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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Swimming Upstream
5:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Part 2: Returning Chinook Exposed To Bathtub Of Contaminants In Puget Sound

The Olympic mountains and the Puget Sound are seen beyond downtown Seattle, with Lake Washington, the I-90 floating bridge and Mercer Island in the foreground.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Editor's Note: Fifteen years ago, Puget Sound salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the billions of dollars spent on recovery since, the results remain mixed. Some runs are seeing record returns while others are facing one of their worst years ever.

To learn more about the challenges of salmon recovery, this series follows one Chinook run from the open ocean to Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, past Renton and finally home to native spawning grounds on the Cedar River.

Puget Sound is one of the most enchanting bodies of water in the Pacific Northwest. Framed by mountains to the east and west, its physical beauty is part of what attracts new people to the region every year.

A total of 115 towns and cities surround this deep inland fjord. But the Sound’s geography is also part of what makes it toxic for fish that migrate through it.

Read and hear the full story on our companion site, northwestsalmon.org >>>

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:27 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Last Blast Of Summer Heat This Weekend Before Fall Returns Next Week

Tim Durkan

Don’t put away that sunscreen just yet.

Temperatures are expected to shoot back up into the upper 70s and even 80s for the last weekend of summer, topping off what will likely go down as the warmest summer in Seattle history.

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Environment
5:47 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Proposed Emergency Legislation Aims To Address Starfish Wasting Syndrome

A sick ochre star.
Courtesy of Drew Harvell

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Swimming Upstream
5:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Part 1: Adult Chinook In The Pacific Ocean Prepare For Long Journey Home

A salmon jumps in the Pacific Ocean.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Editor's Note: Fifteen years ago, Puget Sound salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the billions of dollars spent on recovery since, the results remain mixed. Some runs are seeing record returns while others are facing one of their worst years ever.

To learn more about the challenges of salmon recovery, this series follows one Chinook run from the open ocean to Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, past Renton and finally home to native spawning grounds on the Cedar River.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:56 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Mass: 'Perfect Viewing Conditions' For Northern Lights This Weekend

The Aurora Borealis is seen in Yellowknife, Canada in August 2012.
Doug Mahugh

We may get a rare treat this weekend. There’s a real chance we might catch the Northern Light in western Washington, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Perfect viewing conditions,” Mass said. “The skies are not only clear but they’re dry. The viewing is good; the big question is whether we will actually see them.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:36 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Thank 'The Blob' For This Warm Summer And The Sunny Weekend Ahead

"September sunsets — the best."
Tim Durkan

The record-breaking summer isn’t giving way to fall just yet. Another gloriously sunny Northwest weekend is in store, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We will have a really beautiful weekend — no precipitation, clear skies and warming temperatures,” Mass said.

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Climate Change
6:16 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Governor Inslee Urges Scientists To Lead Conversation On Climate Change

Huge areas of the Port of Seattle could be inundated when higher tides combine with more extreme storm surges, accdording to the Draft National Assessment on Climate Change.
Bjørn Giesenbauer photo Flickr

Many of the region’s top researchers have gathered this week for the Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference at the University of Washington.

Gov. Jay Inslee gave the keynote address and called on scientists to get more engaged in public policy.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:45 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Mass: Expect A Sunny, Hot Weekend To Add To The 'Best Summer On Record'

Dungeness Bay
Jeff Lilley

This summer, we’ve already beat the record for the hottest July and August ever in the Seattle area. And this weekend, we can expect to build on that trend with clear skies and warming temperatures pushing toward what will likely be the hottest full summer season on record, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

“We’ve been having the best summer on record here in Washington state, and it’s not going away,” Mass said.

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UW Research
2:00 am
Fri September 5, 2014

UW Study: Despite Boat Strikes, California Blue Whales Have Rebounded

A 65-foot-long California blue whale swims off Baja California. This pooulation of blue whales are also known as eastern North Pacific blue whales. They were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1930s, but UW researchers say they've recovered.
Gilpatrick/Lynn/NOAA

California blue whales have rebounded after decades of commercial whaling.

New research from the University of Washington suggests their numbers are back to where they were before humans started hunting the species. 

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Honoring Ancestors
5:42 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Seattle Considers Renaming Columbus Day As Indigenous Peoples' Day

A bust of Seattle's namesake chief has been in Pioneer Square since 1909. Should the city do more to recognise its indigenous peoples and leave Columbus Day behind?
Brian Glanz Flickr

Members of Seattle’s City Council and Mayor Ed Murray say they’re in favor of a resolution to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But the council postponed a vote on the measure. 

Members of several Native American tribes and their supporters rallied outside City Hall, then filled  council chambers to testify. They said Columbus brought genocide and slavery to the Americas and celebrations of him as a discoverer need to stop.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:15 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Mass: This Summer, One Of Hottest On Record, Is What Global Warming Feels Like

Ainsley MacDonald, right, and Will Walker, 10, try to leap above incoming waves as Calister MacDonald, left, 3, looks on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at a beach on the Puget Sound in Mukilteo, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Keep the sunscreen and swim trunks handy. The clouds are melting away and the forecast predicts another hotter-than-normal weekend with temperatures above the mid-70s that are typical for this time of year.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we are experiencing one of the hottest summers on record and could soon chart the hottest one in Northwest history.

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Coal Export Terminals
4:05 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Coal Opponents Point To Weak Finances Of Company Behind Proposed Terminals

File image
AP Photo

Oregon regulators’ rejection of a proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River is just the latest hurdle for the energy company behind it, according to anti-coal activists.

The activists are asking Washington officials to consider Ambre Energy’s finances before allowing a terminal it’s involved in at Longview, Washington. 

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Climate Change
11:01 am
Thu August 21, 2014

UW Study: Despite 'Hiatus' In Rising Temps, Oceans Show Globe Still Warming

FILE - The sun shines on Point Barrow, Alaska, and the Arctic Ocean at the northern tip of the United States, July 16, 2002.
Laura Rauch AP Photo

Despite widespread concern about global warming, rising air temperatures have actually slowed down dramatically over the past 15 years. This so-called “hiatus” has posed a big puzzle for climate scientists.

Researchers at the University of Washington looked deep into the oceans for answers, and found that despite the surficial evidence, climate change has not stopped. 

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City Parks
3:14 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Seattle Mayor Promises Better Facilities, More Accountability With New Park District

beataT1i Flickr

As the city of Seattle prepares to put in place its new voter-approved park district, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says citizens can expect both better facilities and more accountability. 

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Coal Export
4:24 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Oregon Agency Rejects Coal Terminal On The Columbia River

Oregon state regulators have rejected a proposal for a coal terminal on the Columbia River that would be a conduit for exporting millions of tons of American coal a year to Asia.

The decision is a victory for tribal groups that said the terminal threatened their fishing. It's also a win for Washington state, said Kimberly Larsen with the group Climate Solutions.

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