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
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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Port of Seattle
5:02 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Faith and community groups rallying for short haul truckers

Fuad Eltayeb (l) and Yemane Berhane have stopped driving their short-haul trucks to terminals at the Port of Seattle. They say hundreds of cargo drivers like them face unsafe conditions. Often, the trailer loads they pick up are too heavy or insecure.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

As many as 30 or 40 percent of the short-haul truckers who normally move containers from docks to railcar terminals at the Port of Seattle have stopped working.  

The work stoppage comes after one of the drivers was retaliated against for attending a hearing in Olympia last week on a proposal to improve their working conditions.

They’re independent contractors, who are predominantly immigrants, and say the conditions they’re forced to contend with make the job unsafe.  

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arts management
4:34 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Seattle's famed Intiman Theatre faces final fundraising deadline

Andrew Russel, artistic director for the Intiman Theatre, from the video announcing the group's final efforts to raise funds for a 2012 season.

How is an award-winning but bankrupt theater any different than say…Enron? Or a wayward lover? Or a drug addict?

Those are the kind of questions that have been on the minds of some long-time subscribers to Seattle’s Intiman Theatre.

Its board of directors is deciding whether to stay open or call it quits. They say they’ll re-launch if they’ve met a million-dollar fundraising goal before their meeting tonight (Monday, at 4 pm.)

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Environment
12:22 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Loggers and tree huggers united: feds rewarding cooperation in U.S. National Forests

Restoration projects in Eastern Washington’s Colville National Forest are a model for the nation; that was the word from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack two years ago.  

And now those efforts are netting nearly a million dollars in new federal funding.

At the same time, funding has been renewed for another project in Washington: the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, near Yakima.

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Redesigning Transit
8:20 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Bus route spared after public outcry; Metro adjustments enacted

Public outcry may rescue a popular South Seattle bus line. An amendment to the transit re-alignment plan passed by the King County council late Monday afternoon has temporarily spared the route.

Ten other bus lines that are considered inefficient have been eliminated.

It’s the first phase of a voter-approved plan to make King County's  Metro Transit agency more efficient.

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Environmental Law
12:44 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Tougher rules for oil spill prevention - hearings underway

On Oct. 13, 2004, about 7,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a ConocoPhillips oil tanker. The slick spread quickly and covered much of Colvos and Dalco Passage and Quartermaster Harbor in Puget Sound.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology

Washington State already has some of the highest oil spill readiness standards in the country – if not in the world.

An update to those regulations is raising that bar even higher.

The tightening is in response to the catastrophic BP oil spill nearly two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The new law places new requirements on oil companies operating in Puget Sound or on the Columbia River.

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Environment
4:04 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Audubon map – new Puget Loop unveiled as enviro groups strategize

Stormy weather is not the best recipe for bird watching.

But that’s not stopping environmentalists from getting together in Olympia to set their legislative priorities.

And among the festivities celebrating the Washington Conservation Voters’  day of lobbying is the unveiling of a colorful new, hand-drawn bird-watching map.

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Other News
3:32 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

More of the mysterious Mima Mounds slated for protection

Mima Mounds
Wash. Department of Natural Resources

The Mima Mounds Natural Area, southwest of Olympia, may soon get bigger.

Not the tell-tale mounds themselves – the part of the the geologically unique landscape that’s protected by the state. Right now, the Department of Natural Resources manages just over 600 acres of it. A private party is donating 100 more to the preserve.

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