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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Environment
1:52 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Counties Deploying Bacteria-Sniffing Dogs To Find Failing Septic Systems

Molly, a border collie trained by Environmental Canine Services, can sniff out human fecal coliform bacteria in water samples. She recently worked for King County at creeks in Seattle and Kirkland.
Chris Kittredge Photo

In recent years, the Samish River Basin in Skagit County has suffered severe pollution from fecal coliform bacteria. Water polluted with untreated sewage and manure leads to frequent closures of shellfish beds and beaches. County authorities are testing a new method to find the sources: poop-sniffing dogs

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:09 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Weekend Curse Has Lifted: Sunny Skies And Summer-like Temps Ahead

Sunny Seattle beach with more sun to come.
Erin Hennessey

It’s time to get out the sunscreen and summer clothes.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we have a beautiful weekend ahead of us.

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Maya Angelou
8:08 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Remembering Maya Angelou: Her 2011 KPLU Interview

Maya Angelou answers questions at her portrait unveiling at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on April 5. Angelou died May 28, at age 86.
Paul Morigi AP Images for National Portrait Gallery

Poet and author Maya Angelou died today at age 86. Her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" broke new ground with its descriptions of overcoming racism and trauma in the South. Throughout her life, Angelou was celebrated for her words. She shared a few of those words with KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp, in a 2011 interview we're reposting here:

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:37 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Weekend Forecast: Still Some Rain Ahead, But Mother’s Day Will Be Lovely

Denise Walker photo

“First things first,” said KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. “For Mother’s Day, it looks good.”

Mass predicts sunny skies and temperatures of at least 70 “and maybe even into the low 70s” for Sunday.

But before then, there’s some rain to get through.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Latest National Climate Report Shows Big Impacts In The Northwest

As sea levels rise, waves will crash with greater intensity along the coast.
Photo by andreyphoto.com Flickr

Global climate change is having tangible effects all over the country, including in Washington and the greater northwest.

That’s according to the latest National Climate Assessment released Tuesday by the Obama administration.

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Bike Share
4:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

With New Sponsor, Seattle's Bike Share Program Finally Set To Launch In September

courtesy of Puget Sound Bike Share

It’s official: Seattle’s much-anticipated bike share program will launch with 500 bikes in September, thanks to a $2.5 million grant from Alaska Airlines.

City officials unveiled the plan for the program, called "Pronto! Emerald City Cycle Share," on Monday.

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Worried About Landslides? Seattle Has A Map For That

In the wake of the deadly disaster in Oso, many people may be worrying about the potential for mudslides in their neighborhoods.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:40 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Heat Wave Is Over, Another Rainy Weekend In Store

Beth Lehinger pulls in a kite under clear skies atop a hill in Seattle's Gasworks Park and in view of the Space Needle as the afternoon temperature neared 80 degrees Wednesday, April 30, 2014.
AP Photo

It seems the curse of the wet weekend is upon us again.

This week's unseasonably hot transition from April to May is giving way to much cooler temps and heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

It comes on the heels of a gloriously sunny and hot work week.

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Alternative Energy
3:11 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Progress In Turning Woody Debris From Northwest Forests Into Biofuels

Slash piles of woody debris in Northwest forests are seen as a promising new source of feedstock for low-emission biofuels.
Potjie photo Flickr via Compfight

In 2011, biofuels in the Northwest got a huge boost. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $80 million in grants to researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University. It’s meant to help turn woody biomass into environmentally-friendly fuels for cars and jets.

Now they’re at about the half-way point in their research, and several hundred are attending a conference on wood-based biofuels in Seattle.  

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:15 am
Fri April 25, 2014

More April Showers This Weekend, But Saturday Will Bring Sunbreaks

C4Chaos Flickr

Don’t put your parkas away just yet. 

It’s classic April weather this weekend with lots of showers but plenty of sunbreaks, too, according to KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

Saturday, in particular, is going to be nice, says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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Transit Funding
4:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

With Prop. 1 Failing, Group Plans Ballot Initiative To Save Bus Service In Seattle

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County's Proposition 1, which would have raised sales taxes and car tab fees to preserve Metro bus service, is failing. Initial counts show 55 percent of voters rejected the measure, leaving low odds of passage.

Still, Seattle transit advocates are down, but not out of ideas.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Gregoire's Earth Day Message To College Kids: Puget Sound Health Depends On You

A southern resident J pod orca whale swims in Puget Sound in view of Mount Rainier and downtown Seattle, as seen from a federally permitted research vessel Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Forty four years ago, the modern environmental movement was born with the celebration of the first Earth Day. At massive teach-ins around the country, people called on industries to stop polluting.

Now the messages have become more personal, says former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is speaking at Pacific Lutheran University Tuesday night.

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On Resilience
4:59 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Washington's Own Bill Iffrig A Reluctant Hero Of Boston Marathon Bombing

Bill Iffrig
Jessica Robinson

An elderly man from Lake Stevens has become a reluctant symbol of resilience in the face of terrorism. 

An image of 79-year-old Bill Iffrig, blown off his feet in an orange singlet near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, went around the world. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and interviewed for a 12-minute online documentary titled "The Finish Line." 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:40 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Mass: April Showers In The Forecast, But Easter Sunday Will Be 'Pretty Good Day'

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 16, 2014, flowers and plants removed from a tulip field are tossed in a truck near Mount Vernon, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

If you’re planning any outdoor fun this weekend, Sunday’s your best bet, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The famous Puget Sound convergence zone has been dumping rain in the greater Seattle area, with some places in the foothills of the cascades getting as much as 4 inches in the space of just six hours on Thursday afternoon. Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says there will be a break from that today, but not for too long.

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Alternative Energy
5:01 am
Wed April 16, 2014

PUD Changes Course; No Dam for Skykomish River’s Sunset Falls

Skykomish River
Courtesy Andrea Matzke

Plans to put a dam on one of Washington’s most scenic rivers have been called off.

The Snohomish County Public Utilities District says it has a better plan for the area on the Skykomish River near Index. But opponents of the project say it’s still too early to declare a victory. 

Snohomish County PUD was planning an inflatable weir for the bend in the river near Sunset Falls, not far from Index. The utility said it had a design that would rise and fall with the river, making it safe for endangered fish runs and minimally disruptive to the scenic value of the area.

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