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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Northwest Lifestyles
5:01 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Lesson Learned From 'Bucket List Of Gardens In England': Plant For The Future

Wisley Glasshouse Borders are Piet Oudolf designed borders inspired by the prairie. Oudolf designs in masses of perennials and grasses chosen for color and structure to also create habitat for birds in particular. Plants are not watered or fertilized.
Nan Sterman photo Plant Soup, Inc.

  From growing your own food to planting native or drought-resistant plants, sustainability themes abound at this year’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. At least one presenter took that idea to the next level by sharing a lesson she learned while admiring some of the world's most famous gardens. 

Nan Sterman is a garden writer from San Diego who attends the show in Seattle just about every year. This year, she presented a talk titled “From Sustainability to Stewardship” based on a tour of old English gardens she led last summer in the U.K.

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Climate Change
5:00 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Jewell Visits Mount Rainier, Discusses Climate Change At UW Roundtable

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell leads a roundtable discussion at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

"The best classrooms are the ones without walls," said U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, standing inside a classroom at the University of Washington, her alma mater, on Tuesday.

The former CEO of Seattle-based REI spent two days at home this week, wrapping up her visit with a roundtable discussion about the president's Climate Action Plan and the local impacts of climate change. 

To illustrate the need to reduce carbon pollution, Jewell visited Mount Rainier National Park and toured areas affected by climate change.

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Environment
5:01 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Activist Groups Seek Tighter State Scrutiny Of Oil Trains, Export Terminal Permits

A train carrying crude oil heads west through the small town of Shelby, Mont. on Nov. 7, 2013.
Matthew Brown AP Photo

Faced with increasingly volatile sources of crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week issued an executive order directing his state agencies to review safety regulations and response plans.

Now community activists in Washington are asking Gov. Jay Inslee to do the same for the state’s coast.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:59 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Mass: Mostly Dry Weekend Here, And 'Seahawks Will Feel Perfectly Comfortable'

"Cloudy with a chance of seasonal affective disorder"
Aaron Brethorst

“You can do anything you want over this weekend,” said KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. “No storms, no nothing. And in fact, there will be some sun.”

Things will dry out late Friday, and temperatures will reach the mid-40s in the lowlands, said Mass. Saturday will add partial sunshine.

Come Super Bowl Sunday, there will be “no weather around here to be worry about,” said Mass. Things will be fairly dry for most of the day.

“Then things get more interesting,” he said.

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Environment
5:00 am
Thu January 30, 2014

'Pump, Don't Dump': Campaign Urges Boaters To Avoid Sewage Spills With Free Kit

Bellamy Pailthorp

A rubber adapter may be the answer to preventing illegal dumping in local waterways, according to a new campaign by Washington Sea Grant.

The pathogens in untreated wastewater can cause everything from minor skin rashes to serious gastrointestinal illnesses like Giardia and norovirus. But it happens, and often by accident. Many boaters know better, but lack proper equipment or information on how to pump out safely. 

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Energy Futures
5:01 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Sunset Falls Dam Fight: Citizen Activists Accuse SnoPUD Of Waste, Secret Meeting

Snohomish County PUD wants to install a small, inflatable dam at this bend on the south fork of the Skykomish River.
Bellamy Pailthorp

New accusations are fueling an ongoing controversy over a proposal to put a small inflatable dam on one of the Northwest’s scenic treasures. Opponents accuse the Snohomish County PUD of clouding the issue with confusing information and a secret meeting.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:13 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Mass: Soak Up The Sun This Weekend Before Ridge Begins To Shift

Tim Durkan

Start planning your weekend. The forecast looks sunny, dry and warm, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Temperatures in the lowlands will reach lower 50s in some places. And some spots along the coast might even see lower 60s,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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Radiation Rumors
5:01 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Seattle Fishmonger: No Need To Worry About Radiation In Pacific Salmon

File image
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Scientists have said it's safe to eat fish caught in the Pacific Ocean in the wake of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, but rumors continue to circulate on the Internet. 

To quell these false claims and put consumers at ease, a Seattle fish company has conducted independent tests to prove Pacific salmon is safe for consumption.

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Renewable Energy
4:59 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Biodiesel Industry Puzzled By Loosening Of Alternative Fuel Standard

As the biodiesel industry convenes for a national conference in San Diego today, one of the topics of discussions will be the loosening of the renewable fuel standard.

Among the participants will be Seattle-based General Biodiesel, a company that turns used cooking oil into vehicle-grade fuel. The company 's CEO is upset over backpedaling by the federal government on incentives for more use of alternatives.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:26 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Mass: Ready For Spring? 'You Just Have To Go Up Or Go To The Coast'

Aaron Brethorst

Ready for spring? Head to the coast or the top of a mountain, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The reason: “The diabolical ridge is over us right now,” says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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Environment
11:27 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Environmental Coalition Pushing Bill To Protect Residents From Risk Of Oil Spills

A train carrying crude oil heads west through the small town of Shelby, Mont. on Nov. 7, 2013.
Matthew Brown AP Photo

Last year’s fires aboard oil-carrying trains in Quebec and North Dakota have spurred environmentalists into action here in Washington state.

Figuring out how to keep Washington families safe from oil spills is one of two top-line issues backed by more than 20 groups in the Environmental Priorities Coalition this legislative session.

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Tax Loophole
4:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Enviro Groups Urge Lawmakers To Close Tax Loophole Benefiting Oil Companies

File image
AP Photo

More than 20 environmental groups have joined together with a common priority this short legislative session: close what they say is a huge loophole benefiting big oil companies.

The Environmental Priorities Coalition includes big names like the Sierra Club, American Rivers, Fuse and the Cascade Bicycle Club. They don’t always see eye to eye on things, but when it comes to oil companies and the state tax structure, they’re all sure something’s not quite right.

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Smart-Grid Technology
5:01 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Fox Island Utility's Smart-Grid Technology Aims To Save Energy, Save Money

A grid-friendly appliance controller; this PNNL-developed computer chip can make most household appliances (including water heaters) “smart.”
courtesy PNNL

When you turn on your tap or shower in the morning or run your washing machine at night, you probably aren’t thinking much about how many other people in the area are doing the same thing.

But when it’s cold outside, use of electric heaters for hot water often pushes peak loads to the brink for local utilities.

That’s where so-called smart-grid technology could come in and save the day. The idea, which increases energy efficiency and saves everyone money, is being put to the test on Fox Island, near Tacoma.

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Weather With Cliff Mass
3:54 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Mass: Dueling 'Nonsense' Surrounding Polar Vortex And Global Warming

In this Jan. 9, 2014 photo, ice floes cover the surface of the Hudson River off the west side of Midtown Manhattan in New York.
Malcolm Ritter AP Photo

Global warming behind the recent polar vortex? Nonsense, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“There’s really no basis for this,” said Mass, adding there's a lot of misguided hype on both sides of the issue. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:00 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Mass: Heavy Rain, Strong Winds And Snow In The Mountains This Weekend

Tim Durkan

This weekend will bring heavy rain, strong winds and snow in the mountains, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“You can expect everything this weekend,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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