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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Economic Development
5:00 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Seattle celebrates Amazon.com's new headquarters in South Lake Union neighborhood

Ada Healey, Vice President of Real Estate for Vulcan Inc., thanking Amazon.com for bringing jobs to the new neighborhood her company is building on the south shore of Lake Union, west of I-5 in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU

One of Seattle's most famous employers is moving. City leaders are celebrating…because online-retailing giant Amazon.com is only moving a few miles across town. 

The new headquarters complex is large enough to house several thousand employees.

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Earthquake Preparedness
5:22 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Viaduct closure; Emergency system triggered by seismic sensors

A map showing where automated traffic control gates will go on State Route 99 in Seattle. The automated viaduct closure gates system improves safety by preventing people from driving onto the viaduct after a moderate to severe earthquake.
WSDOT

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has been calling for a closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct as soon as possible.  That's because it's an earthquake hazard.  Other leaders think that's an over-reaction, since a new tunnel is already in the works. 

But the Viaduct will close this weekend for its semi-annual inspection.  Drivers will have to re-route their travel for two days.  Routine maintenance on the old structure was scheduled long before the earthquake in Japan. 

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Remembering John T. Williams
5:20 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Century-old cedar totems to honor native woodcarver at Seattle Center "carve-in"

Late carver John T. Williams' brother, Rick, beams with joy as he and another carver, Dan Martin, make the first cuts on a 120-year-old cedar. Their carve-in will go on for at least 6 months.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

An ancient cedar tree was delivered earlier today (Tuesday) to the Seattle Center. Several totem poles carved from it in public will commemorate the life and art of native carver John T. Williams.

His shooting by a Seattle police officer last August has escalated tensions between law enforcement and people of color. But Williams' family says the "carve-in" that has just begun is about remembering his cultural legacy. 

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Business
6:06 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Starbucks teams up with Green Mountain Coffee

Single-serve coffee is in vogue.  Seattle-based Starbucks says that's the motivation behind a long-awaited deal with Vermont's Green Mountain Coffee, which the companies signed today.  It's part of Starbuck's strategy for continued growth in the US and Canada. 

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Search Technology
5:56 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Amazon.com & Google facing suits for alleged patent infringement

Technology that enables good results for searches on the Internet is at the heart of two patent lawsuits brought against online retailer Amazon.com and search-giant Google.

San Francisco-based MasterObjects has filed federal complaints against both companies, saying they're stealing its technology.

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Microsoft
2:40 am
Thu March 10, 2011

Xbox Kinect sales hit 10 million, setting Guinness World Record

Microsoft says during its first three months on the market, the Kinect sold at a pace of, on average, more than 130,000 per day.
AP

Microsoft's Xbox is breaking records in the gaming world. The company says it has already sold 10 million of its newfangled motion-controller device, the Kinect, since the product launched in November.

That's a world record.

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Arts & Culture
1:35 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Interview with poet, author and playwright Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou receives the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, from President Barack Obama, Feb. 15, 2011, in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo

One of America's most prominent living poets is coming to Seattle. Dr. Maya Angelou is the author of a groundbreaking memoire published in 1970, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. It describes how she overcame racism and trauma growing up in the South. 

Dr. Angelou is now 83, and recently received the highest civilian honor in the land, the Medal of Freedom, from President Barack Obama. 

KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp spoke with her and asked, first of all, how she came to write her first work of prose. (Click on the audio "play" arrow at the top of this post to hear KPLU's interview).

Dr. Angelou will speak at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Monday, March 14th, in an appearance at 7:30 p.m.

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Real Estate
7:22 am
Fri March 4, 2011

King County home prices down 7% compared to last year

A jogger and dog run past a house posted with a new price in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Foreclosures and uncertainty are clogging up the real estate market, and one local expert says prices won't go up again before next year.

The median price of a home in King County  is down nearly 7% compared to a year ago.  That's one of many tidbits in the mass of numbers released this month by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. 

Sales data for February show the median sales price in Washington's most populous county down 7 percent compared to last year. The median price of a home in King County has dropped to $320-thousand dollars. That's about $23,000 dollars less than in February of last year. 

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Seattle Center Master Plan
5:25 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Improvements planned for Seattle Center Food Court

The Seattle Center Food Court, inside the Center House, February 28, 2011. It will close close July 1st for demolition. New food services are to be in place in time for the anniversary celebrations of the 1962 World's Fair.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

It looks like the Seattle Center Food Court will soon be run by a concessionaire that has current contracts with Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo. 

The Seattle Center has announced a letter-of-intent with Lancer Hospitality. 

The space was built originally as an armory, completed in 1939.  Located at the base of the Space Needle, it was famous in the 1970s for the Bubbleator amusement ride (now in Burien) and for at that time newfangled food attractions, such as Orange Julius smoothies. 

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Defense
4:58 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Boeing workers and unions celebrate winning bid for Air Force tanker contract

It's a day of celebration and pride at the Boeing plant in Everett, after the company won the $35 billion-dollar Air Force contract for a new aerial tanker fleet. 

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Defense
8:18 am
Fri February 25, 2011

Tanker deal is big win for Washington aerospace, 10 years in the making

An F-16 from the California Air National Guard's 144th Fighter Wing aligns with the boom from a Boeing, KC-135 Stratotanker.
Ben Margot AP Photo

Aerospace workers in the Puget Sound region are celebrating.  So is the state's congressional delegation, which has fought for 10 years to win a lucrative contract to build a refueling tanker for the U.S. Air Force.

The Pentagon's Deputy Secretary of Defense, William Lynn, says Boeing was "a clear winner" in the competition to build a multi-billion-dollar refueling tanker.  This means unless rival bidder EADS contests the decision, a newly revamped 767 line at Boeing's Everett factory will likely be busy for decades. 

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Hostages on Yacht
4:54 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Remembering Seattle sailors, killed by Somali pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle with their friend Walter Friesen, before a race/rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), an event affectionately known as the Baja Haha.
Courtesy of Walter Friesen

Family and friends are grieving the loss of a Seattle couple who were killed as they sailed around the world.  They were captured by Somali pirates, along with another couple from California. 

Walter Friesen  knew them.  He's a member of the Seattle Singles Yacht Club, where the deceased couple met. 

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ARTSCAPE
5:09 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

"Next to Normal" tackles tough subject of mental health with lighthearted song and dance

Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushnier in the national tour of "Next to Normal." The show is written by Brian Yorkey, who together with composer Tom Kitt pulled off a surprizing win last year of the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Photo by Craig Schwartz. Courtesy 5th Avenue Theatre.

Bipolar disorder has been the inspiration for many artists and many works of art…from the movie A Beautiful Mind to Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar

Now it's showing up in a musical, called "Next to Normal." 

Ten years ago, the production had its genesis at The Village Theater in Issaquah.  Now, after numerous revisions, it's back in the Seattle area at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  For the latest in our series ARTSCAPE, KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp caught up with Bryan Yorkey, the writer of the show, who together with the composer, Tom Kitt, was the surprise winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize for drama.

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State Budget
8:52 am
Fri February 18, 2011

State workers union ads regarding more violence at Western State Hospital deemed 'mostly false'

A new TV ad created by the Washington Federation of state Employees claims that violence has increased at Western State Hospital – because of budget cuts by the state. 

The Seattle Times "Truthneedle" picked that ad apart and says it's misleading and "mostly false."

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Transportation
7:55 am
Fri February 18, 2011

Glitches in Good to Go electronic tolling system

Aeter Flickr

While it's a good idea to be prepared, sometimes it's good not to move too fast. 

Apparently there are glitches in the state's new "Good to Go" tolling system.  The State Department of Transportation says it will revamp the sign-up process after complaints by frustrated motorists trying to buy transponders online.  As Mike Lindblom reports in The Seattle Times:

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