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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Floating Bridge
9:14 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Feds approve state's plan to rebuild 520 with 6 lanes

The new 520 bridge across Lake Washington got a big green light yesterday, as federal officials approved the state’s plan to put in a six-lane replacement.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:30 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Anti-tunnel rally in Seattle tries to build opposition to referendum

The protestors carried a 25-foot replica of what they said represented the “monster tunnel that eats money.”
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

At a rally in downtown Seattle late this afternoon roughly 60 protesters marched on city hall to show their opposition to the waterfront tunnel scheduled to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The protestors carried a 25-foot replica of what they said represented the “monster tunnel that eats money.”

A smaller group of tunnel supporters also showed up with props to argue that killing the tunnel would cause too much congestion.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Campaign to protect precious lands in San Juan Islands

A grassroots campaign of local conservation groups is hoping to get federally owned land in the San Juans declared a National Conservation Area.
Courtesy of San Juan Islands National Conservation Area

The San Juan Islands are known for pristine natural beauty that includes a national wildlife refuge and several remote state parks.  

But they also contain about 1,000 acres of federally owned land that has been largely forgotten by authorities. Some islanders fear it might be sold off to developers.

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King County Council
11:49 am
Tue July 26, 2011

$20 car tab hearing draws supporters; council postpones vote

The King County Council postponed a decision on a two-year, $20 car tab fee to maintain Metro bus service until August 15th in an attempt to pass the measure without it having to go before voters.

Advocates for social justice, economic development and environmental protection packed council chambers for the hearing. Nearly all testified in favor of the council enacting the fee.

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Budget crisis
6:58 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Seattle forced to sell property to fix streets

Seattle sold property to boost street repairs.
Allie Gerlach Flickr

The City council has confirmed a commitment to spend $3 million dollars from the sale of a property along Aurora Avenue north, known as the “Rubble Yard.”

The one-time boost increases the city’s street repair budget by about 33% for the year. Declining tax revenues have taken a bite out of money available for backlogged road repair projects.

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Media in Motion
3:35 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

P-I globe’s future unclear as staff moves, but MOHAI wants it

What will happen to the P-I globe? Museum of History and Industry is interested in taking stewardship of it.
druid labs Flickr

The staff of the SeattlePI.com is moving out of the waterfront building with the iconic spinning globe on its top. It's unclear what will happen to the globe, but at least one Seattle organization is interested in taking control of it.

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Washington state legislature
1:15 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

319 new state laws kicking in today

Hundreds of new laws become effective in Washington state today - more than 300 in all.

The new laws cover everything from medical marijuana, human trafficking and DUIs to the counting of overseas ballots and foreclosure fairness.

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Real Estate
6:00 am
Thu July 21, 2011

State homeowners gain new rights when facing foreclosure

South Seattle resident Marilyn Takemaru was part of a group of protestors who occupied the regional headquarters of Bank of America to get loan modifications.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Starting tomorrow, struggling homeowners in Washington have new rights. 

The Foreclosure Fairness Act signed into law in April is designed to prevent unnecessary foreclosures primarily by requiring banks to take part in mediation if borrowers ask for it and doubling the number of housing counselors.

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Sustainability
6:20 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Seattleites recycling more than ever before

A model Seattle family of recyclers: Bing Tso, Janet Gwilym and their kids put more than 70% of their waste each week into recycling and yard waste bins. Their trash fits into tiny receptacle at their feet.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Seattle residents and businesses have hit an all-time high for recycling rates. And from the front yard of a model recycling family in Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn gave the city a pat on the back:

“53 percent – an all-time high– 53 percent of the waste produced in the city of Seattle is taken out of the waste-stream and recycled,” McGinn said.

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Environment
10:06 pm
Sun July 10, 2011

Baseline radiation mapping beginning in Seattle and Bellevue

The Bell Helicopter that will perform the aerial survey has radiation detection equipment located in the capsules attached to its sides.
Photo courtesy Washington State Dept of Health

If you see an unusually low-flying helicopter cruising above Seattle or Bellevue, don't worry. It’s just a project of the State Department of Health to measure naturally occurring radiation in King and Pierce Counties.

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Weather
3:10 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Average July 4th: sunnier and warmer than you might think

This Fourth of July, like almost all Fourths in Seattle, will have sunny skies and warm temps.
Brianna Flickr

The weather for the 4th of July this year is looking pretty good, with scattered clouds in the forecast and highs in the low seventies.  

That’s actually pretty typical, says Carl Carniglia with the national weather service in Seattle.  He looked back at local statistics from the late 1800s to the present and found the historical data contradicts the cliché of rainy weather for Independence day.

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Fourth of July
1:21 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

What fireworks can you use? In some cities: None

Time for fireworks, bans and warnings and fun!
Piero Sierra Flickr

Here comes that day that cats and dogs really hate, but most American humans love!

Yes, it’s time for burning, smoking and exploding devices used for celebrating the Fourth of July. It is also time for the many reminders and warnings about what fireworks you can use, how dangerous they are and where you can or can’t use them (should you really feel like you have to).

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Environment
8:40 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Update: Shooting spotted owl's rival won't work, expert laments

A new plan for saving the northern spotted owl was released this week.
Associated Press

A new plan released yesterday for saving the northern spotted owl is taking aim – maybe literally – at a rival bird.

Federal agency leaders said Thursday the spotted owl is losing out to a bigger, more aggressive invader from the eastern United States, the barred owl.

However, one biologist whose research led to the listing of the spotted owl believes shooting and other measures to control the barred owl are too little too late.  Because, he lamented, the spotted owl's population has shrunk over the last 15 years in spite of conservation efforts. (Interactive map inside)

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Spotted owl recovery plan pits one species against another

Threatened northern spotted owl adult with young (Strix occidentalis caurina.)
Photo by Jim Thrailkill USFWS

It’s an icon of the northwest.

With its muted brown feathers and dark eyes, the northern spotted owl doesn’t look all that impressive. But scientists say its survival indicates the health of the entire forest ecosystem. That’s why conservationists want the government to protect more of the old-growth habitat spotted owls prefer.

But a recovery plan for the owl due for release this morning is ruffing feathers.

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Law
5:33 am
Mon June 13, 2011

Did Boeing retaliate against the Machinists union? NLRB hearing begins Tuesday

Will the NLRB make labor history when it rules on testimony that begins in Seattle this week?
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Last week, Boeing opened a new plant in South Carolina, where it's putting the second assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner.

That’s led to a fight between the aerospace giant and the National Labor Relations Board. The nation’s top enforcer of labor laws filed a complaint against Boeing in April. Proceedings in the case begin Tuesday in Seattle. 

The NLRB alleges Boeing built the second assembly line for the Dreamliner in South Carolina as retaliation for past strikes by the Machinists union in Washington state.  And that, it says, is against the law.

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