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
10:51 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Here Comes the Rain Again This Weekend — But We'll Have Sun Breaks, Too

This March 12, 2014 photo shows "a tantalizing taste of Spring sunsets arrives in Seattle," says photographer Tim Durkan.
Tim Durkan

 

Just when you thought spring had arrived in the Pacific Northwest, winds and wet weather are sweeping in.

We're in for another wet weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass — but not without sun breaks.

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Wild Vs. Hatchery Fish
5:24 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Wild Fish In Gene Banks, Hatchery Fish In Elwha — Why The Two-Headed Strategy?

Bellamy Pailthorp

Washington state has banned hatchery-raised steelhead from three tributaries of the Upper Columbia River basin. The aim of these so-called "gene banks" is to maintain strongholds for wild fish, and the state plans to designate additional gene banks in the future.

So why were the state and federal governments back in court this week, defending the decision to place a new hatchery on the Elwha River as part of the dam removal process?

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Environment
5:41 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

State Of Our Salmon The Focus Of 2-Day Puget Sound Partnership Meeting

File image of Puget Sound.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Puget Sound Partnership, one of the state’s newest agencies, is holding a two-day meeting on salmon recovery this week. 

On the agenda is a presentation called “report card forum,” but there won’t be an announcement of a letter grade. That’s because there isn’t yet a grading system in place, says Jeaneatte Dorner, the agency’s Director of Local Ecosystem and Salmon Recovery.

“And until we actually have that system in place, it’s sort of like we don’t have the test scores to actually give a grade,” she said.

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Wild Vs. Hatchery Fish
2:35 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

To Protect Steelhead, State Bans Hatchery Fish From Designated Wild 'Gene Banks'

Earl Steele Flickr

Steelhead trout may be Washington’s official state fish, but they also make up some of the region's most vulnerable populations, first listed as threatened in the Columbia River basin in 1998. 

In an effort to reverse their decline, the state has designated three tributaries of the Columbia River as wild steelhead gene banks, which means they’re off-limits to hatchery fish.

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Environment
3:46 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Cantwell, Murray Join Senate Democrats' All-Nighter Focused On Climate Change

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., left, is joined by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Evan Vucci AP Photo

U.S. senators pulled an all-nighter Monday night to call attention to climate change. Democrats Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Barbara Boxer of California led the effort to shine light on the need for more curbs on carbon emissions.

Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray were both present for the event. Cantwell took the floor early Tuesday morning following more than 12 hours of testimony. She said the issue isn’t about the future; it’s about negative effects that industries here are already seeing.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:49 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Mass: Rain Returns This Weekend, But Next Week Will Bring Signs Of Spring

Expect to see wet cherry blossoms in western Washington this weekend.
Jaymar Turner photo Compfight/Flickr

After a record-breaking week of strong rain, Friday will bring a bit of reprieve. But the rain will return this weekend, even in the mountains, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Still, there is good news: come next week, we’ll start transitioning into spring.

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Arts
5:01 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Seattle Artist Turning Centuries-Old Pieces Of Wood Into One-Of-A-Kind Sculptures

"I Love You"
Bellevue Arts Museum, Collection of Cathy and Michael Casteel

Where does the creativity come from that fuels a work of art?

For Seattle woodcarver Daniel Webb, it comes from the dialogue he has with centuries-old wood as he carves into them.

Webb uses mostly reclaimed wood, much of it more than 200 years old. His first solo exhibition opens today at Bellevue Arts Museum, where you can see how he transforms discarded stumps and I-beams into objects as delicate as a shimmering balloon, a wispy dandelion or child’s pillow. 

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Oil Trains
5:08 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Seattle Mulls Resolution Calling For Closer Scrutiny Of Oil Trains

File image
AP Photo

Seattle is on its way to joining Spokane and Bellingham in demanding tougher scrutiny of oil trains traveling through the city. A resolution that would restrict oil shipments until further review has passed out of a city council committee, and is scheduled for a vote before the full council on Monday.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:39 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Mass: Spring-like Friday To Give Way To Cold, Gusty And Possibly Snowy Weekend

A sure sign of spring approaching: flowers are starting to bloom.
Martha Kang KPLU

Soak in Friday’s sun and spring-like temperatures while you can, because they won’t stick around this weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Mass says snow is once again in the forecast for parts of western Washington.

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Environment
5:01 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Wash. High School Teams To Go Head-To-Head At This Year's Orca Bowl

In this 2013 photo, Seattle Orca Bowl participants pose with our full-sized replica of J-26, also known as "Mike".
Courtesy of Washington Sea Grant

Garfield High School students will put their smarts to the test to defend their title at the annual Orca Bowl at the University of Washington this weekend.

In a competition that slightly resembles the TV game show “Jeopardy,” 20 teams from around the state will try to answer multiple-choice questions about marine sciences, many of them specifically geared toward this year's theme of ocean acidification. Then finalists from Ocean Science Bowls around the country will meet again in May to vie for the national title. This year, it's taking place for the first time in Seattle.

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Clean Energy Economy
5:10 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Enviro Group Pushing Gov. Inslee To Adopt Clean Fuels Standard

The environmental group Climate Solutions is urging Gov. Jay Inslee to exercise his executive power to adopt a clean fuels standard. 

The group's leaders spoke to reporters on Thursday in hopes of adding momentum to their efforts to follow in the footsteps of California and British Columbia.

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Environment
10:20 am
Wed February 26, 2014

UW Prof Confirms Pine Trees Make Particles From Thin Air, Counteract Greenhouse Effect

labspic Flickr

When you walk into an evergreen forest, you get a whiff of that unmistakable smell of pine.

It turns out some of those vapors come from newly-discovered particles that seem to come out of nowhere and cool the forest. 

Researchers at the University of Washington have confirmed the finding, which they say will help scientists more accurately forecast climate change.

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Who You Should Call If You Trip On A Tree Root In Seattle

Younger trees can cause hazards because of poor planting conditions, such as here. The soil is too shallow.
Erin Hennessey photo KPLU News

Seattle is well-known as a city that loves its trees. The city even has a plan to increase its tree canopy to cover 30 percent of its open skies by the year 2037.

But the trees can sometimes get out of hand. Their powerful roots can be downright treacherous when they push through sidewalks.

So, what to do if you see one that has you worried? Or if you stub your toe on a bulging root? 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:07 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Mass: Chances Of Snow This Weekend, But Don't Bet The House On It

Don't bet your cat on it, either.
Shannon Kringen Flickr via Compfight

The weekend forecast includes chances of snow, but nothing's for certain, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"This is a hard one," said Mass. “There’s a lot of uncertainty here. I’ll tell you that right in the beginning.”

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon February 17, 2014

With Second Dam Nearly Gone, New Era Blossoming On The Elwha River

Courtesy of John Gussman

The slow-motion demolition of two hydroelectric dams on the Elwha River is radically changing the landscape near Port Angeles, but it’s not a scene you can witness on your own. 

Just a handful of dedicated photographers and filmmakers have been given permission to place their cameras at key posts near the Glines Canyon Dam to capture the changes as crews of skilled technicians carefully notch into the concrete walls and place dynamite in just the right places.

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