted owl recovery plan: more active forestry management...and shooting rivals

The highly adaptable barred owl has moved in from points east and pushed out the endangered northern spotted owl. Lethal and non-lethal removals are part of the new spotted owl recovery plan announced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
caroltlw photo Flickr

In the long saga to protect the northern spotted owl, it's now officially "owl vs owl."

US Fish and Wildlife says the decline of the iconic northwest species can’t be helped without killing some of its more aggressive cousins, the barred owl.

It’s part of a court-ordered plan to increase the spotted owl’s forest habitat.

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Environment
1:50 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Puget Sound 'tub' tainted by industrial residue of toxic dioxin

A dioxin survey map from the EPA, establishing baseline data through sampling by the research vessel Bold. Sediment samples were collected and analyzed at 70 locations throughout the Sound.
US EPA image

When you think about Puget Sound, a bathtub might not be the first image to come to mind.

But that’s one way environmentalists and scientists sometimes describe it, because the shape of Puget Sound is an important factor when it comes to keeping it clean.

A long-awaited report from the Environmental Protection Agency on the health effects of dioxin is confirming what many experts have known for a long time. 

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Political crisis
7:11 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Standoff in Snohomish County: Executive asked to stand down, refuses

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon appears unmoved by a call for him to stand down.

As allegations mount that he has abused his public office, the County Council voted unanimously to request he take a voluntary leave of absence. 

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Oscar Nominations
4:47 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Wim Wenders talks of processing loss, learning new language of dance theater

One of the most talked-about Oscar nominations this year is the 3-D dance documentary, Pina by Wim Wenders.

The German “new-wave” director is also well-known for the feature film Wings of Desire and for the jazz documentary Buena Vista Social Club.

His new movie is a portrait of the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch.

KPLU’s Bellamy Pailthorp asked him to tell the story of how he first discovered her work, reluctantly, almost three decades ago.

His girlfriend insisted he go with her to see a performance.

Wenders says, he expected to be bored…

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Envisioning the Future
5:31 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Waterfront design workshops at Town Hall Seattle

A conceptual rendering of the view looking at Elliott Bay and Pier 62/63 from the proposed Overlook Fold, which would help reconnect the waterfront to downtown and the Pike Place Market.
Courtesy james corner field operations and City of Seattle

Should the Pike Place Market be connected to Elliot Bay with new walkways?

That’s one of many expensive questions on the minds of landscape designers in charge of rebuilding Seattle’s waterfront.

In less than a week, the city will once again convene stakeholders and the public for help shaping the future of the city’s  “front door” on Puget Sound.

The group Waterfront Seattle is calling on the public to join in discussions that will help determine what the new waterfront will look like, after the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down.

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Environment
4:50 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Pot plantations laying waste to national forests

This marijuana grow site was discovered in Ross Lake National Recreation Area, in North Cascades National Park, in 2008. Many more have been found in the Northwest's national forests, including Oregon's biggest ever last summer, in Wallowa County.
National Parks Service Photo

With its delicate, bright-green leaves, it’s a beautiful plant to look at.

And its medicinal qualities are well-known, but it requires huge amounts of water and light to grow. 

And that’s just the start of the problems caused by marijuana that authorities have been discovering growing in national forests.

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Environment
3:57 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

City by city, plastic bag bans gaining momentum

A plastic bag ban ordinance modeled after the ones already passed in Bellingham and Seattle is on the agenda of two suburban Puget Sound cities this week.

Bainbridge Island’s council is holding a public hearing on the issue tonight (Wednesday, 5:30 pm.) The hearing can be monitored via webcast.

And a committee at the City of Issaquah takes up the issue Thursday evening.

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Port of Seattle
4:55 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Short-haul truckers heading back to work after two-weeks out

Community members show their support of the truckers at a rally on Monday.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

The two-week work stoppage by several hundred drayage drivers at the Port of Seattle ended this afternoon at a hastily-called press conference. The truckers who haul cargo containers from port terminals to distribution centers and rail yards walked off the job Jan. 30.

Demeke Meconnan, one of the first drivers to walk, said they're headed back to work, but their campaign isn't over.

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Gardening
9:47 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Artistic passions on display at the NW Flower and Garden Show

It’s been sunny and fair lately…but what do you do when the dark and cloudy skies of late winter get you down?
 
For many people in the Pacific Northwest, the answer is gardening.
 
Their passion is on display this week at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.
 
KPLU environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp went to check it out. (Click on the "Listen" button up top to hear some highlights from the preview tour.)
 

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