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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Traffic News
3:47 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

520 Tolls – Drive around or pay? Many are driving around

Consumers must choose how to allot their time and money when deciding how to handle automatic tolls in place on the SR 520 bridge. You can save money by registering with the state's Good to Go system, but must choose a transponder and set up an account.
WSDOT photo

Today is the first big day for car commuters since automatic tolling went live on the 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

It’s viewed as the start of the first really meaningful data-set for people who crunch numbers behind the scenes of the State Department of Transportation.

So far, the commute has pushed traffic to the south, with the I-90 bridge seeing more congestion … and more room created on 520, where drivers now have to pay to cross.

Read more
Environment
4:33 am
Thu December 29, 2011

What's the best way to dispose of a Christmas tree?

Don't burn your tree outside! It's better to dissect it and re-use in the yard, if you can. Better yet, ecology experts say, don't buy one at all: rent instead.
CocteauBoy Flickr

Statewide, recycling for Washington State has reached the highest rates ever.  The biggest areas in which people are doing more are in reusing construction materials and composting food waste…and then there are those pesky Christmas trees.

Recycling rates have grown to 49% statewide – higher than ever. It’s an increase of 14% more than the prior year. 

But even though we’ve all become great at composting, many people still aren’t sure how to dispose of their Christmas trees.

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transportation choices
4:33 am
Wed December 28, 2011

520 Tolls starting tomorrow

Tolling rates for the 520 bridge. You can save money by registering with the state's Good to Go system. Drivers without transponders will pay the highest rates
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Tomorrow (Thursday, 12-29-11), electronic tolls will kick in on the 520 bridge across lake Washington.

A series of technical glitches caused multiple past delays.  But now, the reader boards are going live and billing drivers on the most popular route between Seattle and the east side.

There are many creative ways to get around the tolls, but you’re bound to have to pay, sooner or later.

Read more
Weather with Cliff Mass
9:15 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Rain, rain and more in the forecast - but, embrace the weather and you'll be fine

Count the raindrops, go Singing in the Rain, or join the "surface data revolution" to beat the winter blues. It will be rainy, cold and stormy in the week ahead.
*Psycho Delia* photo Flickr

"It was like Palm Springs around much of the Northwest" recently, says KPLU's weather man, Cliff Mass. But that will be shifting soon. 

"Unfortunately, we're about to make a major shift into a much rainier pattern - a much more normal pattern."

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Transportation
4:30 am
Thu December 22, 2011

SR 520 Tolls – kicking in one week from today

Get ready! It might hurt, but there's no choice about tolls on the 520 bridge starting on December 29th.
Courtesy Zach Lewis theseattlesalmon.com

Get ready for tolling charges on the 520 bridge.

The state department of transportation will be flipping a virtual switch one week from today.

That means now is a really good time to set up a Good to Go account online – or face more expensive travel.

Read more
Salmon Habitat
10:25 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Pierce County is the biggest winner in land of recovery grants

Florian Leischner, salmon recovery biologist for the Nisqually Tribe, marks a tree donated by Tacoma Public Utilities, for use in a habitat restoration project in 2008.
By nwifc-photos NWIFC Flickr

Getting diverse governments to cooperate is more art than science.

And there’s a project in Pierce County that is being honored with something called a “surf board award.”

It’s for meeting the difficult challenge of protecting endangered Chinook salmon, which were listed on the endangered species act more than a decade ago.

Read more
Salmon virus controversy
5:51 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Hearing Thursday on decline of salmon in Canada's Fraser River

In British Columbia on Thursday, Canadian scientists will testify about the decline of salmon in the Fraser River. 

Even if you don’t like fish, advocates say you should still be concerned.

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Transportation
6:11 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

520 tolling to begin in 3 weeks

Tolling rates for the 520 bridge. You can save money by registering with the state's Good to Go system. Drivers without transponders will pay the highest rates.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Tolling on the 520 Bridge will start at 5 am on December 29th.

That’s the word from the state Department of Transportation, after multiple glitches that have delayed the system till now.

Read more
520 Tolls
11:10 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Update: 520 bridge tolling to start Dec. 29

Mobile 'Good to Go' teams are eager to sign up new customers, as tolling on the 520 bridge starts in less than a month.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

The Washington Transportation Department says tolling on the Highway 520 floating bridge will begin at 5 a.m. on Dec. 29.

Read more
Clean Air Act
3:42 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Federal ruling could force state to work harder to regulate oil refineries

A big ruling in a federal suit brought against the state aims to force more regulation of one of the biggest sources of air pollution: oil refineries.

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Transportation
4:30 am
Mon December 5, 2011

520 tolls could push traffic into towns north of Lake Washington

SR 520 toll rate sign installation on the eastbound lane this past summer.
WSDOT

It’s not yet clear exactly when, but sometime in December, the state Department of Transportation is due to start collecting tolls on the 520 Bridge.

Cities along the northern edge of Lake Washington have been bracing themselves for the change. 

Read more
Boeing
2:53 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Boeing, Machinists respond to concerns on new labor contract

The 737-MAX is Boeing's newest version of its best-selling jet. Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh says it will be built in Renton if a new contract proposal is approved.
Boeing Media image

More than 30,000 Boeing Machinists are studying a proposal that would spell labor peace for the next four years if it’s approved. But  some union members are concerned about aspects of the deal.

Lingering questions

One of the top concerns among union members has to do with how solid Boeing’s commitment to Renton really is. Property near the factory where the 737 is built has been sold off over the years.

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I Wonder Why
4:30 am
Fri December 2, 2011

We don't have an accent in the Northwest ... or do we?

There's definitely an accent in the Pacific Northwest, according researchers at the University of Washington. But whether you can actually hear it depends on where you're from.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Do I have an accent? You hear me on the radio. I hear myself on the radio, many times a week in western Washington, and I didn’t think so. But, a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle tells me I do have an accent – it’s in the way I say that very word “accent.”

Apparently my pronunciation is a dead giveaway that I grew up here in the Northwest.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Environment
1:26 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Plastic bag ban back on Seattle council's agenda

The city of Seattle would like this to never again be a view for Seattle and the region.
Gwen Harlow Flickr

"Paper or plastic?"

Seattle wants to take that choice away in order to save the environment and money. The city council is considering a ban on single-use plastic bags, because they are harmful to marine wildlife as well as to recycling machinery.

Read more
Consumer Choices
10:30 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Bag your bags' King County says of troublesome plastics

If you’re confused about what to do with the plastic bags you get at grocery stores, you’re not alone. 

Many people know that they’re bad for the environment and that they can be recycled, but how to recycle them is another question.

Read more

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