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
12:42 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Study: Don’t Blame Global Warming For Warming Weather — Yet

The Seattle skyline is seen through morning fog over Elliott Bay, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

It may be tempting to attribute current weather trends like the record warmth and early rains on climate change caused by humans. 

But KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says a newly-published paper should give us pause. It shows that the global warming of approximately 1 degree Celsius on the U.S. West Coast since 1900 appears more likely to be the result of natural variations than of human inputs of greenhouse gases.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:29 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Rain Relenting; Above-Normal Temps And A Partly Sunny Weekend Ahead

A pedestrian hurries along in the rain Wednesday morning, Sept. 24, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Fall came in with a vengeance this week. An early atmospheric river dumped huge amounts of rain into the Northwest over the last few days, but it’s tapering off just in time for the weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It actually looks like a decent weekend,” Mass said. 

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Labor Dispute
4:54 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Hyatt Hotel Workers Renew Call For Boycott, Rally For Fairness

A hotel housekeeper cleans a room.
Zachary Long Flickr

Hotel workers and their supporters planned to picket outside the Grand Hyatt in downtown Seattle Thursday evening, renewing a call for a boycott of the two Hyatt hotels in the city. 

The housekeepers at the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt at Olive 8 say they want a fair process to form a union. The hotels' owner, R.C. Hedreen Company, has declined to enter into a national agreement the workers say would protect their labor rights.

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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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